Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Lupine Logic

The New Hampshire air was cool and crisp and sunny; it felt great to be alive!

The Sunshine Club met in our new room again and we loved it.

Alton, New Hampshire Senior Center Director, Roney, (pronounced, "row NAY") even moved the shelving unit that is tucked inside the storage closet so that we may store our Marjory-donated ironing board right there. Yeay!!! Bev gave us our iron, thank you both!

We had hilarious moments as Mary, Bev, and Diane struggled to pull apart stuck fast layers of batting that had been sprayed with adhesive and stored stacked together.

That stuff was strong!

Nobody could keep a straight face as we howled with laughter at the dilemma.

Sue, seen below, brought in a lovely armload of quilting books for the start of our lending library. Thanks, Sue!

I was delighted to be presented with the finished raffle quilt that Sue and Mary had both worked on the hand hemming of the binding. Thank you, Ladies, you did a beautiful job on it!

Even Jody, below right, came in to visit The Sunshine Club and she became an official Quilt Holder. Atta girl!

We passed out chocolate nuggets to chomp on and I presented my best tips and techniques for doing a French Fold Binding.

 I give all the credit to Sharon Schambers' 3 Part video, "Binding The Angel". Link.

My newest funny tee-shirt reads, "A Fat Quarter Is Not A Body Part." I even demonstrated how a fat quarter is different from a running or straight cut quarter of fabric.

This was the raspberry bias plaid that I used for the demonstration. It was lost, then found, then lost, then found again during one 24 hour period. I kept putting it in a safe place.

I think that it will go nicely on my Easy Hourglass quilt that was done via the Missouri Star Quilt Company's video. Link.

It was recently quilted by me at Ellen Peters' studio in Laconia, New Hampshire, where I am blessed to be able to rent time on her longarm.

Here's Ellen, below, helping me to get it ready.

I tried doing that feathered half circle with mixed results, but the quilt is done. "Done is better than perfect!", as we Stashbusters are wont to say.

My thread was a variegated pink and brown thread on top, with an antique tan underneath. Ellen found it for me and it was just right.

Thank you, Ellen, for all your nurturing and support to my quilting!

As I grew more tired, my feather/flowers seemed to grow more lacy.

Exhausted, I'd take a quick break and hit Ellen's Private Reserve at the Chocolate Bar. Calorie-up, yon quilters!!!

The jar on the left is all York Peppermint Patties, YUM!

This quilt also had a pieced backing of a couple of bland ecru selections, cobbled together by me.

Soon the hourglass quilt was an 80" by 80" twin or full size quilt that Ellen's sidekick, Roseanne, was graciously helping me to dismount from the big rollers of the longarm machine. Thank you, Roseanne!

Thank you for taking my picture, too. Three grueling hours on the clock and it's quilted!

Quiltmaking is my passion. But I also made time today to visit with my West Coast niece, her daughter, and her husband who came to see us on their way to my sister Suzanne's house.

I'm honored that they chose to include Felix and me on their tour, and we wish them safe travels.

I hope that when I have passed away from this world, others will be cheered as they drive by the once-barren waste land beside Route 140, where I have planted hardy perennial lupines, now lush with blooms.

They continue to fill in on the steep embankment, too dangerous to mow due to the tractor-tipping angle of the slope.

Make a quilt block, plant a flower, pet a kitty, call a friend, feed the dog, lead a prayer; these are the things that I can do to bring riches to my spirit.

Happy quilting!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Making Memorial Day Meaningful

Felix and I were married on May 30th, 1970, traditional Memorial Day, so that we would never forget the sacrifices of those who do, and have, served our country.

These are pictures of Matthew, his wife, Bella, and her son, Giovanni, who at three, was pleased to help Matthew's veteran father celebrate a visit to an Army Tank exhibit in Epsom, New Hampshire.

It was a wonderful family outing that they shared with us in pictures.

Neither Felix nor I have had the privilege of serving in any of the armed services, but we are very grateful for those who do serve and have served. Thank you!

On Friday, May 27th, we did go out to eat and had a great time.

We are free to celebrate because of those servicemen and women and if we could do it all over again, we would do it just the same.

Happy quilting!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Night Visitor

It was very pleasantly cool all day today, with dry crisp air, but at dusk I still had the garage doorway open to the house, so that Miss Emma Lynne could come and go as she pleased. Indoors, I was sitting at the computer and I was suddenly annoyed by what I thought was a large horsefly whizzing past my head. As I turned to look, Miss Emma Lynne had become very agitated, woofing and wagging up a storm. When I followed her out into the kitchen, she was acting more like a good Pointer, rather than a black Labrador Retriever. She wanted to show me a tiny brown bat that was perched high up on my very dusty stoneware pottery pitcher on the corner shelf.

Well, of course, there was nothing to be done about it right away, due to the crowded nature of the long-unused dining area in my hoarder's house. I couldn't have gotten over all my clutter of stuff to get to that poor little bat even if I'd tried! So I petted Miss Emma's raised hackles and reassured her as to what a good dog she was. I turned to go eat my supper with Felix in front of the TV.

In about 10 minutes, I could hear a scuffle and woofs from the kitchen and I went to see what had transpired. In her tremendous excitement, Miss Emma Lynne had upchucked some of her kibble on the linoleum floor. She was on point again, woofing and rumbling. This time, she was showing me that my little bat friend had flown across the kitchen and was on top of my refrigerator amidst the clutter there. Again, I spoke reassuringly to both mammals, the dog and the bat.

