Aug 30, 2014

sew-in's and quilt groups

Each quilt group has its own unique blend of attributes, it would seem.  Some are guilds so they are run by the Roberts Rule of Order and parliamentary procedure; others are more informal.  Some have outside speakers or imported talent, with slide shows or trunk shows while other the programs or demos are done by group members.  Some are hands on and others just talk about quilting.   Some you get stuck on some committee and going to endless board meetings or quilt show meetings until you swear you are going to have your eyes roll back up into your head retreading the same ground over and over.   Some are more into community service projects and others are more into workshops, field trips and traveling to quilt shows hither and yon.  Some are different just because of who makes up the group.  Some I know would not be a good fit for me and no way will I ever darken their door.  Still, you learn something from every group of quilters that you are involved with.  It is our nature to share and do what we can to preserve the art of quilting and pass it on.  That should be the goal of any quilt group, in my humble opinion.

Personally I love hands on, the sharing and collaboration.  Friendship Quilters is a guild and I think I mostly go for the sew-ins.  I was an officer (secretary) for two years and now do the website and newsletter.   I know practically everyone in the group, and they know me.  Good bunch!   So, in spite of the fact that I had a lot of catching up to do when I got back from my week away Jane, Aline and I were off to Pell City on 22nd for one of the sew-in days.  This one was the Christmas in August one so Loretta and Lorri had some projects lined up.  Friday some of the ladies were working on cute holiday aprons.  Another day hanging towels and then double ended oven mitts using  THIS  site as a jumping off point.   Some of the materials were provided for the "class" if you signed up.  We were not sure which day we were going to be there so just asked for the pattern.    They were doing it on Saturday so Loretta gave us the link and the insul-bright.  I'm not quite ready to play with it yet.

I was working on assembly the blocks for the happy couple's tree skirt wedding present.  No, I am still not going to show it to you as it is going to have to be one of my See You in September Hop items (I'm due up on the 16th),  I had all the rows completed by the time I left though there was one more Joing seam required.   Tuesday at Belles I got the sections joined and bordered.  Thursday I got the backing and batting prepped and went back over the church to pin it.  I'll be quilting once I update the blog with this post.

There were door prizes, gifties, gift bags and smoked chicken for lunch courtesy of one of the member's husbands.  We have been brown bagging it or running out for something this year instead of having a hospitality committee provide the food as we had in the past.  You bring something to share or snack on and that arrangement seems to be working.  Friday was more like a potluck meal then.  They also had quilter garage sale items set up.

This was the swag in my bag though I wound up with two magazines and/or patterns.   Sarah who I had been sitting by at lunch had gotten the book  you see below in her bag....... and she had donated it!!    I swapped her my Quilter's Newsletter magazine from mine.  Jackie said we did not empty out the old magazines even when they had dropped the price to 10 cents each so they put them in the gift bags instead, LOL.  The pattern was one that Celisia got but she didn't want to swap for the book.

I got these for half off the marked price at one of the girl's tables.  A set of Quilt in a Day fussy cut rulers and the other is a Magic Square ruler for marking, cutting half square triangles.  I liked the idea of the slotted lines on the ruler as the quick quarter thing I have while it works fine, I have lost one and snapped another in half like a twig when I got hung up with it somewhere.  We'll see how this does.  To avoid her having to make change I also got a package of magnetic clasps like you use on a purse, not shown.

This little present came with a caveat "don't get excited about what the box says as that may not be what is inside"  Sounds like home and the growing up years, LOL.  Loretta's mom lost her husband the week after I lost my DJ.   Because of structural problems to her home, she has moved in with Loretta till they can build her a mother-in-law spot.  Miss Annie Laura is really having to downsize.  Earlier she donated quite a bit of her sewing materials to the group and for the sew-in some of her Santa collection.  This is the Santa that came home with me.  He will hold a cheese ball inside his belly area with a matching knife.  Oh and you should have seen how cute she was all dressed up like Mrs. Claus!  That is one lady who really gets into Christmas, I tell you.  LOL

A fun day!  I mostly worked on the newsletter on Saturday as the girls were giving me stuff to include in the September addition.  I figured I was less likely to misplace some of the papers or omit something if I got started with it while fresh on my mind.  That was a good plan actually as I was able to get it out a few days earlier than usual.

As I said I finished up the sewing on my tree skirt on Tuesday at Bama Belles.   There were just 6 of us there this time.  I showed Bev how to use the twister ruler to make the wreath we had explored in the past.  I gave mine to my niece/god daughter last year and half thought about doing it again.  Bev had her base already pieced so it was just as matter of giving her a few hints.  Like cut all the in the same direction either up or across.  Pin the sections to a piece of batting so you can keep them in order for sewing.  Mark a dot on the ruler with nail polish or something so you consistently put the ruler in the same position when you line it up over the seam cross sections.   Though I had brought my revolving mat in case she wanted to use it, she and Donna teamed up with Donna standing on the other side of the kitchen "island" cutting the other side so neither one had to be a contortionist.   BTW, the pattern is just two pictures essentially on the quilting board site

Lois had some neat tops to pin and did so with help from Donna.  Janet and I consulted about how to cut more 4 patch posie blocks from her fall themed fabric---the "notes" had gotten cold, LOL.  Bev got back to the quilt finishing she was working on as that Lick Skillet Quilt show is only about 12 days away.  Most of the group belongs to more than one quilt group and this is their first ever show.  Valera wanted some opinions about which inner border fabric to use on a large Christmas project she has been working on.  She also had a scaled down version of that ubiquitous 10 minute table runner that seems to have made the rounds not only on the net but here locally.  I love that small one!
I know that the guild members have each had to make and donate 5 items for the guild country store.  Maybe these were her items??  They went off to lunch while I had brought something and I intended to get my sewing done before I went home--and accomplished my goal.  I had not brought my backing though and then wished I had!

