Monday, May 21, 2018


Our local group holds a quilt-a-thon 4 times a year. We meet at the West Bath Fire Station and have the hall for the entire day. Everyone brings a dish to share and works on whatever they fancy. Although I get much more done when sewing alone at home, stitching and laughing (not to mention eating) with friends is so much more fun. It always reminds me of the song in the Music Man (with the words changed to suit the task!), “Stitch a little, talk a little, stitch a little, talk a little, eat, eat, eat, stitch a lot talk a little more”! Saturday’s group was very productive.

Megan was working on her Flying Geese blocks. Megan always amazes me! She is the Farm Manager and Educator at the Chewonki Foundation. So, after a long day of tending livestock, gardens and children she plays with fabrics! She hand dyed all of these vintage feedsacks with natural dyes from the farm. I am sorry to say that my photos do not do them justice.
The colors are absolutely gorgeous and so soft to the touch. Dying is such a trial and error process, especially with natural dyes and mordants. I didn't see any "errors" in this batch! 

This corner (Jackie, Jerry, Sandy and others) was busy making "kennel pads" for local animal shelters. I forgot to ask how many they have made already, but I know it is "a lot"! 

More worker bees!

I finished a veteran’s top and gave it to Kathy the quilting angel. Of course I forgot to get a photo but I will post it when it comes back and I have put the binding on.

I hope you all get a chance to stitch with a friend this week!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The cat is out of the bag!

I have been keeping a wonderful secret for months! On January 14 we were blessed with the birth of this little guy – “Sonny”. My daughter did not want photos on any social media so I kept my delight to myself. Now that he is 4 months old they don’t mind if I tell all my blogging friends of our great joy. And, I wanted you all to know why my quilt production has slowed down a bit since January! 

 I can now show the quilt I made for him back in November. As you can see by the nursery, my daughter is a big fan of Roy G Biv (rainbow colors). Let’s hope he finds a pot of gold at the end someday! 

I can’t wait for grandson #1
to meet grandson #2 when they come for a visit in a few weeks. I am the luckiest Nana ever!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Special Gift

 A few weeks ago, I received a wonderful squishy package in the mail! Doreen (Aunt Reen’s Place) sent me these gorgeous Dutch fabrics. Petra Prins and Judith Ebbelaar from the Netherlands were in the states this spring. Doreen and her group were fortunate enough to have them give a workshop in Virginia (read about it here). And I am fortunate enough to have Doreen as a Blogging friend and share in the wealth! Aren’t these beautiful? 

I normally hoard cherish special fabrics for a long time before using them, but I knew I had to do something with at least one of these right away.

I had been pondering a mini quilt with this little chart panel for some time and Doreen provided the perfect blue for the border and binding. These little chart panels are printed in Maine and this one is of one of my favorite areas. 
I used one of my many toiles for the back.

Thanks Doreen for the perfect blue!

It is a bit early to reveal my May mini quilt, but I am working on two secret sewing projects right now and I wanted to get this posted before I ran out of month!

I will post a follow up at the end of the month for those of you who are following along. Have fun!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Here is my latest Noah and Matilda block – 6D

Janet (Rogue Quilter) said I should stop saying “cheat” when it comes to my quilt-a-long endeavors. She is of course correct as there is no real cheating if we are having fun. So… I “modified” this block a bit by eliminating one bunch of grapes and adding a leaf instead. 

 Although the grapes are pretty small (see the dime??) they were fun to make. And, of course they vary slightly in size and shape in order to appear more realistic. The substitution of the leaf was simply because I needed to balance the colors. I didn’t have enough neon in this block so it had to come in the form of two leaves.

Both the background and the backing fabrics are antiques and they needled beautifully! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Happy May Day!

It seems that so many traditions have fallen by the wayside. I used to love making these little paper May Baskets as a child. I’m doing my best to keep some of these happy memories alive. This one is for a 94 year old friend. Hope she doesn’t suspect it was me!

