"We write to taste life twice - once in the moment and in introspection."

Sunday, March 31, 2013

April "Get It Done" Goals

Judy at Patchwork Times has set up a linky party to encourage quilters to get their projects done, (See, I'm not the only one who has many projects going at the same time.) so I'm joining up again now that life is getting back to normal.

I have no "goals met" to report for March because we were having a marvelous family trip to our son's wedding and back. Just before March, I did finish the quilt for the wedding. And at the end of March I pieced another wedding quilt. So I wasn't totally out of the quilting scene.

My goals for April are:

  1. Get Will and Erin's quilt quilted and bound.
  2. Plan and cut out Paul and Marie's wedding quilt.
  3. Piece P. & M. quilt.
  4. Finish piecing Pinwheel Squares quilt (either as one twin size or two baby size).
Here's what Will and Erin's quilt looks like so far:

And here's what the Pinwheel Squares scrappy quilt looks like:

With spring cleaning heavy on my mind and schedule, I'm not sure what kind of quilting time I'll have. I might just decide to turn the Pinwheel quilt into a queen size for Paul & Marie. We'll see.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Finished Wedding Quilt and One Finished "Flimsy"

Since this was a surprise quilt, I finally get to show it now that I have given it to my son and his wife.

They got engaged at this lighthouse on a stormy, exciting night, which makes for a great beginning to the story of their life together. I love how Kathy quilted blocks onto the walkway/pier and clouds into the stormy sky. The borders' quilting is wavy/stormy looking, too.

The bride and groom liked it, so that's what really counts. Oh, and it was a fun challenge to me to make it, filled with love. I think it's the best quilt I've made so far, thought the one on my own bed runs a close second.

I bought an applique pattern for a 12.5" block and enlarged the pieces to three times the original size for the center medallion.

Today we had a lighter day of homeschooling since we'd been up late going to a performance of Macbeth, so I finished sewing a Scrappy Stars quilt for a wedding gift for a young man in our church. It had been inspired and started by Terry's quilt along last year.

I'm eager to get it to Kathy to be quilted. I wonder what we'll decide to do with those big blank blocks.

Got home!

Yes! We made it back home to Michigan, kissed the blessed ground on which we stood once again, and have been busy getting back into the swing of things.

Thanks for following our journey. It was so much fun and God took such good care of us, as always.

I might blog now and then as I want to share certain adventures with family or link up with a quilting challenge or home organization challenge. We'll see how the rest of life is going.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Idaho Road Trip - Saturday 3-16

Saturday's adventures included a tribute to the days when over-the-road trucking paid our bills. We stopped at the Iowa 80, "the biggest truck stop in the country."

This is only a small portion of the amount of trucks that were there.

Even has a theater and dentist

See that beautiful mural that looks like the back wall of the store?

It's actually painted on the side of a semi trailer parked in the store.

We made it across Illinois and into Indiana and are staying in Warsaw, planning to worship tomorrow with our sister church in Larwill, pastored by Nate Harlan with the support of his sweet wife, Coleen.

Then it's back to our home sweet home in the afternoon.

It has been a wonderful adventure and we're so thankful to God for His protection, for sights and experiences we hadn't had before, for a new daughter in the family, for a very happy son, for a new generation to build family for God, for good foods, for good times of getting along well as a family despite being in close quarters for almost three weeks, and for being able to look forward to getting home. We certainly don't deserve all His goodness but He keeps piling it on.

Idaho Road Trip - Friday 3-15

Most of the hotels at which we've been staying have had pretty nice breakfast buffets, which we've enjoyed so I thought I show you a picture of one. Nothing like this was available when I was a kid, and especially weren't available when Laura Ingalls Wilder was.

Our history sightseeing for Friday was just a short walk from our hotel. We got to see a sod house up close even though the museum beside it was closed. Actually, the soddy was closed, too, but we could see how it was made and peek through the windows at what was inside. It had a woodstove smaller than ours and a rope bed as well as a few chairs. I don't remember seeing a table, but that might have been out of my range of view.

I think I could build one of these from the chunks of weeds we dig up from our garden. Not sure how they kept the walls from tilting while they were building, though.
The requisite outhouse photo

Just in front of the soddy was a sculpture made of barbed wire. We guessed that the barbed wire served a twofold purpose. One was to keep kids from climbing on it (and it worked) and the second was to memorialize (and recycle) the miles of barbed wire fencing used on the prairie farms.

