Archives

Acadia…

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park

 

 

 

One of the most beautiful places I have ever been.  In mid October Chuck and I and all of our kids went to Acadia.  There were 10 of us in total and we had the most amazing time.  I first have to tell you that whenever we are all together the laughter is abundant!  Everyone of us has a remarkable sense of humor and we especially enjoy teasing each other.  If you have a thin skin we will go “easy” on you but as a rule the ribbing is all in good fun and is never meant to hurt feelings.  We are just a really funny group – sometimes on purpose and sometimes purely by accident.

We had all been checking the weather forecast and the apps on our phones and the forecast was at best dismal.  However, the luck of the Irish was with us and although the sun did not shine brightly on us, the rain held off for the most part and it was perfect weather to be outside walking around an amazing place.

Jordan Pond

Jordan Pond

We had lunch at the Jordan Pond house – popovers and tea – soups and sandwiches.  We all walked around the pond and it was so beautiful – breathtaking actually.  Here are a few shots of us all.

IMG_0070

IMG_0093

Summit of the Bubbles

Summit of the Bubbles

 

view from the Pond House

view from the Pond House

 

We had dinner at Havana – a lovely restaurant in Bar Harbor.

Dinner at Havana

Dinner at Havana

We walked along the Loop Road….

IMG_0107

One of us went swimming at Sand Beach – the air temp was about 50 degrees and it was very windy.

Sand Beach the morning Charles went for a "dip"

Sand Beach the morning Charles went for a “dip”

We ate amazing Mac and Cheese at The Side Street Café –

Apple Cider Margaritas!

Apple Cider Margaritas!

We drank lots of beer and wine – ate lots of wonderful meals – saw some amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean – and we laughed until our sides ached and we made some wonderful memories.

Our last day there we got up before the sunrise with hopes of seeing the sunrise.  It is the first place on the east coast that you can see the sunrise during the month of October.  I have seen it and it truly is an amazing sight.  However the weather did not cooperate with us.  It was a foggy, windy, drizzly day, but we were there for the sunrise and we can say we did it together.

Cadillac Mountain at sunrise!

Cadillac Mountain at sunrise!

IMG_0128

The thing that amused us the most was that an engaged couple were having their engagement pictures taken in this horrible weather.  They had to have been freezing and very damp by the time they were finished.  I would have nixed the entire project but they were determined and who knows the pictures may have been amazing in the end.

We had a wonderful vacation – for many reasons.  We were in an amazing place but more importantly we were with amazing people!  It is wonderful to be able to spend really special time with really special people.  I fear that with the crazy lives that a lot of us lead that we don’t always make the time to spend special time with the people we love.  It is not always easy and it takes a lot of planning but if you can make it work it is one of the true blessing in life.

I am off to decorate the house, work on a quilt and complete some Christmas presents.  I love having a really good reason to need to be sit in front of my sewing machine.  Enjoy the process and remember why we all make ourselves crazy during this time of year.

Be Kind….

Faith

 

 

 

I love this quilt……

Christmas Stars

Christmas Stars

This quilt has been in my life for 20 years, but until yesterday I couldn’t say that is was complete. I started it as a class at Log Cabin Fabrics. It was a block of the month class that met the first Thursday of the month for either 6 months or a year – I can’t remember. Seems to me we got 2 blocks each month. I opted to hand piece the blocks. I made the decision to hand piece the blocks for a few different reasons.

First, I love to hand piece, second, there are a lot of points in these blocks and I wanted to be sure to have pointy points, third, I love hand piecing!  I loved the fact that I could take the work with me where ever I was, in the car, at a field hockey game or the orthodontics office.  Those places were all part of my life when I started this quilt.  How life has changed.

So you wonder, why if I loved the blocks so much and took them with me just about everywhere, did it take 20 years to complete.  It became a UFO (unfinished object) for a few reasons.  After piecing all of the blocks they were all different sizes, not because I pieced them wrong – the idea was to trim the blocks to all match.  The problem with that was that I would need to cut off my precious points in order to have them all the same size.  They were stuck in a box to wait til later.  I would pull them out a few times a year and try to come up with a solution.

