Friday, April 30, 2010

Fabulous Friday

For today:

Looking Out My Window: The busy streets of Chicago, commuters hurrying off to work,, and the Wrigley Building.  WOW!

I’m Hearing: The sounds of a busy city ready for a new day.

My Weekend Plans Include: Fun in the Windy City.  We have a walking food tasting tour scheduled, tickets to the Cubs game, and a boat tour out on Lake Michigan

I’m Reading: I'm behind on my magazines so it's time to read, clip, file and toss.
Movie Marquee: No movies this weekend.

Something Quiltie: Quilting should be a joy not a job!

I’m Thinking About: How each city takes on a persona.

One of My Favorite Things:  I love to explore new places and enjoy new experiences when we travel.

What I’m Planning For: I'm planning on doing a lot of walking today.  Good for the calves and good for burning calories.

What’s For Dinner:  We have been waiting for a long time to go to Rick Bayless's restaurant, Fontera. Hope we can even get in.

A Favorite Photo: 

 Chicago from the John Hancock Building.

 Chicago Pizza

Until Next Time-Kyle

Monday, April 26, 2010

Just for the Babies

It must be spring, there are lots of babies on their way. No grand-babies though. I have to admit I don't make baby quilts just for anyone.  Most people don't realize how much time, effort and $$ are involved in creating a quilt.  So you need to pick your recipients carefully.

Here's a mini quilt show of the baby quilts that are done and just waiting for their new owners to arrive.

This one was fun using Ricky Tims' convergence method of piecing.  It was made with 4 different fat quarters.  It's bright and bold and full of life.

This Chinese Coin pattern was made with a charm pack from a line of fabric called Whimsy.   A perfect name for the quilt.

This Animal Alphabet quilt was a quilt of convenience.  It's a panel with a few borders.  Nothing could be easier or cuter.  It will be warm and cuddly because it's flannel.

Another Charming Chinese Coin.  I hope somebody has a girl.  The fabrics I used were from a line called "Love U".

This quilt was also made from the same "Love U" line.  It's fun how different they look.  The pattern is from the book Warm Welcome by Mary Hickey.  It has some delightful ideas.

I named this one "Wild Pony".  It has found a home already with a baby girl.  Her parents love horses and the borders are colorful wild ponies.   The pattern is also from the book Warm Welcome.

I've sewn and quilted all of these since the first of the year.  I still  have one more cut out and ready to be sewn, another one as a pile of fabrics, and one ready to be quilted.  Once I get those done I should be ready for WHO ever comes next!

Until Next Time-Kyle

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fabulous Friday

For today:

Looking Out My Window: It's a April Showers kind of day, dark, cloudy, and a good day to go back to bed.  Wish I could.  We don't get a lot of just rainy days.

I’m Hearing: Just the soft pitter patter of the rain on the front windows.  It is a soothing sound.

My Weekend Plans Include:  A little bit of this and a little bit of that.   Friends are coming for dinner Saturday, so I guess it's time to get the sewing machine off the dining room table.

I’m Reading: I'm listening to Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt.  Check it out.
Movie Marquee: Amelia and season 1 of the TV series, Eureka

Something Quiltie: One of my favorite quilting products is Best Press.  It's the perfect combination of sizing and starch.  It doesn't flake, it definitely removes creases and wrinkles ,smells wonderful, and makes fabric crisp.  It's perfect for quilting and for ironing those summer linen pants.

I’m Thinking About: A friends daughter was in a car accident the other day.  I'm so glad our guardian angles are on constant watch.

One of My Favorite Things:  Cake in a Mug:  3 T chocolate cake mix, 2 T water, mix, I put it in a small bowl and nuke for 45 seconds.  Squirt a little low fat chocolate syrup on.  It's like a lava cake and only 1 point from WW.  It's a good way to satisfy those chocolate cravings.

What I’m Planning For: It's time to plan for my little trip to the big city of Chicago.

What’s For Dinner: Pasta and turkey meatballs

A Favorite Photo: 

This photo makes me smile.  Mom caught Jane just at the right moment. 1958

Until Next Time-Kyle

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

They're Back!

There are certain signs that let you know that spring is here.  
The Pelicans are back!

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His mouth can hold more than his belican,
He can hold in his beak,
Enough food for a week.
I'm damned if I know how the helican!
Until Next Time-Kyle

Monday, April 19, 2010

Work Should Be Fun

Last week I moved my sewing machine from my sewing room to the dining room table.  I needed to put on a binding and having the big table helps to hold the quilt while I sew.  Well, that was last week and my machine is still on the dining room table.
 I have left it there because it is a beautiful place to work. I like my sewing room.  It has everything right at my finger tips.  But it definitely lacks one thing.

It's not "A Room With a View".

