Wednesday, December 30, 2015

First Snow!

Our first snowstorm was a doozy with 4 to 8 inches of wet snow that got freezing rain on top of it. That's never a good combination, LOL!

We decided to wait until it stopped to begin our clean up. Wow, it's heavy to shovel! Check out, above, how white the road is from yesterday.
Here it is, below, today, much better. And I need to get to that mailbox, LOL!

My hero is about to plow us out, yeay!

We also endured one night without heat when the furnace cut out on us on Sunday night. We snuggled under 3 quilts and were very glad when the furnace guy got us running late on Monday morning. I marvel at the pioneer women! Now I have heat and hot water again!

In spite of cleaning up lots of evil-smelling oily paper towels and rags and washing oily jeans, I did do some more of Clue 1 of Bonnie Hunter's mystery. Link.

There are more units that I need to sew and I need to cut some more, too.

My methods are to cut some, sew some, press some. It means I don't get too bored with one task and it gets me up and down from sitting,  too.
I also sewed up two more stacks of 11 blocks into row 5 and row 6 for the Barbara Brackman sew along, "Stars In A Time Warp."Link.

I have 11 rows of 11 blocks to do, so I'll be assembling them all for a while.

Happy quilting!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Happy Boxing Day!

Although it's not often celebrated here in the United States, this Boxing Day was 60° and sunny, so my friend Grace and I both enjoyed a good FART! "Fabric Acquisition Road Trip," that is, LOL!

First, we went to Footprints Quilt Shoppe in East Rochester, New Hampshire, where owner, Kelly greeted us and cheered us on to the bins of her best bargains. I think that my glass watch-face put a white spot of reflected sunlight right on her nose, eeek, so sorry, Kelly!

The shop is mostly Civil War and traditional fabrics but boasts a pretty little corner of brights, too.

These are some of the bolts and displays that I drooled over, LOL!

Grace was enchanted by the whole raft of new bolts of Kim Dielh fabrics and bought a ¼ yard of four different ones. Gorgeous!

Of course, I was modeling my newest Christmas tee shirt gift from Husband Wonderful, Felix. It reads, "Fabric Hoarder", and of course, I am one!

Next stop was the fabulous Marden's of Sanford, Maine.

They have a big fabric department in this Sanford store, but not all of the Marden's in the Maine-based chain do sell fabrics.

The aisles of fabrics are arranged by colors.

It's like walking around inside of a rainbow!

My favorite aisle was the reds, but I'll betcha you had already guessed that!

There were no lines at the cutting desk and the service was very friendly and helpful.

Soon we were out the door and on our way. In the above photo, I had found two Jo Morton's for $3.99 per yard each. There is a Maine sales tax that I think is 5%, but with no shipping fees it's a good deal.

Imagine my surprise, when Maureen popped in to my house unexpectedly to leave two bagfuls of quilty Christmas cheer, one from Susan, and one from herself. Thank you, Maureen and Susan!

My holiday turkey looked like this last night, but when Grace and I got back to my house, it's leftovers were soon ready as a turkey and noodle casserole, yum!

Just before Christmas, on Tuesday, The Sunshine Club had met at the Alton, New Hampshire Senior Center. Sue showed her runner top and it's beautiful!

Since her batting got left at home, Sue deferred her quilting to another day and forged ahead on her Red/White/Black, "Easy Hourglass" blocks. These are from the Jenny Doan video on Missouri Star Quilt Company. Link.

Joyce, our newest member, had brought her machine and was doing great while she was making Mile-A-Minute Log Cabin blocks.

Margy joined us, too, with both her pink yoyos and a quick raid to the Log Cabin strip supply box to take home for homework on her Log Cabin blocks.

I sewed on the label for one of my Scrappy Jacob's Ladder quilts, and that one has since been mailed off to my beloved nephew in San Diego, California.

As for me, my best gift this year has been the Christmas Eve pick up of my repaired car so that I have wheels again, yeay! Next on my wish list is the fumy furnace to be fixed.

I'm linking up to Monday Making on Love, Laugh, Quilt, Link.

Happy quilting!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Presence

Christmas Presence

"I wish for you, all around you,
People who love easily and forgive quickly;
Whose eyes are stars when you are night,
Whose voices are trumpets when you are silence.
I wish for you people all about you who are gifts in themselves
And whose presence in your life is an all year-round present."

-James H. Curtis (1931-1973)
Unitarian Minister

Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy Winter Solstice!

The sun has already set on the shortest day of the year! We celebrated the penultimate sacrifice that comes of having successfully trapped the field mouse who has been raiding my cupboards, YEAY!!!

The little bugger really made me mad when he chewed through my brand new plastic salad-oil bottle.
The resulting leak oozed canola oil all over the cupboard floor and then down onto my countertop. Sheesh, what a mess! I won't show you the picture of a dead mouse, but I'm glad he's gone!

I had talked before about Felix's Aunt Lucy, who passed away earlier this year at 96 years old. She left us two quilts and this one is the second one. It was photographed earlier this fall.

This quilt was made with no pattern, no quilt guild, and no quilt shop quality fabrics.

It was designed and made by Aunt Lucy using worn out cotton sheets.

It is all machine stitched applique and it is crudely done by today's genteel standards. But it has a rustic charm that I love!

She was determined to do it, and she got it done! She had fun!

All things considered, it lies smoothly and stays pretty flat, too.

I'm terrified to wash it, but I might swish it in the bathtub next summer when I can let it air-dry.

I intend to label it carefully. It is a lovely legacy!

Happy quilting!

Sunday, December 20, 2015


No,  no, no, not dusting with a rag or a piece of sprayed batting! A dusting of fresh new snow, wheeeee! It has since all melted off but I think that this was our first snow of the season. Miss Emma Lynne was amazed to see it really, really here at last. She was wagging her tail!

Whenever I feel the urge to do some mindless sewing lately, I've stitched up a pair of all-neutral string blocks. I'm up to 42 made now, yeay!

They kinda make their own Leader/Ender project, with one chasing the other through the machine.

After I trimmed a big bunch of them, I had wee bits of trimmings that were too small to sew, and those got saved for my pillow fluff bag. I mix the too-small scraps with half and half polyester fiber to bulk it up.

One UFO of mine was my small quilt, "Moody Blues." I had already pieced and free motion quilted it, but it languished for the want of a binding.

After many unhappy auditions of binding choices, my final decision was to go with a self-binding of the same fabric as the dark blue outer border. These photos make it look black but it is dark blue.

I was waiting for my machine to get back from the "spa" to get the binding strips joined. Now that she's back and sewing, that's all done, yeay! Next, I got it trimmed of the excess batting and binding.

Then I got the binding all machine-sewn onto the front of the quilt and ready for hand-hemming on the back. My plan is to take this one with me for our Evergreen Country Primitives (Link.) hand-working circle on the last Tuesday of the month, the 29th. It will finish at about 20"X24". I hope it fits the dolly bed!

Felix has his car up and running as of yesterday, so I should be able to go. That is, "God-willing an' the creek don't rise!"
As for my stacks of carefully arranged blocks for "Stars In A Time Warp," designed by Barbara Brackman, I'm up to row 5 of the "joining-them-up" process. Link.

I'm so glad that I chose to make my stars to finish at 8" with the hourglass blocks the same size, because I want a big bed quilt.
There are two red backings that I'm considering; one is woven cotton, and the other is cotton flannel. Not sure yet. I'm leaning towards the Judie Rothermel 108" wide one that I'd bought last February from Thousands Of Bolts. Link.

It is pretty, don't you think?

I'll be linking up with Oh Scrap! Link.
And on Monday Making at Love, Laugh, Quilt Link.
And to Em's Scrapbag Link. 

Happy quilting!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sew Blessed!

"It was the best of times; it was the worst of times..." begins the opening line of Charles Dickens' classic novel, The Tale Of Two Cities. And so it was yesterday as I went through a hectic day of errands with my dear friend and neighbor, Ilse.
We were almost completed with our busy list, when, after having picked up my sewing machine from repairs, my car refused to start and needed to be towed!
But it was not snowing, not raining, not dark yet, and with temps as mild as could be, the adventure was pleasant. I made the tow truck guy let me bring my machine with me in the cab and I did not leave it in the car. Too precious to me! Yippee, she's home!!!!

I'm so excited to be able to sew again on my favorite machine!! And she's purring like the proverbial kitten, too. The best $98 I ever spent! I even got a lesson on the particulars of cleaning debris out of the bobbin race for this circa 1930's vintage White Sewing Machine.

As for my regular routines, they may be disrupted for a while as both our cars are temporarily out of service. But I can sew!

Tuesday, at the Alton, New Hampshire, Senior Center, we had a continuation of my MAM Log Cabin workshops. The "Mile-A-Minute" Log Cabin blocks are constructed just the same as the regular cut logs but a long strip is placed face-up on the machine bed and then the blocks are dropped face-down onto that strip. The complete details are here from Mary Johnson's website. Link.

Sue was ahead of the group as usual and her blocks are making a beautiful table runner. This first photo does have one block turned wrong, though. Do you see it? Try squinting at it.

It was exciting to everybody to see Sue's progress.

We all helped her to try different arrangements but the "Sunshine & Shadows" setting was the best!

Sue carefully pressed each block and began to sew the blocks together.

They sure are pretty! By the time that our class was over, she had them all sewn but I missed that picture as I was packing up to go.

Marjorie, below, was also making great progress with her log cabin blocks, as she borrowed my little "Scottie" Scotland-made Featherweight to stitch some more blocks. We are making 16 blocks because that is the amount of 2½" sized "chimneys" or centers that will comfortably fit upon the first light strip.

One of our newer ladies, Joyce, below, brought in a partially sewn  depression-era quilt top. Just look at those authentic 1930's fabrics!

We did spread it out on the floor to get some measurements and a photo. As I recall, it was a wee bit over 60" square and it only had a slight "poofiness" in the center of it, considering that it is all hand pieced!

So I am grounded by car troubles but very happy to be home, safe, and with my machine! God, what will I sew first??? LOL!

Happy sewing!

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