Saturday, September 24, 2016

New Pattern!

I wasn't planning to do anymore patterns for my 16" Round Table Mat Series, but I just created one more!

It's called "Gingerbread For All" and is the perfect accent for your Holiday table!

The .pdf pattern can be purchased from
either my Craftsy or Etsy shops.
Just click on the links beneath the first photo.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Road Home Row Along...Welcome to My Home!

I want to give a big thanks to Marian from Seams To Be Sew and Amy from Sew Incredibly Crazy for all the hard work it took for them to bring us this hop!

And now...welcome to my home, Worcester County, Central Massachusetts.
As you can see on the map, my town of Lancaster (marked in red on the top image) is about one hour West/NW of Boston. It resides in Worcester County, which covers a large area. It's still very rural, but more and more people are moving out here even if they work near Boston, because of its comparable affordability. 

Here are some factoids (from Wikipedia) about the county as well as Lancaster itself:

About 800,000 people make Worcester County their home, making it the second-most populous county in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is also the largest county in area. The City of Worcester remained the historic county seat until most of the state disbanded county government in 1998. It is the second-most populous city in the state, and indeed in New England.

On a side might be wondering why Massachusetts is referred to as a "Commonwealth" instead of a "state." According to "In terms of constitutional rights, there is no real difference between a commonwealth and a state in the United States. Commonwealth is an old term that has largely been replaced with the title of state."  But this is New England, and we hold onto our history here, so it makes perfect sense they still use the old term!

Now, back to our story...Incorporated in 1653, Lancaster is the oldest town in Worcester County. It was first settled as "Nashaway" (after the local Nashaway Indian tribe) in 1643. It was officially incorporated and renamed "Lancaster on the Nashua" in 1653. (The "Nashua" is a river that runs through part of the county, including Lancaster.) Lancaster boasts being the official "mothertown" to much of central Massachusetts. Towns such as Harvard, Stow, Bolton, Hudson, Marlborough, Leominster, Clinton, Berlin, Sterling, and Boylston were all once considered part of Lancaster.

Lancaster also can boast about some famous things and people. Bostonian Charles Bulfinch, the noted architect who designed (among many other buildings) the U.S. Capitol and Boston's Faneuil Hall Meeting House, also designed the Unitarian Church in Lancaster (formerly known as the Fifth Meeting House). It is a National Historic Landmark, and the building is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. 
Also, Luther Burbank, botanist, horticulturist and a pioneer in agricultural science, was from Lancaster. He created hundreds of new varieties of plants, fruits, and vegetables, including the Shasta Daisy and the Russet Potato!

Some other famous people from Worcester County include Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry, and Harvey Ball, designer of the smiley face.
Interestingly enough, Ball drew the iconic image while working for the State Mutual Assurance Company in Worcester, as a way to boost employee morale. That company is now known as Hanover Insurance, and my husband works there as a lead IT professional.

One other thing we're known for (as is most of New England) is our wonderful Fall foliage. Here's some beautiful color on Worcester County's Mount Wachusett: 
"Wachusett" is the Algonquin Indian word for "The Great Hill." It is the highest mountain in Massachusetts east of the Connecticut River. The mountain is also home to the only known Old Growth Forest east of that same river; some trees are over 350 years old! It also boasts panoramic 360-degree views from the summit, including a view of Boston Skyline to the east. It is also the biggest skiing attraction in the area.

But one of the most famous persons or things from Worcester County, (and the most pertinent to the row I created for this hop), is a man named Johnny Appleseed.

Actually, his name wasn’t “Appleseed” at all, it was “Chapman.” He was born in Leominster, a town located in Worcester County, in 1774. The legend of Johnny Appleseed tells of him spreading apple seeds randomly everywhere he went. In fact he planted nurseries rather than orchards, left them in the care of neighbors, and went off to be a travelling preacher. And he actually did this in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana, not Massachusetts! However, we certainly claim him as our own, and his influence is seen everywhere in Worcester County in its many apple orchards (40 by my count). If you ask people around here what this county is known for, no doubt many of them would say “apples!”

So when this hop was announced, it only took me a few moments to come up with the theme for my row…an apple orchard!

And here's my row for Worcester County, MA..."The Apple Orchard":

It consists of eight blocks: Two branches, three apple blossoms, and three apples. The branch blocks measure 6.5" x 12.5" and the blossom and apple blocks measure 6.5" square (including seam allowances). The row combines English Paper Piecing and fused raw-edge applique, as well as traditional joining of the blocks. The finished row measures 12.5" x 30.5" and here's a picture of a completed row:

Here's a close-up of the branch blocks:

The blossom block:

And the apple block:

After designing the row, I decided to make wall quilt by making three rows and joining them with sashing. I made the quilt using Quilter's Candy Mirage Mottled fabric and matching thread from Connecting Threads.
Here's the completed quilt, (with my rudimentary quilting that I did on my home machine with my walking foot!)

This row is available for free on Craftsy until the end of October:

Image result for craftsy logo for shop

Be sure to enter today's giveaways! You must leave a comment to be eligible to enter.
 Connect the Blocks

Connect The Blocks Gift Certificate - $50.00 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Anita Good
Anita Goodesign Machine Embroidery Design CD (This giveaway can only ship to the US.)   a Rafflecopter giveaway

You must leave a comment to enter the giveaways, and I'd love to hear from you too! I'll respond (eventually) to everyone via email, unless you're a no-reply blogger.

Here's the list of participants for today; be sure to check everyone out!

September 15
bdieges designs
creates Road to Tehachapi (CA)
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
creates Worcester County in Central Massachusetts (you're here!)
Cloth and Paper Studio
creates North Georgia Mountains
Patti’s Patchwork
creates Toronto, Ontario Canada
Seacoast Quilter
creates New Milford, Connecticut

And check out the following to see what everyone's created:
The Facebook Announcement Group
The FlickR Group
and the Pinterest Wall

Finally, thanks so much for travelling down my road home!