homesteading with a unicorn

This sure was a busy weekend! Lots of Fourth of July festivities and social events here in Grey Dogwood Studio land. I didn't have much time for sewing, but I managed to squeeze in three new Homestead blocks. First was the aqua house in Fig Tree's Avalon fabric. Then I decided to work on two blocks at the same time. I thought that it might be faster to make them together, but it clocked in at the same time as if I had made them separately. I'm relying on the Alphabitties to help keep all of my pieces clearly marked for sewing. 

I also learned a nifty new trick with these two houses! Pam Kitty Morning recently asked readers if they baste before sewing. I read it and thought nope, no way, I'm never going to waste my time with that. But I have to admit that matching the four key points on these houses can be challenging. I wondered if maybe Pam's idea might work. So I dialed up a really long stitch length and sewed the problem seam, checked for accuracy and made a few adjustments, and then sewed over that line using a shorter stitch length. She's right, of course. It was much easier, and there was less seam ripping and resewing! I'm glad that I learned a new shortcut.

Then the weekend began! The torrential rain lifted just in time for Friday night's NYC fireworks (you might have seen them on the Macy's NBC broadcast). All 5 billion of us at the waterfront park loved them. Eek I don't think I've ever seen this many people! Then on Saturday was a backyard cookout brunch and the perfect time to catch up with friends and neighbors. To burn off the calorie intake from the grilled soy sausages (I learned that they aren't so bad if you smother them with mustard and sweet relish!), we went for a walk in Central Park. The park is just three blocks from my apartment (and Grey Dogwood Studio!) so I jokingly consider it my glamorous backyard. I had to go say hi to my turtle friends at Turtle Pond - they're so cute, just poking their heads out of the water to greet me. And then a walk around the Delacorte Theater (home of Shakespeare In The Park), the lake with rowboats and my favorite part, the Bethesda Fountain. 

After Sunday brunch in Harlem we visited The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park. It's a branch of  the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the very upper tip of Manhattan. The Cloisters contain the museum's very extensive collection of Medieval art. Of course this requires a hike though a park, up a mountain with no signage, and past the fat woodchuck who was clearly oblivious to us. We just had to hope that we were going the right way! Why all this fuss? I needed to visit the Unicorn Tapestries. They're a series of seven tapestries done in the late 1400's which depict noblemen in pursuit of a unicorn. They're brilliant. I've loved them for many years. The tapestries take up entire walls, and the jewel is the unicorn tapestry itself. 

The amount of fine detail is amazing. Berries, dragonflies, lillies, tulips and other flora are all depicted in wool and metallic threads. An outer courtyard is planted with the fruits, herbs and berries that are depicted in the tapestries. 

And isn't it fun to find quilt pattens everywhere? I found a hexagon window!

Now that the long weekend is over I'll get back to some serious sewing. This week's goal is to sash the Butterscotch Tart blocks! And I hope that you enjoyed the holiday weekend, too! 

I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times where other quilters share what they're working on this week.