Thursday, November 24, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gobble Gobble..

The youngest grandson did not have preschool today so we have been very busy. Finger painting, cutting paper shapes, playing outside in the sandbox and swinging filled up the morning.
After lunch WE had Naptime! When his sister got home, it was story time so she did the honors while I attempted to get something done around here.

Aren't they so sweet.

I had this craft to do idea in mind for the Holiday next week after I received an e-newsletter from Martha Stewart Crafts showing it. I picked up some flowers yesterday while I did the grocery shopping in town. Would you believe the flower stems cost just 2 cents? That would be $.01 for each! They were on clearance and I thought at 80% off I'd pay at least 20 cents each but a penny was the price. This was the cheapest I have ever left Michaels!

So what did we do with them?

A gaggle of turkeys for their family to help celebrate Thanksgiving. Their Mom's 34th Birthday is next week and this will be her surprise present.


PS: The turkey with the googgly eyes is suppose to be their "Mom's" and that is according to both children. tehehee, my daughter will just love this.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Crown Point Bridge Opens

On Veteran's Day, Hubby and I decided to take the 2 youngest grandchildren on a family field trip. With the service our veterans have given throughout the years, I thought it might be nice to incorporate the dilapidated military barracks at Crown Point besides check out the bridge that has just opened.

When PGD#1 brought in newspaper articles to share about the newly opened bridge, her teacher asked her to get photos and make sure she shared her adventure when and if she got to visit it. Thus getting this for her teacher and classmates. Here is PGD#1, getting a photo op since her first grade teacher loved the old bridge. Normally we don't take pictures of a 6 year old standing in the middle of the road, but I made sure no vehicles were coming and this was a great way to get perspective of the bridge.

We figured we'd get to the middle of the bridge and let her stand with a foot in each state, NY and Vermont but it was so COLD!
The height of the bridge and the wind that swept though the wire mesh bordering the sidewalks made the bridge moan and sing. The higher we went, the louder it got and the cold pressed into us more. Her little brother didn't want to walk, he wanted to be carried so he could nestle in and protect himself from the winds. He is so smart!

I made a decision, this was nuts! We come back on another day when the weather was smoother AND WARMER besides all the area historical sites would be open then and we could really enjoy our day.

So back to the car we went. The old fort was closed, the temperature was 39 degrees there and with the winds coming off Lake Champlain, our planned picnic outside was definitely out of the picture. I showed her by car the standing chimneys sentinels left of the old military barracks on the other side of a hill next to the road and promised we'd come back in the summer when everything was open and it was warmer. Even the road to the Crown Point lighthouse with the Auguste Rodin bronze bust was closed.

I also had figured that when we got home, we could do some artwork and get a couple of letters written to send off to our troops at Christmas-time thus closing up the appreciation to our veterans on this Holiday. Thanking them for keeping our country and lifestyles safe, but both kids were sleeping by the time we got home so that was a BUST.

Oh, on trying to salvage a bit of the adventure I had hoped for, I thought we'd get a treat at the nearby Bridge Restaurant at Chimney Point. They were slammed with customers and had an hour and a half wait time. SO, back to the car we went and ended up having a picnic in the car on the way home.

You know some days, my plans just don't work out at all and today was one of them. Oh well, perhaps another day.



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Checking on my UFO Progress & Quick Binding Method

Reviewing the list of UFO's it is alarming how many are totally stagnant and though I was able to finish 16 so far, I actually was hoping to finish at least 24 this year plus a few extra if possible. So with the press for succeeding in that task I will be finishing up a few that would be close and relatively easy to do.

First up is to bind a quilt that is listed in the completed project list and isn't. Guess I was just too excited to get her done that I wrote it there and then got waylaid while getting along to finish it.
SO I will select the binding and get it cut and sewn together today. I plan on doing the faux piped binding method I now love.


Cut the binding 1-1/2" wide
cut the piped fabric 1-3/4" wide.

Sew each of these fabrics together end to end as you do in typical binding methods.

***Now this next part is the deviation from traditional binding methods.

Sew those two strips together side by side not end to end. Set the seam and press the seam allowance to the desired side. (I prefer to press it to the binding color, it seems to lay better for me in this orientation.) Now press the binding strip in half being careful to let the same amount of piped fabric be shown while pressing, this is crucial since the smoother the press line, the neater your piped binding will be..

Sew the binding onto the backside of your quilt viewing the piped fabric on top of it as you sew. When you turn this over to the front of your quilt.
It will have a 1/8- 1/4" reveal of the piping and you machine stitch it down by "stitching in the ditch" between these two colors. Make a practice piece so you know which color thread would work best in your quilt. Sometimes with my Number 10 foot I use on my Bernina, the topstitching shows more on one side of this seem and if it's the right color, it just fades into the cloth.

