Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A fun long weekend

Last Friday, we headed to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Ray's brother, Ron, and his significant other, Pam, live there. We had the use of Ron's apartment for the weekend. Free lodging - Nice! The four of us spent a little time in the NewBo District late Friday afternoon. The New Bohemian Main Street District is a real happening area. Many of the old buildings have been rehabbed into neat studios, shops, lofts, cafes, pubs, and restaurants. It was wonderful to see the architecture and the re-purposing of the buildings. Many had the original brick walls and the tin ceilings.

Pam was so gracious to search out a quilt shop for me in that area, Delve/MIY. Delve/Make It Yourself, has a number of designers who have their designs printed to the fabric in Korea, I think. 

The shop is all about color - it was SO FUN!!!

Of course I found a lot I wanted to take home but I settled for just four pieces.
The piece on the right is super neat!
We had dinner at Bata's. Ray and I had a Flatbread Brick Oven Pizza on Naan - Smoked Chicken. We thought it might not be enough for both of us, so we also ordered the Bata Bread - "Nick's famous flatbread with butter, garlic, brown sugar, mozzarella and provolone cheeses". Oh My! Everything was wonderful.

On Saturday, Ray had a photography workshop with Moose Peterson, a well-known photographer. The workshop was the reason for our visit. Ray said it was fantastic. So he had a great day! 

I also had a great day! Ron and Pam were my  guides for the day while Ron was also our chauffeur. We began the day at a quilt shop. These two know how to make my day fantastic! 

Inspired to Sew is a shop full of inspiration and lots of gorgeous fabric, much of it bright colors - my favorite. 

I wanted it all, well maybe there were three bolts I wasn't as fond of... 

I settled for just a couple of pieces:

Our day continued on - we went to EcoFest which was in the NewBo District. It was great to go back because there was so much that we didn't get to see Friday night. I still didn't get to see it all so we will have to return someday! On Saturday, there were many tents set up for the fest and live music. We took a tour bus to Mount Trashmore, the highest point in Cedar Rapids. 
Ron and Pam on Mount Trashmore
It was quite a view looking down on the city. I found the trip very educational. The whole day was FUN! We had lunch at the Parlor City Pub & Eatery. I would return just to have the Apple Chicken Salad again!

When Ray finished his workshop, we all went out to eat at Zio Johnos Spaghetti House. Rumor has it that Ron moved to Cedar Rapids because of this spaghetti! We thought it was delicious too but we aren't planning a move!

On Sunday, Ray and I headed south to Boonville, Missouri. We rented a house that was nice, clean, and comfy. We walked a little of the Katy trail and got onto the 'new bridge'. The bridge is an old train trestle that has just opened for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Visitor Center in Boonville, Missouri
We visited Warm Springs Ranch, the breeding farm for the Budweiser Clydesdales. The ranch is beautiful. I loved the white fences and the red buildings. Everything was pristine.

We had a tour and learned so much. We saw many of the horses and a few of their foals. I think about half of the foals have been born - 32 are expected this year. The next foal was expected just hours after we were there. Each weighs about 150 pounds at birth! 

This little one was about 8 weeks old. 

This big fellow has the job of greeter. He was available for photos with anyone in our group.

We headed home this morning. It was a long drive and we encountered some storms but it all ended well. Now, we have things to do, people to see, and places to go. It's time to get busy!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Zigzag Quilt

I have a finish! It's been a while but I do get in a little stitching time every so often. I began this quilt at a retreat in early February. I used a photo on Pinterest as inspiration. I cannot find the origin of the photo so I can't give credit for the original idea. 

Today is another gorgeous day here so I used our yard and our neighbor's fence for photos. The quilt is about 57" square. I used Dream Cotton batting. 

The quilt is pieced from my stash. I buy white fabric by the bolt so there is always white available. 

I quilted this using large loops. You can see a close up of the quilting in this postI used Aurifil thread to piece and quilt this.

I think the back is rather neat too.

I love the bright colors, especially the orange, and the design of this quilt. I'm putting it in my donation pile and hope someone else will love it too.

... the path of progress has never taken a straight line, 
but has always been a zigzag course ...
~Kelly Miller

Sunday, April 3, 2016

It was a great retreat!

For the past 5 years, I've been a part of this great group of women. 
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We go on retreat each year at the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center in Oregon, Illinois. We try to get together for lunch at least one other time during the year. That means we aren't all together often but you'd never know it when we gather each year for our retreat! We talk, we eat, we laugh, we share, and we SEW, SEW, SEW!

Betsy did handwork and had to leave us a day early for a family obligation. 
We all had phone time!
Ann worked on a number of scrappy blocks. One had over 50 pieces.

There were a number of finished tops and even some finished quilts! I'm not sure I got photos of everything - I was pretty busy having fun!

Krista's quilts:

Sandy's quilts:

Barb's quilts:

I didn't take any photos of Polly's 365 Challenge blocks but they were intriguing. Polly's quilts:

 Saundra's Disappearing 9-Patch:

Saundra also had a darling monster quilt but I only got a bit of it in this photo.

And last, my quilts:

I had a great time but it is nice to be home. I'm unpacked and I know I will sleep well tonight!


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