Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Composing a wall quilt

Another video today, hope you enjoy it. I'm working on a surprise project for someone and I'm not ready to show it on my blog just yet. So please enjoy today's video from the National Quilters Circle.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Japanese Fabrics: a different kind of taupe

I will admit that I have not understood or appreciated these Japanese quilts. After watching this video, I'm beginning to understand what it's all about. As someone who likes bright colors and contrast, lots of contrast!, the subtlety and beauty of this style of quilting was not immediately apparent to me. In this video I also learned that when you learn quilting in Japan you sign up for a two year class. This is not our American style make and take class!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

After vacation-life goes on

 On my first day of vacation I was called back to work and was told that my position had been eliminated in the town budget. Well, that was not a very nice way to start my vacation, but after our initial shock wore off, my husband and I decided to take our trip as planned. I'm so glad we did because we had a wonderful time. More about the trip in a bit.

 Purple coneflower blooming in the garden. A friend gave me a pot of this lovely plant this spring. The butterflies love it.

This is a little piece I made recently. I cut out shapes and lightly glued them to the background then machine stitched around them. I've seen other people do this and thought I would give it a go. Very fun.

I even signed it! 

Next I made this little teacup piece. It is six inches square and was made with freezer paper templates, glued and stitched. The technique is the same pot holder block that I learned from Wendy Caton-Reed at the Maine Quilts workshop in July. I added a little hanging sleeve to the back and have it hanging on the wall now but it would work as a block in a pot holder quilt, too. You simply whipstitch your finished blocks together. 

This coffee cup pot holder block has the same fabric for the binding as the background. That method looks especially good when used in a quilt. This one is hanging on my refrigerator. I hope no one actually uses it for a pot holder, although at 6 inches it is kind of tiny. 

More cone flowers with lovely daylilies. Please ignore the weeds. 

Now for some photos from Fort Kent! We rode the motorcycle up I95 to Patten and then took Route 11 north to Fort Kent. We went through Masardis, Ashland, Soldier Pond, past Eagle Lake, all places I had heard of but had never seen. The above picture is on a lawn overlooking the St. John River. That's Canada on the other side of the river. The views were lovely.

There was a boat landing at this spot with a winding grassy road to the river. Beautiful views across the river to farmland, houses, and barns in New Brunswick. 

Fort Kent! The real fort after which the town got its name. These Acadian flags were everywhere. The flags on the grass are made of short wood palings and we saw many on people's lawns with the family name down the center-Michaud, Bisson, Ayotte, Daigle, and others. There is a world Acadian festival coming up soon, so some of the decorations may have been for that. 

Fort Kent is either the beginning or the end of Route 1, whichever way you want to look at it! I bought a sticker for my car that says Mile 0. This little park is right beside the new International Bridge that is being built. The old bridge is still in use and there is a large customs building to the left of this park. 

We stayed at the Northern Door Inn which was right in town and handy to a good restaurant, The Swamp Buck. We spent a day riding westward through St. Francis and Allagash to Dickey where we stopped at a primitive campsite and walked to the water's edge. If you ever do the Allagash canoe trip, this is where you end up. We saw lots of signs for Maine Guides and camps along the way. 

We also visited St. Agatha on Long Lake. Many houses looked pristine with new vinyl siding, well paved driveways and large immaculate lawns. Everyone in the area must have a well-oiled lawnmower! 

We rode the bike home via Madawaska, Caribou, Presque Isle and then over to Ashland and down to Patten again before hopping on the highway for the blast home. I tell my husband I rode 700+ miles looking at the back of his head. Just joking, it was a wonderful trip and I'd like to go again! 

p.s. I have a temporary 3 month job lined up so I'm all set for now.