Oh what kind of a name is "Lick Skillet",  you might wonder? It is the original name of Oxford, Alabama, back in 1830 .  Oxford  is more of an upscale sounding name and it was renamed 22 years later when the town was incorporated.  You can read one version of the story behind the unusual name on the city pages HERE while wikipedia relates another.

You may recall my saying that I had mailed a box of stuff back to myself from my folks?  It arrived.

I was doing a bit of knitting on the trip as I need some replacement dish cloths.  This is the 2nd one and I following the directions on it, LOL.

Mom likes these crocheted ones that I think you use a knit-crochet type deal on.  That is not the right name but the right name is not coming to me at the moment.  I've got one but never used it and she sent this one with me so I would see how they assemble.  I made the first dish cloth super huge on the way out to Denver mostly because I couldn't get up and get the instructions out of my bag (1st row, seat belt light on) to start the decreases, LOL.  Looks like it is on steroids.  I boogered up one corner of it too.  I think I started INCREASING again as it almost looked like I was making a handle for it instead of decreasing to 4 stitches and binding off.  Talking with my family and not paying attention!!!  The other pile is some pineapple log cabin foundations stamped on muslin, from Alice via Warren.

  This is that packet of half yard Civil War prints I mentioned in the last post.  Again from Alice via Warren.

She was exploring curved piecing.   The blue and white mini piece was made from a large polka dot fabric while the other one looked as though she was trying her hand quilting stitches.  There are a boat load of the red and yellow blocks and a boatload more cut out.  Not entirely sure where this was headed but it will show up in donation quilts.  Play with them and see if a pattern emerge, I guess.

On the home front,  it is looking like it might pour any minute after being overcast most of the day.  Weather dude said it might by evening hours and into Sunday.  Looks like that might be spot on.  We are presently about 3 inches behind on our normal rain for which is a departure from last year and being about 12-14 over that.  The yard looks dry again and only the weeds---and the kudzu, of course---growing.  The kudzu will slow down after it flowers but a good bit of it has returned in that strip I had cleared off earlier this summer.  As long as it is not trailing along the ground I will probably leave it alone.    I am on deadline for the hop after all and not willing to go roast outside in the 90-95 degree temperatures at this point to beat it back.

It gets this hot and humid and it is all I can do to want to walk my dog out in the lane.  We go into the city park daily and do about 2 1/2 laps.  They have just completed a project on the park and along the Chief Ladiga Trail to open up the back of the park that faces west  so you can view the trail better  I hate that they took those trees down but I am like that about any tree, really.  They probably have their reasons and some plan that I am not aware of.   It will reduce the shade along the trail more than the park but not so much the time of day that Oscar and I go.  Yesterday they were blowing straw bales over the freshly graded dirt so we gave them a wide arc.

We also have a new neighbor at the end of the lane loop.  The house had been empty since before Christmas anyway.  Looks to be a retired couple.  I see them outside on the porch when Oscar and I have been out walking in the lane and have spoken to them, wave as I go by but so far I have not made any baked goods or formerly introduced myself.   Maybe once it cools down a bit and I don't mind turning on the oven.  As new folks come in another couple will be leaving.  Robbie, Glynda and Robert's son and his wife just closed on a house and will be moving about 10 miles or so from here.

This holiday weekend is going okay so far.  DJ and I had no traditions as might have previous ones.  I might cook out, I might not.   Didn't go anywhere.  I probably should have put the flag up but didn't mostly that was because of the forecast.  I might have to get up on the ladder in the pouring rain to retrieve it.  Anyway, I hope that you have a happy and safe holiday weekend.  I know folks around here are just happy to have college and high school football back.  Alabama is playing in the Georgia Dome I think but Auburn vs Arkansas game may be a little dampened.

THX for stopping by---------I'll be posting the See You in September blog hop schedule soon as it starts on the 3rd  (Wednesday!)  and runs through the 16th.  No way am I ready for my day either. gotta hit it!

Aug 29, 2014

Ilinois leg of the trip

Okay here are the two pictures that I wanted to post with the wedding write-up. Love it!  Congratulations to you both.

The plane got in on Sunday night about 6.  I only had a couple of days to actually spend in Illinois visiting with my family this trip as the return flight would leave at about 7 on Wednesday morning.

Monday my family from the Bourbonnais area came down and joined us for lunch.   That group is comprised of brother Dave, wife Ann and their adult children Allison and Drew.  Allison's cocker spaniel Sophie joined us too.  

I don't think that Drew normally would be wearing a hat but Dad had just given him some from his Fasking Hat collection, a former service station in their small town.   All that fabric in front of him on the table??  Civil War prints that we would mail back to me--at the time 160.00 worth and all half yards!!  The woman it belonged to is now in the  nursing home and her husband has given Mom a good bit of fabric the past couple of years since he knows she makes donation quilts.