It was quick work to clean up the small barfy spot with a damp paper towel. Then I was off to find my dollar-store bamboo-handled butterfly net. I keep one handy for just these kinds of rescues. Remember, I am a hoarder. Several encounters with grateful birds have proved that having a butterfly net is worthwhile to me.

With Felix's tall-man help, we gently and quietly cleared away some key items of stuff from on top of the fridge. I was then able to drop the net over the frightened creature. He squeaked in terror as I held the net flat against the top of the refrigerator. Felix managed to slide a piece of stiff cardboard underneath the net and underneath the brown bat, such that he was secured.

Miss Emma followed me as I took the netted bat outdoors, through the garage and out onto the deck. No pictures, but a very happy, very dusty bat was released into the twilight. He, or she, flew away without any apparent injury or hesitation. 

Now Miss Emma Lynne, exhausted by all this hubbub, can relax. 

By the way, I did close that door into the garage. Don't you just love happy endings?

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Heat Wave?

Hot, humid, hazy, and nobody wants a quilt for cuddling. If you're half-naked you're over-dressed.

It's no secret that I HATE the heat of summer. This saddle-planter on the deck railing is my gardening limit, but it cheers me to look at it.

Matthew is supposed to stop by today to help Husband Wonderful to install our two moderately sized window Air Conditioning units at either end of the house. We'll be ever so grateful! In the meantime, it's 91° and a 66 dew point, ugh!

My armload of lilacs scent the air that moves through the house with our big fan. This is the first time that I've used the little turquoise glass vase from my exclusive boutique, the "Free Room," at the town dump. Someone else had no use for it, so I scrubbed it clean and gave it a good home; win win!

Most of my time has been down cellar in my blessedly cool Quilt Cave. I made up a mess of mice, the calico catnip variety, that is.

While sewing on the next 16-block run of my Mile-A-Minute Log Cabin blocks, I do generate a few scraps from the 1½" logs to sew up into sachets. My bank tellers love them and I always get a lollipop!

The Log Cabins are going along nicely, too!

Each block of the 16 blocks in a run gets 12 logs. Sew 196 seams in a run.

There are six light logs and six dark logs in my scrappy Civil War reproduction fabrics. Yes, there are a few Civil War "Wannabees" that sneak in like that bias stripe.

It really makes me mad at myself when I'm chugging along, but "Air-Sewing" with an empty bobbin!

I have decided to NOT press them with my starch recipe until the AC units are well in place and functioning.

There is no need to make my basement refuge of cool air super-heated by the iron, ugh! They can wait! Possibly until first snow.
Meanwhile, Miss Emma Lynne is sporting her Patriotic Stars bandana for Memorial Day weekend as she pants with a huge tongue from being outdoors.

Her water dish is an old plastic ice bucket so that it won't sweat or tip over and on hot days like these I do add ice for her.

Stay cool!

Linking up to Oh Scrap! Link.

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Square Deal

We had a great time at The Sunshine Club chatting and chomping chocolate! The weather was cool and rainy on Tuesday, but it has since then broken into a torrid summer heat wave.

Seen below is Marge, working on her pink Yo-yos, and her husband, Ernie, who left us in search of a chess partner there at the Alton, New Hampshire Senior Center.

Bev, below, joined in the fun working on her black borders of her soccer-themed Tee shirt quilt.

The big surprise was that she has invested in a new 25th Anniversary Edition Janome sewing machine. Whooo-hoo, it's a beauty!

I was working on hand hemming on the strings raffle quilt to benefit the Center and you can see it piled up on the table in front of me.

Sue, seen above at the back of the room, had agreed to do some of the hand hemming at her house, but she was worried about her skill set when it came to turning the corners.

So I promptly demonstrated how to turn a corner but it turned out to be one of the worst ones I've ever done in my life! We both laughed that this quilt will need to be viewed only by a rider on top of a galloping horse!

By the way, my Tee shirt really does read, "Holy Scrap," with an "S" that's barely visible in the photo.

When I was home and the sun shone, I was able to photograph the little Charm Pack quilt that has no name. Maybe I'll call it "Square Deal."

It is mostly Moda, in Howard Marcus' line known as "Collections For A Cause; Community", with a Marcus Brothers Textiles striped border by Judy Rothermel.

This was quilted by me on Ellen Peters' longarm even though, at a mere 50" by 60", I could have Free Motion Quilted it.

The quilting you've seen before on this blog. It's sort of a free-handed flower of paisley petals, then echoed back into position for the next blossom. It was taught to me by a fellow Stashbuster, Nancie V. from Texas. Thank you, Nancie!

Thank you, Ila, in Illinois, for the pretty red and orange paisley fabric for the backing. I had just enough to do it and it looks smashing! Thank you, thank you!

It's nice to have this done, even though it needs a label.

Also, I wanted to share with you a pair of pretty potholders that I'd sent to my friend, Marge, in Arkansas as a "Thank you" for her generous gift of sending me Civil War fabrics.

Some of those fabulous fabrics were built right into the potholders to go right back to her, LOL! Poetic justice?

I am Sew Blessed and Scrap Happy, as my little wooden signs say, hope you are, too!

Happy quilting!

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