Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Turkey Tracks Quilt Block, Version II

This 12" Turkey Tracks block is the 8th block in my Starwood Sampler Quilt.  I found the pattern in Eleanor Burns' book Egg Money Quilts.  I set it on point to make a 16" block overall.   

We see a wild turkey in our yard nearly every spring.  Males can get up to 4' tall, so they're an imposing sight.  Our ponderosa pine and scrub oak forest is a perfect habitat for them, notes author Mary Taylor Gray in The Guide to Colorado Birds

I keep chicken scratch ready to scatter on the ground once I've sighted a turkey.  I discovered a male roosting on our deck once, although I know that family groups normally roost in trees at night.   I was washing dishes several years ago and just happened to look out the kitchen window.  Walking single file across our yard was a tom turkey with his harem of six females.  What an amazing sight!  

My husband took these pictures in our backyard.

I made another version of a Turkey Tracks block for my Farmer's Daughter Quilt.  It's a 9" paper pieced block.  If you'd like to compare the two blocks, here's the link:   http://starwoodquilter.blogspot.com/2012/05/turkey-tracks-quilt-block.html  
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Moon Over the Mountain Variation Quilt Block

This is the 7th block of my Starwood Quilt, made to tell the story of my home and community.  Each member of my quilting group worked on their own version of this quilt as a block of the month.  We found a Moon Over the Mountain pattern at: http://www.quilterscache.com/M/MoonOvertheMountainBlock.html and created a variation of it we call Moon Over Sundance Mountain.  Notice the smaller stars in the sky, sewn free-style by my long-arm quilter.   
In our community, the Palmer Lake Star is lit on the Saturday night after Thanksgiving and stays lit through the month of December.  It has shone on Sundance Mountain every December since 1935.  It is 500-feet across and consists of ninety-two 40-watt non-glare light bulbs.

Tonight we'll attend the all-you-can-eat supper of chili, potato soup, and cinnamon rolls, sponsored by our fire department.  They are the ones who have custody of the star and maintain it.  At 8 p.m., one lucky raffle winner will get to light the star!  

Seeing the Palmer Lake star shining in the night is the start of the Christmas season to me.

My Mom's Chili
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon dried onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
12 ounce can tomato paste
1 tomato paste can of water
1 (15 ounce) can Ranch style beans

1.  Brown ground beef in a 3-quart saucepan.  Remove any visible grease with a turkey baster.
2.  Add remaining ingredients.
3.  Stir together well and simmer for at least 1/2 hour on top of the stove.

Good topped with grated cheese.  Serve with crackers and carrot and celery sticks.

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post:  http://www.starwoodquilter.blogspot.com/2012/11/railroad-crossing-quilt-block.html  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Railroad Crossing Quilt Block


I found the pattern for this Railroad Crossing block in Modern Patchwork, published by Farm Journal in 1970.  A free on-line pattern with the same pattern pieces but a color variation and a different name can be found at:  http://www.quilterscache.com/B/BuckeyeBeautyBlock.html  This block is placed on point and is the 6th block of my Starwood Sampler Quilt, made to tell the story of my home and community.   

The railroad played an important part in the history of the Pikes Peak region.  General William J. Palmer came west in 1871 to found the city of Colorado Springs and to start the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.  Passenger trains would stop for ten minutes in my community to take on water from the lake - essential for steam trains.  For $1.50, passengers from Denver could get off for a day of picnicking, wildflower hikes, fishing, and boating.

Although the last passenger train went through in 1971, the railroad still impacts my community.  The trains carry coal now.  Summer concerts in the park are good-naturedly interrupted by the train passing alongside.  The abandoned Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad bed has become a 20-mile hiking trail.  And you can count on occasionally getting stuck at the railroad crossing, waiting for a train to pass by!  Train enthusiasts love my community, and I often see them - camera in hand - waiting to photograph a coming train. 
You might enjoy reading my previous blog post: 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Centennial Quilt Block


The pattern for this Centennial quilt block is free on-line at: http://www.mccallsquilting.com/patterns/details.html?idx=7970McCall's Quilting classifies it as requiring intermediate skills.  It is the fifth block of my Starwood Sampler Quilt, made to tell the story of my home and community.

Colorado is known as the Centennial State because it become a state in 1876, the year of our nation's 100th birthday.  Each year, we celebrate Colorado Day on August 1, the day we entered the U.S. as the 38th state. 

When I was a 4th grade teacher, I used to love to teach Colorado history.  I made a big timeline that went around three sides of the classroom that highlighted important dates in the history of our nation and our state.  Then we'd refer to this timeline as we were reading books.  For example - Did this story take place before or after Colorado became a state?  Did it take place before or after women got the right to vote?