 Here is the "grand"dog.  Allison is a nurse and works 12 hour shifts so Sophie spends a bit of time at Dave and Ann's.  Not sure if this was before or after Sophie's rooting in my knitting bag in the living room and finding that chocolate muffin that I had tossed in there Sunday morning before we headed to the airport.  Drew had to clean up after her.

This is the mandevilla plant that Dad had gotten to put on DJ's grave site.  He had planted it in the ground only to find out that the cemetery would prefer that not be done.  He dug it up and brought it home where it has continually bloomed, they said.  Lovely plant and I appreciate the effort.  Dad and I had made a trip out to the grave site and also looked at some of the headstones.  He will look into pricing for the various styles and hopefully but the next trip back I can go see them personally at Pontiac Granite.   I should have gotten some sort of temporary marker on there but I honestly do not recall having that part of the conversation with the funeral home.

I had hoped to make connections with DJ's son and daughter-in-law Monday evening but they must have been unavailable.  There was such a small window to meet up anyway this trip.

I borrowed the car on Tuesday to meet up with Diane in north Normal.  We were off to lunch at the American Harvest Eatery in Springfield.   Well, not without making a couple of wrong turns first.  Approaching it from a different route sort of messed Diane up I think because we did not run by  Blake and his bride Julia's home first.  They live and work in Springfield and this is probably their favorite spot to eat.  They know the waiter well enough that he knows THEM by name and they refer to him as their waiter, even giving him a Christmas present.  Julia lived near there when she and Blake were first getting together.  Blake is a "foodie" and an adventurous cook so if you look at the menu on the link, you may see why they enjoy it so much.  Diane got a couple meals to go for her daughter Kristine and son-ion -law Andy as we were headed their next.

I had not met Julia before Tuesday.   They married in Denver as well back in October 2012.  When I was back in IL in October 2013, they were gone to Japan to visit her sister and her husband.  Then she was working ( a nurse practitioner) in February when we had the funeral service and Blake stood in for them both.  A short visit but now we each can put a face to the name when it pops up in email or on Facebook.  I am happy that we had the chance to meet.  They seem well suited and happy in their marriage.

Next we were off across the Illinois countryside as Kristine, Andy and baby Lily live a bit north of Champaign-Urbana, off I-74.  I missed Andy as he was at work and we had to leave for our next stop about the time he would be getting home.  But the ladies had been to the pediatrician before we arrived.  She was just a day shy of 6 weeks and was up to almost 9 lbs from her birth weight.

Nana Diane took this picture of the two of us in front of the Storm at Seas wall hanging I had made for the nursery.

Here we are getting acquainted in the living room before I had to hand her back to Nana.  Then I got to play with their dog Sidney tossing her toys about a bit.  I need to find Oscar some like those as they looked fairly tear proof!

Next stop---back to Bloomington and Schooner's for some of their onion rings and a pizza pan sized tenderloin.  They just ask how many buns to you need and slice it up accordingly.  From gourmet food to bar food, LOL but man, do I miss those onion rings when I live about 700 miles from the best ones!  I hate the breaded kind and these are battered fried and totally not good for you.  Maybe it is a good thing then??  Joining us for dinner was our youngest brother Phil, wife Jen and niece Elizabeth.   Ted and Laura both had practice for the sport they are each involved in.  Their oldest son John is a college man in Missouri State in Springfield, MO and he had already left for school.

Jen and I discovered that we are on the same flight out of Bloomington and the Central Illinois Regional airport the next morning.   My American flight back to Atlanta routed me through DFW first while Jen was headed on to the Austin area to visit with her best friend Martha.  I was a few rows up and across the aisle and we had to split up for the skyway trams for the next leg of the journey.  Still, I got an extra hug out of the deal!

I got to Hartsfeld airport by noon my time meeting Jane and Hugh in American's baggage claim area.  Initially we thought we might stop at Five Guys for a burger but could not locate the restaurant in the mess of strip mall buildings.  However, Jason's Deli off Camp Point Parkway was probably a better choice anyway.  Not far from the off airport parking area we use too.

I walked in the door here at home about 4 p.m. with a cat and dog who seemed happy to see me.  Of course, they were both vying for my attention.  Glynda had kept them apart as much as possible keeping the gate up between the kitchen and living room.  She was surprised to see just how aggressive Skyler acts around the dog.  Frankly, I am too as he is a cat without front claws.    

At one point that first evening home I was another room, found Oscar had knocked the gate down between hallway and the living room, crawling under it.  I did not have to look too long to find out where he had gotten to.  Just follow the yipping, hissing, snarling, barking and yowling.  They were BOTH under the bed in the master bedroom.  Oscar was however, the only one who came out when called.   The next day, the cross bar broke on the baby gate.   He went back in his crate and I was off to Walmart for another gate,  pronto, this time from the pet department.  It does seem to be working better.

The other more recent Oscar story?  We were out walking in the other day when before I could stop him, he picked up a dead mouse we had not seen on our earlier trip.  I think it was one of  Kit Kit's "toys" that she tired of playing with.  Mice freak me out to begin with and the sight of it with part of the head stuck out one side of the jaw and the tail sticking out the other about did me in.  He absolutely would not spit it out---that might have upped the gross factor anyway.  I think he chomped it down or he may have hidden parts of it by one of the azalea bushes.  I kept him in the kitchen area hoping he would not hack it up.  I worried if he had gotten a hold on one that had been poisoned, would he get sick too.  Would he be pooping out fur and bones the next day's walks or obvious remains?  UCK!!  So far he seems to have had no ill effect and that was on Saturday.

