Saturday, October 5, 2019

Brown Bits, Etc.

The past month has been full of activities--so full that I haven't been on social media as much as usual, which is fine, except that I have not been good at responding to comments or at browsing blogs. So, if I haven't commented on your blog or acknowledged a comment from you, I am so very sorry. I haven't done much quilting either--so no squirrels or throwbacks. Oh, well. I do have a few things I can share. One of them happened this week! The color of the month for Rainbow Scrap Challenge is darks--browns, blacks, grays. I've been waiting for this month for so long. My butterflies needed bodies, and I knew my big stash of browns was ready to meet the challenge. I made 56 little bodies, which took longer than you might think because I had about 25 different pieces of fabric to cut into. They are done. And not only that, but I sewed them to the wings of my butterflies, AND I sewed the background triangles to complete the blocks. Here are just a few of them.

I'll share the rest after I get the whole thing together. I love how they look with the green dotted background. I always think of brown as an old-fashioned color--the age of the scraps I used confirms that, I think. Many are from the mid-80's. But really, brown looks so neat with any bright color. I especially love it with turquoise. Maybe sometime I need to feature it more in a quilt. Anyway, these little blocks are done. Now I have to figure out why on earth I decided to make 56 of them. My original plan was to make 48 for a quilt about the size needed by my usual organization for quilt donations. Was I going to put some on the back? Should I cut them down smaller? (There's enough excess to do that.) Should I keep them big and donate to an organization that needs a bigger quilt? I just don't know. I will have to ponder this a bit while I make my other blocks for RSC this month. (Black crumbs!)

Meanwhile, I did a little quilting on my Hollyhocks quilt. 

This is a really long-term project that I pull out on vacations. It's the perfect take-along hand work project. I'm quilting texture into the background. 

The stitches aren't real visible, but the texture is luscious. And because it's just stipple quilting, there's no marking. I'm up to the border now, so I cut some scrap fabric that I pin onto the backing so it will fit into the hoop.
For the interior part of the quilt, I used hot pink thread because I had it and it is the same color as the hollyhocks. For the border, I'm using some leftover variegated blue to amuse myself. I don't know if I have enough, so I'm using it on the upper half or two thirds of the border--kind of like sky. These won't show that much, but it's fun to use up the thread. Actually, the back is looking pretty interesting because it's a more solid fabric so the stitches show a lot. Again, just amusing myself. This will never show on the wall.
I can't end without sharing a few photos of where this project went with us last week. We stayed in a little house in Rogers City along Lake Huron in northern Michigan. There is a gorgeous bike trail there that goes along the lake to a state park and a lighthouse. There is also a waterfall a few miles away, and two more lighthouses a short drive down the coast. Our house had a lake view (lots of ship watching) and was right on the bike trail. Here is a sampling of photos. Such a beautiful area.

40 Mile Point Lighthouse
Of course, I have to share a photo of one of the sewing machines there.
New Presque Isle Lighthouse (1870)
Old Presque Isle Lighthouse (1840) The cottage is not as old.
A peek at a quilt through the cottage window. (It was closed while we were there.)
Ocqueoc Falls. We went here three different times. There is a stone amphitheater to just enjoy the view. One day we saw salmon trying to jump the falls. 
So many natural wonders along the hiking trails. There is a tiny scallop along the edge of these mushroom tops.

A bit of color
And always the Lake...

So much inspiration.

Even though this post is short on scraps, I'm linking up this week with Angela, the host of RSC19, at So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and with Cynthia at Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap, just to keep you up-to-date on my scrap projects.

Just one more photo of my favorite season, now that we are back home. I hope you are having a beautiful month.


Mari said...

Your finished butterflies are so adorable! How clever of you to save the brown bodies for last. I think you should set the blocks 7 by 8 and keep the quilt for your grandchildren. They can play with it or cover up with it at your house. What little kid wouldn't like Grandma's rainbow butterfly quilt? Your vacation looks awesome, too. There are many Presque Isle lighthouses. I'm sure I've seen two myslef, but I've never seen this one. Your garden looks great, too! So much goodness in one post!

Sylvia@Treadlestitches said...

Congrats on your butterfly blocks! I have enjoyed seeing them in your posts all year. And thank you for the beautiful photos of your trip! I especially love the old treadle sewing machine.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Love those butterflies! You're right about that green dot for the background - it's so perfect. It looks like you visited a lovely spot for your getaway!

Lin said...

Beautiful photographs of your time away, thank you for sharing. I love your butterflies and what a great way to use your browns. I was surprised at how many browns I had but like you they are all quite old now. That quilting looks gorgeous. xx

Jenny said...

Such pretty butterflies! All gorgeous, they are going to make a beautiful quilt.
And it looks like you stayed in a gorgeous area for your holiday trip!

KaHolly said...

Gorgeous photos of your time away! Picture perfect! Oh, my, those butterflies have really taken flight! I love them and have to ask about the pattern, please. Your handwork is delicious, very ambitious, too.

Vicki in MN said...

The butterflies are taking flight! Your get away sounds fabulous along the lake. Is the bike trail paved all the way? I'll have to put that in the possible spots to visit!

Linda said...

Gosh you were busy. I love the brown bodies on the butterflies, and yes it all looks great on that green dotted fabric (I click on your photos to see close up!) I also think of browns as an old-fashioned color. I found I have a lot more brown prints than I realized while making some pumpkin blocks this month, and I love them!
I'm still such a fangirl of your quilting, it's just magnificent. I can't imagine stipple quilting by hand. My hands hurt just thinking about it.
What a great tip about pinning on fabric to make a piece fit the hoop! I'm going to try this with my cross stitching. (And yes I can cross stitch without killing my hands but for some reason hand quilting is harder - lol!)
Glad you got away to enjoy such a gorgeous vacation!

Louise said...

We missed you by a few weeks, since we cruised past Rogers City back in August! Gorgeous area. I wish we could have seen some of that fall color, but the risk of getting trapped that far north is too risky. Your butterflies are looking so sweet now that their bodies are complete :)

The Joyful Quilter said...

Spectacular photos!!

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

I am in love! I always knew those butterflies would be cute but goodness...they are adorable! I really want to make them now. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

PaulaB quilts said...

That was a smart idea to keep the bodies of the butterfly until now. They will be charming no matter what way you decide to use them. The Hollyhock background fabric is very restful and sweet. Thanks for showing the lake photos. I love your pumpkin displays with the background of the fading sedum Autumn Joy.

Cathy said...

Your vacation pictures are gorgeous. It certainly is beautiful this time of year. And I love the texture you’re getting with the hand quilting too!

Michelle Churchman said...

I love your little butterfly blocks! So pretty. Your hand quilting is just lovely. And wow, what a wonderful vacation spot!

Preeti said...

If there is any reason to stay away from sewing and quilting, I wish it is as spectacular as yours. Have been following some of your adventures on FB (a bit jealously). You are not only back, you are back with a bang. All the butterfly blocks are complete - YAY. And that is how you turn Fall in to Spring. With a horde of butterflies. I agree with you about brown - used wisely it can work as a perfect neutral both with lights or darks.

Sandra Walker said...

There’s just so much goodness and beauty in your post Janine! Those mushrooms are otherworldly, and this year I happen to have seen several incredible ones myself. None like that however. Your hand quilting is otherworldly as well, just wow. And another one of our lakes… I, like you, do love them so. I have plans to hopefully get up to my side of Lake Huron in the next week or so as I think the colours should be about at their peak. Things are just starting to turn down by me on Lake Erie.

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

Beautiful butterflies!