Everyone Needs A Hug

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My goodness! Between my Mom's passing, the shooting in Tucson Arizona, snow in 49 states of the US and more water in Queensland Australia than the entire world wants to see, I think we all need a hug and a bit of cheer so I'm going to put my big girl panties on and give it my best try!

Let's start with the newest member of the family.

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I'd like to introduce you to Izzy. She's Paul and Angela's new puppy. She is such a sweet little girl, a bit shy with the guys and totally naive to the whole doggy world. She snuggles her 17 lbs. right across your chest with her head on your shoulder just like a baby. Looking at those feet of hers she probably won't be able to do that much longer but I'll enjoy it for now. Clutch, not so much.........he's a bit scared and not too happy his Mommy is cuddling someone else. He skipped his dinner last night in protest.   Izzy was one of 10 puppies rescued when their Mom died during childbirth and is a mix of Lab, Boxer and Pit. We all look forward to watching her grow and learn new things.

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January's Beyond The Cherry Trees block is the center block from the quilt. When I got the quilt there was a big gaping hole right in the middle but I carefully spread it across my sewing table and stitched a piece of muslin underneath to hold it all together. The stitches aren't pretty but it sure helps.

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In a perfect world (haha) there would be this great signature of the quilt maker stitched in this center block with the date and place the quilt was made.

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Look closely, do you see where the quilting stitches are kind of bunched together and not as uniform as the other area? Can you tell what it is? Me either, so this is where my needle and brown thread come out along with a pair of magnifying glasses to go on top of my regular glasses.

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You just start tracing the stitches.

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Here's what I found. A cute flower a lot like what we've seen before so I started to look around a little more.

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How about here? Do you see anything here?

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Not bad........a nice leaf with a "cherry" circle in the middle. Back to the search......

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This is a tricky one........so you see it?

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I was really excited about this find. We haven't seen this design before. It almost looks like it started out as a leaf and somehow she added more leaves and a stem to it. I then moved on and did something I still can't believe I did..........

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I took a pencil and made tiny dots where I could see stitches, This spot is not quite in the center of the block but close enough.

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You can see it, it's there, a flower! I'll admit to taking some artistic liberty here and drafting this as a full flower and I also shifted it's position a little closer to the center to balance the applique shapes.

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These are the treasured grapes. All we can see are the tufts of brown left from the purple print fabric. Way back when we started this project I was able to open one of the tufts enough to get a picture of the print and determine it's original color. I also took some artistic liberty here.

I actually drafted the block twice. The first time I drew all the grapes as 5/8" circles which was the most common size and straightened out the grapevine into a circle. After I finished I wasn't sure I liked it that way. True grapevines aren't perfectly round and all the grapes in a cluster aren't the same size so I started over giving our vine some it's original bend back and matching the grape circles as closely as possible to the fabric tufts that remain.

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I usually like to use Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Circles when I have circle shapes to applique but even with all the sizes she offers there just weren't enough that matched all the grapes so I pulled out one of the trustly old green circle templates I bought years ago (you can tell can't you) at the art supply store. They're more widely available now and I think you can even find them in the school supply section of most stores like Target and Walmart. I know this is fine for drawing on paper but how will I translate that to working with fabric? Some of the grapes are large enough I could back baste them but I think I'll be doing something else so watch for an upcoming Grape Tutorial.

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The embroidery on this block is unusual to me too. You know how we wonder what came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, I wonder what came first, the stems or the grapes? They are stitched in a chain stitch meandering around the grapes going from the top stem downward. Fiona thought the thread might be linen or cotton. It's heavier than quilting thread. We think the blue color of the thread and fabric indicates a darker shade of green which has now faded to blue so the thread was most likely dyed to match the fabric. How cool is that considering how long ago that was done? I'm always in awe of the ingenious spirit of quilters, especially those who stitched before me!

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As I said before, it's not a perfect world and I feel very confident is saying I don't believe there was a signature of any kind in the center block. If there is one hidden in the stitches , we're still looking. I won't discourage you by saying just how many grapes there are in this block but there are only two vines and four leaves to how hard can it be?

