Monday, June 26, 2017

Liebster Award

Katy of Katy’s Quilts nominated me for the 2017 Liebster Award. As a relatively new Blogger, I am honored by the nomination. Please visit the Global Aussie website (here) for more details. But in short;

The Liebster Award 2017 is an award that exists only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

So here are the 10 questions Katy asked of me:

1)Who inspired you to quilt?

This one was easy as I learned to make and more importantly to appreciate quilts from my very dear neighbor, Arzetta Poole when I was 9 years old. I made my first quilt in 1965. Here is a picture of her, she is the last one on the right.
This was taken at our neighbor's house. It belonged to the Dodge sisters (seated next to her). They ran the post office of East Edgecomb, ME in their former chicken coop. Their claim to fame was that it was the smallest Post Office in the U.S.

2)  If you could meet on person you have never met, who would it be?

It goes without saying that there are a number of wonderful Bloggers I would like to meet in person! But one person that I would love to have met would be my husband’s maternal grandfather. My husband has such fond memories and wonderful stories about him, I have always felt sad that I never got to meet him. He was born in 1890 in the house our family still owns in Georgetown, Maine. So luckily, we do still feel the presence of “Ganga”.

3) What was the last movie you saw in a theater?

The last one I remember was “Winged Migration” in 2001. Like Katy, I prefer to watch old movies at home while sewing.

4)What kind of music do you like?

My favorites are classical (particularly Baroque), folk, bluegrass, rock, rockabilly, jazz, o.k., anything but elevator music!

5)What is your favorite quilt?

This changes every day. Right now, it is this one (Pot Luck) that I finished in February.
It is made up of orphan blocks and scraps leftover from other quilts I have made. And, it is made in the potholder method whereby each block is quilted and bound and then stitched together. It was fun from start to finish! The great thing about potholder quilts is the the back can be as fun and interesting as the front.

I want to make another one with some of my orphan antique blocks.

6)What is your favorite candy bar?
This too changes every day (wink) but I guess I would have to say Mounds.

7)Do you hand quilt or machine?

If you read my Blog regularly you know I am a hand quilter. I dabble in machine quilting but nothing larger than 24” or it becomes a train wreck. I LOVE to hand quilt.

8)What is your favorite color?


9)What is your favorite quilting tool?

Tulip #10 applique needles. After 50 plus years of applique work I have found that these are the best (for me).

 10) Do you work on one project at a time or many?
I think this is a trick question. Do you honestly know anyone who works on one quilt at a time? I don’t think I do. I have at least 10 actively in the works and probably a dozen more in the “started” stage with 100 or more on the brain.

My next duty as a nominee is to nominate 3 other bloggers. I would like to nominate every Blog I read regularly, but since summer is such a busy time of year, I don't want to burden you by giving you "one more thing to do"! 

So, I will simply ask these same questions to anyone who wants to participate, with the exception of #6. I'd like to change that one to "What was your first quilt and do you still have it?" (I don't have mine, but I do have the 6th quilt I made in 1978).

Thanks Katy for thinking of me and I do hope you will have take a trip around Blogland to visit all the nominees. Have a quilty day!

Blockheads #15 & #16

We spent most of the weekend on the water, but I did manage to get caught up on my Blockheads. #15 is designed by Jo Morton and I used one of my favorite fabrics from Betsy  Chutchian’s Bramblewood line.

I love block #16 designed by Jan Patek
Just in time for the 4th!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Another Sweet Retreat!

What a weekend! I woke up Monday morning with a muscle ache from laughing so hard! If I had one wish for all my readers (and for all quilters everywhere), it would be to have a group of women who “click” as well as the seven of us.

On Thursday afternoon, I dropped my mountainous pile of “projects” at the retreat house and headed to Cyndi’s (Busy Thimble) to meet up with Sue Watters and her friend on their visit from England. I met Sue at Cyndi’s a little over a year ago and it was great to see her again. Cyndi and I followed her blog (I Sew Quilts) for many years. We had such a wonderful visit, we all forgot to take photos!

Fortunately, Busy Thimble is only 5 minutes from the retreat house. I came back to find everyone ready for a swim. Although it did cut into our quilting time, it was very refreshing! For the good of all viewers, no photos are available of this event – wink!

Needless to say, we all brought enough to keep us busy for a month, but I will show you a bit of our actual progress. Fotini was only able to stay on Thursday night as she had to fly out to Colorado for Yia Yia (Greek for grandmother) duties. But, she was able to finish the binding on this adorable baby quilt.

