Sewing tools

Sewing tools

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Winds of change...

 "It was November, the month of...passionate wind songs in the pines..."
L M Montgomery




Walking is a favorite of mine and not done often enough. However, since November 2 at our Annual Fall Retreat, I have made a concerted effort to walk frequently.

 Month after month since early 2015, our country has seen such disruption that will take a long time to find a common ground and correct the hurts. Being outside, with ones own thoughts can be therapeutic. All week, the weather people have been calling for our first winter storm starting tonight. Should I try to get in one last outdoor walk before changing to the basement treadmill? The afternoon had hovered around 57 with spurts of rain drops and a soft breeze on the cheek...barely enough to ruffle your hairdo. Calling one of my little fur companions, Seana, we set out on the grassy path Mr. Outback keeps mowed in our south field. Three laps around = 1 mile. 
It was very still at the level we walked...hardly a branch moved; the dried and faded goldenrod heads nodded gently and even the silky, white inner seed pods from the milkweed seemed at rest. Last week they filled the air, drifting and spinning about finding new homes. Far above, in the uppermost tops of the pines and poplars, a distant sound grew from the west...as though a great chorus was announcing the approaching storm. I looked up and could see tree tops swaying and touching each other like dancers. The sound intensified and the air around us was filled with the fragrance of distant forests that had 
been collected along the way...
Closer the winds came until they crossed our road and tumbled down to sweep across the path and onto our fields. In the woods, tree branches snapped and hit the ground. Yes - a tree does make a sound when it falls in the forest whether someone hears it or not!

Living in the country for 20+ years has opened my eyes to so much - Nature in all her seasons offers lessons and parallels if we only allow ourselves to be open to seeing and hearing. The winds this afternoon will bring a major drop in temperature and the first snowflakes of the long winter. Changes are in the making. What will the morning bring? What lies ahead? Our faith and knowing goodness surrounds us can guide us even though the road ahead may be icy and uncertain...

From the northwoods, I wish each of you Thanksgiving Blessings...




Monday, November 7, 2016

Gone quilting....

Our annual Fall Retreat is now in the memory book - 5 wonderful days of being with quilting friends - sewing, hikes along the many trails, no cooking and the most incredible string of beautiful weather ever - November in the Wisconsin northwoods - 50's to low 60's during the day, 30's at night....amazing!

A fun trip to the nearby LQS - where we met this sister quilter...

While I have returned home with nothing completely finished (had not expected too!) progress has been made on a couple of my long term projects...

The second border to my Di Ford Drayton Hall...

And the start of Border #3...

All the little 9 patch units are done for Lisa Bongean's Settler's Crossing...my goal now is finish this up during the winter - after 3 years there will NOT be a 4th! Time to do it!

Needing to calm the feeling of being a quilter out of control...please tell me I am not alone...

So many projects that need or want to be done...and yet new discoveries are calling...Paper Pieces and their new Dear Jane packets will be arriving starting in December...next Spring, Di Ford's 2nd book will be out and must have. All the new fabric lines being introduced...

Help!!!

Happy stitching everyone...

Pat

Friday, October 28, 2016

Trunk show and workshop with Dawn - Part 2

So glad you have come back to see more lovelies from Dawn's Trunk Show - Collector With A Needle. Our quilt guild members really enjoyed seeing these wonderful quilts.

Check out this perfect stripe border fabric!

The very special Noah and Matilda...the original..(and please forgive me for that chair in the way! )

Original inkings - 1854...

And Dawn's stunning version....

This is a different, more modern interpretation of Catherine's Garden shown in Part 1 ....more lovely golden yellow....

And a soft, pastel Kaffe Fassett fabric frames this sweet version.

As you can see, Dawn has taken her love of antique quilts, choosing the reproduction fabrics we are so fortunate to have available, to recreate gorgeous examples of the original and also interpreting the same quilts in today's modern upbeat brights or pastels.

The following day, 20 of us joined Dawn in her Applique workshop...whether we were beginners or familiar with the backbasting technique of applique, we enjoyed stitching together to create this block from the Noah and Matilda quilt.

I used reproduction fabrics and want to finish it off with a little pieced border to make a mini quilt.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Pat

 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Trunk show with Dawn! Part 1

After a really good day of shopping with my Mom on Friday, who resides in the nursing home, the weekend held some anxious moments as she experienced some breathing problems...but things seem somewhat more settled as of now... so I have some time to share the very special visit our guild had with Dawn Ronnigen, Collector With A Needle. Dawn has a lovely blog and, along with her daughter, publishes many of the patterns for her vintage quilts. The patterns are wonderfully packaged with a full color print showing the original quilt.

