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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Thank You for Your Service

Memorial Day--a time to remember those who have served and those who are currently serving.

My husband Floyd


My brother Eric

My dad Otto



His brother Hugo


And his brother Othmar (Bill)



My mother's brother George



And his oldest daughter Ginny



And his son Joseph



My family does not have anyone currently serving in the Armed Forces, but my thoughts, prayers and thanks go out to those who are serving and their families. Throughout history our brave men and women have stepped up to keep us free.



On Monday--and every day--when you see someone in uniform thank them for their service.



Proud and thankful to be an American,

Sharon

Friday, May 27, 2011

Optical Illusion

Once this applique block was finished I hung it on my design wall. Wanting to do something a bit different in the setting category, I decided to add squares around the applique block. The math turned it into an off-set block--or at least gave it that illusion.

Notice how the outer corner squares change how the applique looks. My eye sees an elongation toward the outer squares. (I measured the applique block and the placement of the applique on it--all are symmetrical.)

Here it is on point with the dark squares up.

And with the dark squares on the horizontal.




I thought I liked picture 2 best, but after seeing them all, I may take the applique block out and try something else. Or maybe not. What I do know? Nothing will happen to it tonight.




I have finished the applique on two blocks tonight. And we are being blessed with a lot more rain.




See...I do still do quilting-related blogs!




Hugs,


Sharon




P.S. I am listening to Tough Customer by Sandra Brown and am just starting to read The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Scenes from the Storm

It was a dark and stormy night.... And I was taking pictures! You have to take a lot of duds to get even one shot of anything but darkness. But it is worth it!

Severe storms swept through the area for several hours tonight. We were lucky and did not have the tornado predicted.








Maybe something quilting related tomorrow! But these were literally hot off the camera!


Hugs,

Sharon

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gloversville

This past weekend was spent in the company of quilters from the Sew Busy Quilt Guild of Gloversville, New York. From my arrival to my departure, these ladies could not have been more welcoming. On Saturday we worked on the finer points of binding and sleeves. That afternoon, as we were trying to do labeling, it rained so hard that, even with the ladies within touching distance of me, I could not make myself heard!

On Sunday, we worked on fussy-cutting Dresden Plates. I had an opportunity to see some quilts started several years ago when I last visited, and there were some stunning fabrics being used this time. It's always hard for me to stop playing with other people's fabrics! The ladies have promised to have a show-and-tell and to send me pictures, which I will share with you. I can't wait!

It was a wonderful weekend!

On Saturday night, Patti, Katherine, Sandy and Markie took me to dinner at Union Hall in Johnstown. The building dates from 1798 and is remarkable. (Most remarkable was the flourless chocolate cake!)




Across the road is this monument.




The plaque was especially poignant.


Now it's back to reality. The lawn was over 6 inches tall --and full of water. But the air is redolent (www.dictionary.reference.com) with the scent of lilacs. The flowering bushes and trees seem especially pretty and full this year.


My plan for today is to finish up some quilting and binding on several projects that are almost done. I'm way behind on my plan to get 12 old projects finished this year! I may yet be finishing most of those in December!


Hugs to all,

Sharon

Monday, May 23, 2011

From the Darkness

Friday afternoon as I was traveling east on the Thruway, the sky ahead turned an ominous shade of gray.

But the "light" was so...how to describe it...odd. Dark and light at the same time. Eerie almost.


Further ahead was a strange cloud formation--almost looked like a funnel cloud, but thankfully was not twirling.




Then...the double rainbow! Look closely for the second one a bit to the right of the big one. Just arcing over the road sign.


How exciting to see both ends and the full arcs of both rainbows! It was truly like a miracle. And it stayed for quite some time--and rained really hard after these pictures were taken.


More on my trip tomorrow! Stay tuned....


Hugs,

Sharon


P.S. If any of you are in the vicinity of Ithaca, NY, on Thursday night, May 26, there are still openings in my Rotary Cutting 101 class from 6:30-9:30 pm. Please call Quilters Corner at 607-266-0850 for more information if you are interested.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hops and Turkeys

I swear you can see these hops vines growing while you watch them! The first picture shows them part way up the lattice. (As an aside, they went from no activity to almost 8 inches tall in less than one day!)

In seven days they went from the above picture to this! And now they are almost a foot taller--just in two days. It just amazes me! If any of you are looking for a vine, consider this one. It does not grow under siding or cause harm. I have this lime green and a dark green. The lime one seems to grow the fastest.



About a week ago, I looked out and a wild turkey was near the house--and I was on the phone and had no camera. I kept an eye on it as it meandered away. When I finally could get to my camera, the single turkey had left the yard, but a small flock was tearing across the yard in a different direction! That's a trumpet vine on the ladder--very invasive, but the birds love it. Swallows nest in the house on the top of the ladder.

That's all for tonight. Happy Friday, everyone!


Hugs,

Sharon


P.S. I am listening to Rainwater by Sandra Brown. Still reading the horse book!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

An Update

Several months ago I told you the sad story of Janet Atkins' quilt Kaaterskill being lost in transit. That, unfortunately, is still the status of the quilt--lost.

But...you can see this beautiful quilt on the cover of the June/July issue of Quilters Newsletter magazine! And learn more of the story, and see the original quilting designs Janet used to complete this stunning piece. Four full-color pages inside and a cover--congratulations, Janet. Well deserved.

