Labors of Love on Labor Day

Monday of this week was Labor Day in the U.S., a federal holiday that celebrates the achievements and contributions of American workers. I was working on a little labor of love on Labor Day:  a block in my ongoing Sea Sampler project. But I wasn’t happy with my fabric selections so today I remade the block with all different fabrics. This is the result:

The block’s a keeper. It doesn’t have a name that I know of. (If you recognize it, please let me know.) I think of it as my Nebraska Star block because it’s on this coffee mug that I brought home a couple of decades ago from a trip to Nebraska:

If you look above the capital N of Nebraska, you’ll see the block. It’s very striking as a two-color block but also lends itself to other color combinations.

I drew the block in EQ7, the quilt software program . . .

. . . and colored it with fabrics similar to the ones I actually used:

Instead of using a simple square in the center of the block, I made an inset circle of little fishies (from the “Kaikoura” line by Jessica Zhao for Cotton + Steel):

I cut the fabric a little on the bias so the fishies are swimming slightly upstream.

Because I wanted to lead your eye to the center of the block where those little fishies are, I opted not to include the blue triangles in the outer corners of the block, although they can be added later if need be.

I really hate to draw your attention to a problem but I’m going to remake the lower left section of the block. It wasn’t obvious until I saw my photo:  that vertical line between the two small squares is not truly vertical; it’s definitely slanting to the right. How did that happen? No idea but it’s going to bother me no end until it’s fixed.

Labor Day 2021 also marked my return to the quilt classroom after 18 long months. All in-person classes at Montavilla Sewing Center in Lake Oswego came to a screeching halt in March of 2020 when the the coronavirus pandemic reached Oregon and we started to fully realize its impact. Monday evening was the first of four “Sew with Dawn” classes that will meet during fall term, September-December.

To say I was thrilled is an understatement. It was so good to see my friends and fellow quiltmakers in person again! We are all fully vaccinated — students, staff at Montavilla, and myself. Of course we were fully masked the entire time but even with masks on we could see everyone was smiling.




This entry was posted in Block of the Month (BOM), sampler quilt, Sew-Along, stitch-and-flip corners, update. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Labors of Love on Labor Day

  1. Diane says:

    This is a cute little block, but for the life of me, I don’t see it on the cute little cup!

  2. Char says:

    Nebraska! Did you go to the Quilt Museum? I’ll be in Lincoln later this month for a software conference. I don’t think I’ll make it to the Quilt Museum this time. Love your block, especially the colors.

    • Dawn says:

      Hi Char. No, the trip was to Kearney to visit friends so we didn’t make it to Lincoln. The Quilt Museum is on my bucket list, though!

  3. Suzette Shoulders says:

    LOVE that block, and the sea sampler is going to be so terrific, Dawn! Congrats on going back to in-person classes! It is fun that we can TELL when people are smiling, behind their masks!! hugs, Suzette

  4. Vickie Rooks says:

    Yay for returning to in-person teaching. That is very exciting news.

    Love this block! Inset circles always look so cool!

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