Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hopping into Spring

     Here it is a week after Easter, and I'm just getting around to posting photos of my Easter/spring wallhanging. The pattern is called Flip Flop Bunnies by Diane McGregor @ Castilleja Cotton. I had purchased this pattern at the Portsmouth Fabric Company in Portsmouth, NH. This is the happy, little piece that I worked on while on our guild's recent Falmouth getaway.  

I added black beads for the eyes, pink beads for the noses, and the fluffy tail was made with french knots.

When I originally purchased the batik fabric that I used in the borders, I recall thinking that it would be cute to use someday in an Easter project.  Everyone who saw it, thought it was adorable, and one woman who was celebrating her birthday kept asking when her present would be finished. :-)  Though my other Easter decorations are now packed away, I may keep this piece up a bit longer.
    This was our regular quilting weekend, but a few of us took time out on Saturday to attend the Touching Stars Quilt Show in North Kingstown, RI. After visiting the show, we had lunch in Wickford, a quaint village in North Kingstown. There were many interesting little shops and restaurants, and we all decided that it would be a perfect place to come back and explore.
     Finally, an estimated 500,000 people crowded St. Peter's Square in Vatican City today for the dual canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. An equal number of visitors filled the streets surrounding the Vatican to watch the ceremony on giant TV screens. Here is a photo of St. Peter's Basilica that I took last fall while on a vacation with members of the South Shore Camera Club. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mystery Ride with Crosstown Quilters

     Yesterday morning thirty-three members of the Crosstown Quilting Guild along with two of my friends climbed on a bus in Rockland for a Mystery Ride. We headed south and our first stop was at Knit One Quilt Too in Barrington, RI.  I am not a knitter, but the selection of luscious yarn was absolute eye candy. If you are a knitter, definitely put this shop on your list. Of course, there was also a fine selection of fabric, notions, wool kits, silk ribbons, books, and embroidery threads and yarns. This was my first time visiting this shop, and it was delightful.

     Next it was off to lunch at Hose Company 6 in Pawtucket, RI. where the food was delicious. As the name implies, the restaurant is located in a former fire station. Then we headed to Lorraine Fabrics also in Pawtucket and Ryco's Sewing Center in Lincoln, RI.
      So what did I buy? Really not much . . . just a couple yards of fabric and some laces, beads, silk ribbons, etc. for a crazy quilt project.

I've never done any crazy quilting, but I do have a couple of books on the topic. My plan is to create two wallhangings featuring beautiful vintage photographs of my grandmothers.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter 2014

     Emma and I wish you all a very Happy Easter! Buona Pasqua! Miss Emma was groomed on Thursday; doesn't she look beautiful! Below is a similar photo taken two years ago when she was just a few months old.

     Earlier this week I finally treated myself to a new camera and long lens, and so I was able to get these quick shots today before she dashed off.

     Above she has spotted a squirrel on the fence, and in the blink of an eye she was off and running!!!

As you can see the daffodils recovered nicely from the cold temperatures and the dusting of snow that we awoke to earlier in the week.

Stained glass was another of my hobbies in years past. It always makes smile when I unpack this little purple-coated bunny. I still have the tools and lots of glass. I'm thinking it might be fun to make some little pieces featuring simple quilt patterns. I'll add it to my list of things to do. :-)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It Was All My Fault

     I take full responsibility; it was all my fault. If only I hadn't gathered up my boots and boot trays and brought them all down cellar last week. After all, the temperatures had been in the sixties, and it appeared as if the long awaited promise of spring had finally arrived. Well, this morning dawned very cold and there was a dusting of snow on lawns and spring flowers. 

Fortunately, both daffodils and pansies are resilient plants, and they will be up and smiling once the sun warms things up.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Herring Run Quilt Guild - Falmouth Getaway

     Seventy-five quilters from the Herring Run Quilt Guild in Norwell attended a wonderful three-day quilt getaway at the Seacrest Beach Resort in West Falmouth this past weekend.
     On Saturday, Edith, Laurel, and I visited a quilt shop, Fabric Corner, in Falmouth Center. Since I was driving, we then rode around for a bit.  Above is Nobska Point Light in Woods Hole.  Not far from the lighthouse, there are two platforms with nesting osprey.

