Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go...Leaving on a Jet Plane, Don't know when I'll be back again..." Well, that's not entirely true as I do know when I'll be back again. In an hour I'm leaving for the Eureka/Arcata Airport.The airport has two gates: Gate 1 is for departures and Gate 2 is for arrivals. Pretty Simple. You can still park 100 feet from the front entrance (pictured above). And this is the "NEW" (and newly remodeled) terminal. When I first came to Humboldt County they threw your luggage on the grass for you to pick-up....and remember it rains for 8 months out of the year here.
I'm on my way to Minnesota to visit these delightful grandchildren:

Shiloh is 20 months old, Mercedes (Sadies) is 3 1/2 and Jakob is 5 1/2. There will be a new baby in a week to ten days and Grammy gets to be there to play, cook and generally help out. I'm looking forward to seeing the Fall Colors and maybe even a first snow as I'm staying until November 9. Mr. Scottie Dog will only have the cats to keep him company, but we'll talk on the phone every day and skype some, I'm sure. Last night he fixed me a romantic dinner served in the dining room: Grilled Prawns & Wild Salmon. Ummm, ummm!

Sydney had a tea party yesterday afternoon. Just a couple of her "lady" friends, Mom & Grandma. I confess...after tea sandwiches (have you ever tried cucumber on raisin bread? Divine!), chocolate dipped strawberries, deviled eggs, sweet pickles, cream puffs and mini chocolate eclair's.....I ate well yesterday! I'm going to miss everyone in Eureka and Liz will take wonderful care of the store, but at this moment I'm anxious to get going. I want to meed this new member of our family. I'll try to keep in touch some. The end of October I'll meet Liz in Houston for Quilt Market, go back to Beka's house for another week and finally home. I'm sure to have lots of adventures!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Farmer's Wife

There's been much buzz around the Internet about The Farmer's Wife. It's a book by Laurie Hird which contains 'letters from 1920's farm women and the 111 six inch blocks they inspired. Liz and I had the privilege of meeting Laurie at Quilt Market in Minneapolis about a year and a half ago and getting signed copies hot off the press.
I've bogged before about my quilt group (The Grateful Threads) and our block swap of another book, The Civil War Diary Quilt. We make 8 identical blocks in Civil War reproduction blocks each round and trade or swap our blocks with each person, thus getting 8 different blocks each round. We've not been very good about our swapping calendar and are only halfway done. But we've been energized with a new swap! Now each month we are on the spot with Civil War blocks and our Farmer's Wife 1930's swap. I don't know why Laurie made her quilt with Civil War fabrics but then tied it together with the 1920's. But we are having fun.

Liz took this picture for me today...the book, HER book (notice that we have had our books spiral bound so they lay flat) and the blocks from Round 1. That's my basket block in the foreground. It's going to be so much fun! I'll be missing two rounds while I'm in Minnesota (I leave on Wednesday) so I've made blocks ahead for both swaps.
Here at Redwood Sewing Center we are going to start a year-long class on The Farmer's Wife. It's going to start in January. If you are in the neighborhood join us!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Come to Alaska with Redwood Sewing Center & Scottie Dog Quilts

In 2009 our store sponsored our first cruise to Alaska. What a time we all had! Fantastic scenery, food, quilting, adventures and more. Many who went said they'd love to go again and those who couldn't make it couldn't wait until we planned another cruise.

We are so excited to announce our Scottie Dog Quilts Alaskan Quilting Cruise. We leave Seattle August 11, 2012 for 7 fabulous days aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines ship, the Jewel. We'll have 7 days of Quilting and glaciers and quilting and whale watching and quilting and shows and quilting and fine dining and quilting and spa treatments and quilting and totems and .... well, I guess you get the picture. Still need a picture? We'll visit the Sawyer Glacier for unbelievable views.

We'll see bald eagles.

Walk among Totem Poles.

Visit the gold rush town of Skagway.
You could ride a train into the mountains.How about High Tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC?
Tour Craigdarrah Castle...the most fantastic home I've ever toured!
Here's the entryway!
Perhaps you want to see whales.

Our sewing room will have floor to ceiling windows...we won't miss the scenery a minute. We only sew when we are out to sea so you will be able to take advantage of everything Alaska has to offer. Your cruise fees include your Quilting classes. Since our group rates are so good you can bring your spouse, your best friend, your entire family. Cruising is a wonderful vacation for all age groups. Our ports of call are Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and Victoria, BC.

Have I got your attention yet? Click Here for a PDF brochure. You can contact our awesome Travel Agent, MJ Bryant at 888 278-7875. You will need to hold your space with a fully refundable deposit. Don't wait, space goes quickly. I want to go to Alaska with YOU!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Minnesota Quilt Show (a little late!)

More of what I did this summer! I went to the Minnesota State Quilt Guild Show in St. Paul with two friends I met several years ago on the Internet. Both Ann and Carol have visited me here in Eureka several times during our Scottie Dog Quilts Mystery Quilting Retreats. I try to see Carol at least once when I get a chance to visit Minnesota. Ann lives at one end of CA and I live at the other. Too far to visit on a whim. I thoroughly enjoyed my day with them. Here are a few more of the stunning quilts: This one had the longest, thinnest points all pieced into wheels and lovely, exquisite appliqued roses.