Karen M. quilted this adorable little quilt for our annual auction. This year’s recipient will be Maine Cancer Foundation.
She also finished piecing this gem. Doesn’t this block showcase those fabulous fabrics beautifully?

Karen B. was working on these beauties for her grandson. There are some wonderful sea creatures on some of these blue fabrics. I love how these seemingly simple blocks make such an interesting overall pattern.

Kathy was whipping up a number of different blocks. I love these!!
And for some reason she ended up with a Y-seam error. Seems to me that happened in a past retreat. It couldn’t have been the wine, it must have been the stimulating conversation!

And stay tuned for the quilt she puts together with these wild fabrics - wow!
Charlotte is usually the speed demon and she did not disappoint this year. She made 3 tops and a skirt (we allow clothing manufacturing for those who are obvious overachievers). Somehow I missed one of the tops and the skirt but here are the other two.
And, I think she had some of the same wine that Kathy was drinking as she sewed this one into a tube!
Christina was diligently working on a quilt for her bed, but I cannot show you here as she does not have permission from the designer of the blocks. I can show you just one of the special things she made for all of us. My lovely placemat that I will be using in my sewing room!

And she took time to put out this spread for breakfast one morning. Traditional German fare of bread, cheese, lingonberry jam and delicious homemade muesli. YUM!

I worked on bindings with these little 1 ½” squares from Cyndi as my feeder project.
I finished bindings on 110 of these 3 ½” potholder 9-patch blocks. Stay tuned for the rest of the story.
So as not to be outdone by Charlotte, I finished two quilt tops as well. Of course, mine are only 7” x 9”, but who’s counting?
There was lots of interest in my leftover strips of binding fabric. Take them away!

We all took turns with meals so that even for those of us who hate to cook, it seemed effortless, not to mention delicious!!! Here's Kathy summoning us to breakfast one morning.
 And we all brought fuel for the afternoon slump! 
A great time was had by all!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

SVBAQ - Red Touch Me Not

Esther made this quilt c1858. I am guessing that the Touch Me Not might have been her favorite flower. Why else would she make this bugger of a block twice?? This one had fewer flowers than the pink one so it wasn’t really as bad.

I used to love these when I was a kid (o.k., I still do). They get their name from their seed pods which when mature, “pop” when you touch them and their seeds fly out. That nature thing is so clever. What a fun way to germinate!

I have only seen them (at least here in Maine) in yellow with orange spots. I have never seen pink or red. In any case, I made both pink and red because I felt I owed it to Esther!

My blocks are piling up! I can't believe next month will be the final post. Time flies when you are having a big, big blast!

Visit the Shenandoah ValleyBotanical Album blog to see all the wonderful renditions.

I am posting the mid-month Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt a few days early as I am off for our annual “Seven Sistah’s” retreat on Thursday and I will be “unplugged” (except for sewing machine and iron!) until Sunday afternoon. Stand by for some awe inspiring images of “work uninterrupted”!!!

Monday, June 12, 2017

When Jupiter Aligns with Mars...

After I posted the winner (Rachaeldaiseyof Blue Mountain Daisy) of my little quilt last week, I received an e-mail from Rachaeldaisy, telling me that I had won her give-away. How funny kismet is that?! It’s funny to think that our packages may even have crossed paths over the big and wonderful ocean! 

Look at all my booty! I had planned to order this issue of Quilter’s Companion after I learned that Rachael was featured in it. Her quilts are sensationally fresh and ever so cheerful. I highly recommend getting a copy of this wonderful Australian publication. 
Isn't she adorable?

And, as if the magazine wasn’t enough, she was able to actually find 3 fabrics that I do NOT have in my stash. Yum!

I follow so many wonderful Blogs and I have been fortunate enough to have met a few of you in person. Rachael is one I would like to meet someday. Anyone want to take a ride to Australia with me?

And, an exciting announcement. I mentioned Pam Buda’s fabulous inspiring blog in my last post. Now there is an added incentive to visit her site. Pam will be making regular posts on quilting tips she is calling “Connecting Threads”. Check out her Blog (here). You can also follow along on Facebook or Instagram.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Special Visit and Blockheads Update

While visiting Cyndi at the Busy Thimble (aka Paradise) over the weekend, she snapped this picture of me with my first two rows of Blockhead blocks. I am doing it in the potholder method (naturally!) and finally decided to just stitch them together in the order of publication. 

I bought half yard cuts of the entire line of Betsy Chutchian’s “Rachel Remembered”. I love every single one of the 40 fabrics in this line. I think it is my favorite Betsy Chutchian so far. I nabbed this image from Cyndi’s Blog, but do check out this post (here) to see the close ups. This line is delicious! 

