Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A work in progress

Please forgive the wierd angle of this photo.  It is on top of a finished quilt which makes taking a photo a bit deceptive.  I may have shown you this round robin quilt after it came back to me.  I started with the very simple center block, using parts of a charm pack from Moda's "Lady Slipper Lodge" fabric line.  I added various coordinating scraps and sent it on its way to four other quilters from an online group.  They made the succeeding rounds, and the quilt came back to me about a month ago.   I love the variety that comes from a group project, and this group is one of the best - careful, timely, precise.

I spread the top out on the bed in my sewing room and then spent a lot of time looking at it, trying to figure out what to do next.  It measured 42" square when it arrived home, and I don't really have much use for a wallhanging here.  So I decided on the 8" "Indian Hatchet" squares from www.quilterscache.com.  This necessitated searching online for more "Lady Slipper Lodge" fabric which I found on www.etsy.com.  Both the yardage and another charm pack arrived quickly, and I had enough fabric from another coordinating line to make the plain border (really a wide "coping strip").

The top now measures 65" square.  Three plain borders of varying sizes - green, off-white print, and purple prints - should finish it to about 80".  I will quilt it myself, albeit slowly, and I hope to cut a wavy edge after quilting.  It looks very summery to me but perhaps that's just my own perspective.  We've had some hot weather lately and even put the air conditioning in the sewing room.  That's where I'll be if we get another heat wave.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Chair seats, the holiday

My sewing yesterday was confined to a bit of fabric cutting and tack pounding - not a stitch was taken, but I'm happy with the results.  A long time ago, Polly gave me some tulip fabric.  It was heavier than normal quilting cotton and would look good as replacement chair seat covers.  I finally got around to cutting out a cover for one seat a few weeks ago, and yesterday I went over to Joann Fabrics for the tacks.  On my trip through the store, I ran into Cathy, a former library volunteer, who I hadn't seen in years.  She always brought in the most delicious blueberry muffins when she came on Thursdays, and I really judge every muffin I encounter against hers.  Nothing can compare!    I was reminded of her rhubarb muffins - really must make a batch soon.

I came home with some black denim to cover Chris' chair.  I wanted to have something that coordinates with our new dining room chairs which have charcoal gray cloth seats.  Chris' pants rivets scratch the surface of my chairs, so I asked him to use another chair.  He said he didn't mind as long as he had one.  The two chair seats didn't take any time at all to recover with some batting and the fabric.  We missed our workbench that we left at our old house when we used the front stoop to pound the tacks into one chair.  That was cumbersome, so I used my desk for the second one.  Over the weekend, I'll see if I can do the other two chairs that we got years ago at a yard sale.  I'll do another tulip chair and a denim chair since I have plenty of each fabric.

We have a nice weekend planned, and it's going to be a warm start to the summer.  Tomorrow we'll head over to Burlington for a special tour of the Lakeview Cemetery where some Civil War heroes are buried.   We'll be meeting some friends there and get a bite to eat afterwards.  Sunday I'm taking a friend shopping for something to wear at her son's upcoming wedding in California.  And along the way, we'll be grilling and eating salads.  Hope your start to the summer is fun, too!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Definitely spring

Busy times in lovely scenery

Displaying photo 1.JPGDisplaying photo 1.JPGSpring has sprung here, and everything is green.  Saturday, when I was driving down the interstate to Lebanon, NH, for the state quilt guild meeting (yes - over the border for a VT meeting!), all the many shades of green were just amazing.  This is why we endure the frigid winter, ice, and snow - for mid-May through October (perhaps) when we live in the prettiest place on earth.

Our lilacs and crabapples are all in full bloom now, and perennials are starting to come back to life.  It's just an amazing riot of color everywhere.  Thursday, we met Pauline and Bob at the Grand Isle ferry and drove up near Lake Placid, NY, to visit John Brown's grave at North Elba.

It's a quiet spot with his grave marked by a large rock pushed up by the Ice Age.  The cabin where he only lived a few months with his second wife Mary has been restored.  This photo was taken from the barn near a pond, and you can see the ski jump, one of many, that makes Lake Placid so important in the Adirondacks.   We had a delicious lunch in Lake Placid village which is full of little gift shops and touristy restaurants.  It was a treat of a day.

Wednesday, I went up to Stowe for the annual library conference, and Saturday was the aforementioned state quilt guild trip over the border.  More opportunities for oohing and aahing!

