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.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I'm still waiting for my machine to come back from the spa, but I have managed to baste together the fiesta table topper that I was working on. A bit blurry but for some reason lately I must be moving the camera as I click the shutter. I apologize for the view of the trashcan, lol. The kitchen in this apartment is very 'cosy' to say the least.

I've never gone this long without a machine.. I've been knitting socks and am ready to do the toe grafting so I can finish them. Whew. That was a lot of knitting considering I didn't even learn how till last May. But it was fun and next project is the slouch hat on the cover of the Winter 2009/2010 Knit Simple magazine. That baby alpaca is sooo soft.. they said it knits up fast so I am looking forward to this project.

Otherwise, I had to get a new rotary blade again today because I dropped the cutter on the floor and nicked the blade on the tile.. sigh.. so now I am all set to start preparations for when Nina comes home from her spa visit !! I have missed that machine sew much ... we'll both be happy to have her sitting on her little table again. Only ten more days till she comes home.
Can't wait... meanwhile I have some hand stitching to do on an autumn design that I'd purchased two years ago. It will be good to get that done. Busy, busy!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

more pictures

In the fall, we took a trip to Fort Knox and the new bridge in Prospect Maine.
We'd been over the old bridge to Bar Harbor a few years back, and some of the holes on the road deck were big enough to swallow a car. That whole lane was closed, and it took forever for cars and trucks to go across, with the speed limit and the one lane traffic..
Here's a picture of the old and new bridges from the observation deck, 40 stories from the ground.. it's an awesome place to visit !
The old bridge is on the left and has been closed.
Fort Knox is being restored, and what a cool place that was ! We felt as if we were in the middle of a Horatio Hornblower movie.. you could almost see the soldiers in your mind's eye..
The fort was never the site of an active conflict, but if you click the link at the beginning of this post, you can read about the history. It was fun to see what the old ambulances looked like, too.
We've already decided we'll go back again next summer.

It's funny how often my mother talked about going to the fort, and in the 10 years we've been back in Maine, we never got there before. We passed it several times but never stopped.

We should try to visit more of the state's great sites.
I want to get back to Pemaquid Point in the summer too.
For now, I can only dream of summer and hope the winter doesn't drag out too long.

Catching up !

yikes. I haven't posted in so long..
Here's what I've done lately. I finished a pair of socks, knit with Opal yarn.

Been working on a class with the Braid Runner pattern, and doing some variations on it, so I can help Lynne at the Heath Hen Quilt Shop to sell more patterns and books on French Braid quilts. I've made a Lollapalooza handbag from a StudioKat Designs pattern, and

over the summer and fall we painted the dining room, the bathroom, and the dining room again when we realized the color was horrid... we also had several large 90' tall trees cut back or cut down completely, so I helped my brother split and load several truckloads of firewood...

finished machine quilting that Warm Wishes quilt and got it bound.. started quilting a quilt top that my mother had made for DS 28 years ago. I stay pretty busy with my hands but it just doesn't translate well to my blog, I guess.
Hopefully now that I've broken the dry spell I can remember to add more posts.