Friday, July 22, 2011

Too hot to blog

At noon today, our thermometer, which is admittedly on the porch where it catches sun around noon, read 101.4 degrees. That's hot, no matter where one lives! Yesterday, we had a 94 degree reading, but it was more humid. Today it didn't feel as humid, and tonight it is very pleasant outside. I read out on the porch until it got a little too dark. And my feet, which always seem to be blazing by the end of a hot day, have cooled off.

Yesterday morning I finished quilting the second of three sections of a black, white, and touch of color quilt. It is looking really nice, with a mix of free-motion and straight stitching in the blocks most of which came from Sylvia's Bridal Sampler.

Today I just went horizontally in the ditch on the third section before it got too hot upstairs. I went downstairs where it's cooler and started washing fabric. A quilt artist had called me last week to offer four bags of scraps which I picked up Monday. One of the bags had a lot of good-sized pieces of solid fabric which smelled a little musty but washed up really nicely.

I sent an email out to members of the Heart of Vermont guild to ask if anyone would be interested in making a block in an Amish colorway to contribute to a quilt for the library to raffle off. So far 18 people have said yes, and last night Betty came over with 4 1/2 yds. of Amish black to add to the cause. I am making kits with about 1/6 of a yard of black and two pieces of solids for people to pick up at the September guild meeting. They'll have until December to make a block. I suspect they will finish sooner but thought I'd give them plenty of time. I'll put the blocks together so that the library can hold its raffle during the winter.

Tomorrow it's supposed to cool off a bit more and be less humid. Hallelujah! I'm meeting Sandy, Cindy, and Polly for breakfast at Maxi's to celebrate Sandy's birthday. In the evening, we're going to the first roller derby "rout" for the Twin City Riot. Should be interesting.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Garden raffle quilt

I made this lap-sized quilt a few years ago and slept under it on the couch plenty when I had pneumonia two winters ago. Now it is going to the Community Gardens to be raffled off so we can retool the plots after the growing season is over. We met last week to come up with fund raising ideas, and this was one of them. When I made it, I had had the Bird of Paradise fabric for several years. It was one of those pieces I bought because I liked it, and then I didn't want to cut into it. Now that I've enjoyed it and replaced it with another quilt for the couch, I am ready to let it go.

Meanwhile, I've been quilting another larger quilt in three sections this week. Some of the blocks came from a swap, and others I made all winter long. All use black and white prints. The swap blocks have a hint of red while the others have hints of other bright colors. The sashing is bright blue, and there's a large feathered star medallion in the center. The center strip is looking good, with the stippling around the star.

Today I plan to sandwich the two end pieces since it's a little less humid. Hotter, more humid weather is predicted for tomorrow through the end of the week, so I need to get some projects done today: vaccum, cook turkey breast to eat cold all week, assemble treadmill, change linens, do laundry! Since it'll be hot, maybe I'll go shopping later this week. Within ten days of my birthday, I'm eligible for a discount half my age at the local quilt shop. Time to stock up!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Australian baby quilt

I used strips of Australian aboriginal fabric to make blocks which were then alternated with deep purple batik. The back of this baby quilt is flannel.

Full Duty

Quilted into the top border: "Vermont will do its full duty." Into the left side: "Governor Erastus Fairbanks," and into the right side: "April 15, 1861." This quilt is to commemorate Fairbanks' reply to Abraham Lincoln's call for troops after the firing on Ft. Sumter.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dieting, floors, quilting

I started watching what I eat - nay, really being serious about what I eat! - on Tuesday. I went to the gym and weighed myself and found I had slipped up about 13 lbs. in the last few months. Must be all the wonderful strawberry shortcake and ice cream I've had lately. I've been watching those carbs and eating more veggies all week. No relaxing glass of wine at the end of the day, either. But I think it's paying off because today I weighed myself at home and am down. (Maybe I will keep using the home scale since it is much more in my favor.) I'm glad it's summer and we can eat more salads. Picked my first two Sun Gold cherry tomatoes yesterday and a batch of Swiss Chard this morning. And I ordered a treadmill today for those days when I'm too lazy to drive to the gym.

Yesterday we went out to Country Floors to pick up some samples for new kitchen and powder room floors. The kitchen is on a concrete slab, so we are going with something with lots of cushion. The powder room can be more flimsy. I have been laying the samples out on the floor, and Tues. Mr. Martin will be here to measure and take them home with our choices. Shouldn't be too long before we have new floors since both are in stock. Meanwhile, we've been having our back porch floor painted. Quite a project, involving sanding down to the wood and then two coats of oil-based deck paint. We can't use the porch until Monday (maybe Sunday if not tacky), so I moved a rocker to the front of the house so I could read while Max rolled and sat in the grass.

Quilting on the Civil War quilt has been my focus this week, and is all finished. The binding has been machine sewn to the quilt, and "all" I have to do is sew the binding down! It looks great, and I'll take a photo when I can get onto the porch to do so. I am calling it "Full Duty," since around the outside border I quilted "Governor Erastus Fairbanks," "Vermont will do its full duty," and "April 15, 1861." This is the famous reply to Abraham Lincoln's request for troops after Ft. Sumter fell. And who knows? Maybe I'll make a few more quilts during this sesquicentennial.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Gone quiltin'

I started quilting my Heart of Vermont guild "square robin" quilt. The fabric went around, beginning last fall, to eight other quilters who made some beautiful blocks. Meanwhile, I was making more blocks so that I could make a full-sized quilt. I'm quilting it in three sections and will add the final border when I get the sections put together. I use the bed in our guest room as a "design wall." I have been thinking about quilting a quote around the whole outside border which will be tea-dyed muslin. Will have to do a little research first. There are three different tea-dyes in this quilt because I put some in with the "square robin" fabric, bought some more as I bought a few more pieces of Civil War fabric, and then bought another two yards when I thought I might use it for the final border. The outside border fabric is a bit stiff so I plan to quilt it more heavily than the rest of the quilt. But, as always, I will have to wait and see. So far, I'm having fun!

Log Cabin diamonds

On my admittedly small design wall today is the log cabin diamond I made after Flavin Glover's class. Will get to it eventually!