More improvising

My quilting project continues. I taped the fabric backing to the kitchen floor and layered it (backing , quilt batting, and the quilt top) without much difficulty.

I started machine quilting it and realized I forgot to bring the gloves I usually wear to grip the fabric. No problem. Luckily I brought work gloves ( and a tool belt). One work glove came in handy. Looks very strange. And it’s fleece lined.

Tools of the trade

My favorite follower wants to know how I spend my time when I am not taking photos of the gorgeous scenery that surrounds us. I get crafty.

I couldn’t bring all my toys with me when we first drove to Maine because they wouldn’t all fit in my car. During my last trip home to work, I returned my loom and picked up one of my Sewing machines, a 1951 singer featherweight.

I bought fabric during that trip and planned a quilt. My grandson has requested a rainbow quilt for his new “big” bed.

I use a pincushion made by my daughter when she was in elementary school.

There is a circa 1970 iron from when the housing was occupied (as in lived in, not commandeered) by the Navy. It still has its General Services Administration label and is marked as property of the US Navy. It still works.

I did a lot if prep work when I was home and today I assembled and ironed a rainbow quilt.

And I’m feeling rather chuffed with myself.

There and back again

It’s almost summer in the Adirondacks and my calendar is full. I’ve been here, there and will be everywhere.

This wool rug came off the loom just in time for warm weather. It was woven in double width and then unfolded.  It’s sort of mind blowing. You weave part of the top later, the bottom, then the top again and it’s connected on one side. I hope the obvious middle becomes less so over time.


I sewed this baby quilt for a dear friend’s new grand daughter.

2E0D0B60-78F5-4D50-88B2-93B6A416877CAll while finally getting to spend time outdoors. I’ve been walking to work, in the woods, and hiking with friends and family. Summer is a glorious time at home.

F9F14C3D-6896-40D1-A69C-03E551FC03A5 But I won’t be here much.

I traveled to NYC to see Bruce Springsteen in his Broadway show. I think he was singing and talking directly to me. Wonderful!

A88C78BF-91B1-44D0-816D-9FD5EC256CAD16A8DBCF-C88C-4370-AB85-F8579F7D0F8BWe came across these Lady’s Slippers in the woods and hiked around and to the top of this waterfall.



557F06EE-E55F-491D-8ECB-A46B5545A6A4And enjoyed ice cream from one of the many stands that open for summer.


Next I’m headed downstate to babysit grand children for a bit, then off to North Carolina to visit that dear friend, then canoe camping with more grandchildren, traveling to Guatemala, weaving camp in New Hampshire and back to Seguin Lighthouse in the fall. What have I done?? My head is spinning.

A gift for every holiday

I have been working on a quilt for Tim for the past year, when other shiny projects didn’t catch my attention.  At one point I thought it would be an Anniversary gift in September but that didn’t happen.  Then I thought it would make a great Christmas gift to keep us warm in the cabin, where we sleep when the kids come to visit.  But that didn’t happen either and besides, I had all my holiday knitting to finish.  I would mention the quilt that was going to one day be finished at each of these holidays.

Finally it became a Valentine’s present, in use at bedtime on February 14, complete with heart quilting in the center of each square.  The batting is wool, which was very easy to work with, except for little wool dust bunnies rolling around on the floor. The quilt was entirely pieced on my Singer 66 treadle sewing machine and then machine quilted on my little Singer Featherweight sewing machine. The material is all homespun and I pieced the back with leftover fabric.  One problem with a slow, drawn out project was at some point I thought I only had to make about 6 more squares but instead I needed 16.  After the quilt was put together, I cleaned my workspace and low and behold, found the missing blocks.

Finishing a quilt always generates a satisfied sense of accomplishment.  This time it even encouraged me to pull out fabric intended for more quilts… but alas,  shiny objects, looms and spinning wheels, beckon.


Full house

It took a while to attract the goldfinches this year to our feeders.  We had chickadees, one of which ate directly from Tim’s hand, nuthatches, blue jays of course and squirrels, including a big fat grey one.  Well they’re back, in a flock.  Yesterday there was no more room at the feeders.

I’m working to keep warm.  I put this string quilt on hold while I struggled to learn how to use my knitting machine(s).  Now it’s time to finish it for the cabin.  The fabric is all homespun and I made it entirely on my Singer treadle sewing machine.  It may have even been considered exercise.


I know I’m human because of course I’ve erred but perhaps only I will know. The process was pretty simple.  Sew a lot of strips on a square piece of fabric, then clean it up.

Elli was fundamental in helping me plan the layout.  Now to add borders and layer it with wool batting.  It will weigh a ton and should be toasty.  I could have used it last night.  It was blustery cold and very windy.  We took our evening soak in the hot tub with a wind chill of 9 degrees f.  It was so windy, my robe blew right off the coat rack.  Happily Tim retrieved it for me.  But when I went to put my shoes on, I saw they had blown right down the hill on top of dear, departed Shirley’s ( my feline companion of 18 years) grave.  I had to tromp in the snow in my bare feet to retrieve them and say hello to Shirley.  Brrrrrr. A hot shower and wool clogs helped.

On the home front

I’ve been home a few days to visit. Soon I’ll be off again to see my dear son and daughter-in-law to be. In the meantime I’ve made progress on several unfinished projects.

I made several attempts on a “playful” panda hat pattern and think I have it now. This one is in fingering weight I’m gonna try the next in heavier yarn, DK.


