Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Noah and Matilda sew-a-long

So.. I have finally begun my Noah & Matilda journey. Read all about it on Collector with a Needle’s Blog (here). Dawn and her daughter have created some wonderful patterns for a number of antique treasures and this is one I have been wanting to start for a long time. 

Here is my first block, quilted and bound. I have chosen to make it in the potholder method (big surprise!). 

My color palette will be 1890 antique and reproduction neon fabrics. 
I am calling it "Noah and Matilda's Ruby Anniversary Cake". These fabrics would have been a popular choice at the time of their 40th wedding anniversary. Since my 40th anniversary will be in 2018, I thought it would be appropriate. I also like to give all my potholder quilts a title with some sort of cooking reference thus the word "cake". I modified the first block a bit by adding the circle in the center. Mainly because I made a bit of an error in the quilting which I wanted to cover up! 

This is going to be fun! Want to take the plunge? 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Kevin the Quilter's Sapphire Stars

August is my busiest month, but I was able to finish “clue #2” of Kevin’s Sapphire Stars mystery sew-a-long. This is my first mystery quilt ever. I just knew Kevin would make it fun and that it would be likely that it will make a super veteran’s quilt when finished.

Do you talk to yourself while sewing? I use little rhymes to help me place the pieces together correctly. For instance, when I was piecing these units together I was reciting “Blue on the red is what he said.” And then, “Red to the yellow said the smart fellow” (that’s you Kevin!). It helps to keep me in check. 

So… I don’t know what I was saying here – but it turns out that “red on the blue was a silly thing to do”!

When Randy (Barrister’sBlock) was visiting last week, she was surprised to find that I did not have a seam ripper (I actually have one, I just couldn’t find it). Unless I am working with precious antique fabrics or that last piece of an out of print fabric, I find it much faster and easier to simply toss it into the “orphan block box” and cut out a new one. They will have fun in there with all the other orphans and someday become another “Pot Luck” quilt.

 Take your time with clue #3 Kevin. Wink!

And, P.S., did you notice my new cutting mat? While at the show, Randy encouraged me to try this Martelli cutting mat and boy was she right! I love it! What a difference it makes. Thanks Randy for the nudge!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Bloggers are the Best!

What a fun week I had with Randy from Barrister’s Block! We visited the Coastal Botanical Gardens, shopped at a specialty wool shop, Attic Heirlooms, shopped at Alewives Fabrics who specializes in modern and whimsical prints, did some antiquing, took our boat for a dinner cruise to Boothbay Harbor, had dinner another night at our summer house on the ocean, had a LONG and fabulous visit with Cyndi at the BusyThimble, and oh yes – we went to the quilt show (Maine Quilts 2017)!

All these wonderful adventures and when we got up Saturday morning to leave for the airport, we realized we did not have one picture of us together! So, here we are saying goodbye.

 I was so busy having fun I took no pictures at all except for a few at the show.

One of the exhibits I was in was an invitational "Ruby" challenge to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the show. We were all given a traditional pattern from Ruby McKim's 101 Patchwork Quilts (one of my first quilt books in high school). We were to make a traditional 4 block quilt with the red and white fabric provided and then come up with something totally "ours" for the second quilt. It was a fun exhibit. Here are my two.
I named my "interpretation quilt", "Forty Years of Fun" and made 40 yo-yo's with fabrics from quilts I had made over the past 40 years. The rest of the quilt is made from vintage feedsacks in my collection. Fun! 
A few close ups. 
No, I did not hand embroider the rick rack. I was asked a dozen times, so I thought I should clarify - wink! Cute though, isn't it?

I think my favorite in this exhibit was Carol Petinelli's. 
She chose Spider Web and look at her interpretation. So cute, including baby spiders hanging from beaded spider webs!

I wish I had been better about taking photos! I did take these of one of my favorites by Carolee Withee. Isn't she amazing! She won first place and Best Embellishment - no surprise! Do you see the shade pull in the middle? It represents being inside the parlor looking out at the garden. Such vision! Carolee also has a knack for entertaining. She does lectures on her method of saving old linens and making them into quilts accompanied by many of her own songs about the process. She is one of the sweetest people I know! Congratulation Carolee!
Look at this detail!

