Thursday, January 4, 2018

4 of the 4th!


Yep....that's a picture of 4 quilts on my bed right now!

So when 'those' people smirk and say, "Why do you make so many quilts?  How many do you need?"....just tell them, "There are some days we use more than one at a time!"

Temps here in Maine have been in the single digits or below zero for a while now.  And today we are getting another 10-14" of snow!  Oh boy!  Maybe there will be a fifth quilt on the bed soon!  lol

Stay warm, my friends!

regan


Sunday, December 24, 2017

It's been quite a year!

I think most of my posts start with how shocked I am that it's been so long since I've posted!  This is no exception!  Can it really be a year!  Holy cow!

And I haven't even looked at blogs for nearly that long, as well!  About two weeks ago, I started checking out Mary Elizabeth Kinch's blog, because every year she posts a 12 days of Christmas antique quilt show!  It's always spectacular, and I truly look forward to it each and every year!  I think this is her 6th year!  And this year's selections are all from Canada!  What a treat and delight it is to view these wonderful antique quilts, some from museums, and some from private collections.

I've popped into several other blogs, as well.....and I have found I've really missed all of this!  So I hope to get back into blogging this coming year!

All I can say is that there has been a lot of stuff going on this past year.....especially these last few months!

We spent last winter in Florida, arriving back in Maine in May.  Spent the next two months attending a few kite festivals, playing a little golf, and visiting with family.  In July, my husband John had cataract surgery that was perfect in every way!  His right eye went from 20/400 to 20/20....amazing!  He spent about 2 weeks recuperating from the surgery, and just about the minute he was feeling great, and life was getting back to normal.....he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer!

He spent 6 weeks in daily radiation treatments, and once a week chemotherapy.  Here's a pic of John in chemo treatment.....he looks good, huh?


And what's truly amazing is that during his entire treatment, he never felt any effects from it!  It's a cumulative process, so he did feel some effects when it was all done, and for about 10 days after.  It was just really hard to swallow much of anything.....so we lived on oatmeal, soup, and scrambled eggs!  Also amazing is that his blood work numbers (white cells, etc) were all still in the range of a normal person not going through chemo!  The whole time!  It was remarkable!

And the great news is that after the treatments, the 2 effected lymph nodes have all but disappeared, and the tumor has shrunk and is dead!  So, he will have surgery in January to remove his esophagus, from the top of the stomach to about the collar bone area.....and then his stomach will be stretched up to meet at the top, and will in essence become his esophagus.  It's a crazy weird surgery, but they are doing it all the time, with wonderful results!  And because John is in really good shape (he's a runner!), the surgeon is very excited to do the surgery.....he says he never gets patients in such good condition!  And in taking out the whole esophagus, he's confident they will catch all the cancer cells and be able to remove them.....with an end result of CURE!  Woohoo!

We feel so blessed!

So, we are wintering in Maine this year.....and we have a beautiful blanket of snow right now for Christmas....with about 10 more inches expected tomorrow evening!  We're loving it!  And a real Christmas tree this year, too.....woohoo!


We were able to take a drive down to Georgia to visit our granddaughter, Maddie at Thanksgiving!  It worked out perfectly, as John was just able to eat 'normal' food again about 2 days before turkey day!  Whew!  He was worried we were going to puree his turkey!

Maddie turned 2 in October....and she is such a sweet little delight!  Here we are rolling out the gingerbread men at Thanksgiving!  Sweet!


I don't have anything quilty to show, as I have only just begun to get back into it!  During John's treatments, I figured I would be sitting for hours and hours.....which was true......so I took up knitting!  I hadn't knit in about 35 years (disastrous results back then), but my friend Mary set me on the straight path to success...and I managed to knit a little dress for Maddie, two scarves for my son and his partner, a hat and scarf set for my father, and a hat for my brother!  No pictures of any of it.....I only seem to take pictures of quilts!  Go figure!  But I'm hoping to get some more knitting done while John is in the hospital (about 10-14 days).....and I'll be sure to take pics then!

