Friday, September 13, 2013

Quilt and the woods

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When your old granny and mine were rocking beside the stove patching quilts from scraps in the workbasket, they went about making a quilt like this by cutting out squares and then arranging them in a pleasing manner and then stitching them together, one at a time.  You might make one quilt a year at that rate, which, while it has the appeal of being a Big Project, is no way to get anything done.  Then somebody along the way figured out strip-piecing, and hoo!  Magic.  Now this takes two days, instead of two hundred, depending of course on the state of your sewing machine.  (Miss K is feeling great!  Hooray!)  I have come across this technique in books over the years and it never quite made sense until I saw this, which led to this pattern, when it clicked. 

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I don’t have a design wall, so as I worked on the squares, I pinned them to the cupboard, and it was so exciting to watch the design come together. With just a little bit of careful measuring and cutting, I got a quilt that looks like I spent a year arranging tiny two-inch squares.  Seriously, that’s fantastic.  I hand quilted it in big stitches with #5 perle cotton and a crewel needle, working across every other row of squares in both directions.  The palette is somewhat subdued, so I finished it with a fuchsia binding, just to keep it interesting.  The finished quilt is 60” x 60”, which is too small for a bed, but which is perfect for napping and picnics. 

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It appears here in what must be a quilt’s natural habitat—a cozy cabin in the woods.

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Doesn’t it look right at home there? I felt right at home there, myself, I can tell you.

A word about camping.  I hate it.  Camping means mosquitoes, and dirt, and sleeping on the ground, and washing dishes in a bucket, and eating a cold sandwich in the rain, and figuring out where to pee in the dead of night, and I am a princess and I like nice hotels. 

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Or you can do it this way.  Leave the sleeping bags at home, and bring soft sheets, quilts and blankets, real dishes, lanterns and fairy lights.  Which has kind of changed my mind about camping.  I started trying to figure out ways to stay forever.  It rained.  I didn’t care.  My man hung up those fairy lights using a tack he found in the woods.  He did that while I was up the hill at the shower, and when I came back it looked like this.  He said, “Now you can see to knit.”  Oh man.  He totally gets me. 

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I brought two pairs of shoes to the woods.  Hiking boots and ballet flats, one of which is pretty inappropriate camping footwear, but you know what?  I like them. 

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I wore the boots on the serious hikes, but I wore the ballet flats to shinny down that cliff to the river.  Yes, I did. 

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Worth it. 

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The woods at night are dark and deep.  You see nothing, and unless you make some light, there isn’t any, not from anywhere.  If there is a moon, you don’t know it.  Lantern light casts a small circle.  We could hear nothing but the river, rushing and churning below, constant and busy against its rocks, and a little bit of distant thunder.  Cozy, cozy, cozy.  We slept until 10:00.  Why not? 

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36 comments:

  1. The quilt is lovely, and I am glad that Miss K is back up and running again and that she did such a great job of finishing your quilt. I think it must be international quilt day, as I have seen two today now! What lovely things to see. Camping trip looks like fun. I am so not a tent person, but I could do a cabin. How lovely of your fella to sort out your fairy lights. All of your other projects look great too! Happy weekend.

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  2. this is camping for me, too!!!!!!
    xxxxx Ale

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  3. Even finishing such a pretty quilt in two days flat is an accomplishment, but I know that you eat, sleep and drink your quilts & knitting. I do camp, but in our cozy trailer, and LOVE it. It's our home away from home and I load it up with lots of cozy blankets & pillows so that we are totally snug Your cabin looks even better ... but I think missing early morning with a tea/coffee on the deck wrapped in a quilt was a crying shame ;)

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  4. That's my kind of camping. Yay for Miss K! Your quilt is gorgeous, really stunningly beautiful.

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  5. Hi Kristen. I have not been around for a while to visit, but I can see that you are up to your usual loveliness with your quilting and knitting! Gorgeous!!
    xo Kris

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  6. Oh boy your cabin vacation looks magical, and that new quilt (so pretty!)appears to be right at home. The fairy lights are the perfect touch. If Dean keeps that kind of stuff up, we are going to be seeing his face on Pinterest instead of Ryan Gosling, haha!! I love the picture of the bedroom, it's so cozy!
    The knitting looks fab, all the color changes are a mystery to me, but I love to watch it unfold.
    p.s. thanks for the link

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  7. Thank you for uplifting a gal's morning. Just the kind of uplift we all need for a creative day.

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  8. That's my kind of camping - peace and quiet. Your quilt and grannie blanket are both beautiful.

