Once again we were fortunate to be able to travel to France in Spring 2017 to travel with our Aussie friends Linda and Paul Collins. We attended the most wonderful show in Nantes, hosted by the famous Quiltmania Magazine and book publisher. Was fortunate for a beautiful side trip to Brouage.
And a few other meanderings as we were gone ‘a while’.
Every two years, Brouage hosts a most wonderful reproduction quilt exhibit in 2 halls, made by a group of ladies. They are given 2 years to make their reproduction quilt for exhibit, most have been made ‘entirely by hand’ . . . you know, hand pieced, hand appliqué, assembled by hand and hand quilted. This old fashioned girl was smitten.
I saw a certain quilt that I felt I needed to make one for me.
After returning home and sharing the pictures with my sewing friends, one said I think American Jane (a Moda designer) has a pattern for that. Here it is:
My friend ordered us patterns, because if you can buy the pattern why draft it? Would have to dig deep in my old skills to draft. I learned to draft from Jinny Beyer’s book in the 1980’s.
When the pattern arrived, it is for paper foundation piecing, no problem. I did not want to machine piece, I wanted to hand piece the blocks.
So . . . I made templates. How easy is that!
Next I pulled fabrics to make 4 blocks, as I wanted to see how it all went together. I marked the fabrics, cut out the pieces adding seam allowance, enjoyed hand piecing the quadrants. Then selected the strips to join the quadrants, used a ruler to mark those, adding seam allowance, and assembled the first 4 blocks. Was so much fun to see them come together!
Next I auditioned additional fabrics for the next 12 blocks.
The light is the center, the next two fabrics are the wedges that form the wheel, the bottom larger piece is the block background. I had to see what things look like. This is not the final selection, but always a process.
Next I moved the background to the top of the piles to see if I had a nice variation of fabrics.
Next the marking and cutting began. I carefully stacked pieces for each block and placed them in a mesh bag for travel.
Lots of pins to hold the pieced arc to the center quarter circle to stitch.
This is what the back side looked like, because you need to know, right?
Ready to pin the background to the unit and stitch.
This vacation included a 4 day drive to Portland, Oregon to attend Spring Quilt Market in 2018. One night was spent on the Columbia Gorge and visited the museum, followed by 4 nights in Portland (always fun, right?). And the food! Quilt Market was fun too!
Then the vacation part . . . first to visit friends south of Eugene, OR. After the visit we finally made it to Crater Lake, roads were open to the Visitors Center, a most gorgeous view, so happy we finally got to see it. Our past trips, the park was closed due to late snow. Meant to be in 2018!
Meandered down to northern California to reach I80 across Nevada, it was an absolutely gorgeous drive that time of year (May), and the Nevada ‘sky’ was amazing, seems I took a few pictures (not sharing though). Had no idea northern Nevada was that beautiful (thinking desert like the cowboy movies LOL). Felt it would be boring, not at all! Maybe the time of year had something to do with it?
On to Utah to visit Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, both so amazing and very beautiful, a day in each. Very, very happy we were able to see them! Words do not describe the view, pictures do not capture the colors like the eyes.
Next up . . . Santa Fe, NM for 4 nights, a couple road trips to nearby towns, including a wee bit of shopping, and of course good food. We love Santa Fe, has been entirely too long since we’ve been there. Close to 20 years. We would go after Christmas for a week, it was magical. Love the luminarias. When driving around the area it felt spiritual. Maybe it was being winter that made it feel different than late May? Still wonderful in May!
Denver was next as I needed to see my cousin Fred (our moms were sisters and we grew up two doors apart). We spent for 3 nights in Denver, I needed a really big catch up. Denver is also a great city, and Fred gives the best car tours, and finds really good places for us to eat. Always more to any story, but it doesn’t matter here.
Finally the last leg home to SE Nebraska, 23 days and 5,400 miles under our belts. I’m fortunate that Russ loves to drive, which freed up the time for me to stitch these block units. I did drive a couple of times for an hour or so. Seems my hands were itching to stitch instead of drive. And, I had a goal of having the 48 quadrants pieced when we arrived home. FYI – I do love to drive on long trips too.
After getting home the next step was the block bars selection, all had the same red print in the center, and yes I hand pieced the bars part too.
The part I machine pieced was joining the blocks and adding the borders.
Close up of what I call Wagon Wheels.
And . . . now my quilt!
No I did not hand quilt it, I have a few other projects for handwork and lots more project that need attended to. I sent it out to be beautifully machine quilted by Lori Kukuk in Kansas.
This quilt has miles of memories in it, that is what I love about quiltmaking.
So happy with my journey, hope you enjoy it too!