Quilt Testers In Action

Quilt Testers In Action


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mom's Back

Don't you hate it when your sun spot moves? And this is an important nap, too.

Mom's back home, and I need to rest up for our cuddle time this evening. Guess I'll just have to get up and move over....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Half A Day Of Sun Is Better Than None

Today we are watching the squalls travel across the ocean, again. But, three out of four of the elders are determined not to let it spoil their fun. They are sitting in their beach chairs in the rain right now, holding their fishing poles, catching little fish, and letting them go.

Yesterday we had half a day of sun, and it started with this beautiful sunrise.

We took full advantage of the good weather while it lasted.They fished, I walked, they waded, I swam, we watched the Navy planes and ships, and we finished up the day with my beating them soundly at cards. Again. I think they are planning to gang up on me tonight. And, I know that at least one of them cheats. I could be in trouble here.

I hear that back at home, Weasley's been getting his dinner late. Guess I could be in trouble when I get back there, too. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Beach

Not quite the weather we were hoping for. Its chilly (I packed only shorts), and extremely windy (we are getting sandblasted), but the sounds and smells are wonderful.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday In The Garden

(EDIT: I know its not Friday. This was scheduled to post last Friday, and apparently never did. Thanks, Blogger! Hopefully this explains the more recent posts, and my lack of activity around the Web.) 

It's definitely fall in the garden. I always love the color of the asters, and we have a bumper crop of them this year.

While it may be feeling like fall, I'm headed off on a stretch-out-the-summer sort of adventure. Computer time will be limited, so I may not be around much over the next week. Don't worry about Weasley. He will be in the capable hands of the husband in the evening, and a friend of ours will be bunny-sitting during the day. I'm sure he will be totally spoiled.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Late Finish

Meant to finish this yesterday, but it didn't happen. This is my "tile" quilt for the Three Creative Studios August Color Palette Challenge. It was supposed to be abstract, with a thread sketch of corn. Instead, I ended up with a landscape, with a thread sketch of the younger daughter!  Not the greatest pictures here, because of light problems. I'll try and retake them sometime in the future.

For the first time ever, I didn't use all the colors. The final medium blue was going to be the binding, but then I decided to use yarn. I wanted it to look like sea weed (because that's what the kid was poking with her stick), but I'm not sure if it does. It may just be a mess.

The thread sketch was made from this photo, taken back in 2005, before she grew her hair long.

I love this picture, it shows her curiousity and playfullness. I think that comes across in the thread sketch, too, so overall I'm happy with this one. And it's time already to start the next one....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why I Love My Neighbor

On many mornings, Mom goes for a walk with our neighbor. I get very excited when I hear Mom say "Come on in, Ruth". This is why.

I know its here somewhere. I love papaya.

I love Ruth. And as a bonus for her, she's no longer afraid of bunnies. Guess she's never seen Disapproving Rabbits!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Martha Munroe

I'd like to introduce you to a very talented woman named Martha Munroe. Martha is a painter, who I met through volunteering at the Leominster Art Association. Her paintings are large scale oils that have a very haunting quality to them. She currently has a one woman exhibit of her paintings on view at the Lawrence Library in Pepperell, Ma..

The library is a gorgeous old library, that feels just about as "Library-ish" as any space could. Upstairs they have a grand room, with very high ceilings, that they use as an art gallery. It is a perfect space to show off Martha's large paintings. As I walked into the gallery, this was the view.

Doesn't that entry make a nice frame for these paintings? This next one left me feeling quite sad.

I love the light and shadows in this Playhouse painting. It almost felt like you should be able to put your hand into that ray of light coming across the building.

And, this next piece was my favorite. She calls it Camouflage, which I didn't understand, so I had to ask. She views this tent as a place to hide from view. I get that now, but I think if you are hiding here, you really want to be seen.

There are quite a few more paintings to see, so if you are in the area, I hope you will stop by and see the show. It runs through October 17th.

Also on view is a collection of smaller works that Martha does, including framed white boards and mirrors, and some bas relief work. You can see this work, and more paintings, at her website, studiomvm.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Home Town

If you've heard about the flooding of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers this week, here is an interesting video that shows some of the devastation. While the news reports say Binghamton, the mess was county-wide. And even though we have high school rivalries, if you live in this area, the entire county is your home. You may be in any of these towns on a daily basis.

The first Westover shot shows where my Dad worked. The first Front St. shot is just a couple blocks from my Aunt's house. (And for my girls, the Chenango Bridge and golf course pictures? That's where we get off Route 88 to go to Gam and Bop's house).