I'm working on the quilt that I started a couple years ago in Florida.....and it's nearly a completed top.  Will post a pic when it's all one piece!  Nearly there.....yay!

Here's hoping everyone has a wonderful, peaceful and joyous Christmas!

Give all the love you can to everyone in your life!

regan


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve!

It's just not Christmas without hearing lovely Karen Carpenter sing my favorite Christmas song!



And, here's Achille Togliani singing Parla Parlami D'Amore Mariu.......just because it's so beautiful, and Dolce & Gabbana cut it off too soon!



Merry Christmas all!

regan

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Today was the first day of Winter!  Woohoo!  I can actually celebrate that enthusiastically, because it was 78 degrees today here in central Florida!  Tomorrow, hubby and I are waking up early to get in our walk, and then we are headed to the beach to fly kites with friends!  Yep....bring on Winter! We're loving it!

And we loved our recent cruise to the Panama Canal!  It was awesome in every way!  I don't have many pictures.....I guess I don't think to take pics unless it's of a quilt!


Here I am in Half Moon Cay, Bahamas!  And yes....the water is REALLY that color!  Gorgeous!  We were just there for about 6 hours.....long enough to fly my kite on the beach, and wander a bit!  We did the same in Aruba and Curacao.....both had nice little towns to wander around in, and lovely beaches, and we found a nice little park in both to fly the kite!  Our port of call in Cartegena, Columbia was rained out, so we didn't get off the boat.

And here's a pic of the boat heading into the Panama Canal!  It was an awesome event at the crack of dawn!  Our boat is the largest ship that can fit through.....there was about 1 foot of clearance on both sides!  Yikes!  If the railings on the ship weren't so slanted inward, we could have touched the sides of the canal!


The next day, we kayaked in Costa Rica.....totally great!  Then two more lovely days at sea before getting home!  And we just missed the big storm that hit the islands....whew!

When we got home, I got busy on the quilt I've been working on!  All the center blocks are complete, and I'm now putting them together.  I'm still piecing the borders, but I think they are really coming along, so I'll show them next time!  This is made with recycled shirts, and a little red and 
orange solids for the centers.  Pieced in the Courthouse Steps pattern.


And, of course, I just had to have a recent pic of our little peanut!  Maddie is now 14 months old!  Here she is watching Bubble Guppies with Grampa!  And yes.....she IS as sweet as she looks!  Totally true!


Our Christmas will be fairly quiet this year!  The kids and peanut are spending Christmas in Utah with Liz's family, but my sister and her boyfriend will be spending the day with us!  We'll relax, have a yummy meal of all our family favorites, chat the day away, and have a wonderful time of it!  I can't wait!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Eat lots of pie!

regan

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Really? A year? Sheesh!

Yep....can't believe it's just shy of a year since my last post!  I know....pathetic!  I should just give it up.....but somehow, I keep coming back!  HA!

And I just had to post now, because we leave on a cruise on Tuesday, and if I wait until we get back, it will be OVER A YEAR!  Can't have that!  That's just wrong!  So, so wrong!

So I do have quilty stuff to show, and of course, grandbaby stuff, too!  Yay!

We're back in Florida again!  We are loving the snowbird thing!  And we love that it gives us a chance to spend time with our little peanut, Madeline!

Maddie turned 1 year old two weeks ago!  Can't believe it!  She's awesome in every way, and we were the luckiest grandparents to get to care for her last year!  We loved every minute of it!  Of course, now she's walking around.....and we're much too old for that kind of energy level!  So she's staying in her wonderful daycare this go around.....and we will visit and take her with us on day trips from time to time!  Perfect!

Here she is with my friend Pat's quilt that she made for her 1st birthday!  Soft and sweet, and Maddie loves it!!  You're awesome, Pat!



And for more quilty goodness, I entered a quilt in my guild's show in October, and it won 2 ribbons!  A 1st place AND a Judge's Choice!  Woot Woot!  I'm so honored!



