buriedinscraps

Decide what to be and go be it.

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

Virginia

My husband and I share an interest in the Civil War. (No, not the Cub/Sox battle that we wage each baseball season.)  In recent years, we’ve visited some battlefield sites and homes.  They are interesting trips, but at the same time, they’re sad.  Walking through the battlefields, it’s easy to imagine the battle that took place.  But it’s also hard to imagine what it actually felt like.  It’s bittersweet….it’s a piece of history tinged with such heartache.

This summer, we decided to visit Richmond, Virginia.  We toured several battlefields, a shrine to the fallen General Stonewall Jackson and Appomattox.  We wanted to see where the surrender took place…where finally someone decided enough was enough. They call it the place where the country was reunited.  I like the sound of that better!

Appomattox is a really a neat little town.  Old storefronts, antique shops, a book store.  Yes!  A book store.  I was beginning to think they were a thing of the past…thanks to Mr. Kindle.  We wandered through an antique store where there were some quilts for sale at a very reasonable price.  But they weren’t very pretty and were pretty well-worn.  So, I left them there.

One of the small shop owners recommended the Babcock House for lunch.  Her reason for recommending it…you won’t find anything fried there.  At that point of the trip, that sounded great!  So off to the Babcock House for lunch.  The Tarragon Chicken Salad was awesome!  We had to try the Hummingbird Cake.  It was terrific.  But the calories I saved from the no-fry zone were spent on dessert!  Worth every one of them….  I might have taken a picture of our lunch but I was too busy enjoying every bite of it!

A stop at the Museum of the Confederacy was next.  There were a lot of really neat things there.  I was interested in the uniforms.  They were displaying the uniform that General Lee wore to his meeting with Grant.  I’m still amazed at how well-preserved many of the uniforms are.  Imagine this!  I even bought a quit pattern there!

Into Appomattox Courthouse.  It was a little town at the time of the war and it’s been restored by the National Park Service.  The building that I was most intrigued with was the McLean House.  This is where the papers were signed.  The house was initially taken apart around 1900.  A company was going to bring it north and rebuild it as a tourist attraction.  The company went bankrupt and the National Park Service rebuilt it on the original site using what they could salvage.  It’s only off by a quarter of an inch they tell me.  Most of the furniture and quilts are period pieces although they did not belong to the McLean family.

This is a bed and trunk that was in the guest room.  That quilt is actually around 150 years old.  (I’d like to look that good now!)

This quilt is also around 150 years old.  It’s in the master bedroom.  It’s in beautiful condition.  Fortunately, you can get a little bit closer to this quilt than the others.

This old sewing machine was in one of the bedrooms.  We’ve come a long way, Baby!  Imagine trying to maneuver a quilt under that needle!

This is maybe my favorite.  Love the colors! It was in the slave quarters.  I love it because it’s scrappy and well-loved…and it’s easy to believe this one is as old as it is.  I wish the antique store had one of these!

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Millstone Quilts

As promised….the quit shop!

In the Fall/Winter issue of Quilt Sampler,  I was introduced to Millstone Quilts in Mechanicsville, Virginia.  Since we had already planned a trip to Virginia in July ( I know….hot, hot hot!) I convinced my chauffeur that we had to stop!  Besides, I was sure it was air-conditioned!

After visiting the Cod Harbor battlefield, we set out to find Millstone Quilts.  It  was nearby.  How difficult could it be to find?  Pretty darn difficult!  But, please, don’t let that hold you back.  When we travel, my husband and I can get lost going around the block!  After driving down some very beautiful backroads, we finally reached our destination.  The shop is in an old nineteenth century grist mill.  You can see some of the workings on the third floor.  Yes, I said third floor.  There are three wonderful floors of fabrics!

I’m so sorry that I didn’t get the name of the woman working that day.  She was so very nice!  She made us feel welcome the minute we walked through the door. There is a small collection of 30s prints in the first room.  Made me think of MiniQuilter.  She loves those prints.  I had to buy her some Sock Monkey fabric.  OK…maybe for me, too.  😉

I nearly made camp in the next room.  It was full of Civil War reproduction fabrics and samples.  I did drop some coin there!  I got a nice bundle of CW fat quarters, some fat quarters for my sister…and for me…and a Kim Diehl book.  I fell in love with the Idaho Girl sample that was displayed.

