Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March Ends

Winter is as hard on the machinery as it is on the people and the animals. Bouncing over all the frost heaves this March has damaged both of our vehicles' starter mechanisms.

Yesterday my husband's usually reliable Mercury Mountaineer got grumpy right around its starter mechanism and we were quite stranded. Can you believe that it happened at the Concord, New Hampshire, Burger King? 
Perfect! We had food, toilets, soft drinks, a borrowed staff person's cell phone to call for help, and I even got half of my binding hand hemmed in a comfortable chair with great lighting right there, LOL! What a great place to be stranded!!! 
Finally got home with a tow truck and $150 dollars lighter in the checkbook at about 9pm. So glad that my perfect little lady labrador was able to hold it until I could let her out!
Aren't we all so dependent upon our wheels, LOL? Nevermind, it will all be repaired eventually.
So today I stayed home and worked on cutting the 100 half width of fabric strips for the quiltvillechat swappers.

There are two swaps over there in which I'm playing; both the Civil War Unwashed, as well as the Civil War Washed.

These were the Unwashed 2½" strips. I had a nice selection of fabrics from some recent Ebay purchases that turned out to be glorious bargains in Civil War selections.

Since they weren't yet prewashed, it worked out fine. Once they are all stacked into ten piles that are ten fabric strips, I fold them once and pop them into their Snack bag. Ahhh, here they are all ready to go!

Well, they also get an address label on each baggie and then popped into a big gallon bag before I place them into their USPS flat rate shipping envelope.

Lots of melting and basking in the sun for the dog and the cats today.

The temps were in the upper 40's and we all loved that the table and benches were clear enough of ice that they could spend some time in the blessed sunshine!

Take nothing for granted. Just be happy with what you have. That's what this little guy on the upper right side of the feeder was saying to me.

Stay calm and quilt on!

Monday, March 30, 2015


It is snowing again but we were promised by dear Hayley LaPoint, the WMUR Channel 9 weather girl, that there would be no accumulation.

In my 65 years of being a New Englander, I've shoveled a lot of "No Accumulation!"

But I'm here to brag, er, I mean share, my progress on "Snowbird", the little strippy throw in warm dusky blues, creams, and tans.

The quilting world has nothing but disdain for a Jelly Roll Race quilt, but they are outrageously fun to make and give a quick top for fun quilting.

I rented a longarm and did my very enjoyable Loops & Hearts onto the floral strips which definitely makes this a lady's quilt.
The binding is all sewn on and I'm about to begin hand hemming it. It is the matching fabric from the wide outer border seen here below.

I hope that you are snug and happy with whatever you are stitching!

Sew blessed!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Rainy Afternoons

Just a quick post to catch you up on the Tuesday Sunshine Club over at the Alton, New Hampshire, Senior Center. Sue was hard at work finishing her narrow borders on her Leprechaun Quilt.

I caught just the hint of her marvelous smile over the top!

Sue worked hard at smoothing out all her layers for her quilt sandwich.

She had lots of pins to get it pinned together and she plans to quilt this herself.

I was busy working on the joining up of all the pieces for the borders of my not-forgotten Grand Illusion mystery quilt from Bonnie K. Hunter's blog.

Above you can see me holding up my re-purposed Parmesan Cheese container that is my dispenser for Hersey's Milk Chocolate Nuggets.
Please do notice how very long and shaggy my hair is. Later that day, I got a good cut from "Tyler" at the Smart Style Salon inside Walmart in Concord, New Hampshire. Yeay!!!

When I was taking the little shortcut past the elementary school in Alton, I had to take a picture for you of this snow sculpture. It's a chess game in progress, LOL! How cool is that?

Today was awful weather, a drizzling rain, so I opted to skip going to Friday Quilters with Claire. Instead, I took a lovely nap on the futon, woke refreshed, and made another Time Warp star in the purples. These are for Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts blog sew along.

This purple came from a great group of Civil War purples sold to me by my good friend Stacey, down in North Carolina. Thanks, Stacey!!! They sure have come in handy.

