Scrappy Nine-Patch by the Sea

I’ve already shared a few of the stops on our Atlantic states tour in June. After visiting Washington DC and the mid atlantic states, plus a stop in Pennsylvania to see Amish country, we visited Philadelphia and New York. Our final stop on our epic road trip was the seacoast area of New Hampshire where my husband’s parents live. I have to admit: Portsmouth, New Hampshire might be one of my favorite places on the planet.

So often we have driven through scenic landscapes and I’ve wished I could use that beautiful backdrop for a quilt. Well, fortunately for me (and you?) I had a quilt in tow this time around. You may remember this scrappy nine-patch quilt I made a couple of months back using the pattern from Crazy Mom Quilt’s new book, No Scrap Left Behind.* I finished it just in time to bring it as a very belated baby gift for my husband’s cousin.

I loved making this quilt – such a fun way to use up favorite navy and low-volume scraps fabrics for this controlled scrappy baby quilt.

Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting did the quilting for my while I was at Girl’s Camp (she did the Loop D Loop pattern) so that I could sew the binding on before our trip and finish the hand binding in the car. I found this Lizzy House Constellation fabric on sale at my LQS that made the perfect backing and I pulled the binding from my stash (like the rest of the fabric in the quilt top).

The beautiful New Castle island, next to Portsmouth, New Hampshire was the perfect setting for the blue and white quilt, don’t you think?!

New Castle is New England nautical perfection: beaches, sailboats, lighthouses… (think Cape Cod on a much smaller scale and without the crowds). If you’re ever driving through the New Hampshire coast, or visiting Portsmouth, you must drive through.

The coolest part is there is a sweet little village with original houses from the 18th and 19th centuries that are beautifully preserved. (There are also some stunning modern estates and the restored Wentworth by the Sea Hotel.)

This house is the Walton house started in 1647 – it’s one of my favorites because of it’s classic New England style, but especially because of it’s location on the water, right at the mouth of the Piscataqua River estuary.

I’m also fond of it because my husband descends from it’s original builders. I keep hoping that some long lost will will turn up saying we can have it. 😉 A girl can dream, right?

I was introduced to New Castle by my mother-in-law who loved this place long before me. She grew-up in Portsmouth and her best friend lived on New Castle island long before it was swanky. My mother-in-law had even scouted some great locations suitable for quilt photos and was so excited to get the job of official quilt holder!

Don’t you just love the door of this red house from 1750?

This is the house my mother-in-law grew up dreaming about raising a family in. Instead they ended up living around the country/world in army housing. I’m so glad they get to be retired back near their hometown. And that we can go visit!

I think I’d happily move into this one too.

I have a few more pics from New England to share next week and that will end the summer travel report. So glad I had the foresight random luck to bring this quilt with us so that I could get some quilt shots in this location that is SO different from my western mountain landscape. (Maybe really late baby gifts serve a handy purpose sometimes.)

Timely PSA: in case you’re feeling inspired by the nautical love in these pictures, be advised that Bobbi Lou’s Fabric Factory is celebrating summer with a sale: 20% off of all nautical fabrics with code ‘BEACHY’ thru Saturday 7/15.  Just so you know. 😉

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  • Reply
    Karen Seitz
    July 12, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Wow — those quilt photos are perfection! You should figure out how to Photoshop future quilts into those scenes. You’re making me miss New England. I went to college in MA and lived on Long Island for work for a couple of years.

  • Reply
    The Joyful Quilter
    July 12, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    What a wonderful photo shoot!! Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Reply
    Izzy R
    July 12, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    We live in New Jersey next to PA we are 10 minutes from Ben Franklin bridge but I love New England, if we had family there we would be there in a NY minute !! I love the book the Oxcart Man, I used to read it to our son when he was little. ” and the man and his ox and his cart went to Portsmouth “… Love the places where you went…Izzy


  • Reply
    July 13, 2017 at 2:44 am

    I am so glad you like New England. I am from the Big Apple but my husband was career military and when he was stationed at the Boston Naval Shipyard in 1961 we migrated here to Massachusetts and stayed here since. Of all the places I have lived New England, all of it, is my favorite. There is an intense sense of history that I felt when we first arrived that has never left me. It would have been wonderful if you could have included Vermont on this trip which is flush with quilting history and shops, is one of the most beautiful of the NE states. Great pictures, beautiful quilt, terrific choice in fabric. Congratulations on completing yet another masterpiece.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      July 13, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      Thank you and I agree! The sense of history is just amazing. Vermont is definitely on the list for one of our return trips. I’d especially love to see it in the fall!

