Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cornucopia of Thanks - finished

This morning I changed the sheets on the bed, folded up the old log cabin quilt that was on it, and put my new Cornucopia of Thanks quilt on!  I started making a block a month with an online group but couldn't wait to finish making the blocks, putting them together, and quilting.  So I forged ahead, and it took 5 weeks to quilt in sections.  But the result is great.

I used a pattern by Jennifer Chiaverini (recognize some of her harder blocks?) and Connie in the group offered suggestions for making the quilt a little bigger.  I made four extra blocks and additional sashing to get it to queen-sized.  My favorite part of this quilt is the sashing - the black spotted fabric - which I quilted in a cross-hatch pattern.  It looks complicated, but when broken down into steps, it's really not that difficult.  And it makes the quilt.  I quilted each block in the sampler individually, with a little stippling, outlining, and accent stitching here and there.  We'll be sleeping warmly tonight.

Monday, February 25, 2013

And a few new blocks for me!

I also received some Around the World swap blocks over the weekend, made with my fabric.  It is soooo exciting to receive those squishy envelopes!  Mary, who lives in Canada, made me a maple leaf.  I am impressed by her tiny satin stitching and machine embroidered stem.  It is incredibly neat and I love the fussy-cut butterfly.

Danielle in Australia made me this amazing Snail's Trail block.  I love the colors she used..

New blocks

I made a few new Around the World swap blocks over the weekend for other people.  It is so much fun, using their fabric and shopping in my stash for things to go with it.  These two happened to be holiday-themed, and, although my hoiday stash is slimmer due to making a few scrappy quilts last year, I still had a little that worked. 

This one is for Cathie in Australia who is moving into a new home and wanted a new Christmas quilt for it.

And this one is for Janet in West Virginia.  I made another one with her fabric that is in my "reject" pile - the background fabric was too dark and didn't show her fabric off to advantage.  It'll no doubt go either on the back of my Around the World quilt or on my "memories and rejects" quilt at the end of the year.

I love the way each Dutchwoman's Puzzle looks slightly different, depending on the fabric.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Heck, this is Vermont!  We have a about 6 more weeks of snow to deal with.  Might as well enjoy it.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

no photos to share... yet!

I finished quilting my Cornucopia of Thanks quilt on Thursday and started sewing the binding by hand to the back.  It's taking a while since it's queen-sized.  I don't like to show flimsies, but rather take photos after I finish.  I also don't like to take anything to guild that isn't all done, either, so I hope to get the whole thing finished by Tuesday night for guild meeting.  And I heaved a great sigh of relief when I finished that last bit of quilting.  Five weeks is too long to devote to quilting just one project!

I started making a few more purple Dresden Plate blocks on Friday, too, taking a break from handwork.  Today it's snowing - and it has really picked up in the last few minutes - but I haven't sewed a stitch.  We're having company for dinner (if the roads are OK), so I shopped early and made a White Lasagna for dinner.  It has a cheese sauce, chicken, and kale in it.  I also made "ginger compote,"  chopped ginger in sugar syrup that one puts over vanilla ice cream.  It's yummy.  The guys who bought our bed and breakfast are coming over tonight.  We haven't seen them in a while, and it's good to catch up now and then.  We don't miss the business or the creaky old house (however elegant it may have been), but we do enjoy them as people and hearing about their various encounters.

I just finished a light, but entertaining book, too, Dayna Dunbar's The Wings that Fly Us Home.  I read the previous book, The Saints and Sinners of Okay County, which features a divorced, single mother of four who works as a psychic.  There are all sorts of funny characters in her books, which are heart-warming and definitely not "literature."  Perfect for the beach or a snowy day!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Around the World swap blocks

I've received several blocks in the Around the World block swap I'm in this year.  I sent fabric to 20 people from Florida to London to Australia and places in between, and they will be making blocks that mean something to them with my fabric.  In turn, I'm making Dutchwoman's Puzzle blocks with fabric they send me.  Here are some from Tricia(UK), Pam(FL), and Debbie (AZ).

Debbie's block is called "Signs to Arizona" because she recently moved there.  I had sent Debbie and another person the fabric I plan to use in the border.  Her block is so pretty that I think I'll make a couple more blocks using it.

