all that we do

I have never trusted the spring.  It’s a sneaky time, wrought with illness, accidents and death.  Most people think of spring as renewal – I disagree.  Behind every emerging daffodil lurks a potential catastrophe, a broken heart, an unspeakable sadness.

We started off with a three alarm fire in which one person perished, my son and another firefighter were injured, and a third collapsed and later died of a coronary event.  If you live within 60 miles of our area (Dutchess County, NY) you read about firefighter Tim Gunther’s passing.  He was given a hero’s procession – he’ll not be forgotten.

My son is healing.  He is eager to return to work.  We celebrated his 32nd birthday this week with a red devil’s food cake from Paula Deen’s grandmother’s recipe.  It was scrumptious, just like himself.  I want to follow him around like I did when he was four to make certain that no one or nothing will harm him.  My dreams are filled of baby images – his chubby legs and sweet smile.  I’ve stepped up my prayer life.

Earlier this week one of Scott’s young relatives was killed instantly in a scooter accident.  She was a vibrant 24 year old, perched on the brink of life – everything before her. Gone.

Last night I watched while a car raced up our hill and hit a neighboring cat.  The driver never even stopped although the sound of impact could be heard from many feet away.  It was that sound that made me stop in my tracks and turn to face the road.  Poor old ginger cat – you slept on my front porch and had a bowl and bedding next door as well, while your true home you avoided (too much noise?)  We all looked out for you.

I thank my lucky stars that I was given the gift of creativity.  Being able to tuck away in my studio and invent something pleasing, something beautiful or useful is a saving grace.  The garden stands idle, the tomato plants and onion sets wondering why they’ve been ignored.  Where is she?  It’s time for our roots to set down, our seeds to burst forth!  She is upstairs with her fabrics, her designs, her endless cutting and piecing and quilting.  She is healing her heart.DSCN8532DSCN8533DSCN8503DSCN8504I’ve stayed crazy busy.  The big finish this week is a quilt top for my dear sister.  It began life as a wedding gift for her son and his fiancee who live in Taos, NM.  The Cotton and Steel “Taos” line spoke to me and I launched into beautiful big blocks.  DSCN8509As the quilt came into focus it began to speak to me, softly.  My nephew HAS Taos.  My sister does not, she misses her son and perhaps a Taos quilt will be of comfort to her in ways that she will appreciate.  Curious how these things go…DSCN8519DSCN8522Not typically given to superstition, I have heard that bad things occur in three’s.  So we have have our three terrible happenings.  Perhaps it is safe to return to the garden now and take in some spring air.DSCN8523

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sunday drives and soda bread

DSCN8499DSCN8498DSCN8495My son has a new ride which is very sweet.  But I love the little ride-along in the back seat the best!  Oh Oscar – you are the dearest boy.  They have him all secured and buckled in and they are off to Chipolte for lunch!  It was a great visit.DSCN8487And I am back to baking breads.

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little britches

DSCN8475DSCN8476DSCN8473Knitter and Bad Cat approved baby bloomers!  I really love this pattern.  Knitted in Spud and Chloe’s striped merino – so soft and sweet!  Bad Cat (Maude) thinks that the goose down quilt is hers, thus the irritated expression.  She wanted to nap and those bloomers would have been a nice addition to her already comfy bed.DSCN8479This is a block that I saw over on Wombat Quilt’s blog.  It may be the center of a new medallion styled piece that is floating around in my head.  This is called Pinwheel Snowball and she offers the free pattern on her latest blog entry.  I reduced it down to 65% and liked the result a lot.DSCN8481Guilty quilty pleasures … sometimes you just have to have a small treat!

I’ve decided not to write about the bees on a regular basis as I am such a novice when it comes to the keeping.  I will continue to encourage everyone to do whatever they can to assist our important bees.  A friend who does keep bees found himself in the ER recently with some serious reactions, which came as a surprise.  Wear your appropriate gear when handling your bees!  And please, refrain from mowing down the early dandelions as they provide necessary nourishment for hungry bees.