Check it out, everyone--you won't be disappointed.

Hugs til next time!
Sharon

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bottle Tree

Last night in class, Emily mentioned that she had stopped to purchase a bottle tree. I was surprised, because I had seen one years ago on an episode of American Quilter. No information about it, just a quick scan of someone's property. It was about a two second glimpse but I was hooked!

My brother Chris is multi-talented, and I asked him if he could build me one. Remember he did not see the tv program. I drew a rough diagram and set him to it. He welded metal rods into my tree. The first year there were three metal prongs to set into the ground--they didn't hold up well in heavy winds, so the next year he got me a heavy base (maybe from an outdoor umbrella [okay, I guess you wouldn't have an "indoor" umbrella]). The original tree sets into the base and it stays where you put it! I have all blue glass on mine, but Emily is drinking wine from as many different colored bottles as she can find to make hers more colorful!


Here's a close-up. The branches can be bent into different configurations, but I pretty much left them as they were. Today was gloomy and overcast...and, yes, rainy. The tree is especially pretty in full sunshine.

Short post for today--and the middle of the afternoon, no less!

Hugs,
Sharon

Friday, May 13, 2011

Hard to Believe

Last night I had the pictures ready and logged in to post a blog. And Blogger was down! Can you believe it? So here's what would have been yesterday's post!

Traci L. made this beauty in a Monthly Bliss 2 series at O'Susannah's in Watkins Glen. The blocks were hand-pieced, the top set by machine; long arm quilting by Laurie Derr of Elmira Heights.


A close-up of some of the blocks. Check out those points! Love the colors--so fresh looking. Great job, Traci!


Sue Y., whose work you've seen in previous posts, brought her finished Baltimore in 3D wallhanging to share. Check out the quilting! It's so exciting to see completed tops...and even more exciting to see finished pieces. Did I mention it's exciting for people to share their quilts at any stage? Sue's fabric choices are almost always on the bold, dramatic side.


I'm so proud of both these ladies!


It's been a week of painting (still my parents' house), mowing and raking my lawn (read "hay field--should have just baled it!), horsing around, and some classes and a bit of quilting and some planning for future quilts. Next up will be a couple posts to catch you up on all the doings. Stay tuned!


Hugs,

Sharon


P.S. I am listening to Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell. And reading...wait for it...a horse book.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Too Soon Gone

Some of you may remember prior blog posts which featured Nancy C.'s wonderful quilts. Here is her Southwest Sampler:

And her Star Sampler:


It is with great sadness that I tell you of Nancy's unexpected passing. Such a vibrant, alive woman who was a wonderful quilter and friend. Seeing her always put a smile on my face.


Nancy, know that you are missed by many. Farewell for now, my friend.


Sharon


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Three Winners!

Pat C. and her daughter, Christine, took a recent "Friendship Quilt" class that I offered at Quilters Corner in Ithaca, NY. Each started one quilt in class and then Pat did another! Random color placement and prairie points are hallmarks of this class. Look what they did!

Can we say "love that border"!!!! What a perfect finish to these rich colors and textures!

Dots, dots and more dots! Doesn't this look so wonderfully spring-y? And check out the first border--made even more special with the use of multiple fabrics!



Adding a few extra rows makes makes a longer throw.


Great job, ladies! And many thanks for sharing the pictures--eye candy for a hopefully sunny Thursday!

Do something fun today!

Hugs,
Sharon

P.S. I am listening to "The Search" by Nora Roberts.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Changes

I was scanning some old photos today and realized how much I like the changes I made to the house in 2007--yes, 2007! I was surprised by how much time had passed.

The ceiling had been painted, the newly-installed crown molding had two coats of paint, and the walls are getting their first coat of "Blue Suede Shoes". Surprisingly, I can roll paint quite well--but everything needs a second coat--no matter what the paint companies say! I used a brush to finish up next to the crown molding. Trust me when I say beaded board is hard to paint--too many nooks and crannies! But so beautiful when done. Most of the first floor has this same board, so I painted lots of it! Interestingly, I loved the light blue for many years; it wasn't until I started putting the dark paint on that I realized how washed out it was.



The corner cupboard was a great find at a yard sale! It's from an old house and we had to cut down the finial (it's not in the picture) to make it fit the ceiling! It's gotten a new coat of "cobweb" paint and is waiting to have the glass scraped before being put back...in the corner!!!

These walls have the second coat of paint--see how rich they are? And my polar bear figurines look absolutely fabulous against that darker blue paint. So these changes were good.

How was your Monday? I had a great time teaching hand piecing at a local shop. And I've finished the hand quilting on the mystery gift! And Igot to horse around twice!


Hugs,
Sharon

P.S. I am listening to Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Can It Be?

The trees are almost leafed out, the peepers are deafening and...


flowers are blooming. Daffodils and narcissi always seem so happy. (Maybe because they are not buried under mounds of snow anymore!)

Yesterday was spent picking up branches and twigs from the yard and cutting down the old hops vines. The new ones grew almost two feet in one day! Today was spent helping to paint my parents' house. From yellow to dark blue green. We completed a section that has a lot of cutting in and managed to get two coats on it.

In between these outside events, I have managed to complete almost all the quilting on the mystery gift! Of course, I still have a sleeve and binding to do, but it's ever nearer to completion. Here's a sample.



Hard to believe that four months of 2011 have already come and gone.


Hugs to everyone!


Sharon