Monday, September 30, 2013

September is Finished

You may recall that I had started out trying to remake a second "Cappuchino" quilt, a large scale log cabin in browns and creams. Here is the original one made back around the first of April of this year.

After it is shown at this weekend's quilt show, it will be shipped to Connecticut for a belated birthday present for my "kid" (53 years old) sister, Lucinda. But I liked it so much that I wanted to do it all over again!

I made a few blocks, decided that I needed more, then changed my mind completely and made even more blocks, LOL! These large scale log cabins play well with multiples of six, so I chose to make 36 of them.
We were blessed with some gorgeous fall weather that had no wind. I used the time to try some different block layouts on my asphalt driveway. It has to be a calm day or else I'm chasing breeze-strewn blocks down the street, LOL!

I very much liked this above shot of a barn raising variation with the light medallion in the center.

But I wanted to see it with a dark center, too, so I tried that next.

No, I liked the first one better and went back to that. But what I really wanted was a large star in the center and I could not get it!

Finally, I realized that the large light medallions are what define the big star. It helps if you squint at the picture to see it. But I needed to change that very distracting corner treatment!

Ahha! Now this is the one that won!
It's sort of a big star surrounded by a barnraising. If you know the name for this setting, please do tell me. I'm just re-inventing the wheel, I'm sure.
Once I got the blocks labeled and stacked, I was pooped out! There's a lot of exercise there with all that fun of arranging the blocks. I had a ball, but I was tired.
Saturday I worked feverishly to get all the blocks sewn together into rows. I felt nervous about the layout being so tricky, so I carried all the rows upstairs and back out onto the driveway to double check everything.
YEEHAW!!! Everything was perfect!

The reason that I was hurrying so much was because Sunday the 29th was the last studio day that was booked for a while at Ellen Peters' quilting studio. Would I make it?
I sewed the last rows into place Sunday morning and carefully pressed the top and rushed over to the studio.

Ellen loaded the quilt for me and I was off and quilting!

I did the same wonky freehand spirals on this quilt as I had done on the first one.

But this was a MUCH bigger quilt! It took me all afternoon to complete it with one ten minute break. Poor Ellen wanted to leave to go to a concert but she graciously allowed me to stay and finish my quilting.
Thank you to Ellen, for letting me stay the extra half hour, and another big thank you to Rosemary for staying with me to help me take the quilt off of the machine at the end.

Sorry that this next photo was overexposed but it does show the quilting pattern a little bit.

When I got home I was thrilled to find that Felix had made lobster salad-filled lobster rolls!!!

Yippeee! I had those lobstah rolls and felt even better after Felix rubbed my back and shoulders with extra strength Ben-Gay! He is such a dear husband.
He did even one more supportive quilty husband thing; when admiring my handiwork, he dubbed the quilt the Davy Crockett Log Cabin. Who am I to argue with that?? LOL!

Today I trimmed and applied the binding and I'm still working on hand hemming it down on the back.
So tonight September is finished and so is this quilt, almost.

Happy sewing!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Enjoying The Fall

We have just a bit of early fall colors here. Kevin Skarupa, our local weatherman on Channel 9, says we are at about 50% of the foliage turned.

This is a small stream that goes under the pavement on Coffin Brook Road.

Color is best nearest to water, lakes, streams and rivers.

No moose was here today, but in years past, I have seen a big cow moose nibbling aquatic plants here.

I had a nice day at the Alton Senior Center in spite of having forgotten to bring the Double Chocolate charm squares by Three Sister's for Moda that I had planned for a project.

After digging around in my scrap bag, I found an old Keepsake Quilting pre-cut package of 8" squares and sewed on those.

My tee shirt reads, "Easily distracted by shiny objects." 
Only Sue was there yesterday, but she had brought in her rayon velvet Christmas tree skirt that was all tied with red yarn and ready for binding.

It looks soooooo wonderful! In the photograph, the light reflects, but in person it just gleams!

Sue got all the binding attached and because it was cotton jersey knit, the binding went nicely around the curves of the tree skirt, even on the inside of the slit in the circle.

Sue had never seen the "quickie method" of making HST's by sewing around the outside of two squares (that are right sides facing each other) and then cutting the "X" through the center of both layers.
It's a neat trick! Jenny Doan of The Missouri Star Quilt Company was the first place that I had seen it on their youtube video. So sorry that I can't find the link to right one. It does, however, have all bias edges, so sew carefully!

I had a wonderful package arrive from my friend Grace in Maine! We swapped some bright orange fabrics from me to her and these are the Civil War selections that she sent in return.

They are really lovely; thank you, Grace!!! I'm sure to use these somewhere in my newest project, The Farmer's Wife! Camille from the Evergreen Quilt shop in Milton, NH, has already said that my book for it is in and that she'll bring it with her to the quilt show on Friday. Yippee!

Meanwhile, on "Kitty Patrol", I was honored to find this delightful offering laid with great care on my doorstep. Ewwwww!

