Saturday, September 22, 2012

Badlands National Park

My retirement “fun” was delayed by a painful ankle ailment, related to uhhhhh, “age.” Activities for 2 weeks were limited to what can be accomplished while occasionally on crutches – and that wasn’t much because I was pretty busy with “poor me”! Repairs were very necessary!  After a 3-hr. drive north, through Custer State Park, past Crazy Horse monument, past Mt. Rushmore, we found the the Orthopedic Center, where my Dr. used words like “arthritis”, “impingement”, “collapse” “deterioration”, but he also said “cortizone” which quickly brightened up my  horizons.  Hey, THAT was a great birthday gift! Bless his heart, when I asked if it was finally time for me to “lose 20 lbs.” he responded, “my dear, we ALL need to lose 20 lbs.” What a bedside manner he had -- I think I may have hugged him!

After the Orthopedic Center in South Dakota, and it WAS my birthday, and that cortizone shot had perked up my spirits, we decided to head east for a 2-day road trip, about 70 miles, to Badlands National Park, in SD in the southwestern part of the state, near/in/through Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. I was shocked to  learn it was there all this time, and I'd never heard of it - MY loss.

The drive north to the Ortho Center included this view of Crazy Horse, taken from the moving car.

Crazy Horse, a work in progress, taken from the car.
 And finally the Badlands!!!  Oh my gosh!

View from our Lodge porch

South Unit
My photos fall far short of showing the drama, ruggedness, and desolation of these amazing crags, mountains, hills, remnants of millions of years of volcano remains. This area must be full of archeological treasures. There was a 30 mile route in one direction, and we stayed at a very nice motel, Cedar Pass Lodge in the Park, with lovely quilts on the beds, with a good view of more incredible landscapes, and also with a nice restaurant and Visitors Center. This is part of the Oglala Sioux Reservation – I will risk scarcasm as in no way can anyone grow crops in most of this particular Badland area. Returning home we went another direction, yet still in/near the National Park, across flatlands and tables where it’s nice to imagine days of bison traversing this land.

I would definitely recommend this trip, although it’s NOT plush. Climate is semi-arid, not much snow, but a lot of wind, and I presume very HOT in summer. Fill up your gas tank before you get in the Park.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A quilting friend in Frankfurt, Germany

I received a lovely e-mail with photos from Heike, in Frankfurt, who had seen my recent quilt "RED" and made a similar one for her husband, in blues and grays  Heike says she is a new quilter, does not even use measurements!  However, she sure managed to make one stunning quilt.  She said she also recently learned to hand quilt.   I offered to show it off for her.  Heike, your quilt is stunning!  8-))  

Coincidentally, I am making the same one as RED, only in BLUE, still unfinished.

Monday, September 03, 2012

I tried out a new technique!

I  LOVE to see new methods  - the creativity intriques me.  And while I enjoy seeing the methods, I don't always practice the technique, but today I DID.  (Patting myself on the back!)

This DVD, Strip & Slash, by Jackie Robinson, is from 9-Patch Media.  They offer several quilting DVDs and I own several of them.  They have all been enjoyable, and run over 2 hours long.  Good entertainment and I watch them many, many times.  Occasionally they are on sale as well.  Like many instructional DVDs, they have to include a lot of extra material for those who are not familiar with all the quilting methods.  That's OK with me.

Back to this method to make split 9-patches - these pieces are small,  - strips are cut 1 3/4, and 2 1/2 inches - kinda tedious, even though they are strip pieced, but the benefit of "small" is that almost any fabrics can be used - just use lights and darks.  Jackie seems to like unusual "methods" -- I admire that! She also talks about how to use "twinkle" in your quilt, and the DVD includes a number of her samples (both good AND not-so-good) and also many EQ samples.  I enjoy seeing samples that did NOT work - that's always a good lesson.

I'm still not sure I LIKE this method over the tradional method, but it's another option, especially if your scraps are totally uncoordinated.  This is NOT a good technique to make one or two blocks - it's a GREAT technique to use your little scraps up.  As in many techniques, if you start with an organized "system" it gets fast. 

... and I know you will ask, will I finish this?  Not sure, as there is another WIP on the floor, just beyond the camera!  8-))

I am now officially RETIRED.  Not sure I like it but ... for everything there is a season.