Friday, July 13, 2018

June minis better late than never!

I can’t believe how June flew by! I pieced this little top at our retreat using some of my favorite Dutch fabrics. 

We've all been busy this summer and I have no single excuse for being so late in posting. I apologize to Janet, Kyle and Barbara for taking so long to post their June minis.

Janet's (Rogue Quilter) little gem has a distinct patriotic flavor. Love it! I love how Barbara (Quilts, Gravestones, and Elusive Ancestors)  incorporated selvedges in her June mini. Kyle (Timeless Reflections) used some very sweet vintage flower garden blocks to create her mini. Adorable!

I neglected to post a photo of this little gem that Christina (Tina) made for me. She often comes up with little surprises!
A while ago, she had asked "the sistahs" for our favorite colors. When we arrived at retreat, she gave each of us one of these special hand embroidered pieces in our selected colors. A few of us had experienced some tough times in the past weeks so the saying was particularly appropriate!

We spent 10 fabulous days in this magical place where my husband's grandfather was born. It was hard to say goodbye to our son and his family and it has difficult getting back to reality! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Sweet Retreat

Another wonderful Seven Sisters retreat has come and gone. We all wonder how our 3 day stay together can end so quickly. We also wonder why no matter how hard we try to pare down the food and projects we bring, we always end up with too much of both!

I was working on some secret sewing, so I don’t have many photos to share. I did manage to piece my June mini top and will try to get it quilted this week. 
And, a little late night mishap stitching!

Fotini enjoyed her stay despite her inability to work on anything due to a minor mishap – a broken wrist! The rest of us played Little Red Hen and all took a part in stitching her top together. Kathy will do her quilting magic and it will be ready in time for the wedding at the end of July. 

Charlotte stitches us all under the table. She is like the Energizer Bunny! 

Christina can turn the tiniest “discards” into something amazing. I am itching to start one like this! 

Karen M. was working on her fabulous kit from Missouri Star Company. I forgot to get a photo of the center, it is stunning! 

Kathy (on the left) is a creative flea and always works on a dozen or more projects at once. And Karen B. (on the left - aka Susie Karen) was working on some adorable orphan triangle blocks. 
We try to have a challenge of some sort and last year Fotini had given us a bag with instructions to fill it with "unwanted" fabrics over the course of the year. We dumped them all on the table and we all politely grabbed our favorites! And since there is never enough fabric we all made a short trip down the road to visit Cyndi at The Busy Thimble. If you ever get to Maine you MUST visit. It is the best quilt shop ever!!

And, of course we all managed to have fun doing what we do best!

As we said our goodbyes, we decided that our next year's spring retreat would be at the Vermont Quilt Festival. I hope we see some of you there! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Sapphire Stars - Home at Last!

I had such fun following along on Kevin’s (Kevin the Quilter) “Sapphire Stars” mystery quilt! Since I am in charge of veteran’s quilts in my local quilt group, I make quite a few. But, this one was special to extra me and I wanted it to go to someone I love. I missed his birthday and Memorial Day, but I finally got it to him this week. It was beautifully quilted by my friend Kathy Boudreau (no blog). She did a fantastic job!

My little brother Sam. Isn’t he cute? Thank you for your service sweetie!

And, thanks Kevin for hosting this fun mystery quilt. Hope you do another one soon!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Feeling fortunate

Imagine my surprise when I opened this package from Australia and out came this little gem! Tara (Tazzie Quilts) made this as a thank you for sending her some 1880's conversational prints she had been searching for. I will be sending her every new conversational piece I find for the rest of my life!! I adore this quilt. I thought I had every reproduction print ever made, but apparently not as there are some in this quilt that I have never even seen. It is so "me"! Thanks a million Tazzie!! (I stole plucked the photo from her blog as the one I took this morning did not do it justice! 

If you follow my blog regularly, you know of my constant quest for the elusive “neon” (20th century term) fabrics of the 1890’s. They were in fashion for such a short period of time and although there were a great many of them produced, they are very hard to come by. There have been a few reproductions over the years – but NEVER enough! I have amassed quite a collection, so it is always fun to find one that I don’t own. I opened my mail last night to see this lovely pile pour out of the package. Wow! Kevin (Kevin the Quilter) knows how much I love them and actually found one that I do not have. This was from a line done by Pilgrim and Roy and this particular print was my favorite in the line. I have it in green and black, but not the brown (until now). Thanks a million Kevin!!!!

