Sunday, January 29, 2017

Reflecting on January 2017

The month is almost over, just two days left to go.  I sit here relaxing and reflecting about the month.
My health is ever improving - an important observation for me who loves and lives to quilt. The hands work and the hips are great. Nothing to stop this quilter in 2017!

The third Quilter's Weekend Retreat has been completed. Each weekend always leaves me in awe as I watch a total of almost 60 talented quilting women (ok 59, one is a talented cross stitcher at the weekends) work their magic in the hours from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon.

We eat, we sew, we eat again. Eventually we sleep, so we can rise and do it all again the next day!

It is a labor of love and gives us laughter and comraderie. The trials of life are set aside for a few short days as we sew, we eat and we sew again. Oh yes, we sleep so we can rise and do it all over again the next day!

A sampling of projects follows. Enjoy!

Mary's blocks using partial seaming.

Jeanne's patriotic stars

Nancy's falling charms made with fabrics she purchased in St. Lucia

Carol's lovely creation

Mary Beth's lovely quilt created for her church's upcoming raffle

Peggy's Tablerunner made from a pattern by Sharon Mayers of Piecing with Poppers.

Beverly's lovely quilt made for her daughter.

Peggy's table topper made with the hex 'n more ruler from Julie Hermann of Jaybird Quilts.

A future raffle quilt made by Evie for the South County Museum quilt show in September. Only half of the quilt top is shown here.

A table runner made by Louise

A table runner made by Kate called "Candy Dish". It is a free pattern from Laundry Basket Quilts.

Potholders made by Lynn. Love the lobster fabric!

Pinwheel blocks made by Carol.  The alternate block is hidden below these blocks.

String blocks being trimmed by Mary. Most of what she needed was completed this weekend.

Projects from the second Quilters Retreat weekend

Joan' "Candy Dish" Tablerunner using the free pattern from Laundry Basket Quilts.

Carol's diamond quilt masterpiece

Earleen's lap sized quilt using pre-printed squares and stars in the sashing.

Joanne's cute lap quilt for an upcoming new baby with her original border treatment.

One of Audrey's quick baby quilts.

There were many more wonderful, beautiful, awe inspiring projects that were begun, worked on or completed at the three Quilters Retreats that were held this Jauary 2017.

I have only captured a few pictures that I have shared with you today.

My apologies to the talented quilters whose works I forgot to immortalize with a picture. May you continue to create within the confines of your own studios or with the quilting friends with whom you meet.

January 2017 is almost a wrap.  It has been a fun month in what is often a long, tiring month for me.
The sun will rise in the six o'clock hour and set in the five o'clock hour this week. I have made it!

Another January is about to be placed into the books.

Happy Quilting!
Louise, on the island looking towards February

Monday, January 9, 2017

Quilt Retreat Withdrawal

After having spent the last three days totally immersed in my sewing, I am having quilt retreat withdrawal!  Yes I am sewing today in the comfort of my own home, 

But there is something to be said for the comraderie found when sewing with other Quilters.

It just isn't the same.

But on I sew.

Log cabin blocks which are the alternate to "Idaho Square Dance", blocks which are already completed.

Part 6 units for "En Provence"

Probably about one third finished.

The never ending (it seems) chevrons from "Celtic Solstice" 

And a few more "Garlic Knots" blocks, all stacked and ready to go!

They will be added to this pile of completed blocks. 

At this point I can't decide if I will stop at 64 blocks or continue on to make 80 blocks.  But that decision does not have to be made today.

I enjoy sewing these units and blocks together without thinking about the end product.  I know this approach isn't for most people, but it works for me and my at home sewing.  Little bits that eventually add up to something.

Oh, yes, by the way, can you tell that I am a Bonnie Hunter groupie?

Louise, sewing at home, while the wash runs and I recover from quilt retreat withdrawal 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

More Snow and What Has Been Happening Around Here

More snow!? Yup!

And ice. This is from a few days ago but this is how it rolls in winter. Just wish I could be elsewhere watching it on the news and not living it!

But anyway, that is enough whining for now!

On the quilting side of life, we have some finishes as students try to wrap up their holiday gifts.

Roxanne's "Card Trick" wall hanging 

And a close up view.

Red and green scrap wreath - forgot whose it is, but it is lovely, don't you think?

Roxanne's two quilts for her granddaughters.

One of my works in progress which still needs an outside border. I am planning on using the navy blue used in the corner stones.

A sister's choice block quilt top. My last twelve blocks which had pink and purple triangle points.  My original plan was to make at least a twin sided quilt but I got really tired of making sister's choice blocks.

I have 49 with green triangle points tucked away somewhere and that might explain why I got tired of making this block.

But I recently decided that not very quilt I make needs to be a queen sized quilt!

A layer cake top ready to be webbed. I found this in the block stash the other day. I can't remember the pattern or what my inspiration was when I made it!

Today's finished top is another "Fat Quarter Quilt".  I need to find a backing and get it into the "to be quilted" pile. 

Last night I cut out the pieces for 20 more "garlic knots" to add to this group.  This block uses 2.5 inch strips. My goal is close to 100.

Tomorrow (unless I get sidetracked on to something else!) I will begin to see the rows and assemble this quilt top called "Lake to Lodge".

It uses a "cutie" collection that I bought from Tara Of Amelia's Garden of New York.
The pattern is from the Quilt Basket, LTD. of Pawling, New York.
The cutie collection consists of 16 fat eighths and was created to work with the many patterns that the Quilt Basket has developed.

