Saturday, August 08, 2015

It is still summer...

I know I fell off the blog radar again.  Let's just say the hot weather this summer is kicking my you-know-what...

So I'm spending this hot Saturday picking paper off the back of my guild's next donation quilt.  Money raised from this quilt goes to Camp Rainbow, a camp for children with cancer.

About 30 guild members worked on the quilt.  Thursday my friend Tari and I made the last push to get the rows sewn together.  Phew.  The top needs to be ready for the long-arm quilter on Monday so it can go to another member to be bound because it has to be ready for our show in November...ya, there's a deadline.

My garden has been neglected badly this year.  Amazingly I am getting more tomatoes and basil than I ever have when I actually worked at it!

I also have a mystery squash growing down near the compost pile.  Bonus!

Watson does love it when I come out into his yard...not happening a lot!

That is all for now...need to get some more paper picking done...then maybe I can move on to binding a quilt of my own!

Wednesday, July 08, 2015


Today was a pretty emotional day.

Ninety quilts were delivered to vets at the VA Hospital here in Augusta.  These were vets in long term care.  Most seemed to be from the Korea/Vietnam ere through there were a few WWII vets hanging on and unfortunately a few from more recent conflicts.

The guild put together these quilts in 4-1/2 months.  That is a lot of fast stitching!

RJ from a local machine and vacuum shop quilted this top that I had made with other quilters.  It was his first time quilting so I think it was extra special for him to present the quilt!

There were many watery-eye moments.  Regulations did not allow for photos to be taken on the care floors...just take my word that there were lots of smiles!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Bits and bobs...

I noticed there were lots of photos in my "for blog" file that just never made it into a post...hence my title - "bits and bobs."  (One of those British expressions that I love!)
A new cork board for my sewing room and a block I've been playing with...

My quilting buddies celebrated my birthday a few weeks late...I had a birth-month this year!
220 charm squares in a bowl!

Each of them cut 55 6-1/2 inch blocks for me!  I have quite a pile now!

My sister Mary Ellen sent me this precious wall hanging for my new sewing room...

and her husband Dave turned this bowl out of Maple.

 They also sent hot-dog rolls...the New England kind!  (flat on each side...)

Still working on my dragonfly "portraits"...

I may have to break down and get the baking pan from King Arthur Flour so I can just bake my own...for whatever reason you can't find this kind here in the South and lobster or chicken salad rolls just aren't the same if the roll isn't buttered and grilled!  Now I'm hungry!  

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Help in the sewing studio

My husband called from a charity store and asked if I might be interested in a vintage sewing machine.  Silly question!

So he brought home my first Bernina!  Best of all - she works!  And she was just $10!   I brought her to the local dealer to have a check over and with a bit of cleaning and oil she humms...
some handkerchiefs that were tucked in with some sewing instructions...

She is all metal and weighs a "ton" but since she will be a studio machine that is fine.  She came with two extension beds too.  I'm going to keep a walking foot on her and use her for putting on bindings and some small project quilting.
Watson in his "All American" t-shirt...
One of my MS things makes it difficult for me to change out feet on my machines.  Having a "permanent" walking foot machine will make things a lot easier!  Now I just need to find a permanent spot in the room for her!  Also needs a name...she was made in Switzerland so I am thinking Heidi?

New to me basket quilt

I left one quilt out of my estate sale finds posts last month!

Maybe because it really needed a bath...fast!  (and not because Watson sat on it!)

It was made circa 1930.

I like that the baskets are scrappy.
wet quilt drying out on the deck...

Love that the setting triangles and the 2-3 inch border is also pieced!

There are a few loose seams but it is clean so I can go about fixing those...
The quilting is done in a squared off fan.  The backing is pieced and likely home-dyed.  Binding is back to front.  All the typical characteristics of a "southern" quilt.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

VA Hospital quilts

A few months ago a chaplain at the local Veterans Administration Hospital approached the quilting guild I belong to and asked if we could make quilts for the long term care wards.
82 of the quilts on display at a local church...
Many of these vets are elderly and no longer have family that visit.  Making the institutional setting even bleaker.
Here in front are two of the quilts I made...Bonnie H. fans will recognize one!

So first our goal was 50..then 75...and come Tuesday when they are presented I believe we will be close to 90 quilts!  I'm really proud to be part of this guild...

I am madly putting the binding on the last one in my stack...a fitting project for the 4th of July I think!

Friday, July 03, 2015

Sibley Textile Mill revisited

Ever since I visited Sibley Mill, a textile mill here in Augusta Georgia that closed about 30 years ago, I searched for a quilt made locally that could have scraps from the mill.
Denim backed quilt on the front steps of Sibley Mill

I just may have found it...but may may be as close as I'll come!  I bought this at an estate sale.  Yes, she was a quilter.  Yes, she lived near the mill.  Yes, family remembers it being in her house.  Here is the kicker...no one remembers her working on this quilt and women in her church were known to trade or gift quilts often.

So for the meanwhile this will remain just a "southern quilt circa 1970, likely made in the Augusta area."
adjacent to the dye room

I did get a chance to go inside the Mill and do a bit of photography.  The building is pretty much empty except for a hydroelectric power plant.
abandoned spools of thread in the dye room

Interesting place though the 100 degree heat at 9 in the morning was a bit tough to take!

and I ended it by lugging a really heavy quilt around to get photos...just a bit crazed!
So I have now have loads of post processing to do...translated to messing about in editing programs with raw photo files.  The down side is that heat kicked my optic neuritis into play and so I don't have the best color vision...the files will have to stay on the back burner for now.  Good thing I have a large library of BBC mysteries to keep me occupied!

Monday, June 22, 2015

A moment to reflect...

Lots of discussion happening here in the American South about race.

What happened last week is horrible.  What has happened the past few days in Charleston restores my faith that all people can live together.

These photos are from a church here in Augusta that may be torn down later this year.

The small building was put up by slaves prior to the civil war.  They pooled their savings to buy the freedom of a literate black man to serve as their pastor.

This a painful part of our history.  A part we shouldn't forget.

The large building was put up around 1875...to me it shows how much progress the black community made in this area in less than 50 years.  I hate to think we would lose this.

The inside of the building is in poor shape...

partly from no maintenance being done (one of our photographers fell through the balcony floor!  She was bruised and shaken but ok...)

and partly from vandals or folks camping out here.

We were out there photographing for a local museum so the church could be documented before it disappears...