Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Going places that I've never been...

On the road again

Goin' places that I've never been

Seein' things that I may never see again...
                  ~Willie Nelson

We are headed to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. After a super busy weekend, we managed to get on the road Monday morning. 

Yesterday we drove very familiar roads through places we've been many times but we picnicked at a place we've never been! We stopped north of Bloomington, IL at Comlara Park on Evergreen Lake.

It was very quiet and peaceful. Every so often you could hear a hickory nut falling somewhere close or maybe a fisherman's voice from one of the fishing boats on the lake.  

This was the view from our car.

And this was from our picnic table. It was in the upper 70s and overcast - perfect picnic weather.

Today we decided to get off the beaten path a bit and head to Clarksburg, WV. Google maps led us to believe that we would be more on back roads. Our GPS forgot to consult with Google maps but I finally found a map and got it all straightened out. A couple miles past Chillicothe, OH, we turned onto highway 50 - all new territory for us. 

I didn't take any pictures because we were in rain ALL day - no picnic, no shopping, just great company and great music in the car.  

We saw a few accidents today and avoided a few! Heading down a hill, there was a one semi, a 2nd semi, and a car with a travel trailer. We were just passing the travel trailer when the car pulling it was following the 2nd semi too closely. When the semi braked, the car with the trailer couldn't stop fast enough and came into our lane. Ray was barely able to miss him. Within a minute, the first semi cut across three lanes of traffic right in front of us and blocked our lane. Once again, Ray was barely able to miss him. We were both glad that the day's travels were almost over!

I'm not sure how many people we saw go through red lights - not as near misses but just blatantly blowing off the light. We probably saw more police officers than we've ever seen in one day when we've been traveling - of course they weren't around for the running of red lights. Oh, do all West Virginia officers drive Chargers?

Hopefully people drive better in Virginia than they do in this part of West Virginia. We've seen too many accidents and near misses. I think we've worked our Guardian Angels overtime today!

Tomorrow we will meet up with son Brad and his family. Can't wait to see everyone. It's been a year since our last visit - way too long!

Disclaimer: Not sure what blogger is doing with the type. The line spacing is very strange.

Friday, September 25, 2015

One last finish before we leave...

I finished this donation leader/ender quilt last night.

The color blocks are 3" by 1.5" (cut at 3.5" X 2") and the tiny white blocks are 1" by 1.5" (cut at 1.5" X 2"). The long white strips are cut at 1.5" finishing at 1" wide. It escapes me where, but I saw this on someone's blog. Not sure if I used the same size pieces, but that is where I got the idea.
Note: My idea came from Stitchin' Therapy and Deb just added appliqué to her borders which really adds a lot to the quilt.

When I put this together, I sewed the small pieces into long strips and then put the strips together. It's not like I don't know better, but I then sewed all of the strips together in the same direction. Senior moment??? Anyway, I ended up losing about 5" when I trimmed to make the quilt square. Hopefully this old mind remembers not to do that again!

The back is pieced with scraps. The border is also scrap fabric. The quilt is machine quilted in straight lines.


I never showed you my second pair of slippers - made from some leftover yarn. I like them better than the first pair. The patterns is Simple House Slippers.


That's it. The house is clean. I have a couple of errands to do and those pies to make. Also a festival to enjoy. And Happy Birthday to Ray tomorrow. Come Monday, we will be on the road...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Gnomey had a face lift.

Gnomey and Nipper live in our backyard. They arrived were created in November of 2012 by Zoli of Zoli's Woodcarving. You can see the original post here.

Zoli came back today to do a 'facelift'. Wow! What a difference!

We chose to keep the look more rustic.

If needed at some point in the future, Zoli will fill in the cracks and do a solid paint cover.

Our grass is still VERY green for September.

This is looking at the back of our house.

When we sit on our screened porch, Gnomey and Nipper are always close by.

Pretty in Pastels

Isn't this finished donation quilt pretty? 

The colors are so soft - I just love it! 

