Dear Compass: Take Me Away!

About this time last year, I made the center block of this quilt. I designed it for the Partners in Design QAL by the Sea. You can read all about it here. Gail, from Quilting Gail hosted this round robin last year and again this year. I thought about it last year, but didn’t do. This year, I felt like I had a block that would be good for this, so I joined in. The basic approach is that each week there were options given for the next “round” – which could be one block or a border of blocks or where your imagination took you.

The first rounds was determined by Chris from Chris Knits and Sews and was Piano Keys. I had two considerations as I made this quilt. 1) I didn’t have a lot of the fabrics from the original block and 2) I didn’t want the quilt to get to big. In light of those restrictions, my decision was to leave the corners for the next round.

The next option was determined by Emily, who blogs at The Darling Dogwood, and was Plus Signs. Well, I decided to do a narrow one and put it on point as I felt as though they could be a bit overwhelming on this quilt.

Next up was Anja, who blogs at  Anja Quilts, and she chose Flying Geese. I tried a few different layouts, but came up with this. You will see that for some reason, I miscalculated and needed to add a square in the center of the border to make it work.

The next round was #4, Roseanne and Sue of Home Sewn By Us was in charge and selected the Checkerboard. I did not want this all around, so once again, I chose the corner squares as a place for this round. However, I made these checkerboards a bit narrower than I planned, but in the end, I was really pleased with the way they looked.

Week #5 was Wendy who blogs at  Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life  and she selected Wonky Stars. I had fun doing them, but did paper piece the wonkiness because that’s the way I roll.

Then Log Cabins were selected for Week #6, by  Susan of  Quilt Fabrication. I decided I only wanted a little, so I did what I think of as sunny blocks in the corner. The last week, Gail selected Pinwheels, but I was done, so I skipped those. Then my next decision was how to quilt the darn thing.

First, I selected this design for the borders, and needed to fit it to the very strange area. That was the first I had done that in awhile, but I was pleased with the way it looked. I wanted the look of wind or waves and this design did a great job portraying that. Second, I decided I would just go ahead and use the wool batting, Hobb’s Tuscanny Wool, that I had on hand. It would make it a little loftier and I will wash this, as it does not have a destination and I can see what happens. It won’t happen until after Easter, but it will happen then.

A number of blocks required their own treatment, so here is a gallery of photos to show them. There is also a sun design in the corners, called “setting sun”, as well as one called “four corners” in the checkboard/flying geese corner blocks.

The Corner to Center was also used in the Mariner’s Compass in the center. I used the Prostitcher’s ability to mark and record to do the outlining of the block. This would up being custom quilted by me on the HandiQuilter Simply Sixteen and I am pretty darn pleased with the result. I have a little ways to go on my accuracy, but the only way to get there is to do it. I took a deep breath, dove into the quilting, and survived! I used a neutral grey on the top (Superior So Fine #. and a Decobob Grey on the bottom.

Finally, I felt the flying geese needed a little more quilting, and so out came the rulers to do the curvy lines. I didn’t want to stipple or do any background quilting, so I like that there are a few areas where the quilting is not as dense as it is in other parts of the quilt. There are imperfections, but I think again, that in the wash, many will disappear.

Its comical but true…put a quilt or its bits on the floor and someone has to get into the act! I loved this blue batik that I found. I don’t know what brand it is but I am calling the color Caribbean ocean blue, as it reminds me of the color of the water near Bermuda. I name the quilt “Dear Compass: Take Me Away!”

I hope you enjoyed my tour through the making and quilting of “Mariner’s Compass” and realize that it is a good way to finish an orphan block. The nice thing about a stay at home round robin is you are in charge of what happens to your quilt.

Dear Compass: Take Me Away
44″ square
Center block & quilt – designed by Kathleen McCormick
Threads: Aurifil Arctic Sky #2612 (piecing), Superior So Fine Silver#408 (quilting) Decobob DBLM-103 Grey (quilting)
ProStitcher Patterns: Setting Sun, Ethnic Spiral Braid 2, Windmill Spin, Corner to Center Star,
Loop da Loop, Loopy Piano Key, Four Square
Hobbs Tuscany Wool

Coming Up on the Blog:
In the Kitchen – 4/19
Tips and Tutorials on the 22nd! – 4/22
International Sisters Quilt Blocks assembled
12″ House Block/s
Born to be Wild – 5/17
Tips and Tutorials on the 22nd! – 5/22

