Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week 3: Homecoming

My knitting/quilting time has been limited this week due to pain in my shoulder. The tentative diagnosis I have is rotator cuff calcific tendonitis. I could not raise my arm very high last week; the worst part was that my husband had to comb my hair. I also haven't been sleeping well. I have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon on Monday, although my condition is unlikely to require surgery. I am grateful that it appears I do not have a rotator cuff tear. I will, however, have to limit my activities for a while and will probably need to have physical therapy. Blech.

I did make this tree:

and six log cabin blocks. I've sewn two together and plan to applique a couple on it.

Here are a few of the many books I'm using for patterns and inspiration.

I did manage to finish a house block.

Everything about it seems a little wonky, but then, that's what my week has been like.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Week 2: Homecoming

I made another large house block this week.
House with Trees 12" x 20"

What?! You've never seen a pink tree? Or a purple moon? Making anything any color I want is one of the most fun parts of quilting. It makes me think of a line from Dylan Thomas, A Child's Christmas in Wales, which I read every Christmas. Describing Useless Presents, he writes "...and a painting book in which I could make the grass, the trees, the sea and the animals any colour I pleased,and still the dazzling sky-blue sheep are grazing in the red field under the rainbow-billed and pea-green birds."

And see that blue fabric I used for the roof? I thought I'd used the last tiny bit of it in a doll quilt. Then I found a good yard and a half of it in my stash. I have too much fabric. NOT!

I made fifteen smaller blocks too.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Books Read--January, 2012

1. The Wyndham Case by Jill Paton Walsh
2. Dying in the Dark by Sally Spencer
3. Breakdown by Sara Paretsky
4. Well-offed in Vermont by Amy Patricia Meade
5. Private #1 Suspect by James Patterson
6. New York Dead by Stuart Woods
7. A Little Gentle Sleuthing by Betty Rowlands
8. Party to Murder by Betty Rowlands
9. The Confession by Charles Todd
10. One False Move by Alex Kava
11. Weeping by Shelly Reuben

Week 1: Homecoming

I considered several names for this quilt including Country Life, It's a Wonderful Life, Home Sweet Home, Rural Home, Life is Beautiful and, finally, Homecoming. I chose Homecoming because it's short and it encompasses everything I want to express with this quilt.

I found the freezer paper and a glue stick that wasn't all dried up. I set up my ironing board in the guest room now that the Christmas guests are gone. It ended up in front of a window instead of facing a blank wall and I can't tell you what a nice difference that makes!

I'm using a small red/white check fabric to bring everything together, making several larger blocks, using this as the background fabric. These will all be houses. The smaller blocks will also be hand pieced and hand appliqued and they'll include flowers, stars, birds, sheep, trees, dogs, cats, chickens, the sun and moon, baskets, rabbits, children, log cabins, an American flag and a maple leaf plus others. I'm considering whether or not I want to add an applique border, but I haven't gotten that far yet. Many of the patterns will be from Jan Patek's books and patterns and I'll use others as well.

The first block I made was this one. Only later did I decide to use the red checked fabric for the background. I've put this block aside. I'll either use it on the back or it may become a doll quilt.
House Block 8"x 10"

My applique skills are very rusty (I use needle turning) so I made these two stars.
Stars 5" x 5"

Once I decided on the theme and the background fabric, I made these blocks.

Cat on House Block 10" x 20"
I kept auditioning fabrics and must have pieced each block three times apiece with different fabrics until I was happy with what I had. The patterns are from Jan Patek's book, Angels. And that reminds me; I want to add a guardian angel block to my quilt.

Snowbound Quilt

I made this quilt in 2005 and sleep under it every December. I've just put it away for the year which made me want to make another quilt like it. There are blocks with hearts with my name, my husband's, and each of my four sons. I have four boys sledding and singing carols although my husband said I would never be able to make them wear those silly hats! There are sheep and a rabbit and a dog, all with family stories attached. I had so much fun making it and I was sad thinking I'll have to wait another year to use it again. How fun to make another, one I can use whatever time of year it is!