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Where have I been? What have I been doing!

 

I find it very hard to believe that I haven’t written a blog post in over a year.  So much has happened in my life since that last time I posted.  I am happy to say that it has been a fun filled and exciting.

Last March our daughter Elizabeth and her boyfriend Garrett got engaged.  We could not be happier!  They are two amazing individuals and we wish them a life time of happiness.

A huge surprise to us was that fact that in order to find a venue in Maine for a summer/fall wedding you need to start looking almost 18 months in advance!  So that being said – let the games begin.  The wedding planning is well underway and we are looking forward to an amazing event in August.  Elizabeth and I have had a lot of fun discussing how to make this wedding a special day for everyone involved.

In July we celebrated birthdays – a lot of birthdays but 2 very special milestones were hit.  I am reluctant to say that I turned 60 and my son Charles turned 30.  15 days apart.  Those are some big numbers for both of us and because of that an amazing party was thrown in our honor by Chuck.

 

Charles and I were very happy that so many of the people we care the most about were able to come and join us for our “BIG” celebration.

We had friends and family from all over and it was a really special day for both of us.

 

 

The party was amazing – and since I make quilts I made a quilt for Charles for his birthday.  I had started it a while ago with the idea of giving it to Charles and then I made it a point to get it done this past summer for his birthday.

Charles’ 30th birthday quilt

 

 

 

Once the celebrations were over and life settled down a bit I made a couple more quilts.

 

Cathy’s quilt

One was a group project for a friend who is battling cancer.  The blocks in this quilt were sent to me from all over the country and Canada to send some love and comfort to a lovely lady.  I really enjoyed working on it and I know that the person who received it felt the love that was stitched into this quilt

 

 

 

The next project was a wedding quilt for a young man and his new wife.  They got married in September at a beautiful Inn in Vermont.  It was a perfect day for a wedding and we had a fabulous time.  This is a picture prior to quilting.

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Phil and Devon’s quilt

 

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Here is a picture of the newly married couple.  I love making quilts for people knowing that it will be something that they have for along time.

The summer came to an end and fall arrived.  I am never sorry to have the heat of the summer leave – I do love the change of seasons and Autumn is one of my favorite times of year.  This past fall was lovely here in Maine.

I will be back tomorrow with another update on what is going on in my life.  It has not been an uneventful time lately – lots of changes.

Be Kind….

Faith

Oh my what a month February has been….

the view from my front door

the view from my front door

I can’t ever remember a month where we had back to back to back storms.  It would storm on Saturday and Sunday and then storm again on Tuesday or Wednesday.  We would just get dug out from one storm in time for the next one to hit.  It has been epic!  I have heard various reports on the total amount of snow that has fallen – anywhere from 70″ to 90″!  That is a lot of snow.

During all of this we have also been breaking records for cold temps.  BRRR!!!  let’s just say it has really been winter here in the Northeast and especially along the coast.  I am not complaining I live in Maine not down south where they freak over a dusting.

Gracie and Stella in the snow covered yard

Gracie and Stella in the snow covered yard

While all of this has been happening we brought home a new baby.  The four legged kind.  Miss Stella has joined our family.  Stella is a chocolate lab who is a little spitfire.  Stella has us all jumping at her command, she is just so darn cute.

Stella - one of her rare quiet moments!

Stella – one of her rare quiet moments!

Love that face!

Love that face!

Gracie is not at all sure that she is happy about the newest family member but she is definitely telling Stella to stay our of her space.  They are sharing toys and people but as with all sisters they do get on each others nerves!

Gracie telling Stella the rules

Gracie telling Stella the rules

During all of this fun in the snow we have been doing some puppy training.  Stella knows to go to the door and ring the bells when she has to go outside, she comes when she is called – even when I don’t have a treat in my hand and she sleeps through the night.  She does not want to accept that Gracie is the boss yet but she will learn.

 

 

 

It has been a great month to stay in and cook and sew – I have been stocking the freezer with all sorts of goodies that make it easier for me to have a hot meal on the table and still get some sewing and quilting done.

I don’t mind the snow but I am not in charge of relocating it after every storm.  Our snow blower decided that it didn’t want to be in charge of snow removal either and after 15 years it died.  We will get a new one next year when there is actually a selection.  Not many snow blowers available in the Northeast these days.

