"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Don't Have Swine Flu

I've felt horrible for the past few days. I was certain I had the swine flu for the first 48 hours. I hoped it was the flu because it was uncomfortable but I still didn't die. I'd wanted to get it over with and develop an immunity. No such luck. Just a bad summer cold and all I got was a stuffed up, sore nose. Pearl has been giddily snitching dirty kleenex from the trash so at least one of us is happy about it. My breath is as hot as a furnace and smells like a small furry animal curled up and died in my throat. I am at the height of my physical attractiveness.

Sadly, I didn't lose my appetite. I didn't even lose a pound or two through this misery.

But I began feeling better a couple of days ago and started on a new quilting project. Those of you familiar with Jennifer Chiaverini Elm Creek novels know about Sylvia's Bridal Sampler. It is a sampler quilt consisting of six inch traditional pieced and appliqued blocks - 140 blocks, total. Here's a picture:

She used to have the patterns online but figured out she could make a bundle by putting them in a pattern book. Here it is:

I have been wanting to make a quilt from brights and a sampler quilt with this many blocks should be a good project to mix several. I think using brights on a smaller quilt or one with larger blocks might be a little bit overwhelming and end up being too cutesy for what I have in mind.

I joined an online group that began a stitch-along in June. I am behind but I managed to make ten blocks in the past couple of days.

I didn't even start until about three o'clock, yesterday. They go together pretty fast but I picked the simplest ones so don't expect that pace to continue.

Here are the ones I've made, so far:

Snail's Trail:

I am not happy with the Snail's Trail although I really love that blue fabric. The edges aren't lined up like she should be. I am considering redoing it but haven't decided, yet.

And this one (Old Maid's Puzzle) is going to end up having some of the points off so I may redo it.

The classic log cabin:

Birds in the Air:

I had to do this one twice. It was the fever.

The churn dash block looks simple but I had to do it FOUR times to get it right.

I don't know what is wrong with me.

This block has the star points too close to the edge and I am afraid they'll get clipped. In this case, I honestly think it is the pattern, not me. I don't like having my points that close to the edge. And that center ain't too fine, either.

Most of these blocks are made using the pink but I don't plan to make the whole quilt with the pinks. I just had those fabrics out and made a few blocks.

I have always been a neat fanatic about my scraps. I have about 15 plastic bins where I've kept my scraps separated by colors. True. Blues in a box, cremes, reds, pinks, yellows and oranges, greens, purples, etc. That is the way it is "supposed" to be done, I've read. Anyway, I decided that in the interest of space, I would dump all the scraps in bags and shoved them in an empty trunk that I haven't known what to do with. I figured that when it came time to move, this would be a better use of space.

So I have learned something about myself. Here is the trunk with my scrap treasures.

I have been digging in the trunk for scraps to use on the Sylvia Bridal blocks and discovered that I really, really love digging through the fabric. I can just feel the endorphins pouring off me. I am truly a fabric addict. And probably mentally ill. Some women love shoes. I love fabric. I just sat there digging through the fabric delightedly looking at this small piece and that strip, etc. The only problem is that I don't want to stop molesting the fabric to actually go do something. I kept bringing fabric scraps over by the sewing machine that I liked until I couldn't get any stitching done because I was buried under. So, I'd sort through them and take some back only to spot more pieces that would be JUST PERFECT for this or that. Making smaller blocks (six inch vs. my usual 12 inch) has been fun because it allows me to use smaller pieces of fabric from my scrap pile. I feel pretty thrifty, let me tell ya.

And finally, at the risk of horrifying my children, I bought a wonderful book for my first grandbaby (so far, I seem to be the only one enthusiastic about such a blessed event so I may be waiting awhile). Here is the cover:

The book includes pictures of a quilt the writer made based on a painting that was created around 1900.

I think it is wonderful. The theme of the quilt is the changing of the seasons. The gist of the story is a visual depiction of Mother Earth's babies waking up, going to the earth's surface (flowers and grasses), the changing of the seasons and, finally, their return to their mother in the winter and return to sleep.

Here is a cute closeup showing the children painting bugs in preparation of spring:

Here is a close up of part of the quilt showing spring coming:

The children represent different flowers and grasses:

Here are the children dancing:

Another closeup:

I like the bugs:

This is one of my favorite closeups of the children climbing out of the Earth in the spring:

Here is a child brushing a bee:

Here, you see the leaves falling from the trees at the turn of the season:

Here is Mother Earth greeting her children when they return for the winter:

I think it is lovely.


Miriam said...

I'm glad you don't have the swine flu. Hopefully you are all better now.
The SBS quilt is gorgeous. You have done very well making that many so quickly! Are you sewing them all by machine? I couldn't sew anything that small by machine!
Another fabric addict here!
I love that book!

ranette said...

Oh my gosh Penny...next you'll be starting a Dear Jane quilt...lol...Love the SBS quilt and love your blocks. Quit picking them apart and remember, once the blocks are in a quilt you look at it as a whole, not individual blocks.

I'm glad you don't have swine flu, but sorry about the cold. Everyone here in Stillwater is worried about the flu because it's going around on campus.

The book is really fascinating, I'll have to look for it.

Anonymous said...

Penny...we are two peas in a pod...

1. I have been telling everyone I have swine flu...but it's probably just a cold...(and no one really cares that I 'had' the flu anyway.)
2. I have been craving to start my dear jane quilt...just have so many other things started.
3. I am a fabric-o-holic...enough said.
4. I would have bought that book too!

tisme said...

I saw that quilt in person at the Lancaster Quilt Show and met the lady that made it!! She was really nice and told me that her son had died and she needed something to do to get through the grief! I have that book too, and she signed my name tag from the show.
I love your scrappy Elm Creek Quilt!