Thursday, March 15, 2018

Fine Line Piecing Piece Finished

 Well, I did it; I stayed focused yesterday and finished this piece before placing my head on my pillow last night. Put a gold star on my forehead! The finished piece measures 19.5 by 15.5 inches. I do wish it could have been a bit larger, but I used every last possible inch and scrap of the blue hand dyed fabric which I had purchased at a quilt show a number of years ago. I had been saving it for a something special and this fit the bill.

I began this piece at the Winter Workshop Day held by the Quilters Connection Guild. This class was taught by G. who generously showed her simple method for fine line piecing. It was fun and fairly addictive. I have in mind another project for this technique.

Here's a close up.

This will give you an idea of the scale of the lines.


Rather than add a binding I chose to use a facing technique that I found on YouTube.

This is by no means a quick process, but I know I will continue to explore fine line piecing possibilities.

BTW it is unbelievable how rapidly the snow is disappearing. You have to love March snowstorms.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

On the Count Of Three . . .

Well, the forecasters were right, and this equal opportunity storm brought high winds and deep snow to all parts of the state.  I believe that the correct meteorological assessment is, "We got clobbered." I would say around here, it was fifteen inches, but there were drifts which were higher.

The top photo is the standard record shot that I usually post. My land drops off behind the chain link fence, and it was in this area that the deer from the other day were resting. This morning for a change I thought that I would point my camera upward. It was absolutely beautiful, but then again, I have always loved the snow.

So, these are my last snow scenes of the season. Spring is six days away. No more pretty snow scenes. . .  What's that you say??? The meteorologists are gently hinting that there is the possibility of another storm coming Tuesday or Wednesday???? What???? Really???? Okay, all together on the count of three yell, "UNCLE! We want spring!"

By the way, I was gung ho to get a lot of quilting done yesterday during the storm. I pressed a top and backing for a children's quilt and carefully draped it over the sofa. Then watched a number of YouTube videos on how to face an art quilt. I attached two sides to the piece I am working on, and that was the full extent of what I got accomplished. I spent the rest of the day doing absolutely nothing! That's not entirely true as I did two loads of laundry, a bit of shoveling, and took a few, fine quality naps. :-) I am determined to do better today and to finish my fine line quilt piece before putting my head on the pillow tonight.

Monday, March 12, 2018

No One Warned the Crocuses

No one warned the crocuses to hold off popping up their pretty little heads as tomorrow they are going to be buried by perhaps 12+ inches of snow. Yikes!!!

This is the third storm which we have had this month. The first which brought widespread problems along the coastline was the same weekend as our Crosstown Quilters Guild getaway to Cape Cod. All thirty-eight of us made it safely to the Bayside Resort in Yarmouth in spite of the very wet, wild, windy weather. Indeed many ladies were happy to be away quilting as there was no heat or electrical power back in their homes. What a weather weekend!!! We just sat and sewed, and a wonderful time was had by all. Such a lovely, fun group of ladies .  .  . I drove my friend Laurel home to Marshfield, and you can't imagine the many, many massive trees we saw that had either lost tops and large limbs or which had been totally ripped out of the ground. God Bless all of the linesmen who had been brought in from all over the country and Canada to restore the power. I was very fortunate as my home never lost power nor was there any damage. Miss Emma stayed at her home away from home with friends.

Speaking of Crosstown Quilters, one of our members lives down the street from us, and Emma is always super excited when she spots her out front gardening. (It's not a fun walk for Emma if she doesn't get to greet at least two or three of her friends.) Look at the snazzy, cuddly sweater which Elizabeth knitted for Emma. She dropped it off the other day. Emma is one lucky dog. :-)

I worked on a couple of projects while on our Cape getaway. I made two fabric boxes with instructions that may be be found here

Aren't they cute!  I put a plastic lid in the bottom of the large one which now holds a plant, and I have yet to decide on a use for the small one. I feel like Goldilocks when I say, "I think the middle size might be just  right." They would be cute hostess gifts or you could fill them with candy and include a gift card. Lots of possibilities . . .

Among other things, I worked on the Lori Holt Let's Bake 2 quilt blocks.  Wait until you see the stove!!! Here are the layer cake, the rolling pin, and a carton of eggs. (Please excuse the threads as they are not trimmed to size yet.)

The meteorologists keep upping the snow totals, so it would appear I will have lots of time to quilt tomorrow. Stay safe everyone and get your shovels ready. Eight days until spring . . .

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Some Deer Friends Stopped By

Three deer friends stopped by the woods behind my house today. I first spotted them around 10:00 am, and they have hung around most of the day.

With trusty long lens in hand, I was able to capture these images from my back porch. Be sure to click on the photos to view a larger version if you wish.

I had been wondering this week during the stormy weather whether we might see deer in the woods this year as it only happens from time to time. 

This afternoon I attended a town hall event with Senator Elizabeth Warren at Weymouth High School. She spoke for awhile on various topics and then answered questions from audience members. (When you entered the auditorium, you were asked if you had a question for Senator Warren. If you responded in the affirmative, you were given a raffle ticket. The stubs were put in a basket, and if your number was called, you had the opportunity to ask your question. . . a good system.) 

