Archive for the ‘Moose Musings’ Category

How Did You Become A Quilter?

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

I’m doing a business challenge and today’s question is “What drew you to your art?” I did not have a mother or grandmother that quilted, it’s something I found on my own. I was always crafty growing up and took the obligatory Home Ec classes in middle school. Thankfully there is no photographic evidence of the hideous bright blue plaid shorts I made and wore until they fell apart! There was never money for “extra” things so crafting was a way to get those little luxuries for little to no money. I dabbled in all manner of crafts. In the early 80’s when I was a newlywed with our first house to decorate I started making curtains, tablecloths, pillows…anything to make our home nice without spending a lot of money. One day I saw a magazine with a quilt on the cover. I looked at it and thought…it was just squares, I could totally do that! I would later learn that it was a Trip Around The World pattern. I stuck to my middle school Home Ec training and made all the seams 5/16″ and back stitched at the beginning and end of each square. I then proceeded to press all the seams open. I used the tried and true cardboard template method to make my squares. Each one was traced with an ink pen and cut out with my trusty scissors. Since I started in the middle…that square is much bigger than the outer ring of squares because the cardboard got mushy edges as I went!

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Here we are over 30 years later…is the quilt finished? Nope. We had a full sized bed when I started. I was nearly done with the top and we got a queen size bed so borders had to be added. They’re all cut out and ready to apply…still! During this mid-80’s era the popular colors were Country Blue and Mauve so my quilt is mauve. The more I worked on it the more I realized that I don’t like pink in large quantities…and it’s really pink! Hubby was also not too keen on having this large amount of pink in HIS bedroom. So, my first quilting project is my lifetime UFO. While it may not be finished it did spark a passion that I hope will last until my dying breath. I am also thankful for having the opportunity to create a job that lets me enjoy all the aspects of quilting every day. I’ve toyed a time or two with finishing the quilt but I kind of like having it the way it is. It reminds me of how far I’ve grown in my quilting.

How about you, how did you start quilting?

How I cover eastern New England in one weekend!

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

I put a fair amount of miles on Mabel The Moose Mobile this past weekend. First up was Comic-con in Boston. Moosette didn’t dress up this year because time got away from us and we couldn’t get her costume finished. She did invite 3 friends along who were Comic-con virgins and weren’t dressing up so she also didn’t want to be the only one. Guess we have a head start on next years costume! In past years I would look around a bit then park my hiney in the food court and people watch as everyone passes by. The food court was right in the middle of the main floor so it was a great time for me. This year the Capitalist Show Organizers decided to add several more vendors where the food court used to be and moved it to a remote location. There were about 20 chairs there…for the thousands of people attending. I discovered that I’m too old to sit for long periods on the floor and it’s not a pretty site when I finally try to get up. I did get to answer one of those age-old questions…where’s Waldo? He was in line at the food court!

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I really enjoyed the collection of cars they had.

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I even spotted a quilt hanging in one of the vendor booths!

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Next up was a trip to Bangor Maine for the annual gathering of my treadle friends. I missed the Friday evening festivities due to Comic-con and arrived late on Saturday due to a business meeting. Why do all the fun activities all happen on the same weekend? Anyhoo, it was great to see everyone (if only briefly) and catch up on everyone’s lives. We were at the Cotton Cupboard quilt shop in Bangor. If only this shop was much, much closer. I would be in there all the time. Super friendly staff, great selection and you get a warm welcome everytime you walk through the door from Gracie the shop dog. She hears the bell on the door and goes running to greet whoever just came in. She takes her job seriously and does it very well. Yes, a picture would be nice…

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At our annual gathering we have a block exchange. This years seemed to involve a very complex mathematical equation to spread the blocks around. Here’s some of the folks looking over their stacks. We were challenged to use the weird attachments on our machines (underbraiders, tuckers, rufflers, etc). Yes, pictures would have been nice…

