Monday, September 2, 2019

Summertime Preserves

Summer has turned to fall overnight, but I'm not quite ready for the change of seasons. There are too many quintessential summer pleasures I missed out on! What’s summertime, after all, if you haven’t felt the sun on your face, quenched a thirst with ice-cold lemonade, or eaten your fill of watermelon, sweet corn, and home-grown tomatoes?

I tried to preserve a bit of summer in this little quilt. Here's my recipe:

Summertime Preserves
  • Cut strawberry reds and lemon yellows into bitesize squares.
  • Add equal parts garden-fresh gingham and calico. 
  • Add a pinch of polka dots.
  • Embroider to taste.
  • Toss and sew.
  • Macerate (Mine steeped in its juices for a good 10 years).
  • Border with picnic plaid and a field of daisies.
  • Quilt in sunny stitches.
  • Enjoy!

My friend, Ruth, finished the project with "BigStitch" quilting. She crosshatched through the squares and did a cable design in the daisy print border. I love how her sunny yellow stitches catch the light!

There's more strawberry goodness on the back!

I'm so pleased with the way this turned out. Now, I can enjoy the essence of summer whenever I want! 

Strawberry Preserves
15"x 17"

*Read the original post here.
*Google "Big stitch Jo Glover" for details and "how-to" videos. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Scenes of Summer

How was your summer? Mine was filled with extraordinary moments shared with extraordinary friends...

Like Wanda Hanson of Exuberant Colorwho surprised me with this remarkable gift -- one of her signature batik colorwash quilts. Read more about it here

It hangs where I can admire it every day.

My quilting friends always bring "show and tell" when they visit. It inspires me to "think quilts" even though I can't make them anymore.

Foody friends shared the bounty of their gardens and kitchens: fresh-picked cherry tomatoes and basil, delicious peach cobbler, and the best blueberry pie I've ever tasted!

Local troubadour, Bill Glaysher, entertained me with song one fine afternoon.

Which enabling friend helped make this fabric purchase? The colors and prints were irresistible.

I asked a bookish friend to read aloud to me. Pure bliss! 

My friend, Linda, hosted a beautiful bridal shower for her daughter and son-in-law-to-be. What lured me out on a 97-degree day was the promise of mango mimosas and eight different kinds of cake!

By summer’s end, my friends had me convinced that I’m worthy of love, respect, and the occasional niceties of life. That's the best gift of all!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Spring At Last!

What a welcome sight -- crocuses blanketing the landscape like a colorful patchwork quilt!

I love how their hardy little blossoms spread through the grass with abandon.

If you ever find yourself searching for a color scheme, just look to nature for inspiration!

I like to think that's what the maker of this 1940s Dutchman’s Puzzle quilt did. The purples, lavenders, and greens dance across a bed of white, just like crocuses poking through early spring snows.

The fabric and batting have grown soft and light over the years. It's the perfect weight for sleeping under on cool spring nights.

It's quilted with small, even stitches — outline quilting in the pieced blocks... 

and a teacup pattern in the muslin squares. 

I'm not usually a fan of pastel quilts, but when the weather warms up and flowers begin to bloom, I just can't help myself. Happy Spring!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Midwinter Blues

With each passing year, I become more grateful for my February birthday. Having something to celebrate "in the bleak midwinter" helps keep the blues at bay. This year, there were so many birthday cards, phone calls, and visitors, I barely had time to brood! 

My most eagerly anticipated gift is always a new doll quilt from Barb. The moment I opened this year’s quilt, I knew it was special!

It's called “Midwinter Blues,” and was designed by Lori DeJarnatt of Humble Quilts for her 2014 blog sew-along. If you’d like to make your own, instructions are still available at the following links: Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Finale.

Barb used exquisite fabrics, didn't she? The contrast between her deep, saturated blues and bright cheddar prints makes the quilt sparkle!

Oftentimes, curved quilting designs enhance patchwork. Barb explains how to stitch "teacup" quilting here.

On the back is a patriotic print, "E Pluribus Unum," meaning "out of many, one."

Look closely at the label and you'll see the special secret this quilt holds. Barb originally made it as a birthday gift for our dear friend, Mary. When Mary passed away in 2017, the quilt came back to Barb, who's now entrusted it to me. I'm humbled and honored by such a generous gift!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

“Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful!”

Happy holidays everyone! I hope this finds you well and looking forward to a brand new year.

For those of you living outside the purple zone on the weather map, it’s bitterly cold here, with single-digit temperatures and double-digit below zero wind chills. That’s breath-taking cold. Bone-chilling cold. FROSTBITE COLD! Jim has kept his "arctic" expeditions to a minimum, braving the elements only to trek down the driveway for mail or to shovel snow. Each time he opens the storm door, it whines in icy protest as if to ask, “Are you sure you want to venture out today?” 

I'm keeping warm under a cozy new quilt that my friend, Mary Conley, gave me for Christmas. "The blocks might look familiar," she whispered, as she placed it in my lap. Indeed they did! They were red and green nine patches I'd abandoned years before when I first started sorting my life into projects worth my energy to complete and those that were not. 

Apparently, Mary saw more potential in my castoffs than I did. She saved them and stitched them together almost 20 years later, returning them to me as this finished quilt! 

I love how Mary set the blocks on point, with a large scale plaid as the alternate fabric. It adds interest to the layout, particularly where the setting triangles (bias) meet the border (straight of grain). 

It's quilted in a swirling, blustery, wind-like design. How appropriate!

I cherish Mary’s gift and will think of our friendship whenever I sleep under it, which in this weather, should be just about every night

Friday, July 21, 2017

Will Strip for Fabric!

Hi everyone. Hope you're keeping cool this summer. I get so lethargic and irksome in this heat. Most days, it’s hard for me to do much more than nap! 

My Piecemaker friends shared photos of quilts they made from our Kaleidoscope fabric exchange
 (previous post). It’s fun to see each quilter's interpretation of the classic string-pieced pattern. Enjoy! 

Oh, and here’s our friend, Patt, who dressed as a stripper, because... how else would you dress for a "strip" swap?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Hey, Macarena!

It’s been a while since I posted a bona fide, start to finish, sewn with my own two hands kind of quilt. I had to go back 20 years to find one, but this Kaleidoscope pretty much fits the bill.

Are you surprised to see a pastel color scheme from me? Generally, I don’t use soft colors, but here’s how I managed to gather such a wide assortment. My Piecemaker friends swapped fabric to make these Kaleidoscope quilts. Each of us contributed six yards of pastels, precut into strips, to exchange with the group.

On the day of the swap, tables were piled high with strips. We paraded around the room to the festive rhythm of “Macarena,” eagerly snatching a strip from each table we passed. With all the laughter and fabric flying, we looked like a crazy Conga line or a grown-up game of Musical Chairs."Hey, Macarena!”

I selected 1930s style colors and prints for my quilt. After sorting and sewing strips into sets, I used this 45 Degree Kaleidoscope Wedge Ruler to cut eight segments for each block

Coordinating the placement of colors within blocks was lots of fun... 

but, I liked the scrappiness of mixing random colors just as much.

Nothing went to waste. Leftover strips found their way into my scrappy border.

84" x 100"
Machine quilting by Stover Quality Quilting.