Thursday, April 18, 2019

Welcome Home!

We had a wonderful time during our visit to Boston - but it's always so good to get home and sleep in my own bed!  It's hard to believe we were 3,000 miles away one week ago today walking through historic streets and seeing sights we've only imagined.  So here goes with the update - lots of pictures ahead, so be warned :)

Our first day was sightseeing day in Boston. The weather was sunny, but cold - my husband saw some snow on the ground when he got up in the middle of the night!  We started out on a freedom trail tour, which was awesome - so many lovely buildings and statues. 
You have to look down, look up, and all around you! 
Putting pennies on the Franklin tomb!

After riding the subway to have pizza at Italian Express - it was so good, the littlest one ate three slices!

After that we took a Duck Tour!  The best part was when we were on the water:
Absolutely beautiful! 

After that we went to pick up our youngest at the airport.  We heard that GPS doesn't work well in Boston, but we had no issues, other than there are so many crazy intersections where it's hard to tell where to turn because there are so many streets!  By the time we got back to our rental, we were ready to sleep!

Friday was our solo day as the girls had nail appts and bachelorette party to go to.  We decided to tour Lexington and Concord, take a trip to Worcester, where our daughter went to college, then take in the game at Fenway park.  It was lots of driving, but so fun!
 We hadn't thought about our visit coinciding with Patriot Day celebrations.
 Not much going on while we were there, but preparations were under way!
 I'd love to visit again and see the reenactments of the famous battles!
History everywhere we went!

My daughter's dorm!  She is still close friends with many of the people she met here when she first came in 1999.  We ate at a Chinese place around the corner - very yummy!
Then we successfully parked at Alewife station and rode in on the T to Fenway park - they pack you into those subway cars like sardines, but everyone was in a great mood both ways, since the Red Sox won!  It was so much fun just people watching, and enjoying a ball game.  It was a bit chilly, but not too horribly cold.  I was glad for the fleece blanket our daughter loaned us, though!

Saturday was wedding rehearsal and quiet day.  I went to Joann's to get tulle and a comb, and needle and thread to make a veil. (Plus a Boston Creme donut from Dunkin Donuts!)

 After the rehearsal dinner (which was super yummy and so fun to meet the groom's parents at last) my daughter tried her dress on.  It was perfect except for needing the hem to come up in the front so she wouldn't step on it.  I spent the evening sewing the hem by hand and pressing the dress and veil for her - we were all excited for the next day to come!

In the morning we got our hair done - it was perfect that the salon was only two doors down from our AirB&B! We just walked over.  I loved the way she did my hair, it looked so elegant!  The brides hair was done in a low bun with lots of curls pinned it.  It was so very beautiful - I didn't get many photos that day because I didn't want to carry my phone around with me and my dress didn't have a pocket. 

Here's a picture of all my daughters and grand-daughters before the ceremony.  Aren't they so beautiful?
And the bride with her dad before their dance!  The dress was a huge hit - I don't know how many people complimented me on it, and she was totally the star of the show.  We were so happy to meet so many wonderful friends and people who adore her.  We all think she's pretty special, too! (And her husband is just the best, too)   It was a day I will always treasure and remember with love.

Monday was a little sad as we prepared to leave.  We got everything packed and left for the airport in plenty of time as it was Marathon Monday and we didn't know what to expect traffic wise.  We had absolutely no problems at all, thank goodness, dropped our youngest off in time for her flight and headed out to explore a little of East Boston.
And look what we found!  A quilty squirrel!  There are more of these sculptures about the area - you can read about them here...  If we had more time I would have loved to look for more of them.  We were on our way to Piers Park, and that was a great spot to kill some time!
What a view!  The sun was in and out, and it was chilly, but not cold enough to be uncomfortable.  It was nice to enjoy fresh air before our flight home...
Here's the sunny view!  This is a great park, I'm glad we got to visit it!

Then it was off the airport for the long ride home.  In the gate we saw the news that Notre Dame was burning, that was surreal.  I'm glad I got to visit it in 2010, and was glad to hear that it can be repaired.  It really is a treasure, and would be sad to lose such a historical place in Paris.

And now we are home and I was so happy to get back into my sewing room yesterday!  I'm working on my Island Batik challenge for April - it's basted and ready for quilting now, I just have to decide how to quilt it (as usual!)

The colors are totally Spring!  I spent yesterday washing laundry and organizing projects for the next month - lots of fun sewing in my future, and I hope to work on some of UFO's as well. 

Tomorrow is work day at the quilt shop and we are getting a new roof!  (I'm kind of glad I will be away most of the next two days, I'm sure it's going to be NOISY!!!)

