Friday, April 27, 2018

Spring Retreat Project

This past weekend was our Guild's spring retreat. I believe there were 30 or so participating and, as always, we had a delightful time. 

I took just one project along. Last year one of the Bee participants had us make these interesting blocks using all different prints. I was intrigued by the block but the overall look was too busy for me. I decided to go with hot colors and blurry blacks and whitishes.

I accomplished this much at the retreat. One of my tablemates didn't like the black and suggested replacing them with hot colors. I thought about it.

When I came home, I discussed this with Himself, who liked the black, liked the blocks, and suggested a different arrangement. This lay-out will create a zig-zag of white between the rows rather than the horizontal diamonds. The vertical diamonds will remain.

This isn't going to be a quick finish, and that's okay. I've been trying to choose projects that are more intricate, that take longer.

I don't name all of my quilts. This one seems to want a name, and perhaps it will come to me as I continue. Or maybe one of you readers will think of the right name.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Adventuring in Virginia: Part Three

Our main purpose for the trip to Virginia had been to spend some time with our grandchildren and celebrate their upcoming birthdays. Nate turns 8 and Aberdeen will be 6. Both of them seem to me to be pretty mature for their ages. We had a wonderful time with them, and enjoyed helping them pick out pets: a pair of Beta fish (in separate accommodations, of course). Dinner at a fine place called the Shaved Duck, a bewildering name if I ever heard one, but delicious food and high tolerance for little people. We also made a stop at Quilter's Corner where, once again, I did my bit for the local economy.

After breakfast we left pretty promptly because we were expected in Alexandria before noon. We had a lovely time there, too, with Eli and Miles and their parents. The drive home wasn't arduous. Such a lovely long weekend we'd had!

Monday, April 09, 2018

Adventuring in Virginia: Part Two

Just down the road on I-81 from Leesburg is Harrisonburg. We'd visited this town once before, when Anastasia was playing a solo there. We'd stayed at an elegant B&B and dined at a couple of awfully nice places. We also discovered the Quilt Museum of Virginia.

The museum changes its featured exhibits three times a year and I'd read somewhere that the current feature was African art.

We left our no-frills hotel and went over to James Madison University which sports a Starbucks on the ground floor of its library, and after breakfast got to the Museum shortly after it opened.

There are three floors and we visited all of them, of course. There is a permanent collection of very small antique sewing machines which Himself found fascinating. And there were the quilts.

This is Runaway Slave Mother; horrific in subject, masterful in craftsmanship.

There was a special exhibit of very beautiful offerings which you may recognize as the work of Hollis Chatelain. I don't think of what she does as quilts but rather as fiber/fabric art. Her process was explained: She draws in colored pencil, then the drawings are enlarged and printed on fabric. Finally Hollis does intricate, tiny, heavy machine quilting. 

This masterpiece is part of the Museum's permanent collection. There was a sign that someone was working on a pattern which would later be for sale.

Here's a close-up of a block. With sufficient graph paper, colored pencils, and hours, I believe one could work it out!

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Adventuring in Virginia, Part One

 We had scheduled a weekend visit to Midlothian to visit Tom and his family, and decided to add another day to the trip. 

We arrived in Leesburg, Virginia, just in time for lunch. What a charming town it is! We didn't have a lot of extra time, so we didn't walk around or poke into the shops, but the clerk at the Law Library (where we stopped in search of a restroom) directed us to Lightfoot Restaurant, an absolutely beautiful place!

 The restaurant initially had been a bank, built back in 1865, with gorgeous woodwork everywhere. I enjoyed the French style posters all over. 

We each had the same lunch, aptly called Everybody's Favorite Salad: mixed baby greens with pieces of warm chicken, pear, raspberry, roasted almonds, balsamic drizzle over raspberry vinaigrette dressing, and a bit of brie and piece of French bread on the side. Heavenly!

 And then, we were off to our destination! Some months back, my friend Margaret drew my attention to a place called Finch, a knitting and quilting establishment. It seemed that someone had blasted Finch on Facebook, threatening to blacklist the owner because of her liberal political leanings. And it seems that the leader told her to blacklist to her heart's content! Margaret thought this was the sort of place we should patronize and I wasted no time placing an order and putting Finch on my List for Someday.

It turned out that Finch was every bit as charming as I had anticipated. I picked up a Rifle Paper Company layer cake and a stack of assorted fat quarters. It is a small shop, but it stocks so much more than the usual Moda offerings that one finds everywhere else. 

I would so like to return to Leesburg to stay a day or two and visit the other shops and walk around to see the lovely buildings, and, of course, shop at Finch. We just didn't have time this visit because we had a hotel reservation a couple of hours down the road in Harrisonburg, and that is where we went next.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Not The Yellow Brick Road

This project has been monopolizing my wall for a couple of weeks, and I finally have it all together! Joe took one look at it and named it Not The Yellow Brick Road. Sherry says it reminds her of subway station tiles.

I did the 24 embroideries back in October and November when we were in Spain. I had a FQ pack of blue prints that I wanted to use for the tiles, but there wasn't anywhere near enough. A trip to the LQS remedied that, and I cut and cut and cut and arranged and rearranged. After assembling about eight of the columns, it dawned on me that I needed a leader-ender project (see previous post) and I now have 9 Sister's Choice blocks complete.

I believe you can click on the photo to see it better.