Monday, September 29, 2014

Genevieve's baby quilt

I want to document for myself (and you) the baby quilt for Genevieve — my great-niece by marriage — before sending it off in the mail to Colorado.

Genevieve's nursery is lime green and purple. I wanted those colors as highlights, with gray and white as neutrals.

Inspiration for the design came from Josef Albers' "Homage to the Square." (nice instructional video about his color theory here)

This is the closest to true colors I've been able to photograph.
The purple usually appears too blue.
The quilt measures 38" x 48"

The "back." As I posted previously, I incorporated
vintage fabric pieces from the stash of Genevieve's
great grandma Helen and partially sewn
together by her. I finished the center block
with her fabrics and one of my own
(hot pink paisley).
The rest of the front and back
are fabrics I bought, with the exception
of the white and green leaves and birds
in the upper right of the back.
All the fabrics besides the pieced block of vintage fabrics I purchased, except the white and green leaves with birds in the upper right corner of the "back." That fabric was given to me by my fabric philanthropist, my sister nancy.

I really don't know which is front
and which is back at this point. :)
I would design the focal block differently now.
I would not use the black and white floral border
from a thrift store skirt,
inside the lime green frame.
Rather, I would use a darker, less busy fabric,
so the focal block would pop.

I stitched straight lines going in both directions every 1 1/4".

I just love all these old fabrics!

I send this quilt to Genevieve ("Evie" — long E), with a little salt and pepper, dancing and music,  stitches from great grandma, and a heart full of love.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

bees, flowers and little girls

I was excited to sew with the bee fabric my friend Susie sent for my birthday.
Turquoise is becoming my staple color.
The dots just make every combination happy.
The back.
Susie gave me the batik on the left, too.

Don made us this stump table last week.
It's great for staging mug mats, don't you think?

I've finished the back of Genevieve's quilt and will start quilting it tomorrow.

I also played with another mug mat, but I wasn't happy with my white stitches on the back binding, so I won't be selling it (I don't have the heart to tear it out). I'm going to give it to my daughter Lesley. (I hope she won't mind. :-)

I think the black binding is too heavy.
I want to make this again, and I'll need to decide on a better one.
I can see that the turquoise and white dots would probably work. :-)
The fabric is quite a collection.
The white, red, turquoise and chartreuse leaf fabric
to the left of the girls is from a vintage table cloth
of my mother's.

You can see how the bobbin thread, being white, shows my imperfect stitches.
(closeup below)
It is challenging to get perfect front and back stitches sewing
the binding down.

A more neutral binding, and darker bobbin thread, would hide imperfect stitches.
Oh I see I also haven't clipped all my threads. :-)
The cute olive green and pink argyle is from
my daughter-in-law Andrea, in the stash she gave
me for my birthday.
I do like the tiny patch on the front of the mat.
There was a barely noticeable stain in the vintage white tablecloth fabric,
and so I just made a polka dot patch.
It echoes the girl's dress.

A little update on my Etsy sales. I had two sales before Etsy and have had six Etsy sales! The first time someone found my shop out of the blue, I was amazed. That makes eight sales. After ten (and every ten sales), I will donate a cozy, fluffy quilt to a women's shelter.

Bees & flowers mug mat at Etsy.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Genevieve's pieced block finished

Here once again is the old pieced piece,
which Genevieve's great grandmother may have sewn
along with scraps from her stash,
before I finished the block, below.

Here is the finished block after I added the green print
in the bottom left corner, the salt and pepper print,
the black musician and dancer print (top),
and blue & white gingham (upper left),
all from Genevieve's Great Grandma Helen's stash.
I also added hot pink paisley
from my own fabric stash to the upper right side.
How great is it to see improv quilting from the '40s or '50s?
Then I added white and black floral fabric from a thrift store skirt,
and a lime green border. For the purpose of the photo,
I laid it on a lively Michael Miller print named "Courtney,"
which I will be incorporating into the back of the quilt,
along with this pieced block.

Here is the front again (with the spinning wheel cutting off the lower left corner.)
I don't know what the spot of light in the lime green is, just in the photo,
as it's not in the fabric. I'm guessing it's a reflection from the mirror behind it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Genevieve's "mischievous squares" quilt top

Genevieve's nursery is purple and lime green,
so I designed what I call "mischievous squares"
with lime green, purple and neutral grays.
little mischief is good, right?

Genevieve was born August 15, latest great grandchild of my parents in-law (granddaughter of my husband's sister). I suppose I should have started a quilt long before she was born, but that didn't happen. :) I'm pretty sure Genevieve's mom and grandmom don't follow Birds of the Air Quilts, so I'm not ruining the surprise.

Now I am rallying all my design acumen (ha) for the back. Genevieve's other great grandma, now deceased, had a fabric stash that Genevieve's mommy inherited and loaned to my daughter Lesley to make her a bag from whatever she liked. Well, years after Lesley made the bag, she still had the stash, so I called upon her to find it in a box (they moved this summer) so I could incorporate some of it into the quilt back. There is this wonderful hand-pieced piece in the pile of fabrics. I can't be sure Genevieve's great grandma pieced it, but let's say she did.

Pieced piece by Genevieve's great grandma (?);
I've pinned three pieces to the pieced piece:
the black on the left, the salt & pepper, and the green and brown squares,
all from the stash, already cut. Talk about improv piecing!
I'm guessing this would have been sewn in the 1940s or 50s.
Click to see the fabrics better.

My plan is to sew additional fabric from the stash around the edges to form a rectangle, then piece it into a simple quilt back with large blocks of fabrics that coordinate with the front. I see the pieced piece as a precious "bloom" similar to the floral fabric on the quilt front. So I'll frame it similarly, but not necessarily create a set of mischievous squares. Still thinking!