May you all enjoy a bit of spring today.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Busy as a Bee

As April is always my busiest month I don't feel bad about "cheating" by considering my (Humble Quilts) mini swap as my April mini quilt. I would like to thank Randy (Barrister's Block) and Janet (Rogue Quilter) for doing the same. It makes me feel a lot less guilty. Do follow the link to see their adorable quilts. Lori (Humble Quilts) will be linking all of them up shortly and it is always fun to see these little gems.

Barbara (Quilts, Gravestones and Elusive Ancestors) made a gorgeous little quilt this month. I love this style of quilt and I adore the center panel!

Pat (Thoughts from Taylors Outback) made a fantastic little doll quilt for April  and even made the doll! Amazing!

I promise hope to be back in the swing for the May minis! Thanks for your patience!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Sweet Swap Delight!

Lori at Humble Quilts hosted another enjoyable mini quilt swap. This is the fabulous quilt I received from Christy in Oregon. Look at all those geese! I think this is particularly appropriate for the spring (or rather lack thereof) we have had this year. The geese just keep going round and round since they don’t know whether to head south or go back home! I love this kind of border.
And look at this sweet label. Hand embroidered!
She also included these lovely dish cloths and a beautiful packet of French General fabrics. Thanks again Christy!! 

Here is the little quilt I sent to Shannon in Wisconsin. I loved these little square in a square blocks with those bright reproduction centers, but it didn’t occur to me that they would become really “square” when the little block was set on point. I still like it, but it was not the look I had intended. Life’s lessons! 

Thanks Lori for another really fun swap! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Back Online!

Between trouble with our internet and a quick trip to Florida I am woefully behind on my blog reading and posting. Yes, they do have the internet in Florida, but I didn’t want to take one minute away from my visit with our grandson. He has become a “merman” and is swimming nearly every day. We had such fun! What a treasure! 

I am diligently working on my little quilt for Lori’s (Humble Quilts) swap. I have even been thinking of “cheating” and counting it as my April mini quilt. We’ll see how the rest of the month goes!

My only accomplishments are my latest Noah and Matilda blocks. Block4D – love these grapes! 

And, block 5D. I hesitated using the black neon in the flower, but I like the result. 

Spring is our busiest time here in the boatyard so I don’t expect to get a lot of quilting time this month. Yes, even though we still have snow on the ground, customers do want their boats ready when the warm weather hits.

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

March Mini Quilts

I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will get posted before the technology gremlins swoop in and eliminate all I have done! 

I know it is April already, but I wanted to link the March mini finishes before they fade into obscurity. I am linking each separate March mini that I have found. If I have missed one, please let me know. These are all wonderful little treasures and it is fun to scroll through their blogs to see other inspiring creations. 

Randy - Barrister's Block 
Janet - Rogue Quilter  
I would like to claim this little gem as my April mini, but I cannot tell a lie! I bought this treasure from Ann Hermes on her new Facebook group, Handcrafted Fiber Arts, Buy, Sell, Trade. Take a moment to look at the wonderful creations!

I'll be away and off line for the rest of this week, but hopefully by the time we all finish our April quilts I will have the linky party all set up and we will find each quilt much easier!

Monday, April 2, 2018

A Fabulous visit and a Big Apology!

Apology first… I have had major internet problems for the past 4 days. I am just now getting back online at home and on the island where I work. So, I apologize to all of you who have diligently made and posted your monthly mini quilts. I plan to get a post up tomorrow and link up with all of you. If I miss yours, please let me know. I hope to have InLinkz working by next week. (one technological step at a time!)

Now for the fantastic visit… My friend Karen and I had the incredible pleasure of meeting Laura Lane (Collections Manager, NEQM) and Gladi Porche (GladiQuilts) at the NewEngland Quilt Museum on Saturday. To quote Karen “It was right up there as one of the best days ever!”.
We arrived as the doors opened and went directly to Gladi’s quilts. We had planned to meet Laura and Gladi for lunch but we had no idea that we would get a private gallery talk of the entire exhibition! Gladi went through every quilt, one by one. I cannot express how much I enjoyed this. I have admired her work for years and it was such a treat to see these gems in person and to hear about her thought processes and techniques.
Laura brought her “Foothills” (Mary Elizabeth Kinch) quilt-a-long blocks and we laid them out on the table. Wow! They are fantastic and you can see them on the Facebook page (here).

