Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Red, White and Blue

Look who's back from the long armed quilter and just in time for the mid term elections and to celebrate Veterans Day.

Susan, the long armed quilter did a beautiful job.  Isn't this feather fabulous?

Check out the quilting of these stars--each one perfectly framed with the quilting.

Miss Callie Mae is  giving the quilt a test drive to make sure it meets her strict standards.

Tumbler flag quilt.  Susan's quilting is just beautiful, her flawless quilting makes the stripes of the quilt look like they are waving in a breeze.  Knowing I would be using this quilt as a wall hanging, Susan added extra batting to stabilize the quilt  This was such a fun quilt to make, I might just make another.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Stash Enhancement

Scattered Seed Samplers

A new to me designer--Tammy Black, Scattered Seed Samplers brings that wonderful primitive, folk art element to needlework.  Ohh that rabbit will be perfect for spring.

Notforgotten Farms My Pretty

Her hair is just over the top.  She reminds me of an Edgar Allen Poe poem with that raven bird sitting on her hand.

Hands on Design

Having French General fabric and Aztec Red linen in my stash made choosing this design an easy decision.

Threadwork Primitives

Nan's Lancaster County Coverlet will be a perfect addition to my Colonial Gatherings coverlets.

So many great designs/designers, so little time.

Monday, October 27, 2014


With nicknames like Penny Pinching Pat, Dollar Saving Dorothy and Bargain Betty, I come from a long life of economical shoppers.  Finding a good sale excites us.  Good Will is one of our favorite stores and second hand stores are our friends. 

While at the last Homespun Gathering, some of the stitchers were talking about Miss Lucille's.  As they disclosed their finds (treasures) and the number of hours needed to adequately shop at Miss Lucille's, I thought it was worth checking out.  WOW!  I have been missing out.

Miss Lucille's is a combination of a consignment shop, antique store, shabby chic, and repurposed furniture.  52,000 square feet of pure shopping enjoyment:  a little something for everyone.  There is even a cafĂ©, a place to rest your dogs and have a cup of tea.  The merchandise is ever changing which makes it all the more interesting.

I'll be back Miss Lucille's to shop for hidden treasures.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fall at Thistle Manor

Slowly but surely fall is making her way South.

The knockout roses will bloom until we have a killing frost--some years they have still been blooming as late as Thanksgiving.  This might be one of those years--the weatherman has temps forecast for the eighties next week.

The dogwoods are one of the first trees to start showing color.  The tree is loaded with berries and the birds love feeding on the berries during the cold winter months.

The parsley was planted near the kitchen backdoor in a protected area.  Fingers crossed, without a killing frost, I might have fresh parsley to use for Thanksgiving.

Ahh, Miss Oak Leaf Hydrangea you steal my heart with your big beautiful cinnamon leaves and bronze flower heads.

Replacement Rosemary is looking good.  Hopefully she might also adore some dishes at Thanksgiving.  Now might be a good time to prepare the herbs for winter.

A beautiful time of the year.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Coverlet Candle Mat--Colonial Gatherings Kit#4

The Scarlet House
Colonial Gatherings Club Kit #4
Coverlet Candle Mat
35 ct. Alabaster Linen by R & R Reproductions
Gentle Arts--Country Redwood, Harvest Basket and Wrought Iron

This is my favorite one!  Do I say this about all of the Colonial Gatherings Club projects?  In addition to a great design, lovely colors and great linen finishing the coverlet into a candle mat is a great idea.

I wasn't super excited about the backing fabric, so I went digging into my wool stash and found a piece of recycled Goodwill wool more to my liking.  The pearl cotton will work well for the blanket stitch joining the coverlet piece with the wool backing.  I'm nearing the finish line on this one--hope to have it finished to share at the next Homespun Gathering.

On a side note, while reading FB and blogs the master minds behind the Colonial Gatherings Club (Paulette, Plum Street Samplers and Ann and Pat, R & R Reproductions/Dying to Stitch) are at the Shepherds Bush retreat in Utah.  I sure hope they are giving their creative juices free rein and brain storming ideas for Colonial Gatherings Club 2015.  My first participation in a club and it has been a wonderful experience.

