inhale...exhale...relax your shoulders...repeat as often as needed

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

tula tuesday::week 26::a finished tula quilt

 the front
 the back
some quilting
 in place
the binding

  • This January, I began a year of "Tula Tuesdays", pledging to sew a square a week from Tula Pink's book, City Sampler, 100 Modern Quilt Blocks. You can read about the beginnings here.
  • Soon after I began the project, my inspiration went in two, very different directions. Sometimes I drew my ideas for my weekly block from what was going on around our "bit of earth" that week. Sometimes they came from a sweet book Batman and I found on our wanderings. I decided to  go with the flow and pursue both directions, and waited for the creative muse to lead me wherever she may. A week and a half ago (motivated by Maggie B's upcoming visit), I finished a "grandma quilt". This grandma quilt will stay here at our house, along with the sweet book that inspired it, ready for any wee one who comes to stay for a bit.
  • The inspiration for these blocks came from a sweet children's book, I Wrote You a Note, by Vermont illustrator and author, Lizi Boyd.
  • At first, I tried to be very literal in my interpretation of the illustrations. I loved some of those blocks, but I realized that I did not like the aesthetic that was developing. So, those blocks were sewn into the back of the quilt. Once I relaxed and chose fabrics that created the feel of the illustrations, I sewed like gangbusters. 
  • As I pledged at the beginning of the year, I did not buy any new fabric for the squares. I did, however, buy new fabric for the "dashing" or "lattice", for the backing and for the binding. My cousin Kristen and I took a fun road trip to Waterwheel House Quilts to find the teal and turquoise and grey. (Kristen was very patient while I auditioned many fabrics. Customers at the shop also added their advice, which was such fun).
  • I sewed the binding by machine, using a tutorial by Crazy Mom Quilts. This was the second time I've used her tutorial, and it was definitely easier the second time around.
  • I still need to make a label for the quilt, but otherwise this one is done and I'm ready to get back to sewing blocks inspired by our "bit of earth".
We did have a wonderful week with all four kids, spouses and grand baby Maggie here.  I'm re-fortified by love, and just in time...

This morning, with the news that anyone can now legally make a gun with a 3D printer is the last straw for me. 

As I understand it, there are only two things in this world. Things that we have control over, and things that we do not. I am concentrating my energy on the things I have control over and I am not giving energy to the rest. 

Oh, I see you, nasty realities. But I am not giving you the time of day.

There are baby bonnets to sew, a garden to tend, volunteer work to do and so many other productive affirming things to do...

So, friends, let us carry on.  

Peace, love and hope to each of you, kindred spirits.


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

triptych #45

meet "corazón".
(do you see the heart on her chest?)
"cora", for short.
we found her at the
central vermont humane society.
the tent is up, which means all four kids are here,
with partners trickling in as the week unfolds.
(hannah won the view lottery).
wilma and maggie b
meet for the first time.

life is full.

next week things will quiet down and
i'll bring you, dear readers, up to speed.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

a reminder

"Person to person,
moment to moment,
as we love,
we change the world."

-Samahria Kaufman

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

tula tuesday::week 25

 blocks # 83, 72 and 100
from tula pink's city sampler

inspired by lizi boyd's children's book

(those batik birds were salvaged from a hippie blouse
i stitched and wore in the 70's!)
 here's a "work in progress" picture to show you the chaos
i work in when i'm fully engaged in a project.

do you see wilma's haunches, perched on the windowsill?
she had both a chipmunk and a red squirrel on her radar
and she was twitching and chirping for nearly an hour!
late this afternoon i finished pin basting the crib quilt
i'm determined to finish this week.

i look forward to sharing pictures of the finish,
and the story of how this quilt morphed over time.


are you working on any summer projects?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

sharing the neighborhood, carefully

We've been gardening on this land since 2007, many of those years as part-timers. We had not had  a problem with deer until last summer when they got over their shyness and tromped and snacked their way through the rows of veggies. A neighbor told Batman that they have had luck with deterrence by stringing fishing line at the deer's nose level and again at chest level. When they brush up against it, they can feel it but not see it and they become confused and move on. Well, that's the hope.
 On Sunday, Batman fitted some stakes with metal eyelets and we strung them with fishing line.
At the end of one bed, he attached a latch, so that we can open the top line and then step in and out of the garden beds.
Oh. Here's a peek at my Japanese indigo, trying to grow in these dry conditions. We do hate to water, as we are on a well...but days and days without rain has required us to pull out the hose now and then.
This morning, when I drove up the hill from town, these two beauties stepped out from behind our mailbox, wandered across the road and into our neighbor's meadow (as seen in yesterday's post). So, I would say we were just in the nick of time with that project!

