Quilt Quandary Resolved


It has been a long time coming, the completion of this quilt. Colour changes, fabric scarcity, and border indecision have frustrated a finished project. Throw in some procrastination and the result is years between beginning and ending (February 3013 – December 2019). Progress Links are 2013/02/06 2013/03/20 2013/04/04 2013/07/21

As with most projects, completing and assembling the blocks happens fairly quickly. I think the borders took another three years. I couldn’t locate complimentary William Morris fabric to my satisfaction. I finally settled on the narrow white and green borders with fabric from my stash. Then I didn’t have enough fabric for the outside border and had to add the corner pieces. Not ideal, but added just enough for border and binding fabric to finish.

medium, light, medium placement

The next challenge was finding backing material. Again, not enough William Morris inspired fabric. I procrastinated again, settled on something close in colour.

The intent was to use the domestic machine to free motion quilt. I used a stencil I felt was similar to the style of the era of the fabric designs. I used Crayola Ultraclean markers for placement. The markers worked really well, except for the orange, it took some extra work to remove after the quilt was washed in cold water. I was relieved since the design had been marked on the fabric for over a year.

Make no mistake, all the blocks are the same. They are all Aunt Nancy’s Favourite in two different value settings. One is dark, medium, dark, and the other is medium, light, medium placements for the stars giving the overall quilt the appearance of diagonal movement. I am super pleased with the effect.

My sister finally received the quilt at Christmas. She appeared please with it. I have not had the opportunity to see it since the pandemic has restricted travel between provinces.

Proverbs 7:4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend …

Dilemma Resolved


It’s taken a long time to finally finish this quilt.  (See here for progress reports)  First I had to take all of the predominantly red blocks out to suit the recipient.  Then I struggled with the borders.  I’ve been in the process of a move, that delayed attention to this project for six months.  The recipient saw the progress recently and chose the fabric for the border.  Wouldn’t you know it?  I didn’t quite have enough.  Typical.  I designed blocks for the corners, that reduced the length of fabric I would need by 40″ and I decided not to mitre the strips, saving another sixteen plus inches.  Whew, a little more than enough to border the quilt and eventually bind it.  The corner blocks are bigger than ideal, at least they served the purpose and still are in keeping with elements of blocks in the main body of the quilt.  I am declaring this quilt top, done.
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Psalm 144:12  May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars, cut for the building of a palace.

WIP Wednesday – Binding


This Saturday our Presbytery will be ordaining a recent graduate from seminary.  I have been asked to preach the sermon in the worship service.  I consider it a great privilege.  The soon to be minister has become a good friend to me since I was called to this congregation four years ago.  As before, I designed and quilted an ordination stole.  Today it is at the binding stage along with another WIP that has just been quilted at the Quilty Guilt.  Imagine, two projects completed by the end of the month!

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The stole is on the right and middle, with a dove FM quilted on the reverse.  (note the use of my favourite fabric designer, Barbara Brackman’s Morris Apprentice)

 

The bible quote from Exodus seemed appropriate since it concerns the directions for constructing priestly garments.  One day I will have to design a stole that has “pomegranates of blue, purple, and crimson” all along the hem.

Exodus 28:32  It shall have an opening for the head in the middle of it, with a woven binding around the opening, like the opening in a coat of mail, so that it may not be torn.

WM Redux – Dilemma Revisited


DSC_0220Aunt Nancy’s Favourite in William Morris (here is the original) fabrics has been finally repieced with a nod to the recipient’s preferences.  Most of the red fabrics have been removed, replaced with purples and greens.  I was much more deliberate in matching up the points this time around.  I am much more pleased with the effort.  It is still a handsome quilt.  I am planning on going with blue/green borders this time.  There is too much going on in my work space, I have to resist starting something new and finish up the projects on the go!

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1 – ready for borders
2 – off to the Quilty Guilt
3 – blocks ready to be sewn together

Tulip Surprise


I’m a sucker for those value packages of fall planting bulbs, especially when they are sold by colour, being of course – purple.  I bought two packages last fall.  With those packages you never know what you are going to get, they are just a mix.  A pleasant surprise this spring, beautiful two toned tulips in the front yard.

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Admirael van der Eijck from the 1637 catalog of P.Cos., sold for 1045 guilders on February 5, 1637

The introduction of the tulip to Europe in the late 1500’s created quite a stir and within a few decades the tulip became a coveted luxury item.  At one point the price of certain tulip bulb in a much sought after variety cost 10 times the yearly wage of a skilled labourer.   Developed mainly in the United Provinces (The Netherlands) it became a status symbol which resulted in Tulip Mania.

