Thursday, August 22, 2019

Red is a Neutral becomes... finish

Another Red Feather. So named because, though there were other titles in the running, this quilt wanted red feather quilting. And more red feathers. And more red feathers. In fact, every inch of red is quilted in feathers, with a few scrolls to break up the monotony. 
Detail of the back...just enough
pattern to make the worst of
the quilting less noticeable.

This one serves in all manner of challenges: the Cotton Quilters' Guild block-of-the-month, in which different quilters presented a block or two from January through July, and as the AHIQ "Red Is a Neutral" challenge. 

With encouragement from Kaja and Ann at Ad Hoc Improv Quilts, I decided to combine the two. So here we are with, finally, a red quilt made from guild blocks.

Detail of some of the feathers in the red sections.
Like everyone else I started in January and worked to keep up, especially since I set the parameters for the BOM. This setting just seemed to want to be this. I tried other ideas: putting the center medallion on point and surrounding it in red, kicking it off center and adding red there, considering making other blocks to work it all out. It was not having one bit of my ideas. Then flying geese flew in and saved the day. 

Detail of some scrolls
When I say finished, I mean quilted, bound, labeled. Ready to go straight to the quilt show if it were due tomorrow! Which is good because I have tons of things to remember and to do between now and the show.

The quilt has an off-center medallion surrounded by 12 inch blocks. I decided to keep the quilting in the blocks simple since there's so much fancy stuff outside of them. I used an improv style and decided things as I drove the long-arm. 

That is the best way for me to be really happy at the machine. Just play, figure it out as I trip along, change my mind. I often just stop somewhere along the way and search my phone, or cards, or books for new motifs. I've even walked to the bedroom to look at the quilt on my bed. That's my kind of improv!

Quilt Stats

Another Red Feather

54" X 54"

Fabric yardage from stash

Guild BOM block patterns

Linens from mom's stash

100% Cotton

Red yardage to match background

Feathers and straight lines

Made to meet AHIQ “red is a neutral”
and Cotton Quilters’ BOM challenges

Getting back to LINK UPS!
I've been missing out on link ups for a while but 
decided to remedy that. At the same time 
is taking over Finished Or Not Fridays 
from Myra at Busy Hands Quilts
Best of luck, Alycia!

Pin It Weekly #291

Say hello to the three newest followers to Fleur de Lis Quilts on Pinterest! First up, Fiona Smith has 150 quilt pins, but her "Christmas stuff" board is just too cute. 

Gift tags

Patchwork StarsFREE pattern download - KNIT - Jolly Santa Knit Basket ~ intermediate level ~ measures about 14" diameter x 13" tall (35.5cm x 33 cm), measured with basket sitting upright on a flat surface.

Fabric Star Ornament Tutorial - Betz White

Kristin Watson is our second pinner. I really like her "Sunday School Crafts" board.

DIY Fingerprint Singing Angel Craft For Kids35 Easter Crafts for Kids - Fun DIY Ideas for Kid-Friendly Easter Activities - Country Living

Image result for baby moses in a basket craft

And thirdly, Becky Harkey's "Half Baked" is basically a liquor-infused board. I'm not a drinker, but I'd be willing to taste these. Just look how pretty!

Coffee ice cubes, Bailey's, vanilla vodka by oldroseWant to know the secret to the perfect Bloody Mary? Use this Bloody Mary Vodka Infusion. This recipe is made with an assortment of flavorful vegetables and herbs that will make your next Bloody Mary the best one ever!

drunken cherries

Pineapple Coconut Mojito - Pretty Cocktails To Make This Mother's Day - PhotosThis drink with it��s rich, plum color and sweet, bright flavor is a beautiful addition to your summer table. Easy directions to make an Earl Grey Vodka Spritzer cocktail or an Iced Blackberry Earl Grey Tea Latte.

Happy pinning, all. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

What the hell is wrong with it?

