Monday, May 20, 2013

This is the best news since Matthew and Mary hooked up!

I noticed on Friday that the wall for The Patchwork Pearl on Facebook got active - really active, especially for a Friday. Well, apparently there was a tiny little announcement at Spring Quilt Market that got a lot of people's attention. No, I didn't know anything about the news until I saw it and started digging, but the industry has formally matched up Downton Abbey and quilters.

Major kudos to Andover Fabrics for their winter 2013 introduction of the Downton Abbey line.

Oh, I can hear Mrs. Patimore's giggles from here - although, from what I read - it'll be the upstairs ladies who are the inspiration for this first set of colorways.  

 Now, remember that this is coming from the quilter who has been working on the Downton Abbey Challenge I and II.  I have noticed for a while the crossover between the demographics of quilters and the series - and now, we can have both.  

The first of the series of fabrics (oh, does it get better) comes to us in the fall, and I know that EQuilter has already gone online to say they'll have it.  

So my question to you tonight is...are you a Dowager (violet, what else?), Mary (maroon), Sybill (peach) or Edith (peach)... to bed thinking of the possibilities. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Everything old is new again....

It's Quilt Guild Challenge season here, and I am 1 for 2.  At least the Pending Projects pile is no larger this year.  At one point in time, I had a plan to enter one quilt into two challenges - which is still a bucket list item for me. Although I was pleased that I had been able to figure out how to do that, I was never inspired.

If you don't have the inspiration to make a 'challenge' quilt, then the exercise becomes pointless.  I was a little sad when I saw where my entry might have been at challenge reveal #1, but there's always next year.

So, I moved onto Challenge #2, taking a look at the challenge prompt with fresh eyes, and threw the first idea out the window.  Ditto with idea #3, 4 and 5 - #2 kept calling me back with a siren's call. The prompt was to make a piece based on your birthday month, and May has a lot to work with.  I kept turning it over and over in my head, and the phrase "April Showers bring May flowers"  kept coming back to me.

Everything Old is New Again
Linda Pearl, 2013
Well, when inspiration finally arrives, it's not nice to ignore it- and I will say that this piece came together in less than a week.   What's really funny to me about this piece is that I didn't set out to use blues and yellows in this quilt - but I have been working on a kitchen remodel using those exact colors.  That combo must have been marinating in my brain while I was working on the project.  The yellow background was originally supposed to be the backing fabric, but when I put the basket against it, I knew I had my quilt.  And I know that it makes me smile when I look at it.

What is it about challenge deadlines that gives one (me) the idea that you have oodles and oodles of time?  My only consolation is that a post on the guild's Facebook page revealed that there were several of us still working at the 11th hour...and I love the company I found myself in.

This photo shows the project in the "I'd better get my butt in gear phase'... The Basket Garden pattern is one that my husband bought me for Christmas sometime in the '90's, but it had just the basket pattern I wanted - add some batiks, some mistyfuse - and you have the updated basket. And the name.

The flowers were made using the Leaves Galore Template from Sue Pelland Designs - a much improved technique for making realistic petals. I originally cut the leaves much too larger in scale for the piece, but using the smallest petal template on her ruler,  I was able to bring the scale much more into balance.

Here's the quilt that I made from that's hanging in my living room.  The flowers in this  piece were part of the pattern.