Saturday, March 8, 2014

Back from Margaritaville

 This is the sunset, taken from the pier in Key West, Florida.  I can't believe I was there just over a week ago.
My mom and I flew down and visited family.  We didn't get to see everybody, sadly, but we had a good visit and a break from the wintry weather back home.
I took along some handwork, and I was glad I did.  It helped pass the time in the airports.  The butterfly above was appliqued at O'Hare Airport in Chicago, while waiting on a flight to Orlando.
I have had this project for a long time.  I bought the butterflies on Ebay.  Not only were they cut out, the edges were basted, ready for applique, and the black embroidery was done.
I finished this one in the Key West Airport, waiting for my flight back home.  You might be able to see the pencil lines on it, outlining the head and body and separating the wings.  I think these are quilting lines.
I didn't have to take a lot of equipment with me to work on these blocks--just the butterflies, the cut squares, white thread, needles, and a child's pair of scissors (TSA even let me get on the plane with them).  I used white thread because that's how these were typically done back in the day.  Plus a lot of these fabrics have a white background or are multicolored.  It saved having to bring all sorts of colors of thread.

I laid them out on the bed in our hotel room.  Half of the blocks are appliqued to a cream colored square, and the other half are on blue.  BTW, this is the same blue fabric my husband used for his display case at the library.  He'll have to use a different one next time!
Judging from the fabrics, the butterflies were probably cut out in the 1950s or 1960s.  There are some really interesting old prints here.  There are only 2 repeats:  the red gingham and the yellow gingham.  All the blocks are cotton, no poly.
I will probably set them like this, alternating blue and white and with the butterflies oriented as you can see.  I am thinking about adding some scraps for sashing, though.  I do have a big bag of 50s-60s scraps.

Speaking of scraps, I actually BOUGHT some.  Again.  Why are other people's scraps so much more interesting than my own?  I have had a lot of fun with Debbie's scraps, I bought a scrap bag at a quilt shop we visited near Madison, and now I've bought one closer to home.

This one came from Ye Olde Schoolhouse in Cedarburg.  I had to drop by the museum the other day (the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts:  Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts) to pick up some files, so I stopped by Ye Olde Schoolhouse, which is just around the corner.  Here's their web page:  Ye Olde Schoolhouse Quilt Shop
I bought some sale fabrics for sashing and borders, a new book, some not-on-sale fabrics, and this scrap bag, which was absolutely stuffed with beautiful fabric.  The pieces range from small squares to full width of fabric strips.
I stacked it up here.  It was kind of unbelievable how much I got for $10.  If you love reproduction fabrics and need some more scraps (NEED??? Hahaha) this is a great deal.  I wonder if you could make a whole quilt top from a scrap bag.  Hmm...that might make an interesting challenge.
Things are warming up around here, making me start to believe in spring, but I'm sure winter has a few surprises still in store for us.  For now, I'm going to keep calm and keep sewing.


  1. I love how you have them set with the blue and white blocks, this is going to be a great quilt!


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