Snowball Wreath

Per a conversation on the AQSG list, I am posting a couple of photos of an old Laura Wheeler block called Snowball Wreath.

Notice the crazy shapes the newspaper printed for piecing (lower right). Could anyone actually make a quilt from those kinds of pieces? I would really love to see a 1930s or 1940s (or whenever this pattern was printed) quilt from this pattern.This is my attempt. I appliqued the circles on after piecing them.

Snowball Wreath
Snowball Wreath


JZS Snowball Wreath
JZS Snowball Wreath

I issued an informal challenge on a list and Julie made the one above.

The challenge required people to draft their own templates and I found that to be quite a challenge, because 1) I only had the information on the newspaper clipping image. I don’t have the actual newspaper; 2) the block is not made from a grid that I could figure out; and 3) the circles did not exactly line up.

It was a fun and challenging puzzle, one in which I am still interested.

Additional Quick Bytes

Work has intervened and I have not had much time to finish blogging my trip to Denver or sew. 🙁 There may be a little time this weekend, but we will see.Although I haven’t worked on the Pineapple blocks much lately, I have been looking at them a lot. I decided that I really like these fabrics. St. JCN says that they are from Timeless Treasures, but they are from at least a year ago and, it seems, nearly impossible to find again. I wish companies wouldn’t get so excited about discontinuing fabric. Alternatively, I need to use my fabric up quicker.

St. JCN has decided to use a bit of each of the fabric she buys in blocks right away. This allows her to see how it works in block, so she can go and get more right away if she really likes it. I think this is a fantastic idea! Another reason it is great is because after awhile she will have a wonderful collection of scrap blocks or a nice scrap quilt.

Another fabric avalanche in the closet. Sigh. I am working on rearranging my dots and it has yielded some fabrics that I had run out of in the Pineapple strip piles and forgotten about. This is nice. It is like buying new fabric without actually buying new fabric.

Other inadequacies… the fabric from Denver is still not completely washed. What is washed (warm colors) is not pressed. The Kaffe Fassett dots have arrived and they are completely fantastic, not only because the colors, etc are fantastic, but primarily because St. JCN sent them WASHED and PRESSED and in beautiful symmetrical little folded packets and I can start using them right away. I will gladly welcome into my life anyone else who wants to act like this. Actually what I need is someone who can be a personal assistant, who will do anything I ask perfectly and without complaining including sending out the invoices to my clients for a very inexpensive price. Dream on, I know.

Please keep reading. I’ll post more meat soon. I have a number of magazine articles I would like to review.

Gift Bags Spreading

Jenny Wren Paperie has launched a line of gift bags/gift wrap using fabric. I like the way mine are built better, but the fabric she uses is lucious. I am also thrilled that people are thinking about buying gift wrap that is reusable.

GIFT WRAP – jenny wren paperie

the jenny wren paperie have just launched a brand new collection of gift wrap. designed by jennifer playford and called furochic they are an eco-friendly alternative to disposable paper gift wrap and based on traditional Japanese furoshiki cloth. and because they are made of cloth it means they are reusable! . the furochic range was shortlisted as a finalist in the national stationery show best new product awards last month in new york.

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Contemplating the Completion of the Pineapple

I am not done with the Pineapple blocks yet, but I am within sight of the end. At this point, I find myself contemplating the finishing of the quilt:

  • How will I put it together?
  • How will I quilt it?
  • What color binding?
  • Will I enter it somewhere?

And inevitably, my mind strays to the borders:

  • Should I have a border? Plain or pieced?

My original idea was to put the 20 blocks together and a striped binding and move on to the other ideas flittering around in my mind. If I did that the quilt would look something like:

I can’t help asking myself what the quilt would look like if I used my self bordering technique. The Pineapple blocks would all be complete, for one. There would be no stray, hanging centers. I used EQ6 to test out what it would look like:

I like it. It looks really good. It looks finished. It looks framed.

It means much more cutting and piecing. It means 20 more blocks (double what I will have when I complete blocks 17-20). But it looks finished. I will have to think about it… hard. Now that it is has entered my mind, I don’t know how I will not be able to run with this idea.

I am sure you realize, also, that this quilt, if I had 20 more blocks, will be another monster close to 70″x 90″. The piecing so far has taken me about 5 months, so I can look forward to another 5 months of piecing – not an altogether unpleasant thought, but somewhat daunting however you look at it.

So, dear readers, your opinions are most welcome.

More Quick Bytes

The fabric from Quilt Expressions. St.JCN and I split an order and these are my pieces. They were fabrics which we saw in other colorways at the shops in Denver. We decided to fill out our collections with different colorways. I found some different whites as well.

Fabrics from Quilting Adventures. The three along the bottom right and the one right above the three (with the squares) look like Christmas fabrics to me in person, so I think I will make some gift bags out of them.

