Second Welcome “Blanket” and Last Omaha Top

At long last the second welcome “blanket” is finished. It was so easy to keep putting it off while I did other things, and then the due date appeared. I’ll get it in just under the wire.

pink welcome blanket finished

42 x 42

I wrapped the back to the front for binding–since it was a pieced back, there are the pink interruptions in the cranberry print binding. Not as great an effect as a wholly pieced binding, but it will do.

I quilted it with an all-over floral pattern. I’ve used it before, but then it slipped out of favor. A recent blog posting by Angela Walters reminded me of it again, and it seemed just right for all that pink. And it is just as easy as  a simple meander.

pink quilting detail

Here is a link to the Welcome Blanket blog–you can browse it and see the exhibit to date. They had received 1500 at the Oct 9 post. Maybe there will be an update soon. The blog mentions mass deep freeze.  An earlier email described the museum process: 72 hours freeze, 24 hours thaw, another 72 hours freeze. Just so no moths, etc. are entered along with the blankets.

Quilt history: top here, (You can see its destination changed.) back here, BOM project here.

The other finish is the top I had started at the retreat.

Omaha big flower

40 x 60

This top is made from the kit I assembled from the parts that people had sent it. Most of us took some extra parts home from what were left at the end of the retreat. I had fun picking up all the big flower pieces, then when they ran out, medium and smaller flowers. I made the rectangle pieces from neutral fabrics that had been donated. We assembled 170 tops while at the retreat, but others have been making tops since as well, so the total is higher now.

This one will go on the pile of quilts that need backs.  A step between top finished and quilting. That plus cutting the batting are the hold ups for me, but eventually they get finished.

Linking with Free Motion By the River and if I remember, with the Friday finishes (buttons in side bar). ETA 11/12/17: Also linking with Free Motion Mavericks (changes in WP keep me from showing the button anymore).

 

 

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Fall Retreat

Another fall retreat has come and gone; I’ve been well fed, had lots of good laughs, and also managed to sew on several projects.

I liked this view of sewing machines four deep.

NW sewing machines

My first project was the one I’d laid out last week (here). I finished the top all but the border by Friday lunch (while stitching 2 1/2-inch squares as leaders and enders for the larger Irish Star (tutorial and quilt along here).

NW Rail Fence

Although it had been raining, there was a brief moment when I could get an outside shot. I thought I had a perfect border fabric, but upon seeing them together, I am no longer sure.

NW Rail Fence Border Audition

It feels like it draws too much attention to itself and overshadows the body of the quilt. And that is not what a border is supposed to do.  I’ll keep looking at it and thinking about it while also stash diving a bit deeper for alternative possibilities. Your thoughts?

Next I moved to the smaller Irish Star quilt made with bigger squares. That top took the rest of Friday and a good part of Saturday to finish.  (Meanwhile continuing on the 2 1/2-inch leaders and enders.)

NW Irish Star 1

45 x 45

This one is also made from the left overs from Urban Chickens--and there are still MORE.  Having those 3 1/2-inch strips/squares was enough to motivate me to do the math to use them. (The tutorial is for 1 1/2-, 2- and 2 1/2-inch squares.) Probably no math teacher would recognize my method of modifying the size. There is probably an easy formula, if only I knew it. But I ended up with 15-inch blocks (finished).

I’d started out thinking to reverse print and solid, thus making stars of prints. But as I looked at the solids in the chain, I decided all solids would look better. It will become a lap quilt for guild giving to nursing homes.

Other small finishes were two doll quilts–Fire Fighters’ Toy and Joy is coming up.

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The mini charm packs came from swag at a previous retreat and had been leaders and enders then; they were waiting for borders to make them about 20 x 20. The brown stripe was in the free box; the blue came from a shopping expedition some fellow retreaters made.

I got a start on the Omaha kit I”d made up at the end of the Sunshine retreat in Omaha. (Sneak preview of the look here). The rows are made and half of them attached. More on that one later.

It’s been a while since I’ve linked to Oh Scrap! This post seems scrappy enough. 🙂

 

 

 

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Portland City Center Art and MSF Exhibit

Every time I stroll from the MAX stop at Pioneer Place to Pioneer Courthouse Square I am amused by the sculptures along Morrison Street. This time I took photos.

I imagine the beavers and ducks reference OSU and OU mascots; I don’t know of any sport significance to sea lions. I do know the sea lions are a feature of coastal towns, in some cases overrunning certain piers.

Pioneer Courthouse Square is the site of many events: festivals, political rallies, craft markets, and sand sculptures among others.  This week it hosted an exhibit produced by Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF).

MSF 1

Visitors are greeted, given a refugee identity (mine was a Syrian asylum seeker), then ushered through the various exhibits by an MSF volunteer. The tent pictured above housed a 360-degree video of variousl refugee camps and in some cases modes of transportation as if we were in the train or truck.

A more specific transportation exhibit allowed us to sit in a small boat made for 8 and imagine 20 or more in it as we listened to the benefits and trials of the various options.

MSF boat

The hour-long tour of the exhibit increased my understanding of the physical hazards refugees face as well as political challenges met by various category of people fleeing. Nor are all countries signatories of the UN declaration. Those who are must provide basic needs of refugees; others are under no obligation. And it expanded my understanding of MSF: previously I’d envisioned only field hospital type medicine rather than the holistic care of refugee needs.

If you are in Portland, the exhibit is up till 5 pm Sunday in its west coast travels.

More information on the exhibit here (with a nice photo of Pioneer Courthouse Square) here.

More information on MSF here.

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Mostly Traditional

At guild a long time ago, I picked up a kit to make a twin sized charity quilt. The Rail Fence pattern needs one dark, one medium and one light. The kit had two darks and a light. So it sat a while.

