Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bricks and Steppingstones

I wish I hadn't copied Bonnie Hunter's idea so completely, but this is how it turned out -- The pattern is easy, fast and quite nice looking, a good stash buster, and is destined for a brother-in-law, if I can stand to part with it! 8-)) Only the top 2 rows are sewn in this photo. My border choice is at the upper left, a dark blue/black with brown splotches. The inner border is still undecided.

The dark black squares could be any dark - wouldn't dark green with woodsy fabrics be nice, or dark blue with gardeny fabric, or purple with ... you get the picture.

There are several pieces of fabric in this quilt from several of YOU! I LOVE how the blue bricks seem to glow next to the black.

Thanks Bonnie Hunter of

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Feeding a Crowd?

Yep - it's time to say goodbye this old relic. It was in poor working condition 12 years ago when we bought the house, and was one of the first things we were going to replace. It would heat to about 500 degrees, with no in-between, and grilling in it resulted in a lot of burned things! LOL Well, you know how time flies...

Good grief! This must be the Mercedes Benz of outdoor gas grills! Now remember, there are just 2 of us, and we seldom entertain! When DH purchases something, he does not shop. He gets on the phone and asks, "do you have a such-and-such?". If they do, he says "send it out." No questions, no comparing options, no price comparison, no looking at the samples in the store. He does the same with TVs, appliances, etc. I haven't even opened the lid to see what is there. Guess I'll have to purchase a new set of grill tools. Maybe I should just call the store and say, "send a set out." To tell you the truth, while that method cares me to death, there is no wasted time considering, comparing, dealing, etc.

We often don't use air conditioning, and so as not to heat the house, I don't bake much in the summer. However, now, if I want to cook/bake something, I can take it outdoors, just like the old folks did with their summer kitchens. Not a bad idea.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Life Intervenes!

Yuck!!! Crud!!! *%2)%##!!! We've had a LOT of issues - tornadoes, strong storms, wind, a LOT of hail, unusual rain, emergency trips to the basement, our NOAA weather radio is freqently sounding the alarm, and one result is this mess! Oh yes, and an old sheet protecting the sofa -- Lovely, huh? We thought it had been fixed. It had previously been a small stain, but our recent, very heavy rains caused it to fall apart! We had to cut out the ceiling in order to divert the drip-drip-drip into the bucket as opposed to down to the floor, carpet, electrical, etc!

We called the adjustor, insurance company, etc., to be told our entire roof needs replacing, and the garage roof, and the facia, and the shutters are all destroyed.

Below is something more pleasant. I've shown it recently, but have decided to give it to the Guild Silent Auction. I LOVE it, hence more photos, but this house is bursting with quilts already - and maybe no one will want it, and I can bring it back home.

This week I finished quilting a friend's Kaleidoscope quilt. It's gorgeous - take my word for it - but it's HER quilt, not mine so I will only show a peek. Just for info, I noted the time spent, and it was 22.5 hours, and is about 78 x 100 inches. Time spent was most enjoyable! I only work 1 hour or less, at a time.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sewing table and cabinet

OK, enough vacation photos! Now to the good stuff - quilting!

This is my sewing cabinet, and slides UNDER my sewing desk. Since "UNDER" my sewing desk is filled with more stuff, the cabinet usually cannot slide UNDER, without a major reorganization job. I keep my small ironing board on top of the rolling sewing cabinet, and naturally, UNDER the ironing board is also crammed with whatever I can't decide where to put (what grammar)! The brand name is Roberts, and I had to search some to actually find a real one to inspect before purchasing. I bought this set 10 years ago. The cabinet and desk cost as much as a decent sewing machine - I have NEVER been sorry about spending so much money, as my productivity increased tremendously.

My sewing desk/cabinet are THE best things I ever bought for myself! Both are on wheels, the desk has one drawer, but the best part of the desk is that the entire back is on a full length piano-type hinge and folds up for large projects - such as a quilt! My sewing room is small, and my DH also uses this room for his hobby, so when I open the back up, I have to move some of my other stuff to another room. (There is still room for DH to work at his desk.)

The other piece of furniture I found useful is a K-Mart, low rolling microwave cabinet, also white, on wheels, under $20.00. It has a shelf and the top is almost the same size as a 18 x 22 cutting mat. Works great, and matches with my desk and cabinet, but I haven't seen it's top for several years - ! LOL, and I am too embarrassed to show it!

Rainbow in Idaho along Snake River

This rainbow was always just around the next corner. We kept thinking we could catch up to it - one end went into the Snake River, so we had to be careful with driving as well as photo opportunities! We must have driven 10 miles, trying to get UNDER it but it went right along with us - Finally, we WERE under it, but of course, then it was no longer visible! LOL What a magical event!

