Monday, January 25, 2016

Winter Fun at Weston Park in Weymouth Landing

Yesterday after Mass I went home to grab my camera as I knew Weston Park would be filled with happy sledders after the previous night's snowfall and so it was.

There are many slides, swings, and other climbing structures for use in the warmer months at Kids Landing, and it is located just steps away from the Childen's Room at the Tufts Library. 


 This park was depicted in a famous watercolor/collage painting by Susan Torrey Merritt in either 1845 or 1853. The painting, "Fourth of July Picnic a Weymouth Landing," is hanging in a gallery at The Art Institute of Chicago. What had originally been seen as a holiday picnic is now thought to have been a gathering of abolitionists. You may see the painting and read about its more recent interpretation at The Civil War in Art.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Bookbinding for Beginners

Yesterday, I attended what was to be a full day of workshops in Lexington sponsored by the Quilters Connection Guild. I had signed up for a bookbinding session in the morning though I knew nothing at all about the process.  It proved to be very interesting and here is the book that I made. This book has seven separate sections which are called interestingly enough "signatures." Who knows whether I will ever make another book like this, but I was intrigued by the many samples brought by the instructors, in particular some of the books made to commemorate various travel vacations. I might file those ideas away in the back of my mind.

After a potluck luncheon, it was announced that the instructor for the second session that I had signed up for was unable to be there. Truthfully, I was actually glad as I wanted to get home before the approaching storm.

 Here's another completed row from last year's Row by Row Experience 2015. It seemed fitting to work on this beach scene today after our latest snowstorm.  We received about six inches and the snow was again light and fluffy.

Finally, there is no joy in Patriots Nation as Tom Brady and the team will not be heading to the Super Bowl this year. :-(

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Snow and Cold

Monday morning, Emma and I  awoke to find that four or five inches of snow had fallen during the night.  Since it was a picture-perfect day, after shoveling I grabbed my camera and went for a ride.  This is the Meetinghouse on the Cohasset Common. While in that area, I also stopped by the lobster trap Christmas tree in the harbor. You can not imagine how very, very cold it was with the wind whipping in over the water. I took five or six quick shots and jumped right back into my car.


This gazebo is not far from my house. I had been hoping I would be able to get a photo with the wreath and some snow.

The temperature by this time had really dropped so I returned home and took down my Christmas wreath which I replaced with this winter piece purchased at the Labourre House Tour in December.

This was the first photo that I had taken early Monday morning.

It was the very nicest sort of snow. . . light, fluffy, easy to shovel, and best of all it didn't cling to Emma's furnishings. Because of the temperature, we couldn't stay out long. Emma doesn't seem to look too happy that her playtime in the snow ended so quickly.

One thing Emma does very well is whenever I say "Towel," she goes immediately to it and stands there while I dry her. It's one of the things she does best. Now if only she would just respond consistently whenever I yell, "Come!" Most of the time she responds well, but she has selective hearing when there are any squirrels, birds, or other distractions around. :-)

Tuesday and today are pretty darn cold even for us hearty New Englanders and a potentially significant storm is headed our way Saturday so stay warm and bundled up!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Forever in Blue Jeans - Improvisational Piecing

Here is the finished piece that I began in Marge Tucker's improvisational piecing workshop at the Quilters Connection Guild last Saturday. As mentioned in a previous post, I'm drawn to the shades of denim. I even included a few pieces of old jeans in this piece to give it more texture. For quilting, I simply stitched in the ditch. For non-quilters, that means that I stitched in each and every seam line which also makes the back interesting to look it. All in all, I'm really pleased with how the piece turned out.

As always, you may simply click on the image to see a larger view.

Friday, January 15, 2016

"Saltwater Friends"

Friday is usually a day that I spend quilting with a friend as I did today. I had great plans for all that I would accomplish, but in fact, I only completed one row from the 2015 Row by Row Experience. (My  quilt top for 2014 is done, but it still needs to be quilted.)  

This fused appliqué, raw edge row kit was purchase at Saltwater Fabrics in South Berwick, ME, last summer. The fish and seahorses will eventually have tiny black bead eyes. The  piece is even more colorful in real life.

