Saturday while loading my backing onto the frame for the Wind Rose quilt I somehow irritated my sciatica nerve. Ironically 22 years ago Saturday I was in an automobile accident. The impact pushed my hip out of rotation and played havoc on the sciatica nerve. Fortunately since then I have only irritated it twice. Needless to say, I wont be quilting until the pain subsides. Thank you TP Rose, yes his name is etched in my memory and he is responsible for many of the aches I suffer today. If he has an ear drum left I’d be surprised, I cuss him frequently.
Saturday and Sunday both I played around with some ideas for my next quilt, what better way to spend the day? Because stars and geese go well together I sketched a few ideas. I also visited The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library looking for inspiration. This is where I found the map that contained the wind rose from my last quilt. That search took me to Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass windows. Not that I want to make a stained glass quilt, although many would make gorgeous quilts, I was mainly looking for layout ideas. Note to me: revisit that idea at a later time. His Saguaro window caught my eye not because of the layout, but because it could easily be made into a quilt with little changes.
I wish I had more to share with you today , just know I have plenty of time to work on my next project and I will be sharing that soon enough.
Today I thought I would do something a little different since I have yet to finish my quilting on the Wind Rose quilt and have not started a new project. A couple of my sisters also quilt and I thought I’d share a quilt by one of them.
The Piasa Bird in history and our local folklore. As a child in Alton I remember wanting to take a ride up the Great River Road to see the Piasa Bird, that was our thing back then when life was much simpler. For years there was a beautiful painting of the Piasa on the limestone bluffs and I think it was an honor if you were an artist who was chosen to freshen the image. Today the image sits above a small rest stop in Alton, the image isn’t the same quality but still demands the attention of those who pass by. Its current location is the 3rd that I personally remember.
There are different accounts and legends surrounding the Piasa Bird. It is said to have had sharp talons and teeth, antlers like a deer, a long tail and a beard. Some in history do not note wings, others do. It was a man eater that terrorized local tribes. Chief Ouatoga of the Illini Indians was said to have gathered his warriors outside the cave of the Piasa Bird armed with poisoned arrows. When the Piasa flew out of the cave they showered it with their arrows and the Piasa’s remains lie in the depths of the Mississippi River.
Its story and image have been depicted in the book titled “Records of ancient races in the Mississippi Valley” by William McAdams. Explorers Lewis and Clark made note of the image painted on the limestone bluffs near Alton,Il when they explored the region between 1804-1806. Earlier, in 1673 Father Jacques Marquette noted the image during the Joliet expedition. Now the quilt.
She used applique and a technique called snippets to complete the top. I’ve not personally used snippets in quilting so I cannot give instructions or rate the technique. She’ll kill me for saying this, I invited her to write a post on the quilt and she said, “No, its too much like work”. LOL. This makes her sound lazy but truly she isn’t. She has been raising children since she was 4 years old and my mother brought me home from the hospital. She does have a full time job and cares for her grand children as well. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I do. Thanks Melissa.Wikipedia on Piasa Bird
Now the top is finished it’s time to decide how to quilt it. It has been suggested that I send it away to a more experienced quilter for custom quilting. Of course that is an option however I think this will stay in house. If I pay for custom quilting I wont want to give it away and I could never recover my time and expense selling it. Neither have been considered at this point.
The background fabric is Quilters Choice muslin, the blue, red and green are Moda solids. The entire quilt was paper pieced and the best part, NO CURVED PIECING. The medallion, all geese and the maltese crosses were drawn on paper, graph paper. I love the way the first geese border surrounds the medallion.
Ignore the wrinkles. It was warm and humid yesterday morning when I carried it to the shed to take a photo. I had to hang it around my neck and the humidity took quick action on the cotton. Quilting suggestions welcome if you have any.
Its finally November and normally this time of year I would have a fire roaring in the wood stove. The inside temp would be a cozy 75-78 degrees and I would be struggling to find new ways to add humidity to the air. Last week we had days that were below 30 in the early morning hours that struggled to reach 50 degrees before sunset. Yesterday my thermometer outside read 79 at 2pm. The next couple of days, Saturday 65 & 77 on Sunday. The warm weather can fool you but the fall colors remind me that its no longer summer when I look out the window. My home is surrounded by trees and would be a perfect landscape for an artist. It wont be long this colorful display will be replaced by unsightly trees with barren limbs which is a reminder that snow will soon follow.
Its all worth it come spring when the showers will wash away all the grunge from a long winter. The trees will once again be full of varying shades of green and the air sweetened by honeysuckle. Until then I will continue to do what I do best.
My compass / wind rose quilt is coming along. My final set of blocks should be sewn onto the top before the weekend is over.
