Saturday, June 28, 2014

Under the Bed

It's a great idea to look under the bed once in a while and go through the bags of quilts stashed there.  I found this quilt yesterday -- along with others that, at least, I remembered.  This one is recognizable by the fabrics I know I had, especially the batiks on the side that is squares  But I have no memory of making the strip-pieced squares or the quilt as a whole. I know I did. I love making reversible quilts. This is a small one, just for laps or maybe for somewhat sophisticated youngsters.  I suppose I'll return it to where it was and try to remember that I have it in case a time arises when I meet someone who might like to have it.  There are other bags of quilts under another bed and on the top shelves of three closets and there may be other surprises.  It's a nice surprise and maybe others will be too. Oh, and one bag under the bed is UFOs -- unfinished objects/quilts -- I didn't open it.  I've got enough quilting to do to keep me quite busy all summer so I'm not in the mood for finishing these tops that, for one reason or another, I didn't manage to layer and quilt.  From talking to other quilters and reading magazines, I know that this is not a unique situation.  No red face here. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer Solstice means Roses

The last couple weeks of June Cape Cod is full of roses.  From deepest red to white, they are everywhere.  Some are even so old fashioned they have true rose scent - like these beside a fence that I walk past from the parking lot to the beach where I walk in the morning.  I always literally stop and smell the roses.  What a way to begin a day.

The wild roses on the dunes behind the beach, white, pink, red, are already past their prime.  They are simple rose with four lovely petals and they too have a wonderful scent. I have a spot where I sit close a bit patch of pink and white roses and stare at the ocean - I can see that larger boats anchored just outside Martha Vineyard's harbor. Most mornings, out near the horizon, I see one of the ferries crossing to the Vineyard. And usually I see a fishing boat.  It's peaceful, a wonderful way to start a day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Something new for me

On my design wall, a work in progress, bolder and odder than I have ever made. I'm influenced by Karen Griaska (see sidebar) who has a pattern for making this very easy block.  This is  by no means a final arrangment.  And this is about half (maybe less than half) the blocks for the final quilt.  I'm staying in the red, blue and green colors, mostly, and using up a lot of my smaller pieces of fabric.  The thing looks better here than it feels close up.  It kind of scares me. As can be seen these 8-1/2 inch blocks ae not sewn together and when they are the whole thing will be smaller, of course.  I love the ease of sewing the blocks.  I measure the pieces according to Karen's directions and mark sewing lines tapering so I get that fan effect. but I cut straight edged pieces and there's a fair amount of waste but that's okay, these are pieces I want to use up.  I love that I can do a square or two a day and after a while I'll have enough. I've done that kind of sewing before. And I have two or three quilts-to-be gestating via swaps from Swap-bot where I get one or two blocks of a certain type of pattern a month, add some of my own, and in a few months have enough for a quilt. The cheery quilt in the previous post was accumulated that way. This works with my generally busy life and desire to sew a little most days but not immerse myself in a big project.

Karen's reputation was made by her book about using selvages and I have made several quilts using selvages -- all thanks to her. I will probably make more ... I've got a bag of selvages in my closet and keep adding more as I cut them off fabrics I'm working with.  I read Karen's blog every day where she regularly discovers all kinds of wonderful quilts on both Etsy and Pinterest (neither of which sites I frequent. The quilt world is so various and so exciting these days one cannot keep up but her blog helps me see things I wouldn't see otherwise.  And both her quilts and some she prints inspire me.  By the end of the summer I'll have enough blocks to put this quilt together and then we'll see if I have nerve enough to display it on my bed.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Finished: A Modern Quilt

I find "modern" quilts refreshing -- the white backgrounds, the bright colors, the simple shapes.  After all the pieced quilts with elaborate appliqued borders and fussy quilting, I love he simplicity of the quilts that are being called "Modern".  I didn't know I was making one, in fact.  This pattern of
"'picture frames" (for want of whatever it's name might be) was a Swap-bot challenge. I think four or five of the sets of four in this quilt were not made by me. At first I thought it was too fussy to make, but then I realized it was really fairly quick and easy so I made enough for bed quilt.  It's been pieced and partly quilted for a few months. Now with summer on the cusp I wanted something bright and light on the bed so I finished it.  And I like it.  Maybe there'll be another modern quilt in my future.

Often even the "modern" quilters do a lot of quilting -- or send their quilts to long arm quilters. I am too frugal to spend that kind of money and too lazy to do the complex machine quilting that requires a skill I don't have and an amount of sewing space I don't have, including more "deep throat" on my sewing machine.  So I quilted it simply and I'm satisfied. It adds a summer feel to my small bedroom.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

If Michaelangelo's David lived near Domino's ...

The museum at the Heritage Plantation where Rachel and I spent an hour and a half Tuesday afternoon has a display of "Wicked plants".
All the usual suspects were there and many more -- like eggplant and mangoes both of which have some toxins that most of us aren't susceptible to.  It was multimedia and geared toward grade school kids but we enjoyed it. The one docent on duty was very happy to have visitors to talk to.  She said this mini statue of David is the most photographed.  I can see why. Imagine this guy in jeans with the belt quite low and a tee shirt stretched over tha paunch.  He would even cover his beautiful curls with a worn-backwards baseball cap.  If David looked like this, imgine the weight on Goliath.

As you see, the caption is "high fructose corn syrup" -- I think most of that fat came from pizza and Big Macs and lots of fries with catsup but he also drank huge amounts of soda. 

I just read that the country with the most obesity is England -- I find that hard to believe when I walk around the mall.  The same article said that China also now has an obesity problem.  Every country with a fast food mentality has the problem (China doesn't seem to have the fast food strips that nearly all our cities have, but they have always had the street venders frying all kind of things.  It doesn't take much money to spend the day snacking.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Beach Roses in Full Bloom

The beach roses (rosa rugosa, I believe) all popped open over the weekend. Most are a soft pink, many are a bright pink, some are really red and some are white. They are all intermingled in large patches -- very briary, one cannot wade through them.  I don't know if different colors grow on the same plant or if there are different plants.  It doesn't matter to me, they are beautiful.  I like to stand near a big patch and do my tai chi.  Mostly the breeze is blowing off the water. But when I sit a while I am surrounded by a faint rose scent -- not a very heavy scent, delicate and lovely.

As the pictures show, these are simple roses without lots of petals and the petals fall after only a few days, but many more buds are on the plants and they keep opening.  They will be a beautiful show of color for a few weeks. Then there will be big bright red rose hips for some time. 

Meanwhile the nesting birds are getting territorial.  Their nesting area is marked off limits to tourists but the birds haven't been informed and fly in wide circles, sometimes dipping toward walkers, shrieking that we are to stay away.