Wednesday, December 31, 2014

it's here.....

and i'm sewing out the old and sewing in the new!  excited about the UFO list, patterns that are tempting me and the gorgeous stash at my disposal.  through it all, ever mindful of the blessings in my life, the challenges overcome this past year and all the enjoyable times that came my way.  yes, the big chill is here but expected this time of year.  planning a quiet transition into 2015 with needle and thread.....and hoping you are doing the same.   blessings to all for a healthy, prosperous, fun and quilty new year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

jelly roll progress

coming to the end of my jelly roll so trying a layout here.  i think i have enough to squeak out one more row of 7 squares which will be an okay size for a throw.  not following any particular pattern here, just trying for a pleasing look.  this will be hand quilted at some point, maybe a 2015 finish....we'll see.  for now, though, the jelly roll is history, which is a nearly 3-yard bust in anyone's book.  ****  winter temps are back so it is cold here today, teens this AM and low 20s for the day.  no more going out with only sandals on.....the cold is biting but at least there is no S-N-O-W  or  I-C-E, 2 ugly words in my vocabulary.  *** back to the machine to see if i can get this flimsy together...definitely a sewing day here in lobsterville and perhaps tackle some charm squares as well....

Monday, December 29, 2014

first closeup

quilting on the hawaiian has begun and so far enjoyable and rewarding.  a lot to go of course but it'll keep me busy during the winter and warm as well.  our spring temps are history with the return of normal winter feeling.  have put aside the christmas stocking for now to concentrate on this.  as for machine sewing, yesterday during quilt-cam whipped up some scrappy foursies for a possible project in 2015 and also worked on the jelly roll christmas flimsy.  today hope to get that done and possibly work on a couple of small projects swirling around in the gray matter.  *** it's monday again, and with most of the holidays over, it's back to mundane starting with laundry.  the tree usually comes down new year's day but might do that sooner....not sure.  so enjoy the week after christmas when all is calm and the world seems to take a breather.  it's an organizational, regrouping time for me, someone filled with anticipatory excitement for a new year.  my wishes for a safe, healthy, prosperous and fun new year to you all!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

found!

more like unearthed.....this photo of my very first quilt, the ever-popular sampler.  though it has gone to that big quilt exhibit in the sky, it was used to shreds...literally.  it was proudly displayed on my bed during marriage, motherhood, estrangement and divorce and a wide variety of various temporary housing locations.  no matter how discouraging my situation was, the quilt came to signify home, however precarious or unpleasant.  it holds a special place in my quilting life.  since then many other quilts have been made by me and gone on to hopefully equally satisfying homes.   though now gone, this quilt was the beginning of what has been now 36 years of boundless needlework pleasure.  it would be my very good fortune to have 36 more....

Friday, December 26, 2014

end-of-year mission

once again, the scrap basket is overflowing but before it becomes TWO overflowing baskets, going to spend some time this week cutting up the scraps and cleaning it out once again.  not to whine, but this is why i have so much stash....i cannot get to the yardage to sew with because scraps keep me busy all the time.  not complaining either as this is an embarrassment of riches....so glad i have these to sew with PLUS the stash too.  since the hawaiian is all ready for quilting, can do this side job before starting that.  not to mention it is uber-warm here in maine for late december.  high temp records were broken yesterday and even in the morning it was 57 degrees in calais, which is way up on the Canadian border.  now that is unusual....so when cold returns next week, it'll be time to quilt a big quilt again.  ****  quiet holiday here....laundry and some housekeeping on the list.   dirty clothes and trash never take a holiday....LOL

Thursday, December 25, 2014

birthday of a king....

to all my followers and my dear family members who aren't here in sopo with me and mom, a blessed christmas and the happiest and healthiest of new years....it's a wet (now) and sunny (later) holiday but loved ones are close in my heart.....

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

in the hoop!

after 2 busy basting days, the hawaiian is now ready to start quilting.  before i do, must pop in the DVD from pacific rim quilts and refresh my memory on how to start.  originally got the video a few years back and so very glad i did...it's a terrific resource on everything about making hawaiian quilts...pillows, tablerunners, wallhangings too!  *** just about ready for a family celebration...few more cookies to make, a few things to wrap and voila!  very low key as no big dinner is being cooked, rather opting for takeout with a few home cooked tidbits.  funny, years ago when there were 20-30 around my grandmother's table at  holidays, there was no dishwasher and now today with only 5 of us, we have the dishwasher!  ***  with the hawaiian at the quilting stage and a couple of machine projects on the sewing table, ready to start the new sewing year.  enough UFOs to keep me focused and plenty of fabric on hand to start new things.  that's a win/win situation for sure!

