Thursday, August 18, 2022

Christmas in July with Accuquilt GO! Tree of Life die

 Yes, I'm late blogging this.  Things have been a little frustrating, but okay.  Puppy training is hard!  She's almost 7 months, but still learning.  There've been other things, too, but I'm trying to move forward a little each day.  I had some big secret sewing projects to finish in July, as well, and can't share that until January or February.  

The July challenge was for the Island Batik Ambassadors to use the Tree of Life die provided by Accuquilt for a project which was to become a gift for someone who needed cheering.  In my case, I gave it to someone who is doing all she can at work and then caring for her mom, who has Alzheimer's.  I've been there.  My mom is still hanging on, in the nursing home, and no one knows how, except that she's still eating.  I appreciate that the staff have taken over my role as caregiver, so I have some breathing room, and can go back to being a daughter.  My friend Carol is still playing both parts.  We were to meet for a quick meal, and I grabbed the finished quilt and decided to give it to her, almost spur of the moment.  I wasn't sure who I could give it to, until we made plans to meet. 

My project:  I went to EQ8 to see if they had the die shape already as a block, and it was close enough.  I set the design on point with one block measuring 14", and played with some colors.  I often use just the solids when I play, as I know the Batiks will offer a little more depth and texture to the design.  I was thinking of using some 10" squares left from another project, but it just didn't seem like I had enough. I opted to use some of the 1/2 yard Basics and Blenders Island Batik includes in our Ambassador boxes (did you see my last post, showing how stuffed the 34lb boxes were??) I have a good variety of Basics. 

I decided to make it look like a tree in Autumn, with the variety of colors.  Some of my favorite trees are along Rt. 380 in Pennsylvania.  The road cuts between state parks, game lands, and small towns on the way from Mt. Pocono to Scranton, and the colors in the fall can be stunning, including multiple colors on one tree.  So, my color choices went to the memories of those drives. 

The base of the tree is surrounded by leaves that have started to fall, mixed on the green forest floor.  At least that's what I was trying to show. Shades of red, scarlet, orange, magenta and yellow can be found in the fabrics, against a cinnamon colored trunk.  I used Almond for the background, as the sky blue I was considering just didn't look right.  But in moments (after planning the size of the section to allow enough of each color) the board was loaded with fabric and pieces were cut.  A little later, the tree was done.  First, I assembled the half square triangle units, and the base and trunk.  A little time later (after making sure, many times, that I had my design correct according to the EQ8 printout, it was a block.  I think planning and prepping the fabric took more time.  
My idea on EQ8 was to frame the tree with additional half square triangle units, and the shapes were not the size I could have used for a die, but were easy enough to piece.  Of course I used Aurifil 50 wt for it all, and a Schmetz size 12 needle.  
I added a border of the cinnamon I used for the tree, for the final frame, and placed it on my Handi-Quilter Amara with Prostitcher, and picked Leaves in the Wind panto, and a light tan Aurifil 40-3 wt thread, which added the perfect accent.  I love 40-3.  It's perfect for long arms, and adds a great touch to the top.  Backing is some Almond from Island Batik.  

Finally, with more Cinnamon for binding and a quilt "made by" label, it was ready for photos.  Heather did a good job modeling with it, don't you think?  Okay, it took about 15 photos to get 2 that looked good, but she gets a treat for trying.  As I said, puppy hood is a challenge.  

Back to my friend.  She's my Sister-in-law's sister-in-law, and we've known each other for years.  Carol is so sweet, and I know where she's going with caring for her mom, and dealing with siblings regarding that care.  She's also working full time, and the fact that she's making time to meet with me is something I treasure.  So I hope she treasures this little table runner, and that she smiles when she sees it on her table this fall.  I also hope it makes her mom smile.  My mom loved seeing the colors of little quilts on the table, and I would change them for the season.  She liked the texture of the quilts, too, so I'm hoping Carol's mom does, as well.  A little bit of color to brighten their day.  Sometimes, as a caregiver, it's enough to make you think that you can get through it.  Alzheimer's is hard. She deserves this gift.  

Carol getting the quilt!  Delivered August 6, so not too late for Christmas in July.  Like Little Christmas, lol. Epiphany in August, maybe.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned for the Mini challenge.  Check out the Ambassador blogs for some that have been posted already.  Mine is ready to quilt, so I'll be writing again soon.



Jennifer Thomas said...

It's beautiful! I love the fall look, it is almost time for fall. School is about to begin, the air has finally cooled a bit here, and I see hints of the coming season everywhere. Hugs to you, your Mom, and your friend and her Mom. Have a great day!

Brenda @ Songbird Designs said...

I love the fall colors, Maryellen! I think it's perfect. And Heather is a good quilt model. Puppies are fun and so worth all the hassle. She'll grow out of it soon! Take good care of yourself.