Random Thoughts

This has been a productive and also a non productive week. I bought a pattern for a cute little fabric pouch. The ad said that it could be made in 30 minutes. It would be instant gratification and I could make a few for the craft fair. The pattern was downloaded and read. Pictures were included with the instructions. I knew that the first one would take more than 30 minutes while learning the technique. Everything seemed to be straight forward. Then, when I did the final turn, it didn’t look anything like the pictures. It was awful. One whole day was spent trying to get it right. I finally put it aside and will deal with it later. I unsewed to a point where I could make a small zippered pouch. At least something is finished.

I needed two birthday presents. Nancy Zieman had a program on sewing bags from squares and rectangles. Nancy said that this bag was easy to make. She was right. I made two cosmetic bags out of double sided quilted fabric. It was so much easier to have instructions that worked. I might make a few bags from this pattern for the craft fair. The double sided fabric in my stash is gone so I might machine embroider some pieces for the bags. It’s a great way to use up scraps.

The bags will be smaller as I have a lot of 7″ zippers in the zipper stash. Instead of two pull tabs, I might make one tab and a strap. Each bag could be different. The original bag had an outside pocket. It might be omitted on a smaller bag. Lots to think about. More to come on this project.

I have received a quilt back from my wonderful long arm quilter. She makes the quilts come alive. This quilt was made from the 10″ block patterns in Kimberly Einmo’s book, Precut Bonanza. The fabric was from the Robert Kaufman Japanese fabric box.

I still have a lot of fabric in that box. I might use it in this year’s mystery quilt. The fourth clue for the mystery quilt comes out today and I haven’t even started. I’ll catch up when it snows.

My Maine guild is doing a rip and tear project, Everyone brings a yard of fabric. They stand in a circle and tear the fabric in half. Save one piece and pass one piece. Rip and tear the new piece that you receive. Keep one piece and pass the other one. Keep repeating until the piece is small. Then, the challenge is to make something out of your pieces. Everyone has the same fabrics but different amounts of each one.

My Concord mini guild did the rip and tear project yesterday. There were five people there. One member was missing, but we ripped and tore fabric for her. We have set the finished date for the project for February. This will be a fun project.

Most of the fabrics are dark. We decided that we could add one fabric for the background.

The weather should be good this week. Maybe I can finish the fall cleanup in the gardens. Some flowers are still there. I saw some morning glories along with the silver lace vine. I had planted some seeds in that spot, but didn’t think that they germinated. It was a nice surprise.

The geraniums are now in the house. Also, some cuttings which will hopefully root this fall and winter. I should also pot the rosemary and basil. They won’t survive outside. I bought a large plant stand that has 11 spots for plants. I need to fill it up.

Two of my Christmas cactus plants survived their vacation outside last summer. One is loaded with buds. The other has none. I’ve taken cuttings from the third one to keep it going. All three are different colors.

It’s a pleasure to work outside now that the weather is cooler. Planning for next year while cleaning up the gardens make the work go faster.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Back To The Sewing Room

Life is getting back to normal after my wonderful trip. The sewing room called. I made the mistake of gathering all the finished tops and counting them. It’s overwhelming. I had no idea that I had made so many tops. I decided to divide and conquer. All the tops are stacked according to size. I chose only six quilt tops that were charity quilt size and found backings that were the right size. Also battings for some of them. Today, I’ll find the battings for the rest. All the other tops are put away out of sight until I finish the six. I can pin baste all six and then quilt them, one at a time, when I feel like it. No time frame or pressure. Then, I can repeat until they are all finished. I may even quilt some by credit card.

Miss Molly has been different since she came home from her vacation. I think that her new prescription food is finally making her feel better. She is jumping around and following me everywhere. She has always relaxed on the sofa, but now has decided to use a chair.

The baby quilt is finished. It is ready to go to the new baby,

One quilt is finished and ready to move on. It was made from the box of 2 1/2″ squares.

