Pineapple Quilt

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I’ve been trying to use more of my stash this year, and wanted to make a quilt with a lot of yellow and orange.  The pineapple quilt trend looked like a fun and fast project so I made one.  The making of it turned out to be a comedy of errors which exposed the distracted, stressed out state of mind I had at the time.  I made so many mistakes in this quilt.  Not so much in the piecing, but in the reading of instructions and cutting and so forth.

But it turned out fine.  My pineapples are a little taller than most of them out there, and even when I figured out what I’d done I somehow managed to fail to account for it when cutting my sashing, and so there are all kinds of seams where there didn’t need to be.

Still, look how cute it is!

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The colors are so vibrant and happy, especially set against the denim colored Essex yarn dyed linen that I used for the background.  It gives the quilt great contrast as well as amazing texture.  I also really love the diagonal plaid quilting.  It’s the perfect pattern for pineapples, don’t you think?  Kaylene Parry did a great job of quilting it for me.

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A scrappy binding was a great choice for this quilt, and I’d been saving this awesome green print for the perfect project.  I love it on the back.  It’s a design by Juliana Horner which I scored at Joann’s for $2.40/yard a while ago.  Can’t beat that!

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I am pleased with this quilt, and glad it turned out well.  These cute scrappy fruit quilt blocks are fun.  I’m thinking I’ll make a strawberry one soon.  I feel grateful and lucky to have discovered quilting.  It makes me so happy!

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Jennifer

Rosewater + Gingham {a finished quilt top}

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Introducing Rosewater, a collection by Verna Mosquera for Free Spirit Fabrics, released (I believe) in 2014.  I’ve had a jelly roll of this collection sitting for at least a year, and it was time to use it.

It’s been more than a month since I attended Kathy Doughty’s workshops here in Utah, but so many things that she said are still swirling around in my head!  She has motivated me to work more within my own stash to find fabric combinations that are a little less predictable, that make each other really shine, and use what I have.  I’d been poking around on Pinterest for jelly roll quilt ideas and came across this jelly roll quilt top which I used as inspiration for mine.  But I didn’t want to just pull out a solid.

Enter black and white gingham.

I got started.

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The gingham was cut in 1.5″ strips and I just added alternating borders of prints and gingham.  I ended up cutting a few strips from my stash to add to the project because I wasn’t sure if the jelly roll I was using had enough strips in it to reach my goal of 60″ square.  In the end, it worked out and I had plenty, but it’s nice to have a few other prints mixed in.

Especially that gorgeous green floral by Jennifer Paganelli.  I wish I had a bolt of that fabric.

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This turned out to be a really fun and simple project.  Somewhere in the middle I felt a little bored with doing the same thing around and around, but then all of a sudden I was nearly finished and it worked out perfectly.

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I’m SO glad I used the gingham!  I feel like it adds depth and interest, and keeps the quilt top from being too “sweet.”  The Rosewater collection is so feminine and delicate; the gingham grounds it.  And makes me want to get a closer look.

This particular gingham is the Medium Cotton Gingham in black by Riley Blake Designs.  It’s a printed, and not a woven, gingham, and was therefore really easy to work with in this project.  I purchased mine here more than a year ago, and it looks like they still have some in stock.

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This quilt top feels like a victory to me.  One less jelly roll sitting on my shelf with no specific plans, a quilt top completely from stash, something actually finished around here!  The backing is already pieced (another gingham, I’m so excited!), along with the binding, and I’m trying to decide if I want to quilt it really simply and let the fabrics speak for themselves, or do something else.

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I love the sight of a quilt top hanging from my cherry tree, gently blowing in the soft breeze.  Summer!  My heart is happy.

Jennifer

Rebuilding

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I shared a little here, here and here about trying to change, stay changed, rebuild, dream, discover and rediscover myself.  I guess it’s a central theme in my life right now.  With the school year over and summer in our laps, it’s been good to examine things a little more closely.

I’ve always dreamed of cutting fresh flowers for my bedroom, so this year I took some peonies to the large vase on my nightstand.  A bit of beauty, a reminder to me that dreams come true, that dreams can be small as well as big, and that there is much to admire and be grateful for.

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I love this simple piece of artwork (purchased here).  It’s an integral part of having faith – not just faith that you’ll live through something, but that really awesome things are ahead.  Some days I struggle with this, and it’s not uncommon for a very deep breath to accompany my whispered reading of this quote.  I was reminded recently of an old favorite quote from Boyd K. Packer, “Find happiness in ordinary things, and keep your sense of humor.”  The peony, the vase, the quote, they are evidence of happiness in ordinary things.  So healthy for me.

books

I quit reading a while ago.  Aside from my scriptures and an occasional self-help style book, I’ve totally quit reading because I didn’t feel like I had the emotional reserves for it.  I couldn’t handle experiencing the highs or lows of another life in addition to my own.  Sounds dumb, but it’s true.  I have always loved reading biographies, found great solace and inspiration in them.  A few weeks ago I picked up a copy of John Quincy Adams and began reading it.  So far I’m enjoying it and it feels good to be reading again.

I must have needed some encouragement, because I also picked up my copy of Never Give In, a selection of Winston Churchill’s speeches, and have been reading them as well.  There’s so much to glean!  He wrote all of his own speeches.  One of his private secretaries during the wartime years said “In the case of his great wartime speeches, delivered in the House of Commons or broadcast to the nation, [Churchill] would invest approximately one hour of preparation for every minute of delivery.”  His grandson wrote of this, “Thus he would devote thirty hours of dictation, rehearsal and polishing to a half-hour speech.  Therein, no doubt, lies the explanation as to how they came to move the hearts of millions in the greatest war of history and why, even to this day, they have such emotive power.” (Never Give In, xxv)

What a reminder.  There is work to be done in all of our lives, work that isn’t glamorous or fun or easy, but doing it prepares us to face what lies ahead.  In his “Finest Hour” speech to the House of Commons on June 18, 1940 (just over 76 years ago now) he said, “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say ‘this was their finest hour!'”

This speech reminded me of a quote from Billy Graham:  “Courage is contaigous.  When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.”

Reading biographies, for me, is witnessing brave men and women taking a stand.  It stiffens my own spine, reminds me that difficult times are a part of mortality, and helps me “brace myself to my duties.”  I feel like I’m gaining a friend and being empowered to become a better me.

Rebuilding.  I’m glad to be engaged in it.

 

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