Monday, 31 March 2008

Vacation - Day 1

Who'd have thought that we would run into road construction so early in the season? Surprised us! We had just nicely driven into North Dakota when we came upon some very industrious road workers doing road repairs.

Of course, as the official map reader, if we got lost or took a wrong turn anywhere during the trip - it would be all MY FAULT. Not really though . . . Randy was pretty forgiving with my map reading abilities . . . he even scratched his head a couple of times as to the map being nowhere near the way the actual physical place was. He's still trying to figure out how the road numbering and street addressing is done in some of the towns, counties and cities we drove through.

First stop was Devil's Lake, ND and I was required to choose only one of the quilt shops - what a dilemma! How do I know I chose the right one?!? Anyways, I chose Rose's Stitch and Sew and thought the shop was wonderful . . . spent way too much money, but managed to stroke two of the things I was looking for off my list and purchased a book and some fabric as well. I completely forgot to take a picture of the store front and that is why I'm showing you the front of their newsletter. Lots of classes and information.

Just South of the town of Devil's Lake is this fascinating stretch of water - frozen water - for miles and miles, as far as the eye could see. The water appears to only be a couple of feet lower than the road surface and you have to wonder how wet the road gets when it gets really windy in the summer.

In between interesting sights along the way, I managed to make all of my little snowmen cheerful. I know the one in the bottom of the photo appears to have a deep frown going on, but really it does turn into an impish grin shortly after the photo was taken. After these guys were all safely tucked away, I brought out the knitting needles and finished a pair of slippers and started on a second pair. I hate travelling and not accomplishing something along the way - I even worked in a few hundred pictures of various interesting and not-so-interesting things!

Here is the second quilt shop we stopped at - Designer Fabrics in Carrington, ND. I found some wonderful "scrap bags" for $3.95 full of wonderful prints in varying sizes. Some pieces were almost as large as a fat quarter, which I thought was fantastic! Good pricing. I think I also bought a book or two here and a couple of yards of some background fabric.

We did get home on Saturday, on schedule! This was the scene that we woke up to on Sunday morning . . . lots of sticky, wet snow that was packed in everywhere by the strong winds. Really glad we decided to come home all the way and missed the worst part of the storm. Driving in that would not have been very pleasant.

Can you tell I love books? Here is the collection I got on this trip - three Whimsical books, a jelly roll book and a charmer book. Can't wait to try some of these designs! Even though I know I shouldn't right now - have to rein in my enthusiasm for a while.

At one of the quilt shops (we stopped at 6!) I bought a lovely collection of Whimsicals fabrics. I found these in the "sale" section of the store and felt like it was Christmas - finding fabric I really like . . . plus a sale! Now I have the books and the fabric - they can join the stack of other lovelies that are sitting in my sewing room tempting me. Someday . . . soon . . . I hope . . . I will get around to each and every project that is waiting.

Check back tomorrow for "Vacation - Day 2".

'til next time,


Friday, 28 March 2008

On Vacation . . .

We're all settled in here in Sioux Falls, SD. I have visited five quilt shops on the trip here and have one more to visit today. The old VISA is getting quite the workout!

I have taken tons of pictures but the converter thingy decided it needed formatted and I have no idea how to that. The how-to book is safely at home!

We have visited lots of malls and even have tickets tonight for comedian, Jon Reep's show. Should be a hoot!

I'll get some pictures posted on Sunday or Monday when I get back home and settled in.

Hope everyone has a great weekend,

'til next time . . .

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone is having a relaxing and wonderful long weekend and celebrating Easter in your own special ways.

I couldn't pass these little lovelies by when I saw them. What a glorious, cheerful glimpse towards Spring!

The yellow one is mine because that is my favorite color. The salmon colored one is my daughter's posie - her favorite color is pink but this is as close as I could get to a pink one.

I need to find out whether or not I can grow these wonderful daisies in my garden. Must be time to get out the gardening books and seed catalogues don't you think?

'til next time . . .

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Snowman Saga continues . . .

Who can resist these little fellas? They are so adorable!

Here we are in March and I'm still designing snowmen. I think there is one more month of this block exchange and then it will be time to lay all the collected blocks out and try and put it together into a quilt that will be unveiled in June. Can I do it? We'll see . . .

My ironing board is covered with all of these bits and pieces - but what a great way to use up the smallest little bits left over from previous projects. I'm using little triangles that are so small you have to wonder why I kept them in the first place. Feels good to be frugal!
We're heading back to Winnipeg this weekend and taking the Easter supper to the kids. Everybody gets Friday off, so that will be our "dinner" day. We'll be back home on Saturday so my plan is to get these snowmen completed by the end of the weekend. I have a meeting next Monday night and we are taking a few days off to do a bit of travelling. We'll be leaving on Wednesday the 26th and returning on the 30th or 31st. I'll have the camera with me and hope to stop at a couple of quilt shops along the way, so I'll have some pictures for you when I get back.
I hope to get a couple of posts in before I leave, but if I don't you'll know where I am . . .
'til next time . . .