I only made one hat but I took one picture in the mirror so they look like they’re facing different directions.

I finished and blocked my lace mohair cropped cardigan that I started sometime in the summer, when we were sailing. I remember how it blew in the wind while I was trying to work on it. I wanted it to be snug and there’s negative ease alright, I can’t eat too much until I wear it.


The wool braided rug is taking forever! I’ve become much less compulsive about how the strips fold and may finally finish it – or just declare it done.


And I’m quilting this darling bargello baby quilt. Speedy project I found online and a great way to use up odd bits of fabric.


I’m glad I had a chance to visit home. The scenery has been amazing, leaves in full color, milkweed shedding seeds.


Not for the feint of heart

Once again the Universe delivers.  I traded a deer hat for deer meat.  I received a heart, three chops and two steaks and may have had the better end of the bargain.   Yesterday I made the chops.  I seared them on the stove,  put them in the crock pot with tomato sauce, brown sugar, onions, mustard, apple cider vinegar and cooked them forever.  They were delicious.  Lean meat, good taste.  I intend to pickle the heart, which Tim is too squeamish to eat.  I’m OK with any muscle, but draw the line at filter organs like kidneys and liver.

It’s good to be home and cooking and crafting here.  I made a mini apple pie the other night.  A friend is a potter and she made a small pie plate, which is just perfect for the two of us.  Besides, I only eat pie the day it’s baked.  I’m such a princess.

Apple pie

BFF 2013 (3)


I finished two children’s hats so I can finally begin my daughter’s next sweater.  I’m still a little concerned the pirate hat may be small but we’ll see.  I can always make another one.  The aviatrix hat is so sweet, I may need one for myself.  I made it with Koigu, nice and soft merino.

Gift hats


I wound wool and knit a gauge swatch (three times) for my daughter’s Irish Moss sweater, by Alice Starmore.  Apparently I’m loose.  I’m using a merino, alpaca blend, Mountain Vista by Classic Elite.  I think I’ll focus on this and spinning for a while.

photo 1 photo 2


I was dismayed to learn from my quilting group that I can’t use the quilt I am quilting for a baby because it has a polyester, flammable fill.  So I’ll let the adults burn up.  They also pointed out my border fabric is POLYESTER and should definitely by ripped out.  Boo Hoo.

Hand quilting

Hand quilting

I think I may just hide it under the binding!

I’m not as upset as this cat, which was chased up a tree by my cat.

Loki and a cat up a tree


The interloper finally scrambled down the tree, they caterwauled for a while and then were off for a run.  Loki made it home unscathed and feeling pretty  proud of himself.

Machine quilting

Lawn mowing is machine quilting outdoors.
I realized it as I mowed yesterday before we receive another four inches of rain on top of an already soggy summer. Mowing is just like machine quilting where you seek a path, which covers the area, avoids obstacles and looks pleasing.

I didn’t understand this at first. During our first caretaker position on Seguin I remember Tim telling me to mow the lawn in U’s. Head out, make a turn and leave space between the first row which you then mow on the return trip. This sets up a pattern for alternating rows. The grass lies in stripes of opposite directions. I thought he was nuts. Five years later I get it.

My mind is filled with quilting and patterns as I machine quilt my son’s Long Trail quilt.
My little Singer Featherweight is humming along on this king size quilt. I only need to quilt the outer border and nine central motifs. I am following Leah Day’s advice for free motion quilting. I’ve modified a darning foot so it doesn’t hop up and down; my feeder dogs remain up; and my stitch length is the shortest possible. I’ve had the least tension problems I can remember.

I did however almost set the quilt on fire when the little tiny lightbulb scorched the backing. I’ll need to add a patch over it.

Back to mowing. Once I established a pleasing pattern, I was undecided if I wanted to finish the job or leave the pleasing patterns – knowing it will rain too hard the next several days to do anything about it. Tim would love it!




Snow incentive

A winter storm warning is in effect (yeah!) and I have some unfinished business to take care of.

I finished piecing and layering this lovely quilt over the weekend.

Cool, right? Each block is basically a nine patch but stretched in various ways.

I am considering finishing a bunch of quilts (I’ve acquired several almost finished projects) and then quilt them all at the same time, or serially, to work on technique. That should keep me busy for a while.

My Harmonia Rings möbius cowl is complete. I may have to arm wrestle Shirley for it though.


Second time is a charm. I almost followed the directions to a tee, except my gauge was smaller and I added a few stitches. I even added beads for the first time. I think that’s why Shirley likes it so much.

So blue

Two projects completed, infinitely more to go. This will be classified as my blue period.

I tried this new technique, which is a woven quilt!

Both passions in one project. It’s from the book, Simply Stunning Woven Quilts.

I didn’t have the right fusing material on hand and tried using the zigzag attachment on my little ole’ Singer Featherweight but it was more than it could handle. There are some amazing 3-D patterns in this book.

The technique is simple. Fuse two pieces of fabric onto Thermaheat (double sided iron-on fusible material, which I didn’t have) cut into wavy strips and weave them together. I made it in case I couldn’t weave a few placemats in time for a trip to Washington, DC to visit my darling daughter.

But I did.


I didn’t use a thick enough yarn for the weft for the first placemat so it became a towel and I was left with an odd number of placemats. I will definitely try this again – but not before my trip.