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bear Tracks Quilt Block

This 12" Bear Tracks block is the fourth block of my Starwood Sampler Quilt, made as a block of the month with my quilting group, The Persian Pickle Club.  We found this traditional block from the late 1930's free on-line at Quilters Cache: http://www.quilterscache.com/B/BearTracksBlock.htmlIt is made up of squares and half-square triangles so is not difficult to make.  I set every other block of my quilt on point, including this one.

Our area is home to the black bear.  We see black bears nearly every summer.  If I don't take down my bird feeders every night, they climb onto my front porch and knock down the feeders to get at the seed or hummingbird nectar - often destroying them in the process.  (There are squirrel-proof feeders, but I've never found a bear-proof one!) 

My middle son took this picture behind our house.
Once, we were eating supper and saw two bear cubs right by our deck.  Suddenly, their mama appeared.  She immediately sent them up a tall pine tree because she felt they were too curious and were about to get into trouble.  She stood at the base of the tree while they whimpered and whined.  They knew they had gotten a good scolding, and we could tell it, too! 

It is both exciting and exasperating to share our home with bears!  

You might also enjoy my previous blog post:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Schoolhouse Quilt Block

This block is the third block in my Starwood Quilt, made as a block of the month with my quilting group over a 17-month period.  We chose blocks to commemorate our home and community, creating a unique sampler quilt.  The group used this House quilt pattern to represent a Schoolhouse.  We found the pattern free on-line at:  http://quilting.about.com/od/blockofthemonth/ss/house_quilt.htm

I am a schoolteacher, and most of my quilting group are also teachers or have worked in our local schools. We taught together, and our children went to school together.  One member was my boys' art teacher throughout elementary school, and one taught two of my boys in kindergarten.  Another one is a postmaster and began a post office in our school, so children could develop their writing skills by writing letters back and forth to each other.  Such fun!  I taught with another one and now see her as she walks her kindergarten grandchild to my school. 

For years, we have referred to ourselves casually as "the teachers' quilting group" until we finally chose the name The Persian Pickle Club this year - "Pickles," for short.  If you have not read the book by the same name, I highly recommend it.  It's a story by Sandra Dallas about a quilting group in Kansas during the Depression.  

I'm now a reading teacher, and my small classroom is decorated with quilts.  One quilt hanging on the wall has a block to represent each of the fifty state flowers.  I have a chart next to it so children can locate and know each state's flower.  I talk with students about all the different ways I use math in making a quilt - from accurate measurement to geometry. 

In this quilt, I alternate a block set straight with one on point.  Some can be set either way, but this block obviously has to be set straight.

You might enjoy reading the previous blog post, also about my Starwood Quilt:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Friendship Star Variation Quilt Block


I found the pattern for this 12" Friendship Star Variation block free on-line at:  http://www.quilterscache.com/F/FriendshipStarVariationBlock.htmlIt is the second block of my Starwood Quilt, which I made as part of my monthly quilting group.  We chose this block in honor of our friendship.  Many of us have been friends for years and years.  It takes a long time to grow an old friend!

Notice that I placed this block on point.  The basic block is 12" finished but 16" finished with the blue outer fabric. 

A sampler quilt is my favorite kind of quilt to make.  Making different blocks keeps me interested and helps me learn new skills.  Choosing which block patterns I want to use to commemorate my home and community greatly adds to my enjoyment and creates a one-of-a-kind quilt. 

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post, introducing my Starwood Quilt:  http://www.starwoodquilter.blogspot.com/2012/11/introduction-to-my-starwood-quilt.html

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Introduction to My Starwood Quilt


I get together with a group of friends once a month for a potluck supper and then time to sew.  We usually choose a long-term project to work on.  We decided to make a sampler quilt that represented life in our community.  Another member and I searched on the internet and in quilting books for appropriate block patterns.   We then each made our own version of this quilt, working on one block a month over a period of seventeen months.  I added eight more blocks to make a total of twenty-five blocks and named my quilt Starwood - the name of my home.  My long-armer quilted it for me.  I think she does beautiful work.

Each block in the quilt is 12" finished.  I put every other block on point, and with borders, each block finishes at 16". 
This first block is called Starry Pines.  The pattern is by Lynette Jensen of Thimbleberries.  Our community is located next to the Pike National Forest, named for the American explorer, Zebulon Pike.  This evergreen forest has over a million acres and contains half of the fifty-four 14,000 foot peaks in Colorado, including Pikes Peak.  We also have a beautiful view of the stars in our community, so we thought this block was very appropriate for our quilt!
Click on "Starwood Sampler Quilt" under Labels on my blog to view all blog posts about this quilt. 

You might enjoy reading my previous blog post: