Saturday, September 23, 2017

Non-Quilting Adventure (with photos)

Notre Dame floor tile mosaic
When our daughter graduated from college in May we promised travel for her grad. gift. Since age six years old - when she began studying German in summer language immersion camp, she has wanted to go to Germany. With sports commitments, school, and internships, timing has never worked for her to go....until 3 weeks ago when the start date for her job was delayed two more weeks.

The schedule delay just happened to coincide with some very cheap flights to Germany from LAX (near her). For under $450 each, round trip, I booked flights for both of us on Thurs. night and we were in Germany by Monday night! (Ironically, it costs more to and from Oklahoma--California than to Germany!) Happily, I was able to go along for week one of this two-week adventure to Germany, France, Belgium & Netherlands. Here are some highlights from my camera. (There is more on phone but not yet downloaded). Not to bore everyone, I have posted only a few photos (eleven to be exact).
View of the Rhine from Marksburg Castle, Braubach Germany

This was a true whirlwind travel adventure in that we stayed at Airbnbs, planning where to stay 1-2 days in advance. We also used Rick Steve's travel guidebook to give us some tips and guides. But, for the most part we did it on our own! We had a general idea of a circle route around the area, but really we made final decisions about where and what we wanted to do based on weather, opportunities, and tips from the locals. We hopped on buses, trains and a boat to go everywhere!

Climbing up inside Arc de Triomphe, Paris
Germany was the main target as dd enjoyed speaking and reading German to guide our way. But she realized that we were so close to Paris (3 hrs by train) that we must go...and so we did! We found two great places to stay right within walking distance of everything in a second floor and a 4th floor apt. with lovely hosts. We saw people atop the "Arch of Triumph" and decided we wanted to check it out. Turns out is was free to walk up the many flights of narrow circular stairs (with our backpacks on) to get on top for excellent view all around Paris! We had walked near the Eiffel tower the night before for spectacular view of night lights.

We also visited other Paris highlights. The Louvre was simply incredible inside and out! We also enjoyed paintings by Monet, Degas, Manet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cezanne, and even James Whistler's mother (AKA Victorian, USA Mona Lisa) with up close an personal viewing at Musée d'Orsay. We also walked our legs off all around the city enjoying the views. I have a special souvenir from the Paris subway because I was not fast and pushy enough to clear the metro doors before they slammed shut on my upper right arm causing a lovely double row of door width bruises (2" x 5"). Reminded me of subway in NYC!
St. Goar, Germany - cruising on the Rhine

View from Arc de Triomphe, Paris
Notre Dame, Paris, France

Relaxing after visiting the Louvre, Paris, France

No caption needed!
Cathedral - Kölner Dom, Cologne, Germany
Did I mention the food???
In addition to wonderful fresh bread and pastries, in Germany I ate Jägerschnitzel mit Champignonrahmsauce (breaded pork-loin with mushroom sauce) in Dusseldorf, Käsespätzle (German cheesy noodles) in Bracbach. In France we had what my dd said was "the best meal of her life!" Next, there was Belgian chocolate, mussels (moules marinière: cooked with shallots, parsley and butter), and frites (Belgian fries) - which our host assures us originated in Belgium and are NOT French fries. Delicious!

Grand Palais, Bruxelles, (Brussels), Belgium
In Brussels, it was "Journée sans voiture à Bruxelles" dimanche 22 septembre 2017 - a day without cars while we were there! Streets were closed for the entire city, people walked and biked in the streets. Trains and electric buses/trams ran free for everyone. There was also a big flea market, lots of music, and all types of street vendors and individuals selling antiques and used items right outside the front door of  their apartments. It was fun just to be able to walk all around and look at everything. There was a big festival at the square of the Grand Palais too with a parade and larger-than-life puppet figures and people dressed in costumes.

German /French countryside from the train.
After my 7-day journey, it was time for me to return to the USA - back to work.
DD however, continued traveling solo another week to Netherlands, Berlin & Dortmund, Germany.
Wonderful memories!!
Thanks for sharing them with me ~ Wanda.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Livin' Large! - but little quilting

I have not stopped long enough to blog - or quilt much in awhile. Much has happened...Summarized here (or skip below to a tiny bit of quilting). First is B-day Carrot Cake for me from my great Aunt Mimi's recipe (plus extra carrots, lots of pecans, golden raisins, and strawberries for topping, & a few more spices) already included pineapple, coconut, and lots of shredded carrots! YUM!!

