In my last post I finished the Groovy quilt top but I'm switching to another quilt now.
Now it's time to start some quilting and I'm starting with the puppy quilt. Remember this one? It's been aging for a couple of months and seems to be ready for quilting. I dyed a spiral back for this one so the top needs to be centered on the back. This tutorial shows how I do this.
It's basted and ready to go. It's getting a simple Square Spiral pantograph. I expect this quilt be become a blanket and get lots of use so custom quilting isn't necessary.
In other news, we sort of skipped Christmas this year. With our friends here from England we all decided that it might be fun to take a Christmas trip so we headed off to Nashville. I've never been and it was one of the places on my "list". Well, it's not off the list because we had a great time. What a wonderful city! We are all already looking forward to going back. We were only there for 3 full days (with 2 days off travel time) but we packed in a lot.
On Sunday Chris and Laura headed to brunch and then Laura went to the Symphony for Handel's Messiah. Ian and I went straight to Nissan Stadium to watch the Saints and Titans. I've been to a couple of NFL games but both times I was in a box with a group and it was impossible to really watch the game. This time we sat in the stands and had a great time. They gave away Titans scarves to the fans and the next day every homeless person in Nashville was decked out in them.
Our hotel was in the city so we could walk everywhere. After the game we met up with Chris (and all the celebrating Saints fans) to watch the Eagles game in a bar on Broadway.
The evening was spent mostly at The Stage on Broadway. The quality of music on this street is amazing.
We started Monday with a walkabout of the city. We couldn't go through the main park because the park was closed preparing for the Keith Urban New Year's Eve concert. I can't even comprehend the security work required to prepare for these type of events. But we did walk around this plaza with a scale map of the state and lots of information about the geography and history of Tennessee. It was very interesting.
The rest of the day was spent on Broadway. Since it was the day before Christmas Eve we were almost alone in every bar we attended which meat that we had virtually private bands playing whatever we requested!
Most of the city is shut down on Christmas Eve. Ironically it's open Christmas Day! I didn't expect that when we planned the trip but it worked out great because we headed out to Radner Lake State Park for a 4 mile hike. This park clearly gets a TON of traffic but it's really well maintained and we saw lots of wildlife (6 point buck, flock of turkeys, ring-necked ducks) including this Red-Tailed Hawk. The wildlife is very accustomed to humans because we've never gotten this close to a hawk even in our own yard. I expect it was hoping one of the hikers would flush a mouse or something.
We ended the day with dinner at The Diner, a cool 5 or 6-story restaurant that's open every day of the year.
If you are ever contemplating a visit to Nashville I highly recommend Bode apartment-style hotel. Because of my allergies I have to stay somewhere with a kitchen so we can prepare my food. Bode was clean, reasonably well equipped and perfectly located just a few blocks from Broadway, Nissan Stadium and the Country Music hall of Fame.
I don't like many cities but I think I could live in this one.
Chris and I went on quite an adventure over the past 8 days.
We started out in Silverthorne, CO visiting with my best friend and her husband. I don't ski but I was happy to hang out with this cutie while they skied. Ginger and I had planned lots of walks and plenty of relaxing and stitching.
That plan went totally awry. The condo was at 9600 feet and I got an astounding case of altitude sickness. After drinking lots of water, to no avail, they got me oxygen and that helped enough for me to have the energy to book a hotel in Golden for the last 3 days. Chris dropped me there and I Lyfted all around Golden and Denver for a few days.
While Chris skied I checked out fabrics stores in the area. One of the highlights was finding this quilt shop. Have you heard of Wooden Spools? They sell beautiful yarns and fabrics and have the coolest business model. They BUY and SELL fabric! If you have unused fabric that is still in new condition they will buy it and they offer it for sale at wonderful bargain prices. You can tell they they are picky about what they buy so it's all great quality. If you are ever in Denver be sure to check this place out.
I also found the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum and was thrilled with the current exhibit. The theme is "It Takes Two" and the show features famous artist duos Claudia Clark Myers and Marilyn Badger, Sue Nickels and Pat Holly, Jan Hutchinson and Gail Stepanek, and collaborations from Christine Perrigo with Chawne Kimber, Latifah Saafir, Kathleen Probst, Karen Lee, and Stephanie Ruyle. It's a wonderful exhibit! I took lots of photos and will try to get them edited to post next week.
