Solstice Challenge, Block 5

As I've mentioned before, I'm doing each of the blocks for the Solstice Challenge to mark something seasonal. Anticipating Block 5, I searched the internet to find something to celebrate Martin Luther King Day last Monday. I asked my friend Google to search out "Martin Luther King Fabric" and I came across an appropriate fat quarter from a company called Spoonflower. Unfortunately, I failed to take into account the scale of the print. When it arrived, I wondered how I could use it. It's a great fabric, but the scale takes up the entire surface of the fat quarter. I was expecting more of a repeating print.

No problem, I thought. I'll just wait and see what block comes out on Wednesday, and then figure out what to do from there. Well, Pat Sloan did me no favors with the choice of her Gramma Anna's Basket block. How could I possibly use the fabric with so many little half square triangles?

After giving it some thought, I figured out that I could increase the size of the basket applique template by 25%, and then fit the middle image from the fabric onto the basket applique. It all worked out perfectly. I've included the image from the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom that took place August 28, 1963. That was the day Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. "Free at Last" were words from a spiritual and the last spoken words of the speech.

From there, I could sew together the rest of the Gramma Anna's basket block. Of course, I had a lot of help from my four-legged friend. He's been outside a few times since the snow melted away, but he's still bored with our winter weather. He's waiting for the Summer Solstice to arrive.

When the block was all sewn together, it looked like this:

Also this morning, I moved onto Day Two of the Artisan Whole Grain Sourdough bread I'm making. When I left it yesterday, I'd just mixed up the starter, some whole wheat flour and some water. Then it was left to sit for 12 hours.

Mine sat a little longer than 12 hours. When I checked it this morning, it looked like this:

This morning, I added rye flour, bread flour, and spelt flour, along with some salt and more water. Then I mixed it up and hand kneaded it for about 6 minutes. It seemed smooth and glossy enough to me, and so I put it back in its bowl, sprayed it with a little oil, and then put it in the refrigerator.

Now it will sit for 24 hours. Tomorrow, I'll shape it into a boule and then give it another 5 hours of rise (or however long it takes). Then it will be ready for baking. My understanding is that these long periods of proofing give the yeast time to extract as much flavor from the protein in the flour as possible, making for a better-tasting bread. Of course, everything I'm doing at this point is strictly experimental. I never know what I'm going to end up with.

So that's my day so far. After this, I'll get back to work quilting Stars and Stripes. Here's where I left off.

It's my fondest desire to finish the quilting before day's end tomorrow.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sandra W said...

I think you did a great job with MLK and the basket.

claudia said...

The basket block is great!
I need to come to your house and taste your bread for you. I'll bring the butter!
I have a bet going in my head that you will have the Stars and Stripes done when you want. (Please don't let me lose)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Fabulous FQ - I haven't shopped Spoonflower in a while, they do have some great stuff. But you found a solution - I skipped the basket and fussy cut the center on this block and chalk it up to being lazy, errr, busy.

Brown Family said...

THat was a great way to do the basket and keep to the theme you are working toward.

Dorothy Finley said...

I don't know how you continually manage to hit things spot on, but you do---the basket block is fabulous, the "free motion star" quilting is my favorite of your quilting so far and I know there will be more to come that will knock my socks off too. And I'm with Claudia, I'll bring the butter and become a "bread taste tester" for you :-)

Wendy Tuma said...

Fantastic job on the Solstice block. Mine are an eclectic bunch and Block 5 is pretty mundane. I didn't even think to make it with a theme. It will be fun to see your blocks together when we are done with this. Your bread is coming along great. Looks tasty, count me in on the group coming over for a bite. I'll bring butter too, we have some really really good stuff here!

beaquilter said...

what a neat block you made, spoonflower is in durham nc, not too far from me, but haven't toured the place (yet)

Kate said...

Love your basket block tribute to MLK day. It turned out beautifully! You've probably finished all the quilting by now, I'll catch up at some point. Looking forward to seeing the finish on that quilt.