  • Reply
    Little Quiltsong
    July 13, 2017 at 4:59 am

    Love your white and blue quilt and the backing on it. Beautiful quilting. So enjoyed your New England pictures. We loved New Hampshire and Vermont when we drove through there years ago. Such history – someday I hope to drive through in the Fall, and see all the colored leaves up the rolling mountain sides. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      July 13, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      That is my dream too! I’ve only been once in the fall and it was 16 years ago with a new baby and a 2-year-old in tow. 😉 I’d love to really see the fall foliage in Vermont and NH.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2017 at 5:09 am

    What a charming town! New England is wonderful and your post has reignited my desire to get back up there for a vacation. And what a perfect backdrop for your beautiful scrappy nine-patch!

  • Reply
    Carla Bataran
    July 13, 2017 at 5:44 am

    OMG the pictures and commentary are wonderful. I’m fortunate enough to live about 15 miles inland from Portsmouth and over the line into Maine. I could almost smell the salt water seeing the pictures. Just a bit up the coast from Portsmouth is Kennebunt and the sites for photo picture taking would be breathtaking there also.

    The quilt is adorable in the blue coastal pallet and I’m sure a cherished gift. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Reply
    Andrea H
    July 13, 2017 at 8:17 am

    It looks like you had a fantastic time on your trip…and the quilt had quite the photo shoot. Love all the pictures. –Andrea

  • Reply
    Sandra B
    July 13, 2017 at 8:41 am

    What lovely pictures, Amy! Love the blue and white quilt, and the setting was awesome! I love all things nautical…though I have not been to New Hampshire, I love the coastline along the Mid-Atlantic….and I so enjoyed your photos.
    Thank you so much for sharing all the photos of your summer journey!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2017 at 9:05 am

    We’re originally from New England & lucky for us, are attending a wedding at the Wentworth Inn next week!!! Loved your photos…It’s such a beautiful part of this country.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      July 13, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Oh! That sounds so dreamy! The Wentworth is so beautiful!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Your scrappy 9 patch turned out beautiful!!

    You took some fabulous photos too. I’m from New England originally and these photos make me miss it. I haven’t been back for 20 years. The house I grew up in is similar to the one your mother in law grew up in.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Perfect backdrop for that quilt. Love a good nine patch, especially scrappy.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Thanks for sharing your photos. That is an incredibly beautiful place. I hope someday I’ll be able to visit there. Your quilt is lovely and looks perfect in that setting.

  • Reply
    Jacqueline Mahaney
    July 13, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Great pictures! We too love NH. We have spent our summer vacation for the past six years in the Lakes Region.
    Lots of inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2017 at 10:48 am

    wonderful pictures…I feel like I am right there with you…quilt is perfect!!

  • Reply
    July 14, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Beautiful quilt, beautiful photos, beauiful area. Did you get to Stawberry Banke? I am way, way Downeast from Portsmouth, but drive through on my way home fom visiting in Massachusetts.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Your photos are gorgeous, you got the lighting just right! And your blue and white nine patch fits in perfect. Classic.

  • Reply
    July 15, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Hi Amy, I always read your blog posts but only comment occasionally – Thank you so much for these pictures and posting about your trip. I’m going to have to convince my husband to come here with me. We are western Canadian grain farmers so would love to see somewhere so different from our usual stompin’ grounds. In the mean time I’ll have to try making a similar quilt; yours is perfect !

  • Reply
    July 15, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Loved seeing the pics of new castle. Grew up in the area and do so miss it during the summer months when the flowers are all in bloom and we could enjoy the beaches. Didn’t make it back this year but maybe next year. Cute quilt

  • Reply
    Sue B
    July 29, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    I have so enjoyed looking at your.pictures of Portsmouth.and also the.ones from a few days ago taken in Ogunquit and Perkins Cove. Many years ago, I worked as a waitress at The Graham Hotel on Shore Road. I spent two summer seasons there while in college. Your beautiful pictures stirred up many memories of afternoons spent walking the lovely path of the Marginal Way, sunbathing on the warm rocks and just gazing out onto that infinite ocean of blue wondering what my life was going to look like. Much different than I thought when I was just 19! Hadn’t thought about Maine for a long long time but your lovely pictures took me back there in a moment! Such a sweet time of remembrance and makes want to go back and visit some of my old haunts. I know the hotel has long since been torn down and replaced by a newer one, but the beach and Marginal Way, the little lighthouse, Perkins Cove look much the same. Thank you, Amy, for sharing your trip with your quilting friends.

    • Reply
      July 30, 2017 at 9:53 am

      What wonderful memories for you! That place is just magical. I can’t imagine how special it was to spend those summers there.

  • Reply
    July 30, 2017 at 3:04 am

    Magnificent photo shoot! I originally hail from that little corner of the world and your pics are just beautiful!

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