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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Busy Busy Week

OMG, I don't know how I ever had time to work.  I have been so busy this week and loving every minute of it.  Well almost!!!!

Monday I had a lazy morning but early afternoon I headed over to the Kimberling Area Library to help take down the Tree that the Tablerock Art Quilt Group made.

It has been hanging at the library since March and we were going to be moving it to the Ozark Piecemaker's Quilt Show in Springfield.  Yvette, Roberta, Mom and I packed up the quilt which is 10 feet by 8.5 feet in 42 sections.  I was designated the official ladder climber and there was one or two tense moments as we figured out how to get the thing down with destroying the hanging system. We numbered each square so it would go back together easily.  The foam backing board was taped so it folded in thirds but was still almost 10 foot tall thus it had to be carefully moved into Mom's van.

Tuesday morning we headed up to Springfield to hang the Tree quilt at the show.  Everyone in the Art Group was excited that the quilt was going to be in this show so more people could enjoy it.  Yvette, Roberta, Connie, Mom and I hung the quilt.  After a few trial and errors we secured the foam backer with zip ties.  I again was the ladder climber and by the time we velcroed on all 42 squares I was hot, sweaty and tired plus a bit grumpy.  I let the other ladies do all the finishing touches.  I don't think I alienated the team too much which is always good.

I'm going to a do blog post for more info on this quilt latter.

On Wednesday, Mom and I headed over to Paducah KY to meet up with Wilma and her daughter Terry.  My mom has known Wilma for over 50 years and I've known Terry since I was about 6 or 7.  They were visiting Tennessee, staying a few hours from Paducah so we were going to meet them at the National Quilt Museum on Thursday.  We were staying at the Harrah's in Metropolis because I'd been wanting to pay penny slots for a while.

First night, I found this fun machine that was all sci-fi, mad scientist themed and even though it was $.50 per pull which is a little rich for my blood I was intrigued because it paid on lines from both the left and the right.  It was so fun especially since I won $50 off of it over the course of two evenings.  I was up $40 and cashed out the first night to join Mom in the room and watch Captain America Summer Soldier.

I'm pretty sure I would have liked it better without the commercials but it was pretty good.  Geez Chris Evans is such nice eye candy.

We met up with Wilma and Terry at the National Quilt Museum on Thursday morning.
The quilts in this place make me want to lock my sewing machine away for ever but I won't cuz I love it.  They are so gorgeous and detailed.  It was so great to be able to get so close without a big crowd around.  The amazing quilting, the colors, the perfect points.  I was in heaven.  I wish I could have taken pictures but I had to settle for postcards at the gift shop.

We checked out Quilt in a Day shop which is a nice little shop with lots of notions and discount fabric prices.  I didn't buy any thing but I think Wilma got something.  We got a lunch tip from the clerk and headed out to Kirchhoff's Bakery and Deli.  DELICIOUS!!!!  I had this great portabella mushroom sandwich on a homemade brioche bread.  Terry said the chicken salad sandwich may have been the best she ever ate.  If you are in Paducah you must eat at this place.

Next we headed to Hancock's of Paducah.  This is my third time at the shop and I have to say I love, love, love this place.  There is a huge selection of patterns and the fabric goes on forever.  It is organized by manufacturer which has it's advantages and disadvantages but it is well marked and there are lots of clerks pulling internet orders to point you in the right direction.  In my memory, the store didn't have a lot of samples but that was wrong.  There are great and beautiful samples hanging all over the place.  In fact one of the quilts at the front of the store was made by one of their temporary workers and won best applique quilt at Houston.  It has appraised for $17,000.  Obviously it was outstanding.

Wish I had a picture of this but even though I drug my good camera all though the National Quilt Museum and couldn't use it, I neglected to bring it into Hancock's because I was excited about shopping.

I didn't spend nearly as much as I could have or wanted to but I did get some key things I wanted and I loved the prices.  I bought some Tula Pink backing which I had been coveting for a while.  If you haven't touched this fabric you must, it is so so soft.  Love it.

