Monday, June 29, 2015

Complexity And Simplicity

My complete reliance upon modern technology leaves me feeling overwhelmed when everything breaks down at once.
A simple clogged drain resulted in five days of using my bathroom sink to wash up kitchen utensils and pots and pans.
Dirty fuel heating oil that simply clogged my furnace resulted in no hot water unless the downstairs reset button was pushed repeatedly.
A popped-out-of-alignment rear hatch window that caused the car's computer to keep the dome lights running and weakened the car's battery resulted in no running vehicle.
My oven's bake-element having burned out and the part being on order resulted in no baking for meals.
Eeeek! All my stuff is broken! I'm healthy and happy, but geez, one thing at a time, please!

My sewing machine is running perfectly. I'm grateful.

Quick, think of something in your own life for which to be grateful!

Happy sewing!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Good Things

Now that the torrential rains have cleared away the muggy air, we are blessed with bright sunny dry air that is lovely. I took my photo opportunities outdoors. First is this wonderful prize that I won for entering the Binding Blitz on Julie K's blog.

The creams and tans bundle of Fat Quarters are all Civil War and there are six of them! Wheee! THANK YOU, so very much, Julie!!

 All you need to do to join the Binding Blitz, is to finish binding a quilt, photograph it, and hook up onto the Linky Party on her blog at the end of each month.

Speaking of Civil War reproduction fabrics, I used these for my next Stars in a Time Warp block for Barbara Brackman's Civil War Sew Along. Link.

The chintz in the center of the block actually doesn't have the fine machine engraving in the background, but the pinks do. It is a compromise, but I love the way the block came out!

You may click on any picture to enlarge it.

We had fun at the Senior Center in Alton, New Hampshire at our weekly Sunshine Club meeting. We all laughed when the weather was pouring rain!!

Beverly brought in some Hersey's Milk Chocolate Nuggets WITH ALMONDS, so we all felt like a nut as we chomped our chocolates!

A very important visit was Wednesday, when I saw my very dear friend, Frances, who is to be released from the hospital and is going into a local well-run nursing home. Frances was 99 on March 9th of this year and we're all rooting for her to make 100!

Love that impish grin! You go, girl!!!

Happy sewing!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Cool Breeze!

A gloriously cool, dry, breeze-filled summer's day blessed us on Friday. It energized me and I was happy to go to The Friday Quilter's With Claire at The Golden Gese Quilt Shop on 22 Liberty Street in Concord, New Hampshire.

Here is Claire herself holding up her sweet Sea Turtles in Batiks top.

You can see that Claire's smile is wonderful, but my camera is NOT capturing the sea green turquoise color of the batiks in her borders. They are much more beautiful in person!

Claire was also putting together some packets for the shop's owner, Nancy, for the Row-By-Row Experience shop hop. Aren't these little printed patches cute?

Barbara from Maine was sewing busily, or should I say, she was UN sewing?

But she did hold up the almost-finished row from last year with the cute flip flops and starfish!

Barbara's Civil War Churn Dash variation got completed as a top and we were all excited to see how beautifully it came out!

Setting the rows diagonally on point was a big job, but Barbara made it look easy!

I absolutely love these Civil War reproduction fabrics!

Maureen, below, was helping Beverly, who was working on piecing a backing for her modern greys and yellows Illusion quilt top.

There was much smoothing, lining up, trimming, and pinning to get it, "just so!"

We all cheered and did a Happy Dance when it came out perfectly!

Marianne was upstairs and making great progress on her Scrappy Dresden Plate blocks. Way to go, Marianne!!!

Maureen, below, was working on some really bright batiks with her curved templates.

As for me, I was doing a little "Sewing Without Thread" on Scottie, my Scotland-made Singer Featherweight. Uh oh, time to thread a bobbin!!!

After some fooling around, I finally remembered how to wind a bobbin on the Featherweight and I soon was back to those perfect little stitches. I got scrappy lights sewn into an inner border for all around my Scrappy Jacob's Ladder top. Got it pressed, too!

After I got those borders on and pressed, Maureen helped me measure my top so far. It was a perfect 76" square!! Yippeee!!! Don't you love it when things go just right?

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

In The Pink

After learning that my very dear friend, Frances was in the hospital for a bout with the norovirus, I picked some field daisies and brought them to her. She was glad to see me but I did not stay long so as not to tax her strength.

My blue flags are already pretty much gone by but they were glorious and I love seeing their intense cobalt blue.

