Do all quilters have one special fabric line that they cannot bear to cut into? I think it is so. Always a huge fan of Charlie Harper’s wildlife illustrations, I nearly fainted when I discovered FABRIC displaying his art. Mecca. I purchased what I could and put it aside. I thought about it, I dreamed about it and then clever Melissa Lunden published her Tatami Mat pattern. . . it was time to cut into my little stash!
We have crossed the autumn threshold – the winds are very brisk. If you are a Beekeeper it is time to secure the hives for winter. Make sure your covers are weighted down and waterproof.
When one returns to Nantucket to stay, the natives refer to that person as a ‘wash-ashore’. I like that. I want to be a wash-ashore nantucketian. I want to discover the ways to live on that small island, 30 miles out to sea – water in all directions. I want to stitch my quilts, paint my mermaids, knit my sweaters and watch my dog chase the waves onto the beach. I want to experience the dim winter light, people hurrying home, snowflakes gathering on the shoulders of boiled woolen jackets – cobbled streets muffled, still. And the silence. I want to create Sailor’s Valentines and paddle around the harbor in a faded red dinghy. To make friends with the locals and be invited in, carrying a hot dish, covered in gingham.
When my sister and I walked through the old sections in town she pointed out the Sisters’ Houses as well as many of the other historic buildings. I could close my eyes and envision the people of another time, perhaps when whaling was the major industry and life was hard and often bitter. Behind closed lids I could see long skirts swirling down narrow alleys, widow walks being paced by anxious mothers, peddlers on the sidewalks, struggling with carts and livestock. I discovered that when the whaling industry went into decline, the islanders raised sheep for wool and meat. Nantucket is a place that I relate to on so many levels.
There was knitting on Nantucket. I bought some delicious Anzula sock yarn in the traditional Cape Cod ‘red’.There is a wonderful amount of cashmere mixed with this merino and the result is a light soft-as-a-feather sock.
Fall was waiting in New York for my return. Baking, quilt making and garden strolls were in order before hanging up the flip-flops and heading back to work.Baby quilts are in order – I have three that need my attention before too long. Sadly, none are for my family, but that does not diminish the joy of creating these small pieces.
I wanted to talk about bee skeps, but I’m late for my Guild meeting so I leave you with this instead: Pattern by Amy, (During Quiet Play)found at Craftsy.
Nantucket is stealthy – she tiptoes into your heart and soul, she changes you. The magic begins in the harbor, as soon as you step from the ferry. You are met by September’s abundant roses, still tumbling and climbing over fences and rooftops. Every day is a beach day. I could not decide which of the five spots I loved most. Each has its own charm.Town or wharf – the charm never ends.
Synergy is the name of this quilt that I made for our Friends Helping Friends 2014 charity event. Synergism is what happens with this group – they come together and do good work, quietly, without fanfare. I feel profoundly grateful to be involved.
The echinacea borders seemed so perfect – a flower with healing properties. The people that our event helps sincerely need all of the comfort and healing that we can offer. Once again this year Kristin of Under The Rainbow Quilting generously provided the machine quilting. She is an extraordinarily generous soul and she has a boatload of talent! I am very honored to be able to call her my friend and have the opportunity to work with her. She is very patient with me as I inevitably run close to deadline. I need to work on that.Raffles for this piece are five dollars, or six for twenty. If you live nearby and would like to take a chance, let me know. We raffle this beauty off on Saturday.
And I am off to Nantucket.
Today’s Buzz; Remember to keep clean water in your bee ‘spas’ daily. In the northeast we are experiencing a very dry late summer and the bees especially need hydrating.
Can you imagine? My dog chased a woodchuck up into the apple tree! I saw the entire event with my own eyes. Woodchucks can climb trees! This fellow realized (with horror, I’m sure) that it was either up, or over, as the dog was hot on his heels. I think he surprised himself more than anyone else. It took nearly 30 minutes for the poor soul to regain enough composure to begin the slow descent down the tree. When he hit the ground he sprinted for his burrow. I didn’t see him again for a few days. Imagine the story he will have to share with his grandhogs!I wanted to show what my work area looked like this past weekend. While there were wanderings of the woodchuck sort outdoors, a very different wandering story was being created indoors. I had an order for a baby quilt using the Wee Wandering line. Love it. Juicy stuff. Making the insert panel ‘fit’ with the blocks was not so easy for my mathematically-challenged brain, but I finally nailed it. It’s off to Kristin next (Under The Rainbow Quilting) for her brilliant machine work. Credit goes to Sarah Jane, the designer of the fabric line and quilt. All piecing done on my 40 year old Bernina ….
If deserves a round of applause. What a workhorse this machine has been over the years. Chipped and yellowing, it plows through anything that I ask it to do and it does it better than my newer version which is on the fritz AGAIN. I wish that I had a walking foot for this model.
My daughter’s good friend is marrying later this month. I think that this St Louis 16 patch says ‘congratulations and much happiness’, would you agree? My embroidery skills are lacking, but I mean well! I admire those who can shape perfect letters and forms very much, but know, without a doubt, that mine will always be on the ‘primitive’ end of the scale! And it’s all ok. I am learning new things that I needed to know. I am learning that if the work makes me happy, then that is enough. I am enough. Repeat after me ….. lol
Today’s Buzz; Honey bees inherited stings from their wasp-like ancestors who sting to attack, to kill, to paralyze. Honey bees only sting in defense and as a last resort. If you brush them away and the stinger remains embedded, the bee will become disemboweled and die.
July is the month when the day lily border shines. Although unweeded, it is still spectacular. One learns to look beyond the wild raspberry canes to the gorgeous shades of Africa, of Sunday Gloves, of Bela Lugosi and all of the hyperions. Most of these plants came from my mother’s original garden, divided and carefully transported to create a stunning display, like clockwork, each mid July. I am learning to appreciate the beauty and let the weeds fade into the background … maybe next week … maybe not. I have become what I dislike most in a gardener – lazy!
My LYS has a tent sale each summer and I try to put some of my small fabric needle cases in the shop. Everyone wants one of Ayumi’s lunch baskets! I make them as fast as I can, but cannot meet the demand. When I grow weary of this pattern I remind myself that it funds my fabric addiction. I sew, and the weeds flourish!
Today’s Buzz; ‘The bee is considered an emblem of Christ: his mildness and mercy on one side (honey) and his justice on the other (sting).’ – from The Beekeepers Bible
We knew to expect heavy rain and stormy conditions for the 4th of July. The roses must have known as well – they gave us their all just before the buckets of water fell. And continued to fall ALL. DAY. LONG. Farewell barbecue picnic!
This New Dawn climber is only two years old. She certainly knows how to turn on the charm. Could it be that those chopped banana peels had some influence on all of this beauty? I’m pretty faithful about digging them into the soil around the roots of my roses. The above mentioned buckets of water completely shattered this glory, but I was happy to have taken the image before that occurred.There are poppies everywhere I look – I’ll be able to send lots of promised seed to my friend Pratima this season! They somehow survived the damaging storms.Quilts were aired out before the storm and dogs brushed . . .And I got busy working on a sweet garter stitch cardigan for Adeline -I also prepared and consumed far too much holiday food. I’ve spent the day being unfocused and downright lazy. No weeding, no planting or pruning, no housework or cooking … unfamiliar territory for me to be so unmotivated! I think I’ll go to bed early.
Today’s Buzz; In the herb garden be sure to plant heathers, lavender, rosemary and thyme. You will be providing your bees with some of their favorite blossoms.
Wishing everyone a wonderful Independence holiday weekend.