It's called 'Orange you afraid of spiders?' and it's quilted in big stitch!  My first attempt....and I really enjoyed it!  I have to admit, though, that I'll never big stitch with crotchet cotton again, because the texture of it caused the batting to beard on the stitches.  Ugh!  There was a LOT of lint brush work to get it ready for the show!  A smoother or silkier thread would have been a better choice, but I was going for matte finish instead of any shine.  But lesson learned!

I just looked back through some posts, and it turns out I started this spiderweb on Nov. 10, 2010!  Yikes!  Six years in the making!  I had so much fun making the blocks.....from repurposed plaid shirts.....and I remember at the time that it was just going to be a fun and scrappy little quilt!  No intentions of ever putting it in a show!  So funny to think back on that now!

Before I go, I really need to say hello to Sue and Noreen, who have wondered where I've been, and if I'm ever going to blog again!  Thanks for looking for me, and I'm happy to say that I'm back to blogland!

And my next post should have some pics of our time on the cruise!  We are heading for Aruba, Curacao, Cartegena Columbia, the Panama Canal, and Costa Rica!  I'm so excited!  I've never been to any of these places!  My hubby has been to some of these spots during his years in the Navy.....but that was many years ago.....so it will be new to him, too!  Woot!  Eleven days on a cruise.....pure heaven!

See you soon!

regan


Thursday, November 19, 2015

I took a little break from blogland!

I hadn't intended it to last over 7 months, but I guess time just got away from me!

Lots of quilting being done, and tons of other stuff, but the best thing EVER is that our little grandbaby Madeline Faye Martin was born on October 24!  And she is the sweetest thing ever!

 Here she is, just 2 hours old!  Adorable!



And here she is 3 weeks old.....and on the quilt I made for her!


It's an oversized baby quilt, so she can use it on her big girl bed later!  I pretty much copied the quilt that Nicole at Mama Love Quilts showed here!  Nicole's color sense is amazing, and her quilts are so lovely, full of joy and happiness!   I fell in love with it the second I saw it, and knew I had to make one for little Maddie!

As you can imagine, life right now is revolving around the little peanut (peanut M&M that is......get it.....Maddie Martin.....M&M.......HA!!!)  And..... when Liz goes back to work in January, we get to be the Mon-Fri babysitters!  I can't wait!!!  Maddie is perfect in every way.....she's so good-natured, happy and healthy.....and the only time she cries is when she's hungry!  So easy!  What a little sweetheart!  LOVE HER!!!!

Ok.....enough Grammy gushing, right!?!  On to quilty stuff!

There was an incredible antique quilt at the Vermont Quilt Festival last year that I knew I just had to reproduce!  So when we were preparing for our winter in Florida, I cut a chunk out of nearly every piece of repro fabric I had and drafted up a block for paper piecing.  I designed it a bit different from the original, but this will fit our bed.

So when we got to Florida, I got busy on it!  It took just over a month, and I finished piecing all the blocks!  I'm so in love with this quilt!  I could seriously make a dozen of them!  The blocks are so addicting.

Here are the blocks pinned to my impromptu design wall (a king-sized sheet binder-clipped to the curtain rod!)


But then.......I started to put the blocks together!  And that's where it came to a screeching halt!  I've never machine pieced Y-seams before, and it takes every ounce of concentration I can muster to get a nice join.  So it is moving very slowly now, but that's ok, because every join has been perfect!  YAY!

And, if you've ever wondered what it was like to live in a beehive, well........crazy, huh?




I'm hoping everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

regan






Sunday, April 5, 2015

Long story......

I have two.....yes, TWO......new machines!  New to me, that is!  Both are machines I've been wanting for a long time.....with no intentions of ever getting......but it's the dream, you know?

