Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Rollin' on the Rhone

The second part of my recent trip
was spending a week on a
 small luxurious ship with only 80 fellow passengers,
gently cruising on the Rhone in southern France, and 
then enjoying extraordinary experiences at different ports.

lavender fields

It had been on my bucket list for a long time, but truthfully,
I was hesitant to even consider this trip because
I had been nervous about feeling seasick,
but I have to say,
it was smooth sailing all the way.


Our itinerary was a wonderful mixture 

of scenery: 
the bridge at Avignon

history:
the Arles Roman amphitheater

 picturesque villages:

Viviers, France

wonderful wine tastings:


 and  gastronomical experiences: 
 tastings at a truffle farm

There was never a moment to get bored. 
This trip, one of Tauck's River Cruises,
gave us cultural experiences
ensuring memories for a life time. 

Happy Travels,
Rollin',rollin' rollin' down the river.
Kyle

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Paris, France

I just got back last week from a 
truly incredible trip to France.
Running Man and I were in Paris 


 enjoying the iconic sights.


The Louvre


Notre-Dame

Paris is a huge city with so much to
see, do and taste.

  We were only
able to explore a small portion of what
the City of Light has to offer.

We were on a Tauck Tour called
Savoring France: Paris, Lyon, and Provence
with a 7 night river cruise on the Rhone.

While in Paris we had the extraordinary opportunity
to have a class at Le Cordon Bleu Paris.


We were so excited.

We each had our own cooking station complete
with all the equipment laided out, and an
assistant who would whisk away our
dirty equipment.


What were we making?

Our delicious chocolate macarons

Now I'm a graduate!

Me and Chef Vincent Valton

What did we do with all of our chocolate macarons?

I did say they were delicious!!!

All too quickly we had to leave Paris
and head to Lyon to board our ship,
the MS Emerald.



Many wonderful adventured awaited.
I'll share more on another post.

Wishing you many adventures,
Kyle

Thursday, July 5, 2018

A Tiny Garden

A year ago, a friend of mine
gifted me with a small stack of 
vintage 1930's flower garden blocks.

I knew I just couldn't let them
languish another 80 years in this adorable taffy box.

They were sewn perfectly
except the quilter forgot to leave a 
seam allowance on the outside edges.

If I wanted to connect them, I'd have to
unsew a small bit on every seam and secure 
the stitching.
Guess what?
That wasn't going to happen.

Maybe that's why they got  stored away.
Who knows.

 So I toyed with other ideas and 
finally decided to
stitch them to a background
with raw edged machine applique.


I also decided to make the applique stitching
also became the quilting.

It's a wonderful time saver.

I arranged these tiny gardens with
a small spaces between them.  The spacing wasn't always 
the same, nor where the size of the tiny gardens,
but close enough, like pathways
 between beds of flowers in a real garden.


I added a little more stitching on
the hexies.


I didn't even trim the edges before sewing them.
I simple left every thing the way they
were last handled and placed 
in the box.


A Tiny Garden
20" X 24"

Now those wonderful blocks
have found a purpose.

and have become my mini June quilt.



I've never been to Atlantic City and the boardwalk,
but it appears that you can still buy James's De-Luxe
Salt Water Taffy "cut to fit the mouth"!
Until Next Time-
Kyle

Friday, June 15, 2018

Trimming the Tree

Last week I had a wonderful visit
with my daughter and son-in-law
in the Sunshine State 

despite the weather.

We shopped and played and

enjoyed the local bird life.

Flying time was approximately 4 hours
each direction
and amazingly you can get a lot of stitching done.

Working on a red work embroidery project,
"Trimming the Tree",
made it pretty easy dealing with only 
one floss color.

I loaded 12 needles ahead of time,
put on my sea bands,
and was able to finish the embroidery
on the two flights.

The embroidery is the fun part.

 

Making it into a pillow seems to 
take more time, at least for me.

I added some buttons and beads
instead of pom poms and french knots.


I made the pillow smaller than what the pattern said.
Why?
The piece of red plaid wool I wanted to use
for the scalloped top was smaller than 
what the pattern called for.

Improvising!
Making do!

I actually had enough red ric rac,
red buttons, 
and the kit for covering buttons.


If you haven't covered a button in a while,
you're missing out of some fun.
It's not hard and
you get a great coordinated look.
(The simple things can humor me
sometimes.)

Despite the fact the weather
here in Colorado is extremely
hot and very dry


this delightful wintery pattern
is done and ready whenever the 
seasons change again.

I'm hoping my next flight
will go as smoothly.
My stitching is packed
along with my party dress.
Until Next Time-
Au revior
Kyle


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Ready to Go....

With the close of the school year


my weekly Nana duties have ended


for the summer.

That opens up some time to do
some travelling! 

Of course, that requires
getting some stitching ready
to occupy flight times.

I pulled out two 
Crabapple Hill Studio patterns
to prep the embroidery.

Why not work on Christmas
and some redwork.
"Trim the Tree"

I've threaded a dozen needles, collected
the floss and thimble.
I'm ready

 to head off.

The second piece required some crayon coloring.

The areas you want to tint with crayons
first need to be filled in completely 
with a white crayon


This allows the pigment of the
crayon to fill in the weave of the fabric 
and make the color smoother.


Then have fun with the crayons.


Once the color is filled in
simply iron the piece.

The crayon melts 
giving the colored sections a soft 

"Autumn Calls"

tint of color which will be
enhanced with the embroidery. 

Looks like I'm ready.

June's going to be a busy month. 

Until Next Time-
Kyle





Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May Baskets and Blossoms

It's the end of May
and the flowers have been
definitely putting on a show
here in northern Colorado.





Those blossoms were  my inspiration 
for my May monthly mini


May Baskets and Blossoms.
25"x 25"

It started with a fat quarter bundle I purchased
from Fat Quarter Shop
called Chalk and Timber
and grew from there.


Four traditional basket blocks,
a pieced border made with pink flying geese,
and just enough border fabric to
tie it all together.


A simple quilted grid pattern,
(stitched during the royal wedding replay)
and this month's mini was complete.

The backing was fun to
stitch together using
a toile print and
some ancient Debbie Mumm fabric.


It all seemed to fit.
Who would have guessed.

Baskets and blossoms


seemed like a fitting
ending to May.

Thanks to Wendy,
the Constant Quilter
for encouraging many of us
to have fun each month.
Until Next Time-
Kyle

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Twinkle, Twinkle

Little Star.

My Star A Day quilt
is finally finished!


Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
2016-2018
42" x 42"

Two years ago
I went to the Houston International
Quilt Festival and purchased 
from Karen Styles the pattern and templates
for A Star A Day.

What fun!
How hard can that be, I thought.
Just one 3" star block a day.


Even if I fussy cut 
every piece and sew it by hand
I can certainly keep up the pace. 

Well, I know you can guess 
where this story is heading.

The first week....
4 behind.

Week 2
8 behind

I was quickly falling into the negative count.


Could I get 365 blocks done in one year?

As time went on, I realized 
that just wasn't going to happen.
I settled on 120 blocks
in 545 days. 

Just last month I was
finally ready to
hand quilt using a big stitch
with #12 Aurifil thread
It added wonderful texture and
I love how this quilt finished up!



Learning to be flexible,
adapting your plans,
and even being kind to yourself
are all lessons we can learn while making a quilt


even when we continue to "Shoot for the Stars."

Until Next Time-
Kyle