Friday, November 17, 2017

Here, There and Back Again

It has been another bit of traveling for us last week.  We flew to Omaha, rented a car, took one granddaughter out for dinner, drove to Kansas and took two more granddaughters out for another dinner before driving up to Iowa to spend some time with my relatives.

One thing I love about traveling at this time of the year is the beautiful colors of fall.

Since my roots are from the Midwest, it was fun to visit some of the old homesteads.  Both of these homes were built by my father and it was nice to see them still looking good.

We also took the time to visit Boys Town while in Omaha.  They have a fantastic museum on the grounds that was fun to visit.  If you have never seen the movie, Boys Town, you should consider watching it.  The original Oscar for the movie was displayed in the museum.

We avoid busy roads while driving so we can enjoy the countryside and this trip was no different.  One small road landed us in the middle of Hamilton, MO.  I had no idea until we had arrived in the town that it is home to Missouri Star Quilt Co.  Wow!!!  It was amazing.  They had great murals.  We only stopped for a few minutes as we were working our way to Iowa.

A nice spot for DH to bask in the sunshine as it was 29* outside.

While in Iowa we stayed with my cousin on their farm.  Again, it was quite chilly for us with highs in the mid 20s and low in the teens.

My cousin's farm in the heart of the Amish community.

Sunrise over the cornfields.

Driving back to Omaha for our flight home, we passed through Madison County - home of the covered bridges.  This poor one had seen better days before burning.  

Winterset, IA. is the birthplace of John Wayne.

John Wayne birthplace

This week has been an exciting and busy one for us as we added a new member to our family.  Needless to say, he is getting lots of love.

I haven't had much of a chance to sew this week.  I can't imagine why, but I have made a couple of pulls for the upcoming Quiltville Mystery QAL which starts next week.  I'm leaning towards pull #2 as it is a bit more green.  What do you think?

Saturday, November 4, 2017


I have been MIA for so long on this old blog.  The longer you are gone, the harder it is to come back because there is too much to catch up.

October is gone like a blur and November is upon us.  It always seems like once Halloween arrives, Christmas is right behind.

October was a milestone birthday month for me.  It passed so fast that I didn't even notice a difference!  It just sounds much older.  ;-(  It also helped that I brought the new decade in on a riverboat cruise on the Rhine.  The trip was amazing with positively picture perfect temperatures for the entire two weeks we were gone.

Once I got home, it was pedal to the metal catching up while adjusting to the nine hours time difference.

One project that I have wanted to finish were two Quilts of Valor.  These two quilts are for two very special vets - my two uncles.  One is 90 and one is 92 years of age and I am looking forward to presenting the quilts to them in person for Veteran's Day.  The pictures were taken in bright sunlight so are a bit overexposed, but the colors are truer on the lower photos.

The last one was a Fons and Porter pattern, but there is a major measurement error.  The red and blue star fabrics should both be cut at 9 7/8 inch rather than cutting the red at 6 7/8".  Fortunately, I figured that out before cutting it.

Another important and fun project was a footprint quilt for the K-1 class at the grandchildren's academy.  They have their big gala auction in a few weeks at the Reagan Library.  The little ones were so much fun to work with as they made their blocks.

One last bit of October sewing was a late request for a mallard duck costume.  The head would typically be green, but the green scarf gives a suggestion of a green head.  Right?

Halloween was crazy here with a Dodger World Series game on and the kids heading out for trick or treating.  We had a total of four little ones in one group come to the door.  Now.... we have lots of leftover candy.  Oh well.  Someone has to deal with it.

Our son showed up in a great costume.  It was hysterical when he flung those two extra legs around.

These are three of the little Ghostbusters that fit into the costumes I made for them.

Tonight is the night to turn the clocks back an hour.  Check out this fabulous clock that I picked up on our trip for my sewing studio.  I love it!

Linking up with Quilt Fabrication and Freemotion by the River.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Welcome October

Welcome October!  The leaves are changing, the temps are dropping.  That extra blanket on the bed is feeling quite good these nights.  It must be October.

It's been a techy week for me.  My old phone was dying off and on so it was time to upgrade.  I have spent too many hours transferring all the date and figuring the new one out.  Isn't that the worst part of getting something new?

I've continued to work on my Valor Quilt and managed to get it quilted this week.  I quilted with a stars and swirls pantograph.  Binding will come soon.  It measures 72" square.  You can find the tutorial HERE.