It's unusual for me to go down the hill twice in one day, but on my way back up the hill in the afternoon I had to stop my car to let a mama bear and her two cubs cross the road in front of me. I wondered why she didn't disappear into the woods (black bears are very shy). After I drove by, I looked in the rear view mirror, only to spot her third cub run across the road behind me! She was waiting for her wee one to catch up!

I am so very lucky to live in this place where the seasons, the wildlife, the mountains and the quiet pace of life remain such a deep sanctuary for me. I hope by sharing it here on sewandsowlife some of you find a bit of respite too.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

tula tuesday::week 24

 block number 92
from tula pink's 
city sampler
100 modern quilt blocks.
and the inspiration behind it,
our neighbor's meadow, across the road from us.

that center fabric is really old school,
and just right, i think, for this block.

(my cousin kristen and i went on a field trip to 
waterwheel house quilts down in londonderry today.
after much deliberation, we came home with 
fabric for the lattice, backing and binding for the
I Wrote You a Note
inspired quilt.
more on that next week....)

p.s. in the "good news" department,
how about those rescuers bringing those soccer kids safely 
out of the caves in thailand???


Saturday, July 7, 2018

giveaway WINNERS

the longest heat wave in vermont in 30 years has broken!
hope you are enjoying lovely weather, too, friends!

i have three copies of the giveaway booklet,
so all three of you (sharon, tqoe, and vicki g) get one!

(vicki g...please send me your snail mail address)

i'm so happy to share these important documents with you, friends!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

let's #persist with a giveaway, shall we?

 "Denounce the government and embrace the flag.
Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands".
-Wendell Berry
(from one of my very favorite poems, here)
This is the backbone of our democracy.

Would you like a crisp and fresh copy of 
The Constitution of the United States
The Declaration of Independence
to keep on your kitchen counter,
in your purse,
tucked in your back pocket,
stowed in your glove compartment,
or anywhere else you might appreciate having it handy?

Part of my survival kit for 2018,
our copy is dog-eared and faded.
It's gotten a lot of use since November 2016.

Please leave a comment below or e-mail me 
if you would like to find this booklet in your mailbox.

I'll post a winner by noon on Saturday.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

triptych #44

Our first flower CSA pickup from stitchdownfarm ...a major summer splurge that both celebrates and supports sustainable agriculture in our neck of the woods. *squeal*

Friday-Monday. Batman and I packed our pickup with Hannah's worldly goods in CT and we drove them out to Detroit, where we stashed them in Lindsey and Scott's Detroit basement. In August, Hannah will begin a new chapter in her life...with a new apartment and a new job and lots of excitement. Not to mention lots more sister time. (Speaking of which, we had some amazing rhubarb toasted walnut crumble pie from Sister can pre-oder their cookbook here.

Deep into the heat wave, our gardens (and kitty, Wilma) were carefully tended by our friend Gary while we were away. This morning I went out to water the garden in my jammies, when the sun was barely up. The gorgeous garlic scapes are ready for harvest and the kitchen has swung into deep summer mode...there's a jug of water infused with mint sprigs, steamed and marinated veggies in glass jars and greens crisping in the fridge. Sun tea is brewing on the sunny windowsill. 

Flowers, road trips and garden tales are welcome distractions from the chaos around immigration, supreme court vacancies and all the other mayhem assaulting us these days. I am going to sit down with two books tomorrow and think long and hard about what kind of patriot I am right now.  I invite you to do the same...A Patriot's Handbook, Songs, Poems, Stories and Speeches Celebrating the Land We Love, by Caroline Kennedy and Founding Mothers, the Women Who Raised Our Nation, by Cokie Roberts.

Tula Tuesday will return next week. xo

Check back tomorrow for an appropriate-for-the-day giveaway.