Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Snowballs Make a Perfect Border

Coward: One who, in a perilous emergency, thinks with his legs.
~Ambrose Bierce

Quilting

The snowball borders are finally sewn on the Wheel quilt. Wheee!

A portion of the Wheel quilt showing some of the wheels with a narrow red and white striped sashing and a border of three rows of low volume snowball blocks
Snowball border on the Wheel quilt

Oh, joy! Not that the quilt is done but at least the top is finished. It's too large to get a full photo right now. Hopefully that can happen once it's quilted. Next will be an excavation of my stash to see what white fabrics lurking there could become a back. I can't remember any right now but am certainly not purchasing more before checking the piles already here.

The quilting plan will also take some time. While the backgrounds are not solid white, they are very low-volume so the stitching will show. What will look good? Does the sashing need any or can it just be SID? Fortunately my trusty vinyl is at hand so sketches should be easy.

Clearing Out my Stash

I pulled fabric for six more totes. Although I'm trying to make some for young men, they all look like a tote for little kids or little old ladies. Perhaps solids will work better for older boys. Next month I'll look for those. Each tote uses two fabrics: one yard that becomes the inside and sides plus half a yard for the front. The print in the top left is in two other totes {middle and left on the bottom row.} It's a beautiful {to me} Rose and Hubble print that's so old my hair wasn't grey when I bought it in Lewisville TX. There wasn't enough for a big shirt and it's been sitting in my stash long enough.

Six blue cotton tote bags use 1.5 yards each
Six tote bags

I also finished a dozen pillowcases which should keep my whole family provided. The king size ones take a yard plus a third for the cuff while the standard take two-thirds of a yard plus a third for the cuff. Most of my one-yard lengths got a serious look to decide whether they would work for either a pillowcase or tote. This batch took twelve and two-thirds yards. Now they are ready to gift throughout the year.

Twelve pillowcases in pinks and whites
Twelve pillowcases

Masks and Gowns

No new masks. Like Robin, I think I'm done until something needs to be replaced but six new isolation gowns this week. In addition, five gowns were sent to me for minor repairs. It's great to have a large group of sewers but would be better if they would read the directions. So that was not so fun but hopefully these were "first round" mistakes. Sewing 4 Good has a small group of paid sewers at a southern California shop but many volunteer sewers. As businesses reopen, I believe we volunteers will fade out; however, all our hospitals and care centers have spent their budget. Some are even laying off staff in the middle of this pandemic. So we will be sewing through the end of the year and probably beyond. Not as fun as quilting but way more important.

Reading


I alternate books online with physical copies but almost always am on the waiting list. A whole bunch came due this past week so I chose The Cuckoo's Calling, the first of a series of crime novels by  Robert Galbraith. That is a nom de plume for J.K. Rowling. {I must be the last reader to find out she has a new series.} Her protagonist, private investigator Comoran Strike, is a disabled Afghan vet looking into the death of supermodel, Lula Landry. I enjoyed it and placed a hold on the second one.

Movies, TV, Etc

We just finished the fourth of nine episodes of Home from Apple TV. If DH wasn't so adept I wouldn't have found this series and it's wonderful. Each looks at one builder or architect in one location, what they built, why they built it, how they were inspired. The homes are stunningly different, from a Swedish log cabin inside a greenhouse to the tiniest apartment in Hong Kong. That place had moveable walls. Not like Japanese sliding screen, these move like shelves in my chemistry lab and reconfigure the space for cooking, working, entertaining, or sleeping. If you see it, let me know which episode most intrigued you.

Enjoy the day, Ann

34 comments:

  1. Just love all those little snowballs--they really add a wonderful dimension to the quilt...
    nice work ~ ~ ~ waving from afar julierose

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    1. Thanks, Julierose. Your gorgeous quilt also inspired me.

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  2. You've nailed it with that snowball border! Just perfect!

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    1. Thanks, Marie. It was worth all the fiddling.

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  3. Your vision for that border was spot on! Wonderful addition.

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    1. Thanks, Rose Marie. It's a treat when the finish is as good as the idea.

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  4. That snowball border is fabulous! It would have been so easy to just slap a simple border on it. You took this to the next level!

    Your quote for the day is so on point. What an embarrassment.

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    1. Thanks, Patty. I am delighted with the border. It can be a place to try something different. They don't always work out but this one did. I thought that quote was apt for our times.

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  5. I assume the other three corners look like this -- which means that all the measurements worked just right! The snowballs are perfect. Your effort to make "masculine" totes reminds me of a request I had for masks: "Please, no flowers! These are for men."

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    1. Yes, they do, Nann. I usually sew accurately but the free-form corners on the snowballs mean they could actually be trimmed down a bit if needed. Sometimes it's so relaxing to have an easy out.
      I read that 90% of our fabrics are floral. Of course, that was an old stat. It may be different now. But I've been surprised how biased my stash is.

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  6. The snowball borders are the perfect frame for this wonderful quilt top. I rarely quilt narrow sashing strips so will be interested to see what you do with these.

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    1. Thanks for writing. I like pieced borders but had never made snowballs before. I rarely quilt narrow sashing unless it's an all-over design. Still not sure what will work and the next set of isolation gowns means this will rest for a week.

