Saturday, September 18, 2021

New England Visit--Part 2







Cyndi Black's quilt shop, The Busy Thimble, is like a cottage in the woods in Litchfield, Maine. Wendy Reed drove me over the winding, hilly roads of New England to the quaint shop. I had been here once before with my daughter, six years ago. I was so happy to be back again, and be greeted by this wonderful sight--that is Cyndi on the porch to meet us.








Once inside, I let my monthly minis from last month go to their new owners.


We had a chance to look over a wonderful work in progress that Cyndi brought out to share.

And we did some serious fabric shopping, while talking and laughing, and solving the world's problems. Quilters are so good at that!

But I want to give you a trunk show of Cyndi's wonderful little quilts from all over the shop. I was in small quilt heaven! Hang on, and enjoy! Click to enlarge the photos to get a better look.

In this one Wendy is being a good sport and standing in the photo, too, because I told asked her to. 





For some reason, this photo will not enlarge like the others.

Wasn't this a fun show of little quilts? I have more photos, but you get the idea. It was a dream come true to visit Cyndi and her shop again. She is a gracious woman, and a talented quilter.

After the shopping, we went outside to get a selfie together, sans the masks. You may have already seen this on Wendy's blog, but here we are again. A memorable couple of hours, that went by far too quickly!

I was in the presence of greatness with these two women, and loving every minute of it. Thank you, ladies, for the friendship and the laughter--and the fabric!! Don't forget the fabric!

This is what I brought home. Most of it is in 1/2 yard to 1 yard cuts. There are a couple of charm packs and a few bundles of smaller cuts. My focus was toiles, conversation prints, older Judie Rothermel prints, and anything else that caught my eye. And how did I get all of this home? Well, I hadn't brought a carry-on bag, so I stuffed the fabric in this lobster shopping bag I had picked up in Maine, and that was my carry-on for the trip home. In the photo it is resting on my checked bag. It was heavier than it looks, and when I had to lug it through the Chicago airport on our layover, I wished it had wheels!

It was a magical morning with Cyndi and Wendy, and I hated to have it end. 

My  next post, Part 3, will cover my visit to The New England Quilt Museum. It did not disappoint!

Until next time, be kind, especially when you think someone doesn't deserve it.

Janet O.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

New England Visit--Part 1

I won't impose upon you with all the visits to cemeteries, lighthouses, historic sites and seafood restaurants. But I will share with you the happenings of a quilty nature. Part 1 is about meeting up with the wonderful quilter, Wendy Reed (The Constant Quilter blog). (She may not be thrilled with this focus on her, but here goes.)

These good people welcomed us to their home, and after DH and I chatted with them a bit, Wendy and I sneaked off to her sewing rooms while Gordon and Gregg talked guy stuff. :)

 It was such a kick to see Wendy in her happy place, with her vintage and repro fabrics around her. Can you see one of her current WIP--the bird applique project hanging behind her?

I wish now that I had been even more observant. There was a heavy case of sensory overload going on with me. And in the presence of such a talent, I was a bit awestruck. I know, Wendy, you are as down-to-earth as can be, but you know me and applique. And it is like breathing to you. I was just soaking in a master in her element.



After perusing the delights of this room we moved over to the sewing room "annex"--a room across the hall with more fabric, a bed layered with lovely quilts, and walls bedecked with ribbons from quilt shows. We had entered so she could show me the rest of her stash, but it turned into a private bed turning. I felt very privileged to be witness to this event.

I didn't take a photo of every single quilt (though I wish now that I had), but I'll share a few of them, with Wendy's permission. If you follow Wendy (and if you don't, you should), you have probably seen many of these on her blog.

                      It was incredible to see this one up close.


                                 Love this circle quilt.

Here Wendy is pointing out some of her favorite conversation prints in this quilt.

                                    This cheddar background is so yummy!


Isn't the blue background stunning?

Both of the photos I took of this quilt turned out blurry, but I wanted to include it anyway, because Wendy, Cyndi Black and I had been among the group that swapped blocks with Pam Buda when she made her quilt for the pattern cover. This is Circa 1880. 


                                                         Wendy's Dear Jane quilt.

