Thursday, April 30, 2020

Farewell to the islands


Greetings from Jacksonville, Florida! Last time I blogged, we were in the Bahamas, but things have changed. Like the rest of the world, cases of COVID-19 started to show up in the Bahamas, a country with limited medical resources. Their government put more and more restrictions in place to limit the spread, and it was time for us to return to the United States.


While we were very sad to leave, it was the right thing to do to cruise back to Florida. We are grateful for our health and that we can still access the resources we need to continue to live safely and comfortably on our boat. 


Meanwhile, like so many others, we are "sheltering in place" by spending the vast majority of our time on the boat, with only a few trips to grocery and hardware stores, a daily walk for exercise, and an occasional take out meal. We keep an appropriate social distance from the few other boaters we encounter. DH has been working on boat maintenance and repair, and I've been quilting.

The quilts in this post were all finished before we left the Bahamas a few weeks ago, as you can tell by the beautiful turquoise waters in the background. 


This quilt is the twin of one I finished in December, made from a giant batch of flying geese donated to Covered in Love. The other one had a yellow background, and this one is more mellow. 


I was able to use a bunch of miscellaneous navy blue fabrics for the binding and backing, plus the rest of the geese. The quilting is Unitarian fans.


This quilt came to me as a batch of blocks. They were also donated to Covered in Love, and each block was a rectangular four patch of one plaid fabric plus the solid spring green. There was enough extra green for me to add another column using my own plaid fabrics. (I just found out in the comments that these blocks were made by Quilt Diva Julie. Thanks, Julie!)


The back is also all plaid fabrics, using up some nice big chunks. That funky shadow in the photo is a string of patio lights. And the group of clips in the lower left corner are weighting the quilt down in the strong breeze! 


This next one is also made from Covered in Love blocks. These fun spinning stars/flowers are left over from a block drive last year. It was a simple task to add some sashing and cornerstones to get this bright and happy quilt finished.


The back uses a few remaining blocks and more of that plaid green. I tend to use fabrics in batches like this. Once I had the plaid pulled out and ironed for one quilt, I start looking at my UFOs to see if it works for another one. Why fold it up and put it away when I can just sew it? Do you do ever do that?


In this photo, you can see a little bit of the scrappy binding and stipple quilting. It also shows how I had to clip the quilts to part of the boat in the wind. It was relentless in the Bahamas! But that's a big part of why it is so lovely there. The trade winds keep the temperatures from getting too hot, and they blow all the bugs away, too.


Finally, this quilt was made from a mixed batch of orphan blocks donated to Covered in Love. This is one my favorites! I just love the combination of these citrus colors. The "pickle dish" corners are such fun blocks, too. Two were completed blocks and I had to puzzle the other two together myself. It was quite the challenge! I'm in awe that the donor made an entire quilt out of those tricky pickles!


The center medallion is four large log cabin blocks. (Just found out in the comments that they were made by Rebecca for her kids' Christmas quilts last year. Thanks, Rebecca!) Each of the surrounding smaller blocks is set vertically with three stripes of green that were also donated. I'm not sure what to call that. Is it sashing when used in that way? It gives the piece a more up-and-down feel, like the blocks are hanging on strings.



The back of this one is a real mishmash of more blocks and this large scale poppy print. Floppy feather quilting gives it a nice, comfy texture. You can see a fifth log cabin block here. Five is a hard number to work into a quilt, isn't it? That's often how very nice blocks end up on the back!

And as I promised in my last post, here's a quick lesson on how to tell how deep the water is in the Bahamas by color:


This water is about 15 feet deep. We can safely pass over this color in our boat, and it is a good depth for anchoring, too.


This water is between 3,000 and 4,000 feet deep. I love this dark, marine blue. It is crystal clear and looks infinite. Deep water is no problem for travel, but obviously our anchor won't reach the bottom here.


See that strip of very pale turquoise in near the island? That water is about 2 feet deep. Our boat has a draft of 6 feet, so that color is a no-go for us! This is a sand bar near the inlet to Staniel Cay. You can see the very deep water of Exuma Sound in the far distance and the comfortable depths close in. To travel between them, we needed to go around the bar way off to the right of this photo. 