I had a lot of left overs from the Urban Chickens quilt–strips conveniently 3 1/2 inches wide.  Lots of medium, but not a single color. I decided to sew and figure out an arrangement later.  I finished the sewing of the blocks at last year’s fall retreat. I delayed a long while because I don’t particularly like trimming blocks and these needed it.

Today I am getting ready for this year’s fall retreat, so finally trimmed. Next comes the fun part, arranging the colors. I started out alternating horizontal rows. I dismantled that before I thought of photos, but trust me, it didn’t look good.

Rail Fence

I think because the design moves diagonally that alternating diagonal rows works better. (To echo or to contrast? That is the question. Today the answer was to echo. )I’ll have to stare at it for a while and move a block or two before I pack it up.

It will need a border.  I don’t like the fabric from the kit for the border either.  I’ll go stash diving later and see what I have that works.  I guess that kit will end up making two tops.

Assembly should go fairly quickly. I have one other project kitted and another two planned. Lots of cutting in my week to get ready!

 

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Welcome ‘Blanket’ Finished

You may have noticed a delay in finishing.  When the Welcome Blanket project announced that the deadline was extended to November 4, I shifted my attention to other activities and books and planned on making two. Today the first one is bound, and as soon as I write the note to go with it, I’ll package it for mailing.

welcome blanket finished

I did get a friend to hold it for a flat photo, but that was before it was bound.

welcome blanket quilted

Once again, I am amazed at the difference a binding makes in the look! You’d think I’d be used to the transformation by now.

Here are the corner blocks, quilted. You can click to enlarge any of them.

I borrowed Angela Walters’ Shape by Shape again from the library for help in designing quilting on another quilt. While I had it in my hands I looked for the fancy name for the tilted square design I’d learned from the book. Prepare yourself: it is “Square 1.”  I used that and ribbon candy (with a few pebbles) on the corner blocks. In the future, I don’t think I’ll use Square 1 on a pieced square. To my eye the quilt lines clash more with the pieced lines than I’d expected.

That border print really hides the quilting. Here is a diagram of Wonky Triangle border pattern from Night Quilter. It is fun to quilt and goes quickly. I thought Wonky Triangle a good link to the Square 1 motif, and both made a nice contrast to the paisleys, pebbles, and other curves in the star blocks.

It would be such fun to be in Chicago and able to go to see the installation, to join a group knitting there or an unpacking party. Here is a link to their blog on the day of their receiving 1001 packages. Browse the blog for photos of blankets on the walls.

My several planned projects for today became this one finish. While stitching the second seam of the binding, the thread broke once, the bobbin ran out, and I broke three needles. That did something to my enthusiasm!

Suddenly, it seems the needle position is too close to the edge. All is well when I sew slowly, but the slightest increase in speed produces that horrible thump. So it will be off the the repair shop and hope the problem is fixable and in time for me to finish a second quilt. I have a top and back already prepared. Who knows why it got set away. I can sandwich it while I am without machine. I also have a lot of blocks to trim. Plenty to do for the duration.

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Sending Quilts to Texas?

Quilting and knitting friends, this is important information–know when, where, and how to donate!

Catbird Quilt Studio

The hurricane disaster in Texas may displace people from more than 100,000 homes for at least several weeks. They need housing, food, water, and some way to replace all the goods lost to water damage, or simply washed or blown away. Should you send replacement items? Should you send quilts?

It’s tempting, isn’t it? A quilt is a tangible item to show your concern, to offer both comfort and warmth. I’ve already seen a number of requests for quilts for Texans. I’ve also seen one of those requests in a Facebook group called a fraud, and deleted after the group moderator couldn’t affirm its legitimacy.

In the past I’ve made quilts to give post-disaster. But unless a disaster is local, I won’t do it again. Why not? Very simply, if a community is facing the scale of tragedy that Houston and other Texas cities are facing, figuring out how…

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Political Art, Abstract Art

Sometimes a blog post is a way to place a marker for articles I want to refer back to later. This is one of those.

People who have read this blog for a while know of my interest in abstract design. A short look back for new followers: This was my first attempt (ignoring the fact that most traditional quilts are abstract).

finished quilt

24 x 30

It started with a photograph of my street.  (Its history, reverse order, starts here.)

Then there was “Hole in the Safety Net,” which started as mere shapes and evolved into concept.

feb cla draft 2

And was helped by title to make a statement beyond what mere shapes could say. Its history is here along with a link to the finished product.

Enough background. On to the articles.

The first responds to an exhibit of abstract works of 12 black female artists and tells of their struggle to be recognized in a white male art world, a world where even black art critics considered abstract art to be white art. “Women of Color Find Their Rightful Place in the History of American Abstraction.

The second does two things. It places black artists firmly in both abstract and political (racial in this context) camps and makes a profound statement about race: “How to Embed a Shout: A New Generation of Black Artists Contends with Racism.”

And the statement: “Adrienne Edwards, curator at Performa, the Walker Art Center, and a scholar who has written a good deal about Pendleton’s work, professes: ‘Blackness is the original abstraction; people are living abstractions, meaning [they are] made up, conjured.’ Yes. I have to agree. For others, this sign of dark skin might symbolize anything and its opposite: strength, weakness, triumph, and debacle, membership or exile. The racial imaginary conditions all of us raised under its auspices to project onto black people one’s fears or desires, so that it becomes difficult to be seen as a human being rather than a space for projection. Lowery Stokes Sims, a curator and former director of the Studio Museum in Harlem, adds the historical fact: ‘If you take the track that abstraction came out of African art, then we are just claiming our birthright.’

“Blackness is the original abstraction”: think on that . . .

And yes, I remember that I promised to do the whiteness syllabus (here); it is still on the back burner where my subconscious can work on it while I finish up a few other projects.

 

 

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