I'm participating in the Seeing Stars Sew Along with Diane Knott of Butterfly Threads Quilting. Diane is the author of two of my favorite books, Scrap Quilt Secrets and Strip Quilt Secrets (link here), plus I had the opportunity to meet her when she was in Utah this summer. Oh, and she did the faaaaabulous quilting on my Lattice Birds quilt too. Wow, I guess that makes me an official Fan Girl, haha!
Anyway, I had taken a picture of my fabric pull for this sew-along, but can't find it on my camera or my phone. So, we'll just move along to Step One, which was published this week on Diane's blog. The really unique thing about this sew along is that the pattern will be constructed in panels. You can decide how many panels you want to make ahead of time, like one for a table runner, two for a wall hanging, or more for a small, medium or large quilt. I've decided to do 8 panels for a nice lap quilt for myself. So, that means for every monthly block released, I will make 8 - one for each panel. Diane also gives lots of ideas for variations to personalize the various steps. It's a sure bet that there will be no two alike - and I really love that idea!
Here are my first 8 blocks for Step One.
The fabric I selected was Flower Garden by Nadra Ridgeway (Ellis and Higgs) for Riley Blake fabrics. I had a layer cake (a pack of 10" squares) of this fabric line. I omitted the oranges and beefed up the reds, greens and yellows with other pieces from my stash. I love this fabric line so much because it reminds me of a summer in Austria going to summer school when I was 16. We took a day trip by train to Innsbruck and I bought some lovely floral print fabrics. That fall back home, I sewed myself a couple dresses for school. I still have some of those fabric scraps, and this line really reminds me of them.
You can check out some of the other participants and their blocks on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtags #seeingstarssewalong or #butterflythreadsquilting
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My friend Bonnae and I went to a quilt event on Saturday called Quilts in the Barn. It is put on by a local quilt group and is held at a very exclusive estate the east side of the Salt Lake Valley. From the parking area, the visitors are shuttled to the estate, which is in a (my pinkie is up when I say this) "veddy, veddy EXCLUSIVE" neighborhood. Electronic gates to get into the neighborhood and also the estate. Oh, and did I mention that this is put on only every 2 years?
Our driver was full of historical information about the area and the Walker Estate as he drove us through the acres and neighborhood lanes. The ladies in our van were so sweet. I didn't realize HOW sweet until Bonnae and I got up to the registration table to pay our entrance fee and found out that we were the victims of a true RAOK - random act of kindness. One of the ladies on our shuttle had paid our fees for us! Whoever you are, dear friend, THANK YOU!
Bonnae is on the left (with the pink purse) in this picture. Cousin Kim couldn't come with us, but the three of us do stitch together every Wednesday at my house. But I digress...
Here is the "Barn". It truly is a barn that houses animals, although they were outside in the pasture for this event. The barn was designed to resemble a European-style barn. The quilts were outside and inside on all three floors.
Let me show you a few of my favorite quilts. Many of the pictures aren't good because the lighting was not really very good. I did take pictures of the cards, but I'm not going to post them here. I do remember that this was a pattern by Lisa Bongean done by one of the local ladies.
I loved this red sampler. Such a great variety of blocks!
Those two quilts above were on the main floor. Then we walked up the stairs to the second story and I took a picture of the view out the front barn window. It was a gorgeous day with temperatures in the mid-seventies.
This tree quilt is from a free tutorial by Amy Smart (Diary of a Quilter).
One of my favorite quilts was this one done by the wife of the gentleman who was our shuttle driver. They lived in Austria for more than a decade, and this was her tribute quilt to the landscape, people and places of Austria. It was called "Land der Berge" (Land of Mountains).
Close-up of a flower basket:
And then we went up to the third floor, and here is the view from that window (same view, higher up!)
The lighting on the third floor was particularly problematic, but I did want to share this picture with you. The pattern is called Laundry Day by Sandra Workman (who owns a local quilt shop called Pine Needles here in the valley). I know all this because I've got this pattern and actually started hand sewing some of the little clothing about 3 years ago.
I don't even consider it a UFO because I'm not sure if it's something I really want to finish. Except that it's So.Stinking.Cute. *Sigh*
Then we walked back downstairs and took a quick look through the items for sale.
While we were waiting our turn for the return shuttle, I snapped this picture of the Walker mansion. It is over 150 years old and the 4th owners just moved in about six months ago. You can see it is in the French Provincial style.
The most impressive thing on all these manicured grounds (there must be a team of groundskeepers!) was this giant, stately willow tree. See the woman in the picture for scale.
Once we got back to our car, Bonnae and I went out to lunch and just sat, relaxed and gabbed. It was such a fantastic day!