Saturday, December 2, 2017

On the design wall: Lighthouses

Our Dear Daughter was home for Thanksgiving and she brought me a great panel from the local quilt shop in Ashland, WI.  What a wonderful surprise!

The panel has a half-dozen 6-inch sketches of the Lighthouses of the Apostle Islands.  In recent years her hubby worked with the National Park Service as the Lighthouses were repaired, and he spent many summer days out on Lake Superior with that project.  So it has special meaning.

Lady of the Lake blocks seemed the appropriate setting, so I've pulled the blue, purple and green 3-inch blocks out of my scrap bag.  Matching a light and a dark, I'm making 2.5-inch cut HST's to go around each 6.5-inch cut lighthouse piece.

Here's where I started...
and here's what I have now...

Monday, November 27, 2017

On Smith Lake part 1

Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt is underway.   It's always so exciting to see what wonderful design she has for us to sew along together.   On Ringo Lake was inspired by the lake cabin in northern Minnesota that is her family gathering place.  Such wonderful memories are made "at the Lake."  We are blessed enough to have such a place in our family too.  So, of course, my version will carry the name of our Minnesota lake, "On Smith Lake."

Minnesotans are so funny about our over 10,000 lakes.  We talk about them all as if there's only one.  "Been to The Lake?"  "Yup."  And we nod like we know precisely which one it is.  It's not the exact lake that matters, it's the collective memories that are made at all the Minnesota lakes that we instinctively understand.

We were up to The Lake this past weekend and  before we left home I looked up the first clue to the mystery.  Here are the 9-patch blocks right along the lake shore.  Five packs of 10 blocks.  My turquoise fabrics lean more to medium-dark blue.   I hope that there will still be enough contrast.  As you can tell from the photo, it's a color you can often see in the waters of Smith Lake.

Can you tell that the lake is frozen now?  Not long after this photo was taken a flock of 16 beautiful white swans flew in and landed on the one spot on the lake that was still open water.  What a sight!

Linking up with the Monday link-up at Quiltville. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Countryside Wreath

The holidays are coming up in a hurry, and there are gifts to sew! 

As I was pulling out the perfect pattern for a wall hanging, (which I can't show you until it's gifted at Christmas) I noticed this Thimbleberries wreath pattern in the pile.  It just jumped out and offered to help me use up some 3-inch scraps from my scrap bag. Well, that's my story anyway. (wink)

Why not?

So, amid my other projects, this squeezed it's way into my sewing time, and it turned out great!  I decided to go with the single block version and it's plenty big.  It's 38 inches square with borders, 25.5 inches square without.  It was perfect to use up a bunch of those scraps, but I probably have enough for a couple more!  It's so tempting.  It went together in such a short time!

Don't you think that those spur-of-the-moment projects are so much fun to do?  No planning, no deadline, no fuss.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

New Orleans adventure

New Second Line by Rhonda Blasingame 2010
Recently my sister and I met up with some cousins in New Orleans.    We had a delightful long weekend in the city.  The Vacation Rental where we stayed was a very old "double shotgun" style house, a duplex that is long and narrow.  It was adorable!  Not your usual cookie-cutter hotel room.  Nope, this one had age and personality!

It was a pleasant surprise to find a quilted wall hanging above the fireplace in the dining area.  And the more we looked at it, the more there was to be seen. 

The darker blue at the top forms the shape of the Louisiana coastline along the blue Gulf of Mexico.  Black figures in raw edge hand applique march and dance across the quilt in a traditional New Orleans Funeral procession.  First the hearse carrying the deceased, followed by family members on foot.  Next in line are the musicians. Can you almost hear them playing "When the Saints Go Marching In"? Bringing up the rear is the "second line" carrying umbrellas. 

A closer look shows bead embellishments on all the umbrellas, and clear raindrop beads falling upon them.  I wish my photos could do it justice.  I had to use my cell phone since I had not brought a separate camera.

 Fortunately, the quilter, Rhonda Blasingame, had put a label on the back.  She made the quilt in 2010.  Even the backing, with it's bright umbrellas, was a delight. 

Some of the tourist-y things we did on our 'cousins weekend':

* Riverboat cruise on the Creole Queen to the historic site of the Battle of New Orleans.  The National Park Service has a museum there too.

* Demonstration class at the New Orleans School of Cooking.  Loads of fun!  It was interesting to hear the history of the area in relation to the many cultures that blended to create the unique cuisine of New Orleans.

* Walked around the French Quarter, attended Sunday Mass at the Cathedral, went to the Cabildo Museum, and decided that Bourbon Street was NOT our cup of tea! lol

Jackson Square, New Orleans

Monday, October 9, 2017

Log cabin layout

deck of cards layout
Log cabins are such a cute way to use up those narrow strips and scraps.  A week or so ago I cleared out my 1-1/4 inch bag and made up 24 Log Cabin blocks that finish at 5 inches.

It's layout time! 

Recently I saw a 'deck of cards' arrangement that was intriguing.  It would make two small quilts once I add setting and corner triangles.  They'd make nice gifts.  I love how they make a pinwheel in the center.

Or, maybe put the blocks all together into one quilt.  Ooh, the possibilities!
pinwheel and barn raising layout

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Just at the right time! Palmateer Point.

Have you ever stumbled upon just the right project at the right time?  Lori at Humble Quilts has a quilt-along that is perfect for some scraps I've been trying to use up.   I couldn't resist jumping in.

Palmateer Point parts one, two and three.
There are lots of projects that take 4-patch scraps.  Nearly every one has two light and two dark blocks.  What's left?  All those not-quite-light enough and not-quite-dark enough colors.  You know what I mean?  Those scraps where the color is never just right?  They get set aside every time.  And I had a bunch of them.

Well, those sad, overlooked blocks have found a home in Palmateer Point.  Twenty-five 4-patch blocks in soft almost-medium colors.  My scrap bag is nearly empty.  Ta-Da!

Here's the center portion all finished.   It's so hard to decide on a border!  The green keeps the soft antique look, but the blue gingham gives it a bit of a pop.  Which is your favorite?  Or something else entirely?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Clearing out the 1-1/4 strips

Every once in a while it's time to clear out a bag of scraps.  My scrap-user system involves putting pieces of the same width in gallon Ziploc bags.  When they get reasonably full, it's time to find a project to use them up. 

Well, this week the teeniest of scraps got the attention.  I dumped out and sorted the 1-1/4 inch strips by size.  Next came a little math and a prototype Log Cabin block to test out what I needed.  Strips were cut and put in small bags, all ready to sew up more Log Cabins.

The two smallest pieces in the Log Cabins are red and white at 1-1/4 inches each.  The shortest dark strip is 2-inches.  So, in the end, I had a bunch of dark strips that were smaller than 2-inches and couldn't be used. 

What to do?  4-patches!  Trimmed to 2-inches and cute as can be.  They might make nice cornerstones in a future project, or maybe the center of a Square-in-square block.  Possibilities....