Thursday, May 30, 2013

Over the moon!

Yesterday, I had a call from Cher, the development director at the Barre Opera House, who asked if I have any quilts to display.  They always have paintings and other art work by area artists, and it seems they don't have anything on the walls right now.  I was just amazed and sooo excited!  I have long thought about having a show of my own, but wasn't sure how to organize one... or even if I was good enough!

I identified at least 12 quilts that might work and packed them up along with binder clips, dowels, and curtain rods.  Our house looks rather bare - many of the quilts on the walls are gone.  The catch was that they needed the quilts before the weekend performances, and since I'm at the historical society Fridays, today was the only day I could take them down.

So this morning, Paul and I loaded up the car and headed downtown.  Cher was vaccuuming the lobby ("other duties as required") and helped us hang ten quilts.  There was picture molding in a few places and some cloth-covered bulletin boards in other areas.   As you can see the quilts are of many sizes, but most of them are smaller, including the bed-sized ones.

The director, Dan, got out a tall ladder and was determined to hang one of my quilts up high.  He made us all mighty nervous climbing up there, but did manage to balance the quilt on a curtain rod on two nails.  It's sagging, so it may fall down eventually.

There's going to be a statewide conference on historic preservation at the opera house next week, and some of the quilts are perfect, including my "Full Duty" Civil War sampler. There are three based on Dear Jane, including the blue and white one, the Asian one, and the baby quilt in 1930's fabrics.  It's very appropriate considering Jane Stickle lived in Vermont. 

The quilts will be up til the end of July.  I still can't get over it all!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Blame it on the grill

We bought a new gas grill Wednesday.  It had been warm and muggy, and we knew the holiday weekend was coming up.  So we figured we'd better get shopping before the crowds.  I can't quite remember what happened to the old gas grill, but I think we gave it to one of my employees who got married several years ago.  He had a barbecue for his wedding reception and needed a couple of grills. 

Since then, we've been using a charcoal grill that Chris found free along his street.  It's a Weber kettle and works fine, but it takes a long time to fire up.  I think we used it three or four times last summer.  Hence, the gas grill.  Maybe I'll use it more.  We studied Consumer Reports and went to Walmart twice to look.  We ended up at our friendly downtown hardware store where we bought one all assembled, put it in the car, and set it up on a large slab of granite next to the back porch. 

Then it began to rain.  And rain.  And rain!  We have probably had six inches of rain over the last four days, with no sign of stopping.  Temperatures have been in the 40's today and will be again tomorrow.  There have even been reports of snow just an hour or so north of us.  This morning, we went up to our favorite used bookstore and the power went out due to high winds.  It's pretty hard to browse in the dark, so we headed home where we read and I quilted.  Nevertheless, we are going to buy some steaks tomorrow and grill them even if we have to do it in the rain.   Summer is bound to arrive some time!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Town forest

I am probably the least fitness-conscious person you know.  I try to keep busy, but I hate to exercise.  Today my "exercise" was gardening.  I planted more tomatoes and some flowers.  There were, unfortunately, no impatiens at the garden store, and the clerk told me there was a virus (or maybe a fungus?).  So I got some New Guinea impatiens for the front flower bed instead.  They look nice, but I need a bright flowering something that tolerates shade for my window boxes.  Will keep looking!

Sunday we met some folks to walk in the new Town forest.  A couple of years ago, the Town voted $100,000 to purchase part of 350 acres of forest land and apply for grants for the rest, in order to preserve the area for hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, etc.  The final paperwork was signed March 29, and the Recreation Board, which I am on, is charged with overseeing the forest's maintenance and operation.  We want to get people exploring, so I contacted a couple of friends who might be interested in leading hikes regularly.  Samantha and Suzy, both former teachers, came with Paul, town manager Carl, his wife Kate, their dog Taz, and me for a leisurely two hour walk.


It was fun! This is the area of town where people first started quarrying granite back in the 1800's, much of it with horses, oxen, and their bare hands. Eventually the railroad came up and made the industry grow. There is a vein of fine granite under Barre that should last 4400 years! As one walks through the forest, there are old quarries hidden in the trees.

With 20 miles of trails, we will be busy exploring for some time to come.  Suzy and I are going to try to walk every Tuesday morning, and we'll advertise this and hope to get some companions along the way.  We hope Samantha will be willing to lead some walks on Sunday mornings.  I have a couple of neighbors who might be interested in joining us or starting their own groups.  This is the kind of exercise that I can enjoy!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Lori's Log Cabin

A former neighbor is extremely ill.  Although she is scheduled for surgery Friday, she has taken a turn for the worse.  We lived next door to her for nine years and, since we moved, have kept in touch through the community gardens.  She is really the hardest worker of the group, and even moved some rhubarb from my old house to the gardens, just for me.  My plot is next to Lori's this year, so I will be keeping an eye on it as she is recouperating.  Meanwhile, some of the garden folks are getting a gift basket together, and this was my contribution.

I used fabrics from one of the monhly "Strip Clubs" at A Quilter's Garden along with leftovers from a "Bali Pop" and some stash items to make it a good-sized throw.  It has been hanging in the closet waiting to be quilted for a month or so, just waiting for the right occasion to come along.  I had quite a large piece of "Thimbleberries" purple to put on the back, and quilted it quickly over the last few days.  I don't think I've ever quilted a quilt so fast, but I'm happy with the way it turned out and to have a way to contribute that I know she will like.  Lori's recent decline has me really worried, so I am glad I have quilting to put my nervous energy into.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Round 2 of the round robin

I spent a couple of days making "Broken Dishes" for the 5" border of the round robin that was waiting for me after vacation.  I like the way it looks but will hang onto it for a while until the person after me has a chance to catch her breath.   The owner of the center (before the thin green strip) had included some charms, so I added variegated blue and yellows along with that solid olive green.  Can't wait to see what the next people do.

I know I am compulsive and tend to "empty my in-basket" quickly.  It comes from my work life.  My former boss, the State Librarian, emptied her in-basket well before noon each day, and most of it seemed to land in my box.  If I didn't keep up, I would have drowned in paper, and no bureaucrat likes that!  Still, I have plenty of UFOs to keep me busy. 

My next project will be quilting the purple and green log cabin I made a month or so ago.  My former next door neighbor is having surgery next week, and this seems the perfect comfort gift - very feminine and floral for a gardening buddy.  Hope I can get it done by the time she gets home.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Round Robin

One of my online groups is doing a round robin, and the first 15" center arrived while we were away.

ElizaBeth included a large stack of charm squares as well as some of the blue and green with her center (disappearing nine patch?), which offers quite a nice variety to make a scrappy 5" border.  We just got back from a week away, so it was fun to get back into the swing yesterday afternoon.  I missed my sewing machine! 

I have been appliqueing some house blocks from Edyta Sitar's Friendship Strips book, too, since the weather is so sunny.  And of course, mostly I've been doing lots of post-Quilt Show and post-vacation stuff - paying bills, food shopping, doing errands, house cleaning, laundry, gardening (it is finally spring here), catching up on mail, and more.  I am almost feeling normal again.