Dear Jane is nearing the end of the center blocks. Now, I have to think about the border blocks.

Looking at what I have finished, I should listen to the advice from Queen of Your Own Life. Today the blog said “At the end of the day she often felt like she hadn’t done enough, She decided it was time to stop beating herself up for what she didn’t get done and to finally celebrate all the many things she did accomplish.” There are times when Queenisms are very meaningful.

September is almost gone and the gardens need cleaning up for the season. I am amazed at how many beautiful flowers are still blossoming.

I have two hydrangea bushes. The flowers were few this year, but I noticed that three different flowers were on one bush. I’m not sure how that happened, but they are all beautiful.

A year ago last spring, I bought a silver lace vine from a mail order company. It took a long time to get here and looked dead when it arrived. I planted it anyway. It didn’t do much last year. This year, it is growing up a trellis and is beautiful. The vine is still spindly, but the leaves and flowers are heavy. It filled the trellis so I hung strings between one trellis and another one. The vine is almost at the second trellis. I’ll have to buy a bigger trellis next year.

An arched trellis would be nice going over the butterfly bush.

It’s time to bring in the plants that need to overwinter in the house. Plants that have gone by need cutting back. Rogue roses need to be pulled out. This year was a watching year for the garden. Now that I know what blossoms when and where, I have a better idea of what I need to do next spring. I can dream and plan all winter. I do know that I need to have lots of white cosmos. They are so beautiful.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Parting Thoughts and Other good things

There were so many people who coordinated this wonderful trip. Beth is a press release person who interviewed Jean and me. She wrote a press release and presented it to a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer. We were interviewed by the reporter on the phone before we left and at the show. There was an article about Jean and me in that newspaper last week.

Sometime during one of our meetings, I was asked to take one of my quilts down to Philadelphia with me. I thought the reporter wanted to photograph me with one of my quilts so I took Basket and Butterflies.

On Friday, we attended a lecture by Kathryn Jenson White. She makes alphabet quilts. It was a fascinating lecture. She is an amazing, funny woman.

Jean and me at the lecture

At the middle of her lecture, she said “My next quilt is —– wait—-That’s not my quilt.” Her quilt holders were holding Basket and Butterflies. What a surprise and honor to have a quilt shown at her lecture and Quilt Extravaganza. She read notes that I had written about the quilt, supposedly for the reporter. I had to stand for a round of applause. At that moment, I was in a state of shock. It was the highlight of the whole trip.

But, there was more fun to be had. After the lecture, Jean and I had our picture taken with Kathryn. I still haven’t received copies of this picture, but will someday. Several people came to me and talked about my quilt. Wow !!! what an honor.

Then “my handlers” asked me to go to a vendor and demonstrate a machine. I said that it had to be a Janome. I have Janome machines and it is the only machine that I know how to operate. We went to the Janome booth. I sat down at the machine and explained how it worked. All the time with cameras on me. It was a new model, unfamiliar to me. Most of the buttons are the same as mine, but there were new features. The dealer and I talked about all the functions. I was sewing a pictorial (a little car) when I asked what one button was. It was a pivot button. I drove that little car right around the corner. What fun. I don’t have that function on my machine but I can do it manually.

At one point, Jean and I were asked to walk up and down the aisles, looking at the quilts, while a drone took pictures overhead. We walked and talked about the quilts. At this point, we didn’t pay any attention to cameras. They were with us all the time. We turned around and were startled because the drone was right in front of our faces.

I talked to the Kangaroo sewing table vendor about my new table and how much I loved it. When I was leaving his booth, he gifted me with a sewing basket.

Jean and I browsed through the vendors in the afternoon. I bought a pattern, some fabric and some honey tea. We had to leave the show. It was closing time.

That evening, we dined at an upscale restaurant. Excellent food. Then back to Lake In Wood for a little shopping at their store.

