Friday, October 26, 2007

Plain Jane...

I love peicing. When I am sitting there in front of my little Singer 301, just matching up peices and feeding them through... that's when I rememeber why I like to quilt. Some people really like choosing fabrics or drafting patterns... and I enjoy all of that, too, but the sewing... ah man! I love that! I hadn't done any in quite some time- been busy traveling, trying to get ready for winter, laundry... always the laundry!... and then last night, I staged a little coup on that laundry and I sewed.

Dh's cashier, Jane, is retiring and this weekend is her last days in the store, so I threw together this little table runner. I already had a couple of the blocks from a Stack and Whack class I taught a couple years ago. So I sewed up a couple more, set them in a very traditional fabric- just something from the ole stash and voila! a table runner. Of course, then it had to be quilted and bound, but that only took an hour or so and I think it turned out anything but plain. Simple, yes, but not plain.

I have been quilting a green quilt for the past 3 weeks. It has been a bane to my quilting life, but I finally finished it last night so that I could get this little project done. It wasn't that I didn't like the quilt, it just wasn't going smoothly. I ripped and ripped and tried again. Finally, I just decided that it'd have to just suffice and I trudged on to the finish line. One of the problems with it was the YLI thread called teals. The color of gangrene. It just doesn't have the tensile strength of other YLI colors and it drives me to distraction with the constant breaking. Not that it broke all that much- but when you are working with a high contrast thread- every little start and stop shows! I finally decided to finish what I had started- the 4, yes 4!! outer borders and switched to a different variegated green thread for the body of the quilt. Went much more smoothly, but by then, I was good and sick of the project and wished I could have just taken it off the frame and come back to it next month. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way and once you are all pinned on and the sewing begins, you are pretty much committed. To the loony house! My longsuffering was at it's limit- stress suffering- and so I ad libbed all over that quilt- should have drawn some reference lines, but I was way past that point. Ah, well, all's well that ends well, but there will be no picture to haunt me of that one!

But see? I have a little success story of a table runner to motivate me to keep on trying! Chug chug chug!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Things have been just a tad rocky since I've been home. Nothing major, just trying to get back in the groove. Orchestrating events around 10 people is complicated when you do it every day, but when you take a week and a half off- and then plop yourself back in the middle of it... well, it's a tad confusing. Like trying to get your land legs back under you after being at sea! I can't find anything and I'm not sure what's on the agenda. So when I forget something, you'll just have to pardon me until I am back on track.

I had a great time and it was worth every confusing moment I've had since my return. This picture is of the Rockland Light. It is on a very long breakwater- nearly a mile. We stayed at a hotel on Rockport point that ran up to the breakwater, so we got to walk out there before dinner. It was a weird experience. You have to keep your head down and your eyes on the rocks as they are kinda uneven(nothing like Springpoint- I'll post a picture of that, soon.) So, you've got your head down and you're concentrating on not twisting an ankle... you walk for what seems a real long time, take a break and look up... the lighthouse seems further away than when you started! So you walk some more and still, no closer! Of course the house is just further away than it looks because it is such a straight stretch. But worth the walk, I think. It was a really lovely spot. Completely surrounded by water and I could just imagine how unsettling a bad storm could have been- but look at that gorgeous blue sky! A two mile walk before dinner sure whipped up my appetite and I had some of the best seafood ever. I only ate beef, once, the entire trip. And OK, every evening I had dessert- whatever was chocolate on the menu. (Except for the time I had blueberry pie!) I figured Aunt Dottie would want her money's worth, right?

We stayed at a different hotel, each night. That was always an adventure- to see a new area of Maine and test out a new bed. Didn't have an uncomfortable bed the entire time. We would have to get up early and were on the road by 8am, most mornings, so a bed of those rocks might have seemed pretty comfy. We would drive to several lighthouses each day- there are over 60 lighthouses in Maine. Most of the lighthouses are not open to the public, but they rolled out the red carpet and we got to climb a whole lot of them. That was my favorite part- the views were gorgeous, and it was just so cool to see what someone else saw- a couple hundred years ago, ya know? Our lunches were mostly boxed lunches prepared by the hotel where we stayed the previous night and we had a few very pleasant picnics. We had to eat on the bus, once, due to rain.

And Aunt Dottie was right, every lighthouse was different. I think the surroundings were the most varied. Some were on islands- I took a whole lot of boat rides. Some were on rocky points. Some were surrounded by balsam trees- oh, the smell was wonderful! Some were very remote and others were smack-dab in the middle of a subdivision. But they were all beautiful and had a lot of history in them.

