Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer Fun

This past Wednesday my DD and I drove to Boston where my cousin Lisa drove us to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. In 1903 Isabella Stewart Gardner opened the museum she built to house her collection of paintings, textiles (tapestries and lace!), sculpture, and on and on. The museum contains many famous works of art including illuminated manuscripts and much religious art. The building is four stories high and at the center is the courtyard shown above. The galleries or balconies are on all four sides of the courtyard going up the four stories with a glass roof at the top. Oh, how I wished I could walk in that courtyard!

After a delicious lunch at a pub in Charlestown, Zoe, the GPS, and I made our way northward to Maine once again. We stopped at "Knight's" in Cape Neddick, right on Route 1 so it wasn't too far off track. I bought these fabrics and an Eleanor Burns book called Radiant Star Quilts. I've been busy designing my own "radiant star" for the living room. I want to use teal blue and red violet fabrics. My living room walls are a buttery yellow so I think it will look nice. I just bought a new loveseat and sofa so I need something new on the wall.

I've been working on a new applique piece. The original picture is from a fairy book published by Dover. The parrot is just a solid piece of fabric but it is a batik so I tried to take full advantage of the color variations. The flowers are made from "sky" fabric, well a sunset sky. I will make a couple of flowers out of a yellow print for a little variety.

I recently bought a laptop computer and it was fun to sew on my piece this afternoon while watching "The Quilt Show." Life is good!

Have you noticed how dreary the weather has been? I think we have two seasons now: Winter and Dreary. Well, the good thing is my sewing room is comfortable instead of 90!

Enjoy the Dreary!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

One thing leads to another.....

Was it really only last weekend that I sat out in the sun sewing the binding on my hanging? This weekend we are back in the drizzle.

Art Quilts Maine challenge for this year's Maine Quilts show is to create a wall quilt using a favorite children's book for inspiration. I was going to make an Anne of Green Gables quilt, but decided to use "Louhi Witch of North Farm" instead. That book by Toni de Gerez and illustrated by Barbara Cooney was a favorite when my children were small. In it Louhi steals the sun and moon and hides them behind nine iron doors, which is what inspired my quilt

Yesterday was the big reveal of our quilts. Wouldn't you know I did not take a photo of mine? You will have to look for it at Maine Quilts this summer!

You know how one thing leads to another? Yesterday my DH and I went out and bought some new furniture for the living room. We are getting a new sofa and loveseat to replace our 20 year old sofa. They will be delivered next Friday, so when I got home I thought how we will have to move some things out of the living room to make way for the new things. Not wanting to deal with that just yet, I went up stairs and decided to weed out some books from my bookshelf and that's when the major de-clutter and clear out began.

Totes full of fabric and half done projects....

everything sorted into piles on my table......

several hours later-one tidy bookcase (the bookcase with books is on the other side of the room)....

and labeled totes tucked under the table. I divided fabrics according to color-whites, browns, yellow/orange, blue, red, purple, and green. One tote already had mostly reproduction fabrics and I left that as is. One has large lengths of fabrics, pieces of batting, and panels. Several UFOs got tucked in, too. Two more totes are not in this photo.

It's a good thing I didn't take "before" photos, it would just have been too scary. See the long basket? I like to put my current project in that. I can clean up the worktable and put everything away in the basket.

I threw out about four bags of stuff! I have a pile of things to give away, but not much. I threw out all those little snips of fabric that have been gathering over the years. Gone! Whew, does that ever feel good!

I don't think I've shown you this little applique piece. I got the image from a Dover publication of fairies. She's the Queen of the Fairies! I've been reading Suzanne Marshall's applique books and was inspired to make this. Just a little practice piece. Now that I have my room cleaned up I am ready to tackle a bigger applique project. More on that in the future when there is something to show.

Can you see the image on this wall quilt? I made this quite a few years ago. The center image is a photo transfer of my Grandmother when she was a young woman. She's sitting outside with a straw hat on her knees. The panel above her is a straw hat which I rubber stamped on muslin. The one below is a little girl in a pinafore with a straw hat, too. See what you find when you clean up?