Sunday, April 29, 2007

Quilty, Warm Weekend

Later: I'm adding a P.S. at the beginning. I got this idea from - darn, I forgot who it was - anyway, this is my POST #100!!! Anyone who comments on this day's blog (before I post another) will have their name put into a pot for a small drawing. I'll send the winner a prize, as yet undetermined, but it'll be wonderful, of course. :-)

Even though it was a gorgeous, warm weekend here, I spent most of my time inside sewing! I ate meals on our deck, and I took a couple of short walks outside. Otherwise I was really on a roll and didn't want to stop. Recently I found some blocks I had forgotten I had. These were made by other people in response to some challenges I coordinated. I had such fun putting them together! Look at all the colors I got to work with!!! A couple of these were made earlier, but most were put together this weekend, along with another one that is not pictured here... and I quilted one top. I couldn't do more, because I ran out of batting. I had no idea I was that low on batting.
Some people are able to wait and post pictures only after the quilts are completely done. Not me! I want to post these right away because it's too hard to wait until they'll be quilted and done. I want to share the pictures right now!

So here you go. These quilts will be going to Wrap a Smile and to Project Linus. Enjoy!
This is a crumbs block top made by me. I like making crumbs when I need some mindless sewing. I love how bright this one turned out!
The one I wanted to quilt today, but I ran out of batting --

A cheery yellow and green one!

I'm not crazy about doing borders, so I decided not to use any on the next couple of tops. You may think they need borders, but I don't want to! So I'm not going to! Dum dee dum... quilting is supposed to be fun! I sure had fun making all of these!

This red one will be going to Project Linus.

This is the only one I got quilted this weekend. The four patch design was inspired by Missa B. and her 4-patch challenge at Sunshine. This one is going to Project Linus as soon as I get a binding on it.

Tammy S. shared this fun setting with me. I love it and plan to use it again. (Thanks, Tammy.)

Here's a link to another quilt of mine, going to a different collection. This is going to a veteran through To The Top. Mary is helping by quilting it, and doing a lovely job. Thanks, Mary.

Hope you all have an excellent week!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Joy of Friends

Last weekend I went to Omaha. I got to spend a day with my pal, Carrie! She is literally my pal. First we were pen pals, and after a while we met and have become friends for real. (And we still write each other lots of letters.) We had a nice day in Omaha, just hanging out and finding our way around the city. This is Carrie emerging from a Domino's Pizza after asking for directions. Hint: never assume that pizza drivers know the city backwards and forwards.

We went to Old Market, shopped a little, and ate lunch outside at this spaghetti place. It was yummy, and such a nice day to be outside.

One place we shopped was called "Nameste." This beautiful blanket was in that store. It is from Nepal or India, one of the two. I broke a bracelet in this store, and the clerk didn't even make me pay for it. Bless her heart. I did buy an intact bracelet, but I want to add more beads to it to liven it up a bit. (So I'll have to "break" this one, too.)

Cute store name! We didn't go in, but I photographed the sign. And ever since I have been singing...Oh, Mairzy Doats and Dozey Doats and Little Lambsey Divey!

We went to the Joslyn Art Museum. It's gorgeous there! This is the atrium. There is a beautiful, tiled fountain there, but all my pictures of it came out blurry.

This big hall was being set up for a wedding reception. I love the shadow pattern on the wall!

The museum is featuring some impressionist paintings. I got to see Renoir and Monet works up close, an inch from my nose! It was so tempting to touch them! But I didn't... just knowing that those were the VERY PIECES that those two artists worked on was so exciting. You can see the brush strokes, and oh, the colors are so beautiful in person! Just like quilts... no picture can do them justice.

This is Carrie and me at the museum. Carrie's the cute one. the guy behind us was hunting for our dinner, but he wasn't having very good luck. I ate shrimp for dinner, which I don't think he caught with his bow and arrow.

Last, we squeezed in a visit to a quilt shop in Omaha -- Country Sampler. I bought these pretty spring colors for who-knows-what project. Carrie didn't like them much! We don't have the same taste in fabrics. But we like each other anyway. Hooray for friends! Thanks for the fun time, Carrie!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I got a new hat!

After some beautiful but not-very-welcome spring snowfalls, it was wonderful to have a gorgeous, sunny, warm Saturday. I went out on a random sort of drive, taking a circuitous route to my final destination. I stopped at a garage sale, stopped at a Fair Trade Arts/Crafts sale, and stopped at a lemonade stand!

These girls sure brought back memories... the fun I had doing the same thing with my sisters and friends when I was their age, the fun I had helping my kids do the same thing a few (or is it umpteen) years ago. And then these cuties, drinking more than they were selling, and way excited that I gave them a dollar (for a ten-cent cup of lemonade) and told them to keep the change. Life is good when you have a cup of lemonade in your hand on a warm, sunny day!

