Gasp…my thread broke!

Cindy here, reporting in from New York.   The big GRAY BARN is in view through a misty rain.  Mom, dad and I are just relaxing and hoping the sun will shine sometime today.  Good thing I brought a few quilting projects with me!

A few months ago, Sandy scored big at an antique store…10 antique red and white Ohio Star blocks.  These unfinished blocks measure 11 x 11 inches square.

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I like how the blocks were pieced by hand, very special!

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Sandy and I have created three different projects from these 10 blocks.  You’ll see our feature project and pattern soon…Sandy is putting the finishing touches on it as we speak!

Meanwhile, since the blocks were pieced by hand, I thought I would hand quilt one block.  I found a spool of red quilting cotton and a spool of cream quilting cotton in my vast thread stash and started quilting.

GASP…my thread broke over and over again!

Okay, so it took me awhile to admit my thread was the problem.  Once I realized this…quilting thread stash went into the trash!

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Question for our readers: 

What is your favorite brand of hand quilting thread?

There are so many different threads to choose from, I definitely need some advice!

 

 

 

 

Looking forward

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Time is just spinning out of control, isn’t it? September is over and before you know it the winter holidays will be upon us. As I watch my son traverse his final year in high school, I am struck by the speed at which our lives pass by. I guess I’m in that melancholy stage of fall.

While I fight off the blues, there are bright spots to contemplate:

  1. My son has been on the soccer bench for 3 weeks while he rests a pulled hamstring. Hopefully he will be back in action next Wednesday. We will not think nor talk about how dull our lives will next fall <sniff>.img_3719
  2. The fall colors have been a little subdued and we’ve had many overcast skies, but I can always rely on a few sparkles of blue from the wildflower contingent. Flax rocks.IMG_4322[1]
  3. I’ve been having fun searching through old baby pictures for the high school yearbook. Here’s an old fave that always makes me smile. He was a two-fisted daisy grabber back in the day.IMG_4327[1]
  4. I have a barren side table in desperate need of decoration & I started a Thanksgiving table-topper to try to correct this situation. My scrap baskets make me ridiculously happy — the smell, the touch, the colors — they keep me centered. When I went to Ohio this summer, Cindy sent me home with lots of scraps and yardage and bits and bobs that a friend had given her. I love the surprise of finding things I don’t recognize in my scrap bins — I am officially obsessed with the green shirting fabric here. My apologies for the dark photo — I’m going to blame it on the earlier sunsets associated with late September in the northern hemisphere. IMG_4276[1]
  5. I sent True Blue to my friend– after all my worry about it, she loved it and let me know that it’s already set up in her living room. Yay! When I quilt it makes other people happy too. trueblueGBD01

Let’s all promise to do something this week that makes that darned clock slow down so that we can savor the current moment and store it up for later.

County Fair Extraordinaire

Hello!  It’s Cindy hosting the blog today.

Last week, the Delaware County Fair was in progress here in Central Ohio and even with temperatures in the 90’s (not to mention the humidity level), it was a lot of fun!

Of course I have a quilt report for you!  Here are some highlights:

The fabrics in this quilt spoke to me!  The hand quilting made it even more special and as you can see, the judges thought so too!

These poinsettias were lovely and the applique was something I can only aspire to!  Check out the cute little french knots in the center.

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This quilt with batik fabric stems and leaves was just incredible!  I could have studied it for hours, admiring the fabrics, the colors and the quilting.

I’m working on my own “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” quilt and so I spent time studying this.  I always appreciate the antique quilt entries because we have so much to learn from the quilters of days gone by.

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These embroidered blocks were beautiful on their own, but adding them to a quilt made them even more special.  The outline quilting was precise and must have taken a lot of time.

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Moving on to the knitting section, how pretty is this?

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What’s a county fair without agricultural products?  Baked potatoes, anyone?

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These were pretty, stuffed peppers for dinner?

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How cute is this pumpkin pig???  Very creative!

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How about this teal pumpkin with bling?  Very cute and a real eye catcher!

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Well, this concludes my Delaware County Fair Extraordinaire tour for 2018.  I hope it inspires your creativity in quilting, cooking or crafting!

Have a great week!

 

 

Let us discuss: Quilting and Floating

I know what you’re thinking – “whenever Sandy is blogging and she starts to discuss swimming, we’re in for a discussion about skinny dipping at the farm pond.”

Your thinking would be correct. The scene of the recent crime.

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However, happily, I have another new kind of floating experience to share with you. This is a spa treatment. A sort of sensory deprivation experience where you are floating in an enclosed dark tank that is filled with 900 lbs (not a typo) of Epsom Salts and 10 inches of water. The water is at body temperature. You are free from the confines of clothing. Tibetan chimes are playing softly on the speaker (if you wish). The lights are off (if you wish). Then you step into the tank, relax and float away, with your mind drifting to wherever it wants to run. The Epsom Salts provides buoyancy – once you step into the tank you float effortlessly. It is healing. The water (and you) are neither hot, nor cold. (There isn’t a bug, a snapping turtle or a nosy neighbor driving slowly down the road to worry about!)

How did I find myself and our 83-year-old mother floating in two tanks of Epsom Salts, you might ask? Stay with me here…

While Cindy was visiting earlier in the summer, mom fell down a flight of stairs. Thankfully Cindy was there to assist at the time, but mom has just been hurting ever since. Different aches and pains pop up and we’ve taken her to several doctors, but she is in pain, not sleeping, and getting minimal relief with non-opioid pain killers (opioids being too scary to even consider). Post-tumble, Mom went to Florida to visit our older sister for a few weeks and someone there recommended a regular bath with lavender-scented Epsom Salts. Sue and Mom tried it and she felt better, but the pain in her knee promptly returned.

Last weekend I read an article about floating in an old issue of Life in the Finger Lakes (our version of “Southern Living” magazine). The feature was about Inner Peace Floats in quaint and charming Watkins Glen New York. (You really have to come here and vacation – Watkins Glen State Park has been voted the 3rd best state park in the country! Plus – I have heard that there is lots of wine in the area!!!)

Would you believe that Inner Peace Floats is in a building that used to house a quilt shop that I used to frequent? Now isn’t it true that everything comes back to quilting???

But I digress. What I really wanted to tell you is that my mother, who was brave enough to try something new, experienced profound relief from her knee pain as the result of that 1 hour float on Monday. She still plans to go back to the orthopedic doctor to discuss the root cause of the pain, but she is currently sleeping pain free and she is moving around as normal. Now, I don’t know if it was the floating naked part (which I am certain is therapeutic  <grin>) or the addition of the Epsom Salts, but I would highly recommend “floating” for pain management.

Now back to quilting:

True Blue (from Spice of Life Quilts) has been photographed for posterity and mailed to my friend for her retirement gift.

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The tree skirt I planned for my bestie is finally completed. I will deliver it in person in November when I meet her for a fall girlfriend getaway – I bought my tickets to Tampa today!

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Cindy and I created a beautiful quilt for our mother as a Christmas gift. I’m working on the binding while I watch Pride and Prejudice (I’ve never seen it or read the book and it comes highly recommended by Cindy). I’m enjoying the costumes and the formalities and the restrained British sensibilities — while I anxiously await season 4 of Outlander LOL!

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Tomorrow is a sewing vacation day with my friends/quilting mentors!

Are you imagining fall in the north? Here’s an interactive map that will help you track peak leaf-peeping opportunities.

Float on.