Time to go do some sewing - don't you think a sewing fitbit would be fun?  How many stitches a day can we sew?  I've got lots to make up for, so off to the sewing machine!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Seashore Splendor - Block 5, Lost Ship

Welcome to my blog, and the fifth block for my Seashore Splendor quilt!  Thanks for all the kind comments on the last block - I love lighthouses, too and enjoyed coming up with a nice one for my quilt.  Some of you have contacted me about finding the patterns for earlier blocks.  I will be working on a tab to make it easier to find them, but in the meantime, just go check out the Seashore Splendor collection in my Payhip shop.  They will all be free throughout the entire year, so it's never to late to join in!  Now - on to the new block:

This month's block is called Lost ship.  It features lots of triangles in two different sizes.  I was super happy to realize that both triangles are included in the 8 inch Qube set!  (I received the Qube and Accuquilt Go! as part of the Island Batik Ambassador program)

First I cut four triangle from my medium sea fabric, and two each from light sea fabrics.

Then I got busy cutting the small triangles from two dark sea fabrics, and two light sea fabrics.

It didn't take too long to sew all the triangles into squares.  Then, it was time to sew pairs and trios together.
After I sewed them all together I was delighted with my block.  Then I took a closer look at my instructions and realized that I had made a big error!
Oops!  Time to drag out Jack (the ripper, you know!)  I played with the idea of leaving them like this, but I'm glad I took the time to correct my block! 

Luckily all I had to do was take off the triangle strips and turn them around.  They should have been rotated so that the dark triangles were touching the medium triangle.
Here's how it looks when you get it right!

Much better, right?  I hope you don't get turned around, too - it helps to keep your instructions in front of you while you are assembling your units.

We are filling it in, little by little!

Click to download
See you in two weeks with a new block - hope you enjoy this one!

Thursday, April 04, 2019

And the Count Down Begins...

We are starting the final countdown as we prepare for our big trip and our oldest daughter's wedding!  We are so excited, but there are a lot of things to get finished before we can go.  The biggest thing that needed to be finished is done, though - the wedding gown!

32 buttons hand sewn down the back!  This pattern was quite unusual, using two zippers, a regular one in the skirt, and a second small separating zipper under the lace.

Many hours were spent hand stitching the lace appliques on the waistline, around the neckline and wrists.

The final touch was a single point french bustle for the train.  I promise I'll get some better pictures of the dress at the wedding!  I am very pleased with the results, as I am sure my daughter will be.  I am so honored to be able to do this for her, it really was a joyful project.

Now to get my husband to try his suit on.  He's lost weight since he last wore it, so I know I'll have to do some alterations on it, too.  Plus I want to make a jacket to go over my own dress.  I hope to get the April Island Batik Ambassador challenge done before we go, but we'll have to see about that one.

At least I know I have four whole days ahead of me with nothing but sewing!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

March Island Batik Challenge - Vintage Reimagined

A big part of being and Island Batik Ambassador is the monthly challenges.  Island Batik (and their industry partners, Aurifil Thread, Hobbs Batting, and Accuquilt) provided each of the Ambassadors with a big box of goodies, and challenge us with a monthly project.  This month we were asked to make a quilt inspired by something vintage, and to put our own twist on it.

Here is my quilt:

My inspiration came while I was looking through my old quilting books for an idea for Bea's Dust off a Quilting Book Blog hop!  This is one of the first quilting books I have ever purchased, and it's not only a lovely quilting book, but it has a lot of great information about the Amish people and their way of life.  This one is definitely in my keep pile!
There is not a pattern for this quilt in the book, just a photograph.  I am so inspired by the way the Amish have used solids with black to make wonderful striking quilts.  My twist on this lovely vintage quilt is to use modern batiks, and new cutting methods.
This block was simple to create, and I was excited to find it in the Qube quilt book (page 106 - Susannah).  What a great opportunity for me to become more familiar with the Go! cutting system.  I immediately thought of the solid black fabric from my spring 2019 box, plus the Paisley dot Stack I received in the fall box from 2018.  I immediately started working out the method of cutting my pieces from the 10 inch squares. 

I decided to make 20 blocks, and needed to cut 1 diamond in a square unit, four small half square triangles, and four 2 1/2 inch squares from each 10 inch square.  I started out by making 4 sets of five squares of fabric, and pressed them neatly together.  I cut the largest piece first - the small square die cuts four at a time, perfect! 
Then I cut the smaller diamond in a point piece and the four triangles.  After that, I cut triangle units from the leftover for a future scrappy project.
I got all the pieces I needed, plus 4 extra triangles from each square.  As you can see, there's not too much waste, and the pieces are all so nice and perfect!

The next step was cutting 80 black rectangles (love the black solid from Island Batik - we just got it in at Threads That Bind!).  I cut and fan-folded 5 inch strips for this, and was able to cut 12 pieces at a time.  So only 8 passes through the GO! cutter and I had all my rectangles ready for sewing.  I am really loving using this machine, and have noticed a definitely improvement in the tendinitis that has been bothering my right wrist as I've been doing a lot less rotary cutting the last couple of months!  

The hardest part of this quilt was arranging the fabrics in my blocks.  They all look so pretty together it was hard to decide!  I had a sad/happy feeling to be using these up. You know how it is - sometimes you just want to keep it in it's pretty package and pet it!

Doesn't the black just make these fabrics pop!  Love it!

Once I got the blocks sewn and up on the design board it didn't take long to cut the half square triangles for the outside edges and get it all sewn up.  I used 50 wt thread from Aurifil for the piecing.

