A moment to recommend a wonderful book for anyone who enjoys epic adventure tales. Into The Wilderness, by Sara Donati, is the first in a series of novels, taking place in the 1790's American frontier. It is full of wonderful characters, both Native American, and all the people who came from Europe to "settle" America. Reminded me just a bit of The Last of the Mohicans. I have ordered the second book, and can't wait for it to arrive.
Kathy has started a sew along for a very cute Christmas quilt designed by Melinda Bula. The book is Candy Cane Lane, and she is showing tutorials on various steps of the process. I have joined the party, and would invite any of you who would like to participate, to check it out. There is a separate blog for it, and if you sign up you will be able to post your progress, chat with the others involved, and be eligible for prizes that Kathy is offering. I have decided to do my version on black and white polka dotted background. That is a new idea for me, and I look forward to seeing what challenges it will present me. Mine probably won't end up like the pattern, but I'll try to do at least some of the blocks as shown. You might also like to go here and see an adorable free Santa pattern. I think he is definitely showing up in my Candy Cane Lane quilt.
I've been working on block #7 of the Les Fleurs top for the last ten days. It is almost ready for it's picture to be taken, but not quite. I must finish the blue bird first. So for pictures, I am going to show my last finished quilt. I haven't seen Texas Hay Rake since last October, when it was shown at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. It (not me) was invited to tour with the show to Los Angeles, and Chicago, and also to Golden, to QNM for photographing. I hope it is behaving itself, and will eventually return home no worse for wear. It is the first quilt that I designed all the quilting for myself, deliberately working to maximize the negative space for a more complex design. It is hand appliqued, hand quilted, and is based on an antique quilt presently owned by the Quilt Study Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska. The original was made by an unknown quilter, and I just loved the movement in the design. It was a challenge, and very rewarding to make, and I was thrilled to win a third place in my catagory of Merit Hand Quilting.
Firstly, for you city girls, here is a picture of the farm machinery that caused me to name the quilt Texas Hay Rake:
Here is the finished quilt, followed by a close up of the quilting:
I had no knowledge of what the "best" way to mark my design onto the cheddar background, and for those who might be curious, this was how I ended up doing the scrolls. I used freezer paper, ironed it on the top, and marked around the paper. It worked quite well, and I ended up very pleased with the resulting pattern. The grid is 1/2 inch in the background, and inside the scrollwork, it is 1/4".
I hope I haven't put anyone to sleep, but I've gone on way longer than I expected to. I have missed talking to you, you see. My shoulder is aching from this mornings manipulations, and I'm burning daylight, so bye for now, and happy stitching. Hope to talk with you soon.