Monday, December 22, 2014

final 2014 finish....

it's the scrappy shenandoah log cabin throw, now finished and saved from the 2015 UFO list...how good is that?  it'll hang on the back of my rocking chair for now and probably get donated at some point.  now that i've gotten this pattern out of my system for a while, can play with another....the lucy boston patchwork of the cross.  no doubt you have seen these on blogs and other social media.  recently won a giveaway of some English paper piecing precut pieces of 4 blocks' worth, so i'll do that many anyway BUT might be tempted to morph into a bigger project....we'll see.  *** all set for a low key holiday here in rainy maine, grateful for no snow!  a bit of baking is all that remains and a few presents to wrap.  ***   now that the SLC is done, attention focuses on the hawaiian to baste and start quilting.  perhaps by february or march it will be done.  as for a machine project, the amish ocean waves top needs finishing so that'll probably be next.  ***  anticipating the start of a new year, which always gives me a feeling of excitement of anticipatory possibilities.  no doubt it will be mixed with good things and challenges too....

Friday, December 19, 2014

next year's stocking....


although i gave up every other craft for quilting, i did keep counted cross-stitch stuff on hand and have a few projects i'd like to make.  this is one of those "in progress" things for some time now and have vowed it WILL be done in 2015.  my desire to make a sampler and a stocking morphed into this which is not quite half done.  have had to take out a couple of sections and am thinking about taking out the first row of the verse too...for some reason used 3 strands instead of 2....but will wait until closer done for a decision on that.  it is one of those projects that requires intense, constant concentration and sticky sheets to make sure to follow the chart closely.  of course, it won't be just for Christmas....intend to hang it year round.  *** baking and gifts are done so getting the binding for the shenandoah ready.  the table to tie it goes up this morning and will get done over the next few days no doubt.  then it's the hawaiian's turn and i am so looking forward to get that basted and start the quilting.  *** in the meantime, enjoying cold but not frigid weather and definitely no snow, but rain.  makes it easier for family to get together when roads are navigable.  hoping holiday prep is going well in your home.....and thinking of those who are needy and sick, for those who just manage to survive another day regardless of the season..... 

Monday, December 15, 2014

looking like Christmas...

tree up?   check....lights on?  check....ornaments?  check....and of course out comes my special Spode mug and little heart-shaped dish.  these were gifts from a former roommate about 14 years ago...gosh, seems like only a year or so ago...she collected Spode Christmas dishes and Byers carolers....our apartment was really decked out that year.  i think of that time every Christmas when i see these...all my ornaments and decorations come with their personal memories i love to recall every year.  *** and sewing progress?  not much, really....all the swap strips are cut and packaged AND mailed, so on to the shenandoah log cabin which is next to be tied and finished....then it is definitely the hawaiian's turn to baste and start quilting.  inbetween doing some cross stitch and applique to keep busy.  the sewing space will get a serious re-org come end of the year but until then it is rather disorganized.  *** our holiday plans are just about final and we are planning food for guests....it is really about family, of course, bittersweet because of lost loved ones or those far away, but still plenty of joy at being together.  now back to that tree!

Friday, December 12, 2014

getting there....

so, 4 rows are done!  only one more applique row to do and then a narrow print border and then the wide applique border of more vines, leaves, flowers and baskets.  this UFO must be at least 5-6 years old and has been hibernating far too long.  as mentioned previously, the little flowers had me paralyzed but with a lot of prep work, they are finally done.  *** today's task? finish cutting strips for a swap and pick up some floss to tie the shenandoah log cabin, which is the next item on the december list.  for machine work, still assembling those jelly roll christmasy blocks and by next week at this time, basting the hawaiian will be at the top of the list. *** my UFO list for 2015 is shaping up....glad to say i had 9 finishes and have started only about 7 things, some small, so that is a tiny net gain of sorts.  *** first up today, though is clean off that car (again!) and trek to the fish market.  that is the great thing about this part of the country....every morning the landscape is a surprise!