Here is a little peek at some of the sewing that I have been doing lately.

Mirror Mirror Block by Marie Bostwick

Mirror Mirror Block by Marie Bostwick

Grand Illusion by Bonnie Hunter

Grand Illusion by Bonnie Hunter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay warm, Spring is coming – hopefully the snow will melt by May.

Be Kind….

Faith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BLIZZARD of 2015- Juno…

 view from our front door January 27, 2015

view from our front door January 27, 2015

The Blizzard of 2015 may have passed by NYC but it decided to visit the coast of Maine and pull up a chair and sit for awhile.  The picture above was taken at 11:25 AM on January 27, 2015.  At this point the wind had been howling for many hours.  It is very difficult to get a measurement of how much snow we got because it was blowing all over the place.   The estimates are about 24 inches, 2 feet of snow is a lot of freaking snow!!!

there really is a driveway there!

there really is a driveway there!

In some places there was grass showing and in others it was hip deep.  There was no point going outside to try to clear the snow at this point because there were several more hours of heavy snow predicted and many more hours of heavy winds.

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So when the weather outside is cold, snowy and windy, I bake.  The house is chilly when it is very windy – at least it feels chilly to me, so I turn on the oven and prepare things to bake in it.  Today I made corn muffins with blueberries and oatmeal raisin cookies.

corn muffins with blueberries

corn muffins with blueberries

Oatmeal cookies ready to go into the oven.

Oatmeal cookies ready to go into the oven.

I had a wonderful dinner planned but needed to warm up the house first.  I made Braised Beef short ribs and mashed potatoes for dinner- the plan was to make something that could be cooked completely on the stove just in case the power went out.  I have a gas cook top so when the power goes out I can still cook.  The generator doesn’t power the oven so the baking has to be done early but I can cook on my gas stove.  Thankfully we did not lose power in spite of Juno’s best efforts.

The view from inside our garage and 2:00.

The view from inside our garage and 2:00.

Chuck and I decided to go out to clear the snow at about 2:00.  It was still snowing and blowing but if it gets too high you just can’t get through it so it is better to do it in stages.

The wind calmed down over night  – it is amazing how loud it is.  I woke up when it got quiet at some time around 2 AM.

This morning it is still cloudy but the snow and wind have moved on to Nova Scotia.

making a path for Gracie and Stella.

making a path for Gracie and Stella.

Chuck went back out to clear the snow that blew over the walks and driveway last night.  You could hardly tell that any snow had been cleared it had blown over so much.  It is a winter wonderland for sure and there is more predicted to come on Friday and then next Monday.  We love the snow but eventually you run out of places to put it all.

thinking of Spring flowers.  This is the second re-bloom for this orchid.

thinking of Spring flowers. This is the second re-bloom for this orchid.

the snow is covering the fence

the snow is covering the fence

We go to pick up our new puppy Stella tomorrow.  We will be up very early in morning to go and get her.  I will be posting pictures of Stella and Gracie as soon as I can.  Gracie is in for a somewhat rude awaking, she has been queen dog for 6 years and now she will have to share us.  Should be interesting.

Tonight I sew and I will show you the latest work that I am doing on Bonnie Hunters latest Mystery quilt.  I am loving the way it is coming out.  It sparkles!!!

Stay warm and safe… check on your neighbors and enjoy the Season of Winter.

Be Kind….

Faith

 

Grand Illusion step 2….

Well Bonnie Hunter continues to challenge us -http://www.quiltville.blogspot.com/p/grand-illusion-mystery.html

I have been quilting for over 30 years and Bonnie seems to throw us a curve with every new step!  I love it!!!  The fact that I am doing a type of block that I have never done before is wonderful.  I have to slow down and be precise, be sure that I am cutting my strips accurately and be very careful when I am stitching the pieces together.  I have finished step 1 and I have everything cut for step 2.  My blacks are from yardage because I had it and didn’t have a lot of scraps of any blacks – my whites are a couple of white on white fabrics.  Once again I had several pieces of yardage that totaled the needed amount of fabric.  I wanted to use what I had not buy anything new for this quilt.

piles of pieces ready to be sewn

piles of pieces ready to be sewn

I used the second option for cutting and piecing this step.  I stitched several together and although they were close they were a bit small or the triangles were a bit wonky – so – I took them apart and restitched them.  I went a bit slower and used a scant 1/4″ seam and things came together much better.  They measured up just right.

finished blocks  - lots more to do but on my way!

finished blocks – lots more to do but on my way!