After we completed our shopping at Hancock's of Paducah, we said good-bye to Wilma and Terry and headed back to Metropolis.  I was anxious to get back on my penny slot because after winning $40, I considered this my machine.  But I lost my $20 bucks pretty quickly so I headed back up to the room to figure out the evening.  The key didn't work so I went back to the front desk to get it reprogrammed and low and behold behind me is the mom and dad of Bre's best friend in grade school.

Such a small world.  We arranged to have a drink in the bar later.  It was so fun to catch up about 25 years of news on our girls.  

I played my slot machine again later and walked away $30 ahead so I was $50 up for the trip.  Not bad for penny slots!!!!

On Friday, we headed out of Metropolis after stopping by the giant Superman statue.  

We were headed to Mount Vernon IL to see the Caryl Bryer Fallert quilt exhibit at the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts.  Caryl Bryer Fallert is one of my very favorite quilters and I was so happy to be able to see this exhibit of about 40 of her quilts.  Her color choices and hand dyed fabrics take my breath away.  Mom and I had the gallery all to ourselves so we got to discuss how she did her quilts.

So much talent.

After Mount Vernon, we headed up to St. Louis to visit Jackman's Fabrics.  They are in the midst of a remodel taking over the portion of the building that used to house the upholstery fabric.  This store has so many beautiful samples and tons of fabric.  The prices are more than Hancock's of Paducah but I really didn't even look at prices as there was nothing I was tempted to buy.  They have a lot of books and patterns which were tempting.  

On our way home from St. Louis we stopped into a Maid-Rite place in Rolla.  My mom loves Maid-Rite which are chopped up hamburger that is steamed with special spices and served on a hamburger bun.  They are pretty popular in Iowa but there aren't many in our area.  When I found there was an place in Rolla, I made sure we got her a couple.  She was pretty happy about it.

On Saturday, Mom, Roberta, Aunt Debbie, and Yvette headed up to Springfield to see the quilt show and pack up the Tree quilt.  Lots of fun vendors including shops that I hadn't seen before.  The quilts were lovely and there a ton of them.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Catching Up

Well it has been a while since I've posted and it is due to the fact that I have been doing all the stuff I wanted to do in retirement.  I've used my boat a few times since I got back from Australia,

I've visited quilt shops, I've been sewing up a storm (both quilts and bags).  I even had a visit from my daughter so I have neglected the blog for a while.

I had a great time when my daughter visited.  We spent time watching the Olympics while she rebonded with her cat, Della. I made sure she got some good Mexican food which she misses living in Australia.   I love hanging out with my kid she makes me laugh and between her and my mom, I lost a pound or two due them entertaining me.

I have been to a number of quilt shops in the past month or so but for some reason I didn't document the visits with my camera as I've been doing over the past year.  Went to Crinklelove which is a fairly new quilt shop in Springfield MO.  It is a small shop on Commercial which leans toward modern fabrics and quilts.  I have been trying not to buy fabric unless I need it to complete a project but I bought two yards of Cotton and Steel and two yards of shot cotton.  Four yards of fabric that I have no idea what I am going to use them for but I had to have them.  The store also carries some cool modern patterns which I passed on, proud to say.

Went to a small quilt show in Yellville AR a couple of weeks ago and went on to a couple of quilt shops in Mountain Home AR.  Stopped at Sew Unique first and I bought an awesome pattern that uses ombre fabric in a great bargello look pattern.  Amazing!!!!!  Then we stopped by Remember Me Quilt Shop.  This is a really nice shop with a lot of samples and great fabric choices.  I bought something bur at the moment I can't remember what it was which is ironic considering the name of the shop.

I went to a sewing retreat in Des Moines at Woodside Quilting.  It was a really nice shop and I bought this pattern I've been coveting for a while, The Sew Together Bag.  Here is the one I made.
I made the back of my Star Trek Next Generation quilt which makes me smile just to type that.  How lucky was I to score a fat quarter bundle of STNG fabric.  I have loved that show since about 1992 and I have some of the best friends that I met through that show.  Working on this quilt is so a labor of love.


I also whipped up this cool organizer at the retreat.  