Monday, December 8, 2014

non UFO finish

it's the scrap basket alphabet sew-along started a while ago.  not quite a perfect shot lying on the bed like this but you get the idea.  this project only busted 1.25 yards but it is all done and won't be on my 2015 list.  ***  it's a frigid morning here but warmup tomorrow.   next task is to cut up some strips due for swapping next week.  and before our tree goes up, must get out the basting table and get some things tied and others ready to quilt, the hawaiian being one of them.  so anxious to get started on this and watch the magic emerge from the echo quilting.  *** thanksgiving is over but can never go wrong being thankful for all the blessings in my life....warm shelter, all the basic needs and plenty of gorgeous fabric for a playground....

Sunday, December 7, 2014

sewing sunday


up early this morning and bonding with the old viking sewing machine around 7 am....an early start for sure!  the last border of the shenandoah log cabin was made and then sewn onto the top for a completed flimsy.  next will be to tie, bind and count up the yards busted!  the little scrap basket alphabet is just about done, a bit more of the binding to sew down and it too will be crossed off the to-do list.  so, spent some time sewing up the squares from this christmasy jelly roll.  this is the first row and not sure if it will stay this way or not, will have to wait until all the blocks are done to see how many i have and how they will get set.  just wanted to try this out.  do not intend for every row to have all red strips in the same vertical row, so final plan is in flux.  *** it was a frigid day here with howling winds and nearly ineffective sunshine.  stayed indoors all day without even venturing out for the paper.  no cooking either as plenty of leftovers were on hand.  *** all in all a quite nice day relaxing with some christmas music and sewing fun. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

portable progress....

if you have followed my blog for a while, you might recall this project.  first seen at a NH gathering show, it was love at first sight.  the intense applique design was a bit intimidating but also exhilarating and determination took over.  now that the little trees are done, can focus on this for my portable project, at least for the rows.  the top row is done as are the patchwork leaves.  the house row is nearly done.  these little flower blocks had me nearly paralyzed, but decided if i took them slow and steady, could get them done.  and whaddya know....2 are actually done and the other 4 soon will be.  freezer paper and plenty of fortitude are doing the trick.  and confession time here...i broke one of my hard-and-fast rules and resorted to a teeny, tiny dab of fabric glue.  the pieces are so small and even small applique pins just didn't work.  these blocks were the biggest hurdle to this finish, and now that i've crashed through that barrier, am hoping this might be a finish for 2015.  it is one of my older UFOs and will be fantastic to finish.  ****  and speaking of black friday/small business saturday/cyber monday.....this was my only indiscretion.  it's called "wildwood" and had i not gone overboard in PA, would have bought the entire line.  it's just so pretty and fresh and colorful....
practiced restraint otherwise and deleted about 1000 emails from fabric sites.  *** as for other sewing progress, the alphabet piece is getting basted today.  picked up backings for 3 projects--the hawaiian, the shenandoah log cabin and another so a basting day is in my near future.  as for the shenandoah, 3 borders are done, only 1 to sew and it goes in the basting pile and then gets tied for a quick finish.  now with 2 days off, will see how much progress gets made and if i can squeak out another finish before january arrives!

Monday, December 1, 2014

great start!

terrific way to herald in december is with an almost finish....the quilting is done and have bound one side, so 3 sides to go and this project goes in the done column for 2014.  before i started quilting seriously in 1979, i used to ogle and drool over amish quilts and this pattern in particular.  now one of my own is almost finished and i am over the moon with delight.  the center diamond is quilted with a pattern from pepper cory's quiltmarking book plus some corner designs.  the inner blue border has an elongated feather and some diagonal lines, the brown squares have an embellished shell pattern, the outside blue border has baptist fans and the final turquoise border is a fancy cable from a pepper cory stencil.  hopefully it will be fully bound before our next cold snap sometime this week.  interesting note here....the binding was all cut and prepped and somehow got packed in a box.  so had to go and buy more.  found it at the NH shop visited a couple of weeks ago and it is also a kona cotton like the others and it matches perfectly!  the two fabrics were bought about 4 years apart but it matched!  i call that serious fabric karma....but even spookier, the blue matched too.  i took both scraps with me hoping to find one that would work, but they both would have.  i say well done robert kaufman....

