I decided to start in a small way on Love Entwined, the 1870 Coverlet (see link to read about it) Esther Aliu's blog
The center is a Mariner's Compass with small circles surrounding it. I think there are about 32 little circles, but I'm not sure. Anyway, I am starting to make the small circles because I haven't printed out the pattern for the Mariner's Compass yet. I'm still reading about how to make it, and I know how to make circles, so that's where I am starting.
Here's my fabric, and the start of many small circles:
I should have put a dime in the picture to show you the size. The next time I will. These little circles are very small, smaller than a dime. How do I make them? I trace around the pattern on the back of the fabric and before cutting it out, sew a running stitch with strong thread about 1/8 to 1/4 inch outside of the drawn circle. I cut the circle out, close to the stitching line. By cutting out after sewing the gathering stitches, I have a bigger piece of fabric in my hand while sewing. I pull the thread to gather the fabric around the pattern, and tie the ends into a knot. It then gets soaked in water, and laid out to dry overnight. I don't use starch or any other product. I find that wetting it and drying it out will keep the circle shape good enough until I sew it down. When I am ready to sew it to background fabric, I snip a few of the gathering stitches, and pull out the pattern, and then reshape it into a circle and applique it down. The circle pattern is from a set I have from Karen Kay Buckley, called "Perfect Circles".
Michigan is so beautiful this summer. Here's one example.
One of the native wildflowers of Michigan is Lilium lancifolium, commonly named Tiger Lily. Since the Detroit Tigers are our favorite baseball team, I've been on a search to find some Tiger Lily plants to put in our yard. Here's a picture of a Tiger Lily in bloom that I took this morning, at the building where the local quilt guild meets:
This plant has what different sources call "bulbils" or "bulbets" along the stem that can be collected and planted to produce new plants. It will take at least two years to grow a flowering lily from the bulbils, so I am collecting some and planting them. I used to have these flowers in my yard when my children were small, and I want to have some again. Since they are native to Michigan, hopefully the deer will leave some for me to enjoy at the cabin.
Here is another picture of the bulbils along the stem: