Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pure Indulgence

Okay, okay, so I'm no longer a quilter, I'm a fabric collector. Today I indulged myself.

Yes, that IS a Keepsake Quilter's souvenir Tee shirt from this year's Tent Sale in June

LOL!!!! I know, I know, I was just at the Mothership (aka Keepsake Quilting's retail shop in Center Harbor, NH) just LAST weekend. So what am I doing there again, only seven days later?

Well now, it IS Labor Day Weekend and they ARE having a 15% off any regularly priced yardage sale! That's enough to make a gal sneak away while the hubby's not looking and take in some retail therapy, isn't it?
As I drove along, I even made up a new lyric to the old folk song known as, "Skip to My Lou". It goes:

Going to Keepsake to buy me a yard,
Going to Keepsake to buy me a yard,
Hafta pay cash 'cause I maxxed out my card,
Skip to my lou my darling!

I love to sing old folk songs as I drive along in my old sedan no matter what people think as they look at me, LOL! I'm having fun, so who cares?
Never mind all of that now, let's look at the loot!

That lovely Civil War cheddar right on top is Hampton Ridge by Paula Barnes for Marcus Brothers, and I splurged on it for a whole yard. It was $11.20 per yard, YIKES! But cheddar is very hard to gauge on a computer monitor, so I try to avoid buying it online.

The other four fabrics were all half-yard cuts of light neutrals in Civil War selections, so that brought my total purchase to 3 yards. With the discount, that came to $28.56, nicely under $30, YEAY!

I tried to pick lights that had that lovely antique tea-stained patina. The lighter one that is flipped up in the above photo is "Pin Money" by Pam Buda for Marcus and I love the dusty rose pink figure on it. I had a scrap of it from Keepsake and wanted more of it. I'm pretty sure it is Buda, but the name was cut off.

And you know me. Anything that leans toward the red family attracts me like a hummingbird to a butterfly bush.

This little "Rooster Fields" by Benartex is technically a yellow, but the shade is a wonderfully soft and mustardy tan. I don't usually buy Benartex because although their designs are always scrumptious, I think that their cloth itself that they print it on is a bit thinner than I like.
Marcus Brothers always sells me a really beefy cotton cloth and I love them for it! I've seen too many old quilts with one fabric that disintegrated and spoiled the whole quilt's life. I hope my quilts will last a couple of lifetimes, anyway.

By the way, I was not the only one who was purely indulgent today. When I got home, I laughed at my "watch dog." That's as in, "Watch them take the silver, Watch them take the jewels...and so forth.

Miss Raven, you look like the late Charles Schultz's "Snoopy" on top of his doghouse in the cartoon strip! Ahh, she says, "I must get my 19 hours of beauty sleep!"

It's the holiday weekend. Do something purely indulgent for yourself! Blame it all on me, LOL!

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wandering Work Habits

My day just doesn't feel right if I haven't done any piecing. Sometimes I just like to noodle around with no big particular purpose. I never quite know how it begins nor just where it leads. I enjoy it that way. It is definitely discovery learning.
Today my process started with a few lovely pieces of Civil War scraps that were gleaned from the last "stuff-a-bag-for-$5" at the Keepsake's Quilting booth at the Ladies of the Lakes Quilt Show.

They were almost quarter of a yard scraps, but often shy of the mark.

I squared them up and cut them into strips at 4 1/2" and 2 1/2" with a leftover "string" for my strippy scrap basket.
I'm using the 4 1/2" pieces in two ways; once for 4 1/2" squares that become the centers of my Sawtooth Star potholder blocks,

and also for the 4 1/2" EZ angled HST's that I'm making for a "Milky Way" quilt from Fons & Porter's magazine. If you are interested, the link is here.

These HST's units measure at 4 1/2" unfinished and will be paired up with 4-patches of the same dimensions.

I am trying to keep these in the scrappy Civil War fabrics, but there are a lot of repeats when you do a WOF strip for strip-pieced construction techniques. Oh well, life is full of compromises, LOL!

I'm still making potholders to sell at the show, too.

Whenever I do the flying geese, I do bother to make the little bonus triangles, so I get 8 of them for each Sawtooth Star.

I started finger pressing the little HST's open, trimming their little dog-ears, and then playing with them.

The four tiny HST's measure 3 1/2" unfinished when put together as either a broken dishes or pinwheel block. So cute!!!

Then I recalled that I had made a huge cutting error back when I had been working on Easy Street that resulted in too many of the 3 1/2" Civil War green squares. I dug around on my cutting table, and, sure enough, there they were!

They were cut in sets of four matching units of the greens. I have no idea just where this will end up! But it sure is fun to play along the way.

Speaking of Easy Street, I am happyve to report that I've stopped procrastinating and sewed up the binding strips.

They are a very deep burgundy red that looks tomato-colored in this flash photo above. I did get them sewed onto the front of the quilt and joined together.

 I've been hand hemming the binding on any day cool enough that I can stand to have that big heavy quilt on my lap. So far, I'm one third of the way around with two corners done. I still need a label and a hanging sleeve before the show on the first weekend in October.

Since you haven't suffered a kitty patrol picture in a few days, here is one to show how big they are getting!

Spooky, the mother cat, is on the far left in the foreground, and she is sharing a bowl of milk with Tipper, one of her 3 sons. He is as big as she is, but she was always petite.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fat Quarter Frenzy

Yesterday I answered the siren call of "The Mothership", also known as Keepsake Quilting's retail shop. It is located in Center Harbor, New Hampshire, about an hour's drive away from me.

