Thursday, June 30, 2016

Topaz Beach, Quilted

Woo Hoo! The baby quilt, Blue Topaz, is back from being quilted.

I've selected this blue batik for the binding. It's all sewn down on the back.

Over the next couple of days I will hand sew it down to the front.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Best Thing

The best thing about coming back from a trip away is sleeping in your own bed.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Anne Marie Gardens

You know how I'm always on you, dear readers, to get out to your local Art Museum and look around?  Well, here are a few shots from our visit to Anne Marie Sculpture & Art Center, a fifteen minute drive from where I am staying.  I've been here every time I've come to visit my Maryland family, and every time it is a pleasure.

 In the main gallery, there was a special exhibit, which included this quilt, Cosmos.

Here are a couple of details.


Here's another quilt,

And a sculpture that reminded me of a quilt the first time I saw it.

I'll be home soon.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Inspiration, Again

My friend Tracey and I went out to lunch, and then shopping with her four kids. My godson, always full of mischief, put on this hat while we shopped, and then sat in this blue chair.  I asked him to smile, and got this photo, which is surely a keeper, as it captures the essence of him.

Just goes to show that sometimes perfection is close by, and all you have to do is keep your eyes open to recognize it.

Monday, June 20, 2016


Yup, you read that right. Bread.

Six loaves of my English Muffin Bread. You can find the recipe here, and you can make it even if you think you can't bake bread.

I made two loaves yesterday and they disappeared within an hour.

So, I got up this morning and made six loaves. One is already gone.

Tracey's oldest son got his hair cut yesterday. I thought it was funny he looked so much like the guy in the poster.

These two are just too cute.

I'm having a grand time.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


This barn is somewhere in Maryland. On the drive from Baltimore down to the area near the Pax Naval Air Station I saw several barns like this (once I started looking). They were all roughly the same size, and equally featureless. It's hard to tell at 65 MPH. So what's the big deal I was in such a hurry for?

These kids. They are my "fairly oddkids." I am their honorary Auntie. I am godmother to the little guy on the far right. I last visited in 2013, so I was way overdue.

One of them showed me this artwork from school. The colors are terrific. There's a quilt in there somewhere. I'll be thinking of how to let it out.

Between now and the time I am back in my own studio I'll be baking cookies and cake and bread, getting tons of hugs and kisses, visiting fabric stores, washing dishes, going to art museums, folding laundry, chasing toddlers, going to the movies and the grocery store, getting Dim Sum, showing my friend how to insert a zipper, and otherwise hanging out with one of my best pals and my four "fairly oddkids."

On the Amtrak train on the way down I sat next to a woman who, when told I was visiting a friend with four children and would NOT be staying at a motel, said, "All that noise? All those kids? Are you crazy? Why would you do that to yourself? That's no vacation."

I smiled. If I had to explain it, she wasn't going to understand. I live alone, and all this noise, all these kids, all this craziness, all this love, is EXACTLY what I need.

I made dinner last night. I gave a taste to SweetBean, and asked her to tell me if it was OK. "Of course it's OK," she replied, giving me a hug. "You made it."

I mean really. You don't get that when you stay at home by yourself.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Diamond Jubilee, Gifted

So, do you think my niece likes her quilt?

Yup, she loves it.

I'm going to be off line for about a week, so if I don't post between now and then, don't worry. I've got something big I've been meaning to do for a while and it's going to take all my attention. I'll be back about June 27th or so.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Shut The Barn Door!

Oh wait, it already is shut.

This is what I've got for the barn door of the Town Line Green Barn.  Much as I'd like to make these barns a bit smaller, once you set the size of a window, for example, these things grow. This barn might actually be BIGGER than the red one. Oh dear.

Actually this green barn is rather unique in that it is a free standing barn. 

One of the things about barns here in New Hamsphire is how many of them are different colors. I have a yellow and a blue barn on my list of barns I want to make. Both of those are attached to houses.

This isn't the yellow barn I want to make, but it shows you how barns and houses are joined here in New England**. This barn has obviously been converted to living space above and a garage below. This particular kind of attached barn is difficult to interpret in fabric because you have to decide where the barn stops.

** For those who are curious about the distinction between New Hampshire and New England:
New England is the area defined by six US states, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. It is in the northeast part of the US, and comprises an area of 71,992 square miles. Five of the six New England states are among the smallest states in the US. New England is slightly smaller than the state of Washington, but slightly larger than England.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Baby Update

Here is the latest photo of my DS and DIL with their dog Helo. Only nine weeks left!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Town Line Green Barn

I'm planning the next barn, but may not get to it for a bit.  It's a barn I drive by every day on my way to work.

It's on the town line, so I'm calling it the Town Line Green Barn. As you can see the top two windows are missing and many of the panes of glass on the row of windows above the barn door are missing also.  I don't know if I will make this another winter barn (because I took the photo in January 2015) or if I will return to take new photos. The road is narrow and there isn't much space to pull over, so it isn't an easy thing to do. 

I also haven't decided if I will make the barn in this "three-quarter" view. I make quilts because I love flat areas of geometric and abstract shapes. I'm not interested in carving a 3-D space in them, which is why I do not (generally) like "pictorial quilts." (Gerald Roy says it's "a misuse of the medium" and I agree with him.)

If I don't know where I'm going, I hold back a bit. I've got a lot going on in the next two weeks, so I'm not in a rush. That doesn't mean I stop thinking. If I decide to sew the barn full-on, I'll need more photos so I can properly place the barn in space. (That's the space where it sits, not outer space.)

