Road Trip Quilt Along: Illinois

Sorry, road trippers.  I’m a little bit late on the tutorial this week.  Looks like we had a leisurely breakfast, and we’re getting on the road late!

This week, we’re heading to Illinois, which is my home state, so of course I have a fondness for it.  When my husband and I were still dating, this is what he said the first time he came to visit me, driving north through Illinois: “Corn!  All I saw for 5 hours was corn!”  I promise there is a lot more to the state than corn, though that definitely dominates the landscape in much of the state.

There are several variations of the Illinois quilt block, I found this one at Quilter’s Cache.  Looking at it now, it seems I reversed the direction of the half square triangle pieces in the corners, but the beauty of quilting is that is open to your creative interpretation!

Cutting directions for Illinois quilt block

For the center:
(1) 3-3/8 inch square [Fabric 1]
(2) 3 inch squares, cut on the diagonal to make (4) triangles [Background fabric]

Flying Geese:
(2) 5.25 inch squares [Fabric 1]
(8) 3 inch squares [Background fabric]

Half square triangles:
(2) 5 inch squares [Fabric 2]
(2) 5 inch squares [Background fabric]

Since we have already made the three components of this block in our other state blocks, I’m not going to go in to detail about how to construct them.

1.  Put the center square in a square together.

Simply sew the long edge of each of the triangles to one side of the 3-3/8 inch square.  The center of this block is the same has the Pennsylvania Parade block. Trim to 4.5 inches.

2.  Construct (8) Flying geese pieces.

If you need a refresher, head on back to that Pennsylvania block for directions. Trim each flying goose to 4.5 x 2.5 inches.

3.  Construct (4) corner squares of half square triangles.

If you don’t recall how to make half square triangles, head back to Maryland when we first made them.

And that’s it!  Arrange the pieces as shown below.  Sew the pieces into rows.  Sew the rows together.  Trim the block to 12.5 inches.

Illinois joins her other friendly state blocks: Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.



Trixie’s Travels: Bozeman and Beyond

Trixie is the Janome Sew Mini I purchased to take on our road trip this summer so that I can still do some sewing away from home. With Trixie along for the ride, I’ll take you along on our summer road trip from Virginia to Illinois, then westward to Bozeman, Montana. From there, we head to Glacier National Park, and then Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ll finish our trip with some friends in Denver and then finally a stop in St. Louis before heading home to Virginia the end of July.

I wasn’t able to update you on our travels last week, but we’re (mostly) stationary in Bozeman, Montana for a couple of weeks.  This week, Jason’s back in class, his last one before earning his Master’s degree.  Last week, though, we were able to do quite a bit of hiking and exploring as a family. 

We’ve been to Yellowstone National Park twice.  The first we went to the tourist trap but must see Midway Geyser Basin, home of Old Faithful and Morning Glory Pool.  Here we are in front of Morning Glory. 

We got back from visiting Morning Glory just in time to see Old Faithful erupting. 

Then we strolled through part of the boardwalk in that area to see some of the other thermal features before heading north to see Grand Prismatic, the largest hot spring in the park.  We got stuck in no less than three bison jams (think traffic jam caused by a bison on the edge of the road, or in the road).  While expected, it’s still annoying, as bison are not all the impressive to me. 

There is a giant “M” on the side of a mountain, for MSU, and we did a strenuous uphill hike to that view.  We visited Hyalite Canyon, which is a gem of a place, just outside Bozeman and hiked a trail where we saw 4 waterfalls.  Beautiful. 

And then there was our second visit to Yellowstone.  Oh, Yellowstone!  How I love thee.  Jason and I got up at 4am and got both the girls in the car on the way to the park in hopes we would see some wildlife.  And did we ever!!  A wolf, very close, and very early in the morning.  Also: elk, a marmot, a black bear with 2 cubs, and plenty of bison. 

Trixie thought I should get a photo of her in front of the bison.  As I walked back to the car with a sewing machine, a man who had pulled up behind us with a group of people said, “That is one of the more interesting things I’ve seen here.”  Ha!

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is amazing and I was happy we got to show the girls (Kaia for the first time). 

And finally, last weekend, we went to the wedding of a friend from Connecticut who happened to be getting married in Bozeman.