Thursday, May 31, 2012

Really Random, 5/31/12

It's the end of May? Already?

I forgot a few random pictures from my trip to Kansas City.

Seen in the Denver airport. But not the Kansas City airport. Which seemed kind of odd to me.
After all the hair pulling I did to make my infamous Weekender bag last year, it has spent its entire life on a shelf in my closet. Until quilt market. I actually took it along. It came in handy after I checked in my hotel room, and immediately left to spend the night at Carla's. I guess Weekender and I are finally friends...
I always think of my two precious black Featherweights when I see this new model by Singer. Computerized. Plastic. Nice try...

I missed this while I was gone. So sad. Charlotte had her first piano recital. My mother is her teacher. I love the cross-generational bonding they are having together.
Speaking of cross-generational bonding. My mother now has an iPad. She got it from my brother and sister-in-law. Here she is--getting some lessons from grandson Aaron.
Speaking of my brother, Jeff, here is his dog. Jeff is having a hard time getting the dog to go for a walk--he would rather watch TV.
Speaking of my brother, who lives in Texas (wow, this post is really tying together nicely, don't you think??), our friend, Valerie was here from Texas. Whenever we have the opportunity, we like to get a pedicure together. Although I hesitate to post this picture, here we are: my white toes and her tanned toes.
And she brought me this cool Starbucks card, y'all.
Speaking of....Never mind. I ran out of snappy tie-ins.

This arrived in the mail. Maybe it came from Texas...Anyway, it says on the package that it "makes getting in shape as addictive as checking Facebook and Twitter." Seriously? I'll keep you posted on that.

Levi and I had a beginning sewing lesson yesterday. He chose fabric, I cut it into squares and he laid them all out on the floor. We talked about the right side and the wrong side of the fabric. Then we had a little lesson on how my machine works. He was fascinated by the automatic thread cutter and the needle up/needle down. He sat on my lap and  we talked about sewing safety, and then together we started sewing his squares together. We completed eight pairs of squares (Does anyone remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine needed some toilet paper and the person in the stall next to her said she "didn't have a square to spare." Wow, that was a random thought...) and the next lesson will be more sewing until we have a pillow top.
It was such a fun time to share with him.

Even though he said, "Grandma, your sewing room is really messy...."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Seems like I have gotten a lot of sewing done in the last couple of days, but only a little to show you.

I have two new projects, neither of which I should probably be working on. But are you ever working on something and then you get this brilliant idea and you have to drop everything and spend some time working on your new flash of inspiration? That's what happened to me this week.

The first one involves these:
And these, which arrived today. Perfect timing! Thank you Fat Quarter Shop for your super speedy service!

It isn't a secret or anything. I just want to make a little more headway before I show what I'm working on.

Elizabeth Hartman's new book arrived in the mail the other day. When I saw this:
 It reminded me of these:
Several years ago I was in a block exchange where everyone did paper-pieced birds or birdhouses.  They have been sitting on a shelf because I just couldn't figure out what kind of setting would do them justice. When I saw Elizabeth's "Neighborhood," it was a eureka moment. Okay, so her little focus birds are only 3" and mine are 8".  I just enlarged the pattern, kind of eyeballing each piece until it seemed like the right size.

Her finished block is 11x15 inches.

Mine is about 19x28 inches. But I'm only putting six blocks on the front.

This is the back of Elizabeth's quilt.
I plan to stack the birdhouses side by side, and put the owl on top of that cute red birdhouse that has a branch on top of it. And that's it for this week.

I'm linking up here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Farmer's Wife Friday: Rich in Blessings

This week's farmer's wife is from Roanoke County, Virginia. It is a rather long letter, and thus, there are four blocks.

The letter writer extols the virtues of farm life versus city life, as many writers have done before her.

#97 Waste Not
So this week, I'm veering in a different direction. I find the title, "Rich in Blessings,"  to be very appropriate, so I'm going to share with you some recent blessings of my own.

#48 Homeward Bound

Carla and I started following each other's blog over a year ago. In the course of commenting, and then emailing, we started realizing that we not only had many interests in common,  we also had a lot of similarities, sharing many of the same life experiences--age, number of years married, the importance of our faith. (Someone even told us we looked like sisters.) Although I could easily chosen the title "City Mouse, Country Mouse." I'm a confirmed city girl, while Carla lives in a beautiful home in the country.

#13 Buckwheat
I can't remember exactly how we came up with the idea of Farmer's Wife Friday. Maybe it was the idea of accountability, thinking that having a partner to keep us going, making all 111 blocks would become an achievable goal.  (And we are getting really close!)