Give me a few days and I will let you know how it works out. This is the first of their patterns I have actually made, even though I must have all of them tucked away in the to-do pile.

Well, tomorrow is supposed to be another cold day and my plan is to spend the day sewing. With the exception of a few phone calls, that should not take too long, there is nothing pressing for me to do.

Let's hope the day works out according to plan.

Louise, on the island planning tomorrow's sewing activities.

Monday, December 5, 2016

First Snow of the Season!

Well here it is - the first snow of the season.
Not a big snowfall, but big enough to cause accidents, news stories and plows with sanders.
Never mind that it will all be gone probably by five o'clock. It is the first snowfall of the 2016-17 winter season and everyone is in a tizzy!

But on the island we are sifting through projects, projects in bags, UFO's and PIGS!

We never need to go shopping again!

However, as a good citizen, who wants to see the economy grow, never fear that I will give up shopping!

I just will be more selective than I have been.

PIGS (projects in grocery sacks), or in my case recycled containers, tote bags, plastic bags and paper bags, just seem to continue to grow.

English paper piecing projects (that's right, plural!) in plastic storage containers and recycled take out containers, projects in tote bags and paper bags. Finally a knitting project in the plastic bag. 

I really won't live long enough! 

Three quilt bindings to apply,

Two bindings to sew,

Neutrals to cut,

Projects to sew!

So much to do, so little time, yet I sit here writing a blog post, contemplating the weather.

Isn't life grand!

Have a wonderful, if snowy Monday.  Make progress on your sewing, even if is to sort and catalogue the many things you have available to do.  But don't forget to sit at your sewing machine and try to get something done.  It will make you feel good on a snowy day!

Louise, on the island, sorting, cataloging and SEWING!!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Latest Issue!

I subscribe to McCall's Quilting and the latest issue (January/February 2017) came today.

First of all, the quilt on the cover grabbed my interest ( you all know how I love piecing and stars!).
But when I was going through the pages and came to page 18, I almost fell out of my chair.

A FREE e-book called "Tales of Ireland" totally has me fascinated.  

Now I am not Irish by a long shot, but the techniques for the blocks have got me hooked.  
Crumb pieced hearts, Celtic knots, clover Applique, clamshells, hexagons, and several pieced blocks will give a quilter, who loves sampler quilts, plenty to do.  

So I make a green quilt while I refresh my skills.  There must be green in my ancestral lands and maybe a bit of Irish in me somewhere!

I urge you to go to and check out this free e-book. Whether you are a seasoned quilter or one who is new to the craft, I know you will enjoy the challenge of this sampler quilt's various techniques.

And no, I did not get a stipend for this plug! I truly was enamored of the various techniques, although I may have to do something different with the final layout of the quilt.

Louise, on the island planning her next (sampler) quilt

Monday, November 7, 2016

Ah, November, and of All Things Binding and Fall

The title covers a lot of things, doesn't it?

Ah, November, it is finally here. Almost the end of the year, the start of the Holiday season with Thanksgiving, Christmas and lots of birthdays in my family.

The temperatures dip. And while the skies may be sunny and blue, there is a nip in the air.

My favorite tree has turned on its glorious color.

It is often the last to leaf out in the spring and now one of the last to lose its leaves.  It is beautiful this year. I guess it must be the lack of rain.

Binding continues on "Fireworks". I shòuld be finished this afternoon, if I pay attention and don't get sidetracked.

The angle of the sun makes it dip below the house next door for a brief while now, but with an increasing length of time going forward. I guess this would be like living on the eastern slope of a mountain. While it is still light, you don't experience the direct rays of the sun until the angle changes as we get closer to spring.

The sun does pop back out fairly quickly from behind the neighbor's roofline in November. But it is still a reminder, however, that we are heading towards the days with shorter amounts of daylight.

Not meaning to be depressing on this sunny afternoon!  Just observing nature's ways as I listen for the dryer to signal it has finished its cycle.

Louise, on the island, binding, while waiting for the dryer to finish!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Taking it Slow

After feeling like a truck ran me over, ( not that I really know how that feels since I have never been run over by a truck ) I have been taking it relatively slow the past few days.

An hour of sewing here, and hour of cutting there and binding in between.

It is all happening, but at a relatively much slower pace than at what I usually operate.

Can't say I don't like it. But it still doesn't feel right.

But anyway, here are the projects currently taking up my time in this slower paced lifestyle.

Six out of twenty "Sister's Choice" blocks finished for a 62" x 82" "Hoppin' Stars" quilt purchased from Cobblestone Quilts in Townsend Massachusetts during the Schoolhouse Shop Hop last year.

Five out of twenty blocks for the 59" x 72" "Autumn Stars" quilt. I purchased this kit awhile ago from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Purple and yellow four patches for a purple and pink "Bricks and Stepping Stones" quilt, a Bonnie Hunter pattern found on her blog under the free patterns tab.

Finally, more chevrons for the king sized "Celtic Solstice" quilt that just seems to go on and on.

I have many more sewing projects in my head that could be added to the mix, but I think these four are enough for now.

Oh yes, I forgot. "Garlic Knots" blocks that get made in between the chevrons when I am at Open Sew at the shop. That would make five if I did them at home, but so far I have resisted.

Going slow, one block at a time, sewing no more than 45 minutes to an hour at a time.
It is tough, but still doable, this going slow business.
But I am thankful that going slow is still an option.

Louise, on the island practicing her turtle moves.