The two upper floors had a nice variety of Thimbleberries and fabrics with a country feel.  And of course, the mill workings that fascinated my husband!  Guys!

If you’re looking for brights or batiks, this may not be the place for you.  But if you love reproduction fabrics as much as I do, you might want to bring a lunch!

Enjoy the slideshow!

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I feel as though I’ve been MIA….even to my family.  I’ve been hanging out here this past week with Kaye England.  I learned that you can certainly teach an old dog new tricks!

Fun in the sun…

….the very, very hot southwest Florida sun.  We spent three and a half days visiting our son and my sister and her family.  Lots of fun and good food…bleu cheese bacon burgers, New York pizza (Yep, in Florida!), chile rellenos, scallops, tres leches cake….  Yummy in the tummy but not so good for the button on the jeans!

You may recall that a few posts back, I teased you with some strips that I was taking along to Florida with me.  My sister and I spent the day working on a special project.  We have a project that we work on long distance.  We make lap quilts for the veteran’s home.  The goal was to piece a top while I was down there.  But not before we went to an organic cafe for breakfast.  Mmmmm….zucchini quiche!  A quick stop at the quilt shop for sashing fabric and we were back at her house.  She had her machines ready to rock and roll.  We had decided on a nine-patch.  Should be simple.  Yes…should be simple…but it wasn’t.  We had decided on a scrappy quilt but had different ideas about what that meant and had planned our strips that way.  I was thinking of a more planned block and she was thinking of a truly scrappy block.  We finally got on the same page…I liked her idea better and it was easier to do.  At some point we both went mathematically brain dead.  We had the strips figured correctly and the cuts figured correctly…just couldn’t figure out how many cuts we needed.  Each time we thought we had it licked…it was wrong.  So I sewed while my sister raided her stash and continued to cut strips.  What began as an organized project became organized chaos.  The sewing room floor looked like Eleanor Burns was working there!  But we finally finished the blocks and got them up on the design wall.

Before we left, she called to let me know she had completed the top, so I brought it home to quilt.

My son and his friends went on a swamp walk in the Everglades a few months back.  Yep, walking in swamp water up to your waist; sharing said water with alligators, water moccasins and spiders.  Oh my!  He tried to tell me that I told him I would do the walk with him when we came down.  I know I didn’t tell him that because my mama didn’t raise a fool.  Apparently his mama did…but mine did not!  One of the good things that came from his adventure was that he discovered a photographer by the name of Clyde Butcher.  Clyde Butcher is a black and white photographer specializing in Florida wilderness.  You can see his gallery here.  My favorite is the ghost orchid.  While I certainly couldn’t afford the $16,000 price tag on some of his images, I did manage to buy a few 5×7 notecards to frame.

We left Naples for Virginia.  It was too long to drive in one day so we stopped in Orlando.  You can’t visit Orlando and not visit The Mouse.  It would just be rude!  So we spent the next day at Epcot Center.  It’s one of my favorite places.  Lots of good entertainment and good food.  We had lunch at Le Cellier in the Canadian pavilion.  For all of my Canadian friends, I have to tell you that my husband and I shared an order of poutine.  I had heard of it but never had an opportunity to try it.  As bizarre as the thought of cheese fries covered in gravy sounds, they are actually quite tasty….and quite filling.  Between the two of us, we only managed to finish half of an order.  I think I was in carb overload, however, because I was looking for a place to take a nap.  We decided that regardless of how tasty we thought they were, we would probably never have them again.  An hour later, we were trying to figure out how to duplicate them at home!  Is it any wonder I gain weight on vacation?  🙂

I’m baaaack!

And I hope a few of you missed me!  I have so much to blog about but so much to do to catch up at home.

We had a great trip!  Visited with our son in Florida, finished a quilt top with my sister, spent a day with The Mouse in Orlando, visited some Civil War sites in Virginia and spent the day at an amusement park with the grandkids the day after we got home.  Whew!  I’m tired!

In the very near future I want to share the quilt top my sister and I finished, a visit to an awesome quilt shop in Virginia, and some photos of a few antique quilts I saw in Virginia.  As soon as I can get to my computer with the photos, I’ll share!  Until then…I’ll try to catch up!

Another one finished….

