Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Quilting. There was a time when quilting was the main topic here at A Simple Girl. I don't know about you, but I've missed it. Things are beginning to feel settled enough that more quilting time is being found in each day.
The applique on this piece is done. Now to turn it into a finished project. I'm thinking of a pillow. More diamonds are being added to the stack.
And I have been working on signature blocks for a swap with my California quilting buddies.
The blocks are assembled. Now to stitch my name on each of them and get them in the mail. Does anyone out there know what my deadline is?
Then there was a finish! I joined in Finn's New New Year's Eve 2009 Challenge. I perhaps didn't challenge myself by much. But I have met my stated goal of completing one project.
The Mourning Quilt from Prairie Children and Their Quilts by Kathleen Tracy. I found this little quilt languishing in the bottom of my hexagon basket. The quilting was nearly done, but for some reason it had been set aside. A couple of evenings of stitching and attaching binding was all it took.
Now I'm ready to pull this project out and start getting some stitches in it. I won't be able to complete it before New Year's Eve, but it will be the perfect winter's day companion this year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nearly a week and nary a word. How does time get away from me? Well, first there was the snow. Oh, I fully understand that its coming was not a happy thing for the natives, but for me it was exciting beyond belief. It was just magical. Second, I have come to believe that I cannot form another interesting way to describe unpacking of boxes. This is due to the undeniable fact that unpacking boxes has now become drudgery.
So now fall has returned let's take a moment to enjoy its splendor. Here is the view from my blogging spot.
It is a changing kaleidoscope of color. Something new and different every morning. Fall has not disappointed me in any way.
Yesterday I took the opportunity to get away from the boxes and meet a fellow blogger. Yvonne from Quilting Down The Stairs has been a source of encouragement and New England knowledge for us during the last few months. What a delight to be invited to her home for the afternoon.
I not only met Yvonne, but the kitties, too. They were slightly interested in my arrival, but soon settled back into their favorite napping positions.
I was treated to lunch - complete with orange cheddar cheese for my sandwich (more on that in a future post) and finished with blueberry pie. This little pincushion plant on the kitchen windowsill will be a warm reminder of the day.
And on the coffee table, this fabulous book which Yvonne sweetly inscribed as a 'welcome' to Massachusetts and a budding friendship.
Did you notice the quilt on the cover? Hexagons. Maybe I'm going to fit in in Massachusetts after all.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Krazy Kalifornia Kids?
Yes, that was us - the family that was out in the front yard, in our pajamas, taking pictures of Harper and the first snow of the year. She is completely un-phased. Hubby is cold. I am just mesmerized.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Would you care to join Harper and me on a walk to the Post Office? The weather has certainly become 'brisk' with a forecast high of 45f. It is currently 35f. But we decided we didn't need a jacket. As it gets colder, I won't be doing that again.
At the end our street is the town Common.

Across from the Common is the library.
I haven't thoroughly explored it yet. I had to wait until I got my MA identification before I could get a library card. Just haven't made it back yet. I wonder if they still use a card catalog - I miss them.
Here's another view of the Common.
Everywhere you turn right now is bursting forth in fall colors. I just can't get enough.
Living in a small town is different, too. On this short walk, we greeted 2 different neighbors, got a shout out to Harper from a passing truck and a couple of waves from others. It's nice to not feel so anonymous, but it will take a little getting used to also.
Okay, we've dropped off our mail. Time to head home again. We just have to walk down this street a little bit and we'll be there.
After our little outing we'll spend the rest of the day inside working on some stitching. There's always a project nearby that needs some tending. Thanks for coming out with us. It was fun.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Today's tip from A Simple Girl: Always check your Spam Mailbox - sometimes you might just find a very nice thing. It happened for me last week when I found an email with the title 'Quilted Crow.' I opened it to find an invitation from a gal that follows my blog in Australia, Linda (no blog.) She is traveling in the States with two friends Bev and Sandra (also no blogs) and would be visiting The Quilted Crow on Thursday.
Our date was a little touch-and-go while coordinating those appliance deliveries, but I was able to work it out. I'm so glad I did. What a fun time. The four of us were the only shoppers there. We combed over that entire shop and each of us left with a nice package of fabrics, wools and patterns to show for our effort.
The little tea shop next to the quilt shop was closed. We were given directions to Nancy's Airfield Cafe just down the road. We enjoyed a delicious lunch, chatted with Nancy herself before we had to say our goodbyes. I've made new friends, explored some new places and enhanced my stash all because I checked that Spam box.
Today Hubby and I took a trip in the other direction to visit Old Sturbridge Village. We had planned the trip for last weekend but got rained out. We didn't explore too deeply today - just worked on getting a lay of the land. After carefully reading the website, we already know we want to go back to take some of the classes they offer such as blacksmithing, basket weaving, vermiculture, etc. And yes, they do carry Old Sturbridge Village fabric from Marcus Brothers in the gift shop. Instead of fabric, I added to my collection of ABC books.
The bookshop there was very nice and I could have easily chosen several more books. But I'll save them for another time.
When we got home, I realized that we did not take a single picture on our little jaunt. Shame on me. The fall colors are just stunning right now - particularly to a couple of California kids. I guess we were too mesmerized by the colors to remember to pull out the camera. So instead I'll share what is beginning to happen in our very own yard. This tree is right outside our backdoor.
It's just starting to show some yellow and orange at the very top. I wonder what it will look like in another week?