I was with a small group of 13 people- and that included the bus driver and the tour guide. They were such fun. Two married couples(each married for 43 years!) and the guide and driver were guys, but the rest were gals and we all got along great! There wasn't a single stinker among them! In such a small group, one bad apple could have made the trip less than pleasant, but everyone was so sweet and just wonderful. Not a grumpy word said. I think everybody was just determined to have a great time. We could have sat at different tables at dinner, but we all liked each other so much, the tour guide just started reserving one big table. We had so many hilarious moments over dinner. I have all of their addresses and plan on making a some lighthouse postcards to send to them. I've already gathered up some nice seaside fabrics at work, yesterday. But first... I need clear a path- both physically and mentally. Now where did I put that clothes washer?

Monday, October 15, 2007

One of many...
Nubble Light- also called Cape Neddick.
I had a great time- as you can see, the weather was gorgeous most days and the time that it was rough- well, even that seemed perfect and appropriate as we were in the Bay of Fundy. Today is John's 11th birthday, so I'll be busy "catering" but I'll post more pictures and news about my trip, soon. Just wanted to let you know that I'm home and that my time in Maine was just wonderful!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Big goings on...

Wow! how things can change in a week! The craziest thing happened! And I mean CRAZY! I had a tooth pulled on Monday. No, that wasn't so crazy 'cause it was needing out of there. But as I was loafing that evening, I get a call from my Aunt Dottie. (I am super close to all my aunts- they are just the greatest.)

*Poor baby had broken her foot! She was doing OK, but there was a complication- she was planning this big trip and now the dr was saying she couldn't go! She was so dissappointed, but even more so when she found out it was too late notice for a refund! $2200 down the drain. Did I want to take her place? splutter splutter cough cough! Whoa, dude!

*So she gave me the low down and the only two down sides was the fact that I'd have to buy my own airplane tickets and I'd be gone 9 days! oh, and I had to leave in 3 days! Whoa Nelly! as my ds Joe says. I thought about it, talked to Bill about it... and just felt a bit overwhelmed. I decided that there wasn't any way I could go- I mean, did I even have time to make arrangements for the kids? Could Bill live without me that long?-I'll tell ya, that was the biggest question in my mind. He is very self-sufficient- especially with the kids- a real hands-on kinda guy, but we are very best friends and he gets lonely! So I called her and said I was so sorry, but I just didn't see how I could go. (Guys I'll let you in on a big secret. I am the biggest homebody you are likely to ever meet. I love my home and my family and I get just giddy when I know that I don't have to walk out that door and get in a car for a whole day. Just being here makes me soooo happy.)

*Plus, just to get things even more complictaed, BOTH of my parents were having angioplasty done on Tuesday and Wednesday. (By the way, they both did very well and are expected to go home, this morning.) I think my brain was still a bit fuzzy from the tooth extraction. Well, I slept on it and when I woke up in the morning, I had a new perspective. It could be a whole lot of fun. Buckets of fun. Who couldn't use an all-expense paid vacation? So I'm going! Shocked, aren't you? Not as shocked as I am and as the people who know me are. So ya wanna know where I am going?

"On the road to Boston." That's an old bluegrass tune. Well, I'm flying to Boston, Friday. And from there I am joining my Aunt Dottie's best friend, Debbie- they were going together- and a tour group- of only 11 people, and we are going up the northeastern seaboard all the way to Canada to see a bunch of lighthouses. There will be three boat rides and a couple historical landmarks, besides. All my meals are included and we'll be staying in real nice hotels, too. Bill says that maybe it 's a good thing that I am going without him. He says one lighthouse might be interesting, but do you really need to see 20? Oh, I don't know. Coming from a land-locked state, I've never given lighthouses much thought! Aside from the occasional hymn at church...I suppose I have only thought of them allegorically! So now I'll be finding out if I like them! I really think I shall as I love anything old and still practical. Plus, I'll be eating lobster- for the first time, and sailing on a boat on the ocean, and meeting a lot of new people- something I love doing and find a bit challenging if I am staying home all the time! So, bon voyage! I'll be back on the 15th. I see a lighthouse quilt in my future!

Speaking of old and still practical... My computer is up and running again, but I still haven't figured out how to upload pictures from my camera... so I was browsing through my old pictures and found this one that I never posted. Sarah's Mom sent me these adorable little 3" bowties. I'm not sure of their origins, but she knows I like to use up little bits and pieces. This is one of the wallhangings I made from them. I liked the funky 1940's green- seemed to like each other. I made another one in a soft yellow for Sarah when she was here for our birthdays. I quilted this one in little random baptist fans...hmmmm baptist fans... who do you think it was for? Yep, Darcie- one of the very sweetest people I know.