Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bigger yet

Those 8" quilt blocks I have been making seem big enough when I'm making them, but they're nothing compared to these behemoths:

three dresden plates

These enormous dresden plates are part of the quiltalong hosted by Lynne at Lily's Quilts, and the blocks will finish to 30". I took a long time figuring out which fabric to use and finally settled on these oranges from Lonni Rossi. I pulled out the palest fabric of the bunch to use for the centre circles, and pulled out the darkest ones to cut into strips for the borders (not pictured).

I have to confess that I'm setting in the centre circles in by hand—this is partly because I didn't feel like dragging out the sewing machine when I was getting started on them and now my fate is sealed, and partly because the Civil War quiltalong blocks have given me a fondness for hand-piecing. I doubt that I'll piece the dresden plates into their backgrounds by hand, though; they're 78" around!

My partner thinks the dresden plates look like a child's drawing of the sun, and they do. But I think the blocks resemble huge cross-sections of citrus fruits, which means that they tie in nicely to my current fixation, which is making marmalade out of the last beautiful fruits of winter.


So far I have Meyer lemon, Minneola tangelo, blood orange, and key lime marmalades. (There were satsumas earmarked for marmalade, but I ate them.) And I'm already planning slightly more adventurous ones for next year. A variety of tangerines! Lemon-vanilla! JalapeƱo-lime! Grapefruit! Kumquat! I am convinced that lemon-orange-bergamot marmalade is the only thing missing from my life! Clearly I need to move to California or the Mediterranean where these things actually grow, instead of just sighing wistfully over them from afar.

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