Monday, December 28, 2009

Design Wall Monday

Nothing was accomplished in the sewing room last week between the holiday preparations and having the grandchildren for the week. Today, however, I got down to business.  The quilt I showed last time now has the borders on it!  I am making it for one of my sons, and since he was half of my quilt hanger for the photo, he asked if  he’ll have his quilt  soon. Hmmmmm, then he laughed and said, ‘guess not’. I didn’t raise a fool.  [NOTE: clicking on photo will enlarge it for better viewing, if you are interested]

Jim's quilt with borders

After getting that photo taken, I promptly dug out another top that has been languishing for want of borders and knocked that one off too. It is currently in residence on the design wall so I can enjoy its happy colors while I decide what to tackle next.  The dark borders are a purple/eggplant and black print, similar in eggplantiness to the dark squares (which I didn’t have enough of for the borders!)  Do you recognize it? It is one of JudyL’s from a while ago, I can’t seem to resist her designs!

Hummer w bordersI do have a number of tops that need to be quilted, so I may get one of them on the frame next. Of course, there are still a few WIPs that need to be finished, and they are calling to me, too. I’m trying to be strong and resist the siren’s call of a couple of new quilts that I want to start. I’m sure they’ll be very pretty, and the fabric is just sitting there, waiting to be cut into….I really should get a few completely finished….shouldn’t I…?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Design Wall Monday

Not too much to show, all my good intentions after last week went down the tubes. Between car troubles and physical therapy and then some really good news and excitement, I didn’t get much done.

On my wall this week is one of the quilt tops I mentioned last week that needs borders. It is folded in half on the wall so that I could get a measurement for the first set of borders. I did get all the border strips cut and sewn together, now I just need to apply them. What are the odds that I’ll get it done by next week?

Oh....and that really good news and excitement? My second son and his wonderful girlfriend are now engaged! We couldn't be more delighted.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Design wall Monday……

After a long absence, I’m back. I had my knee replaced in October and have been busy with physical therapy and such. Things are coming along nicely, generally a much better experience than I anticipated.

Now to the important stuff……….I finally got back into the sewing room! I started working on the last few borders of my Bear in the Farmhouse Quilt and was hoping to get the top finished this week. I saw that JudyL has another Bear/Farmhouse on her design wall, and when the backing that I had ordered for this quilt arrived this morning, I took it as an omen to get this puppy finished and posted.

In an effort to get a picture and be able to post before it would have to be Design Wall Tuesday, I grabbed my hubby and eldest son (grumble grumble)to hold the quilt for me. Not the best way to show off a quilt, but now that it is finally off the design wall and ready for quilting, I’m happy. The color is not great, the purples are showing up as blue and the dark borders aren’t black but a dark purple with a lighter purple design on it. Better color can be seen on my March 24 posting. Yes, it has been on the design wall since March! Just waiting on the borders……..

What is it about bears in farmhouse quilt top 004borders?? Does anyone else have a problem getting the borders done. It is not the process, I can do them, I just put off doing them. Why is that? I have two other quilts sitting next to the machine waiting for their borders, too. I hope to finish at least one of those this week. It needs 3 plain borders. I’d like to get that last one finished too, but that one is just for me, so I think that I may shift my focus to the pile of finished tops and try to get a couple of them quilted.

Speaking of borders, JudyL designed Bear in the Farmhouse with borders that were striped fabric and mitered . I haven’t done any mitered borders in at least 10 years, so I had to dig out a quilting book and refresh my memory. I really enjoyed it, much easier than I remembered. Thanks for the challenge, Judy!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Today is our anniversary!

To celebrate 39 wonderful years together, we had a late breakfast and drove to Burfordville, Mo to visit Bollinger Mill State Historic Site. The skies were a gorgeous blue with lovely white clouds, the sunshine was almost blinding. We traversed highways and country roads, it really wasn’t very far, but it felt removed, the atmosphere was different. Bollinger Mill is a 19th century water powered mill, four stories high, made of stone and brick. They still grind corn there. Bollinger Mill 006

Side view of the mill, what seems to be sticking out on the right is actually a covered bridge that is next to the mill.

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Couldn’t fit the whole building in one shot, so here you have the top floors, then the ground floor entry and porch.

