Sunday, August 15, 2010


Muse has hightailed for parts unknown, but I'm not just twiddling my thumbs. A few Eight years ago, I gifted my husband with a quilt for our bed, designed to his taste  But we bought a bigger bed and now the birthday gift is too small. Clearly, that's an excuse to make a new quilt!

But not just any quilt. Has to be one that feels like the "old" one, but different enough for making it to be interesting. So I decided to use what I call the Gampie block.

My mother's father was an amazing man who could, apparently, do anything. I so wish I'd known him - he died when I was a baby. This pirate ship is a rug he hooked - the only one that remains in existence as far as I know, and I am ridiculously happy that it now hangs in my house. I understand he used to draw an outline on burlap and then just start working with his hook and bag of wool strips.

Mom used to tell a story about a time when her mother was away. Perhaps she was in the hospital after the birth of a younger sibling, or maybe she was nursing a sick friend or relative - I don't really know. Anyway, my mom was getting ready for school and didn't have a clean dress to wear. Her father told her not to worry, just go eat her breakfast and he'd take care of the problem. He then proceeded to cut out (freehand - Mom always emphasized that there was no pattern) and sew up a dress for her to wear before she had to leave for school! Now, I'm sure it was a simple sleeveless frock, but it's still rather amazing, don't you think?

After my mother died, I inherited a lot of her fabrics, and one of the surprises was a partial quilt top my grandfather had made. It is, oddly, the right length but only half the width to fit a twin bed. I've asked around, both at the quilt shop and at guild meetings, and nobody has ever seen the particular block he used, so I guess it's okay to name it after him. :)

Set block-to-block, the Gampie block forms a grid of sorts that frames an Ohio Star. I decided to make the stars follow the blue scrappy format from the previous quilt but have the grid be a single fabric throughout. Here's the test block (at 20 inches, it's larger than the 15 inch size I'm using for the quilt), and on the left you can see my design page. My plan is to use the border layout shown at the top of the page rather than the one on the bottom.

The problem with having the frame be the same fabric throughout the quilt is that it makes for a hell of a lot of identical half square triangle squares!

Box o' star fabrics. The paper to the right of the box is what passes for a pattern when I design a quilt - basically a bunch of math notes and then a listing of how many strips to cut at various dimensions.


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