And look at what I bought for myself at the Fair Trades sale (real name: The World Jubilee sale). Isn't this a great hat???? This is me photographing myself in my hat. And the next photo is me trying to show you the top of my hat while I'm still wearing it.

This is the woman who made my hat. She put one on, too, and allowed me to take her picture. I thought she looked so cute in her hat! Around here we have a plethora of outlets for purchasing these beautiful pieces of Hmong handiwork, but they won't last forever. Most of the younger generation has not learned how to do this fine art work. It'll begin to fade away with time. Maybe, with luck, there will be a resurgence like there has been with quilting!

This was my "real" destination of the day. My son and his friends are moving into their first apartment. They are renting a duplex. It's nice, roomy, and close to campus. Today was painting day. The very top level was a little dark but looks much brighter and happier with the white paint they are applying. They had an inter-generational work crew, not to mention an international one! A couple of the dads were helping, including my husband, and a friend from New Zealand is even helping! My son and another guy met the NZer at camp last summer. He is back to work another summer as a camp counselor. He said it's such a fun thing to do, and a great opportunity for him. They don't have camps in New Zealand, he says. Anyway, here is a look at the painting team. My son is the one in the red bandana, working on the ceiling in the little cubby hole they call "the tree house."

Friday, April 06, 2007

Beautiful Quilts Everywhere!

Did you see that the Quilt Pink auction has begun at ebay?? Just go to quiltpink dot com and follow the link. What a bunch of pretty quilts! I might bid on one. Wouldn't it be fun to own one of them?

Here are some more beautiful quilts! I made them! Yes, I am bragging about my own work! I am so pleased with these. I showed you the blue/red one earlier, before I had added borders. I hate doing borders! They always slow me way down! I managed to get these done during spring break and will hand them off to my machine quilter on Tuesday. It'll feel good to have them totally done!
The blue/red is for my brother-in-law and the green is for my nephew. He asked for Tlingit art work in the middle and jaggedy green lines around it. I felt a little nervous, but love how it turned out! Tlingit is an Alaska native tribe which is in my husband's ancestry. I modeled the whale after some Tlingit art that I found online. I don't know if the little shapes within the whale are supposed to have specific meanings. If they do, I really messed up something, no doubt. Maybe my whale says something like: "because the sunrise and eyebrow" (reminiscent of subject lines in spam e-mails).

It's my last official day of spring break! Things I accomplished: a good amount of sewing and quilting, visiting my mother and playing Scrabble with her, relaxing, finishing my cprint training!!!! (an online training I have been doing for work over several months), and a few loads of laundry. Things I did not accomplish: forget it. Who wants to think negatively??

Happy Easter and spring, everyone!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Spring Break Road Trip

Whose woods these are, I think I know. Their house used to be in the village, though. I stopped by these woods on a cloudy afternoon to visit the resting place of my grandparents and aunt and uncle. I miss these nice people! Interestingly, three of these four were Hamline University graduates. That's me wearing the Hamline sweatshirt. My son is a student there now. He's number 26 in our long line of relatives at Hamline, starting with my grandfather whose stone I am leaning on. He graduated from Hamline in 1903!

My sister is opening up a book store! It's an exciting adventure. We all love books and bookstores. We can't wait to see her new store: Cherry Street Books in Alexandria, MN. She is hoping to open the store this June. If you visit Alexandria, stop in at her bookstore and say hi! It's at 5th & Broadway (not on Cherry Street as you might think). The sad part is that she won't have much time for quilting. She makes gorgeous quilts. I'm one of her biggest fans.

Lucy at Aunt Annie's Quilts and Silks in Avon, MN helped me pick out these fabrics. They are for a challenge at my guild. I picked the gorgeous oriental, and Lucy helped with the rest. Aren't they pretty?? It'll be a while, but when it's all done I show you what these fabrics look like as a finished quilt. If you drive past Avon on your way to Alexandria, stop in at Aunt Annie's. It's one of my favorite quilt shops in the whole world.

I hope you enjoy these pictures. Karen told me it was high time to move on from the previous picture, so I am doing as told. I was going to visit Karen this week, but we had a freak April snowstorm, and she couldn't get out of her driveway. I was snowed in at my mom's house. I could have walked into town, but it was too far to walk to Karen's house. Mom and I played Scrabble, read books, and I took a nap. Isn't that a great way to spend Spring Break!? I thought so.

If you want to see a string quilt that I made, check out Mary's Heartstrings blog here. She is going to quilt it for me.