Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Early Fall Morning on the Bluff in St. Martins, NB

Natures layers of texture and soft color

We let the surrounding field grow this year for a change and now it has turned golden... it makes a beautiful contrast against the treeline.


The Mountain Ash along the driveway and the surrounding hedgerow borders,
 are laden with berries...We have always tried to encourage native plants and shrubs that feed the birds and wildlife...  and I love how the color brightens everything up.... soon the birds will find them. The Robins and Cedar Waxwings love them.

As I was wandering around in the warmth and calmness of the morning, taking pictures, Church bells began ringing. 
 It was Sunday... It was pretty special. 
I can see 3 Church steeples from up here, this is the closest one down on Main St.

 ...there are even a few bright red berries on the Holly bush this year.

Love these 3 Sisters...  They are Spruce Trees.
....might be almost time to carefully prune a couple of the trees in front of them so the view is better exposed.
 Blueberries and cranberries, in season, grow just below them to the right on the sandstone bluff... intermixed with low growing juniper.

If it seems I am obsessed with the view of Quaco Head jutting out into the bay... I am. 
In all weather conditions it is the highlight of my view... It never disappoints... 
 it shows what is happening with the mighty tides.... coming in, heading out, high tide, low tide..
 and the way the light changes on its surface as it moves from east to west.

I love the way the morning sun highlights the eastern exposure of the houses in the distance.

It feels cozy here in the hidden firepit when a fire is snap, crackle and popping.

White Flocks at the corner of the greenhouse.
The children's camp tucked into the trees.

 The Virginia Creeper changed from green to crimson without me even noticing.. 
How time sneaks up on a person.

The natural world  is taking a well deserved rest... a new season has settled in

 ... a lovely place to have our coffee and tea this morning. Fresh air, beautiful view and birds flitting back and forth, church bells ringing...
 we sat in wondrous contemplation...

The Rosa Rugosa is still treating us with blooms scattered here and there. such a hardy shrub... rarely needs tending.

 Fall has arrived and its only just begun.

Photographs taken by me, Gwen Buchanan, early Sunday morning, Sept. 28
from up on the Big Red Rock, St. Martins, New Brunswick.
Desideratum Art Studio.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Putting in the Wild Goose Chase Quilt and using the old Treadle

Here I am sewing the seam of the quilt back using red and white striped cotton on an antique Singer  model 27 Treadle sewing machine. 

This decal pattern is called Persian. The Persian decal design is rather uncommon.. the more common decal is the Egyptian Phoenix, that usually appears just below the spool of thread.
if you have a Singer sewing machine and would like to find the age of it/the year it was made.. look for your machine's serial # and go to this Singer page.

Built before the turn of the 1900's and made to last forever.

When the silver colored plate is slid towards you, it reveals the vibrating shuttle that holds the bobbin. The red felt was missing so I inserted a new one into the little hole provided.. oil is dripped into the felt to keep the shuttle lubricated when it slides back and forth.

 This is the Bobbin winder... it is on a hinge that you position against the cord to get it prepared to use.. and when you are done winding the bobbin you just push it back.

The Singer logo on the side of the cast iron frame ... this machine is very heavy.
 The Treadle.

 They paid attention to detail and beauty when they made machines way back then.. They were proud of what they made and wanted them to last a very long time.

 the back 
and the front, below.
 ... and they cared to make them beautiful.

The faceplate is plain on this model but on others they were highly ornate.

The spoked wheel weighs about 2 lb. on its own.  The weight of the wheel helps keep the momentum of the treadling...whereas modern electric sewing machines have very small wheels.
*note* ...as you can see here I had to put on a new belt as the old leather one was fragile and disintegrated with age. New leather treadle belts, in these parts, cost $22.00 ,Yikes, too much.. so I used a plastic hose in the same 3/16" size... works for me.

 All you need to run it is your feet or even just one foot, whichever rhythm and pattern  works best for you. it is flexible.
... but I think that people back then must have been much smaller as my knees kept touching the table of the machine... so I moved around a bit till I found a comfortable position.

 I did a lot of cleaning and polishing and oiling when I first brought it home and now it works amazingly.. of course it still shows its age ..the nicks and blemishes, I call "Beauty Spots"
 Just look at those stitches!!! I can hardly believe the precision of them.

 I Love it!!!!
...now onto getting that quilt set up in the frame.

 This looks messy but it is just the basting onto the side bars of the quilt frame.  These old quilt frames came from a flea market along with the clamps that hold the boards together.
... and don't mind that ratty green fabric that it's being sewn onto .. I like to think that someone attached many quilts to these old boards.

 The back is sewed in now... upside down of course.

 A roll of polyester fiberfill.

 half spread out...

 ...now covering the entire quilt back and smoothed out as best as I could.

 then the Wild Goose Chase quilt top is laid on top and pinned in place.
 Here is a link to the making of the Wild Goose Chase Quilt top that I pieced at the start of the year.

 and the extra fiberfill is trimmed away.

 The leftover fiberfill makes good stuffing for toys or pillows or even tea cozy's
 Those little snip scissors are perfect for clipping the quilt thread.

 ...when I began to put the quilt in the frame I had the corners sitting on chairs and couldn't remember where my quilt stands were.. after searching for 1/2 a day!!! I found them....
 John made them for me for the last quilt I tied a few years ago.  We just used some recycled boards and made a couple cut outs so we could make them slide together and stand up.
... didn't cost anything and they do a great job... and they are light and easy to move around ... and they lay flat for storage (that's why I couldn't find them!)

 First row of blocks are all hand-quilted.
The clamps are undone and that row of quilting is rolled onto the frame and reclamped in its new position.
... after a few days another row of blocks were completed.. only 4 rows left to go.

 A close up one of the set of 4, old cast iron C-clamps I found at the flea market.

 A size 9 quilting needle.

 Down to 3 rows of blocks now.
 I was able to replace the long side boards to shorter ones so the frame takes up less space.
 If I really found it in the way, it could easily be lifted up and stood against the wall.

 I am not sure how long it will take to finish the quilting as I just work on it in my spare time in between my jewelry work and slaving away at the old, out of town homestead...  I am enjoying it so much...  it is very meditative and relaxing. Now I remember why I used to do this all the time.

Gwen Buchanan at Desideratum Art Studio, St. Martins,  New Brunswick, Canada

Click to see the last phase/ 3rd blog post of making the Wild Goose Chase Quilt.