I put my "Pot Luck" potholder in the display - not the judged section - area and it won a ribbon anyway! It is an NACQJ award from Mary Derry. I was thrilled!
I also won 3 ribbons for the one I put in the judged section, but I can't show the photo because it is my quilt from the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt sew-a-long. I had permission from the museum to hang it in the show, but the organizers of the sew-a-long, Doreen (Aunt Reen's Place) and Dawn (Collector With A Needle) have asked that we don't publish our finished quilts until after the entries for the upcoming exhibition have been chosen. I won first place in applique, Best Hand Quilting and Judge's Choice from De LeClair. I am thrilled with any ribbons I receive, but am most proud of a Viewer's Choice or Judge's Choice. To me that means that at least one person liked my quilt a lot. I also love winning ribbons for my potholder quilts because it draws the crowd to the quilt and thus they become curious about the "method". I like to spread the cheer!

Thanks for a great visit Randy! I hope we have many more visits to come!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Maine Quilts 2017

Our annual Maine Quilt show is coming up – July 26 – 29 at the Augusta Civic Center. Click (here) for more details.

I’ll have a few quilts there, but can’t reveal the challenge ones until after the show. I can show you a few little quilts I made for our auction. This year’s recipient will be the Maine Cancer Fund. 

This year’s show will be extra special for me as Randy from Barrister’s Block will be visiting. It is always nice to see “our show” through someone else’s eyes. I don’t think she will be disappointed!   

Hope to catch up with a few of you there!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt finale

I feel it is very fitting for the final block in this fun sew-a-long is the Rainbow block. The rainbow has become a symbol for embracing diversity. People have really shown their individuality in this SAL. There has been a tremendous amount of creativity in the various blocks each month.

I had a bit of trouble visualizing an upside down rainbow, so I made a double right side up rainbow instead (showing my individuality). Since I have changed the orientation of some of the blocks anyway, I thought Esther wouldn’t mind.

The fabric choices people have made have been so much fun to watch. There are 1930’s fabrics, wools, batiks, and fussy cut florals. The techniques have been varied as well; machine applique, buttonhole stitched (hand and machine), needle turned, and more. There are quite a few utilizing the quilt as you go method and a few (like me) are using the potholder method. 

I am so excited that they are planning an exhibition beginning in May, 2018. If you have been sewing along, I hope you are considering submitting your finished quilt for this wonderful exhibition. More details to follow on the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album blog (here).

I have enjoyed this project immensely and I would like to thank Dawn (Collector with a Needle) and Doreen (Aunt Reen’s Place) for hosting this 25 block sew-a-long and for keeping us all motivated. A big thank you to the Virginia Quilt Museum for publishing this pattern and allowing us to share our progress with others. And lastly, I would like to thank Esther Blair Matthews for her artistic vision and impeccable skill in the making of this quilt in 1858.

Please check in with the link (here) and enjoy all the unique quilts. 

Now what? I have already started another long term applique sew-a-long. With the wonderful patterns from “Collector with a Needle" (here) I am venturing down the Noah and Matilda road. Nothing to report yet, I’ll keep you posted. Wink!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Blockhead Catch Up

It seems I am always a week behind, but row 3 of my Blockhead quilt is now complete. I’m glad I decided to do this in the potholder method, as I think it is keeping me motivated to finish each block each week. And, with this method, the back is often as fun as the front!


 I’m also happy that I decided to set them in order of publication. I like the fact that since there are 6 designers, each one is represented in vertical rows. But, more importantly, it keeps me from having to think about how to set them together – no math and no creative angst!

I have used mostly BetsyChutchian and Jo Morton fabrics with a few others thrown in. I want to keep the scrappy feel so I am pulling from my scrap baskets too!

Check out all the progress (here) or on their Blockhead Facebook page. They have a gazillion (yes, I counted) followers!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sapphire Stars

I’m not sure how it happened, but I took on yet another sew-a-long project for the summer. I joined in on my very first mystery quilt adventure. For years I have watched my friends participating in these mystery quilt projects. I just didn’t see the allure until Kevin of Kevin The Quilter in his whimsical way, just made it sounds so enticing.

So, here is my first part. Forty eight units done and waiting for the next clue. Woohoo! 

Kevin’s instructions said to draw a line down the center and stitch on the line. But, being the lazy time efficient person that I am, I just used my little vintage ruler as a guide as I stitched along. The metal ruler has a little camber in it so it makes it easy to keep in place. 

Do check out Kevin’s blog (here) to see all the progress. Fun, fun, fun!

Thursday, June 29, 2017


I find myself frequently blurting out, “I’d love to but, I’m so busy!”. The first 3 blogs I read this morning started with the same feeling, “why is time flying by so fast?”.

Since I have nothing new to show today, I will share the center of one of my favorite quilts (made in 2000). I hope you get the chance to dip your toes in the water and drink in the summer sunshine until we meet again. I think we could all benefit from a little “slow” time!

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!