Friday, August 10, 2012

a little knitty bit..

My Putney shawl from the knit-along at Yardgoods Center. I am using Heritage Silk Paints in color 9789, and I love this green ! The yarn is so soft and easy to knit.. I picked up the yarn yesterday and the class is tomorrow. It's an easy pattern, so far.. but I am not sure about the lacy edge. Fairly new to the knitting world and between my dyslexia and my grasshopper attention span, I may do a lot of 'frogging' once I get to the edge.
I'll never be as fast a knitter as my cyber-pal Sue, but I'm having fun nonetheless. 

365 days later....

I can't believe it's been a year since I last blogged. Well, actually, I can.. I seem to go in a hundred directions at once each day, so it's not surprising something gets left undone.
In the past year, I have tried to get organized in the sewing room, and finish up some of my UFO's.
I was gifted with 3 old sewing machine cabinets in the spring, and I took two of them and cobbled them together to make a storage box for my knitting supplies. The top serves as a surface for my ironing pad now.
One of the cabinets was for an old treadle machine but someone had removed the large pulley and the foot pedal and set up the machine for electricity. I took the drawers off of that one, and added them into the center of another cabinet, from which I had removed the door and the roundish wooden insert. I placed the door on the bottom of the two drawers, so you can see it connects them and provides a place to put books. The tag holders are from Michael's Arts & Crafts, in their scrapbooking department. I used some also on the row of drawers I removed from an old Adler sewing cabinet. The rest of that cabinet had been particle board and was not in the best of shape. That became a free-standing drawer unit to place between my sewing table and my ironing surface. 

Mike had an old table top from the 50's in the basement, and he had done a lovely job spray-painting it red. (my spray-painting talents are nil.. I get drips and runs so I was pleased that his efforts were so successful) He generously allowed me to adopt it after he moved out. I knew I raised that boy right !
Taking a couple of pieces of old pine 1x6 and screwing them to the treadle base, I slid the old metal table top on and secured it. That became the sturdy base for my Bernina to live on. I am a happy camper with my up-cycling efforts ! Pardon the clutter. There are works in progress ! The paper pieced points will become the shoulders of a flannel jacket that should be finished this weekend, if all goes well. To the right of this table is my light box, and then the old school desk that holds my serger. To the left is another treadle, that belonged to a relative and came home with me about 30 years ago. I have used it several times to make quilts.
I've done some knitting and sewing and quilting and so forth this past year but spent over a month refinishing an old commode, that I ended up painting white after all. I don't seem to have a picture of that. Another month was spent stripping horrid blue paint off the dining table legs and re-staining it to match the laminate top. We're very satisfied with the results, tho the picture is quite dark.
Yep, I don't have matching chairs.. I like it that way.
In May, I spent a few days reupholstering several of my living room chairs and footstools. WalMart had a deal on tapestry fabric several years ago and I bought a whole bolt !

It's been a busy year !
Hopefully I can remember to blog more often in future..

Thursday, August 11, 2011

catching up

Well, crud.. I typed an entire page and it has disappeared. fooey.

I've been working on unfinished projects in the ten days since I was laid off from my job, and have gotten the binding done on that Christmas quilt as well as finishing four scrub tops for John. I switched last year to a new pattern from Kwik Sew and he says they are a lot more comfortable than the old ones were. Three of them have a fishing theme and one is black with white skeletons... appropriate for an X-ray man, I think..

My camera seems to have sprouted legs. I can't recall where I put it. I'd love to take a picture of the bloom that finally sprouted on my hydrangea. Mike gave me that one for Mother's Day about 5 years ago, and it's never blossomed since I planted it. It's a lovely big blue ball at the bottom of the plant. My day lilies are mostly gone by but I do still have some yellow and peach colored ones. They seem to enjoy all this rain we've been having. Everything is so lush this year !

My dear friend Jan sent me a nifty little bag last month and I am making several of them with yarny fabrics so I can use them with my knitting. They are so easy to make, and just the thing with that knitting-themed fabric I'd been saving.

Off to the sewing room.. perhaps I will uncover the camera while I am in there !

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I love summer, don't you?


It used to be autumn that was my favorite time of year but I am really enjoying this summer weather. Yes, it is hot and muggy, but the daylilies are in full bloom and I've got some purple wildflowers that are so pretty..

I got my Christmas quilt back from Whippersnappers today. Lynn Irish did such a good job with the holly design ! I love it.. I had to re-cut the entire quilt last year and stitch it together again so she had a little trouble with the borders (where I had done the stupid mitering before I realized the quilt was wonky and needed recutting.. ) but it didn't really show where she'd had the trouble, and as Sue says "a blind man would be happy to see it!"

I went out back to take pics and here's my clematis (the Japanese beetles have been at it.. sigh) but it's holding up well in the heat.My hollyhocks over by the barn are blooming for the first time and I am very pleased with them. I've got another set by the back of the house but they aren't as picturesque.

The wall by the corner of the front yard is dressed in yellow and peach with some lovely lilies, but I can't remember what they are called. I purchased them the first summer we lived here.

I need to get into the sewing room and back to work but I picked up two books from Marie Bostwick's Cobbled Court series and they are calling to me.. Time to make some iced tea and pull up a comfy chair...
Later, y'all !

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Note to self: rolling chairs and treadle machines don't play well together.

OW. My leg still hurts from the attempt. And it took me awhile to realize it, too. That's the worst part. How foolish you feel once you realize, "duhhh... it's the wheels causing the problems.."
Oh well. Par for the course in my universe ! It goes along with another life lesson, "Rolling the rotary cutter backward to catch a bit of uncut fabric is not a good idea when you use your thumb as a stop." Hey, did I ever claim to be a genius?? Well, there you have it.