Friday, October 09, 2009

The 'Adventures In Appliances' is just about to come to a close. This will bring about a minor celebration to our home this evening. You may remember this post where we found it difficult to spend our hard earned cash at a nationally known appliance retailer.
I did return for my 'Julia Roberts' moment with the store manager. As it turns out, the sales staff does not fall far from the tree. As I retold my tale to the store manager, I was only barely able to hold his interest. So my 'moment' wasn't so satisfactory. I did sent a message to the corporate headquarters and feel that there I was heard. I'll never know for sure if any of the parties involved faced any repercussions, but I do feel that I did what I could to get the information to the proper parties.
And still you can see that more than a month has passed and even with great help from a retail competitor, we are just now receiving delivery of the last two items. Why, you ask. Because I have committed the kitchen decorating faux pas of the new millennium in purchasing white appliances. Oh, I know stainless steel is all the rage and every well appointed kitchen is decked out to the hilt with the latest in its gray shiny wonder. Ah - but as a teen I did more than my fair share of polishing that dread surface at the local McDonald's. Enough to last a couple of lifetimes, thank you very much. So for this Simple Girl nothing would do but plain and ordinary white - which are now a special order.
Was it worth the wait? You betcha. I'm running through my head all the things I plan to bake in the coming week. Soup will be simmering on the stovetop, the dishwasher will be leaving my utensils sparkly clean.
This morning while the gas line was being installed for the range, I prepped this piece for the applique. The pattern can be found in the latest AP&Q magazine. I was lucky to locate a box labeled 'quilt scraps' in the basement and found all that I needed to put it together.
Now I have something to keep my hands busy while I wait for the dishwasher to be installed this afternoon.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Harper and I have been taking short, daily walks around our new neighborhood. We need to learn to check the weather before heading out. The tried and true San Diego method of looking out the window just doesn't work here, but we are getting the hang of it.
On most days we have had the chance to wave and say 'Good Morning' to someone passing by. Yesterday we got to meet some of our neighbors and their dog, too. A little sniffing for the dogs and some chit chat for me. A high priority question I've had is: How many trick-or-treaters to expect? I would not want to be caught short on treats.
I was given this bouquet of hydrangea blooms from an heirloom tree (yes, it's a tree!) as a welcome to the neighborhood gift.
I hope to soon invite them over for coffee and a little more get-to-know-you chatter. Our new range is being delivered today. I'll be able to make up a little something to go with that coffee.
We did have to hurry inside because the weather did change - from sunny and warm, to gray, cold, windy and ominous in a matter of moments. That left me the afternoon to stitch a little more on my latest project.
Today I'm off to The Quilted Crow. Hopefully I'll come back with lots of fun things to share.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

First off - a great big thank you from Hubby and I for all the anniversary wishes. We kept our celebration pretty low key, a nice dinner out and then home to moan over being too full and to watch some television.
The number of boxes piled up continues to lessen. I thought it might be time to share a peek upstairs. This collage is the master bedroom. The wall color is called Sergeant - just the color of an old army blanket. I've ordered fabric to make curtains and a dust ruffle for the bed. There are mini-blinds in the windows, but they look so stark. So I decided to hang quilts in the meantime.During the day, I can just unclasp one end and push the quilts to one side allowing in some light. At night, not a speck up light comes in making for great sleeping.
The days are starting to feel normal enough to set up the sewing machine and do a little stitchin'.
What fun to stitch up a pile of hst's. Hopefully this afternoon will bring another session where they will begin to turn into blocks.

Monday, October 05, 2009

By The Numbers - A Look Back At 30 Years

  • 12 changes of address
  • 9 different cars
  • 5 beloved pets
  • 3 television appearances
  • 1 great kid
Countless laughs, quite a few tears, an abundance of inside jokes - all with my best friend and love of my life. Happy Anniversary.

Friday, October 02, 2009

October? Already? Where did September go? Unpacking boxes is an ongoing process. It is starting to look more and more like a home and less like a storage facility with each day. I took a little detour and located the box with fall decorations. If I'm going to live in the land of fall, then I think my home should reflect just that - and the walls that have not yet received a coat of paint are screaming for some color.
Harper and I made a discovery out in the yard this week. One of our trees is a chestnut tree. Now each time we go outside I fill up my pocket with some fallen nuts. I'm going to try my hand at roasting them - not on an open fire, but in the oven.Yesterday's triumph was making my way to the local Target without the assistance of the GPS. Not a single wrong turn. As a reward I decided a Starbucks latte would be just right. The only Starbucks is in the Barnes and Noble. While waiting for my drink, I picked up a couple of quilting magazines. A double treat.
Now to get into some of those boxes with fabric. I've found a couple of patterns that I just HAVE to make right away.