I want to thank my sisters for arranging the trip, Jane and Hugh for taking me over and bringing me back from Atlanta, the Belles for the birthday gift of trip spending money and my neighbors for tending to the critters and keeping an eye things at home.   A special thanks to Diane for arranging such a wonderful day with family and a special shout-out to my parents for the bed and the use of the car  providing that  place to come "home" to.  I love and appreciate you all more than you will ever know.

Next time out some notes about the guild sew-in and the Bama Belles meeting probably.   This is by the way, my 1300th post.  I began blogging in February 2006.  Still at it 8 1/2 year later so I guess I DO find things to talk about.  THX for stopping by----------------------

Aug 27, 2014

Part 1: Colorado and the wedding

Before you think I dropped off the face of the earth, I had better post!  I was gone for a week. August 13 through 20th and home since about 4 p.m. Wednesday evening.  A week has passed.  Every time I thought I might be able to sit down to update my blog, something else seemed to come up.  In fact, I am still sort of catching up, LOL.  I barely got back and it was off to one of the guild sew-in days on Friday.  Yesterday was Bama Belles.  It is also time for me to be getting out the guild newsletter---did much of that on Saturday because the gals were giving some of the stuff that needed to go in it on Friday, LOL.

BUT every body keeps asking about the wedding and getting to see the baby.  I keep saying I'll post to the blog including pictures.  Guess I better get to it, huh?   This will be long, just saying.

I knew going in that my sister Janet needed some help in the kitchen.  She had arranged my flight to get into Denver in the early afternoon on Wednesday (the 13th) for that very reason.  My brother-in-law Rich picked me up from the airport, about an hour away from their Littleton home.   I  had told her to give me a knife and point me to the kitchen in our messages back and forth.    Little did I know just how much she did need me to help!   In fact, we had to make most of the wedding food, not just feed the house guests and my niece's friends from college for a few nights.   Fajitas and Pizza Pasta was on the menu that I knew of.  Jan mentioned something about the caterers not being available as soon as initially hoped.  A little cryptic perhaps, LOL.  It was on messenger, I didn't press for details.  She was up to her neck in alligators with wedding details, after all.

My sister is very organized and that was a good thing.  The wedding was going to be held in Buena Vista, Colorado on a ranch that Greg's aunt and uncle (Rosie and Gary) own, some 2- 2 1/2 hours away, up in the mountains.  Everything had to be taken up there: all the food, all the decorations, guests, luggage ----everything from wedding central AKA the living room, the stuff for the bachelorette party........practically the kitchen sink!

All the menus were planned.   She knew what we would be having for supper that night and Thursday night (3 kinds of soup)  when Amber's 6 friends from college were driving in from Des Moines, Iowa and points east.  That stuff was already made and just needed heating.   She had meat marinating in the fridge for the fajitas.   Jan and I sat down and figured out what we could do ahead in preparations over the three day span based on the menu.  Because she would be helping to set up the decorations plus be involved in wedding rehearsal on Friday, could I oversee the kitchen details at the borrowed church kitchen with some of Amber's friends?  Sure! I was there to help.   With our lists made and action plan set up, she and I headed off to Sam's while Rich had his list of items to get from the other area supermarkets.  Turns out he was kind of the on call shopper over the next few days!

Wednesday and early Thursday I sliced my way through probably two dozen bell peppers of various colors.  Some were for the fajita meal and most for the veggie trays at the wedding.  I lost count of how many onions I sliced or chopped. Wednesday I chopped and Jan and Rich made up two kinds of salsa, a tomato one and what I would call Texas caviar or something similar.  Jan browned the meats for the pizza pasta and the Greatest Queso that Ever Lived.  We should have owned stock in the ziploc bag company for how many we were packing up.  We had to keep things separated out for what was wedding food to transport over to their nearby church refrigerator and what needed to stay at the house.  That would be important when it came time to load up the coolers----all five of them!!

The wedding menu for 50-60 people was---

  • pulled pork which my sister had already cooked up, shredded and froze up in ziploc bags
  • fruited Chicken salad--not sure whose recipe she used but it called for Worcestershire sauce in it which is a little different that most you see
  • Spinach Salad with a variety of fruit, similar to what is served at Panera Bread
  • those good Sister Schuler yeast rolls to use for the sandwiches
  • deviled eggs
  • veggie trays
  • Watergate salad, the bride's favorite
  • Mexican Pinwheels----one of Greg's favorites; the groom's family made these up but from Melanie's description this is a similar recipe.
  • They had a cake to slice just for the pictures more or less but served red velvet cupcakes from a bakery
  • coffee, iced tea, hot tea, lemonade
Thursday I set to work poaching a bunch of chicken breasts for the chicken salad and cutting it up into cubes---like, 18 cups worth by the time I was done.  We would finish up the dish on Friday at the church.  Later Jan and Rich grilled up the fajita meat, slightly underdone for reheating.  I sliced and bagged up the chicken, while Jan packed up the beef.  Amber's friends arrived for supper and were to spend the night at Greg's mom and step-dad's (Melanie and Glenn) home as they were already up in Buena Vista.  My sister Diane and husband Rick got into the airport around 8 pm and rented a car to drive down to Littleton.  We didn't see much of them before we all headed to bed!

