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

Friday, September 30, 2016

30 Dots Has September ~ Dottie 365 plus Nature Notes

"The days go so slow but the years, they go too fast."

Hi! Today is the last day of September.  How come March and April don't fly by like these late summer, early Fall months do?
I have all my Dotty 365 blocks finished for the month, hooray! September 30 block is block 330 only 35 [36, it's Leap Year//  50 to even the rows] more to go! The year has gone too fast.

I continue to enjoy this project, I find it relaxing, yet interesting. I'm excited now to see the final textile that will result from my year's efforts. This month I tried to use darker toned Dot fabrics to increase the graphic impact and contrast in my Dots.
Mostly the choices were things to remember, or references to old times, fun times. A few are scraps from current projects, especially P2, which was my main sewing focus this month.
Morning glories, Monarch butterfly migration...

Full moon and a  medical appointment day.

A sad day, a beach day...

Hydrangeas, P2 flowers, shells....

 Dragonfly migration days....

P2, first day of School, Kitties visited, Cape Cod blueberry memories...

a Mo day or two...and more Cape Cod days, butterflies on the late roses.


A nature note, for those who don't visit here for endless quilt quandaries and musings! [and for me.] As I sit each day sewing on my deck I am now seeing  flocks of birds filling the skies. The migrating birds follow the coastline west, then south. The empty saltmarshes here provide safe resting territory and abundant food, plus I imagine the coast makes a good sight map for their travels. Lately I've been seeing small flocks of oystercatchers. They are easily recognized by their odd awkward flight. In the spring they arrive in small groups of two or three, often nesting as threesomes once they arrive. This is an oystercatcher decoy or carving.

But in the fall they form larger flocks of perhaps eight or ten birds. Maybe they are the parents and babies from summer? In late September they begin their practice flights, round and round the beach. Tomorrow they will stll be here, stalking small somethings yummy along the tideline. But Sunday they will be gone. Just as they arrive always on St Patrick's Day, they leave for their winter homes on October 2nd. I've lived here many years. Some things never change....Have you ever kept a birding journal or nature journal?

PS Finding ''madders'', red-brown prints, once created by a vegetable dye called madder...for Lori's new sewalong. So excited, i's again a mystery quilt.



gone to the beach....

365 Project at Qulty Folk :HERE

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

September Quilt Blocks

Hi! The days are getting shorter, as September draws to a close. I'm not fond of winter's darkness, I don't find it cozy---just, well, dark. Mo and I continue to enjoy our afternoons of sewing on the deck. I just have to get out there earlier!

And despite the shorter days, the deck is hot, sunny, and beautiful every afternoon.

Mo is not going to pleased when his afternoon sunbath on the deck ends in a couple of months!

Here are the Houses from When the Wild Geese Fly.

 I love the Mill building, just like the old mills still standing in New Bedford and Providence.

This is the Saltbox house, a typical Connecticut and Massachusetts style.

And a Schoolhouse:

I know the style is ''primitive'' here, but the classic Schoolhouse's shape is less than wonderful. Maybe try again? Draft my own pattern?

I didn't help things by insisting on using an orange gingham shirt back that had princess seams! It doesn't lay as flat as I'd hoped. [I know~ I always say I'll redo as needed at the end of the project, then by that time I'm so finished and tired of the project I just say Make it work, and move on. So, I guess we'll see!]
I have quite a bit of the string-pieced blue plaid fabric left over. I'm thinking Baskets with cheddar handles, maybe?

I completed this Ohio Sampler block.

The Oak leaves were challenging! Those tight inner curves are tough.

I've also been pushing myself to catch up/ continue with ongoing projects that need machine sewing. These are the undone Westering Women Blocks. Again I'm not too thrilled with my work.
This is called Chimney Rock. The plaid pointy squares are supposed to represent the large rock formation. Apparently on the flat prairie there were a few outstanding landmarks, high rocks at the travellers could see for miles.

I again drafted my own pattern and instructions. My points are pretty good but as I squeezed out the squares from my antique Prussian blue and madder brown wool challis scrap, I was not able to keep the pieces exactly on grain, and oh boy does it ever show!

And I used this special to me but anachronistic Union print for the center. My story/ excuse was that in 1853 as the rumblings of discord and discontent began, maybe my pioneer family was headed west, hoping for a free and peaceful life .
And this block is Courthouse Rock, another landmark on the prairie that the wagon trains aimed for as they headed west. It must have looked so strange to these people. The flat endless rolling grass of the prairie, and then far far away a hundreds of feet high natural monument or outcropping, looming in the distance. [For all I know it looks odd still today, I've never been to Nebraska!]

These set-in seams, below, are called Y seams and Brackman actually showed one of my blocks, another with Y seams, on her blog! I was thrilled. Y seams don't really bother me, maybe because my sewing background is in clothing? It's the 1/4" seams and exact 90* corners that are hard for me.

edit: Oh much better! Patience is important in sewing! Though as Mel points out in her comment, he values aren't well chosen, so the rocks don't stand out. Oh well..

I m feeling somewhat hassled by quilt-y To Dos as I begin machine sewing again. I usually only machine sew in the winter and spring, but I am so behind!  That, to me, means I have too many projects going. I'm a stickler for keeping up and especially for finishing my work.
Those issues did not stop me from recently buying these two new to me Jan Patek patterns! The goal with these, tho I won't begin them soon, is to improve my accuracy in piecing. Look at all those pointy points! And both look like quilts I might actually be able to use in my house.

We had one cool weekend, then the other night these black clouds rolled in. They have brought not rain but warmer muggier weather. But the clouds were all dark drama, no thunder wind or rain!

Have a good week! Quilty 365 Dotties here on Friday!



gone to the beach...

PS look close, below/// click to enlarge. Many migrating brds fill my sky each morning. These are maybe small hawks of some sort; they migrate early

To read more about the Westering Women blocks, and the rock formations represented here:

Courthouse Rock

Chimney Rock

Friday, September 23, 2016

Porch Quilt / P2 Update August and September

Hi! Show and tell time for P2. This was a BIG assignment this time. Three big lollipop flowers in star studded crocks,

plus other fillers---Moon, Star, Basket.

Love the Basket, love this fabric.

There were also two large squares that just called for an unpieced large floral. Instead I made a couple of fill in blocks

Sixteen patch, random fabrics.

And a Kite.

The kite's tail will be appliqued to the block[s] below it. Then after the quilt is quilted, I'll add three dimensional kite tail bows. Unless the block does not work with the rest of the blocks, in which case I I'll instead do some sort of pieced block.

I love kites and wanted to include one as a summer memory. My dad and I used to make our own kites. Some were tiny, smaller than the palm of your hand and we used sewing thread on spools for the strings. One year we made huge box kites! We used leftover Christmas wrapping paper for the paper sides. And though my own kids have outgrown kite flying, I enjoy seeing the many kites here on my beach. Some are go-cart kites that pull wooden vehicles. [scary!] and some are surf kites that haul the surfers high in the air.

I hope my Kite block works.

You may recall last P2 posting I asked about storing blocks for quilts in progress. Most of us just do the Baggies thing. But I did find these great boxes on sale at Michael's craft store. They are 14.5'' x 3.5'', perfect! Neat and clean too. Inedible for bored doggies [Mo adores Baggies zippers!], fairly waterproof too.

PS Blogger says this is my 800th post! Should I celebrate? Have a giveaway? Or...?



gone to the beach....

Tomorrow when Lori posts her version and her Linky is set up I'll add a link for Humble Quilts, so you can see everyone's P2s.