Sunday, December 29, 2013

One Month Later... And My "New" Sewing Space

I have not posted for 32 days, a little over a month.  There are many family issues which have been and are continuing to be draining.  So much so that the moments to sew are few and far between.  I do have numerous opportunities to hand sew but rare opportunities for machine sewing.  I thought today with the few moments I have at home, that I would re-enter the blogging world and bring you up to date on the UFO progress!

In my "new sewing space", created to provide opportunity for found moments for sewing, there are the following...

2 more blocks for "Lazy Sunday" left to do.

Numerous blocks for "Easy Street #2" needing to be finished.

Many pieces of several steps to sew on "Celtic Solstice", but I am caught up with the cutting for each step 1 to 4.
Working on cutting Step 5 now.

Since this is predominantly where I have been able to sew in those found moments, I am pleased with the progress of each project.  Thank you to Bonnie Hunter for providing patterns that fit into this new "found moments for sewing" lifestyle I currently am experiencing!

Life will continue to be crazy in the weeks ahead.  But I can trust that I will continue to be handed short segments of time to spend in my new sewing space. Life can be trying sometimes, but it also can be good.

Happy New Year to All!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Seasons on the Deck - 11/27/13 Style

  It is a dreary, rainy day on this Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.  Preparations for tomorrow's family meal have begun on the island, but there is always time to take in the view from the deck.

The rain is falling and the wind is blowing, but I am snug and warm inside.

Sewing has taken a temporary backseat but much was accomplished last weekend at the annual retreat in Troy, New Hampshire at East Hill Farm.  Several UFO's bit the dust!

A quilt top was completed.

A tablerunner was quilted.

Another top was completed.  It still needs borders.

Another top completed but needing borders.

And finally, a completed top WITH borders
 (although they do not show in this picture since they were applied a bit later the next day).

It is hard to believe that three mornings ago I had finished breakfast and was sewing Block B of "Lazy Sunday" by this time.  It was a wonderful weekend and fun to remember on this dreary, rainy morning. 

I am thankful that I had that time to sew with wonderful quilty friends.  I am thankful for the time to reflect this morning.  Life is good.  I am thankful for that.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Update, Update!

The January Quilter's Weekend Retreat is Full!
I hope you were able to sign up if you wanted to join us this year.
We have a small but friendly group  of quilter's ready to sew the weekend away.
What will you be sewing that weekend?

Friday, October 11, 2013


Goodies have arrived in the mail!

Recently, I found a great "Midnight Madness" project to include in your retreat bag.  The pieces came in the mail yesterday. 

I am soooo excited to let you know that the goodies are beginning to arrive!

I am waiting for more so I will keep you up to date as they arrive.

Will we see you in January at the Quilter's Weekend Retreat?

Design Challenges

Or did you actually read the directions, Louise?

I have been working on  "Lazy Sunday " a Bonnie Hunter, four part Mystery Quilt featured in the four past issues of Quiltmaker magazine this year.  The sewing has been rolling along and progressing to the point of actually assembling the blocks (see this post for the first block assembly ). The other day I decided to work on the parallelograms that will make up the last border.

188 neatly sewn and nicely pressed purple parallelograms ready to be trimmed.

Nice huh?
Until you actually read the directions!

Half need to go one way and half need to go the other way according to the directions.  All of mine go one way - to the right!

Now comes the design decision.  

Leave them be and let them march around the quilt, all facing the same way.  (Oh, did I mention that I have already sewn the seam for the little triangles that will be cut off each corner?)

Or, do I un-sew half of the parrallelograms in order to have them march the opposite way? ( oh, did I mention that I enlarged the quilt so that I increased the number of parallelograms to accommodate the new size and was hoping my math was correct?)

Or, do I do something different?  Such as, let half march to the middle and then add a piece of background for them other half of the border?

Or, make new parallelograms (oh, did I mention that I have very little left of the purple fabric, only four pieces left of the original 18+ fabrics? I suppose I could go shopping but some of those original fabrics came from deep, deep in the stash circa 1980)

Or what?
Decisions, decisions.

