OMG: A Finished Quilt Top!

It was cold enough yesterday that we didn't leave the RV until well after noon. Since I couldn't think of a good reason to do anything else, I dragged out all the sewing crap for the second day in a row. Proper attire for this sewing session included the sweatshirt I got at Homosassa Springs WSP. You wanted to see it, didn't you?

Recall that I'd finished up Sections A and B of the Solstice to Solstice asymmetrical setting created by Pat Sloan.

Next up was Section C in the upper right-hand corner.

The top two blocks were simply sewn together. These celebrated St. Patrick's Day (on the left) and April Fool's Day (on the right).

The bottom block had a sashing added on each side. This block celebrated Ground Hog's Day.

And then the three blocks were sewn together.

That completed Section C. My helper cats were less helpful yesterday. Smitty was more concerned about the white squirrel outside our window.

I was hoping for a better shot of him, but he ran over to a picnic table some distance away. This was the best I could do. He was gnawing on some kind of nut.

Then I moved on to Section D, just below Section C.

This section was fairly easy to finish. The two blocks on the left side were created to celebrate last winter's first snowfall (top left). I added a whole cloth checkerboard section between them. The bottom block was the last one made for this quilt. It celebrated the arrival of the Summer Solstice.

The two blocks on the right had black sashing strips added above and below. The upper block was made to celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary. The bottom block celebrated Memorial Day.

Then I sewed the two sections together and added them to the right side of the upper portion of the quilt. The quilt is 86 inches wide, and by now, it had become too wide for the wingspan of my quilt-holder-upper.

There was still plenty of time, and it was still quite cold, so I figured I might as well start on the bottom three sections. Starting on the left side of the quilt, Section E was next.

And that was pretty easy. I added a sashing and a whole cloth checkerboard section to the top of this large block.

The block was made in Mardi Gras colors.

Then I moved on to the next section, which was a little more labor intensive. I needed to cut and add sashings to three sets of two blocks. Also, I needed to sew together the 2.5-inch squares to make the checkerboard strip at the bottom.

When that was all finished, the section looked like this. The top row of blocks was made to celebrate (from left to right) March...In like a lion out like a lamb (there are lions and lambs on the fabric), the presidential inauguration and the women's march on Washington, D.C. the next day. The right side block was to remind me it was time to plant my tomato seeds.

The bottom row of blocks (from left to right) celebrated Mike's retirement in April. The middle block celebrated the shakedown cruise in our new slide-in truck camper. We visited Cape Disappointment on the Washington state coastline. The yellow and blue "petals" celebrated the sunshine and blue skies we enjoyed as a gift from the month of March. The right side block celebrated my Cinco de Mayo birthday.

Finally, there was just one section left. I needed to create one more checkerboard strip to sew to the top.

And then that section was finished. You might remember that I made this block while we were in Pahrump, Nevada, last year. Mike was celebrating his retirement by taking part in a Corvette high speed driving school.

Then I sewed the three bottom sections together and sewed them to the bottom of the quilt, and this sucker was DONE!!!!!

And that feels like something to celebrate. Honestly, I did not expect to finish the whole quilt top in two days, but there you go. I'm pretty sure the manatee sweatshirt made all the difference. For sure I'll be linking up to the finishing party for 

So now, I have only small quilt projects to keep me busy for the rest of my sewing days this trip. You might recall that I kitted up a few projects before we left home and added them to some small kits I'd purchased at various times. I looked over the ones I brought along, and this one seemed the most appealing. All the fabrics I'll need are included.

It had warmed up some by then, and so Mike and I finished out the day hiking the remainder of this trail. We'd hiked a short portion of it the day we arrived here. The remainder of the trail took us along the river to a scenic point.

As we left the campsite, I noticed this young longleaf pine. They look like Dr. Seuss trees to me.

The trail led along the upper bank of the river to a set of stairs that took us to the sandy shore.

Our shadow selves were feeling bold walking there along the river where we could be eaten by "explosively quick" alligators.

