Monday, June 3, 2013

Finally I have My Computer Back

My computer was "in the shop" for a couple weeks and after large applications of cash has recovered and found its way home.  I didn't realize how much I would miss it, I always like those daily rambles through the quilt sites and blogs.

This is my Guadaloopy Day of the Dead quilt I made a couple of years ago.  It took forever  but was such fun to work on.  I sold it a couple of years ago.  I'll have to make myself a variation some day, it is one of my favorites.  The weather has been so peculiar the last couple of days, warm and soggy, very enervating,  I need a walk on the beach picking up some trash and a few treasures as well.  My favorite beach  is a short drive from my house and covered with beautiful rocks and shale.  And garbage.  The last time I was there an old lady came storming down the dirt road to the beach with a large pointed stick and a garbage bag.  She informed me she shad come to remove some discarded underwear.  I am lucky, have only had to deal with beer bottles and other picnic rubble.

Oksay, I better go do some laundry, i feel myself needing to move around a bit, get some oxygen to my few reamining brain cells...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I Finished my Floor Scrap Quilt

A tradition at Gwen Marston's Beaver Island Quilt Retreat is to make a tiny quilt from floor scraps on the last day.  The first year I went people were fairly generous with their leftovers and you could get enough to make something.  The last few times I've been nobody seemed inclined to load the floor with anything.  Lasst year i was complaining to Gwen that I couldn't fine any good scraps, and she said "Leave it to me, I'll find you some".  Sure enough Gwen delivered some kind of largish scraps,  just what I needed.  i know her technique,  you see some scraps on someone's table, you divert their attention and sweep a bit onto the floor.  The nice large border on my tiny quilt is courtesy of Gwen.
I guess spring has officially arrived, my front yard is a carpet of snow drops, crocus, Siberian squill and other tiny ground creepers.  The pair of cardinals who showed up last summer are back.  Haven't seen any robins yet,  though the woodpeckers have revealed themselves.  The buds on the trees are starting to appear,  when the lawn looks green I will know that winter has left.  Oh of course, the mud.  We usually have mud season rather than spring. I have a pond with running water next to my house which provides perfect living conditions for mosquito and black flies.  Not my favorite visitors. Fortunately i have a large colony of bats in my barn, and they help me out by eating lots of winged nasties.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Forgot these two

Here are two of my favorite quilts so i th
ought I would post them

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sad Story

One of my kitties, Rootabega,  mother of Tubby , Mabel and Dimsdale suddenly started pacing the house in a rather peculiar fashion.  I thought she had a bad tooth, she couldn't eat anything except baby food and pulverized meat.  My sone Martin came to the vet's with me.  The vet said he could smell her breath and he knew exactly what was wrong,  she had a fast growing carcinoma in her mouth and the only thing to do was say goodbye.  I told Martin to come in and say goodbye too.
by the time the vet came back we were sobbing.  We took her home wrapped in her tiny quilt and when the ground is right we will put her next to Abe and Manu.The cats here have been looking for Rooty,  they can't figure it out.

Rooty was a really sweet little siamese  kitty,  very affectionate, a great mom and always available for a hotpad on my arthritic shoulder.

She was nine years old.  Here are a couple pictures of Rooty........

I have been looking at pictures of quilt on people's blogs, websites and groups on facebook, etc.  I have seen so many wonderful things and I'm really inspired.  I couldn't sleep last night so I sewed about 400 half triangle squares and made them out of some loud, ugly fabric and some old lovelies..  I lost my camera AGAIN so I can't take any pictures which I find incredibly annoying.So perhaps i should go loo for it....That old litho came from my grandfather's house, and I think it is wonderful.  I have never been able to hang it straight and of course if you see the kitchen madness you will understand.

I went out early this morning to dig out my car and remove some of the snow I also dug a nice wide path from the house to the driveway.  We got over a foot of snow,  but it light and fluffy...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dimsdale and family....

Here are my companions,  Dimsdale,  Tubby her gigantic brother and their dad,  Hector when he was just a kitten.  They are such goofy kitties,  but very sweet and always willing to mess about with the fabrics in my sewing studio.....  Tubby likes to get up close with the machine when it is in use,  Hector and Dimmy prefer to just find a spot and nestle in.  I lost all the photos on my computer, and I was glad to discover a few cat portraits in the dregs of my computer files.