When Chris and I planned the trip I considered the first part "his" vacation so I added on a "her" vacation and that was to stop in Flagstaff on the way home so I could finally see the Grand Canyon. I had adjusted to the altitude in Denver so an extra 1000 feet wasn't a problem. We only had 2 days but we filled then up! There's no describing the vastness of the Grand Canyon and I'm so glad we stopped to see it. We drove to the lava flows at Sunset Canyon, visited the meteor site and even went to Winslow so that Chris could get a photo "on the corner" and pay homage to his favorite band. Between the meteor, lava and canyons we definitely got our science on.
The second day, after visiting Winslow, we drove the stunning Oak Creek Canyon drive to Sedona and I got to meet Patricia Caldwell! That's the exact same Patricia Caldwell who makes so many beautiful things with my fabric. We visited the gallery where her work is sold so I got to see several pieces of hers along with the fabulous photos of her husband, Bill Caldwell. They took us on a great tour of the red rocks around Sedona. We are definitely going back there sometime.
We had lots of adventures with flights and rental cars. Going out we just barely got up the mountain before the blizzard hit because our flights were delayed by 2 hours and then the rental car company couldn't seem to give us the right car. They would send us to a parking spot but it would be the wrong car. On the third try they were so embarrassed that they gave us a Mercedes SUV. It was a lovely car but we are so inept that we had trouble figuring out how to even turn on the windshield wipers.
When we got to Flagstaff there were no cars! She actually offered us a 15 passenger van. We were about to take Lyft to the hotel and wait for a car to be delivered the next morning...which was fine. But then she gave us a big Nissan SUV that she wasn't supposed to rent out. It was a nice ride. Much nicer than what we paid for.
I learned a long time ago that if you are nice to the customer service people they will generally bend over backwards to help you. When we were leaving Richmond last week our flight was delayed so much that they had to book us on a later connection in Charlotte. While I was at the counter a couple came up INSISTING that the nearby gate be opened to let them on the plane (because the plane was still at the gate). "They didn't hear the flight being called and we were sitting right there". The guy was really ugly and the counter lady finally said "Are you sure you want to be so rude to the person who is about to help you?" His wife finally pulled him away. They seriously acted like it was the airport's fault that they missed their flight. Well, they wound up sitting beside us on the flight to Richmond where I learned the truth.....they were in the bar while the flight was boarding! There are 2 people who are always going to be disappointed in what life hands them.
Meanwhile the American agent was kind enough to wave a $20 fee for me.
I went to NYC this weekend with 3 other women to celebrate Lora's 5oth birthday. It was a quick trip but we had a great time. We didn't do a show. Instead we went to The Cutting Room for music Friday and The Flatiron Room for whisky and jazz Saturday. I was in heaven at the Flatiron.
Our hotel was in the perfect location in the garment district and only a few blocks from the Empire State Building. We had this view from a rooftop bar next to the hotel. Right around the corner was M&J Trims and across from the hotel was Gotham Quilts!
I'm happy to report that I didn't by anything because I didn't NEED anything. But it was fun to visit the shops.
But what I will talk about a bit, if you will indulge me, are the 2 museums that we visited.
The first stop was the Cooper Hewett, one of my favorite museums anywhere. They had a special exhibit of weavings from Richard Landis and they are AMAZING color studies. He weaves with thread! This is a bad photo. The camera didn't want to focus through the glass but you can see some of his work here and listen to a great interview here.
In the next room was my nirvana, an exhibit on color and color theory! I could have taken and shared dozens of photos but decided to focus on taking it all in. On the left is a page from the Munsell Color System, the system I use for my Color Wheel fabrics. On the right is a page from a very rare book with 2592 natural dye recipes.
The next day we decided to check out the Morgan Library that was only a few blocks from the hotel. It was a wonderful surprise for all of us. There was an exhibit on dragons represented in historical texts. Some of the illuminated books are over 1200 years old. There's also a great exhibit on handwriting with hundreds of original handwriting documents and signatures from historical figures including political, controversial and artistic people. These aren't contemporaries. Some of the documents go back hundreds of years. It's an amazing collection.
The library was built by Pierpont Morgan to house is vast collection of books, art and other artifacts. These photos are from some of the rooms in the library. The building itself is a work of art.