Friday dawned and it was time to load up the cars, the coolers and everything but the kitchen sink!  As I said 5 coolers had to go with just the food, some to the ranch, some to the church for preparation.  Jan and Rich ended taking up both cars and pulling a small trailer.  Amber had her girlfriends and drove Greg's car with all their luggage.  The rental car was loaded up as well.  We were supposed to be to Buena Vista at 10.  Three cars left and Diane and Rick were coming up a little later with the things that needed to go to the rental house.  (We could not check in till 3 pm) 

 It was an outdoor wedding so the photographer needed to know about the light patterns, food preparation needed to done, decorating done, tables set up and any number of details to attend to.
When we got there, the guys were still working on building the stage area with seating left to go.  (Log sections that they would attach two by fours to).  They had expanded the size of the path on the hill we needed to walk down to get to the creek and pasture area building in steps to the bridge that traversed it in previous weekend trips.  Needless to say, the rehearsal didn't apparently get started as soon as they hoped.  Rehearsal luncheon became rehearsal supper.  Diane said that rehearsal took about 3 hours and in the meantime she had polished all the silver teapots, trays, communion goblet etc.  

Meanwhile my helpers Katy and Alicia and I spent about 4 hours at the church.  The caterer's basically were to set up, serve, replenish, make the dish look pretty, bake the rolls and partially slice them, set up the beverages.  They would not arrive till late Friday and there was a funeral at the church on Saturday so they had to move all that stuff back to the ranch bright and early Saturday morning.  SO our job was to ready things for them.  We had fruit to prep for the spinach salad, strawberries to float for garnish in the lemonade.  Watergate salad to mix, veggies to wash, canned fruit to drain, celery to slice for the veggie trays and some to chop for the chicken salad.  Iced tea concentrate to brew.  Alicia had some cooking class experience and good knife skills and Katy was a good helper, doing whatever we asked of her. 

Our biggest task was probably making the deviled eggs.   Jan and I had discussed whether to buy eggs pre-boiled or fix them ahead but vetoed both because of cost or the fact that they might get rubbery and icky.  Surely we could buy a few dozen locally?  They came back with 3-18 egg cartons and we cooked them all.  Their hands were about frozen trying to peel all those eggs.  I worked on the filling and another task while they kept plugging.   Somehow we had enough of them that looked good to fill the trays Melanie had provided.   Alicia piped in the filling, making them look pretty.  At that point I said "okay, bonus salad with the remainders" and Alicia chopped them up for egg salad.  The bowl was about half gone at the reception so that was probably a good thing we did make it up.

Rehearsal supper was brats, burgers and green beans cooked over a camp fire in cast iron pots which gave them an interesting smoky taste.  Some other things as well but that is what sticks in my head.  I know I was pretty hungry by then though we had been dealing with food for hours, that was for the wedding, not for lunch!!  LOL  Other than the taste tests to see if something needed a bit of salt, or more dressing added and a bit of pineapple juice drained off the fruit we had no lunch.

Okay, moving on.  Buena Vista is known for its outdoor activities such as rafting, hiking, fishing and the hotels book up on the weekend.  My sister had arranged for a time share like house that slept 10.   It looked to be a log cabin that they had built a 2nd story on as the lower level had just two twin beds and two fold up cots.  Up stairs there was a  beautiful master suite with king bed, a crib in the walk in closet and a small sitting room off the suite with a twin bed and a pull out.  That is where I slept actually but all that separated me from the bedroom and one "wall" of the bathroom was two curtains on either side. Outside, above what looked like storage building they had also built upward and it housed a double or queen sized bed.  No bathroom or TV but a bed.  Diane and I had to make an executive decision about who was going where for the night as Jan and Rich did not get back from the ranch to about 9:30 or so that night.  Jan and Rich got the master, Diane and Rick the treehouse and the 5 girls who were staying over hashed it out as to who went where.

The girlfriends all came back to the house for the girlie get together.  There was a large living room area with dining table set up with a door that could be closed for privacy.  Then us old heads could hang out in the sitting area off the kitchen or outside by the fire pit, whatever.  That night the girlfriends that were not staying with us went on to Greg's dad house about an hour away.  We didn't have to feed them after all that night.  One meal for the newlywed's freezer, I'm guessing.

Saturday came, the wedding was scheduled for 10 a.m. back at the ranch so most of the group left early.  Diane and I started washing some towels and pulled the sheets off the two twin beds.  Different bunch staying on Saturday night----the sound guy, his wife and two young kids.  I think he was somebody Jan and Rich know from church and he initially wanted two nights in the hotel, meals, his fee, etc etc but apparently at some point it was down to "we will have 4 beds and will feed you supper".  Laundry started, showers and dressed for the wedding so off we went.

A gorgeous, sunny day.  The hospitality tent on the way down to the field was stocked with sunscreen sprays as well as insect wipes and we were encouraged to apply them!  Several people already had gotten a bit reddened the day before, after all.    The rain did hold off except for a few odd sprinkles and you may see some cloudy skies in some of the photos.  A few of these were taken by one of Amber's friends or Greg's sister or the best man's mom.  My sister also took a few to share with my parents who were unable to attend.  I can't find where I put those!  Others are in a drop box folder and they won't let me rotate them to share but I do have some to show.  One that I really love of Greg and Amber I cannot seem to upload right now and I am getting a bit perturbed in my attempts.  Maybe later or next post.  Whatever is running in background presently is making this more difficult than it needs to be.  GRRRRRR

My niece Amber, the bride obviously

My sister Janet, niece Randi who was maid of honor, Amber and brother-in-law Rich.  Rich would lead the song and do the message in the ceremony while Greg's step-dad Glenn performed the vows and other portions of the nuptials.