This is Wendy's "Community Supper", made from blocks sent to her when she put out a call for them during the COVID lockdown. It is a wonderful quilter's version of potluck.
                                                                   It was a treat to spend an evening with Wendy and Gordon. Such good people. I am thrilled that I had this opportunity, and I am sorry if I have embarrassed you with all this attention, Wendy, but you did say I could post whatever I wanted. Can we still be friends? ;)   
Next time, New England--Part 2 will cover our visit to Cyndi Black at her shop, The Busy Thimble. Stay tuned for a show of her wonderful doll quilts!
Until then,
Janet O.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Monthly Mini x2

With Mom's passing in July, I didn't get a monthly mini made that month. I have made up for it this month by making two. I am linking this post with Wendy at The Constant Quilter blog. She is our monthly mini motivator and mentor.

 On the left is "Busy Thimbles in Blue", and on the right is "Scrap Basket Half-hex with Chrome Detailing."

I wanted these to be the same, but different. Each one has two striped borders and two tone-on-tone borders. The tonal and striped prints are reversed in position from one to the other. The centers of each are scrappy, and use one shape that repeats and flips. The tonal print on each one got cable quilting, while the striped print on each got straight line quilting. I tried to use an unexpected color on each binding, though I will admit that the chrome yellow is definitely more unexpected than the grey/blue.

I did stitch-in-the-ditch around the thimbles. I knew that there wouldn't be good daylight to get a photo showing the quilting by the time I had this one bound, so I took the photos before sewing the binding down on the back.

The quilting on the half-hex was a little harder for me to decide. I started out quilting vertically between the rows of hexie shapes, but it wasn't enough. To quilt along the seams horizontally would have emphasized that these were half-hex shapes, and I didn't want to do that.  I finally chose to do diagonal lines through the rows of hexies, as if I was doing the hanging diamond design. Then I wondered if I should make diagonal lines coming from the other direction, but decided that would be too dense for this little thing. So I left it alone, and it has grown on me.

I am writing this on August 23rd, the day Hubby officially retired, after over 40 years with the same company. In the morning we are flying out to the east coast. By the time this post goes live I will have spent a week in New England hunting down ancestors, while including a couple of quilty adventures along the way. From Maine to Massachusetts, I will have scoured graveyards, visited historical societies, and witnessed where my Mayflower ancestors landed and lived. And if all has gone according to plan, I will have met Wendy, The Constant Quilter (see link above), and have paid another visit to Cyndi (Busy Thimble blog) at her Busy Thimble quilt shop. 

The day this posts I will be trying to squeeze in a visit to The New England Quilt Museum on the way to the airport to fly home. It has been three years since I was last in Massachusetts for our oldest son's wedding reception, and six years since I visited Maine while on a trip to see my oldest daughter who was living in New Hampshire at the time. This is my 6th visit to New England and I have loved every trip. I will share more about it after I have recovered from all the fun.

Thank you to everyone for the very kind and loving comments on my last post about Mom's passing. I tried to get as many answered as I could before we left, but I didn't get very far. I will try to catch up soon. Is anyone else having trouble with comments on their blog NOT coming through to their email? About midway through the comments I received on my last post, they stopped coming through. I went to settings and it doesn't even give me the option to select an email to receive comments. That has never happened to me before. I sent feedback to Blogger. Hopefully it is a glitch they will work out. They finally fixed the header photo problem, so I will wait and see. But it is a pain to not be able to reply directly.

One last glamor shot of the two little quilts and then I am out of here. :)

Take care, until next time!

Janet O.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

For Mom

After having been moved into a skilled nursing facility on July 6th, my Mom was a resident for one week before she fell and shattered bones in several places. She spent another week heavily drugged, to mask as much pain as possible, and then finally let go of this life, of which she had been tenacious.

           The figurine below is from Willow Tree and is called "Loving My Mother". It was gifted to me by a dear friend when she learned of Mom's passing.

As children my siblings and I remember Mom often teasing us that a song we learned in our church's children's auxiliary was something she wanted to have sung at her funeral--by us. But when I sat down with her 2 1/2 years ago to plan her funeral program, she decided to have it sung by her granddaughters, granddaughters-in-law, and great-granddaughters instead. We changed "Mother" to "Gramma".

These are the lyrics to the song "I Often Go Walking":

I often go walking in meadows of clover,

And I gather armfuls of blossoms of blue.

I gather the blossoms the whole meadow over;

Dear mother, all flowers remind me of you.

O mother, I give you my love with each flower

To give forth sweet fragrance a whole lifetime through;

For if I love blossoms and meadows and walking,

I learn how to love them, dear mother, from you.

