Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Hello, everyone.

As my friends know, I do quilting and sewing.

Progress photo of grandbaby's quilt
 As you can see from the picture, I am interested in larger designs that are made up of smaller ones--hearts made up of Log Cabin blocks, for example. I once made a wall quilt out of Log Cabin blocks that formed a gold (yellow) cross against a background that incorporated other liturgical colors.

When we walked along on the Camino, I was looking, looking--at colors, shapes, flowers, buildings, art, you name it. The emphasis on blue backgrounds and yellow arrows or shells on many of the waymarkers formed a unifying theme, colorwise, in many of the newer painted marks. There were also brass shells on sidewalks, stone patterns in pavement, and so on. We passed a house that had covered the low wall of the flowerbed with about 100 shells. There was also a building in the last part of the trail that had a 15 or 20 foot tall white shell on the side of it. The shells, the arrows, the cross of Santiago--they bring back to me the memories of the pilgrimage.

Trail marker in the Montes de Oca--rocks and pine cones!--at the edge of the mud road.

The yellow arrow, usually spray painted like this one, is probably the most famous trail marker on the Camino Frances.

This was both a boundary marker and a trail marker.

And when we got home I wanted to find a way to put some of the things I'd seen into quilts, or seed bead patterns, or other creative things. That was part of why I made the Cafe Press shop--using our photos to make gifts--and it was also why I have been trying to figure out how to make a scallop shell quilt block.

Initial draft of an applique scallop shell design
The first attempt you see here was built from a Dresden plate pattern. I used the neato cutting guide to cut different lengths of wedges, from 2 1/2 inches on up to 4 inches, and then sewed them together and folded the ends to make a more shapely shape. Then I attached it to a background and sewed a line down each seamline and down the middle of each wedge. A section of a circle and a rectangle completed the shell.

On the good side, the wedges are already set up to do a circle, or a half circle. On the bad side, they're too fat to really work well. And the edges on the sides are too square I think. So I'm not sure that it works really well.

Maybe I should try again, with a different shape at the start, and let the top-stitching do all of the tracing of rays on the shell. If I come up with something better, I'll do a follow-on and let you all see it. For now, I think a little more study and contemplation are required.