Today I spent a couple of hours looking at people's blogs, lots of beautiful quilts,  stories, etc.  I have been making quilts and other things for many years, but have become kind of paralyzed lately when it comes to creative things.  I have been inspired to try some things I have never done before. It is a little too cold in my studio tonight,  but I have plans for tomorrow.  The scrap pile of tiny bits and strips under and around my cutting table are calling me.  I have been working on a small quilt for the Quilt Alliance but I don't think I like it.  Time to try a new one.  Okay,  I better get busy...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I'm Calling This One Gigantor

Well i finally finished my tea towel quilt,  it was so much fun to make, but it did get pretty large.  I'm pleased with it, but I don't know how I'll get it finished.  I have a giant table in my sewing studio,  but it is of course buried in fabric.
   I lost all my photo files on my computer and it has been a horrible shock to me.  It has encouraged me to look at more quilts on different blogs.  I really love Deb Rowden's blog,  thrift shop quilts are almost always my favorite too,  though I have seldom found any in my local haunts.  i have gotten a few dooozers on eBay,  I guess I'll have to rephotograph them....I'd much rather be sewing.

I started a blue scrappy trip around the world quilt,  so far it is kind of boring,  but it takes me so long to make enough blocks to determine what is going on.  I have on e photo so far, nine blocks and my cat Tubby.  He doesn't look very impressed..

Monday, February 25, 2013

More F month Hi-jinks

I know it isn't just that it is the f month,  but somehow yesterday I touched something on my computer and managed to totally screw up everything on it.  My daughter deigned to wrestle with it for a couple of hours,  she restored it,  but almost all of my picture files have moved into the nether regions .  Oh well,  I probably could use a clean slate.  Today I did manage to get the final tiny border put on my gigantic tea towel quilt for the Bumblebeans challenge.  It is such a treat to see all the different things people come up with,  wonderfully creative.

We got some more snow last night,  just enough to make a horrendous trap in my driveway,  which is carefully arranged to cause any car coming uphill on it to veer off into the cedars or the hemlock hedge,  or the puckerbrush.  There is a pond next to my house as well,  but no one has managed to get a car in there yet.   Today my son got my ancient van stuck in the ditch at the end of the driveway, but no sooner had he got the shovel out someone pulled in next to him and helped get him out of the ditch.  That is one of the things I love about Maine, someone will always stop to pull you out of the ditch.  We're not the most chatty kind of neighbors.  Years ago I lived in a little town very close to where I live now and I went to a local dairy farm to get a Christmas tree.  The farmer helped me get the tree tied to the roof racks, he wasn't sure I'd make it home and offered to find a bit more rope to bind the tree. I told him it wasn't a problem,  I just lived two roads down.  He said , " Now how come I don't know you?" I told him I'd only lived there for ten years,  and he smiled and said "Well that explains it."

I think I'm going to try one of those 36 patch trip around the world quilts I've seen on several blogs,  the one on the Nifty Quilts blog that is such a beautiful collection of reds is still reverberating in my brain.

Well, I'm blathering.  I better go see if the bread is ready to come out of the oven.  I'll leave you with a photo of my daughter's cats, Pyewacket and Rasputina,  sisters from Jackman, Maine up near the Canadian border.  My favorite town is near by,  Misery Gore.  There is also Misery Knob and Misery Plantation, but MIsery Gore always sounds to me like the perfect setting for every novel Stephen King has ever written.  Of course Jackman has inhabitants,  Misery Gore has none.  My favorite place in Jackman is the motel that is also a game butcher's shop and a taxidermy service.  My daughter lived in Jackman for a couple of years.  She told me that the town motto should read: If you don't drink, now would be a great time to start.  It is located in a beautiful spot on the Wolf River,  way off the beaten path.  Right, time to stop ...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Too Cold

My son went out yesterday afternoon to cut a path to the car, we had been waiting on the snowplow guy, the busiest man around these days.  I am pondering putting one more tiny border on my teatowel quilt, maybe sam==mall hanging square.

I found a couple of pictures of unfinished items from all my time at Gwen Marston's Beaver Island Quilt Retreats.  I have been fortunate enough to go there seven times.  It is the most lovely thing,  held in an old lodge by the side of one of the smaller lakes in Michigan.  Five days of sewing and sew and tell and great fun. 2013 will be the last quilt retreat for Gwen,  I am hoping I will be able to attend, it is a highlight of the year for me.  So I thought I'd post a few pictures....Well i couldn't find the ones I wanted,  but I decided just to post these ones.  I am still trying to take pictures of a lot of my quilts and sewing sillyness.