Driving back to the train station was different than going to the resort. It was Saturday. Apparently, Saturday is wash day. Close lines were full of Amish dresses and men’s pants. It was also yard sale day. Every house in one town had a yard sale. Horses and buggies were all over the place. It looked like a lot of good things at the yard sales. Too bad we had to get to the train station. I love a good yard sale.

The train trip was the reverse of the trip going down. Great service, more excellent food. We were both exhausted. David met us in Boston and took me right to my front door. Jean car was at the office, so she was taken there and then she drove to her home. My house seemed empty without Miss Molly. I was exhausted and went to bed early.

The next day, I brought Miss Molly home from her spa. She had been groomed and must have had a wonderful time. She has been sleeping for two days. Good news. Miss Molly’s lab tests came back fine. She is healthy.

This was a once in a lifetime trip. The My Jump people took us first class all the way. It is an awesome program. Now it’s back to real life. I have to decide what to make next. It’s list time.

I did make a decision while at the show. I have finished piecing and quilting the last row of the Dear Jane quilt. The 12th and 13th rows are sewn together in rows. They have to be added to the rest of the quilt. I was undecided if I would add the outside borders or consider it finished when the inside blocks were done. After seeing the Dear Jane quilts at the show, I am going to make the outside border. They are needed to finish the quilt. I still have to make 52 triangle blocks plus the corners. It really is a long term quilt.

The gardens need cleaning up before winter sets in. I am thinking of a dye project to do outside with a neighbor. Lots to do outdoors before the weather changes. We have had lots of rain, but the next few days look promising.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

More Quilt Show

There was an Elvis exhibit at the show. There were too many to take pictures of all of them. This is just a sample.

Elvis impersonators

Other quilts

Made with embroidery tiles.

My favorite quilt. It was made by a lady in the Netherlands. I like it because it is hand appliqued and hand quilted. She has a black cat and always places her cat in her quilts. The background is bumble bees. The perfect hand quilting surrounds every bee.

Kathryn Jenson White exhibit She makes alphabetic quilts.

One more blog and we will be home.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

More Quilt Show

In this blog, I will just show pictures taken at the show.

The snow looked real
I didn’t realize that this was a vendors panel. I didn’t buy it.
I like this one

The blog will go on with Elvis, Kathryn Jenson White and my favorite quilt.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

At the Quilt Show.

When we arrived at the quilt show, there were more photographers and videographers awaiting us. We enjoyed their company as they saw the show with us and took pictures and sound all the way. I enjoyed watching the people watching us.

The show was amazing. There were so many beautiful quilts. I didn’t take pictures of all of them, but just took pictures of a few that I really liked.

After seeing some small quilts, I spotted a Dear Jane. There was more than one.

A light one
A dark one
one with intertwined hearts
A wool Dear Jane made by Kathryn Jenson White

There were a lot of picture quilts.

I like the reflection in her glasses
He looks old and sad
This is better viewed from a distance
Powerful women
cute little boy
There were several made with this method
This one had a lot of controversy. It was well done. The hair was 3D
So sweet It had a racial statement at the top. I cut it out of the picture.

There were a lot of statement quilts. I didn’t take pictures of that type of quilt.

A great stash buster.

I had to take this picture. Most of my friends know that I don’t like ladybugs. We had an invasion of ladybugs in Maine. They bite and eat holes in varnished furniture.

Continued on in the next blog. There is an Elvis exhibit and a Kathryn Jenson White exhibit and then other quilts that I liked.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Continuing the Adventure

We arrived at Lake In Wood Resort in Narvon, Pennsylvania. It is a gnome themed resort.

There are 200+ acres, They have a lake, hiking trails, fields, boating, fishing, basketball, shuffleboard, volleyball, playgrounds, a pool complex and much more. There are 240 sites. It is a Sun resort.

Along with the campsites, there are many little buildings with fun names. Jean stayed in the Red Barn and I stayed in the Green barn. We had a connecting door between us.

