Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hexie Runner

Yeah! I finished my Hexie Runner!
This was such a fun project. It really didn't take that long (hour-wise) and it's a great take-along project.

It's too wide for the top of the piano, but that was never the intended location. The sideboard is in a really dark corner of the living room, so I may never get a decent photo of it there.

I love the fabric on the back!
Can you see that little bit of random binding? I had cut 3 strips of that awesome green for binding, but it was just a few inches too short! I didn't want to cut a whole 'nother (heehee) strip, so I found a scrap of Kaffe that fit the bill.

I'm getting ready to decorate for Fall, and this might be too Spring-y to keep out. But I love it, so we might have to let it slide.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Vintage Finds

Julia and I love browsing consignment shops for vintage goodness! Yesterday, we had some time to kill, so we went to our favorite shop. We never leave there empty-handed!

The navy blue purse with gold and rhinestone trim is for prom. Last year, she bought a pair of navy blue gloves at the same shop and started designing her prom dress around them. Now, she has the perfect purse. No dress yet, but the accessories (including Grandma's vintage rhinestones) are all set!

The metal flower sculpture is for Julia's room. We might add some crystals to the center of the flowers for some bling. I'll show it to you again after it gets hung up.

I'm always on the hunt for vintage buttons. The large orange ones will become a bracelet.

I am addicted to vintage earrings! I can get a pair at this shop for only $4. I thought it was funny that the green and blue singles were sold as a pair.

Look at the backs of these aurora borealis beauties!

Most of the earrings are destined to become cocktail rings like these. I think they are fun and kind of silly. They didn't sell well last year at the holiday sales, but there are more of them in retail shops now, so I hope it goes better this time around.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


As I was pulling out of the high school parking lot last night, THIS car pulled in!
It's Italian and it's orange!

I've been living with boys long enough to know that when you see a cool car, you must call their attention to it. So I came home, described the car to Bill, then he, Julia and I drove back to school with the camera! Julia ran into the band room to pull her brother out of drum line practice. (We didn't know how much longer the car would be there and it's not often that you can get up close and personal with a Lamborghini.) The boys all circled the car, keeping a respectful distance. I love how the camera flash lit up the headlights and license plate. It's alive!

I did buy something orange that was infinitely more affordable: dahlias from the farmer's market. I chose the bouquet with the most orange flowers!

Keep an eye out for some stunning orange today!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wall Art

When we went to Ikea a few weeks ago, we picked up a yard of cool black and white fabric (Saralisa) for Julia's room. At first, we thought we would use it to cover a bulletin board, but I didn't have a big enough piece of foam core, and didn't feel like driving to the hardware store for a large piece of foam insulation.

Then I remembered Brassy Apple's tutorial for fusing fabric directly to the wall. Again, I didn't have quite enough fusible web to complete the project, so Julia and Josh rode their bikes down to our LQS for a couple of yards.

We used Heat & Bond Ultra because the fabric is pretty heavy, almost canvas weight. I tested a small scrap on my bedroom wall to see if it would hold and eventually peel off cleanly. Works like a charm!

(Julia and her able-bodied assistants)

Julia's room is still a work in progress, but we hope to show you the before and after photos soon!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Late Summer Blooms

Fall is on its way, but there are still a few things blooming in my neglected garden.

There are usually a few roses well into October.

My little Rose of Sharon is a late-bloomer. She is shaded by a large oak tree.

This silver lace vine is a beast! It completely covers the climbing tower on our backyard playset. Teenagers still swing on it from time to time, so it's not going anywhere.

Delicate little blossoms, reaching for the sky.

This viburnum is in the parking lot of my mother's building. I love the intense red berries.

It has been a beautiful, sunny weekend perfect for yard work, of which I have done very little. Oh well. There's always next weekend.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I was so excited when this box appeared on my porch yesterday!
I highly recommend the Fat Quarter Shop.

Wanna see what's in there?
Whoa. I haven't bought this much fabric at one time since we made 2 wedding quilts at the same time in 2004.

A pile of Fandango for a wedding ring star quilt.
The happy couple identified a few collections that they liked and I chose this one. At first, I thought I would mix and match, but I didn't want to risk buying this much fabric online and ending up with something I couldn't use.

Dr. Seuss fabric for a baby quilt.
Who doesn't love Dr. Seuss?

A few more prints for a commissioned Christmas tree skirt.

And some more Girl Scout fabric, some from the new collection, because we might need them some day. ; ) The first collection was really geared toward Brownies and Juniors, and some of the new prints are more appropriate for older girls and adult volunteers.

Ugh. Now it all needs to be washed and pressed. Yes, I pre-wash. The chemicals in new fabric make my allergies flare up. Well, I do get to fondle it all while I'm pressing and folding!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Julia and Pete had the day off yesterday because of the primary election, so we headed to Boston! It's absolutely our favorite city. Every time we go, we find something new.

We started out with lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. Pete has a drum stick collection, so he added a pair here. They have an entire wall covered in cymbals!

We arrived at the National Park Service visitors center just in time for a free tour of the Freedom Trail.

I love the old buildings flanked by modern skyscrapers.

The tour ended in the North End. Since it was snack time, we stopped by Mike's Pastry for cannoli. Look at the size of these!

