Saturday, March 31, 2012

Flying Geese!

Most of this week has been sharply colder temperatures in the 30's & 40's with gale winds; true March weather. It is NOT pleasant to be outside even though the grass is greening up.
My view from my sunning chair usually has a few chickadees at the new feeder beside the Easy Street sign that I bought from the state of New Hampshire prison system as a joke.
Even the garden is desolate!
So most of this week I poked along on making lots of Civil War flying geese to do a border on Windmills of Your Mind. I talked Felix into coming down into my Quilt Cave to take some pictures. Before he snapped any photos, I specifically asked him, "Is my hair okay? Should I comb it?" He said, "Naw, it looks great!"

This is the same man that cannot see any toast crumbs left behind on the countertop either! LOL They say that men are differently wired. I believe it!
Anyway, here's the progress:

Now to determine the size of the spacer border between the center and the pieced border!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stash Guilty?

There are times when I have teased myself about being a "Very Bad Girl" for having bought gobs of pretty new fabrics. The truth is, I do not feel guilty or bad about buying fabrics. I love them and I am inspired by them. I feel sorry for the folks who feel the need to constantly spend all their time inventorying and posting about how many yards in or out! Sheesh. We have enough real things to worry about.

I buy whatever I think is a good deal pricewise that I will use. I love having fresh fabrics to augment the 1980's stuff that I'm using up. It is like a painter buying new tubes of color.

These are from the Keepsake Quilt shop's annual fat quarter sale and I LOVE them! It made me happy to buy them, all 60 of them. It made me happy to touch them when arranging them to photograph them. They will make me happy again when I prewash them and hang them on the clothesline. They will make me happy again when I cut, sew, press them. I like this stuff. This is what I do.
I'm especially happy that fabric purchases are not caloric nor mind-altering. My Husband Wonderful, Felix, is thrilled to pay fabric bills rather than American tobacco bills. When I smoked two packs a day, we spent over $3000.00 per year on cigarettes (now they are even more expensive).

 So I feel good making quilts now with tons of lovely fabrics!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Winter Returns

Last week we had unusually warm, summer-like weather. It brought my Mount Hood daffodils out a whole month early.
When we first moved here to New Hampshire from northern Connecticut, Sam's Club was running a special on these daffy bulbs. They were only $10 for a package of 100 as I recall. I bought 300 and put them in without knowing exactly where would be the best spot. I lucked out by putting them on the far western (over to the left in the picture on the header) side of the house, about 6 feet away from the foundation. Well, they have thrived there! The afternoon sun bounces off the white vinyl siding, melts the snow and warms the earth early there every year.
What is horrible is that after the five days of 80 degree weather, now winter has returned with a vengence. Gale force winds of 45 mile per hour and temperatures in the teens at night! All those open flowers will die, I fear. It was so windy that I did not even bother to cover them up with a sheet. I asked Felix to help me harvest a big bunch before the freeze. So I have been delivering bunches of daffys to my friends in the village. I even put a vase of them on the counter in our post office. Everybody loves them!

These are the pictures of my Happy Scrappy Houses from Bonnie K. Hunter. I'm up to 16 blocks and I don't really want to make any more but I prefer rectangular quilts over squares. Sigh. What will I do?

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Travesty

We are quilters. We value quilts. We know what it takes to produce one. That is why it is an absolute travesty to me that this twenty block Dresden plate signed friendship quilt was thrown into the dumpster of a thrift store. My sister, Suzanne, who also works there, rescued it and brought it to me. I was astounded by the cavalier attitude of the ignorant women who were going to dump it.
It is dated April, 1934, in nicely worked pale green embroidery that matches every one of the 20 signature names on the twenty large blocks. Beautiful hand quilting abounds and I believe  it was hand pieced, too. It measures approximately 60"X80". Yes, it has some fraying and wear on the pale thirties-green solid binding. Yes, it has two unfortunate stains. Yes, it has one damaged area that took out three petals of one plate and the section of it's wool batting. But it has no odors. And it represents so many hours of work by these twenty women. I wonder if these were actual feedsack fabrics? Probably.

The women who were going to dispose of this were not teenagers, just middle class American women who were thinking "inside the box."  Shame on them!

It has a rip. Throw it out. It's broken. Get rid of it. It's old. Nobody wants it. It doesn't fit the category, (clothing shop) so put it in the trash.

Beware this type of thinking.

Picnic Weather! 84 Degrees!

I used my 40% off coupon at Joann's for a new plastic flannel backed outdoor tablecloth for out on the deck. I loved the Chilean looking fruit on a tea stained background. It takes 2 yards to put on and I was scandalized that they were charging $5.99 per yard. Sheesh! I'd say we have some inflation, wouldn't you?

