Wednesday, August 23, 2017

the day's fun

before heading off to dreamland, wanted to post a wednesday report....first up, a small finish...bonnie hunter's wild and goosey pattern, the mini version...


at some point, she posted a photo of a large antique done like this but i opted for a smaller version for a quick (don't laugh) finish....i really love this and if i were 30 instead of ??? i am pretty sure i'd do a bed size...and this also got finished today....


found a home on the antique sled where some small quilts are displayed...really happy to see this finished....and continued working on the tumblers which work up super fast...this top is now just about half finished...and was able to avoid drooling on it while "witness" was on...one of my fave movies....harrison ford and amish quilts?  what's NOT to like????


actually pulled FQs and cut more pieces for this....always good feeling to shop the stash!   i do like this a lot and itching to get to the fun part, the quilting!  ***  can't believe labor day is around the corner and my very favorite season....autumn!  but first, a birthday cake to make for you-know-who!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

summer UFO train....

chugging along emptying more drawers before autumn arrives...with 12 more days hoping to end up with the orange mod as a flimsy....today's progress is the scrappy 9-patch with reconfigured border...


still not perfect but improved over the previous 2 borders.....glad i made the effort for the unsewing and resewing....was going to donate to the thrift store but i kinda like it so maybe i'll just tie and finish and use it for charity.   waiting in the wings and already in the machine is the repro tumbler scrappy....


four rows were already done and have lots of tumblers already cut in the UFO drawer.  again, destination uncertain but i have envisioned hand quilting this one.  it'll need a border of some sort, not very wide, but a neutral and then a dark print to bind.  i could definitely snuggle under this one.   and unearthed a couple of cross stitch pieces needing finishing.  framing is too pricey, but decided to make a decorative pillow of this one.  it was done back in the 1980s and was sad to see some discoloration that didn't come out with washing.  i really like this piece and sorry i left it unfinished so long.  when i made it, i had the house and lots of


decorating dreams, but have found the perfect place for it here in my new home....so the time seems right.  the other piece is a serenity prayer that will also become a pillow after some eyelet trim is purchased.  it, too, was made in the 1980s during the ex's first go-round with AA. we split not long after, so lost interest in finishing.  lastly, DD came for a visit last week and drooled over this wallhanging, even offering to BUY it, but mom had a light bulb moment....


remember the sampler christmas stocking?  half done at this point, so made a deal with her and she will finish the cross-stitch, and i will quilt the basket wallhanging and give to her. she is a perfectionist with her cross stitch....synapses really firing that day!   now back to that moving train!

[new header photo is marsha mccloskey's north wind from her book "quick classic quilts"....i loved making this and love the result and love that book as well...flimsy was donated to vermont flood relief a few years back]

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

wednesday finish

finally, have gotten back on the sewing track and finished up this little christmas baubles piece...it's a moda bakeshop pattern and although i like it, the original was done with green baubles and a more neutral background....but it's done and not totally disagreeable looking...it'll look more festive in december i'm guessing....


and the other day was fashioning a chair cover for a friend....it needed lots of bias binding, which i made from stash.  and if you know me, you KNOW i didn't measure how much i'd need beforehand, just cut a stack of bias strips guesstimating how much was needed....well 'shiver me timbers' but when i got to the end, it looked like this....


now, there HAD to be at least 5-6 yards of the binding in all...but like the eclipse, this could never happen again in 45-50 years at least....true binding karma!  ***  a gorgeous late summer day here in mid-atlantia with temps rising incrementally as week progresses....boy do i feel blessed today!

Monday, August 14, 2017

monday scraps

this post contains a variety of photos....first up, went to a local quilt show yesterday and snapped these few that caught my eye...there were plenty more but these were a few of my faves...

don't see stained glass quilting around much, but this one and a couple others were quite nice....


this was a panel but sure didn't look like one....the colors appealed to me....


i liked the silhouettes on this little piece.....and managed to sew a bit myself before venturing out.  the senior center is having a placemat workshop in september, which is shockingly just around the corner.  first attempt while doing some baking resulted in a block the wrong size, but the do-over came out just right...


the leaf fabric in the top one is a hoffman, naturally....their designers always turn out gorgeous prints...and a couple of vacation memories...was it really two weeks ago??


the famous ken's seafoods in scarborough, maine, and my own selection of yummy fried clams in batter....a decadent and delicious choice!   last but not least, a couple of local flora pix....the first is of these floral bushes that are everywhere in an array of colors from pink to lavender to fuchsia....when in full bloom they are gorgeous!  they look like a lilac variation of some sort...


and a look to the future with a photo snapped last year at a local state park.....i know i couldn't live anywhere that didn't have an autumn....


now off to start the week....on my list?  hope to finish a couple of small pieces, plus the scrappy 9-patch border and tackle the QOV to see if that can be an august finish....