The Canadian Tulip Festival occurs every May in Ottawa, a display of millions of tulips blooming in brilliant colour.  It was initiated in response to the birth of a baby girl during World War II.  In 1945, the Dutch royal family sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa in gratitude for Canadians having sheltered Princess Juliana and her daughters for the preceding three years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, in the Second World War.

The most noteworthy event during their time in Canada was the birth in 1943 of Princess Margriet to Princess Juliana at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. The maternity ward was declared to be officially a temporary part of international territory, so that she would be born in no country and would inherit only her Dutch citizenship from her mother. To commemorate the birth, the Canadian Parliament flew the Dutch flag over Peace Tower. This is the only time a foreign flag has flown over the Canadian Parliament Building.  In 1946, Juliana sent another 20,500 bulbs requesting that a display be created for the hospital, and promised to send 10,000 more bulbs each year.  While the Netherlands continues to send 20,000 bulbs to Canada each year (10,000 from the Royal Family and 10,000 from the Dutch Bulb Growers Association), by 1963 the festival featured more than 2 million, and today sees nearly 3 million tulips purchased from Dutch and Canadian distributors.

Tulips are the only flower that continues to grow in the vase after being cut. They can continue to grow up to another 3 inches. They also conform to the shape of the container, straight up if in a tall container, twisting to fit into a flat or irregular shaped vase.

The ancient Turks used to brew a love potion from tulips and many cultures consider tulips to be the symbol of perfect love.

In the early 1700s, A Turk by the name of Sultan Ahmed III was the first to begin importing bulbs from Holland. But it proved a fatal attraction. When Sultan Ahmed was brought to trial, his crimes included “having spent too much money on the traditional annual tulip festivals”. The sentence: He was beheaded.

In Japan, certain flour is made from tulips.

In times of famine the Dutch have eaten tulip bulbs when no other food was available.

Hans Gillisz. Bollongier, Flower Piece, Frans Hals Museum, 1644. The top flower was always the most expensive one and in this bouquet it is the tulip Semper Augustus.

William Morris 1875 design printed on cotton

Of course, a nod to my favourite arts and crafts artist, William Morris.

The tulip and the butterfly
Appear in gayer coats than I:
Let me be dressed fine as I will,
Flies, worms, and flowers exceed me still.
~Isaac Watts

WIP – Dilema Redux


As suspected, the red had to come out of Aunt Nancy’s Favourite.  So one has now become two.  I am replacing the removed blocks with blue, green and purple.

DSC_0088 Of course I am maintaining integrity by using more of Barbara Brackman’s fabrics from her Morris Apprentice, A Morris Tapestry and Morris and Company.  As I write, four more blocks to go and I will be re-assembling the top.

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Quilting Quandry


DSC_0902Aunt Nancy’s Favourite with William Morris fabrics quilt top is finished.  I am having a difficult time deciding on a border.  The sofa upholstery fabric is shown in the photo to the left, bottom.  I would like the red to pop since the wood of the sofa is stained quite dark and the flowers in the upholstery are so lovely.  However, the recipient wants the quilt to be mainly blues and greens (even though there is no blue in the upholstery – the colour is a little off, what you may see as blue is actually more green).  At the other end I place a few options.  I also have quite a lot of the dark beige fabric appearing in the block second from the top, second from the right.  Advice anyone?

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Repieced for a different direction.  Thank you for all your suggestions!

WIP Wednesday – Aunt Nancy’s Favourite


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I mentioned some time ago that I bought some Morris Apprentice fabrics intended for a quilt for my sister.  I was browsing through my pattern books and came across ‘Aunt Nancy’s Favourite’ in The Big Book of Patchwork – 50 Fabulous Quilts by Judy Hopkins.  Last night I finished the blocks.  It was truly satisfying working on these, each one unique.  I love the fabrics, 90% of them William Morris Inspired from three or four different series, and I think they lend themselves really well  to this design.  If my sibling is not as pleased, I’ll keep this one.

Wednesday’s WIP update


I have started nothing new (amazing), rather working diligently on WIPs.  I am stippling the Fruits of the Spirit (Chinese Coins) quilt, the 16.5″ Lenten banner top is ready for sandwiching.  I was naughty yesterday, purchasing fabric in a neighbouring town after an early morning meeting.  (Another promise broken – sigh)

4909819_1_l        My sister has asked for a lap quilt to compliment her Stickley sofa, specifically of fabric reproducing William Morris designs.  I was looking for a 24″ ruler, having not found one at my local store or at the quilt stores in the neighbouring province.  I walked into Piece by Peace and there, in all its lushious glory was The Morris Apprentice charm packs.  Well …  how could I resist?!  Most of it goes beautifully with the sample my sister gave me of her sofa’s fabric (not as shown).

This morning’s wander through some of my favourite blogs I encountered this.  Magnum Block.  Love it!  So many talented people out there.  Thank you!