It was picnic weather so we ate lunch and supper outdoors.
I also got a bunch of my cute little flying geese done for that Civil War Windmills border. Bonnie K. Hunter would be proud of me for completing the bonus HST's! LOL!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What Went Wrong?

Now, you MUST agree, something went terribly wrong with this Happy Scrappy Houses block from Bonnie K. Hunter!

The house itself is just fine, but whatever on earth did I do wrong on the skinny wedge-shaped pieces? I cut them from the same 2 1/2" X 11" rectangles as I did the dozen or so of the ones I've already done...geez! Then I figured it out! The two rectangles must be BOTH FACING UP WITH THEIR RIGHT SIDES! I had the two pieces just as they had come off the bolt with wrong sides together. Sigh. I removed the magenta and put the wrong pieces into the scrap crumbs box and cut two new ones from a pale robin's egg blue.

Hooray! Now it works!
Also, last night at dusk when the breezes die down, I was able to lay out the Civil War Windmills blocks. I had made twenty and I think that will be enough.
 I like the way this looks because it has so much movement. When I was at my guild meeting I borrowed a neat book on fancy pieced borders, so I'm thinking about making one for this quilt.
 Our weather has been record highs for 5 days in a row. I mean, 80 degrees in MARCH???? In New Hampshire?? Last year we had 6" of snow for April Fool's Day. It was so warm that I got really thirsty for something other than my usual hot black decaf tea. Here's what I did; half diet cranberry juice mixed with half orange flavored seltzer water.

It tastes like that Thanksgiving side dish of cranberry orange relish that we used to make with a meat grinder when I was ten. There were no food processors!!!!LOL!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day? Or National Quilting Day!

Okay, so it is both today! I'll wear some green and go to meet my quilting friend Deb from Meredith at the Keepsake Quilting shop's annual Fat Quarter Sale. We go out for coffee afterwards to sit and catch up. In the meantime, here is something hopeful to look at...
This is one of the 50+ daffodils that Matthew helped me to plant last fall. Yippee, they're up!!!!

Hello again, friends! Here is an update on the great fun that I had with Deb at Keepsake. While we were there, the store was crowded with fellow quilters but we enjoyed their company. Everyone was so very nice!
 We bumped into Shirley Mento and Ann Rampulla who are the Belknap Mill Quilter's Guild currently serving President and President Elect, respectively. We all shopped 'til we dropped! Here are Shirley and Ann resting after buying some bargain priced batiks for the Penny Sale to be held at the big guild show in September.
They are both very hard working and dedicated and our guild is lucky to have them. They are also both sweeties! I apologize that my camera needs new batteries; that's why it looks overexposed and washed out. Now, I ask you, should I try to tea dye the photos? LOL!

Deb and I did enjoy our coffee and conversation at Dunkin Donuts, but alas, when we went to leave, my poor old car would only growl at me and not start! Deb rescued me by calling Felix on her smartphone and taking me home with her until he could get there. Deb has a lovely home and gorgeous houseplants!
We traded some Cheddar Bow Tie blocks and talked to our hearts content before my car was towed home for Felix to repair. Here are the cheddars that Deb sent home with me:
And Matthew added this photo for me. All in all a very fine day. Did I tell you that I bought 60 fat quarters?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Right & Wrong

Right and wrong are harsh judgmental terms. And most quilters will say that however you put your blocks together in your quilt is your decision. But sometimes with some quilts there really IS a difference!

When I showed the windmill blocks to Charlene Higgins, one of the quilt instructors at The Golden Gese quilt shop in Concord, New Hampshire, she loved it! But she was quick to point out that the block needs to go together as light-to-dark opposites to really look good. Otherwise it looks lopsided. Here is the RIGHT way: (Please ignore the bit of another block off to the left side of the photo)
See how the center forms a quarter triangle square that is balanced? And the darks mirror each other, as do the lights, in the formation of the larger outline square. It is very pleasing to the eye. Here is the WRONG way:
In these two blocks, the quadrants are all lopsided with the all the darks on one side. I have since frog-stitched (rip-it! rip-it) these and corrected them. Now I'm up to 18 blocks done already.
Tonight was my guild meeting and I had fun reconnecting with some friends, enjoying the featured speaker, and showing off my Calliope Music quilt. I also borrowed a quilting book about borders from the guild's library. On the way home there was rain and patchy ground fog and I was very grateful that the temperatures remained above freezing, so no black icy spots, just rain. It was 9:30pm when I got home, so I had missed the Hoarding show that I like on TV. Oh well! Every guild meeting is better than TV anyway, right?
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