If you sew or quilt, there's one thing you have in common with everyone else who sews or quilts: someone always needs something repaired, resized, replaced, re-something. There's no avoiding it. At least in my case. 

Summer is the worst time. Everyone has a few minutes to visit or stop by and with them come the favors. (Funny how few of those favors are repaid.)  

I had a stack of favors waiting for little things: a button, a few stitches, a patch, those kinds of favors. Then there were the bigger favors: let out a few seams, lengthen a skirt, replace elastic, those that require finding the seam ripper. 

Then there was this favor: repair or replace a broken zipper on a fancy leather bag. Geez, I don't even own a fancy leather purse! No one will even give me their cast-off fancy leather anything! "But, you know, can you do something with this?" I almost said no. Just hmm, not happening. But I'm a pretty awesome person and a great MIL, so I agreed to try. 

Wait, allow me to first explain that the bag just appeared in the studio one day. Plopped down on the sewing machine table like it's part of the decor or next in the queue. Not a note, a request, a phone call. Just the bag. Was I supposed to search the thing looking for something to repair? No way. I plopped it on the other side of the room. With an out of sight, out of mind sort of mentality. Passive aggressive, maybe. Eventually the owner asked, plain as day mind you, "Did you get my bag fixed? I need it tomorrow." Damn, that girl's got nerve! 

So, because I am the most wonderful MIL in the world, maybe even since the beginning of time, I asked, "What the hell is wrong with it?" Except, I said it meekly and humbly and called someone sweetie and smiled the whole time. (Apparently the only place my rough talk occurs is in my head.) Luckily the broken teeth (on the purse not the person) were all at one end of the zipper. I just hand-sewed over the zipper teeth to close off that part. The bag doesn't open quite as much as before, but the repair barely shows, cost only my time and was much easier than replacing the zipper.

Within the hour this purse was added to the stack of completed requests of summer will-yous and by now everything has been returned to its rightful owner, including (but not limited to) school uniforms, jeans and khakis, anything made of that fiddly knit that is supposed to wick away sweat, too-short shorts, a pair of flip flops (go glue!) and this ridiculously expensive leather bag. 

All I can say is some Marcotte kids better pitch in some money and get an expensive leather bag under the Christmas tree come December. And it better have my name on pretty paper. Or a shopping bag. Even a gift card will do. Oh heck, who am I kidding? What I'll get are more will-yous!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: Art Nouveau

After taking a look at Art Deco last week, I became curious about Art Nouveau. "What's the difference?" kept entering my mind. So I did a little research. 
Art nouveau garden border royalty-free art nouveau garden border stock vector art & more images of art deco
Flower border

Turns out I'm addressing them backwards: Art Nouveau (new art) is the earlier style and is more naturalistic. That should have been last week's inspiration.
The Finest Examples of Art Nouveau Architecture in Central Europe
Art Nouveau architecture
My mnemonic: First, art is "nouveau," (pronounced new-voe) and natural; it includes shapes from nature such as leaves, arcs, ferns. 

Clocks – Decor :     German Art Nouveau table clock, Stock Company for Uhrenfabrikation Lenzkirch, Black Forest    -Read More –
Note the arcs, parabolas,
and flower stamens
Then, it decorates and styles a space, including sleek, geometric lines, chrome, zigzags. This is a broadly defining way of remembering the differences, but I need something.

Pochoir Mylar robuste de 190 microns réutilisable Art Nouveau Flower - A5 - A4 - A3 | eBay

As you look at the modern quilts below, note the arcs, parabolas, flowers, and stylized, contrasting lines.

Modern Improv Quilt by Sarah Hibbert at FOQ2018

Rinse & Repeat Quilt Featuring lots of Straight Line Quilting

Dresden Sunflower Pattern & Template

Modern quilt featured at QuiltCon 2019 — “Curled” by Charlie Mankin @sydneyrosedesigns Statement: “As soon as I aw the work of Franco Grignani, I knew I had to try to recreate in quilt form. Hand appliquéd bias binding on wholecloth. Machine quilted.” Design source: Franco Grignani, Detachment from the Edge (285), 1969.

