Archive | March 2013

Oh my Spring is coming…

First Crocus

First Crocus

 

Spring is coming – some would say it is here.  It probably is in some places but we still have snow on the ground.  I love to see these darling little flowers poking up out of the mulch.  There is other evidence of flowers to come poking up through the mulch – maybe some tulips or daffodils.  Hopefully the deer will leave the tulips alone this year.  Last year they ate all but one beautiful red one.  Most of them a planted in a fenced area where the deer can’t get to them but some on in my front island and they are like a salad bar for the deer.

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Enjoy the sunshine,

Be Kind….

Faith

 

 

 

National Quilting Day and a trip to the Beach….

Full Bloom

Full Bloom

March 16th was National Quilting Day – to honor this day and to have some fun, 10 friends – some new friends and some old friends loaded into 2 cars and went on a road trip. We started our journey at 7:00 AM. We all live in southern Maine not far from the coast, our destination was the mountains of New Hampshire. QUILT SHOPS!!!

Our first stop was the Attic Cat which is in Effingham, NH. The road or roads to the Attic Cat are windy and hilly. I am not sure if I would have ever found it if I didn’t have capable co-pilots with me. What an adorable little shop, the Attic Cat was offering a 25% discount off of your total purchase. Loads of lovely fabrics, books and tools. We all did some damage to our bank accounts when we stopped there. We left inspired to quilt and to shop some more.

Next stop was a quilt shop known to many – Keepsake Quilting (www.keepsakequilting.com) in Center Harbor, NH on the coast of Lake Winnipesaukee. Many of you, I am sure have seen their catalog, flipped through the pages looking longingly at the quilts and fabrics. The first place we headed was the SALE room. We wanted to snatch up any wonderful kits, fat quarters or yardage that was not only on sale but also 20% off. Such bargains, such dreams of wonderful completed quilts. We all did some damage in this area as well. I bought several kits to make quilts with. One is very intricate and sort of modern, the other is very traditional and made with 30’s fabrics. I can’t wait to start both of them.

Quick break for lunch at a lovely restaurant called the Canoe which sits on the edge of the Lake. Very nice views of both the lakes and the mountains. We were all hungry but also anxious to get back to shopping. We had so much fun discussing our purchases and our quilts and getting to know each other better.

Back to Keepsake for the final hit of the day. Purchases made, bags stuffed into the car and off we go. One friend mentions that there is another quilt shop that maybe open just over the bridge in Laconia. The Quilted Frog. Ladies, do we want to stop? Of course, we are here, why not? As we piled out of the car and into the shop the owners thought that maybe a bus had arrived. Once again purchases were made, and bags were stuffed into the car. We decided that this had to be the last stop because there was no room left in the car.

We were headed home – laughing all the way. What a wonderful day we had. Good company, beautiful fabric and quilts and lots and lots of laughs!

Thanks Ladies for a wonderful time!

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The next part of my journey took me to Florida to visit family.  My husband and I traveled the day after a snow storm to Florida.  It was a trip that took a few hours longer than expected but we got there.  Plane de-icing and missed connections and all.

It was so wonderful to walk on the beach with our feet in the water.

Heaven

Heaven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had some company for part of the walk.

photo (73)This beautiful Heron decided to walk with us for a bit.  I think he thought we had some food foe him.  Since I don’t think Heron’s drink wine he was out of luck with us.  Isn’t he a beauty though!  The birds are so tame it amazes me.

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We had a wonderful but short vacation – we visited with family, laughed alot, ate good food and too many desserts but that is what vacation is for.

Have a very Happy Easter!  I hope where ever you are spring is on its way.  We may have to wait here in Maine because there is still alot of snow left to melt.

Be Kind…

Faith

My new I-Pad cover…

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I take my I-Pad everywhere. I rarely leave the house with out it. I decided that although I have a cover for it I needed a bit more protection…not to mention something that was just a bit more my style. When I put my I-pad in my bag the magnetic cover sometimes opens which could lead to scratches or a dead battery. I decided that I would make one – Big Surprise right???

I googled covers and tons of covers that I could buy popped up – then I turned to Pinterest. All I needed was an idea – I had a pretty good plan already bouncing around my brain but I wanted to see what others were making. Sure enough loads of good ideas popped up on Pinterest. Many very similar to what I had been thinking about.

I took some measurements, thought about what materials I had on hand, wondered how I could use scraps rather than cutting “new” fabric and this is what I came up with.

Here are some of the stitches that I used to decorate it.

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I used velcro to secure it when my I-pad is in it.  I am very pleased with the way it turned out.  Here are a few more pictures of the final product.

photo (67)photo (65)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So that is my latest little creation.  It is snowing again here in Maine.  It is pretty, but I am ready for Spring.  Winter just wants to hang on tight but eventually Spring will win and little green shoots will be poking up through the dirt and I will be very excited.

Enjoy your day…

 

Be Kind…

Faith

Flower Show and some other cute stuff…

My beautiful Orchid - Blooming in my sunroom.

