Monday, August 29, 2016

"It's a nutcracker. To crack your nuts."

My daughter has recently returned home to live to save on costs while she attends graduate school.  Her old room had become my quilt room and I now must turn it back over, thus necessitating a reduction in the quilt collection since there isn't another space large enough to house everything safely.  Today I was supposed to be working on that task but you could say I got caught up in a conversation.  Or rather, caught up with conversation prints.  I found this stack of 79 pinwheel blocks with some of the most delightful prints so I spent my work time photographing them.

This is my favorite because it immediately reminded me of a scene from Downton Abbey.  If you're a fan, you'll remember when Isobel gave the Dowager Countess a Christmas gift.  When the Dowager asked, "What is it?"  Isobel replied, "It's a nutcracker.  I thought you'd like it.  To crack your nuts."  As if she needed a nutcracker for that.  I'm thinking these prints are from a little bit earlier than the Downton era.  But not much.

Horses were very popular in the prints.  I'm impressed by the detail in the guy on the left.  The other one is paler but very cool.

This is just the bottom of the horse's foot.

More horsey motifs.  I like when fabrics are pieced to make it big enough for the template.

How about these revolvers?  Having just listened to the soundtrack of Hamilton I wondered if they were, perhaps, dueling pistols?

A screw?

A lot of the blocks had these shovels.  The fabric in these blocks is great but the sewing is, to put it nicely, "folky."  Notice the miss on aligning the points in this one?

Another very detailed motif.  You can even see the soulful looks in the dogs' eyes.

I have a contemporary reproduction with these tops on it.  I guess the guns are too politically incorrect these days to reproduce.

I don't think these blocks were ever assembled.  There is a good reason for that.  You saw the misalignment in the earlier block.  Someone seems to have tried to draw in the stitching line but the blocks vary in size by more than an inch so a top from them would be very lumpy.  Most are machine pieced but some were done by hand.  The blue is bright and cheerful, there is a variety of dots and stripes of different sizes, and just enough red to add some pizzazz.  It's a great set of blocks.  I'm deciding whether to list what I'm downsizing on Ebay or Etsy.  Any advice?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WOW - WIPs on Wednesday - A Day Late

Do you ever find yourself needing to quilt?  I mean NEEDING to do it.  Like if you don't somebody might die?  That's where I am this week.  Everyone wants a piece of me, at home and at work.  I usually relax by stitching for at least 15 minutes on an ongoing hand piecing project every evening.  But, this week I have to get up extra early and I'm exercising, which is not something I do.  Should, but don't.  And, it isn't because I want to exercise.  We are doing some car juggling and I'm getting to work via train and then joined a bikeshare program to peddle my way the last two miles of my journey.  I start sweating all over just typing this.  So, it should be obvious that when I hit the bed I am asleep, not sewing.

To relieve some stress I headed to quilt blogs today and saw Esther Aliu's post from yesterday.  She has invited us to share our Works in Progress (WIP) on Wednesdays.  Hence, the WOW.  She is making her daughter's wedding dress - big WOW!  I just need to talk about quilts so I am recycling some photos some of you might have already seen because I've shared them on social media.  Social media has cut down on a lot of blog posting because it's just so darn easy to share the pictures we love.  However, I miss the opportunity to just talk quilts.  So, here goes...

The picture above is the back of my ongoing hand piecing project.  I'm pretty proud of how neat it looks.  Below is a photo from a blissful Sunday morning.  My week started well but the wheels dropped off on Monday.

I've also indulged my love of pomegranate quilts recently.  The one below was really interesting to me because it is mostly pieced!  Only the stems and the center motifs are appliqued.  As I said, I've shared this photo before and more than a few people just wonder "why?"

You might be able to see the seams by the leaves if you enlarge this photo below.

I love this next one.  The quilting is incredible and the dots add that touch of whimsy that just makes me smile when I see it.

Well...I feel better.  Thanks for indulging me for a few minutes.  I am heading into my afternoon with a much better attitude.  

P.S.  I have my hand stitching in my desk drawer.  I might just have to sneak a stitch or two.
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