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.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sail Boston 2017 - Part 2

Everywhere you looked visitors had cameras and phones raised to capture the glory of these tall ships. This was the longest ship in port, and it hailed from Peru.

As you stepped aboard, you were greeted by lively Peruvian music and young smiling sailors eager to show off their vessel.

A few quick whistles sounded and a small group of cadets began climbing way, way, way up in the rigging. I was relieved to see that they all wore safety harnesses, but it was still very, very high.

Here is another favorite image which I framed through the rigging.

Here's the same scene without the rigging.

It was truly a glorious day!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sail Boston 2017 - Part 1

Ahoy, mates!!! Yesterday, my friend Marilyn and I spent a wonderful afternoon on the Spirit of Boston cruising Boston Harbor to see the tall ships in port taking part in the " Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta," a trans-Atlantic race spanning the United Kingdom, Bermuda, and other locations. Boston is the only U.S. port in the race." (*Information from the June19, 2017 issue of The Patriot Ledger.) This leg of the race is called Sail Boston 2017.

After a buffet lunch, I went up on deck to capture these images.

Here's a schooner with Fort Independence and Castle Island in the background.

 If you are not from this area, let me just say that by land or by sea, Boston is a beautiful city, a mixture of the old and the new, with a respect and an appreciation of its location on the water.

The Eagle with a naval vessel pulled up nearby over in Charlestown. Regretfully, the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned frigate in the navy is currently in dry dock for repairs, but its sturdy, proud oak masts were visible in some photos.

My  favorite photo of the day was this one of the U.S. Coast Guard's training ship, the Eagle, with our flag fluttering in the breeze.

The Eagle, a 295-foot-long tall ship was taken by the U.S. from Germany as reparation following World War II.

At the end of our cruise, we had one hour before heading for home, time enough to go on board just one tall ship. I'll share those photos in my next post.

Note: Security was tight. To board the tall ships, you have to pass through a metal detector and have your bag checked, but the lines yesterday were short. Members of the Coast Guard with their dogs along with State Police officers were out in force to assure security. The ships do not leave until Thursday for the next leg of their race, so there is still time to visit the ships. I have gone to see the tall ships each time they have come to Boston, and it is always incredibly special.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Sampler

 I'm continuing to work on the piece begun in the Katie Pasquini Masopust workshop, "Artful Log Cabins." Seventeen blocks are done with just seven more to make. Now that I'm working on the larger blocks, it should move right along.

This blanket flower was photo bombed by a bee just as I was taking the picture this morning. :-) It's nice to finally see some spots of color in my yard.

 I used the ap, PicFrame to create these simple collages.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Katie Pasquini Masopust - Artful Log Cabin Workshop

This week, I attended a wonderful two-day Artful Log Cabin quilt workshop taught by Katie Pasquini Masopust.  Here's Katie with a piece that she has recently started. Katie is a lovely lady and an excellent, encouraging instructor. There was no stress allowed and I am quite sure that everyone had an awesome time. Here are some scenes from the workshop . . .

As you can see by these happy faces, the process was indeed lots of fun. It's not a quick process by any means, but I can see where it could become quite addictive. Here are my eight completed blocks; I only need to make sixteen more!

I used one inch strips for these blocks and will complete one more row with the same size strips. Then I will gradually increase to one and a half inch strips and significantly larger blocks. I've already thought of another one of my photos that I would like to make into my next artful log cabin quilt. :-)

You may learn more about Katie's books and online classes on her website.  She also mentioned that she has a number of classes on iQuilt, including Artful Log Cabins. You may check them out here.

Katie is giving a lecture Friday night at Bentley College in Waltham. For information about this lecture and about Quilters Connection's 40th Annual Quilt Show, please see my previous post.

