Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Quilt Files, Episode 15

...or, I finally finished! I've talked before about planning ahead for a wedding quilt; when you have a lot of lead time, you can try a complicated pattern and take advantage of the birthday discount at my favorite fabric shop, Viking Sewing Center. This time it was my niece who got married, but she and her future husband didn't set a date for the wedding right away. Never mind; it would eventually happen, so I trundled out to Viking with a pattern and an idea that she liked pinks and purples. I found nine different batiks in various patterns of pink, purple, and navy, and transposed them into the "Stars in the Meadow" pattern I'd bought with the thought of trying one day. This was the result:

As you can see, this pattern is a bit more complicated than anything I had tried before: the half-triangle squares weren't new, but the blocks made up of one kite-shaped piece and two large right triangles were another matter, especially since you had to cut them from a not-quite-kite- or -triangle-shaped templates before sewing them together. The other unique aspect of this quilt, I discovered as I pieced the first couple rows, was that those large right triangles, grouped around the posts with squares and half-triangles of the same fabric, seemed to create a large, almost-round medallion. If you pick out those medallions in the picture, you can see that some are pink, some are lavender, and some are a light maroon. These all came from the same batik fabric; it took lots of targeted cutting and piecing to keep the medallions the same color. So I didn't cut out all the fabric before I started piecing; I did a row at a time and cut extra pieces as I went along.

It made for slow going, and by the time the wedding date was finally announced I didn't have a lot of time to finish the quilt. I didn't do any quilting in the ditch, but instead did a series of diagonal lines through the triangles, along with straight lines in one of the borders. It took longer than I thought it would, but I managed to deliver the quilt within three months of the wedding, which meets most etiquette guidelines I've seen. And I did deliver it, although I was very tempted to keep it ... but I still have many of the lovely fabrics left, so I'm sure I'll make something for myself with some of the wonderful scraps I have in my stash.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Photo of the Week--10/19/09

In April 1999 we took a trip to Barcelona, Spain; it was only a few years after the city hosted the Summer Olympics, so the facilities were superb in this already beautiful city. We spent a long weekend wandering around, enjoying the unique architecture and the wondrous food. Here we were at the Palau Real Major, where Ferdinand and Isabella received Columbus in 1493, after his first voyage to the Western Hemisphere. This shot has a lovely view of the palace, the tower (called the Mirador dei Rei Martí), and the Plaça del Rei (the courtyard below). And here you can see a genuine smile from Boy, even if we did have to tickle it out of him.