Monday, 25 May 2015

The Houseboat

Sunset over Assawoman Bay by Monte Morton
When I was a little girl, every summer we would pack up the station wagon and drive down to Ocean City, Maryland to visit my Auntie. Auntie is my mom's best friend from her University days and my Godmother. Auntie had a houseboat that was pulled up on land nestled next to a little creek on Assawoman Bay. As a child that Houseboat was my favourite place in all the world. And this is just what sunset looked like from the back porch.

Take Me To The Sea   -   horizontal printEven back in the 1960's Ocean City was a busy place. But in the north on the bay side of the island there were still wild places to explore, a marshland cut through with little islands and rivulets that we named and sculled with our little dinghy. There were little docks for crabbing after dinner and secret places under houses to make forts.There were quiet places to wander alone with the salt smell, and the black mud squelching between your toes and the hot sun on your face.
Source: via Martha on Pinterest

In the late morning we would head to the beach, which was pretty crowded. But in the afternoon we would come back to the houseboat and shower and snack and read or go for walks hang out with friends or go crabbing at the dock... a bit of string and a leftover drum stick usually did the trick.

The Houseboat was a bit wider than a school bus and just about as long. There was a screened in front porch, two steps down into a tiny kitchen, a middle room with a long table and a sofa, followed by a sleeping area with two sets of double-bunk-beds with red curtains on the outside that looked like the sleeping compartment on a Pullman train. If you got the right bed you could peek through the curtains at night and see what the grownups were watching on TV.
Then it was two steps up to a clothes closet on one side and a WC and shower with metal sides and briny water.There was a little back porch with a clothesline that went to an outbuilding. All in all it was heaven! The back porch looked a lot like the photo below and the front porch was a bit like the photo above,if you take away the roof deck and screen it in. I remember playing cards at night on the porch table by the light of citronella candles.

My Auntie said that her father got the Houseboat before she was born. He got it as a trade in for a used car - it must have been in the late 30's or early 40's. This vintage houseboat is the same era.

Auntie's Houseboat was fixed up so beautifully! Looking back it must have been hard for the grownups to be in such a small place with 4 kids. But for us it was just the best place ever. Dear Auntie I wish you a very Happy Birthday today! Thank you for all the love that you pour out on us and those golden memories that we treasure.
guilded waves

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Under the Arm

storybook illustration
There's a hidden dimension in long arm measurements. It's the height! Lots of people talk about how long the arm of a sewing machine is. But the height is just as important!  Long arm machines usually list the length AND the height of the machine arm.

So the longest Gammill is 30 inches long and 12 inches tall and
the shortest Gammill is 18 inches long and 8 inches tall.
Both dimentions, the length and the height are important.
Long arm sewing machines are proportional:
 as the length increases so does the height.

JUKI QVP 2200 18X 10" long arm

Machine Quilters don't need the height of the quilting machine to be high enough to drive a car through. But we do need to fit a fabric bar under the arm. As you move through your quilt, this fabric bar gets bigger and bigger. The taller arm allows for this.

JUKI TL98P 2 inches longer and taller than most domestic sewing machines
Before you buy a sewing machine for quilting look at the height. No matter how long the arm of the machine is, if they didn't make it taller,  you will still struggle to fit your quilt under the arm.  Taller machines will fit more of your quilt easily under the arm whatever quilting method you use.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

It's a Girl! SALE

Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

To Celebrate the birth 
of the new princess 
all of our pink threads 
will be £1.00 off!

All in-stock pink thread (including any variegated thread with pink in it) from each range of Superior threads that we carry 
will be one £ off 
for one week only. 

To get the discount, 
email Martha directly 
with your order.