It was a lovely day with cool dry air that felt crisp and invigorating. The Mothership had emailed me that the shop was having a Fat Quarter sale this weekend of 20 FQ's for $25.00 if you buy the full twenty. It is a huge bargain of $1.25 per fat quarter as opposed to their regular price of $2.50 each. I had been looking forward to it for a week.
By the way, what does a quilt shop quality Fat Quarter cost you regularly? Or on sale? With or without shipping costs? Even though this is a good price, it went up from this Spring when it was $20 for 20 FQ's.

It is doubtlessly heresy, but I wore my new Stashbuster tee shirt just for fun! On the back of it, it reads, "Shop the stash!" and the irony of buying fabric while I was wearing it was not lost on me, LOL!
Because I went early, the shop wasn't too crowded where the big cutting table was spread with FQ's.

But there were plenty of happy quilters stocking up by the time I was ready to leave.

My bag got a Judy Rothermel red tie-up bow and the second bag was a set of 20 FQ's that I bought for one of the gals at the Friday morning Sunshine Gals. She had given me the cash and I hope that I picked out stuff that she likes. She gets the blue tie-up bow.

When I got home, I took these pictures of my loot!

They are almost all Civil War reproductions.

There are just a few that are not authentic Civil War reproductions, but of those, I made sure that they would work with the Civil War stuff.

Uh oh! Too much fabric; what to do, what to do????? Why, start a new quilt, of course, silly!!! LOL!

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Random Strips

Can there be anything more mindless and boring than stitching long strips together?

I have been making and collecting long strips by taking a generous cut whenever I square off a fabric.

My basket was almost half full so I just kept sewing them together.

I did try to mix up the darks with the lights.

And I tried to remember to turn the direction of the stitching so that I would not get too much bowing.

I'm planning on cutting them into 6 1/2" sections to join together into a piano-key border for my larger scrappy log cabin. So right now, it's just a work in progress.

Happy sewing!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Half Speed Ahead?

Today, Sunday, marks one week from when I first got sick with the norovirus, back on the 11th. I've endured several relapses along the course of the week, but I seem to be recovering now. I say that with fingers crossed against any jinx of speaking too soon.
None the less, here are some of the very small bits of progress that I made this week when I felt well enough to be vertical.
Made and pressed a couple of new Sawtooth Stars:
They always look so awful before they are pressed! Here is the same star when pressed and flipped over.
Many of these fabrics are Civil War scraps that were in the Keepsake Quilting's stuff a scrap bag for $5 that was their booth at the Ladies of the Lakes Quilt Show a couple of weeks ago.

It is fun to be using them right away! I confess that I did not prewash them as I usually do.

That cheddar/turkey red paisley in the cornerstones of the above was a "find" at Marvelous Marden's Department store over in Maine.
It tickles me to be using such a fancy selection in a humble potholder, but the other colors just screamed out for me to break out some cheddar!

On another note, it was too hot to be outdoors much this summer, so I did even less than my "hardly ever" weeding. Look what sprang up on its own!!!!

I think that a chipmunk planted a small cache of my black oil sunflower seeds from the birdfeeder and then forgot them.

Also, if you haven't viewed it yet, you might get a good chuckle out of Cathy Miller's singing on the video of "You Can Quilt That Out," on youtube. Here is the link .

Stay calm and quilt on!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How Sick Were You?

Ugh! A 24 hour virus gripped me for 48 hours with body aches, low grade fever, and, of course, violent diarrhea. Now with the help of some asprin and imodium and a lot of bedrest, I'm feeling better but still weak.

I do have a finish to share with you that I photographed just before the bug struck me down on Sunday.

This is, "Tumble Inn", a twin sized random scrappy tumbler quilt made with Missouri Star Quilt Company's 5" ruler/template. It measures about 58" x 80". The link is here.

The batting is Soft'n'Crafty that I bought a roll of at Joann's with a coupon, and the backing fabric was a plum-colored twin flannel sheet from Goodwill's big store in Concord, New Hampshire. I think it was $3. I had to trim those tumblers along the two side edges because the backing just barely covered them!
The binding was fabric that I had bought online. It is bias-printed so it makes a spiral, and I just love the look of it!

The last shot was to show you the quilt AND Felix's prize-producing Red Haven Peaches still on the tree. They are not yet ready for picking, but soon!

I hope you are all well and healthy!

Stay calm and quilt on!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Gilmanton Old Home Day 2013

Gilmanton Old Home Day has been a town tradition since the celebration of Civil War soldiers that were returning home after the war. The day was perfect weather as a Canadian High air mass swept out all the dead muggy air and replaced it with bright sun, dry air, and crisp breezes. It felt good to just be alive!

My table space as a quilt vendor was on the grass and in the shade of a huge ash tree. I worked on my hand hemming of the binding on "Tumble Inn", my twin sized tumblers quilt, in between helping customers.

 Felix sat with me, sometimes reading his book, or chatting with fellow Gilmantonians. It was super to have quality time with him.

To sell, I had brought two large bed quilts, a generous throw, and two lap sized quilts. Although none of them sold, they were very well received by the crowds of people who admired them, which pleased me no end.

We were right across the lawn from the live band that was playing lively bluegrass music.

The crowd was often clapping along in time to the beat.

Because I was minding my sales table, I did not get any pictures this year of the lifting of the huge antique bean pots out of the earthen dug beanholes. But here are some shots of it from previous years.

This, above, is the pot before it has been lifted out of the beanhole oven.

And here you see that it takes six very strong men to lift one pot out and carry it to the serving area.

It takes three full days to bake the beans with salt pork and maple syrup, but they are worth the wait!

After lunch was served, there was an antique car parade.

And all the children were invited to play in a tug-of-war game, just for fun!

 As for my sales, I did sell a few catnip mice and ten of my potholders, so I did clear $36 after paying up my booth space and that made me feel very happy!

 It was a very enjoyable day all around!

Happy sewing!

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