From what I hear, the entire county is like Vermont the week before. ALL the tributaries flooded, too, so roads and bridges are wiped out everywhere. Its going to be awhile before this gets fixed. Mother Nature sure is crazy this year.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Trip To Paris

OK, not a real trip to Paris, unfortunately. Paris is the name of the colorway for a block-of-the-month project that I am participating in. It's being offered by Quilter's Way, a beautiful little quilt shop in West Concord, Ma. I chose Paris because it is done in colors I wouldn't normally use. Here's a couple of the early blocks to show you.

See what I mean? No color at all. Definitely not my usual style!

We are using this ruler, called the Lazy Angle ruler for each block. Every month we get the fabric for a new block, and the option of also doing an extra block. You know I'm in trouble already when a ruler is involved, right? Since I almost never use a ruler anymore?

And, have I ever told you about my dislike of the "scant quarter inch" used in quilting? When you go to the trouble to buy an accurate quarter inch foot, the whole "scant quarter inch" thing is just annoying. Using your judgement as to whether that is 1, 2, 3 or some other number of threads short of a quarter inch is just asking for inaccuracy. A quarter inch should be a quarter inch.

When I got to the first class, imagine how I felt when the first thing that the teacher said is that not only do we need to use a scant quarter inch with this ruler to make it work, but it has to be a scant, scant quarter inch! What? Are you kidding me? Let's just call it 3/16ths of an inch (or maybe even 1/8th inch), and stop trying to kid ourselves. Are we really that afraid of fractions? Grrr.   

So anyway, between the lack of color, and the scant quarter inch, I am struggling. That's probably why I procrastinated, and ended up doing this month's blocks today, just barely in time for tomorrow's class. Here are the pieces that I cut.

And, the pieces sewn into sections.

And finally, the completed block.

I also did the extra block for the month. There is an extra charge for the kit, but if I do these blocks, I will end up with a large quilt.

Something else I am struggling with on this project is the fabric choices. Or actually, its the color values that is the issue, as the block patterns don't seem to be as distinct as they could be. The other two colorways available have fabric with more distinct value transitions. I guess this is probably harder to achieve using just black and white. I have no idea what the final setting of the blocks will be, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will turn out all right once it's all together.

So, I'm curious. Has anyone out there reading this tried out the Lazy Angle ruler? If you have, I'd like to see what you did with it, and hear your thoughts about using it, especially if you have any tips for making this project easier. And for everyone (and everybun) out there, have a wonderful weekend. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why There Is A Dark Cloud Of Disapproval Hanging Over Massachusetts

Yesterday at lunchtime.

Yesterday at dinnertime.

"And that's all I have to say about that."


If you want a laugh, read this commentary about today's consumer culture.

And I shouldn't tell you about this giveaway, because I'd like it for myself, but really, you need to see what Natascha has created.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Still Here

I've had some recent complaints about the fact that I haven't been posting much. When the kids went off to school, I intended to immediately start posting more regularly, but last week real life interfered.

It started out with good intentions. I sat down to some therapy sewing, because I was missing my girls so much. I sorted a pile of brown/maroon/purple scraps, and a little green too, from the scrap boxes. This is what it looked like at 10 A.M. last Wednesday.

A couple days later, it looked like this. Although I should probably tell you that there is still a small pile of scraps on the floor that haven't been used.

Thursday, I started trying to put the pieces together. It didn't get very far, partly because I was doing it while also trying to put up produce from the garden. I had intended to do the garden work over the weekend, but we had an invitation to visit some friends on Saturday and Sunday.

So, this is how it stands now. It should be an interesting puzzle to fit the rest of the pieces together.

As for our short excursion, we went to visit this handsome guy and his family up in Maine.

He's such a goofy pup. He actually spends the entire day patrolling the shore for fish. Apparently he has yet to ever catch one, but he's not giving up.

It was a nice visit, but difficult, also. We got to know this family through the friendship of our youngest and their oldest. We have never visited their camp without our younger daughter along. I missed her so much. We were tempted to drive the extra hour and a half north to see her, but then thought better of it. I'm sure she wouldn't like me to make a scene! This empty nest stuff is harder than I thought it would be. Anyone out there who has been through this have any tips for me? I'd appreciate hearing whatever you have to offer on the subject.  In the meantime, I'll keep making myself remember that the girls are both growing tremendously, and learning so much that they need to know, and I'll keep sewing those scraps!