Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Long Drive today

We were on the road before 6:30am.and only stopped at 6:00 p.m. We did however cross a time zone losing an hour so it made it seem longer than it really was. The Holiday Inn Express in Erie, PA is where we call home for tonight. I am still wearing sandals but not for much longer I fear.

We are crossing over into Canada tomorrow and keep your fingers crossed for us. I really hope we get a friendly cooperative crossing guard because having to unpack our vehicle at Customs will not be a pretty site!
I finished two quilts today on our drive...I had sewed the bindings on but both of them needed to be hand stitched. Spending almost 11 hours in the car was just what I needed to get the job done.
This brings my total to 4 finished quilts while away. Of course I did several other projects too but,  I can brag talk about that later.

My first finish was Harvey...a large Schnibble pattern by Carrie Nelson. When I saw this pattern there was no doubt in my mind that I would be doing it because Harvey was my maiden name.

Of course you already know that my sister Barb and I did this together. Here is hers...

Although made from the same pattern they are as different as we are.
I had several other finishes in between but the next quilt finish for me another Carrie Nelson pattern called Quadrille

In progress, and then....

I even used leftovers to piece the back.

Finish #3 was a kit I brought from home; actually #1 & #2 also came with me from home.

This one is a brushed cotton and flannel snowball quilt from a kit I had purchased in my travels a couple years ago. 

Warm and cozy, just the way a quilt should be!

Finish #4 was a kit I purchased this winter in Mesa. It is called Flower Stalls. I saw it when Mr O brought me to a quilt shop on my birthday, and I didnt buy it, but the next time I went back to the shop I eyed it up again and said, "no, I don't need it", but the third time I went back, I just knew I wanted it, so it came home with me that day and it really was a breeze to do up. The fabrics were so different and colourful and really not what I would normally make but I found it so cheerful that I just couldn't resist.

Because I have not blogged in so long there is just so much to tell/show you but hey I'll just throw a little in every now. I will leave you with a photo of a small purchase I made at the last quilt show I went to just a couple days before leaving. I had started packing and knew there was not much room but I figured if there was room for me, there would be room for it.

Time for bed, another big travel day tomorrow. Another handwork project waiting for me...

From Mesa to Metropolis

No I am not talking about Superman's Metropolis. The Metropolis I mean is across the river from Paducah Kentucky. 
Paducah just happens to be the home of the National Quilt Museum and a huge Quilt Convention every April. I am a couple weeks too early for the convention but I did have a couple hours to spend at the museum. WHAT A TREAT!

On entering the lobby I met a very friendly woman at the desk and I liked her instantly...and no it was not just because she couldn't believe I qualified for a senior discount! Well Okay maybe that had a little to do with it. <grin>
I gave her some i.d. And paid my admission. She told me to be sure and see the wooden quilt in the conference room before leaving, so while waiting for my tour guide I thought I would go see the wooden quilt. I went in the room and took notice of several stained glass windows in a quilt pattern, and one modern quilt on the opposite wall.

No wooden quilts in that room so I moved on. Took a peek in the next room and glanced into the gift shop, and by then my guide had arrived, so I decided to look for the wooden quilt later. Unfortunately I was not allowed to take pics of any kind in the touching, no pictures...pure torture! I was so blown away by the workmanship. I especially wanted to see a quilt called Ms. McDonald's Farm because one of the ladies who worked on this collaborative project is a friend and fellow quilter in our little group in Mesa, Arizona.

(Photo courtesy of American Quilter

This photo does not come close to doing this quilt justice, but believe me when I say it was a real feast for the eyes! Well done Mary Fran and friends!
There was a nine patch display. Quilts from the 1800's to 2014.  Truley inspirational!
Check them out here
The miniature quilt display was almost unbelievable. It was all I could do not to sneak a photo or two, but I behaved...honest.
On my way out of the gallery my guide said don't forget to check the gift shop and the wooden quilt...ah yes...the wooden quilt. Off I went again in search of the wooden quilt. I had seen a wooden quilt last week, done with wooden blocks where you can play around and change the pattern as you wish so this was what I expected to see. Back into the conference room and i walked up to the quilt on the wall only to see that it was indeed made of wood! Standing 6" away from it, I still had a hard time to believe it was not fabric. Painted in flat paint gave it a fabric appearance and it had folds in it hanging over the display rod. Beside it was a cross section of a piece of a cast off. 


A few small purchases ( museum pin, a charm, and a mug) from the shop and it was closing time. 
There was a lot more that caught my eye but The car is a bit loaded down...

