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Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sunday, Sunday (Part 1)

So it's Sunday again. Now, I did intend to get a post out every Sunday since the last one, but I guess I didn't say WHICH Sunday, right? LOL! Life has certainly been busy, and the weather has been beautiful every day since I last posted, while I was gone to Michigan AND every day since I've been back. It's sort of difficult to get to the computer instead of being outside on the porch or walking the trails in the neighborhood.

My trip to Michigan was absolutely wonderful.  It was so clear as we arrived; this is the first time I could get a good picture from the air.
This is the approach to Traverse City Airport
Grand Traverse Bay
I got to spend time again with my California friend, Wendy, and as usual, she was a delight. It's a good thing her car was upgraded to a Jeep, because between me, Carol, and Wendy, it was packed to the gills!
Wendy and Carol
Each morning and afternoon, she would blow these BIG beautiful bubbles across the lake. It was so peaceful and could you not smile?
Morning bubbles

Afternoon bubbles
Dedicated bubble maker
We swam most afternoons, and yes the water was cold, but that only slowed us down!
We also had others join us in the water, too!
Carol and I in the water.

This is the view in the morning on the way to our work room, which is actually the dining hall at White Birch Lodge in Elk Rapids, MI.

The sun was just barely up.
This is the view from our condo, and where I sat each afternoon while Wendy made bubbles.
Elk Lake
 Look at that sky!  I never tired of seeing this view, and the bubbles...oh the bubbles!
This photo is not enhanced.
Blogger doesn't seem to want to cooperate with me any more tonight.  Next installment will be Part 2, the places we went, and the things we made at the workshop.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Finally here!

This has been a really, really, hard few weeks. Non-stop moving, up and down stairs, and the HEAT! Oh my, the HEAT! But all the moving in is over, and now the putting away continues.

As I am putting things away, I am discovering that I didn't get rid of enough things. Instead of cramming them somewhere, I am pricing them, re-wrapping them, and packaging them for our community garage sale in September. Now, I will be gone on my annual Gwen Marston quilt retreat then, so Hubby gets to take care of that. Since I handled the move while he was at Mayo for his annual review, I think that's only fair, don't you? LOL!

I don't have any pictures of the house since we moved in, but here are a few of them taken just after we signed the contract.
Front of the house
Back of the house with our screened in porch
We actually have both cars parked in the garage now, and the kitchen is just about complete. The bedroom and bath area is also just about finished. The guest room? Full of pictures, lamps and other assorted things I just don't need! The downstairs? Too full to walk through. I have a lot left to do! But, there's plenty of time in the world, and soon I will be able to sew again! Hooray!
The last quilt I posted was made from Hubby's shirts, and it was for his nephrologist at Mayo Clinic. Here's a picture of her with it, and from her phone call to me, I know she loved it. We will be going back this Wednesday for a small procedure, so I will get to see her in person.
Dr. Monico and "Shirt Tales"
That's it for now. I'll try to get some more pictures up in a few days, after we return from Rochester, MN.
This was the last sky picture from my old house the night before we left it. Even though we have a clear sky view, it's nothing like in the country. I have to honestly say this might be the ONLY thing I miss from the other place:)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Round One and then some....

Just a quick note to let you know that the packing is just about done. This is the first picture (late at night) with the first round of fabric. Those are almost all 58 quart tubs, and the way I figure it, I have about 1,856 quarts of fabric there.  

The POD is now about 3/4 full and I think I have just another day's worth of sorting and packing. Then I'll do it all in reverse. The MOOVERS come on Wednesday for the big furniture pieces, the POD is delivered on Thursday, and the MOOVERS boys will come back and unload the POD on an hourly basis on Friday. Sonny Boy came over today and worked for about 7 hours loading the POD with more junk stuff, and then loaded three cars with kitchen stuff, my china and quilts. Then, at the new house after he unloaded all that, he and Hubby put together temporary shelving units in the unfinished daylight basement so I have some place to put all my quilts. I plan on using the length of shelving with the quilts as a "wall" to for new temporary stewdio. We'll take bids on the finishing in the fall, so it will be a while before temporary turns into something different!

Hubby will leave for his annual checkup around noon on Friday and I plan on sleeping a lot getting things unpacked while he is gone.

The computers are both going to be unplugged Tuesday, but my new IPad will keep me in touch if I can find the time. Keep stitching for me!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Good news

Great news from here! We sold our house, bought a house, had an immense yard sale and are now in the process of frantically packing up for the move!