Greg and his best friend/best man Dane on the left.  Note the gorgeous 14's in the background.

Randi and Dane, maid of honor and best man

Greg escorting his soon to be mother-in-law

Rich doing the message and the happy couple

Greg before the "You may kiss the bride".  He bent her over and there are two really neat pictures but I cannot  upload/download them properly

1st dance---friend Kaela has a great picture close in of this and I hope to upload that one 

The courtyard were the tables were set up for the reception

Lovely personalized ceremony with family and friends.  After the reception, Diane, Rick and I went back to the rental house.  We got the beds re-made for the guests, folded towels etc.  Later Diane and I took care of finishing up the preparations for the queso dip and then I tended to preparing the fajitas when everyone was ready to eat.  Jan will be doing a half marathon in the area next month and wanted to check out the route they would taking.  By the time they returned it was time to eat.  We did not get a whole lot of time to visit before bedtime.  The sound guy parked himself on the couch and left his wife to tend to the kids in the back room interjecting himself into our family time anyway.

By Sunday morning, Diane, Rick and I along with Randi headed back to Denver.  Jan and Rich had some last minute things to tend to back at the ranch.  The sound guy and his family were on to another site.   The photographer Liz and Amber's former college roommate  Becca had stayed back at my sister's home in Littleton while the other girls started back to Iowa and points east. Becca was needing to catch a flight on to Michigan and knew she would have a bit of a wait at the airport but it saved another trip .  By the time we got to the house Liz was on her way to Colorado Springs for a few days by bus.   We boarded our plane back to Bloomington-Normal, IL by mid-afternoon, picked up some Avanti's gondolas (a tradition if you live in the area or attended college at ISU) and since my folks were watching one of Diane and Rick's dogs, they took me up to my folks where I would spend the next couple nights.

I am happy that I got to make the trip.  I was glad to whatever I could to help Janet and ease some of her stress about the wedding.  So many details to think about!  She did say that they hope Randi does not want to marry miles, and miles away from home when it is her turn, LOL.

More in the next post-------you are probably thinking, "Lord, will she ever run out of things to say?" by this point!  The answer might be "maybe" or "temporarily".   LOL  I'll set the other one to go live in a day or two.  Baby pictures.

Aug 11, 2014

Check in

  I was reminded this morning at breakfast that I had not posted in a week, LOL.  I guess one person besides myself notices those things.  I had my reasons---nothing much to show in the stitching area though I did start on the tree skirt was the first one.  You don't get to see that one as I MIGHT have to count it towards the "3 projects for September" hop.

2nd one, I have not been in a good place emotionally, what with my birthday approaching and going through this year of firsts without my mate.  Rather than be a real Debbie Downer, I stayed away from the keyboard.   DJ and I would have gone out to eat at the place of my choosing,  he would have gone to Winn Dixie and gotten a bouquet of flowers usually a day or two in advance so we had something to brighten our table for about a week.  On the actual day a lovely card, usually one that made me cry and a check for some spending money if I hadn't already picked out something online and told him to give me the credit card.  Usually no cake though he got a store bought one once and hired my friend Marilyn to make one once since she does cake decorating.  We would often have cake at Belles and he knew I would bring some home.  I refuse to make my own and he knew that.   While all that might have sounded a little predictable, it was our tradition; I cannot tell you how much I am missing it.  Missing him.

Not that my friends did not step up because they did. I collected hugs at guild on Saturday.  Yesterday Jane and Terri took me to lunch at a deli near the mall that I had never been to.  Then we went on to see "100 Yard Journey"  the new Helen Mirren movie that just came out.  I ran into another friend in the rest room as we were leaving.  Judy and Conray had been to the same movie.  I think the last film I saw in the theater was "It's Complicated" with Jane and Aline.  DJ worked for a cable TV concern so he got the movie channels as a job perk.  No need to pay to go when it was going to be on HBO soon enough. 

Today the Belles gathered at Cracker Barrel for breakfast which was fun too.   The girls were generous and got me a lovely card and spending money for my upcoming trip.   Jane said I should have birthdays twice a year just so we could all go out for breakfast.   OHHH hold up there unless you count them as the half year kind.   I do not plan to attend tomorrow's meeting as I am leaving soon for Colorado and Illinois.  Got to pack, do laundry, clean up the house a bit as I hate coming home to a mess and finish up any little odds and ends that need dealt with before I go. 

I do have a couple pictures I could share though.  This was Friday or Saturday evening.  I was sitting on the end of the couch not covered with the spread.  Oscar was sleeping too till I got up to get the camera.  I was piddling on the tablet and did not realize that Skyler had left the love seat to perch himself on the back of the couch.  Apparently done without the usually hissing and snarling.  In a way, I think these two are like two toddlers competing for Mom's attention.  If I were to move to the other couch, they would both follow me.  I get up and Oscar definitely follows me to the gate to be sure I come back or whines if he doesn't see me come back right away.  Skyler could care less but he watches what the dog is doing first and foremost.  What goofballs.