Love that navy Grunge fabric.

As well, I have started another one and have my 20 scrappy stars finished.

My sister brought me an early birthday gift over the weekend.  She has had the cutest metal sculptured goat in her yard and I have threatened that I was going to steal it.  Well.....she brought me not one, but two goats for our yard.  Aren't they cute?

The massacre in as Las Vegas this week was terrible.  My prayers go out to all involved in the terrible incident.  I just cannot imagine getting that phone call.  Our son and DIL were in Las Vegas, but we felt reassured knowing that they were staying in northern Las Vegas.  That being said, it was nice to get a text from them.  Of course we were all unaware of it until we woke up Monday morning on the West coast.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Officially Fall

There used to be a saying that went something like "the faster I go, the behinder I get".  With the official arrival of fall and the coming holidays, I am beginning to feel that way.  Where has the year gone?

The weather has changed here.  I've had to add an extra blanket to the bed as our temps have dropped into the 40s at night.  The daylight hours are shorter as well.  I wish I lived in an endless summer world.

Our Sewing With Friends group just finished our last mug rug swap.  I made one for Ida and I received one from Sara,  This is the one I sent to Ida who lives in El Paso.

The pattern was from Quiet Play.

This is the cute mug rug I received from Sara.

I also neglected to post the beautiful hexie mug rug that I received from Irene.

Our next round of swaps with this group is going to be fabric postcards.  We've had so much fun over the last few years doing a Round Robin quilt, a Row by Row quilt and our mug rugs.

With Halloween coming up, our daughter asked me if I would do Ghostbuster jumpsuits for the children.  It's so nice to get asked with plenty of time to work on the costumes.

Yesterday was spent mending - very boring sewing in my opinion, but I have been working on a Valor Quilt.   This was from a block that I liked from our Gridster Bee.  It starts off with little flag blocks and grows as you add the stars around it.

Blue stars....

Red stars.....

The sashing comes next.  The pattern can be found HERE.

We watched the five little ones for a few days and I managed to have some fun sewing time with the girls while the boys were busy building dominoes.

My Temperature Quilt is quite colorful this month with our highs and lows.  I'll share it in my next post.

Farewell to September.  I welcome a new decade of my life in October.  I'll ring it in properly!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mid September it is - almost mid September.  Fall d├ęcor is everywhere.  It won't be long before Christmas decorations start appearing.

I had a dear friend come up for a much too short visit, but she brought some treasured quilts along with her to share.  One that particularly grabbed my attention was a stunning yo yo quilt.  It was made by her Aunt Tillie.  I think that the yellow background drew me to it instantly.  It was BIG and so heavy.  It was also in fabulous condition.

Look at the great fabrics that were used .... if they could only talk..... and the wonderful arrangement of the yo yos.  Oh...those tiny stitches.  I wonder how long it took her to make it.

That scalloped border.....SWOON!

Leisa (no blog), our Gridster Bee recipient for October, sent us some African fabrics that her parents had collected for her.   We were to make the African Queen blocks by Anne Batiste using the fabrics.  The fabrics really called to be used with fussy cutting and these are my blocks for her.

Our September started off super hot, but has mellowed out a bit as seen in my Temperature Quilt.  We had two days about 105* so I actually had to find a new color for it.

I'm also continuing to finish off the Confetti Star blocks from my Gridster Bee choice.  I needed a few more blocks to bring it to the size that I want it.   I am looking forward to having this quilt finished as I love the blocks that I received.

These cooler days will slow down the wonderful summer garden that we have enjoyed.  Our son is growing some of the giant pumpkins this year in his garden and they are HUGE.  I have no idea how he is going to move them from the location where they are growing, but it should be interesting.

The late laid eggs of the tortoises are now hatching.  I forget how quickly they grow, but seeing the new one next to August's hatchlings really makes me realize how fast they grow.

We had an exciting weekend as a guest of Stanislaus Foods in California's Central Valley and were able to tour their tomato processing plant and their Corto Olive Oil Co.  It was fun to follow the tomatoes from field to canned in under five hours.  The olive oil production will start in October.  The tours were just fascinating.  I would have loved to share some photos, but no photographing was allowed.  I am always amazed at the machinery that is created for each job along the line.  Machines play such a huge role in our lives and I am in awe of the people who develop machines to do the various tasks.

We have another busy weekend coming up as we are keeping five grandchildren and one dog while their parents are away. There won't be much computer time.  ;-)