Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Stars and Stepping Stones

The center of this quilt was a Ways and Means for Burke QU many years ago - over 10 years ago I'm sure. I finished the center and played with the idea of an applique border but that really isn't my thing. I finally settled on the pinwheels - adding more at the top to cover the pillow. It sat on a shelf for another couple of years before I decided to quilt it by checkbook. Diane Henry did the quilting. I'm very happy with what she did.

Here is a peek at my sewing room. Was good to sit down at my machine and sew on the binding. I hand stitched it on in my sunroom. It was a bit warm in there but the light is wonderful any time of day. It will be nice to do some hand quilting in that room in the winter time.

I picked this up at a yard sale. Any ideas as to how to display it without completely enclosing it in a frame? Love the cover and also want to look inside from time to time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dear Jane Day

Here is one quilt from the Rockbridge County Fair. I'll share more another time. I've always admired Dear Jane quilts and thought about taking the challenge and put it off by telling myself I would give it a go if I could join a local Dear Jane group. Well, I stumbled on a local group! I checked out The Quiltery in Fairfield Virginia the other day and they are starting a monthly Dear Jane Day. So...any advice out there? What method do you suggest and why? I still need to buy the book. Can't really believe I'm going to do this and I feel excited about doing it at the same time! It will be a good way to meet some local quilters. Love this quilt - it got my vote for Viewers Choice.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Old Friends and New

This title reminds me of the Girl Scouting song - "make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold".

The gals of McLean QU gave me this top at the May luncheon as a moving away gift.
Isn't it sweet! I can't wait to hand quilt it.

Many of the members signed it.
I will always cherish it as I do the friendships I made at Quilters Unlimited. I had already moved when they gave this quilt top to me but things were still in an upheaval so I put it in a safe place. A couple weeks later I went looking for it to take a photo for a blog post and I couldn't find it. I was so annoyed with myself. I have a feeling there are many things I will remember holding in this house but not remember where I put it. I was so glad when I uncovered it in a bag of quilts. For whatever reason I hadn't just put it in the bag, I'd tucked it under another quilt.

My cousin, Jan, who just moved from Oregon to Lexington invited me to the June meeting of the Rockbridge Pieceworkers Quilt Guild. There isn't a quilt guild in Staunton so my choices are to drive 40 minutes north to Harrisonburg or 40 minutes south to Lexington. No deliberation needed, I went south. My cousin saved me a seat next to her and when I looked at the woman on the other side of me I had a deja vu moment. I asked the woman if she used to live in Burke. She said yes and I couldn't believe it. I told her I sat next to her at my first visit to Quilters Unlimited almost 20 years ago. Isn't that wild!?! What are the chances that I would sit down next to her at the Rockbridge meeting so many years later and 150 miles away?!? The woman's name is Teri and I think this means I need to get to know her! 

I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting and am looking forward to the July meeting this Saturday morning. I took this quilt to the June meeting for Show and Tell -
and they asked me to put it in the quilt show at the county fair. How sweet! I plan to sew a hanging sleeve on it tonight since the fair is next week. I've only been to suburban county fairs so I'm really looking forward to a country county fair.

I'll close with some kitty photos. They are 8 weeks old.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Quilt Show

I went to the Shenandoah Valley Quilters Guild show today in Bridgewater. Very sweet people and beautiful quilts. Sorry some of the photos are fuzzy.

After the show I went to Patchwork Plus in nearby Dayton. They have a nice selection of fabrics and notions. My nephew and his wife had their fourth (!) baby girl a month ago. Time to make another quilt. I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do but it will feature a lot of one fabric. I think it will be the "quilters linen" I picked up today. I'm playing with doing tumbling blocks but may change my mind. After the quilt shop I skipped over to the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg. They have a great exhibit from the Tidewater Quilters. JoAnne, the Patriotic Quilter, has two fabulous quilts on display. They are a very talented group.

We have a gooseberry bush so I made a gooseberry sauce this evening... 
I simmered the berries in water and honey until thickened. Then I strained out the seeds and peel. It has a sweet/tart taste. I'll serve it on top of local Homestead Creamery vanilla ice cream at my mom's tomorrow. Are you familiar with gooseberries? They are new to me.

Well, the sewing room is a little more organized. The built ins were removed from the closets so my fabric bins have a new home. Gives me a bit more space in the room to work with. I've been unpacking the small things like notions - thanks for the tip to move them in plastic baggies, Dawn. Worked like a charm!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Bit of Farm Life

  the barn early Sunday morning

our two Katahdin lambs

The lambs have been tasked with eating the grass in our pasture so we don't have to pay to get it cut. A tall order for two little lambs. We'd like to get a donkey to help them out. First we need a truck to move the donkey. Our list of things to do is long with this having to happen before that...

We also have six Silver Appleyard ducks. They are growing at a very rapid pace. They are seven weeks old now.

Here is a pic when they were about two weeks old -

We just started letting the dogs near them without strict supervision. So far, so good.

My DH, DD and self have been working very hard since we moved almost two months ago - my, how time flies! DH has been especially busy - keeping up with his job (he works from home) and doing so many of the things that need to be done on the farm. DD and I help but so much of the heavy lifting is left for him. Here he is using a broad fork to get the bamboo out of the flower bed. Seems we are destined to remove bamboo (which is highly invasive in Virginia) and old wallpaper from every house we move in to!
DD didn't let any grass grow under her feet - she planted not just one but two vegetable gardens. Didn't get a good photo. We've been enjoying lettuce and radishes and a few baby turnips. We are looking forward to tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, lots of herbs, melons, various squashes, parsnips, and I'm sure there is more I'm forgetting to mention.

The house needs a lot of work and one of the things we need to do is move the washer and dryer since the dryer doesn't vent properly in it's current location. Hence, clothes on the line.

This is just a small section of the pasture. I love this big, old oak tree casting shade.

Staunton has some great used book and antique stores. I found this cute 285K one afternoon when I was out and about. I later read poor reviews on it so we'll see how I like it once it gets a new belt and a tune-up. I got this table for my featherweight at the Quilters Unlimited Quilt Show earlier this month. It was worth the 2 1/2 hour drive back to northern Virginia to see the show. When I saw the vendor who carries these tables I remembered promising myself last year that I would get one if I ever had room for it. Now I have room.

A few more pics-

We've been adopted by the neighborhood cat. I paid her scant attention until she wouldn't leave me alone one day. She was ready to give birth to kittens and she insisted I be with her for support! It was pretty awesome. In addition to the grey and white and calico is the tortoiseshell hiding behind the grey and white. The neighbor wants the grey and white and we are still figuring out what to do with the other two. We may keep them. The momma is also a tortoiseshell and a very good mouser.

I'm still figuring out how to set up my sewing room. I feel a bit out of sync because of this. I think my problem is dealing with builtins in the closet that aren't working for me. They may need to come out. I recently did a little stitching on the featherweight - making low volume half square triangles. And I did a little hand piecing of hexagons out by the barn the other day while the ducks went swimming. I plan to get back to normal and make stitching part of every day. I'm always happier when I do.

Thanks for reading and putting up with my long absence.