Sunday, February 23, 2014


I spent a lovely day outside yesterday...
I met up with my monthly sewing group and made a tiny bit of progress on my

I was convinced by my friends to alter my WOW list to include a quilt
I started, hmmm, must be at least 7 or 8 years ago.

I was sure it needed borders of some kind.
Which is why I set it aside for so long.
I had these left over diamonds from the piecing that I thought should be
added as a partial border on two or three sides.
But I never made the borders.
So I worked on them yesterday instead of enjoying the 64 degree weather.
And now... I'm not so sure.

I may just add the "borders" to the back.
I feel like I'm back to square one,
 with a little less scrap.

I'll keep you updated on the progress.
Or lack there of.

Enjoy the last week of February, and the return to winter.
Darn groundhog. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Riley Blake Challenge Finished!

So here it is in all its glory,
my finished Riley Blake Challenge.

Here's a decent shot showing the quilting: wavy lines with whirls and a river of pebbles flowing from near one corner to near the other.

There were some amazing quilts the others in my guild made.
I'm so glad I found such an amazingly talented group of quilters to spend time with and be inspired by.
Bring on the next challenge!

(Now if I could only improve my photography skills)

Friday, February 7, 2014

When did I ever become such a quitter????

I decided I needed to sort through my WIP's 
("works in progress" for the uninitiated)
and came to the realization.

I am a slacker.
A quitter.  

I have A LOT of unfinished business.

I didn't realize it was this bad.
I am usually a very organized person who ALWAYS finishes what I start.

Not so.

I have *ahem* 22 WIP's.
Now, to be fair, one is a long term project that I only work on while traveling.
And another is waiting for that lucky day when someone says
"why, yes I do have 1/2 yard of that 10 year old fabric in my stash that you can have to finish the binding on your quilt."

But the rest... well, I just have no excuse.

Thank goodness for the SLMQG WOW challenge
(enough initials for ya?).

So here's the dealo with the challenge as I understand it
(someone from the guild correct me if I'm wrong).

We will get an index card at this month's meeting to write down our list of WIP's that we
THINK we will get done in the next 9 months (my timing may be off).
Then we work on those WIP's.
Every month we can edit our index card, adding or deleting anything on the card.

My goal is to start with four of my projects in various stages of un-doneness.

So here they are in all their glorious un-doneness:
First up is a project I started on in 2002. I actually have added to it twice in the last 12 years.
I just need to decide that it is done and quilt it.
Which leads to a whole new set of decisions.
It's not modern in terms of borders (two) or fabrics (batiks)
but it is unfinished.
WIP #2 is my Hawaiian block.
I need to finish hand appliqueing the cut work down and then will likely turn it into a pillow.

WIP #3 is a quilt I started 6 or 7 years ago on a quilt retreat.
I thought I had the perfect fabric to sash this with, but there wasn't enough in my stash.
I foresee a shopping trip in my future.

And finally
WIP #4: an ode to my Block of the Month days.
I have had the backing pieced and the batting cut for several years.

A bonus WIP is the following Modern Wonky Log Cabin.
 It will likely become my #5 WIP.
What have I gotten myself into?

So there you have it.
Thus I commit myself to finishing these projects.
Or maybe I'll end up crossing them off my list and replacing them with some other
WIP from my ridiculous list of unaccomplishements.
Over the next few weeks I'll show you some of my other WIP's.
And I'll post a picture of that fabric that I only need a 1/2 yard of for binding.
'Cuz I'd like to finish that quilt some day. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I resolve to be better.... blogging.

I know I have been a very absent blogger.

I will try to get better.
Really I will.

And I have incentive now.
My fabulous St Louis Modern Quilt Guild has put out the challenge.
A WOW challenge.



WOW stands for War on WIP.

Works In Progress.

And I have a bucket load of them.
Technically basket loads of them, but who's gonna be technical with me?