A wee bit more of scrap salvaging, too.

Happy sewing!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sew Happy!

Yesterday and today have been days of 50° and the melting has begun!

 I know that there is a long way to go, but it makes me giddy to have a warm sunny day.

The snow yesterday was still such a solid crust that the cats and dog could walk upon it, whereas today, they sink right down into it because it's so mushy. These shots above were from yesterday.

I needed to get out and about and decided to take myself to Footprints Quilt Shop in East Rochester, New Hampshire run by Kelly Jerome. It may not be the largest quilt shop in the world, but it is packed with beautiful fabric displays and has a great selection of reproduction fabrics.

As usual, I was in the mood for neutrals and found more beauties than my budget could really afford. I settled upon these which I just couldn't live without, LOL!

The other very special activity was enjoying Barbara Brackman's newest color discussion over at her wonderful Civil War Quilts blog.
It's purple this week, wheeeeee!

I'm proud to be able to use some of Barbara Brackman's Civil War Jubilee in my blocks. These scraps were carefully hoarded by me from The Mothership, also known as Keepsake Quilting's retail store in Center Harbor, New Hampshire.

Brackman also gives marvelous suggestions for setting options for all these gorgeous "Stars In A Time Warp" blocks.

The setting of the blocks is far more intimidating to me than the making of the blocks themselves, so I'm still weighing my options.

That means I'm procrastinating, LOL!!! When in doubt, make blocks.

It doesn't hurt to get a few odd 4½" (unfinished) HST's made for future swaps and maybe even more of those scrappy Jacob's Ladder blocks shown above.

I hope that you are gaining ground in your quilty goals, too. Stay focused but enjoy a little wandering, too.

Sew happy!

Monday, March 23, 2015

National Quilting Day

National Quilting Day has come and gone on Saturday, but I did celebrate it by pulling out some green calicoes for the Barbara Brackman Stars in a Time Warp sew along. If you haven't yet discovered her delightful and educational blog, the link is here.

Civil War greens are as precious as a good chrome yellow, so if you see them buy them when you can!

Some of my collected greens were carefully hoarded from the last wonderful FQ Sale in January at The Golden Gese Quilt Shop at 22 Liberty Street, in Concord, New Hampshire.

In the block above, the cornerstones are a shirting that I boiled in stale coffee for an aged look and I'm so pleased with the result!

If you should like to try this for yourself, pre-wet the fabrics in a solution of about half a cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (buy it in the laundry aisle of any stupidmarket) for at least a twenty minute soak before it enters the dye bath. I add enough hot water to the leftover coffee to be sure that it covers the cloth and let it simmer on low heat for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. Rinse.

The stars really popped when I added a chrome yellow! The weather is still a frightful 10° with gale force winds blowing over the snowpack, but I'm dreaming of when my daffy's will bloom. This block makes me think of them.

In spite of Barbara Brackman's urging to design blocks with scrappy star points for an authentic 19th century look, I have resisted that challenge. They just look wrong to me. Sigh.

But I did use an orange madder center square from Wendy's scrap box gift to me from The Constant Quilter. Thanks again, Wendy!

Love the way the star pops out at you when you sew that final seam!

In that same box of scrappy riches, Wendy had included a big pile of odd sizes and shapes of all Civil War fabrics. I took a handful of them to my cutting table and pulled out my 2½" tall miniature tumbler ruler for a cutting session.
This is my "go-to" tool for saving that last bit of goodness of scraps and you can buy one from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

What fun to play with scraps! I do also sometimes get a 2" square, too, but you can see my waste slivers off to the lower right in the above photograph. That's all that gets thrown away. The mini tumbler blocks will be hoarded, er, I mean, saved, for another day.
I did also put together some more pinwheels and I love matching them up!

I hope you are warm and cozy and having lots of fun with your scraps, too! If not, at least chew on a tennis ball for a while, that's what Miss Emma Lynne recommends, LOL!

Happy sewing!

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