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Weather Balloons

I have been sewing for a long time. I first learned how to sew in a 4-H club, with the lessons taught by my mother. Sewing in 4-H didn't last very long (mostly because I really wanted to show animals, not sew), but my mother kept the lessons going for me. And one of my mother's favorite ways to sew is piecing quilts. So because of that, my sewing roots are based in piecing quilts. I have sewn clothes and accessories and all sorts of things over the years, but when I really want to settle in and get creative, I piece quilts.

(I have also done some of the actual quilting, but that part of it is still a work in progress. Someday I will have my own long arm machine...)

This year was going to be the year I actually entered a quilt in a local quilt show. I love to make quilts and give them to others. And, let's be honest, I love to piece quilt tops and set them aside halfway through and never return to them. I've never made a quilt for the sole purpose of showing it off (a good half of the quilts have never been finished to show off...). But I decided this year to push myself and take a chance and make something (finish something) and enter it in the local quilt show.

Then, as with so many other events, COVID-19 came on the scene, and the quilt show was cancelled.

And, surprise, the quilt is not finished yet. At least this time I can blame closed schools and the requirement that I constantly play tech support for multiple children's educational needs.

But I think all the components are finished. I just need to figure out sashing. And borders. And backing. And binding. And I still need to embroider in the ropes attaching the balloons to the basket.

Oh yeah, and the actual quilting.

Okay, I still have some work to do.

I started with a winter balloon. It was January. Right after Christmas, so I wasn't quite ready to give up the holiday. I had this pattern for a hot air balloon that I loved. I started gathering some sparkly fabric, and suddenly, it was a winter hot air balloon. And a night hot air balloon.

That gave me an idea.

Spring was next. I gathered some spring-y colors for the balloon, and decided to see if I could make the background look like the balloon was coming up in the early morning dawn.

I liked spring. So summer came next. And since I was moving through the day as well as the seasons, I tried for high noon.

I had thought autumn would be the easiest for me, because I have lots of rich purples and reds in my fabric stash. But it was actually really challenging for me. Too many choices maybe? Or not enough other colors? And figuring out sunset colors was near impossible. I looked at so many sunset pictures.

But I think it turned out okay. And I love all of them together.

And maybe it will be ready in time for the quilt show of 2021!


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