Tuesday, December 12, 2017

My Boys!

When I started this blog, I mentioned that I would rarely post any non-quilty photos or blurbs. But, I feel I have to share this today. If you read my blog on a regular basis you know that we have a wonderful grandson who, for the past four years has spent Wednesday nights at our house.  

Late last summer, my son and his wife announced that they would be moving to Florida in the Fall. Because he has significant autism, I immediately worried about everything. How would he like his new school? How would he like his new house? How would he live without us? How would he…

We made our first visit over the weekend and I am thankful to say, all is well. They have settled in beautifully. He loves his new school, he loves his new house and he loves being able to swim whenever he wants! My children are wonderful parents and I am blessed! 


Now for something quilty!
 
Block 2C in our Noah andMatilda sew-a-long is now complete. I really am enjoying this project. I am going at my own pace which is essential during the busy holiday season. 

 back



Enjoy your quilting time and hold your dear ones close 
(take the needle out of your hand first – wink!).

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Little Red Hen

While looking through my photo file, I realized I had not yet posted about this little quilt. 


It all began when one of our “Seven Sisters” (Karen B.) decided to downsize her fabric stash. At first, we were all in a panic wondering if she was going to leave us! But, she assured us she was not giving up quilting, just a few hundred yards of guilty pleasure.

So, we gleefully accepted the invitation for “Cake and Take” at her house in early September. We all went home with full bellies and armloads of much needed fabric.

We decided on the way home that we must do something to thank Susie Karen (as we affectionately call her). I spied a pillow in her living room with a log cabin like design and drafted this simple yet bold block. I cut out 5 kits for each of the six of us and distributed them to the group. Then…

Fotini collected the blocks…
Charlotte put the top together…
Tina provided the batting…
Wendy provided the backing…
Kathy quilted it…
Karen M. did the binding…

It really reminded me of the story of the Little Red Hen in reverse since we ALL had a hand in it.

Susie Karen had knee surgery in early October so we had the perfect opportunity to visit her and present the quilt. Needless to say, she was very pleased!

the back 


I am very lucky to have this group of wonderful women in my life!!!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Time Flies!

I can’t believe Thanksgiving was a week ago! Where does the time go?? I did manage to get a few things done over the holiday weekend in between the cooking and clean up.

I finished my Moda Blockheads #’s 37 & 38. Just 10 more to go in this sew-a-long. It has been fun and not too taxing. 

I made a slight error on my Noahand Matilda block #1C. Somehow, I reversed the design. Of course, I didn’t notice it until I was halfway through the applique process, so you will just have to view it in a mirror!

I started a new "secret" project that I am very excited about, but can't divulge yet.

And, I worked on my little filler project when I didn’t have the brain power for anything else. 



Hope all of you had a wonderful and productive holiday as well!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s that time of year again. We will be heading to my sister’s in the western Maine mountains for our 40th Thanksgiving together!

I believe there will bet 32 at the table this year. Of course, this is subject to change with a family of this size. But, there is no doubt that however many make it up the driveway, we will all enjoy our holiday traditions together.

The younger generation now helps out in the kitchen as the wee ones watch 
the parade on TV. 


Then, after we all feel like this guy… 

we don our safety orange vests and hike up the hill for sweeping views of Mount Washington and all the world has to offer.


I wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Filler Projects

Do you have filler projects? I know most of us work on more than one quilt at a time, but I mean projects that just fill in the space (or time) in between “real” projects.

For instance, I have a bag of “hexies” in my car in case I get stuck somewhere (no, not at a traffic light – although I have thought of it from time to time) with no escape.

My mother was a wonderful seamstress and made most of our clothes. Because she had a large industrial machine for making canvas bags for a local company, I didn’t learn to use a domestic machine until I joined 4-H. Although it was my neighbor (Arzetta Poole) who taught me how to hand piece and applique, it was my 4-H leader (Lois Dodge) who taught me how to use a machine.

