Wednesday, December 25, 2019

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

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Christmas Celebrations

On Sunday, December 8th, my wonderful sister, Suzanne, and her beloved husband, William took Ilse and me to a bell ringer's concert at a local church. Here is Ilse going into the church.

The music was lovely; all Christmas selections and played on 154 hand bells and 85 chimes.

They did the Carol Of The Bells, and also my favorite, Bring A Torch, Jeanette Isabella, an old French carol.

My dear friend, Ila, from Illinois, sent me this huge box of perfect pears. Thank you, Ila!

At the Senior Center, Meb was running a string block workshop for us and it was great fun to see all the scraps!

I brought in a couple of string quilts to show what the finished blocks can look like.

Whenever I'm making string quilts from various scraps, I like to use one color or one fabric on the center strip to unify the quilt. Can you tell that I love red?

At the Golden Gese Quilt Shop, Maureen was finishing up her matching placemats and table runner from a jelly roll. These look great!

Then, on Thursday, I took Ilse to the Senior Center for their lovely holiday meal of Chicken Cordon Blue.

Someone had made a Santa party favor for each guest from needlepoint. Aren't they cute?

The table was very festive,too.

As we dined on our feast, the Meals On Wheels Band played and sang Christmas carols.

It was a good meal and a fun day out and I'm glad that we enjoyed good weather for it.

My two sisters keep me consoled that Felix is not here and my many loving friends are a true gift.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Already December!

Thanks to my dear friends, Dick and Grace, I celebrated a lovely Thanksgiving dinner at their house with my neighbor, Ilse, and her two house guests, Rosie and Leon. They set the perfect table for us.

Here are our host and hostess, Dick and Grace.

We enjoyed each other's company and had a lively game of trying to name all the Democratic candidates.

Nobody could get all of them and a few have dropped out since then.

Their little Bichon Frise, "Ziggy," kept us laughing with his antics.

It was so good to be with friends on my first holiday without Felix.

Then, on Saturday, I took myself to Keepsake Quilting's retail store which is about 30 miles away, for their 40% off moving sale. They are going to close the New Hampshire store and consolidate to their North Carolina headquarters. I'm sorry to see them go!

I got there early in the day but it was already mobbed! I waited for half an hour in a line that snaked through the store just to get to the cutting tables.

There was another 20 minute wait to get to the checkout, too.

When, at last, I was able to leave with my treasures, I stopped off at The Canoe restaurant for lunch of my favorite, their lobster/mac/cheese dish.

Their portions are huge! After eating all I could, I still took home the other half of the dish for a meal at home.

I liked the sash that they tied up my bag with at Keepsake. It's a pretty French blue.

These are the fabrics that I bought and I got enough to make a raft of pretty pillowcases for my family at Christmas time.

My bill for fabrics was under $60 for ten yards worth, so I think that I did well and no shipping fees, either.

We had two days of snow, 6 inches on Monday, then another 6 inches on Tuesday. My wonderful local plow guy got me all plowed out nicely, so I'm good!

Hope you had a lovely holiday and are now quilting up a storm!

Monday, November 25, 2019

First Holiday Without Felix

My first holiday without Felix will be just fine thanks to some wonderful friends who have invited me to share their Thanksgiving with them. I'm truly blessed!

In the meantime, I worked on making a big bunch of binding to get put onto my Arkansas Crossroads. My dear friend, Maureen, who is a wizard at bindings, agreed to do the whole thing for me and I was grateful to accept her help. She did a beautiful job. Here is the finished 82" square quilt.

On Thursday, I took my dear friend and neighbor, Ilse, and her two house guests, Rosie and Leon, over to the Senior Center for their holiday meal.

The food was delicious and the weather was perfect! I enjoyed their company, too!

We all liked the group painting unveiling that the senior artist's project did. It was very dramatic when it was revealed. They did such a good job!

May you all have a healthy and blessed Thanksgiving this year, surrounded by loving family and friends.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Last Quilt Felix Admired

One of the hundred things that I dearly miss about Felix being gone is his constant encouragement and praise for my quilting. He was always so free with his compliments. He was very taken with my work on my Arkansas Crossroads and liked it very much. Although he is gone, I want to finish it for his memory. Here are pictures of today's quilting session on the Arkansas Crossroads at the Ellen Peters studio in Laconia, NH.

Ellen loads the backing first.

The quilt top is loaded next, and then the batting is carefully loaded in between the two layers. Here she is smoothing out the top over the batting. After she stitches one row of stay stitching across the very top, then I'm ready to quilt.

The quilting thread is a light antique tan for both top thread and bobbin.

The quilting is a very simple loop-de-loop so as not to distract from the pieced pattern.

It was easy to follow the rows of the piecing to keep the size of the loops consistent.

Each loop is roughly 4 inches around and the work went very quickly.

It was very relaxing to swoop along with the whir of the big machine getting into the rhythm of the work.

This 82 inch square quilt was done in a little over an hour and it only used two bobbins.

Additionally, I've been finishing up a couple of pairs of my sawtooth star potholders.

They are ever popular during this gift-giving time of year.

Lastly, I wish that I could've shared this pretty sunrise with Felix this morning.

Rest in peace, my honey. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.

Happy quilting and remember to hug your loved ones!

Friday, November 1, 2019


Halloween was a complete wash-out with strong winds and heavy rain. Not one trick-or-treater showed up and I don't blame them! But today, the first of November, was sunny and mild but windy still. Matthew and Bella, my young friends, showed up with their kids to visit and to show me their wonderful costumes.

Bella brought me a wonderfully decorated Halloween brownie, too! Yummy with my vanilla cappuccino coffee.

I did go to the Golden Gese quilt shop for Friday quilting and was very impressed with Maureen's newest quilt!

She was attaching the binding of a lovely red floral and then was able to spread it out for a better picture.

Nice work, Maureen! Maureen also worked a little bit on her table runner with matching placemats in all bright strips. So pretty!

My work was on assembling some pieces for a set of two matching potholders for Ilse to send to Germany for Christmas presents.

These two are my favorite Sawtooth Star pattern and will be quilted with Insulbrite and a layer of regular batting.

On Tuesday, I enjoyed giving out some extra fabrics to the gals at the Senior Center and taking pictures of their neat projects.

And, as always, the Senior Center's Tuesday breakfast was delicious! This was a fried egg on half an English muffin, topped with sausage bits in gravy. yummy!

Hash browns, cantaloupe and yogurt made it a meal to remember.

As the days get shorter and fall winds blow, I hope that you are warm and well and enjoying your quilting!

Happy quilting!

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