Saturday, July 4, 2015

New York Beauty Still Progressing

The curved wedges of New York Beauty are finished. Just a few more blocks to sew together and then I can play with the arrangement easily.

New York Beauty blocks on point
When I started these blocks [years ago] I had a more limited palette of reds and greens. It only worked for the first few but I didn't want to expand to just any color. So it got put away.

Now the fabrics include blues and even some yellows and purples. I think it looks much better but perhaps it just looks more contemporary. Popular colors change over the years as well as the pattern printed on them. Many of my older fabrics have a mottled background - lighter and darker shades of whatever color they used. Current fabrics tend to have solid backgrounds. My older reds are almost neon while the newer ones are happier and more clear. (Can you call red "soft"?)

Most of the multicolored fabrics have colors of similar value. After much consideration, I added a light fabric printed with large white, pink and red roses. Very pretty but a strong value change within one small piece. Then I made a big mistake: I centered one of the roses in the middle of the template. Do you see it below?

New York Beauty with "centered" rose in the background.
Centering the entire rose is distracting; it's too overwhelming and obvious. Being the highest contrast, it really draws the eye away from the arcs. So I recut the piece. Here's my second attempt. Note to self: sometimes it is preferable to be asymmetrical.

New York Beauty with large multicolored rose fabric cut off center.
We flew to Philadelphia last month. Along with lots of baseball, we saw Betsy Ross' (alleged) house. From the second floor, here or in the house next door (which no longer exists) she and her first husband lived and ran an upholstery business. Betsy, a Quaker, was read out of meeting when she eloped with John Ross.

Betsy Ross house
She and John attended Christ Church where his father was assistant rector. For more than 50 years the steeple was the tallest structure in the United States. As such, it was used in maritime navigation.

Christ Church, Philadelphia
Their pew was adjacent to George Washington's and located on the same side as the wineglass pulpit, commissioned in 1769.

Wineglass pulpit, Christ Church, Philadelphia
We also visited the Free Franklin Post Office. Benjamin Franklin was our first postmaster and this post office cancels letters with a replica of his postmark, "B. Free Franklin." I loved the models of postal workers in uniforms over the years. There was more memorabilia in the museum upstairs.

Models of postal worker uniforms in the Free Franklin Post Office
Happy Fourth of July to my fellow Americans. Freedom and democracy are very precious.

Linking up with Lorna's Let's Bee Social.

Enjoy the day,

23 comments:

  1. What a beautiful project this is! Absolutely stunning.

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    1. Thanks! I'm hoping to finish it this time around ;-)

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  2. gosh Ann, it's beautiful like a tile floor. I loved both lessons, in contrast and line, as well as the history lesson. I've been to Philly and seen those places but your pictures are really good. I didn't know that she made a choice between love and church. Whew, wouldn't it have been nice to know her? A woman of passion in many ways. I prefer the old mottled fabrics myself, as they soften a look, and in nature the beauty is in the soft mixing of color. I think many of today's fabrics will look dated soon, then will come back in 20 years as new!! LeeAnna

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    1. Thanks, LeeAnna. The first cut was a mistake but hopefully I've learned my lesson. I didn't know Betsy married three times. John died of gunpowder wounds the first year of the war. Her second husband died on a British prison ship during the war and supposedly asked his friend to check on her when he got out. He did; married her and they had five more daughters. After John (#1) died she returned to the Quakers but left again for the Free Quakers, who supported fighting the Revolutionary War. A very interesting woman.

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  3. Such happy colors in your quilt! Love it!

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    1. Thanks, Gayle. They make me happy and I'm glad they please you, too.

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  4. An amazing array of fabrics in this NYB and so good to see the progress.

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    1. Thanks, Maureen. I like the fabrics I've added. Hope to finish it this year.

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  5. Stunning progress! I love the mix of fabrics, those soft muted tones are great!

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I like using loads of different fabrics.

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  6. .. Just love this piece ... NYB ... Adoration is all I can think of !!!! and we enjoyed the outing too :-) xxx

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    1. That would be a good name for the quilt. I so enjoyed your posts about your travels last year that I decided to include some of my own. It's so interesting to see what other countries look like, isn't it?

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  7. Great progress, Ann. I love the mix of fabrics and I've just had a lot of fun spotting which one I think are the older/newer ones.

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    1. Thanks, Kaja. I hadn't thought of making a game of "older/newer"!

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  8. I need to remember your lesson in asymmetry Ann. What an effective illustration.
    This is going to be one gorgeous NY Beauty! It's really cool how the fabrics through the years play together. I know that is not always the case, so a lot of that is your talent with color and pattern.

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    1. Hopefully this lesson will stick in my head, too, since I wrote it out. Perhaps I should write it 100 times. Sometimes symmetry is good and sometimes it's not. Everyone has certain colors/patterns they like so I think many people's stash would play well together over the years. But shades and patterns change. Thanks for the compliment!

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  9. Beautiful quilt, it's on my quilting bucket list!

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    1. Hopefully you will get to it soon!

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  10. Ooh, I have always wanted to make a New York Beauty quilt and yours is just GORGEOUS! I love that explosion of color and energy! Thanks for sharing your trip to Philly as well.

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca. NYB always makes a beautiful quilt.

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    1. Gorgeous, It's going to be fabulous!! (sorry for the deleted comment, I misspelled ...)

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    2. Thanks, Maryse. I have problems with comments at times, too.

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