We miss the islands very much, and we're sad that we never got to visit the friends we were going to meet there. Here's hoping that can happen next year. 

30 comments:

Sharon Tucker said...

I'm happy to see this post, I was wondering how you were making out in the Bahamas. Sad that you had to leave but I'm sure it was the best thing considering the circumstances. All these amazing quilts!!! WOW, I think my favorite is the citrus colors...so bright & cheerful. Stay safe :-)

Lynn said...

Good to read a post from you and hear you're doing ok. Gorgeous quilts, the orphan one is cleverly united by those green almost rails blocks that, as you say emphasize the verticals. I really like the stars too - do you think they were made with partial seams? Beautiful results for a great cause as usual.

Kat said...

Yay! I'm glad you're back in the States safely. Those are some beautiful quilts!

Quiltdivajulie said...

How fun to see the green/plaid orphan blocks that I sent turned into a top AND quilted - especially with it's photo being taken on your boat. Stay well !!

Cathy said...

Oh my, what a fun-filled, colorful post. I love each and every quilt you put together, especially the one with the center medallion of log cabins. The fun of using orphan blocks is putting them together like a puzzle and solving the little issues along the way with ideas and creativity. It’s rather addictive. When you mentioned the Unitarian fans, I had to go back to your 2016 tutorial to refresh my memory. I’ve got to try those. I’ve wanted to do fans for awhile, and “liberal”, easy-going patterns are right up my alley! Glad you’re back here Stateside, safe and healthy. xo

Fiona said...

the beautiful Bahamas will be waiting for you... interesting witht he water colours... I love all those colours. As usual I am amazed at what you make with your orphan blocks and others that get donated... the flying geese are just great.
Keep safe...
Hugz

Heide said...

So happy that you are healthy and safe. Your quilts are fantastic and I can see you have been busy. I am always amazed how you put those orphan blocks together. Thank you for the education on water depth. The colors are just stunning. Stay safe and be sure to make some masks for when you go ashore to get supplies.

FlourishingPalms said...

Your quilt finishes are lovely. It's apparent you are very thoughtful about how to use-up and enhance the blocks you receive. How nice of you to donate your time like this! It's also apparent that you're enjoying a unique and beautiful lifestyle. I can't imagine how you accomplish the quiltmaking you do in your limited square footage. Still, it's certain you have a pastime that keeps you focused and content. Thanks for sharing the color-of-the-water lesson. I had no idea. Obviously, I'm a land-lubber! Stay safe in Jacksonville. You're just a few hours from me, and we're enjoying gorgeous weather here in Central Florida!

Vicki in MN said...

So happy to hear you are staying healthy and safe! You sure had your hands full with puzzling that last quilt together. But you always find a way. Nice work Louise:)

piecefulwendy said...

Thanks for the visuals on the water depth; the colors of the water never cease to amaze me. Each one is so pretty. You've been busy while tucked in on your boat! Glad you are safe and healthy. I assume Angel is doing okay?

The Joyful Quilter said...

Welcome back to the U.S., Louise! Thanks for the lesson on the color of water. Thank you for the work you do for Covered in Love. Those lovely quilts will be well received!

Cindy said...

I do so enjoy reading about your travels on the boat. I am amazed that you can accomplish so much in a tiny space. The quilts are beautiful(I recognize some of my Kat blocks)!!! I too am amazed at what you can do with orphan blocks!!!! Keep inspiring us!!!!

Nicki said...

So sorry you had to leave your beloved Bahamas but am glad you are back in the states safe & sound on your boat. You've done another fantastic job in putting more orphan blocks together in outstanding quilts. I think the fun, spinning stars is my favorite in this blog. Bright & cheery is what I need these days!
Hooray for the deep water lesson & how you have to skirt around those shallow sand bars. Wondering if you ever have to anchor out far & take a dinghy/life boat on into shore at times.
Hope all is well with you, your DH & Angel during these turbulent times.

MissPat said...

