Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Mom, Jenny, and I went to the Vermont Quilt Festival Sunday, and it was great.  We arrived just in time for a gallery talk with Ruth McDowell, who is retiring from quilting (she says).   Because they're both non-quilters, Jenny and Mom really enjoyed hearing her talk about the process she used for her quilts, and I did, too, of course.  We looked at some of the contest quilts, then had lunch, and then looked at more contest quilts.  I also enjoyed seeing the antique quilts, some of which had hanging sleeves sewn by me.  Here's my favorite quilt:
It's really eight quilts showing a slightly different view of the same view.  Each could be a quilt in and of itself.  It won a third place ribbon, but I really enjoyed the slightly different techniques used in each panel, especially the sky.

We didn't have much time to visit vendors, which is fine since I have plenty of fabric.  I did get a couple of patterns for those little zippered bags - pea pods and another style - that use just one side of the zipper bent in half.  I also bought some aloe cream from a very persistent saleswoman.  If you see a "Hawaiian Moon" vendor at another show, run away fast!  It's very nice but I've got enough to last me a very long time.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Full on summer

We have had the best weather these last few days - bright blue skies, warm, breezy, not too hot (unless you're in the direct sun).  I have had to water flowers outside, but things are growing well.  Paul washed the house Friday while I vacuumed the basement, in anticipation of Mom and Jenny's visit.  They're arriving Tuesday for a week, and on Fri/Sat. Jermine and Christine arrive from Curacao and Nederland.  They'll be staying at Maplecroft.  We hope they'll enjoy being able to walk downtown and seeing our old house.

Yesterday I taught the second applique class which went very well.  One quilter had done more homework than assigned and had her floral block almost all prepped over the last two weeks.   The other had had some family emergencies so hadn't prepped much.  She cut some things out with her die cutter but they weren't quite what was needed.  That was OK since it gave us an opportunity to review freezer paper applique, making templates, etc.  I focused the session on vines, leaves, and circles, and we had a very nice time sewing together.   It was hard to get them to leave - always a good sign.

I had brought a few sample items, including two quilts.  Thinking back, one could have started with the heart-shaped applique but the other really needed the melon shape.  At the end, I showed my Hawaiian applique UFO and then demonstrated reverse applique.  Since both require needleturn, the two ladies said that would be on their bucket list after they feel more confident.  They both asked me to keep them informed about future Calico County Quilters meetings since they enjoyed the sewing time together.  A final bonus was the check I received for the two classes - really unnecessary except that it will most likely be spent at the quilt shop anyway!

Today we're off to the Vermont History Expo where I'll be volunteering in the bookstore for the morning.  There are always interesting exhibits and friends from around the state to check in with.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Getting my steps in

It was a rainy weekend, so a nice time to do a little hand sewing.  My small quilt group was "homeless" for its June meeting, so I invited them here.  Only two people came (it's a busy time of year with high school graduations and such), but we had a nice bee anyway.  I got a few Lafayette Orange Peels sewn and/or prepped.  Whatever this will end up being is coming together quite quickly.

At last week's applique class, one person asked if I could show how to finish the block I designed, so this week I hope to get it machine quilted, just to show how applique can be handled.  I think it will end up as a pillow anyway.  Yesterday I basted the parts of the same block which I will use for the next class, since this was their homework.  It wouldn't do for the instructor not to do the homework!

We did get in another forest walk in between raindrops yesterday.  Walking with Samantha is always interesting because she notices things I don't always see.  This time it was a variety of amazing fungi growing on trees.  The small group had a good time.  One of our newbies was the guy who owns the comic book/collectible card shop.  He was a favorite of Chris' when he was growing up.  These walks are a fun way of meeting new people and sharing our enthusiasm for the forest, the views, and the history of the abandoned quarries.  AND I got in almost 8,000 steps Sunday!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Lots of distractions

We started our Tuesday morning walks in the Town Forest this week.  It rained a little early but more held off until later in the day.  There were plenty of wet spots after Sunday's day-long rain, but we took a route that I know to be dry.  We had three newcomers who seemed to enjoy themselves.  One was confused by the map and wanted to follow along.  I forget the names of the trails over the winter, so I had to refresh my memory.  I hope they don't think I don't know where I'm going.  This is the fourth year of our walks, so I do know the 355 acres pretty well.  It was great to see some of our walking friends again.

When we got home, our cleaning ladies were busy across the street so we knew they were imminent.  Paul hates to be here when they come - our house immediately seems tiny with three people vaccuuming, dusting, cleaning, etc.  So it was a good time to look for a new-to-us car since our Honda CRV needs extreme repair or replacement.  It has served us well.  We test drove a Toyota RAV4 and liked it, but we weren't ready to commit.  After lunch, we stayed home, and I appliqued a few more Lafayette's Orange Peel blocks.  They are a great ongoing pick up project, and I need to prepare a few more.

Wednesday morning, I had a library board meeting followed by yoga, so in the afternoon I sewed the binding onto the quilt that came back from the quilter's.  If it ever stops raining, I'll set up the quilt rack (it's bed-sized) and take some photos.  Love it!  We got back to car shopping yesterday and tried a few Hondas, both the new HRV and a used CRV.  Now to make a decision...