Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fuchsia Fantasy

I'm happy to say that I finished the piece that I started in the Katie PM "Artful Log Cabin" workshop that I attended in early June. You can read about it in an earlier post,  here . The workshop was wonderful, and I totally enjoyed the process. Katie's new book, Artful Log Cabins, leads the reader through the entire process and includes many colorful samples. Her book may be purchased at your local bookstore, quilt shop, or on her website.

I love photographing flowers and in particular, fuchsias. This was the photo that I used as the basis was "Fuchsia Fantasy."

I'm thrilled with the piece and already have another photo in mind for a second 'artful log cabin.'

Yesterday, I went with two friends to the opening of the "Threads of Resistance" quilt exhibit at the Lowell Quilt Museum. I'll talk a bit about it in my next post after I have had time to process my thoughts about it.

One more item before I forget it, if you are sixty-two or over, this is the time to get your America the Beautiful - National Parks and Recreational Lands Senior Pass. This pass is a lifetime pass. You may purchase it at any National Park in person for $10.00 or by mail for $20.00. Why the rush? Well, the price is going to increase to $80.00 on August 28, 2017. That's quite a hike! (Pun semi-intended.) Locally, you can obtain a pass in person at the Adam National Park in Quincy.
It's a beautiful day here in New England; hope it's equally beautiful where you are.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Blooming This Week in My Garden

It's a very hot, very humid day today, far too miserable to do any gardening. I usually post photos from my gardens on Sunday, but I didn't have time as I went to my cousin's eighth birthday party. It was a lovely, fun, relaxing, family afternoon. My seven little cousins enjoy getting together and the adults do, as well!

This blue hydrangea didn't look good in the early spring, but though it is smaller in height than usual, it is bursting with blooms.

I rescued this yellow hibiscus from a sales rack; it was shriveled up and desperate for water. Another hibiscus plant now looks equally green and healthy, but as of yet has failed to bloom. I buy my plants from regular garden centers, but I can't help sometimes checking out the bargains on the sale racks at Lowe's.

This little teapot was a quick craft project last week for my deck. If you have been following my  blog, you may remember that I made two similar teapot features last summer. You may view them here and here. Those were a bit more involved than this simple little one which involved a string of clear beads, a dollar store teapot,  E6000 glue, clear fishing line, and a small shepherd's hook. 

My stand of bee balm did not fare well this winter, but a few stems have produced flowers. So far, no hummingbirds have been visiting them, but I really get a kick out of this flower.  Doesn't it look like a hairdo for a punk rock star???

Quilting and stitching-wise I have been fairly lazy. I have 'ditched' quilted a few rows of the artful log cabin quilt begun in the Katie PM. It will be either be a tad late for the Fourth of July or very, very early for next year .  :-)

How about you? Are the lazy days of summer making you lazy, too???

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday Sampler - July 2, 2017

This was a quilting weekend in Stoughton, and I finished piecing the artful log cabin piece that I began in the Katie PM workshop. Now it needs batting and quilting which I hope to get to this week.

Have you caught the highly addictive collage quilt fever yet? Many of my friends have, and they are loving the process. Here's Edith's finished "Lulu the Elephant" which is a pattern by Laura  Heine. Lulu is big, colorful, and even more gorgeous in person.  :-)

Laurel  is working on this lovely butterfly, and today she added flowers to the bottom corners. Another friend is working on a small rooster which looks ready to strut his stuff. They all took a class at Cannizzaro Creations in Rockland, MA to learn this process.

The subject possibilities for this fun technique would appear to be endless. Having said that, I have far too many projects lined up to allow myself to fall down this rabbit hole. I'll just admire the work of my friends. :-)

Have a wonderful Fourth of July!!!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Stowe, VT - Weekend Wrap Up

Where has this week gone? It seemed to fly by. Here are some final scenes from Stowe, VT.  We had dinner at the Depot Street Malt Shop (bottom right corner) on Saturday after returning from the quilt festival; it's a fun place in town for a quick meal.

These horses were grazing in a field near the rec path.

On our way home on Sunday, we stopped at the Waterwheel Quilt Shop in Londonderry, VT.

These lovely lupines were growing beyond the parking lot.

On Wednesday, I met friends for lunch at a new restaurant in Hull, Local 02045, on the bay side. Here's the view from the deck. Sunsets are supposed to be absolutely spectacular here.

Finally, on Thursday, I was sitting at my dining room table sewing when I noticed this little guy peeking in the window. He hung out for quite awhile and didn't move when I went outside to snap this photo.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Vermont Quilt Festival 2017 - Weekend Getaway - Part 2

No, this wasn't one of the quilts which was on display at the Vermont Quilt Festival, but rather a shot of one of the plastic windows in the tent where we cooled off with a dish of Ben and Jerry's after seeing the show. Maybe it is just me, but I thought this would make a pretty cool quilt. :-)

I'd like to show you many of the quilts that really were on display, but I didn't shot all of the information cards with the quilts so am reluctant to post those photos.  There were, however, a number of crazy quilts which caught my eye and those info cards I did shoot. The first is "Summertime" by Sheila Groman of Scottsdale, AZ.

