Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A Whole Lot of Stitching Going On

I have done a bit more on the Lori Holt's "Let's Bake2" quilt. Isn't the milk bottle cute? I'm at a bit of a standstill on this project as two of my sewing machines are in the repair shop. It was operator error in each case. I ran over a pin with my small Janome which surprisingly threw off the timing. I'm embarrassed to tell you what happened to my big machine, but I will. I had run out of bobbin thread and had decided that it would be a good time to clean the bobbin case. etc.  Well, I unscrewed the top plate and instead of placing the two screws on the table, I left them on the bed of the machine. Big mistake!!! In a blink of an eye somehow they rolled into the machine. They were not even close to the opening, so I don't know what the heck happened. Gremlins!!! Since it has been a few years since this machine had been cleaned and tuned up, it too went off to the sewing center. I still have my original machine in the cellar that I could bring up to use if I wished, but I have quite a bit of hand stitching to do.

These cross-stitched gingham blocks will each have a tiny button as with the yellow block. They will  then each be pressed and trimmed to four and a half inches and become the center of larger patchwork blocks. These blocks will then constitute the border. It calls for about thirty blocks so I have maybe twenty-four more to do! Fortunately, they are simple to stitch. If I finish them, I also have my Soko Saito applique piece to work on.

Speaking of stitching, yesterday the Crosstown Quilters Guild had Diane Annis speak on "Redwork Through the Ages." She presented a program featuring a wonderful trunk show of both vintage and contemporary pieces. Many members also brought in their redwork pieces, and it was a veritable treasure of redwork.

Now for the best news of all. . .  I finally have my new car back, and they have extended my powertrain warranty which hopefully I will never need. Honestly, I am so relieved to have my "4,605" mile car fixed after being in the shop for eight days!!! Though I always appear cheerful and calm on the outside, inside I was really, really stressed over the whole situation. It feels as if a weight has now been lifted off of my shoulders.

Have a good week.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sunday Sampler and Sock Bunnies

Every bunny needs some bunny sometimes . . .  My cousins Miss L and Miss T spent the night with Emma and me while their parents attended a fundraiser on Saturday.  These girls enjoy doing crafts, so I found directions here for these adorable sock bunnies. The sock snowmen that we had made at Christmas were a hit, so I knew they would enjoy making these as well.

The directions call for rice-filled standing bunnies, but Miss T. (age 9) had other ideas. She bent and glued one head down on the sock body so it appear as if the bunny is lying down on its haunches. She also took the bits of lace from the top of the stocking to create a tutu for the pink bunny. You have to love that creativity. When we do "Crafting Fun with Auntie Janice," I provide the materials, lead them through the steps, and then step back to see what they will do. :-)

It was a busy week, but I did manage to accomplish a bit. 

Tonight I will finish sewing the binding on this 'beary' cute panel quilt which I will be bringing to our next guild meeting to donate to DCF (the Department of Children and Family services.) The backing is a cuddly soft flannel with violet and pink flowers and butterflies.

This hockey pillowcase will go to the group which works with the children of soldiers who are being deployed. The younger children get quilts while the older children prefer pillowcases.

In case you were wondering, I still haven't got my new (4,605 miles) car back from the dealer. There seems to be an issue getting a particular part. They were able to get two of them but still need a third. Needless to say, I am not happy. It has now been six business days. The loaner car is fine, but I want mine back.

On Friday, I was in Stoughton with my monthly quilting group when I accidentally sewed over a pin. Kaboom!!! That sewing machine is also in the repair shop. My dryer is beginning to sound a bit noisy . . . I sure hope it doesn't get any funny ideas about acting up, too!

Monday, March 19, 2018

An Interesting Development

Here's another completed block from Lori Holt's "Let's Bake 2" quilt.  I am enjoying working on it so much.

The dials are accented with simple embroidery stitches as is the bottom of the red gingham towel.

On Saturday I drove to Lincoln, RI,  with my friend Laurel to go to a sale at Ryco's Trim and Sewing Center. Owner Pat Ryan always has a big sale on St. Patrick's Day. Nearly everything was 20% off, and the place was mobbed. I had never been there on that sale day, but it was fun. The Irish music was blaring and the aisles were filled with happy fabric enthusiasts. The lines at the cutting tables were long and the wait at the three registers was even longer. We had arrived around 11:00 but later discovered that arriving around 2:00 would have been better. How did we discover that? Well, I'll explain that in just a bit.

I was very pleased with my purchases. Among other things, I was able to pick up a number of pieces for quilt backs including one featuring vintage aprons for the back of my "Let's Bake2" quilt.

So, we left Ryco's and planned to go get some lunch. Since our bags were so darn heavy, I said that I would walk up the hill to get the car. That's when things got interesting. When I went to start my car, the engine light came on and didn't go off. We waited about ninety minutes for the tow truck. As we sat waiting, we watched the crowded parking lot gradually empty out, and we realized that another time we would come to the sale in the afternoon. 

When the flat bed truck arrived, Laurel and I climbed up into the cab with the driver. It's a good thing he was skinny as it was a really, really tight fit!!! Lincoln, RI, is about fifty minutes from my home in Massachusetts. Let's just say the tow truck driver had quite a heavy foot, and we made it back to the dealership in thirty minutes!!! Yikes!!!

My car is only five months old, so this was an unpleasant development. The service department at the dealership has an excellent reputation, so once they are able to get the necessary parts, fingers crossed, my car should be good to go. 

Northeaster #4 is coming later this week. Happy Spring!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Fine Line Piecing Piece Finished

 Well, I did it; I stayed focused yesterday and finished this piece before placing my head on my pillow last night. Put a gold star on my forehead! The finished piece measures 19.5 by 15.5 inches. I do wish it could have been a bit larger, but I used every last possible inch and scrap of the blue hand dyed fabric which I had purchased at a quilt show a number of years ago. I had been saving it for a something special and this fit the bill.