AppleJack and I have a road trip planned for Saturday.  The Old Mercantile called and my fiber cabinet is ready for pickup!  Will be so nice to organize and have all my fibers in one place.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Raindrops and Roundtables

Question of the Day:  Am I going to let the rain spoil my time at the Southern Festival of Books?  Answer:  No, put on your bright yellow rain slicker pull out your rain boots and open your mind to the authors.  My biggest challenge with the book festival is choosing authors.

The title of Anand Gopal's book No Good Men Among the Living:  America, the Taliban and  the War through Afghan Eyes comes from a Pashtun proverb:  There are no good men among the living and no bad men among the dead.  Gopal was living in New York when The World Trade Centers were brought down by Afghan terrorists.  After seeing the devastation and loosing friends, he gave up his studies in Physics and went to live in Afghanistan to get an answer to his burning question why?  He grew a beard, learned the language and spent the next four years traveling and interviewing cross sections of the Afghan population.

What Gopal learned was that American got Afghanistan wrong.  They ignored attempts by top Taliban leaders to surrender, trusted the wrong people and backed a corrupt regime.  America wanted to see Afghanistan in black and white instead Afghanistan is gray:  today's ally is tomorrows enemy.  It is a country which has been at war for thirty-five years.  Allegiances are based on survival, the country has no infrastructure.  Afghanistan is a very complex country with extremely complex issues.  Gopal explained Afghanistan in a way I had never heard it explained.  CPSAN was taping his talk for Book TV and I went to hear him speak out of  curiosity.  I'm so glad I stepped outside my comfort zone of reading.

While I was waiting to hear Emily St. John Mandel talk about her latest book, Station Eleven. I listed to  Marja Mills talk about what it was like to be the next door neighbor of Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mocking Bird.  Harper and her sister, Alice have longevity in their genes--Alice is 103 years old!  Harper has often been quoted as saying she never thought her book would have such a long lasting impact.  Can you image being the next door neighbor to this set of sisters?

Emily St. John Mandel takes her writing career down a different path in her fourth book, Station Eleven because she did not want to be type classed as a mystery writer.  She challenges us to think, to re invent our world after an apocalyptic event.  What would you miss the most?

Ishmael Beah, what a journey.  He was born in Sierra Leone, forced to become a boy soldier in the bloody brutal civil war, was adopted and moved to New York, became an ambassador for Human Rights and wrote the New York Times best selling book, A Long Way Gone:  Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.  His book has been published in forty languages!  He's 34 years old!  It was fascinating listening to him talk about his first return trip home to Sierra Leone, finding his Grandmother and explaining to his American teachers why he didn't have a report card.  Another eye opening mind expanding author.

The Great Santini, The Lords of Disciple, The Prince of Tides, South of Broad and The Death of Santini, do any of those book titles ring a bell?  They were all written by Pat Conroy.  Story Creek Publishing is Pat Conroy's latest adventure in the literary world--he has become the editor and publisher  to first time authors.

This is the entrance to the downtown public library--it's a beautiful building!  There are free concerts in the court yard, book club meetings, children puppet shows and books.  Floors and floors of books for reading.  The Southern Festival of Books, one of my favorite events.  So many authors, so many wonderful, mind expanding books to read.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Southern Festival of Books

SFB poster

Yes!  One of my favorite events and weekends is finally here--the Southern Festival of Books! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Liberty Hill Mantel

This weekend Mother Nature delivered fall.  Night time temps in the forties and daytime temps in the sixties.  A cool breeze which made a light sweater feel good and snuggling under a quilt all the more special.  While weeding and beginning garden clean up yesterday, I let my mind wonder.  I started thinking about decorating the mantel.  I was also thinking about the arrival of the latest Liberty Hill Harvest Home Pynbox.  Eureka!  Decorate the mantel with Liberty Hill--why didn't I think of this sooner?

Out came Salem House

and Tombstone Cupboard

Halloween Jack's Stitchers Wall Box

Added some Carriage House and Goode Huswife for fall color

A stitching bird sitting atop a Liberty Hill box

and have left a space for the Harvest Pynbox and wool pumpkin.  

Maybe I should weed more it seems to be good for creative juices. My aching muscles say no, am off to enjoy some delicious apple cider AppleJack brought home from the Farmers Market and enjoy the fall Liberty Hill mantel.