But before I give you 'the rest of the story', (oh......I really miss Paul Harvey!  Don't you?) let me tell you that there is a really terrific sewing machine dealer and maintenance guy in the Tampa area!  If you are looking to have your machine worked on.....I can highly recommend Robert Ball at Southern Sewing Center in Lutz, FL.....1-800-253-1416.

Ok.....so the story goes..... John's Pfaff 7570 bit the dust!  He has loved that machine, and has enjoyed making kites on it, and it's the machine he brought to Florida to use.  So right in the middle of his project, the screen went crazy, then died!  We googled machine repair places down here, and went to 3 of them.  The first one opened the case, saw it was a 7570, shook his head and said he was sorry, but they don't make the boards for those anymore!  What???  How could that be???

Then we went to the next place, hoping that the story might be different.  The guy said, "$500 bucks!  Six to eight weeks!"  (Yeah....just like that, too!  Sheesh!)  Then he asks ME what I use it for, with no regard to John, whose been standing right there with it, and I'm clear across the room looking at fabric!  I holler back that it's John's machine!  John says he makes kites on it, and instantly the guy says, "Oh, you should be using THIS machine!" and he points out the $4,000+ machine he has on display!  Cripes!  We got the heck out of there!!!!

So, with no regard to our waning sanity, we decided to try the 3rd shop!  We drive up and instantly see a treadle in the window!  Good sign!  No one is in the shop, so we start looking around.  All along the top of the wall are shelves with vintage machines!  And I spy a Wilcox & Gibbs!  LOVE them!  There are several industrial sized machines along one wall, and the other has a table running the entire length of the shop with machines for sale, new and used!  So we start looking at the used machines as John just needed 'something' to get him by until we get back to Maine in May.  In walks Robert and he looks at the Pfaff and agrees that getting a new board would be nearly impossible.  But he said he'd look at the machine to see if it might be something else.  Great!  But John still needs a machine to use, so he suggested the Necchi he had, and it was perfect for John.  Used, but hardly any wear to it, and it sews perfectly!  Awesome!  And a steal at $60!  (He has many used machines for $60 to $100.)

Then I asked if his antique machines were for sale or just for show, and he said those were just for show.  I told him how much I loved Wilcox & Gibbs machines.....they are art to me.....so lovely, and that it made my day to see one!

So John is getting the Necchi, and we buy a new case for it, so Robert goes out back to get the case.  He comes back with a new case and an old wooden box.  He sets the box down, opens it, and inside is a Wilcox & Gibbs!  He says a price, I said SOLD!!!!!  And let me tell you....it was a steal!  Then I said he just made my DECADE!  :o)

Now my Wilcox & Gibbs is just for show.....the electric cord is a total mess.  But the workings move freely, so if I ever thought to get it working, I could!  But for now......it's just a lovely piece of art!  I'm so happy!


The next week we were planning a trip to Texas for a family reunion, so it became the perfect opportunity to have my Juki cleaned and tuned.  It had been a couple years, but our go-to guy in Maine has moved south......so there are a bunch of us in Maine wondering what we'll do with our machines now!  Yikes!  So I took the Juki in, and while we were there, I just happened to be looking at the featherweight that Robert had on the table......they are just so dang cute, how do you not look, right!?!  And he said he had another in the back, and when he brought that one out, it was better!  The decals were all still intact, and the case was pristine!  SOLD!  And yes......another amazing deal!  Not giving prices here, since they were not posted in his store, and I don't want to give him any issues on future deals.  But let me just say......he's fairer than fair.....and a pleasure to purchase from!  No buyer's remorse here!


And my little featherweight sews perfectly!  Of course it does!  They all do, right!?!  And who knew they could sew at lickety split speed!?!  Dang near as fast as my Juki!  Yowsa!

And my Juki is humming along beautifully......perfectly cleaned and tuned!

Needless to say......John and I will be bringing all our machines to Robert from now on!  :o)

Our big question now is.......how do we get 3 additional machines into our car for the ride back to Maine!?!  We were already pretty maxed out on space!  I guess we'll be mailing a bunch of clothes back!  lol

regan