Saturday, February 28, 2009

Little Drummer Boy

My son-in-laws parents have a condo here in St. George and were in town visiting today. We share these two precious grandson's and they came by to bring the boys cookies and to get their hugs and kisses. They miss seeing them as much as we do.

The Dayton's

Isaak wanted to show his other grandma and grandpa how he plays on Paul's drums. He was being a little shy about it, so his Uncle Rhett held him and got him started.

Go Rhett and Isaak!

Within minutes Isaak was ready to play all by himself.

Look at that concentration! Not bad for a 3 year old.

Maybe one day Isaak will be a famous drummer and we can say it all started here.

I had a little time to myself last night after I got the boys in bed, and finished one of my blocks for the "Little Red Hen" quilt.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Indian Dance

Last week when I was in Bryce my daughter Amy called me and asked if I would be interested in babysitting my two grandsons for a few days. They live in Arizona and I don't see them as often as I would like. Of course I said "Yes! yes!" Right there in my hotel room I started doing an Indian Dance. I haven't seen Isaak and Noah since Christmas, and I've missed them so much. How I love those two little boys.
Yesterday Mr. Cactus and I drove to Las Vegas to meet up with my daughter and son-in-law, and to transfer the boys into our car. Amy and Dano will spend a few vacation days in Vegas and then meet back at our house Saturday night.
Today the boys went on a walk with their "papa".

Isaak (age 3) is all about his papa. I think up in heaven they must have made some kind of pact. They even have the same facial expressions.

Noah (age 13 months) is a wonderful blend of his mother and father.
Noah just started walking and this is the first I've seen his attempts. He walks like he just got off a horse and could land on his fanny at any moment. Trying to get a picture of him was like trying to capture the wind. Run Grandma! Run!

I could just kiss their little faces off. Well, actually I have been.
Yesterday before we met up, Mr. Cactus and I had about an hour of free time in Las Vegas. I very nicely asked if just by chance we could drop by one of my favorite quilt stores called "Quiltique". (You know, like what else is there possibly to do in Las Vegas?) Mr. Cactus was a good sport, and even came inside with me.
Quiltique is located in Henderson, Nevada just outside of Las Vegas.

I had to purchase something before I left, even if it was just a few fat quarters. Just touching them makes me happy.
I won't be getting much quilting done in the next few days, but I will share with you pictures of my little guys.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I May Be Slow

Years ago I had a room mate who used a saying I have adopted over the years. When she realized something everyone else seemed to already know she would say "I may be slow, but once it's mine, it's mine forever."
I feel that way all the time.
A few weeks ago I was in a quilting class and one of my friends (she who will remain nameless. Ricci) said "You do realize you have 3 thread cutters on your sewing machine don't you?"
"Huh? You mean my sewing machine that I have used just about every day for the last 10 years?"
"Yes, that machine".

Of course I knew about the thread cutter on the side of my machine. I use that one all the time! Whew!

But where did that little one sneak in that is by my bobbin case? Has it really been there the entire time?

Or this one on the top of my machine. I have pushed that button over to the side at least a million times when I wind bobbins. I could have cut my thread on the end of that one too?
I looked around at the other sewers sitting at the tables nearby. I asked if they all knew they had three cutters on their machines. Every looked at me wide eyed as they nodded yes.
I was even asked by my friend Verny (who happens to work for Bernina) if I went through training when I purchased my machine. Of course I did! But I had 5 children at home and I was lucky on some days just to get my shoes on.
What can I say? I may be a little slow, but this information will be mine forever.
Excuse me, I'm off to cut some thread whether it needs it or not.
There are 5 days left to enter the $100.00 GIVE AWAY on Mother Superior's Blog! Make sure to enter!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nanette's Mixed Bag

Last week when I was at the quilt retreat at Bryce, I purchased a bag pattern and kit from Nanette of Freda's Hive. I love how Nanette combines vintage fabrics in her creations.
My girlfriend Judi also purchased a kit from Nanette. Judi came home with me to St. George, and the last few days we have been working on our bags together.
This is the start of Judi's bag. Her colors are mainly red.
Judi dressed her bag up by running trim down the middle of each fabric strip.
Nanette included hand made buttons with each of her kits. Look how she fussy-cut each design. So cute!

For the inside lining, Judi used "Olivia" fabric.
The colors of my bag are more green.

