Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Quilting in Vermont

Last Monday was my birthday and I was amazed when I found that DH had actually been listening to me when I was talking about the various gadgets that you can use for spinning. He had gone out to White barn sheep and wool  and bought me a Niddy Noddy (used to create skeins of yarn after you have spun them) Who would have thought it. DSC01597

As a token of my gratitude I knitted him some socks (my first pair) I started off with two circular needles and knitting both at the same time but by the time I got to the heel I decided to just knit one at a time using the magic loop method.

DSC01598 I don’t think he was as impressed with them as much as I was, but then again nothing compares to his beloved Marks and Spencer socks.

Wednesday I drove up to Vermont to begin a quilting retreat. The GPS in the car decided to have some fun with me and took me up the 9W to Ticonderoga with the intent that I should catch a ferry over Lake Champlain. It would have been a pretty stupid thing to suggest normally but as the ferry only runs in the summer it was even more ridiculous. I ended up with an extra hour of driving at the very least, my only compensation was the lovely scenery as I drove around the lake on my way to Vergennes.DSC01601 I quickly got settled into my room at the Strong House Inn and went down to the purpose built sewing room to introduce myself to the rest of the group. There were 9 of us in total all being led by Alison Dea Bolt ( also know as “right off the bolt” from her articles in Quilters Newsletter and Keepsake quilting)

DSC01611 As you can see they have a great  sewing space there and we quickly settled in for an intense round of sewing interspersed with many food breaks and a shop hop around the local quilt stores on the Thursday. All of the group produced some great work and some (Cathy and Patti) were extremely prolific and obviously worked in sweat shops in a prior life. Alison has been working on this quilt for nearly two years, it is all paper pieced and it is very intricate, a really stunning design.

DSC01681 Just the borders to get added and it will all be done. A true labor of love.

I was still trying to catch up on my Patriots in Petticoats but I did manage to squeeze in two very small blocks made with my Debbie Tucker Lemoyne Star tool, this ruler works on star bocks from 3 inches ( the size I tried ) all the way up to 12 inches. There are full instruction with the ruler but also there is a great you tube video that takes you through the process step by step.


What a difference a day makes – this is the view from the sewing room on Thursday DSC01623 and here we are with completely different view on the Friday DSC01643 Thankfully we only got a couple of inches and by the Sunday and my return trip home; all the roads were clear and I was able to enjoy the scenery once again on my way back ( minus any detour to a non existent ferry)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Starry Starry night

It still amazes me the amount of stars we get to see in the sky while we sit in the hot tub at home. There is so little light pollution here, you would never see that many in the UK.

We still don’t have any snow here, we had about 4 inches in January but it was so warm the next day it all disappeared. The dogs were pleased to see it at last but the birds…. not so much



The following weekend we went hiking out at the Mohonk, no sign of snow but some of the paths were so covered in ice they were impassable. it was nice to get out and blow away the cobwebs .SONY DSC

This is a view of the lake with the Catskills in the background, stunning isn’t it. It still brings a broad smile to my face when I think how lucky we are to live over here.

The past two Tuesdays we have been skiing at Hunter, even though there is no snow in the area, they have great snowmaking facilities there and as long as the weather is cold the slopes stay in good shape. They also have a great deal, half price lift tickets for locals.We can be there in an hour.

So lets talk quilting, I know there has been a lot of buzz about the twister template and I thought I would jump on the bandwagon. I decided to try the little mini template. You start off making a quilt top using 2 inch finished squares and the top starts off about 20 by 30, then you use the little template to cut the twister squares and join those back together. I ended up with a quilt that is about 8 by 12.SONY DSC

Its very pretty, I would not have made this using such small pieces any other way but I am not sure I would make another one this way either as it was heartbreaking to start with something so large and end up with something so small.

SONY DSC                       It was one of my sisters *0th birthdays and so I made a log cabin wall hanging for her. The center of each block is a picture put on to photo fabric, that took a long time to get done correctly I wanted them to all be a good size and the same color tone. The border is also pieced. It was a lot of fun, I hope she liked it

I have also been working on a couple of projects that will end up as classes at Quilters Attic. First I have finished the Duck says Quack top DSC01569

it’s really nice lots of texture to it. I then moved on to a wall hanging, this one has English paper piecing and machine embroidery. I love the bright colors in it, it makes me smile when I look at it


I am also working on an E reader using the clover template. I have also been knitting at the wool shop I have had a couple of lessons around spinning, one using the drop spindle and one using the spinning wheel. It’s a lot of fun, very relaxing but my yarn is a lot thicker than I am hoping for. I guess it takes lots of practice.


I went there one Sunday for a class called contemplative knitting, it started with a little yoga and then we sat and knitted a shawl whilst music played in the background. It was very nice and relaxing. I have since finished the shawl with a 6 inch fringe on each end.DSC01565

I am currently trying to knit socks two at a time on circular needles, it takes quite a bit of concentration but like most things I guess I need to practice. I am also preparing for my quilt retreat in Vermont next week.

Foot note … I have won a award. This is awarded to blogs with 200 or less followers.

Here are the conventions for getting the blog and forwarding it on

Liebster Conventions:
*Thank your award presenter on your blog {thanks Patti} - done
*Link back to the blogger who presented you with the award – done please click and go visit Patti
*Copy and paste the award to your blog - done
*Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that have fewer then 200 followers that you think deserve to be recognized - done
*Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog – done

Here are the 5 blogs I enjoy (excluding the ones with hundreds of followers)

of quilts and other musings

Seaside Stitches

The Painted quilt

Missouri Star