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.