Linking UP:
Quilting Gail
Wait Loss Wednesday
Mid Week Makers
Finished or Not Friday

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  1. March 31, 2021 / 12:50 PM

    Hi Kathleen! I love every single bit about this post. Oooh, all those closeups of your quilting is fab. I can almost reach into the monitor and FEEL the quilty goodness. It’s a stunning piece and it couldn’t help but get better and better with that great starting block. I just love how it turned out. ~smile~ Roseanne

  2. March 31, 2021 / 5:04 PM

    Oh, this is a great finish, Kathleen! I enjoyed your post, reading your thoughts about each border, and your quilting is really nice! Love the swirly waves through the wonky stars 🙂

  3. March 31, 2021 / 8:24 PM

    Fabulous finish, Kathleen! Wasn’t the SAHRR so much fun?

  4. Brenda @ Songbird Designs
    April 1, 2021 / 8:43 AM

    You did an awesome job on your SAHRR, Kathleen!! Your quilting looks great with it! I love my ProStitcher and often combine it’s blocks and borders with some ruler work, which I love as well! Your choices were perfect for this quilt!

  5. Chrisknits
    April 1, 2021 / 8:51 AM

    Wow!!! This is one of the best of all I have seen!!! Awesome from the design to the quilting!!!

  6. Rose Mikulski
    April 1, 2021 / 10:33 AM

    What a wonderful, fantastic and awesome job you did with the making, assembling and quilting, I love the movement. This quilt needs to be hung and admired. Wondering if you could duplicate this quilt feat again, asking for a friend.

    April 1, 2021 / 12:32 PM

    What a sunny and beautiful finish. I like the quilt even better with the quilting. That just makes the quilt. And the wool batting really sets it off. Someday, I’ll be trying that, too. Congratulations on a wonderful finish.

  8. Jean McKinstry
    April 1, 2021 / 2:13 PM

    To see your original block with the compass, and then the next additions , and the backing is just right, a beauty all over.

  9. Nancy Bekedam
    April 1, 2021 / 10:11 PM

    Love it, Kathleen!!! Clean lines, not too busy or cluttered, not too big. But that quilting is really something!!!

  10. April 2, 2021 / 9:19 AM

    I love the compass center and the quilting is great! Congrats on the finish!

  11. April 2, 2021 / 5:48 PM

    Your quilt looks great and I really enjoyed reading about your process. I’ve never participated in a round robin QAL, but gee it sounds like fun.

  12. inquiringquilter
    April 2, 2021 / 9:49 PM

    So wonderful to see this block again! What a great way to make it into a new quilt. Love your quilting choices here. Such a fun quilt as a result! Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

  13. April 3, 2021 / 2:07 PM

    Kathleen, these quilt is absolutely gorgeous! Your design, colors and quilting are all top notch. It’s been years since I’ve done a round Robin quilt, but looking at yours, I’m feeling inspired.

  14. April 4, 2021 / 8:39 AM

    Take Me Away? Well, Kathleen, it sure took my breath away!!! Congratulations on a gorgeous finish. I love everything about it. The quilting and the binding everything i just perfect!!!

  15. April 6, 2021 / 10:19 AM

    I am so glad you decided to do it this year – that is a fabulous quilt!! The colors, the quilting – it brings it all together!! Wonderful!

  16. thedarlingdogwood
    April 13, 2021 / 3:53 PM

    This is so pretty! I think I missed some of your later steps in construction and I love how it looks all put together! My favorite part is how you used some of the flying geese to become square-in-a-square with your checkerboard blocks–brilliant!!!!! I really love this, and I like seeing your QAL by the Sea block in the center!

  17. Sandy Wootten
    May 17, 2021 / 12:06 PM

    My oldest is a baby sweater I started for my nieces. She is now 48. No her kids are all boys.

  18. Lori Smanski
    May 17, 2021 / 3:46 PM

    your quilts are wonderful. My mom used to love animal prints. This was always fun for me to sew her something. She would love the top quilt you made.
    My oldest UFO is about 20 years old. When in high school, our daughter asked me if I could make her a bed quilt with wolves on it. She got to pick out the fabrics and I started. She wanted something simple. No problem. Within two months she changed her mind and wanted a quilt with big cats on it. So I went to combine the two. Then she decided she wanst sure what she wanted. But not cats or wolves. Sigh. Ok So I finished the top anyway and folded it away. Now she has a queen sized bed. I am going to make it into a throw so they can pull it out when they wish.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

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