Since this retreat was in Des Moines, mom went to some of her favorite places to eat like George's Chili King, Maxies, and The Tavern in West Des Moines and she had a Maid Rite which always makes her happy.  Best part of the whole trip was thar mom got to visit friends that she has known for over 50 years.  Awesome.

I also spent about 5 days over the last few months sewing with friends at Sewing Machine express where I finished the top of a Storm at Sea baby quilt using the stable piecing method that I learned at a guild meeting.  Brilliant technique to do perfect piecing.

This last few weeks I've been home a bunch and finished up a couple of quilts.  The Ghastly's Quilt I've had the top done for a while and finally got around to quilting it.  I tried some ruler work on it and it wasn't horrible.

I also finished the gradation quilt this week.  I saw this great kit and since blue is my favorite color and I'm a huge fan of anything with color gradations I had to have it.  The piecing was pretty much a piece of cake but I got inspired on the quilting and tested my long arm ability.

I was pretty happy with the result.  I have to say that retirement suits me!!!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

My Last Day in Australia

I know I know this is way late.  I've been home from Australia for a few weeks now and why am I just getting around to writing this blog.  Well I've been pretty busy as Mom and I and Juanita drove up to Des Moines to hook up with my friend, Twyla, at a retreat at Woodside Quilting.  More about that in the next post.  So I was gone from Thursday till late Monday and I finally got some down time for a few days which is my excuse for being so late.

Anyway, the last day I was in Melbourn Bre took the day off and we decided to go to some quilt shops I hadn't had the opportunity to visit until this point.  It was a rainy so shopping was a great use of the day.  All four shops were pretty close to each other which was good.

The first shop was Sewn and Quilted which is in the back of the owner's home.  But gosh she has a ton of wonderfulness packed into her shop.  A really nice selection of patterns, books and of course English Paper Piecing supplies.  Every shop I went into carried a large selection of EPP papers and templates.  The store was packed wall to wall and there were 8 or 10 customers there while I was there.  The clerk was very helpful and nice.  As I recall the fabrics were bright and happy and there were lovely samples all over the place.  I bought a little bag leather handle but there was a ton of other stuff I would have loved to have.  It really is worth a visit.

The second shop we went to was mainly an embroidery shop, Craftpaks, and they had samples of the most beautiful 3 dimensional embroidery that I'd ever seen.  Maureen Tarnok makes them and they are amazing.  She also teaches at Craftpaks.

I would definitely take classes at this place if I lived in Melbourne.  They had an amazing selection of embroidery floss and ribbon.  In fact, when the owner found out I was from Missouri she said she'd just shipped an order of floss there.    Small world!!!  I bought a really cute Christmas applique pattern.    They had some floss brands that I'd only seen in Australia and a really large assortment of ribbon.  Awesome shop.

After we left this shop, we were starving so we stopped at this French Patisserie shop and got a spinach pastry that was like a small quiche.  It was amazing!!!!!!!  They were small so we bought two each but they were so rich we could only eat one each.  So good.

Then we went to the largest shop of the day, Patchwork with Gail B.  It was a bizarre location for a quilt shop.  It was inside of a large tile shop.  (shaking head)   But don't be put off by this.  The shop had a ton of patterns which I purused for quite a while.

I didn't buy anything but they had patterns I hadn't seen at any of the other shops.  There were also two full aisles of notions and English Paper Piecing products.  There were aisles and aisles of fabric all very tempting.  They had some very nice smaller samples displayed but I did find the place a bit claustrophobic.

The last shop of the day was Lilly Patches.  The shop was small but cute.  The owner was very helpful and when I spotted a Doctor Who panel I'd never seen she climbed a ladder to take it off the wall since it was the last one.  Turns out there was a tear in the border section of the panel so she sold it to me for less than half price.  I had to have it!!!!
I loved my trip to Australia and hope to go back if Bre decides to stay.  I think winter is the time for me to visit as I enjoyed the cool weather even though it was a bit rainy.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Australian Observation

I've observed a number of interesting things while I've been visiting Australia.

