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.
The Pineapple Sage – last in the garden to flower – a crimson kiss for departing hummingbirds.
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.
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.