Thursday, March 5, 2015

I Got Them Sewn Together.

Last time I posted,
 I shared
Running Man's 50 mile trail run.

I haven't been out running on a trail,
but it has felt like I was doing an ultra ultra
sewing challenge.

I had been working on two 

These were very challenging.

I am a visual person and
the pattern has few pictures to help to
understand the construction.
Even with years of sewing
under my belt, 
I was left feeling a bit challenged.

But fortunately,
Sew-a-Long for this bag just about
a year ago.

It was a fabulous resource.
I couldn't have put this bag together without 
their easy to follow steps by step construction.
I wanted each bag to be super scrappy.
That meant it required 11 different fabrics,
a different one for each of the different sections.

It also meant finding
4 zips per bag, in the right sizes to 
coordinate perfectly.

I found those at

Oh, it just makes you want to buy zippers.
She has a wonderful deal, especially for this bag.
4 zips for $2.30 with a fabulous assortment of colors.
Going to this site is wonderful if you're making
this bag or for something else that might require zippers.

it was a lot of work, but

I'm glad I finished my race too.

 Until Next Time-

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Everglades Ultra

 My little R & R to Florida 
did include one more activity.
Well, actually one more event
for Running Man.

Yes, another one of his
50 mile ultra runs.
This time he was familiar with the
lay out of the course.
 He had run this one
a couple of years ago.

Here we are at 5 am.
Ready to start running through the
Everglades in the pitch dark.
Oh, boy.  That's what I call excitement.
I settled back in the car 
until the sun was out.

Here's the goal.
No band, no fireworks, no huge crowds.

Here's what a 50 mile 
trail run looks like on a map.
There are aid stations about every 4-5 miles.
It's not a course where a crew can follow
their runner so that meant
 I stayed put for the day.

Here's what I did.
Took a couple of walks.

and did some sewing.
Sitting at an ultra race and appliqueing
is a unique conversation starter.
(This is my nine patch swap quilt.)

I also watched the vultures circling and
 waiting to swoop down on some unexpected runner
too pooped to make it.
Not really, I hope.

But this trail run is not without dangers.
So that is why each runner
is equipped with bright orange whistle to
summon help in case you encounter
this or
a bear, or panthers, or some coiled up
 huge snake.

The only danger the orange whistle
can't protect you from are

cypress knees,
which are these woody projections that grow 
out from the base of the cypress trees.
I think every runner came in with a bloody
knee or two after being tripped up by these.

It was a beautiful day in the swamp,
I was glad when Running Man finally
saw this sign.

He was not the fastest person on the course,
but he was the fastest one

in his age bracket,
Males, 60 and up.
We affectionately refer to it as
"the Ol' Geezers"
 Way to go, Running Man.
I was his cheering crowd!
 Until Next Time-

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bands of Patterns and Color

 I didn't have much time
to search for quilt shops or even
to do much stitching during my little R & R.

This trip was more about
 visiting with our daughter Kate and
having fun.

This is who Kate works for:
She is the Collection Manager
overseeing the preservation and
 curating the Seminole Tribe of Florida's 
archaeological collections. 

So while we were there
she invited us to attend
a very special ceremony.

It was the installation of the first judges
for the tribe.

It was held near the Council Tree.
This awesome enormous oak tree is
 located in Hollywood, Fl.

The ceremony was attended by people representing
all of the clans of the tribe.

And what a special treat to be surrounded by
everyone wearing their 
beautiful traditional Seminole patchwork.

Men's shirts with colorful
symmetrical patterns.

Small intricate pieces carefully stitched
and then sewn together with other
bands of pattern and lots of tiny rick rack trim.

Look at all the different designs included in
these beautiful skirts.

Each of these patterns begin with strips of fabric
sewn together to create a strata of color.
This larger piece is then cut into different width increments
to create smaller segments.

These in turn are repositioned
and stitched into patterns.
 I don't know how someone is able to sew on
all of that rick rack so straight.  Beautiful.

These patterns have
 many different names
such as alligator tracks, panther eye,
 diamond back and scared fire.

At the ceremony, there were lots of preschool
children all wearing  their beautiful clothing.

This little girl wanted green shiny fabric
and this little boy must love 
Mater and Lightening McQueen
from the movie "Cars"

There was a recent exhibit at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum 
 called "It's Not a Costume -  Modern Seminole Patchwork"

Co-curator, Rebecca Fell said,
"We're focusing on the idea of everyday wear and the 
importance of patchwork to culture and history-
that is what ties all of the pieces together.

But our real emphasis for non-Tribal visitors is to
help them understand that the clothing is not a costume.
It is what is worn as part of daily life."

"Patchwork is for everyday wear.
It's Seminole fashion. 
 It's identity."

Until Next Time-

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Little R & R

While snowflakes have been falling at home,
I have been hanging out 
in South Florida.

The weather there was unseasonably cool,
(cold for those who call Florida home),
but at least no snow.

We started and finished our trip
on the west coast, the gulf side.
We stayed in a cottage yards away from
the beach and slept to the sound

 of the waves.

 We searched for prehistoric shark teeth
along the beaches,


 did the shell seeker stoop.
We visited with friends who
thought the best way to get to dinner
was via their boat along the 
Intercoastal waterway.
It was the most interesting way I think I've ever
gone to a restaurant.

You couldn't worry about what

your hair looked like when you got there, though.

Our daughter met us over in Naples over the weekend
and it was fun to act like tourists.
First we visited
Thomas Edison's and Henry Ford's Winter
Estate and Gardens in Fort Meyers.
Really lovely gardens.

One of Edison's lab

These were two very interesting men
who changed the world.

And what else do you want to see when you're in 
southern Florida?
Why the Everglades, of course.

And what do you find in the Everglades?
Why alligators, of course.
Sometimes you have to wrestle them
into submission,

and other times just
quietly walk around them
when they're blocking the path.

The most exciting new thing we got to see
were the manatees.
Well, in reality
we saw their noses
and a shadow of their bodies.

But if I were underwater
 this is what I would see.
Aren't they cute?

 You also need to be constantly searching for
the illusive flamingo.

Boy, were we ever lucky
we saw a whole flock.

Until Next Time-