May 29, 2009

vacation's over--time to report in

I'm back! We left a day later than originally planned but I got a ride up to central IL a week ago Thursday with my friend Marilyn and her husband Roger. They have family in NE, MO, IA and MN and are so kind to let me tag along.

One of my brothers lives in a small town just to the west of Bloomington-Normal and about a mile off the interstate. I called ahead to tell my folks to meet me at Phil's about 8 since they had a short drive ahead of them. The plan was to just knock of the door and have the kids answer it saying "Aunt Linda's here!" since they didn't know I was coming. That kinda backfired, LOL. It looked like no one was home. We all were out on the curb chatting and saying our goodbye's when my brother came out to see who's car and truck were out front. My SIL and oldest nephew were at event in Bloomington while the other nephew and the two nieces were over at a neighbor's home.

WOOHOO! Since Mom and I are Cardinal fans, he had news that Albert Pujols had hit a homer than knocked the "I" out of the "Big Mac" sign. We went back over on Saturday evening for a cookout at their home so I did get to visit with Phil and his family while I was back.

Friday Mom and I got busy pinning her donation quilt tops. We always do something quilt related together if time permits. Above you see one of the 6 I helped her with--her version of Hanky Panky, a Darlene Zimmerman pattern. Mom has "Two of a Kind" like mine (also by Zimmeman and her daughter) started but she is using 2 inch finished squares and mine are cut 3 inch. I think she is using some authentic 30's-40's fabrics in hers from one of my paternal aunts.

One of my sisters who works in one of the area hospitals had a short shift on Friday so she came up to see us. We all went out for lunch at a local restaurant. She kept us entertained with stories of her recent experiences with jury selection. Cracked us up! She had come up for rhubarb from Dad's garden patch as well as to see me so we had a large bag picked for her and the freezer. Can't find it down in AL and my guess is that the soil isn't right and it is too hot down here for it?

No sewing this trip for me but I did get the binding completed on my on of my Twisted Sister quilts. Since we both send quilts to Wrap Them In Love, she will mail it off with hers and save me lugging it back home. I got Mom started on a Twisted Sister top of her own----she is going to do one in a light background and one with a dark in the same colorways so she was busy cutting strips.

Her other project involved some EQ work. We have a target range of 40 x 60 for the donation quilts so that means we often have to re-size the blocks from things we spot in our books and patterns to meet that criteria. She had been string piecing bands of strips and strings and had about 900 inches of the stuff rolled up and thought Evelyn Sloppy's "On the Wild Side" (or something named like that) from her Strips and Strings book was one she wanted to use them on BUT the block was too large for her needs. She is going with a 7.5 inch finished blocks and changing the sashing size a bit along with colors to suit her stash--something like this.

One cool thing was that we were able to print off a template piece for the trapezoid shape she needed and stick that on to a companion angle ruler for easier cutting.

Let's see what else did I do? Stitched on my redwork Santa block. Read 4 books---one I had started here at home but the others were some we checked out from the local library. Sunday was church and afterwards I met my godchild/niece Allison for lunch at Flat Top's. Yummy, stir fry! She had had a birthday the day I arrived so I planned to treat her to lunch. Turned out that she knows the manager, best friends of the guy she is dating. The check came and there was no charge! How sweet of Aaron to do that for both of us. From there I went on to decorate the family graves for my husband and ran a couple of errands.

Monday Allison picked us up and we traveled up to Bourbonnais for a cookout at my brother's home. I had not seen her parents and my nephew for at least 2 years. Allison's other set of grandparents came too and it is always nice to visit with them. Good people, good food.

Tuesday I ran a couple more errands and picked up some gondolas from Avanti's for our lunch. Yummers! Boy, do I wish I could make bread like that! These are always a favorite for anyone who attended Illinois State University or resident of the Twin Cities. I didn't get to Schooner's for onion rings and a burger this trip but we hit Steak and Shake in Clarksville, TN on the way up so a few of those "traditional" tastes were satisfied.

I flew home on Wednesday into ATL Hartsfield. The flight was a little late leaving BMI and of course, DJ left too early even with factoring in catching the shuttle from the offsite parking lot and waited about an hour for me to get up to baggage claim. We ate late lunch/early supper on the way home once we were out on I-20 a ways so I didn't get home till about 5:30-6 p.m.

Of course. first day back always means unpacking, laundry, laying in groceries etc. DJ didn't starve but he doesn't really cook either. He said the oven and stovetop had not been turned on since I left and he had only run the dishwasher once--meaning, carry out, sandwiches, Hungry Man dinners in the microwave once the leftovers I had set up for him ran out. I asked him if he was bragging about that, LOL. Oh well---he is a big boy and that was his choice of meals though he had a few things he could have tried to fix or re-heat from the freezer.

I got a call from Susan, the long arm quilter, while I was gone that my Cheese and Cracker quilt was finished and ready for pickup. LOL, see you in a week. I ran up to Boaz this morning to pick it up. I hope that you click the photo bigger to see what a wonderful job she did on it! Freehand feathers in the sashing bits between the blocks and she did diagonal lines in the blocks themselves and the modified piano key border. Of course, Skyler needed to check it out and give it the kitty stamp of approval! I picked up a nice pink that goes well with the backing for the binding while at the shop. Not that I am in any hurry to put it on----way too hot for a quilt at night and I am not tired of looking at the bargello either though it is used as a spread more than a quilt at this point.

Susan and Joan had been asked to make two quilts for a woman that incorporates clothing her daughters had worn. We had talked about this when I dropped the CNC top off. I guess they thought it might be easier to just ask me to do make the tops which is fine with me. The client had brought them two bins of clothes, one for each daughter, and requested pink sashing/background for one and blue for the other. Susan cut the estimated amount of yardage I might need from two bolts she had in stock while I was there. This eliminated mailing anything since I was there already anyway. I'll figure out something---it looked like a lot of t-shirts in the box though I did not closely inspect the contents. DJ hauled the bins in from the car and parked them in my bedroom for now--give me a few days and a 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon so I can get some interfacing and I'll get started.

I had received an email from Debora, my friend Joy's friend and my friend too, about 7 quilts that Joy had started that she had intended to go to "the babies" as Joy always said when referring to Wrap 'Em quilts. Debora and Joy's daughter wondered if me (and/or the Belles) would want to complete them for the kids. Of course, I would be proud to do this last thing for her. There wouldn't be a Belles except for Joy and I getting busy making quilts from WTIL after all. Debora has family in the area and will drop them by next week.

With all that it looks like I will be back to stitching around here in no time. Once I got done quilting all but one in the stack, I swapped out machines and haven't sewn a lick since. I was thinking about cutting out the June "Be Attitudes" block and rough cutting the applique sections after supper-----yeah, that's the ticket!

Thanks for stopping by and reading through the chatter. That's what you get from me not posting for two weeks, LOL.


  1. Wow, you've been busy! The quilting on your quilt is beautiful.

  2. What a wonderful busy vacation! Love the CC~awesome quilting :)

  3. What a great vacation...your Cheese and Crackers looks great. And it got Skylar's approval.

  4. I see your sweet Skylar has the best spot! I love your cheese and crackers, the quilting adds so much.

  5. yes, your CnC turned out wonderful-even if it is too hot to use it. wonderful visit, wonderful photos of Skyler. time away is always such fun with family. and, boy do you have a lot on your plate to do now!


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