Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shop Hop vs Work

It was a regular work week this week with the exception of it being the Western Washington shop hop. It doesn't really constitute a statutory holiday, but at our office we made Friday the designated day off. Work vs Shop Hop...after work you get to go home and relax. After shop hopping, you get to go home and work!
Debs and I had a blast, we traveled to stores that we had never been in. It was an opportunity to see a few other stores that are within 75 miles of home. When I head out on these shopping days, I like to have a plan. I like having a plan so I don't come home with a bag of beautiful fabric that doesn't work with anything. This day I chose white on white, I need more of these because I've been working on this. I'll post about this later in the week.

Even the best laid plans can go sideways. The first couple of shops didn't have a selection of white on white, so I had to buy colors.
 After being it a few shops, Deb saya to me, "I got it at 1/2 price, I only paid $4.75 for a 1/2 yard. We laughed like crazy and continued to use that mantra until we finished shopping. We all laughed and joked and felt so good about going home with no money in our wallets!  Our last stop was at Fabrics Etc in Bellingham, and when they ran up my purchase, they started blowing a horn and I hear "we have a winner"! Whohoo to me, the same thing happened at the same store at the last shop hop.  I really did stick to my plan of w.o.w.'s
This stack will come in handy in the next six months. I've got them all washed and now they need folded and put away.

I could not resist these fabrics or this book.

I'm a sucker for any books on vintage quilts and since my dad gave me a few dollars for my birthday, I spent them on this book.  I also bought a few fabrics at Two Thimbles. I love books on vintage quilts. Don't you just love the old black & whites of days gone by?
I think this is Whigs Defeat that they are working on.
It was a great day. The shops really put a lot of effort into this shop hop and it was great to see some new shops in my area.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My New Front Yard

Thank you North County Lawn Care. I can't remember if I posted a rant about people not calling me back when I was trying to hire someone for some yard work.  I called five places and only one returned my call and didn't do the type of work I was needing.  I got referred to N.C. Lawn Care and it was the best decision I made.  Professional, timely (weather permitting), they kept in touch with me on a daily basis if work couldn't be done, they consulted with me several times, stuck to their quote and did a wonderful job!

Before....nice dirt patch where people walked off the path instead of using the stairs. Plus very hard to mow this as it's quite steep and there is a lamp post smack in the middle.
After.....hard to see but they planted a Japanese Maple just up and to the right of the lamp post.
After.....I LOVE what they did in this part.  Took the stones out, put the blocks right up to the edge of the driveway, pulled out the rocks on the left of the picture and planted Carpet Roses.

Before.....ugly and hard to mow and maintain.
After.....WOW, easy peasy!

After......neat and tidy!
Now my front yard is a lot lower maintenance, I love pulling up after work and smelling the wonderful smell of the wood chips. The roses that I now have are called Carpet Roses and they bloom from spring through fall, grow approx 3 feet high and 3 feet wide. There are three planted and they should fill up this space when mature. Plus the lower maintenance frees up more time for quilting.
A quilting post will follow later in the week!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Too Many.....Not Enough.....

I've been slack in keeping up with my blog. Lots of ideas for posts are constantly running through my mind, just like ideas for quilts. But as the title of this post says....too many things to do....not enough time to do them.
Here are a few pictures of things I'm working on at the moment. This is a scrappy Christmas quilt that I started a looooong time ago, in a land far far away! I was hand piecing this baby. Not anymore. I'm down to 4 blocks left to piece and the machine is my best friend. I'm debating on the setting, do you like the black sashing? What about a black border with some liberated letters?
This is a 4 block project and I'm on the home stretch with the applique. I'm running an idea in my mind for the borders, 1/2 square triangles in red/cheddar scrappy? I'll keep you posted on this one.
It was my birthday!
And my gal pal Sandra hosted the party. Look at the beautiful flowers she cut from their gardens!
It's One Flower Wednesday, and I've got more flowers sewn together! I'm still keeping on this project, there it light at the end of this tunnel.
Oh, and I work full time and longarm quilt part time. Here is my part time job. Mona B. does such fun appliques, I LOVE quilting her tops. It's such a privilege.

