Sunday, April 29, 2012

Progress on my Jubilee Quilt!

 After thinking about this project a lot, and have some earnest conversations with myself, I have decided to applique with wool instead of cotton...and I am loving it!  So here are my first two blocks for my Civil War Brides Quilt...I just love this pattern so much!  It is by Karen Mowrey, and the book is called A Bountiful Life.
Let the hand stitching begin!

Have a great day, all!


Nine blocks down, 3 to go...

Hi there, after a lot of procrastination I finally got around to stitching together the last blocks for my quilt top.  I sewed the blocks together today and I've decided I'd like to make the top a tiny bit bigger.  I think I'll try 3 more blocks and see if that works. 

I decided that I didn't want sashing after all.  I managed to keep most of my stars points, I'll live with it the way it is anyway. It mightn't please the quilt police but thats ok! 

I was wondering about doing a pieced border before the applique border but if I can't figure out the maths I'll have to reconsider.  Next will be deciding what to do for the applique borders, thats going to be fun.  It will be my first try at designing an applique border.  I have a few ideas I'm looking forward to trying.

Bye for now


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Block 14, Betelgeuse

BETELGEUSE (Alpha Orionis). The great star Betelgeuse is one of the two that dominate mighty Orion of northern winter, the other Rigel, the pair respectively also called Alpha and Beta Orionis. The name Betelgeuse is a corruption of the Arabic "yad al jauza," which means the "hand of al-jauza," al-jauza the ancient Arabs' "Central One," a mysterious woman. For us, it marks the upper left hand corner of the figure of the Greek's ancient hunter (and since he depicted is facing you, his right shoulder). One of the sky's two first magnitude supergiants (the other Antares), Betelgeuse is one of the larger stars that can be seen, indeed one of the larger stars to be found anywhere.

When I googled Betelgeuse, I was assured that it will not explode this year, killing us all.  This is what the expert, Jim Kaler, that has written all my star facts had to say about the explosion creating the effect of a second sun for earth.

"It would definitely be visible in full daylight, and it would cast shadows. It might scare the crap out of people to be honest, but it would be nowhere near as bright as the sun."

And, I have this to say about this block.  It was the hardest so far.  I put it together three times to get the center to match.  I have tried everything and even with all that, it still looks slightly off.  Personally, I think I could have designed this block better and made it easier to match, but instead of being divided into quarters along the horizontal and vertical, it's divided along about a 60* diagonal.  I'm consoling myself with the fact taht the one in the picture from the website isn't precisely matched in the center either.  Nah, nah.

Next is another fun one that I'm not really looking forward to, but after that, it looks like there are a few simpler ones. 

I really need to lay all these out and look at them soon.  While each one is pretty cool, I have no idea what they're going to lool like, all joined together.  I should start making plans for that, huh?  Unless I want to make 36 little quilts.

Everybody have a great Tuesday. 


Block 13, Hadar

HADAR (Beta Centauri). Residents of the southern hemisphere see a grand parade as Crux (the Southern Cross) rises and is followed by the two luminaries of Centaurus, Hadar and Rigil Kentaurus, the pair more commonly known as Beta and Alpha Centauri.

Thirteen is a bright block.  Lots of competing colors.  I tried a darker green in the center and lost the shape of the block as I was putting it together, so I replaced that with the light green and got the brightness I was going for.  There is a bit more contrast between the green and yellow, but not much.

Slowly I'm making progress on this one.  Very slowly.  But, I keep reminding myself, I have a year.  And, I'm nearly half done piecing them.  And my stash of batiks is booming.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Next Step

Just a quick post to show you some progress.  Here's what the little triangles became :).  Isn't that neat??  Since I'm making this just by looking at a picture in a book, I can't really tell how the original quiltmaker constructed this in 1860, so I just appliqued the whole thing down.  It's good enough for me!!

Here is beginning of the blocks. I decided on just 2 different fabrics for the backgrounds and a single background for the corner triangles and the border.  See the first few leaves?

This whole thing is such a learning curve for me. It's been a while since I've done so much applique and such fussy work.  I am a folk art applique type of person, where if something is wonky it doesn't matter.
But I am having a ball!!
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Good Morning America!

I have to admit it, I'm a morning news junkie.  After I journal and do a daily reading, I'm off to the family room to discuss the news with Robin and George.  They may not realize it, but I am the 3rd anchor of ABCs GMA.

I feel less guilty about that 90 minutes if I work on quilting.  I've found it's the perfect time to prep, baste, mark or any other activity that may not require my full attention.

2 Blocks Completed! That is 138 stuffed berries, just saying.

A few things I do to prep a block:

1.  I press the half block lines with the iron, both ways.
2.  I mark registration lines to help line up any templates.
     On this block it's 2" from each edge for the wreath
3.  I really try to get as much basted and prepped at one time
     so I can sit enjoy the stitching.
4.  I sew baste the pieces, it's fast and no pins to catch on.
     (I try to use matching thread so I can admire my work as I               

Thanks to everyone who has been posting their progress!

I've added a J for Jubilee favicon to our blog just for fun.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Flowers are blooming

My little flowers are multiplying :). My technique is slowly improving.  I'm auditioning background fabrics to see how scrappy I want to get.
I've also found a good cheddar to go with this.  You won't see a lot of this color, but I didn't have anything in my stash that really looked good.  So I found a repro with a tiny red flower - hope it's the right shade.  Also auditioning greens.....
I'm really happy with the progress so far.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Remember Me?

I realise it's been a bit quiet on my front - this is only my second post - but I've been busy in the background getting things ready for my Jubilee Project.

