Big Old Oak tree
So I decided that I was going to write a post about warmer things. It will be mostly pictures of warmer, sunnier days. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the seasons of the year and living in the Northeast gives us the opportunity to experience them all. So here are some warm memories.
Bonfire at the beach
I love the memories that we make in the summer at the beach.
Iris and Poppies
I love the beautiful flowers in my garden.
wonderful memories with people we love
The beach, the pool, the fourth of July!
4th of July
Just a reminder that the snow will melt and the winds will warm and more memories will be made.
In the mean time stay warm, bake bread, make soup and cuddle under homemade quilts.
It snowed here yesterday. There was no wind so the trees are still covered in the wet heavy snow. When I looked outside this morning it reminded me of a black and white movie. The sun is not shining brightly, everything is monochrome. There is no color. It is a very strange look for a place that usually is a riot of color.
Even Gracie seems to lose her color. Gracie is a chocolate lab, here she looks like a black lab.
I am a person who rarely wears earth tones, my quilts are always made with bright colors, but somehow looking out the windows it makes me want to make a black and white quilt. I will probably change my mind once the sun shines brightly again but this is where so much inspiration for quilts comes from for me. I alway say that if I could see 2 or 3 or more colors together in nature than why not put them in a quilt.
Enjoy the day. I plan on doing some cooking, quilting, knitting and football game watching. Busy day but some how very peaceful, or pieceful depending on which activity I am working on.
Snowy Owl – Biddeford Pool
Snowy Owls have moved south. I have seen several news reports about these birds. They have moved south because of lack of food in the Tundra. I guess there are more owls than there is food for them to eat. The reports have said that most of the birds are young males. They are causing problems at the airports from Portland, ME to Logan in Boston, they like open spaces.
I see these owls almost every day on my way to the Post Office. I drive down a narrow strip of land that runs between a large tidal bay and the ocean. There are houses on both sides of the road. I see these owls sitting on the chimneys, and power poles. Today I saw 3 of them.
sitting on the post
They sit and swivel their heads around watching. They soar through the sky, scanning for food. Our backyard borders a Rachael Carson protected piece of land. I see them flying over this area, swooping and diving through the sky. They amaze me!
They have become celebrities in these parts. The birders are out with their cameras and huge lens taking pictures. Everyday when I see them all out taking pictures I say that I need to grab my camera and telephoto lens and get some pictures. Oops… I forgot again.
I live in a place where wild life is abundant. We see all sorts of birds, song birds, seagulls of course, loads of turkeys trotting along between houses.
We see deer all the time, there was a set of twin fawns and their Momma in the yard this fall. We even see the occasional Moose.
I live in an amazing place – the views are breath taking, the animals are abundant and fabulous and the people are friendly and helpful. I am blessed. I am also going to put my camera by the door so that I can get a better picture of one of these owls.
First of the Cobbled Court books
Once again this year I am participating in a Block Swap with the Cobbled Court Quilt Circle. The original reason for this group is to discuss Marie Bostwick’s wonderful books – “A Thread so Thin”, “Ties that Bind”, “A Thread of Truth”. Do you sense a theme? All of the books are related to and revolve around the story of the life of a group of Quilters. I must tell you that some of my best friends are quilters. I have flesh and blood friends who I gather with, to work on quilts, share our lives both the good and the bad and make quilts for charity. I also have my cyber-friends. I have never met them in person – hopefully that will change in October 2014 when I attend a quilt retreat, but we work on projects, encourage each other and all read Marie’s books. We will be doing a block exchange again this year. One of the members of the group has chosen a block and directed us to a you tube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rgQd6asPQs that gives the directions and a detailed look at how to assemble the block. I decided to use the block in a wedding quilt that I need to make for a family member.
quilt block from video
So as I watched the video I snapped a picture of the completed block with my cellphone. I need a visual when I am assembling blocks. I need to make sure that I have everything in the correct place. Of course sometimes even with the picture I mess things up but the chances are slighter when I have a picture in front of me. So I blissfully stitched along last night – I posted the picture below to show my cyber-friends my progress.
my first block
So when you look at the two pictures they are the same. However, when you look at the completed quilt in this picture you can see that the pinwheels are spinning a bit differently.
quilt in the video
So what is the solution? Well, here is the immediate solution for me… I will continue to make the blocks the way that I have been because I am not going to rip out 4 blocks that look fine to me, and I will run out of fabric if I scrap them. So if you look at the picture of the individual block (and my block) the pinwheel is made one way and the pinwheel in the completed quilt is made another way. Oh the conundrum!!