I hope everyone is warm, well and sewing.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Found My Camera !

I really thought I would never find my tiny camera in my gigantic studio,  but it magically appeared this morning.  So I downloaded the photos in it and  here are a few more pictures of my tea towel quilt...My next move will be some applique on the green section under the tea towel.  The snow is still drifting down a bit, but the power is working and the house is toasty.  A good day for some hand sewing, as long as the cats let me alone for a bit.

The wind was howling all night here so no one got much sleep.  There is snow blown up to about four feet outside my door.  I think I'll wait until tomorrow before I venture out.  I am pretty well mortared in here until the snowplow guy comes to my rescue,  I imagine he's very busy today.

I have to make some made fabric blocks,  I did make stripy ones for this quilt, but I am inspired by all the lovely ones at Fifteen Minutes of Play.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Stash Overload

It has occurred to me that I need to thin out my stash quite a lot.  I found a piece of fabric yesterday i have no recollection of purchasing, very weird.  I have a piece of Dutch batik that I bought in 'Amsterdam when I was eighteen years old,  it might be time to do something with that or pass it along.  I have to stop buying fabric, at least with the internet I can view all the wonderful fabrics that are out there and not have the urge to take some home with me.  I live in Maine,  and we are fortunate enough to have an incredible salvage store chain,  and they have fabric at really reasonable prices.  I have bought Kaffe Fassett cloth for four dollars a yard.  I bought some with flowers just to use them in applique,  sort of a cheesy broderie perse.  The inventory,  which includes clothing,  tools , Oriental rugs,  everything and sometimes some wonderful books.  They used to have one store that was just fabric. it was located in this crumbling old brick building which used to be the Hathaway shirt fabric company.  When they decided to eliminate this store since the lovely old building is falling apart,  thye advertised fabric at half off their regular prices and then at the end, bolt remnants for three dollars a bolt.  I am glad I didn't go near it....

A few years ago along with some help from a couple friends,  I did manage to get things sorted into color categories.  Then there is the bits of upholstery fabric,  good for making pillows or shopping bags,  The massive collection of old linen things, tablecloths,  tea towels, doilies,  and boxes of nine patches,  log cabin strips one and one quarter inch wide rolled up in dark or light.  And the buttons.  I've been saving scraps forever, the possibilities are endless.

Years ago my mother and I would take an occasional jaunt to antique or junk stores.  One,  located in a barn in a tiny Maine village,  was filled with amazing things.  The best potholders ever.  Someone created these incredible things from the tiniest of scraps. The next time we visited that shop my tiny mother took off at a run to scoop up all the potholders.  Then she would inform me that they were all hers,  and I could have some when she was dead!  (she was the oldest of three sisters and could have used a dose of charm school)  My friend Delia looked at them and said they looked like something a spider on LSD had made in a cellar.  I'll post a picture when I find my camera.  This person who made these wonderful things had a great sense of design and managed to make these wonderful creations with bits and pieces.  Every once in a while I make some potholders for a gift,  I like that I can finish them in a flash.

I have been seized with the need to make some more quilts and having started to investigate all the wonderful quilting blogs it is such a lift to my spirits.  Right,  I' m just blathering now,  time to hunt for my camera and figure out what to use as a back for my tea towel challenge.  The sun is shining,  it's a good day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Tea Towel Challenge

Okay,  so here is my tea towel that I chose to participate in the Tea Towel Challenge at Fifteen Minutes of Play,  Victoria Findlay Wolfe's site.   I thought this would be a nice soothing activity for the F month and we are supposed to post our progress as we go along  so I added a tiny red border and put some leftover blocks and the lumpiest windmill block ever around and took another picture....

I decided maybe I wanted to add a sawtooth border so I laid that out and took a picture, tried a couple other arrangements, and then lost my camera cord.  I've been adding borders and bits all over the place, and now I've lost my camera and the quilt top is about 80 x 100 inches. I haven't had this much fun quilting all by myself in a long time.   If ever I discover the camera I will put up a shot of the completed top.  Go take a look at all the ones posted on Victoria's site,  they are so wonderful,  and have lots of pictures to look at.

It is very cold here again, I have five quilts on my bed at the moment and a couple ancient wool blankets,  the good thing about that is once I have managed to get myself wedged under the covers I can't move and generally manage to sleep for several hours.  I dream of organizing my sewing studio, and finding my camera.