Friday, January 31, 2014

Good Works

Today was a lovely thaw and sunny, for once, for The Sunshine Club at the Alton, New Hampshire Community Center. We were all working on different projects, here is Margorie, crocheting away!

Pauline stayed home today, and somehow, I neglected to get a shot of Sue, but Bev joined us to work on her hand-quilting UFO. We all munched on chocolate, LOL!

After I did some layout work of my Red & White swap blocks on the ample church lobby carpeted floor, I began sewing my next Farmer's Wife block.

When I got home, the mailbox was bursting with treasures! My friend, Janet O., over at Rogue Quilter, has a grandson with a rare seizure disorder called Dravet's Syndrome. To raise money to help his cause, she is making tiny paper-pieced ornaments for $10 each. Aren't they beautifully made? And no two are alike! 100% of the funds collected go to research.

And then there was another manila envelope from the Badger Brook Farm (, right here on the other side of Gilmanton. Patti Bradley, the owner, is hand sewing primitive wool hearts in two sizes ($10 & $20) to raise money for the Flat Creek Border Collies who are being rescued from an abusive situation.
There are, in upstate New York, a total of 70 dogs who need help and 41 have already been seized and taken to appropriate shelters/foster homes. 100% of the proceeds collected go to this charity. They also have a $15 package of a large and a small heart in taupe wools.

These are stuffed and are a very fat three dimensional heart, I don't know why this picture makes them appear so flat, but they are delightful. Contact that email address to get yours and please do say you saw it at Park Hill Farm!

Lastly, I have two amusing photos for you to compare: look at the top of the birdfeeder as well as on the inside. You can click on any picture to enlarge it to see better.

These two birds, a chickadee and a tufted titmouse, were trading places, one after another.

And, at the base of the feeder, Tipper just bided his time...

Stay calm and quilt on!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hump Day

As you may recall, Felix and I had done some specialty shopping at Lo's Oriental Market down in Newington, New Hampshire a few days ago. Here is his version of "Hot'n'Sour" soup made with lots of dried black mushrooms (that are also called black fungi) and fresh tofu. It is the ONLY way that he will eat tofu, but this, he loves!

As for me, alas, I am the "ugly American" type who does not embrace foreign foods and I let Matthew and Felix consume the whole pot by themselves. I'm strictly a Wonton Soup gal, LOL!

Yesterday was the monthly gathering of the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt group down in Milton, New Hampshire, at Camille Arnone's shop, Evergreen Country Primitives.
We all laughed about the fact that bad weather et al had postponed so many of our meetings that we were celebrating our Christmas cookie swap just in time for Valentine's Day, LOL!

Here is Camille, herself, our great hostess, keeping us all laughing and chatting as we stitched the 6" blocks from Laurie Aaron Hird's book.

I think that I'm the laggard of the group, having joined the latest. Here I am, below, proud to have completed my fourth block and all hand-stitched and cut with templates! Whew!

One of the other gals has 28 blocks done of the 111 needed for the queen sized quilt. But we all remind each other that it is not a race. It was great fun of sitting around munching chocolate bonbons imported from Ireland and cookies fresh from our own kitchens! Yeay!

Then today, I wanted to stop by the sale at The Quilted Frog quilt shop located just off the circle in the Weir's Beach village of Laconia, New Hampshire.
The Frog is co-owned by Sue DiBona and Jody Saulnier, and it is at 51 Endicott Street, East, (which is Route 11B), and the zip code is 03247. I hope that helps all you gals find it on your GPS or Mapquest searches. It's worth the trip!

The current sale is for 20% off every fabric in stock, Yippee!!!! It goes until Saturday, February 1st, so there's still time to make it if you want to go. And Saturday all single FQ's are going to be 50% off.

Jody and the shop's quilt instructor, Anne Colburn, both helped me to select my treasures. Anne is on the left, and Jody is on the right and we've all known each other for years from the guild.

You can see my choices are there on the counter, and that most of them were from Nancy Gere's,"Women of Courage" line by Windham.

There was also a Pheasant Hill Kansas Troubles from Moda, (on the far right below) and last, but not least, was a neutral figured print called "Reflections" by Johanna Wilson of Plum Creek Patchwork from the Troy Corporation's Riverwoods Collection, on the far left below.

They are all so lovely together. I just had to possess them!

The bitter cold that had returned is back on its way out now, but slowly. Tipper, the cat, likes to come out for a pleasant stroll with the dogs, but he can't figure out why the lady labs are eating the black oil sunflower seeds that the chickadees so carelessly spill onto the snow. LOL!

Miss Emma Lynn on the left, Tipper, the cat, and Miss Raven Black on the right.

The truth is, that labradors will eat just about anything, LOL!

Miss Emma Lynn, still scrounging for sunflower seeds, with Mr. Tipper and Miss Tanner the cats that wonder why.

Well, me too, if it's chocolate! LOL

Stay calm and quilt on!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Too-Busy Churn Dash?

Last Sunday, I was able to travel between snowstorms up to Laconia, New Hampshire, about 26 mile one way, to get to Ellen Peters' quilting studio. I forgot the camera. But I remembered all the parts to the quilt; top, batting, and backing! Yeay!

This was the two year old Churn Dash Swap quilt from Block_Swappers. A big "Thank you" goes out to Charlene Higgins for her original design (which I tweaked). She presented this workshop in November of 2012 at the Golden Gese Quilt Shop at 22 Liberty Street in Concord, New Hampshire.
It might be a good "Concentration" quilt, to play the old quiz show game of finding a match. There are just a few repeats but most of the blocks are unique.

