Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Very Rainy Day

      Did I take this photo today? No, today was a very cool, rainy Sunday. These pretty yellow crocuses   were open earlier this week when we had a bit of sun and warmth. It's been quite a week weather-wise.

     Here's a small hand appliquéd piece that I worked on last weekend on our NH getaway. I just couldn't bring myself to lug my sewing machine and all my fabric and equipment with me. I opted, instead, to work on this piece. I found that I really enjoyed doing the hand stitching. After the center was completed, I decided to add borders. It truly is square though it would not appear so from this photo. Next I added a sprinkling of beads. This close-up may give you a better look at the beadwork.

      On Friday, I attended a show in Norwell of exquisite work done by members of the North River Applique Society. (I believe that is the correct name, but I may be mistaken.) There were small, medium, large, and very large hand appliquéd quilts on display. Knowing how many hours it took for me to complete my tiny piece, gives me an even deeper appreciation of the beautiful work which was on display. Speaking of shows, several of us went to the Quinobequin Quilters Guild show in Needham yesterday. There were over one hundred quilts on display. What I enjoyed most was the diversity of the quilts. It was a terrific show by a talented group of quilters.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bristol, N.H. - Weekend Getaway

     Our friend Rosemary invited us to spend the weekend at her family's vacation home in Bristol, N.H.. Here we all are having dinner at an Irish pub on Friday night. Lots of quilting was done over the course of the weekend. Here's Maribeth with the Hunter Star quilt that she is finishing as a wedding gift.

     The colors are truly soft and lovely.

     Edith brought her Wedding Ring quilt top. She used floral fabrics to form the rings.

     On Saturday, some of us made the trip over to Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor where we each did our part to help the NH economy. The shop contains bolt after bolt after bolt of delicious fabric. Here's a photo taken near the dock where the Mount Washington is tied up for the winter.

    As you can see, the snow is quite deep in New Hampshire and ice houses still dot the frozen lakes. The photo below was taken in Meredith.

     After Mass on Sunday, I drove up the road a bit in Bristol and took these photos.

 This photo of the brightly colored canoes against the deep blue sky is my favorite.

A fun weekend was had by all!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nubble Light and The Monuments Men

     I spent this afternoon with George Clooney. Well, not exactly with him, but rather I went to the  cinema to see The Monuments Men starring George Clooney and Matt Damon. The film was based on Robert M. Edsel's non-fiction book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. A fine cast, a compelling story, and Alexandre Desplat's musical score all contribute to a very good movie. My rating . . . B+
     On the way home from the quilt getaway in NH on Sunday, I stopped by Nubble Light. Since it was just a half hour away from where we were staying, I had originally planned to get up and drive to the lighthouse for the sunrise on Saturday morning. Sunrises come early, so I eventually decided to forgo that idea. I didn't feel too bad when Saturday morning then dawned cloudy and dull.

     For those not familiar with it, Nubble Light or Cape Neddick Light as it is also called, is located in Cape Neddick, York, Maine. It is one of the prettiest, most photographed lighthouses in New England. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Portsmouth Quilting Getaway

     This evening I returned from a fun, four day getaway in Portsmouth, NH with eighteen other quilters. Of course, that meant we all visited a number of quilt shops. When each group returned, we couldn't wait to see the treasures that they had found. I thought you might like to see some of the eye candy that I purchased. Above is a gorgeous bundle of Philip Jacobs fabric along with three coordinating batiks in rich shades of deep purple and magenta.

     It's  difficult to find subtle sky fabric, so when I see it, I pick up a yard. Next to it is a white batik with a pattern that doesn't show up well in this photo. On the far right is a beautiful bundle of pastel batiks. I know exactly how I will use these soft, pale fat quarters; in fact, it may well be my next project.

      In another store I picked up this print for .99 cents! My plan is to frame it and hang it in my sewing room.


     Both of the guilds to which I belong collect quilts and pillowcases to be donated to various causes and organizations. Many of the items made are for young children, but since I spent my career working with eighth graders,  I'll use these four fabrics to make some pillowcases for pre-teen and teenage girls. The above photo really doesn't do justice to the rich colors of the denim print, sparkly bejeweled print, and pink and blue solids.

