Monday, March 21, 2011

Brookings quilters ... don't look!!

My DH gave me the best Christmas present last year. He arranged with a local florist to deliver 'coastal' fresh flowers every month this whole year! We were gone in February, so we skipped that month. Flora Pacifica is awesome! Each bouquet is a mixture of flowers. And there's always buds hidden away that bloom last - this month it was the red & yellow Tulips. We got them last Wednesday - and I notice the leaves are starting to droop! Trust me - it was awesome earlier!! Thanks, Dear Heart! I'm feeling so spoiled!

Now for the secret part! I've finished my Guild Holiday Challenge early. Sorry, I can't keep it under wraps for another whole two months!! We're not supposed to show it about until after the 'vote' at the end of April. But I can't wait that long!! [grin] So here it is:

Be Mine
22" x 21"
made for Brookings Quilt Guild Holiday Challenge 2011

The challenge had a size limit; and had to be a holiday. I've been reading about 'slow quilting' on the web and it intrigued me. I picked out 18 shirtings in my collection that had red in them. [no - I don't think you want to know how big that shirting collection is!! There's alot more without red!!] Then I HAND appliqued the large heart - yep, me, by hand!!! I used the freezer paper method to get a good edge and I'm amazed at how well it came out - even the top of the heart!! [insert pat on my back]

Now, I purposefully set the 1/2 inch grid for the quilting off-kilter. I didn't want any lines following - or not following the seam lines and there's not much space between 1/2 inch! If I had a do-over, I'd have set it at a better angle - but "Oh, well!" I used DMC embroidery floss - pink, yellow, green and blue - and stitched a modified Sashiko stitch for weeks and weeks! But it was fun to hand stitch on a project for a change. While I worked on it, I wadded it up in my lap, I usually quilt in a hoop. But since the whole idea was large stitches, lap quilting worked well, but I really had a crooked project before washing and blocking it! Although it IS straighter than it looks in this photo, really!

When I got to the heart, instead of following the grid, I stair-stepped the stitches across, I wasn't sure what to use to fill in those spaces. More embroidery - Algerian Eyes?? A million French Knots?

So coming home from Portland last week I stopped in Newport and consulted with S. It was a good excuse to see her! She helped me decide buttons was the way to go. I came home and started looking for tiny 'findings' buttons that were country colors. But insead, my jar of small white buttons leaped into my hands and yelled, "ME! me! me!" LOL! So I used them instead and still haven't found the others! I used the space between the stair steps for the white buttons. S had said it reminded her of a box of Valentine's Day candy - so I mixed it up a bit so it looked like some were missing!! Yum!!

Until I put the buttons on, it looked very modern to me! I used old fabrics - shirtings; an old method - sashiko and it looked modern!! But the buttons brought it back around to my antique-ish style! I'm very pleased AND I get to show a red and white quilt this month! Those of you that can go to NYC - to see the Red and White exhibit - have fun for all of us!!

We've had rain, rain and more rain since getting back from our trip. Not to mention a tsunami!! Over 10 inches in March - and it ain't done yet!!! But today it was a brighter shade of grey ... and we're taking that as an improvement!! LOL!