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A few long weeks…

So the weather here in Maine has been good and bad this spring. My allergies have been horrible and to top it off I picked up some sort of virus that has had me feeling pretty lousy these past few weeks. It has been a chilly, damp rainy spring here along the coast of Maine.

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If you notice the date on the thermometer it is May 28th. 45 degrees on May 28th, that is crazy!

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This is a picture of some of the flower parts that have since been appliquéd onto the raffle quilt. I have done my part, now another member is doing the long arm quilting, she will then pass it to yet another member who will put the binding on. It is wonderful when we have a group of quilters working together.

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This is a picture of my favorite pincushion. I have had it for over 20 years, it is wool roving that has been rolled together. I love the colors and the size and shape.

Last weekend I used my new FreshTech canner. I made strawberry rhubarb jam and strawberry jam. It was very easy to make with my new canner and it didn’t heat up my kitchen and it was done very quickly.

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Our pool was opened today – they worked amidst the rain drops. It needs to clear up before we can vacuum it but the fact that it is open means summer must be on it’s way.

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It looks more like pond than a pool but once the water clears it will be crystal clear and Gracie (our chocolate lab) will be swimming long before any people do.

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This little fellow was watching the pool opening. The pool cover had been protecting one of his little holes and now that the cover is off the entrance to his home is no longer hidden. I don’t think he was very happy. Oh well he can move out anytime – that would be fine with me.

So now I will get back to some of my other projects – I have a long list of quilts to make.

Be Kind….
Faith

Why do we make quilts….

Georgette's Cookies

Georgette’s Cookies

Last night was our Annual Tea Party at Evergreen Quilters.  We have a wonderful potluck tea.  We bring lovely tea sandwiches and wonderful sweets for dessert, above is a picture of some delicious cookies with an amazing quilt theme.  They were so pretty I almost didn’t want to eat them.  We wear beautiful, funny and outrageous hats and we have a wonderful evening.

We ask 3 of our members to display their quilts and tell us about their quilting journey.  We have such talented quilters in our group it is wonderful.

As we were sipping our tea and eating our cucumber sandwiches, 3 of our Potholder quilts were being presented to 3 veterans in Arizona.

Veterans and their wives receiving their quilts

Veterans and their wives receiving their quilts

We have been making these quilts to present to Veterans to thank them for their service to our country.  The veterans were overwhelmed by the quilts, they never expected to be given such a tribute.  It is a wonderful feeling to know that we brightened someones day and that we were able to show how much we appreciate the service and sacrifice that they made for us and their country.

I will ask our membership to continue to make these quilts because it is so wonderful to be able to brighten someone’s day in a way that they don’t expect.  I really believe that paying it forward is a wonderful way to share our talents.  As quilters we love to create quilts and to be able to share that with such a deserving group of people makes me very happy.

 

We had a wonderful tea party and a great evening.  This is why I love being part of a quilt guild.  The ladies of Evergreen are always creating wonderful quilts, placemats and pillowcases to give to people who need them.  It is one of the best things about our group.  When there is a need we step forward to share our talents and fill the need.

Keep quilting….

Be Kind…

Faith

 

Great weekend….

tulips

 

What a great weekend I had!!!  First of all Spring has arrived and by Spring I mean warm weather without humidity.  Happy Dance!

raffle quilt in progress

raffle quilt in progress

On Saturday a group of ladies from my quilt guild got together to assemble our Raffle quilt.  It is such a good way to get a lot done in a short amount of time.  It is also a great way for beginners to learn new the finer points of getting your quilt to lay flat. There is nothing worse than a wavy quilt.  It is impossible to get it to lay flat and it is equally impossible to have it quilted.

Georgette, Carol and Terry

Georgette, Carol and Terry

 

Denise, Jane, Iola and Judy

Denise, Jane, Iola and Judy

Here are a couple of shots of our group at work.  We had a wonderful time and when we were done the hardest part of the quilt top was complete.  I have a couple of borders to add but they are measured and ready to be sewn on.  I will then applique some flowers around the edge to make it even prettier than it already is.

Of course Sunday was Mother’s Day – there was also a Marathon that was going right past our road.  A dear friend from Albany who grew up with our son was in the area with some of his siblings to watch his wife run the Marathon.  So while they waited for Avery to complete the run (she did very well but says she will never do it again), they came to our house for a little Brunch.  We had homemade muffins and fruit salad.

George, Katherine, me, Tommy and George plus a little bit of Chucks finger.  ;)

George, Katherine, me, Tommy and George plus a little bit of Chucks finger. 😉

It was so beautiful that we decided to eat outside.  I have not seen these wonderful young people is a long time and it was so wonderful to catch up with them and hear about the exciting lives that they are living.

The crew with Chuck.

The crew with Chuck.

I am so appreciative of the friendships that our children have developed over the years.  They are friendships that will last for the rest of their lives.  It is very easy for them to communicate with all of the new technology – one of the positives of the times.

