Sunday, June 30, 2013

Turning 20 again

 It has been so rainy here in Maine I have despaired of ever seeing the sun this summer. When I saw a weather map of the entire country it showed half the USA in wet weather and the western half in a heatwave. 117 in Las Vegas? I think I'll appreciate the wet and cold a bit more. Fortunately the sun came out Saturday afternoon when DH and I were in Freeport at LLBean (with all the tourists in Maine, I think). Last night was clear and there were stars in the sky (not that they weren't there all along). Here are the Stella D'Oro daylilies heavy with rain by the front steps.

Wild roses grow all along the roadside in front of the house. So pretty this time of year. I love pink and green quilts and here is the reason why!

One of the roses up close...with a tiny bee. 

This hawthorn was planted in front of the house many years ago. Its been pruned severely and it is still huge! Right now it is blooming and we love to stand under it and hear the bees buzzing. There must be thousands of them!

DH kindly bought me a blueberry bush after I remarked that I had always meant to plant blueberry bushes. One appeared at the end of the walkway one day this week. I was delighted. We bought another one yesterday, too, and I planted them both this morning. Blueberry muffins, blueberry pancakes, blueberry pie, blueberry buckle, blueberry jam? What's your pleasure? I especially love the blueberry cake recipe in an old Marg Standish cookbook my mother gave me. 

Okay, on to quilting. My friend Donna and I recently bought fabric to make Turning 20 quilts. This arrangement is from Turning Twenty Stained Glass & Scraps by Tricia Cribbs. Here are three blocks sewn together.

One block

I chose this Kaffe Fassett paisley for the center panel. I love this fabric but am not sure this was the best choice. It looks a bit too dark with all the white in the blocks. I auditioned a number of other fabrics but did not like anything else, either. I think something with a white background might be better, however I am sticking with this one. I think once it is all quilted it will look just fine. I also am not all that happy with the blocks. A lot of measuring and cutting and twisting and turning and really, does it look all that great? Well, I think this is still a kind of fun quilt, not everything has to be an heirloom. 

Yesterday I added the side strips of blocks to the center panel. This morning I was going to add the top and bottom rows of blocks. However, I realized that I had sewn the right hand strip upside down. Would anyone ever notice? Probably not, but it annoyed me so I took it out and turned the strip of blocks around. No need to be annoyed every time I look at this quilt! ha ha

Isn't this fabulous? 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Linda Steele

I came across Linda Steele's quilt "Naturally Crazy" and I wanted to share it with you. Linda Steele is from Australia and this quilt was shown at Paducah recently. Her website is here and her blog is here. Anyway, "Naturally Crazy" is awesome! Round blocks, animals from different countries featured in each block, gorgeous colors. Check out the interesting embroidery and quilting! Lots of inspiration for anyone looking for something a little different in crazy quilting. The quilt is here on her website.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Fast Piece Applique

Here's a little quilt  (it's about 12" x 12") I made a few months ago using a technique by Rose Hughes that I found in the April/May 2013 issue of Quilters Newsletter Magazine. The pieces are cut out using freezer paper templates and sewn together as shown in the  YouTube video below. Very easy and fast! Instead of couching the seams with yarn, I zig zag stitched over the seams with a variegated metallic thread. I happened upon this video this morning when taking a break from sweeping and baking (aka non-quilting time) and remembered how satisfying this technique is. Try it and see for yourself!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Summer in Maine

 Wow, things sure have changed here in Maine. Last week I went on a bus trip with a friend. It was 50 and showery all day. Do you recognize this? This is the tea room at the Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island. Alvah Vanderbilt had Votes for Women meetings here in the early 1900s. We visited the Marble House, The Elms, Chateau sur Mer (my favorite), Rosecliff, and the Breakers. Just unimaginable how rich these people were and how they lived. I'd like to go on the servant's tour sometime and also stroll the grounds. 

In the meantime, strolling my own grounds isn't so bad....

Bearded Iris in full bloom...there are some lovely pale yellow iris with these, too, but the flowers were either gone by or still in the bud for this photo

Aw, who can resist Johnny Jump Ups?

Bachelor Buttons

The last of the magnolia blooms

I planted this this morning while it was still a "cool" 80 degrees. We went from 50 last Saturday to 90+ today.