Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Travel Log Quilt #1

My very first “Travel Log Quilt” is called “Take Me Back To Guana Quay”……..

Take Me Back to Guana Quay

In July of 1997, our family spent two weeks on or around the ocean. The trip started with 4 days on a sailboat in the Florida Keys, followed by 10 days on Guana Quay Island, part of the Abaco chain in the Bahamas.

It was a fun trip, as our kids (ages 12 & 10) had never been on a plane (that they remembered), never been on a sailboat, never been fishing and never snorkeled!! We spent much of our time watching for dolphins, birds and other ocean creatures…..

I actually took fabric on the trip and started making a few of the blocks by hand, but quickly decided since I would be doing a lot of paper piecing, it would be better to wait until I got home. Instead I spent the time looking for inspiration for the individual blocks in the quilt.

At that time I had made a couple of quilts using the ideas in Judy Hopkins book “One-of-a-Kind Quilts”

The idea behind this book is that you can put lots of different sizes of blocks together to form a pleasing design.

Most of the designs came from existing patterns but I designed the sailboat and the lighthouse myself….

I had SO much fun looking thru design after design until I found exactly what I wanted to use in the quilt. Some were paper pieced and some were simply cutouts that were appliqued to the background fabric…..

My favorite block was the large one in the bottom left corner….

I had never done any thread work and greatly enjoyed trying the different techniques to make the coral.

After making the blocks, I was excited to think about tying them together using the “Storm At Sea” block.

To finish the quilt off properly, I did Trapunto quilting around the bottom right corner of the quilt. Be sure to look back at the first photo and exclaim how great it looks!!!!

Yes, I learned an important lesson with this quilt…..if you go to THAT much trouble to do special quilting, be sure that the background fabric will actually SHOW that work. The only way to see the intricate shells is to add a light from the side…..


Anyway, this post has gone on far too long, but suffice it to say that this was the first of my Travel Log Quilts and it got me started on a 23 year journey (so far) of making quilts that reminded us of our travels.

So, PLEASE take me back to Guana Quay!!!…….

6 thoughts on “Travel Log Quilt #1

  1. In 2001 we took a big family trip when our oldest daughter graduated from college. We spent part of the time at a beach hotel in New Jersey where we could see the World Trade Center in the distance. (Little did we know it would be gone only months later.)
    We also used lots of forms of transportation, some of which that were new for some or all of the kids and made the trip especially memorable: plane, train, subway, bus, boat (Circle Line), and limo.

  2. I live in S Florida and have lots of fabric that are sea shells, tropical, fish, sail boats, etc. Perhaps if I look around me while I go out on the boat tomorrow, I could come out with ideas to making my own wall hanging. Thank You for the inspiration.

    1. I am so glad that you are thinking about quilt inspiration…..it is my FAVORITE thing to do….just ask my husband. When you get inspired, please share it with me!! Have fun on the boat!!

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