Hands All Around Part 1

What does patriotism look like in a time of rising fascism?

I have been thinking about my great grandmother’s Hands Around the World block – a ten inch block with over 50 pieces = because someone saved one of her quilts that was badly damaged and I’m contemplating mending it.  I’ve found several variation of the pattern but her scale seems to be unique and that doesn’t surprise me since her quilt is a depression era design probably drafted on boxboard.  I have her daughter’s double wedding ring block drafted the same way, so I think she must have mailed the DWR to my grandmother. I have evidence of this in some letters and envelopes she sent to my paternal grandmother than include Nebraska newspaper clippings and patterns in newsprint and boxboard. The first block I made is in modern fabrics and palette but veers off the pattern so much I don’t know how I will fit 8 of these together to repair a badly harmed quilt.  But in the meanwhile I can share a baby quilt I made in 2019 from scraps and put on Hands All Around on the back.

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I used a lot of Cotton and Steel prints I’ve been unable to stop collecting over the years, but the front is mainly scraps of solids brought together from other projects.  The improvisational piecing was therapeutic in the “before time.” My kids have repeatedly suggested time stopped existing when the COVID pandemic began almost exactly a year ago…but this quilt was made when time still existed and I was very very nervous about our incompetent, narcissistic president and his cronies in the Senate.

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I hand-stitched in the center of the Hands All Around block and then echoes that at regular intervals followed by a grid quilting.  I even marked most of the grid.  I’m showing off the detail where clearly the result isn’t “Square” but its even and gives an overall impression of regularity.  Everything is fine, move along. I made some little asterisk-like “stars” at some grid intersections. I can’t wait for an excuse to quilt like this again.  It was fun and easy and I also just love the orangey pinks in the C&S palette combined with my coral solid.

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Monogram baby quilt

So my attempt at an outdoor backdrop for hanging quilts has sorta failed me, and I am now at a loss for easy ways to document my work. So far every effort just distracts me from sewing and feels pretty underwhelming compared to some of the lovely photoshots I see out in blogland…

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So maybe I’m really not meant to be a blogger, but I did want to get at least one more shot of this quilt before I mailed it off to the baby receiving it…I learned a lot in the process of putting this together, including that all those little tiny crazy pieces can be really time-consuming!

Also!!! I found my notebook from Quiltcon and now I can credit the following contributors to this Improv Round Robin from Sherri’s workshop, just as fellow Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Members Martha and Deb and I begin our own version to pass amongst ourselves!  My original Quiltcon contributors included:

Martha Peterson, Seattle, WA

Kim McPeake, Charleston, SC

Judith Dollar, Houston, TX

Mary Jane Orsburn, Houston, TX

Maria Renna

Sarah Bialene (sp? sorry the handwriting was kind of tough on that one!) Spencer, OH

and Felicitas Kiayer who I believe was from somewhere in Europe…she left an email address so I will try to reach here that way as well.  I would love to hear from any of you if you get a chance to share yours as well!

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And here is one more attempt from my makeshift photography studio on the porch, this is better quality than my last, so I guess there was some improvment!

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Charity for Calgary

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I made my #justoneslab block for Alberta disaster recovery and I’m mailing it (typical for me) at the absolute last minute! Cheryl Arkison organized it based on a block from her “Sunday Morning Quilts” book. I loved this book and it was really fun to improvise this block. Thank you Naptimequilter for organizing such a fun charity project!

I had to include this irresistable “Goodnight Moon” fabric. This book had special meaning in our house because my partner and I memorized it to recite to our oldest daughter when we were trying to transition her to her own room. I hope it helps someone transitioning in Canada.

Summertime starts (and finishes)

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My quilt gnomes had much more fun running around like ghosts under the quilt rather than modelling for photos, but hooray for finally photographing my red and white star quilt! 5 of these blocks were from quarter 3 of the Flickr 3×6 swap last year.

But as you can see, we are finally getting some time to enjoy the Laurelhurst Beach Club.  My little Crane is so happy she passed her “ones” swim test so now I can sit in the sun and bind this puppy:

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I may get a lot more blogging done if I can do it by phone from the beach!

Madrona Road Finish and Start

Snip Stitch Sew!I really do work much better with deadlines than I used to. When my beloved Pfaff started to heat up 2 weeks ago I immediately realized that my delays in the Madrona Road Challenge were about to cause me to fail: the post-Christmas backlog of machine servicing put “Pam’s” return date at February 6th. A full two weeks without a machine, and its not like I have the spares I used to! Fortunately my friend Toni rescued me, but I wasn’t going to machine quilt with the Threadbanger, so I hand-quilted my sewing machine cover (ironic isn’t it, I just wanted a pretty one) for the Michael Miller sponsored Modern Quilt Guild Challenge. And I even borrowed a camera and did the photo shoot on my mom’s quilt while it was still daylight on January 31st…this is progress!
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I am thinking of putting a little eyelet in the “needle” eye at the top of this cover so my upright thread spool can poke through.

And the best part is, I got a call on February 1st that Pam was ready to come home, so now I have a proper picture with the cover over the hard plastic case instead of the Girl Guide Cookie box I used in the other photo.
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I was so happy to have the machine, that I started the second Madrona Road top that I just completed this morning. I’ve been wanting to piece consumate V’s for a while, and this is the first improvisationl block I’ve done that didn’t leave me having to work out any math halfway through piecing the top. Although I did have to supplement the original 1.5 yards of the Kaffe Fassett shot cotton background with an additional 15 inches for the interstitial blocks. If I can baste it after my trip to the gym (I finally joined a gym and have discovered that half a workout can be done while reading a kindle – so I already look forward to 30 minutes of uninterrupted reading on the elliptical!), I’m hoping to be quilting the day away with a view of the Superbowl and not one but two lap quilts to run Pam all over.

Why do I have to love quilting?

I do, I like it in some ways better than painting. Except: it takes so fucking long for me to make a quilt. Spending 8 hours on my stepsister’s yesterday helped me to realize that. I’ve probably alrady put more than 20 hours into it and I still have a ton of piecing and applique to do. Yes, I realize I’m incredibly ineffiicient and as I start to spend more time away from my husband and in my sewing space I realize that will help me pick up the pace, but still. I love her quilt, I do, but I’ve spent 45 minutes this morning just rearranging blocks because I somehow goofed a row when I was picking them all up in order yesterday, all 48 x 24 pieces. Go figure. I also can’t find my camera now, but my inability to find lost things in a house I am about to move out of is not sending me into a panic, it is merely allowing me to let go. Also, I started another side project, piecing a birthday present for my step mum thta looks really modern cubist meets roman tile awesome, but a week is a tight deadline.