I finished in just under 20 years. It could have been done in under six months, except for those "Oh, Look! A Chicken!" moments that got me sidetracked. The fabrics are the "The Language of Flowers" line of fabrics by Susan Branch from Quilters Only by Spring. I started this by buying the fabric in 1999, but small cuts of some of them can still be found on Etsy and perhaps other places. I had seen the pattern and fabric in an episode of “Simply Quilts” with Alex Anderson. The only things I did differently were to add the four appliqué blocks in place of the blank setting squares and to add the borders. For the appliqué, I used a pattern I found in Patricia Cox’s book American Quilt Classics. That quilt was called "Spring Bouquet" and was a kit that came out about 1930. I photocopied the bouquet motif and blew it up to the size I needed, then made templates from the photocopy. I worked on the appliqué blocks from 2001-2004. I put off doing the piecing of the Lemoyne Star blocks until I could be sure I could get the points to match in the center. After trying many different methods, I elected to hand-piece, using Jenny Beyer's methods.
I had bought enough of the central fabric for the backing and had enough to piece it so the seams don't show, matching the motifs. Here's a sample of the fabric:
It has been in and out of my quilting hoop ever since. The only machine stitching in the quilt is the front side of the binding, and that only because I just wanted to get it done. It is 100% cotton and ended up 87" square after washing and drying, shrinking a little over 5%. I plan to use it on the living room wall during the Spring and Summer, switching back to the Pine Burr quilt for Fall and Winter.
Speaking of "Spring Flowers" and "The Language of Flowers," we were surprise by flowers this week. When we first saw the house last September, there were some Johnny Jump-ups in the front flower beds, and some in the lawn (!), but no other flowers.
This week we discovered this out in front:
It's our neighbor's tree, but we see it out the corner windows of the living room. It's very pretty, but we don't have to clean up after it when it drops its petals or leaves.
We also have this flowering bush next to the front porch stairs:
Then there's this in front of the living room windows:
There are beautiful flowering trees all over the neighborhood, visible from almost every window, but none in our yard, which would require upkeep from us.
Remember our new RV driveway and pad? DH had to move a raised bed that was in the way, and he discovered some strawberry plants coming up in the bed. He transplanted them to the other side of the yard, where they are doing well.
He also planted two fruit trees, and apple and a cherry. Each has various varieties grafted onto the tree, so we will eventually have several varieties of each fruit.
While I was busy in the fiber studio, sewing the binding and a sleeve on the Spring Flowers quilt, my cast of characters watched me work. I call them "free-range dolls," because they can be anywhere in the house.
This week's story required another trip to the trail, where Jolena and Mariah rode their bicycles and talked about fasting for Lent and Ramadan. I got some use out of the bicycles.
The story is called, "Going Hungry."
My next quilting job is to finish hand-quilting my whole cloth quilt. DH bought the pre-marked top for me by Benartex from Keepsake Quilting. It's the Welsh Beauty pattern.
Like so many things, I started it, worked on it for awhile and then got distracted by other projects. I have quite a bit of it done, though. More than I thought. this is the center motif.
I'm also working on a doll cardigan I'm designing. It will have cables separated by rows of lace pattern.
On Saturday, we took the dogs to the dog park and then walked them a few hours later, because it was so nice out and we needed exercise, too. It really tired them out.
(This is why I have to sit in the rocker instead of on the couch.) We try to walk every day when the weather is nice enough.
Zachary got a haircut. I think it makes him look older and amazingly like Daddy.
We also had this shot of Daphne, whose birthday is tomorrow:
She looks amazingly like our daughter. Kids do grow up, don't they?
Meanwhile, it has been getting warm here, and the younger grandkids and their dog have been enjoying the sprinkler in the backyard.
What's on my needles: The yellow Cables and Chains Cardigan for Jolena.
What's in The Doll's Storybook: "Going Hungry." The dolls discuss fasting for religious reasons compared with not eating because there isn't enough food.
What's on my sewing machine: Waiting for the next assignment.
What's in my hoop: The Welsh Beauty whole cloth quilt.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished listening to The Lost Heiress: Ladies of the Manor, by Roseanna M. White. Now listening to A Splendid Defiance by Stella Riley.
What's in my wine glass: Révélation Cabernet-Merlot Pays d'Oc de Badet, Clément & Cie 2017. A nice French wine.
What's my tip of the week: When trimming a quilt prior to sewing on the binding, borders can be used for accuracy, especially if the fabric was stretched, as happens when using a hoop for hand-quilting. For this quilt, I discovered the outer border was at least 3" wide all around, so I lined up the seam between the inner and outer borders, getting the two ends of the seam right at 3" and then pulling firmly but gently on the quilt or the backing to get that seam lined up straight along the 3" line. I always start with a corner, to make sure I have a 90º angle.
Once I have the first corner cut, I use a longer ruler to trim the long side to the next corner. then I repeat until the entire quilt has been trimmed.
Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals or dolls were harmed during the production of this blog post.