Friday, July 3, 2020

Stars of Solace

Audition Block

Ready to Piece

Just Playing with HSTs

Mom was exasperated.
Can I have just one room that is clean and uncluttered?  One room where I can seat a guest?
Is that too much to ask?

Design Wall

Two Rows = Half Done

Yay for the Flimsy!!!

Mom is an early riser and by early afternoon she needs a nap. If mom was taking a nap in the bedroom, we girls would take our toys in the drawing room and play as quietly as possible. And although we kept the noise level to a minimum the clutter and the mess was a different story.

And Finished!!!


The drawing room (formal sitting room) had to be the nicest and cleanest place. This was where the best family pictures belonged, my sister's artwork and my debating trophy was displayed with pride. The sofa and the table were wiped every day, making sure that there was no dust lurking in the crevices, that the carved wood was shiny.

Most guests never saw the rest of the house.

Star of Wonder

Star Bright

Star Light

Star Shine

Star Mine

I feel like that is America to the rest of the world.  The outsiders only see the drawing room. In fact, many Americans would rather not focus on any other part except the face they show to the world - human rights champion, bastion of democracy, leaders in research and higher education, and the land of opportunity.

Backing & Binding

Angles and More


Christmas in July?

So Shiny

More the Merrier

And America IS all that. That is why I wanted to come here and many still do.
But once I got a glimpse of the mess and filth in other rooms, be it the treatment of the Native Americans, Japanese internment camps, or the long history of slavery and lynchings which has morphed into police brutality and mass incarceration of the Blacks, it became clear why most Americans would keep the door shut on these rooms.

Light & Shade

I love this Glass Sculpture (art or just another phallic symbol)

Sun's Embrace of the Stars

Let there be light!!!

Today these rooms of mess and filth can no longer be our private shame.  The doors have burst open. The more we try to hide these ills the more they fester.  But accepting our past and facing the truth is just the first step. I recommend Michelle Alexander's book  - The New Jim Crow - Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. It is an eye-opener.

Orange and Green Echoes

Do you see the blue lights in the background?

It was fortuitous to find this spot of dark orange flowers with dark green leaves and almost fluorescent foliage that matched perfectly with the colors of the quilt. I disregarded cars whizzing past and pedestrians trying to maintain safe distance from me as I tried to keep the shadows out of the picture.

About two years ago, we (two friends and I) went to see the Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC. The National Portrait Galley was a short walk away and the portraits of the Obamas were newly unveiled. We battled the crowds and the long lines to see them.

But that was not the highlight of my day. This was.

You may want to learn more about the artist Titus Kaphar.

This young artist's work is extraordinary and incisive.  It peels back the curtain (literally and figuratively) so that we may see what lies beneath.  I am not the only one who is impressed.  Titus Kaphar's painting is the cover of Time Magazine. 

As quilters (artists) many of us want to focus on just the beauty and keep our eyes closed to the horror and filth. Kaphar's work shows how one can do both - portray the grief and loss with beauty and sensitivity.

Stars of Solace - 64" by 80"

Having a spotless past (or a home) is not the mark of greatness.  Embracing our messes is just the beginning. How we take responsibility, accept our mistakes, right the wrongs, and clean our houses (not sweep it under the carpet) is what really matters. Are we up to the task?

As I gathered the quilt and walked back to my car, I noticed the orange umbrellas, orange menu holders and green chairs on the patio of a local restaurant. It was too tempting to pass. The umbrellas, the chair and the grass - all there to match my quilt.

Orange Umbrellas Frame!!!

 And then it got even better - a blue beer truck in the background. I am downright tipsy!!!

Every color came to the party!!!

Stars of Solace will be sent to Bernie for Mercyful Quilts. I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties - see full list on the sidebar. I'd love your insights on both starry quilts and murky truths.


Angela has announced the RSC color for July - dark blue.
I was hoping for yellow and dark blue feels like a bruise...

Here are my picks

For the Picket Star Quilt Block

For RSC Project #2

 Linking with Angela's Linky Party.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Mermaids on Wings

It started with this fabric - cute and sweet. It is a complete escape from reality. Just perfect.


The concept was to frame the cute fabric and then alternate the resulting block with four-patch blocks. The four patch blocks were made from Lily and Loom charm squares.

Depressed :-(

I loved the mermaids and I loved the deep/rich 4-patch blocks but together they did not seem to work. It seemed dull and sad.

Something had to change.
I chose the colors from the mermaid fabric, cut up some 5" squares and put them up on the design wall.


Much better.  Completed 4-patch blocks were alternated with the framed mermaids and the flimsy came together quickly.

Finished Flimsy

Each block finished at 9". A layout of 5 by 5 resulted in a flimsy of about 45" square.  The possibility of a quick quilt is exciting, I thought.

Backing Fabric

But the backing at about 42" needed a little help. A dark blue border worked.

45" square

This backing fabric came from Sonja. On first glance the backing was fuchsia and turquoise. Once the blue borders were added, the little blue flowers popped up magically.

Hello Mermaid!!!

A yellow binding brightened the somber gray.  Here are a few more pictures - so that you can see the mermaids up close.

Flaming Orange & Pink Hair

Bright and Happy

2 Drink Umbrellas = Mermaid Bodice

Of course the Octopus is my friend

Simple Quilting



Ready to Snuggle

One last shot

Of course, the discarded 4-patch blocks needled me.  But I needed a break so I went out for a walk.

After a walk...

And I received a cute surprise :-)

Good Morning Bunny

Back to the task at hand - the discarded 4-patch blocks. How could I best showcase them?

I had bought a panel (Winged by Kim Shaefer) a few years ago and these birds and bugs was just the perfect solution.

Design Wall

Backing Fabric - Thank you Julie

This backing fabric came from Julie.  Once again the backing needed a little help and once again I used the dark blue fabric to frame the backing.

45" square

Multicolored Striped Binding

I love these birds and bugs :-)

Winged Delight

And here are a few more pictures because these little critters are adorable.

Yellow Bird

Pink Bird

Dancing Together

Bright and Joyful

Butterflies too!!!

Little Bird with Big Attitude


And one last look...

What started as one simple idea resulted in two quilts. I will take that :-)

If you wish to use this idea here is a short recipe.

Block A - Use a 5.5" square of focus fabric, framed with 2.5" wide strips. Square to 9.5"
Block B - Use four 5" squares to make a 4-patch block. Square to 9.5"

25 blocks (5 by 5 layout) will make a baby quilt measuring about 45" by 45".
For a Mercyful quilt, you will need 63 blocks (7 by 9 layout), measuring about 63" by 81".

The quilt with orange stars (you saw a sneak peek last time) is all done and ready for a photshoot.
I promise to share soon.

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Hope you are staying safe.