One platform has an osprey cam attached. Since it was a quilting weekend, I only had my small grabshot camera with me. You can be sure that I'll be heading back down there with my "real" camera to get some better photos of these magnificent birds..

On the way back to the resort, this mirror which warns of oncoming traffic caught my eye.

It looked so cool that I jumped out to take this selfie; I couldn't resist. :-)

Saturday evening was cold, but that didn't prevent a few hardy souls from setting up beach chairs to take in the show.

This stop sign on Sunday also caught my eye.

Emma again spent the weekend with Auntie Annmarie, Uncle Bruce, and the boys. Here's a photo taken by Annmarie of the gang. The handsome guy at the top is energetic Bailey, to Emma's right is Jake, a grand old man of fifteen, and at the very bottom peeking through the space where the gates meet is Harvey. They were on one side of the gate, so Annmarie and Bruce could eat their dinners in peace. :-) 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring Is Here

     I spent some time this morning with my trusty macro lens, tripod, and telephone book kneeling pad to capture these little beauties. The close-up below is my favorite.

Have a bright, cheerful spring day!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Waiting for Lovers

     My latest quilt, Waiting for Lovers, is done and hanging on my wall. I began it in the fall and have worked on it off and on since then. The photo upon which it is based was taken while on our camera club's trip to Italy in 2012. 

     Since I am totally not blessed with any ability to draw or sketch, I have found a way to use a photo to make a pattern. In fact, I will be teaching a class in May at our local quilt shop Heart in Hands in Weymouth showing how to turn a photo into an art quilt. (You may click on the highlighted link to get more info.) I'm hoping it will prove to be great fun! It truly isn't a difficult process, though it does take a bit of time. Anyone can do it!
     To assemble my quilts, I use many of the techniques that I learned while attending a wonderful Quilting Under the Tuscan Sun Workshop with Esterita Austin in 2010. It was the most relaxing, creative week I have ever spent.
     The piece measures 22x29 inches and it is raw edge, fused, machine appliqued and quilted. The fabric in the frame appears to have a yellowish cast which I wasn't able to remove from the photo. The frame is actually shades of black and grey with flecks of gold. (Whenever I see good "frame" fabric, I buy a couple of yards to have on hand. This fabric has been in my stash just waiting to be used for a piece such as this.)
     What's my next project? Actually I have two in mind. Check back when you can to see what comes next.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

School Days and Tintype Image

     There is an old sheet music cabinet in my cellar holding a collection of vintage piano pieces. If it was a hit song in the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, you could probably still find it on one of its shelves. These pieces belonged to my Aunt Mildred. Also in the cabinet are some old school photos from my father's side of the family. Three of his sisters were older than he, so I would date these photos to around 1910 -1915. They make me smile . . . especially the one below.

Why this one in particular? Watch as I zoom in . . . 

I think the little girl in the top row with the huge bow may possibly have been my Aunt May, but that's not what makes me smile. Look closer.

The teacher's pointed finger is strategically pinning this little guy in place. .  . no fidgeting allowed and check out the lovely smile on the little girl beside him. ;-) It's classic!!! For fun, I used to have one of these school photos framed and hanging in my classroom. I can't tell you how often I was asked by one of my eighth graders which child I was in the photo. H'mmm, just how old did they think I was???
     While I was looking through the cabinet, I also found a couple of tintypes including this one. That's my father's mother on the right. I have no idea who the other woman was. It was probably taken sometime around 1890. The image on the tintype has faded, but I was able to enhance it. It's interesting to see how they added a touch of pink on the cheeks to the metal image. I have seen the same thing on a number of tintypes that I have. Some of those images are pretty cool. Perhaps I will post a few of them at another time.