Certainly that sashing is unique! OMG, I wish that I had chosen a quieter fabric for the sashing. Everything in this quilt is so busy that the eye has no place to rest. Sigh. Hindsight is twenty-twenty!
On the other hand, the sashing is a turkey red Windham Williamsburg Folk Art pattern of decorative grasses, so what's not to love with all those other Civil War selections? Here is a section of the border, but I have yet to bind this one.

The quilting was a free style of loops and hearts on this queen-sized 82"X100" rectangle. I wish that I had better marked which end would be the top before we loaded it.

Unfortunately, it got loaded sideways, so all the hearts/ivy leaves run side to side the long way. That means that when it is placed onto a bed that the quilting is running the wrong way.

But it's like a bulldog puppy; it's so ugly it's cute. And I do love it, warts and all! It looks far better by the camera than it does in person.

The backing is a 108" wide piece that I found on a red tag special at Joann's for $4.95 per yard and there was just three yards left on the bolt. It's a nice floral tan tone-on-tone. Have I mentioned that I like florals? LOL!

I tried auditioning this beautiful Civil War black/tan for the binding, but Felix almost screamed his disapproval, LOL! "Too busy, too busy!!!", he said.

So I'm planning a brown paper bag solid binding like I did on the triplets three baby quilts. No picture but it will be a little calming, I hope!

I'm tempted to name this, "The Schizophrenic Churn Dash", LOL! But that's probably too harsh, right?

Stay calm and quilt on!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Day Tripping

You've heard of the "seafood diet?" You see food, you eat food, LOL!
Yesterday, Felix and I took an 80 mile (round trip) day trip down state to the Newington, New Hampshire business district to pop in at Lo's Market.

This is an authentic oriental market that is crammed with items not available in occidental supermarkets. We go twice a year and stock up on spices, sauces, and tea.

We especially like to use the Bango brand sweet soy sauce that is sweetened with palm sugar whenever Felix makes Pork & Vegetable Lo Mein.

I am a big fan of the Korean Ginseng Tea that is instant and in 100 packets per wooden box. It boosts my immune system and seems to be a general tonic with the raw unprocessed honey that I buy locally at Ben Chadwick's honey farm in Alton. Wouldn't miss a day without it!
When we finished shopping, we went over to the original Newick's Restaurant just over the bridge in Dover.

This man made short work of a whole order of fried ocean smelts! And I followed suit with my order of fried strip clams, while we both enjoyed the onion nuggets and the site-made cole slaw. Lunch, with a generous tip, was $25 for the two of us.

Then, today at The Sunshine Club, we had guests in the form of our director's well-behaved children.
Pauline put on a one-woman quilt show letting us see all her UFO's as well as this one that is all FINISHED! She hand-quilted it and it is lovely.

Sue was clowning with her Dunkin Donut, a popular local chain here.

Sue got a whole 'nother bunch of rows done on her Purple Butterfly tumblers. I forgot just how many rows she is up to now, but it is looking great!

Here is Margorie in the background with Pauline showing a bit of her quilt.

I told her that I think that this block might be called, "Robbing Peter To Pay Paul", but I'm not sure. If you can identify it, please do leave a comment, thanks!

Stay calm and quilt on!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Four Seasons Blocks

Pauline, pictured on the left, from The Sunshine Club that meets on Fridays, asked me if I would consider making a block or two for the Pumpkin & Pines raffle quilt that benefits the Barnstead Community Church.

Why, I said that I'd be delighted! The blocks must be all cotton quilting fabric, 12 1/2" square and the theme is the four seasons of the year. It is quilter's choice on the block pattern, wheee, what fun! So of course I browsed Quilter's Cache, Marcia Hohn's marvelous website.

I browsed the 12" finished block sizes and was thrilled to find so many! Of course, I wanted an eight-pointed star and soon found the directions for one with a pinwheel in the center called Saw Tooth Star. Looked like fun and not too hard, right?

Then, as I played along with the pieces, I came to understand that the 3 1/2" sections of this 16-patch are just the same as my cute little pinwheel blocks from L&E's playtime. Ahh hah! So I made that clump of pinwheels my block center instead of the large single pinwheel.

It was kinda tricky to press but I used my scented starch recipe and carried on, LOL! just look at this mess before pressing:

I called the above block, Fall colors. It was so much fun that I made a Spring:

And then, a Summer;

And, a Winter.

So that's my four!

Stay calm and quilt on!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Snow Fun At All?

Saturday I left the house early in the morning and used Felix's 4WD vehicle because snow was predicted, but I was determined to make an appearance at the Keepsake Quilting retail shop's fat quarter sale.

I arrived before the snow fell at all and had to wait 5 minutes for the staff to open the doors. Within twenty minutes, I had my fat quarters and hurried home safely.

On the way home, I bothered to stop the car and take these two pictures for you of the rock outcroppings beside the highway near Mount Major.

New Hampshire is the "Granite State", after all, and the joke is, "Don't take NH for granite!" LOL!

When I got to the Alton/Gilmanton town line, one mile from my home, the first lazy little flakes began to drift down as I drove.

Miss Emma loves snow, but Tipper is hiding under the table!

Here is the loot from the Footprints Quilt Shoppe, plus a few selections from the internet, all prewashed now.

And Grace gave me a very special early Valentine in the form of a fat quarter that I adore! Thank you, Grace!

You know that I'm a sucker for a pretty floral, LOL!

Stay calm and quilt on!

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