For you card making folks out there, this is not a card post. Who has time to make a card?? I like to sleep, thank you very much! As stated in the tagline above, it is about creative endeavors, whatever form they take.
This is my absotively, posolutely, no-doubt-about-it busiest time of year. The main thrust of most of my volunteerism comes about now, Christmas is creeping up, company is coming, the garden still needs picking and canning, and, and, and……..!
Above, the home-made vegetable juice cocktail (much like V8) canned this morning, and one jar of the veggie soup I canned yesterday.
So, no card today. I promise you a really good one for tomorrow. Instead, here is the quilt block I finished last night during my volunteer 8 hour shift. Well, sort of finished. You see all those threads? The block is completely sewn together, but the basting threads are holding the bits of paper in place until the block is sewn to the border. Let me explain:
For today, I used my so-called creativity in a different way. About a year ago I was visiting my daughter in Minnesota during the Minnesota Quilt Shop Hop. I had quilted in the past, and done patchwork, but not for quite some time. The shop hop happened at a good ( or bad, depending on your perspective) time in that I had no major projects staring me in the face. I purchased enough fabric to..well, we won’t go there! I also discovered that one of the shops, Sewing Seeds in New Ulm, was offering an opportunity to learn English Paper Piecing, something I always thought I might like to try.
They had these beautiful, finished, quilt blocks on display with a notice that said, “Join us for the Breakfast Club”. Well, I bit. Those who signed up for the classes meet once a month at the store to learn and share. I don’t go every month, in fact, I think I have actually been there three times.The instructor, Darlene, is very patient and a good teacher as well as a quilter.
The blocks are of the style in the book by Linda Franz, “Lucy Boston, Patchwork of the Crosses. Lucy Boston was an English woman of seemingly limitless energy and talent, who pieced this quilt in the 1950’s. This photo is from the back cover of the above-mentioned book. Boston’s daughter-in-law, Diana, wrote about the artist. You can find more about her books and Lucy Boston here.
There are 56 cross blocks in this quilt and the monthly breakfast club does a couple of them a month. I use the word “does” lightly. The store mails my fabric and a photo of the block each month. Usually there are two, sometimes three, blocks in the package I receive. Included is a photo of the finished block and fabric to cut for said block. I have not said that I have completed all the blocks. I think I have 10 finished and 3 more cut and ready to sew together. This is what comes with the fabric.
There are 24 pieces to each block, in an elongated hexagon shape, as you can see from the two blocks at center and right. The one on the left is not quite as obvious, nor is the cutting quite as obvious. It was a tricky one. I have a clear acrylic pattern I trace around for each piece. This allows me to see where the pattern of the fabric is for each piece. The next step involves sewing these pieces to paper, hence, ‘paper piecing’.
The photo above shows a cut piece of fabric with the paper piece lying on the back side of it. This is basted to the paper, then the individual pieces are hand sewn together.
I am LOVING this process. It is very relaxing and portable, once the pieces are cut. I plan to make all the blocks as they are sent to me, though It will probably take me considerably more time than it will take some of the others in the group.
This shows a different way to look at the block. Either way, the cross is evident. If you can wield a needle and thread and know how to use scissors (you should have learned this in kindergarten, along with the admonishment, “DON’T RUN WITH SCISSORS!”), you, too, can do this. If you don’t want to tackle 56 blocks, then make just one for a hot pad or something.
Give your creativity a try in a different way that what you usually do. You might enjoy it immensely! If I live long enough, I will post the finished 56 block quilt!
Thought for today: “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso