Sunday, July 14, 2019

In My Garden This Week - 7/14/19


Those are not yellow reflections in the gazing globe; it is green with spots of blue and yellow.

The daylilies are blooming.





I have two quick tips to pass on to you; the first is garden related. Last week I read on another blog about a way to get your hands clean after gardening.  I always start off wearing gardening gloves, but before you know it, I have removed them to do something and my hands get pretty dirty. That's no longer a problem. Use a few drops of Dawn dishwashing detergent with water to clean your hands. It works like a charm!!!

Here's the second tip: use a staple remover to hold open sections of a split ring when you need to add a key or perhaps a new dog tag. Simply separate the rings with the staple remover, slide the key or tag onto the ring, and your fingernails will be spared.

That's it . . . short and sweet . . . stay cool and enjoy the week ahead.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Prettiest Quilt Shop in Vermont


A final look at some scenes along the road in Stowe. . . [Note to self: When I buy a log cabin getaway in Vermont, be sure to get the moose stove from a previous post. Also, be sure it is near a field of beautiful horses. Oh, one more thing . . . be sure it has a balcony so I may drape quilts over it. :-)
Just keep repeating, "There is no place like Vermont . . . There is no place like Vermont . . . There is no place like Vermont."   :-)


On the way home, we stopped at Country Treasures in the historic town of Chester, Vermont. This quilt shop has room after room after room of fabric, patterns, books, and notions.

 That brings me to the last quilt shop stop on our getaway,  Waterwheel House Quilt Shop, in Londonderry, VT. To my mind, it is the prettiest quilt shop in Vermont. Lovely quilts are displayed on the porch giving a hint of the beautiful fabrics and quilts inside. Simply beautiful . . . bright happy colors .  . . a must stop for all quilters.


By the parking area there were wild lupine and Edith and Laurel indulged my love of lupines. I was thrilled to see so many still in bloom. 






I hope you have a colorful, happy weekend.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Vermont Quilt Festival Trip 2019 continued . . . Covered Bridges


My friends Edith, Laurel, and I had attended the VQF on Friday, June 28th, and we had planned to visit the Shelburne Museum on Saturday. The forecast was for hot, humid, possibly stormy weather, so we changed our plans and headed to a quilt shop, which is featuring a very cute "Row by Row Experience" kit and pattern, in Lyndonville . 

Just so you know, we visited in total, seven quilt shops in our travels over the course of our getaway. "Weren't there enough vendors at the quilt show?" non-quilters might ask. Yes, of course, there were many, many vendors. Non-quilters will wonder why we then visited so many shops; quilters will only smile.  Each shop is different, and we wouldn't want to miss anything. :-) (You should have seen Yankee Pride Quilts in Essex Junction after the show; it was mobbed.  :-)

Anyway, Lyndonville, VT, turned out to be quite a treat. The quilt shop, Sewin Love Fabric Shoppe, and its owner were lovely, and the lady at the information center in town told us that Lyndonville has five covered bridges and, of course, we had to check them out. (We only managed to visit four.)

The one at the top of this post is the Randall Bridge 1865. Off to the right, I was struck by this  
vista. . . . h'mmm . . . a possible quilted landscape subject???


The Sanborn Bridge, the second bridge we visited, is in need of restoration and not in use, but we met a couple who told us where to find the other bridges and the story about the next bridge we would visit. They even showed up at that bridge to see if we had found it. :-)


Here's the story. On May 16, 2019, a woman on her first day driving a delivery truck didn't see or ignored the height warning sign. She claimed she was just following her GPS. Instead of stopping immediately when she hit resistance, she kept on plowing through causing extensive structural damage to the Miller Run Bridge. The Bridge dating to 1878 had been restored in 1995. You may click here to watch surveillance footage of the accident. 


This was an active bridge and townspeople must now use an alternate route until the bridge is repaired.

The next Lyndonville bridge was the Chamberlyn Bridge quite a classic beauty.


On the way out of town, we stopped to photograph this incredible mural. In the second photo, you can see the painter's identification . . . ANTHILL 2018. Note how the wooden ladder became part of the mural. Fantastic!!!



Was that the end of our covered bridge adventure? Not quite . . . Laurel saw mention of a covered bridge that we could visit on our way back to Stowe.  We drove down a very long, hard packed dirt road which brought us to Greenbank's Hollow in Danville, VT.


This is not the original bridge; it burned down in December 1885. If you click on the above photo to see an enlarged version, you may read about the forgotten village that once thrived there. The folks of the Danville Vermont Historical Society have done an excellent job with signs and pamphlets which insure that the structural remains and the story of this village will be preserved. You may see a period photo of the woolen mill and read about Greenbank's Hollow here.

It was a long but wonderful day, and that about covers all of our covered bridge adventures. :-)

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Vermont Quilt Festival 2019

 As promised, here are some of the quilts that caught my eye at the 2019 Vermont Quilt Festival. Not only was the front of this quilt truly impressive, but just take a look at the back. Wow! Now that is how to use up one's scraps!!!

Remember: you may click on any photo for a larger version, and you might definitely want to do that with this one.


There was a lovely display of antique quilts.


The colors of "Civil War Reflections" were unusual, but very striking.  The yo yo quilt made by the Green Mountain Quilters Guild was huge; this is just one small segment. On the card it said it would be divided into sections and made into comfort quilts.




I took more photos of quilts that inspired, delighted, or amused me, but I hesitate to post them since I did not photograph the identifying information for those quilts. 

I attended the Night Before the Fourth parade in Randolph with friends, and yes, even crime fighters Batman and Robin were not too busy in Gotham City to make an appearance.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Another Excellent Adventure - The Vermont Quilt Festival 2019

My friends Edith and Laurel and I headed to Vermont last Thursday morning.  Along the way we stopped at the Springfield, VT, rest area. We went out the back door to see the view and encountered what appeared to be a moth convention on the glass door and brick wall. The pink and yellow moth was small, but the guy on the right was a big fella! I wish I had taken a few more photos as there were moths of all shapes and sizes just hanging around in the warm sunshine.



I tried identifying these moths. The pink and yellow one is a Dryocampa rubicunda, rosy maple moth, but I'm not sure what the big guy is. You can see part of the door hinge which gives you an idea of his impressive size :-)

Take a look at this awesome moose stove that was in the Visitors Center. How cool, or in this case, hot is that!!!!!!! If I ever get a log cabin, I'm getting a stove like this!


Our next stop was for lunch in Quechee, and here we are . . . three gorgeous, gallivanting gals at the gorge. :-)


There is a trail which leads 165 feet to the bottom . . . perhaps another time. We had quilt shops to visit!


We stopped at Hen House Fabrics in White River Junction before heading on to Stowe, our home away from home for three nights.  

Tomorrow I'll show you some quilts that caught my eye at the show.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Hanging Around My Garden This Week




Yesterday I had the pleasure of having lunch with seven members of the Dancing Queens at the East Bay Grill in Plymouth. All of these ladies were dedicated, hard working, amazing educators in the Weymouth Public Schools, and it was a pleasure to see them.


I used a simple app called PicFrame to give you a glimpse of the hanging pots around my yard. It's the first time that I have used this app.  It's pretty intuitive, but let me explain how to use it for those who are interested. After opening the app which I believe costs $2.99, select "Frames" in the bottom left corner. There are endless frames from which to choose. Select a frame with the number of photos that you want and then click on each empty box. A drop down menu will let you import a photo from your camera roll or do  a number of other things. After placing a photo or series of photos, you will be able to adjust the photo within the frame by simply moving it around.

If you wish, you may add text by selecting the 'T" in the box in the top right corner. That's all there is to it.  At that point you have various options to share your work.

This would be fun to use for family photos or travel photos, and I promise you it is super simple. One note; I am not sure it works on all platforms. I am an Apple product user.

Hope you are all having a picture-perfect day!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Hibiscus Quilted Wall Hanging - Progress



Well, part two of my hibiscus wall hanging project is almost, nearly, not quite totally, but pretty darn close to being ready, and I am pleased with how it looks at this point.


The yellow stickie in the top left corner has a note to remind me to add the stamen and pistil parts. The leaf in the upper right corner is there because I'm still working on the bottom section. You can see what is left of my pattern. As I indicated in a previous post, I do tape each piece back in place because I never know whether I will want to make changes or not.

I have been tweaking this piece for the last few days. I thought that late on Wednesday or Thursday I had it the way I wanted, but the next morning I made changes. I'm most creative late at night when there a fewer distractions. When I was in college many, many, many years ago, I wrote the majority of my essays between 12:00 and 4:00 am. I still like working that way. Emma is asleep, there are no errands to run or things to do, so I like to work then though I usually make myself quit by 2:00am.  When I am in the midst of a project, I tend to get a tiny bit obsessed.

I have not done any stitching yet as I am still making changes. It's currently in my dining room resting on a batting covered piece of fiber board. As I walk through the room, I glance at it and may decide to make a change or two.

It won't reach my sewing machine for another week or so as I like to live with it at this stage for awhile. Once I am satisfied, I will do a skinny zigzag around all of the raw edges of each piece.  Then I'm thinking that I will do some thread painting as I have purchased some luscious variegated threads that should work well on this piece. I'll want to practice thread painting on a smaller piece first.

The yellow and the orange  fabrics on the outer edges were pieces of fabric that I painted. I wrote about that process here. I also used this batik fabric. When I see fabric such as this that I think I might use at some point, I will buy a half yard or more.


This is what it looks like now . . . swiss cheese . . .  but there is still plenty to work with at another time. :-) [I became aware of using fabrics such as this after taking a wonderful class with Esterita Austin ten years ago. She is a terrific teacher and the workshop involved an absolutely incredible week in Tuscany!!!]


Here's hoping that you have a wonderful, colorful, lovely week.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Hibiscus Quilted Wallhanging - Part Two


It was back on April 6th and 7th of this year that I first discussed my plan to create a quilted wall hanging based on a hibiscus photo that I had seen on another blogger's site. She was gracious enough to grant me permission to use her photo. If you click here, you can see all of the preliminary steps in the process.  After that preparation, the project got put on hold until this morning when I began working on it in earnest. 

I thought I would document the process in hopes that you might find it interesting.  Also, who am I kidding . . . I'm hoping it keeps me focused and working on this project. :-) :-)

I added one more step by adding a vinyl overlay. (I purchased the lightweight vinyl in the home decorating section of Joanne's.) It is a duplicate of my original pattern design.
 

As you click on any of these images, you will be able to see a larger version.  Each individual section is labeled with the color to be used on that piece and each separate blossom part is numbered.


I use an 18mm rotary cutter and a Fiskus finger rotary cutter which I really like to remove each individual piece. I work on only one piece at a time. My fusible of choice is Misty Fuse as it doesn't change the hand of the fabric. After putting the cut fabric shape in place, I tape the paper pattern section back into the master pattern.


I slip the cut shape in place then roll the vinyl overlay out of the way. I use a small Clover iron to glue the piece in place being careful at this point to only touch the iron to the middle of the piece. Since it is only tacked in one small area, it is easy to remove the piece if I want to make changes, and I have already done that several times so far.


So here is the start. It's difficult to see clearly at this point with the vinyl overlay. Next time I will remember to roll it out of the way before photographing my progress.


Wish me luck . . . :-)

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Saturday Sampler


 My dad's oldest sister, my Aunt Mildred,  always had a fuchsia hanging pot at the entrance to her breezeway.  I love to photographing fuchsia, so I make a fuchsia hanging pot each summer, as well.
Alas, this magnificent white iris below is blooming in my neighbor's yard not mine. It is truly spectacular.



I am sad that I have finished reading  Amor Towles' novel A Gentleman in Moscow. It starts slowly and thus it took me a while to get into it. I kept wondering why so many people had recommended it, but I kept reading and was gradually drawn in. It is perhaps the best novel that I have read in the last ten years. The writing is exquisite.  The protagonist, Count Alexander Rostov, after the Bolshevik revolution is sentenced to permanent house arrest in the Metropol, a grand old hotel in the center of Moscow. Confined from the age of thirty, the young aristocrat seeks to live a life of purpose within the walls of the Metropol.

At dinner the other night, I spoke glowingly of this novel. A friend who had read it did not enjoy it at all. She commented that there was no action in the story. Isn't it interesting how another reader may have such a diametric opinion of the same book? I should add that my friend is a voracious reader; this novel, however, did not capture her interest.

I, on the other hand, found it to be a treasure. The scenes were beautifully rendered and the people with whom the count engages richly drawn. The plot does move, especially after a young child is entrusted to his care.

What I knew of Russian history came from college World History classes and films. This novel taught me much about Russia's turbulent history and perhaps offers insight into the Russian psyche today.

It's a subtle novel, but a rich, finely written one, and I urge you to make the acquaintance of this Gentleman in Moscow. BTW, I read that this novel is in the development stage and will be turned into a television series. I can see that it would make for a wonderful mini series, but please don't wait until then. Read the novel as the writing is too special to miss.



On a lighter note, I picked up this pillow for my sunporch the other day, and being 'the consumer' cut off the attached tag. These tags always make me smile. Had there been at some point a rash of hoodlums racing through department stores slashing off these tags??? What's up with that??? Under penalty of law, I promise to never do such a terrible thing.


For Emma fans . . . she came home from the groomers Thursday afternoon sporting this lovely flower.


Auntie Laurel sent this image along.
 

Those who know and love miniature schnauzers know that one end is bark and the other end tail wagging exuberance. My Emma would bark like crazy at robbers attempting to break in and when they were inside she would promptly roll over begging for a belly rub. Let's  hope that the barking would discourage any would be burglars. :-)

Construction on the new Tufts Library is coming right along. Click on this or any other photo for a larger version.


And finally, just to put a smile on your face . . . . . . :-)


Have a wonderful week.