Over the weekend I hope to quilt the improvisational piece that I made at last week's workshop.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

345 Days until Christmas 2016

First finish of 2016 . . . This paper pieced table runner is complete and ready for Christmas 2016 with 345 days to spare!!! I completed the top about three or four years ago but never got around to layering and quilting it. In my effort to complete more projects this year, I began finishing it after Christmas. 

Speaking of Christmas, look at the adorable birdhouse that my long-suffering, ever patient, continually encouraging flute teacher gave me for Christmas. Her husband constructed the house and she did the decorating. It will spend the winter on my sunporch. 

Finally, while rolling out the trash barrel to the curb late this afternoon, I glanced up to see this pastel sky of violet, pink, blue and gold . . . lovely.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Improvisational Piecing Workshop

On Saturday, I attended an improvisational piecing workshop at the Quilters Connection Guild which meets in Waltham.  The instructor was Marge Tucker seen here with her piece, "Hay Bales." All of the participants had a wonderful time. I spent most of Sunday continuing to work on my piece and stayed up very, very late finishing the top which now just needs to be quilted. I hope to post a photo of the completed piece soon, but in the meantime here's a peak at the palette of colors that I used. As you can see, I love the shades of denim blue.

If you are interested, Marge will be teaching a three-day workshop at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops in New York in March. For more information, click here . To learn about classes that she offers or to see more of her work, visit Marge Tucker Quilt Design.

Friday, January 8, 2016

A Day of Quilting

My friend Laurel came to spend the day quilting, and I actually accomplished something. :-) The first thing I made was the block carrier in the foreground for applique pieces. In case you aren't sure of what that means, let me explain. There are two layers of fabric sewn together, one of which is flannel. You place your pieces down and then you are able to roll the whole thing up and your pieces will all stay in place. If you google 'appliqué block carriers,' you will find many tutorials for this project.

In the back, there are five comfort pillows to bring to our next guild meeting and one of the members will deliver them to a local hospital. Originally, these comfort pillows were intended for patients who had breast surgery, but now they are also given to any patient who has had any type of chest surgery. They may be used to relieve the pressure from seat belt straps or slipped under the arm to relieve pressure from the sore or sensitive chest area. 

Meanwhile, my halls have all been de-decked and everything stored away in the cellar for next Christmas. Well, that is everything except the living room tree which while empty still needs to be lugged downstairs. Oh well, that will get done this weekend.

Interesting weather note: we have only had .9 inches of snow so far this winter, but last year at this time we had only had 4.6 inches and then look what happened. We ended up with 110.6 inches for the season!!! Let's hope we don't repeat that this year.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 - My Quilt Year in Review

Many of the quilt blogs that I follow seem to be offering a year end review, and so I thought I would do one as well. The criteria was simple: the piece had to have been completed in 2015.  This little piece is a fun way to display my collection of Christmas tree pins.

"Snowmen Friends" was my first fabric and wool appliqué piece.

I created a crazy quilt book featuring pages with actresses on cigarette silks from the turn of the last century.

Here are two of the pages.  If you would like to see the other pages, please click here.

I completed four quilts for my young cousins. The first was for Lucy for her ninth birthday.

The triplets for their tenth birthdays also received quilts. . . a Star Wars quilt and two Paintbox quilts with slightly different colors.

We also had a new baby in the family, and so I made this sweet little rail fence quilt 

and a small comfort quilt to donate.

I loved this piece with all of the tiny buttons.

And speaking of buttons . . . 

There were a few seasonal pieces. 

I also made two table runners and two bags as Christmas gifts.  I was pretty surprised when I saw all these pieces. I would have said that I hadn't accomplished all that much this year, but I guess I would have been wrong. :-)

Now if I could just finish the Christmas tree skirt, the three big quilt tops and the smaller one waiting  on my spare bed to  be quilted, the hummingbird appliqué piece, etc. I'd like to make a New Year's resolution that I won't start anything new until these UFOs are finished, but I know myself and that won't happen. :-)