Modern Quilt Along-Bold Prints with Angela Pingel - Simple Simon and CompanyExpanding Stars quilt pattern is a bold and modern graphic quilt pattern for the modern quilter. Beginner friendly quilt pattern is fast and easy.

This is the quilt that we love. We like the lunar pattern, the color scheme and the modern feel.

Die Beem (Trees) by Lindsey Neill ( @penandpaperpatterns )11. Indah Blossoms Downloadable Pattern – Free Bird Quilting Designs

Do you agree that these have some elements of Art Nouveau? Do you find that they also have elements of Art Deco as well? It gets a little confusing, doesn't it?

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Furniture and a finish

We finally purchased new furniture several weeks ago. I thought it would motivate me to "decorate" the living room. I can't seem to pull it together to accomplish that, but I did finish two pillows. And took pictures of them. In place. On the sofa. Amazing, right?

These are small Norman Rockwell panels that I bought eons ago. I always intended to do this with them. They really didn't go with the old stuff we had. But (in my mind, at least) they sing on the new deep gray leather. Because the pictures are of boys doing boy things, I just couldn't resist, but I also love Rockwell's work. 

This one of the boys fishing on the river is sweet. Boys are at their best when they are sleeping, after all.  I quilted around the bodies, on the planks of the raft, and around the umbrella. Then I ghost quilted in some clouds and rippling water. It was helpful that there are a few little lines indicating the water. I was on my own for the clouds though. 

The second one has four boys tumbling after a football. I had only three boys, but this scene could have been in my yard any day of the week from the time they were about nine until about age 30--when knees and ankles and backs and other body parts fight the unnecessary rough stuff. It was easy enough to quilt the boys' bodies but the ghost quilting stumped me for a minute. Finally I quilted in some weedy grass and sky. 

The fabric has the look of a fine burlap (oxymoron, if anything is) and I wanted the pillows to sort of match the quilt that I made for Richard a long time ago. It's a favorite because it's large enough to cover up but not so big that it's too heavy for TV watching. To that end, I added this navy/beige plaid that matches the colors in the print fairly well. 

I like them, but just as importantly, Richard really like them. I figure they won't last long with all the little ones around, but then the panels were only about 50 cents when I bought them on clearance. I'm guessing the entire cost was a couple of dollars and my time. 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Brunch in Arnaudville -- and pictures from the passenger side

Last Sunday we drove down to Arnaudville, Louisiana, to meet Rory and Meggan for brunch at a cafe called "Little Big Cup." The food is amazing! If you're ever in the Lafayette area along I10, it is THE place to eat. It's my second time eating here, and I've been impressed both times. 

Really, make reservations and go! In addition to the food, the atmosphere is fantastic and the restaurant is right on Bayou Teche. There's an outdoor eating area where diners can clamor down the patio steps and eat right on the water's edge. I recommend spring or late fall for alfresco dining. Ask for the etoufee: it is the official festival of Arnaudville.

The rest of this post is about the town. It's relatively typical of South Louisiana towns, but pretty in it's own way. I put my window down and grabbed a few pictures from the air conditioned passenger side. It's too hot to go out-of-doors. It's almost too hot to put the window down! 

Bayou Teche and Bayou Fusilier intersect giving one many places for photo opportunities. And, speaking of opportunities, this is a great place for a swamp or bayou tour. Eavesdrop on the locals and you'll likely hear some Cajun French. It's also a great place to hear zydeco music.

Enjoy Arnaudville, Louisiana.    

The front (top) and back (bottom)
of the old gin still in use.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Sunset in pictures

Just a little backstory: I was driving home from BR just as the sun was setting. The sunset was so beautiful I had to pull over and take a picture. Ten minutes down the road, I was sitting on the shoulder again. And so it went until I arrived home in the dark. These are ALL from the same gorgeous afternoon drive.