Senator Warren stressed a number of points: the need to maintain and protect freedom of the press, the need to keep our judicial system as impartial and fair to all as we can, and the role of citizen participation in maintaining our democracy. All her answers to audience members' questions were forthright. I was very impressed by our senator and glad that I had decided to attend.

After the question section, she had a few brief closing remarks and then posed for photos with anyone who wanted one. There had to have been a couple of hundred people in line for photos, and I was one of them. I wanted to thank her for what she does and encourage her to continue to fight the good fight.

I had found a parking space in a lot out back. I thought you might like to see the flag which is painted on this huge boulder. I've included two photos so that you might gain a better perspective of just how large it is.

I've been a bit lax with my blogging, but I do have a few things to show you and will catch you up this week. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and keep repeating . . . "Spring is coming!!!" Spring is coming!!!" "Spring is coming!!!"

Friday, February 23, 2018

Emerge - A Photo Fabric Collage

Do you remember this adorable little guy? I wrote about our serendipitous meeting last August. You may read about it hereHe had just emerged from his shell, and for about forty minutes, with my trusty macro lens and 'real' camera in hand, flat on my stomach, I took these images. 

One of my goals this year is to explore ways to combine my photography and my art quilting. To that end, I have been working on this piece which I have named Emerge. I finished it this morning.

I started with four photos and fully intended to break the conventions calling for odd number items in a piece. Try as I might, it didn't work. Perhaps that is because we are so conditioned to seeing odd numbers in art pieces. 

One of the many things that I like about the Crosstown Quilters Guild is the "give away"  back table. Besides pieces of fabric and magazines, you might find lace, trims, patterns, half-started kits, beads, books, etc.. I often contribute things for the table, and I seldom fail to take something home, especially if it is a bit of lace or trim. This somewhat forlorn piece of trim was mixed into the pile, and someone handed to me saying, "Here. You take this. You'll find something to do with it." I was skeptical and thought I would put it back, but I'm glad I didn't. I carefully separated pieces of the backing and used it to mount each photo. Misty Fuse temporarily held things in place, but later  everything was stitched down. The neat part is that I could pull the delicate thread on the backing fabric to create a raveled edge.

I used some fabrics that I had painted, some commercial fabrics, and some upholstery remnants for added richness and texture.

Yes, I scattered a few leaves from the trim in the bottom section.

All in all, I'm happy with how it turned out and already know the subject of my next piece which will be smaller. For March, my inspiration will be a photo that I took of "Ladies View" on the Ring of Kerry. It is said that Queen Victoria and her Ladies stopped at that scenic spot for a picnic while touring the area. It truly is a beautiful spot, but then, nearly every vista in Ireland is beautiful.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

This and That

I was wandering through Michael's craft store a couple of weeks ago when I passed a sale bin of yarn. A multi-colored skein got my eye, but I kept on walking. A short while later, I passed the bin again, and this time, I picked up the skein. There are all sorts of free crochet patterns online, and I whipped this scarf up in short order.

I had learned how to crochet way back when I was a fourth grader. I attended parochial school and my third grade teacher was young and full of joy. We would have math blackboard races and other fun learning activities. At recess, Sister would turn one end of the jumprope, and we would squeal with delight when she would sometimes lift up the ends of her long black habit and take turns jumping along with us. When I entered fourth grade my teacher was old, really, really old, but equally nice. She taught two after school classes: crochet on Tuesday and harmonica on Thursday. :-) The classes cost a quarter and the money went into the mission box.

We learned to make granny squares for afghans to be donated to charity, pineapple shade pulls (remember them?), and most fun of all,  sparkly, angora trimmed skating outfits for our Ginny dolls!!! :-)  :-)  :-)

Speaking of crafty things, my young cousins recently came for a visit, and we worked on some Valentine's Day items. The easiest were bookmarks for their teachers and friends.

I found the idea on a website, but unfortunately I didn't bookmark it so I can't credit the source. The next craft I dreamed up. I pre-painted the wood heart form, and then they glued on the buttons.

The youngest girl loves "stuffies," so we made this little woolen penguin. We used the "Wool Chilly Penguin"  pattern by CottonWood Creations after enlarging it a bit.

Finally, last Tuesday at a meeting of the Crosstown Quilters guild we had a fun Valentine bag swap. Our block of the month coordinator had asked anyone who wished to participate to bring in a small brown paper bag filled with the following items: a recipe, a pattern for a favorite quilt block, a heart themed fat quarter, another pink or red fat quarter, a signed Valentine's Day card, some chocolate, a sewing notion, and something sparkly. In my bag, I had put  a very sparkly headband adorned with raised sparkly hearts. Some other sparkly things seen were: sparkly pens, pins, sparkly glue, sparkly fabric . . . lots of creative ideas. I was very, very, very lucky because when the swapping stopped I ended up with a bag with this adorable wallhanging. The snowflakes were the "sparkly. " What an awesome surprise!!!!!!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Snowy Sunday Morning

It began snowing Saturday night, and by 7:00am it was over. The sky was deep blue and the sun was shining brightly. By 11:00 as the temperature rose, the tree branches were once again bare. By 4:00, all of the snow had melted on my porch, walkway, and driveway. No shoveling needed . . .