1. They limit their election campaign to 8 weeks.  Brilliant!!!!!!!!!

2. It is a legal requirement that all people over the age of 18 must vote.  Brilliant!!!!!!!!!

3. Their ballots are pretty confusing requiring you to rank the candidates.  (I'm thinking that might confuse a lot of people in the U.S.)

4.  They have a store called Woolworth's.  It is a grocery store.

5.  They have a store called Cole's also a grocery store.  Don't confuse it with Kohl's in the U.S.

6. They have Target and K-Mart here but not quite the same stores as in the U.S.  They are more like Kohl's in the U.S.

7. Left turns are way easier in Australian than they are in the U.S.

8. There are a lot of old U.S. TV shows on broadcast tv in Australia.  When was the last time you saw "Jake and the Fatman" or "T.J. Hooker"?

9.  Sometimes the same language, English, is totally different.

10 Instead of going to France to learn to cook, people should come to Melbourne.  The food there is totally amazing and fresh.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Koala, Kangaroos, and Wallabies Oh My

Sunday was jam packed full of fun and games.  It was another early start as we were off to Phillip Island to pet a koala.  This was one of the things I wanted to do during my visit.  Did you know Koalas sleep about 20 hours per day basically because eucalyptus leaves which they eat exclusively have almost no nutritional value.   Just one of the facts I learned while we were waiting to pet the koala.  Moonlit Sanctuary was such an awesome little place.  We got there right when it opened and bought some food to feed the kangaroos and wallabies.

Besides the Koalas, Wallabies and Kangaroos there were a bunch of other animals that were up close and personal.  There was a bird that talked.

He said, hello, I'm a good boy, goodbye and did a wolf whistle.  That was a blast. There were a few Tasmanian devils and wombats and another little animal I can't remember the name of. 

This little sanctuary was so nice I really enjoyed it.  They even had an encounter that allowed you to walk a dingo.  How fun.

I was a little apprehensive when I saw the first wallaby but a little 3 year old was feeding it so I put on my big girl panties and fed some wallabies.

In case you didn't know, wallabies are much smaller than kangaroos so when I approached the first kangaroo I was again a little nervous.  They are big.  Bre encourage me to be brave.

How sad is that my kid is going "You can do it, you can do it, mom."  It was funny to watch the animals, one little wallaby was bullying the others to get more food.

Some of the birds around were bickering with each other to get more food.  Very interesting.  Both kangaroos and wallabies ate right out of your hand some mixture of food pellets and crushed corn.  Only one of the wallabies decided he needed to hold my hand when he was eating.  They have fairly big claws but they weren't sharp.  They were so damned cute.

 That is a kangaroo by this guy.

Speaking of cute, is there anything cuter than a Koala.  I don't think so.  Bre got after me because I only took a couple of pictures of her with the Koala but she took like 15 of me.  I told her why take a ton of pictures if the first one is good.  Nuff said.  Ask me about the lines in Australia, when you see me.

There were these wild birds around the sanctuary that one of the keepers referred to as free loaders since they hung around the sanctuary to eat the food that the kept animals dropped.  There was this odd goose with a neon green beak.

We left the Sanctuary a little after noon and headed down to Hastings to have lunch at Pelikan Société.  The weather was so nice we decided to eat out on the patio (by the heater).  It was lovely over looking the bay and a bunch of beautiful boats plus breakfast was amazing.

I had the almond granola which is not normally my cup of tea but it was so good with some fruit and custard and a bit of sprouts.  Yum, yum, yum.   Then we saw these unique pelicans.  Black and white.  Who knew?

We got back to Bre's place just in time to hope on the train to meet Emma at the footie game.  This was another thing on the list of things to do for Melbourne.  Bre asked Emma to go with us so that she could explain the game to us.  Emma took her assignment very seriously and printed out a chart and told us most of the major rules.  What a fascinating game.  Very fast paced and the stamina required to run that huge field almost nonstop.  Great legs and some awesome biceps as well.  Unfortunately Melbourne lost to Adelaide, not that I really cared all that much but it sure was fun to watch.

What a jam packed day of adventure.  I just love my daughter and Melbourne.