First off….I’m going to apologize in advance. I’m posting this from my IPad and it likes to put words in my mouth. I ticked another project off my summer to-do list. I finished my charity quilt. My sister and I have been making lap quilts for the veteran’s home. While my top has been finished for a while, I put a off quilting it. I wanted to put it on my Hinterburg frame with my Juki TL 98. I have a love/hate relationship with this set-up. When it works, it’s great! When it doesn’t it’s a nightmare. I’ve had more nightmares than sweet dreams. Because of this, I stopped using it. I decided to give it another chance. Loaded up the quilt. That was an adventure in itself since I forgot how to do it. Got it loaded up and fired up the machine. Guess what! It worked beautifully. I was finished in two and a half hours. Only had a small tension problem that was easily fixed. I only did a meandering design to eliminate any extra pressure!

After I bound the quilt, I tossed it into the washing machine. When I pulled it out, I saw that one of the reds had run. Dang! That hadn’t happened to me in years! See what happens when you become complacent? My sister and I worked on the next charity quilt. Didn’t make the progress we had hoped.  But that’s another post for another day!

Better late than never….

I’ve moved from the corner and put the dunce cap away for another day and as promised, here are my words of wisdom!  🙂

I’ve crossed another project off of my summer to-do list!

This one was truly a learning experience.  As you can probably tell by the fabrics, this one has been patiently languishing waiting in the Later Tater pile for quite some time.  It was a pattern that caught my eye but I quickly lost interest in it.  I nearly tossed it recently but I thought it would be good fmq practice.  Originally, I was going to do Leah’s “zippling” but I thought it better lended itself to curvy stippling.  I’ve never known what to do with applique shapes.  Do I quilt over them or quilt around them or just not do them.  Usually I opt for Plan C.

I decided to use the quilting to enhance the appliques.  First, let me tell you that these are fused onto the background.  They will survive a nuclear blast.  I have no idea which fusible I used back in my dark days of beginning applique but just know that quilting through that fusible was like quilting through armor.  I’m older and wiser now (older for sure!).  Now I would cut out the center of the fusible.  Makes for a much softer quilt and I’m sure much easier quilting!  But I plugged along willing the needle to not break in the hot mess that was my fusible!

I then decided that stippling would be the way to go on the background.  After all, I had this beautiful hand-dyed Valdani thread that was perfect.  It was perfect and it quilted beautifully.  I just want to know whose big idea it was to stipple so small.  I thought I would never finish.

Ah…the border.  Finally the border!  I saw the light at the end of the tunnel.  Borders always stymie me.  I’m sure you’ve all been there.  It’s the border…I want to be finished!  And many times it’s a plain piece that cries out for fancy stitching!  Well, borders can cry me a river because I typically just quilted a grid or straight lines.  I thought since this was fmq practice, a leafy border might look nice.  And I think it does.  And it was easy!  I’m glad I didn’t take the easy way out.

I’ve tried to fmq without the gloves.  I don’t like the gloves.  They’re bulky and they can get hot and I sew through them at least once a day.  But I can’t get a good grip without them.

My sister took a fmq class and the instructor suggested using glycerine.  You just rub a few drops onto your fingertips and it’s amazing how well you can grip the fabric.  When I first tried it I was skeptical.  It had an almost greasy texture and I was terrified that it would rub off on my quilt.  It didn’t.  In fact, it didn’t wear off of my fingers until I washed it off.  If you have the same issues with the gloves that I do, give this a try.

And here’s the tease….

I’ll be in Florida visiting my son and my sister next week and these guys are going along for the ride.  My sister and I will spend a day putting together a nine-patch for a charity quilt  project that we have.  I’ll post a photo of the finished project later!

Guess what I did….

I had a wonderful post planned for today….a finished project, a “tool tip”  and a tease.  I edited all of the photos on my computer downstairs and brought them into WordPress.  I carefully thought out the tidbits of wisdom that I was going to share with you later on this evening.  Then I exited the program and forgot to save the changes!  Isn’t that basic computer knowledge….save, save, save!  So, here I am upstairs on the laptop with words to type and wisdom to share and no photos and too lazy to start over tonight!  Darn I hate when that happens.

Here’s me wearing the dunce cap!! Not the first time either I might add!

I guess it will all have to wait until tomorrow.   🙂

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