Friday, September 13, 2013

Block Swap Reveal

Last night during our guild meeting, we all shared our quilts made with identical blocks in each quilt.  We had two color choices - a traditional red, or a neutral batik.  I chose the batik, so I made enough of my block pattern for each quilter in the batik group to receive one.

POND-ering  (I know, it's a corny name.)
We swapped blocks in May and each quilter came up with their own ideas for making them into a quilt.  The batik group had 21 participants, which is an odd number of blocks to use.  I made 2 more to make it an even 23.  Ok.  That's still a strange number of blocks, but it worked for this layout.

Lots of thread color changes in this top
The top left of each block was quilted with a neutral colored thread while the bottom right half used a thread color that matched the lower right frame.  It took a lot of work to change the colors.  However, the end result is so subtle, it goes unnoticed.  Maybe there's a lesson hidden in this experience.

The blocks are quilted with Heavy Metal designs which  Kim Stotsenberg at Sew-n-Sew Quilting created using wrought iron as an inspiration.  These were fun designs to quilt and the blocks dictated the design, so these didn't need to be marked ahead of time.  

Here's the back, which is also quite subtle (i.e. boring) with the thread color changes.

A closer look shows a little detail.

In retrospect, a very light solid would have been a better choice for this backing ... or less custom quilting.

I'll enjoy this quilt since I can see it up close.  It's a special one to me because of each quilt guild friend who made a block for it.  It will be a fond memory of this year I've spent as guild president.  The attendance and lively chatter last night was a good indicator of how excited we all were to see one another's quilts.

I'm hoping to whip the house into shape today just in time for my mom's arrival this evening.  She'll go to a high school football game with us to watch the marching band and then she's off to Virginia tomorrow morning to be with her sister.  My aunt's cancer returned and she's now under hospice care.  I posted about her in March/April of 2011 when she began chemo and I sent a string quilt to her.  She's had a difficult journey, but has faced it with faith in Christ, an expectation of heaven, humor and appreciation for all her blessings, especially her family.  What an amazing example to us all.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

In the Garden Mug Rugs

I joined an online group for a mug rug swap and made this one for my swap partner.  Our theme was In The Garden, so flowers and bugs came to mind.  One of my teens helped me make the dragonfly and ladybug.  It was too big to gracefully fit in a mailing envelope, so I've learned a lesson here - keep the size manageable.

After I mailed mine, I received this one :
Isn't he adorable?  As I took the photo, the camera responded with "Blink Detected" text on it's screen.  What?  I don't think so!  LOL!  Anyway, we've be privileged to see an owl in our yard near the garden at night.  He was helping to keep the field mouse population in check.

My swap partner patiently waited the arrival of her mug rug, but I finally gave up and made a new one for her.

This time, I made it to fit in the envelope.  Also, I had to make the bugs all by myself.  This time, I played with a whimsical flower and anchored all of them with grass.

One day after I mailed it, the first one came back to me.  I don't mind at all, since I like this cheerful theme.  Both the owl and my garden are hanging in my studio.  My challenge will be to find a better way to display them as my collection grows.

I'll soon have a real bloom to share with you.  As it came from a cutting of my sister's plant, it is lovingly referred to as "Tammy's Psycho Plant."  My first cutting managed to die, in keeping with my plant murderer reputation.  However, Donna has shamed me into actually watering my plants and even occasionally mixing up some plant food.  Golly!  This seems to actually work.  There's a little new growth on my Christmas cactus and my night blooming cereus is outgrowing it's pot.  I like it much better when the plants live outdoors. 

My guild block swap quilt is almost finished, which is good news as the reveal is tomorrow night.  Just a few more hand stitches to close up the binding.   I'm looking forward to seeing all the quilts made from identical blocks.  If technology smiles upon me, I might be able to share them here soon.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars