Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Working away ...

I’ve been working away at several projects during the last month, in between trips to Southern Illinois. My mother has been battling pneumonia since February and has been in and out of hospitals and a nursing home. She is getting good care, but she smoked for years and has chronic pulmonary disease, so her prognosis is not good. In between trips to see her, I made her this appliqued and quilted pillow:

My sister Joan and I told her that the pillow just “pulls the whole room together,” and we had a good laugh over that one. Not much you can do to make a hospital room more cheerful, but I tried with this pillow. She really liked it, almost as much as the stuffed dachshund Joan gave her! Mom loves dogs, in particular the three doxies owned by my sister Maribeth, and she misses them.

I also finished the Piece and Plenty Quilt Guild Winter Challenge: Women and Peace. The challenge was to use a bright orange batik fabric and the peace symbol in a quilt 40-inches square or smaller. I started with the border, a rainbow of 2½-inch strips I had sewn together for another (failed) project:

I cross-cut the strips to make squares, arranging them in a stair-step pattern. Then I appliqued a 20-inch block for the center. I wanted a sort-of hippie look—peace and love and all that. Patterns for the tree, birds, sun, and peace sign came from www.weefolkart.com (free). I was going to draw all this, but I knew I would run out of time. I searched for a peace sign pattern, and up popped Wee Folk Art. Their art has just the right whimsical look I was looking for, so why reinvent the wheel? Here is the finished quilt:
I call it “Peace, Love, and Sunshine.” I am happy with the result, and I won 2nd place in the challenge. The quilt has been on display at a local shop this past month.

I also made a quilted computer case for my daughter by strip piecing various upholstery fabrics. I started with a pattern, but soon abandoned it and did my own thing:

Finally, I finished Part 2 of American Quilter Magazine’s latest Mystery Quilt, called Rainbow Rotini. Below are the 12 blocks from Part 2. Now I put it away and wait for the final installment in the July issue of the magazine.