       This is one segment of a four segment jazz panel. I'm really not sure how or if I will ever use it, but I purchased it for the bargain price of .50 cents. The designs and colors were just too beautiful to pass up. (Let's see; the vintage mini poster plus this panel cost a grand total of $1.49. H'mmm, I won't tell you how much I spent on the rest of the fabric, but it was a wee bit more!!!)

     Last but not least, I found this beach umbrella fabric which I think will make some fun summer placemats. 
     Did we do anything besides quilt and fabric shop? Sure, we laughed and ate and laughed and ate some more. All nineteen of us went out to dinner on Friday night to the Dinnerhorn & Bratskellar Restaurant in Portsmouth. The food was absolutely delicious. Everyone had a wonderful time on our Portsmouth getaway.
     Where was Emma while I was away? She was on vacation at Auntie Annmarie and Uncle Bruce's house where she spent the weekend playing with their dogs: Jake, Bailey, and Harvey. I'm so very fortunate to have friends with whom she can stay while I'm away. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Venice Piece Ready to Be Quilted

     Well, the Venice art quilt which I began back in October is finally ready to be quilted. If you would like to see the photo that this piece is based on, please click here. I have worked on this piece off and on while also working on other projects. Now I just need to layer it with batting and backing and get busy quilting it. It measures 22x29 inches. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

JOY in Quiltland

     There is joy in quiltland as this afternoon at 4:38 I completed this quilt top. The pattern is "Joy" by Chris Hoover at Whirligig Designs. I can't take any credit for the quilt's colors as it was purchased as a kit from a local quilt store. They had a sample on display, and it was so stunning that two friends and I all signed up for the classes. I stayed on target and pretty much finished the monthly blocks in a timely fashion, but when they were all completed I just couldn't make myself start putting it together. Why? I don't know; I just kept putting it off. My friends had finished their quilts long ago. Finally, last month I began the daunting task of assembling all of the pieces. The quilt measures 89x106, so you are not viewing the whole piece, only the top section. Making this quilt was a long and challenging process, but there is true "joy" now that the top is done. Because of its size, I will be having it professionally longarmed. 
     Now it's on to the next unfinished project . . . 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Vintage Evening Bag

     Two weeks ago, I met friends for lunch. Someone had suggested that we each bring a favorite bag from our past. It was great fun to see what everyone brought, and the stories about each one were delightful. One friend collects very special, tiny wooden purses, another brought a leather shoulder bag that she had made in a class, another brought a bag she had used for a "spy bag" during The Man from U.N.C.L.E. years. Another brought a bag she had made as a child for her mom from a decorative canister and one which her daughter had made for her.
     I didn't have any special bag of my own to bring. I do remember a red leather drawstring shoulder pocketbook from my childhood. I was probably eight years old. It was Christmas morning and there were lots of wonderful presents under the tree for my brother and me. I'll admit to having been a bit sad when I did not receive the pocketbook that had been near the top of my Christmas list. My mom asked why I seemed sad and when I told her, she said, "Christmas isn't over yet." Later in the day my Aunt Joan and Uncle Buddy came with their boys. What was my gift from them? Yes, a beautiful red leather pocketbook which would have put a smile on any little girl's face.
     Back to the lunch, in my haste to get to the gym that morning, I forgot to bring a bag for "show and tell." This little evening bag belonged to my grandmother on my mother's side. There is a tag indicating that it was made in Austria, and I would say it probably dates back to the early part of the last century. Isn't it sweet?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Signs of Spring

     Everyone is feeling just a tad winter weary at this point, so I thought I'd share two photos taken yesterday to reaffirm that spring is truly just around the corner. Midst the snow and ice, this tiny crocus is poking up its head. These daffy daffodils are also about 1.5 inch high. Clearly, they must not have received the memo warning of another snowstorm coming on Monday.

Be sure to click on the crocus photo to see a larger version as it's like a tiny little natural world.