It has been an eventful summer, but we have finally made our way back to our Florida home. The last few weeks have had me finishing up samples for shops on the cape, making seasonal items, and making a birthday present for my Dad.
The featured image is a small Storm at Sea lap quilt that I am currently sewing the binding onto as a birthday gift for my dad, who turns 88 on Friday. The center of the blocks are cut from a Quiltish of Cape Cod panel that features the lighthouses of Cape Cod. My dad loves lighthouses and has decorated the “Florida room” of their mobile home with items from New England, so it will fit right in with the decor. I call it Hurricane Matthew because I was piecing it as the storm was nearing Florida and I was praying that it would make a turn away from the coast and go out to sea. We were safe up at the cape, but my parents, sister, nephews, and son-in-law were riding out the storm on the Treasure Coast, and I was very thankful when Hurricane Matthew became a storm at sea for the Treasure Coast. I am, however, deeply sorry for the losses in the Caribbean, particularly Haiti where I have served on missions trips in the southwestern peninsula that was so devastated.
I greatly enjoyed the last two sample quilt tops I made for shops on the cape. The first was a sample of Frances the Firefly, an Elizabeth Hartman pattern that I made for Quilter’s Palette of Eastham, who is carrying the fabrics and pattern to make this. The background fabric is a cotton/linen blend with a loose weave, so it frays more than cotton but has a lovely hand.
The second is a Christmas version of a pattern called “Black Hole” that I made for Cape Cod Quilts and Cottages of Dennis. Pat changed the black background to off white, the fabrics to a holiday jelly roll, and plans to add a big red bow to make it a wreath.
While in the holiday spirit, I felt I needed to make an expanded version of one of the winter quilts I had made for Quiltish. I had an idea for pine cones that I wanted to incorporate, but I had wanted to get the first quilt to June in a timely manner. So I purchased a second panel and coordinating fabrics and made this version of the quilt. It is larger than the one that hangs in Quiltish and is longer than it is wide. The cornerstones feature pine cones made by the technique that is used in traditional pine burr quilts that were popular among African Americans in the south in the last century.
I love this quilt and wish I could keep it, but I love the people of Haiti more and would love to sell it so that I can contribute to the relief efforts there.
While I was busy with all of these holiday quilts, a friend mentioned that I really needed to get some fall items on my website. My dear friend Edwina was retiring and autumn is her favorite season. She was doing a tour of the northeast in her RV to see the fall colors, so I wanted to give her a retirement gift of fall fabric. I figured I could go to the warehouse and maybe get some precuts in fall colors as a gift for her and find something to make a fall item to sell here. I turns out that the warehouse didn’t carry anything in fall precuts, but I found two bolts of fall fabric that I knew Edwina would love. One was a border print and one was a panel. I figured I could give some of the fabric to Edwina and use the rest to make fall items for sale.
When I got home and started cutting up the fabric, I asked myself, “What am I going to do with a whole bolt of fall panels?” I loved the panel and thought it would make a lovely quilt, but I didn’t really want to make 22 lovely quilts with it, and I figured Edwina wouldn’t want to make more than one. Plus orange is not my favorite color so I didn’t really have any coordinating fabrics in my stash. I thought the border print would make a lovely table runner and border to use with the panel, but I didn’t really need a whole bolt of that, either.
I stopped in at Cape Cod Quilts and Cottages to pick up coordinating fabrics–Pat has a great selection of fall fabrics that went great with the panel, and I told her about my foolish purchase. She suggested I bring the fabric in and if she liked it she would split the bolt with me. Pat didn’t love the panel the way I did. She said she saw placemats and mug rugs, not a beautiful quilt, but she agreed to take some of the fabric off my hands because she is a really nice person. She did like the border print and was willing to take some of that as well. She had a stock of table runner patterns that used a border print, so I made her a table runner with the fabric as a sample to promote the fabric and the pattern, and I loved it so much I made a second to offer for sale here.
I brought the quilt for Pat to hang in the shop to promote the fabrics until it sold online or I left the cape. It was well received and Pat asked me to bring a couple more panels by before I left. I picked up the quilt and brought it back with me to Florida. I love this one, too, and wish I could keep it, but I would love to sell it so I can send the proceeds to Haiti.
Now that I am back in Florida, I will be starting all over to establish the business down here. I am willing and able to make custom quilts, samples for shops, teach private and group lessons, and bind quilts for quilters who hate that part of quiltmaking (I love it.) I will also be working on developing quilts that incorporate traditional blocks with panels and developing workshops for next summer on the cape. I’m hoping that things will take off here as they did up north.