Saturday, November 24, 2012


The day after Thanksgiving always presents me with a dilemma.  I NEED to visit either the fabric store or the yarn shop.  The fabric store is a long drive to the east - across the river,  a different county, etc.  It means that I will bump into Black Friday shoppers (eeekkk!).  

The yarn shop, aaahhh, the blessed yarn shop - nestled under a bright blue Gardner sky with the Gunks as a magnificent backdrop. . . a pretty winding country road with sheep grazing and ponds dotting the landscape.

It's a no-brainer.  

If you ever find yourself in my corner of the world (upstate New York) you must take a trip to Gardner, which is south of New Paltz, another fun place to visit.  There you will find Paula's gem, The White Barn Sheep and Wool farm where she raises sheep and sells the most delightful combination of fibers.  When I say that it is the county's best kept secret, I do not exaggerate.  Paula is an artist and her fine sensibility reigns - the most unique patterns, the loveliest knitted samples, great tools, good assistance, workshops, knitting groups, gifts made by local artists (including moi) - but go for the FIBER!

You cannot leave empty-handed.  This discovery boasts almost 500 yards!  Paula believes in quality AND value. 

You can find whatever you need.  This is a place where you can drop your Thanksgiving inertia and inhale creative!

When I got home the mail lady had delivered one of my favorite catalogues - Isabella.  Have you seen this one?  I usually toss most of the catalogues in the trash ... but this one is special.  By the time I finish with it there are multiple turned down pages!

A happy weekend to all!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

these funny gnomes!  I love them.

Fun!  What would be more wonderful than a holiday quilt with gnomes!

Monica, your designs make me laugh - they are so fresh!  

I have been working again in the sewing room - taking a break from my knitting.  Here is a special package which is ready to ship - I can hardly wait to get this one out there!

And I have a new pot holder for my son who is hosting our Thanksgiving dinner at his house -

He's so great - he ran out and got gluten-free flour and lemons and the spices that I'd forgotten today. I'm going to reward him with the most gorgeous cherry pie ever!  (with crumb topping!)  And keep in mind - everything that we are eating this holiday is freaking specially gluten-free!!!  I'll let you know how it all works out ...

It's going to be hard without this guy. We still miss him so much.  

Happy Thanksgiving, All.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

a verb for making warmth

Exciting times around here - the darling daughter returned, driving through the night, stealthy, fooling all.  And she is here, she is home.  A chip off the old block - packing her car beyond its limits, motoring from south Florida - a 24 hour journey accomplished in one shot.  Truthfully, she is braver than anyone I know.  Happy beyond expression.

So there has been baking and consuming  - fresh spinach with artichoke hearts ... a big hit!

And sewing, of course -

It's beginning to feel a bit like Christmas.

There are holiday gnomes in the sewing room!  I want to place them in everything that I am creating!  A visit to the FatQuarter site is in order as I have no green or aqua gnomes.  I hope that they still have some in stock because, as usual, I was late to this party and unaware of Monica's wonderful designs until just recently.  Mine is an imperfect world - if I spent the time navigating quilting blogs that I'd like to, there would be precious little time left for quilting!  It's the dread Day Job.  It spoils everything!

A special gift for a special couple - almost ready to send.

I wanted to finish this today as we have brilliant sunshine and breeze enough to dry this, but my finger aches from too many hours of stitching binding.  I have to take a break.  Also - I need to find a thimble that I can wear and any suggestions would be gratefully accepted.  The solid sterling one that I adore makes me fumble and feel clumsy, and so out of control.  The suede always surprises me with a dreadful jab when the black clover quilting needle finds its way though!  And the plastic is just not my cup of tea!  But this is -

I loved making this tiny quilt!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

happy zombies

Wash day.  What could be prettier than Monica's 'Winterkist' drying in the November sun?


This quilt was completed in 2003 - it seems as if I've always loved these juicy colors when paired.  I left these things on the line most of the afternoon.  It was such a treat to look outdoors to find them dancing in the breezes, juxtaposed against a greying landscape.  Eye candy.

Monday, November 5, 2012

birthday in connecticut

The sun blessed us - after a two week disappearance.  Our ride to Connecticut to celebrate mom's birthday was glorious until we reached Pound Ridge, where Hurricane Sandy's devastating handiwork was revealed.  I won't post images of the magnificent old trees down along with miles of fencing and power lines.  I saw too many houses draped in tarp and firewood newly stacked next to the gigantic stumps that had been trees.  It took us a while to reach New Canaan as the detours were many.  We were on a mission!

Mom's 84th birthday celebration!  My sister treated us to a delicious lunch and this carrot cake was a splendid finish to a wonderful afternoon.

There is always a wonderful little cavalier waiting nearby to join in the celebration!

In the lower left hand corner of this image you can see a flash!  That's Pippa, proudly running about with my niece's car keys in her mouth.  When Hadley arrives Pippa grabs her keys and trots around with her prize!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

after the storm

We were so very fortunate this time, unlike our neighbors along the shore and beyond.  We lost two old apple trees, and that was the worst of it.  As I watched the devastation along the Jersey shore I felt guilty that I was warm and dry.  Today I will gather together some warm items that our local church will distribute to those who lost everything.  It's not much, but if everyone would do one small thing to help ... imagine.

I made my coffee and walked upstairs to my sewing room.  The early morning light was exquisite.  Saturday mornings are a gift - doesn't everything look better in Saturday morning light?

Sometimes I will work late into the night on Fridays just because I CAN!  I'll stumble into bed and when I rise I am 
often surprised at the progress I made the night before! Not to mention the mess!

A very wonderful and deserving couple recently adopted a beautiful baby and I am making this little piece for them. It will have 3-D pinwheels cheerfully dotting the borders when finished.  I used one of my favorites - so sparingly as it is almost gone and irreplaceable -

The measure, I think, of an excellent design - one that is as fresh and relevant today as it was 10 years ago when selected for the first time! I'd love to start a petition to bring this one back. 

 I think about fabric, I daydream about it, and recently have started drawing - making thumbnail illustrations - designs that I would like to see produced.  This is on my Bucket List - to have my own line of fabric.  Dreams need space in which to germinate, to develop into strong sturdy reality and I give mine tenderness, encouragement and as much square footage as I can spare!

Christmas is just around the corner.  I'd like to be ready this season, but if I do manage to finish my gifts, it will be a first.  Still, a large portion of the joy, for me, is the time spent working with my holiday fabrics and ideas.  Many will never see the light of day, others will be prettily wrapped under the tree.  The process is the beauty part.