I feel so very fortunate to have met so many wonderful people through quilts and quilting. I was sitting at my machine this morning and I noticed that I could see 10 special gifts from friends in this small area! 
The long pin cushion just under the machine is from Barb (Fun with Barb)
The cute little stiletto is from Rose (Something Rose Made)
The gingerbread soap is from Janet (Rogue Quilter) I keep it there for the aroma!
The little lady bug needle threader is from Karen (no blog)
The little mouse pin cushion is from Charlotte (no blog)
The wool pin cushion on my Ott light is from Susie (no blog, not even a quilter)
The mug rug under my cup is from Randy (Barrister’s Block)
The mug is from my guild (PTQG) for services rendered
The mat under my machine is from Kathy (no blog)
And, the little 1 ½” squares (my current feeder project) are from Cyndi (Busy Thimble) who gave me 742 at my last visit!

And this is but the tip of the iceberg. My entire sewing room house is full of special gifts. For these friends and those not mentioned above (you know who you are) I am extremely grateful!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

May Mini quilt recap

I have been so far behind in my blog posting and reading that I missed posting all the great May minis! Here are the links to all the fantastic gems from:

Randy - Barrister's Block (Love those bow ties!!)
Janet - Rogue Quilter (Looks like it is from Maine with those great trees!)
Barbara - Quilts, Gravestones and Elusive Ancestors (Perfect for Memorial Day!)
Kyle - Timeless Reflections (May baskets are among my favorites!!)
and mine - Constant Quilter (a coastal reflection!) 

I think I promised this last month, but I will promise once again to be better at posting these little minis in a timely fashion by the end of June - Wink!

Here's a quilty picture to go with the post since I have nothing else to offer! 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Sound familiar?

It had been weeks since I stepped foot in my sewing room. I’m able to manage a few moments of hand stitching each morning, but I have been itching to sit down at my machine. So early Saturday morning I turned it on...

As I feed the pieces through the machine, I wonder why I’m not accomplishing as much as I’d like to these days. I notice my coffee mug is empty so I run downstairs to get a fresh cup. Wait, is that the dryer buzzer? O.k. just a quick fold before I head back up. Hmm, better throw in another load as I may be upstairs for a while. Oops, dropped a towel off the top of the pile. Argh, how is it I missed the dust under this table? Better do the whole floor over. Vacuum cleaner bag is full again. How can we be out of them? A quick run to the hardware store. Oh, what pretty flowers they have today. I really must look through every box to pick just the right one! I’d better put these in the ground right away, it won’t take long. Wow, that Lily of the Valley has really spread, I think I’ll just move a few out front. The phone rings as I enter the house. “Lunch? Oh, I’d love to but I am planning on spending the day in my sewing room. She did what? You don’t say………… o.k., catch you later!” Too late to make a salad, just grab some crackers and get back upstairs! Good grief, how could all those crumbs come from one box? Fine, I’ll vacuum now, it won’t take that long. You’re kidding me, I’m sure I bought this brand last time – they don’t fit? Fine, back to the hardware store to exchange the bags. Done! Now back to my sewing! Although, now that I have a new bag in I might as well finish the rest of the downstairs. Who is that at the door? Can’t quite make it out through this window. Oh good, just the mailman. Better clean that window. O.k., that’s it, back to the sewing room. Who turned on my machine? I hear a voice from downstairs, “want me to start dinner?” So…. Does this sound familiar? 

And, on another “does this happen to you?” note – Do you ever find yourself stitching with the same colors as your outfit of the day? I’m usually lucky if my socks match let alone matching my sewing project! 
Happy Quilting Today!!

Monday, May 21, 2018


Our local group holds a quilt-a-thon 4 times a year. We meet at the West Bath Fire Station and have the hall for the entire day. Everyone brings a dish to share and works on whatever they fancy. Although I get much more done when sewing alone at home, stitching and laughing (not to mention eating) with friends is so much more fun. It always reminds me of the song in the Music Man (with the words changed to suit the task!), “Stitch a little, talk a little, stitch a little, talk a little, eat, eat, eat, stitch a lot talk a little more”! Saturday’s group was very productive.

Megan was working on her Flying Geese blocks. Megan always amazes me! She is the Farm Manager and Educator at the Chewonki Foundation. So, after a long day of tending livestock, gardens and children she plays with fabrics! She hand dyed all of these vintage feedsacks with natural dyes from the farm. I am sorry to say that my photos do not do them justice.
The colors are absolutely gorgeous and so soft to the touch. Dying is such a trial and error process, especially with natural dyes and mordants. I didn't see any "errors" in this batch! 

This corner (Jackie, Jerry, Sandy and others) was busy making "kennel pads" for local animal shelters. I forgot to ask how many they have made already, but I know it is "a lot"! 

More worker bees!

I finished a veteran’s top and gave it to Kathy the quilting angel. Of course I forgot to get a photo but I will post it when it comes back and I have put the binding on.

I hope you all get a chance to stitch with a friend this week!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The cat is out of the bag!

