Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 16 Road Rally Tour

Welcome friends! You have arrived in an area known as the Ridge and Valley Region of the East Coast just west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I feel like I already know so many of you as you've stopped by to visit Shadows of the Blue Ridge during previous 100 Block's Tours and Rallies. It's a joy to welcome new visitors, as well! I'm so glad you are here.

November in the mountains makes me happy...because it's a beautiful time of year with the changing of the leaves...because yummy pumpkin flavors can be found everywhere...because Thanksgiving arrives with all it's fabulous decadence. Well, yes, but it also brings with it the fall issue of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, and this year Vol. 16 really takes the pie...I mean cake! 😆

I'm happy to introduce my newest block, Puzzled Geese. As you can see it has plenty of geese in it :o) Puzzled Geese is a compilation of elements from a couple of antique blocks: Dutchman's Puzzle, and Wild Goose Chase. Mashing them together lead to my design. Construction tip: when I have this many flying geese to make I usually use the Fast Flying Geese method shown on the Techniques pages in each issue of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks.

Puzzled Geese quilt block

When I design blocks my method is to put myself into the shoes of quilters who lived maybe 100-200 years before me. I try to imagine them pulling out their precious scraps and combining them to invent layouts that document special events in their lives. My block, Puzzled Geese, is a tribute to my sweet mom. One of the things I fondly remember about my mom is that every fall, when the Canadian Geese were migrating, she would happily go outside to watch the V-formation fly overhead. We would listen to the encouraging honks and watch the geese fly through the gray November skies until they were out of sight. Puzzled Geese documents this cherished memory.

Puzzled Geese top assembled with sashing and cornerstones

To create my quilt top mock-up I inserted a picture of my block into Google Drawings and then used copy/paste to create the look of a completed top. It's a pretty easy way to get an idea of what a quilt will look like if you don't have access to design software. As I was moving the pictures around I decided that Puzzled Geese would look great with sashing and cornerstones. To accomplish this I simply used the drawing shapes to add the large black square, and the smaller gray cornerstones. Using the "order" command allows them to be layered over and under my pictures.

Another option is to make a table topper by using just four blocks. If the color placement is changed up it creates a friendship star in the center.

Puzzled Geese table topper

Now it's time for a couple of giveaways! The editors of Quiltmaker's are generously giving one of my blog readers a free issue of 100 Blocks, Volume 16. Don't you love how they've varied the sizes of the block images on the cover? It reminds me of a modern sampler quilt.

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Vol. 16

In addition to the magazine drawing, I'm going to give away this little fall-inspired scrap bundle. It's made up from scraps pulled from my stash (various sizes).

Scrap bundle

For a chance to win either the magazine, or the scrap bundle, leave a comment telling me about something that provided the inspiration for a quilt (or some other project) that you've made. I'll draw two random winners on Sunday morning, Nov. 18. Note: If you suspect you may be a "no reply" blogger please make sure to include your email address in your comment.

Well friends, thanks so much for stopping by and letting me tell you all about Puzzled Geese.  I'd love to see you back here again. If you'd like regular updates from Shadows of the Blue Ridge consider signing up for an email subscription (top right of your screen), or you can follow me on Bloglovin'. You can also find me on Instagram

I hope you soak in a lot of inspiration as you motor on through the blogs on the Road Rally tour. You can read about the tour and find links to the featured blogs on Quiltmaker's blog, Quilty Pleasures

PS. Honk if you like Puzzled Geese 😁

Friday, November 10, 2017

Fruits of a Productive Day

This past weekend my local quilt group met for a sew-in day. Wow! It's it's not often I have such a productive day. I knew this would be a great opportunity to join together blocks for the Faith Circle (do. Good Stitches) quilts I sponsored this year. I had set the blocks aside during our moving/unpacking journey, but now is the time to get these three quilt tops finished.

First I assembled tops from improve log cabin blocks. I asked the ladies to contribute blue/green blocks for a boy quilt and pink/orange blocks for a girl quilt. They did such a great job making the blocks fun and bright.

Improve log cabin blocks for boy quilt

I had enough blocks to make a 36" x 48" top for a boy quilt. I may add borders to the sides of this one to make it just a bit wider.

Pink/orange improve log cabin blocks for girl quilt

There were more of the pink/orange blocks, so this top measures out at 48" square. This will be a nice size for a young girl.

Finally, I joined the Scrappy Pine Forest blocks. I have to admit this is probably one of my favorite quilt tops. It turned out exactly as I was hoping, cozy and peaceful :o)

Scrappy Pine Forest quilt top

How fun to have a quilt holder to help with this picture! My son and future daughter-in-law just happened to arrive while I was taking pictures and she asked if I needed some help. How wonderful she is ;o)

These three tops will be quilted up and then set aside to go to a Royal Family Kids Camp this coming summer. These camps are for children in the foster care system who often have little to no things of their very own. My local quilt group has committed to donating 40 quilts to be distributed to the children. I think it's a blessing that both my online quilt group (Faith Circle) and my local quilt group (Winchester Modern Quilters) are combined into this effort.

Now to keep the momentum going and get them sandwiched and quilted. Wish me luck!

As a side note: I'm trying to identify good photo locations in our new home. Log homes are interesting because all of the wood makes the lighting have golden undertones. These are my first efforts at photographing quilts indoors. I'll keep working with lighting and camera settings to see how to best take indoor pictures.

Wishing you a happy, warm, and productive weekend!