It's hard to believe winter is over and we are on our way home. It has been a wonderful return trip so far. Hamilton, Missouri with a big stop at Missouri Star Quilt Company, hitting some amazing quilt shops, taking a break at Big Cedar Lodge outside of Branson Missouri.
I am still wearing sandals but I am told that that might change by the time I reach New Brunswick...we'll see....

Monday, January 12, 2015

Tisket a Tasket

Friday was a sister day. Barb and I tackled our long awaited Harvey pattern. I'm happy to say that things went together very smoothly. Now don't get me wrong...we didn't get them finished. 
By the time we made coffee and a toast and then Barb gave me my birthday gift and we chatted about things it was 10:30 before I even turned my machine on. Marking and sewing just under 100 hst's and then cutting and squaring them up took a good bit of time. After all the blocks were squared up I had a cute little pile of trimmings that looked like a perfect little bird's nest.

I tossed a couple of bobbins onto the pile of trimmings and it was too cute not to photograph. We worked so hard and that worked up our appetites so then we had lunch. More sewing and by supper we had all the centre units done.

I know that had we worked alone it would have gone faster but it would not been nearly as enjoyable, so I'm okay with the slower progress. Faster is not always better.

Another few hours of work yielded these

Barb used Zen Sphere and dark grey Kona cotton.

Mine on the other hand was a mish mash of white and cream backgrounds with mostly low volume print. The background is a brown with a tiny black swirl. It doesn't photograph well at night but you get the idea. 
The lower rows still need to be added to the upper and then the outer border pieced, but hopefully by the end of the week this baby will be ready for the long arm quilter. 
I do hope to get some progress made tomorrow. 

Yesterday my sister and I and a dear friend from home spent the morning yard saling. I made a few good purchases. Almost everything was quilt/sewing related.
A glue gun for a little workshop we quilters are doing, making Lori Holts mini design boards.

A bargain at just $1.00

A huge roll of sewing elastic, 5 zippers, and just under 4 yards of cotton fabric for a total of  $5.25

A cute "Quilty" looking tote for just $1.00

And my big purchase

A neutral queen sized quilt and shams in amazing condition. I have 2 at home already but need one more for the guest bedroom. Why did a quilter buy a quilt you ask? Well I like to use and display my quilts and not all of them are bed sized but I figure with a neutral quilt on the bed I can accent with my other quilts. 

The best part of that purchase was that I talked the lady down to accepting my offer of $10.00
A good bargain I think!
I have been thoroughly enjoying my audio books and listened to a Marie Bostwick story today.

It's late and I really would like to make some headway tomorrow on Harvey, so stay tuned, you just may see two very large basket quilts by weeks end.

P.S. For those of you wondering, I have an appointment with a dentist in Mexico on Wednesday morning. Yay! My favourite way to spend the a dentist's office.

"I've been to the dentist several times, so I know the drill."
Author Unknown

Friday, January 9, 2015

Making Headway

Today was our Park Guild day and  my aim today was to reassemble all the blocks I disassembled less than 24 hours ago. That however is easier said than done.  How easy it is to get lost in a job and and not really see what you are doing. I still shake my head at the mistake. My gran had a sign in her kitchen that I have thought of and repeated more than once and it has been bouncing around in my head the last couple days since realizing the mistake. 

I am happy to report that of the 180 blocks needed there are only 44 left undone. The rows are pieced and just need to assembled.

I also have a hand  project prepped and ready to embroider. The piecing that goes on top and bottom of the stitchery will be made from various red and white/cream scraps.

It feels good to get back in the swing of things and guess what? Tomorrow is another quilting day! My sister and I have planned this day for quite some time and we will be working with the same pattern but totally different fabrics and colours. I am really stoked about this project and have all the prep work done. Everything is cut. All the charms are marked and ready for sewing into HST's and I hope to see big progress on this project by end of day.
I may be one of the last people on the planet to hear of  this app but my grand daughter introduced me to a free app called OverDrive. It gives you access to thousands of ebooks AND audio books. You need to have a library card but that is something I have always had since a small girl.
I am totally enjoying this app and in case you have not heard of it, you might like to check it out.

OVERDRIVE.... Check it out.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


I'm not sure if it has anything to do with being closer to the Equator, but crikey the days sure fly by down here! I t seems like I just get up and it's time to go back to bed. Today was a quilting day with some if the local gals. There were only four of us today because it seems people are not all back from their trips home for Christmas. Tomorrow is another quilt day for our little guild here in the park. I'm thinking there may be a few more then. 
Today I concentrated on cutting all the pieces for a quilt I had planned to do in October for the Schnibbles Parade, but  circumstances altered my plans and it was set aside. This was a quilt that my sister Barb and I have planned to do together.