Friday, August 11, 2017

small space decorating

the adorable doll quilt made by vic has found a home!


my vintage sled sits in a corner adorned with several little quilts....the sled had once belonged to my grandmother grace, my mother's mother, who died at age 21....leaving behind a long-grieving family and her only little girl just a toddler.  i cannot fathom such a loss being so very blessed to have my mom still hale and hearty.   ***  finally got some sewing time in still plugging away at the revamped border of the scrappy 9-patch, vowing to "git er done" before tackling something else.  now that groceries are in, my days are free to sew....more blessings!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

home again!

after 12+ hours on various transportation, arrived home last night to a huge stack of mail and my own bed.  so very glad gave the apartment a thorough clean before i left....first thing this AM, went right to my stash and pulled some nice magentas and reds for snapdragons!


next task is the pattern and i might just have one in abook someplace...that's the next step.  *** meanwhile, here at the ranch it's grocery and unpack day....and probably a nap?  could be....

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

vacation needlework..

don't think i've put aside some handwork while on vacation...brought along this ancient UFO to see if can get it closer to finish...


got all stems and leaves appliqued down, part of the basket, ready to finish basket and move on to bunny #2....good progress considering.  *** and the serious rain has finally arrived.  locals are happy for their gardens, and it's still warm so not crimping my plans at all--and truly it was needed.  ***  and august is birthday month for me, and again this year so blessed to have a birthday blueberry pie made by mum.  even tho the exact day is later, we celebrated early....being with family is always a reason to celebrate!


won't be long before maryland will be on the horizon, but it's been a perfectly full and magical time here in new england--it just doesn't feel like home anymore, though, and will be glad to be there soon....

Saturday, August 5, 2017

nearly ready to sew...

but first, have to get back to my stash and pull some of those luscious kaffe reds and magentas and then find or fashion some sort of pattern for my snapdragon garden...all washed and dried thanks to mum!


marden's total was 3.75 yards for a mere $4.27 per....pretty darn good!  the left most peeking out is a garden print gifted to me by denise...she is a gardening guru...and a beekeeper...plus chickens....she is one busy bee herself!  ***  for our seaside lobster bake last tuesday, everything got packed EXCEPT the pot to cook lobsters!!  so we improvised this way with perfect result...a bit of a smoky taste to the lobsters but with drawn butter hardly noticeable, and much less watery than cooking in water....channeling the early settlers no doubt...


for lunch today, we finished the last with a couple of yummy rolls.  *** and while i'm here, doing some cooking to stock mum's freezer.....first up, fresh corn fritters!


tomorrow is spaghetti sauce sunday and on monday some cinnamon rolls....and finally, gray clouds have arrived after a spectacular long run of perfect days....rain probably later and tomorrow but we are done sightseeing so we don't care...now we will just spend time together, mum the sibs and i, until departure date and back home to my cozy apartment and southern living...the best of both worlds indeed!

Friday, August 4, 2017

friday update

whew and double whew!  after 10 days of nonstop going, will now have a few days of quality time with my mom doing at home fun things.  the weather has been made-to-order perfect...have been to all the fave spots and eaten some fave new england foods...and visited some special quilty pals that made my vaca really, well special!  *** some time ago i saw a saying that really resonated with me...it goes like this:  'when you give what you have made with your hands, you give your heart.'  vic's little doll quilt really fits, and yesterday another friend gifted me with some homemade goodies--jar of jam and jar of honey from her own bees.


and being of like minds, we trekked to the ever-popular marden's for a bit more retail therapy....albeit no sale but still excellent value!


some pretty pinks for snapdragons, a neutral (with orange of course), a cute elf remnant and a margo krager shirting...a lucky find indeed!  it really is a fabric mecca, as long as you don't need a specific fabric...half the fun is in the search!  ***  the vacation days dwindle but still plenty of family time to spend....10 days of driving and sightseeing has left us weary but with wide smiles and loads of good memories for the days ahead.....to say i am blessed is a huge understatement....

