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

Monday, November 28, 2016

Summer Porch ~ P2 ~ November

Good evening! It's time for me to show off my P2  project for November.

One good thing about sewalongs is that they keep you focused. Lori [Humble Quilts] is really good at keeping me / us on track and challenged and interested. The other day I just happened to notice her post on FB telling us that we'd show off our P2 blocks this Monday. Omigosh, I had not looked at P2 since I showed it to you in October! And I'd ''heard on the grapevine'' {FB] that the wheels of the central bicycle did not go together easily.

"But, Lori...." I whined. I've been busy with etsy items, Christmas projects, and Thanksgiving prep. But I'm a sucker for a deadline so this weekend I put everything aside and just worked on P2.
My Big Wheel block went together with no problem. I used Pellon fusible to keep it round, knowing it would not be hand quilted.

Only issue, it is 15" diameter, not 12''. The good news is that I love it like that. I had no intention of making the bicycle as shown. To me the big circle is the summer sun shining down, sending its warmth to our Porch.

I got the Wheel together Friday night and on Saturday there we were, me and Mo, eking out the last of the summer sun  and enjoying our deck time.

The light has a pink cast now, even mid-afternoon.

 Mo is always up for a sewing session.

Truly it is not the cold that will finally spoil this simple bond and pleasure Mo and I share; no, it's the early sunsets, the shadows are too long by 4 o'clock for me to sew. Winter months are spent on machine sewing.

But our assignment didn't stop there. We were also supposed to sew the central section of the quilt together. Oh dear, a stumbling block indeed. I must have ripped out every seam at least five times. Nothing fit together easily, or I forgot to trim, or --oh who knows.
Here it is!

I'm pretty sure the Kite and Basket, far left will be redone and reversed, the kite tail is too busy. Or I may put a simpler block where the Kite is.

I had mis-cut the Flag stripes and was out of the original red dot. Oh what the heck, at almost midnight I grabbed the nearest red scrap and added it on. In light of day, I think it's cute. Fine.

Mo did a lot of kibitzing.

Here is P2 with this month and last month's sections all laid out.

And...look what I found! Earlier in the week, as I hunted through my antique linens collections for pieces to use in Christmas gifts., I came across this stash of beautiful turkey red prints.

Four versions of this Provencal style, popular beginning in about 1840, I think.

I think I'd been collecting these [most are newish repros] to repair my fave red and green antique quilt. Even a gorgeous overprinted turkey red, look at that dense red color. That bit is a rescue from a tattered old quilt top.

And a small piece of my all time favorite dill pickle green calico.

Also found this small stack of lovely antique , authentic linen homespuns, too.

Lucky me, I ''shopped'' at home for Black Friday.

What have I learned so far with this project?
I learned to mark all the blocks'  dimensions on a chart, especially with Jan Patek patterns. She often does not supply all the blocks' dimensions or even none. [Her version of the Ohio Sampler quilt has NO block measurements anywhere, imagine my dismay. Hard to resize when I don't know where I am starting from! Emails ignored...40.oo bucks?].

And I learned to sew together as I go. I noticed on Westering Women this past week that some followers sew the sashings/ settings each month. That would never occur to me. And how amazing and wonderful to come to the end of a sewalomg and have not have a huge job of sewing together/ finishing await.

Speaking of...I have decided that the beginning months of 2017 will be dedicated to finishing projects that I could not complete this year due to health issues and time crunch. There's a lot undone: Dotties, Summertime, Cheddar-Indigo doll quilt; Antique Baskets, Wild Geese. This is no hardship, because my favorite part of a project, aside from buying the fabric, is setting that final stitch, and sighing quietly,"All done."

I've promised myself I will be selective in taking on new projects, too. So if there is a new Dotty, [Blue Moons] it will begin in, say, June. Brackman's 2017 sewalong looks so interesting, it will be based on Civil War/ Union diaries, a subject of great interest to me. If it's only one block per month it will be doable. And Lori is already tempting us with her blog's next year project.

So 2017 is all sorted out [maybe], no New Year's Resolutions here next month. My quilter is having a special now, quilt 6 quilts and the next one is quilted FREE! I hope I get that reward/ freebie.

BTW, what is your favorite part of making a quilt? The planning, the sewing, the finish, the gifting/keeping?



gone to the beach...

Linky for all the Porch projects on Humble Quilt blog http://humblequilts.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving ~ Home and Away

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends!

This year we are invited to our friends' home for Thanksgiving! I am very excited, if a bit sad my beloved Turkey plates will not be used this year.
[Do they notice? Or do they slumber on, uncaring?].
Last month someone asked me if I keep my bright orange, yellow, and cheddar quilts out all Fall, til Christmas, and the answer is a resounding No. Much as I love those colors I don't like to live with them too long. November 1st, the jackolanterns are put away, as are the brilliant orange quilts and the bright cobalt pitchers.

This year I kept my blue and white color scheme and added grey linen throw pillows; and quilts in faded tones of rose and brown and beige.

I keep my mercury glass pumpkins in the silver only,

and I add mercury glass Mason jars,

 and  a turkey here and there.

Crocks are filled with the last of summer's hydrangeas, now dried to rose, tan, and olive, no longer brilliant sky blue.

Things look a bit spare maybe. Knowing I would not be entertaining for the Big Day, I kept my decorating to a minimum, going for November colors, serene blue, grey, brown.

Just a few pops of autumn leaves peek out,

and a beloved English pitcher filled with bittersweet.

I love bittersweet and hate to discard it when December arrives.

The other pitchers are mostly white ironstone or soft autumn shades, many stained tobacco brown.

Wasting time a bit, I painted my tiny pumpkins with chalk paint. Harder than it sounded--and not at all chalky!?. I am hoping they might be sealed by the paint and last til next year! We'll see.

Mo watches, and waits...poor Mo, no turkey this year

My friend and I have been planning the meal. I dug out tablecloths to audition, lent vintage water goblets and my mom's silver gravy ladle. We had fun grocery shopping. Look at these weird Brussels sprouts.

And cute curly butternut squash.

My assignment--my contribution to the dinner Thursday --will be homemade Cape Cod / orange cranberry sauce.

Oh my this is delicious. So sweet. My taste buds swooned, I realized how rarely we eat anything made with real cane sugar. Yum.

And I made creamed onions today; tomorrow I'll make the stuffing. We all prefer our turkey unstuffed, so I bake the stuffing in a big pan: cornbread cubes, seasoning, chestnuts, bacon, apple diced, onion diced, sauteed, cranberries. Fresh sage and thyme. All held together with broth and butter. My house will smell like Thanksgiving even if the day is not celebrated here.

Maybe I'll have pictures to share, we'll see.

Remember my mom's words of wisdom."Put the turkey in the oven, and have a couple beers!" She meant relax and enjoy! So I wish that for each of you and your families too,



gone to the beach...

PS If you're out and about: garden center, grocery store...now is the last time to stock up on paperwhite narcissus bulbs for January blooms. I had to order mine on Amazon.