Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Pastel Hourglasses

"Today there are those who travel by sea to new lands, hoping for a new life. 
They are likely to find themselves locked up or locked out.... 
How would all our lives be if the original [European settlers] were sent back?"
~Kathy Doughty

A niece is expecting her first child and decorating in very soft pink, green, grey, and white. The quilt needs to be finished before the baby shower. Time to get cracking. I purchased this charm pack a while ago for a specific reason. After making a quilt with brights I wondered what it would look like in pastels. Now I have the opportunity to find out.

A collage of two photos shows the 5-inch charm pack combined with a variety of pastel solids from my stash.
Charm pack of pastel Kona solids

Although I've never been a fan of precuts {it was a difficult road for me to accept fat quarters and that was about as small as I've been willing to purchase} what I like about this method is the way the pack expands the results of a smaller collection of solid yardage.

I cut WOFs of all {six} light/pastel solids in my stash and crosscut them into five-inch squares {like the pack.} Each charm was paired with a "non-charm" to spread the WOFs across the most fabrics. I.e., make the most variations of the pairs available. It was easy to keep straight because the charms are pinked. Only when the charms ran out did I pair WOF with other WOFs. Make sense?

The pairs were cut into QSTs and sewed into hourglasses so there are two blocks from each pair. Then I moved them around on the design wall for a while. Random worked out as a better layout than the color sweeps of the previous quilt. Did anyone else ever read Ann McCaffrey's Crystal Singer trilogy? After Killashandra Ree goes to a planet for work, her eyes become much more sensitized to color. Ok. There's a lot more to the story than this but these soft colors that aren't photographing well remind me of that minor plot detail.

 3.5-inch hourglass blocks are placed on the design wall as they are sewn and pressed.
Hourglass blocks on the design wall

Again I simply SID to quilt it which lets the fabric shine, especially after a bit of shrinkage from a gentle wash and dry.


 White and grey lawn mixes with with pastel Kona solids from both a charm pack and my personal stash.
Pastel hourglass baby quilt

The back is one piece of lovely white lawn extended with a strip of pink. So soft! The baby will love it.

The quilt is folded so the the white lawn back is visible. A stripe of pink solid fabric runs across the back to add interest.


Grey lawn creates the binding.

The folded quilt shows the front, back, and grey lawn binding. The stitch-in-the-ditch quilting shows better on the back.
Binding detail on pastel Hourglass baby quilt

It's certainly the softest I've ever made - not only the colors but the finely woven lawn feels like loving kisses. So this baby will be wrapped in a cloud.

Quilt Specifics
Size: 42" x 42"
Design: Hourglass
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose
Thread: 60-wt pale pink Aurifil cotton thread 
Quilting: SID with walking foot
Approximate Yardage: 4 yds

True Confessions


To my mother's dismay I've always been very hard on shoes and gloves. QS gave me a pair of quilting gloves which I promptly put holes in. On a whim I put on a NEW pair of gardening gloves and have been using them for two years. They are a bit thick but really grasp the quilt. No holes and they were much cheaper than the specialty quilting gloves. 

New rubberized, turquoise gardening gloves allow better control while machine quilting on a domestic machine.
Use new gardening gloves to machine quilt
Off the Bookshelf

The cover shows the title in large red type with a subtitle: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup.
Bad Blood by John Carreyrou has been on my hold list at the library for a while and it's finally my turn. Begun as a series of investigative articles it relates the rise and fall of Theranos whose founder, Elizabeth Holmes, claimed to have created a way to run many lab tests from a single drop of blood.

One of the interesting takeaways is that none of the board members had significant medical expertise. I'd never considered the need to take a step back and think about the hurdles every company faces - regulatory, industry sector, financial. Does a company have employees to meet those needs and does their board have sufficient depth to govern/oversee their efforts? Private companies have more problems in this area because they may not have the advice and experience of a knowledgeable, widely-skilled board.

Enjoy the day, Ann

30 comments:

  1. I think your pastel baby quilt turned out beautifully--so soft ..just perfect...hugs, Julierose

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    1. Thanks, Julierose. The family seemed to like it, too.

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  2. Such a pretty, pretty quilt. Thank you for the gardening gloves tip - I'm going to give that a shot.

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    1. I like the gloves impregnated with rubber because they seem to grip more. I haven't tried silicone tipped gloves. Whatever you choose, let me know what you think.

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  3. The bolder pops of color enhance but do not overwhelm the soft tones. What a lovely quilt! Do you use a glove on your left hand only? The problem I have with gloves is that it's so inconvenient to take them off (to use scissors, to remove a pin, to change the bobbin).

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    1. I haven't tried it with one glove only but agree it's a constant on/off for everything but quilting. {I used the other hand to take the photo.} I can remove a pin and cut with scissors with only one glove off.

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  4. You got that lovely quilt done fast! It tuned out so pretty! I use a work glove that had the front of the fingers and palms covered with a rubber like material. I use them for yardwork and free motion quilting. I buy them by the dozen on ebay. I am hard on gloves too! I had quite a collection of charm packs that I have accumulated thru giveaways. I learned that Charm squares are not the same size from manufacturer to manufacturer and the size of the squares can vary in the pack a bit. I also don't like the serrated edges. I will use up what I have eventually, but I will definitely trim them before I use them.

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    1. Buying in large packs sounds good because I run through gardening gloves very quickly.
      I'm not a fan of all these different cuts, especially when they repeat the fabric in the pack. What's the use of that? But I received the first pack as a gift. This one I purchased to test. The serrated edges are a pain but by pairing them with one I've rotary cut, it's easy to sew a seam and then trim them both down some more. Too much work in general. I didn't know about different manufacturers cutting their own personal size. What a pain.