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  7. I am happy that you finished the top. I am sad (a bit) that there aren't more pictures. I would have never considered snowballs for a border. They are too labor intensive and I groan even when I have to make a few for the main pattern. But in this case they work beautifully. I would argue for very simple quilting because the patchwork should be the star but also because I am impatient (and do not FMQ) but primarily because I can hardly wait to see the finished quilt :-) Love it already!!!

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    1. Thanks, Preeti. Sorry about the photos. I had to set it aside when the next batch of fabric for the gowns arrived. I'v always liked borders. Probably because I make so many bed quilts and I see the border first when entering a room. I have to think about this quilting. It seems like it will show up more than usual because of all the light fabric. Fortunately, we have lots of time right now.

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  8. the snowball blocks are so gorgeous like a tiled floor. I wouldn't have thought of it and they are a perfect edge for the gorgeous blocks. Again I wouldn't have thought of dividing the fan blocks and they look wonderful. I would love to see this on my bed all the time, but what about that dog who sleeps up there? We had a lab who left a little greasy spot on bed covers, then we had a poodle who refused to sleep with us, now this baby Milo rocks and rolls with us every night!

    thanks for the book and show suggestions.

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    1. Thanks, LeeAnna. They worked out better in reality than my idea. That's a nice change. Realizing I'd like a soft quilt on our bed some time was the inspiration for this color scheme. Hadn't thought of a dog on it since we don't have one. But Milo is a joy who'd be welcome anywhere.
      You've given me so many book/show suggestions. I hope you like some of these.

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  9. Your Snowballs are an attractive border for sure.
    I'll have to check out Home from Apple, I like stories of homes and their settings.
    Thanks for the tip.

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    1. Thanks, Janie. Enjoy the show. I'm with you. It's fun to see how and where people live.

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  10. I admire your patience to make a border that is so much work. It is perfect.

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    1. Thanks, Wanda. I enjoyed making it and remind myself that I will just start another quilt when this is done so I might as well do more on the current one.

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  11. Such an interesting post, it gives me a lot to think about. I love the way the snowballs have come together to accent the center wheels. It is truly a lovely border.

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    1. Thanks, Robin. The snowballs made a wonderful border. Well worth the time.

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  12. Wowzer! That wheel quilt with the snowball border is truely Stunning! Way to Sew!!! take care.

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    1. Thanks, Claire. It's a good time to take more time for things like this.

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  13. Those Snowballs do make the perfect border. Wow! I'm border-challenged so never ever would have thought of a snowball border (or any other border you might have added).

    Those are some cute totes. This little old lady's fav is the one with kittens and yellow sides. Oh that is probably supposed to be one for little kids!

    I used to make special pillowcases each year for Christmas for everyone. I had fun picking fabrics for them. Then I think everyone had enough pillowcases to last a lifetime so I quit making them. You sure have been busting some stash lately!

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    1. You've made some interesting borders yourself although I know you don't like to sew them as much as I do. Yes, that tote with the yellow sides is my favorite, too. I wish I'd made more of these pillowcases years ago. But at least I'm moving my stash out. Yay.

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  14. Oh Ann you must be so happy with this quilt!! The snowball border is a treasure and sits beautifully around the blocks, just stunning!
    I have enjoyed watching the journey! I know that lots of you have been mask making, here in NZ masks have not been compulsory but lots of people certainly wear surgical masks for medical visits and certainly the elderly an d especially those with underlying health issues usually wear them.
    I haven't read a book from cover to cover for quite some time, my concentration has been sadly lacking but I hope to post about one which is so special to me in a post very soon.

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    1. Thank you, Maureen. How good to know you like reading about the process as much as I do. I enjoyed making this and look forward to having it on our bed.
      Oddly, some cities require masks but some governors are so opposed that they override city regulations. Go figure. Still, I wear one anytime I'm outside and I made them for my neighbors.
      It's hard to find the time to concentrate, isn't it.

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  15. Your 'wheel' blocks are beautiful, and the 'snowball' border takes this quilt to a whole new level! Delightful! I love how you have concentrated alot this year on borders, how did you decide on the three rows of snowballs? Did two rows look inadequate? Out of proportion maybe?

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    1. Thank you, Linda. Borders are frequently my favorite part of a quilt. It may be because I make so many bed quilts and that is the part seen first when walking into a room. I calculated the width of border that seemed proportional to the blocks and decided it needed three or four rounds. There may not be enough of those centers to make a fourth round. I'm thinking about it but the top is probably done.

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  16. Oh, this makes me smile so much! Your snowball border addition is fantastic! Love how it brings the whole quilt together with a lovely, happy sparkle. Really brings out the striped sashing strips too. So, so, gorgeous! This is wonderful to see as we've been following along with your quilting journey, just waiting to see the end result!

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    1. Thanks, Audrey. You inspired so many parts of this quilt. The snowball border wraps it all up perfectly. Well worth the effort.

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  17. Wow! The snowball border is a great addition!!

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    1. Thanks, Mel. It was creative and new. Wow, you're rubbing off on me.

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