Barbara Brackman's discussion this week was a continuation of chintzes and a wonderful tracing of the history of the term "blotchy" and "blotch." I chose the closest that I had to a tea ground chintz and had a ball making the block! If you'd like to see more of Brackman's blog it is at Civil War Quilts.

The fabrics were just off the clothesline, does that mean that they were hanging around?? LOL!

The tea-ground chintz in the center of my block was a Windham by Nancy Gere from her First Ladies line.

No halos from poor registration and a little hint of purple tints and some golds in the flowers.

We had some fun for the Continental Breakfast at The Sunshine Club yesterday over at the Alton, New Hampshire Senior Center.

Sue, below right, was quilting a couple more rows on her green Leprechaun Quilt, while Bev, below left, was organizing her tee shirts for her grandson's graduation quilt for next year.

I had brought along my rows of Scrappy Jacob's Ladder blocks and was joining them up into a top.

I love my little Singer Featherweight that I named, "Scottie" because it was made in Scotland for the Canadian market so it is AC current. When I joined these Scrappy Jacob's Ladder blocks together, I chose the Sunshine & Shadows layout and I'm very pleased with the results!!!

Over the weekend, I had gotten the last of my Civil War Shirtings and Backgrounds swaps bagged and tagged.

It felt wonderful to get them all into the mail for Monday. It's a great feeling to be ahead of schedule!!

I'm still poking along on a few "Bonus Triangle" pinwheel blocks. It's a great little Leader/Ender project.

But my main focus on piecing is the quilt for Matthew in blues and creams. I may have to break down and start counting how many quadrant units I've made, LOL! I know I need a bazillion. These are from Kim Brackett's Scrap Basket Surprises book, which I absolutely love.

To end this post, I'll leave you with an image or two of the lupines that I planted on the scrubby, unmowable hillside in front of the farm.

It is my reminder to myself that just when you think that nothing will ever work out, something goes wonderfully right!

Look! Look! There is even a PINK one!

Stay calm and sew on!

Happy sewing!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Let's Roll!

There is only one block to show for my "Stars In A Time Warp" for Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts blog.

This one was a gift from Charlene over at the Golden Gese Quilt Shop from her personal stash of Civil War selections. It was SO worth fussy-cutting for the center of the block! Thank you Charlene!

It might be considered more of a toile than a chintz, but it does have a cream background and flowers of many colors, so I went with it, LOL!

At the Golden Gese Quilt Shop on 22 Liberty Street in Concord, New Hampshire, we welcomed a new gal named May. She was working on a new kitty bed. Good job, May!

Beverly was making great progress on her Illusion quilt in modern grays and yellows.

Here is a little better orientation of it.

Way to go, Bev, it's looking great!
In fact, when Sue saw it, she decided to play along and to make one, too.

I love those red florals that Sue is using because they are so cheery!

Maureen had been busy at home and had a boatload of these Red, White, and Blue banners to give to her veteran friends. Nice work, Maureen!

I got my inner borders sewn onto my Bonnie K. Hunter Grand Illusion mystery quilt but forgot to get a picture, so sorry!!!
What mattered most was seeing eveybody and sewing together, and, oh yes, we all chomped a little chocolate, too, LOL!

Happy sewing!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Some New Things

I haven't yet sewn them into new blocks for the Barbara Brackman Civil War Quilts blog., but I was delighted to receive three wonderful "Eccentric Prints" from Cyndi Black over at the Busy Thimble Quilt Shop.

I realize that I also need to figure out the newest type of print, white ground chintzes, for this week's discussion.
Tuesday at the Alton, New Hampshire Senior Center, Sue and Bev joined me for a fun bit of sewing.
Sue was making teal colored polar fleece protectors for her dog's harness to prevent rubbing or sore spots on his coat. Bev was cutting out squares to help Sue with her Dresden Plate block backgrounds.

My progress seemed swift as I sewed my Twinkler blocks together into seven rows of seven blocks each.

It is such fun to finally produce a top after several weeks of sewing these blocks as leader/enders.

The trick on Twinklers is to never, never use any "Medium" value fabrics; only lights and darks. That is what allows the pattern to be clearly defined.

We have a new person, Bella, that has come to live here and is Matthew's special lady friend. Welcome, Bella!

Matthew had picked out his favorite design from a book, Scrap Basket Surprises, by Kim Brackett.
The book is very Jelly-Roll friendly and I've begun making the blue and cream quadrants to sew into blocks.

Matthew and Bella both like the progress so far!

The day that Bella came to live here, there was a passing rain shower with a good omen. Isn't it beautiful?

Happy sewing!

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