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Quarantine Quilts Part I

We staff, on occasion, take over Jinny’s blog usually when we have a snow day. Many of us have read about global pandemics in works of fiction but could never have imagined we would have to live through it. So now, spending more time at home, we are doing what quilters around the world are doing—working on our quilts.

As you will see in the quilts we share today, we tend to work on a few projects at once.  Don’t you?

Diane

 

 

 

You may recognize this table runner. It is from the same designer as the Showering Stars quilt we had for a Weekly Web Special. Diane is making a table runner and a second. She has shortened one by leaving off the two end pieces and making placemats with it. How clever!

 

 

Above is the border for a quilt made for a class Diane was supposed to teach.  The flowers and circles are amazing.  She is still trying to decide what she wants the quilt on the inside to be but I can’t stop looking at that border.

 

 

This final is one is just a UFO begun many years ago and loaded with Jinny’s fabrics. This strip quilt has great dimensional qualities just from the careful placement of lights and darks.

Carole

 

 

Carole also has several projects going, all amazing. First, she finished her quilt for the Sacred Threads “Backyard Escape” Challenge. Using mostly Jinny’s fabrics and paints, it depicts a painted birdhouse given to her by her grandson, Rhys, a few years ago. She hung it on a branch of the dogwood tree next to her deck and a bird built her nest inside, raising her little family.

 

 

Two other projects are still in the works. First, ten members of Fiber Artists@Loose Ends are each making a piece for the beginning of a series that may be called “World Wide Threads,” this one depicting East Asia. They have to measure 16” in width, but length can vary up to 45”. For her background, Carole is using part of a Japanese room divider. She painted it then added beads (about 475 of them!) and embroidery. She also added some sashiko stitching, appliquéd and painted a crane, then appliquéd pine branches and bamboo using all Jinny Beyer fabrics. Whew!

And finally, Carole is working on one section of a triptych (not knowing what the others look like) depicting a town on Islay, in Scotland. It is one page of a calendar and the Quilters of Islay are doing a challenge to recreate the twelve photographs in fabric. The quilts will become part of a travel exhibit. The photograph is shown with her work in progress. She painted the sky and the two brown textured fabrics chosen for the landscape are Jinny’s…perfect! Other Jinny Beyer fabrics are in waiting for the rocks, snowy road, wall, houses, etc.

Diane and Carole are just two members of our staff.  We have lots more to show you so keep checking back in the days to come. But before we go, the staff doesn’t have as much time at home as you would think. Why? While our retail store is closed, upstairs in mail order, it has been quite busy. Our manager, Rebecca, sent this photo of what she and others have been up to which is filling your orders and getting those needed supplies out to you.

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Keeping Busy

 

It is very hard to comprehend what has happened to our world in just the last month. All of us have been affected in one way or the other. Many have been ordered to shelter in place, food and toilet paper have disappeared off grocery shelves, events have been canceled or postponed, air travel has been disrupted and we worry about the well-being of those who have come down with the virus and the health care providers who are treating it. We mourn those who have succumbed to it. We all react differently to such circumstances. For me, I’ve had to postpone the memorial service we were planning for my husband.

To take my mind off of so many things I keep myself busy with other activities. Weather permitting, I walk every day. We’re lucky that we live close to the Potomac River and I’m able to walk along the river.  I have been watching the bald eagle in her nest that I see from the riverbank.  I’ve also watched the bluebells pop from the ground and now growing so tall and full of buds that are ready to burst open at any moment. The Dutchman’s Breeches and trillium are about to bloom as well.

 

 

I am also baking bread. Just the process of kneading the dough is somehow therapeutic. I have a sourdough starter that I began from Water Buffalo milk when I lived in India. That was 50 years ago, and it is still alive and thriving today. The sourdough boule is one of my favorites to make.

 

 

In times like this sometimes it is just calming to design or start a new sewing project. Many of you who have traveled with me on one of the Craftours trips I have taken in the past know I always plan a sewing project to work on during “found moments” on the trip when our hands and eyes might otherwise be idle. So, I decided to finally plan the project we will be working on during my Greece trip. Originally scheduled for this May, the trip has been rescheduled for May 15-25, 2021. Hopefully all traces of the virus will be gone by then and we can relax and enjoy a wonderful trip to this magical place.

For the project, I wanted to have a design that would cover all of the basic techniques of hand piecing so that even a beginner would be comfortable tackling it. I also wanted to incorporate the traditional Greek Key motif into part of the design. I selected one of my favorite traditional blocks, Rolling Star, (Block 59 in our Quilters’ Block Library free pattern section) and drafted it into a 20” square for the central motif and used the Greek key design as a border.

 

 

This year I am doing a series of on-line tutorials on working with border prints and the first lesson is Border Print Squares (See the five minute video here). I used that same technique for making the square designs around the Grecian Star.

 

 

This might be a good time to try something new since so many of us are spending a great deal of time in our homes. Watch the video shown above and check out the free Tips and Lessons on my website. Then, pick up a needle and thread, a few fabric patches and give it a try. I hope you will find this simple task as soothing as I do.