Well after 20 years I have progressed as a quilter and an idea finally came to me.  Add background borders to all of the blocks and them trim them so that all of the points would show and the blocks would all measure 17 1/2″ square.  Next step – put the quilt together – add sashing and borders.

Then it needed to be quilted.  I could not hand quilt it or it would take another 20 years to complete.  I don’t feel skilled enough to quilt it on my sewing machine.  A good friend suggested a long arm quilter that she has worked with.  I packed it up and sent it to Shirley York of Blue Moose Quilting.

Well, Shirley is truly an artist!  The quilting that she did on this quilt is wonderful, whimsical, it “completes” my quilt in a wonderful way.  Here are some pictures to show you how special it is.

 

Water Wheel Star

Water Wheel Star

Octagon Star

Octagon Star

Radiant Feathered Star

Radiant Feathered Star

St. Louis Star

St. Louis Star

Mariner's Compass

Mariner’s Compass

Castle Wall

Castle Wall

Blazing Star

Blazing Star

California Sunset

California Sunset

Interlocking Block

Interlocking Star

Hearts Design

Hearts Design

Flying Swallows

Flying Swallows

Snow Crystals

Snow Crystals

If you click the pictures you can see the quilting details a little better.

Happy Quilting and hopefully Happy Spring soon too…

Be Kind…

Faith

 

 

 

 

 

 

My next project – Bonnie Hunters Celtic Solstice…

love the look of this quilt - the illusion of curves with only straight lines

love the look of this quilt – the illusion of curves with only straight lines

Since the day after Thanksgiving I have been working on this quilt.  http://www.quiltville.blogspot.com/p/celtic-solstice-mystery.html  I have used only fabric that I had in my stash.  That is about 25 years worth of fabric.  I have been talking about having Christmas quilts on the beds in my house for that long as well.  So I have been buying Christmas fabric for that long.  Yikes that amounted to about 1/4 of my stash.  So when Bonnie Hunter gave the initial instructions for this quilt I looked over the colors and decided that I needed to make some changes.  Bonnie had orange in her quilt – and it looks beautiful, as do all of the quilts that the many quilters that have followed the same color scheme have made.  I didn’t have a lot of orange fabric and orange just didn’t work in the color scheme of my home.  So I decided to sort of go my own way.  I switched things up a bit.  Where Bonnie uses blue – I use Red, and where she uses Orange I used Blue.  So my quilt will look a bit different but the overall effect is the same.  Beautiful!!!  Thank you Bonnie Hunter for another wonderful quilt design.

full tote of quilt parts

full tote of quilt parts

This is a look at the first 40 blocks that I have completed.

one potential corner

one potential corner

I still have lots of blocks to complete – I started making this King size but since I don’t have a King size bed I am going to cut it down to a queen and make a lap quilt as a gift for someone for Christmas next year.

photo 1 (5)

You may be noticing this totally awesome portable design wall that I have.  I don’t have a free wall to dedicate to a design wall so I ordered this online.  It is made by Cheryl Ann.  You can check it out on this website.  www.cherylannsdesignwall.com .  It is easy to assemble and easy to take apart and store.  I love being able to preview how a quilt will look with out having to crawl around on the floor.  Good for the knees and back.

This is a picture of the same tote with fewer quilt parts in it.

photo (84)

I will keep you posted on my progress with this quilt.  It will never be a UFO because I really want it done for Christmas next year.  I love the way it is coming out and I also love the amount of OLD fabric I am using up.  No stash guilt here.

Happy Quilting…

Be Kind…

Faith

Saying goodbye…

Dresden Plate

Dresden Plate

 

Christmas Stars - one border too small

Christmas Stars – one border too small

I left two of my oldest quilt tops with a friend last night to be delivered to the long arm quilter.  I have seen the work of the lady who will be quilting my beloved tops and I am very excited to see how she quilts these tops.  I am also very excited to have these quilts moved out of and off of the UFO pile.

I am very proud of the workmanship on both of these quilt tops.  They are very different quilts.  The Dresden Plate quilt was machine pieced and both machine and hand appliqued.  As I have mentioned in previous posts I started this back in the 90’s.  The top has been completed for a long time – I just wanted to have the right person quilt it for me.