As you  may be able to tell from the elongated nose, this is a small mole or vole and not a mouse. They are constantly burrowing tunnels in what passes for lawn here on the farm.

Above is "Tipper" rolling onto his back to expose his tummy to Raven. This is a sign of submission and great trust.
Tipper has really bonded to Raven since the disappearance of Spooky, the mother cat. The dog and cats are very challenging to photograph for you because they all zip around so fast, LOL!

Here's "Tanner" jumping onto my lap from the arm of the wooden chair. She is the tamest and is very affectionate. It's hard not to have favorites, LOL!

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Last Tuesday of the Month

Okay, I've really lost my mind!

When I was invited to join a Farmer's Wife quilting group, I swore that I would NOT join it because it is ONLY hand sewing and ONLY template-cutting with scissors. Not my style of working. But I kept thinking about it. And thinking about it.

My tee shirt reads, "Whatever is new, is bad" -Wallace Nutting, 1925

So when the last Tuesday of the month rolled around, I grabbed some Civil War reproductions, the checkbook, and, of course, a bag of Hersey's Milk Chocolate Nuggets and went out the door!
I spent the morning enjoying the company of my fellow quilters and had a ball!

The class was held at Evergreen Country Primitives Quilt shop and half of the ladies there are already dear friends from The Belknap Mill Quilter's Guild. They all pitched in to help me and I was able to get part of the basket weave block done.

But I haven't relinquished my first love of sewing on Old Trusty, my circa 1949 White Sewing Machine that just happens to be turquoise, LOL!

Here I was sewing up a bunch more of those large scale log cabins in the coffee browns and creamy neutrals. I had thought that I would stop at 30 of them but decided to make 36 instead. They are all finished and pressed but it was just too breezy today to play with layouts on my asphalt driveway.

Mostly I just goofed off today and spent pleasant hours out on the deck with Raven and the kitties. Doesn't that sound like it should be a 1960's do-wop band? LOL, never mind!

Kitty-tail growing right out of Raven's back.

The morning was sunny and pleasantly cool.

Kitty kisses.

I did some pre-washing, too and line-dried in the breezes.

Sometimes I just pop a load of pre-washed fabrics from my ancient toploader right into the dryer, but I am scrupulous about emptying my lint trap EVERY load! This next picture is from having dried one load of several yards and fat quarters in my dryer. Just LOOK at that lint-ball!

So the next time you are thinking that the lint-build up around your bobbin case is just from too-linty thread, remember that lots of that lint is coming just from your fabrics, too!

I use a stiff artist's filbert brush EVERY time I change my bobbin to brush away lint under the throat-plate and inside the bobbin race area. That and a Sunday oiling policy has kept me trouble-free.

In the meantime, four-month old "Tipper" was attacking the leaves in the water dish, LOL!
Happy sewing!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lovely Autumn Days

Wednesday, I stopped off briefly at "The Dump-Run Cafe" which is located in our local Gilmanton Community Church basement. Their coffee is always delicious and there is freshly brewed decaf available, too. You never know what pastries will be offered as they are always home made and varied, donated by church ladies. I had the square ginger bread, yummy! The volunteer band was playing, too. Just leave a voluntary cash donation in the basket as you leave, thanks!
I was on route to the Sew & Sews which is the sit'n'sew group of my guild, The Belknap Mill Quilter's Guild to give a brief overview of the strippy Quilt-As-You-Go quilts.
We had lots of fabric thanks to Camille Arnone at for these soon to become Comfort Quilts. Thanks, Camille, for donating 28 bolts of fabric, wow!

Just look at all those fun colors being cut into strips!

You gotta see the cute froggie fabric here!

Then, later in the week, I was at The Sunshine Girls at the Alton Senior Center.

It is a bit hard to see, but I am holding up an ecru cotton crocheted disc that Pauline had just made for my Featherweight!
She made me two for spool-pin discs and they look so authentically antique. Thank you, Pauline!!! I want to mention that Subee had also made me one and enclosed it in a swap package. Thank you, Subee!
We had a ball passing around the Hersey's Nuggets and sewing. Pauline is doing a cute wallhanging for the Barnstead Community Church children's room.
And Sue was busy breaking every rule of quilting as she made her rayon velvet backed by navy cotton jersey Christmas tree skirt. If you tell Sue that you can't do that, she'll prove you wrong! You GO GIRL!!!!!

Back on the home front, Raven still loves to be outside in the lovely fall weather with her kittens. We haven't seen Spooky or Tiger in over a month now, but Tipper, Tyler, and Tanner show up for snacks and playtime three times a day.

The two boys, Tipper and Tyler love to wrestle and ponce on each other!

Although Felix is horribly allergic to cats, he is able to enjoy their silly antics outdoors.

By the way, at the end of the tape, you can see Raven is devouring a crab apple that she found on the ground. She loves to eat fruit and loves the peaches, too. Go figure!

Happy sewing!

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