I actually got a head start on this before there was a challenge.
See, we've had a bit of snow here in the Lou.
And I've had an abundance of snow days.
And the library closed due to snow, not that I could get there in the snow and cold we have had.
So I started to work on some old, I mean MATURE, projects.
I actually got a quilt finished for my fabulous neighbor with the
snowblower who also cat sits for me when I travel.
Unfortunately, I managed to FAIL to take a photo before I gave her the quilt.
Maybe I'll convince her to bring it outside for a beauty shot in the snow.

I also got this one finished for my hiking buddy.

You only get to see half of it as it was about 19 degrees out and we had been hiking for 2 hours.
Did I mention that the trails were covered in ice?
We managed to not slip off the bluffs into the river.

I also have been working on my Riley Blake Challenge, 
again thanks to Snow Days.
In fact, I am pretty sure it would not have gotten quilted if it weren't for snow days.
Here is a preview of it, hot off the quilt machine
(well, actually, its drapped on the machine, but you get the picture).
Here's the picture.

Horrible lighting. But can you see the run of pebbles through the middle?
It's my favorite part of the quilting.

Here's the same thing from the opposite angle.
 I still need to attach the binding, can you say -18 degree wind chill?
It counts for a snow day.

I promise, Promise, PROMISE to be better at blogging.

Besides, I need to show you all the WIP I'm entering in the WOW
so I can be held accountable.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The one where I lost my ring...again

i have this ring i love.
i got it for myself after my divorce.
its not expensive or especially fancy.
but i like it a lot.
i lost it about two years ago.
sort of.

i thought i lost it in the bathroom at work,
went so far as to empty the trash can in there.

no ring.
i sent out a panicked email,
and the went out on a date.
when i got home that night i happily discovered it had somehow
fallen off my finger into my work bag.
wahoo!! i had my ring back!

fast forward to last weekend.
where i discovered i was missing my ring again.
only problem was i was in colorado springs.

i remember putting it on saturday morning while getting ready to go hiking.
i thought i remembered playing with it at breakfast.

but while photographing this
my hand felt kinda funny.
kinda empty funny.
my ring was gone.

so i spent a frantic 30 minutes retracing my steps to try and find my ring.
i figured it came off when i pulled off my glove to take photos,
but that meant it could be in several spots in Garden of the Gods.
i looked everywhere i stopped.
but, i finally had to give up.
it was gone.
most likely somewhere in the park,
and there was a good chance one of the magpies
saw it sparkle in the morning light and
took off with it.

i spent the remainder of the trip
with a phantom itch on my finger.

fast forward to monday night, about 11pm
when i finally got home.
i was super tired but too wired to fall in bed yet
so i unpacked.

and the gods of lost rings continue to favor me.
inside my suitcase, buried among my dirty socks and hiking pants
was my ring!!!
it makes no sense
but i'm ok with that.
i have my ring back.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My first Fourteener!

After that great hike with local guide Bryan
I decided to really test myself
and do Pike's peak.
All 14,110 feet of it.
Way up there.
That's it. The one with all the snow on it.
Way up there.

And I just hiked 8 miles in the "foothills"
at 7,000-8,000 feet.

Common sense prevailed
 and I took the Cog Railway.

Traveled in style up the side of the mountain.

Saw some big horn sheep in the scree (rocky area above the timber line)
but passed them before I could take a photo.

The temperature difference between
Colorado Springs and the top of Pikes Peak
was 60 degrees.
A bit chilly.
Before our train car could go up, they had to
send the plow to clear the tracks of snow.

Here I am, shivering at the peak.
Take the picture, quick, before my hands freeze!
(Where were my gloves???)
I am wearing my Cardinals hat in celebration of their win Friday night.
And because it was cold!
I think the temperature was 4 degrees, with wind chills in the negatives.
But so beautiful!

I completely understand why this view inspired Katherine Lee Bates
to pen the poem-to-become song
America the Beautiful.

As much as I enjoyed Colorado Springs and the mountains there,
it was time to move on to my other target:
Rocky Mountain National Park.

