Monday, September 29, 2014

Rolling Along

Most of my area here in the Lakes Region is still not yet at peak color for the beautiful Fall foliage. This is just in front of my house and you can see that only a bit of one tree is glowing.

But further on my way to Alton, New Hampshire, only a couple of miles away, the same roadway looked like this!

Frequently, as you are driving along, a sudden gust of wind will send a swirling shower of golden brown leaves all around you and drawing you into Autumn's glory. It is fabulous!

My clothesline was decorated with some lovely buckskin backgrounds in my beloved Civil War tones, thanks to Keepsake's warehouse sale.

I had fun over the weekend finishing up the last of the Marcus Brother's Sew Along blocks, too.

I had to pay attention to the color order of the strips, but there were no problems with it.

If you'd like to make this one, it is by Lisa Shepard Stewart who write the "Marcus Mentions" blog. Here is the link.

Her directions were very easy to follow and after a nice pressing with some starch, I was delighted that the block measured a perfect 8 1/2". Wheeeee!

 I'm looking forward to the big final reveal on Friday of how the blocks will be set. Mostly, I'm pleased to have been able to keep pace, LOL!

Happy sewing!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Enjoying Autumn's Golden Moments!

Mild temperatures, dry air, light breezes, and glorious sunshine all added up to a perfect Autumn day!

Lake Wentworth in Alton, New Hampshire, was on my way to the warehouse sale at The Mothership, a.k.a. Keepsake Quilting's retail store in Center Harbor, New Hampshire.

You can see that the Fall colors are not yet at their peak, but there are hints of it here and there. At Keepsake, shoppers were totally absorbed in making quilty decisions from sale selections set outside on the big porch.

Right next door is their sister shop, "Patternworks," that offered yarns on sale. I was very tempted by those gorgeous skeins of light green wool! They were $12 and then would've had another 25% off of that, but I was good and only snapped the picture.

The Keepsake store was crowded but well-staffed. I only waited about 5 or 10 minutes to take my turn to be waited upon at the cutting desk, and then about the same over at the checkout. Thank you, clerk "Gloria," for taking my picture for this blog! I only bought backgrounds in pale tea-bag tans and creams, 6 yards at $4.99 each. Oh yes, and a spool of cream colored Aurifil for my dear friend, Grace, over in Maine.

The short walk across the parking lot revealed lots of license plates that were, "from away," as they say here in New England. I saw Rhode Island, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, and even Missouri and California, too!
At the far end of the porch is the picturesque Senter's Market that had an amazing display of purple New England asters and bright orange pumpkins.

When I got home, I enjoyed a home made iced coffee and finished up the hand hemming of the binding on my 84"X84" Scrappy Jacob's Ladder. Wheeeee! Now all it needs is a label. These pictures were taken before I had actually completed the hemming all around. I love this quilt!

This quilt is being entered into Amy's Creative Side Blogger's Quilt Festival and that link is here.

The backing was purchased on Ebay a couple of years ago, waiting for the right quilt for it. It is a yarn-dyed 100% cotton flannel that was 60" wide and it is the Stewart tartan plaid.

It is difficult to get a good photograph of just what the quilting looks like, but I did freehand Baptist Fans which I learned online from Mary at Here is the link.
I practiced by drawing the design, over and over, on very large paper with a marker to train my eye-to-hand coordination. That really helped me later at the rented longarm at Ellen Peters' "Cat's Whiskers Quilts" studio in Laconia, New Hampshire.

Later, Miss Tanner helped me smooth it all out, LOL!

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Finally Fall!

We survived a couple of unusually hot muggy days over the weekend, when nobody felt like doing anything. Now that Fall has officially arrived, the cool dry sunny breezes reign to energize your mojo! I did a few of those needed orange/green 4-patches for Celtic Solstice.

And then I popped together a couple of the "54-40 Or Fight" blocks for it.

Then I got distracted by the Friday addition of the Marcus Brother's Sew Along by  Delores Smith over at Homestead Hearth.

I thought that the block used two of each color of 2 1/2" HST's, but there are FOUR of the blue ones!! Thank you, Delores, for a great block!

And next here it is all nicely pressed with starch!

Lastly, but not least, I have been plugging along at hand-hemming my Scrappy Jacob's Ladder and I'm now about halfway around it. At 84" square, it takes me a couple of days to do a side. Been working ahead on the next batch of 4 1/2" (unfinished) HST's to go into the next swap.

Hope your weather is able to energize you, too!

Happy sewing!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Golden Gese Doings

The Friday Quilters at The Golden Gese Quilt Shop on 22 Liberty Street in Concord, New Hampshire met on this very fine Fall day.
I forgot the chocolates; EEEEK! But Sue had made turtles and Maureen had brought in a delicious winter squash dip, so we had a ball!

This, above, is Maureen just finishing marking her quilt with a Frixion pen for quilting on her DSM. The colors are wonderful!
Claire did one of these, too, and hers is so dramatic.

I think that this was Barbara, below, holding up her personally made-up jelly roll of all Civil War reds and indigos. I loved what she chose! She said that she was sure that she used more than the standard 42 strips, but couldn't remember just how many she'd used.

Barbara from Maine worked on a family quilt top that she had made up from her own grandmother's depression era blocks. She designed the setting and needed to work with blocks of different sizes. Didn't she do a spectacular job??? As a tribute to her grandmother, she will hand quilt it.