The Christmas Stars quilt was a block of the month class taken many years ago at Log Cabin Fabrics in Selkirk, NY http://logcabinfabrics.com/.  If you are ever in the Albany, NY area and can stop in it is worth the visit.  The ladies ( Londa, Lisa and Bonnie) will take very good care of you.  The fabrics for both of these quilts were purchased many years ago at this shop.  I hand pieced most of these blocks, I added the sashing and borders using my machine.  The quilt shown in the picture is not the completed top, I added one more border using the same fabric as the sashing.

the backyard

the backyard

We had a snow day on Wednesday.  I made a wonderful Chicken Pot Pie for dinner and settled in to work on quilts that night.  The best thing about snowstorms is that it is a perfect time to work on quilts.  When the world looks white it is fun to pull out a pile of fun fabrics to brighten your day.

I also have been working on blocks for a block swap but I can’t post any pictures of those yet.   All I can say about them is that the background is white and the main fabric was supposed to make us think of summer.  When the weather is cold and snowy it is nice to think about summer, sunshine and warm air.

Now back to my Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt – Celtic Solstice.  I have 40 blocks done and a gazillion more to sew.  I will post pictures of that soon.

Keep creating…

Be Kind…

Faith

The problem with UFO’s is…..

that after sitting on a shelf for more years than I want to admit to you need to finish them. I am very excited about this quilt – I started it in the 90’s – it was a block of the month class. Every month on the first Thursday we would meet to learn the newest block. I had decided to hand piece my blocks – most of them are hand pieced, a couple are done by machine.

The problem with the completion of this quilt was that the blocks were all different sizes. The completion instructions were to square them up to the average size of the blocks. Big Problem, some were 15 1/2″ some were 17 1/2″, cutting the larger ones down would have cut off the wonderful points of my stars. The other problem was that I didn’t have a ruler large enough to square them up.

So after careful contemplation I decided to add the backgound fabric to all of the blocks that were too small. I then went to the local glass repair shop and asked them to cut me a piece of plexiglass that was 17.5″ square. I used a Black Sharpie to mark the center lines. I could now use this to be sure that all of my blocks were the same size.

not a great picture but I think you get the idea

not a great picture but I think you get the idea

I had saved the extra fabric along with the blocks in a tote so that I wouldn’t have to worry about matching fabrics when I finally completed the quilt.  I put the sashing on the quilt and then thought about borders.  Last night I brought it upstairs to preview it on the bed.  Horrors – It is to small – it is long enough but not wide enough.  So back to the stash – AKA fabrics.

Christmas Stars - one border too small

Christmas Stars – one border too small

So after digging through the piles of Christmas fabrics that I have – after measuring and figuring and choosing I decided to use the same fabric as the sashing.  It was really the only fabric that looked good and that I had enough of.  I really liked the red border as the final border but now it will be a green.  I will post another picture when it is finished.

So, that is the problem with UFO’s – lesson learned.  Don’t let those quilts sit on the shelf for 20 years.  Pull them out and get working on them or give them away, or make placemats or tote bags to donate to charity.  Or discuss with other quilters what has become your road block.  There is a reason that you started the quilt all those years ago – you loved the pattern or the fabric, you wanted to take the class with your friends, you were interested in learning a new technique.  Something got in the way of the completion of the quilt – you needed a different ruler, the blocks didn’t turn out the way you wanted, you moved and the quilt doesn’t go with anything in your house.  The reasons – or excuses are endless and so is the guilt that we feel every time we stumble upon the pile on the shelf.  So finish it or re-purpose it into something useful for someone else.

All of my beds will have Christmas quilts on them this December.  I have been wanting to accomplish that for many years.

Keep Quilting….

Be Kind…

Faith

UFO’s…and I don’t mean the ones from outer space…

Dresden Plate

Dresden Plate

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

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.

one corner

one corner

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.

Keep creating…

Be Kind…

Faith

Celtic Christmas Part 5…

photo (62)

 

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!!!)

the backyard

the backyard

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.

organized chaos

organized chaos

some completed Part 5's waiting to be pressed and trimmed

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!

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

Be Kind…

Faith