Idaho cousins, Jane and Jim, who live in the mountains/hills of Idaho.
This was a good trip.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Jennie Lake, Grand Tetons, vacation photos #2

Two old goats - thank you to the kind Japanese man who offered to take our photo on this cold day.
When I was about 11, my father built a type of canvas and aluminum camper frame for the back of the pickup truck and the family of 6 headed from Illinois to Yellowstone. This was before people has 'real' campers. I remember parts of the trip, and mostly, I remember stopping at a very cold lake on the way home, where Mom said all us kids smelled pretty terrible, and she made us wade into some FREEZING COLD lake -- and wash. Even at that young age, I clearly remembered how beautiful the lake was - it had to be THIS Jennie Lake, in the Grand Teton National Park. And so I wanted to get back to that space, for those memories -- we made it! I KNOW this was the place - it just felt right!

Below is the Snake River - the highway follows the Snake for a very long time through Idaho - what beautiful fishing this must provide!
This is one of the few buildings left from DH's father's birthplace in Roseberry, Idaho, a town that is no longer 'there.' Note the roofline - it was built by Finns (from Finland) and many of the old roofs were built with this 'look'. Now, it's a museum.

The old General Store - upstairs was a "Dance Hall" where DH's father had a band. Our 80 year old hostess, a cousin to my DH, told us she sneaked off one evening as a teenager and attended the wicked "Dance Hall" upstairs, and was sorely punished when her mother found out!
Heading back home through Idaho, we went through Craters of the Moon, an area formed by molten Calderas, where lava had oozed through to the surface - scarey and bizarre! Yellowstone is at one end of the underground caldera system - you may have heard that Yellowstone is due for an eruption one of these thousand years.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Happiness is ...

More vacation photos in a few days.

Making some decisions can weigh you down. Years go by, and you still are hanging onto things that are not used, because the decision to give them away is so difficult to make? I'd not used my much-used, much-loved, sewing machine in 10 years and I found someone who needed a machine. So, after cleaning the cabinet, oiling all it's parts, emptying it's drawers, and 'driving' it a bit, it was once again, starting to tempt me, but I had wisely already PROMISED it, so away it goes. This young lady is the same one who had the wedding in the snow, last October. She's a practical gal, hard working -- note her transportation vehicle! The old machine, in it's big cabinet, is packed under the blue tarpolin, between the bags of cattle feed. Her mom is in HER truck, and DH is tieing things down.

Below are my recently completed scrappy churndash blocks - I used the dark green framing to kinda coordinate the scrappiness together. Funny, the ones that really 'didn't go' are the best ones, giving it life. After sewing on the dark green, the green seemed too overwhelming, so I trimmed off 1/4 inch. I have a murky plaid green (shown) that might work as background.

I purchased one yard of the green framing strips, but the rest of the fabrics are pulled from my boxes of scraps, already trimmed. Thank you Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville for this suggestion to trim the scraps to a usable, standard size. Making the blocks was so much easier, and there is little planning needed, when one gets the feeling to SEW.
I'm gonna LOVE this one!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

2200 miles later ...

We just returned safely from traveling 2200 miles north and west, through Casper, Wyoming, to Grand Teton National Forest and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, then on across Idaho to Roseberry, Idaho, where my husband's grandfather settled during the great migration west, in the late 1890s. DH has a cousin, older than us, who lives in McCall, a town near Roseberry, who he has not seen in 50 years, who is well-informed regarding his family's history, and talking with her for some time was our goal. There were a few skeletons in the closet that he wanted to learn about. The little town of Roseberry no longer exists, but some of the buildings have been saved. DH's grandmother once ran a hotel in nearby Donnelly, and we wanted to see WHERE it was. Unfortunately, there is nothing to commemorate that place's existance, except a new Post Office.

I KNEW the elusive Jackalope might show itself along the way, and HOORAYYYYY!!! SUCCESS capturing his image, before he skittered away. Jackalopes are well-known in Douglas, Wyoming.

For those of you who might live in crowded cities, Wyoming has a LOT of space!
Backyards are frequently enormous!
... but there is the occasional problem with slow traffic ...

The first view of the Grand Tetons cannot help but take one's breath away!
It was cold and damp with the threat of more snow.
Oh Mercy - I promised DH I'd be very brave, wouldn't cry or faint, and agreed to ride the TRAM in Jackson Hole, up the mountain. Because the weather was so poor, the tram was not filled with the usual 100 skiers, and off we went with 5 passengers, into the clouds!
I DID feel faint, some tears of total fear trickled down alongside my nose, but I DID it!

The only moose we saw on the entire trip was from this tram. I DID bolster my courage to actually look down to see the critter (not shown)!

The best part of the Tram ride was that at the top of the mountain where we got off, was a warm establishment under a LOT of snow, where coffee and Belgian Waffles were served - ya know, we'd gotten pretty cold on that tram, and I've NEVER tasted a waffle that good, served with butter and brown sugar, all messy and dribbling down one's chin. YUMMY!

I will be posting additional travel photos for the next few days for the benefit of family. Not much quilting going on, although I DID wish I'd brought my machine to stay occupied while DH watched TV Political NEWS! I am of the opinion that vacations should NOT include the life that one is leaving behind!