Another crazy quilt was "Gardens" by Jane Masenas of Essex Junction, VT.

I was able to look in the show booklet to identify the makers of these quilts: Here's "Let's Play!" by Arlene Farrell of Colchester, VT.

"Parking in London" by Wendy Sanden of Baldwinville, MA, caught my eye.

First place in the Small and Miniature category went to "Vermont's Hope" by Janet Brunet of Colchester, VT. It was amazing!!!

All of the quilts, large and small, were wonderful!!!

On a lighter note, I thought you might smile at this sign in the ladies room. In case you can't read it, it says, "NO DOGS ALLOWED."

So, if you have read this far and you are a quilter, you might be wondering what I bought over the course of the weekend. I really didn't buy all that much. . . ten fat quarters, two pieces of wool, a pattern, quilt themed notecards, a new type of longer-use rotary cutter blade, and a marking pen.

Two mini wool stitch kits . . . 

A Mini Mosaic Quilt kit by Cheryl Lynch plus the ruler used to cut the tiny pieces. How tiny you ask? Each little batik square is 3/8th of an inch. I know what you are thinking, 3/8" squares, but really, it looked like fun when she demonstrated the process. I follow Cheryl Lynch's blog and had read about her new Mini Mosaics in Quilting Arts magazine and on her blog. Incidentally, she has been interviewing some well known quilters on her blog, and it's always interesting to read about their backgrounds, their work, and also various aspects of how they have developed their businesses. She is quite bubbly, friendly, and enthusiastic, and it was a pleasure to meet her.

Finally, I just had to purchase the pattern for "Thelma T. Threadcatcher" by Pieceful Designs since with that red hair and big smile, I tell you, it was like looking into a mirror. :-) 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Vermont Quilt Festival 2017 - Weekend Getaway- Part 1

On Friday, my friends Edith, Laurel, and I headed to Vermont for a getaway weekend. Our first stop was for lunch at Dana's Restaurant by the Gorge in Quechee, VT.  (Note: this breakfast and lunch spot is about ten minutes from the White River Junction intersection of 89 and 93. I've been stopping at Dana's for years, and the food is always yummy. )

The Quechee Gorge is more impressive in person than it may appear in this photo.

Here we are . . . three gorgeous gals at the gorge taken shortly after we had gorged at Dana's. (Okay, that's enough of that . . . )

 We did stop along the way at one quilt shop, Haphazard Quilting, in Canaan, NH. It's a small shop that has only been open for a year, but there is a nice selection of fabric and notions.

Finally, we arrived in Stowe, VT where we would stay two nights. The inn we stayed at was right near the recreational path.

Stowe had been having periodic thunderstorms, so the water was roiling with steam/fog rising off it. Perhaps this image gives a clearer idea of the raging water.

That night we ate at a small, nearby Italian restaurant,  Trattoria La Festa. We were warmly welcomed by the host, and we enjoyed a delicious meal. If you visit Stowe, you would enjoy this restaurant.

Meanwhile, while I was off gallivanting in Vermont, Miss Emma was settling right in at her home away from home. My friend Annmarie sent this photo to me. How very lucky I am to have friends with whom she can stay. :-) Ahhh, both Emma and I agree, "Life is good."

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Tote Bag, Emma, and a Book Recommendation, Too!

I completed this tote on Tuesday. It's a pattern called "The Sebago Tote," from Aunties Two. Many local quilt shops carry their line of patterns, but if interested and unable to find them, then click on Aunties Two, and you will be taken to their website.

Here's Miss Emma looking relaxed and lovely after returning from the groomer. This time she had blue stick-on gems on her ear tips and a pretty red, white, and blue scarf.  :-)

During the summer, I pass many hours in the evening reading on my sunporch. Most books that I have been reading lately have been pleasant enough, but not very memorable. I do have a book which I would like to recommend, Christina Baker Kline's A Piece of the World.  This fictional work explores the life of Christina Olson, the woman depicted in Andrew Wyeth's painting Christina's World. In this novel, Kline, the author of Orphan  Train, creates a backdrop for the painting, and a powerful portrayal of the hardships endured by Christina and her family and their harsh, limited existence on the family homestead. It's a depiction of a time and place on the Maine coast which will stay with you.

When I was a teacher, I used to purchase large posters of pieces of art and display them on my bulletin boards. My eighth graders would then be asked to write either a poem or a story about the people in the painting which they selected. Wyeth's Christina's World was often chosen and the stories/poems created were always interesting.

Kline's haunting portrayal of Christina Olson's world will definitely stay with the reader though I'm not sure Wyeth would have approved as it somewhat removes the mystery from his piece; still the work is fiction and as such may be read as a story separate from the iconic painting. I urge you to read it as I know you will find it memorable, too.