Mrs. Dodge was a true Yankee and a very “tidy” person. I learned right from the start to always run a scrap piece through my machine to save thread and to keep the floor clean! It didn’t take me long to figure out that what I was wasting was time and fabric scraps. So, I started cutting out quilt pieces to leave by my machine and I would run one or two of them through instead of just a scrap piece. Now I call them my “feeder” blocks. Bonnie Hunter calls these “leaders and enders” and  has written some wonderful pattern books on the subject.

During the 9 months I was piecing my Dear Jane blocks I made 120 - 3” nine patch blocks as a feeder project. These are now being bound for another potholder quilt and I have a bag of these that I use as filler work. 
Since I am using the same background for all the little circle blocks, I load up the hoop with 4 at a time and just cut them apart and bind them after they are quilted.
These are easier than my Dear Jane blocks as the backings are all the same too. 
I have a nice tidy box full of things to do when I am too tired to think of anything else!

Currently at my machine, I have 1 ½” squares from my friend Cyndi (Busy Thimble) that I will use as 4 patches in an upcoming quilt.


I really get in a panic if I don’t have one or two feeder projects cut and ready to go. 

Do you?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Moda Blockheads Update

I always seem to be one week behind on my Moda Blockheads blocks. Here is row number 6, quilted, bound and stitched together. 


I really like the appliqued blocks best. My piecing leaves a lot to be desired. That’s why they make chocolate and vanilla (thank goodness!).

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Noah and Matilda Progress Report

Here are my latest three Noah and Matilda blocks. 

I am having a ball with these. I absolutely love these neons. 

I have admired them for years, but I seem to be somewhat obsessed with finding new prints. 


Thanks to so many of my Blogging friends I have acquired many new ones this year. They really “pop” with the shirtings as backgrounds.


To keep myself organized, I have all my patterns, background and backing layouts in a notebook. I am working row by row so I won’t cheat and make my “favorites” first and leave the difficult ones for last.


I also keep track of my start and finish date on each block. I like to record what I am working on each day. I hope some future historian will thank me (if my kids don't through them all away!). 


Do check out the wonderful Facebook page that Dawn (Collector with a Needle) has set up. There are lots of wonderful version. I love sew-a-longs for learning new methods and seeing alternative colorways and settings. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Thanks Dad!

John Robert Caton c1950

And a heartfelt thank you to veterans everywhere for your service to our country.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

This year I missed two special exhibits at the Houston Quilt Festival that were very dear to my heart. One was a tribute to the late Sue Garman. I can only imagine what it would be like to see one of her magnificent creations in person. She was an amazingly talented designer and quiltmaker. You are missed Sue! 


The other was the 70,273 Project (Please read about incredible project it here). Spearheaded by the remarkable, Jeanne Hewell-Chambers it must have been a sight to behold. I have been surfing the net trying to find images of this incredible event. Lo and behold I found this photo of Jeanne herself and she is standing right in front of my quilt (the one on the top) honoring 115 people. 


I must admit when I first heard of this project, I thought it was an impossible task to find enough people to make blocks and quilts to honor each of the 70,273 victims. I admire her dedication and determination. I’m not sure what the count is at this moment, but I now know she will reach her goal! Thanks to all of you who have participated in this amazing journey.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Calm "After" the Storm

As if the whirlwind week I had just after the AQSG seminar wasn’t enough, we proceeded to have a storm which knocked us into the dark for days. My husband became the Great White Knight as he wheeled a large generator around the neighborhood to “charge” refrigerators and coffee makers and other essential appliances. Being without power was no problem, but being “unplugged” for so long, made me realize just how much time I do spend on the internet!

I wasted no time rigging up my “neck light” so as not to miss a single stitch. I managed to get some applique time in on my Noah and Matilda blocks. 

And, during daylight hours I laid them all out and made the final decisions for the background fabrics. 


I also made a little progress on my “ongoing” hexies. It was nice to have a mindless project that didn’t require a lot of concentration! 


I feel very fortunate as some Mainer’s are still without power. I wish you all happy stitching day!


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

AQSG Seminar

All I can say is that I had such a fantastic time at the AQSG seminar last weekend that I didn’t take ONE photo! My head was spinning so fast catching up with old friends, meeting new ones and viewing fabulous antique quilts and textiles that I didn’t even think about pictures. Luckily some people did! Cyndi (Busy Thimble) took this one of Barb (Fun with Barb) and I in front of Barb’s fantastic charm quilt. 

