Star Count

I’m so excited the main part of the quilt is together!  Now it just needs a couple of strips around the edges and it’s done.  I’m borrowing these quilt photos from Frederick, since he did such a good job…  I like the second one because it includes the dimpled elbows of little miss intended recipient.

 The quilt has not progressed much since the DCMQG meeting 9 days ago… now that it’s so big it’s gotten hard for me to work on it while holding the babe and so that leaves, well, just about never, for me to pick up the quilt and get it done.  Not that I am wishing it to be any different.  The fourth time around, we are well aware of how fleeting everything is.  Vivian’s milestones keep flying by; one month, then two, then three.  She smiles big toothless smiles and had her first laugh the other day, watching Evelyn jump up the stairs like a frog.  She grabs at her toys and holds her head up high when rolled on her tummy.  Sigh, where is my newborn nugget?  Speaking of babies, another of mine has recently turned 11… how?  Violet is already a teenager at heart and Evelyn is only a couple inches and a couple of pounds behind her.  I’d wish for a pause button except that they are obviously so pleased with growing up.

 

Have I mentioned how much I love the back of a piece of patchwork?  I’m sure I have..

Check out the others: Monday Morning Star Count

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Star Count #24

Thank goodness for Jessica at Life Under Quilt’s linkups, or I would never post anything!  Here is how my baby quilt is looking:  IMG_0399

And that last chunk is assembled into a few big pieces.

Last night, Vivian fell asleep in my arms on the couch and so I stayed up late, basting some tiny diamonds, triangles, and a few more hexies.  I need these tiny shapes to fill in around my star points, and the quilt actually needs a couple more rows of white on the left side, which didn’t fit on my foamcore “design wall.”

IMG_0411

I’m feeling really optimistic about getting this thing in the quilt frame soon!  And after spending so long piecing it, the quilting will be a piece of cake.  Vivian Pepper is in her bouncy chair beside me right now, her eyes questioning me when we are going to head up to bed.  She is my good helper, anchoring me to the couch during the day so there’s nothing I can do but stitch…

Star Count #22

Well, I missed a few star counts somewhere in there… but I’m back on the wagon now so let me just jump right into it:

A very astute comment from Dolores caused me to remove the almost-solid red diamonds that were surrounding the pink star in the lower left here:

and replace them with some very pale mint and aqua diamonds.

I like it so much better now.  In fact the pink against the aqua is now my favorite part of the quilt.  The white star points kind of fade into the background now, but I don’t mind.  So this piece of the quilt is all one big chunk now.  The rest is mostly in larger chunks, with a few areas of single pieces still remaining.  I had an episode of negative progress when Vivian was just a couple weeks old.  My sweet Evelyn, the almost-3 year old, was helping me by raising all the blinds one morning.  In her excitement to pull the cords, she knocked over the sheets of foamcore on which I had laid out all the pieces for this quilt.  She very sweetly told me that she made a mess and could I help her pick it up…  The pieces, probably a hundred or more at that time, sat in a pretty forlorn little pile for several weeks until I made the time to re-design the quilt and then set the boards somewhere less precarious.

Gus took some pictures today of me sewing.  This is my favorite way to sew these days, bopping and swaying about, always music on the stereo, she stays asleep so well in her little pouch and I am mobile and hands-free.  Vivian is two months old today.  Two months!  I’m doing all I can to keep this little one near.

I’m linking up with Life Under Quilts Monday Morning Star Count.  Jessica asked what goal we would like to set for the beginning of summer.  Boy I would love to see this quilt in the quilt frame on the first day of summer!

Star Count #12

I’ve got half of my quilt all pieced into big sections.  I’m leaving it like that as I work on the other half in case I want to make any changes.  ‘Cause right now, there is a lot that’s irking me about this quilt, and I have to make some decisions about how much I want to go back and excise and how much I just want to press forward.

Luckily I have lots of time to stitch! Every day that Baby declines to make her debut is another day spent relaxing and sewing.  I’m starting to think she is waiting until her quilt is done to come out.  I do love these little “cogs” with the vintage mushroom fabric in the center!  I got the mushrooms at Goodwill a couple of years ago as a little home-made valance.  I was so excited when I realized how well they fit into this project!  I might replace the one that has dark blue petals with apple green or chartreuse, if the right fabric presents itself.  Or maybe not.

I really want a quilt that is all white and pale like these random bits, with just a few tiny colorful stars mixed in.  Trying to resist temptation to start something new before seeing this one to completion!  WHY IS THAT SO HARD?!!!

Thanks Jessica for the continuing motivation over at Life Under Quilts!  It’s definitely helping me to keep my mind from wandering…

 

Star Count #10

This week I’ve been basting neutral, almost white shapes to fill in between my stars.  Mostly 1″ hexagons, but also half-hex and 60 degree diamonds, just to fill in all the little spaces.  I love having a big pile of neutrals ready to go.  It feels like having money in the bank, like I’m ready for anything.  Yup, anything those wild and crazy hexagons manage to throw my way, I’m ready.  🙂

Linking up again with Jessica Alexandrakis’s Monday Morning Star Count– and how I’m enjoying watching everyone’s projects evolve over the weeks!