Stay tuned for further updates after July 8th. I'll most likely have my head in a box until then!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Shirts and Veggie Tales

I've been working on these shirt quilt blocks for what seems forever.  I really, really, really don't like working on paper, but I love the results.  (For those of you who don't know what I mean, you sew the strips onto a paper printed with the lines that gives you the pattern.)  Ever since Bonnie Hunter offered this pattern made with shirts (she called hers Virginia Bound), I just knew I had to make it with K's outgrown shirts from over the years.  That's a lot of shirts, to be sure - he's gone from 240 lbs to 99 lbs (now 155 lbs).  This particular quilt is 65" X 72" and will go to one of our favorite doctors at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Monico.  She is so thoughtful and keeps in touch with us even if it isn't concerning his medical issues.
Shirt Tales for Dr. Monico
I love the yin and yang look of secondary and tertiary patterns
Adding feather quilting makes it less "masculine", I think
I've been on Weight Watcher's since the end of February, and I am loving it.  When I was on the program before, I lost 80 lbs, but it was so hard, and even more difficult to maintain!  Now, the newest points systems is a piece of cake, so to speak.  I don't feel deprived and even K is eating healthier now with the addition of more vegetables and fruit to our main meals.  I try something new each week - either a new recipe or a different food I haven't eaten before, or I've eaten before and didn't like.  Most have been winners, and there's been a few "wouldn't fix that again" meals, but so far nothing that we wouldn't finish eating.

This week's grand experiment was with kohlrabi.  I'd had it before, raw, and I just didn't like it.  It seemed really sharp and bitter at the same time.  When I went to my favorite garden vendor, Pendleton's in Lawrence, KS, she convinced me that I should try it again - HER way.  So some came home with me.
Weird looking veggie, isn't it?
She told me to clean the leaves, and remove all the hard veins.  Peel the bulbs and slice them very thin.
Cleaned leaves and unpeeled bulbs
One tablespoon of oil and the leaves and the bulb slices go into a baggie and cover them all with the oil.
Olive oil, leaves and 1/4" slices of bulb
Bake on parchment paper, not overlapping each other,  in a 375 degree oven.
Baked leaves with kosher salt
Oh yes, I forgot to mention I also brought home fresh beets and they got roasted too.
Baked kohlrabi chips and beets
Um yum! The leaves are just "OK", and would be good as a garnish on soup perhaps, but I am not that crazy about them. They are still just a bit bitter for my taste. But, the kohlrabi chips are fantastic! Surprisingly, they are just a little sweet. I added kosher salt, McCormick's Pinch of Herbs (garlic and herb) and some garlic salt with parsley before baking. Next time, I'll skip the leaves, and put the oven up to 425 degrees and I think they will crisp better. Either way, they are a winner at our house.

Oh, and yes, I just know I am going to hit my 25 pound weight loss target this week. Still a lot to go, but inch pebbles make for mile stones.

Now, off to get the binding on Dr. Monico's quilt and finish up a "secret" Round Robin quilt border before Monday. It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, and we'll be off to have a taco picnic with our neighbors down the street. What's not to like about today? Quilting, good foods and good neighbors too!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A bad case

Well, I've done it to myself again! I went and looked at something I knew I would want if all the answers were correct for the questions I had. Well, they were, and now, I have a really bad case of the "I want".  The back story to this is my David Taylor workshop from last year. Remember that? That is when I learned how to do pictorial applique, and I began the one of my dog, Mayo.
The beginning, April 2010
After my return from retreat at Cambria CA, March 2011
Mayo the Wonder Dog, May 2011
The actual picture I am working from
David returned this year for another workshop with our small group, and I put the last stitch in her face about an hour before he got to my house. I still have the body to go, but I really wanted to have this part done so I could get ideas and tips on how to quilt it.
Me and David at breakfast
Last year, I marveled at how his quilting is so beautiful. He told us he did most of the quilting on his domestic Bernina, but he had changed to a Handiquilter for the last two that he had done, and he loved it. I thought to myself, "But, you are DAVID TAYLOR, that's why you can quilt so beautifully. Not me." As the week went by we had many conversations about how to quilt, and we invited him back this year for a small class on machine quilting on our home machines. I thought, "You'll never get ME to quilt like that! NEVER! No one else has been able to teach me." But, I stuck with the idea that maybe he could and I signed up for the class. And guess what? HE DID!!!! He quilts slowly and deliberately, and I must tell you that makes all the difference in the world. He also talked about his Handiquilter Sweet Sixteen sit down machine.