When Carrie Nelson published her pattern Harvey, I knew that it was going to be added near the top of my list of quilt projects, so today all the prep work was done and when Barb and I get together on Friday to quilt Harvey will be the pattern of choice. I'll explain more about that later.

I have another Carrie Nelson quilt in the works that I started this summer for myself and set it aside because of all the Christmas quilting I was working on. It came out of hiding today and that will be tomorrows project.

Do you see all those little red and white blocks that make up the chain that runs through the quilt? Pretty simple yeah? I had 144 of those little units to make. Tedious because they were small and it was so repetitive, and I did not pay attention to placement of the pieces.

These two squares look pretty much alike right...but they have a mistake in the placement of the pieces. I know that on a galloping horse you might not notice the mistake but from where I sit it seemed pretty glaring and this was not just a one block mistake...oh no! Not me...when I do something it has to be big...when I counted there were 94 of these babies that needed to be ripped out and rearranged!!!

After supper this evening we had tickets for a Comedy/Magic show so we didnt get back until 9:30, but my mission was to at least have all 94 blocks ripped apart and ready to press and REassemble tomorrow at our guild work day. I have to shake my head at this blunder, but like I said, just Keeping It Real!
I'm happy to report it is now 1:23 a.m. and all the ripping is done and I will be ready for some assembly line piecing tomorrow, but ladies, please don't distract me. Apparently it doesn't take much these days for me to make BIG mistakes with little blocks.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Roses In December

Yesterday I told you a little bit about our Christmas and some of you know that I am a December baby. Mom went into labour for me on Christmas day but true to form I made everybody wait til I was ready before making my appearance on December 27th. For most of my life I have to say that my birthday didn't really feel special, simply because it was in the shadows of Christmas. Not to say Mom did any less for me than my siblings but let's face it, after all the hub bub of Christmas no one really needs another gift to buy or party to go to. As I have gotten older birthdays are not really as important because they just seem to add up way to fast, but I have to say that my friends and family sure make me feel special. 
Just look at some of the lovely gifts I received.

Just as a side note, this pouch is not quite true to colour and it is lined in clear vinyl which makes it great for easy clean up from leaked toiletries. Very clever idea! Done in masculine fabrics it would make a great shaving bag for a special guy in your life.

This purse is a faux leather and was a surprise from a friend. Don't you just love the quilting on it?

While visiting the Boyce Thompson Arboretum I saw the cutest Christmas decoration, and a girlfriend made me up a kit to make my own Rudolph for next holiday season. Isn't he just the cutest? Can you guess what he is made from?

He is made from the fallen pieces of bark from palm trees!  Mine will have a blinking red nose and lovely false eye lashes...Gee I can hardly wait for Christmas!
Along with my Rudolph kit was a microwave heat bag and a gift card to a local quilt shop. Score!

I received a parcel in the mail a few days ago from a special friend and it was loaded with goodies.
Each item was wrapped individually with a cute little clue as to the contents

Filled with jars of luscious body butters!

Here is a closer look at this tower of wooden spools of trim And if that wasn't enough she also made me this charming cushion...

Mr. O bought me a Bose bluetooth speaker which I absolutely love! He also bought me a 3 season Columbia jacket and candy.

I had been feeling a bit under the weather for 3 or 4 days before my birthday so I opted out of a dinner date with Mr O but when he offered to take me for a walk through a public rose garden he had found in his exploring I thought that was just what I wanted. Being a December baby and growing up in Northern Canada there is something very decadent about seeing roses growing in December...even if it is in Arizona! 

I stopped to speak with one of the ladies who volunteers her time in the gardens and thanked her for hard work. A few minutes later she sought me out and offered to cut me a bouquet of roses!

Thank you Phyllis!

Afterwards Mr O took me out for lunch and when we left the restaurant we encountered a hungry mother and child looking for food. Mr. O suggested I take her in for dinner. I stayed in long enough for her to order lunch for herself and her daughter, then paid the bill and left. The cashier told me it was a very kind thing to answer; maybe i was being scammed but you can never go wrong being kind to someone and it made me feel good to be able to give to someone when others had given so much to me.
All in all I had a wonderful day! 
I had an elderly friend from England who commented to me one day, " I wouldn't trade places with the King of England right now." That's exactly how I felt!

This little gift of a pincushion from my daughter makes me feel like royalty every time I look at it tho. A jewelled crown pin cushion!

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."