Irish Lake Quilter

......snippets and quilts, family, pets and friends....

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Summer in Full Swing

It has been way too long since I posted, but things have been busy. It is difficult to do a lot of computer work at the cottage where we've been for the past many days and with the holiday, things got hectic. Some sewing was accomplished - I got all the blocks done for another charity quilt, this one for a boy, wherever he may be. The sashings have been started and it will go much faster now.

The holiday was a lot of fun! We had 7 guests between the ages of 23 and 26, one, a friend of Anne's, was from Australia (far right) and the rest were friends of our guys. It was a time of lots of laughing and way too many big bodies in a too-small cottage, but we all scrunched and enjoyed the time even tho it wasn't such a great weekend weatherwise. The front yard was full of good natured ribbing and games. One, the lake version of golf, went on until the darkness came and when the lights came on, the bugs drove everyone inside.

We're home again for a few days so that such things as lawn cutting and general chores can be done. Then we're off again to the cottage where we will start plans for building a new garage. Everything there is from the 40's and is beginning to fall apart. We need more space and will make an apartment above the garage. Then, someday, we might tear the cottage down and build a year-round home. That is still on the back burner.

While home, I'm putting together some projects to take back with me and hope that I can get a few of them done. No promises! :>) But I do promise to get in as much quilting as I can!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Home again

The wedding of our niece was beautiful, set in a small church in the hills of Tennessee near Norris Lake. The bride was radiant in a simple strapless, straight embroidered gown, a bouquet of deep purple, yellow and white flowers. Following the reception and festivities, we took off for the Smoky Mountains to see God's handiwork. We were not disappointed and found that it was much more beautiful than we'd heard. It had been many, many years since any of us had been there so we oohed and aahed like the typical tourist. Up and down, over and around the roads with one view as good as the one before it. One road in particular was 6 full miles of nothing but switchbacks, right turns and left turns up and down hills with a most beautiful drive through the woods. Jim was on his toes and did a great job driving. In the tiny town of Cosby, we found Holloway's Quilt Shop. As the men were enjoying refreshments as they sat in the rocking chairs on the front porch of their log cabin shop, the gals were shopping and chatting with the shop workers. As the conversation progressed, we discovered that one gal was originally from a suburb only a few miles away from our Chicago home. We talked about a lot of common interests in the Chicago area. Then, to our amazement, she mentioned having worked at the District BSA office - a place Jim frequents at least weekly in his BSA work - and she knows many of the people he comes into contact with for Boy Scout activities. A small, small world, eh? Part of the charm of this place is not only the log cabin shop with it's front porch and rockers, but the site next door that is set up for retreats. A group from Chattanooga was due in later that afternoon and it was all set up and ready for their busy few days. We chatted and found out about the local restaurants and other things to see. Unfortunately, my camera has died since our trip and the pictures of the wedding and many of the trip are lost until we figure out how to recover them. I bought 3 small pieces of fabric at this shop and will enjoy making something from them someday. When I do, I shall remember the trip through a most beautiful country, sights that are magnificent and the friendly people found in the hills of Tennessee.

We're off again to the cottage until after the holiday. I will take my sewing with me but won't have internet access for at least part of a week. Hopefully, there will be a picture of a finished project when I return. There's always hope that one will be finished........isn't there? :>)

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Stashbuster question of the week is whether we follow the pattern or not when making a quilt. It is extremely rare that I follow a pattern. Many times I'm using fabrics that I've had for some time and may not have enough. Then I improvise. Often the pattern may not be just what I'd like, so it gets changed. The picture is one that sort of looks like the pattern when I started........but the medallion is different, there were no branches, no roses and no swags - but other than that, it looks the same! This is a king size but it doesn't go on the bed. There is a black furry one that we love and she loves to shed black hair all over things. So for now, no quilts where dog hair will show.
We're off next week for a wedding in TN and then along with another couple, we will travel about TN, KY and possibly OH for a few days. I'm looking forward to finding a few new quilt shops and have my Quilters' Traveling Companion with me. Enjoy this wonderful Spring weather! I'll catch up with everyone next week.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Bee Tree and Other projects

I am making a bee tree! Each member of The Monday Morning Strippers, a bee that I attend occasionally, is making a quilt called The Blossoming Tree. I call it My Bee Tree - no bees, but I like the the name. The first few blocks went rather well. I worked on them while I was at the retreat and the batik colors are fun to work with. However, having made a mistake in cutting, I didn't have enough of the small batik blocks and didn't have more fabric with me, so it was put on hold until I returned home. I'm anxious to get the remainder of the blocks finished.

I did make a quilt top at the retreat that is similar to one I made and gave as a Christmas gift. I loved the look of the appliqued border and when I found the fabric again, decided to make another. The first one had dark setting triangles and the 9 patches popped a bit more. I think I prefer the dark triangles. This is hanging on a clothesline on our deck, thus the half quilt look.

While at the retreat, I shared my Baltimore Tribute applique blocks with the group. (I posted pictures of them a month or so ago.) This album quilt has been in the making for several years and I have struggled to "get 'er done". Some blocks have been easy to do (as the one at the left) and others have really presented challenges. I've tossed it all aside several times until I've gathered enough stamina to go at it again. I work at it rarely but the retreat ladies were sooo encouraging and so positive about my work that I made a commitment to them that the quilt would be done by the next retreat in May. If it is handquilted, that means it needs to be done by Christmas. Guess I had better get busy, eh? I wonder if I am the only one who lets a bunch of little fabric pieces intimidate them?! :>)

May Retreat

Wow! I returned yesterday from a quilting retreat and my head is still buzzing with all the laughter, ideas and warm fuzzies from a great group of ladies. I knew I would arrive late on Thursday due to the drive from Chicago to IN and I was quite nervous. In fact, I almost didn't show up. Not knowing anyone and walking into a roomful of gals who either knew each other or had arrived at the same time everyone else had was quite intimidating. But, I pulled it together and went and am I ever glad I did! Not only did I accomplish a fair amount of quilting, but the comraderie and friendship was phenomenal! These gals came from all walks of life and ranged from 20-somethings to 70-somethings. The center is on a beautiful lake near our cottage and is primarily used for summer church camps for youth. The weather was perfect and we even got to see an outdoor wedding, complete with white dress, veil and white lawnchairs at lakeside just a few doors away. We all ate til we couldn't hold any more, laughed until we cried and some sewed until the wee hours of the morning. It doesn't get much better! I feel renewed! This is an annual event and I can't wait for the next time to come around again.