Thursday, January 10, 2019

Just Like Your Eyeballs

This quilt started a few years ago as a tea towel challenge that my notorious sister Pam invited me to join. I bought the center of this wild quilt as a vintage (50's) tea towel almost exactly 6 years ago, from an Etsy vendor that is no longer in business. The challenge was presented by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, who had just come up with the concept "15 minutes of play."

Cool as a Cucumber.

I had a new Dresden Plate template and used it to make plates with pickle and random other themes. I like the strings of hot peppers, the olives, and the other wonderful fabrics from my collection. The centers of each dresden plate were left over from another wonderful quilt that had a humongous number of Kaffe appliqued circles.

Kaffe is the perfect blender fabric!

The next addition was two mason jars of pickles. I chose a quilt style called ticker-tape, which uses little scraps and looks simple but is very time consuming in it's fussiness. The good part is, it is not really fussy in the way detailed hand sewing can be, it just takes a long time to make one jar of pickles. It was fun digging through scraps to find the right pieces. Pam was with me when this part happened, and some of my favorite memories are of petting fabric together.

Silver lame' jar rings and sheer gauze mason jars.

At this point the adorable and quirky quilt top went into time out for several years. During this time I worked hard on improving my character in regards to the defect of procrastination. I did this not by finishing my UFOs. Oh no. I did it by joining groups and starting a whole bunch of other projects. I was in Stash Bee for 2 years and made many quilt blocks to trade. From this connection I got my cowboy and purple cow blocks, and the wonky churn dash blocks. Both of those quilts have been finished and displayed on this blog and at quilt shows,

I continued to write my daily pages (ala The Artist's Way.) I picked and chose which assignments I did. I skipped days often preferring to stare at Facebook instead. The more I wrote, the more benefit I got.  It began to pay off and I became more faithful to the practice of writing first then goofing off. I am doing the assignments in order, as a 12 week practice. Like doing the AA steps, a refresher helps a lot.

In the winter I also use the time to sit in front of my Ott lite for my daily dose of full spectrum light waves. It treats my winter SAD, helps me sleep better, and just feels good. When I learned that our third eye, the pineal gland, that produces melatonin, has rods and cones just like our eyeballs I was so happy. Of course it works! Better than taking melatonin at bedtime.

I decided to add a liberated border to my wild quilt. I had triangles saved from a Christmas project with quick cut hexagons similar to this pattern, I knew they would be useful someday. The colors were what I focused on, not the images. That is my own secret to fabric choice: the color, not the print. And, with lovely synchronicity, I used up almost every one of my triangles.

Even Chinese New Year fabrics!
I appliqued some little vines and hearts in the corners to carry the cucumber vine image out to the edge. Now I am quilting this fine piece. I basted it and did some machine quilting, and it also really begs for hand quilting. I am quilting on the tea towel images by hand. I also added a few wool felt leaves and embroidered the veins. Those leaves were oak leaves from a little freebie, that got trimmed to become pointy cucumber leaves.

Hand echo quilting around each item and along the edge.

This quilt is 46" x 52" such a nice wall hanging size. Finishing my UFOs is a recurring New Year's Resolution. This year for sure! What are your resolutions?


  1. Brilliant Jane! I appreciated learning about the design process snd I admire your work even more!

    1. Thanks, mystery guest. I like to read how other quilters ponder the process. I also like when my sense of humor shows up a little bit. Anyone who knows me knows that I am bold and silly.