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Sunday, July 22, 2012

WaterFire Providence 2012


     Last night I went with two friends to see WaterFire in Providence, Rhode Island. I had never been to see it and didn't know what to expect. One of my friends had been last year, and she suggested that we go. Crowds lined the banks of the canal. As darkness fell, a procession of torchbearers descended the stairs. One by one, each of the bonfire baskets was lit by a torchbearer.




I'm not sure who this figure in white standing up in the boat was supposed to be.


Other boats carried fire tenders.





Music filled the night air as gondolas and other small watercraft drifted by. Everyone in the crowd seemed relaxed and happy to be there.  All and all, it was a beautiful evening to be out and about in the city. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Summer Sherbet Bag


     A few weeks ago I attended a delightful talk/demo/trunk show by Carol MacLeod at Heart in Hands Quilt Shop in South Weymouth. This bag which I finished yesterday is one of her  Aunties Two bag designs, the "Bailey Island Hobo." Her pattern allowed for two sizes, and I know I'll sound like Goldilocks when I say that the small was a tad too small for me and the big was much more than I wanted. It was simple enough though to adapt the pattern; I simply made fewer strips and cut them shorter than the pattern called for. My "mommy bear" size turned out just right. Doesn't it look like a cool dish of sherbet for a hot summer day?
     I will add one more thing about Aunties Two patterns, they are all extremely well done from the ample color photos of the pieces in process to the very clear written directions. If you are looking for patterns for bags or totes, definitely check out her website.
     The bag is resting on the back of my current project which has taken over the dining room table. Yes, I am finally beginning to machine quilting my Old World Santas quilt. I've only been working on it on and off for five years. :-) Wish me luck!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sunflower Illusions




     The other night three of my friends showed off the quilts upon which they have been working. They were so stunning that I asked if I could post photos of them here. The pattern is called "Sunflower Illusions" by Judy Neimeyer. That's Donna's quilt above, and here's a close up below.


     Here's Edith's .



   The next one is Liz's.




     They all took a class with Brenda Hall who is a certified instructor for Judy Neimeyer's quilt designs. The class was held at the Herring Run Quilt Guild in Norwell, MA. Because I had a new puppy, I didn't take this all-day class.
     Speaking of Emma, here she is helping me earlier this week with my Italian homework.


She is such a smart little doggie. :-)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Science Center Garden Tour


     Yesterday, the Dancing Queens went on the Norwell Science Center Garden Tour. (For those who are new to this blog, the Dancing Queens are a group of wonderful retired teacher friends who get together each month to do something fun.) Five of us were able to go on the tour, and we met another friend for lunch.



The gardens were all beautiful, especially this garden filled with 700+ varieties of daylillies. It was truly spectacular. A few of the gardens had water features where we spotted these little creatures.






Friday, July 6, 2012

A Tiny Treasure


     On the 4th of July, my friend Janice gave me this lovely pair of earrings which she had made for my birthday.


 She also presented me with this tiny treasure, a little metal sewing machine that she had had as a child. The needle is missing, but it actually once sewed.


It measures just six inches high and was made in Britain. I love it!!! It's new home is atop a quilt rack in my dining room.

     
     On the rack this month is my very first quilt. I was a fan of the Alex Anderson HGTV program "Simply Quilts" and though I knew very little about the quilting process, I loved watching that program. HGTV offered free patterns for this machine appliqué block of the month quilt. As you can see from this segment, the twelve blocks each reflected one month of the year. The directions seemed clear, so I decided to purchase a sewing machine and give it a try. I was totally hooked! My Aunt Joan, who was then in her seventies, had never quilted in her life either. She loved my quilt so much that after I showed her the process, she too created her very first quilt. 
     

     If you look in the lower left hand corner of the July block, you will see that my beloved miniature schnauzer Katie, whom I lost this past January, even made an appearance in a few of the blocks. In case you're wondering, this quilt was completed in 2004.
     I love quilting and all the many wonderful friends I have made through this hobby of buying yards and yards of perfectly fine fabric, cutting it into little pieces, and sewing it back together again . :-) I am still a fan of Alex Anderson and love her internet program with Ricky Tims, The Quilt Show.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Very Fine Fourth


     The 4th of July is one of my very favorite holidays. I love everything about it. Yesterday, I invited friends over to celebrate and snapped this photo of Emma sitting on my lap while waiting for our guests to arrive.


The meal was your typical All-American cookout food: chips and dip, hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, etc. For dessert I served blueberry pie. Yummmmmmmm!!!


     In the evening I attended a performance of the play Jefferson and Adams: A Revolutionary Dialogue at the Adams National Historic Park in Quincy, MA. I had seen this free production two years ago and convinced a few friends to join me there last night. 



     The play deals with the long, sometimes troubled friendship between these two great Founding Fathers and the times and events they lived through. It is a three person play with superb portrayals of John Adams (Sam Goodyear), Abigail Adams (Abigail Schulman), and Thomas Jefferson (Bill Barker). 


     The script is drawn from the correspondences between these figures, and the language is incredibly rich and eloquent. My friends loved the play and were glad I had shared this treasure with them.


   I can think of no better way to end the festivities of the Fourth then by attending this play which is held each year. Mark your calendar, and perhaps I will see you there next year.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Busy Weekend


     This past weekend was spent quilting with a group of friends in Stoughton. Saturday afternoon, however, I took time out to attend a very special third birthday party. As you can see, the party featured a constructions theme which was a big hit with everyone.
     I am thrilled to report that on Sunday I was able to layer my "Old World Santas" quilt on which I have been working on and off for five years. I have put so much time into this quilt that I am going to attempt to machine quilt it myself. Wish me luck.


   This morning I had a flute lesson which gave me the opportunity to see how the baby finch born in my friend's planter on June 20th is doing. As you can see, he or she is doing very well. Only one baby survived. Mr. and Mrs. Housefinch keep a keen eye on this little one, but they do allow my friend to water the plant where they have made their nest.

   
     Next, it was time to meet friends at a restaurant at Marina Bay for lunch to celebrate my birthday. There was a lovely breeze, and the day could not have been any prettier. We ended our meal with a stroll down the boardwalk to indulge in a little ice cream. It was, after all, my birthday. :-) :-)