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!