It was a fun trip but now it's time to get back to work. I have a goal of binding the baby quilt this week and quilting a couple of veterans quilts.
Vacation is over and I'm back!
We had a great time at the beach in Hatteras, NC with my family. I have 3 brothers and we are never all together at the same time. Having a beach vacation together seemed like a fine idea and it was. Mom had a great time having everyone together. We all enjoyed it. I even had a few friend visit. I think we had a total of 15 people there over the week. Some stayed all week and some for a few days.
It looks like you had a great time too. We had lots of entries and it's time to announce the winners:
Day 1 - Cool colors - Kathy Sevebeck
Day 2 - Warm Colors - Judy Hudgins
Day 3 - Purples - Gene Black
Day 4 - Art Pack - Cherie Vidovich
Day 5 - Greens and Mistyfuse products - Leslie Griffel
Day 6 - Waste Fabrics - Cindy Pilkington
Bonus - Scarf - Shirley Bruner
I'm not quite back on the swing of things here. My friend, Laura, from England goes home tomorrow and Mom is here to go have cataract surgery today. I'll be back to sewing (or something) tomorrow.
I didn't take a lot of photos on vacation but here are a few.
There were so many flocks of these little sandpipers and I had fun watching them on our walks.
This gull loved the leftover shrimp that my brother was using as bait.
I got to go kayaking twice and on one trip we got to paddle around with a big flock of geese. That's my friend Lora ahead of me.
We had all kinds of weather. A few cloudy days, a couple of perfect days, one rainy day and one beautiful sunset. We took full advantage of all of it. We were on the oceanfront and I was able to catch this sunset over the sound from front of the house.
Everything about the week was perfect. I didn't take one stitch. I just relaxed and enjoyed the week. I ready to get back to my routine now.
You may not have realized but I was actually away for a few days this past weekend. Mom and I went to Albuquerque this past weekend for my cousin's son's wedding. We were the only family able to go from Debra's side of the family and we were happy to be there to represent. The wedding was on Sunday at the beautiful Albuquerque Botanical Gardens but we had a few extra days to drive around and see this part of the country.
I didn't take a lot of photos, I was too busy looking around.
The first full day we drove about 2.5 hours north to Taos. Our destination was Taos Pueblo. This Native American village of adobe homes is at least 1000 years old and people still live in them. The tour was fascinating.
The St. Jerome Chapel is "only" about 150 years old and is the newest building.
Next we drove a little NW of Taos to see the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. It's very cool!
Let me tell you this was very high up and it was a darned miracle that I made it to the middle of the bridge to get this photo. You can bet that I didn't let go of the railing.
After this I apparently put my camera away for the rest of the trip and just enjoyed being there. We drove back to Pilar along the western edge of the river and it was a spectacular drive. The next day we drove to Santa Fe and the highlight was the Georgia O'Keefe museum. We were surprised that she has a couple of connections to Virginia. Her very first teaching job was actually very close to where I grew up!
On the day of the wedding we visited the Albuquerque Aquarium and Botanical Gardens in the morning and Old Town in the afternoon. The highlight was a surprise 2-hour show of Flamenco dancing on the square in Old Town. It was a perfect way to end the sight-seeing part of our trip.
There's nothing about those 2 words in the header that have anything to do with each other but they are the 2 things that I have to talk about today.
The good thing about having a hand sewing project while watching football is that your time isn't a total waste. I didn't make much progress this weekend but at least I got this one flower done while both of my teams lost in spectacular fashion. This is the 4th border so I'm getting close to sewing these on and getting ready to applique the corners.
To be honest, I'm not getting much of anything done. Our friends from England are still here and we are having a blast having them around. Last week we took 4 days and drove to Niagara Falls. Nether of us had ever been and it seemed like a fine idea...and it was. We stayed on the Canadian side for the better views and it was the right thing to do. We stayed at this Airbnb property and it was the perfect walking distance from the falls and rapids.
The views really are better from the Canadian side and they've done a great job of mirroring the activities (mist ride, behind the falls, hike on the rapids) on both sides. The area near the falls is all neon, casinos and tourist traps. We spent one day exploring the falls and the second day touring Fort George, Niagara-On-The-Lake and a castle in Hamilton. I'll have more photos later this week but I was most excited to get my first ever fireworks photos and that's what I'm going to leave you with today.
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.
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