Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving in Covid

 Thanksgiving is certainly different this year. My sister and I had already decided not to go to her daughter's as we have in years past and then she decided to cancel it all together. We will be Zooming later with all who used to be there. 

You have often seen my prior posts of Lauren's beautiful table scapes. I didn't even try to match it, but I did set a festive table for just the two of us. 

I'm not even making turkey because Ruthie doesn't like it, but making a center cut bone-in roast pork instead. I haven't made that in years but found a great Martha Stewart recipe online. I have to have stuffing and gravy, roasted little red potatoes around the roast and roasted acorn squash smiles. Ruthie is bringing a green veggie. Also having pumpkin pie for dessert, a must-have for me, with real whipped cream.

I'm hoping that next year this will be a distant memory and we can enjoy the holidays as we always did. Not to rush the season, but for some reason this Christmas song from World War II has been going through my mind and it is so poignant and relevant for right now. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Quilt of the Week

 I didn't post a quilt last week for a couple of reasons. I was quilting on the red quilt when I ran out of the variegated thread I was using. I have used Rainbow by Superior for years and was having a hard time finding it, even on the Superior site and then I realized that they are no longer making it and have substituted  Fantastico, which has two sizes of spools, a large cone and the smaller size that I want. So I ordered it and then went to the lavender and green quilt. I had a nice variegated Rainbow in the right color, which I have used on all of these charity quilts with great success. I was quilting merrily along when all of a sudden it started having a hissy fit....skipping stitches, terrible tension, breaking thread. I had to rip out a large section. This was on my trusty Bernina that I have always bragged about it being able to use any kind of thread without a problem. 

I have not had this machine serviced in a long time. Shame on me! So I packed it up and got it ready to go to the shop and got out my older Bernina, 1230. This was great machine for several years until it started giving me problems. It went to the shop a couple of times before they had to send it away to Bernina and I think they replaced one of the motors. It came back better than ever and had I known that I wouldn't have purchased the newer one, Quilter's Edition153. But I was impatient and couldn't stand being without a machine. 

Now I am using my 1230 and loving it! It is all metal, including two telescoping thread spindles, unlike the plastic one on the 153, which sometimes flies off. The walking foot is so easy to get on and off, unlike the 153, which drives me crazy. It is also so much easier to fill a bobbin and that is basically all I had been using it for, since it is set up on an L-shaped table next to the other machine. It free-motion quilts like a dream. This machine is well over 20 years old. I know that my husband was alive when I got it and he has been gone for 20 years. If I go to Florida this year I plan to take a machine and leave it there. I was going to take the 1230, but now I think that is the one I will leave here. 

Now onto the quilt. 

My patio furniture is put away so I am back to photographing it draped on a living room chair.

I have been able to find the right color for the bindings from my sash of my hand dyed for each of these quilts. You wouldn't believe how many greens I had to look at to get just the right color. More about green dyed fabrics below. I very seldom use purple or lavender, but I did have a six way gradation of this lovely Amethyst, a perfect match for the border. I did a very loose garlic design for the free-motion quilting in the border. I have used this motif so many times I could do it in my sleep, but I have never done it on such a large scale. Maybe I should have done it a little smaller, but It is done.

I used a commercial hand-dyed look fabric for the backing. It was OK for the backing, but not a good green for the binding.

This large quilt, Emerald City, is one of the reasons that I have a huge green stash. I dyed six different greens, each in a six way gradation. This was purchased by Yale New Haven Hospital for one of their doctors' waiting rooms several years ago.

This very large quilt, Big Green Diptych, was a finalist at The International Quilt Show in Houston, TX a few years ago.

That's it for this week. I'm still waiting for that red thread and if it comes on time I'll have that for next week.

I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Santa, Baby

Hand made by me last year.
One of my favorite charities is Ann’s Place, a local non profit organization that provides comfort, support and resources to cancer patients and their families free of charge. For more information, go to their website:

Every year Ann’s Place holds a Festival of Trees, where over 200 decorated trees are displayed and voted upon. Viewers buy tickets and put them in a jar next to the tree and the lucky ticket winner gets to take that fabulous tree home. It is also one of the social events of the year with a big cocktail party on the opening night with music and a silent auction in addition to the trees. There is a Teddy Bear Tea for the little kids, a boutique and much more. In previous years I have decorated and donated two trees.

Of course this year the festival has been cancelled due to Covid, but there is a virtual festival online. Contestants can enter a decorated tree, either made specifically for this year or photos of a tree at their home last year, as I did. People will vote on the tree for a dollar a vote with a $20 minimum. The tree with the most votes wins a cash prize. And unlike previous years you do not get to win the tree you voted upon. If I win I would give my prize money right back to Ann’s Place. I am late to the game because I just entered my tree yesterday. 

The easiest way for you to see my tree is to go to my Facebook page and click on the picture. It will take you directly to my tree and the voting. If you want to see all the trees, go here:  The name of my tree is Santa, Baby.

I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Quilt of the Week

 I'm still working on my charity quilts and finished another this week. I have two more tops that are pieced that need to be basted and quilted. 

After that snowy picture I showed last week, we are having an unexpected warm spell. It was in the seventies today, unusual for mid-november in CT. But I'll take it. I took advantage of the weather to get rid of all the annuals on my deck today, which were killed by a hard frost last week. I will be taking in my furniture soon and will lose my quilt prop. 
All of the center squares were cut from the same striated batik.

I had very wide borders on this quilt because of the amount of squares I was able to piece. I thought this swirly design was terrific and I was able to free motion machine quilt following those lines. Again I used the no-hand-sewing flanged binding. So far I have been able to find a complementary color in my hand-dyed stash. 

Arrangement of the week.There were no bicolored mums in the store this week so I bought a bunch of plain rust daisy mums and a bunch of yellow spider mums. I jazzed them up with some faux berries and orange leaves. If you are very observant you may notice that I have the same table cloth on. This is my favorite fall cloth and I bought it in the Provence area of France, where they make the most beautiful linens. I live alone and use a placemat when I eat, so I can keep a cloth on for a long time. I have a lot of blue and white ones for the summer.

Just got the news a couple of hours ago that we have a new President. Time to make America decent again. I am a happy camper!

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.