Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A work in progress

I laid out my "Around the World" swap blocks and then started working on a few more hourglass blocks for the edges this morning.  Now I have to figure out what to put in the triangles around the outside edge.  I think some will be white and some will be various prints used in the main part of the quilt.  I like the way this is coming together!


I put all of this past year's Heart of Vermont guild block robin blocks together and made a few more to achieve a lap-sized sampler.  I quilted it sampler-style, too, which was fun.

I'm rather bad with names for quilts, but decided I'd call this one "Where's the bird?"  Throughout the quilt are snippets of a fabric with a cute bird on it and the challenge for me was to make sure they were all going in the same direction. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

This 'n' that

I haven't been blogging much this summer - too many things to do!  We hike Tuesdays, some Sundays, and some other days in the town forest.  Last week, we went on a little getaway to New London, NH, to see "Spamalot" and stay at the New London Inn, which felt like the lap of luxury.  Built in the late 1700's, the inn is on Main St., just down from Colby-Sawyer College and amid well-kept white houses with picket fences, lovely plantings, and cute shops.  The public library has a gorgeous public garden designed by the Olmsteds.  It was all very picturesque and a nice break in our routine.  Dinner at my friend's brother's Flying Goose Brew Pub was delicious, too.

In between, I've been quilting steadily on a throw, 60" x 60", made of black, white and red blocks from one of my guilds' block robins this year.  It's coming along nicely.  I am also laying out 6" swap blocks from around the world as the final block is due soon and I'd like to get them together.  It should end up as a very sweet small quilt.   Yesterday, a surprise package arrived from Janet in Indiana.  It was my SUMMER swap - everything started with one of the letters of summer, including some Satin, Useful measuring tape, a Magazine, a Mug rug made by Janet (so adorable!), Embellishments, and Rick Rac!

This weekend our town celebrates Heritage Days with lots going on downtown.   I'll be helping with the library booksale, voter registration on Main St., the coop grocery table, etc. and probably also eating lots of street food.  I hope I make it to Lenny's tent sale to look at the shoes and sandals - they are always a good buy there.  And just hoping for not-too-hot weather and clear skies for the booksale!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The famous train wreck

Ever since I started becoming acquainted with the forest around Millstone Hill, I've heard of "the train wreck."  The trail leading to it is not in the Town Forest but is part of the Millstone Trails system.  Since I've been promoting use of the forest, I hadn't had a chance to do much exploring outside.  But today Paul and I were determined to find it, and we're really glad we did.

The trail winds down behind Barre Town Elementary School into a wet gully, probably home to beavers, since the trail is known as "Beaver Run."  There's a rickety bridge to cross and then it heads back up another hill.  Winding around, the trail is generally pine-needle covered which makes it really quiet.  Toward the top of the second hill, all of a sudden something rises out of the ground, and we realized that it's an old railroad bed.  It's covered with ferns now, but once held two rows of track and still has the steel track embedded in it.  A switching device is visible, and soon thereafter, here's what we saw:

The forest has grown up all around what's left of the flatcar and the granite blocks it held.  The Beaver Run trail continues one toward Websterville Road, but we turned around to stay in the forest a bit longer.  We realized that it wasn't that long of a walk, maybe a mile, but then every walk is long if you're not sure where you're going.  We'll be coming back soon, I'm sure, with our neighbor who's a train history buff.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A circumnavigation

Last Sunday was a muggy day, but five hardy souls, three dogs, and I showed up for a walk in the town forest anyway.  I guess we thought it would be cooler out there, and it was in spots.  Whenever we encounter a pile of grout (waste granite), it's usually cool due to the frozen water deep inside.  We were crazy enough to walk all the way around the forest, 4.5 miles.  Here we are, about mid-way - Jill, me, Pierre, Rita, and Guy.  Denise took the picture, and we also had three dogs (2 moppy ones and 1 German shepherd) with us.

Too busy to blog!

We had family visit in waves around the 4th of July, so there hasn't been a lot of time to do anything more than clean, wash dishes and linens, grocery shop, and socialize.  It was also quite hot and humid much of the time, and we did quiet things whenever possible.  I did get an air conditioner for the guest/sewing room, which is quite a big help when the iron's on (which is whenever I'm sewing).

I worked on a black, white, and red sampler which went around in the guild "block robin" this year.  It only went to 8 people, so the 9" blocks needed to be supplemented.  I made a bunch of experimental blocks, including a small Carpenter's Wheel and a "disappearing hour glass," and I set the blocks in a rather haphazard way.  I'm waiting for some border fabric to come, and when I attach it, I'll quilt it myself.

I also finished putting together the red and white nine patch blocks I received in a swap earlier this summer.  I used an Irish Chain setting, with some shirting as the "solid" blocks.  While you'd think putting this together would be relatively easy, I had some trouble.  The final quilt measures 69" x 69" x 70" x 70".  Not all the blocks were the same size, and I have only myself to blame!  I mismeasured a few.  Groan!  I am hoping Lisa, the long arm quilter, can make it look OK

Sunday I'm hosting a farewell tea for Carol, former president of the state quilt guild.  She's moving to Pennsylvania to be closer to family.  We are each making a block that signifies ourself, so I made a Dutchman's Puzzle block out of Indonesian batiks.  In fact, the fabric came from a muumuu my mother bought in Indonesia.  Carol has been very generous over the years, always giving gifts of fabric to friends, and the last batch she gave me were some gorgeous Indonesian batiks in various shades of blue.  I hope to make a quilt out of them in the coming year.

Other than just plugging away at my appliqued borders on the Ocean quilt (one left to do), I've been walking twice a week in the town forest,  trying to get in a bit of yoga every day, helping to get ready for the annual Friends of the Library book sale, helping a friend with his campaign for the legislature, and more.  Life is never dull!