And latest Lily picture.  It will not be long and I will get to hold this precious little baby.  I won't be long in Illinois but I will get to see my parents.  My niece/god-daughter and her dad may be coming down from the Kankakee-Bourbonnais area to see us.  My sister is taking me down to Springfield so I can meet her daughter-in-law as we have not made connections on either trip back.  Then off to see Kristine and the baby and then back to Bloomington for supper at Schooners hopefully with my brother and his family if available.    For those of you who don't know, I am the oldest of six kids and have three brothers and two sisters.  One sister lives in CO and the other, in IL.  Two brothers are in IL and the other is in TN.   You would need a copy of the family tree to keep the nieces and nephews all straight.  LOL
I don't know what the heck is the matter with trying to get the pictures to line up right with the text nor do I have the patience to mess with it any further.  Do my best Scarlett O'Hara and say "I'll deal with it tomorrow"   Things to do and people to see.................

I hear rumbling outside so Oscar may be coming in a bit sooner than planned.  I see that Skyler vacated his window seat too and probably dived under the bed.  If you look out one window it looks window, the other not so much.  So far I have only emptied a half inch out of the gauge this month and it was terribly dry before that.  Hit and miss, it was pouring in Oxford when I was running an errand at the exchange.  Completely dry on the roads once I hit Anniston and the route home.

THX for stopping by---even if I don't have much to share.

Aug 4, 2014

finished to flimsy---woohoo!

By the time I quit sewing on Saturday I was up to the last two joining seams.  One at the quarter mark of the 2nd half and the long middle joining seam between the two halves.  I didn't sew a lick yesterday as I was considering if I wanted to make some changes with the left side of the Chevron quilt. I HAD initially planned on trimming it off on one side but................I like how this last corner looks.  The chevrons are sort of floating on the white background.  I mulled it over and mostly read a couple books on the Kindle app instead, did the laundry, walked my dog, played with the critters, anything but sew.  Still, every blessed time I woke up during the night last night that quilt was on my mind. Time to finish this thing up and move on!

I had already trimmed some off of the left side.  If I were to keep it the way it was, and sub out the print quarter square triangles with white background ones then some of it would need to be re-constructed.  OR I could ditch one of the peaks across the quilt top---go with 6 instead of 7 or 12 subcuts instead of 14.  Quilt was a bit too wide anyway so you see what happened.   The top half took a bit longer, the middle quarter less and the last quarter did not need remodeling.

I joined the lower half sections, pieced a couple of the quarter squares on the top and then went to out to lunch.

And finally, the top is done!  I am much happier with the result and did not have to trim away any of the fabrics that I paired up to make a "wave" quilt for Lily to go with her nautical themed room.  It does not quite mirror the right vertical but it is close enough.  Short of piecing in a small square of the adjacent zig color into the quarter square triangle in some manner, I don't know how to make it less stubby on the left side????  Or shorten the right edge rail piece by adding a 2.5 inch square of the background color might work.   How OCD to I want to appear to be?  LOL.  I might try that on another quilt OR here is a novel idea, I could follow the tutorial as written!  This finished about 46 x 68, close to lap size 50 x 70.

What's next?  Well, it will have a special appliqued label on the back featuring some of daddy's art work from his childhood days.  It will be pieced into the backing but I am not working on it today.

I could start on the wedding present tree skirt but probably will not.   I may cut it out tomorrow but I really do need to get started on the September Blog Hop pieces--yes, plural as in three.  I've got the fabric I will use and I know what I am making.  Since I have my trip coming up before I know it, I would be smart if I got going on that.  The happy couple will not need the tree skirt till like after Thanksgiving and hey, Lily is just a few days shy of one month.  I'm allowed to detour!   Once I do set up to quilt, I have two donation tops of my own to do as well. Also I told one of the Belles I would do her nieces' Snuggle Up tops once she is ready and has them pinned.  I would put the binding on for her too but she will have to finish that up.  Those are quick and easy simple lines and won't take long

I still have not made connections with the sewing machine dude.  May try again tomorrow if he doesn't manage to call me back. I'm not waiting by the phone or holding my breath dragging the cell everywhere I go.  I did that for two days and that was enough.

Aug 1, 2014

Checking in

August 1st.  In some ways this year is whizzing on by and in others, dragging.  Whizzing by because I am busy most of the day either inside or outside.   Dragging because it is 6 months to the day that my dear husband departed this earth.  Growing older and doing it without the love of your life is the pits, just got to say.  I'm trying---all you can do, right?

I have the chevron quilt half done but did not even sew for two days this week.  We had a bit of a cool down weather-wise and what a gift that was!  One day it was sweeping inside and out, dust mopping, mopping, vacuuming and even dusting in spots that it had never occurred to me to ever dust.  You know, the "don't look up" philosophy?  Well, that framework around the kitchen pass through, and around the windows flanking the fireplace----ugh.  Dust accumulation, big time.   I dust around the doors of the bedrooms and bathroom but I don't know why I didn't think about the windows!  Well, after all that floor stuff was done, I drug the vacuum outside and cleaned out the car and then hand washed it.

The next day it was cook ahead.  Poached some chicken breasts and browned some ground beef with chopped onions for later dishes.  Then I cleared out the frozen bananas piling up in the freezer door by making banana nut muffins for coffee break time.  Then since I dislike any of the available pizza choices around here, made my own ham and cheese pizza.  Most of that is up in the freezer too.  Now the freezer is stuffed full again and the cycle repeats, LOL.   There is not a whole lot of room out in the chest freezer either.  Not with more freezer containers and varieties of bread and vegetables out there too.

