Some of my quilts….
I have been quilting for many more years than I really want to admit to. When I first started the re-birth of quilting was well underway. The Bi-Centennial had happened a few years before and there were continuing education classes at the local middle school that I signed up for. I was not new to sewing but I was to quilting. I didn’t have a sewing machine, I used cereal boxes to make my templates. Every piece was hand cut with a pair of scissors and all of my piecing was done by hand. My first project has yet to be completed, I am still hand quilting it.
I am going to show you some of my projects just so that you get a taste for what I do and how I do it.
This quilt is hand pieced, appliqued and quilted.
Machine Appliqued and long arm quilted by a friend.
This Quilt was made for my sister to give to a friend.
Paper pieced and machine quilted.
Made for a friend as a thank you gift
Paper Pieced and machine quilted
Hope you enjoyed this little quilt show.
One of my favorite quilters is Bonnie Hunter. I have only recently discovered Bonnie, she has a blog http://www.quiltville.blogspot.com , that I visit regularly. Bonnie is a very generous teacher, lecturer, quilter. Her blog site is full of wonderful hints, patterns and pictures of her quilts.
Every year Bonnie does a mystery quilt. Bonnie gave us the list of fabrics, colors, and basic yardage back in the beginning of November. Here is a peak at some of the fabrics that I will be using.
Easy Street Fabrics
On the Friday after Thanksgiving she revealed the first step. I had company all weekend and was just itching to get started on this but I waited until my kids started their journeys home before I dove into this project. I am not a huge fan of grays so I had to buy yardage – I didn’t have any scraps to use. The black on white fabric was also a challenge for me. I purchased a few yards and when I mentioned this project to my quilting friends they dug into their stashes and gave me some. (the generosity of quilters always warms my heart).
grays and black on whites to make 4 patches
The first step is to make 4 patch blocks – a very simple and frequently used block in quilting. We needed 192 of these blocks. Sounds daunting but, I put my music on and just started humming along with the stitching. Such a feeling of satisfaction when you are done. Woo Hoo! Here is a picture of my completed first step.
completed 4 patches
The next step will be revealed tomorrow and I can’t wait to get started on it. I will be sure to show you my progress as I move along on the mystery.
I am a member and currently the President of Evergreen Quilters. We are a chapter of The Pine Tree Quilt Guild, which is the state of Maine Quilt Guild. Last night was our annual Pot Luck Holiday Party/meeting. One of the things that we really enjoy doing is helping the less fortunate. Last night we were told about an article in the local newspaper. There is a children’s home in Waterville, Maine called Maine’s Children’s Home for Little Wanderers, because of the donations to Sandy their donations this year are drastically down. They are concerned that they will not be able to provide the Christmas gifts that they usually do. One of our members brought this up at the meeting last night. We passed a basket and collected $213. It was such a nice end to our wonderful party.
We have such an abundance of blessings – sometimes we have to stop and think and share those blessings. We also filled the back of an SUV with homemade tote bags and for the Battered Woman’s Shelter in our county. Because we do this, the shelter is able to use some of their funding for other items that the woman and their children will need.
Many of us are very blessed – we just need to pay it forward. When you pass the Salvation Army bell ringers drop a dollar in the red kettle. When you go shopping grab an extra can of soup or tuna or a box of Mac and Cheese and drop it in the collection box at the front of the store. Every little bit counts. There are so many who need help, the smallest deed when done by many can really add up.
Share your blessings and be Kind…
I made these Christmas Stockings as a gift for people that I love. I used scraps from other projects to make these. The process is called String Piecing. I attach the strips of fabric to both a backing and the batting. That way the stocking is quilted and the fabric is assembled at the same time. I then cut the shape of the stocking out and sewed it to the backing. I used my little Embroidery machine to put the names on and them attached the collar to the stocking. Such fun.
I am able to show you this picture because I have already given this gift. You can’t give Stockings on Christmas because Santa needs to be able to fill them on Christmas Eve. They need to be hanging by the fireplace.
More to come….
What a wonderful weekend we had! Our son and daughter were both home for the weekend. We ate way too much but that is what holidays are about. We covered just about every food group, from the turkey with all the fixin’s to seafood fresh from the nearby ocean. One of the many bonuses to living on the coast is fresh seafood, mussels, littleneck clams, swordfish. All so wonderful!
My kids made their way home yesterday – I packed up leftovers and sent a lot of them home with them. We still have a packed fridge but way less packed than yesterday morning. The last of the leftovers should be cleaned out after lunch today.
So – at 2:00 I hit the sewing room. I am working on a Mystery Quilt that Bonnie Hunter (http://www.quiltville.blogspot.com/ ) is doing. The name of the quilt is Easy Street. I will be posting my progress on my blog for the next month or so. Once a week you will get a peek into what I am making. Bonnie has given suggested colors and after searching though my “stash” I had most of the necessary fabrics in my extensive piles of fabrics. I needed to purchase some yardage of a gray fabric and a few different white on black fabrics. I didn’t have any of those fabrics in my stash.
It is very exciting to start a Mystery Quilt – for those who don’t know what it is here is an explanation. You are told what fabrics you need – usually it is just yardage that is described as light, mediums, darks. Bonnie actually gave color suggestions so that you can get a feel for the colors of the quilt. Many people are using different fabrics but I like the colors that Bonnie is using.
Every week or month you are given another step to complete. The first step was 194 four patch blocks that were made using the gray and white on black fabrics. Next Friday I will get the next step and off we will go.
