It seems every year about this time I start to get homesick. I don't know if it's the anticipation of Fall (my favorite season and Fall in Ohio is so special) or what. But I get really, really homesick and start thinking about making plans to go "home." Or, maybe it's because my dad is going back "home" in a few weeks. Whatever it is -- I'm feeling a strong need to return to my roots. Sigh.
It's been a while since I've posted anything of substance. I've been doing a little bit of this, a little bit of that - pretty much until I finished the "purple quilt." Well - it's done. I spent most of Friday evening quilting it on the frame. It didn't come out nearly as well as I would have liked - but I know it's going to take practice for me to get the hang of quilting on the Gracie. I sewed on the binding yesterday, washed it and wrapped it up with a few little surprise to cuddle with (a stuffed puppy), to color with (markers and paper) and to eat (skittles and gummie savers.) My dad is picking them up in a week or so and will be driving them up to Cleveland for special a very special little girl. I do hope she likes it. It was made with love.
With the fractured quilts being wrapped up this month with the delivery of Margaret's pieces -- BIG blocks are on the horizon. "What are big blocks?" Big blocks are - quilt blocks made 20" or larger. I've decided to participate in two of our guild's (Capitol Quilter's Guild - of which Sabrina and I are both members) Cyberbee big block groups --- the applique group and the pieced group.
Each group has between 4 and 6 members. Each member selects a pattern and provides the instructions, templates, color scheme (if desired) and size (at least 20" blocks - one gal's block is 30"!) to each member of the group. Each member then makes one block out of the selected pattern. In the end -- we each will have four to six blocks to do with what we choose.
For my applique pattern, I've selected Prairie Rose (upper left picture.) My blocks are going to be 20". (Any larger and I don't think I could manage them as this is a first for me.) I plan on keeping Prairie Rose for myself to go in my new office -- which I absolutely love. It's small, quiet, cozy and has a wonderful view. All it's missing is a quilt for my reading chair, or should I say a quilt for Gizmo and Toby to snuggle on. I've selected earth, muted autumn colors - gorgeous. I love the folk art flavor of this design. I've always wanted to learn how to applique and I'm guessing by the time I'm done with this group - I should have a good grasp of it.
For my pieced pattern, I've selected the bear paw -- which of course, I've never made before. I have a great book by Sally Collins, The Art of Machine Piecing . This is a really good book for those wishing to learn machine piecing. Collins covers everything from cutting, pressing, and sewing order to drafting your own blocks or, as in my case, enlarging standard blocks. I do love the bear paw block (it's always been one of my favorites) -- particularly when set off with a stark white.
I've selected a navy blue and hunter green Christmas paisley by Moda, I think -- and for the claws, navy and white, or dark green and white. These blocks will be 21" each. I think I'm going to make 4, the group will make 5 - and then I'll have enought to make Sal a nice winter quilt - maybe backed with a navy, hunter and white plaid flannel. There's nothing like a quilt backed with delicious flannel.
Finally, another glimpse of Starry Night. I'm still working on it -- a little at a time.
Tonight - I will be hemming 6 pairs of Sabrina's pants (she's got short legs like her momma) and thinking about making a trip back "home" maybe in October -- so I can sit on the banks of Lake Erie , feel the stinging wind on my cheeks and remember.