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I did score some teal fabrics for my upcoming Two For Teal exchange. Cotton Cupboard had a great variety to choose some. I also had a great fat quarter of Singer fabric in my goodie bag! Next year I hope these two events aren’t on the same weekend so I can enjoy them more fully.  And I should take more/better pictures…

Teal Mini Swap

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

Want to help stamp out Ovarian Cancer? Of course you do! My friend Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs is running her annual swap to do just that. It only costs $15, $10 of which goes directly to Ovarian Cancer Research, the remaining money covers postage and mailing/office supplies. You are matched up with a partner and you make them either a mini quilt or a mug rug. You receive one in return. I have participated and/or sponsored prizes since the first year. You get to meet a great bunch of ladies online, hear some heart warming stories, see all manner of mini quilts and get a nifty mini quilt of your very own too. What’s not to love? Go here to get all the details and sign up. Who knows…maybe you’ll be my partner!

 

Here is the fabric we get to use in our project!

 

Here are a few of the mug rugs I received in past years. I’m gonna try my hand at the mini quilt this year!

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Moose Musings – Grace & Frankie

Monday, July 4th, 2016

Last week I spent most of my time sick on the couch. I don’t get sick very often but when I do it’s usually a doosy. I discovered that there is really nothing to watch on tv. Even zoned out on decongestants, nothing was very interesting. I ended up going to Netflix and watching old movies, one of which was 9 to 5 with Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. Then Netflix recommended I watch their own series Grace & Frankie. I didn’t know Netflix made recommendations based on what I already watched. Very big brother-ish and I’m now terrified to fall asleep with the tv on for fear that I may accidentally “watch” something that will spawn some really weird recommendations. Anyhoo, I watched Grace & Frankie and was instantly won over. It stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as two polar opposites who get thrown together in a life crisis. They discover themselves and also talk about the trials and tribulations of aging. What a hoot. There was also Sam Elliot and Ernie Hudson for some eye candy. Although I must admit that Ernie looked much better than Sam! If you need some entertainment I highly recommend it. I binge watched both seasons and now have to wait until 2017 for more…

Soo-Nipi Quilter’s Guild

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Over the years I have done my guild presentations in places I never would have thought probable…on a church altar (mind your p’s & q’s!), an auto body repair shop, outside…and yesterday…in a bank. Actually it was the community room run by the bank but I’m just shortening to “the bank” because that sounds way cooler. This just proves that we quilters are a resourceful bunch and will find just about anywhere available to gather ourselves together.

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Thank you so much to the Soo-Nipi Quilters Guild in Newport NH for a warm and welcome morning/afternoon. Your show & tell was such a delight. I’ll come back anytime!

New Year…New Beginnings!

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Welcome 2016, can’t wait to get to know you!

In Shape

Are you a resolution maker? I am not. I see no point in making a promise that I know perfectly well will be broken by the end of January. For the past several years I have chosen a word to represent what I want to accomplish during the coming year. This year no special word was singing to me. I tried one of those silly facebook quizzes to pick a word for me. Ya know the ones, you answer questions like “what’s your favorite color” or “would you prefer mild, medium or hot salsa” and they can magically determine some important trait you have or help you make an important decision…like a special word for the year. For me they came up with INNOVATION…hmm…well, I am working on two different projects that are a little innovative…but they were started in 2015 so that doesn’t count. Still no special word for 2016. I was about to give up hope. Then my friend Beth Helfter happened. I can always count on Beth to do something out of the ordinary and quirky (which is precisely why I love her!) Beth didn’t choose a word for 2016, she chose a number. A number…why didn’t I think of that? You can read all about Beth’s reasoning for doing so (and be thoroughly entertained in the process) on her blog Quilting Hottie Haven.  Now I just need to decide on a number…oh, and do something nice for Beth for stealing her idea…

 

