Monday, March 7, 2011

Martinique Monday–Sort Of

Martinique is a beautiful island in the Caribbean Ocean.  I wish I was there.


The only thing, vaguely resembling Martinique here is that I am surrounded by water.  My basement (laundry room) and garage are flooded from the downpours and accompanying melting snow last night and early this morning.

I woke at 3:00 am, listening as the rain was coming down so heavily that it was hitting the windows sideways. It sounded more like the shower running full throttle than a rain storm.  You know that “intuitive” feeling we get—that something isn’t right??  Well, that’s what kept me from falling into a deep restful sleep last night until I finally got up and went downstairs.

I can’t say I was “surprised”  but I was hopeful that what I suspected wouldn’t bear out.  I should explain…

Just a few months ago, I noticed that the drains in the garage were full of water after a half day of rain and then I remembered the plastic drain pipes that were removed last fall when the new driveway was installed.  They were broken and were the cause of the sinkhole in the middle of the old driveway but evidently they were working well enough to drain the water from the hill behind the house under the garage and out to the drainage ditch.  As we all know, water takes the path of least resistance and since the pipes are gone—it’s flowing through the garage instead of underneath it.

I’m grateful that I moved everything out of the laundry room that could be moved the last time that the furnace flooded the basement but that stuff IS in the garage-my skis, bike, the recycle containers for my dump runs, wood for the fireplace,  my lawn tractor, car and garden equipment, bags of mulch and top soil.  I’ve been bailing out the laundry room but I think a sump pump is needed.

My sewing machines, fabric and craft supplies are on high ground so I guess it could be worse—nothing is “floating” and the water level is only about 1 to 1 &1/2 inches.  Just enough to cause a big mess and ruin a lot of “stuff”.  So maybe the point is to not have a lot of “STUFF” in the future.

Before all this came about, I spent sometime last night working  on my “Vintage Memories” BOM’s from last summer and finished Block #3 which for me was the hardest (dang hst’s) so far and I did end up taking one block apart and reassembling it.


I now have six of the eighteen blocks completed and I’m starting on Block #4.  Each block is duplicated twice in the finished quilt.  Ironically, the fabric is called “Martinique” by 3 Sisters for Moda Fabrics.   I love the color palette of this fabric line—taupe, tile red, pale salmon, aqua. 


Saturday morning I brought my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer raffle quilt “Hopes Garden” to Bits N Pieces and used their automated HQ 18 to quilt it.  I chose a pattern called “Fern” and a variegated thread in wheat, tan and buff.  It was quite an  experience.  It took 45 minutes just to load the quilt, backing and batting into the machine.   Then Liz the owner programmed the pattern and adjusted the size for me.   I wanted it about 65% larger so it coverered more of the string-pieced areas and looked less busy.  Even though the machine is automated, I still had to stand nearby and monitor the bobbin and thread.






Liz and Ellen (in the picture right) were wonderfully patient and generous with their time even though they were super busy with shop customers and traffic and had a backlog of custom quilting orders to do.  Liz’s daughter is getting married this weekend and even though she had a lot of details to see to, she kept the shop open later than normal  so that I could finish “Hopes Garden”. 

It took over 7 hours to quilt.  You can see the detail of the quilting in the close up shot.   After we got the quilt loaded, Liz showed me how to baste the quilt,  run the program, roll the quilt and start a new row---It was info overload and my head was spinning, but Liz was very reassuring and said that with such a large quilt I’d be an expert by the time it was done. 

I wasn’t convinced, especially after I had to ask for help several times because I replaced the bobbin wrong and it got stuck, but by the time Hopes Garden was halfway quilted, I did feel more confident that I could do this again--as long I don’t wait too long!


If you’d like to win “Hopes Garden” you can enter my FREE raffle by making a donation to my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Fundraising Page .   I hope you’ll visit anyway to find out more about me, why I ‘m doing this grueling 40 miles walk over two days to fight breast cancer. You can also see some updated pics each week.

All of the proceeds from this raffle will go to the Avon Foundation to fund research into breast cancer treatments and a cure.  Some of it will be used for funding screening programs for women who do not have health insurance and to fund programs that provide meals and care to breast cancer patients undergoing treatment. 

If you make a donation using the link above you will  automatically be entered into the raffle for “Hops Garden”.  Donations can be made by credit card or check.   If you’d like to make a donation other than by credit card, please email me and I will send you an official donation coupon.   All donations are tax deductible.  Donations over $25.00 can be made in monthly installments for up to five (5) months. 

The drawing will be held on May 16th, 2011 which is the day following my Avon 2-day walk.   The winner will be notified via email and the quilt will be shipped via priority mail. 

Even if you don’t want to enter the raffle, I hope you will consider making a donation. 

I’m sorry but after writing this post I was informed that raffles, even for charity, cannot be conducted across international borders.  That said, the raffle is only open to US citizens.  My sincerest apologies to anyone who was affected by this sudden change.

Thank you,

Gail Smile


  1. While you got all rain, I woke up to snow. Although I don't have the issue of water running through the garage. We are watching all of the creeks and rivers as the water is rising.
    Glad to hear you had a wonderful experience quilting the rrcb. I have yet to try it.
    All of this weather sure does leave one wishing for spring.

  2. Your quilting job is superb! It looks beautiful!
    Hope you didn't lose too much "stuff" from the flooding!


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