cautious cuts

DSCN7861DSCN7858DSCN7860DSCN7856Do 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!

Today’s Buzz;

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.

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part 3, the dream of the wash-ashore

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’.DSCN7833There 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.DSCN7830DSCN7826DSCN7829DSCN7837DSCN7850DSCN7849Baby 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.

DSCN7851DSCN7853The Pineapple Sage – last in the garden to flower – a crimson kiss for departing hummingbirds.

 

Today’s Buzz;

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.  DSCN7847

 

 

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part 11

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nantucket, I miss you (part 1)

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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.  DSCN7796DSCN7778Every day is a beach day.  I could not decide which of the five spots I loved most.  Each has its own charm.DSCN7737DSCN7815Town or wharf – the charm never ends.

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synergy

DSCN7727DSCN7730DSCN7729Synergy 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.

DSCN7726The 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.DSCN7728Raffles 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.

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wanderings

This is something that one does not see often, if ever.  DSCN7719

DSCN7717Can 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!DSCN7722DSCN7721I 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 ….DSCN7724

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.

 

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quietly busy

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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 -DSCN7690

One single yellow tree peony bloom … late July.  Go figure.DSCN7696

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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

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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.

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week of the day lily

DSCN7635DSCN7644DSCN7653DSCN7651DSCN7640DSCN7645DSCN7642July 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.  DSCN7678DSCN7676DSCN7677DSCN7675DSCN7672Everyone 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

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before the rain

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!DSCN7515

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.DSCN7520DSCN7526There 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.DSCN7513Quilts were aired out before the storm and dogs brushed . . .DSCN7512And I got busy working on a sweet garter stitch cardigan for Adeline -DSCN7522DSCN7523I 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.

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how it begins

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.DSCN7486 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.DSCN7498The 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.DSCN7491He 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.DSCN7505DSCN7504DSCN7508DSCN7510 Each quilt has its own journey.  This one began with the remembrance of those lazy summer afternoons spent hanging out with chickens. DSCN7500 The agapanthus that my sister left me is getting ready for the big reveal!  I can hardly wait.  Meanwhile, I have these …DSCN7495 Yes, the plan is to paint the house when the New Dawn climber is finished with its show.

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