If you have an idea, please leave a comment to let me know your idea.  There is a copy
of latest issue of "Quiltmaker's Quilts from 100 Blocks" for the winner who will be chosen randomly from those who comment.  The decision does not have to be made today, so you have until the 15th of October to comment in order to win.

Thanks for your help!

I decided to make the needed parallelograms.  I cut some new pieces from my left over purples and took apart some of the ones going the wrong way.  This update comes to you in January and the needed parallelograms are about have finished!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October 3rd and 77 degrees

Global warming at its best?

Any day it is 77 degrees at 4 in the afternoon, is a day to take time to sit on the deck. Yes, the leaves are beginning to turn colors and beginning to fall and yes the squirrels are annoyed with me for interfering with their work.  But I know that this is New England and it could be snowing next week!
Can you see that tree in the distance which has already changed to brilliant yellow and orange?
What a lovely contrast with my neighbor's bright pink impatiens! 

So I will sit on the deck and enjoy this little blast of summer knowing that it could be the last one for the year.
I will return to my sewing later.  Wait until you see what I have been up to!

Monday, September 30, 2013

8 Left to Sew

When I started to make "Lazy Sunday" (a Bonnie Hunter 4 part  Mystery Quilt which was presented in four of this year's issues of Quiltmaker Magazine) I did not really comprehend the finished size of the quilt as it was presented in the magazine.

Somewhere along the line, (in a hotel room in Martinsville Virginia actually, and that is another story!) when I began to cut everything out, I decided to increase the size of this quilt.

Increasing the size increases the number of blocks, which increases the number of pieces to sew to make the units to make the blocks!

So long story short, eight more block X's to make.

I will finish all 32 Block X's, instead of the 24 called for in the pattern, hopefully, by the end of today.

By the way, I have already increased and pieced the units for the borders and all of the unit 11's (was 92 in the pattern but now is 128 for the increased size).

Only the unit 6, 7, 8, and 9's are left to do.  I have been sewing these as Leaders and Enders today, so I have made a good dent in them.

But increasing the quilt size increases the numbers here also.  I am hoping to finish these units by the end of this week.  That will leave Block Y and Block Z to piece.

I have targeted the end of October as the completion date for this quilt top. I am hoping to push this project through and make my self-imposed deadline.
Why the pressure you ask?
Bonnie Hunter is introducing this year's Mystery Quilt about then.  I want to be ready to devote my time to that new quilt!

Time is a wastin'.... Back to piecing 8 more blocks!  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sitting in the bookstore

On a Saturday night with my pile of romance novels, quilting magazines and an iced tea. 

Life doesn't get any better than this!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Seasons on the Deck on 9/11

Sitting on the Deck on what is probably going to be the last summer like day of 2013 and remembering.
Life goes by so quickly that we always need to be ready to stop and smell the flowers 

And remember...
May your afternoon be a memory filled one, as we remember all of those who passed twelve years ago.

Sitting on the deck and having the freedom to do so.  Enjoying it and remembering.....

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday Morning Piecing on "Lazy Sunday"

The title of this post says it all!

Amidst the craziness that has been my life lately, I have found the best way to retain my sanity is to schedule in some sewing time each day.

Today, the need for sewing and the need for something not too mentally taxing resulted in my sewing the parallelograms for "Lazy Sunday".

I sewed until the bobbin ran out


Now on to other Sunday things.

What's on your Sunday agenda?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Registrations are Coming In!

Registrations are beginning to arrive in the mail for the January Quilters' Weekend Retreat.  All you need to do is contact me by e-mail, or phone, or leave a comment on this page to let me know you are interested.  Your deposit secures your space and the final payment is not due until December 15.

There are very limited spaces, so let me know as soon as you can if you are interested.

Hope to see you in January!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What to do...

On a rainy afternoon ?  

With thunderstorms moving through the area, I thought it advisable to turn off all electronics.  We often have lightening strikes because of the water.  Seems to draw lightening like a magnet!

So I sat in the living room, overlooking the deck and the monsoon rains and perused my magazines and UFO's ( really NBO's since they are Not Begun Objects) or future quilts.  I found a pattern in a box of thirties prints that called for 2" strips.  This led me to the two inch strip drawer, the scrap fat quarter drawer and voila!