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DSCN8470DSCN8468DSCN8467A kind reader requested an image of my completed Tessa basket.  It hasn’t been out of my sight since the finish!  I like everything about this pattern.  It’s the perfect size for my sock knitting, but roomy enough to add a few other essentials.  And I love being able to see the lining as well as the interior contents in a glance.  DSCN8464Some fabrics come along that speak to the quilter in a special way.  The Mesa line by Cotton and Steel falls into this category.  Each design seems to ask for its own spotlight and, to my mind, requires a pattern that will give it the space it deserves.  DSCN8465I chose a traditional Churn Dash and pumped the block up to 18″ – a technique that I borrowed from Brenda Ratliff (she’s brilliant, I’m a huge fan).DSCN8466DSCN8463My plan is to add 3.5″ lattice strips which will include small randomly placed shapes.  I’ve run out of Kona white again so it’s back to the store.

We are having an overcast gloomy day – appropriate for Good Friday.  Winter seems behind us now with temperatures rising into the 60’s.  Still, the good dog found a patch of snow in his yard and sat in it yesterday while sun bathing.  What a comic he is.DSCN8449And speaking of comics – check out the attitude of this one …IMG_0977A blessed Easter to all.

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fast fabric

DSCN8453A Discovery: if I place an order with Hawthorne Threads in the morning on Friday, my package arrives in the mail on Saturday!  Brilliant.  I feel incredibly lucky.DSCN8455DSCN8445DSCN8454What this all means is that I’m having a wonderful fabric-y weekend!  My best friend has been keeping me company while I snip and sew.DSCN8450It’s been a long week at work – our decisions went live on Wednesday and the rest of the week has been spent fielding calls.  There are the Joyful and the Miserable and those caught in between on the Wait List.  I take small knitting projects to work and at lunch find a quiet place to unwind.DSCN8447Finnish baby socks knit from Spud and Chloe super wash.  Merino and silk – so smooshie.  The pattern is one that I return to again and again as it provides a baby with really warm toes and legs.  They don’t fall down – they truly ARE kick-off proof.   And that neopolitan ice cream color – it’s as delicious as yarn can get.

We head into Holy Week and I am attempting to find a small still place, an altar, within.  It’s been a roller-coaster year in terms of personal relationship.  Religion is not something normally discussed here, but I do rely heavily on my spiritual life and my faith.  This week, more than ever, it’s a good thing for me to reread, revisit, revamp my gratitude list.  I know that my life is blessed.

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all of me

DSCN8425DSCN8424This is a gigantic project – incorporating ALL of my stash into one piece – a postage stamp quilt.  Sometimes I get weary and think – what?!  Are you nuts?  Maybe.  And I plow on …DSCN8433Distraction comes in all forms – especially when I want to make dresses for Adeline!  I have so many fabrics that wish to lend themselves to these pretty frocks.DSCN8434MESA arrived today – the basis for my nephew’s wedding quilt.  The fabrics are so juicy, so extraordinary, that it will be difficult to cut into them!DSCN8436Last, but not least.   Help me.  Is there anything wrong with gathering small baby items before the baby is announced?DSCN8431Just wondering …

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socks, bread quilts and a mermaid in a fishbowl

DSCN8412DSCN8415DSCN8419DSCN8421DSCN8417DSCN8423Yes, I am still knitting!  I just finished another pair of Skpy socks in Blue Moon Fiber medium weight.  The color reminds me of ripe avocado flesh.  This yarn is truly special and I keep meaning to stock (sock!) up on my favorites.  The problem is that BMFA does not make a color that I don’t need.

