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

Monday, December 9, 2019

Wild Geese Quilt ~ Autumn into Winter

pattern photo / J Patek

Hi Everyone! Today's sunset is the earliest  of the year! It will get lighter for my evening walk with each day now. Yes, the shortest day is around December 21st, but for some reason--Earth's tilt? the sunsets are the earliest at the beginning of December.

Today I dug out some my red and white and other holiday quilts.

Last week I put the Christmas quilts on my bed, along with red pillow cases and bright white flannel sheets, cozy periwinkle blue flannel pillow cases too. On a dark rainy night like tonight they are so comforting.

I was quite reluctant to put away my Wild Geese quilt. I think it's my all time favorite quilt I have ever made.

I just love everything about it---the colors, the fun, the mixed media of fabrics [cotton, wool, silk, velvet] and the carefree way I made it on my own, no sewalong or BOM. I used whatever method struck my fancy for each block. Some are straight stitched, some zigzagged by machine. Some needle turn, by hand. But the result is, to me, successful, even delightful. I also loved looking for the paid shirts for an entire year.
My only regret is using plaid flannel on its back, instead of the flannel print I first chose, navy with lightning bugs in Mason jars. [I was afraid the navy would run and spoil the quilt, as the black flannel color ran on my Pokeberry Quilt.]

Here at the beach  I still see giant Vs of wild geese all winter, so as I folded my quilt away I thought about reusing it in January when I will be oh so tired of red. But the pumpkins and turkey kind of place it firmly as an autumn quilt.

What could I do instead?, I pondered. Could I make a winter version that is as much fun? I got out this pattern, also by Jan Patek.

It actually doesn't have any Wild Geese blocks, but maybe has too many stars anyway? And all those spacer strips could be Flying Geese too.

The quilt references a beautiful  old-ish Christian hymn, which I am fond of...but I get a squiggly feeling about as the well known pop version was done by Cat Stephens. So I always think of this quilt as the Beatles song Blackbird:

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

or even Here Comes the Sun, both of which I sang [badly] to my kids as infants. And not that I see many sunrises, I'm not a morning person,lol.
Here comes the sun 

Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right
Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter

Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun 

Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right

A friend on one of my FB groups very kindly shared her version of this quilt. I love how she added more blackbirds or crows, instead of embroidering the  lyrics of the hymn. Her color palette is quieter too, good inspiration for a winter-y quilt.

If I make this quilt, I'd sub more birds, as LH did, and some Geese in Flight blocks instead of so many stars. I'll use my blue shirts stash, some yellows and golds, but tone it down a bit, to evoke winter sunsets over the marshes instead of a summer morning.
I do have a gorgeous piece of blue velvet from my friend B. It may need to be overdyed but would definitely be featured.

A project to pick up now and then, as Wild Geese was so successfully [from my maker's point of view].


Did I tell you the t shirt quilt went off to Lori C/ Quilters Imagination HERE to be quilted? Whew! That took some attention and time.Dear Lori saved a slot in her busy longarm schedule so we hope to have it done for Christmas.  I hope she loves it.

And I have prepped the last two blocks of Year in the Country. I'm a bit procrastinating on them because I hate to have it done! It was so  much fun, another casual pick up when I can, do as I please year long quilt. [seeing a theme here?]

The Snowman block has been given a pink crescent moon, just like the late November moon Mo and I enjoyed seeing on one of our dinnertime walks.

I even spent an hour or so the other night on eBay looking for Sporrer's other BOM Day in the Country. I found one that is nursery rhymes, about 8 of 12 patterns are for sale; but there's another that is very prim and simple, just called same A Day in the Country, but different motifs from mine from Penny.

When I get the tree up and the house looking festive, I hope to start Temecula Quilt Company's sewalong, Little Tree. Blocks are 2 3/4", yikes! But fun. HERE

After Christmas I plan to get back to piecing Stars for Silent Night, and must also finish Blue Baskets. Lots to look forward to, in 2020.[Oh and the two baby quilts! @@].


On this rainy Monday I was kept company, unexpectedly, by a briskly singing Mr. Mockingbird in the ugly locust tree.

He lives/ nests in the dunes in the summer but returns to my tree each winter and spring. I hope he hasn't been fooled by the day's warmer temps.

 He has been coming here longer than I have been blogging, more than ten years! It must be the same bird, on his exact branch and twig. He must be quite an older gentleman by now, wonder how long songbirds live? I'll put out dried cranberries for him tomorrow if the rain lets up.

Hope your holiday weeks are fun, enjoy each moment.

