Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Row By Row Sailboats

Row--row---row your boat! Row made by Connie Vagtborg

I was so excited when I got a call from Connie at Stepping Stones Quilts back in May.
They are part of the nation-wide (and Canada, too!) Row By Row Experience quilt shop hop this Summer. This year's theme is Seasons, and each shop has a free pattern for a row celebrating a season they love. Sailboats for Summer was a great choice for St. Simon's Island, GA!

Connie's idea of the Sailboat block was perfect...who needs to do a hard block during the lazy days of Summer? But I was familiar with both this block and Row Quilts, not to mention quilters in general! I knew there were few things to consider:

Sizes have to be numbers that are actually on your ruler! I don't like to use anything too small to find. Those tiny measurements can be left to the woodworkers. Many quilters are married to woodworkers, don't you know. They also like to cut things up and put them back together in a new way!

Row quilts are so much fun, but the rows may touch each other. I thought it would be good for the Sailboats to have a little space of sky above their sails. That makes it much easier to sew without losing the triangle points! Plus, you don't have to add a sashing strip to divide it from another row.

Quilters like options! Somebody always has a "what if..." idea, and I say try it! So I added a simple block I called Open Sea, which is just the sky and water. It could separate the sailboats, and provide another area for embellishments.

Embellishments...oh, my...there is nothing like a simple block to get the creative juices flowing! I won't spoil your fun with any suggestions...though there may be a few on the pattern page, and certainly visiting Stepping Stones will inspire you.

If you like to shop hop, check out the Row By Row Experience. It runs July 1 to September 2. Especially if you're travelling around this Summer, you'll want to see the list of shops where you'll be.
And you haven't been to St. Simon's Island, go now! It's a beautiful place to visit with lots of historical sites...as well as one of my favorite quilt shops!

ADDITIONAL NOTE:  I neglected to publish this post a few weeks ago, but lots of the Row By Row quilts are showing up on Facebook and in other places! Everyone seems to be having loads of fun with the project, competing to be the first one to finish a top and take it one of the sponsoring shops. There have been a lot of creative interpretations of the rows, too!

Heirloom UFO

"Pink 9-Patches" Nettie B. Eichhorn
73" x 82 top (detail)
Going through a bag of old crochet, embroidered linens and other handwork, I came upon this sweet 9-Patch top. The rosy pink and and assortment of striped fabric blocks are 4" square and set with plain fine muslin squares and a 6" muslin border.

This was one of my Mom's collections of stuff, which may be from family members or maybe were just something she picked up in an antique store. Since I had sorted out the actual family quilts years ago, I figured this was something I might add to the vintage section of the sale room when QuiltFest opens Sept. 24.
I turned it to the back side and noticed that it was sewn with the most perfect hand stitches you could hope to see.

Then I heard the tell-tale crackle of a little slip of paper... and I knew this was another family treasure, carefully labeled by my Dad's mother. This is not the first time I have been thankful for her multitude of notes pinned or dropped inside an item!
It turns out this top was made by my great grandmother...but there's still a little mystery. The note has her name as "Nettie Brookover (Eichhorn)". Does that mean she made it before she was married? There is a wonderful quilt that she "made in her teens", so it's possible. 
She was born in 1873 and died in 1930. If you have seen my talk about Family Quilts, you may remember this one that she made...the quilting pattern is simple, but the stitches are exquisite:
"Double Wedding Ring" Nettie B. Eichhorn
84" squar
So now I have yet another heirloom UFO! 
Do not bother to look for it on sale at QuiltFest. This one is staying at home!

I'm committed to hand quilting the LeMoyne Stars from my Mom's side of the family (and no, I have NOT started it yet!). I'll have to give this one some serious thought.
It's almost a shame to cover up those lovely stitches in the piecing!