Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy May Day!

If April showers bring May flowers,

What do May flowers bring?

Inspiration for quilts!

Folk Art Flowers
24" x 30"
© DJB, 1995

Thank you jmbmommy for allowing me to use your amazing flower photos. Please visit Jessica's blog HERE.

Spring Has Sprung ~ Sort Of

"Possibly God knows that if spring came all at once, we should die of it."

Gladys Taber
Stillmeadow Sampler

Yesterday was my first outing in four months. The day was cold and damp, so I dressed in a turtleneck sweater plus a jacket to keep out the chill. As we made the awkward transfer from wheelchair to car, I wished I had grabbed a pair of gloves as well. It's funny, our weather seems to have changed little since the day I came home from the hospital in December.

We've had some shorts and tee shirts weather, but it's been interspersed with overnight frosts, blustery winds and plenty of rain. Guess that's the nature of spring ~ fickle.

Our trees, bushes and grass are just starting to green up. I love spring's first green! It's such an in your face color. It's bold and loud and tart and assertive. It will not be ignored! But it lasts such a short time. I'm glad I chose this week to venture out.

This is the springiest quilt I have in my collection. In spite of its pastel colors, it seems loud and tart and assertive too. Quilts made using Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking techniques all end up with a bit of attitude.

The fabrics in this quilt are scraps of 1940's prints that my friend, Betty, gave me. I was able to eke out a few Shoo Fly blocks but near the end, I found myself rummaging through the trash for enough scraps to make a sawtooth border, or as Gwen would describe it, minimal sawtooth.

Shoo Fly
29" square
© DJB, 1997

Saturday, April 19, 2008

All Shook Up!

Unusual sounds woke me early yesterday morning. I thought my son must be stomping around his bedroom, the way doors and windows rattled with each footfall. But at 4:30 A.M., he wouldn't even be awake, let alone roaming the house.

Over breakfast, he and I speculated about the noise. William admitted to thinking it was a tornado or terrorist attack (just before rolling over and falling back to sleep). Prowlers had crossed my mind, or more likely, an animal trapped in the garage.

Later that day, the TV news revealed that an earthquake in southern Illinois had sent its tremors as far north as Wisconsin. It was a minor quake, but a pretty big deal to us, since the earth so rarely moves in these parts. And so, this quirky, quaky, Zig Zag quilt is what I chose to share today.

CLICK for detail

I made it a couple years ago and don't recall if the color scheme inspired the choice of backing fabric or vice versa. Either way, Michael Miller's retro cartoon "Dysfunctional Family" fabric was the perfect backing.

There are several ways to create a zig zag design in quilting, using half square triangles as I have done here, half square triangles set this way, equilateral triangles, or even rectangles. My half square triangle units finished at 2" and the little quilt measures 18" x 24".

I so enjoy hearing from you. All your comments are appreciated and I'm trying to be better about replying. Please understand though, that writing sometimes zaps my energy. If you don't hear back from me, it doesn't mean that I haven't smiled or laughed or cried or learned something new or been touched by your words. Millie recently left me wonderful words of encouragement for dealing with “empty nest syndrome.” Millie, thanks for taking the time to share your experience!