DD graduated college in May and is now on West coast working for the year. Flyboy left for Iowa (of all places - who would have thought!) to UD to finish his degree. I had fun this spring traveling with him for college visits. He picked a great place. It will be fun to go visit there! Sweet niece got married in San Diego - beautiful bride!

Hubby has new job and so do I - well really mine is just an "interim" title added to all the other hats I already wear! We'll see what happens. Lots of hours for sure!

Since May we have hosted almost innumerable lovely guests in our home (word of mouth & Airbnb). Currently, hosting three semi-long-termers all private contacts, 2 university students for the year, & 1 professional (until Nov. 10th). Plus we have our first guest....So interesting!! - Definitely a travel approach that I will be trying out sometime in the future. I continue taking art therapy and palliative care courses as my "carrot" each week. Will do 12 hours for fall, including finishing practicum hours I began this summer - more FUN!

And... this is still on my sewing table. How could it have possibly been there for 2 years - come October!
Another small applique project was completed last month.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Forest Critters

This is such a cute pattern! While I had seen it before, I was not inspired to buy and make these critters until I saw it made up in a quilt shop in Skagway, Alaska. It was so adorable!! So, I began this baby quilt using Fancy Forest pattern by Elizabeth Hartman in fall 2016 but have not worked on it at all during this spring semester. However, it seemed a good time to share it and inspire me to finish up for the baby boy who will be it's owner soon. Goal before his 1st birthday. I have 6 months - I think I can do it!

Saturday, April 15, 2017


MOKA - Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas Quilt History Study Group meeting last weekend was WONDERFUL! This is my second time to attend a meeting and I have not been disappointed!

A colleague from work came along and shared a quilt and story with the group. Find out about this quilt and the utility patch quilt on the MOKA fb page. This a lovely red and white pattern with interesting concentric circle quilted inside the white blocks.

Program was held at the Bushwacker Museum, Nevada, MO Friday evening and the local county fairgrounds on Saturday with slide presentation and quilt viewing, a silent auction and great food! The program focused on Depression Era history and quilts and afternoon program was on Redwork and Embroidery quilts. What a treat to see many quilts from private collections shared with the group. I learned a lot including about the "Penny Squares" - stamped patterns on muslin blocks for red work embroidery from the Depression Era. (More on Penny Squares here). See the pictures below.
I am looking forward to the next meeting this fall!

Princess Feather

Wagon Wheel Signature quilt

Scrappy fans & more "make-do"

Star - love that yellow & scraps!

Bushwacker Museum exhibit: Items from Dr. Hornback's home

Pharmacy dispensary from Dr. Hornback's home, Bushwacker Museum

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Amish Ocean Waves & more

This is DD's project that began in the summer when she was home (for ACL surgery). It is being made for one of her mentor's who is such an encouragement to her as a woman in family medical practice.

After browsing through many books, DD selected design and colors based on a quilt from a historic Amish collection  in one of Rachel Pellman's books. We cut and sewed together off and on when we could in between DD's summer internship and while DD's leg was propped up and being iced. We ran out of time for finishing before DD had to return to school in the fall. We stopped before the last decision of choosing the correct background color. It was left to me to do and I stalled out! The sky blue matches the design that she colored in but navy blue was auditioned too, just in case the sky blue was too obnoxious. I think the sky it the best!

Next the dilemma of size. It seems a bit small to me although borders will enlarge to couch (or wall) size. That is probably just fine and I should get a move on for finishing! But there has been NO quilting this spring except a rare few minutes with the Bible Quilt applique. I do not expect my time to be freed up soon :( This semester is way overloaded with teaching classes, guest lecturing for a special request, taking classes (fabulous art therapy among others) and covering other classes for a friend with a family emergency who will be out for the rest of the semester.

There has been fun in Feb - something different and unexpected but wonderful ...that is DS is planning to go back to school in fall and has invited me to do road trips for college visits with him. FUN TIMES!