When it was time to layer this quilt, I decided to try out the Black 80/20 Heirloom premium batting from Hobbs that I received in my Ambassador box.  I've read that the black batting is great for dark and bright fabrics to keep the colors intense.  I've used black poly before, but I was really impressed with the cotton from Hobbs.  It's super soft, and feels great.  And no white fuzzies on my quilt top!  It quilted up great, too, and has s nice soft drape even before washing. 

It took me forever to decide how to quilt this, but I finally went with swirls because I wanted to get this finished!  I used Aurifil thread 50 wt 2566 for the quilting - it's always hard to pick for a multicolored quilt, but I thought this looked good on the black as well as on all the colors.

I bound it with more of the solid black and the backing is a vibrant piece of Island Batik yardage that I had purchased as a possible border for another project.  It didn't work for that, but it was perfect on the back of this quilt:

My finished quilt measures 45 x 56.  I was actually hoping to be able to get a pattern written for this project because its perfect for 10 inch squares, but this month has been a little hectic - I promise it's on my to-do list if you are interested, though!

Thanks to the lovely people at Island Batik, Hobbs Batting, Aurifil Thread and Accuquilt for the materials used in making this project!  Definitely look for these products in your local quilt shop, and ask for them - they want to know what you are interested in, and that's how they decide what to stock.  I'm excited that my local shop is now carrying Island Batik, and my local friends will start seeing some of the samples I have made hanging there soon, and I will be offering classes as well!  We've scheduled a class for my Fancy Feathers quilt coming up in June, plus the kit will be available in late May as well.  

Make sure you visit the other Island Batik Ambassadors and see what they made this month for the challenge - so many lovely projects!  Have a great weekend!

Carolina Asmussen ~Carolina Asmussen
Gene Black ~ Gene Black
Pamela Boatright ~ PamelaQuilts (Me!)
Connie K Campbell ~ Freemotion by the River
Anja Clyke ~ Anja Quilts
Tina Dillard ~ Quilting Affection Designs
Becca Fenstermaker ~Pretty Piney
Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter
Barbara Gaddy ~ Bejeweled Quilts by Barb
Dione Gardner-Stephen ~ Clever Chameleon
Sarah Goer ~ Sarah Goer Quilts
Vasudha Govindan ~ Storied Quilts
Lori Haase ~ Dakota City Quilter II
Joanne Hart ~ Unicornharts
Mania (Magdalini) Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for Quilts
Carla Henton ~ Creatin’ in the Sticks
Stephanie Jacobson ~ Steph Jacobson Designs
Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs
Joan Kawano ~ Moosestash Quilting
Kim Lapacek ~ Persimon Dreams
Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood
Leanne Parsons ~ Devoted Quilter
Bea Lee ~ BeaQuilter
Toby Lischko ~ Gateway Quilts & Stuff
Bill Locke ~ Studio Bill Locke
Denise Looney ~ For the Love of Geese
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Sally Manke ~ Sally Manke
Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack's Blog
Kathleen McCormick ~ Kathleen McMusing
Carol Moellers ~ Carol Moellers Designs
Karen Neary ~ Sew Karen-ly Created
Lisa Nielsen ~ Lisa Lisa and the Quilt Jam
Jackie O’Brien ~ If These Threads Could Talk
Laura Piland ~ Slice of Pi Quilts
Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde
Vicki Schlimmer ~ Vicki's Crafts and Quilting
Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail
Sherry Shish ~ Powered by Quilting
Anita Skjellanger ~ Quilt in a not-Shell
Laticia "Tish" Stemple ~ Tish's Adventures in Wonderland
Jennifer Strauser ~ Dizzy Quilter
Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations
Terri Vanden Bosch ~ Lizard Creek Quilts
Alison Vermilya ~ Little Bunny Quilts
Sandra Walker ~ mmm! quilts
Suzy Webster ~ Adventurous Applique and Quilting
(Debora) Anne Wiens ~ Seams like a Plan
Geraldine Wilkins ~ Living Water Quilter
Janet Yamamoto ~ Whispers of Yore

Friday, March 29, 2019

Seashore Splendor - Block 4, Lighthouse

It's time for the next block for Seashore Splendor!  I think you will enjoy making this block - there are quite a few pieces, but no triangles this time - that should make everyone happy!

Just one easy flying goose - and that's the first unit.  The rest is just squares and rectangles.

If you are working from scraps, you may have to piece the larger units, but that's just fine.  I did and my block looks fine!  I chose a cute directional print for my sky, so I had to make sure my clouds weren't going sideways!

This was also important for the flying goose unit.  I fold back the corner of the square to make sure it's going to be correct after sewing.
I had to make sure to pay attention when cutting all the sky pieces to make sure they were cut corrected, but the end result was worth it.
I love the sky - it was really fun to use this print!

And here's the finished block, ready to keep the ships safe and guide them to shore.   This block fits into the top left corner of the quilt.

You can go download the pattern from my payhip store by clicking the picture below:

Block 4
See you in two weeks with another block!  Hope you are enjoying this as much as I am :)