Sorry about the lady in the was hard to photograph the quilts alone as there were so many people. I'm not sure why exactly I liked this quilt so much. The colors were more vivid in person but the primitive fish blocks with their bubbles & eyes of buttons, metal rings and disks was amazing.This quilt was amazing too. Where do I start? The machine quilting was fantastic, the piecing was perfect, the applique awesome, and there were 3-D elements that were so creative. See a closer view below.I liked this floral one too. It reminded me of antique English embroidered pieces but was all applique.
Here's a new (not antique) crazy quilt that was stunning. Some of the blocks contained quilt blocks, some were just "crazy."
These last three photos are part of a display called, "The River Crossing Our Borders." I think there were 20 participants and each was given a max & min. size for their piece. My guess is there was some co-ordination on the "size" of the river on the right and left sides of their quilts. They each created a piece that was then hung with the others to form the (Mississippi) RIVER as it meanders through Minnesota. Lots of different interpretations, many different techniques, differing seasons of the year, so many ideas. I spent a long, long time looking at each of these.

I enjoy going to quilt shows. There is so much talent, so much creativity that sometimes it feels as though my head will burst with all the new ideas. I was once told that quilting is a craft as opposed to an art form. HA! Don't believe it for a minute!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Laura & Gabe's Wedding Quilt

For the past 18-20 years I've met on Thursdays with a group of quilting friends. We call ourselves The Grateful Threads. Threadheads, Threadlets...Sydney is often referred to as the "Snippet." The membership of this group has changed and morphed over the years. I guess I'm the only original local member left. Bev and Judy have moved to Oregon. About a year after we started Lynn and her sister Ann joined. We've had others move in and out of the group and seen a second generation of quilters join. There are now eight local members and two out-of-towners. We run block swaps between us and have a tradition of making quilts for members at special times in their lives. Weddings especially. Laura is currently working full time and going to college full time so in the past year she hasn't been around on Thursday nights much....that is, until we decided to make a quilt to celebrate her marriage to Gabe.
When we make a special quilt we gather up all our orphan blocks and fit them together and they turn out beautiful. This time though we wanted a plan. So everyone was given 1/2 yard of the turquoise batik background. Instructions were to use it and our "theme" was turquoise and purple. Use mainly batiks and what would look good with the theme colors. Ann and Bev sent blocks. We each made some blocks, some "filler" shapes (checkerboards, flying geese, half square triangles, pinwheels, etc). What problems did we encounter? Mostly that Laura suddenly seemed to have every Thursday night free.....I don't know how many times we had to scamper to cover blocks, half-sewn rows, entire tops! Liz and Larissa spent hours quilting it. Sydney had been sworn to secrecy. She wanted to know why we were keeping it a secret from Laura but even today when I was finishing the binding at the store she told me she had a plan on where to hide the quilt if Laura popped into Redwood Sewing Center.
We have two block swaps going right now....One in Civil War fabrics with block from The Civil War Diary Quilt and one with 1930's fabrics from The Farmers Wife Quilt Book. To be festive with our swap we decided to meet at Babetta's Italian Restaurant. (Yum...Chicken Picatta is South Beach Friendly and I always get it....sooo good.) After exchanging our blocks and oohing and ahhhing over them we said we had more blocks to exchange. Laura looked worried as if she'd forgotten something. I said I had blocks to exchange, Lynn said it too and then all chimed in about blocks to give away. I carried the card and bag to Laura and we all said, "Happy Wedding!" It was great.....she cried!
And here she is with a great big smile with her quilt. Can you find the cat block Sydney helped me make (her idea) and their dog too.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What I did on my Summer Vacation

It seems that every year in September when school would start we would be assigned a speech or an essay entitled: "What I did on my Summer Vacation." My family went camping. Tent camping mostly but in Jr. High my dad bought my uncle's tent trailer. I think it was a Coleman brand. We'd go to Yellowstone National Park nearly every other year and then go to Mammoth Lakes, Mt. Shasta, Big Bear Lake...anywhere you could fish, roast marshmallows over a fire, hike and enjoy the outdoors.

Mr. Scottie Dog and I have had many adventures but this Summer we hitched up our trailer and drove across the country to Minnesota to visit the grands. We said goodbye to Sydney the end of May and drove through Susanville, CA, Reno Nevada...coming to the Rocky Mountains. Still a lot of snow!We drove through Salt Lake City, Utah and into Wyoming. At Fort Bridger we toured the Fort and Trading Post, then posed by a Callistoga Wagon actually sitting on the Oregon Trail.

In Minnesota I met up with two dear quilting friends, Ann and Carol at the Minnesota State Quilting Guild Show in St. Paul.What fun we had checking out all the wonderful quilts, buying fabric and sewing goodies. Beka met us for dinner at Dixies on Grand. Oh, my! I remember I had a seafood pot pie with a crab cake crust!It was wonderful being with Beka, Jason and the grands for nearly a month. We went on picnics.We went to Split Rock Lighthouse.We went camping at Duluth.and that's just the start of the story. More tomorrow.