Sunday, September 27, 2015

Round robin center

Can't share a photo of Pat's row for the row robin that I just finished paper piecing.  Love it, though.  Here's the pineapple center for my guild round robin, finished a few days ago.  Note that there is some orange in it, in keeping with my resolution to use orange in everything this year.

Storytime in the forest

Yesterday I started making Pat's row for the row robin and, crazy as it seems, decided to paper piece my blocks.  What was I thinking!?!  I like the way paper pieced blocks look, but I sure hate taking the paper out.  I made a pineapple center for the guild round robin last week (forgot to take a photo) and swore I wouldn't paper piece again.  So much for that!  Pat's is a great row robin - Christmas theme in red and white fabrics.  I love it.  I got a few blocks done between grocery shopping and the farmer's market.

Then it was off to the forest for the fall storytime with our children's librarian/award-winning bagpiper.  And what fun everyone had!
 Twenty preschoolers through first graders, parents, grandparents, two dogs, and others who love stories followed Ian up into the forest.  As you can see, it was a gorgeous day with temperatures in the 60's and not a cloud in the sky.  There's a clearing not far up where I had set out tarps to sit on, and there are also some blocks of granite for sitting.

Ian read my favorite version of Little Red Ridinghood, by James Marshall.  When the hunter finally gets Red Ridinghood and Grandma out of the wolf, Granny says, "It was so dark, I couldn't read in there!"  After that story, we learned a song to go with a story about dressing the Big Bad Wolf.  He had brought a cardboard wolf to dress which the kids loved.  It was a great afternoon, capped off by some more paperpieced blocks when I got home!

Thursday, September 24, 2015


The gigantic rainbow scrap challenge quilt is done.  What a relief to be able to move on to other projects.  Of course, there are many.  Immediately on tap are:  a center for a guild round robin (two out of four pineapple blocks paper pieced yesterday); a row for an online row robin; raffle blocks for the state guild meeting; and something else I've forgotten.  I also have a couple of projects waiting in project boxes.

Meanwhile, Paul's book has been published and he'll be doing some public programs to launch it.  I get to operate the Power Point slides.  Saturday I'm helping with a storytime in the town forest, and our last Tuesday morning walk is this week.  In a couple of weeks, a friend and I will start a genealogy club at the library, a good winter activity.  Friends need help, too, with transportation, meals, etc.  One is moving next week and another returns from surgery/rehab tomorrow.  Never a dull moment at our house.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Way too busy!

This is a crazy week which began with having my teeth cleaned Monday.  That evening, my jaw started to wobble and feel bad, and so far it has been a little difficult to chew.  I think I stretched while at the dentist, so now I have to take it easy while eating.  My neck and shoulder are sore, too, so I have been taking Ibuprophen to sleep.  Ugh!

Yesterday, we had a nice long walk in the forest.  The weather couldn't be more beautiful lately - warm days, cool nights.  We walked over the Mainline Trail, following old railroad beds through the abandoned quarries.  A few weeks ago, I noticed some seed pods on a tree that looked like beech, but I was told they are hazlenuts and that squirrels love them.  They really must because there are none left.  Instead, we did notice this odd seed pod, the red speckled blob in the middle.  It turns out to be a seed pod for jack-in-the-pulpit.  Quite interesting!  We will have to look hard for the flower next spring.

Last night was our first quilt guild meeting of the new year, and I talked about the gift bag challenge for the coming year.  Next month, anyone who wants to participate will bring a gift bag, which I will put into a brown paper bag.  Then each person will pick up a brown bag on the way home and make something quilty inspired by that bag.  Should be fun.  There's also going to be a round robin, and I can't resist!  I have already decided not to do the mystery quilt for the year as I never like what I end up with.  We'll see how my round robin turns out - I still have to make a center block and think it may be a square of four scrappy pineapple blocks.

Today we ran around, too, so I didn't get a lot of stitching in.  I do have two sections of the big rainbow scrappy quilt put together and hand sewed the backs together this morning.  Hope to get a little quilting in tomorrow and then, maybe put the next section on.  I am soooo anxious for this quilt to be finished, but it will be another week or two, I think!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Gift bag challenge

Every year, our Heart of Vermont quilt guild has a challenge, and whenever I hear about one, I pass the idea along to our leaders.  An online quilting friend told us about a challenge her guild did, and we have adopted it for the coming year.  Each person gets a gift bag and then has to make something quilted that is both inspired by the bag and fits inside it.

I was asked to write up the guidelines, and then Paula gave me a bag to come up with a sample.  Bless her, she chose a bag that's purple, blue, and pink florals.  I noticed some lacy bits about the edges, too, which made me think of my stash of hankies.  I got a few out and incorporated them into this table topper.  I made a few dimensional flowers as accents and also machine quilted it.  It will be nice on a hall table.  The original challenge had everyone buying a bag from the guild, but we decided it would be just as much fun if everyone brought in a medium (not too big, not to tiny) gift bag.  We'll put them into plain brown bags and let people draw them so it will be a real challenge.  At least the final product doesn't have to be very big!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Maine and buried in quilting

It's been a while since I blogged.  First, I was putting together my blocks from the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I have decided to try to avoid blocks of the month because I just get sick of getting the project out, working on it, then putting it away.  And I get antsy for finishing at some point in the process.  So that is my resolution for the future.  Let's hope I can stick to it.

At any rate, this rainbow quilt is going to be quite large - queen-sized, perhaps.  So I put three sections together and am quilting it that way.  I really do like to quilt samplers since every block can be a new experience.  I can try out different techniques with both the walking foot and the free motion one.  I finished the center which was made of 36 blocks (wow!) and now I am quilting the two sides - another 36 blocks and borders.  When I finish the quilting, I will put all the sections together, make the last two borders, put them on, and then quilt.  It will probably be another month before I finish!

In between all this, we took a little trip to Wells, Maine, which was really fun.  Our friend Christine owns a cottage a stone's throw from the ocean (on Ocean Avenue!) and usually goes all summer.  We visited her last year.  This year, due to health issues, she hasn't been able to go much so has encouraged her friends to use the cottage.  We feel so lucky!  It's on a quiet street and the back deck overlooks a salt marsh.  One morning, I drank my coffee and watched the birds zipping around.

We took a long walk at the Wells Reserve with its several miles of hiking trails, visited the Seacoast Trolley Museum, and spent a nice morning at the beach.  I read Louise Penny's and Sue Grafton's latest books, and we had some nice seafood and other meals out.  It was very relaxing, and the weather couldn't have been better.

Happy Labor Day!