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A better shot of the bridge mentioned earlier, it is Missouri’s oldest covered bridge.

And what did we find in the back corner? Can you spell splinters?? I surely didn’t need that sign to discourage me from using this facility!Bollinger Mill 023

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The quilter in me was thrilled to find these feed/seed/flour sacks, although I was disappointed that they didn’t have designs on them. A few steps across the room and I discovered this, an entire showcase dedicated to feed sacks and their use!

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As we drove back to our room, I noticed that the sky in the rear view mirror was much darker than the one above and in front of us. As I sat here writing this post, the room became steadily darker; much too dark for this time of day. It is currently pouring down rain, which I hope passes as quickly as it arrived. I’d like to go out for a nice dinner with my special guy. Love you, Dar!

Friday, September 25, 2009

A city of murals

Sea Wall andcountry drive 074 The folks of Cape Girardeau must really like their murals. There is a long sea wall along the banks of the river, presumably to protect the city when the river floods (anyway, that would be my guess). The city side of the wall is decorated with several murals, each blocks long. One section depicts the city’s heritage, another shows famous folks from Missouri. We haven’t seen all of the murals yet, but we did notice that quite a few buildings also have artwork painted on their walls. Conventional artwork,not graffiti. Here are a few pictures from the section on famous folks, and then a few pictures taken as we drove through farm land, just enjoying the beautiful sunshine.

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Sea Wall andcountry drive 069I haven’t seen these pictures on a full size screen yet, I only have access to a netbook. Can you see all the woodpecker holes in this tree? Its a wonder it is still upright.

Sea Wall andcountry drive 071Anyone have any idea what this pretty roadside weed is?

The Trail of Tears

You may have heard of the Trail of Tears, a tragic and sad part of American and Native American history. In the early to mid 1800s,a treaty was signed by some people of the Cherokee Nation agreeing to relocate all the Cherokee people to place far west of their original lands. The original lands would go the the government. Not all Cherokees were in agreement, and when it went through Congress, it only passed by one vote. None the less, the Cherokee were rounded up and journeyed westward. It was winter when the reached the Mississippi River, and the whole group was unable to cross before the weather made crossing impossible. Part of the group wintered on the Illinois side, the others on the Missouri side. It was a bad winter, many died.  In Missouri, at the spot of the winter encampment, there is now a state park commemorating those people and that winter. Seeing it in the September sunshine, the leaves just hinting at fall color makes it hard to imagine what a freezing winter would be, the the ravines and mountains would be a challenge with proper hiking gear, even today. We visited the park, and here are a few pictures from the lookout. 

Cape Girardeau  and trial of tears 047Cape Girardeau  and trial of tears 049  Cape Girardeau  and trial of tears 061That’s Illinois on the other side! Cape Girardeau  and trial of tears 054


We wonder if this is the same barge that we saw earlier in the day from the city.Cape Girardeau  and trial of tears 057You’ve heard of The Old Man and the Sea? Well this photo is the Old Man and Old Man River (one of the nicknames for the Mississippi).

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Lemonade from Lemons

Circumstances redesigned our plans for our trip. We never did join our friends at Montauk State Park. One of those ladies has a blog, so I have seen photos of their exploits, and we are disappointed to have missed out.  However, we  have been spending time in a very nice place that I would otherwise (probably) never have visited. Cape Girardeau, MO. The people here have been wonderful, right across the board, from complete strangers to service personal.  The first day we were here, we met a couple that told us they had visited Cape and now that they have retired, they have moved from California to here. That’s how well they liked the area.I can understand that.

We have been sick in our room, nursing bad colds for a few days, but what we have seen  of the area is pleasing. We haven’t gotten out as much as we would have liked, but here are some pictures taken on our ‘urban camping trip’.Cape Girardeau  and trial of tears 028 An overlook at one of the city parks, right among some great old houses, perched on the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.

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Looking back towards the city.

Cape Girardeau  and trial of tears 030This view from the park overlook shows

the beautiful bridge that connects Illinois and Missouri, spanning the Mississippi River. I don’t like driving over bridges, but this one is gorgeous to look at, it sparkles in the sunlight.

