Jungle Frog….

It has been over a month since I posted a “Travel Log” quilt and the next one in line is a fun quilt that was also a guild challenge.

Let me give you the background……

In 2011, Michael and I spent 5 weeks in China while he lectured around the country. The final week was spent in the “Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanic Gardens”. This is a gorgeous place and I spent many fun hours taking photos of the flowers and foliage…..

We also returned there in 2018 and I had a marvelous time photographing the area. If you are interested…..

But…back to the quilt…..

Not long after we returned to the US, our guild issued a challenge to make a quilt that was 40-inches square, and had complimentary colors!!

I asked my scientist husband about his thoughts and he mentioned that there were some frogs that were green with red eyes. THAT sounded interesting, but I wasn’t sure that a 40-inch frog would do it!!

Then I started thinking about the photos that I had taken and began planning a jungle theme.

My first step was to clear off my design wall and mark out a 40-inch square…..

I then started printing out photos and outlines of jungle motifs. Some were from my photos and some from the internet, and the quilt started to grow….

At this point, I decided that there was more than enough to work with and I switched to fabric……

….and the quilt grew and grew…..

The frog was added…..

…and a red beaded flower….

I LOVED the final quilt…….

It is a SWEET reminder of a fun trip to the tropics of southern China!!

It’s Who You Travel With….

Back in 2016, my guild issued a Self-Portrait challenge that eventually turned into a Travel-Log Quilt.

The parameters of the challenge were that it had to….

  • be a self-portrait
  • have overall diameter of 80 inches
  • have a discernable patch of red

As I thought about who I was, I realized that I……..AM….A…..TRAVELER!!! And, I wanted the quilt to somehow represent that fact.

We had a photo that had been taken of us when we were in Italy in 2010, visiting the city of Gaeta. If you want to read about the day…..

One of the favorite things that Michael and I enjoy when we are traveling is to walk hand-in-hand and enjoy the sights. This is the inspiration photo…..

I started out by tinting the photo to Black & white and enhancing the red in my shirt…..

Next, I needed something to go around the photo, and a “Trip Around the World” block seemed appropriate…..

But, it wasn’t quite big enough so I needed to add a border……or two!!

I love this quote which has been attributed to many different people, but my favorite rendition of it is this…..

That saying proved to be the perfect finish to this fun quilt…..

Let’s travel some more….

For those of you who are new to my blog, I have been working in a series called “Travel Log Quilts”. These are art pieces that were based on places that Michael and I have traveled.

I had been consistently posting about them but realized that I had lost that thread….apparently almost a year ago!!! That is a long time with no travel!!

So, let’s get back to some trips ….starting in my favorite city of Rome!!

The story goes back to 2010 when Michael and I spent 2 months in Italy, with one month in an apartment in Rome!!

No, this wasn’t the apartment, but one of my favorite corners of the city!!!

But first, I have to return to the last guild meeting that I attended prior to the trip. At that meeting, it was announced that our next guild challenge was going to be based on our upcoming quilt show…..”Hot Threads, Cool Quilts”!! The quilt needed to follow the theme but had to have some sort of three-dimensional embellishments.

So, with that in mind, we arrived in Rome. We had two favorite pastimes in the city…..drinking espresso and eating gelato!!!

One very HOT and one very COOL…….

Say, wasn’t that the name of the challenge!!!

When I got home, I started playing with photos from the trip, tinting each one in either a warm tone or a cool tone.

I constructed a basic layout…..

….and started making a paper quilt, determining the needed size of the photos as I went…..

I still needed to add the embellishment. Wasn’t it good that I had collected gelato spoons as we ate our way thru Rome!!!…..

I heated a needle in a flame and poked a hole in the handle of each spoon and then sewed them loosely onto the bottom border…..

On the side borders, I quilted faux spoon shapes and considered the quilt finished, calling it “Hot Espresso, Cool Gelato”!!!

It is a fun memory of an amazing month in Rome!!

A long time coming….

This week I was able to mark another item off of my task board…..

…and it has been a LONG time coming!!!

I started this quilt back in 2011 after a trip to China. HERE is the original post about that quilt. The post is aptly titled “Congratulations Mrs. Arnold…. it’s a boring quilt”!!

Then, after sitting for 8 years, I decided to make it unboring!! You can read that post here…..

So all that was left was the quilting. Easy right??

If it was so easy, why has it taken me 2 years to get it done? That is a question for the ages!!

Early on in the process, I started with the straight line quilting in the bamboo and was happy with what I had done…..

After a bit of hesitation, I decided to quilt the striped borders simply….

And then I got stuck again!!!

How was I going to quilt the outside border?? I thought and thought about it and actually started quilting a few designs that I didn’t like and picked out.

THEN….I was listening to an Angela Walters video and she made the profound statement…..”If you are not going to SEE the quilting, then don’t spend a lot of time on it”!!

WOW. That was a refreshing thought and you would definitely NOT see the quilting in that outside border!!

So, wavy parallel lines it was….

I even got lazy and used my sit-down long arm to put the facing on!! The only thing that I did differently was that I put my left hand behind the needle and used it to pull the fabric thru……

And boom….just like that it was finished!!

This has definitely been one of those projects that was in my “too-hard” basket and boy does it feel good to have it done!!!

“Blew” Two….

Yesterday, I posted about my entry in the “I’m so Blue” guild challenge.

Normally, I am finishing my challenges on the day that they are due, or maybe the day before if I am really organized, but, with this one, the idea came quickly and I was finished over a month before the due date…. UN-HEARD OF!!

Just after I finished it, I was talking to another guild member (Sue) and she said that she would make it different by using the other spelling/meaning of blue……ie BLEW!!

Just after our conversation, we made another trip to Kunming, China where I spied this wonderful bronze statue…..

I adored the look on the man’s face….

….not to mention the little boy at the back…..

Now THAT is a great example of “BLEW”!!

When we returned home, I called Sue and asked if she had ever acted on her inspiration. She said that she had not and that I was welcome to use the idea.

I started with the photo itself, tweaking it to enhance the color…..

I used the pinwheel as my inspiration and added a bunch of small pinwheels and two larger 3-D pinwheels….

….and added the beaded “stick” to meet the embellishment and blue requirements.

I made a couple of paper quilts to test out the quilting designs….

….but finally decided on wavy parallel lines in a metallic thread….

I love the final product…..

…particularly the way that the fabrics worked together.

And, as a plus, it is another fun “Travel Log Quilt” that reminds me of a trip to Kunming!!