How about a little more fun..............


Remember me telling you Petticoats & Polka Dots was in the house? It's in the house and in the Online Store too. It's probably also in your local quilt shop as well but I have a couple of fat quarter bundles and panels I want to give away.

You can see all the different prints on here Blue Hill Fabrics web site

There are 19 fat quarters in each bundle.

There are two panels, one pink and one blue.

All you have to do is leave a comment between now and midnight EST., Tuesday, January 18, 2011 and on Wednesday the 19th we'll give Clutch a break and let Mr. Random Generator pick the winners and I'll announce them here.

Now to finish fixing supper and then I'll move the Midget Mania blocks to the regular Midget Block page for you so they're easier to find.

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13 Responses to “Everyone Needs A Hug”

  1. Michelle Busler January 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Wow…this is the first time that I have visited your website and I am amazed. I couln’t even see what you were showing in the pictures of that georgeous quilt, until you did the stitches. I will have to search out the rest of the story on this quilt in order to catch up on what it is you are doing.

    Sorry for the loss of your mother, I know that is a difficult disease for family members as well as for the loved one that has it. (I worked in Home Health Care for 8 years). Many prayers for you and your family.

  2. MyraMcpeak January 18, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    Oh my!!! That puppy is just precious! But tell Clutch he will always be no. 1 in my book! And I absolutely love reading about and having you show us how you “find” the surprises in this quilt by following the almost invisible clues! I have learned soo much from your site about quilting and reproducing antique quilts! Thank you so much for sharing your talents with all of us,your loyal followers! I am so so sorry about the loss of your mother, I have lost a grandmother and aunt to alzheimers and know first hand what a vicious,evil disease it truly is. Please accept my deepest condolences to you and your family.-Myra

  3. Heather Dedo January 18, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    Sorry for your loss. Very cute puppy and I love the quilt that you are restoring! You are doing a wonderful job!

  4. Kathy J January 18, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

    Great site!!!! If I have to pull up my Big Girl Panties one more time I might show my #@$!
    I’m right there with you! Here’s a hug back to you! Thanks, Kathy J

  5. Vicki Moskiewicz January 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Lovely fabrics! Nice puppy, too. How many cherries can one applique before they really don’t care if they are round?
    Vicki

  6. rita goshorn January 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    i’m sorry for your loss …. losing a loved one is always heartbreaking. my mother passed more than half my lifetime ago, and i still enjoy my memories of her.
    your work on the old quilt was most interesting! gives me hope that i can do something for the quilt my sister made for me so many years ago.

  7. Sue Baddley January 18, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    Hey Gay
    Leaving a comment to be entered here. I’m enjoying looking thru you web. Fun stuff here!
    sue

  8. Wendy L January 18, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    Your website is so fun! And I totally agree with the title of this post! We can all ALWAYS use a hug!

  9. Limbania January 19, 2011 at 12:42 am #

    Wow! Amazing how patient you are to figure out every single stitch. Just came across your blog last week and look forward to do this project, thanks for sharing.
    My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. Blessings.

  10. Wendy January 19, 2011 at 7:01 am #

    I left a comment yesterday, but apparently it didn’t stick! I love your website! You have such fun stuff! I also LOVE the title of this post! Life is crazy and we can all ALWAYS use a hug! Here’s a [hug] for you. We’re dealing with alzheimers in my grandmother and it’s definitely not easy. So lots & lots of [[[[[hugs]]]]]! ~Wendy~

  11. Renea January 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    So sorry to hear about your mom. Thanks for all the things on the web. The Petticoats & Polka Dots are so cute!

  12. Gay January 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    This one’s for Linda Bennett

  13. Donna January 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    Hi,Gay,
    It amazes me how you uncover the stitches in this quilt. You must have patience galore.
    I think it’s great that you are taking someone’s well used quilt, that lots of non quilter folks would have thrown away, and making it a treasure for years to come by redrafting the pattern for others to stitch.

    So sorry about your Mom. Give Clutch a pat on the head and scratch behind his ears for me.
    Thanks for all you make available to us.

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