We are anchored in Lake Worth, between Palm Beach and West Palm Beach, and happy to be back in the United States. One of our first tasks ashore was to visit a Publix supermarket, where we wandered around touching all the familiar food items. "Look! Ghirardelli chocolate! Seven different kinds of tomatoes! A bag of Chex Mix for less than $7!!" Life is good.
In between visits to first world establishments (a real Italian restaurant! free public transportation!) I've had plenty of time to work on some more of my UFOs. This one was actually finished back at Dudley's dock, but didn't make it into my retreat post. This is my Ernie quilt, inspired by Rose and finally all quilted up using simple stitch in the ditch.
I debated whether to add more quilting in the homespuns, and I'm still a bit on the fence even after a pass through the washer and dryer. The horizontal pieces are 1.5" finished, so there's certainly enough quilting to hold it together. Does it need anything more fancy? Hmm.
The backing is some big chunks of the coral and green, plus a stripe of the border fabric. This one is going to Covered in Love.
This one is also bound for CiL. The blocks are called Old Italian, made with Anita Grossman Solomon's method from one of her books. I only made enough of them for a 36"x48" quilt, so it needed a nice wide border to get it up to CiL size.
The colors in this top seem very 1980s to me: dusty blue and pink and maroon. So I've named it '80s Flashback. Or maybe that should be "Flashdance"? Anyway, I quilted the center with orange peels that barely show in the busy, busy fabrics.
In the border, I decided to practice big feathers. All that wide space called for something interesting, and I've been wanting to spend some concentrated time on feathers. A blending blue thread hides any wibbles and wobbles.
The quilting shows up better on the back, and I'm pretty happy with it. I had to pick out a couple of pleaty bits, but mostly it went smoothly. These are sort of beginner's feathers, what Angela Walters calls "basic" as opposed to "custom" feathers.
Here's an overall shot of the back, which I pieced from some fabrics that are kinda sorta in the same '80s color scheme. Both the stripe and the blue border fabrics were donated to CiL, so I wanted to use them together in this quilt.
DH Sean really likes the colors in this one, but when I asked if we should just keep it, he said, "Um, no." Since I haven't been able to ship out anything in over four months, the boat is suffering from Deadly Quilt Backup and there are piles of quilts everywhere. I suspect he wants to see them gone, gone, gone.
Here are two more that I finished in the last week or so. They are small ones for Wrap a Smile, only 40"x50", so they stitched up speedy quick. They are literally half the size of the Covered in Love quilts. I get a lot of comments about how many quilts I finish, so it's good to keep in mind that the little ones go together super fast. By the way, that's tony Palm Beach in the background, with a median home value of $1,166,200. Our anchorage is free, bwa ha ha!
This piece is made from a charm pack of Kaffe Fasset Collective fabrics in soft, spring colors. I sashed and bordered it with a pretty green blender. All the fabrics are really light and soft, almost voiles. This one got a lot of petting and patting.
The backing is an odd garden veggie and greenery fabric, also a voile. It has leaves and leeks and broccoli on it. Several small pieces of this were donated to me by a gal on eBay who was clearing out her stash. I had no idea what I'd do with leek fabric, but it looks really nice on the back of this little quilt, which I'm calling Peeking Through the Garden Lattice.
The quilting is quite simple, straight lines paralleling the piecing and extending into the border, done with my walking foot. An older, more traditional lavender with twee flowers made a nice binding.
Finally, this is Lazy Rail Fence. Rail fence designs are made by sewing strips of fabric together, but lazy rail fences simply use pre-printed stripes. I had lot of small chunks of bright striped fabrics so I just stitched them together in alternating directions.
I think it actually looks quite festive, and it was a good scrap buster. I quilted it in bright yellow thread in a liberated orange peel. "Liberated" is quilting talk for "don't look too closely because things are a bit wonky." And "wonky" is quilting talk for "Dang, that's crooked!" But it's wonky on PURPOSE, so that's okay.
This quilt is also destined for Wrap a Smile, and it will hopefully comfort a small child undergoing cleft palate surgery. To keep it child-friendly and extra cheerful, I backed it with the last of my animal butts fabric. There are very few children who aren't endlessly amused by butts, so I'm confident it will be well-received.
I've finally been able to wash and dry all these quilts, but shipping them off to their destinations still has to wait at least another week. Tomorrow we are heading right back out into the Atlantic to head north. Palm Beach is nice, but heat, humidity and hurricanes make summer kinda the worst time to be in Florida. There is an excellent weather window that will hopefully allow us to take the boat directly to New York in one straight shot, so we're gettin' while the gettin' is good. I'll be completely out of range of internet for a week, but promise to respond to your comments and visit your blogs when I get back into coverage. (As always, if you're curious about our status while we're on long offshore passages, you can check the boat's Twitter page. We update that using our limited bandwidth satellite phone for short "all's well" messages. You don't need to have a Twitter account to view the status updates.)
Cross your fingers that the ocean is calm enough for me to be able to sew!