The exhibition of Japanese quilts from the 13th Nihon show in Tokyo was in the outer gallery. It is a very diverse group of quilts, from traditional hand work to unique art quilts. And, the little gallery hosts a revolving exhibition of quilts from the museum’s collection which is always fun.

After we were through looking at the quilts (although I could have stayed all day!) we had a delightful lunch together before heading home.

My second apology is that I had to steal images from the internet because I could not get any of the photos off my camera! At first, I thought it was operator error, but I now know I need a new phone! 
If you are anywhere near New England before these quilts come down (April 21 for the Japanese quilts and April 29 for Gladi’s) I would highly recommend a visit. You will NOT be disappointed! If you can’t make it in person, do take some time to visit Gladi’s blog (GladiQuilts). She is an excellent writer as well as a quilter and her blog is always a joy to read.

I hope you all have a great, non-technological day!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

March Mini

My March mini hops in under the wire! I hand quilted the center panel and machine quilted the rest (otherwise it would have been an April finish!). 

The little 1” finished squares are from my friend Cyndi (Busy Thimble). We swapped over 3,000 different 1 ½” squares a while back and I have been having a ball using them in different projects. There are 288 287 different prints in this little quilt. As I was quilting it I noticed I had used the one fabric twice, can you spot it? I don’t mind having a duplicate because it is one of my favorites.

The center panel is the same Kay and Lori Lee Triplett panel I used in my basket quilt sew-a-long with Cecile (here). This one is the smallest size at 6” and the one in the center of the basket quilt was the 24” size. You can order them on their website (here). 

I know Kyle (Timeless Reflections) and Barbara (Quilts, Gravestones and Elusive Ancestors) have finished their March minis and I will link back to any other blogs I can find who have made a mini this month.

I also had an e-mail update that the American Quilt Museum has started their auction of small quilts and other “stuff” to benefit the museum. One of mine is up for auction right now. They spelled my name wrong again, but I’m so used to it I don’t even bother to correct it anymore. My maiden (now middle) name is “Caton” not “Canton”. But I get the extra “n” a lot! Drop by the site to see all the goodies they have to offer. There are some wonderful quilts and baskets of quilty things! 

And in closing, I had a fabulous day yesterday at our quilt study group. We meet at our friend Judy's house and she generously shares her antique treasures and her incredible knowledge with us as we discuss and learn. My wish for the world would be that every person could find their personal "passion" and have friends to share in their joy. I am blessed to have so many fabulous people in my life; my "seven sewing sistahs", my quilt study friends and my blogging community friends. Life is good!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Foothills Finish - Gooseberry Pie

I finished my Foothills sew-a-longwith Mary Elizabeth Kinch over the weekend. I love everything about this quilt. I love the pattern, the colors, the potholder method, the name I gave it, the camaraderie of doing this with other quilters and most of all I love the fact that my husband really loves it!

Don’t get me wrong, he is always giving me kind and encouraging comments about my work, but when I finished this one I laid it out on the couch overnight. The next morning he said, boy I really love that quilt you finished last night. So, I was going to donate this to next year’s AQSG auction, but I might have to keep it and find another one to give away!

The Kansas Troubles "Gooseberry Lane" layer cake worked out perfectly for the backing squares. I was a bit nervous as I always pre-wash my fabrics, but when it was finished washed it with great care and 8 color catchers and nothing ran!
Do take a minute to visit the Facebook page (here) to see all the variety. You won’t be disappointed. There are so many fabulous fabrics in different colorways. Fun!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A little of this and that

I hope you all had a fun and productive National Quilting Day on Saturday. My local quilt group hosted an all day quilt-a-thon. Of course I forgot my camera so I have no photos to show you other than my “Gooseberry Pie” blocks. 
I should be stitching them together soon!

While cleaning my sewing machine, I discovered a great way to keep bobbins and spools together. Yup, the simple Q-tip! 

