Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Need some guidance ~UPDATED~

I have a labor of love I hope to be working on this long weekend.   My friend  turned over to me the quilt top her mother stitched.   Pretty little flowers in embroidery floss stitched with six strands in mostly stem stitch.  Roxanna found the quilt when she helped downsize her mom for a move into assisted living a few years ago.  Her mom has since passed away at the ripe old age of 102.

 And now this stitched work of art has been sitting in my sewing room for at least two years.....

I took Roxanna to the quilt store and we bought the fabric for the border and binding and backing and somehow I volunteered myself to finish it for her.   Initially I was all happy go lucky about my part in creating an heirloom for her family to pass down through generations but then my excitement turned to fear......what if I ruin the quilt top.   Much trepidation has been felt so it has sat......and sat......and sat some more.

My dilemma is.......the floss and washing it.   Of course, I will have to wash the final creation to make it all quilty with the batting.....but what about the floss running?     Do I soak the quilt top in white vinegar and cold salt water to set the colors before I start on the quilt top?   Is there a better method to use?  Is there a product out there I don't know about that I should use?   I know why this has been sitting in my basket 'o stuff all this time.....fear!  This is a family treasure and I could ruin it!    DD#1 will be here on Saturday and Sunday and I'd really like to take the first step towards completing this.  Roxanna will be 83 this fall and I would really like to have it for her birthday.      Any thoughts, suggestions? signed Desperate in South Jersey

~~~~~ So I took all your ideas and forged ahead.    Rather than deconstruct one square to wash, I laid a clean fluffy white towel on the kitchen counter and using a clean white washcloth, I  gently wet and blotted a section stitched with red.   Pat L. said if the red doesn't run.....I was good.....and I was.    I then, just to be safe, soaked the whole quilt top in a freshly scoured, rinsed and wiped out kitchen sink.  I soaked it in cold water, white vinegar and just about a drop of Orvis soap.   Surprisingly there was not even any dirt that came out.   I rinsed and spread it across the patio on top of a several clean beach towels.   Still wary, I didn't want to hang it while dripping wet and have dye run.   After it was nearly dry I moved it to the clothes line where it will hang for the rest of the day.   Tonight I will press it and be ready to start the cutting of inner and outer borders and binding tomorrow with Heather.   We have an overnight of stitching and sipping wine planned!    Hopefully, I will be able to show a completed quilt by Monday, save the hand stitching of the binding. Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions!  ~~~~~

Saturday, August 27, 2016

What is this?

Yes, what is this exactly........progress on a long forgotten UFO.  

Bless you fellow stitchers that rotate multiple projects.   I guess there is something to be gained from the mental stimulus you get from getting up to speed with a different project every day/week.    I did that crazy January challenge many years ago when you start a new project every day and although fun and exciting.....truth be told, I still have some of those starts in my UFO basket.....

This is my progress this week on Drawn Thread's Random Thoughts.    It was kitted with all NPI silks and I have decided I really like working with them.

Progress is going well except for that pesky over one section.   But even that is not bad.....lettering is always so enjoyable to me.

And what is this.....Mr. W. is getting estimates for some pool fixes.    I was sure when he came home from his summer tour he would lower the boom on the pool.   We need a new liner, a new skinner assembly, a wall panel replaced and filter repairs......I prepared myself for him surely wanting to take the pool down and scrap all the aluminum.....considering in the next five years we will most likely be moving and a pool is not necessarily an asset and the fact that he has not been in the pool in at least the last 15 was safe to prepare myself.   But surprise of all surprise his first reaction is to get estimates for the necessary repairs.   We shall see what the estimate looks like.   My argument is whatever we decide to do it will cost money - $$ to repair/$$ to remove and then fill in the area and landscape.

And what is this craziness?   Here is a pattern I just bought at a Trunk Show at my August Guild Meeting.   (See my other blog - DVHSG. Scroll down to the section on our speaker.)   It is called Corsica River Sampler by Barbara Hutson of Queenstown Sampler Designs.  I was just really taken by this piece.   It is a large 337 stitches by 451 stitches.    There is a lot of blackwork which is something I really enjoy and sections of Assisi stitching which I have never done.  I tried to get some friends interested in a stitch along with this but have only had one taker so far.  I will be selecting fabric and fibers in October when I am in OCMD but I don't plan to start this until at least January.  I may even stitch this in NPI silks since I am enjoying working with them.

For now I want to concentrate on Random Thoughts and finishing some stitched pieces and other UFO's.   Now that's a challenge! Who knows what my spin on it will be next week.  So nice to have choices.

Ok, I am off to do some much needed yard work before it heats up too much.   Hoping for a nice dinner on my deck this evening and possibly cracking open one of my new bottles of wine.

Thanks for stopping by and happy stitches one and all.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fourth and Final Installment

Today's trek took us to Sodus Point by way of a field of sunflowers.    There is a farm in the area that, for whatever reason, has a field of over 700,000 sunflowers.  It was really amazing to see sunflowers as far as you could see.   Not exactly sure why they felt the need to plant all those sunflowers.  There was no store or shop, just fields and fields of sunflowers.    This is Frederick Farm in Clifton Springs, NY