I began this piece at the Winter Workshop Day held by the Quilters Connection Guild. This class was taught by G. who generously showed her simple method for fine line piecing. It was fun and fairly addictive. I have in mind another project for this technique.

Here's a close up.

This will give you an idea of the scale of the lines.


Rather than add a binding I chose to use a facing technique that I found on YouTube.

This is by no means a quick process, but I know I will continue to explore fine line piecing possibilities.

BTW it is unbelievable how rapidly the snow is disappearing. You have to love March snowstorms.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

On the Count Of Three . . .

Well, the forecasters were right, and this equal opportunity storm brought high winds and deep snow to all parts of the state.  I believe that the correct meteorological assessment is, "We got clobbered." I would say around here, it was fifteen inches, but there were drifts which were higher.

The top photo is the standard record shot that I usually post. My land drops off behind the chain link fence, and it was in this area that the deer from the other day were resting. This morning for a change I thought that I would point my camera upward. It was absolutely beautiful, but then again, I have always loved the snow.

So, these are my last snow scenes of the season. Spring is six days away. No more pretty snow scenes. . .  What's that you say??? The meteorologists are gently hinting that there is the possibility of another storm coming Tuesday or Wednesday???? What???? Really???? Okay, all together on the count of three yell, "UNCLE! We want spring!"

By the way, I was gung ho to get a lot of quilting done yesterday during the storm. I pressed a top and backing for a children's quilt and carefully draped it over the sofa. Then watched a number of YouTube videos on how to face an art quilt. I attached two sides to the piece I am working on, and that was the full extent of what I got accomplished. I spent the rest of the day doing absolutely nothing! That's not entirely true as I did two loads of laundry, a bit of shoveling, and took a few, fine quality naps. :-) I am determined to do better today and to finish my fine line quilt piece before putting my head on the pillow tonight.

Monday, March 12, 2018

No One Warned the Crocuses

No one warned the crocuses to hold off popping up their pretty little heads as tomorrow they are going to be buried by perhaps 12+ inches of snow. Yikes!!!

This is the third storm which we have had this month. The first which brought widespread problems along the coastline was the same weekend as our Crosstown Quilters Guild getaway to Cape Cod. All thirty-eight of us made it safely to the Bayside Resort in Yarmouth in spite of the very wet, wild, windy weather. Indeed many ladies were happy to be away quilting as there was no heat or electrical power back in their homes. What a weather weekend!!! We just sat and sewed, and a wonderful time was had by all. Such a lovely, fun group of ladies .  .  . I drove my friend Laurel home to Marshfield, and you can't imagine the many, many massive trees we saw that had either lost tops and large limbs or which had been totally ripped out of the ground. God Bless all of the linesmen who had been brought in from all over the country and Canada to restore the power. I was very fortunate as my home never lost power nor was there any damage. Miss Emma stayed at her home away from home with friends.

Speaking of Crosstown Quilters, one of our members lives down the street from us, and Emma is always super excited when she spots her out front gardening. (It's not a fun walk for Emma if she doesn't get to greet at least two or three of her friends.) Look at the snazzy, cuddly sweater which Elizabeth knitted for Emma. She dropped it off the other day. Emma is one lucky dog. :-)

I worked on a couple of projects while on our Cape getaway. I made two fabric boxes with instructions that may be be found here

Aren't they cute!  I put a plastic lid in the bottom of the large one which now holds a plant, and I have yet to decide on a use for the small one. I feel like Goldilocks when I say, "I think the middle size might be just  right." They would be cute hostess gifts or you could fill them with candy and include a gift card. Lots of possibilities . . .

Among other things, I worked on the Lori Holt Let's Bake 2 quilt blocks.  Wait until you see the stove!!! Here are the layer cake, the rolling pin, and a carton of eggs. (Please excuse the threads as they are not trimmed to size yet.)

The meteorologists keep upping the snow totals, so it would appear I will have lots of time to quilt tomorrow. Stay safe everyone and get your shovels ready. Eight days until spring . . .

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Some Deer Friends Stopped By

Three deer friends stopped by the woods behind my house today. I first spotted them around 10:00 am, and they have hung around most of the day.

With trusty long lens in hand, I was able to capture these images from my back porch. Be sure to click on the photos to view a larger version if you wish.

I had been wondering this week during the stormy weather whether we might see deer in the woods this year as it only happens from time to time. 

This afternoon I attended a town hall event with Senator Elizabeth Warren at Weymouth High School. She spoke for awhile on various topics and then answered questions from audience members. (When you entered the auditorium, you were asked if you had a question for Senator Warren. If you responded in the affirmative, you were given a raffle ticket. The stubs were put in a basket, and if your number was called, you had the opportunity to ask your question. . . a good system.) 

Senator Warren stressed a number of points: the need to maintain and protect freedom of the press, the need to keep our judicial system as impartial and fair to all as we can, and the role of citizen participation in maintaining our democracy. All her answers to audience members' questions were forthright. I was very impressed by our senator and glad that I had decided to attend.

After the question section, she had a few brief closing remarks and then posed for photos with anyone who wanted one. There had to have been a couple of hundred people in line for photos, and I was one of them. I wanted to thank her for what she does and encourage her to continue to fight the good fight.

I had found a parking space in a lot out back. I thought you might like to see the flag which is painted on this huge boulder. I've included two photos so that you might gain a better perspective of just how large it is.

I've been a bit lax with my blogging, but I do have a few things to show you and will catch you up this week. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and keep repeating . . . "Spring is coming!!!" Spring is coming!!!" "Spring is coming!!!"