But I did start pulling fabrics. I often find it helpful to arrange the fabrics the way they will be placed on the real barn, so I can see how they interact. This selection, or arrangement, is by no means final, as Julie has described in her book, Build-a-Barn.

So I'll ponder this for a while, then I'll start sewing.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Red Barn All Done

The Red Weare Barn is finished. The panel is about 25" tall by 31" wide.
 Since everybody seems to have a hard time with measurements, this photo should help you visualize just how big the barn panel is.

Yeah, that's me. Lynne.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

One Step Forward, One Step Back

So I took the sky off the barn block because I hated the tree area on the right and wanted to add a contrasting edge to the roof of the barn. Then I sewed it back on and oh hell. One side was wider than the other. I hate when that happens. I don't know how it happened, and it doesn't matter. But I took it all apart again and fixed it.

This is much improved. But I didn't like how the roof of the house on the left touched the barn's roof overhang. That had to go, and I had to resolve the wooded area to the right.

The woods on the right isn't perfect, but it's better than what was there yesterday. And now that I have figured out a pretty nifty way to do that, I'll use that technique in the future, and will be able to include the effect of trees behind that barn that can be seen above the barn's roof in future barn quilts.  Remember, we learn best by making mistakes and then fixing them.

There are still a few more little details I want to improve - I need to fix the snow, the house needs a window, and the foreground needs to be added, but I'm much happier with this than I was yesterday.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Weare Barn

You know, I sew something together, I back up to get a good view and I think, "Darn it..."

I don't like the way the right side of the barn roof overhangs more than the other side. That's an easy fix.  And I realized I didn't account for the trees on the right side of the barn either. And I had wanted to add a contrasting edge to the roof to set it more apart from the sky...

Oh well, you can't have everything. I shall ponder my next move, but you can bet there will be changes.

 Hmm. I'm not sure if this is an improvement. It really sucks when you don't have enough of the fabric you really like. I should probably have made the brown go more UP. Oh well. I'll look at it again in the morning.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Red Barn Modifications

I decided I didn't like the way the window in the barn seemed to disappear, so I took it apart and added a windowsill.  Then I shortened it. That black and white fabric represents a snowbank. Snow is only white when it is freshly fallen. After a day or two it gets dirty, hence my fabric selection.

On the far right side of the barn is a streetlight. I decided I wanted to put it in.  Here's where stuff gets a bit tricky when it comes to free pieced building construction. The sequence of when to add what is important, and you usually figure that out AFTER you've sewn things together, so you are forced to adapt. The streetlight was right on the edge of the barn, and it was under the roof line, so I needed to add it before I sewed the roof (or second story) to the barn. I could have appliqued it on, but I don't do applique, so I figured out how to piece it.  By the way, those white strips on the barn's sides are actually molding. The real barn has it, so my barn has them too. I like the way they define the edges if the barn.

This is what the first story of my barn looks like now. To the left of the barn is the attached house, and you can see the roof angling down.  To the right are leafless trees in the background, and you can see the snow on the ground.

If you can believe it, I am not sure I have enough of this red fabric for the barn's second story, so I'll use something else and everybody will think that's the way it's supposed to look. At any rate I am happy with what I have so far.

This is sort of where things are going. I haven't sewn anything together on the second floor. Those windows have to drop lower, for one thing. 

Here's another view of the original barn, taken from a slightly different angle.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Red Barn, Weare NH

Now that I have finished the "haftas" I can get started on something I've been wanting to do for a while - make more barns.  This is the barn door of the barn I started last night.

My barn takes its inspiration from this red barn on the side of Rt 114 in Weare NH. ("Weare" is pronounced exactly like: "wear", "where" and "ware." And yes, all Weare residents have heard "You live where?")

Here's the first floor of my barn. The sign above the real barn's door reads "The Farmer's Place" and then gives the street address. Since I am making this barn, I can make my sign read whatever I want, and I thought "only you can make it happen" was appropriate.

Monday, June 6, 2016

This and That

When you get a quilt back from an AQS show, they include a label. I sewed the Paducah label to the back of Too Much Chicken. The Black & White Crayons quilt came back with four labels to sew on. I did those yesterday while I watched the Men's final of the French Open. Both quilts will be on exhibit at the AQS show in Syracuse NY.

When I took beauty shots of my niece's quilt, I took some of Julie's quilt, "Just Wing It" at the same time. 

I decided I should take a picture of the two of them together. Julie and I don't get together very often, and our quilts get together even rarer than that, so I decided I needed a photo.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Diamond Jubilee Beauty Shots

You can plan these shots, but sometimes the ones you don't think will work turn out better than you expected. This is the entry to the shed in my yard, including all the mess around it, yet I think this is one of the best photos I took of Diamond Jubilee this morning.

This was taken in my driveway, looking over the front yard and the "large landscape rock" that sits in the middle of it. I call it "Crocodile Rock."

This was taken on my front steps with the flowering planters.

Now the quilt will take a trip through the washer and dryer and then I'll squeeze it in a box and send it across the USA to my niece.

By the way, it's my friend Julie Sefton, author of Build-A-Barn, who got me started on taking these so-called "beauty shots" of my quilts. She thinks these photos are much more interesting, and she's right! So now I take all my quilts out for beauty shots before I give them away.