Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Squeezing out every bit of color

     On Sunday, the rain and wind hit. Saturday, for a brief period, the sun was out so I ran to photo the trees around my street. We have not received a killing frost yet, so the leaves were slow to turn and flowers still blooming. I refuse to yank out the flowers so I can plant the bulbs. This means I will probably be planting the bulbs in very cold weather, but I am not letting one flower get by me. It will be a long winter with nothing.
     When I look at the fall leaves and see the great variety of shades and colors, I know why I am a scrap quilter- I just don't want to see just one single shade or hue. If only I could make my quilts sparkle as wonderfully as these trees.

The best shaped coneflower I had all year
The biggest grouping of hydrangea blooms all year
Lace cap hydrangea
Leaves of lace cap/endless summer variety
Hardy mums that actually come back every year
My neighbors rose that always saves some blooms for late fall
The last snapdragons

I can't pull these out to plant bulbs

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Cats Lattice

     This quilt was started in August for a friend's friend who is 64 and in a nursing home, refusing to rehab. He was noted for his dinner parties, cats and plants. This quilt is for his comfort and, I pray, motivation to not quit and give up. My friend and I pored over fabric selection and ideas. 
     The print has cats, plants and a vintage house- which he had. Because I had to order online, I did not realize how small the print was. I cut the print squares larger to fit in more cats. This disapppearing nine patch no longer was sewn from the planned 5" blocks, but 6.5" ones. The green batiks that I had were not big enough to be 6.5" square, so I decided I would use strips cut 6.5" long. This meant I could not sew a disappearing nine patch block. 
   Each print block was sewn with a batik strip. Another batik strip was sewn to a white square, and then pieced to the print square with strip. I chain pieced all this, so I am not sure if it really took more time than sewing a nine patch and cutting it up into fours.
    I liked the idea of garden lattices. To give it that look, I used 1.5" strips between the small blocks and group of four blocks. The quilt is 3 large blocks of four prints by 4 large blocks of four prints- a total of 12 large blocks.
     Sewing 1.5" strips straight for long seams makes me nervous to keep things even and straight, so I sewed lattice pieces first to the right of each big block, and the left for the sides. Then I sewed a strip to the bottom of each big block. The only long seams were the top lattice as every block got its lattice piece attached before all the blocks were joined. The white Kona makes the seams pretty invisible.
    The top and back are reversible in case the guy gets bored looking at the same cats- took a bit longer. I free motion quilted the top from the lattice side for my placement. The back with the grid of cats just had to take what the front gave. Striped binding is my favorite and this quilt just wanted it. 
     I am trying to get in touch with my friend to work out when she can deliver this comfort (and hopefully motivating) quilt. 
On the long arm

Quilted without binding- good lighting and texture visible
Without binding
Three different sets of flowers for center white blocks
Yes, I know the chalk is visible- it washed out

With binding- not as good light
Back, sort of

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Inspired by saturated fall colors

      First a real fall riot of zinnia colors from the front of my house to set the scene.

     A while back, Sarah posted a quilt that I printed out and cut some strips of gray for and batik scrap strips, I had my mother sew the pairs together and finally was able to get them on my design wall. I clipped all the colunms and will sew this web style when I have some free time. 
    This quilt reminds me of all the fall color I see around me. It also forced me to use more saturated colors.

To finish about 60 x 72"

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Fall to my north

     We walked around Stella Niagara park, just outside Lewiston, NY.  The land was bought from a Catholic order of nuns (they still own the buildings on the other side of the road where we have quilt retreats) by a Land Conservancy and goes from the road down to the Niagara River. It is one of the few spots level at the river. The British crossed here during the War of 1812. The meadow is no longer mowed and I fear  the view and walk will disappear to scrub trees.
The original chapel, just precious

Canada across the river

Canada across the river, jet boat to left
Able to walk right to river
      Just down from here, the river flows into Lake Ontario and there is an old fort, Fort Niagara, there. First built by the French, taken by the British, then the US, it is maintained as a historical site today. Gorgeous views from there.
The original French building, Lake Ontario behind to the north. Toronto is to the extreme right across the lake, but unable to be seen in this photo.
Looking across the Niagara River to Niagara on the Lake, Canada where we visit every year between Christmas and New Years. The Yacht Club and waterfront at Niagara on the Lake.The hotel we stay at is obscured in the trees to the right.

The Gazebo at the Park in Niagara on the Lake-couldn't cut the haze out. There is a beautiful park there. Some people have swum from the park, in the river, across Lake Ontario, to Toronto, which is insane. There is a plaque in the park with the names.
Looking south at the town of Youngstown, NY on the Niagara River, taken from the Fort.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Almost peak to my south

     Last weekend, my husband and I made sure to go north and south to see the leaves. They are not quite at peak yet, but some beautiful sights. 
     The first photos are Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, NY about 5 miles south of the Buffalo Bills Stadium It was clear, we could actually see Niagara Falls, Canada mist and buildings some 23 miles away.

City of Buffalo, NY center, Niagara Falls to far left.

The big white building in the center is the Bills workout building, stadium just to its right