I have been keeping a wonderful secret for months! On January 14 we were blessed with the birth of this little guy – “Sonny”. My daughter did not want photos on any social media so I kept my delight to myself. Now that he is 4 months old they don’t mind if I tell all my blogging friends of our great joy. And, I wanted you all to know why my quilt production has slowed down a bit since January! 

 I can now show the quilt I made for him back in November. As you can see by the nursery, my daughter is a big fan of Roy G Biv (rainbow colors). Let’s hope he finds a pot of gold at the end someday! 

I can’t wait for grandson #1
to meet grandson #2 when they come for a visit in a few weeks. I am the luckiest Nana ever!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Special Gift

 A few weeks ago, I received a wonderful squishy package in the mail! Doreen (Aunt Reen’s Place) sent me these gorgeous Dutch fabrics. Petra Prins and Judith Ebbelaar from the Netherlands were in the states this spring. Doreen and her group were fortunate enough to have them give a workshop in Virginia (read about it here). And I am fortunate enough to have Doreen as a Blogging friend and share in the wealth! Aren’t these beautiful? 

I normally hoard cherish special fabrics for a long time before using them, but I knew I had to do something with at least one of these right away.

I had been pondering a mini quilt with this little chart panel for some time and Doreen provided the perfect blue for the border and binding. These little chart panels are printed in Maine and this one is of one of my favorite areas. 
I used one of my many toiles for the back.

Thanks Doreen for the perfect blue!

It is a bit early to reveal my May mini quilt, but I am working on two secret sewing projects right now and I wanted to get this posted before I ran out of month!

I will post a follow up at the end of the month for those of you who are following along. Have fun!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Here is my latest Noah and Matilda block – 6D

Janet (Rogue Quilter) said I should stop saying “cheat” when it comes to my quilt-a-long endeavors. She is of course correct as there is no real cheating if we are having fun. So… I “modified” this block a bit by eliminating one bunch of grapes and adding a leaf instead. 

 Although the grapes are pretty small (see the dime??) they were fun to make. And, of course they vary slightly in size and shape in order to appear more realistic. The substitution of the leaf was simply because I needed to balance the colors. I didn’t have enough neon in this block so it had to come in the form of two leaves.

Both the background and the backing fabrics are antiques and they needled beautifully! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Happy May Day!

It seems that so many traditions have fallen by the wayside. I used to love making these little paper May Baskets as a child. I’m doing my best to keep some of these happy memories alive. This one is for a 94 year old friend. Hope she doesn’t suspect it was me!

May you all enjoy a bit of spring today.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Busy as a Bee

As April is always my busiest month I don't feel bad about "cheating" by considering my (Humble Quilts) mini swap as my April mini quilt. I would like to thank Randy (Barrister's Block) and Janet (Rogue Quilter) for doing the same. It makes me feel a lot less guilty. Do follow the link to see their adorable quilts. Lori (Humble Quilts) will be linking all of them up shortly and it is always fun to see these little gems.

Barbara (Quilts, Gravestones and Elusive Ancestors) made a gorgeous little quilt this month. I love this style of quilt and I adore the center panel!

Pat (Thoughts from Taylors Outback) made a fantastic little doll quilt for April  and even made the doll! Amazing!

I promise hope to be back in the swing for the May minis! Thanks for your patience!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Sweet Swap Delight!

Lori at Humble Quilts hosted another enjoyable mini quilt swap. This is the fabulous quilt I received from Christy in Oregon. Look at all those geese! I think this is particularly appropriate for the spring (or rather lack thereof) we have had this year. The geese just keep going round and round since they don’t know whether to head south or go back home! I love this kind of border.
And look at this sweet label. Hand embroidered!
She also included these lovely dish cloths and a beautiful packet of French General fabrics. Thanks again Christy!! 

Here is the little quilt I sent to Shannon in Wisconsin. I loved these little square in a square blocks with those bright reproduction centers, but it didn’t occur to me that they would become really “square” when the little block was set on point. I still like it, but it was not the look I had intended. Life’s lessons! 

Thanks Lori for another really fun swap! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Back Online!

Between trouble with our internet and a quick trip to Florida I am woefully behind on my blog reading and posting. Yes, they do have the internet in Florida, but I didn’t want to take one minute away from my visit with our grandson. He has become a “merman” and is swimming nearly every day. We had such fun! What a treasure! 

I am diligently working on my little quilt for Lori’s (Humble Quilts) swap. I have even been thinking of “cheating” and counting it as my April mini quilt. We’ll see how the rest of the month goes!

My only accomplishments are my latest Noah and Matilda blocks. Block4D – love these grapes! 

And, block 5D. I hesitated using the black neon in the flower, but I like the result. 

Spring is our busiest time here in the boatyard so I don’t expect to get a lot of quilting time this month. Yes, even though we still have snow on the ground, customers do want their boats ready when the warm weather hits.

Happy Spring!