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  5. Beautiful quilt for a baby, great finish!
    Thanks for the garden glove tip, works better, costs less, win/win.
    Your book looks interesting, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for writing, Janie. Let me know how gardening gloves work for you.

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  6. finally getting to emails, and saw this pretty show up... oh how sweet and fresh. I'd like it. I'd love to see it daily. I have attraction to precuts but do not like not being able to prewash. I pre rinse in a tub but they shrink differently and it's messy. Your use of stash with them is so smart and it's lovely. I use the gloves that came with the power saw.
    L.A.

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    1. So kind of you, LeeAnna. I hope my niece likes it as well. I hadn't thought about pre-washing since I don't do it {although I test strong colors for fastness.} Power saw sounds like some heavy duty gloves. You go, girl.

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  7. Darling. . . you make it look so easy and I know it is not. Sweet quilt!

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    1. Thanks, Robin. It wasn't hard but took longer than anticipated because the blocks are so small.

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  8. Sweet. Looks so soft and cuddly. You can't go wrong with Hourglasses in any color or value. Congrat on another finish. I have a difficult time staying in the ditch so don't even try to quilt in the ditch anymore. I have tried gloves too but don't like quilting with gloves. I need to feel the fabric. Tried those little rubber thingies for the ends of fingers but didn't like those either. I guess it takes getting used to. I never liked to wear a thimble on my finger when hand quilting either but got used to it after trying lots of variations and am never without it now. Never used to like to wear gardening gloves because I liked to feel the earth in my fingers but earth is hard to get out of fingernails and dries up the skin. I wear out about a pair of those cheap gardening gloves a week now. I stick them on fence posts out in the gardens when I can no longer use them.

    Before retirement I was CIO for a privately owned medical lab with several sites and a pathology group. No board, it was run by the pathologists. I remember reading about Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes in several lab publications. We discussed Theranos at a few of our business meetings. Seemed too good to be true but the contract with Walgreens seemed to give it some credibility. I wrote computer programs to interface orders and results between lab information system and lab instruments and did see a lot of changes in lab testing and instruments over the 30 years I worked in the lab.

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    1. It is a very soft quilt. I may consider lawn on the back of more baby quilts. I'm not sure how long it will last but it's certainly smooth and comforting. I'm trying to learn to SID free motion but my efforts are mediocre. Walking foot works well for me as long as I slow down.
      I haven't tried rubber finger tips but that might be a good way to quilt and still get pins out. That's the drawback of gloves for me; I must remove a glove to remove a pin. I used cheap gardening gloves for a while but ran through them in about an hour so the more expensive ones are a better bargain for me.
      Reading about Theranos and thinking you might have to compete with them must have been interesting. He interviewed several lab professionals who pointed out the difficulty/impossibility in trying to run multiple tests on one drop - although they don't need to draw as much blood today as they did when I was a kid. Theranos seemed adept at manipulating public opinion by allowing misinformation to stand. For example, they said their devices were being used by the military when they weren't. It was an interesting read.

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  9. I use gardening gloves, too! This baby quilt turned out beautifully! I don’t care much for precuts.....I even get frustrated with fat quarters, sometimes, but once in awhile, they do come in handy.

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    1. Twinkies! Both for gardening gloves and disliking precuts. I do buy fat quarters at times because they give me more variety in a limited space but all the different precuts seem to take the fun out of creating. Like a box cake mix.

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  10. Oh, this is so soft and pretty but those little snatches of stronger colour keep it from being too saccharine sweet. I like it a lot! Funnily enough I was thinking about hourglasses today- this has made me feel even more tempted to go in that direction next.

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    1. Thanks, Kaja. Making a quilt to {what we believe is} someone's wishes/color scheme drives me crazy at times. I took out some colors because they seemed too strong but couldn't make myself get rid of them all. I may revisit hourglasses soon, too. Perhaps it should be our next prompt?

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  11. A very pretty quilt, it just begs to be cuddled and loved! I'm curoius, what sort of batting you have used, is it a blend?

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    1. It's Mountain Mist Cream Rose. I prefer Blue Ribbon but that's no longer made. It's 100% cotton.

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  12. A perfect baby quilt and such a lovely mix of pastels, I do like the limey green fabrics in amongst all the softer colours.

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    1. Thanks, Maureen. I like a few ringers, too.

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  13. Thank you for the details of the Rose piece quilting. I have a fear of FMQ and stick to straight lines with the walking foot usually. I really should practice more. Anyway, this little quilt turned out so lovely. Happy Stitching!

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    1. You're welcome. I hope it helps. Even though I've quilted for years, starting the quilting is always scary. I like my walking foot best, too, but it's been a treat to try these designs. Let me know how it goes.

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  14. Soft and soothing like baby's breath!!!

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  15. This is such a beautiful baby quilt. Seriously fall-in-love beautiful. How can you help but not want to cuddle in it? Love how soft it looks and yet, the solids hold their ground so very well. Great job. I really need to expand my thinking about solids. Slowly, slowly, I'm starting to buy them and even use them. Maybe I need to kick it up a notch and make an all solid quilt for once.:)

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    1. How kind of you, Audrey. I have a bunch of solids from years ago when Amish was in style. In my mind, that's always my first idea. Funny that I refuse to limit fabrics to a certain style (reproduction, Kaffe, etc) but usually keep solids together. The few times I've mixed solids and prints (like Square Deal) have turned out much better. Although if you've never made an all solid quilt, it's probably time to try it. ;-)

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