“Oma, when will you come to my house so you can sleep with me and have a campout?” And just like that, I’m crushed. I don’t know when…
So I try to distract myself instead and make things and take long walks in the woods. I’m completing a batch of quilts for the grand darlings now that they all sleep in their own beds, even if it lets them wander in the night.
And a couple for the adults as well.
Just like I “read” two books at a time (one is an audiobook), I generally have about three projects in the works: a quilt, something on the loom and a project on my knitting needles for the evenings while we watch movies.
We leave soon for the Schoodic Institute in Acadia National Park for the winter. What to bring, what to bring? I’m not talking about clothing. We’ll have boots, skis and snowshoes. Oh and a bathing suit to wear in the local pool. That’s always easy.
Which of my many fiber tools? Always knitting needles. Perhaps my portable table loom with premeasured warps? Or a sewing machine? And what about my spinning wheel? Oh my.
This is the first time we can drive to a caretaker gig and it boggles my mind. No dry bags, no dinghies, no planes. I may need limits.
The old bridge was demolished last week in a controlled explosion with very little fanfare. My daughter sent this Reddit link from an engineering site she follows.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, winter moves on. I managed to adjust the chain saw helmet so it fit like a glove. The chaps were warm as anything and now all of our wood has been cut. Tim even helped move wood with the last batch. More importantly, he had surgery to correct his wrist and it was a smashing (he he) success. All systems go for our February departure.
I’ve sailed through my projects: Birthday quilt and pillowcase, done; New baby gifts, done; 5/7 boat cushions recovered; Leg warmers, done. Several of these left the house so quickly, I never got a photo. Even squeezed in a deer hat.
Yesterday, I put work and projects aside and walked with the ladies’ hiking group. This is an intrepid group of women who hike year round in the Adirondacks. Yesterday’s group was large, probably due to the several weeks we’ve had cooped up indoors because of icy and frigid conditions.
One loop had several cattle skulls as fence posts. I tried to take a photo through the eye socket but my phone did not like the cold.
Now we brace ourselves for the next winter storm this weekend. It’s been called a major snowstorm with “plowable” amounts greater than six inches. Greater than 6 inches? 7? 50? Time will tell. Better fire up the snowblower.
I completed my cabin quilt on Valentine’s Day and already wrote about it here. It hasn’t made it to the cabin yet because Tim wanted it on our “bed” instead. We had an IKEA mattress and frame on the floor for over a year. I’m getting too old for this. I had to roll onto my knees to get out of bed.
Tim had been hemming and hawing about building a bed. I was hoping to duplicate the bed we slept in on Deal Island, Tasmania, but since we didn’t have a cove where timber washed up on the beach, it was difficult to duplicate. We did find a great sawmill nearby though and got to choose lumber for the project, including an irregular piece with the bark still on it. They cut them to width and we drove them home.
I helped out with drawings but Tim did all the real work. He made a beautiful, sturdy bed. Best of all, I can rise to my feet straight out of bed. Maybe one day the quilt will make it up to the cabin, where I have to crawl to the foot of the bed to get up.
My latest gift quilt has been delivered and used for a few nights.
I managed to prevent Tim from running off with it and installing it in his cabin. Patience.
In a mad rush, I thought I would sew a dress for the weekend wedding (the day before). I hesitated when the pattern had 13 pieces and should have stopped when I realized they all had duplicate lining pieces for a total 26 pieces. I got all the way to the hem and decided not to wear it. Now I can leisurely hem it and restrict wearing it to when I clean the house.
The garden is providing plenty of green beans, arugula and tomatoes are just starting to ripen.
Well, actually my email delivers. I’m headed off to visit family today, and like Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin, “I never visit empty handed.” But what to bring a couple who have everything. Maple syrup is always a good standby because we have delicious, local syrup in large quantities.
I opened my email yesterday and found a new video was uploaded by Missouri Quilt Company. The tutorial demonstrates a french braid table runner. I told Tim I was thinking about making a table runner and he said, “that’s the most useless gift ever.” Perfect.
I found some stash material. My work area was already set up because I’m working on a large quilt. By noon, I had it pieced and by dinner it was put together and quilted.
I stitched in the ditch with my walking foot for the borders and then practiced machine quilting. My little Singer featherweight doesn’t like any of the free motion foots I have tried. So, I use my regular foot, cover the feeder dogs with a business card and loosen the presser foot. It seems to work.