I was so excited to meet up with some of my Blogging friends in person. Cynthia (Wabi Sabi Quilts), Dawn (Collector with a Needle), and Sandra Starley (Textile Time Travels).

We saw some fantastic fabrics in the swatchbooks from the Manchester Historical Association. I highly recommend a visit to the Millyard Museum and their research center. I learned so much about the mill and the local history. 

If you join the AmericanQuilt Study Group, you can see lots of great images on the AQSG Facebook page. 


If you are remotely interested in quilt history and antique textiles, you will want to become a part of this fabulous organization. The seminar will be in Bethesda, MD next year. With so much rich history and so many wonderful museums in the area, you will not be disappointed. Just remember to take photos!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wait a Minute Mr. Postman!

I had not one, but two delightful surprises in the mail today. My mug rug from Randy’s (Barrister’sBlock) swap arrived today and I must say Mona (no blog) outdid herself. Sorry Mona, but if you think I am placing my icky coffee cup on this gem, your mistaken. This is going in a place of honor on my sewing room wall. I adore it.
And look what else was in the package. An adorable log cabin key chain and handmade fabric clip. Mona calls herself a “lurker” to my blog so she knew how much I love yellow. Look at these fantastic fabrics. Delicious! 
My second package of the day was from Rose (Something Rose Made) who had e-mailed me a photo of this fabric and asked if I had it in my collection. Not only did I not have it, I had never even seen it. So… you can imagine how happy I was that she sent it to me. I have been searching for a fabric for the circles in my alternate blocks in my Noah and Matilda quilt. This one could not be more perfect. Since I am calling this Noah and Matilda’s Ruby Anniversary Cake, the overlapping circles will represent their wedding rings. Just perfect!
And as if this weren’t enough, Rose sent me these two stilettos that she made. Fantastic! 

Thanks Mona and Rose for making my day! 

I'm off to the AQSG seminar on Thursday and I hope to see many of you there. Cyndi (Busy Thimble) and I would like to meet up with our fellow bloggers for lunch on Friday. Let us know if you can make it!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Quiltfolk does it again!

I received my Quiltfolk issue #4 and read it cover to cover in two short nights. I just couldn’t put it down. This issue covers East Tennessee and features 3 of my favorite quilt people; the historian extraordinaire, Merikay Waldvogel;
quilt historian, quiltmaker and all around wonderful lady, Bets Ramsey;
and my quilt idol Linda Roy.


I was lucky to have met Merikay and Bets in the mid 80’s in my early days of AQSG. They were both so helpful to me as a newbie in the organization.

I have not yet met Linda Roy, but I hope to remedy this someday soon. I have adored her quilts for many years. 


The entire magazine is well written and filled with glorious images of quilts and people.

I have heard many comments about how “pricey” it is to subscribe. I would describe them as high quality paperback books which puts the cost in perspective. Any way you look at it, I’m pretty sure you will not be disappointed.


Check it out! Quiltfolk 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Oops, I did it again!

Guess I need to stop the 4:00 a.m. stitching! Two errors in one week, sheesh! I have precut all my backgrounds and bindings for my Noah and Matilda sew-a-long blocks. I grabbed what I thought was the right binding for this one, but… oh no! 


In my defense, they are quite similar, but not close enough to let it ride. 

My blocks are adding up. 

Only 32 to go! And then we have all the alternating blocks and the border blocks and...

I have cheated madly on some of them. I like to let the fabric do the work. I "modified" the pattern to incorporate this great neon print. (o.k., in this case it was really because I didn't want to applique all those layers!). 


I love how this Jo Morton fabric really looks like a cactus.   

People often ask if I cut out the backs of my applique. I do if the piece is large enough and if I want to quilt around it. Do you? 

I modified this one slightly as I wanted a splash of green and figured I could just add it to the center. I love this purple and black neon print! It is much brighter than it appears in the photo. 


I hope you all have a day of mistake free stitching!