I had a rest day yesterday, only stripping beds and doing laundry and sewing 3 blocks. I will get to the design wall today and rearrange the blocks in a pleasing order. Then I can sew the top together.
My amazing daughter left here (60 miles west of Chicago) at 5:45 a.m. to drive to Jonesborough TN to attend Kaffe Fassett's lecture on her way home. I wasn't sure she would get there in time and when she sent me this photo it made my day. She had purchased tickets before I had my pacemaker surgery and I didn't think I was ready to travel yet. She said the program was really good and I'm sorry I couldn't be there. Brandon and Kaffe both have shirts made of their own fabrics.
My son-in-law was here from NC for his mother's 90th birthday and he stopped by for a nice visit. I finished the purple dishcloth and started a red one for my kitchen. I rarely use the solid color yarn so this one is different for me.
I was looking through "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts from Italy" and I find the quilt that was my favorite when the book came out is still my favorite. I know how hard it is to keep a quilt from bowing out at the center of the sides when adding border after border. I think I do want to make one like this anyway. I have about 3/4 of the fabrics used in this quilt but I might not make an exact copy.
I'm at day 25 after pacemaker surgery. For the first 30 days I was instructed to not raise my left arm above shoulder level. This is time for the leads that were inserted into the heart to be held securely in place by scar tissue that grows around the ends. Since I frequently switch hands (without thinking) when placing blocks on my design walls I didn't dare take a chance of accidentally raising that arm too high. I will be happy to get back to the design wall in another week.
It shouldn't come as any surprise that my favorite quilt from 2011 was my "H - I give it 5 Stars". Here is a photo of it hanging in my dining room. Here is a tutorial on making the H blocks. I have had many people send me photos of their H quilts using my tutorial as a guide. I also used the H blocks in this quilt.
As I walked by the kitchen window I noticed movement out by the coneflowers. First there was a female finch there and by the time I got back with the camera it was the mail goldfinch.
He was really tearing apart the seed head.
I couldn't hold the camera still enough on the super zoom so this one is a tiny bit blurry. All photos will enlarge if you click on them.
The book came a day earlier than predicted so I was sidetracked yesterday. I always find it interesting how he uses some of his fabrics that are a challenge. I haven't read it yet, just enjoyed the photos and checking out the directions. There are actually some paper pieced parts in a couple quilts in the book.
Yesterday I wanted to get back to cutting my Kaffe fabrics in 2.5" squares. I had 45 more fabrics already pressed and cut into strips ready to cut so I got that accomplished. Then I decided I needed to lay out one stack in color order so I can tell when I'm ready to do a colorwash with them. The two rows on the right in the bottom tray are multicolor, no specific color could be determined.
When I finished that I decided I needed to look for backing for this top. I found one that I have 6 yard of and it is hanging over the arm of the chair. Then I took the top off the double design wall so I can start using it again.
My unfinished projects have been nagging me so I pulled this one out. I had stacked the rows when they were on a single wall for several months. I started piecing the blocks in August last year and played around with a design for them. I think I need to make some more blocks to make it one row wider and maybe one row longer. I'll start cutting them today out of some newer Marcia Derse fabric that I have purchased since last August.
Yesterday morning I noticed I had two tomatoes starting to turn red. I decided I would leave them until later in the afternoon and then pick them before the critters come and take one bite out of them. You notice there is only one here....yes, by the time I went back out to pick them there was a big bite out of the other one. I'm pretty sure it is the squirrels that do it but overnight it could be opossums or raccoons. I have lots of green tomatoes out there right now so I'll be keeping a good eye out for any change of color and let them ripen on the windowsill inside.
After I finish a project I need to just play for awhile to decide what to do next. Every time I see a Friendship Star quilt I know I want to make one. I had a box of 3" finished triangle squares (no batiks) and a little bag of 3.5" green print squares so I started playing with a layout on the design wall. I think the blocks with the darker light colors will have to come out. Maybe they can be on the back. This will just be a small quilt to go in my gifting pile. I'm linking to Scraptastic Tuesday. Click here to check out the other links.
Then I tackled the one I have been procrastinating about. I got the other 3 narrow borders sewn on and then I hung it on a double design wall to be sure they were just the right length. The trouble with sewing a border onto an all bias edge is that you want it neither too small or too big. Either way causes big problems once you get the outside borders sewn on. I think it looks good so I will cut the wide border today.
While mowing the grass I spotted the greenery to be featured for the day. The bluish green hosta was only half this size last year. The leaves are fairly small on this one compared to my big leaf plants. I split this one a couple years ago so I have 2 or 3 of them.
I counted 7 little tomatoes on the Early Girl plant and 2 or 3 each on several of the other plants. I don't remember how many days it takes for them to grow to full size and ripen but I suspect I'm going to have a lot of tomatoes at the same time.
After sewing on the first narrow border I realized I will have to cut off the points before I add the wider borders. I think I had success with this border but I really won't know until all 4 are sewn and I add the wide borders.
This is a huge Jack-in-the-Pulpit plant, almost 3 feet tall. In fact almost everything is huge this year.
Under the huge Jack are 2 little coneflower plants almost ready to bloom. Since they are in the shade of those huge leaves they have stayed small.
These 4 hostas were about half this size last year. Behind them is the new hosta bed I started last fall. There are also 2 peony plants back there that don't get enough sunlight.
This hosta was one that I dug up last year and pulled several small plants off of it. This year it is way bigger than it was last year and I'll have to dig it up in the fall and split it again. I guess our mild winter and hot April are to blame for this growth.
I pulled out this quilt when my art quilter friends were here. I really need to work on it. If you are interested in the source for the pattern and the first blocks I made click here.
I had to go back to November 2015 to find the photo of the top sewn together and waiting for its 2 borders. Click on photo for a closer view of the borders. I really need to get them cut and hope that I can deal with the bias edge of the quilt without losing my cool. The points will be trimmed off after I sew the first border on.....or maybe I'll just leave them on for stability and they will never be seen when it is finished.
I'm still cutting the Kaffe fabric 2.5" squares. I have 110 different fabrics cut so far, lots to do yet.
I have had this quilt basted and ditch quilted for a long time waiting to do the free motion quilting with clear monofilament thread. Click here to see the whole top. I did a tutorial when I was making this modular quilt. If you go to my Label list on the right sidebar it is called Modular Quilt Tutorial. I think I am about half way done with the quilting.
I planted some Canna bulbs yesterday at the lot line in back. I may plant a couple in pots too.
I'm having a hard time zeroing in on a project to work on....mostly because I have too many ideas. I decided to just pull out a box of blocks that haven't made it to a finish yet. I had already cut that orange print as setting triangles so I knew I had been playing with these on point.
There were squares of the orange print already cut too so I put them in but it really isn't doing much for it. That is probably why I never finished this project.
Then I moved all of the lighter blocks to the perimeter and dark ones to the center. It is a little better but still needs rearranging. This project may go back into the box.
I have one little Tiger Lily volunteer coming up between the 2 Cranesbill plants. I'll probably leave it until I see if it will bloom and then I'll pull it out.
The tall flowers in front of the hostas are native Heliotrope. They are sweet smelling almost like lilacs.
Here is a close up of more of them in front of some other hostas.
The Husker Red Penstemon is just beginning to bloom. I moved a bunch of volunteers from it to the back garden and they are blooming back there too.