One last photo . . . Artful Log Cabin quilts involve using many, many strips. Katie pins them at the top in groups and then slips the pins over a large binder ring. I had all my strips neatly piled in a project box, but it didn't take very long before I had a pile of twisted, colorful spaghetti. I'm going to put a couple of large binder rings on my shopping list. :-)

One final comment . . .  making Artful Log Cabins is great fun, and her book on this process is very complete and easy to follow.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

A Busy Week Ahead

This week I will be taking a two-day class with instructor Katie Pasquini Masopust. The workshop will be based on her latest book, Artful Log Cabins. To prepare for the class, I selected a favorite shot of a fuchsia blossom and pulled a stack of fabrics. This is only a small part of the pile I have assembled. Tomorrow I will begin cutting the necessary strips. I am really excited to be attending this workshop.

The Quilters Connection Guild in Waltham is having its 40th anniversary quilt show this coming  weekend. On Friday evening, June9,  at 7:00, there will be a lecture and book signing featuring Katie Pasquini Masopust, who is a rock star in the world of quilting. The lecture will be in the Koumantzelis Auditorium (room 38) on the third floor of Linsay Hall, Bentley University. The lecture fee is $10.00 and tickets will be available at the door.

The quilt show will be on Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and 11. For a schedule of events and further information about the show, please click here.  I will have two quilts in the show, "Waiting for Lovers" and "Manarola." You can see a photo of those quilts by clicking on their titles.

One interesting thing about this show is that there are no ribbons or judging; it is simply a celebration of all types of quilting. I like that idea!

Because I have such a busy week ahead, this morning after Mass I made a stop at the garden center and the supermarket. My plan was to get as much done this afternoon in the garden as I could since we will be having more rainy days this week. I didn't get the cherry tomatoes planted, but I did plant some geraniums, impatiens, snapdragons, and made five hanging baskets. I primarily have perennials  but always buy annuals for my hanging baskets and for spots of color around the gardens. Emma kept me company when she wasn't barking at the squirrels, but she really wasn't much help. You'd think she could at least do some of the digging. . .  I used to be able to work for four or five hours at a time; today I barely lasted two and a half. What's up with that??? :-()

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Bags, Thrifting, and Peach Irises

I recently purchased a new iPad with more memory and decided that I would follow one of the many tutorials online to make a quilted cover for it.  Shabby Fabrics  offers many Youtube video tutorials for all kinds of projects and gifts, including one for an iPad or tablet cover.  I gathered my fabrics and began working on the cover. Oops, the thickness of the fabric (upholstery) threw off the measurements, and I soon realized that my iPad wouldn't fit. As quilters, we prefer to consider our 'mistakes' as design opportunities. :-) I had been meaning to make a neck wallet to take with me when walking Emma. I wanted to be able to carry my iPhone, my asthma inhaler, and my keys. I added a smaller pocket along with the suggested deeper front pocket. Next, I added a strap and found a cool button in my collection to dress it up a bit more. You can see in the photo below that I use ponytail holders as closing loops. This brings me to the bag below. It too turned out just a smidge too snug for my iPad, but it would be fine for a mini iPad. This was a thin piece of upholstery fabric which I really loved. My suggestion . . . add an additional inch to the given directions on the tutorial.

On Saturday, I enjoyed "Cousins' Day" with my seven little cousins and their parents. Our original plan had been to go to Davis Farmland, but the kids so enjoy playing and hanging out together, we decided to do just that instead. My little cousins range in age from five to eleven and all get along so well.

On Tuesday, I donated two bags of clothing at the Cardinal Cushing Training Center in Hanover. As I strolled through the thrift shop, this little lamp and Halloween teddy bear planter caught my eye. Grand total of my purchases . . . $2.63.

I always bring my donations here, but honestly, I had never noticed the shop next door. I thought it was merely an extension of the thrift shop, but no, above it was a sign reading the "Cushing Trader," a shop offering art and gifts created by the students. Look at these lovely bracelets that came home with me for just $8.00 each.

The tag tells which student made the piece and carries this message on the back.  They had bracelets in every color along with other interesting gift items. If you are in the area, be sure to stop in and take a look.

I love these delicate peach irises. There weren't as many blooms this year, so in the fall I will divide them. I was able to do a bit of gardening earlier this week. I had been concerned that due to an ongoing issue with my feet, I won't be able to do any digging. A young man in my neighborhood is between jobs, so he was happy to have a few hours work. I'll definitely be calling on him again to
help me get my gardens in shape.