Thursday, October 22, 2015

Torn between Fall and Stitching . . . . .

It's fall here in Northeast Ohio, USA!!
We are lucky because we just need to step outside to enjoy beautiful autumn color. 
The changing light and the leaves makes everything glow on a sunny day.
Even an overcast day can has it's own special charm.
Combine all that with mild temperatures, dry weather, and the urgency of knowing this won't last, it's hard for me to stay inside.
So for the past 10 days, there has been more walking and gardening than stitching. 
My bird feeders are back up for the cold months and this red-bellied woodpecker was the first to rediscover a local source of raw shelled peanuts (though he's fine with unshelled, too).
The pileated woodpeckers have also returned to the neighborhood.  This large (the size of a chicken) bird is something of a gypsy but the large trunk of a neighbor's dead oak is just what he likes.
One shout from this bird and I'm out the back door with binoculars or camera in hand!
There are now daily walks in near-by woodlands to enjoy -- scuffing through the leaves, looking for the red leaves of sassafras, black gum, and sugar maple.  It reminded me to put this small piece up in the living room.  The label says I pieced it in 2004 after a lovely morning deep in the woods with a light breeze that was showering me with falling leaves.  I came home and spent the afternoon recreating an image of how the floor of the forest appeared -- mostly yellow leaves with a scattering of reds and greens on top of the brown leaves that had been down for several days.
Looking at this piece conjures up tangible memories and I strive every year to recapture that morning again returning to a woodland at this slightest hint of a breeze.
And while I was hanging the piece, I made time to tidy up the quilt cupboard in the living room which had been torn asunder by lecture prepping for my fall teaching gigs.
When I did get into the studio, I focused on setting the blocks from my orchid kaleidoscope quilt together.  At this point, I have them in four quadrants and need to decide if this is the point to stop, layer, and quilt or do I do two more seams so that I'm quilting two halves.
I found enough of this fabric on the "big hunks" shelf to make the backing.   Actually, it's more like it found the quilt -- it was laying on the floor in front of the work wall -- must have been there from a previous audition?? 
I used some odd moments of free time to cut more of the pieces needed for the Drunkard's Path UFQ that is my October APQ Resolution Challenge. . . .
. . . . so that I could assemble more of the needed units as my "sew-offs" while setting the kaleidoscope blocks together.  Net gain is everything needed is cut and 30 of the 118 units are pieced.  Progress in spite of myself!!
The threat of a frost around here is a great spur for me to get the plants that I winter over cleaned up and moved inside.  This year, it seems there are more plants than last (but I expect that's the case every year) and some earlier tidying in the basement reunited me with this shelf unit that I used when I was vending at quilt shows back in my shop keeping days.
Perfect, perfect, perfect expansion of the sunny south bay window in the dining room.
Even my son noticed it and commented on how good it looks!!
The big success of the week is the front door!!  Wednesday was the last day predicted to be warm enough for the third coat of urethane to dry quickly so it took precedent proving once again "there is nothing like a deadline"!!  I had to sand off the old finish, re-stain the lower half of the door (bleached out by the daily dose of western sun) before starting the three layers of new urethane.  My Dad was likely looking down and rolling his eyes at my lack of perfection, but I'm pretty content with the job.  After all, I'm a piecer?!?
There is still lots of cutting back to do in the gardens but I don't need nice weather to do that so I'm off for a weekend of birding in Cape May, NJ with my science nerd, dentist friend. 
Taking some knitting along (momma needs new socks).
I hope your weekend is devoted to enjoying the transition of the seasons in your part of the world --
autumn or spring!!
Mary Huey




  1. Fantastic quilt and the new project looks fabulous, can' t wait to see it finished.Great pics

  2. How blessed you are to be there in the middle of Fall's glory. Wonderful photos. I marvel also that you have so many lemons on such a small plant in such a small pot. Your quilting is going great. I'd do those two other seams if it was me. Great post - thank you for sharing this.

  3. The view of your woods is stunning - as is the quilt of the 'leaf carpet'! I'm not surprised you can't keep inside. I've been doing much the same here in England, although my tiny garden needs some serious tlc :) And despite the fact you say you're outside more than in...I can't quite believe how much you've still managed to do in the studio!

  4. You have been a busy lady with muck more than quilting. I love your plant shelf. I have always wanted to try to ring a tomato plant inside for awhile to see what it might do. There is nothing like a home grown tomato.