Friday, February 25, 2011

Sewing with a spoon?

Have you ever heard of doing this?  Having watched it being done, it makes perfect sense, but the initial idea seemed very strange.

The edge of the spoon helps to raise the needle up when you are doing basting.

Caro reports that she always does this for basting quilts. 

 This is Caro's lovely "re-created" antique quilt.  The triangle blocks are apparently about 1870-1890.  She added the muslin triangles to make each block and setting triangles.  It is lovely.  She has already started hand quilting it.

We have managed to take over the family room for a little sewing center.  It works very well.
More adventures to come.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Two crazy quilters - again

Caro is here and even in just less than 24 hours we have been so busy.  So I will share a few things and then you will want to visit her blog.  She is much more of a photographer than I am (as well as much better).  She came bearing many gifts, including

 We both were busy last night, me with delectible mountains and cutting the sashing for my buggy barn flowers

Two quilters in one household.  The psychic energy is amazing.  Fortunately we both have the same (main) sewing machine so it is easy to go back and forth.  She got these little triangle blocks in the mail (ordered through ebay) and last night cut and sewed the muslin to make the squares and setting triangles.  Luckily I had a red that worked perfectly for a binding.
We had a bit of surprise over night and awoke to this
but we don't expect it will slow us down.  Later we will visit a great nearby quilt shop and I will look for some additional fabric to add to the ends of Becka's scraps to make the quilt for my new grandchild.  The fabric will be perfect with the poster than my son and DIL have picked out for the baby's room,  Animals of the World
Keep in touch!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Is it Christmas or what?

Caroline, from the Hague, in the Netherlands, arrives tomorrow.  This is her 4th trip to visit us and we are both quite excited.  One of the things we have learned is that many (most) quilting supplies are significantly cheaper in the U.S.  Therefore, she has utilized our address as the mid-point in the journey from the U.S. to Holland.  [Items are shipped here and then she picks them up when she is next in the country.  Significantly cheaper shipping costs.]  And so, we have some items left from last March's visit, items shipped here in the intervening months and a few new things I have found for her.  It really is quite fun.

Items left from last trip here

New batting ordered and delivered

A number of new items

It's gonna be hard to crawl into bed!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Well, this blog post began before lunchtime and it is now 10pm.  Alas, how the day goes past, quickly.

The grandchildren arrived shortly after noon.  We had a brief visit and got everyone settled and then headed off to the aquarium.  I haven't been there in years and years.  Great fun.

The day started sunny so I took a couple more photos of some of my inherited sewing paraphenalia. (oh, oh, how do you spell that word - perhaps I shouldn't use it if I can't spell it)
A lovely little sewing kit, with thread and painted leather thimbles

Another pretty sewing kit

Small silver thimble housed in this little basket

I have been doing a bit of sewing.  Friend Laura gave me a beautiful rainbow packet of batik's.  So since I do love delectible mountains, thought I'd give this a try.  So far, I'm quite pleased,

I think I like the top layout best.  Your opinions?

Caroline arrives from the Netherlands on Wednesday, so just tomorrow to finish up whatever last minute cleaning I need to do.  Luckily, it isn't much - Neither she nor I particularly care and she says if I don't worry about it then when we arrive at her home in May, she won't have to worry either.  Turn about is indeed fair play.  Life is good.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Well there are a number of happenings at Nana Marne's this week, so here we go:

Miss Caro arrives from the Netherlands on the 23rd.  This is her 4th trip, so while it is always fun and exciting, it is also delightful to think about just relaxing and visiting.  I can't yet show you a photo (as I know she reads this blog) but wait until you see all that is here waiting for her.  First there is the box of things she left last year (intentionally), then there are 5 or 6 packages of things she has ordered which were delivered here [I knew about them coming], then the preparations for this trip, then a number of things I have bought for her and I just learned that there is another parcel on its way from Connecting threads - things she ordered.  Oh my gracious.  I promise a photo [assuming I can remember] when she gets here and before all the "stuff" gets dispursed.  It's kind of funny!