 #76 Sawtooth
When I realized spring quilt market was going to be in Kansas City this year, and Carla lived so so close, it seemed the ideal time to meet. I've been to market before (Portland, 2008), and while I was excited to see the new fabric lines, the primary purpose of this trip was to meet my Farmer's Wife Friday partner.

Carla came up with the idea of bringing some of my blocks so we could have a photo shoot with her blocks. I went through the blocks we had each completed so far, and specifically chose those with names relating to some aspect of the farm/outdoors or, more importantly, friendship.

I brought along: Country Path (24), Practical Orchard (69), Weathervane (100), Country Farm (23), Spider Web (83), Farmer's Daughter (32),  Farmer's Puzzle (33), Prairie Queen (70), Storm Signal (90), Spool (84--okay, not obviously, farm-related, but I just couldn't leave it out), Wild Geese (104), and most importantly, Friendship (39) and Friendship Star (41).

I spent the night at Carla's house (more on that later) and the next morning we had a good time going through all her blocks, choosing the same blocks as those I brought along.
 We took them out to the deck, put them in a "friendship" circle and took some photos.
The obligatory photo which includes our feet

Our blocks look great together. I think they enjoyed their time together as much as Carla and I did.

We put our Friendship blocks on top of the stacks.If you have become friends with someone through this world of blogging, I am here to tell you that if you are fortunate enough to meet in person, there is a good chance you will feel like you have known each other for a long time. Meeting in person will just cement a friendship that has already has roots.
Five years ago, I would not have imagined that some of my closest and most valued friendships are with women who are scattered all around the world.

Thanks, Carla, for your warmth, hospitality, and most of all, your friendship. I feel richly blessed.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Really Random: The Crayola Box Edition, 5/24/12

In case the name of my blog didn't give you know clues about my love for color, this post should clarify things for you. I love color. I love solid color.

The things that caught my eye the most at quilt market and the ones that I enjoyed the most were all the solids. Robert Kaufman has new colors in Kona cottons. I went to their "schoolhouse" session and they gave away charm packs of all the new colors. Be still my heart. And at the Kona section of the RK booth, they were handing out new colors cards ALL 243 colors.
They were also running an instagram contest (I'm totally addicted to instagram. Want to be instagram buddies?: @liveacolorfullife) You were supposed to take pictures of their displays and post them on instagram with the hashtag #welovecolor (yes, I think they were speaking to me personally). They randomly selected winners. I meant to take loads of pictures. I took one.
That's all it took. Guess what?? Yesterday I got an email saying I had won their new book. And it arrived already today!
Dear Robert Kaufman: if you are reading this, I definitely love color. We should talk.

I want to make one of these for my sewing room: Riley Blake buttons:
And the Crayola store was in a shopping center connected to my hotel. Okay, I'll stop talking now and just let the pictures say it all.
 Crayola should hire this cutie to be their spokesperson. He is that cute.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spring Quilt Market: The paparazzi/friend version

Let's be honest here. There are LOTS of posts circulating right now about Spring Market in Kansas City. It's been interesting as I have read through a lot of them. It seems that I took more pictures of people than booths, fabric lines, etc. How did that happen? There were so many awesome things to see, people to meet.

So right off the bat, here is a picture not taken by me. Thanks, Stephanie! (Peas in a Pod)
And this is the paparazzi section--pictures of me with lots of people I admire, most of whom don't have a clue who I am...
Anna Maria Horner--taken especially for my friend, Terri

Amy Butler

Camille Roskelley

Denyse Schmidt--it was closing time on Friday--she looked really tired

David Butler. Swoon. (and I'm not talking about the pattern either...)

Elizabeth Hartman
Who thought I'd get a picture with Darth Vader and Chewbacca?
So it struck me that the highlight for this trip was meeting people I have a connection with.
 Lee (Freshly Pieced), Carla (Lollyquiltz) and Linda (Flourishing Palms)--more on them tomorrow
 Carla, me, Linda, and Doris (Made by a Brunette)
Tammy (Marmalade Fabrics)--I got to spend lots of time getting to know Tammy better, along with her two friends, Lisa and Arlene
Jacquie Gering (Tallgrass Prairie)
Jeni Baker (In Color Order)
  Katy (I'm a Ginger Monkey) and Amy (Diary of a Quilter)--I gave Katy a small version of "My Granny is Amish"--and I wish Amy and I had had more of a chance to chat.
 Elizabeth (Don't Call Me Betsy)

 Breakfast with Stephanie, Amanda Jean (crazy mom quilts), Amanda Jean's sister Claire, Shelly (Prairie Moon Quilts), me and Tara (Tinkerfrog)

I have some pictures of fabric highlights. More on that later. The friends I saw in person and was able to spend time with--that was what spring market was all about for me...