Monday, June 23, 2014

Busy on a sampler

At guild the other night, I showed this quilt, recently finished, and picked up my blocks from the "block robin" I was participating in all year.  Now I'm busily making more black, white, and red blocks to go with the blocks I received.
Since our fabric bag only goes around to 8 people over 9 months, we each received 9 blocks.  I had made one block over the year, and wanted to make a Carpenter's Wheel as a center medallion.  When I got the bag of fabrics back, I noticed that most of the stash was 2.5" strips that came from a "strip club" at our LQS.  What to do? 

The Carpenter's Wheel finished at 12.5" because I cut all those half square triangles down to an even 2" to get them all to fit together.  Well, maybe I need to make a few more 12.5" blocks, and then some 6.5" and 3.5" blocks, too, to go with the 9.5" ones I received from guild members!  I had set aside a pattern from Judy Martin, so tried it in my colorway.  I don't know if it was me or the pattern, but it ended up at 13", partly because the solid black triangles just didn't fit at the size Judy's pattern called for.  I cut more a bit larger.

This is going to be quite a busy quilt - it has taken on a life of its own!   I still plan to put the Carpenter's Wheel in the center but will surround it with a variety of blocks in various sizes and shapes, as well as some solid blacks to give the eye places to rest.  It will come together, eventually.

I will have to set this all aside by the middle of next week because we have house guests arriving late Thurs. night.  Before that, we are going to see Young Frankenstein, the musical, tomorrow afternoon and will attend the Vermont History Expo on Sunday.   Tuesday night we'll  help show The Lego Movie for family film night at the library. This involves setting up chairs and handing out popcorn mostly.  And Wednesday night I'll be introducing a friend at the library's Author program.  Sonja has written a nice cozy set in a fictional Vermont town, Carding, called The Road Unsalted.  Retirement sure is busy!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Another finish!

Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of the large throw I finished this morning, and it is already at the longarmers!  I drove it down today along with the Nearly Insane/Loyal Union Sampler.  While in Lisa's shop, I just had to browse around and ended up taking four yards of fabric home with me.  One of them was free because I filled up my punch card (buy 10 yards, get one free - a great deal!). 

What I finished was what I'm calling "Lady Sybil's Circle," a square throw made of 9 blocks, using Downton Abbey fabric, the Lady Sybil Collection which is mostly soft blue, teal, and burgundy.  I ran out of the soft blue, so I had to order a little more for the inner border, and then surrounded it with a wider burgundy border.  I used a light lavender print that I got from Carol who is drastically reducing her stash in anticipation of moving to Pennsylvania. 

It feels so good to have a few things finished, out the door, and a little room to breathe in the quilting room!  I am busy appliqueing the borders for my Ocean quilt - two are finished, and two more need to be done.  I am going to quilt it myself, so need to be thinking about the back.  What shall I use?  I have lots of big pieces of yardage, but they don't quite go with the front.  Before I decide, though, I am just going to keep on appliqueing those vines.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Another nice morning walk

Paul, Suzy and I were joined by four others and a nice German Shepherd named Princess this morning.  We headed up the Capital Trail, past the quarry, through Cobblestone Corner, and down the Heifer Pasture trail.  There were a lot of different ferns to look at, and while it kept looking like rain, we were lucky to arrive back at the parking area dry.  Even our feet weren't too soggy.  Guess the ground is soaking up more than it was a few weeks ago.  Here's the group at the #6 Quarry:

All this outdoor activity is cutting into my quilting a bit, but it feels great to be outside, too.  I worked on a couple of tote bags this afternoon, as I wait for some light blue Downtown Abbey fabric to arrive.  When it does, I'll finish the flimsie for the throw I'm making, make the back, and get it all ready to go to the long armer.  I decided to send a few more items her way, just to clear out my "in- basket"!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Scrappy, strippy blue baby quilt

Can you say scrappy, strippy blue baby quilt ten times fast?  I kept thinking it as I was working on it, and I'm glad to say it's now finished.  I used 2" strips of every blue scrap in my box along with 2" yellow squares, mostly from my box of 2" squares to make this.  A long time ago, I copied a photo from an online group with the thought that someday I'd make one.  It was fun and easy to do, and I love the cozy blue flannel back.

After debating about whether to quilt it by going up and down the rows, I decided the simple grid would be more effective.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

An exciting walk in the forest

Yesterday, Suzy, Paul, and I met at the Town Forest parking area for our Tuesday morning nature walk.  We were joined by just one person, Pierre, who told us he used to hike a lot but got out of the habit.  He had on sandals, which made me fret a bit, but we just decided to head out as usual. 

I had heard that 7th and 8th graders at the Catholic school had put up tree identification signs along the Mainline Trail, and that seemed like a good destination, especially because one of my favorite lookouts is at the trail's end.  After about an hour's nice but humid walk, with Suzy in the lead, we reached the turnoff for the Empire Lookout.  All of a sudden, we heard some loud rustling in the underbrush, and a partridge with full plumage showing rushed out.  It was quite a surprise, and Suzy came rushing over to me, perhaps for "protection"?  She's almost 6' tall to my 5'5", so I don't know what I could have done. 

At any rate, the bird flew several yards away toward the quarry and sat, giving us the evil eye.  Then we heard some faint cheep-cheeping, just as we were about to continue up to the lookout.  A baby chick emerged from the leaves just inches from Suzy's foot, giving her another good scare.  The momma (?) bird next charged our whole group, and we ran up the trail toward the lookout.  It was quite an amazing thing, and everything happened so fast. 

We stayed up on the Empire Lookout (that's me, above), which is really a pile of waste granite blocks that has overgrown with trees and pine needles, for quite some time, to allow the partridge family to relocate or settle down.  Then we headed along the Mainline Trail where the signs were, indeed, very nice.  Here, Suzy takes a picture of the sign for the black cherry tree, which was huge.  I wonder if it actually has cherries?  We'll have to keep an eye on it during our walks this summer.

Last Sunday Samantha led us on a very long and winding walk along the Locomotion Trail.  What will Denise have up her sleeve this Sunday?