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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Block 44 Star of Hope - The Rights of Women

For a change this week the block told the story of the battle for women's' rights in another country - France.

It was a fresh new read for me to hear about Olympe de Gouges in the year 1791. Her execution in 1793 set back the rights of women in that country for many long decades until women were finally granted the right to vote in 1944.

 I wanted to make the center of the block be something that said "France" but I was somewhat constricted by the fabrics to hand. Today was one of those days when my quilt group gathered for an all day sew together and my friend Virginia validated the use of this center fabric motif as being absolutely appropriate to represent a fleur de lis.

This is a block that I am not totally happy with but for is going to have to do.

Last week I did not have a posed photo so there was increased personal pressure to be sure that I had one this week. It was a bit of a scramble but I'm hoping that these images of French women will mark this block as having a French heritage.

After I got done with my block this afternoon I worked on cutting and stitching more borders for my blocks as we hurtle towards being done with the weekly blocks. I had thought I was well on the way but a quick count showed that I had 20 blocks bordered. H'mm, with a total of 49 blocks in this project it was pretty clear I need to get moving. After borders come sashing strips. The plan is there but the progress is not quite equal. Seven more block got bordered this afternoon.

Hope has not been abandoned as I am scheduled to be at our guild three day retreat on the weekend of July 20th and this will be the #1 project to work on at that time. Meanwhile I have a good plan and I have sourced my fabric and embellishments.

It's all good.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Block 43 Gentleman's Fancy - Dropping from the Clouds

Oops, I have just realized I have not yet written this posting about the block for last Saturday's Grandmother's choice block of the week. I was out of town for the weekend and although I got my block made on Monday I somehow never got to showing it here.

The block was quite similar to the one made for block 38 so I needed to avoid repeating using the same fabrics as I had then. Because we are getting near to the end of our set of 49 blocks I also thought I should review what fabrics I had used only once as a center so they would not appear dominant in the finished quilt.

In block 16 I used this argyle print and it has not been seen since. With this block 43 having a masculine title I thought the argyle would give a suitably masculine look and overall I wanted to avoid floral fabrics - well aside from my usual background fabric that I use in every block.

Looking at the flickr site this is one of those blocks that changes appearance quite markedly depending on where the lights, mediums and darks are placed.

Sorry, this late in the week I don't have a posed photo for the post.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Block 42 - Cat and Mice: Hunger Strikes

Oh my goodness, those British Suffrage women really suffered for their cause. The story in this week's history lesson about the way the British suffragettes who were arrested and thrown into prison were treated made for harrowing reading what with the starvation and then the forced feeding.

I was really quite appalled by what I read and felt compelled to give long and careful consideration to choosing my fabrics as a result.

What I settled on was a stripe to represent the prison bars, a dot to recognize that those imprisoned must surely have gone dotty being subjected to the treatment they were and a bold and strong floral to depict the vigorous way the women dealt with their cause but yet held on to their feminism.

Last week I did not add my usual posed photo so this week I felt somewhat of a pressure to make up for that lack and set out to have a little fun with my setup.
Not being a cat owner nor having any (real) mice I could round up this setup gave me a spot of fun at the end of the day. The cat bunting was created by my niece Jennifer and sent to me for my birthday back in April. A foraging raid downstairs resulted in a few old, decrepit mice. Oops, one has lost it's tail; must have had a close call with one of the cats.

Only seven more blocks to go to see this project through to the end. I have my setting worked out and cutting and stitching has begun along with sourcing just the right embellishments. Please do continue to follow my project.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Block 41 Contrary Wife - Frances Kemble Butler

We are edging closer to the last block in this project which will be block 49. Everyone is wondering what styles of blocks remain - will they be applique or tricky pieced?

The block this week was relatively easy - aside from the math involved when you have a 9 patch block that needs to be an 8" finished block. Given that we had already had a Contrary Husband block it was thought we needed to also have the Contrary Wife - the story about Frances seemed to depict a couple who were patently unsuited to being married to each other from the beginning rather than the wife being just a little contrary however.

In choosing fabrics I hunted through the pile for fabrics with a motif that seemed a little contrary rather than uniform and consistent.  That pile for this project remains quite extensive and I guess I am going to be trying to find ways to use these greens and purples in future quilts for quite some time.

Given that I am already a couple of days behind schedule in getting this post up I am not going to delay it further while I wait for inspiration to present me with a fun posed photo. Maybe next week I'll have a couple of shots to make up for missing one today.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Dixie Diary - Month Six

This month, the story about our heroine Sarah Morgan sees her pining for her home in Baton Rouge. Alas, she never again was to see that beloved place. This was likely better for her memories as the soldiers had plundered homes and made off with all the comforts to be found therein.

And so the block for this month is titled Dreams of Home. The original name for this block, when shaded in this way, is A Simple Quilt Block.

 Although most everyone else made this block using only two fabrics I decided to use four because I wanted a light and medium from both the pink and grey. But mainly because I just really wanted to use that pale grey with the pink motif on it despite the extra time it took to fussy cut it.

When looking back at what I wrote about the Month 5 Dixie Diary block I see I mentioned trying to get comfortable with using pink. I'm wondering if I have gone a little too far in that quest when I look at the fabrics I purchased in recent weeks! Alas, pink and brown is entering the project lineup judging by this pile.

 Only two of these fabrics are headed for the Dixie Diary pile to be honest. The rest - well they were to audition for another project I'm currently sewing.

And here, I have just written a blurb about my quilting style and said I use traditional patterns colored in a fresh/contemporary way. Not that you'd know it looking at this pile!

Oh well. It's the pleasure I get from it all that is the most important.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Block 40 Art Square - Women in a Box

This week the discussion/history lesson is about the struggle women artists had to be accepted.

 The block was an easy one to make. However, finding the fabrics for it was not so easy as there is that very large on point square dominating the block. I went back to this fabric that I had bought for this project before the weekly block sewing began. There are some lovely colors (including blue, which I have to cut around!) and blooms in the fabric and I thought it could stand alone as being somewhat like a painting.

For my posed photo I decided to pair my block with a piece by one of my favorite female artists, my friend Jill Banks. She is most decidedly taken seriously as an artist.

Gotta dash, it is our annual quilt show this weekend and this is the last day. Yesterday, once I got home, I found out I had two new potential quilt projects in my future so I need to go back to the show today to fabric hunt. It's always good to have something specific to find in the vendor booths.