Last Saturday (I already told you this) was my turn to do a CTA Help Table stint at a local quilt/fabric store.  I always take 2 or 3 hand projects to work on, as the customers like to ask about what I'm doing.  Most of the time they don't realize that my nametag is for CTA and not for the store itself, but we try to be useful and help the customers find what they are looking for.  I quite enjoyed the fellow looking for the toga costume makings.  While there, I was able to locate, at long last, sashing fabric for my Buggy Barn flowers.  I have tried about 6 or 7 different choices and really like this one best

Isn't this fun?  I am thinking that perhaps I will ask Alayne to quilt this as my exchange for Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll.  Hmmmmm.  It isn't cut yet, but soon it should be.

I finished bindings for my little granddaughter gift (a couple of blogs ago) and the green and orange quilt I was doing for Stone Soup.  I learned that another friend in the Netherlands is expecting a first child and it is a girl.  So I made a couple of sample blocks - very easy - just to see if I liked it.  9 patch and alternating snowballs in pink and white.  But that becomes even more important because we learned on Sunday that we will be having a new grandbaby in the family in July.  Yeah Yeah Yeah!  This is my son and DIL's first child.  They don't think they will find out its gender, but I'm betting a girl as each side of the family has a girl child first.  Hmmmm.  They are basing the baby's room around a poster she has that is a very large world map with animals of the world on it.  Becka gave me her scraps 
Remember this from our Stashbusters retreat?  Very cute and just perfect with the poster.  So perhaps Caro can help me figure out what to do with these bits and pieces.

And then, because I was working getting the house cleaned for visitors, I was looking at some of the sewing treasures my mother collected over several years in her travels.  They really are such fun to see, so I will share a couple of photos with you,
These are little silver scissors (they actually work) with the words Huey-Philips on one blade.  Don't know what that means. They are 1 inch long.

Painted wooden thimbles.  The box says made in Italy.

Royal Copenhagen from 1979
It's nice to have these momentoes.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Easy Supper

You may have noticed the time on my last post - yes, I was up pretty early.  So thought I, why not get a head start on dinner, so it won't be a big deal after going to the movies.  And so we are having,
clean-out-the-refrigerator Nana's soup.  This is so doggone easy as you just literally clean out the 'fridge and use up those little bits of this and that.  With the addition of some few seasonings it always turns out great soup.  Really, the only problem is remembering later how you made it - making it again is always hard.

Chop up that little piece of onion, in the vegetable drawer and add some celery

That one poor leek left in the drawer - add it to the pot 

What else ya got?  A little left over tomato sauce, a part of a can on mushrooms, one sweet potato and some turkey broth (frozen from Thanksgiving).  Voila!  Supper.  Just find some good bread and you are all set.

The Week-end is here

Greetings in the rain and gray of the Pacific Northwest.  I realize it is only February, but I can quickly become accustomed to the 2 days of nice weather we had this past week.  Alas.  So what's up?  Here at Nana's house, things are fairly quiet.  Caroline arrives in 11 days.  That means that vacuuming has begun. 

I worked a bit on a little "quilt" that granddaughter Emma made for me at Christmas.  I backed it, quilted around some of the flowers on the backing and am now finishing the binding.  I'm not sure what I will do with it, but I wanted her to know that I do love it.  While I was working on it, I finished listening to The Cruelest Month - an Inspector Gemache (sp?) mystery, by Louise Penny.  If she isn't on your list, I recommend her to you.  [Great characters, whom I think of after I finish the story - as if they were real people]

And as I alluded to earlier, I'm working on the borders for my latest fun effort,

I managed to stretch the dark borders, I discovered.  Oh, I hate it when I do that.  So after they were patiently (ahem!) un-sewn and then repositioned, I was able to add the side grey borders.  Now just to add the top and bottom.  Have you any suggestions for what I might do with this?