And if this isn't enough, I offered up my services to be a fund raiser for Betsy S. She has committed to the 3 day, 60 mile walk for Breast Cancer. So we need a quilt to raffle off! I started it last night, plus I put the word out to my quilty gal pals to help make some blocks.
I need to win the lotto so I can retire!.....don't we all!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Liberated Amish Challenge

Tonya over at Lazy Gal Quilting put out a challenge at the beginning of the year and I jumped in. Then I fell off the project after getting the center done. The calendar moved to June and I had to hit the deadline. I can be a procrastinator, but I meet deadlines, when given. And here is my finished project.
You can read more about this and see lots of other beautiful and creative tops done by others far better at this than me over at this blog. It was an amazing project, I learned new things, I conquered my fear of free form letters and I know how I like my wonky stars! Plus I had a reason to cut into a bundle of hand dyes that I've kept hidden away for a few years.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

An Amazing Get-Away

Last week I took some vacation days, long overdue and really needed. I picked up my sister and we headed north into the ranch country of British Columbia. The drive is only 300 miles, we knew the way, no problem. Except for the series of this that we encountered.
I lost track of how many "road construction" stoppages we had. Once you leave the paved road, there is 20 miles of gravel. We were shocked by the devastation of the forest fires from 2009.
By the time we arrived, I felt like we had traveled by this method!
But it was all worth it when we finally arrived at Echo Valley Ranch and Spa, aka The EV Ranch. The EV Ranch sits on 160 acres of the most beautiful country you will see. This is the main lodge where the owners, Nan and Norm live.  There are guest rooms and the social room in this building along with the kitchen.  Yes, the kitchen...........I'll get to that in a minute.
This is the building where our room was located. Everything was spotless and absolutely beautiful.
These are the views from our deck. It was amazing, to wake up every morning and look out at this, well, how could you not have peace and relaxation?
It was like a little slice of heaven.
The only traffic sounds were from the horse hooves running across the field.
We got settled in and made our way over to the Lodge. Here is where you can relax and take in magnificent views of the canyon and area. Or you could shoot a game of pool in the games room while waiting for dinner. Ah, dinner. I did say I would get to the food part of this. I thought I took way more pictures that what I actually did, so you'll have to imagine some of this. Chef Kim got the thumbs up from me at every meal.
Breakfast and lunch were buffet style and dinner was served. What I enjoyed was that while Chef Kim was preparing and cooking you could sit at the counter and enjoy a glass of wine while watching him work and visit with him. Here is his idea of a buffet lunch. We started with Sweet Potato soup, and then there was roast lamb, turkey, chicken, beef, home made breads, salad with greens from their garden.

And if that wasn't enough, lemon meringue pie for dessert.
We spent three nights at the EV Ranch and were served lamb, turkey, chicken, sea bass, steaks, beef, duck, fancy desserts every dinner, wonderful soups with home made breads, raisin pancakes, sticky cinnamon buns, blueberry pancakes and so many other delicious foods. Everything was so fresh, just the right touch of sauces, a wine menu that was small but excellent. There was nothing more they could have done to make our stay more enjoyable.

There are resident pets that live at the ranch, 9 border collies and a cat. As quilters, we know at home if we lay out blocks on the floor or get settled with some hand work in our lap, it's like a call to your cat to come sit in your lap or climb on your project. No exception with this cat.
The only time this cat was social with me was when I had my quilt out to do a bit of hand quilting.
He was too cute to scoot away!
I'll post again next week with more on this beautiful place. It would be amazing for a quilt retreat as they have a huge conference room, the place is safe and secluded, machines and projects could be left out, you could sneak back to do some midnight sewing in your pj's and only the dogs would see you!

Friday, June 4, 2010

One Flower Wednesday

Yes, I know it's Friday. First of all, I can't believe the week is almost done, where the heck did it go? The last round of the Stanley Cup is on, so I've done some more on my GFG.
I've got row 2 sewn together this week. I missed a few weeks, but here is my update! If I keep at it, I should have this finished, and that would be wonderful.
I'm enjoying everyone elses, I was going to give all my hexi papers away, but now I'm pondering another hexi project. Am I crazy?