It is very exciting to see the quilt come together little by little. I will post the progress at the beginning of every week.
In between working on Easy Street I will be making all sorts of Christmas gifts. Some I will show and others will have to wait until after the holidays. I love making homemade gifts. I will also be decorating, and baking and getting ready for the madness of the holidays.
Hang on – here we go!
Sew, Sew, Sew!
I have great plans for this weekend and it involves spending a lot of time sitting in front of my sewing machine. It also involves the coming holidays. I may even put some Christmas music on to really get into the Spirit of the season.
My first project will be a tote bag for a Battered Woman’s Shelter. My quilt group gives handmade tote bags full of the basic necessities’ of life. When these women leave their homes they usually do it with nothing but the clothes on their backs and their children in their arms. Every year we make them tote bags and fill them with the basics. It is so wonderful to see the generosity of people, especially quilters.
I have several other projects to get done this weekend – some will be works-in-progress and others will be completed in one sitting. I will show you pictures of my progress and try to show you how to make some very simple but special gifts that you can make for the holidays.
This afternoon we are going to explore some of the coast of Maine. Every Friday afternoon we try to explore a new part of the coast of Maine. We live in such a beautiful area and so much of it is free to the public, especially at this time of year. The tourists are gone and the beaches are empty. The best thing about the ocean is that it is beautiful 12 months a year. We are so fortunate to live here.
So stay tuned for some pictures of my projects and pictures of the coast……
This is the view from my front door today. The first snow of the season. I love it, many hate it! Winter is a season that you either look forward to or dread. Since I would rather be happy I look forward to it. Slower days, comfort food, warm quilts to snuggle under.
I love to hand quilt in the winter. Having a quilt in my lap keeps me warm and allows me to have my quilts hand quilted. I love to hand quilt. A quilt that is hand quilted has a totally different feel to it. It is softer and puts me in touch with the art of quilting. To look at a quilt and know that every stitch was painstakingly done by hand is really rewarding.
Enjoy the weather. Why complain about it, we surely can’t change it.
Yes, I am talking about Christmas. Ok before you bite my head off think about it, 43 days. I don’t know where the year has gone; it seems like a few weeks ago I was planning a new garden for the backyard. That is long gone at this point, so let’s start planning now.
When I was pregnant for my daughter my due date was in February. That year I had all of my shopping done by Thanksgiving. I still had some sewing to do but I didn’t have to leave the house except to grocery shop. I had plenty of time to decorate, to bake cookies, to wrap presents and to enjoy the season. Now Elizabeth was born 24 years ago and I haven’t been that organized since 1987. Pretty pathetic!!! Every year I remember the joy of the season that I felt that year, every year I say that I am going to get organized and get things done. Ha-ha, it hasn’t happened yet but maybe this year! If I could just get everything ready by the first of December I would be overjoyed.
Starting today I am going to try to get one holiday gift item started or finished or purchased every day. I have a long list of Quilty type gifts to make for the people that I love. The list includes quilts, totes, stockings, wall-hangings, table runners, pillowcases; the list could take up pages and pages. Most of the fabric has been purchased, the buttons, bows, zippers, and trims are lined up on my shelves.
As I get things completed I will share them here with you. I may show you a picture; I may just give you a description and wait until after the holidays for the show and share. I don’t want the recipients to know what they are getting. It may be fun to have pictures of the items and the person who received it. We will have to wait and see.
So hang on and prepare with me – remember to enjoy the season, smile when you shop, don’t be angry when someone cuts you off, hum Christmas Carols it will really annoy the grinches, most importantly wish people a Merry Christmas!
This is the quilt that started it all.
This weekend I was invited to a birthday party. We have all been invited to many birthday parties in our lifetimes. What makes this birthday party so special is that it was a party for a friend – a friend who is a Quilter.
When I moved to Maine 4 years ago I knew a few people. I really would not have considered any of them friends. They were acquaintances. Then I joined a Quilt guild.
Quilters are such wonderful caring and sharing people. One of the first projects that I got involved with was a raffle quilt. We met a few times to cut fabric, make packets for members and eventually to assemble the quilt. The person who was the chairperson of the raffle quilt is Ardy – I went to her birthday party on Saturday.
As a result of my participation in the quilt chapter I have met FRIENDS. People, who I can call on in a times of need, people who I quilt with and laugh with and eat gum drops with and do charitable work with.
When I look back at my life I have made my best friends through either church or quilting, two organizations that as their goal is to comfort people. This month my quilt group is making tote bags for a battered women’s shelter. We will make handmade quilted tote bags and fill them with things that we take for granted in life, toiletries, socks, underwear etc. These woman run and they only grab their kids and what they can carry which usually isn’t much.
So thank you Ardy for inviting me to your birthday party and more importantly thank you for being my friend. Thank you quilters for being the kind, welcoming, giving, fun, caring people that you are, I am very happy to call you my friends!
I have been thinking of starting a blog for a very long time. I have had lots of doubts about it – I wonder…..
Who will read it?
Will anyone care about what I have to say?
What will I say?
Then I think I have never had a difficult time talking to people so now I will just talk in a different way. Written words rather than spoken words.
Well here goes – I am going to share some of my favorite things (think “girls in white dressed with blue satin sashes”) – my quilting, my cooking, the beach, the ocean – a few of my favorite things. I will share things that I create and things that are beautiful around me.
Hopefully I will be able to make you laugh or smile with me. See some of the things that I create out of fabric and some of the beautiful coast of Maine.
Please let me know what you think….. be kind.