We saw a number of animal tracks there. The animals come to the river's edge to drink. We'd just seen some deer, and here were their tracks.

Just behind, I found this track, which I believe was made by an armadillo. We've seen armadillo along the way in the form of one dead one along the side of the road, and a living one crossing the road in St. Marks NWR. I tried to get a picture of him, but he was too skittish.

Here are the tracks of some shore bird.

And I believe these might be the tracks of the Canada goose.

We walked back up a second set of stairs and onto the upper portion of the trail.

It's so beautiful and peaceful here. We'll be pulling out this morning, but we've really enjoyed this park.

A sign along the trail told us something we didn't know. We always thought of lichens as a plant unto themselves. As it turns out they are made up of two separate plants living in a symbiotic relationship.

Here is an example on a nearby tree.

When we reached the scenic point, it looked like this. Here, the Dead River (to the left) joins up with the Ochlockonee River.

And that was the end of our hike. From there, we turned around and headed back to the RV.

Today we'll be pulling out and heading to Crestview, Florida. We'll pick up our mail from our mail forwarding service (that should be a pile), and then we'll most likely spend a free night in a parking lot somewhere. Tomorrow we'll be moving on to two new states in Alabama and Mississippi. We'll be heading straight across Alabama, driving through without stopping, and into Mississippi right near the Louisiana border. I'll say more about Mississippi when we get there.

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

Doreen Auger said...

I do hope your temps are more agreeable than ours, here in Deep South TX!!!! Woke up to 40F and cheered----pathetic, but lots better than the 30s of previous mornings! Happy & safe travels......

Quilting Babcia said...

I hope the weather warms up for you as you head into Alabama and Mississippi. It will be great to have a finished top all ready to quilt when you finally get home again, and just as much fun quilting it as choosing all those great fabrics to commemorate last years' highlights. Yep, I imagine those were Canadian geese tracks, we haven't seen a single one since it turned so frigid in these parts, and they surely do love to leave their mark lol!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I didn't even get a chance to post a comment on the prior and now you have the top done! It looks wonderful and what an acheivement while on the move. This was a lovely park and I hope the weather starts to get a better as you move on closer to home.

Rosemary Rivas said...

It's amazing how much one can accomplish sewing with uninterrupted time! Congrats on the finish of the quilt top, quite an accomplishment, considering how many blocks it contained

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

That was a quick finish! It's always great when something gets done faster than we thought it would.

Jean Etheridge said...

I will be waving at you from north Alabama.

piecefulwendy said...

What fun you've had in Florida! And congrats on the Solstice finish; such a fun, commemorative quilt! Hope your travels take you safely to your next stop.

quiltzyx said...

I am quite sure that your Manatee sweatshirt gave you the oomph to get the Solstice all together. It looks fantastic! Have fun with the water color quilt next. :)
Good that you had some nice weather to hike around such a beautiful park - and glad that the Explosively Quick 'gators left you alone too!

Auntiepatch said...

I love the Manatee sweatshirt! I'm sure it gave you an edge on finishing the new quilt! And it turned out beautiful. The kids must be looking forward to sleeping on it.
Safe trip ahead.

Kate said...

Love the sweatshirt! It must have mystical sewing mojo included. Congrats on getting your sampler assembled. Just past the half way mark, you are doing really well. Safe travels as you move to your next destination.

Dar said...

Great finish on your sampler. Absolutely the sweatshirt helped. BTW, those Canadian geese are pretty intelligent too. They must have figured if you couldn't read their footprints, they would spell it out for you? lol

Angel, Kirby and Max said...

I agree that is a Canadian goose track and maybe raccoon tracks with it! That did look like a very peaceful place!

Vivian said...

What a wonderful Solstice Calendar quilt and another great memorial of your trip! Do you already have a backing for it or might there be a stashing stop at some point on the rest of the trip to find something trip related for it? I've never seen a white squirrel before -- very cool shot even at a distance.

Patty said...

Wow did you have a productive 2 days! Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and congrats on your finish.