On the quilting front, my Lady Slipper Lodge fabric and charms arrived Saturday, so I'll get back to my medallion quilt later today, after grocery shopping and going to the bank to deposit money from the state guild meeting.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


I've been trying to quilt a quilt a week but the weather hasn't cooperated for picture taking.  Here are the latest.  The first was last year's "Around the World" block swap with an online group.   Each person sent every other person a fat eighth of fabric, and the recipient made a block that represented her.  There were 12 people in that group, I think.  One block arrived after I had put the quilt together, so it's on the back as a signature block with all the names of the people who participated.

I made the snowball blocks between each, and I used the snipped triangles for the flying geese in the border.  The fabric was given to me by a friend who was downsizing before moving.  She knew about my Indonesian roots and insisted I needed to make this quilt.  Glad I did!

I enjoyed quilting the quilt, too.  As a sampler, it gave me an opportunity to try something different in each block which was fun.  I used the walking foot most of the time, which is a lot easier on my new machine with its larger harp.  I still make a few slight curves with the walking foot.  I did a little free motion quilting but need more practice to feel a bit more confident.

The Indonesian swap quilt will look great on our table, and I plan to use it when Mom, Jenny, Jermine, and Christine come in a few weeks.  I'll make a nice Indonesian meal for Mom's 94th birthday celebration.

The last quilt is a black/white/red tumbler quilt.  I cut all the pieces out in a few hours using my Go Baby die cutter.  Love that gizmo!   Someone had brought a similar quilt to the state guild meeting last fall, and I liked it so much that I just had to make one, too.  I started out using scraps, but of course I ran out before it was a size I liked, so I had to buy a little more.  I love the fabric on the back - needles and thread.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mothers Day 2016

It's a little dark, but photos taken against a window always seem to be.  For all who celebrate, Happy Mother's Day to you!  These tulips are from last night's Spring Fling at the public library.  For the trustees, it was quite a bit of work, moving furniture and setting things up on three floors, but it was well worth it.  The catered food was good, as were the magic show and musicians.  People seemed to enjoy themselves, and we even had people hang around after the music ended to help us clean up.

I took home a few of the tulips we had in little vases on some of the tables, but this morning Chris arrived with a big bouquet of mums in purple and hot pink.  Very pretty!  It was too gloomy to take a picture, so the tulips will have to do.  Because of the previous days' busy-ness (I walked over 7,000 steps yesterday in the library), we spent a quiet day at home.  I finished a tumbler quilt, made a nice loaf of bread, and read the 8th book in the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths.  I like those mysteries which feature a middle aged archaeologist who isn't glamorous or slim, but very human.

Tomorrow I will get out another quilt top and get it ready for quilting.  May have to finagle a back out of scraps, but I'm making progress on the ones hanging in the closet!

Friday, May 6, 2016

UFOs finished

I had three quilts stacked up, waiting for the bindings to be sewn down to the back.  It's my least favorite job, but I finally caught up on the backlog.  Today is a lovely day for photography, so we did a little.

First, here's my state quilt guild challenge quilt.  At the October meeting, each person who wanted to participate drew a word from a bag.  We have until May 21 to create a 24" square quilt inspired by the word.  Mine was "paths," hence the Drunkard's Path and a favorite quote of mine:  "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you."  I always thought it was said by Lewis Carroll's Cheshire Cat to Alice, but apparently it wasn't said in quite that way.  George Harrison wrote a song based on it, and of course, I changed the word "road" to "path" for this quilt.

Next is last year's Heart of Vermont guild mystery quilt.  I put it together wrong, and didn't like the result.  But I didn't want to take it apart so simply made it into a table runner and a smaller quilt which will go to the Parkinsons Comfort Quilt Project.  I quilted it using the ill-fated Juki which I had to return due to problems with the walking foot.  I wasn't happy with the way the quilting ended up, but after washing it's not as noticeable.

Finally, here's the Zig Zag Quilt, made of Birds in the Air blocks.  I had a large piece of Jinny Beyer green fabric which was very difficult to match with any colors except black.  The quilt measures 60" x 60" and took me a while to quilt because I couldn't decide on what to do in the green zig zag sections.  I got a few stencils but didn't like the way they looked, and I didn't want to do straight parallel lines.  In the end I made some free motion leaves which are a big wiggly.  I hope it looks like the wiggly parts are deliberate!