A few days after Mom's funeral, when I finally had a chance to breathe, I pulled out the tub of scraps from Mom's quilts and found the bag of leftovers from the blue and white "Storm at Sea" quilt she made for me decades ago. Then I pulled down the thick loose-leaf of quilt patterns and photos I saved from magazines that Mom was discarding many years ago. I remembered one I wanted to use.

I only had a photo of this one, and a sketch I had made years ago of possible block construction. An internet search for a bouquet block pattern yielded nothing that resembled this. In Brackman's Encyclopedia the Crown of Thorns block seemed to come closest--but that doesn't have patterns, so I was back where I started. I drew up my own pattern, making sure to avoid the set-in seams that were used in the quilt in the magazine photo. I could only tell that when I studied the blocks closely. It is obvious on one of the blossoms made from striped fabric.

There is significance to the fabrics in this little quilt.

Each of the blue "blossoms" is made of scraps from my Storm at Sea quilt, but the blossom to the right was also from the last maternity dress I made. When I had my last baby (over 30 years ago), Mom said she would use the cotton fabric from the dress in quilts--and she did. I used that same fabric to bind this quilt. The green is from a quilt my brother now owns, and the purple was from the last quilt Mom made, when she was 85. Blue and purple had been her favorite colors. The background fabric is little blue blossoms on a white background. I don't know if Mom ever used it in a quilt, but it was from her stash. This little quilt finished up at just over 9" square.

I hand quilted everything on this--even the stitch-in-the-ditch--in homage to Mom, because to her if it wasn't hand quilted, it wasn't a quilt. She taught me everything I know about hand quilting, especially the tiny stitches. She was always very gracious about my machine quilting. :)                                                                                          

I call this "Blossoms of Blue". Mom, this one's for you!

Janet O.

                                            The quilt on Mom's casket was one she made in 2003. It is, of course, all hand quilted.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

A Belated Monthly Mini

I'm just going to pretend it isn't July yet, and post this as my June Monthly Mini, linking up with Wendy at The Constant Quilter blog.

This was Pam Buda's recent "Quilt Archeology" project and she called it Abigail's Doll Quilt.  It is based on an old doll quilt that she believes is a "cutter" from a larger quilt. It is originally a two color quilt. I bought the kit she offered on her website, and I planned to follow the two color theme, but you know me and two color quilts--love the look, but really struggle to make them myself. So, of course, I didn't.




This photo lets you see the quilting better. It is SITD around the triangles, and part of a cable pattern in the sashing. 

The backing is a piece that has been in the stash for a while.


The binding got stitched down while Zooming with Chooky and friends--such a fun time. I was on for a few hours in the afternoon, and joined up again for a couple of hours in the night. When you have a tedious step in a project that you have been putting off, this is a great time to do it. You listen, chat and laugh and before you know it, the task is completed and you didn't even notice how tedious it was.

My iPad only shows 9 people per page, but there were sometimes 20 of us on at a time, from Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Canada, USA--and probably more, but those are the ones I can recall from my time with them.

I've had the opportunity to Zoom with a couple of other blog friends this past month and I have to say, it's the next best thing to being there! Thank you, ladies, for your willingness to visit.

Yesterday I made a quick stop in an antique mall and looked through their vintage quilts.  This particular mall is crammed full and all of the aisles are narrow. There was nowhere to unfold the quilts. One in particular really caught my eye. I just took down the hanger and draped it over a pile of rugs. This is it.


Look at the dense quilting--the stitches are small and uniform.

Does anyone feel confidant in giving a time frame as to when they think this might have been made? I could find no label or signature/date in my effort to get a good look without being able to unfold it. 

Check out the beautiful Baptist Fans quilted to create a border around the outside edge.                                   


And the photo below shows the only stain I could find, without being able to open up the whole quilt. I am really tempted to go back and get this quilt. I keep telling myself I don't want to be a collector. But maybe it is too late for that kind of self talk. :)


Wishing my friends in the USA a wonderful Independence Day celebration this weekend, and I hope my Canadian friends had a lovely Canada Day--even if it was on lock down.

Be unexpectedly kind to someone today--they probably need it, whether you know it or not.

Until next time,

Janet O.

Oh, I meant to say that I got the widget all worked out, with help from their team. If you have been a follower via email, this post should still come through to your email. Please let me know if this is working for you.