Author Archives: Mary

Walking, eating, shopping

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I’m not much of a shopper but we do visit LL Bean when we are here. Keith found a few things and we found a ‘home dec’ representation of Casco Bay to hang in the library – it’s not a photo or a map but we liked it. 

Don’t worry, that lobster roll wasn’t that small – I took a couple (big) bites before I thought to photograph it. 

I also wanted to share another one of Ann’s quilts – I liked her zigzag strings but liked the black and brights better than the pastel fabrics so aren’t I lucky she had extra blocks and made one of those too – this is definitely going in my inspiration file. 

A weekend away

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I had one last day with my HeartStrings group and then left around 5pm to pick Keith up at the airport. He’s joining me here in Maine for the weekend. We checked into the hotel and then went straight to dinner at DiMillo’s – a local seafood place that we first visited 20+ years ago with his Dad on our first trip to Portland. We make sure we eat dinner there at the bar every time we’re in town. I had a lobster roll of course but also had some maple bacon wrapped scallops that were wonderful!

Another busy day

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More tying, more laughter, more quilts finished and ready for donation. 

I loved tying this top Rebecca made for our Rainbow Strings project. Normally I use a single thread color but I matched up my colors to the colors in her quilt. 

Rebecca is always my binding buddy … once the tops are tied someone need to sew the binding and since I don’t have a machine with me, I depend on others. ( Jackie has also helped out with binding – nice for me and Rebecca!)


Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Inspiration

I always come back from Maine with ideas for new quilts. I’ve made several half square triangle string quilts but my strings always run parallel to the seam.

Ann’s working with blocks that run perpendicular to the seam and has set them two different ways. Love it with the black and brights …

But the zigzag is fun too!

Tying quilts

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Tying quilts

When I stop talking I make some progress on my tying! Bev had my corner all set up for me and I’m working hard on catching up with everyone and tying quilts. 

We’ve already got a big stack of quilts to donate because we brought some finished quilts with us. 

I’ve got 4 tied and Jackie and Rebecca are binding them. Look at the soft Minkee backing donated by Shannon Fabrics.  This quilt is one going to a local home for veterans. 

We also have lots of backings made and sent by Tish – some left over from previous years and some newly sent but it’s great to pull a top for tying and find a matching back. You can see I have my work cut out for me … the tops waiting are in front and the backings we’re pulling from are in the back. 

I feel so fortunate to be able to come and work with this group of HeartStrings quilters!

In my happy place!

Published / by Mary / 11 Comments on In my happy place!

When it was time to decide where we were going to move after Keith’s Mom died, it came down to two places – Maine or Tampa – how different could we get? (Both however are surrounded by water which is probably why they made the final two). In the end Tampa worked best for proximity to family and the ease of travel so important to Keith’s job and while I don’t regret the decision, I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to travel to Maine once or twice a year. Last year I missed my trip and Hurricane Irma tried to mess me up this year but I’m here and I’m happy!

I’ve talked a lot about diet the last few weeks but I’m going to be upfront – I never had any intention of sticking to any diet this week! I wonder how many lobster rolls I’ll manage to eat?!

Let the quilting (or rather tying) begin! I’ve got 4 days to work with my HeartStrings group and then Keith will join me for a few days. 

The boss

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Finn spent the morning with Keith while I slept late and then ran some errands. When I got back, we went for a walk and played some which was supposed to give me some time in the sewing room – he has to be in the crate for his safety, he finds the smallest pieces of fabric and tries to eat them and you know my sewing room has lots of fabric scraps floating about. He sat quietly for a while but apparently wasn’t in the mood to nap or be in the crate.

He was however willing to nap a while in the chair with me while I knit some on the baby’s blanket … but his nap didn’t last long and then he was ready for some more attention. He was groomed yesterday … can you tell?

It’s still a bit of a challenge for me to work around his schedule and I don’t get as much done as I used to but when Keith’s not traveling, he spends time in the (home) office with him and he’s getting better … it’s only been in the last month or so that I’ve been able to knit when he’s sitting with me. One day, hopefully soon, he’ll be able to sit in the sewing room without getting into everything like Chesty did. 

He did allow me to draft a chisel quilt … there are lots of examples of chisel stars out there and while mine will most likely be scrappy, I like to draft quilts in RWB so they can be used for veteran quilts. 

Quilt size is about 56×80 as drafted using the Accuquilt GO chisel and 3 inch finished half square triangle dies. 

Dietary changes

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Dietary changes

I don’t eat at typical meal times so whether you call this breakfast, lunch, or snack – it’s a quick bite and all allowed on the low FODMAP diet. The crackers are gluten free, the egg fixed in the Instant Pot the other night along with several others so they’re ready in the fridge when I want to grab something to eat. 

I won’t continue to bore you much longer with the low FODMAP stuff but right now I’m spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to accommodate it in my life. I can tell you I won’t be following it strictly but I’ve learned that I can eliminate a lot of problem foods without too much pain …. others will be more challenging!

I’m tired!

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I’m still feeling the effects of the last couple weeks … stress makes me tired!

I spent time today helping clean up the common area – lots of down branches and palm fronds. The city will pick up debris but we have to get it to the curb. 

Finn was also groomed today and since they come to the house I spent that time in the sewing room.  I had the strips paired up for my spools blocks and that was the easiest thing to work on. I’m procrastinating on assembling the schoolhouses and actually have some more nine patch cornerstones still to piece too but it’s not coming off the design wall until it’s a finished top!

I also spent some time knitting and listening to a new audiobook – a biography on Sally Ride. I’ve found I’ve learned to like audiobooks but just when I’m knitting and they need to be history or biography. I tried a mystery a few weeks ago but didn’t last 10 minutes…. and mysteries are my favorite books to read. Funny how that works! I think it’s because I listened to the History channel for so many years when I was binding or knitting when I sat down with Keith in the evenings.