After the kids left we went up to Portland and Chuck purchased me a wonderful a unexpected surprise Mother’s Day gift.  It is a Ball Fresh Tech Canner.  I will be able to can goodies from the garden without all the steam in the kitchen.  I will post some pictures when I use it.

The day was completed with lunch sitting outside by the river at Run of the Mill restaurant.  It is a microbrew pub and it is in an old textile mill in Saco – great lunch.

It was a sunny, warm day and I really enjoyed myself.  I had great chats with my 2 darling kids and a nice conversation with my own mother.  So overall it was a great weekend.

I hope yours was as well.

Be Kind…

Faith

Spring is trying so hard to get here….

my view this morning

my view this morning

This was the view from the car window this morning on my way to the post office.  How beautiful is that?!?

We spent part of Saturday trying to get some work done outside.  It has been a very slow, cold spring here in the northeast this year.  The trees are budding and the tulips are above ground but is has been a slow moving process.

 

I am always excited to start to get some thing into the ground.  It is ok to plant lettuce, onions and peas this time of year.  They do not mind the cooler temperatures.  With that in mind Chuck and I decided it was time to get to work.

getting the garden ready

getting the garden ready

We like to use as much organic material in the vegetable garden as possible.  We will, after all be eating the fruits of our labor.  I am not quite so picky with the flowers as I am the veggies for obvious reasons.  I will give the flowers a shot of Miracle Gro every now and then but never the veggies.

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This is the product that we use and it has worked well in the past.  It just give the garden a pick me up.

Many years ago we bought a little tiller – actually I think the technical terms is “speedy hoe”.  It helps blend the compost into the garden a bit easier and more thoroughly than by hand.

Chuck hard at work

Chuck hard at work

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So my Lettuce, parsley and onions are in the ground.  We got some rain on Saturday night so everything is watered in.  Now we wait.  Hopefully we will have a productive garden this summer and we will have wonderful fresh veggies for our salads.

Enjoy the sunshine.

 

Be kind…

Faith

 

 

 

 

 

And we cooked……

Lamejoun hot out of the oven!

Lamejoun hot out of the oven!

Last Friday my dear husband and I decided that it was time to make Lahmejoun. My wondeful Armenian friends know what this entails, lots of work! For my non-Armenian friends, Lahmejoun is an Armenian meat pie, probably unlike anything you have ever eaten before. They are the best addition to any meal, or a meal by itself.

So Friday we went to the market and bought 8 lbs. of ground lamb, bell peppers, garlic, lots of parsley, crushed tomatoes, flour and yeast. For two and a half hours I cleaned, cut and diced veggies. Then I added all of that and some wonderful spices to 8 lbs. of ground lamb. Needless to say you need a very large bowl to mix all of those ingredients. That all went into the fridge to wait til morning.

The next morning I mixed 2 packets of yeast with lots and lots of flour. I think at this point it was about 6 lbs. of flour. To say that my arms were getting a bit tired is an understatement. The fun hadn’t even started yet! I let the dough rise for about 1 1/2 hours.

While the dough was rising I continued to chop veggies and made a pot of Minestrone Soup.  My mother-in-law Irma taught me how to make Lamejoun and whenever we made it together we also made a pot of soup to go with it.  Irma was not Armenian, she was French Canadian and Irish, she was a hell of a good cook and she happily taught me everything she knew about Armenian food. We always had fun when we cooked together.

I have 2 beautiful ovens, both were set at 500 degrees. Thankfully it was a dreary, rainy cool day so having the ovens on that high was not unpleasant.

To make Lamejoun you need to roll out the dough into a thin round disc about 7-8″ in diameter.  Then you add about 1/3 cup of the meat mixture.  I use parchment paper on the cookie sheets so that I don’t have to wash them between batches.

Chuck hard at work

Chuck hard at work

Cooking them is a 2 step process.  First they go on the bottom of the oven for about 8 minutes then they are moved to the top rack for an additional 6-8 minutes.  This is where Chuck steps in.  While I am rolling out the dough, he is watching the oven and counting the fruits of our labor.  The first 2 Lamejoun that come out of the oven go right into our mouths.  Oh my goodness! it is sooo good hot out of the oven.

We worked together for a couple of hours, until we had 6 dozen Lamejoun baked.  Trust me we were tired.  It is a lot of work but the end result is so wonderful.  We can go to the markets in Boston and buy Lamejoun but I have to say there is nothing like homemade. At this point we have 5 dozen Lamejoun in the freezer – we will deliver some to various family members over the next couple of weeks.

5 dozen ready to go into the freezer

5 dozen ready to go into the freezer

If it is a dreary Spring I will make more – they are a great dinner when you are busy and don’t feel like cooking.  Chuck and I had a great day cooking together.  I don’t know how my dear Mother-in-law ever made 100 of these by herself – she was quite a lady!

Now back to my quilting.

Be Kind…

Faith

Wow – I haven’t posted anything in a long time….

Easter flowers

 

Easter flowers always make it seem like Spring is almost here.  Easter Sunday was a wonderful day – the weather could have been warmer but this year if the sun is shining and it is not snowing it is a good day. Our daughter and her boyfriend came for the weekend so we had a wonderful time.  I spent the weekend cooking so I didn’t do much sewing that weekend.  But I have gotten a lot done this Spring.