So here is sort of where I left off with the quilt except that loose row you see.  That is row 8 and I sewed that at about 3 in the morning this morning.  Yeah, awake again at the magic hour of 2 a.m. and not going back to sleep.  Row 9 is pinned and read to feed through the machine.  The top half rows are joined and folded on the hanger.

I did mess up on two counts with this.  First my drawing was incorrect as I had 13 sections in it and there are 14.  That part may not have mattered so much until I tried to flip the table cloth over and upended the drawing.  I had to re-pin what remained but it didn't look like the picture.  I figured it out then.  14 on hand, 13 pictured.  DUH!  Debating about re-drawing it. It was laid out right from the other direction.  Forget just flipping it.   I took the finished part off and pulled the cloth up as I still need to keep Skyler away from the sections and possible string pulling.   I put row 8 back on the hanger once the picture was taken.  He's napping on the perch now and ignoring it.

My other goof?  I kept thinking that I had misplaced some of the pieces when I took them down off the tablecloth.  13 sections, where is that other green tone on tone???  Looked and looked again,  retracing my steps.  When the next row, the polka dot, was short 2 sections the light bulb finally when off.  You already sewed it into the preceding rows, you goofball!!

Does seeing this laid out straight how just how this thing goes together??  Simple block sections and you should see "L's"  all across the row.  If you don't then you have turned the piece incorrectly.  I pin the sections as I pull them off the design wall flopping the section on the left over the one on the right with the pin indicating where to stitch.  So far I have not messed up that part though I did need to re-cut the right upper corner.  Again, that drawing thing messed me up.  Most of it will get trimmed off in the end anyway so this is just to aid in the piecing.

Wanna see the latest pictures of the little recipient? Lily is now 3 weeks old.  The quilt will be one our little peanut can grow into, LOL as it is looking like it will end up more like lap quilt size.

Her Nana, my sister Diane sent me these.  I know her Mama is humoring Nana with that pink business.

Nana said she fell asleep in her arms

And the critters?  Some of you have told me that you like reading stories of their antics.  Oscar is a bit in the dog house, literally as he has had to have a bath two weeks in a row as he has picked up some fleas.  I thought the scratching was a bit better with the advantix (dang but that stuff is pricey!) but he is back at it.  I even bug sprayed the section of yard he frequents the most as that is what the neighbors who had him before said to do.   Two bottles later, he is still scratching.  Anyway, both times after his bath when I was in picking up the wet towels he has taken a dump on the floor.  Peed too, once right by his food dish of all things!!   He is fairly calm about the bathing part but the minute my back was turned.  Ohhhhh bad, bad doggie.  So, is he mad at me?  Trying to get even in some manner?  Stressed out?  My fault for not making sure he did his business before I gave him a bath?  He had been outside for a few hours at that point and had plenty of time to do it in the appropriate spots.

I have allowed him to romp and play in the living room about an hour or so before he heads to the crate for bedtime.  He enjoys it and we get some snuggle time in.  Don't let him in and he just whines and jumps against the gate.  He must have done a bang up job jumping the other night as I came out of the rest room to find it knocked over, and he was tearing into the cat food on the other side.   Skyler just looks at him, like " you are insane, man"  hissing at him if he gets too close but more or less, just watching to see what he will do next.  Last night, Skyler was top of the couch at one end, Oscar right below him and me on the other end.  Maybe there is hope and I can take the gate down.  I caught my foot on it the other day heading into the kitchen and fell banging up my right knee.  Really surprised I don't have a bigger bruise.

Mz. Mouzie,, the door stop Christmas stuffed mouse he "stole" from Skyler bit the dust and I got him this duck complete with crackly stomach and a squeaker though he has not really elicited the squeaking yet.  As you can see, it is not going to be long for the world either.  Half the beak is gone already.  I pulled some more stuffing out of the head so I could sew it closed.  He tore a hole in one of the wings and about tore it off.  I patched it and sewed it back on.  The tail feather section is torn.  He is missing a couple of "toes" and one leg is about off.  It was hanging by a few threads so I took it off the rest of the way.  Still he is having fun with it.

Friends has told me that I need to look at garage sales or thrift stores for toys as they will not last long with those tearing up teeth and the pulling they give the toy.  I had pictures of both of the boys but they must still be on my phone.  I was goofing around with that setting yesterday, LOL.

I boogered up my Singer trying to sew a pocket on the vinyl table cloth.  It was not happy with me and I've probably thrown off the timing or some such thing.  Big bad loopies on the back.   I am waiting for Mr. Haynes to call me back about making hand off directions.  When I called late yesterday afternoon, he told me he was possibly headed towards my little town today but was unsure of a time since he had another client's commercial machine to deliver too.  I did drag out the Brother to finish up with top even though I don't like switching machines in the middle of the job but I did check the machine settings with the Perkins Dry Goods Perfect Piecing Seam Guide that I had used to set up the Singer.   Get back to row 9 after lunch. I do have  an errand to run and just know he will phone once I leave the house.   That is also why I haven't walked Oscar in the park yet today.  It will ring to my cell but still, there are areas of poor reception.

Guess that's it for now-----thanks for stopping by to see what I am up to.