Still Here – Playing and Preparing Civil War Bride

What a fast-moving 12 days (29 Feb – 11 March).   Just as I was going to start on Civil War Bride (CWB), on 29 February I tried to do the splits while getting out of the bathtub – Well, of course Mr Sciatica came to visit and stayed too long!  On the 3rd of March I received a “numbing” shot that kept me down on Thursday and Friday and finally on Saturday (March 5th) I was able to begin my journey with the CWB.  YEA!

My goal was to prepare 6 blocks at one time so that I would be able to work on the 2 blocks each month and not have to stop to prepare each month’s blocks. (At least for 3 months – LOL).  I finished 3 of the background blocks and realized that there are some blocks in this quilt that I would not enjoy working on and do not want the challenge.  I knew that Block 1 was fine except for the “birds?” that were flying in to the flowers were a little weird and I preferred hummingbirds – so off to finding a small bird outline to replace the “birds?” in the original quilt.   I found one so I moved on to Row 1, Block 2.  The “Eagles” were definitely not going to stay on that block.  I have replaced them with Red Birds.  OK – finished that change.  Then on to Row 1, Block 3.  I did not like the strawberries, so found a neat template from EQ7 to replace the strawberries.  My original backgrounds that I traced for Blocks 2 and 3 are now in the NEVER TO BE USED BIN – called trash can!  On to Row 1 Block 4.  The small peacock just did not give me a good feeling either – did not like the feet – so I revamped this one myself!  It is looking so much better.  On to Row 1, Block 5 and Block 6.    Those birds just had to go.  I have learned that I can needle turn applique almost anything, but it has to be a “pleasing” block, or I will just forget doing the quilt.

I am using “The Lost Boy Quilt” pattern for my basic pattern setting and “Bountiful Life” pattern for block preparation because it provides a more professionally drawn pattern, and Patricia Cox’s “Folk Art in New York City” for birds.  Pat draws the most beautiful birds in her rendition of the Civil War Bride quilt.   It really has made a difference in how my blocks will look.

It took me all day Sunday to do the changes, and I now have Block’s 1 and 2 are ready to applique.   Here is a picture of the layout of Block 1 with the new birds in the top right (have not selected fabric yet) and left corners.

Block 1

Block 1 Blue Bells and Apples

In late 2014, my friend Cathy and I decided that some day we were going to do CWB.  I decided I would start by making Block 1 from Bountiful Life pattern.  There are 2 things I do not like about the block – the swooping birds (?) and the vase.  The color is great (all done in batiks) BUT it fell flat.  I embroidered around the vase to help it stand out, but realized that I had selected the wrong batik for this piece!  So this block will probably turn into a wall hanging, or a medallion for another quilt.  This time I am desperately trying to blend all colors as I go along.  For me it is working, but I am not looking forward to putting the fabric in its original place when this project is complete!

Lost Boy Quilt Block 1

Block 1 – Made in 2014

Block 2 is mostly leaves. This block took a little more time in selecting the fabrics.  I could not decide whether to use the same fabric for all of the leaves or selecting 2 fabrics to provide a contrast.  I chose 2 different greens.   I changed the birds to birds in lieu of the Eagles.  I tried to find a different Eagle, but was unsuccessful and am pleased with the Blue Birds.  I am hoping the fabric I selected for the heads and tails will turn out as I hope.  My goal for this quilt is for the fabric to have some movement and contrasting colors.   (The picture is a little blurred but the colors are accurate)

 

Block 2

Block 2 Blue Birds

If I had not made a design change decision I would have probably thrown in the towel on making this quilt.   But, I have invested in 4 different patterns for this quilt – so that was not an option.   I am now a  happy camper and look forward to working on the project.

Well here it is FRIDAY – the weeks are flying by and it is already the 11th – hum… I had better hurry so I can have the blocks completed by the 31st.  Today I am finishing the preparation work of the other 4 blocks.  I have Blocks 3 and 4 ready to work with the fabric selection and 2 more to trace the backgrounds.  I use Jenkins freezer paper which saves me so much time in preparing the applique pieces.

My goal (what a laugh as I am just not working fast enough to meet them) is to have all six blocks ready to applique by Sunday evening – any bets on that one.  If I can only keep those unforeseen requirements out of my schedule I might just make this one.

Have a wonderful week-end.

Baskets of Scraps and Is it Summer or Spring here in South Texas!

The weather is lovely here in South Texas – we are now in Spring, birds singing, trees blooming, deer hiding out waiting for some February winter weather (none here) and no rain.  So I cannot imagine what summer will bring if I am already in shorts for the last 3 weeks!   Where is that crystal ball?  LOL

Here I am a week later thinking I would be caught up on all of my applique.   I have made some progress, but not as much as I wanted to.  I have completed 9 of the basket blocks (with appliqued handles) and 11 more to go.  As I placed the baskets on the design wall, I noticed that there is a space that really tends to stand out and I will have to figure out what to add that will make it look better.  It is almost a diamond, but then the top of the block below the first row stops that.   I am leaning toward adding stems and leaves in all of the baskets and especially something that will lap over into these spaces.   The baskets are not situation where they will end up in the quilt as they are randomly placed on the design wall as I finish each one.

9 Baskets

Baskets of Scraps

I have selected a beautiful dark purple batik that was originally purchased for another quilt, but it will add so much to this quilt.  When the blocks are complete they will be put away for a week and I will come back to the quilt to make a design decision on what to do with the basket background.

Monday and Tuesday are definitely off the calendar for quilting – we must make sure the doctors stay in business – so Wednesday is my drop dead day to start preparing my Civil War Blocks.  I will have about 6 days to prepare 5 blocks.  I am going to go with batiks!  As I look at my reproduction fabrics versus the batiks I will have so much more of a choice in vibrant colors for the leaves, flowers, birds and even the CWB Bride.  I will be changing some of the blocks as I prefer that the birds and animals are not as crudely drawn as the original.  So this will be a great learning experience.

I will be using The Lost Boy quilt pattern for the majority of the quilt, Bountiful Life, and Patricia Cox’s pattern for some of the animals or blocks. Patricia draws some wonderful birds and leaves.  This will be a fun project as 4 other ladies will be joining in with me.   We are planning to start on 1 March and will do 2 blocks per month so we will be through by March of 2017.  This will certainly take some dedication to the project.  We will start with Row A Blocks 1-5 (going down).  I am hoping to have all 5 blocks prepared and ready to go by the 1st.  BUT, you all know how life goes, I will be happy to have 2 block ready!

Have a great Sunday and keep on stitching!