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One of the legendary barges of the Mississippi!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The second day of our trip

and we ran into some difficulty, so we didn’t make it to our destination as planned. We did stumble upon a place to stay, clean and with all the amenities, but not a state park in the great outdoors.   

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Not off to a good start

The day started inauspiciously, dark, dreary, rainy. Actually, I’d be more honest to say that it started poorly. We still needed to pack the clothes and the food into the RV, and that isn’t fun in pouring down rain. We did get everything done and left – also in the rain. The first three hours were driven in heavy rain , very low clouds and mist. Not fun.

One of the things that we are finding that we enjoy very much with the RV is being able to pull over at a rest stop and not to have to get drenched to run into a public restroom. We were able to use our own facilities, make and eat lunch, and then stretch out for fifteen minutes before resuming our journey. NEATO!!

About an hour and a half from our destination the sun peeked out, and by the time we arrived at the campground, it was quite beautiful. When we pulled in, the sun was shining through some flowers. I later went back to get a picture after we set up, but by then the sun was fading. The color in the photos isn’t as gold or as intense. As a magnificent consolation, take a look at these clouds!

We sat outside briefly enjoying a gentle breeze before the wind picked up, the clouds darkened and we have more rain.

I swear, my former boss was right when after a camping trip, he exclaimed “don’t you ever camp when it doesn’t rain!?” I’d come into work after a weekend of nasty weather and he’d say “Bet you were camping , weren’t you?”

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Bandit

Finally finished Springtime Bandit and blocked it. I may have to re block, I don’t have proper blocking equipment so improvised and I don’t think that I got things quite right, but for now, it is finished!  I used yarn that I had on hand, and I’m still not thrilled with this yarn in this pattern. I think the color variances hide the lace design, but it was a good learning experience on lace nevertheless.  Of course, there were also the inevitable ‘design choices’ that were made and not discovered until WAY to many rows to rip back and do over—at least in my book. I was able to discover most mistakes within a reasonable distance to rip and fix, but not one. Live and learn

cropped bandit

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Another camping weekend

MOTH and I spent a long weekend at a campground on Lake Allatoona. We really like the Corps of Engineer campgrounds, they are always well kept. A friend was with us, along with her grandchildren.  We were able to get sites that shared a drive, so that we were somewhat adjoined. Each of our sites had steps that led down to the water. We were close enough to share meals and a campfire when we wanted to, but just far enough to have some privacy when we wanted it as well. The campground was almost empty, perhaps because school started around here a few weeks ago.  MOTH and I wound up staying an extra day and had the campground almost to ourselves, only3 or 4 other sites were occupied, and none in the section we were in.  We had a mix of perfect weather and rain. I can’t complain about the rain, though, we were able to get some reading done and I made some progress on my next pair of socks. Our almost adjoining site.

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View from our door to her site:

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Our site:

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The socks, so far:

the sockI must be easily amused, I get so eager to see what color the next stripe will be, and how wide it will be, I just keep knitting.  So far it is more green than I would prefer, I like the purples better. However, now that we are home, it is time to get back to the lace ‘shawlette’ and do some serious concentrating so I can get it finished.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lake Hartwell State Park, SC

Last weekend we met three friends up at Lake Hartwell State Park, in South Carolina. They had camped there before, but it was a first visit for us. Our sites were not on the lake, however we were the only ones camping in that section, so we had lots of quiet and privacy surrounded by woods.  Friday night we sat around chatting until lightening started. We thought it must be heat lightning as it was silent, but took it as our cue to call it a night. About 1 a.m. the lightning was like a disco strobe, it was so frequent. The rain was intense, but oddly, no thunder. The rest of the weekend the weather was great (ok, it was pretty warm, usually 90+). Saturday afternoon we made ice cream using ziploc bags. All the fixings and equipment were provided by JP.  Mostly, we sat around getting to know each other better and ‘girl-talking’. MOTH tolerated the whole thing admirably and with his usual charm and good nature. It didn’t hurt that they all think he’s terrific and spoil him mightily.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

These are finally finished!