So we – we being the Cobbled Court Quilters will have to be advised as to which way the pinwheels are to be done. I will continue to make my blocks the way that I have made the first 4 blocks. I will post a picture when the top is completed. I need either 30 or 36 blocks to have enough for a queen size quilt, I have a wonderful idea for a border but I will need to either search my stash or go shopping for part of the border. Either one of those choices is fun!
Once again I have entered a UFO Challenge. As quilters, many of us have projects that we started many years ago, with the best intentions of finishing them. Then life gets in the way, or we lose interest, or some wonderful new pattern or fabric or class grabs our attention. Yes, we can be a very fickle group!
When I started this project I lived in upstate NY in the Helderberg mountains, in this big beautiful Victorian home.
First house – Westerlo, NY 1986
The majority of the colors in the house were burgundy and green – my husbands favorite colors. They were rich, beautiful colors that reflected the colors of the time that the house was built. We spent 13 wonderful years living in this home. But I digress.
The pattern for this quilt was published in American Patchwork & Quilting in April 1996. I fell in love with it and decided to make it. The pieces are machine pieced and machine appliqued. The colors were perfect for the wallpaper and carpet in our bedroom at the time. Needless to say I have lived in 3 different houses since then and the colors do not go in my bedroom any longer. BUT… they are Victorian Christmas colors. So I will use this as a Christmas quilt after it is completed.
I need to piece the backing and it will be dropped off at the longarm quilter in early February. I will be dropping off 2 quilts at that point. The second quilt is made up of hand pieced stars. It is a sampler quilt so each block is different. I need to finish up the borders on that one and then I will show you a picture of it.
These are 2 of the 6 quilts on my UFO list. The prospect of getting these 2 quilts done is very exciting for me. There is a wonderful feeling when a project that you have been working on for many years is almost done.
So quilters, knitters, crafters – go check out your stash and pull out those UFO’s and get to work. Get them done – you will be so happy that you have completed them. Pat your self on the back and go start another project.
I have been plugging away on Part 5 of Bonnie Hunters Celtic Solstice quilt. (http://www.quiltville.blogspot.com/p/celtic-solstice-mystery.html) I am in the final stretch of getting this section completed. (http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2013/12/mystery-monday-link-up-part-5.html) I am very happy with the fabric choices that I made and I made a serious dent in my Christmas fabrics, some of which are over 20 years old. So far all of the fabrics are from the “stash”. I love that the Christmas section of my shelves is a little emptier than it was before. That means that I will need to buy more fabric to fill it up. (Just Kidding Chuck!!!)
We are in the midst of a major winter storm right now. The temperature is 4 degrees, the snow is falling and the wind is blowing. I love it!!!! The fridge is stocked and the fireplace is ready to light. The only down side is that I have a miserable head cold. I shouldn’t complain because I can’t remember the last time I had a head cold but I do feel pretty lousy. Luckily I have no reason to leave the house.
Here are a few pictures of the chaos that is also known as my sewing table. It doesn’t look like much but all of those pieces are strung together waiting for the next step. In some cases I need to add the final piece, in others I just need to press and trim the final step. I will get these done soon provided the power doesn’t go out.
some completed Part 5’s waiting to be pressed and trimmed
After Bonnie posted the final step of the quilt I just had to put a couple of the blocks together to see how they would look. I am very pleased with the final product so far and I can’t wait to get moving on this quilt again.
2 completed blocks – I just love them!
If you are in the path of the storm stay warm and safe. If you are in warmer climates enjoy the sunshine. I am very happy to be snowbound on the coast of Southern Maine. I think that I am going to make a big pot of Chili this afternoon – perfect food for a stormy day.
Keep sewing and