Thursday, April 28, 2016

Walkin' In Memphis

Running Man and I decided it would be fun
to explore a city we had never been to before.

It's known for the sounds of the Delta Blues,


and home of the King  

 That's right, we
were walking in Memphis
minus our 

Blue Suede Shoes.

Memphis isn't a beautiful city.
It's a city that's had its ups and downs.

It sits along the Mississippi River
or the "Big Muddy" where the water
is too thin to plow 

and too thick to drink.

There's music spilling out of 
all the clubs on Beale Street

"with a whole lot of shaken going on"
(Jerry Lee Lewis)

 and did I mention BBQ?

There's the legendary Sun Studio

where Elvis cut his first record

And, of course, if you're a fan, a trip of Graceland
is a must,
 to pay respect to the 
King of Rock and Roll.

 You might even get to see that famous
pink Caddie.

And if you're tired of BBQ
there's always fried chicken at Gus's.
 There's also a serious side to Memphis

and the site of the assassination of 
Martin Luther King Jr.
Just the day before,  Martin Luther King
gave his last speech,
"I have been to the Mountain top."

Well, let's just say,
despite not having on blue suede shoes,
we were walking in Memphis,
the land of the Delta Blues,
and we had a fantastic time,
but not a whole lot of sewin' goin' on!

 Until Next Time-

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Grapes, Inside and Out

Last Friday my grape hyacinths 
 looked like this.

By Sunday they looked like this:
 wearing little snow caps and

buried under another 6 inches of new springtime snow.

At least the grapes I've been working on
haven't been affected by the weather.

I'm on the final part of the borders for

 Noah and Matilda
who, if you remember, 
 have been stuck in a tote for over a year.

Slowly and steadily the borders have
been appliqued.

Next it was time for adding the grapes. 

Hundreds of small circles had been prepped.

I found it easiest to make a template for precise placement
rather than using the light table.

 Then using a glue stick
I marked the positions of the 12
individual circles.
The purple school glue shows up great
and dries clear.

It was super easy to correctly
place the prepped circles
and applique.

I had actually thought the grapes would be the hardest
part, but no! 

I was pleasantly surprised.

A few more bunches to go
and then it will be time to figure out the corners.

The end is in sight.

just like the snow here in Colorado.

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Pendleton Woolen Mills

 How many times have you heard:
Do you make blankets?
My mother made blankets just like that.

When I worked in the quilt shop I can't
tell you how many times I heard
quilts referred to as blankets.

Last week while I was traveling
I had the opportunity to experience
real blankets being made.
I stopped at the Pendleton  Woolen Mills
  in Pendleton, Oregon.

They have a short, but very informative
tour that allows you to see the 
process of raw wool to finished blanket.

Here is this delicious red wool being carded,

 twisted into yarn

and then it eventually gets
spun on to these wonderful wooden spools.

Those are then combined into
huge spools of beautiful color.

The next step is to
  weave the wool threads into blankets, especially,

into traditional Native American designs
with their intricate patterns and brilliant colors.

 Piles of woven yardage.

The good news is that there's a sale room!

These blankets are part of the Pendleton's celebration of
the 100 year anniversary of the National Park Service
using their original striped themed designs
with colors that reflect each of the different parks
they represent.

The bad news was that
I really wanted one of each,
there were just too many choices
and I only had a carry-on bag for the
trip home.

Good news!  They ship!
Yesterday my box arrived.

I had settled on a gray woven plaid blanket and
a woven fringed throw.

More good news.  I know
which one I would get next time!

Side note: If you look up the comparison between 
a quilt and a blanket online, it's
evident that there's a lot of 
confused folks out there.

Until Next Time-

Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Crabapple Hill Retreat

 I've been patiently waiting for over a year
to head off on this particular quilting retreat.
Three of my Quilty Buddies plus me
headed to the Tri-City area of eastern Washington State
to meet with Meg Hawkey
and embroidery for 3 straight days.

 What a treat.

Meg's designs are


and charming.

Her embroidery designs
create a cozy feeling

reminiscent of a simpler time.

What did we work on?
 We did some fun crayon tinting

 and then began stitching.
It will eventually be a strawberry shaped pincushion.

There were strawberry scissor fobs to make

and cute needle keeps to work on.

As well, as a springtime burlap tote.

We were feed and pampered

in Meg's beautifully decorated

retreat center.

It was inspiring from the moment we walked in the door
to when we finally had to head home.

Quilting retreats no matter the place or the
amount of time you get to spend with
friends and work on projects
is truly refreshing for the soul.
I do feel refreshed!

Until Next Time-