Monday, July 31, 2017

monday post

vacation days are whizzing by at speed of light but squeezing out as much fun as possible...sunday trekked to marden's aka fabric mecca to meet up with pal vic from NH...she and her hubster are such kind, thoughtful and generous people.  first up was retail therapy...naturally!  and there was a very rare sale at marden's as well...remember those snapdragons?  picked up these as absolutely HAVE to capture that garden in fabric....


my stash is sorely lacking (if you can believe that) in yellows and greens...still have to find some good pinks, and i've tons of luscious kaffe reds/magentas on hand....so here's 1.75 yards of name-brand bargain goodies for the unbelievable sum of $6.60...that's right...incredible!  after this we headed for pizza and before she left, gifted me with some lovely lavender sachets and a pretty little quilt...her machine quilting skills have improved immensely....she is one awesome gal! 


gonna be hanging this little cutie on my antique sled at home....as for today, perfect summer weather and beach was on tap...and it didn't disappoint....early arrival and out by noon (no umbrella) but it was super....water lovely and warm and not at all frigid, typical for this time of year. 

on our way north, stopped here for a bag of goodies for a family get together....weather is picture perfect and every day another gem.  

pretty sure i passed my fun meter max already but what a way to go!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

sunday update

brief blurb about vaca doings in no particular order....first up, a quick visit to BUSY THIMBLE and Cyndi's awesome repro shop netted me this...






a gorgeous piece of betsy chutchian's new line of fabric....unfortunately my fabric budget is practically nil or would have--and COULD have--picked up a whole lot more.  in addition to the gorgeous fabric and reconnecting with Cyndi, blog pals Wendy and Randy were also trying to choose from Cyndi's entire collection!  Randy is visiting from California and Wendy is local, but it's always good to meet up with blog pals!  this fabric will always be a reminder of that visit....  ***  then a day trip to U of Maine in Orono to see these gems...






these are photos of documents written by my Whitney ancestors.  what an awesome treat this was!  the small collection consisted of two hand-written ledgers of sawmill transactions, meticulously detailed and recorded.  in addition some other miscellaneous correspondence was included.  one was a shopping list that included "a straw bonnet with lining and trimming" and a "pair of women's calfskin shoes, size 5"....there was also a note to a merchant in Salem that requested additions to an order sent by a ship captain who was ferrying lumber that listed "6 barrels dry fish, 2 barrels rum" among other things...it was a brief glimpse into the lives of people whose blood runs thru my veins and it was simply amazing to know i've touched actual pamplets written by them.  *** and last but certainly not least, these events were bookended by coastal sojourns....weather is warm and sunny but not really hot; in other words, just perfect!



our rental got upgraded from a compact to an SUV, so we are vacationing in extreme comfort and style...and another day of fun ahead!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

first of all....

a hundred thousand thanks for all who visited me on my "12 days" post....over 500 people took a peek and that is totally amazing!  thanks for stopping by....

vacation is in full swing and right away after picking up the rental behemoth (an SUV), we made a beeline for the coast and picturesque boothbay harbor.  it's a special location for my mom that sends her back to her young married days....


and a revealing disappointment....my ship DID come in but alas, in the wrong location and when I wasn't there yet (not THIS one, but the yacht on the left, partially seen).  a bit further from the coast in town, saw these....


a huge bed of colorful snapdragons....yellows, pinks, reds...hmmm good palette for a quilt maybe?  stunningly beautiful in the summer sun....and finally this morning, got a chance to spend time with needle and thread--always good....


this was tucked away on its noodle in my suitcase just waiting for some attention....hoping to get it all done so can attach to the other rows when i get home...stay tuned!  ***  it's cloudy and rainy today but beach weather is coming...can't wait  keep calm and play on!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

the 12th day....

of christmas, my true love gave to me....a two-week vacation...wahoo!  at least that's what I got....but for all the last day quilty fun, be sure to visit sarah's blog for the participants!

www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com!

and remember, it can always be christmas in your heart!