I have been busy – I have gotten 3 old quilts done and by old I mean very old.  I finished binding the 2 that were quilted by the longarm quilter.  The Christmas Star quilt was finished in no time at all.  The Dresden Plate with the scalloped edge took a long time.

sewing biased binding on Dresden Plate

sewing biased binding on Dresden Plate

I made a biased binding which is time consuming but necessary when putting on a curved binding.

Scalloped Edge of Dresden Plate

Scalloped Edge of Dresden Plate

 

I don’t use clips when I stitch down the binding so my hands tired easily.  There was also a lot of very careful trimming while stitching this binding down.  But the quilt is done!

I machine quilted by Mystery Quilt from my quilt guild.  I still consider myself to be a novice at Free motion quilting but I am getting more confident with each quilt.  I brought my machine upstairs into my sunroom so I had lots of wonderful light.  I also put up 3 different tables – one with my sewing machine, one behind my sewing machine table and one to the left of my sewing table.  This made things so much easier because the weight of the quilt was always on a table, not dragging.

 

Stitch in a Ditch

Stitch in a Ditch

 

 

I also made a baby quilt for a dear friends first Grandchild.  This is called a disappearing nine patch. It was fun and easy to stitch together with Charms Squares (5″ blocks).  I have a GO cutter that I used to cut the squares with so this quilt top went together very easily.  We don’t know whether the baby is a boy or a girl so I used pastels to make this quilt.  It was fun to make a quilt for a new baby.

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So since April 1st I have completed 4 quilts.  I am very happy about this.  Several of these quilts have been sitting for years.  I will post full size pictures of all of the quilts as soon as it is a bit nicer outside.  At this point they would blow away.

Off to a Guild meeting tonight – I am looking forward to seeing my friends.  It has been over a month since I have seen some of them so this meeting will be fun.

Happy Quilting…

Be Kind…

Faith

A walk in the Park….

Carriage Path

Carriage Path

Friday morning we loaded the car and took a ride.  After a quick stop in Belfast to conduct some business, we were on our way to Bar Harbor.  It was a beautiful sunny day, no wind, just sunshine.

We stopped by the closed Visitors Center to see what paths were available to snow shoe on.  We met 2 wonderful dogs one English Mastiff named Gwenny – she weighs in at 210 and another beautiful dog named Aikera.  He had had a botched surgery when he was younger so he had a contraption strapped on that allows him to walk like a normal dog.  He was a very sweet dog but I am not sure what his breed was.

I love to meet dogs

I love to meet dogs

We stopped for lunch at one of our favorite spots – The Side Street Café.

Blackened Haddock Sandwich Special

Blackened Haddock Sandwich Special

I got the special and Chuck got the Lobster Roll – as always it was delicious.  We have had both lunch and dinner here and it is always lots of food at a reasonable price.  I look forward to eating here.  We did a bit of shopping and I do mean a bit because most every shop in Bar Harbor is closed for the season – some open in April most open in May.  I did stop into Fiore – this is a wonderful shop that sells different olive oils and vinegars.  I bought 3 different oils including a Truffle oil – I can’t wait to drizzle that on some wonderful goodies.  The flavored oils that Fiore sells are a wonderful way to add something special to your meals.

On Saturday morning we had breakfast at 2 Cats – it is a wonderful breakfast spot.  We were there at 7:00 AM and we had the place to ourselves – Blueberry Pancakes for me and Apple Cinnamon Pancakes for Chuck.  We knew that we would be working it off so this was a no guilt meal.

Chuck on Snowshoes

Chuck on Snowshoes

Yours truly with Snow Shoes strapped on.

Yours truly with Snow Shoes strapped on.

We headed over to the Park to snow shoe – It was a beautiful day – bright sunshine, warm and perfect. The Carriage Paths are groomed so that you can cross country ski, snow shoe or just walk on the paths.  We met a few walkers on the path and a few dogs.  It was a great day to be outside and the views were amazing.  We felt very fortunate to be able to be outside enjoying the park on such a great day.

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We met 2 young men at the park – they were college kids who go to the Maine Maritime Academy.  They were wondering if there were paths that they could hike on.  We explained where we had walked and told them that there were lots of trails with good signage so they should have no trouble.  They then asked us where they needed to go to pay for the use of the park – I explained that it was free to walk on paths and enjoy the beauty of the park.  They were amazed and decided that they needed to come up to the park more often.  The Maritime Academy is in Castine, Maine which is not far from Bar Harbor.

We enjoyed the park for a couple of hours and then we headed down the coast.  We stopped at a few towns along the way to see the sights and have some lunch.  It was a wonderful way to spend a day and we felt very fortunate to have such a beautiful area to visit.

We once again decided that our move to Maine was a good thing – we love living here and we do not take for granted the beauty that is all around us all the time.  The weather was amazing and it gave us the feeling that Spring may not be to far away.

Have a wonderful day – enjoy the view.

Be Kind…

Faith