And, saving the best for last… I know I have said it before, but quilters are the best! Karen (Log Cabin Quilter) asked me if I would want a few of her orphan blocks for my next "pot luck" quilt. Look at these!!! I have enough for an entire quilt right here. 
And, some of these applique blocks are just too nice to be lumped into a pot luck quilt so they will have a special home. Karen's generosity started me thinking of how much fun it would be to do a Blog swap of orphan blocks.  I think it would be fun to see what we all do with other quilter's "orphans. I'll have to ruminate for a while, but I would appreciate hearing how you feel about it.

Randy's (Barrister's Block) basket quilt for Cecile's (Patchwork Inspirations) basket sew-a-long was so inspirational! 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Quilty 365 Update

That’s right, Quilty 365, the quilt I started with Audrey (Quilty Folk) back in November 2016. If you remember we were to applique one block a day for 365 days. I can’t tell you how much I missed that when the last one was done!

I started hand quilting it in December of 2016. I had a great deal of the center finished before I left it sitting in a corner of the quilt annex for over a year! I decided I wanted to put it in our state show (Maine Quilts 2018) this summer, so I dug it out a few weeks ago. It looked like it wouldn’t take long to finish it, but it is funny how that perimeter is so much larger than the center!!

 I really love this quilt. I’ve decided to call it “Crop Circles” because it has over 700 different vintage feedsack fabrics in it.

Anyway, I finished the quilting but neglected so many other things. I really missed my Noah andMatilda applique. It had been almost a month since I made my last block. I finished block 3D this morning and it felt good to be back! 
The backing came from a friend who gave me 3 wonderful neon fabrics that I had never seen before.
Thanks Sue!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Foothills QAL - Gooseberry Pie

Here’s an update on MaryElizabeth Kinch’s Foothills quilt sew-a-long. Mary Elizabeth was so right when she said we can learn a lot about this quilt. Even though I changed the size of the blocks and the color scheme, I had fully intended to make each block in the same value as the original. Well, you can guess what happened. After 5 or six blocks I threw caution to the wind (actually, I lost the black and white photo) and simply grabbed fabrics and cut, cut, cut, stitch, stitch, stitch and before I knew it I had made 27 blocks. (I know there are only 25 in the quilt, but we had a few mishaps – my next “orphan quilt” box is filling up!)

I stuck to my original plan of “not” adding the obvious mistake in block #2. I decided instead to let it happen naturally and voila! (lesson #1!)

I think these geese were afraid to get caught in the pie so they flew the wrong way. Anyway, I like it so I am leaving it! 

I learned to be (somewhat) patient while trying to choose the backings for these little gems. And thus, something wonderful happened. While searching the net for photos of the gooseberry plant, I came across this little gem - a layer cake by Kansas Troubles called "Gooseberry Lane". I think they call this kismet! (lesson #2)
I learned about spacial relationships. I laid out all my blocks leaving a 1/2" space of red between them so I could see what they would look like when they were all bound and stitched together (think, potholder method). 
I wasn't sure I liked this so I set them further apart to emulate the original wide sashing. I'd have to add a 1" finished red strip around each one (before quilting and binding) to make it look more like the original. 
Hmm... I really like both settings, so now what? After a lot of contemplation, I decided I should really honor the original make by at least conforming to that nice wide sashing. I was just about to cut the little red strips when it dawned on me that a layer cake is 10" - my blocks finish 8 1/2" with binding so if I added an inch of width to each side (lesson #3 measure twice, cut once). So skinny red wins out.

Here is the first block, quilted and bound. 


So, what else did I learn? I learned that I definitely like this color scheme. When surrounded by fabulous 19th century fabrics I always gravitate toward the brights. By pairing the bright and colorful reds, purples and yellows with the warm browns I really felt it had earned its name! Can you smell pie?

Mary Elizabeth now has a Foothills QAL Facebook page (here). There are lots of wonderful renditions. People are really getting creative with their colors. And do visit her blog (Mary Elizabeth Kinch) to see her amazing blocks. Her color scheme is sensational.