At the end of a long winter I started making artisan bread again.  Go figure.  I have a problem keeping the dough warm as our old house is very drafty.  I said to myself – “Self, you are a quilter.  Make a bread bowl quilt!”  Duh.  This little mushroom and gnome are backed in terrycloth which makes for a substantially warmer covering than a dish towel provides.  Does anyone out there still make bread?  Do you think that there will ever be a need for a bread bowl quilt pattern? LOL

My daughter has a stepsister who has an enchanting five year old daughter.  Alyvia is a strong minded girl and she stayed outdoors too long during our zero degree days.  As a result, she sustained terrible frostbite on her small legs and was hospitalized.  She underwent a painful stay in the burn unit, but I am happy to report that she is healing well.  I decided to make a throw for her days ahead resting on the couch – mermaids (which she loves) in fishbowls.  Imagine having your very own mermaid and small octopus swimming about in a fishbowl?  I enjoyed the making very much.

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randomly checking in

DSCN8407My goal in 2015 is to get ALL of my socks completed and off the needles!  This is one that I started working on last summer when I was on Nantucket.  It might be an Anne Hanson pattern.DSCN8403A fun fabric that I discovered at the local Joann’s.  I am thinking that it would make a great cover for my new Juki machine (which I still haven’t plugged in).DSCN8408A typical Ikea cubby where I pretend to have management skills and of course, the fabric wins out.DSCN8402My Charlie Harper piece which is nearly completed.  I am loving this so much!  It will go to work with me and completely enhance my work station!DSCN8410My latest fabric addiction.  There is no hope for me!

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this and that

DSCN8389DSCN8392DSCN8390Isn’t she pretty?  I think that we will be very happy together.  Never mind that I’ve already forgotten how to thread her …DSCN8388I was able to get a copy of Kumiko Fujita’s book, ‘318 Patchwork Patterns’.  The alphabet patterns are wonderful and I hope to make a baby quilt fashioned after the one that Ayumi’s friends made and gifted her with.  It is said that imitation is the purest form of flattery, and I agree!  DSCN8387Small log cabins made entirely from scraps.  By the time that this project is completed I should have some experience with freehand quilting under my belt.  It would be fun to be able to quilt this one on the Juki.  (Her name is Valentine). DSCN8386A wedding quilt is coming along nicely.  This is the Snow Blossom pattern found on Quilter’s Cache.DSCN8397Six weeks into 2015 finds me fully engaged in WIP’s!  DSCN8395Today marks the fourth anniversary of my father’s passing.  It’s about 7 below outdoors with a fierce biting wind.  He would have spent the day indoors stoking his wood stove and watching Nascar.  My mother would have made little snacks for them to share on wooden tray tables.  The house would smell of something good – something homemade.

Today my mother and I will bundle up (be sure to wear your knickers!) and drive to the cemetery where we will sit in the car and reminisce on his life.  We will laugh because he was a scoundrel and a very comical man.  And we will weep a little because there is a hole in our lives that cannot be filled up.  We miss him.

Later we will go to the fabric store because that is what we do.










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twos, blues, and a R.I.P.

DSCN8375DSCN8372Two new placemats for mom – she loves the color blue. I have never been a great fan and my stash is pretty pathetic.  Guess we all know how to remedy that problem!  Hello Hawthorne Threads …DSCN8385The little Friedlander shirts are calling to me.  Make more, make more …DSCN8382DSCN8383Blocks for my Hive – again, I am seriously light on the blues.DSCN8381Auditioning blocks for a wedding quilt – now THERE’S a blue that I can get behind!  Pearl Bracelets continues to be a go-to fabric for me.

I’ve posted pictures of my amazing 40+ year old Bernina Record.  I had to get it out last week because my 180 was back in the repair shop.  Something terrible happened.  The Buffalo, otherwise known as my golden retriever, ran under my sewing table, got caught in the cords and took the machine with him.  All the way down the hall.

I am emotionally connected to that machine in ways that I cannot describe.  It knows things about me that no other person (or machine) could possibly know.  I literally have been GRIEVING its demise.  But gone it is, as the people I trust to repair called and gave me the bad news.  So I did what any good quilter would do.

I ordered a Juki 2010Q.  And I feel a little bit better.

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