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.
This is something that one does not see often, if ever.
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.
We start each week by airing out the quilts, weather permitting. We’ve had glorious weather! A huge, never before seen event in the garden -
One single yellow tree peony bloom … late July. Go figure.
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
There has been some knitting -
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.
Today’s Buzz is first up because it is THAT important! Last time I mentioned that our busy bees get very thirsty and finding clean shallow water can be difficult for them. Shallow is the operative word here, because bees will drown quickly if they have nothing to anchor themselves on to. You can make a bee ‘cafe’ very easily using things that you probably have in the potting shed. A shallow wide bowl whose bottom is completely covered with clean stones, shells, moss, etc works perfectly. I add fresh flower blossoms and water each morning. The bees like to land on the moss and have a relaxing sip or two. Be sure to change the water daily and use bottled if yours has chlorine in it.The Go-To-Guy came home from a lengthy fishing trip this week and I told him that he looked like he had just wandered down from Crippled Creek! He was mildly amused.He is very overdue for a haircut because he is joining some friends in July who will have their heads shaven for the Friends Helping Friends charity that we support. I don’t know who will pledge money to observe this phenomenon, but I personally think he is both brave and dorky to agree to this. It’s all for charity, he explains. Go figure.
When we first moved to this little slice of heaven, I used to take my needlework outdoors every spare moment that I found – to sit quietly and take it all in, to dream, to make gardens in my mind, to unwind from the constant cleaning and unpacking. Early on, the neighbor’s chickens would stroll across the lawns to join me, scratching out a place to sit, taking individual dust baths, and pecking at the occasional unfortunate passing bug. I loved their quiet chatter and the clucking sounds, the comforting buck, buck, BUCK that I learned to imitate. I miss them. I entertained thoughts of chicken husbandry, but quickly found that they required more than I was willing to offer in terms of care and housing. Anyway.
I found a delightful blog while doing my chicken research. She calls herself Henhouse and celebrates all things vintage-quilty. She raises chickens. She’s my kind of broad. She created a Spider Web quilt which I really admired – so much so that I started my own version last night. Each quilt has its own journey. This one began with the remembrance of those lazy summer afternoons spent hanging out with chickens. The agapanthus that my sister left me is getting ready for the big reveal! I can hardly wait. Meanwhile, I have these … Yes, the plan is to paint the house when the New Dawn climber is finished with its show.
Admission cycles always spin slowly in June. We’ve selected our class and they have replied. The trustees have met, the matriculation ceremony is over and the campus is delightfully serene and emptied. The work load shifts and you may find staff catching up on their reading.
I, of course, will be doing something fiber-related. Like stitching a binding onto a badly neglected quilt. I’m cleaning up my computer files.
The quilt pictured above is one that I made for my mother several years ago. It’s a favorite of mine and I thought that she was partial to it as well. But when my sister moved to Savannah last month, that particular quilt travelled with her. What? (picture woman with steam blasting out of her ears!) I could not cotton to my mother’s explanation of its disappearance so I asked my sister … and she was uncharacteristically snippy. She informed me that I would have to come south to fetch it. (picture woman with sour lemon in her mouth expression). She went on to explain that she planned to put the quilt in the guest room so that mom would feel more at home when visiting. Family. Can’t live with them, can’t shoot them.
Back to cleaning up the computer …
Today’s Buzz: Bees pollinate 1/3 of our food supply. If bees disappear our markets will be emptied of everything from apples to herbs – and that is just the beginning.
I learned how to sew on my grandmother’s ancient Featherweight. It randomly shocked me with insidious electrical currents. Sewing was painful, but I persisted, knowing that Edith (my grandmother) never favored me one iota and that this was her way of reminding me (from the grave) that I was the low man on the grandchild totem pole.
When I turned 20, my generous mother-in-law bought me a Bernina. A BERNINA. It paid for itself within a year as I became a sewing dervish! Robes? No problem. Men’s shirts? How many? Quilts? I’m all over it. I loved that machine – the original steel workhorse. And no, I did not name it – it had too much of my respect to attach some cheesie name to it. Instead, it was simply and reverently referred to as, “the Bernina”.
Thirty odd years pass and the Significant Other bestows a new Bernina-with-bells-and-whistles upon me. I swoon and name it. I tuck the workhorse away in the closet next to the prickley featherweight. I don’t look back until the day that I hear the terrible metallic chink! And suddenly there is no knee action. Heaven and Hell cannot raise that foot. I tear my hair out, I have an anxiety attack, I take it to the machine shop and I sheepishly pull out the workhorse.
Two hundred dollars and three weeks later I am reunited with the machine which no longer deserves its name.
That sad event occurred nearly two years ago. Deja vu yesterday. Identical chink. Is it time to pull out the featherweight? Or should I sell my soul (and a few quilts) and buy a Juki w/o any computerized parts?
I have quilts to make!
Today’s Buzz: It is a very general belief that you must not swear at bees; they will either die or sting those who use bad language.
-from The Sacred Bee, Hilda Ransome