This is a Moda pattern I picked up at Cobblestone Quilts in Townsend Massachusetts.  The pattern cover shows it in thirties prints and that is why it was paired with the fabrics. 

But it looks good with a pairing from my "why did I buy that fat quarter?" stash which was in the fat quarters getting ready to be cut up into strips drawer.

Sometimes a few hours of play on a rainy afternoon can be good for the quilty soul.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Quilter's Weekend Retreat - Details!

The info for the January Quilter's retreat is now posted.  
Click on the tab above (Quilter's Weekend Retreat - to the right of Home) to find out the details.

I hope you can join us in January 2014.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Cutting for Lazy Sunday

What to do in a hotel room waiting for the next day?

Cut out a new quilt, that's what!

Lazy Sunday is a Bonnie Hunter pattern that was published as a series in Quiltmaker magazine.  Of course, I am making it larger so there is some math to be done.  I have cut most all of one color (the purple) and part of another (the pink).  More cutting is on the docket for today.

On vacation and continuing to have a great time!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Day 2 - Collaboration Celebration

Day 2 and still lovin' it!
Today has been pieced hexies with Mickey Depre. One is totally finished and ready for appliqué. Now on to finish the rest of the star blocks until dinner. After dinner more handwork with the hexies. 

A wider view

Best vacation ever 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Collaboration Celebration

Having a great time in North Carolina with Mary at Bonnie Hunter and Mickey Depre's Collaboration Celebration. Two blocks done this morning.

Lovin' it!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Quilters' Weekend Retreat

Picture taken in 1911 when Niagara Falls was completely frozen.  Found on Pinterest, repined by Joanne Janelli 
I am working on a retreat for quilters to be held in the dark and dreary days of January.  You know those days right after the holidays where you want to be anywhere else but by yourself in your sewing room?
The idea came to me a few years ago when January loomed long and large in the "I despise winter in the Northeast" frame of mind that I was in that year.  I wished that there was a quilt retreat to look forward to and to participate in before the Ninnie retreat at the beginning of March.
Now I know that it can be snowy and hard to travel in January in the Northeast.  But since I live fairly close to many nice hotels with great amenities (read that as in-door pool, and maid service!), I decided to keep the economy going in 2014 with a quilters' weekend retreat.

The details are coming together rather quickly.  I am hoping to have a partner in one (or more!) of the local quilt shops.  The weekend can be work on your own project or participate in the as to yet be named weekend project.

I think it will be fun!

Look for details in the near future and if you live in Rhode Island, or near by, and don't mind driving to Coventry Rhode Island in the winter, maybe this might make your Santa or birthday wish list this year!

Oh yes - space is limited (the sewing room is not that big, unfortunately) so if you are interested e-mail me as soon as you can to express that interest.  I will make sure you get first dibs!

Those who know me, know I plan economical and FUN trips and activities.  Check your calendars and make out those wish lists for family members.  Remember July is not too early to start planning for those blah days after the holidays!

PS.  I can now say that the last weekend of January 2014 is the target weekend.  Get ready for details and a "reservation sheet" to be posted next week on my blog.  Hope you can join us!

PPS.  Papers are signed - it is a go!  Will we see you in January?  Sign up soon!  Unfortunately, at this time a commuter option is not available.  Why not stay at the hotel for the weekend, even though it is close to home.  You're bound to have a great time!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Two "Perfect" Tomatoes

These two were just picked from my garden. Aren't they delicious looking?  Not too big and not too small. Just right!

I love summer!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Craftsy Class Give-A-Way

Most of you know that I have been participating in the Craftsy Quilt Block of the Month for 2013 and 2012.  (Hint - See the badges on the side!). 

I also have signed up for quilting technique classes, sewing classes and knitting classes.  There are workshops and patterns in many of my areas of interest also. When you visit the Craftsy Website you will find crocheting, cake decorating, jewelry and weaving classes to name just a few other subject areas to explore.  I have found all classes to be informative and fun!

If you have not taken a Craftsy craft class yet, I urge you to try one - there are free classes as well as paid classes to enjoy!

Having said all that, I am happy to have been invited to let you know about the Great Craftsy Class Give-A-Way contest going on now until August 14. 

The link below will take you directly to the contest registration site.

