My First Weekly Blog Post

Earlier this past week I wrote to say that I will only be posting once a week.  There is so much going on that I find it easier to consolidate the week’s events into one post.  This is my first.

The biggest news is my pattern Dashing Through the Snow is in the Winter 2016 issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects.  Those of you who know me know that red is my favorite color.   This quilt is one of my favorites and I hope that everyone else enjoys it as much as I do.

The week’s mail call brought a lot of wonderful new threads to my disposal.  Sue Spargo’s website had an incredible sale on Genziana wool thread; 40% off.  I couldn’t resist this sale and my order arrived in a nice box.  Oh what fun I will have with these.  A few days later another two packages arrived.  One was from Rainbow Gallery Threads with new embellishing threads.  These are so great to use in the embroidery I add to my wool applique.  They just add a sparkle and dimension I can’t achieve with perle cotton.  The last package was a bag of cream/taupe wool scraps from Jackie’s Woolens.  For those of you who have never used Jackie’s wools, you are missing out.  They are so soft and lush.  I just love them.  Thanks Jackie!

I really like staying busy with handwork so I joined Jeni Gaston’s Facebook group and have actually kept up with the blocks.  These are so cute.  Can’t wait to see the next block.jenis-5-blocks

A couple of weeks ago I stopped at Barnes and Noble in the Princeton area and purchased the latest copy of Quilt Mania.  This is issue #115.  Warning:  there are so many amazing quilts in this issue that I would love to make.  The one that caught my attention and kept it is the tiny basket pattern called Baskets Forever by Mieke Duych.  These tiny baskets fit perfectly on a charm square.  I am doing mine in reds, blues and taupes.  There are 257blocks that finish at 4-1/2”.  This will take some time to complete but I love needle turn applique and these are so portable.  Will keep you posted on my progress.tiny-baskets

I have gotten back into teaching and have a class scheduled on October 29th at Quilting Possibilities in Forked River, NJ.  This is a beginner’s wool applique.  We will be working on the center design of a pillow.  The pattern is called Dresden Blooms.  If anyone is interested in taking this class contact the shop direct.  There is limited seating available.  pillow-for-class

During one of our trips up into the Trenton/Princeton/Pennington areas I found this cute cigar box.  I loved the unusual shape of the wooden box.  Still working on how to add wool to it.  cigar-box

I have been working on a series of tiny floral blocks reflecting some of my favorite flowers.  These are done on a cream wool background and I have been adding embroidery in various threads and textures and some beads.  There are 30 blocks and I have 7 more to do.  Almost there.   The cat tail photo is from my design Bountiful.  It uses Rainbow Gallery thread, Fuzzy Stuff on the outside edge of the cat tail head.

cat-tails-from-bountiful

I also love to cook.  While out grocery shopping I saw some smaller sized turkey breasts.  I bought one and roasted it.  I have to say it was delicious and the best part is that I can now use the breast bone to make fresh stock.  There is nothing better to use in my cream of cauliflower or broccoli soup than fresh turkey stock.

There was a full moon last night and when I got up this morning (extremely early 5am) it was setting.  I went outside to take a photo.  The setting moon  had a double ring.  The light it cast on the layer of fog on the open field was both  pretty but so eerie.moon-setting

The past week has been packed with activity.  Hopefully this week will allow me to have more time to work on new projects and designs.  Until next Sunday, wishing you all a week full of happiness and stitching.

Changing Things Around

It’s been a while since I have posted to my blog.  Time just seems to slip away so quickly each day without me getting on my laptop to write.  So after some thought I will be doing one weekly post chronicling my activities and stitching for the week.  I plan to do this Sunday evening beginning next weekend.

To fill in until next Sunday here are a couple of the little flower pieces I have been working on this past weekend.  The passion flower and hollyhocks are flowers that grew in my parents flower gardens.  I remember the tall dark red hollyhock flowers against the barn when I was young.   The purple passion flower was something that covered the back part of my dad’s orchard.   The vines bloomed with such lovely purple flowers.    There will be a total of 3o different flowers that remind me of my parents and their love of gardening.

passion-flowerHollyhock.jpg

That’s it for today.  My week will be full of stitching and creating.  Hope yours is as well.

 

Bountiful’s Finish

Bountiful is now “officially” completed.  It has its binding and hanging sleeve and I am getting ready to attach the label.  Wooohooo.  This top has been a labor of love.  My favorite season is autumn.  Bountiful was designed with this in mind.  The half barrel filled with fall flowers, pumpkin and grapes all under the watchful eye of Mr. Redwing Blackbird.

Bountiful is not a large piece, only 41″x54″ but I enjoyed stitching every piece of wool applique on it and adding the embroidery stitches and beads to the pieces.  To me working on an original design is a journey.  This quilt has its own journey that I will remember each and every time I look at it.   The final step after the label is getting it photographed.  I will do this later today when the sun is not so blistering hot and I can get good natural light.

The machine quilting on it is incredible.  The outer green border is cross-hatched; 1/2″ wide crosses.  Yikes, it is small but beautiful.  Here’s a few photos of the completed top prior to me adding the binding.

