Wednesday, June 8, 2016

con fuoco

Like writing blog posts, naming quilts can sometimes be quite a process for this girl.  There are times, however, when a post magically almost writes itself as I type, as do some quilts magically name themselves.  This one's name took a bit to birth, but when it did present itself, on a walk (but of course, that meditative frame of mind when so many many good ideas and thoughts come to mind), it was magical, another warm tingly (no not the precursor to a hotflash) moment for me.  Just a note, there are a hundred photos here!
Note the presence of our purple iris!
This quilt came into being during the making of Fairy Steps for my Auntie Joyce, who lives in a seniors' residence in England.
Fairy Steps with con fuoco

Her husband, my mum's brother, still lives at their house in Lancashire, a county in northern England.  He is undergoing some cancer treatments right now, and as I was sewing Fairy Steps, it hit me
Uncle Frank needed a quilt too!!  Mum didn't know what his favourite colour was, so I emailed him.  He told me "flaming orange (not a fruit on fire)".  He's gifted with a very dry wit.  Then added that he was partial to purple as well.  A perfect combination!  Totally not in my wheelhouse.  But hey, I love to play with colour and fabric, and I love to learn, so this was a great opportunity.  Besides, orange seems to be warming its way (get it?) into my heart and psyche and life this year.  See Radiance,  Anja's mini, Oxymoron, and Preeti's mini, Om.

In email discussion with Judy about the wavy line quilting on her latest quilt for Kat's charity, Covered in Love, I hit upon the wavy line quilting idea for this quilt.  Once again, the friendships formed within QBL prove invaluable.  Judy had thought of doing wavy lines on her quilt incorporating some of Christina Cameli's designs and I thought yep! Perfect for this quilt.  Let's have a look!
Top to bottom: pebbles within two wavy lines, cursive L's within peapods, music notes and treble clefs (eeep! my own invention on this line), cursive E's and a Uncle Frank's name
I usually quilt in the person's name somewhere within the quilt, as well as my initials.

I did about 4 or 5 different wavy line motifs and repeated them, and then at the very last edge, I wrote several meaningful phrases and words.  The first, "poems for proles" is Uncle Frank's blog.  He is one of the most talented people I know, a writer (wrote a couple episodes for "Coronation Street"), writes beautiful poetry, conducted the Besses o' the Barn brass band for many years and put out a few LPs, he paints, is an avid reader (recommended to Mum and hence to me one of my all-time favourite books, The Book Thief, and he went back to university and got his BA in his 70s, to name a few.

This one is hard to read, but it says 'books'  and 'music'.

Here is 'textiles' and 'love'.  Uncle Frank worked in textiles all his life.  There were several mills in Lancashire at one time.
I went over it three times, once to go back to cross the 't' and another to try to make it more visible.

Great texture, and nice and soft.  Here you can see the purple and orange plaid I used for binding.  It was my gut feeling, but I also tried the RJR Handspray I bought from Craftsy.  I am so glad I went with my gut, as it just gives it a 'zing!' doesn't it?  I picked up the plaid in the sale section at a quilt shop in Fort Myers, Florida, several years ago for binding.  It's a Nancy Halvorsen fabric.  By Benartex.  Two of the fabrics in his quilt, the orange one with yellow streaks and the purple streaks one, visible in both the photo above and below, are what I received as a thank you from Benartex a few weeks ago for sending them several friends' emails to receive their new e-zine, Modern By the Yard.  I love that I've used nothing but stash and scraps in this quilt, both old and new!