In fact, I've had to make some huge sacrifices for this Project

:: I've HAD to travel to the other side of the world
:: I've HAD to walk down cobblestoned streets to get to a quilt shop.......or two
:: I've HAD to wait patiently in a very cute quilt shop waiting to be served
:: I've HAD to contend with a foreign language, and foreign currency
:: I've HAD to buy fabric........

and all in PARIS!!!  Yes, that's Paris, France.  Which, let me tell you, is a long way from Melbourne, Australia!  It's all been such a hardship (imagine me with back of hand on brow and sighing deeply!!!).

My husband and I celebrated our big '0' birthdays (his was last November) by treating each other to just over 3 weeks in Europe.  We've had a ball and have such wonderful memories.

One of the Must Do's in Paris was to visit two patchwork shops - with the objective of buying fabric which I can use in my Jubilee Project.  So what did I buy?  Here 'tis.....

From Le Rouvray which was not far from our hotel and is the sweetest shop, down a cobbled street, not far from the Notre Dame, and manned by the lovely Brigit, a selection from the range designed by the shop's owner, Diane::

From Ines Patchwork which was over in Montmartre.  This piece was sitting in a quilting hoop just inside the door and looked so French I had to have some

 and these were just 'cos
 but either of these I think will be used for a background, now if I can only decide which one...??

 I had a delightful time at both shops (and B was so patient!); the staff were lovely, we overcame the language barriers and I walked away from both a very happy girl!

So the idea for my Jubilee Project is well and truly entrenched in my brain - not quite on paper yet, because if I start down that path my Mrs Billings quilt will never be finished!

Hopefully it won't be too much longer before I start.  In the meantime I am really enjoying reading all about your projects.  It's so inspiring - keep going!!

Meredithe x

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Beginning of My Jubilee Quilt

I am so excited to be joining in this Jubilee Quilt Project.  Thank you Barb for encouraging me.  When I turned 40, I was told it was the new 30.  When I turned 50 I was told it was the new 40.  A few months ago I turned 60 and was told it is the new 50 :)!!  So I'm good to go!  I've been searching for inspiration, and here are some of the blocks for the quilt I've finally decided on.
It all started when I saw this book last month at our quilt show.  As I flipped thru it this one quilt almost screamed out - "Make me"!!!  So I bought the book.
The second part of my Jubilee quilt will come from this book.  My mother paints theorems - paintings on velvet. It's very difficult and she is very good.  But she's given it up and has passed along her books. I was intrigued to see if any of them could be interpreted thru quilting.  I've picked a pattern and I guess I'll find out if it can.
Here are the templates I made for the flowers.  I have never done reverse applique before, but I think that's the only way these flowers can be made.

Another element of the block are these little darlings.  They are 1 1/4" cut and will finish at 3/4"!!!  I had to make 64 of them, so not too bad.

So this is where I am at the moment.  I'm happy to be along on this journey, I have a feeling this will be a very special quilt for me.
Until next time,

A big finish!

I'm showing all you Jubilee quilters another birthday quilt.
Yvonne's friends and family put together this string quilt for her,
right down to the handquilting.
We gave her the top for her 50th birthday in January
and by the end of March, all the quilting stitches were done
and she was sleeping under it.
Read more about it here.
My Jubilee quilt, on the other hand, is still  in many pieces.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Xi Ser, Block 12

In spite of its lowly standing among the letters of the Greek alphabet, Xi Serpentis (no proper name) is among the brighter stars of the constellation, and lies just to the east of where the tail of the Serpent (Serpens Cauda, the constellation in two parts) joins the classic figure of Ophiuchus at Sabik. It lies 105 light years away, and shines with the light of 31 Suns from its 7100 Kelvin surface.

I did make it to 12 yesterday with the completion of this star. This ws the most complex one so far. Each quarter of the block is made up of 5 paper pieced sections, and each of those had multiple pieces. Getting the 5 paper pieced sections together to form a sqaure was a nightmare, but once that was done, putting the four squares together to make the block was a piece of comparison.

Hope everyone is doing well. I'm taking a short road trip next weekend by myself to see my parents and am going to take a couple of blocks and my featherweight with me to give me something to do when I wake at 5am.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Block 11, Tarazed

One of the minority of stars that does not have an Arabic-derived name, "Tarazed" comes to us from a Persian phrase meaning "the Beam of the Scale," and was originally applied to the star Altair and its two flanking stars, bright third magnitude (2.72) Tarazed and fourth magnitude Alshain, as together they look like a weighing balance. In our constellation lore, the trio are the most prominent part of Aquila, the Eagle, which flies through a bright part of the Milky Way between Cygnus (the Swan) to the north and Sagittarius to the south.

This is block 11 and that means I am almost a third of the way through piecing the 36 mariner's compass blocks for my Jubilee quilt. I think I might even have another one in my for a nice and relaxed Sunday. It would be nice to say I'm a third there.

I like the redish orange and the greens together. It was hard to get the lines in the darker green batik to line up with my points. But, well worth it.

Everyone have a great Easter Sunday. Lane

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Block 10, Rana

In the middle of the western flow of Eridanus, the River, just to the east of Epsilon Eridani, lies the star Rana.
I was really looking forward to this block. I just love how the points seem to build on one another and echo. I even went to the LQS yesterday and picked up a blue to use. I wanted a dull red for the background, just as the pattern picture showed and had this fat quarter from the quilt show we went to last weekend.
I decided to add some variety to my piecing, so I pulled out my newest collected machine, a
Singer 401A, named Lorene after her previous owner.
She is a sweet machine, tho I haven't taken the time to fully clean her up yet. I did give her a good oiling and cleaned the worst of the old grime off, and she just purrs along, almost silently.
That got her moved into the winner's circle and now, she's in the piecing station and Ken Moore is moved to a lesser spot, there when I'm ready to sew on him again.
Everyone have a great Sunday. I'm off to the grocers and then lots of outside chores.