I finished these up between working on a couple of other projects. I am in the process of doing a small lace shawl as part of a Knit A Long on Ravelry, one more repeat on that and I will begin working on the edging. It has been a fun knit in spite of the number of times I have had to tink a row or frog several rows. Thank goodness for lifelines!! For me, especially since I am such a beginner, lace requires lots of concentration and no distractions, so I only get the early ours before everyone else gets up to work on it. These socks, however, when not doing the toes or the heels, were just straight knitting, so I could work on them while watching TV in the evenings. I must say, I like the cast on, the short-row heel and the bind off used. This was Lifestyle Toe Up Sock—more guidelines that can be adapted to any pattern of stitches- than a sock recipe. If you Google it, the article has links for the cast on, short row instructional video and to the Elizabeth Zimmerman bind-off as well. I’m hoping to cast on another pair today, using some different numbers based on what I learned making this pair.

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These were made with Blue Moon’s Socks that Rock, Storeytime colorway. It made “sort of” stripes, but was not a self striping yarn.

This is the yarn that I hope to get cast on today. My goal is to keep a pair of socks on the needles for TV watching at all times, with other projects on different sized needles to work on in between. I find that changing needle sizes(projects) keeps my hands from getting too tired and sore.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

‘ Been knitting….

but not on the socks shown previously.  I have put them aside for now. For some reason, I wanted to try something new. I think I’m going to try to do some lace.  To get an idea of what lace is all about (and at the recommendation of helpful lace-knitting Ravelers) I tried a few small projects.  The first was out of some Peaches n Creme cotton that I had on hand.  I took the Old Shale scarf pattern and did several rows.  I figured that since it was cotton, no matter how wrong I went, we could always use it for a dishcloth. The basic pattern for Old Shale is simple, easily memorized so you don’t have to read every stitch. That’s good, especially for someone that is new to chart reading. I fund that I really enjoyed doing it, although it required a bit of attention. The wavy ridges with shades of pink running through it is the Old Shale. 

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Then, just to do something quick and easy, something to do while watching TV I did a dishcloth in Sugar and Cream, the pattern is a easily found on the internet, “Grandmothers Favorite Dishcloth” or something like that.

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From there, I went back to another lace project. This one in wool (which is so much nicer on my hands, it gives!) that was leftover from my grandson’s hat. I made the Twig Lace Cap that is a free pattern on the Knit Picks site. I really enjoyed doing the first half of the project. As I reached the decreases I had to switch to dpns, and when juggling 4 dpns and cable needles…..well, that wasn’t as much fun. I’m very awkward with cable needles.  I’m sure I distorted the last few rows with my too long dpns, too. This needs to be blocked, which I haven’t done yet. I’m told that washing a bit and blocking will make the stitching more even. I can see a few mistakes, but in general, I’m pleased. It was a learning project, after all, not an heirloom. I did my first lifeline, but need to study up on a better method for inserting one. My granddaughter posed so I could get a picture of the cap.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

We have just returned from

A long weekend camping with our friend “Pantless”. (Don’t ask-hilarious story,but not mine to tell) This time none of the other gals were available to camp. MOTH and I  wanted to get away and  also, to do a little setting up and customizing of The Lady Anne. Pantless had promised her grandkids that she would take them camping, so we booked adjacent sites at one of the local Corps of Engineer parks, on a large lake.

The woman is amazing! Each day she would hop in her car, drive to her daughter’s and exchange  children. A different grandchild each night. On Friday, she also made an extra stop to pick up her mother.  Amazing must be genetic, because her mom is 93 and usually camps with our group if the weather is warm. This time it she gave it a pass so the great-grandchildren could have a special time, but she does love my MOTH! She came along and we went out to dinner at the Lodge of a  state park on the same lake. They have a seafood buffet on Friday nights and we certainly enjoyed ourselves.

Pantless was our official fire maker. I probably wouldn’t have bothered with a fire given our summer temperatures, but when you have grandchildren in attendance, you must have a fire and marshmallows! I am pleased to report that Pantless made some excellent fires. The one the first night was particularly creative. It started out all ablaze,

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then morphed into a volcano!

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We had pretty good weather. It did rain a bit Friday afternoon, but that was a good opportunity to do some reading. Other than that, we had a very private site. We could only see the neighbors across the road. Pantless was to our left, but we couldn’t see her for the trees, and no one was behind or on the right of us.

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 Payne 032 Payne 028