Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pencil Cases

At church we are collecting school supplies for a local elementary school. I was in charge of purchasing the supplies we needed to supplement what everyone else donated. The list asked for pencil boxes, which were really picked over by the time I went shopping. First, I thought they were ugly. Second, there were very few left in the two stores I went to.

I decided to make some. Our goal was to have 30 of everything, but I am just not going to keep my sanity if I try to make 30 of these babies. An even dozen is what I could manage. Along with the ten or so pencil boxes we purchased, this should be a pretty decent contribution.

The school is grades K-4. I hope the little cuties like these home-made pencil cases. I had fun making them, though I was ready to stop after a dozen.

While sewing, I listened to my audio book, which I had neglected for quite some time. Maybe NEXT week I'll be able to get back to my Friday Books report.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

40 Years -- How Did This Happen?

Yesterday (Aug 24) was our 40th anniversary. I can't imagine where all the time went. It sneaks up on a person in such a hurry.

at the eastern-most point in Australia, at Byron Bay

As you know, we went to Australia in May, which was our early anniversary celebration. This weekend, when it really was our anniversary, we were going to go out of town to celebrate, but at the last minute we decided we'd rather stay home. We had a secret Stay-cation, not telling many people that we had stayed in town. Every day we decided to do a little thing to commemorate the anniversary.

Friday night we went out for dinner with my cousin and her husband. They bought us cupcakes afterwards for our anniversary (no photo). Saturday we went to Stone Cold Creamery after dinner for an ice cream treat (no photo). Sunday we went to a bookstore which recently moved into downtown Saint Paul, and then took a short walk around downtown.

We saw this newly-married couple. I hope they are lucky enough to have a happy marriage and some day celebrate their 40th anniversary, too. Strange thought to think that we probably won't be around to help them celebrate.

On Monday we delivered some food to the local food shelf. I wore a home-made veil. Haha! Fun and crazy idea.. I didn't even wear a veil on the original wedding day! We had a modified-hippie wedding in 1975. I wore flowers in my hair, but no veil.

I am a lucky woman to have such a nice husband and good marriage! Here's to 40 more (or as many as we can eke out).

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Quilting in South Lake Tahoe

You undoubtedly recall that I frequently talk about Sunshine. It is an online quilt guild of which I am a member. We work together to make quilts for kids; we currently support two programs: Wrap-a-Smile and Quilts Beyond Borders.

Over the years Sunshine has tried numerous times to have IRL retreats so that we can meet in person and enjoy sewing together. This year, we FINALLY succeeded! Twelve of us gathered at a sewing retreat center in South Lake Tahoe, California. We came from Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Nevada, and California. We had so much fun!!!

Lake Tahoe is beautiful. I was fortunate to get this opportunity to see the gorgeous Tahoe area.

One night I spent hours organizing my Tahoe photos, but when I got up the next day, they were back to their original, disorganized state. (Computers: grrr!) So I will simply post them and hope you don't mind if they are a bit disorganized.

I was picked up at the Reno airport by Sarah and Claire. We then drove to South Lake Tahoe, which was about an hour away. This view out the truck window is one of the first views I had of Nevada... my first time in that state. The second photo is the retreat center at which we stayed, just over the border in California.

above: the beautiful front doors, one of the bedrooms, the kitchen (with Beth, Claire, Gail H. and Penni)


the beautiful view and the patio

We had tons of raw materials to work with! A few months earlier we had identified a very simple block which we called the Tahoe Block. People made piles of them and sent them to the people who were driving to the retreat. When we got there, we could hardly believe how much fabric, blocks, and block pieces we had to work with! But wait... it goes down really fast!

We immediately got busy sewing. We designed and planned and did random things, and pretty soon we had some beautiful quilt tops put together. Sarah was hoping that blocks on her head would communicate design ideas right into her brain, and I think it worked! she was very creative.

We started churning out tops.

By the time we went to bed on Friday night, we already had 8 quilt tops made.

Lake Tahoe; a trip to a quilt shop in Nevada

On the way back from the quilt shop, something strange was happening in the sky! As far as we know, no major calamities occurred, and no aliens from Mars landed on Earth.

Sarah using the design wall, Terry and Penni conferring, Jeanie sewing diligently

We were serious the whole time and never wasted any time with silliness.

We continued making quilts...

...and more quilts...

..and even more quilts.

The pile of tops grew almost faster than we could count them!

We did take some time for sight-seeing. Here was a trip up to the overlook at Emerald Bay, Carol(yours truly) and Sarah posing.

Back at the ranch, the quilt factory is still churning out tops.

Below: the whole gang of 12 -- Gail H., Val, Beth, Jeanie, Kathleen, Heidi, Claire, Sarah, Penni, Terry, Carol, Gail S.
Don't ask me why Kathleen is helping Claire wipe her nose on one of the quilts... go figure.

By the end, the tables were groaning under the increasing number of quilts.. and remember all those raw materials? They were almost entirely GONE! At the end, we put a few remaining pieces into kits in baggies. We could hardly believe we'd use up almost all the blocks and block parts! Our grand total of quilt tops was .... drum roll .... 78!

Plus, some people who couldn't attend were working with us from home. They made about ten, and I had made three before hand, and we have been finishing up some extra pieces after we returned home. I would guess that our final total is pretty durn close to 100! Amazing!

Wish I could show you all the pictures, but that's a lot of quilt tops... here are a few more, for your enjoyment:

Last day, Monday: some birds visited us in the back yard --

We had fun, made some new friends, and made a zillion beautiful quilts for kids. I call that a very successful retreat!