Saturday, February 13, 2016

Home At Last!

Happy 90th Birthday to dear Alfred, who was finally released from the hospital after some heart issues. He was surrounded by lovely gifts, mostly edible treats.

His wife and caretaker, Ilse, posed with him. She was teasing about a kiss that might knock off his precious baseball cap, a possibility that he good-naturedly protested.

It was great fun to see him at home again!

Friday dawned bright but cold and I went to my Bee in Concord, New Hampshire, at The Golden Gese Quilt Shop.There, Maureen was enjoying her lunch and some of the birthday cheer that we brought her.

She had brought in a clever placemat design for a round table that uses a Dresden wedge.

Maureen has also begun her own version of Midnight Blues from her copy of the book, Scrap Basket Surprises by Kim Brackett. Maureen's quilt will be done in all blue batiks. Here, pictured below, was a light blue batik that she had auditioned to supplement her Jelly Roll. So pretty!

Beverly was working on a new juvenile Drunkard's Path with the cutest jungle monkey fabrics!

Beverly wants to make more blocks to be able to play with lots of fun layout patterns.

As for me, I shamelessly showed off my big finish to all the gals who had only seen it on my blog, but not "in person."

As wonderful as modern technology is, photos on a blog are second best to being there in the real world.

Thank you to "Lil Claire" for taking these photos for me for you to see. Beverly noticed that I've not yet put a label on, something that's on my list for this week.

I worked for a bit to get my Midnight Blues top fitted out with it's cream scrappy inner borders. Then I was busy pressing the whole top. Below you can see it laid out and folded once down the middle.

There was also a stack of piano key panels of 2½" scrappy strips to get pressed to one side and cut into matching lengths. I chose 6½" pieces for my piano key borders, but I came up short of having quite enough of them.

Ahhh, well, back to the salt mines to do more panels, LOL!

Might you remember Marianne, who was hand stitching some pretty "Blue Redwork" a few weeks ago?

Well, she nicely presented me with a Valentine sachet that smells wonderful! Thank you, Marianne!!!

Hope you can sew with, and for, all your friends!

Happy quilting!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Big Doings!

There were three big events in the past few days;

1. My 90 year old neighbor, Alfred's fall and bump on the head,

2. An evil little wet-snow storm of about 8",

3. And my having finished my "Stars In A Time Warp" queen sized quilt.

First, let me tell about the snowstorm and digging out.

While it was early in the storm on Friday morning, I  was missing out on my Friday bee, which was disappointing.

But it was not as bad as what this foolish driver endured after spinning out on the slushy roads and going into a ditch right across the street from my driveway.

Soon the State Police and the tow truck that they had called had cleared the scene. No one was hurt.

Then, when the snow stopped, Felix, my Husband Wonderful, began to plow us out.

The diabetic neuropathy in his feet make walking problematic for him, but if I shovel and sand a path, then he can use a ski pole to walk to the truck safely.

He is forever grateful to our neighbor, 84 year old, Ilse, for the gift of that ski pole!

You can see just how wet and slushy the under-layer of snow was. Ugh. I love fluffy light snow, but this was yucky and heavy to shovel.

Every shovelful would stick onto the face of the shovel and cling, necessitating tapping the tip of the shovel blade onto the ground to clear it. Very heavy work!

We were done by about sundown and were rewarded with a beautiful sunset!

On Saturday morning, Ilse called me to say that her 90 year old husband, Alfred, had fallen and had gotten a bump on his head. They had taken him to the local hospital. I offered to drive her in to see him there.
Although 84 year old Ilse drives, she was upset at the time, and she gratefully accepted my offer to chauffeur her. When we got there, Alfred was alert and lucid in spite of his minor dementia.  He cracked a lot of jokes, too! We were so relieved by that. He wanted to go home immediately, but they have kept him for more billable hours on his most excellent health insurance, er, I  mean, observation.

Just before Ilse's crisis call on Saturday, I had been very pleased to complete the last hand hemming stitches on my striped binding on my quilt.

This one was the 2015 year long sew along inspired by Barbara Brackman on her Civil War Quilts blog. She named it, "Stars In A Time Warp." See my blog button on the upper right for the link.

Today's sunny and mild temperatures were perfect for a photo shoot in the deer-tracked snow.

Those pesky rascals have eaten all my rhododendrons, eeeek! Oh well, no blooms this year in April.

When I quilted this, I just made loose free hand spirals on the rented longarm at Ellen Peters' Cat's Whiskers Studio in Laconia, New Hampshire. Thank you, Ellen, for all your help with this quilt!

