Monthly Archives: December 2013

Ice Storm in Down East Maine

On the 22nd of December rain pellets started coming down. As the day turned into night it turned into sleet and ice. We thought it would move out of our area in Down East Maine but that was not the case. It hung on. By the morning of the 23rd we woke up to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of ice. Trees started bending into the driveway. We were going to try to snow blow as much as we could only to realize it was too thick and so we de ~ iced the car and drove it up and down the driveway breaking up the ice. By the afternoon it started to come down hard pellets so we took shelter in the house. We lost power right around 12:15pm. Got our wood stove going in the house. Went back out to try to release some of the ice on the trees to help them lift up off the driveway.

Beginning of the ice storm

Beginning of the ice storm

By that night we realized that it was not going to let up. By now we had no power and no phone. Can’t check the weather, even our NOAA radio station was out, which meant we were in for a long hall. Heat was not a problem since we have wood and a wood stove going at the time. We just had to keep feeding it wood every 15 to 20 minutes.

Problem one: Living in a rural area we have a well pump not city water. We have to have 240 volts of electricity for that to work. We have a 5,000 watt generator and a 1,000 watt back up that we take when we go camping. At 8 pm when it was time to start our generator , it wouldn’t work. (We have to run it every three hours to keep the frig cool and to get water to flush toilets).

One tree leaning over the driveway

One tree leaning over the driveway

If you step outside to start the generator everything is pitch black. We have head lamps that we use for hiking that work great to see in front of you. Standing outside you could hear large branches and trees cracking and dropping all around in the forest. I can’t even describe how disturbing that sound is. You can’t see what is  happening around you. You want to stay safe but you really need the generator to run! We gave up until day light–no running water or frig.

Solution: for the refrigerator ~ put your food outside your door in the cold so you don’t loose it all. Stuff in the freezer will stay frozen, stuff like eggs won’t survive! Oh well win some lose some–and I just filled the freezer and refrigerator for the holidays!

Ice is an inch think covering the car

Ice is an inch think covering the car

Problem two: Day light ~ The town is 25 minutes away on a summer day with no traffic. Did I mention we live in a rural area. We called ahead using our Tracphone not a cell phone per say because there are very few cell towers in the area and it is spotty at best. We got thru and found a place open to try to replace the spark plug on the generator–hoping that would fix it. Thank goodness we have four wheel drive. My job–keep the fires going. Spark plug not the problem! Oh no Mr Bill!

So now we have two bathrooms in the house. One is a pressure toilet that you can’t add water to the tank to flush. I know, I know not what I wanted to hear when I went to use it. The downstair one was a standard toilet. OK!! Just need a lot of water to fill the tank to get it to flush. Need water, where to get water?

Solution: Take buckets of snow haul them in and heat them on the stove till it melts.

We have a propane stove so you can use the top burners during an outage but not the oven. Yay!  One problem solved. Do you know how much snow you need to haul and melt to get one gallon of water. LOTS!

Clearing our 250 feet of driveway just to make it to the gravel road.

Clearing our 250 feet of driveway just to make it to the gravel road.

We each took turns staying up late at night to watch the fire. By now lack of sleep is setting in. Another solution came to mind. What if we take the small generator, which only puts out 120 volts, and run a plug and set it up so at least the refrigerator would work. My handy husband wired something up so now I can have the food inside the house. Lots of animals showing up looking for food so having it outside is not a great idea right now. So back to every three hours running the generator to make sure the refrigerator temp is OK.

By Christmas both of us were really tired, between generator runs, wood runs, and cutting down trees to clear the power lines and driveway. Christmas came. I was running out of things to make on top of the stove. I had a freezer full of food but how to cook on top of the stove. Had some frozen beef stew we went thru then some canned stuff. Well Christmas dinner was Peanut Butter sandwiches. At least I had some bread!

Almost thru

Almost thru

Road way to go to make it to town!

Road way to go to make it to town!

Power came on Christmas night and we went to bed happy to have taken a bath, clean dishes and flushed toilets. In the middle of the night we lost power again but it came back on later. We are getting snow right now and not sure how long the power will last but we can hope. I made it into town to stock up on supplies. My husband is still trying to get the generator to work. No new ones to be found anywhere. With all this I am grateful that my house is still standing, my car didn’t get hit by a tree, and we are all well.  Last but not least the generator is now working!!

 

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End of Year WIP ~ Photo’s on Fabric

I have tried different methods of printing photo’s on fabric. Lately a lot of people that I know mentioned Spoonflower where you can design and print your own fabric.  http://www.spoonflower.com

I wanted to print something in a large scale. The only method that I new was to print a bunch of 8 x 11 sheets from my computer and stitch them together. I didn’t want any seams for this project. I went to my husbands photography files (he is a photographer) and found a beautiful abstract of a rock that I really loved.  He works with PhotoshopCS5  program and he came up with over a couple of dozen steps that make his normal photography have a different look.