Each of us had a golf cart to drive around the resort. Neither of us used the golf cart. Webb did the golf cart driving and took us where we needed to be.

As you can see, the sites are far apart and in the woods.

A basket of goodies was on the table waiting for us.

Views inside the cabin.

Views outside the cabin.

We ate in the Gnome Café the first night. Because we were near Philadelphia, we had a Philly cheesesteak. It was a little different that the usual Philly cheesesteak as it had an Amish sweet sauce . Very different and tasty. Another new recipe to look up.

All the Lake In Wood employees were very happy, caring, and joyful. Dogs are allowed in this resort. All dogs must be on leash, even on their sites. There is a fenced in dog park where they can run with other dogs. I wish, now, that I had taken more pictures of the different sites and gnome statues all around the place. It was a fun place.

The next morning, after sleeping on comfortable beds, we went back to the Gnome Café for breakfast.

After breakfast, we went back to Philadelphia to the quilt show.

Continued in the next blog.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

This is a real adventure

I live in a Sun Community. During one of our community meetings, they presented the My Jump program. My Jump is a non profit program that gives seniors something that is on their bucket list. When it became my turn to talk, I said that I wanted to take a train trip to a quilt show and take my friend and neighbor, Jean, with me. A month later, I received a phone call telling me that I had won. Then, Covid hit and the trip was postponed for over a year. Finally, the trip was arranged. Prior to the trip, we had many zoom meetings to let us know what was going on and how things were going to happen.

We went to Philadelphia to Quilt Extravaganza. There is so much to tell you, it might take three or four blogs. I will be forever thankful to Sun and My Jump for this wonderful trip. I will remember it always. Abby, who is the community manager, and Erica, who is the sales representative went with Jean and me.

We left on Thursday morning. The four traveling companions were driven from Concord to Boston South Station in a beautiful, big, black car.

David was our driver

David drove us to South Station and we boarded the Amtrak for Philadelphia.

We were met in Boston by Logan who was our videographer for the duration of the trip. We had many cameras on us for most of the trip. Even a drone above us at one point. We were like movie stars for a few days. Notice the microphone on Logan’s camera. Most everything we said to each other was recorded. Not that we ever said anything earth shattering.

Views on the way down.

Traveling first class is awesome. Before boarding, there is a lounge where you can wait. All kinds of snacks and drinks are available. Red caps take care of the luggage and escort you to your seat. On the train, there is a choice of tea, coffee, and assorted drinks. A little cup of assorted pretzels appears on your tray. You can order your lunch from a menu.

Jean had a fruit and cheese plate. She said that it was perfect.

I had chicken and rice with curried vegetables. It was excellent. The vegetables were crisp, not soggy. The noons were warm. The blueberry, lemon cookie was delicious. I had never eaten curry before. I’m going to add it to my menu at home.

We were met in Philadelphia by Webb, who is the My Jump coordinator. Our lodgings were about one hour away. During the drive, we saw several different sides of Pennsylvania. There were row houses that needed a touch of love. Also big, beautiful mansions that had perfect landscaping. Then we came to small towns and farm country. The Amish farms are big and beautiful. There was corn, potatoes and other produce. Cows and horses were in the pastures. Everything seemed to be neat and tidy.

Finally, we came to narrow, winding country roads where the trees created a canopy over the road. We slowed down and stopped for two adult and three baby deer. We had arrived at our lodging destination.

To be continued in my next blog.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Not Quilting

Actually, I am doing a little quilting, but nothing is finished enough to talk about. The one project that I’m working on was much bigger than I expected and I’m still working on it.

In the meantime, I have made a tote bag to take on my trip. I used the pattern for the Wow Bag. It is named appropriately as when people see it they most always say “wow!!!”.

I’ve had this pattern for a long time. I checked the Internet and it is still available.

