Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Charming New Project

Hello Friends. :- ) I'm feeling reasonably well this morning so I figured I'd better take advantage of it. I even have a brand new project to share with you!

I was surprised and delighted to find an unexpected gift in my mailbox one day recently. Timeless Treasures sent one of their mini treat charm packs to express their appreciation for the quilt I'd made for a victim of Hurricane Sandy. Timeless Treasures used their warehouse space to collect and store the quilts until they could be distributed. Many of their employees and family members live and work in the affected areas.

I received the Lemon-Poppy set of charm squares:

While the yellows in the pack made me happy the other colors weren't necessarily the hues I would choose to work with. Time for some stretching exercises!

My criteria for this project were to use all the charm squares (if possible) and avoid buying additional fabric. I browsed through my collection of patterns and ideas, and did some online research into patterns for charm squares. There are a couple of tempting patterns in the Moda Bake Shop. One of them was the inspiration for my project; I may yet go back and try out the others someday.

I soon discovered that with only one charm pack it was going to be a challenge to make something more than a wall hanging, no matter how many patches I cut from the charm squares themselves. The wide range of values in this pack created another challenge: how to incorporate both the light, bright charms and the very dark charms?

Because my physical and mental energies are so limited these days I was looking for a simple plan. Minimal cutting and piecing, minimal room for errors!

It was the Road to Tennessee quilt plan in the Moda Bake Shop that caught my eye. Take a moment to click on the link and have a look. I'll wait. ;- )

I had to try out several batiks in my stash to find something that would work with all the charm squares. It helped that I figured I would need at least a yard. That eliminated most of my stash. Of the options I was left with most were printed with patterns that were too bold or busy. They fought with the prints in the charm squares. But I had a generous yard and a half of a wonderful mottled red that has small spatters and squiggles of yellow-to-gold-to-tan and greens. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

By this time I knew I wanted to try alternate squares between the charm squares. I cut 2" and 5" patches from my wonderful red batik. The 2" squares were pieced onto opposite corners of the charm squares to make the hexagonal shapes. This is the first layout I tried after the piecing was done:

Not bad, but I tweaked the placement of a couple of the hexagons.

This layout gives me a quilt top that can be turned into a lap quilt for ADCS and there are only four charm squares that don't get used. But what if I turn the charms in every other row?

Oooo, I like it! But maybe that yellow is too potent in the middle of the quilt...?

What if we do this instead?

What do you think? I'm thinking I like this the best. Unless I take it a step further and mix up the other hexagons more... (Don't forget you can double click on the pictures to see more detail.)

A person could play like this forever and never actually get a quilt made!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What?! REALLY??

My friend C~ was gracious enough to take five of my quilts to the admissions table at our local county fair last week. She also entered one of her quilts. She and her husband went to the fair a few days later and reported that there were ribbons on all of my quilts. Because she was distracted in looking for her quilt she didn't take note of precisely what ribbons were awarded. When my husband brought the quilts and ribbons home I was amazed at the sheer number of ribbons. My jaw dropped when I caught sight of this one:

Can you read it? It says 'Best of Show.' BEST OF SHOW!!!

Granted, it's only a small county fair, but none of my quilts has ever done that well in the past. I've been gobsmacked all week. Turns out I don't even have a full "portrait" picture of the quilt. Or if I do I can't find it.

My black and white Crowns quilt was awarded Best of Class.

My little art quilt for the La Conner Quilt Museum's challenge was awarded Reserve Best of Class.

The Treasure Island baby quilt I made very recently was given a second place ribbon...

As did my friendship quilt that I call Play Group.

We received a copy of the judge's comments with the ribbons. I agreed with about half of her judgments and disagreed with the other half. ;- ) I do appreciate her decision regarding Best in Show however!

I've been suffering from the fatigue that accompanies anemia. I've been sewing too, and have some things I could share with you, but it might take me a while. I'm trying to eat iron rich foods and am taking an iron supplement. We're hoping an outpatient procedure I have scheduled for early in September will take care of the source of this problem. Maybe then I'll only have the chemical sensitivities to cope with!