Friday, May 26, 2017

Home again. Now what do I do?

We are home after our long trip. 14 states, 11 new to me! And just under 5000 miles.Our main focus was to visit Sweetie's brother and wife in Middle Tennessee. We also went to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was fabulous! I got to see the Mississippi River for the first time. It was a wonderful trip!

Last of the travel knits
While Sweetie is driving, I knit.Mostly simple dishrags. I can't count how I made on this trip, some were given away. I got bored of the brick pattern so popped off with a simple checkered design.

We had a family Kentucky Derby party! There were five of us and we each got 4 horses. Buy in was a dollar a horse. We chose one horse and drew for the other 3. I chose Always Dreaming because I like the name. At the time I chose it, the odds were 5 to 1. Found out later that it was the favorite and it won! So with my winnings of $20 I bought some sock yarn in a yarn shop somewhere in Kansas. I can't remember the town. It was the only craft type shop that we stopped at the entire trip. I plan on participating in the Tour de Sock this summer, a fund raiser for Doctors without Borders.

Fun Finds
We have a thrift shop in town that is run by the hospital auxiliary. I like to stop in every once in a while, you never know what you will find. Recent finds were a 3 yard cut of a blue batik for $6 and a yard cut of this gauzy red and yellow print for a buck. And then a yard of tulle for 25 cents.

How I pictured it
Being away from the studio for a month was hard. I had so many ideas on the road. Wish I had kept notes. I am trying to get back in the groove and so pulled out this project that has me stumped. I had this idea of a quilt as you go project and sewing the sections together without a sashing. Eh, it did not work. Above is the way I visualized it.

What Helen saw
I had it laid out on a bed at the hotel while I was at Quilt Fest last autumn. My roomie and good buddy Helen was there to advise me and she was looking at the piece from a different angle. I am torn between the two versions. At this point the only thing I am sure of is that it will be bound with a dark violet around each panel. Not sure whether to hook them together of keep them separate. I would love to hear your opinion on this piece. I have named it "Iris".

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Treasure Hunt

I thought that all the quilts I was going to be able to see on our trip would be at the Cornbread Festival's special exhibit of the Inspired by the National Parks quilts. I was wrong! My new sister-in-law, Chris, pulled out of a trunk two quilts made by her Grandmother!
The first quilt is a pinwheel block set off with plain squares. I believe the print fabrics are 30's. Chris said that she had heard that the quilt was made from feed sacks.

Old blanket
The quilt has some disrepair. It has been well loved. The batting is an old chenille blanket! The quilt weighs a ton!

Machine quilted
This quilt was machine quilted. I believe that it is the only quilting that was done, contemporary to the making of the quilt.

Full view
Each block is made using only two fabrics. The backgrounds are all solid colors. There are some fabrics used more than once, but I believe each block combo is different.

The backing
A totally unrelated fabric was used for the backing. It was also folded to the front of the quilt to make the binding.

The second quilt was made using polyester double knits! My guess it would have been made in the 70's. It has some fantastic double knits!  Even the knots of the bowties are made from fancy double knits.

Love it!

I can just see this as a dressy dress!
And printed double knit!
I love how the fancy yellow from the knot in the first block is used as a background in the lavender block.

The whole quilt
The blocks were definitely laid out in a pattern. I would imagine that the blocks were made using scraps.

Bowtie back
Interestingly enough this quilt has a cotton backing. Which is also folded to the front as a binding. The quilt is hand quilted. What treasures for Chris to own these wonderful quilts made by her grandmother! Although Chris was raised in Louisiana, her mother's family is from Mississippi, so these are Mississippi made quilts.

Great Smoky Mountains
After our visit with Matt and Chris we headed a bit farther East to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Oh my! What a wonderful place!  We stayed in the campground at Cades Cove. We also took a drive through Newfound Gap and hiked up to the Clingman's Dome for wonderful views. We will definitely be going back again,

Wall of Shame
I don't understand people. This is a photograph of graffiti on a cabin in the park. People proudly signing and dating their names on a historic landmark despite signs everywhere pleading to leave no trace. It is happening on every building in Cades Cove. Some of the dates were as recent as March of this year. Such a disgrace. It is because of this kind of behavior that eventually the park will have to close the buildings and you will only be able to view them from a distance instead of being able to walk in and feel the essence of  how it was to live there. What is wrong with people? Such a wonderful, historic place and they have to ruin it for future generations.
Turtle Rock
We stopped at a campground in Wyoming for a night. The feature was Turtle Rock. We hiked the trail going around it, probably 4 miles. I still have to google it, the sign did not state the distance. It was fun. Lot of families were there since it was Mother's Day.

Friday, May 5, 2017

National Cornbread Festival

I was very excited to find out that the Inspired by the National Parks were going to be at the Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburgh, Tennessee just at the same time we were visiting family nearby!
Capital Reef
I was thrilled to see my "Capital Reef" landscape quilt in the exhibit! This is the first time I was able to see the quilts in person.
It was a very hot day and I was very wilted by the time we found the quilt exhibit. So I am quite bedraggled in the photograph. It was fun to listen to the people going through the exhibit. So many wonderful comments!

Mississippi River
On our way to Tennessee we had crossed the Mississippi River! I had never seen it before! This photograph was taken on the Arkansas side at the confluence of the St. Francis river and the Mississippi. So impressive!

Wild Flower
I don't know the name of this flower, it was at our campsite in Arkansas. I need to get a wildflower book for the eastern USA. I have one for the west.

In process
South Pittsburgh, Tennessee is the home of the Lodge plant. They had a self guided tour open to the public in conjunction with the Cornbread Festival. Very cool!

Lady Liberty
There was a table set up with a display of special edition skillets. This one really caught my eye. I love the image of the Statue of Liberty.

I am linking to Nina-Marie, Amanda Jean, Sarah, Myra Judy Beth Emily