Two new Cross Blocks (Flowering Snowball). I finished one and started another in Denver and, then, finished it last night.

Now I have a total of 5 Cross Blocks (Flowering Snowball). I like the way the circle appears when you put the blocks together. I don’t know if I want these particular blocks together, but I am tempted to sew them together in sets of four as I make them. We’ll see after I make a few more.

Finally, these are the last two Pineapple scrap babies. I don’t have anymore scraps and I am almost all done with the blocks I need for a quilt. These are also blocks #18 & 19. Numbers 17 and 20 are in process as well. I feel sad that I am almost finished with the blocks. I am tempted to do a Pineapple border as well. Wasn’t I waxing nostalgic about getting these blocks done and moving on to something else recently? We’ll see.

More Denver Travelogue

Any time I can get inspiration off of a floor, I take a photo. I am fascinated by mosaics and tile patterns. Above is a detail and you can see the border of 4patches.

I like the way the small green border frames the piece. I think the greens and the reds could be all different.

This was a block that I saw in a quilt in the shop of the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum. I like the different blues that the maker used on the top of the piece.

What I like about these baskets are the little things that make them unusual. In the top photo, the basket has a slight curve from the rim to base. In the second photo, notice the handles added to a fairly usual basket pattern. I also like, what I assume, are the border blocks.

Please note that these were not any of the exhibits. These were items in the shop.

On Saturday, we headed south to see the famed Great American Quilt Factory
I have noticed a trend of quilts shops being in strip malls. I guess it makes sense: go to the grocery store, pick up the dry cleaning, stop at the quilt shop. This was a particularly ugly strip mall, but it did have a great big parking lot, which was good because there were 200 women in the shop when we got there at 10am. GAQF has a block of the month meeting each Saturday. They make up the pattern and the kits and test it on the people who do the Block of the Month. This is how the Welcome to my Cabin became a book and a pattern. The meeting had ended, but all the ladies were in line to pay. We started looking at the fabric around the perimeter and stayed out of their way pretty much. It was no problem because they, apparently, have over 5000 bolts of fabric. The store made up for the ugliness of the strip mall. There were lots of all differenty types of quilts hanging on the walls. Many of them were Possibilities patterns.

After the Great American Quilt Factory, we went to Holly’s Quilt Cabin. St. JCN didn’t really want to go, I don’t think, but she didn’t fight too hard. ;-). Holly’s had more REALLY nice fabric. I bought a lot of FQs and more dots. They had a nice selection of Creative Grid rulers (still need to do that review!) and I bought a 2.5″x12″ model. It will be good for cutting squares for those 4patches I plan to make someday. 😉 The people there were really chatty.

Right, 3rd from the bottom was a fabric that just caught my eye. I don’t usually buy this fabric, but I decided to buy an FQ and put a piece or two in the Cross Block quilt.

Left 3rd from the bottom is a really interesting fabric. It is cotton, but it shimmers. I got it in a couple of colors. I may put it into the silk quilt just to see how it works.

Above are the fabrics that we bought at GAQF and Holly’s.

This is a bear peeking in the glass wall of the convention center. I thought it was really clever. How can I not like the bear anyway? It reminds me of Oski.

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On Sunday we ate breakfast at LePeep’s near the City Park and then went up to the Denver Botanic Garden. I am not much of a gardener, but I can appreciate a beautiful garden just as well as the next person. This place was fantastic. I liked the way the garden was laid out in rooms. It was so relaxing. If I had not had to go to a meeting, I would have liked to have sat there and read or worked on writing projects. St. JCN loves gardening and is working very hard on her garden. She is also working on my garden a bit: helping me pick out plants that won’t be a burden or take a lot of work.

I thought that this would make a good quilting pattern. I particularly like the wavy, vertical sort of look.

The top photo is a picture of a giant poppy, but the others are all peonies. I have never seen peonies growing in my area, but St. JCN said that she would look into it. She did warn me that these would need coddling if they would grow. In any case, I really took the photos as inspiration for quilts. The colors, the graphic quality are all really great. Inspiring.

The garden had an exhibit called Big Bugs. They had placed large wooden (not sure if all were wooden) insects all over the garden. I saw some grasshoppers, ants, a praying mantis, a dragonfly, and some others. My favorite was this spider on the spiderweb. We walked by and I didn’t see it, then we walked by again and I saw something out of the corner of my eye. When I looked. I saw the spiderweb. It is partially hidden and it looks like it could be real.

Mosaic bench they were selling in the gift shop.

Documenting Your Quilts

This site describes quilt software that allows you to document your quilts on your quilt and then print the materials out for a notebook.

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The Quilt Minder is here!!

Quilt Block12    As all quilters are aware, quilt documentation is of utmost importance not only for our future generations of quilt makers, but for present day “filing” of your work.

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