Dawn arrived, suitcases filled, with quilted treasures - she brought some of her antique quilts from a collection of 300.

A modern version using Kaffe Fassett fabrics..

And also with wool on a great plaid background...

Ferns and Berries...one of my favorites & yes I now have the pattern!

Catherine's Garden in golden yellow

And Dawn's stunning hand quilted interpretation in white...

Harrison Rose

Stay tuned for Part 2 - more photos and also what we did at Dawn's workshop the following day.

Happy stitching everyone! Oh that each day could be twice as long to do all the quilts in our hearts....


Pat

(With Dawn's permission, photos were allowed and used in this blog post)

 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Yeah! Two finishes...

 

The Tlingits, one of the First Nation tribes, number in the 20,000's and live primarily in southeastern Alaska/borders of Yukon & British Columbia. We visited the Heritage Center in Teslin, Yukon a few years ago - it is situated on the shores of Teslin Lake - a stunning location...a row of hand carved totem poles marked the entry way...

Tlingit totem poles - taken in 2005

The Raven holds a position of great importance in their culture. It is the Raven who tricked an old Indian Chief into giving up an ornately carved box which held the sun. When the Raven opened it, the sun rose into the sky and covered the earth in light. Further reading go to - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tlingit

The design (an original by Tlingit woodcarver, Tommy Joseph in collaboration with Lisa Moore of Quilts With A Twist ) on my pillow is the Raven holding the sun in his beak before releasing it. Tlingit artwork often features the use of red and black colors and much embellishment with pearl buttons. Choosing earth toned batiks however fits in with our living area. I tried doing echo quilting around the design - using the zipper foot attachment on my Bernina and am pleased with the effect. A softly variegated Superior thread was used in the machine quilting.

I went back and added three caramel colored buttons to the inner border as suggested in the pattern.

The 2nd finish - The Irish Chain quilt from Aunt Reen's Place February Sew Along. I had a friend of mine do some really lovely feathered wreaths and cross hatching - the stitching from her long arm shows up so nicely on the Moda Bella Suede background - I would love a bolt of this - gorgeous fabric! I did just a simple matching binding and think this turned out to be the perfect fall quilt to curl up with on chilly evenings by the fire.

Both completed (love that word!!) projects have provided a satisfying break from the huge, long term quilts going on.

Wishing each of you a week of finishes too!

Pat

 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Just an old dirt dobber...

 


Being a flower/vegetable gardener - (my other love along with quilting) - often involves moderately hard work - but for blissful times - I grow a selection of herbs. They are so low key in maintenance for the most part and provide tastes and fragrances going back hundreds of years.

My lemon verbena was left alone all summer while we were away...it apparently did not miss me at all - the branches are huge and loaded with leaves to dry...

I wish there was "smell-o-vision" for you, dear readers! It is heavenly...

As is the sage - bunches dried and more waiting to be dried in the potting shed.

The carrots are all but gathered - one more row to dig...

And our apple trees are calling...almost applesauce and pie time...

Wishing each of you a satisfying week...

Pat, at the edge of the northwoods

 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Life in the fast lane...

... we used to say...stop the world, I want to get off...lately, that keeps running through my head...

Since returning from our extended summer travels, the days jump from one to the next - no rhyme or reason, no calming routine...

Walking into my sewing room, the head spins at all the UFO's and projects in my heart..so much so that it is easier to turn around and walk away for now. I may be in a quilting slump or just plain tired...for now I continue to focus on only stitching all those Drayton Hall diamonds together late in the evening - 1 border done, 2nd started... 2 more to go...

Clover has come out with smaller than mini Wonder Clips - recently got a package and giving them a try...

You can see the difference in size compared to the larger minis. And they have markings on the back...so far I like them and they don't get in the way as much as the larger ones. Looking forward to using them on bindings too...

Mr. Outback volunteered to drive me down to Nancy Zieman's Quilt Expo in Madison on Saturday...we live about 170 miles north. It was definitely a fast lane trip and turnaround!

Arriving at the Alliant Center at 4:00, I made a mad dash to locate my quilt - it was afterall, the first juried show I have entered. The quilt was found & photographed for the scrap book...

... and a much too quick viewing of the stunning Best of Show and other winners. You can see the awarded quilts on Monday at the Expo website. Another mad dash to the Superior Thread booth for 2 little packets of threads to use in applique and a stop at the Quiltmania booth to purchase this lovely classic...

Then into the long line to retrieve said quilt - I was out of the Exhibition Hall by 5:30...a quick stop for dinner and we were back home by 9:00 p.m. Whew! What a blur...

And...I did not buy any new fabric...

Pat