I am currently 36,858 feet over New Mexico, traveling at 610 mph from California back to Charleston, and blogging on the Internet. Isn't technology amazing?
My mother had surgery last week, so I flew out to be with her. And I know you'll be shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, to know that I made her a quilt. The pattern is Night Sky by Jaybird Quilts. Mom had given me the pattern a couple years ago with a note saying, "The colors on this really caught my eye!" So I knew she'd like the finished piece.
I whipped this one out in less than a week, because I wanted to mail it to her before Hurricane Irma potentially grounded me on the East Coast. I snapped a few glamour shots on the boat before popping it in the mail. Once it was clear I'd be able to make it to California, she agreed to open the box after I arrived. I'm happy to report that she loves her quilt!
Lots of triangle piecing, and my 60 degree ruler really helped. The pattern is well written so I didn't make too many mistakes, although I did end up with four extra stars. If I'd been paying closer attention, I would have noticed several places that said where I could have cut fewer pieces. Oh well; I'll make a table runner or pillow out of the spare blocks.
Two of the edges on the quilt are zig zagged at 120 degree angles. Is that considered scalloped, if it's angular like that? In order to bind around those odd corners, I had to use bias binding, so that was a bit of a challenge. I've done small pieces with bias bindings, but nothing this large.
I did dot-to-dot quilting in the centers of each star, basically echoing the shape of the diamonds. In the smaller, outer star points I did a simple loop-de-loop and travel stitched to the next point, which ended up outlining the whole star. When the stars were finished, I did a stipple in the dark charcoal gray background for some good texture.
The stars were quilted in matching thread colors; dark and light blue; orange and red; purple; forest green and aqua. I was surprised that the aqua worked so well with the lighter green stars. I used three shades of neutral threads for the bobbin, so some of the stars show up with more contrast on the back.
I named the quilt O, Star! after a lovely piece of choral music called "Choose Something Like a Star" with lyrics by Robert Frost and music by Randall Thompson. The poem has great personal meaning to me and I found it very comforting to sing it to myself as I sewed the quilt. I was worried about Mom's surgery and needed a star "to stay my mind on and be staid." Mom and I have been in a number of choirs together over the years, and we learned this piece under the direction of our dear friend Alva. I was able to visit Alva and his wonderful husband Bear on this visit, and their love and support also helped me be staid.
My Mom's surgery went amazingly well, and was completely successful. She was only in the hospital for three days, then four days in skilled nursing care. This photo shows the quilt in the nursing center. It really brightened up her room and sparked lots of nice conversations.
Her retirement community is quite lovely, with lots of nice garden spaces. We were able to take a few more glamour shots there.
The doe statue amused me, so I gave her a quilty saddle.
Here we are together. I love you, Mom, and am so glad you're recovering so well! And to my quilty friends, I'm looking forward to catching up on all your blogs in the next few days.
O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the rightTo some obscurity of cloud-
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to the wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.
Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says, 'I burn.'
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use Language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.
It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end
And steadfast as Keats' Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.