A personal non-quilting accomplishment recently was refinishing and trimming out three floors in our old home (Oct/Nov 2016 - although we still have not moved all items back in rooms and don't have furniture of the other room. We let DS take the huge garage sale acquired sofa previously when he moved out and there was nothing else of substance in that room; it was more a storage area). So this re-do has been a long time coming - since moving into this old house 17 years ago. First there was all the work on the other parts of the house we lived in daily, then repairs and upgrades that had to bee done (Did I ever report on the major sewer line, siding, and window replacements?) well, in the end... it looks lovely!

And last but not least I made it out to NYC to visit DD when she was studying there in fall. We walked over to Central Park on Sunday afternoon and spent the entire afternoon at the Met! Loved this Tiffany! It was brilliant and huge!

I hope to have more quilting news next time - Although it may just be a re-cap of more fall activities. At least I plan to post SOMETHING once a month. I have some baby quilts in the works (one partly made and one in the dreaming stage) for two family friends. This work is inspiring but keeps going to bottom of the list (with work on top).

Other quilt activities and plans are in the works... to be brought to fruition soon I hope! 
Happy Quilting to All!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Elephant Parade

Welcome 2017!
WOW! I see I only made only two posts in 2016 - both in July. How can that be - 2016 passed and quilting has definitely not been my focus. I have done some quilting in the second half of 2016.

Here is the completed Elephant Parade quilt! (began and finished summer 2016). Daughter hand embroidered the label and I tried my hand at machine quilting and binding again - it's been awhile and I've only tried 2-3 times before.


This quilt was lovingly sewn by daughter dear - with me as assistant/consultant but daughter's idea and actual sewing! The quilt was given to the very appreciative "mum" of a little boy who was the director of a research program at City of Hope that dd participated in for two summers. DD developed a mutual fondness and respect and is also appreciate e of the mentoring. The happy recipient proudly displayed the quilt on FB.  She also noted the DNA-like quilting in the borders - not surprising from a scientist (it was really a free-hand flowing cable design).

 See Elephant Parade original pattern at Sew Fresh Quilts Quilt blog. Layout, number of blocks and borders were modified a bit by my daughter. We used mostly scraps from the stash and had so much fun sewing together!

Let's go quilting 2017!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Quilting Review: 1st half of 2016

Although, I have not posted anything quiltish much since October last year, I have done a few quilt activities and been otherwise busy in addition to working too much as usual. No time to post about quilting for sure with current job responsibilities, teaching on the side, taking a few classes, trips to see daughter and travel lifetime trip to Alaska with my mom. (I should be doing something else now, but will get up early to catch up on other computer assignments). Here are some highlights beginning last fall, where I left off...

In October with hubby and college friends who planned this trip to celebrate their 30th anniversary. We made is our 30-year anniversary celebration too (about 6 months early for us) and had a blast driving to and cruising from Galveston in torrential rain, flooding, and strong winds that delayed our sailing out of port until the following day. Still the trip was SO Awesome! Since I am finding my photos of people right now, here are some fish seen while snorkeling in Roatan Honduras. What a wonderful trip! Ready to go there again!

In November I updated my office with a quilt! I made this in early late 1980s or early 1990s if I recall (I'll have to check the label on the back :) I love the colors and ocean waves always! It is named Flaming Ocean as a blend of my former and current life at the time I made it. Ocean Waves pattern for California where I grew up and red "flaming" for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Oklahoma whose native tribal emblem is fire, Pottawatomie also the county I'm in..., not to mention RED dirt in these parts! It is made of old scraps and pieces from dresses of my mom and me as a child, and scraps gathered from local garage sale clothing - looking for just the right warm reds and tans. A large shell design is quilted in the centers of light yellow blocks. Machine pieced and hand quilted. Full of many wonderful memories of quilting with friends in my early years of quilting. Still one of my favorites and the perfect art for this wall!

December was time for family in California. No quilting that I recall, although I take my handwork with me, not much gets done. Instead we play family games by the hour (Cared game Capitalism was the biggie this year). I also indulged in the annual cousins cookie decorating event!