Now that it is completed it is time to move on to my next new projects.  One is for the wonderful people at Rainbow Gallery Threads.  They provide me with all the gorgeous textural threads you see me use in my projects.  It is my way of saying “thank you” for all your support.   Yesterday morning I also finished the last two sections of this quilt.  Here’s a couple of photos of those parts.

Rainbow Dahlia now has its two borders and is ready to layer and hand quilt.  It’s a small piece measuring 19″x26″.  It is bright and bold and showcases Rainbow Gallery’s threads so beautifully on the dark charcoal background.  Hope to have this done in a week and get it sent out to its new home in California.

The finish of my different projects makes me a little melancholy.  When you spend so much time working out the details of a design and thinking  about what to do next, it becomes a part of you.  As each piece gets finished there is always the next design to fill the void.  I always enjoy the journey designing patterns affords me.  This is what keeps me creating.  So, after a little break today, I will start my next journey.

 

A Day Out and About

So about every two weeks or so or when the summer weather isn’t blistering hot we will take a day trip up to the Princeton area.  Such a pretty town with the university and its gorgeous buildings and  landscaping that the university does.

Yesterday was one of those days.  We started out early and as usual got stuck in the traffic north.  I seriously can’t envision myself having to make that drive every morning to go to work.  No wonder most look so miserable; I would be too if I had to drive that commute everyday.  We finally made our way through and picked up the NJ Turnpike north.  It was an easy-peasy ride to Exit 7.

First stop, why of course, Mastori’s for breakfast.  If you have never been and are traveling in the area, this is definitely a place to eat.  Huge omelettes, delicious crispy home fries and the best sweet breads with a choice of cinnamon or cheese, warmed.  YUM.  I can tell you that after eating a slice of sweet bread, the crispiest of the homefries and my omelette; I was stuffed.

After breakfast we headed over the river to Morrisville to a wonderful produce store where I found huge cherries, Canadian blueberries and all sorts of nut/dried fruit blends.  They also carried imported chocolates.  Had to have some of those too.  Also purchased some imported Acacia honey imported from Poland.  It looks like liquid amber.  Can’t wait to taste it.  I remember my dad talking about the Acacia tree and the honey they used have from the bees when he was a child in Poland.

Next stop  was Pennington Quilt Works.  I was looking for a backing for Seasonal Bouquets but instead found this gorgeous floral/bird print from Blackbird Designs.  It definitely deserves the front and not the back of a quilt.  I plan to use it as a border fabric.  Now, to find other soft, coordinating colors and make blocks for the center.20160804_192731

This is so pretty and soft looking.   Background is a caramel color with greens and muted reds/pinks.

I love red.  Any opportunity that I may have I will add to my red fat quarter stash.  This piece piqued my interest.  I can see it as flower petals in a needleturn block.  20160804_192744-1

The last purchase was the window template for 1″ honeycombs.  I love to do EPP  when I have a chance and want to try some fussy cutting of some of the pieces.  Don’t know when I will get to that but winter will give me a chance to play more.  (no yard/garden work to tend to)

The final stop was for some homemade ice cream at CJ Sweets in Princeton.  We don’t eat sweets often so when we do, I want artisan made ice cream.  This was the first time we ever stopped at CJ Sweets and it did not disappoint.  Hubbie always gets chocolate with nuts.   Me, I venture off a little and get mint chip and chocolate.  You could taste the deep, rich cocoa in the chocolate and it was not overly sweet.  The mint chip was minty but not overpowering.  It had tons of fresh shaved chocolate chips in the mix too.  The consistency was smooth, rich, creamy and delicious.  This will be a stop again before summer is over.

So today, recharged and full of ideas I am headed to my studio to finish writing the pattern for Puffy Stuffy-Autumn’s Arrival and the last two blocks of Seasonal Bouquets.  Lots on the plate to get accomplished.

Wishing everyone a wonderful summer weekend.  Hope you all get some stitching in too!

Amazing Day Lilies

Day lilies are one of my favorite summer time flowers.  They are so carefree to grow and produce such a prolific display of color mid-summer.  I really can’t get enough of them.  When we first moved into my parents’ house, I added a lily bed on the one side of the house along the driveway and another at the back of house along the pathway to the workshop and sheds.  These all came out of my parents’ beds from other parts of the property.  The yellow and red lilies were my dad’s favorites.  The amazing part about the yellow lily is the size of the flower when it blooms.  I have measured the blossoms on some of the stems and they are almost 8 inches across.  Truly amazing.  The dark, paprika red with a green throat are a personal favorite of mine.  I love the look of the chartreuse color in the center of the bloom.

I also have a fondness for Asiatic lilies.  I replanted yellow ones from my gardens to the new flower beds here.   I love the way they continuously bloom for multiple weeks and are wonderful in cut flower bouquets.

Have moved more lilies from the old house to here.  A lot of what has been moved are the ordinary day lilies you see along the roadsides everywhere this time of the year.  I put in a whole line across the back with a couple of transplanted rhododendrons and my mini daffodils.  Next Spring should be a blaze of color across the back property.

I also have one Tuberose that was moved from the old property.  This poor thing suffered when it was originally transplanted but survived and this year has multiple flower stems ready to bloom.  So beautiful.  Can’t wait for them to open up.

Enjoy the color show of daylies.  They won’t be blooming much longer.