Once again the universe delivers. I have my gift and a lap blanket for the ride since the thermometer read 19 below zero this morning.
No time to blog. Obsessions overtook me. I wanted to finish knitting ( actually modify) the Na craga sweater I made my son, just in time for his summer graduation.
I found beautiful fabric and decided to make my own wrap dress for his graduation (photo to follow, I’m on the road without my laptop). Perhaps a little frumpy but the fabric was beautiful. I prepared and presented a talk about ob/gyn EMS emergencies.
Then on to favorite daughter’s birthday. I made her a potholder, to remind her of her favorite cat, and finished her quilt. I had it waiting for her on my hotel room bed! The quilt not the cat.
This was my first attempt at free form, machine quilting a queen size quilt and oh what fun I had. Really. I use an old Singer and had bought a special darning foot but couldn’t get the darn thing to sew properly. For two whole days! So I loosened the feeder foot, put a business card over the feeder dogs, and away I went. It was like doodling on fabric.
Now, to the loom before my sewing thread sets the needle and hauls me in, back to the machine … For a blouse, another dress, linen pants, finish two quilts and begin my next large quilt (planning in process).
Jay Mountain is snow capped but not the rest of the terrain. We’ve had a warm spell, which turned anything wet to ice, and more rain and sleet is expected tonight. I think the good snow will come when I am ready to ski again this season. Today’s outing was a trip to Lake Placid, where I had to make sure the road surfaces were fairly clean so I wouldn’t go flying – crutches, walking cast and all. I had to go out because I needed more material to finish a quilt I started two days ago. That’s right, two days ago! And I think it will be done by tomorrow. This could be very bad. If I can make quilts faster, I will finish them sooner and will have to buy more fabric. Oh these addictions.
This is the first time I made a quilt with a “jelly roll” and it was amazing. Jelly roll strips are pieces of material which are precut. I sewed a few together, cut them into triangles and sewed them together again. I never knew! My last quilt, which isn’t finished yet, took five months to piece together. This one will be done tomorrow. It’s going to cover the back of the couch to protect it from the cats. I sewed it together as it was below, but then decided it needed to be long and narrow, so took away one row and made it longer – 2 x 6 blocks. I combined it with the backing and batting when I got home, did a “quick turn” and am almost done machine quilting it. The cats are very happy with it.
One day quilt
On my way to town, I was reminded of the stellar athletes who come from this area and give me a sense of pride. I pass the Olympic cross country ski trails, the luge and bobcat runs, the ski jumps and the Olympic Training Center. I would like to say I contributed to the American Luge team winning a silver medal in Germany this January. I would like to say it but it’s not exactly true. I had to reschedule my follow up visit with my surgeon who traveled with them as the team doctor.
I will have to climb this peak again when I recover. The first time, I made it almost to the top – but not quite. Next time.
I spent the past day piecing the borders of my kaleidoscope quilt. All that remains is to quilt the three layers – quilt top, batting and bottom. The quilt top took five months. I’ll probably spend the same amount of time quilting by both machine and hand sewing. In the end, it looks a bit dark but is still neat to look at through squinted eyes to see the different patterns emerge.
Kaleidoscope quilt top
It seems as if Pleasant Valley has been draped in fog the past few days. I enjoyed some brief, glorious sunshine and temperature in the 70’s today but by the time I returned home, so had the fog.
Plural lights and singular dark. I finished sewing the blocks for the kaleidoscope quilt I began in the spring. The pattern creates optical illusions, which intrigue me. I followed the lights and darks of the pattern obsessively with the intent of piecing the four different blocks: A-B-A-B…C-D-C-D; very orderly , very simple. Not! When the blocks were carefully laid out in order, they looked too orderly. I was stumped. Every time I went into my work room, I moved a few pieces around. Then I slept on it, not literally on it, but in spirit, and when I woke up I decided to throw order out the window, mostly, and just lay them out randomly. Now I’ve been moving the random pieces around so they are almost ordered. I didn’t expect such a contrast from the the lights and the dark. The light components jump off the quilt while the dark ones recede and go into hiding.
I’m not sure which version awaits me. I think I just have to stop looking and start sewing.
The other light is an outdoor light fixture I have puzzled over for several hours, took apart the light, the switch and now Tim has tested it with different fixtures. Apparently it’s the wiring. We’ll leave that one in the dark for now.