But first, a quick look at the kitschy motels lining the road in
Maniteau Springs at the base of the mountain:

I think there were about 20 of these throw-back-to-the 50's motels.
So cool.

I got to stay in a similar bit of nostalgia a few nights later.
It had a REAL key!
I'll share more later, gotta go cheer on my Cardinals now.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sweet Escape

I couldn't help it.
We had a random four day weekend.
And I didn't travel this summer.
And I was going through withdrawls.

Southwest Air to the rescue.

Had to make a run for the mountains.
And oh was it incredible.

Flew into Denver and immediately set course for Colorado Springs.
But first, a detour to the United States Air Force Academy.
To see the Cadet Chapel.
Because it is gorgeous.

Frank Lloyd Wright.
Can't say any more. Just breathe.
The stain glass might just be inspiration for a quilt in the future.

And  I got to listen to the big pipe organ as a group of cadets were taking a class in the organ loft.

After watching the cadets do their lunch time formation,
I hit the road for real to Colorado Springs.

Garden of the Gods.

Truely one of the great FREE parks in America.
 Did several walks and hikes.
I know, they sound the same, but really aren't.
The walks were ranger led, very interesting. And lots of wildlife to see,
including this Wiley guy:

The hikes were amazing. And tons of people were out and about.
Here I am near Balanced Rock.

Spent most of the afternoon here.

Later I headed out to a local brew pub for dinner and the TV.
Had to watch the Cards win their way into the World Series.
Met several locals and enjoyed the conversations.
This lead to a GREAT hike on Saturday morning with Bryan.
Section 16.
That's Colorado Springs way down there.
This is only a little bit up the side of the "hill".

This is near the apex of the UP portion of buring my lungs and legs.
SOOOO worth it!
See the top of that ridge way off across the canyon?
I was there!
Got to see the scrub oak turning red, a micro climate with Aspen trees turning gold from green,
and snow.

Beautiful day.

I'll fill you in on the rest of my Saturday adventure in Colorado Springs tomorrow.

Monday, October 7, 2013


The hardest part of living in Missouri is that you can't see the sky.
Not really.
There always seems to be something in the way,
whether it be buildings or telephone poles or wires.

Here's a cool sunset... with houses in the background.
Same sunset, a few minutes later and shot a little higher to cut out the houses.

An amazing sunset from my deck.

Pesky wires.

A beautiful sky out somewhere hiking.

We are heading into autumn,
better enjoy those beautiful skies before they turn gray.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Randomness # 132

I've been busy with work and work... and more work.
Here is one of my two homes away from home:

I have managerd to get out to a farmer's market here and there too.

And took a stroll in St Louis' s fabulous Tower Grove Park

As well as a hike or two.
Saw this fella enjoying breakfast at Lone Elk Park.

And had a beautiful hike along the St Francis River in Fredricktown.
This river is the ONLY river in Missouri with whitewater
(in the spring they hold kayak races through the rapids).

And I have one more thing done in the kitchen:
The fancy-for-show mostly vent hood is up!
I have to still tile, and do lighting,
but it is coming alone.

Maybe it will be done by Christmas.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

*sigh* (that'e the sound of happiness)

The worst of it is over.
I have a truely functional kitchen again.

After living like this for a week:
Yep, the washer, dryer, and freezer were in my living room.
But no more!
Everything is in its proper place and
I have a more than functioning kitchen.
A good friend's husband came and laid my gorgeous new floor.

Isn't it pretty??!!!!
Here's what the kitchen looks like now.

Obviously I still need to tile the backsplash, hang the vent hood, and put in
new ceiling lighting, but at least now I have a functioning kitchen.

I celebrated by eating dinner in my kitchen last night, a first in three months.
Today I celebrated by baking these gorgeous beauties:
Nothing better than fresh baked bread.

I have started getting back to sewing a bit too.
My sister requested a lanyard for her work ID
and a wristlet for going out.

I'm a good sister.