I went to the Machine Quilters Showcase here in Kansas City yesterday. After I saw all the wonderful quilts and visited the Sulky thread vendor I headed over to the Handiquilter Headquarters in the center of the show. I sat down and played with the Sweet Sixteen, and I must tell you that I didn't want to leave!

But alas, this is not in our budget. Not when we still have a house on the market to sell, and we took a bath on the other one we just sold. So, for now, I will quilt smaller quilts on my Pfaff (which I love too) and dream of the Sweet Sixteen. It makes more sense for me to practice, practice, practice on my own machine and save the money for a purchase in the future. (I'll post more about the quilt show next time.)
Sit down and quilt!

Monday, May 09, 2011

And again....

And here I am again, another month in the making of yet another blog post. Do you find yourself running here, running there, turning in circles and having to take deep, big breaths at this time of the year? I sure do! Here some highlights of what I've missed posting....
Carol, Shirlee, Vicky, Sharon (standing), Ibby
Frog on the thorns
When we have a lot of rain, the toad come out to play.  I was trimming our bed of roses, when this little fellow became apparent.  Pretty tricky sitting, if you ask me!
Frog in the fountain
Then, on the other side of the steps, we have a recirculating fountain, and this guy came out to see me, too. Lovely day, even though toads aren't my favorite - they are good for the garden bugs!

I've been on Weight Watchers now since the end of February and I've made a promise to try new foods. Here's something that is ZERO points! Yes, it's free to eat! It's called Shiratake noodles, made from something and tofu is used to bind it. I added Laughing Cow Cheese, and a about 2 oz of chicken, and voila! A BIG lunch that is only 4 pts total! Thanks to my friend Joan who turned me on to these noodles. So far I've lost about 18 lbs.
Spinach fettucine
David Taylor has been visiting since last Wednesday, staying with hubby and I. I took a two day machine quilting class with him, and I think I finally have it! He's at my guild today and tomorrow teaching applique and machine stippling (a la David Taylor). I'd like to use that excuse as to why I haven't blogged recently, but it's not. I've just enjoying the lovely spring we've been having. Keep quilting!
May sunset in Missouri

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cambria tales

Last year, when the Sea Side Stitchers were at our home by the sea, we met some really nice friends we didn't even know we had! THIS year, we didn't see Loris on the first or second day, so we put a note out for her. You should always look around you for invitations, right?
Loris and the "invitation"
It seemed that everywhere we went, we saw art and beautiful things.  I think the ocean must be the inspiration to be so artful, don't you?
A pink door in the woods as in invitation to the woods?
Wouldn't this be a beautiful applique piece?
This is Wendy, the "camp director".  Here, she's working on a kit that she thought someone was really nice and had gotten all the pieces cut, and some of them even basted to the backing.  Hmmmmm, after a few minutes, she remembered that SHE had actually done that several years ago - LOL!  Time to get that UFO finished I think!
Wendy, Camp Director
Here are all the Sea Side Stitchers (and Harriet the Hedgehog).  We are reaping the rewards of Wendy's hard work from all week - aren't these soft cover books the "bomb"?

Sherri, Sharon, Harriet, Wendy, Margaret, Marj, Carol (in front)
We had marvelous weather for most of the week, but it did rain towards the end.  That didn't stop us!
Wendy and Sharon enjoying the hot tub
The surf was higher than in any years previous, and Carol was just fascinated with it - no matter how cold or windy it was.  This is the last morning, when the surf was almost up to our deck!
Carol's looking for the otter who visited every day
 Sherri and Marj were working on blocks for a block exchange.  I have to say that I really admire them that they would make 42!!! of these paper pieced blocks and the GIVE them away!
Marj, and some of her many, many paper pieced blocks
Carol worked on several projects this week, but this one really took off.  (The books on the top shelf are not part of the quilt!)
Caro, and the blended quilt
 Sharon worked on Mayo the Wonderdog, and completed the rest of the Star Whimsey blocks from her birthday quilt from the Amazing Quilt Babes.
Sharon and the Star Whimsey blocks (Mayo behind)
Sherri worked diligently day and night to complete her blocks.  Aren't they just gorgeous?  What you can't see, is that she fussy cut a little snowflake for the center of each of these blocks.
Sherri with her 42!!!! paper pieced blocks for an exchange
Margaret designed her own spheres and worked all week on this quilt.  Of course, even though she brought 1,523 yards of fabric, she didn't really have the right colors and had to go shopping at least 3 different times for just the right ones.  I think she added another 2,843 yards to carry home in her suitcase!  LOL!
Margaret with the fabulous quilt she made
And so, with all good things, the week had to end.  Until next year, Cambria!