I don't want to be on Randy Cassingham's list of Obliviots, so I am trying to be a little more aware of what I do BEFORE I do it.. I bought a new rotary cutter that is a bit safer, and I put a straight chair at the treadle machine.

Did I mention I dropped a sewing machine on my foot at work last week? Well, yeah, it wasn't intentional.. the top wasn't on tight, apparently.. my toe is finally beginning to look like a human toe again. I tell ya, if I weren't such a klutz there would be a lot less entertainment value in my blog..

Now on to more interesting things. I saw an eagle today, soaring high over a giant flagpole in Greene, Maine this afternoon. At first I thought he was a finial at the top of the pole but then I realized he was in the sky behind the pole. Cool ! His white wingtips flashed in the sun as he wheeled and drifted on a rising thermal current. That was great. I wish I had had my camera with me !
I've seen a half dozen eagles this year. One was sitting on a cow skeleton by the river, a few months ago. Another was dragging a 10 foot long tree branch through the air and having quite a time of it, but he was determined not to let go. (I was glad, because had he dropped it, it might have made my car insurance rates even higher than they are.... )
That's one of the great things about living in Maine. I see an abundance of wildlife, and in my 50 mile drive to work there are some brilliant views... One of these days I need to post some pictures of those views. The view from Turner's Upper Road is spectacular. You can see the Presidential Range in New Hampshire from there. I'll see if I can get pictures of that sometime soon.
My boss' niece writes the SouleMama blog, and her pictures of Maine are fabulous if you ever get a chance to see them.
Anyway.. Thanks to my pals Wilda and Val for their comments on my last post. It's good to be back in blogger land again !

Sunday, July 3, 2011

where to begin, or re-begin or whatever you call it.. ?

It's been over a year since I have blogged and people are beginning to ask me if I intend to resume (ah! That's the word I was looking for !) blogging.
I finally worked out just what to click on so I could post again ! (I'm a bit thick at times) I kept finding my blog but not where to add new posts. Where IS Captain Obvious when you need him ?

The past year has been very busy. I returned to Maine in June 2010 and have been trying to get caught up with projects ever since. My previous employer asked me to come back to work at the quilt shop, and I wrecked my car shortly thereafter.. then my husband totaled his on the first significant snowfall of the winter.. and we just kept having one snowfall after another after another..
But eventually spring arrived. Things are green again. Yippee ! And we have lupines !

I spent a lot of time in the sewing room a lot during the bad weather.

I hadn't wanted to do much embroidery on my Bernina because the stitch quality was so bad, but recently I had the machine tuned up and we discovered that I had bent the bobbin case when I dropped it on that lovely tile floor at the Vineyard apartment. It was warped and caused the bobbin to drag and threw the tensions all off! No wonder my stitches were so messed up... I purchased a new bobbin case (Bernina seems to think all Americans are made of money, but that's neither here nor there.)
What a difference it made ! Sew, now I am getting back into the embroidery side of things and I've completed several projects already.

Here is one bag I made for my friend Lynne at the Heath Hen quilt shop. The turquoise and purple table runner was embroidered with a quilting design from Dakota Collectibles as a sample for Creative Sewing Center
The black bag wasn't embroidered but it was such a daunting task I was terrified of starting it. It took me almost three years from the time I bought the pattern till I actually finished sewing the bag, but I love how it turned out. It's from a pattern called The Professional Tote, and every bit is reinforced. It makes a lovely carrying case for my laptop and my lunch and all sorts of other things.. so I just HAD to show it off.
I can't promise to be as interesting a blogger as my friends Susan, Jan and Valeri, but I will try to keep up. Off to find more pictures to bore you with.. I mean, to share.
Catch you later !

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Finished !!

My mother's legacy to her middle grandson.. a Rail Fence quilt !

And it only took 28 years from start to finish.....
Back in early 1982, I took a refresher course so I could go back to work as a psych nurse. My dad had passed away the previous summer and my mother was sort of at a loss. I asked if she'd come visit us in Florida, and stay with my son while I was in school and my husband worked. My son was in kindergarten so would only need watching in the late afternoon. She rode by herself on the bus, her first long trip.. all the way from central Maine to west-central Florida. It was an adventure for my 65 year old mother, and she and my son really enjoyed themselves. Mum had taken a couple of quilting classes that previous fall at the local adult ed. in Maine, so she asked him if he'd like her to make him a quilt.
I took them to Cloth World in Tampa, and they picked out several green fabrics, as that was his favorite color.
This was before most folks knew anything about rotary cutters, and Mum made a template from sandpaper, and traced a few hundred shapes on the fabric with a pencil, then cut each one out by hand and hand stitched them together. She didn't really know how to hand quilt, but she gamely tried putting the quilt top together and it sat in a hoop in her house for many years, till we finally moved back to Maine in 1999. A couple of years later, I asked if I could take the quilt from her, because by then she had lost most of her vision from Macular Degeneration.. And I thought I'd easily quilt it myself. WRONG..
Cats and life got in my way, and eventually I took the quilt out of the frame and carefully washed the top and backing, and put a new batting inside. The seams were not all uniformly done, so I realized it would be best to machine quilt the top in order to keep the seams intact. I finally got it started in December 2009, and finished it last week !!
Woo hoo !
My husband delivered it to our son last weekend and he's thrilled to be able to use it.. and that he can put it in the washer on gentle if he needs to. The fabric is still quite strong, even tho some of the colors faded over the years. Mum passed away in 2006, and while DS and I were discussing that long ago trip to Florida, he remembered fondly the way he would surround his grandmother with stuffed animals from his collection, and she'd read him stories every night when he went to bed. It was a good time for both of us, and a fond recollection of my mother.