Sunday, November 30, 2014

christmas stash busting

victoria gifted me this jelly roll back in august for my birthday.  i almost never buy precuts but i love this fabric line and, in fact, had purchased some yardage of it for myself.  the jelly roll was staring me in the face and was motivated to find a pattern and use it up.  cut a stack of 5" white blocks and started making these.  there'll be room for hand quilting on the white and some sort of design on the printed borders.  hoping to take a day in december to at least get the flimsy done.  *** also on the december list is finish the amish center diamond, cut and mail some swap strips, finish the little alphabet piece, finish the shenandoah log cabin and baste the hawaiian.  not too ambitious you think?  ***  whew got by black friday and small business saturday with hardly a blip.  feel confident about facing cyber monday.  my shopping list is made and the budget pretty much prevents any veering off into the impulse zone.  i did cave on 2.5 yards of mod fabric line that makes me drool; could have passed it up until i saw it in person at a shop recently.  oh well...it'll go nicely with other stuff in the stash and it just means more fun for me!  now off to start the day and enjoy another day that's been allotted to me....

Friday, November 28, 2014

final four

yep, cold outside--26 degrees--but inside the old viking is smokin!  first thing this morning fired up the machine and finished the last 4 blocks of my scrappy alphabet sew-along.  as expected, there is hardly a dent in the scrap basket but no matter, my frugal self is pumped up at making this entirely from stash on hand.  of course the backing will also come from stash and batting too, so it is a freebie of sorts...this will make an ideal gift for somebody someplace at some point, but for now it'll get finished (this year?  maybe) and set aside for the right time.  ***  laundry is going, breakfast is done and i'm working my way into the daily to do list and more quilting time on the amish center diamond.  creeping toward a finish very soon.  no shopping for me today at all.  rather spend time with mom and some delish turkey leftovers and the sewing machines.  hoping to get the wheel on trudy's cabinet at some point.  *** everything christmas is in full swing now; my list has been made and have done some gift acquiring.  it already looks like christmas outside; now to get out the music and enjoy the season! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

what it's about...

not pie or turkey or football or shopping...it's about thankfulness...at surviving the year, for enough to eat, for health and family, for anything in your life that evokes that sigh of relief or overwhelming gratefulness.  my list of thankful things is long, some are serious and important and others not at all.  cannot imagine how difficult life was in 1620, how awful that voyage must have been...no place for the squeamish or laid back types.  it was all about survival, freedom, a journey's end, a new beginning....and of course, quilting!  happy thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

tiny slip

while decluttering some stuff that is boxed up, i found the orange stash for the modern quilt....have no idea where the book is, but took these out in case it too materializes...no pun!   last friday the NH jaunt took me to Quilted Threads in Henniker, a lovely shop with 3 floors of goodies.  this gray/white by dear stella was among the sale goodies.  had found a small scrap of this at the keepsake sale last summer and so caved just a tiny bit and got more...i love it!  this plus 2 small pieces of kaffe fassett greens was all i got.  the stash added from my retreat is still holding me back from desiring more, at least until "union blues" hits in march.  by then hope to have used up a chunk of what is already here.   ***  it's monday again of a holiday week.  not much planned and no big family gathering, just me, mom and maybe sis if weather isn't awful.  foregoing the big bird for some fresh turkey parts plus a few sides.  it'll be a nice day even without the norman rockwell version, but the rest of the gang will be sorely missed.  ***  work continues on the amish center diamond and the binding is ready once the quilting is done...and work is the absolute wrong word...it's pure fun!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

let's see....


pheasant, venison, geese, ducks, rabbits....100 people, 3 days of feasting....i should be back in time....found this photo in amongst stuff taken by DD eons ago at a school field trip to plimoth plantation.  since i trekked to the grocery this morning for our feast fixins, thought it would be an interesting parallel...and to make this quilty related, here is another beauty from the gerald roy exhibit...
this little quilt is pretty simple but look, the birds are actually storks!  no doubt somebody's choice for a tiny baby quilt...i actually think this might be a doll quilt but either way, it has survived beautifully...perhaps it was made for a baby who didn't survive as those never got used for other children.  hop on over to victoria's blog to see lots more of these beautiful specimens...in the meantime, gotta get ready for quilt cam today, wahoooo!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

one of my faves...

isn't this gorgeous!  wonder why the vine border?  perhaps she had a lot of green left over?  we'll never know but this is one of my favorites from the exhibit friday....a kind of low volume quilt, serene and comforting...watch this space for more to come!