Monday, July 24, 2017

sort of fix

well, after getting 2 of the new borders on this scrappy 9-patch, have realized that it is what it is and unsewing and resewing all those bias edge pieces a few times will never turn this into a silk purse.


it seems a bit better than with the 2 borders but didn't turn out as good as i'd hoped....even so, glad i made the effort and will finish the other 2 sides and then quilt (or tie) it and call it done....i've made pieced borders before and they come out fine, but somehow this one is confounding me and i will chalk it up to the fabric....and the repeated ripping out and resewing...never a good thing with bias edges.  ultimately it will be welcomed by somebody and used for its intent--warmth and comfort.   as i've said repeatedly, i am no blue ribbon quilter and so i am not disappointed or crestfallen over this....after all, imperfect can be beautiful in its own right with quilts or even with people....gotta keep the big picture in mind here.   have a wonderful imperfect day!

and lastly, don't forget about the 12 days of christmas!  with 2 more days there are some lovely things to see and more chances to win a stash of tula pink fabric!

Monday, July 24th

come back tomorrow for the last exciting day of this fun-filled blog hop!

Monday, July 17, 2017

shazzam!

the last time my quilty pal M and i went to a door prize event, she won a gorgeous Patrick Lose book....today it was my turn....we ventured to the local quilty emporium to hear Alex Veronelli give his Aurifil presentation....and my ticket was drawn for the top prize....a luscious box of thread eye candy!



pretty terrific i'd say...it's 12 weight, good for hand quilting and embroidery....i had to pinch myself as i was totally shocked.....thank you, aurifil, for making such a terrific thread that makes all my old machines happy....and me too!

and the 12 days of christmas wagon train rolls on and on!  here is the list again and be sure and leave comments to be eligible for one of the tula pink fabric prizes!  sarah has all the details....

Monday, July 17th


Tuesday, July 18th


Wednesday, July 19th


Thursday, July 20th


Friday, July 21st


Saturday, July 22nd


Sunday, July 16, 2017

weekend report

so far it's been a fun weekend....friday the senior center quilty gals had a picnic and taught me how to eat maryland crab....


and once i'd mastered the task of finding the yummy crabmeat, they pronounced me an expert and presented me with my very own mallet....lol


how great is that???   in maine, there is atlantic crabmeat, which is very sweet and briny, but i wasn't sure i'd like the old bay seasoning....but it's delish!  easy to see (and taste) why crabs are a big deal here in maryland....i sure do feel like a native now!

and saturday fired up the old viking for some sewing fun and made these darling baby bibs....aren't they cute?  all from stash--just happened to have a small piece of those baby footprints fabric left and they were perfect.


now i've sunday to get back to a UFO project....and don't forget the 12 days of christmas hop!  below you will find the upcoming days' blog posts with lots of christmasy ideas....and then visit sarah for giveaway details.....

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Day 2 -- 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop!

welcome to today's edition of the '12 days of christmas' blog hop!   my focus today is on christmas stockings, specifically string-pieced stockings.  about me?  i'm a recent transplant to western maryland from my native new england, gave up lobsters for crabs--a southern yankee i guess!  60 years ago my mom sent me to 4-H where i learned to sew and was primarily a garment sewer--including a wedding dress and soft dolls--until 1979 when took my first quilting class at adult ed.  this was my first quilt...the ever-popular sampler!


i was immediately hooked and gave up all other crafts for quilting, though i still sew some garments.  amish quilts were the sirens that lured me into quilting...hand quilting is my favorite part!  in the 80s, string piecing was BIG and i made simple vests for myself and my daughter.  i branched out into potholders, christmas ornaments and stockings, pillows etc.  being primarily a scrappy quilter, had a plentiful supply of fabric even then.  strip piecing is limited only by your stash and your imagination.  i hope you enjoy the ideas here, and hopefully they'll fuel your mojo to make some for yourself or somebody special!  these stockings were my first and were made using a commercial pattern featuring the court-jester style of cuff with little bells sewn at the points.


you can see i kept to the traditional red/green colors.  that was me, the cautious, matchy-matchy grace who, thanks to bonnie hunter, no longer exists!   yes, they are nice and i liked them, but now that i have time to play in my stash, creativity has flourished and have branched out to other quilting styles!  here are some examples...



