Monday, November 14, 2016

Vintage Scrap Lone Star

It all started in 2013, when Quiltdiva Julie sent me a box of crazy pieced vintage blocks.

There were 24 in all, and they came from a quilt top she'd bought on Ebay.
The seller said it came from Ohio.

I had saved this photo on my computer screen for some years before that.  
I don't remember the source, but it became my inspiration.

I sewed the blocks together and cut out the diamond shapes for the star.  
There were just enough leftover for the border.  

Then I bought some embroidery floss.

I learned a few stitches, and embroidered all the seams.

Eventually, it was ready for a background.
I picked this spring green solid, because it was the only thing that seemed to work.
I wasn't excited about the color, but thought I'd get over it.
Well, I didn't.  I just didn't like all that green!

I decided to remove it and find another background.
Several hours of stitch-picking later, I was ready for auditions.
I tried practically everything I had on the shelf.  
Here are just a few.

Too light

Too dark

Too brown

Too bright

Too busy

Too gray

A few dear friends suffered with me and my auditions for WEEKS!

Then I went to the Houston Quilt Festival and found what I was looking for!
It's one of the new woven plaids from Kaffe Fassett.
The top is about 87" square, plenty big for a queen size bed.
I finished it last week.

THEN, just yesterday, I went to the Farmer's Market, like I do every Sunday.
The woman farmer I always buy from gave me this!

She said her great-grandmother had made it from old family clothes.
What a treasure!  I tried to talk her out of giving it away.
But she said she had no room for it.  
So I gladly brought it home.  

While Julie's was sewn in blocks and not yet embroidered,
this one was sewn all on one sheet with embroidery.

Now I have TWO vintage scrap tops to quilt and to love!

News just in:  

Bill Volckening found where the original inspiration quilt came from.
The quilt was shown in the European Patchwork show in France in 2012.  

Katell Renon's quilt group in France was also inspired by the original.
They made a beauty!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

"Spare Parts"

"Spare Parts"  87" x 87"
I finished this quilt top recently.  It's all made from "orphan" blocks,
(meaning parts that didn't make it into other quilts.) 
It was on my design wall for three solid months, finding it's way to completion.

It all started out as an attempt to use all my orphan blocks that fit into 
 this color range.  
The baskets are from Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran's book,
Collaborate Again.

They seemed to need a border, so I pulled out some sawtooth strips from
a block exchange I participated in years ago.  

What next?  I had some words I'd made from Tonya Ricucci's book,
Word Play Quilts.  
"Moderation" fit the color scheme, but I saved it for another day.  
Besides, the word "moderation" in this mess seemed a little TOO ironic!

I loved those green and white fans all lined up, and the Freddy chickens. 
But something wasn't right.
The fans are extras from my "Eyelashes" quilt. 

So I took them out, and added more spools and simple log cabin blocks.
You can find the spools and basket quilts here.
Better, but...

Still, something was not quite right.
At least I found a home for some of the fans.

I realized it needed a little calming down, so I added solid red.
I had lots of string pieced leaves, cut out years ago, 
and some extra basket handles for the vines.

A couple of weekend road trips, and the leaves were appliqued on.

Now, if I just made it a little bigger, it would fit nicely on a queen size bed.
Ah-hah!  I had lots of leftover blocks from the

Ta da!
And I still have plenty of spare parts leftover for a rainy day.
Good thing.  We're having lots of rainy days around here.