Pamela's block is called "Dutch Nine Patch," because she loves all things Dutch (of course!) and she lived there for nine years some time ago.  I love the bright blue she used and the way she fussy cut the butterflies.
Tricia, an architect and wine judge, made a block called "Flying Rectangles."  It's going to "play" well with the other blocks to make a lovely quilt!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Around the World swap and a new toy

Last week I was close to being on top of the fat quarters that have been arriving for the Around the World swap.  But then a few more envelopes arrived this week and I am behind again.  I have until August to make the blocks, but I have liked a clean inbox!  My boss Patty was notorious for emptying out her inbox... into mine.  

At any rate, although the fat quarters have been arriving, I also received a block made by Connie with my butterfly fabric.

I have received four of these lovelies so far, and they "play" really well together, perhaps with black sashing.  My design wall is full of Dresden Plate blocks at the moment, so I can't take a picture of them together.  That will have to wait until a future post.  But this picture was taken with my new iPhone.  So far, I'm enjoying learning how to use that new gadget.  I even downloaded an app!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Many years ago, I took a wonderful landscape quilting class with Jo Diggs of Maine.  She was a wonderful teacher who encouraged us to find the landscape in whatever fabric we brought.  She also encouraged us to work on smaller projects in order to finish, or at least get close to finishing.  Because I enjoy applique, I loved Jo's method of hand sewing and working from the top of the quilt down.  After the class I made a few little pieces using her methods.

That day, I had brought some Asian fabrics and hand-dyes.  I loved the little piece (4.5" x 8") that I ended up with, but I never knew what to do with it.  I thought about making a jumper and using it as a pocket, but somehow I never got around to it.  This year I heard about Ami Simms'  Alzheimer's Quilt Initiative.  She is encouraging people to send in small quilts, no larger than 9" x 12", to be auctioned off for alzheimer's research.  Our state quilt guild is going to be participating in this initiative in honor of the husband of a long-time member.

When I thought about what to make, I decided to finish my little landscape off for this cause. I sashed it simply and then hand-quilted. The binding is a variegated blue, also simple. It was fun and I feel good finishing for a good cause. We'll be displaying our quilts at our May 18 meeting, after which they'll be heading to Ami Simms.

By the way, when I was looking at Jo Diggs' website, I noticed that she will be a featured quilter at this year's Vermont Quilt Festival.  Can't wait!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Dealing with "Nemo"

I guess we are experiencing a storm named "Nemo," but I don't know how it got that name.  Living here in Vermont where we have quite a few storms each winter, it seems silly to name them.  At any rate, we awoke to snow which got fairly serious by 6:30 am.  Chris and I had planned to go help with prep-cooking for tomorrow night's Friends of the Library Chinese banquet.  We decided to stay in our respective homes due to the look of the streets.  And it's still snowing at 3:15 pm, although it appears to have lightened up a bit now.  There's at least 6" of new, fluffy stuff on the lawns, and traveling still looks difficult.  If it's cleaned up first thing in the morning, Chris and I will again attempt to go prep-cooking.

Boston and Providence seem to be getting the worst of the snow while in New York City, according to my brother, it's just raining.  We are hoping that the prediction for tomorrow - some sun - will come true.  If so, in Vermont's usual fashion, things will be clear in time for people to gather for the social hour at 5 pm, and dinner at 6.  During dinner, there will be plenty of bidding going on at the silent auction, and at around 8, several choice items will be auctioned off live.  This is one of two annual Friends of the Library big fund raisers, the other being the summer booksale, and we hope to make at least $5,000 to support programs for all ages.  Keep your fingers crossed that the sun comes out tomorrow!

Meanwile, I finished quilting the intersection of the two pieces of my Cornucopia of Thanks quilt that I put together early this week.  It was tiring, so I decided to spend part of yesterday and today making blocks for the "Around the World" swap.  I made eight, so feel very caught up.  Each one was different even though they are all "Dutchman's Puzzles."  I also finished a good biography of Georgette Heyer today, so I've started one of that author's best oldies, Frederica.