Friday, November 21, 2014

anywhere near new hampshire?

if you are then you must go here!!!!  right off route 89 in warner, just west of concord about 15 miles, is the most jaw-dropping exhibit of antique crib and doll quilts you just might ever see.  the building is restored and a perfect venue for these quilts.  lots of vintage thingies on display as well as stenciled floors and walls, plus a wall mural in the entryway.  i didn't know but gerald roy actually LIVES in warner, a quiet little town chock full of federalist style homes and little else.  the few luncheon places close at 2 pm (except one)...there is an independent book store, a general store type place and very few other places, at least that i saw.  and the quilts, oooh the quilts!  all small and most from the 1800s....some well worn and some hardly used.  parking is a breeze.  the building has a sandwich board out front so you can't miss it.  the docents are knowledgeable and uber-friendly.  before old man winter closes us in, an ideal trip to take and breathe in autumn's last.  and we actually did have some flakes that were short lived, thankfully!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

secret stitching revealed....

these little pine trees got stitched during some free moments and were gifted to my retreat pals in october, so i can show them now.  have made a lot of them over the years for little momento gifts...i think they are adorable!  can be pin cushions or ornaments, depending on your preference.  i still do some cross stitch occasionally but have had to abandon 18-ct due to "aging eyes"....same reason i have mostly given up quilting on black fabric.  *** it's my weekend and despite a slow start to the day, have every minute mapped out between quilting the amish and finishing borders on shenandoah.  the scrap basket is once again full as i've been cutting out triangles for the "wildest dreams" antique repro, which i am itching to start, but must focus on some finishes.  *** now, tho, have to locate my winter scarf and rev up energy for the day....keep warm and keep sewing!   

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

up to date

the little alphabet sew-along is up to date as of today when the "V" instructions were posted.  also switched out the middle section of  "O" making it more distinguishable.  only 4 more letters and can finish off this little whimsy flimsy, get it basted and quilted for a someday donation.  *** border #2 is on the shenandoah log cabin so this project is on track for a soon finish.  it'll be tied and also probably donated at some point.  *** lastly, quilting the border of amish center diamond is now going on.  this one should also be a finish before the end of the year.  when done, it's going on my bed as a switch off for the scrappy pinwheel now being used.  the batting is part wool so it should be warm enough for any vicious winter maine can dish out.  *** that's all the quilty news from this lake woebegone.  keeping busy is keeping some family concerns at bay, praying for a soon resolution...but not complaining at all...still so many things for which to be thankful all year round, not just november. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

small sewing


first was to sew up a little amish style piece using up some blocks put together a while back...these are 3" finished and about as small as i make.  i had 13 blocks and used 12, holding the other until more blocks are made someday....maybe.  next is the start of a batik scrappy pineapple piece to see if i can finally use up some batik scraps still on hand after several projects.  i place the inspiration for these solely on bonnie hunter as a few years ago she showed her tiny scrappy pineapple blocks and i was immediately sucked in, smitten and totally over the moon.  she is a serious enabler for sure, but the very best kind.  only planning on 25 of these, providing my scraps hold out that long.  ***  these little projects took my mind off our first snowfall with more in the forecast.  it was inevitable and not the end of the world by any means, but it is a nuisance and one must bear up living here in new england.  and judging by the country's weather map, could be a lot worse.  *** and the very best news is saved for last.....the applique on the hawaiian is completely done, done, done!  this means it will next get basted and hopefully start quilting before the end of the year.  first, though, must rack up a couple more finishes from the 2014 UFO list.  have started more projects to be added to the 2015 list, so doubt it will be any shorter next year but there is progress of sorts.  *** while in pennsylvania touring back roads, saw a sign in front of a church saying "too blessed to complain" and am hoping to keep this in my mind all the time.  despite disappointments and setbacks, my life is rich in so many ways.....

Thursday, November 13, 2014

civil war coup

it was a battle of sorts but finally won and got this little block finished finally.  part of the reason was when i printed the foundation, i didn't do reverse and so when it was first sewn, was totally opposite from the original block.  i took it apart and tried to tweak it but had to start over with a new foundation, not to mention some dedicated time to have the book open in front of me while sewing it together.   no, haven't picked this project up again but the block was languishing on the sewing table and had to be corrected before the table could get cleared.  have been working my way to seeing the top of the table all week and getting this done is progress.  ***  today is miscellaneous sewing stuff day to get the table top cleared first, then focus on the borders for shenandoah.  later on will get back to the hawaiian as well.  planning to use up some tiny amish 9-patch blocks put together with scraps into a small wall piece which will get the blocks off the table as well.  so all of today's minutes are planned and will be used up for sewing and relaxing fun....all in all a delish day off!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