I am happy with the end results but I learned a lesson with this one.  Slow down, use the skills you have learned, re-read the instructions that Bonnie has provided and all will turn out much better.

The weather here on the coast of Southern Maine has been miserable – yesterday we started with freezing rain and wind – the day warmed up to about 34 degrees and the rain really started to pour!  It was the sort of day that you are happy to be inside!  Today is rainy and windy.  Just a lousy day!  I would much rather have snow at this time of year but I know that is not a popular opinion.  There is a Pot Roast in the oven, homemade bread just out of the oven and a bottle of wine waiting to be opened.  Perfect for a stormy day.

Stay warm and dry…

Be Kind…

Faith

 

 

 

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.

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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….

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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!

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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

 

 

 

Grand Illusion Step 1

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Every year Bonnie Hunter does a Mystery Quilt – this year the name of the mystery is Grand Illusion. The link to the mystery is http://www.quiltville.blogspot.com/p/grand-illusion-mystery.html. Bonnie’s inspiration for the colors of this quilt was the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. MI. I have never been there but from Bonnies pictures it is a beautiful place that will bring you back to another century. Maybe that will be added to my bucket list.

I have been plugging away at getting these sections completed and I am enjoying the colors.  I am using a constant for the black and the yellow.  Sometimes if I use to many scraps I find that my quilts look a little bit muddled and I don’t want muddled quilts.

a long line of HST's

a long line of HST’s

Here I am setting up a little ironing station.  When I iron my back is to the TV and that is unacceptable.  I moved my portable ironing pad on my movable set of drawers and all is good.

portable ironing station

portable ironing station

 

I am currently half way through my “broken dishes” blocks – I have a Christmas party to go to tonight so I will not be sewing but I hope to complete them on Friday so that I can start step 2 over the weekend.

work in progress

work in progress

 

Happy Stitching everyone.

 

Be Kind…

Faith

A pleasant day…

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in Maine.  About a month ago Chuck and I decided to take a ride, we loaded Gracie into the car and headed northeast.

Gracie loves the car

Gracie loves the car

 

There are so many amazing places to visit in Maine that we often have a hard time deciding where to go.  Chuck had read about Owls Head, Maine in Downeast Magazine.  We read that there is an amazing little general store where you can get “the best hamburger in Maine”  It is called the Owls Head General Store and let me tell you they have the best hamburgers in Maine.

We grabbed our hamburgers, chips and lemonade and headed to the Owls Head State Park.  It was a beautiful day so a lot of people had the same idea.  We spotted a picnic table in the shade with an amazing view and plopped ourselves down to enjoy “the best hamburger in Maine”.

our lunch time view

our lunch time view

The lighthouse is a short walk from the picnic area.  I love lighthouses – I love the views that you see at lighthouses, typically they are situated in a spot where it can be seen for miles – because of this when you visit the lighthouses the views go on for miles.

Owls Head Lighthouse

Owls Head Lighthouse

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We love visiting the Lighthouses of Maine.  There are a lot that we have not seen yet but we have a list and one by one we will be checking them off of our list.  Many we will visit more than once because they are such special places.

Of course during this ride we went past a few quilt shops – during that time of year many quilt shops through out the country were participating in a program called The Row by Row experience.  The shops that were participating have designed a row, you collect the rows from the various shops and then make a quilt out of them.  During the summer I was fortunate to collect patterns from Maine, New York, Vermont and New Hampshire.  The quilter who gets 7 rows made into a quilt first and brings it to a participating shop wins a prize.  I have not even started mine yet but I will make the rows and show them to you at some point.

Chuck and I had a wonderful day, we saw some beautiful views and in the end had an ice cream cone.  What more can you ask for – lighthouses, quilt shops, good food, great company, a dog and an ice cream cone.  Seems like a wonderful way to spend a summer day.

Have a great day….

Be Kind…

Faith