It's a disappearing pinwheel made with plain white cotton and pastel batiks that I bought in Alaska 3 years ago.

I quilted it with a loopy flower design. It has been laundered so it has that beautiful crinkled look.

The back is pieced.

I've been busy in the past 4 day! 

There are now
  • 7 quilt tops waiting-to-be-pinned (2 more have been pinned)
  • 3 quilts waiting-to-be-quilted (2 have been quilted)
  • 3 quilts waiting-to-have-binding-hand-sewn ( 1 has been finished)
There is a lot happening around here including our Village's major festival this weekend. Not only will we be enjoying it, we'll be working some of the time. And I need to make three pumpkin pies. The house is 1/2 cleaned - I only have 1/2 to go. The cars were serviced today. AND Saturday is Ray's birthday. It looks like I won't get much more quilting done before we leave on Monday. I will be working on binding in my spare time. Of course, I should pack...

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Finishes and organization!

I have two finishes. The first is a Christmas wallhanging that I began last December. The parts of the tree are machine appliquéd and I scribble quilted around each piece so each puffed up. I'm looking forward to hanging this in December.

The other is a very small quilt, about 10" square. I finished this on the recent retreat. It was a kit and was supposed to be larger but this is all I could find so I just decided to finish what I had.

I have now organized all of the unfinished quilt tops in this house. I've measured each of them and written down the size of each. I have fabric for all of the backs although most of the backs need to be pieced. I have been making a HUGE effort to get things moving along. As of right now, there are 

  • 9 tops waiting-to-be-pinned with one of the nine partially done:

  • 3 quilts waiting-to-be-quilted with one about 1/2 done. I love the light coming through this top.

  • and  2 quilts waiting-to-have-binding-hand-sewn.  

Before we leave for Virginia to meet our oldest son and his family, I hope to accomplish a little more. I have 8 days and just a FEW other things to get done!

This past week, I've only seen one quilt that I just have to make so maybe I really will make some progress!

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Good Finish

That would be a Life is Good finish. The Life is Good t-shirt quilt is done! 

We wear Life is Good t-shirts all of the time - we really, really like them! We had some old shirts that had small holes or stains or some other problem and we really hated to just throw the shirts away. So... I made a quilt that comprises 27 different shirts. 

Some were old enough that they had tags inside the neck. I was able to salvage a few tags. 

Jake appears a lot - he's always on the back of our shirts and many times on the front. Sometimes, the Life is Good story is on the inside of the back of a shirt; it is in this quilt too. 

This quilt is filled with optimism since each shirt oozes with optimism. All 27 shirt fronts are in the quilt. 

Every shirt has a tag - DO WHAT YOU LIKE LIKE WHAT YOU DO. There are 27 little tags on this quilt; I salvaged every one. I love that motto!

The quilt is lap size - about 55" by 55".

Ray was really excited about this quilt so I decided to use Minkee on the back instead of flannel. Although I've used Minkee many times, I've never used it on one of our quilts. I love the soft feel and look forward to snuggling under it.

I borrowed our neighbors' fence for one last photo - it was a little breezy.

In case you are wondering, we have plenty of Life is Good shirts left in our closets. And I just found a few more very old ones in another pile!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

September Quilting Retreat - Projects

Some of the projects from our retreat:

Polly's baby quilt

Margaret's pillow cover

Becky's small quilt

My layer cake quilt

Kay's table mat

Marge's purse

Margaret's pillowcases

My North Carolina Shop Hop Quilt from some years ago!

Barb's quilt

My small star quilt

Kate's snowman

Kate's snowman with all of the snowflakes

Becky's Quilter's Quilt

Kay's quilt that will become a tree skirt

Gail's carrot placemat  
I love the front; the back is just ok.

Becky's snowman wallhanging

Barb's small quilt

Margaret's quilt for Sebastion

Some people worked so fast that they had time to rest! 

It was a great retreat and we all look forward to our next one.


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