And then, Cyndi handed me a beautiful package, cleverly wrapped in a tissue dress pattern.  Imagine my delight when I found this beautiful pin cushion inside. Pam Buda had graciously sent one to Cyndi and one to me. 
How lucky are we?! Pam is another one of my favorite designers. We met at our state show in Augusta last year and she is just as sweet as her quilts and her fabrics. Check out Pam’s blog, Heartspun Quilts (here) for some luscious eye candy.

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

AS I was saying...

I mentioned before how I really enjoyed reading all your comments about how you use the Internet. Many of you remarked that you find Facebook as confusing as I do.

Case in point… I belong to some wonderful groups on Facebook one of which is a group called Celebrate Hand Applique hosted by Caron Mosey. On April 1st she introduced a challenge to design and create a little quilt of our own design and post it on June 1st. I didn’t see the post until May 1st so I decided to make mine simple.

It is made from vintage feed and flour sacks so I am calling it "Flour to Flower". 
Of course now I can’t find the original post so I think I might have dreamed it up. But I needed a few quilts to donate to our mini quilt auction at the show this summer, so I can check one off my list!

And, I would like to share an organization tip from my very dear (and oh so clever) friend, Karen Mitman. She went to the dollar store and bought several colorful gift bags and organized each of her projects with a photo of the quilt on each bag. Now she is ready for our upcoming “Seven Sistahs” (Spelled thus as we are in Maine!) retreat in mid June.
 I’m going to go pack!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

70,273 Project

If you are a regular reader of my Blog, you already know about the 70273 Project. If you are new to my Blog, please read more about it on Jeanne Hewell-Chamber’s Blog (here). I have made individual blocks for the project in the past. Each double X represents one of the 70,273 mentally and/or physically challenged people murdered by the Nazi’s between January, 1940 and August, 1941. Jeanne has taken on the monumental task of honoring every single one of these people by making quilts.

At first, you could make a block in one of the 3 sizes listed on her site. But, to honor more people more quickly, she invented the “Long and Skinny” and the “Middling”. Instructions for both are listed on her site (here).

I thought this “Middling” (18” x 22”) was a perfect project to complete over the Memorial Day weekend. This little quilt “remembers” 115 individuals. I will quilt it and send it off, after I get my label from Jeanne.

This project is so important to me. As some of you know our grandson has significant autism. I cannot conceive of my world without him!

I also finished piecing together this Veteran’s quilt to be handed off to our “Quilting Angel” Sharon Patterson. 

And, we had a little time left for a hike with our little man!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Lucky Number 72

(Warning – long wordy post – grab a cup of tea (or something stronger) and read on…)

Congratulations #72, Rachael from Blue Mountain Daisy. I had chosen a few items to include with the quilt, but since I follow Rachael’s Blog I decided to customize the “extra” goodies to her taste. Also, the fact that it is now going to Australia makes me re-think the size of the box! DO check out Rachael's Blog (here) it is so much fun!

I want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to comment on my pressing questions. There were some very thought provoking answers and I have to say I learned a great deal about how other quilters handle their Internet time.

First, I must say that I realize that the answers were skewed by the fact that I asked these questions on a Blog, so of course you all read Blogs! I think it would be interesting if I asked these same questions on Facebook (but then I’m not sure I could find them again!).

Here is the lowdown in a nut shell:

29 of you are Bloggers only. Included in that number are those of you who don’t have a Blog, but read them on a regular basis. 

32 prefer Blogs but are also on Facebook, and

20 of you forward thinking 21st century quilters, utilize many of the Internet’s social network sites.