Just as for Fairy Steps, I quilted con fuoco with cotton 50 weight Essential thread.
Essential threads: 20872 Blush and 20875 Pumpkin

I just love it, as does Avril, my Avanté.  There's very little fuzz.
After one full self-wound bobbin of So Fine, this is what I cleaned out of the bobbin case area
Constructing the backing was fun.  I found an older piece of yardage I bought for use as a backing 'somewhere down the road' because it was on sale.  It was perfect.  I added in the rest of the gold music fabric and sewed in the label as a part of the backing.
Of course! Lay fabric down, poof! Out of nowhere Bella appears to loll about and pose on it.  She's showing you "Bananasana" invented and named by Bernie Clark, which is a sidebend on your back, and a real pose in the Yin yoga system.  She hasn't quite got the 'cradle your head in your hands à la hammock-style' part of it down yet, but it'll do!
 Here's a better one, cat shooed away, quilt completed and washed.
The label:
Okay, high time I explained the name.  I tossed around several ideas as I was sewing and quilting: flames, fire, blaze, Roman ideas even (Uncle Frank mentioned perhaps his love of purple was due to his being descended from a Roman Emperor, LOL), dance, music, translating a quilt's name into Spanish, as he and Auntie Joyce used to vacation in Spain sometimes, and then upon one of my walks, it came to me, con fuoco.  It's a musical term (all musical terms are written in Italian) that tells you how to play a piece:  with fire.  Perfect!
As Judy mentioned, there is an art to those rolled-up quilts shots!  Zoom in, as I just did after uploading it, on each of the three corners here.  See anything?  Neither did I.  Sigh.  Read on...

I washed them and dried them both together.  You haven't seen Fairy Steps all crinkly, so here you are:
Sorry that the collage maker in picmonkey has a pre-set rectangle, so it cut off the side borders of Fairy Steps.
Yeah I zoomed right in on the second rolled-up shot in my Photos app.  Got nothing.  Here's what happened.  I alluded to this "'Oh NO!!' menopausal melon - it's on vay-cay indefinitely, sigh" moment...  I had his quilt finishing drying on the loveseat beside me.  I thought, hmm, let's see just how good of a cuddle lap quilt it is (it's bigger than Auntie Joyce's whose quilt is meant to be a small 'keep your knees warm' lap quilt).  It's lovely, was my first impression.  And then...I noticed a section of binding, about an inch long, that hadn't been properly stitched down, at one of the corners.  I grabbed a pin to mark that spot and finished what I was doing, cuddling, watching TV, reading, or writing up a blog post, who knows.  And totally forgot about marking that spot.


I folded and refolded those quilts MANY times, trying out two different boxes, weighing them, folding them up again, placing them inside a plastic bag.  Taking them out.  Adjusting.  Putting in cards for recipients of each quilt.  How did I not get pricked by that damn pin??  Sent them merrily away on June 1.  (btw they arrived yesterday!!! June 7!!! That's faster than sending a letter from Ontario to Alberta!)  Got back home from the post office, puttered around doing this 'n that.  Emailed Mum to tell her I'd sent them, started sewing on the next project, which just happens to be yet another DREAMi project, (my pet term for DRop Everything And Make it)...

and THEN.  Heart dropped in my chest.
Remember when Brady asked me how come I always say that?  And I didn't realize how much I did say it, but I responded, "Well I guess it's because Nana does so many dumb things!"  HOW COULD I HAVE DONE THAT?!  Well, I did.  Thank goodness, no one was harmed; I quick emailed Mum with a red face of shame, that I'd left a pin in one corner, and she told me today that my cousin David found it.  No one harmed.  Phew.

One last photo:
Linking up wtih Sew Fresh Quilts
Crazy Mom Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict


  1. How wonderful the pin was found and everything turned out well in the end. Boy did those quilts arrive quickly! I just love seeing them on the laps of their new owners (and yes, I totally spy that violin!). :)

  2. Wow,Uncle Frank, I love your poems. Couldn't decide which one the most, but maybe " The Library" as I do like reading books. Purple and orange, that combination turned out to be absolutely stunning, and for Joyce, a winner too.

  3. Both pins are great but I really love the purple and orange one. It's interesting that you remembered the pin after you sent the quilts. One of my good friends lives in lancaster and her family live in lancashire out in the country. I'd forgotten about the fabric mills but they were the backdrop of many novels written in the industrial period.

