Sunday, August 11, 2013

Bears on the Porch Log Cabin 
Traditional blocks used: Log Cabin, Bear’s Paw, and Fir Tree.  
The quilt is 56 x 56, and the blocks are 8 x 8. 

I know this is only the equilt  version of the Bears on the Porch Log Cabin quilt.  The original is hanging in West Yellowstone in the Send-It-Home Shop.  When I finished the quilting, we hung it and started cutting kits to go with the pattern.

This is the quilt I will be teaching next week, on the 24th of August, in West Yellowstone, Montana. You can register on-line at  We'll make Bear Paw and  Fir Tree blocks in the morning, then do strip piecing of the log cabin blocks in the afternoon.  The classroom at the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce building is a wonderful space with great light and plenty of places to plug in extension cords.  We're also celebrating Christmas in August, so there will be some surprises.

Here's the short version of why I needed to make this quilt:  

History:  When my parents were in graduate school, they worked for several summers in Grand Teton National Park.  For two summers, we lived at the Spaulding Bay fire lookout tower, in a small cabin at the foot of the tower, high on a moraine overlooking Jackson Lake.  For adults standing in the top of the tower, sweeping views of the high peaks of the Teton range dominated the view.  For a toddler, fascinating things were much closer. One morning, my mother watched me with my hands and nose pressed against the inside glass of the cabin window, looking out at a bear cub whose nose and paws were pressed against the outside of the glass, looking in. My earliest memories include bears, tall pines and firs, and living in a cabin in the woods (and huckleberries, but that’s a different quilt).

Traditional Bear Paw block

The Bears on the Porch Log Cabin quilt was originally pieced in Forest colors of brown, green, and tan.  Look for a great bear fabric for the border!  

My venerable Viking with somewhere near 250,000 miles on it quit abruptly one afternoon at the beginning of quilting the White Grass Sampler, while Bears on the Porch was waiting for commercial quilting. (I hasten to say that my first and second Vikings are still "on the road," and serving two of my sisters.  Mine has served me well, and I took it to the shop, and learned that maybe I should just give it a good old Norse funeral and pass on the bobbins and specialized feet like  prizes in the funeral games.)  

I quilted Bears on the Porch  on borrowed machines, including finishing with a new Viking with no special features that did a splendid job of even tension quilting.  Next week I'll get a photo of the real quilt and post it here.  I have this sneaking suspicion that posting an equilt, even if it is a great design, is definitely cheating, and putting said equilt on the pattern cover is definitely bad form.  After all, I want to know that someone has actually made a quilt from a set of instructions before I buy that pattern! 

I worry (something I am really good at) about not getting the numbers right in the measurements for purchasing fabric, or in the cutting charts for my patterns.  Please, if you have one of my patterns and find an error, write to me so I can fix it.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cabin Fever

Well.  I've fixed the aforesaid problem, so if you'd like to see the other half of the pictures we've been missing this summer, scroll down to take a look at past posts.  I need to go out and turn off the water on the baby Fuji apple tree, but I'm hoping someone else is feeling a little like branching out and will look at my equilt cabin project.  At least be willing to be amused!  This isn't the Cabin Fever that hits in Alaska or Montana in February.  This is my summer cabin fever.

So, here's why I'm making log cabins in the  late evening: When I was a small child, my family lived in Grand Teton National Park in the summer.  I grew up expecting that when the school year was over in late May or June, we would pack up and go to the mountains.

Even when my parents were finished with graduate school and we settled in one place, there were still aunts and cousins to visit who lived in the hills and plenty of trips to the mountains and lakes.  A few years after we moved back to Idaho to stay, my family bought a small place with a tiny cabin and built The Big House next door.  The ground floor of the house is 1200 square feet of log construction; beginning with an old house a friend wanted moved. My brothers numbered and lettered all the logs and took it apart.  Reassembled on a new foundation and basement, and with a full upper story added of recycled lumber and windows, my mother's house is a Big log cabin.  When I stay there, the nights are always cool, and it seems we can hear the river.  (The Henry's Fork of the Snake, which is about a quarter mile away.) It really isn't the river, but only irrigation water falling over the check in the canal, but between the sound of rushing water and the wind in the trees, it seems a lot like Heaven.

So, here are today's Log Cabin Quilt designs.  The complex one is queen size.  The critter under the tree in the upper left corner is a deer.  The single block is a 16" pillow.  Guess which one will be made tomorrow.

Can't decide if this is Escher slept here or Big Bear Big Bed Sampler Quilt.

Cut off?

I just discovered the problem with pictures and text not being fully displayed.  Will figure it out and fix it!.

High Mountains

High Mountains Strip from White Grass Sampler
August.  Who would have believed that July would burn past so fast?  This image is from my White grass Sampler block of the month (well, strip) quilt which is almost quilted.  It will be grand to have it done, since my brain is full of other quilts I want to make.