To see his work check out  www.abeautifulsky.com

I choose this rock photo. Here is the original photo

Original Rock Texture

Original Rock Texture

In photoshop he applied dozens of steps to add an abstract feel to the rock and create different color schemes. You need to click on the photo’s to enlarge to see.

rock set of 4-1

It was hard choosing which color I wanted to test and send to Spoonflower to print, but we both decided on the blue/aqua, although the purple was a close second. So I went a head and was able to order a large print on one yard of fabric with some white around the border.

Waiting was the hardest part to see how close it came to the colors in the original photo. The photo is saturated to its fullest before loading it on to the site. It came in the mail a couple of days ago. It looks really nice. The colors are not as saturated but by the time I do quilting and other things I want to do to it, I don’t think you will notice. It came out better than I expected!

Spoonflower fabric

Spoonflower fabric

I am amazed that I can have something printed this large with one sheet of fabric. I ordered the kona cotton fabric to have it printed on. I also tested  to see if the color ran at all before quilting it. I wanted to keep some of the white border because I will be quilting into the border. Nothing ran or bled into the water. I had it in a sink so I could check to see. My thoughts are to add layers of batting here and there to make it three dimensional when I am basting the quilt. I also want to add fibers here and there. Can’t wait to start!!

 

 

 

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Holidays and New Year

Happy Holidays! I know you do not want to be thinking about the New Year but it has been on my mind lately. Resolutions are always hard so why not take a different approach and make a resolution you might like. Since I love quilting and fiber art this is going to be my resolution ~ I am going to try some new things to push myself, expand and learn some new techniques. By doing this you can decide whether you like it or not. You don’t have to stick to it if you don’t.

First thing on my list is to enter more contests. Wether it be in major quilt shows or magazine contests.  I still have a hard time putting my work out there. I just got excepted into the AQS show in Phoenix, AZ for February 5th ~ 8th 2014. I am still a little in shock when I get excepted to any major show. I have only tried for two shows this year but next year I think I might go for it! So my “Soaring Butterflies” will be on its way at the end of the month.

Soaring Butterflies

Soaring Butterflies

Second ~ I also have a subscription to Quilting Arts Magazine and their January Reader Challenge is “How Does Your Garden Grow.” I have drawn up a sketch of what I want to do. It will be called “My Butterfly Garden.” I did enter a reader challenge and it was rejected last time. Since I loved what I had come up with it didn’t bother me. Art and Quilting is so subjective when you think about it. Aren’t we drawn to certain colors, fabrics etc… So this is my first sketch. I might change it as a go along. I do plan on trying something new, well maybe! LOL

Concept for Magazine

Concept for Magazine

The finished quilt is only 8″ x 10″.  My butterflies and flowers will be pretty small.

Thank you for visiting my blog and I am wishing Happy Holidays to you and yours.

I still have my sale going on thru the end of the year so stop on over to

thebutterflyquilter.com

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WIP~ #27B Geraniums Almost Done

OK, so I am still working on my Geraniums, but almost done!!! When this project first started I didn’t realize how long this would take me or what obstacles I might have to over come. When I left off  last week I was at the point of marking my quilt to show where the quilting lines were going to be.

Ready to mark

Ready to mark

I was able to mark most of the background with a water soluble blue marker. Now the blue flowers were a problem because the marker was not going to show up. So I needed to come up with another solution. I could use the purple marker that quilters use but the  lines disappear after a certain number of hours. That wasn’t going to work because I would have the quilt sandwiched by then and would not be able to mark the quilting lines using my light box. I tried using a white pencil but that didn’t show up either!

After thinking about it  I came up with this solution.  It would take a while but it would work. I take my paper pattern and use my sewing machine with feed dogs down and darning foot for free motion quilting and a large needle to punch holes out of my paper pattern.  Following where I wanted to quilt.  I lay my quilt down with the paper pattern on top. I take my pounce filled with chalk and pounce over the pattern. When I removed the paper little dots  showed up to show where to quilt. 

Front of pattern ~ back of pattern

Front of pattern ~ back of pattern

I could pounce with chalk a section at a time.  Once that was done I did the first round of quilting with white thread.  This left a thread line to show where I was going to quilt heavier. Once that whole top was done this way I started my second round of quilting.  A small free motion zig zag stitch. Almost like a satin stitch but more irregular.

Zig Zag Free Motion Stitch

Zig Zag Free Motion Stitch

This method took quite a while to do but I love the look of it when finished.  I chose my binding which will be next, then I am going to be stitching down some stigma and stamen in the middle of the flowers to finish the piece.

Ready for binding!

Ready for binding!

I hope to finish it tomorrow to add to my store on Etsy.

Come on over and have a look. I have a sale for the Holidays going on right now at Thebutterflyquilter.com

 

 

 

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