scrappy alphabet

this sew along is nearing its end, so thought i would show my progress to date.  this is being done completely out of my scrap basket.  the great thing about taking photos is that i can see the letter "O" must be replaced as the fabric used isn't that defined.  have no destination for this little wallhanging but no doubt an occasion will arise at some point and make a nice gift. ***  it's my friday today and it's been a challenging short week trying to stave off a serious cold/respiratory illness.  in addition to sewing progress, my christmas gift list got finalized.  no big plans for any of the upcoming holidays, just relax and enjoy.  with plenty of sewing projects and more than enough fabric on hand, that should be easy peasy.....

Monday, November 10, 2014

to paraphrase....

the journey of 1000+ patches begins with a little stack.....yes, i AM cutting them individually for that scrappy look, and no, i do not have any kind of timetable for this beautiful antique quilt project.   it's just one of those things i could not resist and will be done at some point in the future.  since the hawaiian applique is nearly done, bold adventurousness took over and decided to take this on.  i simply love it, and the pink was already purchased while on retreat.  am also up to date and a bit ahead on the little alphabet blocks; starting to put the rows together for what's done and it is pretty cute.  also got a stack of units cut out for more solid bow tie blocks.  *** in the process of trying to eke out more space in the sewing corner of my room.  a tall bookcase was selected with (hopefully) enough shelf space for the stash to sort by color, not yet assembled as the floor space has not quite been found.  the boxes have to be shifted to unblock the heating baseboard since winter will inevitably arrive at some point.  *** one border is finished and applied to the scrappy shenandoah cabin.  lots of things in progress, which is how i usually sew, and often results in many finishes in a short period of time.  i'm shooting for  2 more bed size finishes before year's end, so gotta go....time's fleeting!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

inchie sewing

it started simply enough by trying to clear off the sewing table....i came across a baggie of inchies given to me at retreat by michele...wondering how long it might take to sew them up into little strips, less than an hour later they are sewn into pairs and some into foursies...but chain piecing can get boring and besides, the sewing table is STILL in need of a clear off, so i'll put these aside with other inchies for another time or maybe later today.  the main project is borders for the shenandoah log cabin PLUS a little quilt project that has been percolating.  and yes, the hawaiian is coming along.  i've just about finished the last large cluster of fronds and heading into a short section that will finish the applique part.  and some time today, will get another alphabet letter done...today is "S" so it's a serendipity sewing day, cloudy and cold outside but bright and busy inside. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

mission accomplished

so all 16 blocks of the main top are done and together...and wow, the pattern shows up really well....i like it a lot.  now to start the 4 borders, also done with 1.5" strips and scrappy style.  the 4 corner squares are all done and waiting for the border sections.  ***  cruised over to marcia's site quilterscache and found a nice pattern for my solid yellow, which will be the background.  yellow is a color i hardly use and had seen some quilts using yellow and they really pop.  don't think i'll be starting that right away, though.  wish i hadn't packed away the orange scraps and pattern book for my modern quilt as i'd really like to do that next, but will have to wait.  ***  worked on the hawaiian last night and am thinking this might be finished sooner than originally thought.  fortunately there are plenty other things in progress to fill that void when it comes.  now back to border construction!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

first four blocks....

of the scrappy shenandoah log cabin are done!  thanks to michele, i decided to use only dark value strips and i think that makes the pattern easy to see despite the scrappiness.  the sewing space is a mess with strips and blocks everywhere but hoping to finish up the blocks and have the inner portion of the top all together by week's end....then i can concentrate on the border.  this will be a tied quilt as there are too many seams to hand quilt.  with a bit of luck, i could have 2 more finishes of bed size quilts before year's end, this one and the amish center diamond...these and finish the hawaiian applique part is about all i can manage in the remaining less than 2 months.   next machine project is to finish the ocean waves flimsy.  keeping the stash in plain view is a huge motivating factor, that plus it is so enjoyable to me.  mostly keeps me out of the doldrums from feeling trapped here. 

errata

my trip was actually over 500 miles each WAY, which was still a lot for me to do...i don't mind highway driving but it does get boring after a while.....

