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

Monday, January 30, 2017

January's Projects

Hello, everyone. January went by so fast! I do love winter and I feel like I have not sufficiently treasured the beauty of these January days.  The good news is I have been right on schedule with my  quilting projects. I have three! quilt tops ready to be sent to the quilter this week.

Here is "July" aka Porch Quilt 2 or P2 .

It was finished for the sewalong on January 2nd, but  then I added the sawtooth side borders. I think the big sawtooths make the quilt look more cohesive/ intentional. (The random blocks of this type of quilt, while so fun to sew, can often look too scattered and random when finally sewed into a top, I think.]

Summertime, also from a pattern by Jan Patek, published in Primitive Projects magazine, is also finished and ready for the quilter to work her magic. Huge quilt, 90" square.

Its medallion format is less chaotic than Patek's primitive designs. All those borders were hell to make fit, despite my constant measuring throughout the construction.

It looks a bit bare because the deep pink buds, 3-D yoyos---about 70 of them, will be attached after quilting, as will be the birdies' eyes and other details.

Somehow a hole appeared in the upper center border! Oh no! I fussy cut and appliqued a butterfly there. I like the butterfly a lot. Not so sure about the whole quilt, mostly I hate it, poor thing.

I also finished restoring this gorgeous Sunflower quilt top, in hopes of saving it and using it.

I love the tan areas that were once red, but proved fugitive and are now tan.

 I love how the good red bits turn up now and then in the beige flowers..

I used a vintage, ugly but appropriate olive green solid  for a stabilizing border and to replace some areas that were so deteriorated they fell into dust when touched. It is beautifully hand pieced, but the circles and biases make it impossible to keep square and without bubbling.

There is some thought that tops should be cherished as is and not finished, but to me such a fragile quilt top's only hope of survival is if I repair it and strengthen it with batting and quilting.

It's  a wonderful pattern and probably one I could not afford if it was a completed quilt.
My quilter will maybe be able to do a wreath or other circular pattern. She'll advise me when she finally sees it in person. If not I hope she can sew or baste the squares of the blocks which I will then hand quilt. [Ideally this top deserves to be entirely hand quilted but again, I think it's better to save it than to insist on it being just so authentic.

I sewed the last blocks of When the Wild Geese Fly too. Pine trees. The only trees we have here are big pines, so I thought they were appropriate.

They didn't come out how I envisioned them, but I like them. [yet another Jan Patek design].

Just because I did the final blocks doesn't mean this quilt is almost done! There are 147 Wild Geese blocks in the border. So far I made 8, experimenting with two different methods of construction. They will all be the correct size when trimmed.

Here's the book cover to remind you guys of how the quilt will look. My version is blue shirting plaids with orange of all sorts.

Here is a closer look at the original's Wild Geese sashings.

I made a tiny start on Lori's [Humble Quilts]new sewalong, Fall Festival. I decided that while I love participating in her projects, this time I won't let myself get so stressed about keeping up. I'll just enjoy at my own pace. More on that next week, for Block One reveal.

Speaking of sewalongs, it seems this year has been extra bountiful and tempting , with so many sewalongs I'd love to do. It's very hard not to jump in....and find myself in way over my head. So far I'm resisting. The real temptation is here: Temecula Quilt Company. What a great antique inspiration quilt.

February's projects are Westering Women, 2 blocks not done, plus 4 more I plan to add. And progress on Dotty 365. Audrey's final linky reveal of all our versions will be May 1, though another quilter will continue to host the project during 2017.

Mo and I are now trying to take an after dinner walk each day. Not far, but something we both love. Here we are at Mo's bench.

And on sunny days Mo insists we sit out on the deck in the afternoon. I just imagine us there some snowy day,lol. Pugs adore routine. Here is Mo watching me write this blog.

He prefers to sit on my lap and we look at Doug the Pug and Pork Chop the Pug on FB.

Oh and Mo has learned a new trick! He can now dance on his hind legs and pirouette, just like the little girls on Dance Moms. [video soon]

Have a good week! Welcome February!



gone to the beach.... 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

January Walk

Hi! The storm has passed and it's a glorious bright blue winter day.

Let's go to the beach and see how it survived the storm. I'll bundle up, it's not as warm as the weather bug wants me to believe, with a 28 mph wind still blowing.

The storm tide came all the way up to the upper dunes! This high swale hasn't held standing water for years, just  briefly during H. Sandy and H. Irene.

The swales serve as natural catch basins, formed by the eternally growing dunes'  ups and downs. They deflect and absorb  waves that would otherwise crash over the  high dunes and seawall.

This is the cut in the outer dunes, where the storm surge breaks through the dunes. It is kept clear on purpose. There is a second outer swale here where the ocean flows first, then on up to the high dunes.

The beach itself is endless and dramatically open, wide. Not much erosion, maybe some in height, but not in width.

Turning back to look at the dunes we can see where the waves came---up into the path where the summer boardwalk lies.

Up to the dunes that protect the swales.

And flooding the low lying beach to the east. It often floods and is the lowest point of this end of our little island. It does have good ancient high dunes though, so the water is stopped during most storms.

Walking along the shore. The sun is till so low in the sky despite it being 1 PM here.

The wineglass is still there on the fence post. A glass now half full.

On the way home I sat for a few minutes and enjoyed the winter bench.

Below the seawall I found this odd conglomeration of  pebbles. They may have been deposited by the storm or maybe they are someone's old collection, set free, returned to their beach origins. [I have found wonderful shell collections like that, with coral branches and pink trimmed tropical shells and starfish. Someone was perhaps decluttering but loved the shells or pebbles enough to send them home?] I chose a few perfect white ''eggs'' ...

for my window sill.

When I got home Mo dragged himself out of bed and insisted we sit on the deck. Our daily dose of vitamin D and mindfulness. (Now that he is a bigger boy and no longer wets the bed, Mo is sometimes allowed to sleep on my bed! Pug heaven!)

I didn't have any applique ready so I brought out my knitting instead. We had a lovely hour. It was 55*.

Tonight is colder, the wind is picking up again, howling and laughing at us:"Fooled ya, didn't I?'', cries Old Man Winter. I'm making meatloaf with steamed cabbage and noodles. Lots of nice leftovers for the weekend to come.True comfort food.



gone to the beach....

PS A nature note: Mr Mockingbird was strutting and singing away in his spot, in the highest branches of the ugly locust tree. He always returns after nesting in the dunes, then spending Fall I know not where. He has been coming at least as long as I've been writing my blog, since 2009. I looked up how long a songbird might live, and though studies are mostly about robins not mockingbirds, it seems that if the birds survive their first couple years they can live as long as 12 to 15 years! And shorebirds [like my oystercatchers!] can live up to 30 years.  So the is probably indeed my same Mr M, and the two cardinal couples I watch in the marsh, and my OCs---they really are the same birds. Amazing to me.