Once you figure out how to make it, it is very easy and goes together quickly. The designer says to read all the instructions before you begin and she is right. It’s put together a little bit different than most tote bags. I was able to follow along until I was putting the zipper in the bag. The instructions clearly said to put it on the bottom. I didn’t and had to do a little unsewing and resewing. I made two bags. The second bag was made in half the time that it took me to make the first. I plan to make more Wow Bags in the future. It’s a great way to use the large print fabric that you don’t want to cut into little pieces.

The Wow bag is great for shopping at a quilt show.

It has a front and back pocket between the straps.

It has another strap which covers a zipper. When the zipper is opened, the tote bag becomes a double size duffle bag.

The duffle bag strap is long enough to fit over your shoulder. Now, you can buy many more items at the quilt show.

I used the colorful fabric to make a small pocketbook and a change purse. The pocket book has a skinny strap that can wrap around the duffle bag strap. The change purse will go inside the pocketbook along with card holder that I intend to make this week. The Wow bag and a small suitcase will be all that I need for the trip.

The Maximillian Sunflowers are in blossom. They are perennials. Somehow, they self seed all over the place and like to be in the front row. They are so pretty. I just let them go where they want to go.

My neighbor has the most delightful garden. It is beautiful. One of her sunflowers grew taller than her house. I’m trading my rose campion seeds for some of her giant sunflower seeds. If you look close, you can see three bumble bees on the flower.

Another one of her flowers is an avocado thistle.

I’m having new flooring laid in four of my rooms. I’ve been taking items out of closets and moving things out of the construction zone. The rest of the house looks like a disaster area. The project will take about one week. Fortunately, the sewing room floor was replaced a few years ago. Miss Molly and I can go there and have a great time. Maybe I will be able to finish something. There will be no housework for a week.

Then, when the project is finished, I can be selective about what I put back. This is a wonderful way to downsize.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

Dear Jane

The 12th row of Dear Jane is finished. It is much easier to work on small quilting projects when the weather is hot. Two blocks of row 13, the last row in the quilt, are pieced. I will put piecing Dear Jane aside for a while and concentrate on something else.

I’m adding the row to the body of the quilt in the evenings while I watch TV. When that is finished, I have the bindings of two large bed quilts to tack down. It’s amazing what one can accomplish when you set your mind to it .

My friend, Jean, and I are going to a quilt show in Pennsylvania in September. My community was bought out by Sun Community. They sponsor the My Jump program. My Jump is a program where a member of the community is given something that is on their bucket list. We had a community meeting. Everyone there said what was on their bucket list. I said that I wanted to go by train to Oregon to the Sisters Quilt Show. My request won. Unfortunately, because of Covid and the wild fires, we couldn’t go to Sisters, but plans are being made to attend Quilt Extravaganza in Pennsylvania. It still is unreal that we are going on this fabulous trip.

We’ve already been interviewed on video. The videographer came to my home and videoed my sewing room and some of my quilts. Jean was videotaped at the Community Center. We’ll go from Boston on Amtrak. While there , we will stay at a Sun Resort. I’ll take lots of pictures to share on the blog.

There are several people involved in this trip. Jean and I want to give them a gift so I made several embroidered wall hangings. Jean is tacking down the bindings. I used Donna Dewberry’s embroidery patterns for this project.

After I finished making the embroideries, I had a pile of scraps that was leftover. The scrap bin is full, so these scraps have to be made into something and not stored away for future use.

The scraps were cut into 1 1/2″ strips. They will be the start of a new quilt that has 3 1/2″ nine patches. I’ll just make the nine patches and decide how to set them later. I’m starting a new mini quilt that uses 1 1/2″ strips and the leftovers from that project will be added to the nine patch quilt. I can sew the nine patches together when I want an easy project.

The cutting instructions have come for this year’s mystery quilt. I may cut the pieces, or I may wait until the block instructions come and cut the fabric then, I have until next month to decide. It’s interesting to see other people’s fabric choices on the blog.

Have a great day and happy quilting.

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