My beautiful Orchid – Blooming in my sunroom.

We woke up to snow and wind this morning. Don’t get me wrong, I love the seasons all of them including winter, however I am about done with winter this year. I need some Spring in my life. We went to Portland this afternoon to visit the Flower show. The displays that the landscapers put together are absolutely amazing. It really makes you long for a yard free of snow and the smell of dirt. We always get ideas for our yard and gardens.

Weeping Cherry

Weeping Cherry

I love this Weeping Cherry Tree – I have the perfect place for it in my back yard.  We will have to wait and see.  I love to imagine the yard free of snow and full of flowers poking their way up through the mulch.

Here are a few more little plants that I want to add to my gardens.

Lenten Rose

Lenten Rose

Maidenhair Fern

Maidenhair Fern

I also saw a lovely little flower called a Ranunculus ‘Bloomingdale Mix’ – it seemed to be in almost all of the displays.  It is an annual and I usually like to plant mostly perennials but this little flower is so sweet.  Of course did I get a picture of it – Nope – missed that one.  I got a picture of the name card but not the actual flower.  Oops.

After the flower show we went to grab a bite to eat at Allison’s in Kennebunkport, ME.  This is the view from the parking lot before we went in to dinner.  I love the amazing colors in the sky.  What a beautiful sunset.

Beautiful Sunset - Kennebunkport, ME

Beautiful Sunset – Kennebunkport, ME

I also spent the week sewing – I was making gifts.  There are some people who I really love to make gifts for,  they are people who also like to create, people who really appreciate the passion I have for creating things.  Mari is one of these people.  Mari is also a creative person – we are both a bit stifled in our actual jobs because we would rather be making things with our time.  We both love to cook and to create for others.  Kindred spirits for sure.  Mari loves whimsical things.  I made her these gifts for her birthday.  I think the purse fits the description of whimsical.

Little bag

Little bag

stitch details on bag

stitch details on bag

Pillow

Pillow

So once again this evening I am in my sewing room.  In a few minutes I will be parked in front of my little antique Singer Featherweight machine stitching my swap blocks.

Have a nice weekend and don’t forget to set your clocks back.

Be Kind….

Faith

Block Swap…

A couple of weeks ago I was perusing Facebook, and I noticed a post by one of my favorite authors – Marie Bostwick http://mariebostwick.com/. Marie has written loads of books about a woman who goes through a difficult time in her life – moves to a new city/town and opens a quilt shop. As a quilter this has always been something that I have wanted to do. Life and finances have always kept me from doing that – it is still on my bucket list but the lottery may need to be involved for it to happen at this point. We all need our dreams. But I digress….

The post was regarding a block swap – as a reader of Marie’s Forum I was very interested in this project. We were instructed to check out Bonnie Hunter’s blog http://www.quiltville.blogspot.com and check out her tutorial for The Guilford County Block http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2012/08/its-guilford-county-block.html. To sign up you needed to let them know that you were interested – forum posts and e-mails started flying all over. We have 22 people who have signed up – they are from all over the place – the US and Canada seem to be the most interested.

We are making the blocks pink and brown – not colors that I would usually use together but I am happy with the blocks. I am using Batiks which I love to work with. They give you such a range of color tones within each piece of fabric. We can use scraps within our stash but I decided that I would buy some new fabric.

 

This is a picture of my first attempt at the block.  OOPS – I flipped one of the pieces and this is what I got.   Not bad but not right.  That is why they call it a practice block.

First attempt - oops

First attempt – oops

 

 

This is what the block is actually supposed to look like.

Guilford County Block

Guilford County Block

 

However this is also a practice block because it isn’t 12.5″ square which is a requirement for the swap.  I am using my new sewing machine and I am still fiddling with the seam allowance – it has to be exactly 1/4″ in order for the block to measure 12 1/2″ square when I am finished.  If you don’t have your blocks exactly 12 1/2″ when you assemble your quilt it will not be square – it will be all wonky.  You don’t want a WONKY quilt!!!

Last night I fiddled and fiddled and finally got my seam allowance correct and now I am making 22 blocks that will be 12 1/2″ square.  So I will be sewing Guilford County Blocks and then mailing them off by April 16th.  In return I will receive 22 Guilford County Blocks made by 22 different people who love quilting and love Marie Bostwick books.

I have never done a swap like this before – I am looking forward to seeing the blocks that I get in return and I am also looking forward to making these blocks into a quilt.  Just the idea of 22 different people interpreting the block and picking fabrics is exciting.  So after I get my blocks all assembled I will send them off to the quilter who is organizing this and then I will wait to get my 22 blocks in return.  I will show you the blocks as soon as I get them.

More snow coming tonight – hopefully it will all blow out to sea and we will not have to shovel.  Beautiful weather is coming for the weekend.  Don’t forget to change your clocks on Saturday night.  We lose an hour  – bummer.

 

Be kind…

Faith