There are research reports that state that a "fun" work environment results in more creativity and more productivity.  Being surrounded with windows, having the patio door open and enjoying the warm spring day certainly is a "fun" environment.  My schedule today was totally flexible, I had everything I needed, I was really productive.  It was a great day.  I cranked out "Snap Happy Bags" like there was no tomorrow.

I took a momnent off and surfed the net for some other cool places to work.  Take a look at this link if you want to see some cool work places.  Can you imagine being on the conference bike?

My dining room table has just one small detail that makes it a bit challenging.
Someone else is at the other end.  Oh, well, it's good to share.

Until Next Time-Kyle

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fabulous Friday

For today:

Looking Out My Window: There are buds ready to explode with color any day now, the crab apple trees and the cherry tree.

I’m Hearing: Despite the cloudy weather there's a robin in the locust tree just singing his heart out.   He has the right philosophy of life.

My Weekend Plans Include:  I want to get some pansies planted in the window boxes in front and then Ed has a Pickle Ball tournament on Sunday.  I'll go and watch for a while. 

I’m Reading: Ed and I are still working on the First Family by David Baldacci.  It's a good story but we only get a chance to listen together at dinner.  The other book I'm listening to is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.   The story based in 1946 and is a series of letters written by Julie Ashton, a writer from London and from the members of the literary society on Guernsey Island, a British Island occupied by the Germans during the war.  The characters and their relationships are delightful.
Movie Marquee: August Rush and the Songcatcher

Something Quiltie: I usually make the binding for a quilt when I am finishing the top.  By then I know exactly what it should be. I had the binding already made for my Rouenneries quilt so when I got it back from being quilted I was ready to sew that binding on.  It sure made it easier.  

I’m Thinking About: I need to come up with a clever, interesting, exciting idea to celebrate my birthday.  It needs to be something extra special.  Any ideas?

One of My Favorite Things: I love anything that is grilled outside.

What I’m Planning For: My to do list has so many little things on it that if I just got started I could really accomplish a lot. I'll see how long I can stay focused. 

What’s For Dinner: Ed's out this evening so there are either leftovers or cereal depending on my mood.  Popcorn might be good!

A Favorite Photo: 
Pepper loves tulips.
 He thinks they are lip smacking good! 

Until Next Time-Kyle

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

One Mile At A Time

This coming August 20 -22 you will find me in Leadville, Colorado.  Not on vacation or hiking at a 10,000 foot elevation, not exploring Baby Doe's old Matchless silver mine, or even exploring the quaint shops that line main street.  I will be part of Ed's crew as he participates in the Leadville Trail 100 race, which is known as the Race Across the Sky.  The race is 100 miles of trail running!
The race begins at 4:00 am on Saturday and each participate has 30 hours to complete the course and must be done by 10:00am on Sunday.  Yes, that means running all night long over mountains, through the woods, and splashing through streams.  No time to stop except to get whatever you need from your crew, that would be me, Elizabeth and Don, at various check points.
The trail goes up and over Hope Pass

For the past two years Ed's niece has come from Connecticut, which is very much at sea level, and participated.  We have been her crew.  She's done great and ran 40 miles the first year and then 60 miles last year.  This year both Ed and Sandy will finish this ultra marathon!

 Ed and Sandy, mile 22       
I remember Ed telling me, "If I ever say I want to run the Leadville 100, you need to slap me, and slap me hard!"
Well, I guess I didn't slap him hard enough.

He has signed up and has earnestly begun his training.  He has a daily and weekly workout schedule all the way until the week of the race.  He's started with 20 miles a week and will end with about 90 miles.  If anyone can stay committed and work for the goal of completing the race, it has to be Ed.   He is a great inspiration.

He isn't looking at the race as running 100 miles, but as running 1 mile one hundred times.  I need to remember that philosophy when I'm tired and ready to stop whatever I'm doing.  His motto is: You can do more than you think!

Until Next Time-Kyle

Monday, April 12, 2010

Think Spring

April is well on it's way and the days are turning a bit warmer.  Spring might really be here.  Quilts can be a visual interpretation in the change of the seasons.  I looked through my collection of quilts and choose three to share.
 Flower Basket
I made this quilt at an all night quilt class at my local quilt shop in 1991. That's something I could never do now.  I don't know how far I got that night, but I remember being totally exhausted when I left the shop. 
This quilt is hand quilted.

It is based off a typical charted pattern designed by Anne Orr  (1869-1946).  She was a native of Nashville, who was a well-known quilt and needlework designer. She was a needlework columnist for Good Housekeeping in the 1930s. She was quite the entrepreneur, employing dozens of women to produce her designs and directed a successful mail order business from her home.

Another basket quilt that I have made is this grape basket design.

Sweet Picolit
The colors are soft like the new colors of spring. I hand quilted it with a baptist fan pattern. 