With a few hours to kill, we continued along the Freedom Trail to Charlestown.
I love this new bridge!

Unfortunately, this is the one we walked across. I never liked driving over this bridge, and it's even scarier to walk across. The top span is that metal grate that you can see through to the water below. Yikes!

Old Ironsides is a beautiful ship. Restoration continues, and the Navy hopes to actually sail her again next year. Until then, a tug boat pulls her around the harbor a few times a year to keep her commissioned.

I love all the ropes and knots on tall ships.

Our main reason for being in Boston was to see Rush at the Garden! I've been a fan since high school, so it's been fun to witness the kids discover the music of this incredible band. I've never seen so many air drummers at a concert! It was so funny to watch all the drummers in the crowd (including Pete) try to match Neil Peart's signature moves.

It was an awesome concert, a fun day, and we're completely exhausted!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Take a Hike!

Bill and I took some time for ourselves on Saturday and went to Trustom Pond.
Fall is my favorite time of year to be outdoors.

A little surprise...

Leaves starting to turn.

There are two of these viewing platforms for bird watchers.

Trustom is a salt pond with a little spit of land separating it from Block Island Sound. We could hear the waves crashing on the beach.

Later that night was the first football game of the season. The band has so much fun together!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lucky Charms Part 3

My mother and nephew were here for pizza last night. When my mother arrived, I was cutting out the fusible applique shapes. Here's how our conversation went.

Mom: What are you working on now?

Me: It's an online sew along.

Mom: What's it for?

Me: I don't know. I just liked it.

Mom: Don't you have other quilts you should be working on?

Me: Yes.

Mom: It looks like Christmas. She's using blue?

Me: Well, it's a charm square project, so you use the fabrics in the pack, not necessarily blue.

Mom: Well there is blue on the pattern. Bill is home and he brought you flowers.

Me: Oh.

Mom: It's not your birthday or anything.

Me: Uh huh.

So, my husband a place called the Rose Shack on his way home from work. Every once in a while, he stops to get me some, usually on a Friday. I guess he loves me!

And, yes, I have a list of other projects that I need to start, mostly for family:
a wedding ring quilt (didn't buy the fabric or pattern yet)
a baby quilt (waiting for Dr. Seuss collection)
a commissioned tree skirt (need to buy more fabric)

It looks like I'll be buying fabric this week. Yay!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Charms In Progress

I've been working on Pat Sloan's Lucky Charms Sew Along. The sections are pieced and the center is waiting for applique. My charm pack was small, so I had to pull from my stash to supplement. So far, so good!

Ready for the next step!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of School

I used to be a little sad on the first day of school. Not today! I'm really excited to have the house to myself again.
This is not my usual first-day-of-school photo. I prefer to pose them on the front porch with their backpacks, but they just wouldn't go for it this time. I'll take what I can get! Pete really needs a haircut.

It was a busy last-week-of-summer. Julia had wanted to paint her room all summer, but she needed to clean and purge first. Josh was a huge help, but I don't know if he'll volunteer to paint with me again. I'm really particular about painting! We'll show you some before and after as soon as we finish decorating.

My nephew Eric moved into his new apartment last weekend. It was really fun for us to have him staying here, and the time passed much too quickly. He's happy to have his own place and he's only 40 minutes away, so we'll see him a lot. I hope!

Now to tackle the list of phone calls that need to be made, then I can sew!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Some of you know that I edit my guild's newsletter. I hijacked the President's letter in the current issue.

I asked Ralph if I could write to you this month because September marks my 20th anniversary of quilting. In 1990, Bill and I were newlyweds and had moved to New London for his first job. I hadn't found a job yet and I was looking for something to do. My mother had made us a quilt as a wedding gift (her first), so when I saw an ad in the paper for quilt classes at Colchester Mill, I was in!

That first class was perfect! A sampler quilt with various techniques, I think it ran for 6 or 8 weeks. I used Christmas fabrics, some from my mother's stash, and I still hang it every year. I often wonder if I should take it apart to "fix" it, but we have come to love every lump and pucker.

I wonder how many quilts I have completed in 20 years. Regrettably, I did not keep records, but have many photos. Estimating 4 or 5 a year, that's almost 100 quilts. There have been lots of baby quilts, lap quilts and wall hangings with some bed sized quilts sprinkled in. For every completed project, there must be at least one work in progress.

I have attempted countless techniques and mastered a few. How is there always something new to learn? After all the paper-piecing I have done, I recently discovered that I enjoy appliqué and hand work. Who knew?

Not long after my first quilt was completed, perhaps early 1991, I became a member of Ninigret Quilters. I'm so glad I joined! This group has been eternally inspirational. I have learned something new at every meeting, show & tell, and workshop.

I have enjoyed volunteering at every quilt show. Quilt shows are the best motivation to complete projects! I've taken a turn as secretary and vice president, and now I'm on my second round as newsletter editor. If you are new to the group, I encourage you to get involved. It's a great way to meet other members and can be very fulfilling.

I treasure each and every friendship I have made here. Many of you remember when Julia and Pete were born and have become bonus grannies and aunties. Ninigret will always be my quilting home. I plan to keep my membership for another 20 + 20 years!