I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, March 2, 2015

Flags of the American Revolution Top is Finished!

Yay! This project went quickly, didn't it? Lori set a fast pace and here we are six months later with a cool patriotic quilt top complete.

Here are February's assigned blocks:
I just couldn't sew the word "Death" on a quilt that someday a loved one might sleep under. I know it's inauthentic, and I am being superstitious, but too bad.

I redid this block with an antique block from a friend and , having paid close attention to other quilters' input, I redid the tiny tree in hand dyed wool.

Here's the signature block.

Many thanks to all my friends who pitched in to help sew, to Lori for the Eagle's star fabric, to H for the antique block from his mother's block collection. Mel, L, and BJ all sewed many of the appliques when my hand was so painful this fall. Thank you all, it made this a special project.

Here the top is complete! I'm relieved to find my fabrics and colors work okay.Though the Star to the left of 76 isn't so good. Redo?

I was determined to mostly use stash fabrics for this quilt. The Dark border is a navy and white star print that I overdyed with dark brown, for a less gaudy effect.

You guys know I always make a big deal over the backing! I have this red star fabric, about 3 1/3 yards, from my stash. It's not as wildly vibrant as in the second photo but it maybe could use a tea bath.

I will piece it with something else to make it big enough. Like this  from Home Sew [thanks, Mel]. Look at that great price! Or maybe I'll find the 2000 millennium Eagle fabric, khaki colored, that I have somewhere.[It's always hiding when I want it]

edit: Yay! I found the Millennium fabric:

And this nice butterscotch dot  sateen:

Also this patriotic toile, in case I need to piece the backing to make it wide enough for my quilter? I could set a section of this across the middle back. [1 1/2 yards only.

I'm so pleased to find stash options for my backing.
I made this quilt in honor of my dad and his handmade Cape Cod cottage flags. It would have been his birthday last week, and I was happy to finish for his special day.

I read this and laugh---my dad would have been very unimpressed! He didn't believe an ''artist'' should use a pattern made by someone else and he'd not have been too pleased that I used Jan Patek's wonderful folk art Flags. But---that's okay.

"I done my best."

Thank you, Lori, for a fun project! (Humble Quilts  http://humblequilts.blogspot.com ).



gone to the beach......

Please be sure to go to Lori's blog to see everyone else's Flags: here

Thursday, February 26, 2015

XXOOXX Hugs and Kisses

Hi, everyone.
Before I show you my little Hugs and Kisses quilt, I want to share these amazing pictures sent to me by my friend who lives in lower Manhattan. These were taken just two days after the pics on my last post. Those showed a densely grey but unfrozen span. The following day we had an ice storm, snow, and temps in single digits. Look at NYC Harbor now!

I've never seen the Hudson River and harbor frozen like this. This is the harbor! It's salt water, so picture how cold it is. We'll be yearning for ice blocks like this in August.

It reminds me of old 1800s stories about the city's rivers freezing and winter fairs being held on the ice! [urban myth?]. This is view from Battery Park towards New Jersey/ Jersey City.

Statue of Liberty and Staten Island Ferry in distance. The ferries seem to make their crossings despite the icebergs.

Now for my little February project. As I've mentioned before I like to have a special little quilting project to look forward to when I know I'll be home alone for awhile. Of course now I have Mo, but it's still fun to have a sewing treat.
This is my project from Valentine's Day through Presidents Week. Kids off skiing in icy Vermont.

The pattern / design is from Temelcula Quilt Company's Valentine's day quilt freebie, here. I simplified the pattern. I call it XXXOOO or Hugs and Kisses.

I wanted to try out the little blocks for filler blocks for Mo's quilt. Cute, though the X has to be manipulated to turn on its points. Otherwise Mo will get Plus and Zeros, not very puggy, is it?
I used favorite little scraps, like this tiny moss rose bud from a new charm pack.

A small antique white ground sprig or shirting ground.

I tea dyed the whole quilt to make it look antique-y.

Used this somewhat awful print for the backing. It came in a recent order, and to my eye is so , well, ugly, because of its large scale---a mistake sent by the seller, I think. But serendipitously a very authentic looking backing print, so I used it up here [only 1/4 yard anyway].

The little heart charm is a Sally Jean soldered charm from my collection. I wish I had more of them, I don't think she is working anymore. Usually I use it as a scissors fob so my kids don't borrow my best scissors. [no rotary cutter for me, you know].

February is almost over. I think we'll be back  tomorrow or Saturday with the finished Flags quilts! I can't wait to see everyone's quilts. Stay warm...

Mo's bed collection that he has carried
into the warm sunshine on a cold morning 



gone to the beach....

what's this!!!?

It tastes wonderful!
This little glass thing is so crunchy. Yum!

I will hide it from Mommy!

Your what? Who me? I never ate it,
no huh uh, not me.

late February. Sunset.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Winter Beach Walk

Hi guys! We had a brief thaw yesterday afternoon. The temperature rose above ''Arctic'' , the sun was shining and I headed out to the beach.

The entry is still flooded and frozen, necessitating a somewhat scary wade through the icy salt water floods. I carried my trusty cast-off ski pole to steady my steps. High wellies were needed and were almost not high enough.

Snowy dunes gave way to windswept packed and frozen sand. There's some ice along the tide lines, it won't thaw til we have much warmer days.

It takes a diehard beachcomber to find treasures there.

granite ''toad'' pebble / green bottle shards/ sand mold/
red glass? bike or car reflector

clam shell/ turban shell/ china knob shard with blue stripe/
white pebble/ two sand dollars

On the other hand, there is no competition from other searchers!

A Manhattan friend sent me these photos of NY harbor from Battery Park. I had asked to see the frozen Hudson.

Not as dramatic as the news people make it sound! But we can see the ice rimming the shore on the Jersey side.

Later as the ''temperatures plummeted" as the weather guys like to say, Mo and I explored our neighborhood. Mo finds the huge drifts interesting.

He wears Mushers Wax to protect his little feet.

Here is Stripey, one of the neighborhood feral cats. He was sunning in a warm nook on a neighbor's porch. Those of you making the Flags quilt may find this of interest: the neighbor has a collection of wonderful flags he displays. Stripey is stretched out under Don't Tread On Me! aka Snakey, fom our quilt project.
(This man has a gorgeous Christmas quilt/ flag that he has just left rolled up and wet and snowy on his deck! It's killing me, all those handpieced LeMoyne stars.)

Stripey's winter coat is very peachy, I never realised. On top he is so grey and black.

Another day Mo and I said Hello to a young guy who, despite the less than 20* temps, was dressed in his hoodie and was sunning himself on his deck! I waved and yelled, "You're so brave!" He laughed and turned his face back up to the winter sun. He looked happy.

When we walk I pick up twigs that have fallen due to the ice and wind. Indoors I set them in tiny beachcombed medicines bottles and they bloom! These are forsythia, rescued from a snow drift.

And a sweet potato vine I am babying through the winter. Maybe.

Old Man Winter is having the last laugh though. Unusual sunset just now, with cold weather clouds.

Zero tonight, windchill unknown.

So---how are you all coping? Tea and knitting? Online retail therapy? A good book?



gone to the beach