At the end of this post will be the Lori of Humble Quilts' Blog Hop links, one each day starting Monday Dec 9. I hope you visit the other blogs and enjoy them.



gone to the beach...


Dec 9- Humble Quilts, Lori, https://humblequilts.blogspot.com/
Dec 13 -Timeless Reflections. Kyle. https://kyleredente.blogspot.com
Dec 14 Pinkadotquilts Kelly http://pinkadotquilts.blogspot.com/
Dec 16  sue  Knitty Quilter -https://suehoover.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Out and About ~ Christmas Shopping

Hello on a cold and windy night! Now it is December---Christmas is rushing towards us at the speed of light it seems. It's no secret that I love Christmas. For me, in my family's Anglo/German/ Swiss/ French  tradition, it is a secular holiday of great happiness and excitement, secrets and festivity. Perhaps even velvet will be worn by someone, maybe me?

And though with my parents now passed on and my family small, my kids much older [no Santa!?] , I always have the intention of keeping things simple and plain.

But what's the fun in that!

Yes I buy most gifts online, Amazon and etsy are my best friends right now, but I love a real Christmas shopping expedition, too. My friend L and I had planned our day for this Monday--omigosh, it , what!, it snowed. Couldn't believe my eyes.

Mo was not a happy boy; he hunkered down with his kennel disk, a microwaveable frisbee thing that keeps him toasty warm all winter. I roll it up in his fave fleece blanky.

Tuesday, I pinned on my vintage Christmas brooch and  we headed out.

We are fortunate to have some great stores close by--- stores that have the had the retail sense to let us bypass the mall, and have created shops in local easily accessed strip malls. I was on the hunt for stocking stuffers; stocking gifts are a big deal for us. Not like my mom used to do with an orange and a candy cane, neither of which I'd ever consider eating. One year she did add puzzle balls she got in NYC, near Chinatown---you unroll the crepe paper and find little plastic charms and such. I still have a few from that treat! I cannot recall the shop's name, they sell Valentines and paper Dresdens and so on.
Look at this shop: New---a stand alone Lands End, opens this week.  here

Lands' End is opening its first Long Island store at The Gallery at Westbury Plaza in Garden City.


First stop Sephora: You could get a pair of furry boots or a cashmere sweater for what a handful of little stuffers cost here.

But sure pleasers, which is the main idea. I also love spritzing perfume at their tryout counter. I found the most delightful lemony scented perfume. No clue what it was called, the young woman helping there was busy on her phone and I couldn't see a brand name, how odd. Well, on my birthday list, instead.

Across the parking lot is Old Navy, great for little doodads, like velvet scrunchies.

Bath and Bodyworks is a few stores over. Those finds must remain secret, as must the wine shop's contributions.

Always a great place to Christmas shop, our next stop was Trader Joe's.

They have lots of gourmet goodies for foodie friends.

And stocking fillers  like candles, bath salts, body butters, sea salt scrub. Gingerbread doggy treats for Mo.

Nicely affordable pine branches.

Rosemary tiny trees. $$$

Amaryllis bulbs and  as always, beautiful if odd veggies Are we supposed to roast this whole?

And cut flowers.

Sunflowers in Decemebr! Wow.

Their Fearless Flyer was, coincidentally waiting for me on my door mat when I got home. Seems I will need to make a return visit, just look at some of these fun ideas, yum. Yes, I forgot my reusable bags! But I love TJ's brown bags, great last minute gift wrap with twine or a red satin bow.

Back home, the wind practically blew me off to Siberia, this cold is so not normal. I hope Santa brings me long underwear! Inside I found Mo proudly reigning over the mess he'd made of ''his'' sofa, a tantrum for being left alone past sunset [at , like, 3.30, he doesn't like being alone after dark.]

No tree yet here or even red decor--just flannel sheets and fave Christmas quilts

A big bowl of cooky cutters and handmade snowball candle from my SIL. I use it sparingly every year.
That's my dad's handmade star cooky cutter, upper left. He made it for me one year out of an aluminum gutter scrap; my mom had sold all our cooky cutters to her antiques dealer girlfriend!

My small stack of Christmas books to read, something sweet each day as I sip my Peach black tea, from Stash.

On a quilty note, I invited myself onto Lori/ Humble Quilts Holiday blog hop. It looks really fun and as it will be posts about each blogger's favorite things, it should be fun for my readers here, quilters or not. First post is Lori's, on, I think, Monday Dec. 9. Be sure to join in. Link on my right sidebar.

Have a great week!



gone to the beach..............

PS Isn't this just so cute! A decorated Pineapple. You guys know how I love pineapples, don't be surprised if this idea turns up in a bowl somewhere here at the beach...