Monday, November 3, 2014

too late....

if you quilt, you know what this is....it was waiting for me when i arrived back in maine today.  so sorry hancock's but my fabric budget is blown for the remainder of the year.  in fact, i've deleted several fabric emails just in the last 2 days.  i didn't even look, wasn't even tempted.  am hoping my resolve holds...it HAS to...at least until march when "union blues" is available.  by then i should have busted enough to ease my conscience, well that's the plan anyway.  **** speaking of maine, it's pretty chilly here and yes, there was a bit of snow still left at the periphery of the lawn.  fortunately the most was far north of here but it won't be long before it creeps our way.  **** early to bed (once my fabric is dry) and hoping white line fever is gone in the morning.  the drive is certainly do-able but it's still over 500 miles each day.  even with dry roads and sunshine, it's tiring, but was worth every mile. 

we had cake!

in celebration of marge's 50th retreat, the staff of Amishview sent in this delish cake for all to enjoy....and it certainly was good! half chocolate, half white; it took a few days to polish off most of it....and of course the staff enjoyed some as well.  it was a nice surprise for all of us....*** well, mom tells me there is only a dusting of snow on the ground, so hoping by the time i arrive it will be melted.  had hoped to be relocated south before snow started but not yet.  will continue on until that happens.

so long buggies and bossies....


at least for now...it was a reluctant and somber trip out of lancaster county after a glorious relaxing and fun-filled week of all good things.  with all my stuff loaded into the car plus some local goodies to bring home, i reflected on all that had transpired, not just sewing and shopping, but also a relay fundraiser and reconnection with new, but tried-and-true friends.  it's true i am a city girl and like being close to city diversions, but this time away basking in open spaces and quiet ways invigorated and fed my soul.  ****  the wind is still howling outside and has been all day.  no snow here in CT but in maine there is....glad i brought along my wool winter hat.  it seemed dumb last week but came in handy today.  once i get unpacked i'll show my progress last week, but first gotta find space for "some" new fabric....oh that rue indienne line from moda.  i made a pledge to delete all shop emails from now until march when "union blues" from barbara brackman comes out....and until then, i'm going to be sewing and sewing and sewing.....you get the idea.  say, does anyone know how to attach a sewing machine table to a treadmill? 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

scrappy shenandoah


this is retreat project #4....a scrappy version of judy martin's shenandoah log cabin.  i had made one of these previously but my sister-in-law really liked it, so it's hers now.  all 16 squares are in the works at once, which i find seems to go quicker than doing one complete square at a time.  it's another of those done whenever projects to use up scraps and will probably get donated someplace at some point.  **** well, it's the last full day of retreat and i for one am consumed with sadness.  the enjoyment and camaraderie i have found in these women has enriched my life in so many ways, more so than some other quilt groups i've attended in the past.  we all have tough things in our lives, but for the most part, they get set aside for one week and we work at having fun.  it's like the perfect positive storm of everything wonderful---gorgeous venue, shared friendships and quilting--doesn't get any better than this.  ***  and what did i see on the news?  snow?  not in maine, thankfully and not here either, so it can just stay wherever it is until march....if only...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

isn't this cute!

several retreat gals are sporting this cute fabric box accessory, so tonight ann showed some of us how to make them.  i volunteered some of my new fabric....a la carte by american jane....and ended up with this little cutie!  endless possibilities for making these with regard to color choices and sizes. 

and this is my little batik project....this pattern is called "hexie stars" and it can be found at quilterscache website run by marcia hohn.  i'm calling mine "aurora borealis" as the batiks are bright jewel tones (mostly) and will be wallhanging size.  only 2 more stars to make then it's on to project #4.   **** a bit cooler here today but no matter, retreat fun isn't contingent on outside temps...and why oh why is it wednesday already?????

my view at amishview


this is the view outside my room at retreat.  a view like this isn't required for retreat fun, but it sure does up the ambiance factor 100 fold.  it was instant relief to finally get off the interstate and spy these pastoral vistas of endless fields and barns.  my reservation for next year is already made! *** got quite a bit of sewing done yesterday.  it was a gorgeous day, temps in the 70s.  i brought 4 sewing projects with me.  the blocks i was working on at the motel are done as far as they can be.  then the amish ocean waves is also done as far as it can be as well....ran out of triangles.  now i am sewing up batik scraps on a new piece i'll show you later.  that leaves one project to do after this and with 3+ days left, should get most of that done as well.  *** yes it was 70s yesterday, today 60s, tomorrow 50s and then in the 40s for the weekend.  i brought shorts, fleece pants, t-shirts and sweatshirts so i am ready for the fluctuation in temps.  now back to sewing....

