Friday, January 15, 2021

Either it is very early or very late

      The Christmas Tree quilt is totally done. Quilting, binding, label attached. I even washed it so it is all plumped up. So, depending on your point of view, the quilt is very early or very late.

The quilt with plaid binding before washing. When washed, it puffed up and the binding lays flat. Because I do glue binding, it looks wavy here now, but it isn't.

Back of quilt- Panel plus additions


Oh, and that boo-boo I cut into the border edge? I found two scraps of border fabric, front and back, and sewed them to the edge of the border, right sides facing the quilt. Because I sew on vintage machines, bulk is never an issue. 

Then I pressed both pieces towards the edge, inserted a tiny slice of batting, and trimmed the border edge even with the rest of the border. I used a litttle Elmers glue (washable) to hold that edge together when I sewed on the binding. The result I think is hardly noticeable.

The two miniscule scraps left.



All fixed

Friday, January 8, 2021

Triangles and Magic Stars

      Finally, I tackled cutting the rest of the triangles for the Zebra quilt. I was asked to proof the directions for it and made a couple then. I am not the best at moving rulers multiple times for one cut and not getting some slippage. This was a bit hard for me to cut which is why it sat for months. Today, while the grandkids were doing remote school, I  girded up and cut them, very slowly to finish cutting all the strip sets. There are four stacks for me to start and put up on the design wall. I have a feeling there are not enough color combos, although enough cut pieces, to make a top.

     The Joyful Quilter posted a pattern called Magic Stars  and it fascinated me as I have a basket of 10" squares I had cut. I pulled out the basket and made a few to see how it looked. After thinking about it on the design wall, I paired enough squares to make a comfort quilt. When I need something mindless, I will cut all the pairs. Very simple, no seams matching, just what you need sometimes.

Stack of pairs to be cut


Thursday, January 7, 2021

January on the waterfront

      For 26 years, my husband and I have gone away for two days to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario for relax and recuperate from the year. We spend time and do our year planning and reflect on how we did the past year. This year, the border is closed and there is nowhere to go.

      On January 1st, we went down to the Buffalo waterfront which has undergone a huge transformation in the past 10 years. New this year is the almost finished built Carousel building and the Longhouse boat building structure. Normally, there is ice skating, hot chocolate, music, and so on. This year, ghost town. No one but us. Kind of eerie. I certainly hope this is not the end of the waterfront excitement. Couldn't even get a cup of coffee.

Canalside Bridge over slip for original Erie Canal

Black bridge in back over Ice Rink connecting to Explore and More Kids Museum

The Skyway out of Buffalo, General Mills cereal in back, smell of Cheerios all over.

Carousel Museum to house a Buffalo built Herschel Carosel

Carousel in front, Long House down the decking

Long House that is building a replica Canal boat

Long House, Buffalo News Building in back

The Little Rock in the Buffalo Naval Park

Tall building is Seneca One Tower undergoing rehab by Doug Jemal

The Skyway (I think it is beautiful- some want to rip it down) in front of the Cheerios factory

Abandoned grain mills that have LED changing light projections on at night,
Buffalo River in front, Lake Erie in back

Looking south from Wilkenson Point

Looking north from Wilkenson Point to Coast Guard lighthouse and Peace Bridge to right

Ugly wind turbines on the former Bethlehem Steel site to south.
Beyond breakwall is Lake Erie

Marble rubble from M&T Bank's Marble Temple torn down and
discarded on the waterfront in the 50s

Gazebo at Wilkenson Point on January 1st- gray day with sun trying to break through

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Well, mine is still up

      All but the binding is finished on the Christmas Trees quilt. My real tree is still up so I think I am good on the tree front. I hate to take the tree down because of the bright cheer it adds on these gray days and because it was from my tiny yard- I will never have 20 years to grow one again. 

     Most of the quilting went ok, just a little bad tension ripping. I had the plan in my head and it went as planned, so that is a plus. Plus, I liked the quilting. I used Celery Glide top and bottom. I need to make the binding but, I have glaring error. When I was trimming the border, because I had a new blade and was careful to not put my fingers close to the edge of my steel framing rulers, the ruler shifted and I cut a slice out of the edge. I cannot trim it even as I would lose too much. I am trying to figure out how to add in a strip, front and back, to hold the binding straight. Never done that one before. The steel rulers are slippery and I try and hold them at the edges, but there was that new blade to deal with.

Oopsie edge gouge- oh no!
Figuring out the backing was hard, but worth it. Started with a panel, but needed much more.

Backing sewn

Needs binding and fixed edge


Quilted Back

Detail of back

Friday, December 25, 2020

Abiding in Christmas past, present and future

      I want to wish anyone who reads this a Christmas that will be real, deep, and grounded in a joy that can't be taken away. When you look at the first Christmas, it was a hard time. Mary was pregnant, dogged by scandal, away from family, the government had forced them to comply with a census decree which meant leaving home, no one would give them shelter (no inns in Bethlehem- the original Greek means guest room), and the Son of God had to push aside animals and waste to be born. We do rejoice because of the overall plan of salvation, redemption, and promise although it was painfully difficult.

    It is how I think of this year. I am weary of virtual everything. I am an artist, so I spend a lot of time working alone. Consequently, I need people- breathing, living people. To be forced to be solitary as if I am doing time for a crime I did not commit is ruinous. I comply with all the health guidelines, yet part of me is dying. I have not seen most friends or family since March. They seem ok with that because we have to be "safe".  I mourn and grieve for lost time, lost friends, those who are shut and starving emotionally in nursing homes away from family although they get Covid by the droves from employees (don't understand- they all wear masks, PPE), lost incomes, financial disasters for all but Walmart and Target. Church is a ghost town even with masks, distancing, constant cleaning yet the parking lots for Walmart, Target, Aldis are filled to the max. I don't think I will ever recover. Sometimes, I just cry over the loss. Christmas Eve was particularly hard- my husband and I alone eating dinner with Pandora. I think people will like the way it is, just fine, and loneliness will be looked at as a weakness. 

     I rejoice for what God has done and will do for me. I rejoice for the few that stick with me. I rejoice because I have been given a gift of art to share with those who need its comfort and humaness. But I grieve for the lostness, the vacuous Zoom gatherings, and media bingeing that substitutes for relationships. 

    Today, Buffalo received a blanket of heavy, wet snow which is how I feel. It has beauty, but is burdensome, fleeting, and icy. The light is leaden and dull. I tried to show my hometown beauty to you.

Our tree this year is a blue spruce from our yard. It started out as a small live balled tree for our Christmas over 15 years ago.
It grew too big for our small yard, so the tip top is our Christmas tree one more time.