Sunday, January 9, 2022

Weekly update: not quite ready for Broadway, the mystery, unexpected baskets, and reading

"Lovebirds" (c) Phyllis Cullen 
In the past our winter guild meetings often had to be cancelled at the last minute due to severe weather (snow or cold).  We meet at night and members live as far as 25 miles away.    Adding to that the uncertainty of pandemic restrictions, the board decided that the January and February meetings will be by Zoom.  This week though the skies were clear it was quite cold.  Our speaker was art quilter Phyllis Cullen coming to us from tropical Hawaii!  She told us how she creates portrait quilts.  

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My attempts at art quilting are far more modest.  My Modern Mini is underway. I chose an applique design by Piece o' Cake. Their technique and hence their instructions are for hand applique, not fusible, so their patterns are right-side up.  To reverse them I took a piece of pattern tracing stuff, traced the design, then flipped it over. (The lines are visible on the reverse.)  I used that tracing to trace the shapes onto fusible web. Then I tried out fabrics, fused the shapes, and cut them out.  Now I'm auditioning placement on the original pattern.   When I'm pleased with all of that I will have a rehearsal (to continue the theater analogy) on the crumb-pieced background.  

Gotta work on the color balance some more . . . specifically, the middle flower on the left. (That's a fussy cut. Yellow, maybe?) 

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While all that is taking up space on my cutting table, I finished the 20 blocks of Step 7 of Rhododendron Trail.  It's not at all what I expected.   (It's a traditional block called Clown's Choice. Last week's block is  Christmas Star.  Both Barbara Brackman and Maggie Malone list them under those names.)

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The 30's bin stubbornly refused to go back on the shelf after I finished the shoofly flimsy.  Look what happened!   

I used up all the 2.5" HSTs in the box and made some more.  (Bonnie H's Essential Triangle Tool is put to good use.)  I have four blocks yet to assemble and about 1/4 yd of the red fabric left.  

I'm grateful to Cathy for introducing me to Four Patch Baskets.  

Here's a pre-assembled block so you can see the "four patch" -- upper left, four HSTs; upper right, 2 HSTs + rectangle; lower left, 2 HSTs + rectangle; lower right, big HST. 

I used this block in another colorway for our guild BOM this. fall.  (That reminds me that several of you wanted to see all the basket BOMs we're doing. I'll present them in another post soon.)

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The detecting odd couple returns with another intriguing story. A divorce attorney is murdered when someone bashes him repeatedly with a wine bottle. (Clue: it's a very, very expensive bottle of wine.) The perpetrator could be any one of at least six people. Former police detective Hawthorne is called to find who did it. He pulls Anthony Horowitz off the set of Foyle's War (which the real-life Horowitz wrote) and together they find clues, disprove clues, and uncover that a long-ago caving accident was only somewhat accidental. Horowitz thinks he's got it (several times) but Hawthorne is (as usual) three steps ahead of him.

"You know how death is. Your body goes, but your ideas don't. Your impact lingers on, even when it's poisonous. Some bodies get put into the ground and daisies bloom. Others encourage the sprouting of weeds, weeds that work to strangle whatever's living and growing around them." (p. 38 after the death of Cotton Mather

I would not have read this book had I not been invited to participate in discussion about it with other community leaders and students at our local high school. (The discussion is this coming Thursday.) It was very interesting -- "not a history book," the authors kept saying -- but I remember the old saw, "the reason history repeats itself is that not enough people pay attention the first time." Now's the time to pay attention!

Linking up with  Monday Making    Oh Scrap!  Design Wall Monday


  1. Like your flower baskets. Seeing them on point I couldn't figure out the 4 patchiness. (Hm, is that a word?) The two RT blocks are ones I've never heard of. Hum, I must not be spending as much time as I should with Brackman's book. Have a quilty week.

  2. Quite a mixed bag you are working on!

  3. block h Thanks for the tip on the basket block! That’s a favorite of mine and I love this way of putting it together. The appliquĂ© is cute! Just finished the Spies of Shilling Lane, fun read. Happy sewing!

  4. gosh nann lots of beautiful progress...loving those garnet blocks..anxious to see the finish on this one. beautiful applique...don't tempt me...LOL

  5. That is so cool you can take a class from Hawaii!!! Your florals are so pretty
    And the bonnie mystery - that is really awesome that you can identify the blocks!! I love it!

  6. I really like your 4 patch baskets! They are really simpler to make than you would think. My groups have gone to meeting by Zoom again, too. In fact my book club is meeting this afternoon to discuss The Midnight Library!

  7. Your applique' flowers are adorable. I recently discovered Anthony Horowitz and love him! I'll have to get that one next.

  8. My Ladies' Art Company Block Tool shows a similar block to Clown's Choice called just plain Clown. I am really thinking about that as an alternate block for a UFO I have because I sure like the look of it.

    Baskets are looking good! Looking forward to all your basket blocks this year! I'm thinking I might concentrate on all my Basket UFOs next month and maybe start a new one! I do love basket blocks, and star blocks and...

    Gosh, that mini looks like a lot of work. But it sure looks good. I rarely attempt that type of work. What does one do with mini quilts? It seems like lots of folks collect them.

  9. The 4 patch baskets do look easy to assemble. I always love checking in with you. And I understand the zooming part of meetings. My guild was doing both for a while, but it was crazy between the in person and distance members. I did not attend this month due to catching a mild case of Covid. Keep on inspiring me. You do such an amazing job. time4stitchn


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