first, some kaffe fassett fabrics that make me swooon! i think i'll hang this year round....and how about a patriotic stocking for a vet or a summer holiday?  the stars on the cuff were done in a polyester lamé fabric, backed with a stabilizer, paper pieced.  yes, they are washable but be careful with the iron.


then there's a low volume style with some simple ribbon on the cuff....and a civil war repro stocking too...


finally, back to red and green, with something for the tree hugger or rustic retreat....inset paper pieced trees and a bright red ribbon...but a challenge for a beginning quilter as it's more fussy in construction.....then a mod style red/green with no cuff... as i shopped my stash for these fabrics, i was tempted to make a lot more!!!  now i'll show you some construction photos....caveat:  this is the method i use and might not be the method you choose....how to begin?


a muslin backing and piece of poly fleece cut larger than the actual pattern and pinned for stability...



then i begin to add my strips using all the same width or different widths...diagonal or horizontal


continue adding strips, removing pins as i work down the stocking....


once the top is completely covered, then pin pattern and trim.  for backing, i used a double thickness of cotton fabrics.  place right sides together, stitch around stocking (NOT ACROSS TOP) with 1/4" seam and then turn right side out....want to line it?  cut 2 stocking shapes and put right sides together; stitch around leaving a space open on the side about 3" in length....DO NOT TURN RIGHT SIDE OUT


now place stocking right side out INTO lining....NOTE that lining stocking is still wrong side out....the opening on the right side not visible but is there....


with top of stocking and top of lining pinned together, stitch around with 1/4" seam....now pull stocking thru the opening left in the lining....


it then looks like this....the red tree print was the fabric i used for the back side of the stocking...


then, i sewed up the opening on the side of the stocking lining and tucked it down inside the stocking...i made a hanger and pinned it to the outside (right side) of the stocking before adding the lining....this is the finish with lining for the stocking WITHOUT the cuff....


when i wanted to add a cuff AND the lining, here's how  i did it....first, i sewed the lining as usual but without the side opening....then i turned the lining right side out and slipped it inside the stocking, which left me with raw edges of both lining and stocking around the top.  then i made my hanger and pinned it to the INSIDE of the stocking to the lining fabric.  i measured across the top of my stocking, added seam allowances and chose my depth measurement....my stocking measured 7" across the top (added seam allowances) and for most i chose a 4" depth, ending up with a 3.5" cuff after finishing.  


this is my cuff and facing with right sides together, both pieces stitched first at sides and then around the bottom.  if you're not math phobic, you could cut one piece of fabric and then fold it instead of using 2 different pieces.  if you want to add trim as in the civil war stocking, though, you will need 2 pieces, pinning the trim on before sewing the facing to the outside piece.  now turn right side out.  i then pinned it to the INSIDE of the stocking to the right side of the lining with my hanger pinned to the stocking and inbetween the stocking and cuff; then it was stitched 1/4" from the top, making sure all raw edges (stocking, lining, cuff) were evenly pinned together.  


then just turn the cuff to the outside....now, for those of you who want to tackle the inserted pieces as i did with the trees....first, i paper pieced my trees.  then i sewed strips to either side, essentially making it one very wide strip, then just pinned to stocking, sewed and flipped...sounds simple but the mechanics are more complicated than with a single, narrower strip.  i had originally thought about paper pieced letters spelling J-O-Y, but found the trees that i liked better...maybe another stocking? each insert must be treated individually by adding the strips to the sides first and then added to the stocking one by one. before trimming the stocking to the pattern shape, i made another pattern using a see-thru interfacing to make sure i trimmed the stocking with the trees equidistant as possible from all sides. so that's about it.  the first one of any of these is a bit time consuming, but additional ones go quickly, even with the cuff and lining.  as mentioned, i could have made a lot more very easily inspired by fabrics in my stash....indigo fabrics, some other pretty christmas-y fabrics, some rich-looking reds and plaids....oooh plaids!  now it's your turn and i hope you will find them as fun as i have....thanks for stopping by....now check out these other great ideas!

Saturday, July 15th


Sunday, July 16th


Monday, July 17th


Tuesday, July 18th


Wednesday, July 19th


Thursday, July 20th


Friday, July 21st


Saturday, July 22nd