 

Museum Demo Day / Star Count #8

Oh, what fun I had last Sunday at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.  The museum had invited the DC Modern Quilt Guild to come and demonstrate hand work in the gallery, amongst their exhibit of gorgeous antique quilts.  We sewed a little, we demonstrated a lot, we chatted with visitors almost constantly for the whole 5 hours.  I even did a little repair on an antique quilt someone brought in.  I couldn’t believe how fast the time went.  If I could make a career of that I surely would!

I brought along my English-paper-pieced baby quilt and made a little progress on the orange star.  Other members brought along hand quilting, binding, more EPP, and embroidery.  The table where we sat was such a joyful conglomeration of projects.

Adding to the excitement of the day, my friend Mary Koval had lent me some examples of antique English paper piecing which were unfinished, and still had the papers inside.  With templates cut by hand from old letters and receipts, the backs of these pieces were so fun to stare at.   And the old fabrics… I could pore over these quilts all day and never tire of them.  All that work, all the time spent by some unknown maker, it stays with the quilt long after the maker has passed.  So lovely to behold.

Sunday at the gallery, and later that night, I added a round of shapes to two of my stars- so I’m still at 3, but they are growing!

Only in February…

Only in the depths of winter, and only under a little duress, would something so rainbow-bright and utterly lacking in neutrals come out from under my needle…

I took a break from my EPP baby quilt last week to enter something in the MQG Riley Blake Challenge.  Everybody who signed up for the challenge received this bundle of fabrics:

Receiving the fabrics didn’t really inspire any creative ideas for me, so I washed them and folded them and they sat on the shelf for 5 months or however long it’s been… until a week before the deadline when I knew I had to make something. Hmmm.   The challenge rules allowed other Riley Blake fabrics to be added, so in my stash I found a few more prints in orange and red.  Together with the challenge fabrics they made an almost-rainbow and since this was a Challenge, I figured I should go ahead and try out a color scheme that I wouldn’t normally use.  Looking at it now I realize that I didn’t really use that much of the challenge fabric at all, but it is all Riley Blake stuff so it fits the criteria…

It was fun to put together another English paper piecing design and applique it to a beautiful cross-woven solid that’s been in my stash for eons.  I made it kind of large so it would go together quickly- the center diamonds are 3 inches on each side.   It is hand quilted it with #12 Valdani perle cotton in a spring green.   I’m really liking #12 for hand quilting rather than the thicker #8 that seems to be more readily available. Maybe just because I’ve been making small-ish things.

I love that the MQG hosts these challenges, because it’s so fun to see what different people are making from the same fabric.  But this one, for me, was just a bit of a bummer because I was so uninspired by the fabric.  I like my final quilt well enough, but it just doesn’t excite me like some things I’ve worked on, y’know?  I’m happy I finished it though, because finishing projects is one of those life skills that I need to work on, and now I have a happy little quilt I can pass off to my kiddos to enjoy.

By the way, there are a ton of entrants out there who obviously were inspired by the fabric and made some fantastic things… here is one by Doris Brunnette that made it to the top 10 that I absolutely love:

I’m linking up again with Jessica’s Monday Morning Star Count!

Star Count #6

Finished star # 3 this week!  I didn’t intend it to be all orange, but sometimes it seems like I have no control over these things.  I got a lot of other things basted and little bits here and there sewn together, but I didn’t get any pics of that.  Next week!

This week it was really the motivation of the linkup and the weekly progress report that kept me stitching, so, thanks Jessica for your Monday Morning Star Count!

Star Count #5

This week I allowed myself to put another star together!  If you’re following along, that brings my total to: 2.  Hooray!

I want to get the quilt mostly laid out before I do too much assembly, so I am free to rearrange the shapes for as long as possible.  But I was really in love with this star, so I felt safe sewing it together.  A lot more shapes got cut out and basted, too, my little tray is filling up and the picture doesn’t even show the shapes that I’ve been playing with on my dining room table.   (They were on the kitchen counter for most of last week, until I left the house to go to the grocery store and my husband moved everything out of sight to the dining room.  So I would have room to put away the groceries, or so he says 🙂 )

Some of these won’t get used in this quilt, but I’m enjoying the idea of building a pre-basted arsenal of shapes, ready to make quick little projects whenever the mood strikes.

Thanks again to Jessica at Life Under Quilts for the Star Count linkup!

Star Count #4

I spent most of my crafty time last week finishing up the quilting on this quilt so I could enter it into the DCMQG’s quilt show.  But there was a little time to baste this little stack of neutral-y diamonds.  The creamsicle orange + neutral color combination is killing me with its awesomeness.  I kind of want to throw out all the other pieces I basted the past 3 weeks and start again with just these.  But that’s just my crafty ADD talking; next week I’ll have a new love either way.  This week I’ll start laying out my shapes; can’t wait!