Sunday, July 12, 2020

Pinwheel Crumbs--A 2013 Completion

Close up of crumb block and feathers
Our book club read "The Last Runaway," by Tracy Chevalier. In the story, the main character comes from England to the United States on a ship. She is seasick for so long that the hexagons she brought with her . . .well, she threw them over the side because she thought they smelled of vomit. Later, she wished she still had the hexagons. She liked piecing, the family she became a part of liked applique. 

I was inspired to use the color green to represent how she felt on her trip across the ocean. I challenged myself to use small scraps or crumbs, to free motion quilt leaves and feathers. 

I pieced the small bits together and then I added strings until I had a large enough piece of fabric that I squared and then sliced on the diagonal. I don't remember the size of my squares. I do remember how surprised I was at how many little bits I used!

I played around with the crumb triangles until I found an arrangement that seemed pleasing to my eye. As you look at the blocks you can see how two of the legs relate. Each pinwheel used two crumb squares.

Full block
Once I added the green fabric and stitched the pinwheels, I had to decide how to set them. As I laid out the blocks, I thought about corner stones in the sashing. Plain cornerstones weren't interesting enough.

I had a little pile of leftover pinwheels which I had stored in my "parts" box. These finished to about two inches. From time to time, I make blocks from bits while I'm pondering solutions to a challenge. Sometimes, mindless sewing opens my mind to interesting solutions! It is also fun to incorporate parts sewn during those mindless sewing sessions into a project. I also use those ready made parts to audition design elements. Some parts are petted and auditioned many times!

These pinwheels started as trimmed triangles. Rather than throw the bits away, I stitched them into HSTs. I stitched four HSTs into a pinwheel. I decided repeating the pinwheel shape was the best option for cornerstones.  

Choosing the sashing took me a long time. In the end, I decided a dark purple would make the green triangles pop the best and also play nicely with all the fabrics in the
Pinwheel cornerstone
crumb part of the larger pinwheels. To preserve the pinwheel points from getting covered with the binding, I added a narrow border of the purple fabric.

For the backing, I used a single pink print fabric. Often, I piece the back; but, not this time. I layered the pieces and pin basted. I completed the ditch quilting and was ready to practice feather quilting. I drew a lot of feathers on paper to practice the shape. To keep my feathers somewhat consistent, I used a chalk pencil and drew the center spine. Then I quilted the feathers. With practice, my feather shapes improved which was one of my goals! I used a green Highlights polyester thread made by Superior Threads for the quilting.

Soon enough it was time to practice quilting leaves. My goal was to be able to quilt a leaf shape in any direction and in a variety of sizes. I wanted the leaves to be background texture so I chose a polyester Floriani thread that was a similar color to the purple sashing fabric.

It took a long time to quilt all those small leaves. However, I am now comfortable quilting leaves of various sizes and
View of the binding and leaf quilting
shapes as a background filler! The time I spent quilting the background while long was worth the effort!

Once I had blocked the quilt, I had planned to bind the quilt in the dark purple fabric that I had used as sashing. I auditioned the binding. While it was a suitable choice, it didn't speak to me. I inserted a strip of the lime green fabric between the border and the binding and liked what I saw. 

I added the green strip to be part of the binding and then I machine stitched it to the quilt. I added the label to the back of the quilt. I pulled the binding to the quilt front and topstitched the binding to complete the binding process. I like the bit of pop that the tiny strip of green adds to the feeling of the quilt.

I finished this project in April of 2013. I noted on the label that it took me eight hours to piece and 21 hours to quilt! I note that I didn't include the inspiration behind the quilt so this blog post will provide the prominence regarding why I made it.  I've enjoyed seeing it hang in my living room this month. At some point, it will be a baby quilt. For now, it is in my personal collection!

The label
Regarding the Covid pandemic:
12.5M confirmed cases; 6.89M recovered; 560K deaths
3.92M confirmed cases; 970M recovered; 137K deaths
11,454 confirmed cases; 275,316 negative tests; 232 deaths

We are hearing information that the virus can be spread airborne indoors because the droplets stay suspended. Recommendations include opening windows, employing air purifying systems and wearing a mask to be safer. 

The Oregon numbers represent a 51% increase in covid cases since last week. The media reports the cause of the increase as work related and community exposures.

At the hospital where I've been testing the physical CPR skills, I've learned that many of the workers have socially isolated themselves to include their work pods since mid-March. They have limited their contact with friends and family so that limit an outside exposure to contracting covid. Their goal is to continue providing healthcare to our community.

My supervisor said that she had read a story from the University of Washington regarding mask wearing. The statistic in the story was that if 95% of the U.S. population wore masks in public, the death rate would fall to less than 150,000. Seems like wearing a mask would be a no brainer. Unfortunately, people are not wearing a mask nor are they social distancing.

Finished quilt
I am wearing my mask in public. I continue to social distance. I continue to miss my grandkids and members of my quilting community. Phone calls, e-mails, FaceBook, FaceTime and Zoom are good; but, I miss actual interactions.

Protestors have protested for 44 consecutive nights. The Federal Government has been employed to protect the federal buildings, federal property and federal employees on order from President Trump. An employee tried to stop a protestor from causing damage to the Federal building with a sledge hammer. The protestor assaulted the employee with the sledge hammer. Other employees suffered injuries from protestors hurling objects at the employees. 

There were reports that protestors have thrown "milkshakes" at officers. The "milkshakes" contained a quick drying cement type product. Police have been pepper sprayed, punched and one officer suffered head injuries when hit in the head with a projectile.

This week the head of the police union issued a vote of no confidence saying the Portland mayor and city council does not support the police department. The mayor responded saying it was the police department's job to restore order and that he had supported their efforts. The city council responded similarly. 

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