This third quilt was made for my daughter,Kate.  The soft pastel colors of fabrics from the 30's made me think of spring.

Sun Bonnet Sue, Kate Style
This quilt was a delight to make.  Each of the Sun Bonnet girls is doing something that Kate loved to do.  It gave me a chance to think about her and all the talents and characteristic that make her special.  Can you find her favorite holiday, pet and figure out some of the other things she liked to do when she was 11.  This quilt was also hand quilted. 

These quilts all feel wonderful because of the hand quilting.  I haven't taken the time lately to hand quilt my projects, but I do love to do it and the feel of the final results.

Until Next Time-Kyle

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fabulous Friday

For today:

Looking Out My Window: It took me a few minutes to figure out where the honking was coming from.  I could hear the geese, but couldn't find them. Hey, there's a pair of geese enjoying the view of the world or at least the lake from the tip of our roof.  You don't see geese up high to often.

I’m Hearing:A pair of honkers, excited about something.

My Weekend Plans Include: Elizabeth is coming up on Saturday and we are going to go to a scrapbook crop.  I haven't done that for awhile.  I know it will be fun.

I’m Reading: Still on the Secret Life of Bees and the First Family.
Movie Marquee: This weekend includes 3 movies, A Painted House, Bottle Shock, and Night at the Museum, Battle of the Smithsonian.

Something Quiltie:I was the presenter of the class "Stashbusters" at the store this week.  One of the points I made was: There are only so many quilts that you can make in a lifetime.  So create the ones you love. 

I’m Thinking About: How boring life would be if I woke up one morning with nothing to do.

One of My Favorite Things: when I can juggle all the balls in the air with some agility, confidence, and fun.

What I’m Planning For: I've been getting photos and paper and supplies ready for the crop.  I'm working on the year 2001.

What’s For Dinner: I wandered through Whole Foods, picked up 3 different cheeses, and a loaf of Ciabatta bread.  We'll add a glass of wine and a few bites of a spicy dark Mayan chocolate. Hmmmm!

A Favorite Photo:
Mr and Mrs. Honker

Until Next Time-Kyle

Monday, April 5, 2010

Blisters and Bunnies

What do blisters and bunnies have in common?  It's what happened over the Easter weekend.
Our crew showed up Saturday morning ready to help out with our Raking Day.
We're a very able bodied group

The best part about our little event is that everyone has a good time.  It's about family helping each other.

It's all about teamwork!

OK, Someone has to try and be king of the pile.

Thank you everyone for all your hard work.  
Now, for those of you who missed the 3rd Annual Spring Raking Day mark your calendar for next year!
Until Next Time-Kyle

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fabulous Friday

For today:

Looking Out My Window: Last weekend somebody thought it would be clever to spray paint graffiti on a water culvert across the lake.  The city has a graffiti hotline # to call.  The graffiti was gone yesterday. Thanks.

I’m Hearing: Mr and Mrs Flicker are back in the neighborhood.  Unfortunately, they believe pecking into the stucco of our house would provide a wonderful home for their family. I have shooed them away 3 times this morning.

My Weekend Plans Include: Elizabeth and Don, Jessica, and my sister, Jane will be here this weekend to celebrate Easter and to participate in Raking Day. 

I’m Reading: I'm still listening to the  First Family by David Baldacci. Actually, Ed and I listening to it together. I  also finished a great story called A Painted House by John Grisham. This short story is narrated by seven year-old Luke Chandler, the son of an Arkansas family renting and farming in 1952. I really liked this one.
Movie Marquee: The Men Who Stare At Goats and the Red Violin

Something Quiltie: Last night my quilt group met at Debbie's house.  I love that group of women.  It's great to have friends to laugh and cry with.

I’m Thinking About: How blessed I am in all aspects of my life.

One of My Favorite Things: Our library system here is amazing.  I love the fact that you can place holds on items on line.  Then you are sent an email saying it's ready for pickup.  They even send you a reminder when it's due.  It's a great system.

What I’m Planning For: Next week I have to teach a class at the store.  There's a lot of prep that's involved.  

What’s For Dinner: Mexican Cobb Salad

A Favorite Photo:
Easter, 2000

Until Next Time-Kyle

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Funny April Fools Day

 Happy First Day of April.

 If you have never seen this wonderful April Fool's Hoax from 1957, it will certainly make you laugh.

 The BBC broadcast this 3 minute program about a families spaghetti harvest in Switzerland.

Mr Dimbleby explained how each year the end of March is a very anxious time for Spaghetti harvesters all over Europe as severe frost can impair the flavor of the spaghetti.

He also explained how each strand of spaghetti always grew to the same length thanks to years of hard work by generations of growers.

Sorry I wasn't able to put this youtube video here, but do take a few moments to view this.
Until Next Time-Kyle