Beverly, below, was putting together blocks that were a cute printed flannel for a baby quilt, using the same templates that had been used for the batiks class.

Sue, below, used up all her scraps making up a second top from her butterscotch colored batiks.

Everybody helped out with the layouts.

As for me, I was pleased to show my quilted Scrappy Jacob's Ladder that I'm stitching furiously away on the hand hemming of the binding. I sure do have a long way to go!!!

I like this quilt so very much that I may need to do another one, LOL! It was so much fun being there at the quilt shop and I confess to bringing home some of their nice sale corner selections, too.

Happy sewing!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Marcus Brother's Binding Chosen

This is my choice for the binding on my Scrappy Jacob's Ladder. I wanted a red to accent both the scrappiness of the front and to work with the Stewart Tartan on the backing, too.

By the way, when you look at the upper picture, you will notice that I chose to use a Half Square Triangle as the corner block. Everytime I tried to put a four patch there, it looked wrong, so I gave up and threw four HST's together for the four corners!

I got the binding all cut, joined, and pressed with starch to glue it together.

Then I stitched it onto the quilt. It is exhausting to horse around a big 84" square queen. My hat's off to those of you who quilt big quilts on a DSM!!!
My skills are poor at sewing down the attached binding by machine. It does not give me the finished look that I like, so I'm stitching the hem by hand.

Yesterday my sister, Suzanne, and I enjoyed a visit and celebration of her 70 years on the planet. She loved my gift to her of a Chinese dragons designed sterling silver bracelet! She has a nice collection.

We had an ice cream at Shibley's in Alton Bay, New Hampshire, after a lovely pot roast lunch at The Senior Center's Open House. Here you can see that there was more progress being made to the roof of the new addition. Roofing sure does make a racket!!!

As for the Celtic Solstice blocks that had been going together bit by bit, their production came grinding to a halt when I discovered that I'd run out of the orange/green four-patches!

Moan and groan!!! I'm only up to having made 18 blocks and I need 25. Oh well.

Did I miscount? Or did I lose a whole batch somewhere? Back to the salt mines! I know it's only 30 that I need but I rebelled and sewed up some scrappy Balsam fir needle Christmas sachets instead.

Ain't it great to be a grown-up and do whatever you please? LOL!

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Making Our Own Sunshine

There were cool showers this morning as I drove to The Pearson Road Community Center (a.k.a. the Senior Center) in Alton, New Hampshire, for The Sunshine Club. The leaves are still all green now, but a frost advisory is up for Thursday and Friday nights. Soon we will have the gorgeous New England fall colors on the trees.

 The roofing is not complete on the addition to the building and a few damp puddles collected inside. But there is no need to worry, as there is no sheet rock inside yet either. Sunny breezes arrived in the afternoon.

At The Sunshine Club, Marjorie, (on the left below) had been given a Moda Sandy Gervais jelly roll in lovely fall-like colors. She and Sue (on the right) had great fun playing with color arrangements.

The more we played, the better it looked! Here is what we all liked for color placement.

We realized, of course, that you cannot truly control a jelly roll 1600" quilt top's strips, but it sure was fun to try, LOL!

Later, Sue was quilting her all-greys jelly roll quilt on her domestic sewing machine. She was doing a wonderful job of stitching in the ditch down the long strips.
I encouraged her to keep reversing direction to help prevent any rippling underneath. To the best of my knowledge, Sue doesn't have a walking foot, but her Singer was going right along on the three layers without skipping stitches.

And how about that great faux leopard fabric bag that Sue got at Joann's? It's roomy enough to take her folded up quilt! Sue is unstoppable when she's quilting and that's what I love about her!

After Marjorie put her strips away to sew at home, she pulled out a baggie of sugar pink yo-yos to work on!

Yesterday, in the sunny breezes, I prewashed a whole beautiful group of fat quarters that had been given to me by Debra. She is from western Massachusetts and she visited us with her husband Pete.

I love them all so much, thank you, Debra!!! 
These browns just glow!

There was another gift that I received recently that I am pleased with, but will dispose of properly, LOL!

At the foot of my favorite chair out on the deck, either Mr. Tipper, or Miss Tanner, left me a nice fresh dead mouse!

Thank you, my pretty cats, for NOT letting them run through my kitchen or pantry!!!

The cooler weather had me ready to put another quilt on the bed, and I chose the reproduction Churn Dash that I finished this spring.

This one is only 82" square, but it fits our queen nicely. I had used the Nature's Touch by Pellon for the batting, so it is a wee bit drapier than Warm & Natural batting and a little lighter.

It was fabulous fun to collect all of the 6" (finished in the quilt) churn dash blocks from all over the country in our Civil War reproduction swap!

The 4" (finished in the quilt) cornerstones are scrappy four patches that I made myself, that is, they were not swapped.

That was because the Block swapper's four-patches are generic fabrics and this time, I wanted all Civil War stuff. After all, I AM a fabric snob!!! Not a people snob, but definitely a fabric snob.

The quilting was done with my freehand hearts and loops on Ellen Peter's HandiQuilter Avanti, and I'm pleased with my progress at getting more smoothly flowing lines.

My sister, Suzanne's birthday celebration was postponed for one day until tomorrow, so I'll miss my Wednesday Sew & Sews group but I'm sending them my best regards!

Happy stitching!

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