Monday, 17 March 2008

Saturday's Workshop . . .

Look at these interesting shapes! Little trees that seemed to take forever to cut out and all these other tiny, tiny pieces . . . and I didn't lose any! How remarkable is that. The colorful tablecloth doesn't help much in showing you all the things that were going on here, but trust me - it was lots of fun.

This demonstration was for the McKenna Ryan art quilt technique and there were eight of us trying it, one teacher and one quilter working on a UFO. Bev thought the eight of us moaning and sighing over these small pieces was quite humorous.

Humorous! Maybe we were, but this is my finished quilt top by the end of the day. I thought it was a very satisfying day - nothing more to do to it but complete the outline quilting and some stitching in the clouds. I like these kinds of workshops where you can bring home a completed top - I'm not a big homework type of person. If the project doesn't get really close to completion, it will more than likely end up as another UFO under my cutting table.

Those cheerful little chickadees are full of good humour and I can't wait to get this one finished. I already have it basted and ready to quilt . . . now I'll need to check my schedule for the rest of the week to see where it is going to fit in . . .

'til next time,


Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Big City Weekend . . .

Saturday night we stayed with my daughter and Sunday we checked into the Fort Garry Hotel. Our room was only on the third floor, so not a very majestic view to show you.

This hotel was built in 1913 and is currently listed as a National Historical Site. The architecture of the building is fabulous and there are displays scattered throughout the halls and lobby of historical tidbits from the past. I found these very interesting - tied right into all the historical research I am doing for our municipal anniversary.

Even the furniture in the room was of the older vintage - not pristine by any means, but it blended very well with the building.

The mezzanine level overlooked the lobby area and the beautiful woodwork and carvings that surrounded the entire area were wonderful to see.

We nicknamed our room the "blue room" and even though it wasn't very big, it was definitely cozy and very comfortable.

Until about 5 a.m. when there was some very strange russling noises coming from the corner. Upon inspection there was found to be nothing out of the ordinary. We jokingly referred to the noises as our mouse friend. Later in the day I mentioned this to my daughter and she said that had to have been the ghost of the Fort Garry - supposedly this was something we should have known about before staying there!
At least he or she was a friendly ghost!
'til next time . . .

Friday, 7 March 2008

Done! . . .

. . . the first round of 2000 tiny, little squares. Now I can move on to the big appliqued borders - maybe next week.

Last weekend didn't quite work out as planned - thanks to a huge allergy thingy that happened on Sunday morning - after that there was no thought given to quilting. Just getting going again was all that I was thinking about and that didn't happen until about 8 p.m.

With all the little blocks done, sewn together, adjusted and then attached to all four borders - I can now look towards planning the details for the next border applique. So far I am really happy with the way the quilt is turning out, except the fact that it is taking forever.

This part-time quilting and designing is driving me NUTS! There seems to be more and more things taking up all the available hours of the day - maybe once this 125th Municipal Anniversary is over at the end of June, I will once again be able to concentrate on what "I" want to do. I know everyone has all these time demands - how do you all handle this??? Are you as nuts about it as me?

We are also heading into Winnipeg this weekend to visit kids and Randy has a meeting to attend on Monday - so I'll be doing the girly thing with my daughter on Monday - coffee, shopping and eating! Just what I really need!!!!

I was looking around trying to find something of interest to photograph today and my eye caught this poinsettia again. I have never had one that has lasted this long!

I also have a white one at the office that is doing even better than this red one. Has anyone out there ever had any luck planting them outside in the summer and have them flower again for Christmas? Let me know what I have to do to accomplish this. I appreciate the help.

'til next week,


Saturday, 1 March 2008

More fabric love . . .

More fabric came in the mail - I'm loving these little orders! Remember the jelly rolls I got a couple of months ago? Well then, of course, I needed some yardage so that I can actually make a quilt with it all someday. After I had the jelly rolls it was much easier to see what fabrics I would want for the accent and borders - I'm going to match up a lovely cream fabric for the background of this imaginary quilt.

The fabric under this tin also came in the same shipment. Beautiful cream patterned background and look at that wonderful shade of green - perfect! Plus the dark brown print for one of the borders to frame the whole fabrilicious quilt.

Now if I could only decide exactly which pattern I was going to use for each of these collections . . . life could be simpler sometimes . . . so many decisions! In the meantime these little collections are sitting there providing inspiration to me as I work away on . . .

. . . 2000 of these square-in-a-square blocks - well, maybe not 2000 - it just feels that way. That is what I have planned for today - more little tiny blocks. Maybe, if all goes well, I can start planning the big borders later today - they will be all applique, so I guess I better enjoy the straight sewing I'm doing right now.

It's been a busy week again with more work meetings and then yesterday I finally made it over to teach the EQ class - had three wonderful students and we all had a great time. Every time you use that EQ program you learn something different. If you've never tried it out and have the opportunity, you should most definitely give it a try.

Sew, sew, sew . . . I'm off to finish my little, tiny squares . . .

'til next time,