Monday, April 25, 2011

What's on the "Design Wall"?

close up of prairies points and the blocks
Well, I don't really have a design wall right now.  I've been pinning blocks and such to my living room drapes, which works for stitching and viewing, but taking a picture there is chancy since the light shines through in funky ways, depending on the time of day, etc.  So my latest "sleepless night design" that I'm actually stitching together is taped on the wall of the girls' room.  (Yes, that's a smokey lavender paint.  Sometimes.  On a sunny day it's almost pink!)  The BIG picture is clear at the bottom....
I found the most luscious FQ's at our Quilt Festival last month--creams, honeys, and sagey greens, and a brown with a red brick tinge to it, all from the same collection (I think), except for the couple of batiks that I just liked.  And I've been wanting to do some kind of Log Cabin, so they just seemed to jump out at me.  Only five lights, five darks, the "red" center, a celery green, and a similar batik FQ with leaf graphics that wouldn't have any punch if cut up in the logs.  And then I started playing! 

The Log Cabins are scrappy because I was concerned about running out of the darkest logs--they're bigger. Yes, I know, the darkest light and the lightest dark are really mediums.... I knew that, just didn't think of it when buying the FQ. I put them together last week, smaller than originally planned, and then pondered. I had a bunch of the "red" left and decided that prairie points would look neat along the bottom edge. And I had a bunch of strips cut for the logs so I made the little prairie points from those. Note to self: You don't need to cut the whole FQ into strips. Sigh.... Then that leaf FQ for the bottom and left borders and a scrap of chocolate and honey brown batik for the top and right borders. That wide border? The celery green FQ just pops against the brown, so I plan on some applique for the right border. Haven't decided what yet, but something viney and leafy seems likely. Pondering, pondering....

Saturday, April 16, 2011

What Would You Do?

So I freely admit to being an eBay junkie and my b-day giftie this year (selfishly hoarded and thus self-funded) was a lovely spending spree.  I decided to go for a vintage quilt, that quickly became some antique or vintage quilts, tops, or blocks; the 30's Double Wedding Ring quilt and Apple Core top in the previous post being two of them.  (Hey, they were very inexpensive compared to what I had intended to spend on just one!)  I also found two lovely indigo blue and shirting tops, one a Single Irish Chain and the other a star (who can name that pattern?).  And then there were several odd lots of interesting blocks that were very interesting....  Great-Grandma, her mama, and all those assorted aunties and friends were just as good as us at making a trial block or just a couple of blocks extra!

Indigo blue and shirtings tops

It's easy to decide how to finish the indigo tops:  the star just needs to be pressed and then on to quilting.  But on the Irish Chain I need to check all the seams and deepen a few since I noticed that some (many) are rather narrow, and then quilt it.  Either that or leave the seams alone and quilt them down for strength?  I know it's stained from storage, but it feels like the original sizing is still in there and since it doesn't stink I plan to quilt it before washing.  If the storage stains don't wash out we'll just call it "character".   I'm still pondering the quilting pattern, type of batting, etc. but those decisions are simply a matter of waiting for inspiration to strike.  Usually in the middle of the night while surfing the net--hopefully not the night before I have to go to work!

I especially like the bumble bee shirting!

Anyhow, the odd blocks in question?  Would you group them by type and make small wall hangings, table runners or toppers, etc?  Maybe frame a couple?  Or would you put them all into one throw, wallhanging, or bed size quilt, in some kind of sampler arrangement?  They aren't even close to being the same size, and a non-symmetrical layout just somehow feels too modern.  And what fabric to add to fill in the spaces between?  Especially for those four-pointed stars that have shirting at the points?  I don't want those getting lost!  The points would blend into muslin, ticking, or another shirting.  Many of the modern repro prints of that era are brighter.  Gorgeous, but brighter, deeper, and as a whole, more intense.  Muslin?  Lurk on eBay for more goodies?  Ah, decisions, decisions!

Oh, anytime you want to donate to my PayPal account, feel free.  eBay calls my name all kinds of hours, you know....  I promise to scout out a few more vintage bargains!