Look at the perfect rows.   I can't even get my few lettuce, tomatoes or peppers in rows that neat.

On to Sodus Point.....This is the second lighthouse built after the original tower fell into disrepair, Congress appropriated a second stone lighthouse be built which was completed in 1871.  This became the residence of the Sodus Lighthouse keepers for the next 80 years.  

Sodus has a nice protected harbor and was a very active port with railways that brought cars and cars or coals to be loaded on the shipped and set sail on Lake Ontario.  It is a tiny fishing town at the end of a long long (miles!) road with a few small town restaurants, a marina and a lovely park and beach area for swimming.


 The view was awesome and the grounds and flower beds very nicely maintained.

Doesn't this look like a nice place to summer? Gorgeous porch and the view that is shown above.

Next stop, the lighthouse on the pier.......

 Oops, we got detoured by wading in the lake!  No walk down the pier for us.

We headed back and after crossing the Erie Canal we found some lunch. The plan was to take a little bit of a ride down the western shore of Cayuga Lake to the Lockwood Farm.   It is a lavender farm.   Unfortunately for us, it is only open to the public in June and July.  From the owner's blog (link above at "Lockwood Farm") seems like a lovely place to spend the afternoon. 

Sightseeing done, we settled in for an evening of sewing.  My two small pieces completed left me to pull out a WIP.   This is a piece in my guild's 2016 challenge.   We were to list up to five starts that were less than 50% done and 'challenge' ourselves to finish them.   I have turned my focus to  Random Thoughts by Drawn Thread.  I love how fast band samplers come together so heaven knows why I put this in the basket of unfinished pieces.   I also like to try new things and  the border, drawn work and hemstitch caught my eye.    I hope to have it all stitched by October Retreat so I can get guidance on the drawn work from a fellow stitcher who has finished this already.   That's you Diane!

The white on white stitches aren't showing up very well but trust me, they are there.

DD#2 spent the evening cutting out the next furry friend in her quilt.  Meet the Bunny Block

All those little pieces!  Bless her little heart!

Unfortunately we woke to heavy rain on Sunday.   Looking at the weather ap, the green, yellow and orange were tracking from Atlanta to Ontario and we were not going to escape the rain.   The weather nixed our plans to stop and stroll through Skaneateles and it was straight home.

We did so enjoy our time together.   No other family members craving our attention or asking what was for dinner.   No dogs jumping about.  No non-crafters telling us stitching would be get their nerves.  We enjoyed it so much that we plan to make this a yearly crafting-palooza of an event.   We are looking at Rhinebeck NY about the same time next year.   There will be some sight seeing, some crafting but tons of fun together!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Installment #3

Oh boy, so much more to cover.   I don't know if I can get in all in one more post.  We shall see.

Off to Watkins Glen....I love nature so of course I was happy to climb the trail.   But first we stopped for lunch at the Stonecat in Hector, NY.  I love little, one of a kind, places where they have neat things on the menu.   We also stopped at a little eclectic artisan co-op for some shopping.  High priced but fun to look and what a view.  

Now to Watkins Glen.   I am truly a water person and it amazes the power of water to cut through rock and erode away the mountain.    I know water can be damaging from floods but to me water soothes my soul......being in it, looking at it, hearing it......

These stairs lead to the first bridge.

 The view from the bridge.

The photo doesn't give justice to the stairway at all.    Steps as far a you can see.

 This is Minnehaha Falls.

 At the bottom of the falls, the water has eroded the rock in the shape of a heart.  Mine is not the best pix.  I didn't want to lean out too far and have an oopsie with myself or my camera!

Just another view of the years of erosion from the water cutting is way through.

 Popular photo stop....
 You actually walk behind the falls to get to the other side of the gorge.

Next stop, that suspension bridge.

Getting slippery and crowded.   Camera away the rest of the walk.
 We deserved a stop at Mr. Twistee's for ice cream after that climb....

Now I don't want you to think DD#1 was a crafting slacker.    She just finished Drawn Threads', Butterfly Garden.    Poor baby....the fabric was cut crooked so she ended with barely an inch to spare at the bottom right corner.   This is totally salvageable for framing!    We got this.
Then she pulled this piece out to work on.   I don't know the designer or name of the pattern but I can tell you the entire pattern is in German.  She is stitching it for her bike riding hubby.

As for me, I finished up this little one from Cottage Needleworks.   I did change it up a bit.   I removed "July" from the top center and added more fireworks with some krenik to dazzle up the fireworks.   And I eliminated the top and bottom gingerbread from the pattern.   While cute,  removing the top and bottom part of the design gives it a more primitive look which suits my style better.   Not sure how I am going to finish this piece and the Uncle Sam piece.    

Now as if my daughters' were not already wonderful.......real fireworks started outside our window.   They told me they paid extra for the light show just to celebrate my birthday.   What a pair!

 Just sitting in the dark, watching the fireworks from our window in our p.j'.s, sipping sangria, spending time with my daughters, best way to spend a Friday night.

One more installment and then I will be done......thanks all for sitting through the new millenniums version of your aunt's vacation slide show!