Monday, October 27, 2014

birthday boy...



if you see this guy today, give him a birthday hug for me....it's brother #2...he was about age 2 or so in this photo...white blonde hair until he got older, constantly in motion and busy and sometimes feisty...but a cutie and special to us.  happy birthday bro!

and since i am on the road, decided to emulate one of my quilty mentors and plus phoebe in for some motel sewing.  got some blocks done for another whenever project....scraps repurposed...while watching PBS.  today the real fun begins when i meet up with the gals at retreat....how good is that?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

mailbox surprise

oohh squeal!  these arrived in my mailbox yesterday.....a thank you gift that was totally unnecessary but a very generous gesture.  it was for a deed that anyone would have done; i'm not special by any means.  i have a project planned for kaffe fassett goodies and these will be ideal.  i am very thankful for this over-the-top gift.  ***  the day has arrived and the car is getting packed up today for what i hope will be a perfect vacation.  quilting, friends, fun, family.....can't get much better than that!  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

another finish...

so here is "corn maze" all tied and done, ready to give away.  this represents 10+ yards out of my stash and another UFO off my list.  i love this pattern.  while i was making this quilt, was thinking of all the color combos that could be used to make more, equally stunning.  some nickel squares, some 2.5" strips and a whole lot of 1.5" strips and voila!  with the right colors it makes a real statement.  *** departure day tomorrow and just as promised, sun is out and shining bright, albeit cool but normal for late autumn.  the to-do list is nearly history and 2 weeks of fun ahead.   i love vacations!

Friday, October 24, 2014

jackpot!

had a bit of free amazon cash to spend and so i ordered these, what i thought was one yard of each...mod-ish christmas prints from michael miller but guess what!  there was a tag on the trees fabric and an extra 14" added to my yard...it said, jackpot you got the end of the bolt!  i am thinking tree skirt from these and a few others.  the other print is called "nordic christmas" and i just love the bright colors. i have a celery solid fabric that will go nicely i do believe.   **** after a very stormy week, spied a tiny patch of blue sky near the horizon today....could be we will see the sun very soon....tomorrow so the weather guru says.  looks like traveling weather for sunday will be nice as well.  ****  the donation quilt "corn maze" is just about ready for the washer.  the suitcase is out, the sewing space is tidied, laundry is done and most everything is ready.  ***  christmas will be here before can even hardly plan for it...have you started shopping?  i have one gift already and working on my list.  as long as it doesn't snow.....if only (sigh)...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

gloria gaynor not!

this amusing little quilt had me humming that 80s disco song with images of a mirror ball and the hustle except this quilter, cyndi zoller, was portraying another kind of night life, one where she likes to go to sleep early.   it was a ribbon winner and rightly so.  victoria has some other photos of this nice show, different than mine, so be sure and check them out.  *** my sewing time is now focused on sewing on the binding of my scrappy donation quilt which i've named "corn maze", hoping for a finish in the next couple of days.  today is a day off for me and it's filled with errands and tasks getting ready for retreat.  it's been rainy and windy all week but looks like the skies will clear in time for departure.   a whole year wait is almost over.  am thinking about maybe doing the spring retreat, since it's an awfully long time between quilty R and R....will see what mr. bank balance says about it....LOL

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

another show fave....


this one is titled "family tree" and i am guessing these are grandchildren (?).....faces colored with colored pencils looking so life like....climbing in a tree.....stunning effect.  made by betty jo quinn.  *** cool weather is back and here to stay, so the weatherman says.  november is around the corner and it could snow any time, though most years holds off until at least thanksgiving.  many in maine dread the winter but few actually flee, the rest preferring to remain and complain.  as for me, most of my stuff is packed and i'd be happy to leave maine anytime...

Monday, October 20, 2014

another prize winner....

was this blue and white beauty by anna bullard....beautifully machine quilted by linda bevins....what is better than a blue and white?  not a thing, in my book anyway....it was my favorite for people's choice....and no show is complete without
fabric, what else?  i didn't buy these, they were gifted to me by victoria...we are both 12-step flunkies as far as fabric is concerned....a beautiful paisley and a rust AND 2 gorgeous autumn fabric charm packs....i just started a project with the jelly roll she gave me last summer, and as luck would have it, an autumn fabric quilt is swirling around in the gray matter now....it was ESP!