I hope you will participate and register from my site by clicking on the link above

Let your friends know about this posting so they can register too.  They also may possibly win a free Craftsy class!

Good Luck!

PS. You know all of the quilting I have been doing on my quilts lately?  Well, I learned many of these techniques through my Craftsy classes!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Working on Easy Street

And having a blast!
Who ever thought that machine quilting could be so much fun!

It is not easy to quilt this one but thanks to one of the Craftsy classes I took about machine quilting (as well as some encouragement from my friend Mary) I have attempted to quilt "Easy Street".

The quilting has been getting better as I have been going along.  It will never be a quilt worthy of judging and maybe not of show quality.  But it will be mine from start to finish.  Okay, so it is someone else's pattern ( thank you Bonnie Hunter for your mystery quilts), but it was my choice of colors and my workmanship and that makes me proud.

Just had to share!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Binding Orca Bay

Today Orca Bay returned from the long arm quilter.  It looks wonderful!

I have begun to sew on the binding. 

It is so exciting to see the completion of Orca Bay on the horizon. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Binding on the Deck

Binding on the deck is a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon. 
Although temperatures are in the nineties and the sun is in and out, there is a nice breeze that makes it very comfortable outside.

It is nice to have a few hours to work on this binding which will eventually decrease one quilt from the UFO stash. 

What 's in store for your Sunday afternoon?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy July Fourth - A Day Later!

A new project is on the table.  Using a grouping of purples and greens with a floral for the border, I cut the top out this afternoon.  I will try to get some of it pieced this evening and hope to continue to sew on it this weekend.  It is nice to be able to get back to sewing after the busyness of June.

I am following a pattern called "Jeweled Wanderer".  It is a free project sheet from Art Gallery Fabrics and was written to feature the Bijoux Collections. 

I am, of course, using fabrics from my stash.  I think it will look nice.  Can't wait until it is finished!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Road to Fortune and The Farmer's Wife

One of my quilt groups has been doing a few of "The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt" Blocks each month.  We have been following "The Barrister's Block Blog" for many of the 6 inch patterns. 
However, one block that we have had particular trouble with was the one called "Road to Fortune". 
The following is a step by step tutorial with, hopefully, enough pictures to make this block easier to construct.
Let me know what you think!
Remember that you are using quarter square triangles in this block.

Try not to sew them together as half square triangle blocks (as I did the first time!)

First cut your 3 ½ and 4 ½ inch squares.


You need 2 of the 3 ½ squares in your background fabric and your main color.

You need 1 of the 4 ½ squares in your background color and your main color.

Second, cut all of the squares in half on the diagonal.

I cut each square separately.  Although, I am sure, if I could accurately stack and cut on the diagonal, I could have stacked and cut all of the 3 ½ and 4 ½ squares at once.

Third, lay all pieces out to see how the block will look when finished.

I have found this block to be deceiving.  It was very easy to turn a triangle and sew it in the wrong place.  By first laying out the block you should (might) be able to see which pairs of triangles will be sewn together.


Fourth, now you can sew.

(A)You will sew the triangles from the 4 ½ inch squares together in pairs.  These are the triangles on the outside four corners.


(B) Next you will construct the four Hour Glass blocks separately that will be sewn together to construct the middle of the block.

This unit will square to 2 ¾ with the center being at 1 3/8 .

(See where it intersects on the diagonal)

Begin by taking a dark and a light triangle, sew together on the
short arm (see triangle pair at the top of the picture below).  Sew opposite pair together and then sew the pairs together to make one hour glass block.

 Repeat for the other three blocks.



(C) Next, sew the four hour glass blocks together, paying attention to placement of each hour glass block.  They rotate so that a pinwheel is created in the middle.

This unit will be square at 5 inches

(I bet when you first looked at the block you thought you were making half square triangles to get that pinwheel effect in the middle.
  I know I did!)

(D) Sew the triangle pairs from the 4 ½ inch squares that you sewed together in (A) to each corner of the block.

 Sew the opposite corners on first.

One more corner to go!

VOILA! One finished Road to Fortune block measuring 6 ½ inches unfinished!


 A little trimming of the dog ears and the block will be all set.