January: I worked on Cheddar Cheese & Crackers - a mini-quilt from Lori at Humble Quilts. She offered a sew along a few years ago and I did not participate but kept this in mind to make sometime - modified a bit of course to go along with the fabric I had and enlarge a bit. I sewed off and on many evenings in between many house guests. I just love the old-time style and appeal! Plus she used a creative sewing approach to avoid setting in any seams.

Other big news for January is that ds moved out (after having returned from college a couple years ago). He is enjoying his job and moved closer to it. We are happy for him, but helping him move a HUGE sofa to his second floor apartment was NOT fun. Where are all the young strong college aged guys when you need them? Somehow, we out-of-shape 50+ year olds (+ son) managed without getting hurt.

February: A quick weekend trip to watch dd run, and jump, throw, and hurdle, in pentathlon and open hurdles. She is amazing! First time I have seen her compete in track in college (3 yrs). Had a great time using my voucher from previous trip last year when I gave up my seat for $700 worth of travel - YEAH!

I also attended the Quilts and Color exhibit at Oklahoma Museum of Art. A spectacular, up-close look at these lovelies visiting from the east coast. There was even one applique quilt!

I also spent a professional day at the State Capitol in March and stopped by to see many arts in the building including this lovely Indian Blanket quilt.
Attended Seminole Piecing Workshop of Shawnee Spinning Spools Guide (few hours as observer) with local Seminole piecing legend, Cleo LaValley - maybe her last class as she is 91 years young. Bought her book just in case I decide to try it out sometime. 
My cousin had a bridal shower - I did not get to go out west to attend, but saw the lovely pictures AND surprise, this quilt was part of the decor! I made this quilt for Kelsey when she was a little girl. Hope I signed and dated it but likely not, back then. But she and her mom recall who it was made for and who made it :)                                                                                                                                

April: Road trip to attend a beautiful wedding in the Ozarks at this lovely chapel for daughter of great family friends since college. We are honorary "aunt & uncle" to each others' (now grown) children. Congrats Tara & Matt!

May took me from coast to coast. Said goodbyes to dad who passed away a few days later in San Diego. Two weeks later I was in New York, (via Pennsylvania and Cleveland) to "fetch" daughter from college (really to help her pack up apartment and drive back to Oklahoma). She will be here all summer - a real treat for us since she has been away at school or internships since the week after she graduated high school.
We also worked on a quilt together! Her request :) What a thrill! One of her mentors from City of Hope recently had a baby and so she found a pattern online she modified it to her liking, we sorted through scraps, and I cut and pinned while she sewed and pressed. We worked about a week solid every night after work until 12am or so to get the top finished. Last time we quilted it was making her quilt as a child about 10-11 years old.

June was also a lifetime Alaskan adventure, dream come true for my mom, me and my daughter! Thousands of photos later (don't worry, I only posted three), it is still unbelievable! We all even did a zip line through the forest while there and I managed to find a few quilt shops to browse and learned about qiviut! (exotic arctic yarn made from muskox). This was planned as mom's trip with me, but she graciously allowed granddaughter to come too at the last minute (2 weeks in advance) once granddaughter's ability to travel overseas to Kenya for internship tanked due to injury (torn ACL). Three generations and a lifetime of memories, most good :)

July started out in San Diego with family on the 4th. Enjoyed excellent food and a celebration of life after my dad's passing in May.
Dad, Mom & Me (2013)

I has been HOT now! Plus the yard has needed a good amount of attention for plants to survive! dd had knee surgery (only reason she stayed in OK this summer) and is re-cooping well but required some extra TLC (being waited on like a princess!) and still has her limitations. She's here for about 6 weeks until returning to east coast in NYC this semester). While here, she has decided it is her duty to help us empty cupboards, closets, garage shelves and everything to get rid of stuff. Great idea, just very hot and messy and not what I want to spend my after work and weekend hours on at this point. Still doing it.

Thinking about a baby quilt now that needs starting for Tara & Matt's boy due in October. Bought the pattern while in Alaska. It will be fun! I am looking forward to what is ahead...I often have quilting on my mind at the end of the day with a quilt magazine or pattern book by my bed to flip through the pages as I fall asleep with the beautiful images in mind.