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  9. Kristen,
    This place looks magical! Carla

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  10. i would love to do the same camping! is it a tree house? awesome! and you made it so comfy with the blanket & the quilt...
    lovely!
    pami

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    1. Nope, not a tree house, though it did feel a bit like one--it is a(rental, darn)cabin perched at the edge of a cliff-- yiiikes!--in the High Peaks region of New York's magnificent Adirondack Park.

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  11. What a beautiful place to sit and stare at the river and the fire and the woods!

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  12. I adore your quilt Kristen, it's a real keeper! As for your cabin camping, looks perfect, nature and fairy light and knitting, what else does a girl need? Your husband is a super star to be so kind and think of what will make it even more perfect for you xox Penny

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  13. Sounds like the perfect "camping" experience! Love the fairy lights at night.

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  14. The first 2 quilts I ever made were done by the method you mentioned ... individual pieces cut and sewn together. The weather is quite chilly today and it is time to get the quilts and afghans out :)

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  15. Oh it's so gorgeous! Love the cabin adventure: we started camping a few years ago just so my kids could have the experience - now I wish we could do something else. Inside. With heat and lights.

    Jenn @JennsCraftyWorld

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  16. Oh my gosh Kristen! Your quilt is gorgeous! I have been eyeing up that pattern for a while too ;-) That is the most perfect way to do camping, how lovely to knit in the woods by the light of fairy lights! Your knitting is looking awesome by the way ;-) I don't think I would've wanted to come home... Have a lovely weekend, Helen x

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  17. Your quilt is lovely :-) And "glamping" (glamorous camping) is the only way I go camping! I need electricity, running water, air conditioning, etc to survive living in the woods :-)
    Looks like you had fun.
    Blessings :-)

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  18. Stunning Quilt!!! The cabin is magical!!! Your husband totally gets You!!!!
    Love the whole enchilada~~

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  19. Great quilt very impressive! Love your camping pictures ;)

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  20. Love all of it so much. My husband thinks I'm crazy because I've said I could live like that year round. :)

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  21. What a beautiful place to spend some much needed, relaxing time. The quilt is gorgeous, the cabin, perfect, now If I could only hear that river.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  22. gorgeous quilt-LOVE the fuchsia binding! you are so amazingly fast!!!!! the cabin looks perfect.......jealous!

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  23. While I have happy memories of tent camping on a beach in NH 59 years ago when I was 3, and memories of primative Girl Scout camping adventures on muddy slopes a few years later, and memories of adult adventures camping, often in the rain, you have just shown me pictures of my dream camping adventure. Ah... your perfect cosy quilt and afghan and pillows and twinkle lights, a checked tablecloth in a log cabin by a river restfully rushing by with plenty of yarn for knitting. Sigh...Thank you for posting, Kristen...Sigh......
    Gracie xx :)

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  24. I wonder what the history of your little encampment there in the woods is? It looks enchanting. As does that fabulous quilt and your Fair Isle coat. Great work. We have a saying here 'To the woods....and bring your knitting'! I never thought I'd actually see it in practise! Fab post.x

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  25. The log cabin looks very cosy and your quilt is beautiful xx

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  27. so beautiful! i would love that, but i do love camping too!

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  28. I always camped back when I was a child. But once my mother discovered the comfort of a caravan, and later on of a pre-made caravan on the park we never touched those tents again.

    I love the brown blanket btw! It seems like a blanket that is just made to really be used. I'm a bit sick and tired of my blankets not being used because I'm afraid someone (S/O) will spill their soda over them.

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  29. Definatly my kind of camping too, how totally wonderful, all that seclusion and quietness.....and that crocheted blanket is adorable too....x

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  30. I'm good with camping, but cabins in the woods by a rambling creek are my on weakness. Throw in some knitting, candles and an understanding husband and your three steps closer to bliss :) So are you knitting a sweater? or is that a hat? It looks to big to be a hat... its beautiful whatever it is!

    -kelsey

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  31. Oh la la! I want to go there with my man. How did you find such a wonderful place. It is perfect!!! I love the pictures with the fairy lights. And what a man to set them up so you could knit. Pure love right there. Wish I could throw in a bunch of hearts here...

    The quilt really found its place, so perfect in the colors together with cabin and nature. It all just looks dreamy to me and you really have converted my mind into wanting to camp if this is how you do it. Skip the sleeping bags. Oh yes! Out with the cozies. Oh yes! Now I got to start searching for a place like this and surprise my man for a weekend pronto!!! Thank you for sharing.
    Annette

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  32. Love your fabric selection for your beautiful quilt!

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  33. Beautiful quilt! I love that pattern.

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  34. The quilt is beautiful, I`ve never tried the technique but I will have to, the result is amazing. And the sweater is going ti be beautiful as well, such a nice pattern and lovely colors.

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