The backing was a single piece of a Judie Rothermel print, a 108" wide backing from Marcus Brother's Textiles.

The batting was Warm & White from The Warm Company, and although this quilt, with these strong colors, could've used Warm & Natural,  I have the Warm & White on a roll to use up.

 Today, Ilse asked me to take her into Concord again, and I'm happy to do that for her. What makes me even happier is to view my melted off Southern-facing driveway.

It is wet and sandy but not icy, Yeay!!!

Miss Emma Lynne looking guilty at being on my bed. (Her former owner forbade this, but I allow it).
This post will be linked to So Scrappy, Link.

Linking also to Love Laugh Quilt.

Happy quilting and please say a quick prayer for Alfred & Ilse, thanks!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Happy Groundhog Day!

What fun to celebrate a mild sunny Groundhog Day over at the Senior Center for breakfast and quilting!

The Pearson Road Community Breakfast Munchers

Dianne was binding another one of her pretty donation quilts as you can see in the foreground.

 In the background below, Sue was doing paid piecework for her granddaughter's entrepreneurial project. They are making sleeve-shirring loops that will be offered for sale as a fashion accessory. I teased them both for turning our quilting club into a third world sweatshop!

Below are all the carefully stitched up lavender and raspberry colored fabric loops ready to be turned and have their fasteners added. Good job, Sue!

Sue was also working on the sign that will be for The Sunshine Club here at the Alton, New Hampshire Senior Center.

Beverly was doing a little color-coding on her very detailed counted cross-stitch project for the Fire Department. Yes, that is a chocolate dispenser right handy, by!

My hand hemming on my own binding got a little further along, too!

Hope you had a fun day, too!

Happy quilting!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Trimmings and Bindings

Monday I carefully cleaned the marvelously empty guest room floor to spread out my Barbara Brackman's sew along quilt, "Stars In A Time Warp" for trimming. Link.

A small kneeling pillow and scissors, as seen below in the upper left corner, is what I use to trim off the excess batting and backing. I know that most people trim with a rotary cutter on a large mat.

I prefer using gravity to help me manage the sheer bulk of my big quilts.

It is tough on the knees, so I rested in between each side that I trimmed.

Soon all four sides were trimmed and below is a peek at how that Judie Rothermel 108" wide backing looks with the quilt. Don't you  love it?

The audition for binding material was short and sweet as there was a red stripe that had already won my heart!

Getting it sewed onto the front of the quilt and ready for hand hemming was next. My arms and shoulders ached from horsing that big quilt around, but I got it done!

Tuesday was my wonderful Sunshine Club at the Alton, New Hampshire Senior Center where Sue was happy to show us her "Sidewinder" free standing bobbin winder. Neat tool! And fast, too!

Sue also was happy to share the saga of her loot from last summer's annual June tent sale at Keepsake Quilting's retail store. Keepsake is located in Center Harbor, New Hampshire about 90 minutes away.

Sue proved that you can cram more of the scraps into their ziploc bags by folding rather than rolling. The bag must close before it is rung up!

Joyce, above on the left, is looking on and learning the tricks of careful folding. We are all gleefully anticipating the first weekend in June to go again to Keepsake's Sale!

Joyce is doing terrific with her cute-as-a-button log cabin blocks! Go, Joyce!!!

I organized my little log cabin blocks a little and then we all had breakfast at the Senior Center.

Soon I was off to rush over to the last Tuesday of the month's meeting of the Handwork Circle at the Evergreen Country Primitives Quilt Shop.

Dawn was doing her beautiful Lucy Boston blocks with English Paper Piecing.

Click on any picture to enlarge it. Dawn was whipstitching one of the pieces into place on the outer edges of the block.

This is Carolyn, who had made a gorgeous stack of Farmer's Wife blocks, all by hand. Nice work!

 Miss Lily, the Evergreen shop kitty, was truly enjoying that imported Canadian catnip that I had sewn into a calico catnip mouse for her!

She was tough to photograph as she raced about the floor, playing with her newly beloved toy!

While I was there, I did complete one side of the hand hemming of my binding. My wonderful hostess, Camille, the owner of Evergreen, took a couple of pictures for me. Thanks, Camille!

The optical illusion that the alternate hourglass blocks create adds so much more drama to the star blocks, don't you think?

Thank you again, Barbara Brackman, for all your inspiration and education about Civil War era reproduction fabrics!

Linking this post to Oh, Scrap! Link.

Happy quilting!

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