Gladi of Gladi’s Quilts cannot post a comment on my Blog (above my technical ability grade, but probably has something to do with Blogspot vs what she uses). I have included it here as I think it really says what most us feel.
Wendy at the blog “The Constant Quilter”  (an excellent blog – check it out if you aren’t already a reader!) asked her readers about their use of social media.  She expressed some concern that a lot of bloggers may be quitting or considering quitting blogging and moving to other ways to share such as Facebook, instagram, etc.  Technically I don’t have the means to directly respond on her blog, so thought I’d respond here.
I can hardly believe that I’ve been blogging for almost 5 years.  When I started I wasn’t sure I would last more than a few weeks, but I learned that I enjoy taking the time to write about what I’m doing and I enjoy being part of the quilt blogging community.  I’ve met some great people!!  I very much enjoy reading other blogs and start every day with about an hour of blog reading while I quietly enjoy my morning coffee.  I enjoy seeing the projects and hearing the stories about the projects.   I do not have a Facebook account, but my husband has one (on which he rarely posts) so that we can stay connected with a very few people we really care about, but otherwise much of what is there is a waste of time.  I rarely look at Facebook and I do not do instagram or twitter.  I have a Pinterest site so I can save ideas for inspiration, but I usually only look at it for a few minutes before bedtime when I’m too tired to read.  Time is precious and we need to be mindful of how we are spending it and making sure we don’t just fritter it away.  A lot of social media lends itself to “frittering.”  I’m lucky I’m not drawn to it.
I read through Wendy’s responses and am happy to say that a lot of her responders agree with me, i.e. that we like blogs because of the depth of the information and the stories.  We hope bloggers keep going!
There are many good aspects to all the different social media. Many prefer Instagram for posting pictures. Most say that they are on Facebook only to catch up with family members or specific groups that they belong to. I have to admit to being one of these myself. It is the only way I can keep up with the younger members of my family who live far away. And, there are some wonderful groups that are specific to my interests, ie. hand applique, hand quilting and of course antique quilts.

Many of you commented that (like me) you enjoy the slower pace and more informative content that a Blog offers. I also like to use mine as a personal journal that I can refer back to from time to time. I use “Blog to Print” and print out my entire Blog at the end of every year. It is not inexpensive, but it is nice to have a printed copy to refer to rather than scrolling through months of posts.

It seems that whatever our preferences, the majority of us make a concerted effort to limit our Internet time in favor of more time in the sewing room!

Thanks again for all the feedback and “Keep on Blogging”! (And Quilting!)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Lucky Me!

I was the lucky winner of Audrey’s (Quilty Folk) giveaway on her final Quilty 365 post and linkup. I was so excited to see all the Quilty 365 progress I didn’t even realize she was doing a giveaway. (I have the attention span of a Clown fish) I won a gift certificate to Connecting Threads and these lovely threads and package of needles. 
It is kind of eerie, I don’t know how Audrey could have known which 3 colors I needed to fill out my thread box. I guess it really is true that great minds think alike! See the empty spots for just the right colors? 

Thanks Audrey – all filled!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Blockhead's #9 & #10

Here are Blockheads #9 & #10, just in time for week 11! Week 11 is designed by Lisa Bonjean and can be found (here). You can find all the blocks on all five of the designers blogs. 

Block #9 - Ohio Star Variation by Jo Morton. I loved making this little one. I used an older Jo Morton for the back and some charm squares from Betsy Chutchian’s Hope’s Journey line.
Block #10 - Basket and Flower by Jan Patek. A sweet little basket and sturdy little flower. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the pattern or picture with me on our weekend away, so I appliqued the handle over the flower instead of leaving it in the background. Do you think anyone will notice? Wink! Once again, I used a few tiny pieces from Hope’s Journey. I can’t wait to get to Cyndi’s (Busy Thimble) to pick up the entire line of Betsy’s Rachel Remembered. It is a beautiful line. I love every fabric in it!
My little potholder blocks are piling up. 
I am trying to decide whether to start stitching them together in the order of publication, or wait until the end and arrange them the way I want. I am inclined to leave them in the order of publication. After all, that would be the most historically important way to do it. One hundred years from now, people are going to want to know in what order they were published. Since there will be 48 blocks, my layout will be 6 blocks across and 8 down, which would mean there would be 3 baskets in row 2 alone. Yup, I’m over thinking this one! I don’t think it makes a fig of difference because they are all just as cute as can be!

Monday, May 15, 2017

SVBAQ Trumpet Honeysuckle

This one was a bugger. Lots of tiny appliques. Because I reduced mine to 10" I adapted one of the flowers to make it a bit easier. For the most part I have followed Esther’s lead. 

I tried to match the fabric that Esther used for the trellis post that the vine is climbing on. I found a very old Roberta Horton homespun which I think matches pretty well. Boy, did I love those old Roberta Horton fabrics. They are so soft and they needle beautifully. I wish I had a bolt of every one of them!
Visit the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album blog (here) to see all the wonderful renditions. Once again, there are some very clever renditions of this block!
And, I hope all of you had a lovely Mother's Day weekend. We had a fantastic hike on Mt Desert Island on Saturday before the rain on Sunday. We hiked North Bubble this time. A bit higher and more strenuous than South Bubble, but every bit as beautiful. They both overlook Jordan Pond. 
We only go to the island before Memorial Day and after Columbus Day, otherwise the drive along Rt. 1 takes twice as long!