Then we went on into town more to see a pony express station since Gothenburg is the Pony Express Capital of Nebraska.

Again, it was closed, but we got to walk around it and peek in the windows at the desk and the tourist trap sales counter. They do have quite a Pony Express festival here in the summer.

Then it was back in the car for a long haul through Nebraska and into Iowa. We were entertained for a long while by the music on my Kindle, complete with seated dancing.
I believe we were having our black boots on with Click Five at this point.

The collection of yarn dolls grew.

More music and seat dancing ensued.
I think we were having a party in the USA by this time.

Maybe we were snapping to it with First Call by now.
Then we watched a few episodes of Bonanza, since we'd been out west.
Ever since Chicago we've been wanting to go to an IHOP, but couldn't justify spending the money on breakfast since the hotels provided breakfast. Well, this evening Phil decided we should have breakfast for supper and we got to enjoy an IHOP.

Faith enjoyed getting to decorate her pancake with yogurt.
Another fun day!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Road Trip to Idaho - Thursday 3-14

A couple of days ago I had downloaded some geography, spelling, word association, and math games onto my Kindle, so that's how Faith started off Thursday's travels. She enjoys this spelling game.

Most of this day was spent in Wyoming, though we got into Nebraska in the afternoon.

This shot is especially interesting as we were going for the balancing rock on the right and ended up making it look like it's balancing on the hood of a car which is on top of a semi.

About mid-day we stopped in Cheyenne, which was (and still is) quite a hub of the railroads. This spired building is the depot museum which we toured.

Faith got to feel how hard it is to make the wheels go around.

Not surprisingly, Sarah found the telegrapher's equipment. Her grandfathers would be proud. (Grandpa Payton worked on the railroad in Illinois and Granddad Southwell was a communications guy on planes in WWII.


But the crowning feature for us was the model railway in an upstairs room. It had been built over the course of 30 years by a man in his trailer home and then donated to the museum. The man had climbed the mountains of Colorado to take pictures of the narrow gauge railroad that wound throughout, from mining town to mining town, and then with those photos and history books, he had replicated the towns and mountains.

It was so detailed and amazing!

They also had a separate set-up with which children could play, so Ruthie did.

Then some tested out an old waiting bench so we knew what Laura had sat on while she waited for a train ride.

The map of the railroads on the floor was cool, as is Grace.

Back on the road again, the entertainment was making yarn dolls.

Grace lends Faith a hand.

The night was spent in Gothenburg, Nebraska, which smells remarkably like dog poop. But there is a Sod House Museum, a Pony Express Station, and a hotel with a pool and a baby grand piano, so it's not all bad.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Idaho Road Trip - Wednesday 3-13

From Idaho, we slipped into the corner of Utah on Wednesday.

Of course we saw a Mormon Temple in the city of Brigham, but didn't get far enough south to see THE Mormon Tabernacle. Seeing this gave us an opportunity to discuss Mormonism a little and to realize that we need to do a little more studying on their beliefs.

We also saw a lot of interesting rock formations along the road.

Hannah snuck up on me just as I was taking a picture of a junkyard out in the middle of nowhere.

See the "U" on the side of the mountain?
Just into Wyoming we got out to explore Fort Bridger, which had been both a trading post  set up by mountain man, Jim Bridger, and a military outpost in the late 1800's.

Despite the 68 degree weather, there was still a good thick chunk of ice across the river,

so of course Phil and Hannah had to jump on it to see if they could break through. They made a good crack through a spot upstream, but couldn't dent this spot.

Though the buildings were closed for the winter, we were able to walk around the military parade grounds, seeing roped off areas where the officers' quarters as well as the enlisted men's barracks had been. There were two rebuilt officers' quarters as well as the commanding officer's house which was later used as a hotel.

Yes, I took a picture of the outhouse; I figured it would go well with Faith's chamber pot pictures.

 On the edge of the military grounds was Jim Bridger's old trading post.

Then we hit the road again and got to see some very flat land surrounded by mountains and covered with blue skies dotted with unusual "pancake" clouds.

There were more unusual rock formations,

a chance to drive through a mountain,

and knitting projects and stuffed toys for more entertainment.

We spent the night in Rawlins, Wyoming.

I had to admire the tight organization of the housecleaning staff's cart. They've even got the vacuum cleaner hanging from it.