Today is my day to volunteer as a Clothing and Textile Advisor (CTA) at a local fabric store.  It is always fun to just sit there and answer whatever questions I get.  Often it is just, "where do I find. . ." but sometimes we get to talk fabric choices, design ideas, alterations, etc.  Lots of fun, really.  The gal who was supposed to be my partner, called to say she was sick, so I will be going going it alone.  That really is just fine - it's just that it is nice to have someone to chat with (between 'customers').  And then afterwards we're off to a matinee of The King's Speech.  That should be fun - at least it has gotten great reviews.

I hope that all is going well in your world. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cold and Sunshine

Oh I love mornings like this.  Just a quick check-in, then I need to get on with the day.  I am working on the grey/purple piece - photos later (after the few pieces of ironing and quick once-over for the bathroom, then I can have some sewing time).  But look what arrived,

The latest Bonnie Hunter book.  I am excited.  Yesterday was my quilt guild meeting [speaker: Mary Matshuta - Confetti Quilts] and I brought Bonnie's book.  Lots of folks reviewing it, so perhaps some more orders will be coming her way.  Good for business.

Enjoy the loveliness and I'll be back with photos of the bricks and stepping stones.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

As Promised

Grid lines on the flower piece watching the Packers beat the Steelers.  It was a fun afternoon, anyway - I didn't really care one way or the other about the game.  So a few more line required and then to figure out quilting for the borders.  Hmmmmm.

Bricks and Stepping Stones.  Different, but I think I'm still liking it.  I woke up early this morning, so I made another 12 blocks to add.  I'm thinking a small lap quilt will be just fine.  Bonnie's instructions say this is a quick one and it sure is!

Lastly, Caro says that I must tell you that we also drive and WE talk - not only shop.  We have a great time.  Watch out - when these quilters get together, you never know what will happen.  Life is good!   :-)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday evening

I am hard pressed to realize that almost a week has gone by.  Wow - somehow life goes by quickly and I don't get back here.  So you know that I haven't just been sitting around, here are a few photos of things going on in my sewing room.
My friend Patty, at Stone Soup Quilting allowed me to come and try my hand at her quilting machine.  It is not a usual long-arm machine, but the kind where a domestic machine is mounted sideways on a frame and it slides across the quilt.  I didn't do too badly - at least enough that I'm willing to try my hand at "quilting" a number of UFO's hanging out in Nana's sewing room.  So perhaps in up-coming weeks you will see some things actually finished.  Yeah!!!

Do you remember my Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll mystery quilt?  I struggled and struggled about what to do with that.  I just didn't like it.  Yes, I spent hours and hours on it - I think I counted that the red blocks alone had 64 pieces in them.  But no matter what I did, it just didn't please me.  So on the second day of our Stashbusters retreat I offered it to my long-armer friend, Alayne.  Meanwhile she had been thinking about it and offered to trade me the quilt for work on her machine.  Voila!  Perfect agreement.  I did finish up a couple of blocks for that quilt this week and on Friday, she and I spent a chunk of the day with the design wall laying it all out.  She is delighted and so am I.

Meanwhile, I started playing with a quilt she recently made, from Bonnie Hunter.  She made it in a tasteful masculine navy and cream four patches and mixed bricks, for a nephew.  I have been having something of a "wild hair" and I've started one made with very dark purple and gray for the four patches.  The bricks will be various purples and grays.  So far, I'm quite happy with it.  We shall see how it turns out,

  Kinda crazy, but I am liking it.  Otherwise, I also worked on doing some binding (the hand work part) for a Stone Soup Quilt while a friend was having knee surgery - I was transportation to and fro.  My Super Bowl plan is to work on the background grid quilting on the pink flowers (you saw them last week).  I don't even know who's playing, but I'm sure my quilting will keep me amused.  Happy week.

Oh yes, and my sweet friend Caro arrives from the Netherlands in just over two weeks.  We always have such a good time - I drive and she shops.  Fun!  I'll be sure to keep you posted.