Swooning for that French General

Despite a heat wave here in the northeast, I’ve been sewing like a fiend. I finally finished my 4th of July wall hanging and I went into work early this morning to de-St. Patrick’s Day my office.


Rumor has it that my terracotta colored walls are going to be repainted soon! I figure that this wall hanging will be good for all of July. In August I’ll be able to break out the fall decor.

Cindy came to visit the farm for a few days over the holiday and brought me some backing fabric for my handsome Petite Trip French General quilt. She found a wonderful Birds in Straw Yellow print from the Larkspur line by 3 Sisters for Moda at Red Rooster Quilts in Dublin, Ohio.  You’ve got to love a fabric with a Chaucer quote in the selvage edges, right? C’est la perfection!


I do believe that Boots was attracted to the sweet little birdies on this fabric!

Mon Dieu, I love everything about this quilt, except for the fact that there was no handsome French General included in the kit. Don’t they call that bait and switch advertising in English???

Despite my disappointment in the contents of the kit, I soldiered on (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Ms. G, the fabulous long-arm quilter, stitched down an Alpine flower motif in record time. Now I only have to make the binding and attach it and, voila, I’ll be done!


Turns out I have a bedside lamp made from the exact red check print at the bottom of the photo — quelle coincidence!

Just for fun, I’m adding a picture from the back porch of the farm house on the morning of the 4th of July. Swarms of hummingbirds were busy at the feeders. I caught this little guy in motion.



Summer Solstice Energy

Summer officially began this morning here in New York and it’s just so, well, exciting! (And refreshing! And gorgeous!)

Western New York is blessed with four beautiful seasons and it’s so much fun to celebrate a new beginning every three months. The trees are in full bloom, the flowers are everywhere, the berries are ripening and I am awestruck at how the earth can just explode with new life after our hash winter season. I hate to brag, but there is no better place to be than western New York in June.

I had the chance to celebrate our region yesterday with an old friend from Texas. She and I used to work for the same company 17 years ago. I didn’t know anyone at the company when I joined, but Kathy and I soon bonded over our imminent ‘later in life’ pregnancies and our shared roots in rural New York. I had my son, then she welcomed twin girls. Yesterday she was visiting her mom  and my son and I met her and her twins for a hike in a beautiful state park  near Ithaca- one of the many parks in the Finger Lakes that are filled with lovely waterfalls. We took a 5 mile hike, then shared a picnic. It was a good day!

May I present to you Robert Treman State Park.




The kids had a great time too!


After all that hiking yesterday, I had to stop at a few quilt shops today just to keep myself in sewing shape!


The entrance to Mt Pleasant Quilting Company

I purchased a couple of fat quarters in blue, because I am obsessed with finishing True Blue.


Meanwhile I’m making great progress with my French General Petite Trip quilt.


All this is unfolding while a fresh summer breeze wafts through my sewing room windows. Life is good.

Saturday General Retreat

My sewing mentor and her sister, the fabulous Ms. G. (who is a wonderful long-arm quilter) invited me to a sewing retreat on Saturday. We met at my mentor’s lovely home — the site of my first quilting lessons– and convened in a newly renovated sewing room. It was truly pieceful peaceful there! The forecast called for sunshine and warm temperatures, but it stayed cloudy and rainy — a perfect day for sewing!

Although I took several projects to work on, I spent all my time with my handsome French General –the fabric kind! (Doesn’t that sounds like a good title for a romance novel “The Handsome French General”? Dibs on the name!!!)


I bought this quilt kit in January with an event just like Saturday in mind!


This is the first quilt I cut using the Dritz handle for my ruler. It made a big difference in my cutting skills — no more wrestling unintentionally wonky squares into place <hopefully>.

This kit is made up of a lot of 2.5″ squares! It is the first time I have worked a quilt on-point and all those little triangles sounded intimidating, but it is much easier than I had anticipated.

The quilt will finish at 57″x57″. I’m about a third of the way through after day 2 of quilt kit sewing on Sunday back in my lonely little sewing room <sniff>.

Speaking of creative retreats, have you seen this September event from French General? Fall soccer will probably interfere with my plans, but a girl has got to dream, oui?

Besides the inspiration, conversation, Donny Osmond tunes (don’t judge — LOL– you would be smitten too if you grew up in the 60s-70s), and beautiful locales, another great thing about sewing with my long-time friends is that we always have yummy food. I was introduced to Banana Bars (truly addicting) and I practiced some more with my scone recipe with good results.

Earlier in the week I checked on my garden and the corn is up! Hoping for “knee high by the 4th of July” — going to need some serious heat and sunshine to make that happen.


And we have just received the best news: local strawberries are ready!

Misc. Monday

Mom’s birthday is Thursday!  Sandy and I were trying to come up with a unique quilted gift for her and we found just the right thing!

Mom goes to a lot of outdoor events for her grandson who plays tennis and sometimes the bleachers can be a bit hard to sit on. This carry cushion is the result of our quilting quest.


We found this pattern in the book “French General Handmade Soirees” by Kaari Meng.


Mom loves the color pink so I started rooting through my stash for coordinating pink fabrics and decided to go with a 5 inch patchwork pattern.


I had some laminated cotton from Riley Blake fabrics and used this for the bottom of the cushion.  If it rains and the bleachers are wet, mom won’t have to worry about getting wet too!



The pattern calls for a zipper closure which make it nice for cleaning!


I got to practice my machine quilting on the cushion top.  Yikes and more yikes!  I definitely need more practice!

I am going to get this in the mail today to be sure mom gets her carry cushion for her big day.  Happy Birthday, Mom!  We love you!!!