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Monday, March 28, 2011

The Old Singer

  
     My grandmother's old Singer sewing machine is on display in my home. Though I never use it for sewing, I like looking at it. It originally was a  treadle machine. I don't know for sure whether my grandmother sewed a great deal, but with five children, I'm guessing she probably did. She taught my mom how to use  the old Singer. It seemed as if every year my mom would make new curtains. (Come to think of it, whenever we became separated in a department store, my brother and I always knew exactly where to find my mom . . . the curtain department. She just loved looking at curtains and perhaps was seeking new ideas.)
     When I was little, my mom would use the Singer to make wonderful outfits for  my Ginny doll. It's one thing today to make clothes for American Girl dolls which are eighteen inches tall; it's another thing to have made pants, dresses, coats, blouses, etc. for a seven  inch doll. To do so  must have taken an enormous amount of talent and patience. My aunt often made dresses for me to wear, and my mom would then take the extra fabric and create a matching outfit for my doll. Sweet memories. . .

Saturday, March 26, 2011

New Orchid

     Last week I purchased an orchid for a friend who has recently moved into a new condo. I also treated myself to this little beauty.
Behind it you can see a small portion of a wallhanging that I had made a couple of years ago based on  techniques presented in Louisa Smith's Strips 'n Curves. I enjoyed the process and had always planned to make another piece, but somehow I just never have. I'll have to add it to my list of potential projects. That list just keeps getting longer and longer, but that's the wonderful thing about quilting; there's always something new to try.
     I've been spending this weekend quilting with friends, and we took time today for a quick visit to one of our very favorite quilt shops, Quilter's  Stash in North Attleboro, MA. It's a terrific shop with lots of luscious batiks and a very friendly staff. Yes, we all did our part to help the economy.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dancing Queens

    Thursday night, the Dancing Queens got together for dinner at a local restaurant. Who are the Dancing Queens? It's a group of friends who taught together through many, many years. A few are still teaching while the rest of us are enjoying every moment of retirement.  We call ourselves the Dancing Queens because a few years ago we decided to meet once a month for dinner or a movie and our first activity at that time was to see Meryl Streep in Mama Mia! Carol, our wonderful social director, coordinates our get-togethers and makes sure that we pick a date and a place for next time before we end our evenings. This has kept our happy, little group going strong.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Still Life and Christmas Basket

     In keeping with my New Year's Resolution to try to finish up some of my quilting projects, I am pleased to report that I have finished a still life piece begun in a class last spring. Many of you know that I was lucky enough to attend a workshop led by Esterita Austin this past September in Tuscany. It was truly a dream vacation! Anyway, last spring I had seen notice on the website of the Quilters Way Quilt Shop in Concord, MA that they were offering a workshop with Esterita Austin.   Having seen her appearance on The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson, I signed up. It was a wonderful class, and this is the finished piece.

After meeting Teri and taking this class, I knew that I would brave getting on a plane alone and flying off to Italy to attend her workshop in Tuscany, and I loved every minute of it. For more information about Teri's work or her September trip to Tuscany, please visit http://www.esteritaaustin.com/.
     Finally, I was delighted to receive a call on Sunday evening informing me that I had won one of the raffle baskets at the quilt show that I had attended on Saturday. It was a Christmas themed basket with books, patterns, and fat quarters. Wasn't that a nice surprise!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

St.Patrick's Day Dinner

     Today my friend Marilyn once again hosted her annual St. Patrick's Day dinner for family and friends with corn beef, Irish bread, Irish music, and lots of laughter. That's Marilyn on the left in this photo. I've known Marilyn and Cathy, on the right, for my entire life. Janice, my jewelry making friend in the middle, is a newbie; I've only known her for about forty-five years. Over the course of the last couple years, I've made quilts for Janice and Cathy, and today it was Marilyn's turn to receive a quilt. Pink is her favorite color, so it was pink floral for her.
     Don't these sweet colleens look festive with their shiny, green tiaras . . .

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Super Day and SuperMoon over Hull

     Today was a perfect day. I went with friends to the Rhododendron Needlers Quilt Guild Traditions and Treasures Quilt Show in Canton, MA where there were some stunning quilts on display. This guild definitely has some very talented members. Also on display was  a special quilt based on Leonardo deVinci's "The Last Supper." "The Supper Quilt" which was designed and pieced by Dr. Donald Locke is 15.25 ft wide and 5.6 ft high. According to a handout given, the quilt consists of 51,816 half inch squares and took two and a half years to complete. Thirty-one states have hosted this impressive work.
     After the quilt show, it was on to lunch and a visit to two shops, Emma's Quilt Cupboard and Franklin Mills both in Franklin, MA. Franklin Mills has quilt fabric and home dec fabric, yarn, crafts, etc. If you need trim or fringe for anything, this is the place to go.
     On the way back, I had a chance to snap this sign. (Don't worry; I wasn't doing the driving.) We all agreed that this is one our favorite signs. Woe to the unsuspecting traveler trying to figure this one out.


     I arrived home at 6:00 which gave me fifteen minutes to feed Katie and get ready to head out the door again. I had asked my cousin Greg earlier if he wanted to go out and shoot the SuperMoon as we both enjoy photography. We went to Fort Revere in Hull where I was able to get this shot.
    All in all, it truly was a super day!!!          

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tomorrow Night's SuperMoon

     In case you haven't heard, tomorrow night there will be a SuperMoon. The forecast is for a clear sky tomorrow evening, so be sure  to go outside and take a look at it. One of the members of the camera club that I belong to posted a link where you can learn how to get better photos of the moon. http://photodoto.com/four-basic-tips-for-photographing-the-moon/  Happy shooting!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

     Tis a lovely, warm spring day, and the crocuses in my yard have begun to bloom.

     Katie and I were able to go for a nice long walk. She was, of course, sporting green.

     Later this morning, I met a friend for coffee and Italian conversation practice. She is lucky enough to have been born on St. Patrick's Day. Buon compleanno! (Happy Birthday!)  We celebrated  by having an Irish scone as a treat.
     Finally, let me leave you with my favorite Irish blessing.

                                         May the road rise up to meet you, 

                                         may the wind be ever at your back. 

                                         May the sun shine warm upon your face

                                         and the rain fall softly on your fields. 

                                         And may you be a half  hour in heaven before the devil knows you're dead.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Free Motion Quilting Site

     One of the ladies on our Cape Cod getaway quilting weekend told me about a wonderful site to learn free motion quilting. Day Style Designs features many interesting crafting and quilting articles and video demonstrations. It also has the Free Motion Quilting Project which is a phenomenal  resource for anyone who is interested in learning more about free motion quilting.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Quilting Weekend on the Cape

     I spent this past weekend quilting at the Cape Codder in Hyannis.  Well, in truth, we didn't spend all our time quilting; we went out to eat and helped the local economy by supporting nearby quilt shops.
     Our happy little group . . .

Group photo . . . 

          
      I spent the four days doing machine applique for an Old World Santa quilt. It will eventually have twelve Santa blocks and twelve patchwork blocks. Here's a peak at some of the completed blocks.
  
      Of course, I couldn't be on the Cape without stopping by the beach. It was pretty windy and cold, so these were the only other creatures on the beach.


[Dining tip: if you ever go to Hyannis, be sure to dine at the Roadside Cafe; I guarantee you will enjoy the experience.]