Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Doormats again

This is "Doormats #2" loaded on the longarm machine for quilting. 
I pieced it quite a long time ago and decided I needed to get it finished.

I blocked it by pinning it to the floor.

My Doormats quilts were inspired by the shapes and forms on some doormats that were for sale several years ago in the gift shop at the Schweinfurth Art Museum in Auburn, NY.

If you click on the pictures, you can see that I did straight-line quilting all over the quilt.  Except for the lightest-colored sections, I used a variegated thread.

Thursday, December 24, 2015


A holiday tradition no less... 

We can the pears from our own trees at harvest time.  This year was bountiful, and we beat the deer to most of the crop.  With the extra pears, we canned pear mincemeat.  The apples were picked from our Mitsu tree in late fall. 

The result is these two wonderful mincemeat-apple pies.  Yum-yum!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Rosemary & Daffodils

Our late-fall, early-winter clear and warm weather continues. 

We dug up our two rosemary plants and will keep them inside for the winter.  Some years they prosper, and other times we need to replace them in the spring.  We'll see what these next couple of months bring.

Some daffodils are peaking up, hoping Spring is here in late December!  It will be interesting to see if El Nino can keep the zero temperatures away all winter.  Let's hope!

Thursday, December 17, 2015


Our resident princess suffered the indignity of being ill and had to spend a couple of days in the kitty hospital.  Both her front legs were shaved:  one for a blood draw and the other for IV fluids.

We are still waiting for a differential diagnosis between pancreatitis or hepatitis.  We hope neither results and have tried to convince her that matching anklets are the height of fashion -- She is not so sure!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Xmas Lights

For the past several years we have strung lights along the bushes and shrubs in front of our house.  We have seldom, if ever, had a milder, snow-free stretch of weather to complete the task.

The lights are on an automatic timer that comes on at dusk and turns off some six hours later.  A rainy night adds reflection from the blacktop driveway.

Suki loves any project outdoors and joins us for putting the lights outside.  Of course, she is convinced that she is the center of attention.

Our 20+ year old Japanese Maple is a wonderful feature of the landscaping and a perfect perch for the Princess.  The large fenced-in horse paddock serves as a background along with a large burning bush at the corner of the garage.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Peeps' Xmas

 Pat hosted the December meeting of the Peeps at her house for our annual Xmas get-together.

Her house was beautifully decorated for the holidays, and she had her tree all trimmed.

There was Show & Tell, and Carol shared this lovely pillow that she made for a present.

And of course, there was A LOT of food because we all brought too much.  We started with Pat's butternut squash and apple soup, moved on to salads and sides and breads, and then had to try a few of the deserts!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Reception at the Barrel Room

Mary, Bev, and I were on hand for the wine tasting and reception for the art showing featuring the quilts we have hanging at The Barrel Room in Victor, NY. 

It was a fun evening and great to see several old friends.

Joan, Janet, and I went to school together, and it was a nice surprise that they came for the evening.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Kitty Update

Our wonderful fall has allowed outdoor weather for us and the outdoor cats.   The kitties like to keep track of what we are doing when we're working in the gardens.

The Blue Rug Juniper garden serves as their background.

Feral cat, Millie, and neighborhood cat, Mr. Boots, spread out in the sun and keep their view on us and the surrounding area.

They wait just off our deck on the south side of the house -- not missing meal time morning, noon, or night.

Millie sleeps half hidden near the deck under a bush in the sun.  She grows more comfortable with us each day. Maybe soon she will join us indoors!

Suki, our resident queen, curls up in the studio, wrapping up in whatever she finds -- this time it's the cover for the longarm quilting machine.

Monday, November 30, 2015

A quilt from blocks

Last month I took a one-day workshop offered through the Genesee Valley Quilt Club by Joe Cunningham.

We sewed strips together, cut those into new strips and created random blocks.  From there, I added some more individual blocks.

Then I started adding more fabric around the center blocks and decided to add bits of the blocks so they would "bleed" through the outside borders.

There was a lot of rearranging at this point until the final composition below emerged.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Peeps and Divas

Members of two local art quilt groups gathered together at the Schweinfurth Art Center, and it was great to meet with both old and new friends.

There was lots of discussion, and we generated ideas on how we might work together as a group. 

Of course, we also had some Show & Tell, with lots of work pinned all around the walls.

Thanks to Carol Boyer for chairing the meeting  and to Donna Lamb for hosting us.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Sewing Day

A couple of friends joined me in the studio for a little sewing time. 

Jeanne had hosted her annual retreat last week, where she had given the participants a  demo and project to do with tree shapes. So she used some of her leftover samples to  create a small art quilt.

Anne worked on the binding for this quilt that she's making for her mother, using her own hand-dyed fabrics.

The quilt on the back wall is one of mine that's waiting to be put on the longarm machine.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Clean Up

We have several areas of accumulated "take downs" from our trimming and cutting activities.  We have added some empty boxes and other discarded burnable material to this pile.

A quiet fall day allows us to begin disposal by a controlled burn.

This collection is burning in our large horse pasture which is currently empty.  Bill stands ready with the bucket on the tractor to consolidate the burning pile if necessary.

The process is complete as the afternoon wanes.  Our recently refurbished barn in the left of the picture is shining in the sun light.  A fence in the perennial garden is in the center background.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Barrel Room

Mary, Bev, and  I are showing some of our work at The Barrel Room in Victor, NY, from now through January.

The opening reception is Friday, December 4th, from 6 to 8 pm.  We hope you'll be able to join us!

We worked with Travis to decide which pieces to hang around the room.

And Travis supplied the hammer and nails and assistance with the hanging.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Ruth's Trunk Show


Ruth White is a local art quilter from Ithaca.  She was at the Schweinfurth Art Center to do a Trunk Show.

In this photo, Stephanie and Donna are holding two of Ruth's small art quilts.  (The quilts on the wall are part of an exhibit of quilts done by Victoria Findlay Wolfe.)

Ruth used all hand-dyed fabrics in this piece.

Ruth entered her quilt in the National Quilt Museum's 2016 contest for innovative interpretations of traditional New York beauty patterns, and it was accepted! 

Congratulations, Ruth!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fiber Arts Retreat

Priscilla and I went to the Fiber Arts Retreat at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, NY.   We had three days of open studio time in the newly-decorated sewing area. 
Priscilla is admiring the log cabin quilt that Donna is hand quilting. 

We had delicious catered lunches served to us every day, complete with wonderful desserts -- Yum!

All kinds of projects were being worked on.  Janet finished putting together this lovely red jacket.

In addition to those of us who were sewing upstairs, there was a group working in the downstairs "wet" studio area.   Pat showed us some of the fabrics she was dyeing, painting, and screening.

Liza was making her first quilt!  It's a king-sized piece for her bed, made from fabrics from her sister's stash.

And Norma was preparing for the upcoming Double Wedding Ring class with Victoria Findlay Wolfe by making blocks of fabrics.  The class will be held at Schweinfurth December  5-6.