Sunday, June 19, 2011

Remake of an Old Movie

Some of you may remember or have heard of the movie made in 1957 titled, The Incredible Shrinking Man.

Or maybe this one is familiar to you; it was re-done with Lily Tomlin in 1981 and called The Incredible Shrinking Woman

Well the newest story is The Incredible Shrinking House.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. I feel like my walls are closing in on me making my house seeming to shrink around me..  Thankfully the contractor comes tomorrow to repair and pour a new concrete floor and we will be one step closer to being able to move things back to my sewing room, scrapbooking room, laundry room and family room. How and why did I manage to accumulate so much "stuff"?
Anyone coming to visit for the first time would think I had hoarding issues. Things are stacked to the ceiling in almost every room. My freezer is in the back entry, my sewing gear is in the front entry, my books are stacked in the dining room, my washer and dryer are in the car port etc.etc.etc. Let's hope there is no sequel!
On a brighter note, a friend dropped by on Saturday to get a piece of fabric from me and she brought me a bouquet of flowers she had purchased at the Farmer's Market that morning. 

I in turn had just taken lemon blueberry muffins out of the oven, so I invited her in for tea and muffins.

 A delightful little break in a busy day.

Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world.  ~T'ien Yiheng

Friday, June 17, 2011

Spring Break a.k.a. Paula's Camp Retreat

I know the term Spring Break may bring thoughts of school holidays in March or April, but because it is technically still spring and I, along with 12 other quilting buds snuck away for a break ( a quilting break that is) this week, I have decided this was my Spring Break...and what a break it was!
We have been "spring breaking" since 2005. Although I have not been fortunate enough to make it every year I think I have been to the majority of them and look forward to them with much anticipation.
We generally plan an easy menu and everyone contributes to the meals and then pack up our gear and venture off about 1 hour into the "wilderness" to our final destination for the next 2 days.
Have you ever wondered how much "stuff" 3 quilters need for 2 days of "retreating"?
Well this is what my vehicle looked like fully loaded. (minus the 3 passengers)

Food, friends and fabric make for a splendid spring retreat! It really is a treat to sit at my machine and stitch away the hours. Here is the view as I see it.

In the morning the scene was different but every bit as beautiful and at 6:30 a.m. I was out trying to capture the beauty of it.

The song of the loons was so soothing.

A large variety of projects were finished; everything from woven floor mats (made with strips of quilting cotton) to cushions, to place mats, to baby quilts, to tote bags, to clothes pin aprons (see yesterdays post). Some brought quilts to hand stitch bindings and knitting and hand quilting.  a few of us plodded along at assembling multiple numbers of blocks; a tedious job made more enjoyable in the company of friends.

Have you ever wondered how many quilters it takes to apply grommets to a bag?

Our banister of Fame

The group minus 2

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A "little" stitching update.

You might remember last post I showed you a few "ingredients" for my next project. Well it is show and tell day! 
I have been away for the last 2 days to a retreat at a friends camp up in a very secluded part of the woods. It is such a wonderful spot. There were 13 of us in total during the run of the 2 days we were there; some for the whole time and others for just a day . (More on that later)
One of the projects I took to work on was a stitchery for the project I spoke about. "Green calico and vintage ric rac from a yard sale find, a rescued bran bag from a bakery I worked in many years ago, a bit of embroidery floss and a free pattern from the internet."
After downloading a stitchery pattern I traced it on a piece of the muslin "bran bag". Then I embroidered it. After all the stitching was complete I made it into a clothespin apron. I wanted a real VINTAGE feel to it so my fabric choices were important...muslin, calico, and polka dots; vintage ric-rac and an embroidered stitchery of kittens doing laundry.

Basically just an apron with a large pocket accessible from both sides to hold your clothespins. I didn't have a pattern and just "fudged" my way along and surprisingly didn't need my ripper too many times. I did however wound myself in the process. With all the laughing and chatting going on, my attention wandered for just a sec and I ran through the end of my thumb with the sewing machine needle. Needless to say it is much the same as driving...when your foot is on the pedal your eyes should be on the road straight ahead.
Just a small wound so I forged ahead and finished my project. As luck would have it I awoke to a lovely day for line drying clothes, so after returning from an early morning appointment in town this morning, I was able to put my apron into action. Works great! I love it!

I can stand at the line and have all my clothespins very handy and when taking things off the line they just get dropped back into the pocket. After use I hang it on a hook in the "mud room" and it is ready for action when needed.

