Monday, May 26, 2014

My Border Blocks on my "Friends in the Garden" quilt

Nineteen years ago, I started a quilt and finished it in a reasonable amount of time, even with hand quilting it! The blocks were part of a quilt bee block exchange. Each month a different person in the bee would decide on the block pattern and have the members make blocks using a selected fabric with other fabrics added. That person would get those blocks.  The bee wasn't big enough to make the number of blocks needed so I did end up making more.  Once they were put together, I added my own border to it.

It is a stylized floral block border and I used a technique I had learned that past year - how to make flying geese the fast way.  Over these years, I've found that there are a number of quick ways to make flying geese blocks, all relatively simple, including a 3-Dimensional flying geese. They range from 2 different sized squares (which Eleanor Burns demonstrates in a video) to the square in a square method developed by Jodi Barrows.  You can find them all on the internet.

Some of the border blocks up close:

There are two basic blocks in the border.

Block #1
1:  The leaf or connecting block is a 4 patch of half square triangles in green and white with a top bar of the white background.  Some could have been made with two flying geese but to get the length I needed to make each side, it was necessary to make them as half square triangles so I could change size as needed and not lose the points of the leaves.

2: The 2nd block is the floral block; a unit  consisting of up to 3 flying geese blocks and a bar if needed.  From those flying geese blocks and the bar, I was able to get 8 + different floral looks by varying the placement of 4 colors: pink, darker pink, red, and white.  The placement of the green for the leaves was kept standard in all those floral blocks.  The only block arrangements I didn't use were #7 and #8.

Just varying the placement of the colors in each flying geese block changed the look of the "flower".

Here's the  starting blocks for those pictures.  Ones that you can copy, print,  and play with colors yourself:  They are NOT to correct size though and don't show the seam allowance, but just for you to see how color makes a difference.  There are 8 different settings but once you add color, they will seem to make even more.  Note that the bottom F.G. block is the same configuration in each, because plants have to have leaves.

Block #7 & #8 Not Used in border

When completed, the top was layered and then hand quilted by  some friends and myself then the quilt has since been used as a guest quilt.  Most of the center blocks were signed by the persons who made them; the quilters who helped me hand quilt, signed the leaves.  A label was then made for the back.   To personalize it even more, I've asked guests over the years to sign and date the floral border blocks when they stay overnight.  It's fun to read who in the family and my friends who have come for an overnight and when they did.

Friday, May 2, 2014

My Jacob's Ladder Project # 4

It's been a few weeks since I've posted on this project.  Not much accomplished other than all the fat quarters have been marked.  I ended up deciding to use my walking foot to finish the rest of the marked fat quarters as I found that that foot was the key to keep the lines straight for cutting.  However, I don't get to the project often, (like once a week if I'm lucky), so only 5 fat quarters have been cut so far.  Still have a bunch to sew and cut.

Last week attended my bee and kind of timed myself with sewing one fat quarter.  It takes about 20 minutes to do one.  Not long at all so why haven't I finished them by now?

I've been putting the Sewn and cut pieces in small zip lock bags.  1 bag for the one color blocks, 1 bag for the 2-color blocks, and the rest get put in the container for the scrappy j.l.  So, now it  looks like it's time to stop writing and get to work.

Continued in #5

A little walk in our back field

April 22, 2014:
Browsed the field today.  Found more plant damage from last week's hard frost.  It even hit the poison ivy on the fence line.  The Big Fruit Evening Primrose and the False Indigo Bush were also hit hard by the hard frost.  But others seemed to survive with no ill effect.  The Yuccas are getting ready to bloom and the Snow on the Prairie are coming up quite well where their parent plants were last year.  Will have to thin them out.

May 2, 2014

Looks like I didn't get back to finishing the above entry.  The frost damage has been overcome by most of the plants affected, with new leaves coming out.
and the flowers have been coming out in the lower field.  In the front, the Painted Daisies look like they'll be flowering by the end of next week.  We only had a couple of inches of rain last month so the ground is already dry.  Supposed to heat up later this week so no rain in sight yet.