I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, August 29, 2016

August Quilt Blocks

Hi! August is almost over ! And though we expect another two months of summer, it does seem as if things are changing, summer is rushing by! [Because I live so near the finally-warm ocean, Fall begins around Veterans Day, in November.]
But the days are shorter, and evenings on the deck are no longer bright enough to sew past 7.30. Here is what I did this month. [The block is L shaped, the seashells are not part of the block.]

This is one of my favorite Wild Geese blocks. For months I've been planning how to baste the raw edges of the sunflower so that in time it could turn shaggy / raggy---frilly! But in the end, no. It just needed to be made this way.

And this is another Basket from P2, a little 5" filler block. I LOVE this little basket. I'm thinking it could make a great long term project like the Dotty Circles, scraps of pretty fabrics, something to have on hand to keep my fingers busy? If I start and lose interest--the four or six starters will make a sweet little doll quilt. Or ten years from now I will have a hundred Baskets and a full sized memory quilt.

And here are my next two Ohio Sampler blocks. Carnation or as I always learned the name Cotton Boll:

And the start of Oak Leaves and Reel. [waiting for green when the photo was taken.]

I never have enough green fabrics, I don't like green and never buy it so I'm always short of what I need . The green for the oak leaves did come yesterday, from Fat Quarter Shop. Very fast and beautifully packed fabrics. So much nicer than the way the ladies at Joann's wad things up. Though I still had to overdye it to get the kind of dill pickle green I can endure.

I fear my Ohio sewing lacks precision! The Ohio Sampler blocks are more challenging than the prim appliques of a P2 or WWGF. The designs are traditional and often symmetrical, somewhat formal, despite being folk art of sorts. I can picture the young women c.1890 competing to show off their needle skills, each wanting their block to be better than the rest. (The Ohio Sampler Quilts were made up of many blocks contributed by groups of friends and family.)

And as I sew I picture them whispering about me behind their hands, and giggling: "Did you see that Reel and Oak Leaf block Mattie Belle's great -granddaughter made! Tee hee hee."

Mattie Belle is my Ohio ancestor. She was from Virginia ''stock'' and her name was truly Mattie Belle. Mattie, not Matilda, or Margaret, or, lol...Madison!--and Belle was a nod to her Southern birthright. She was an expert quilter/ sewer, who gifted our family with such southern delicacies as buttermilk fried chicken, ham and green beans [eeeew], and bacon fried RED tomatoes with cream gravy. Fried in bacon drippings! My mom kept a green crock of drippin's in the fridge all her life. Oh and via my cousin, we discovered her recipe for pecan pie---the best!

This is an piece of an old quilt, the block is Laurel Leaves and Reel. [from my collection, but NOT made by my ancestor.]

Look how beautifully made it is, and how the quilting gives it such texture. Also interestingly, it is quite rough homespun material, possibly all or partly linen, not cotton. Just so you can see an
expert's work. It was probably originaaly green and cream or red/ green/ cream. Too faded to know for sure. Age? 1835-1855?

And finally, a little bit about P2's Flower Pot blocks. I was very proud of myself  for finding the large scale floral polka dot at the spring quilt show, and I worked a bit ahead and had my flower lollipops all premade for this month's assignment. Last night I got them ready to be sewed this afternoon, but this morning when I got up and looked at them----Oh NO! I hated how they looked.

Would using the smaller florals from the Big Basket block work better?

Nope, maybe not. Probably I will only know for sure when the whole project is complete. I can always change them, right?

Dotties 365 for August later this week, here. Have a good week.



gone to the beach...

The ''reel'' is the center section, presumably it looks like a cotton reel or spool, used for weaving?


  1. *I* LIKE your lollipop flowers, the original ones! I don't think the smaller print would look as good. They NEED to be big and bold! (And hey, the background print looks good too!)

    I think it's really cool you have at least a part of your ancestor's quilt! Such small exacting stitches...but they didn't have books and TV to distract them, LOL.

    I like your idea to make small blocks with scraps to keep yourself busy, but I don't know that *I* would do all baskets! They look hard! But you could mix baskets and dots and whatever other shapes you like to sew all together in a fun memory quilt!

  2. The thing is, I really enjoy making the basket block...

    The quilt fragment is NOT from my GGGrandmother, just something I ve collected. I ll edit so the story is less misleading.

  3. You need to leave your lovely flowers! I like them a lot!!
    Love your other applique too.

  4. Love seeing your gorgeous applique! The flowers look great but I know how that happens, not necessarily liking what you came up with. Sometimes it's a subtle thing that only you can see. I've been thinking about making an oak leaf quilt for over a year. Yep, it just won't go away. Probably won't have the reel part to it though!

    1. Well the good news is I can always change the big flowers later. I find these ''primitive'' eclectic patterns fun to sew but difficult to picture the final result in its entirety.

      Speaking of hard to sew, the oak leaves' loops and curves are tough! But I am picturing a Fall border of acorns, oak leaves, birds, squirrels..Maybe in blues? and a simple pieced center. For someday.

  5. Let me try this again. My comment disappeared on me :(

    You nailed the 'dill pickle' color. It looks good. I, too, think you should keep the original flowers. I like the size and they are very cute. My uneducated opinion :)

    That's so cool that you have some of Mattie Belle's recipes. The bacon-fried red tomatoes with cream gravy don't sound rich, no, not rich at all ;) I keep a container of bacon drippings, as did my Mom and Grandmother. I don't use it often, I just like to know it's there. Kind of a comfort thing...memories I suppose.

    Nice beach pics.


    1. You have southern roots, right? Maryland? So you have the bacon crock. I proably would too but I only use microwave bacon!
      Looking forward to seeing your Goose from your neighborhood! Don't get arrested for goose peeping!

      PS The fried tomatoes are soooo yummy.

  6. Your quilting is very pretty ♥



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