 A Clothesline Poem (Anonymous)
A clothesline was a news forecast, to neighbors passing by.
There were no secrets you could keep when clothes were hung to dry.
It also was a friendly link, for neighbors always knew 
If company had stopped on by to spend a night or two.
For then you’d see the “fancy” sheets and towels upon the line.
You’d see the “company tablecloth” with intricate design.
The line announced a baby’s birth, from folks who lived inside
As brand-new infant clothes were hung, so carefully with pride!
The ages of the children could so readily by known;
By watching how the sizes changed, you’d know how much they’d grown!
It also told when illness struck, as extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too haphazardly were strung.
It also said, “Gone on vacation now,” when lines hung limp and bare. 
It told, “We’re back!” when full lines sagged with not an inch to spare!
New folks in town were scorned upon, if wash was dingy and gray,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows, and looked the other way…
But clotheslines now are of the past, for dryers make work much less.
Now what goes on inside a home is anybody’s guess!
I really miss that way of life - it was a friendly sign;
When neighbors knew each other best by what hung on the line.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sing it Louis!

I've been out with my camera again. When I look at these pics I can't help but think of Louis Armstrong singing "What a Wonderful World."

I live out in the country and these are 2 of the prettiest apple trees I pass on my way home. Absolutely breathtaking!
After I got home I wandered around my yard and snapped a few more pics; 

my apple blossoms from various trees in the yard

A few strawberry blossoms on our "lawn" that escaped the lawn mowing on Wednesday.

Petunia blossoms still holding rain drops.

Newly transplanted Leopard's Bane

Garden Mums

What appears to be crystallized spider webs in my spreading juniper.

Ahh indeed Louis; it's a wonderful world!

On the sewing front...  because of our construction project , yard work, and because I have been on the move so much there really has not been much time to sit and quilt or sew and I am starting to go through "withdrawal". Not to say I haven't kept my hands busy. When I sit in the evenings or in the vehicle I generally have my knitting with me and I'm making a little headway there.

I really "need" to sew though, so I picked what I am hoping will be a quick and easy project with some handwork and some machine. 

Here are the "ingredients" I will be using. Green calico and vintage ric rac from a yard sale find, a rescued bran bag from a bakery I worked in many years ago, a bit of embroidery floss and a free pattern from the internet. Definitely a low budget project. As soon as I get back from my walk and get a few household chores done I intend to make some headway on this project. Hopefully I will have some progress to show next post...stay tuned. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Just a Few Things

First I want to mention a little something about the music on the blog. I have had several people say they really enjoyed the music on the blog and would sometimes go there and just the leave the music on while they are sewing etc. Well unfortunately I have had to change my music list because there seems to be a problem with Try as I might I can't get all the same tunes back and I also cannot get the music to play automatically on opening the blog. Soooo if you want music, you will have to hit the play I can do until I figure it out.

Next thing, I went on Facebook yesterday to get the scoop on friends and family and this is what I saw posted on my daughter's profile.

What a smart cookie she is! She entered a recipe in a contest for Real Women of Philadelphia. Not a winner in their eyes, but definitely in mine. Bravo Michelle!
**edit: I just spoke to my daughter and apparently they have not picked the finalists in her category yet, so there is still a chance she could win! Go Michelle!!

Let's see...what else? Oh yes..while doing a bit of yard work I noticed a very sizeable patch of wild violets on our lawn (and I use this term very loosely! What we have is green for the most part but hardly a manicured lawn.) I couldn't resist taking a few shots and was kind of pleased with one and so it is now the background on my computer desktop.

Green manicured lawns are so over-rated; isn't this so much prettier?

A lovely spring surprise.

Now lastly; Last weekend I called a friend to go to a (sort of local) quilt show about an hours drive from home. This was completely spur of the moment. When I picked her up, she had a lovely big grin on her face and on entering my car, said "the only thing nicer than a planned outing is an unplanned one!"
She was right! We had a lovely chat during the drive and caught up on things and then spent several hours mooning over quilts. Stopped for refreshments and went back for a few more looks before heading home. All in all a lovely afternoon.
Here are a few of my favourites.

I went in a little tight with the camera, but this quilt has no borders. Very striking and quite attractive. Another for my bucket list.

So pretty. Simple pattern but the colours are lovely. The addition of the light spring green makes it sparkle and I love the little random blocks in the border.

Happy To Be Scrappy...another for my bucket list. I LOVE everything about this quilt!

Another absolutely stunning quilt. This photo does not do it justice. Oh the hours put into this one, but what a treat. Three sizes of plates, black background, hand quilted, and a gazillion prairie points! I want to add this to my bucket list, but my bucket is full;I need to either get another bucket or start working on emptying the one I have. 
Have a wonderful day!

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

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