Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New England Weekend

Eileen's "learning by doing" weekend did not disappoint. Loy and I had many opportunities to learn by doing, i.e. functioning as Eileen's labor force in piecing crib size baby quilts. Eileen has a tradition of giving each neice and nephew in her family a hand quilted baby quilt when he/she is born. This is no small feat, given that Eileen is the youngest of 5, and her husband, Larry, is the oldest of 14. That is fourteen. That isn't a typo. And yes, they are Irish Catholic.

This is the quilt top I spent my time on. It is an Irish Chain quilt, for a nephew whose name I can't remember: Brian, Patrick, Kevin, something like that. I love it:

Loy designed it, placing the colors, and I pieced it. Eileen supplied the fabric and the inspiration! The center fabric is a really cool map fabric that both Eileen and I bought at Joyce's Quilting Adventures several years ago:

The other baby quilt was made using a "All Things Bright and Beautiful" panel with Loy adding the borders:

I have "homework" on this one; I was sent home with fabric to make the binding!

Other activities included taking photos while playing in the snow! Eileen's house in her hometown, Mass:

And this is one of my favorites, reminding me of Robert Frost's poem where he speaks of the snowy woods as "lovely, dark, and deep":

On Saturday, I decided it would do us good to take a "bracing" walk near the harbor water. It was 19 degrees out, so clearly I was not in my right mind. The sun was shining, but when the wind blew off the ocean, I felt parts of myself stinging with the cold. I believe that was the coldest walk of my life.

As a reward for not freezing to death, we took a trip to a LQS, mostly because I was on the hunt for black and white fabrics for the double wedding ring quilt. My test block last week made me decide that I needed more light to medium fabrics for the arcs of the rings, rather than dark fabric. My test also convinced me, along with Summerset's advice, that I should do 18 inch rings, rather than the 15 inch that I had ordered. I had planned to order the 18 inch templates off the internet, but held off in the faint hope that I might find them in a quilt shop. And I did! Shortly after I walked in, I saw John Flynn's template for the double ring quilt. In an 18 inch size! Score! It was the only one. Providence, sure 'nuff:

And then I found and bought several black and white fabrics. By the time I start this project, I'll probably have so many, I'll need input to weed them down to just six fabrics for the arcs. But here's what I bought:

And I saw some kitty cat Christmas fabric that was on sale that was just too cute not to get:

All in all, it was a fabulous weekend, with great friends. Loy and Eileen spent a great deal of the time knitting. Eileen is knitting a sweater for me (see? she does projects for us too), and Loy is knitting a sweater for herself with wool she bought in the Shetland Islands on our last trip to Scotland last May. I'll show you photos of the sweater Eileen is making for me when it gets done, but I am really annoyed with myself for not taking a photo of Loy's sweater. The yarns she got in Scotland (a myriad of greens) are beautiful and it is going to be one fantastic sweater.

Finally, as the Parting Shot: Loy made me a cermanic bowl. Not only does she knit, sew, make lace, make jewlery, and blow glass, but she throws pottery. She is the Craft Queen:


Seraphic Single said...

What beautiful photos! They remind me of my pilgrimage to Concorde, MA to visit the Louisa May Alcott house(s).

I am so envious of those BE-OO-TEE-FUL quilts!

Vicki W said...

How nice to see snow for a few days....and the come home to more reasonable weather.

Ratherbequilting said...

Great photos! You've made the place look like a dreamy winter wonderland as opposed to the place with freezing winds, ice, and slush (somehow, at the same time as sub-freezing temperatures). I also want to point out that I have never ever charged you or Loy for the fabulous learn-by-doing seminars that I've put together over the years...a little appreciation please!

KimP said...

Thanks, Seraphic, for your kind words on the quilts!

And Miss Eileen, I guess it is true that Loy and I haven't actually been CHARGED for the "learning by doing". How generous of you. By the way, stopped by the yarn store in Carytown today just to look and touch all that yummy yarn she has. I can't stop fondling anything made of fiber!

sewkalico said...

I found your blog through Vicki W and have just been reading your posts. You make wonderful garments and quilts. And I enjoy your parting shots.