  4. What a wonderful quilt for Uncle Frank and love all the elements you quilted into the quilting. Uncle Frank sounds like an amazing man. He looks like he is happy with his quilt and how fitting to have the violin in the photo.

  5. Love those quilts but particularly the purple and orange one. The quilting (as ususal) is terrific ... or, as Bella would say, purrrfect. So glad no one was harmed by the stray pin.

  6. I love the thought that you put into the sayings you quilted in Uncle Frank's quilt. Of course the quilt is spectacular too.

  7. Our Uncle Frank and auntie Joyce will treasure these! Absolutely beautiful! So glad they arrived while Mum was still there lol!

  8. I enjoyed this post immensely! I am so impressed with your uncle's bio. Some people are so accomplished. Amazing. Both quilts are outstanding and you inspire me!

  9. Sandra, "con fuoco" is the perfect name for this quilt! I love how it turned out and love the purple and orange together. Your quilting and the way you incorporated words, musical notes, and Christina's designs is wonderful! Thank goodness you spied that pin in the photo. I still can't find it, LOL. Love the photo of your aunt and uncle with their quilts!
    I just popped over to "poems for proles" to read a little of your Uncle Frank's work. He had me with the very first poem "Cliches". So much feeling! I had to come back here to comment before I forgot what I wanted to say, but I'm heading back to read more of Frank's poetry today.

  10. ...and after reading a bit of his poetry I believe your Uncle Frank lives his life CON FUOCO as well....I had myself a good laugh reading his "A" Level poem.... The quilt turned out beautifully---I don't know "who" looked like they enjoyed the quilt more though, Uncle Frank or Bella! Nice bit of sharing here, Sandra; thank you.

  11. Sandra, your posts are so fun to read. And your quilting is so free spirited! I love those little musical notes you added in. I'm going to have to try that! My daughter's best friend is a talented musician (who plays the violin as well) and I better start thinking about what I'm going to make for her graduation (next year) now or I'll never get it done! Love the way you personalized those quilts for your aunt and uncle.

  12. What a lovely post. From start to finish, what a pleasure to read and so informative too. I think Uncle Frank will be getting some new followers😀 I love the quilts and especially Uncle Frank's. I tried to type the title in but my spelling thing kept replacing it!!!!! (Chocolate, chick, thick etc) so I gave up😉 your musical quilting is fabulous and the sayings you have quilted into are wonderful, maybe one day when I can free motion like you awhhhhh. Glad the quilts arrived safely and even better the pin was found.
    Btw the weather haS changed today here in Lancashire, it's raining.
    sue xx

  13. Both quilts look well loved--nice to have photos with the recipients. My favorite is the purple and orange--the design and the quilting. Claire aka

  14. I love this quilt...and not because it's orange :) Great finish!

  15. What an awesome manly quilt. The name turned out perfect as well. Leaving a pin in isn't as bad as quilting one in between the layers. I have done that... twice. (I blame little helpers who have helped when I was basting a quilt. I had to unpick, pull the pin out, then hand sew the seam.

  16. What a wonderful quilt for him in such fabulous colours! You always have the perfect quilting motif! Does he play the violin? I love it that he has his violin right beside him. Don't worry about the pin. I am sure they are super happy to receive those beautiful quilts.

    (And yes, naming a quilt is the hardest part)


  17. A lovely story to go with a lovely quilt made with love! It always means so much more when one's heart is engaged, doesn't it? Simply wonderful.

  18. I am so with you when it comes to con fuoco. Why do anything if it not with fire (passion and intensity)? Con Fuoco is reminiscent of Halloween, just as Fairy Steps is very Rosewood Gardens. Thank goodness that Dave found the pin before the pin found him. All's well that ends well.

  19. Three loves:
    1. I LOVE the process of naming too! (your quilts, my paintings)
    2. I LOVE the DREAM Project! (DRop Everything And Make it)
    3. I LOVE the photos of your aunt and uncle. Isn't it a treat when the recipient (whether a of a gift or a purchase) of your art send a photo of where it hangs or lays or of them with it!
    love, Love, LOVE