Friday, February 20, 2009

Spring will come

A beautiful Friday afternoon- just perfect for LOTS of photos of signs of spring - enjoy. . . . . .

Friday - again

Well, I tried to get to this blog before today, but haven't seemed to have made it. This has been a fairly quiet week on the homefront. I finished up and framed the single flower from Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins, "The New Applique Sampler" (Block 2, Spring Sampler). This is intended as a gift for the daughter of Margaret Conner [quilt frame and treadle machine - see below] just a little Thank You. I have the pieces cut out to make the full wreath; taking that on vacation with me. If I can get to the place where I feel really good about my curved applique skills, then I'll try pointed pieces (again).

Otherwise, I've made another split 9-patch. Seems that there is always an auction looking for some little piece and seems that there is always someone (who?) can never say "no". So this top is done, as are the hanging loops. I have the backing picked out, so just to put the whole thing together. I think it's due week after next.

Lastly, at the Stashbusters meeting last night we drew the name of who would win all the black and white strip squares. You may remember that at our belated Christmas gathering, each person got a 10" muslin block to be covered with black and white 'strings'. No other colors to be included. So Judi won 18 squares and we all 'helped' her with various layout possibilities. fun, fun.
(sorry this is fuzzy) This is such an easy project, we thought perhaps we will institute some sort of birthday block trade. What does your quilt group do?

As you might imagine I'm getting rather excited about the up-coming vacation. It seemed so long ago, in September, when the planning began, but time has a way of marching on and arriving eventually at the target date. I already have the smaller suitcase virtually filled with things I'm taking as gifts and a few purchases that Caroline has had me make on her behalf. We are making arrangements to meet with new (to us) quilters, both from my crazy exchange group and Lucy van der Sluis, Haarlem and Agnes Mijnhout, Houten. We still have a couple of empty spaces in the calendar - what other mischief can we get up to? I'm so lucky - Life is Good!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Comin' round Friday, again

Friday is back around and we even had some sunshine today. Hurrah! So who has this problem and how do you solve it? Try as I might, I seem to end up with wrinkles in the backing of my quilt sandwich whenever I get anything bigger than a wall hanging. I bought myself a large table with drop sides so I can raise those up, making a length of about 72". I have used masking tape, duct tape, small clips and major clips. But somehow I don't do it right the first time. I love the table for cutting out - it's perfect! But my pinning. . . . . oh dear me.
I have tried using it the long way and cross ways and still have to remove and re-pin, at least once if not more. Have you found any sure-fire (or even semi-sure-fire) solution? This is for the oh-so-colorful twin sized quilt. Cute, but?

I was working on a practice piece of needle-turn applique. I'm sure I've said that I took a class from Becky Goldsmith at Houston a couple of years ago. Love her and love her technique. However, it's ME who isn't very good. So with the addage of practice makes perfect, I'm trying. This is one section of a larger wreath which I quite liked, so thought to give it a try.
Four of five petals and a center still to add, but it is fun. And without any points I am fairly adept at this. At least you can't see my stitches much. I don't feel confident, however, in my fabric selection, always. Becky chooses some really wild and wonderful prints and somehow they seem to all go together. I'm not sure I have it "down" quite yet.
If I can get this applique-ing to a satisfactory level, it might prove a good airplane project for a long ride. Just do the whole wreath. We'll see.

But as I was working on this, my doorbell rang and guess who has come to "live" at my house?

This quilt frame belonged to my dear friend's grandmother, Margaret Conner. [1907-1995] When she died in 1995 the frame had gone to her sister, Ada Lovett, [1911-2005]until her death in 2005. They had grown up and lived without running water and electricity until the mid 1900's in Southeastern Ohio. They ultimately lived near Marietta, Ohio. After Ada's death, Guy didn't want these just thrown away and asked if I wanted them. I have one of Ada's hand-pieced quilt tops,

Notice her prairie points all around the edges. She has marked with pencil where/how she thought it ought to be quilted. Ideas for how to get "old" pencil out?

In addition to Ada's quilt top, I got her marvelous Standard Treadle machine:

There is some wood damage and it needs some cleaning up, but the belt looks to be quite recent and it all works very smoothly. Isn't this terrific?

Interesting scissors found in the drawer. Check out these bobbins. I will have to find out how to fill and use them - the bobbin holder is a "bullet" shaped affair. Hmmm. And a box of attachments with limited directions. Many of the attachments are rusty, so who knows if they would ever work again, but it is such fun to have them.

And finally, Happy Valentine's Day, tomorrow, to one and all. I remembered this afternoon an item I purchased at an auction last year:

How's this for over-the-top cute? Perfect for dessert tomorrow night with the friends who are coming over.

Wow - isn't life so good!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday's Musings from Marne

Here's some of this and some of that. Karen was talking about sewing baskets, so I unearthed this one that my brother had given me several years ago. I haven't used it, but have it put aside. It is really white colored - don't know why my camera tends to give some photos a yellow cast. Any suggestions?

Last week, a friend passed along some of the Amish Friendship Bread starter. I had done this over a year or more ago, but haven't had any for a while. So Friday it was Day 10 and time to add to the batter, divide it to give to others and bake some for us. All went very well and seemed well received by my neighbors. [Dear readers - do you know what I'm talking about here? Is this familiar to you?]

I have been working on a quilt top that is kind of crazy and bright, but I have been quite attracted to it. I really didn't have anything or anyone in mind for this one. So I had pretty much decided that I would give it to a local charity that is near and dear to our hearts. Rabour Village Project has an annual fund-raising auction and this seemed like a good donation. Well, things do have a marvelous way of working out, don't they. I finished the top on Saturday night.

On Sunday morning I was talking with a quilting acquaintance at church. She was feeling really anxious as her husband is to begin radiation and chemo-therapy this week. She said to me - I need something to do while Tom is at his treatment. Do you have a quilt you want me to quilt for you? It is quite amazing, no? I had to go buy some batting, but did have some good-quality muslin for backing. This should end up as a very nice donation quilt, which has served at least two of us. Wow!

We woke up this morning, to a surprising dousing of snow. But it quickly became a very nice day, so it was beautiful heading out the door this morning.

I was heading out to CTA (Clothing and Textile Advisors) monthly meeting. Today we were brushing up our skills on sewing on knits, by making T-shirts for children in the foster care system (something we do fairly often throughout the year)

After I arrived home this afternoon, after CTA, there was a parcel for me. Friend Karen (see above) recently returned from the Netherlands and found me a little treasure while she was there. Isn't this just the cutest? A procelain Klompen (Dutch shoe) which also has a little pin cushion in the top. Oh, I'm so very lucky. Thank you Karen, very much.