Additional note: when turning your binding over at the mitered corners, take your time and use plenty of pins to make sure there is no shifting of the layers to get a beautifully turned corner. This makes sewing on the binding so much quicker for utilitarian quilts. Now mind you, if I was working on an heirloom quilt, I would still sew the binding and piping on to the front and hand stitch it on the back to get an absolutely perfect binding. This photo shows I did use a blue thread when stitching it in the ditch on the front. It's not invisible, but it's not that evident either and it was so much quicker.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Derek Walcott's Poem


The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott


I am in a contemplative mood and feel so very serene today. Yesterday, a very good friend and I went to an all day yoda, meditative retreat in Hemingford, CA and it was so right in so many levels. It's always great spending time with Trudy and yesterday was no exception. With visiting while traveling there and back, yet when we were at the retreat we buddied up with other people for some of the exercises. So it was nice to connect with other like-minded souls traveling on their own paths.

All that I learned about myself is private, but I had several enlightening moments through-out the day. So with practice and patience, I hope to become more, much more. With less and yet in the same breath perhaps even better. To stop some of my mind chatter and get to the "pause" even quicker.

The instructor Elizabeth had recently returned from a Jon Kabat-Zinn seminar and shared her thoughts and processes of being more mindful. Some of the physical effects that happen to our bodies when we perceive "STRESS" and the destructiveness of this angst in a self survival role. Perception is the beginning, and with sharing of perceptions more insights and possibilities are evident, especially when shared.

So with that shared, I am off to find my balance between being and doing.


MEDITATION- Its' not what you think.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Key West Sunset Quilt

A while back, I mentioned I would be back to share information learned along the way while making this Orange Crush Mystery Quilt. First of all, let me share the actual photo of the finished quilt while it hung at our quilt show.

Finished 10-7-2011

A friend of mine took a photo of it while it was displayed at our quilt show. Thanks Patti! Here are a couple of others items I quilted into the borders that I haven't shared with you yet.

Overall, the boders contained shells, seaweed clumps on both lower edges, a couple of angel fish, several sea horses, a couple of dolphins playing, a field of jelly fish (I actually did eight of them totally free hand- no tissue paper!) and the piece de resistance- the Mermaid.
It was enjoyable playing with thread and accomplishing all of these free hand. Now I can't draw a straight line with a ruler typically, but with tracing this designs through free copy right onto tissue paper for the more detailed ones and practising on my dry erase board for the simpler designs, I was able to get what I wanted where it needed to be. Amazingly I had fun and really did it! Yoorah ME.

I learned some things about me in the process.

***Usually there is a tendancy around here to postpone going into the next step. I'll drag my feet and overthink the project until I get fustrated and then it will be put aside to the UFO pile that I truly do love all parts of quilt making. I need to put my fear aside and just do it. Thanks to the dooming deadline, I did jump into this much quicker.

***But another lesson learned, stop procastinating so you have that huge deadline approaching faster, sooner. While finishing up the quilting, I thought of having more quilting done within the interior of the quilt, BUT because of said quilt show dealine, I skipped over that bit and did enough so the borders could be finished and done in time. One week before the show, I still had to sew on the borders, quilt and bind the thing. YEE GADS!

I didn't care for sewing the borders on after the center top was quilted with my domestic sewing machine. It was another first attempt for me to try and while it is okay, there are 2 little wrinkles now on the back of this in one border AND they will be staying there.
***Next time, assemble the whole top. If I need to reduce the bulk of the quilt to get it through my machine, then I'll cut the batting and backing off to quilt the center area easier.

Still have to put the label on it. Will be getting to that as soon as I receive the "Quilt Album" software I ordered. Not sure yet how this will work, but with thinking about labeling this one I stumbled across this software. So after checking out there website and saw the possibilities this could be do, I ordered a hard copy of it that I will be sharing with my Mom's computer so when I visit her there, I can still take care of business. Am still waiting for the delivery.

Am thinking of photographing the quilt and then use that in the label.

I grabbed some snap shots of the backing done for it too.

It's not perfectly squared up with the quilt boundaries (shhhh!), but I like it anyway.
I threw some of the discarded blocks onto the back in a manner that pleased me.
Notice the star fish on the bottom border, boy that stands out on the back too!

Here are a couple of shots I just took of the whole quilt that I took of it on my deck. That little bit of white stuff is our first bit of snow.

How's that for an Oxymoron: Key West Sunset does the Adirondack Autumn that is rushing into winter.
This was a Bonnie Hunter's Mystery quilt called Orange Crush initially.  I love, Love, LOVE all her details of piecing.  Thank you so much Bonnie.  With this one, I changed her layout to have that diagonal flow of chains in the quilt top and then went onto my nautical theme after fondly remembering our trip to the Florida Keys with the sunset off Sunset Pier at Zero Duval Street.   What a great vacation and fond memories.

Enjoy your day,