Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Catching Up To August

Good grief, the time goes by quickly. Today is a gorgeous summer day in Maine--breezy, 74 degrees, low humidity, and lots of sunshine--exactly the way a summer day should be in Maine. We've had just a few days of heat and humidity here and there, and I don't think we've hit 90 degrees yet this summer. I'm hoping August will be as nice.

We've had a good mix of rain and sun this summer as well, which has been good for the plants. The hostas are blooming...

...the black-eyed susans are blooming...

...and the tiger lilies are just coming into bloom. I'm not much of a gardener, so it's good these flowers can take care of themselves.

Cherries are in season this month too, and the local grocery has had them on sale for the last three weeks for $2.49 a pound, the lowest I've seen. I bought a couple pounds and made this Cherry Buttermilk Clafoutis, cherries in sort of a custard-type filling. The recipe came from the Relish.com website, and it was really good.

Tacoma Lakes Quilters had their summer picnic this month, and most of the chapter attended. We always have a potluck edible buffet, which is so good; and this year we tried something a little different--an Inedible Buffet. Each of the participants was asked to make identical items for each person in the group, then all the items were placed in baskets on a table, and we each went round and chose from all the different baskets.

There were 32 participants this year, so we went home with quite a variety of kitchen items, sewing notions, some fabric, and a few miscellaneous items. I think my favorite thing was an awl, something I've wanted for a while and just never bothered to pick up at the store. We had such a good time with the Buffet that we'll do it again next year.
The last weekend in July is also the month that the state guild, Pine Tree Quilters, hosts its annual show in Augusta. It seemed to me that there were fewer quilts this year, but it was a nice show. I only took a few photos of quilts I thought maybe I'd like to make sometime. This one was made by The Fabric Garden quilt shop for some kind of a contest and was one of my favorites. I thought the pattern was called Doubly Charming, but I couldn't find it on the web, so now I'm not sure.

Pineapple, made by Anne Baker

Red, White, and Blue, made by Carmen Dickinson.This was from a pattern by Bonnie Hunter called Smith Mountain Morning. I really liked it done in patriotic colors.

Just Takes 2 Blue, made by Dianne Barth. This evidently was from a block of the month designed by Brenda Papadakis of Dear Jane fame.

Dianne Hire, who is a nationally known quilter, wrote a book called App is For Applique, released in 2013 by AQS. It consists of 14 of these gorgeous, detailed applique blocks, and the 15 quilts that were made with them. Oddly enough, the author only made one block and turned it into a small quilt. MaineQuilts had the exhibit of all the quilts from the book, and they were all fantastic.

I have become quite enamored of the machine buttonhole stitch method of applique, and some of the quilts from Dianne Hire's exhibit were done this way. This block is from a quilt in the show made by Sue Nickels, who seems to do lots of quilts with this machine buttonhole stitch applique. I'm a big fan of Sue Nickels and her sister Pat Holly. 

I also took some classes at MaineQuilts this year, a couple for longarm machine quilters and one called Sliced Steps by Jane Hall. Jane Hall is the pineapple queen of the quilt world, and I have three of her books. She was a delightful teacher and shared some new ideas for paper piecing that I hadn't seen before. 

This was Jane's quilt for the class, and I'm guessing it might have measured something like 22" x 27", so a smaller quilt. A perfect little project for scraps, and not as complicated as it looks. We made a mockup from printed paper samples that Jane gave us; and since it was only a 3-hour class, most of us only got one block sewn. But it was enough to get the idea of how to do it, so I'll work on some more of these blocks. 

As for me, I have been chipping away at four sets of blocks on the design wall. The top half of the Curvy quilt is done, and I'm working on the third quarter of it; the star blocks are for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge; the plaid blocks will be for a friend of mine; and the rest are for a winter quilt designed by another friend. I'm afraid I won't get any finishes this month though.

I did finish the purple String Theory socks though. This is a really nice yarn made in Blue Hill, Maine--it's got a some cashmere in it. I'm also nearly done with a little lacy cardigan, but I've been dragging my feet getting the neckband done. I'll get there.


Chantal said...

Lovely post. Just Takes 2 Blue is so different in blue. It is calm and peaceful. I LOVE it. Love the Doubly Charming too. Your Design Wall is so busy. You are a very busy and ambitious girl. Wow. Great work.

Judy S. said...

Great to hear from you, Sue! Nice photos from the quilt show, and I love your purple socks!

Julie Fukuda said...

Last summer rescued some Hostas from the bulldozer in my neighbor's garden. I am hoping one day they will look like yours. My tiger lilies have just finished. I think the extra hot summer moved the calendar forward a few weeks. I'm in great envy of your design wall and everything on it.

Margo in Maine said...

Love ll the posts... Get photos..you are a busy gal.