26 February, 2014

Teeny Tiny Triangles

I was going to try to hold out until I had 12 blocks completed to post about my Feather Star quilt, but I just could not wait.  I have these 11 blocks pinned to the wall in my sewing room and I find myself stopping in the doorway to just stand a gaze at them as I go about my day.  I do not always love a project as I am working at it. It usually sort of needs to grow on me, but this one is different.  I really do LOVE the way that these are turning out!  Those "feather" triangles are TINY, with the short sides of the triangles measuring about 5/8th inch, but paper piecing makes it all work out in a perfectly precise way.  The blocks are not in their final order and placement will be decided later, using the tried and true squint method. Each block so far is a bit different.  I have added some of the French General fabrics from my stash for variety and they go together beautifully.

I remembered the lesson learned while making my Birdsong quilt .  I have been prepping blocks and placing them into bags so that I do not have to feel as if I am continually cutting them out.  These five blocks will keep me busy for the next few days.

Thank goodness for my thread catcher!  This is my third full bag of the trimmings.

07 February, 2014

One Brother Found... One Brother Lost

Me, workin' the camera in a big way, with Glenn and John- about 1953
Sometimes when I blog, I think that I may be putting too much out there, that I might be divulging TMI, too much information.  But I am compelled here and now to write about my baby brother, Glenn.

This is a long story that I will try to make short. I blogged not so long ago about finally locating my older brother, John.  He had kind of vanished, for his own reasons, probably very valid reasons..., and I am so happy to have found him and to be getting to know him again after over 35 years.  He's a seriously cool guy!

We have/had a younger brother, Glenn.  He suffered brain damage as a toddler and had been in a board and care home for most of his adult life.  He had been pacified with cigarettes and after all of those years of smoking he was dealing with COPD.  To make a  very long story short he died on Sunday, Februay 2, 2014 at the age of 62.  He was dealing with some very serious medical issues, and his body was not able to recover from a bout with pneumonia.

I am struck by the irony that I have very recently "found" my older brother, just to lose my younger brother. I am feeling the loss in a big way. We are a small family, without a lot of extended members, and each loss is compounded by the fact that there are so very few of us.

Love you, Glenn.  Rest in peace, and tell Mom and Dad that I love them, too.  I will see you all on the other side.

Feathered Star Test Block

I finished my Feathered Star test block today. I was up really early this morning so I copied the templates onto freezer paper and got everything ready to go.  I can't tell you how much I love getting up early to work on a new quilt.  The coffee is hot and my 16 year old cat, Bozz, is very chatty.  It's my favorite part of the day.

It took FOREVER to make this first block but the first one always takes longer than I think it should. The block is 12.5 inches, unfinished, and that means that those feathers are ridiculously TEENY! I will likely need about 25 of these blocks, maybe 20, but I never know this early in the game.  The quilt will tell me just what it wants to be as we move along.

I used leftover French General fabrics so that I could get the feel for the newer French General fabrics that I will be using for this quilt.  This block may or may not make the final cut for the quilt.  We'll see...

I had a hard time finding my background fabric and finally settled on a Kona Cotton muslin type.  It is not white-white, but more of a creamy neutral.  The photo above shows it just a smidge darker than it really is, but I am liking it so far.

The paper templates from the book that I am using are beautifully drafted and the block went together perfectly.  My points on the feathers look really good and the block lays flat!  That's all that any piecer ever wants. Oh, and did I mention that each block contains 169 pieces?  I counted!

So here I go, off into Feathered Star-land!  It is my sincere hope to have these blocks done within about two months.  If I can piece faster, I can have completed quilts faster!

Update... the next day.

I was up early again, just couldn't wait to sew.  I finished block number 2. This one went much faster than the first block, thank goodness.