I have decided that I need to work on my long-term to-do list. While that may sound like a resolution, it really isn’t. We all have that to-do list for everyday stuff (pay the bills, laundry, weed the garden) and some even have a medium range to-do list (plan the summer family reunion, buy a new car) I also have a long-term to-do list. Not that the items on it need to be done in the far future but more like it will take me that long to find/make the time to do them. I guess it’s more of a bucket list kind of thing. So this year I am setting the goal of removing at least one item from the list every quarter of the year. Each one should be stretching myself out of my comfort zone or trying something completely new that I’ve been putting off. So that would be 4 new things in 2016…or 1 each 1/4…or 1 fourth of the year…which number to choose…it’s all so difficult…

 

ok, got it. My number for 2016 is 1:4 which will equal to some FUN by next December…I hope…

 

Christmas Traditions

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

The other night Moosette and I went to see a performance of the Nutcracker. We have done this every Christmas season of her entire life. Well, there was one year that I was really sick and we couldn’t go but we won’t talk about that…

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It all started when she was four months old. All the women in the family went to a Nutcracker performance and had a nice lunch. I sat on the end of the row, ready for a quick exit, because I just knew a four month old could never last through an entire ballet with loud music. I was wrong. Moosette was entranced through the entire performance. My sister-in-law was so impressed that she exclaimed “well, there’s your new tradition” and that was that. Over the years we have seen large production numbers, small town ballet schools (that was this year!), modern dance version and even a comedy. Each year through the teen years I would always hesitantly ask if she wanted to go again and each year she has enthusiastically said yes. WooHoo! Score one for Mommy/daughter time. What holiday traditions does your family have?

The Office Party

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

At this time of year I hear friends speak of their holiday office parties and I get envious. It’s hard to have an epic office party when you’re a one man band…sniff…don’t ya feel sorry for me? At least I know I’m not alone, most quilt professionals are one man bands or a trio or quartet at most. My friend Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs was kind enough to open her home to several of us the other day and we became a full orchestra of holiday festivities.

Beth set out a perfect table complete with the good service and crystal glasses. We had an array of appetizers, yummy salad and (of course)…

lots of desserts! Here’s the whole happy bunch…

Going around the table clockwise: Sue Pelland, Judy Damon, Kris Poor, Kathie Beltz, Renae Mathe, Michelle Banton, Beth Helfter, Jen Watchhorn, Cary Flanagan, Angie Callbeck and myself. Not really trying to imitate Cheryl Sleboda with my partial head…a selfie stick only helps so much for those of us with short arms.

Thank you Beth for allowing us to invade your home. Can’t wait until the next office party!

Homemade Thank Yous

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Toffee Blondies In A Jar

During the holidays a lot of folks like to say thank you to those people who make their life easier. The mail carrier, trash collector, FedEx & UPS driver, the bag boy/girl at the market…any one of the “little” people who give you a helping hand (sorry, showing my past life royalty!) Personally I like to do this more than once per year with homemade food items and I don’t call them thank you gifts. I need to call them what they really are – bribes, greasing the skids, payola, hush money, perks. I really DO appreciate all these folks do for me and I truly want to thank them for their service but letting them know that with homemade goodies has a HUGE benefit for me. When I have a package delivered in the mail, my mail carrier Dave will go up my driveway and leave it (along with my other mail) on my covered porch. I see my neighbors packages at their mailboxes dripping in the rain, baked in the hot sun or covered with 6″ snow. I’m guessing they don’t give Dave any treats during the year. Same goes for all the other people I come in contact with on a regular basis. A small thank you treat can really make someone’s day and make them remember you with a smile on their face.

 

YumOola one of my favorite food sites put together some great items today that could easily be on my food give-away list. Hmmm…now to decide which to try out…

Homemade GoldfishChocolate Dipped Spoons

Homemade Pocky

Fun With Stamps

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

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My grocery store has been having a promotion that has brought back memories. You earn stamps every time you shop then you paste them into the book and earn free knives. Each time I put the stamps in I remember doing it as a kid with green stamps. Anybody else remember those? It was always my job to paste the stamps in the book. Until one day I decided they would make really cool looking tattoos. I carefully licked and pasted them all over my body. Mom was not happy…

 

Everybody eat up, I need to do more grocery shopping…only a few more stamps. Mama needs a new set of steak knives!