We quilted the front and back pieces. I love the bird in this vintage fabric.
I loved the horse fabric, too.
And look at the cute button from my kit!
Finished bag.
This bag was easy to do, and very fun to make. Now that I have the pattern I want to make more! I have a lot of scraps that can be put to good use.
If you are interested in this pattern, make sure to check out Nanette's blog "Freda's Hive". She has an etsy site where she sells her own patterns and designs.
Reminder: Make sure you go over to Mother Superior's Blog and enter to win the $100.00 GIFT CERTIFICATE that Superior Threads is offering!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cruise on the Nile

While I was teaching at the quilt retreat at Bryce I heard the most interesting story told by one of my students. LaRae is from Bountiful, Utah and she had an opportunity to take a cruise down the Nile River.

One day, while on her cruise, she went out on the balcony and began working on a Jacobean quilt block. (Jacobean is an an Ancient English art of embroidery).
As she was sitting there a woman approached her and asked "What made you decide to work on that block today?" LaRae really didn't have much of an answer, other than she "just felt like it".
The woman then pulled out the very same block that she had been stitching on also!
Isn't this such a small world? Cruising the Nile is not the most common of places, and Jacobean embroidery work is not the most common of quilt techniques.
LaRae said she and the woman became instant friends, and continue to write each other to this day.
There is such a sisterhood in our quilting world. The art provides so much more than a quilt. For many of us, we are privileged to connect with our kindred spirits.

MOTHER SUPERIOR'S BLOG IS OFFERING ANOTHER GIVE AWAY! It's Bob's birthday month and he is in a generous mood.
THIS TIME YOU CAN WIN A $100.00 GIFT CERTIFICATE. Make sure to go directly over to their web site and enter to win!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bryce Retreat Day 4

The party's over....we finished our last day up at Bryce for the quilt retreat. What a wonderful time we have had the last few days.
This morning I taught a class called "Grandmother's Flower Garden". This quilt is all hand sewn using the English Paper Piecing method.

I think Bonnie was inspired to have me teach this class this morning because it's such an easy technique to learn. I asked my class if their brains were on overload after 3 days of quilt classes, and they all nodded "yes". Our group sat and stitched and talked and we even had a few hours just to wind down. The quilt is time consuming, but very easy to do and very therapudic. By the end of the class all were in agreement.

Nanette of Freda's Hive was in my class this morning. When she first arrived she handed me this packet of fabric as a gift! That Nanette is so generous. I had purchased her "In the Leafy Treetops" pattern and she gave me these vintage blue fabrics to get me started. Wow! And included was the white fabric as background, greens for the leaves, and even some brown ric rac for the tree branches. Oh my word!!!! Last night she gave me a pot holder, and now this! I feel so privileged to be her friend. Thank you so much again Nanette!
I experienced another fun occurrence this week. I met Sharleen who had just won the $50 Gift Certificate from Superior Threads Give Away! What a small world! She was enrolled in my class this morning, too. From of all the comments and votes from all over the country, Sharleen was randomly picked by a computer program. And here we met at the same retreat, and she happened to be in my class. (Which she signed up for months ago).
I love this quilting world.
The first flowers of Grandmother's Garden from the students in my class.

To add to all the "small world" experiences, Barbara,of Nevada (on the right) had also signed up for my class. Our daughter's had been good friends several years ago when they both worked in California. They knew each other, but Barbara and I did not. Just last weekend our daughter's had reconnected at a friend's wedding in Las Vegas.

One of the class mates brought vintage "Grandmother's Flower Garden" blocks hand made by her grandmother. She brought them to class to ask our opinion on how to finish the quilt that her grandmother had started. We loved the wonderful fabrics in this group.
We were really drooling over the fabrics in the box. Especially Nanette who purchases Vintage fabrics on line for most of her projects.
After lunch we met back in the conference room for "Show and Tell". As an end to our retreat, everyone was asked to bring their projects from the classes they had taken the last few days.
Ricci made this wall hanging. That Ricci! She can pull the funniest faces! She sure kept us laughing!
Judi had taken Ricci's class, and this was her finished quilt.
Verny also took Ricci's class. She made her quilt out of Halloween fabrics.
Rather than have all 250+ of us hold up our finished projects one by one, Bonnie had a great idea. She called each class by name and asked for a show and tell.
These are the ladies from my "Fun and Done" class.
Bonnie Miles really did a wonderful job providing a great retreat for all of us. There were 45 classes lasting 4 days. She organizes our rooms, meals, lectures, trunk shows, humanitarian projects, and vendor's mall all by herself. She was guessing she has brought groups together at Ruby's Inn for 16 or 17 years now.
Yes, we gave her a standing ovation at the end of today's program.
Thank you Bonnie! We are already looking forward to next year.