It's welcome news that Florida was willing to let you back in, but sad that you had to leave the Bahamas. You've been busy and I love that spinning stars quilt. I don't remember those blocks, so obviously I missed those months. Just sent my yellow/blue ones to Kat this week. Stay safe.
Pat

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

Nice to hear from you and know you are safe and busy as usual with lots of quilting. You do an amazing job figuring out how to use orphan blocks to create useful and beautiful quilts. Enjoy your Florida time.

Danette said...

Thanks for giving us a little piece of your fun travels on your boat. I love boating and quilting, in addition to camping. One day I would like to travel countrywide in our camper, but I doubt that we will ever live on our boat. It's good that you have so much quilting stash on your boat, too!

The Colorful Fabriholic said...

What gorgeous photos! I'm glad you're back in the US where you have access to supplies and medical care if needed. I think I recognize some of those parts in your pickle dish quilt. I never in a million years would have thought of putting them together into one quilt. You truly have a genius for coming up with ways to make orphan blocks cohesive. I love the use of the green stripe ribbons to link the blocks together.

Bonnie said...

What a fun blog. Enjoyed the lesson on water depth. You’ve been really busy. And, I must say, your boat and the sea makes a much better background then anything I have around my house! Keep up the great stitching.

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Great batch of quilts, Louise!!! Your quilts in the wild photos are dreamy. And the ocean photos are super dreamy! Interesting to here what the different colors of water mean.

Mystic Quilter said...

Louise you have been creating wonderful quilts!! I love the first photo of Flying Geese set in that particular formation. I love what you do to support Covered in Love, what a treat these quilts will be for the lucky recipient.
I'm happy to hear you're safe and well back in Florida, and thank you for posting the photos of the beautiful seas around the Bahamas, I think sailing from Panama to the UK calling at Jamaica, Tahiti, Florida and Bermuda gave m my love of turquoise. I actually love all colours found in the Oceans.

grammajudyb said...

Such a fun post! Great job putting all those parts and pieces together. Thanks too, for the water photos. Living so far from any big water is tough for this Pisces! ♓️ We have family in Florida now, so a trip is in the future as soon as we feel we can safely travel! Thanks for all you do for Covered in Love.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Hi, Louise! So great to see where you are and what you've been working on! And many beautiful finishes - each one as pretty as the one before. I was trying to decide on a favorite, and I really can't. Those stars are fun, though - I just made one of those same blocks for the hand-pieced sampler I'm working on. Hope you find Jacksonville a good place to stay for awhile!

Angie in SoCal said...

A very lovely batch of quilts. Orphan block quilts always amaze me. You have a knack for them. That was interesting about the color of the water giving you so much information. I'm new to your blog but I'll be back to read more during thesestay at home days. Blessings,

Sandra Walker said...

I think I told you we were in the Bahamas once, Freeport, a day cruise from Fort Lauderdale. We’d love to go back one day and see more of it. What a collection of beautiful quilts you’ve been knocking out! And as always with lovely backdrops. CIL is so lucky to have you.

KaHolly said...

Glad you are safely 'home' and continue to enjoy good health. Your quilt finishes are just lovely. You are so gifted and talented.

Cathy said...

Oh joy! What a variety of colorful quilts.

Barb N said...

Looks like quarantine has been good for your quilting! Very fun quilts, all in all. Those waters are so intriguing. Sorry you had to leave, but hopefully you can return again!

Rebecca said...

Oooh... I'm so happy to see my left over "Log Cabin" blocks (from my kids' Christmas quilts from last year) included in this beauty! I'm impressed with how you made such a disparate bunch of blocks looks so perfect together! Fabulous!

Linda said...

What a pretty bunch of quilts! I love the flying geese one. I will study it to see how you did the maze through the geese, if that is what it is called.
Love your pictures and I especially enjoyed your water color details. Back in the day we used to scuba dive in the Bahamas and like you, we miss that beautiful water and the breezes. I'm fascinated with how you photograph your quilts. Mine would blow right in the water for sure. :D

Nann said...

What a beautiful backdrop for a quilt show! We did a Road Scholar course in (on) Bermuda a while ago and the water there was that beautiful turquoise.....What really caught my eye was the squared-off-spiral Flying Geese! (And I'm intrigued by your Unitarian fans...)