Ok I admit that I don’t have a design wall, I’m a pretty simple person. Cloths pins work pretty well until my tops are quilted and too heavy to hang that way. This summer I discovered a new way to hang them after they have been quilted, actually 2 ways. We have a 1950 Chevy truck. The only downside to this method is when the quilt is large you cant see the entire quilt. The 2nd way is to hang them on the gutter of our house, with cloths pins of course. The lip of the gutter that turns in locks the cloths pins and quilt in place and they hang really nice, you also have natural light to photograph them. I’m afraid of heights and the gutter method only requires a 1′ step stool so this is ideal for me. Oh yea, we live in an earth home so the gutter is only about 6′ off the ground. Previously I would lay them out on the floor inside or the back side of the roof which provided enough of an angle that it didn’t require me to stand on furniture or a ladder to take a photo from above.
Now for the quilt, it’s coming along. There will also be a flying geese border on the sides to match the top and bottom border with 8 point stars in the corners. It is coming together better then expected. Previous quilt patterns I created there was a section or two that I had to remake for one reason or another. This has not been the case while piecing this top.
I’m making it my monthly goal to get this quilt finished, including quilting and binding. This is a challenge even though the top is almost completed. Most times I have another quilt in mind that I am anxious to start on, which is the case this time.
My wind rose is almost complete, 2 borders and a sashing is all that remains. I’m really glad I stayed true to the original and added a white border to the points. The rest of the blocks for the quilt are done I just have to sew them all together and add them to the quilt. The outside border blocks, well I am up in the air about them. They are pieced and sewn in halves, I just cant decide if I want full blocks or half blocks. I’m really glad I decided to trim the compass with the curved flying geese, I love the way it frames the compass.
When I began drawing this I started thinking about different ways to quilt it. In the beginning I thought I would quilt straight lines to resemble a Portolan Chart. Now I am not so sure.
So I am moving right along with my Wind Rose border. This is the triangle border block I was talking about in my previous post, (just 1/2 of it) the other half is a mirror image of this block. I love flying geese and I love to stretch and distort them to create depth and movement, or I think it does anyway. The end result is always the same though, you still have the nice pointed corner and crisp lines, its still recognizable.
Hopefully I will have these blocks sewn onto the medallion tomorrow and can finish it up before the weekend. This is where I am so far.
My medallion is almost complete. Its laid out in pieces just so I could finally see my work. Its a little haphazard right now but so far so good. The background fabric is my favorite muslin, I used white as a highlighter behind the red and blue points on the outside circle. It was also used as points for the inside circle. The white will be more clear once it is all sewn together.
The block will be set on point in the quilt with the blue needle in the center row pointing north. To square the block there will be stretched flying geese to form the triangles for all 4 sides. This too will be more clear once its sewn together. When I reach this point in any quilt I start getting excited , I took this photo a couple hours ago and I am still grinning ear to ear. I’ve made other compasses but in my opinion, this is the most wonderful wind rose I have created. I can only hope I did it justice. Colors, why I chose them. If you look at the actual map i pulled it from, you will see I tried to duplicate the colors. With a little less gray. The colors to me seem to create dimension to the medallion.
Courtesy of Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
121 Wall Street | New Haven, CT 06511
You can click on this link, Yale University and see this map and others. It will also allow you to zoom. You have to let me know if you view the map, does my Wind Rose resemble Jorge Aguair map, his is the 3rd one down?
Fall weather has now arrived here in Southern Illinois and I admit I am pleased. There’s nothing better that opening the windows during the day and the smell of all of natures wonders blowing in my windows. I’m weird but I love the smell of decaying leaves in the woods. Sleeping is more restful with the windows open a couple inches and the crisp night air blowing in. Cuddling under a couple quilts made by my own hands, reaching up and touching your nose knowing if you were in front of a mirror the tip would be red. When the weather is hot and humid I am like a hermit. A few years ago I was borderline of suffering a heat stroke while stacking wood. Now adays I stay out of the heat as much as possible. Owning my own business and working at home has its advantages in the warm months, the best advantage would be not leaving my home to head off to work in the morning and returning to my hot closed up car for the trip back home. I take that back, the best advantage is working in my jammies if I so choose.
Enzo spends his days laying on a bench in front of the window and his evening in his chair while I sew. So with the cooler weather the last couple of weeks I have quit sewing about a half hour early to go on a daily walk up the driveway before dark. Our driveway is 2/10th of a mile long and uphill on the way to the road and downhill coming back to the house. They say its good exercise walking on hilly terrain. Well we’ll see if Enzo and I start dropping lbs
No exciting news this week on the quilt front. Down to the final 3 templates of my current quilt and wondering if I should add an alternating block instead of the repeating block I had planned around the outside border. We will see, adding a new block… well I should still have it completed by the end of the weekend.
The flying geese blocks (to the left) piece pretty quick and easy. Currently my toughest decision is whether I should add red sashing or blue. Either way, it should be lovely. When I started out I though perhaps I would create a quilt pattern to place here for sale. It wouldn’t be for the faint of heart since there are so many pieces involved. The directions would be a book in its self. Nope, this one I am keeping for me. I cant wait to share it with you all next week on Bee Social. I’m sure I will have to post it prior to then, the excitement will get the better of me if I don’t.