Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Inland Sea

If you follow some of the writings of James Fenimore Cooper, his historical novels are set right here in central New York. Most people are aware of the popular Hollywood interpretation of The Last of the Mohicans, with Daniel Day Lewis as the lead character "Hawkeye." But did you know that character's 'real' name is Natty Bumppo, and that 'Hawkeye' is his nickname? Or that the book upon which the movie is based, is actually the middle book in a series of three historical novels?

I did, but I have to admit, that's probably because my history-passionate husband has read all three books (I have not). Well, the third book in the series, The Pathfinder, is subtitled The Inland Sea, and takes place in the area along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario, less than an hour's drive from my home.

Hold that thought for a moment . . .

 . . . And what does any of this have to do with Quilting?

Fair enough question . . . keep reading. . .

On Saturday morning, Dave and I set out for the pet store. This may sound strange, but we like a particular store that is located about an hour's drive from our house. Not that Woodstock and Doodle (and Peaches, not pictured) are all that picky. It's just the way it is.

Birds Unlimited also has great bird-toys. As you see, Doodle has 'broken in' her own personal miniature sneaker.

Because it was 'on the way' I asked Dave if he wouldn't mind a quick stop at a quilt shop (okay, I see you smirking, you've done it, too!) So then it was a short drive down the road to Cafe Sewciety Quilts. Cute, cute shop! Had a nice visit with Judy (the owner) and chatted about some plans for fun stuff on the horizon.

Afterwards, we were headed home . . . Sort of.

Since I like to find unique settings to photograph my quilts, I threw a couple of quilts in the car before we left, 'just in case' we came upon a scenic place to stage a photo or two. We pulled off the main road, and headed north, toward Lake Ontario.

Continuing eastward along the south shore of the great lake, we entered the small community of Sodus Point, right on the shore of Lake Ontario. On a perfect summer day, the lake was quiet and calm. Interspersed with signs for local eateries and landmarks, the directions to the "Historic Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum" seemed to guide the car directly to a local treasure, that, despite both of us having grown up in this general area, neither of us had ever visited.

The shoreline is really beautiful.

As are the grounds that surround the historic lighthouse landmark site.

The original lighthouse no longer exists, and the remnants of the original lighthouse-keeper residence are these four cornerstones.

The new lighthouse, which dates to 1870, was nearly lost to cliff erosion in the 1980s and now serves as a museum. Although its function as a lighthouse, guiding boats from the lake to the entrance of Sodus Bay has been replaced by a newer structure just a bit further east along the shore, the light is still lit during summer weekends.

It is home to a fascinating collection of artifacts. As well as a summer music series.

Without a doubt its scenic value makes it a popular wedding location. In fact, we were uninvited, surreptitious guests at one such happy, picture-perfect ceremony!

Joe, the lighthouse director insisted that the "R-word" not be uttered while visiting the property! It seems his method was working . . . Not a drop of r*** from the sky on this perfect day! At least until we were in the car driving home.

In fact (if you've been waiting for the quilty connection, here it comes!), I managed to snap a couple of quilt pictures. This one is a project made from the half-square triangle exchange project I mentioned last week. I don't plan to make it into a pattern; sometimes I make a quilt, just because! The binding is secured and label affixed, so call this one 'done!' By the way, that's also a picture of Dave. He's a shy guy! . . . not! Also, see the new lighthouse structure on the breakwater on the upper right side of the photo?

And a new pattern called Scrap Book--available to purchase soon--featuring beautiful fabrics from Hoffman California Fabrics.

As we headed back home for real, Dave and I chatted about all the history that is here right under our very noses--For example, the town of Sodus Point was the site of a small battle during the War of 1812. And you could almost sense the presence of James Fenimore Cooper's characters from the Leatherstocking Tales even as the sunbathers along the lakeshore applied modern-day sunscreen!

It felt great to venture off the beaten trail for a bit. A trip that technically should have been all wrapped up by lunchtime got us back home just in time for dinner! But oh, so worth the investment.

Happy Stitching!

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