Tuesday, April 16, 2013

We leave tomorrow!!!

I can't believe how fast these last 4 weeks have gone by!  It seems I just got back from Lancaster, and now we are leaving for the west coast tomorrow!  How did that happen????  And I haven't been posting at all!  Sheesh!

But I have managed to make a few things in these last few weeks!  And first and foremost......while in Lancaster, I finished making the 8 pointed stars!!!  Woohoo!  And now here's the tricky part!!!  To finish the star and make it a square, I need 4 triangles and 4 squares of the background (cream) fabric for each square.....that means I needed 1,452 squares and 1,452 triangles (because there are 363 of these blocks!).  Yikes!

There was no way I was going to template these!  I had fun drawing out the star points with templates, because I was only doing 8 or 12 of the same fabric.  But the background is all just plain old cream!  Cripes!  I think I would go nuts trying to draw these out.  So instead, I did a faux-Inklingo production with my computer and printer!  And I say faux, because I've downloaded the tutorials for Inklingo before, and have never had the time to really play with it, much less get anything printed.  But the concept of printing these out is great!  So I got busy in CorelDraw and drafted the perfect sized squares and triangles on a sheet, and then printed them on my fabric ironed to freezer paper!  Awesome!!!!!  And in no time I had the gazillion printed off!  Woohoo!  I definitely am going to invest some time into learning Inklingo when I get back from vacation.  It saved me so much time and effort.  And her pieces are already drafted and figured!!  Yay!

So here's a pic of the first star with it's surrounding background.  It finishes at 3" square.

So I have 60 of these and their parts packed for my trip.  We are gone for a little over 3 weeks, so I think I can make a dent in that bunch!  :o)

Our trip is to fly out to San Diego and visit with John's Mom (she's 83).  She was recently diagnosed with lung cancer, but she is feeling really good right now, and they are not doing any treatment until she starts to show symptoms (which could be ages from now!), so we're glad we get to visit with her while she's feeling so good.

We'll spend a week there, staying with our son and DIL, and they are so wonderful to us......they are giving us one of their cars!  Sweet!  In CA, there is a CA Emission 'system' with the cars, and last fall, my son's went bad and needed repairs/replacement.  Well, that was going to cost a small fortune, so they were going to just donate the car.....then thought......'maybe Mom and Dad would like it!?!'   Uh......YEAH!!!!  So they are giving us this car, cuz Maine doesn't care (ha!) about emissions, so it's not an issue here!  :o)

We'll drive our 'new' car (an Audi S4, by the way!  Nice!) up to Washington State to visit my folks, who both have recently been admitted to nursing homes.  My mom (93) has been in and out of emergency rooms in the last couple of weeks, but is now back in the nursing facility.  My father (87) decided about a month ago to go to the Veteran's home.  My parents have been divorced for over 25 years, and have lived with my sister and brother in nearby towns in WA.

It's a bittersweet trip in that John and I have realized this will probably be the last time we see our parents.  For mine, definitely, but John's mom may have years ahead of her!  We hope!  They are very close, and talk several times a week on the phone.  I, on the other hand, am not close to any of my family, parents or siblings, but not for lack of trying!  I've spent the last 30 years coming to terms with this, but it still bothers me sometimes.  Every trip (about every 2-3 years) I've ever made back home was in trying to be a 'good daughter' and visit.  But it's always been an extremely strained and superficial meeting, and the quicker the better.  Nuff said!

So we'll just spend a few days in WA, and then start driving our way back to Maine.  I've got tons of notes about quilt shops, antique shops, museums and the like along the route, and, of course, our plan is to spend a couple (or several!) days in Shipshewana, IN!!!!  Woohoo!  More Amish!  (Like I didn't get enough of that in 10 days in Lancaster last month!  Ha!)

Now, in the last month, I have been quite busy in the sewing room.  In fact, in the 6 days after returning from PA, I made this!

I'd seen this pattern in a pic from a quilt shop that Bonnie Hunter went to ages ago, and loved it!  But couldn't find the pic when I wanted it, so I drafted it up a little differently.  Those are 49-patch blocks in repros of 1" squares finished.  The alternate block is a fabric called Alsace, and the minute I saw it, I knew it needed to be a featured fabric in a quilt.  This finishes at 46" square.  I just love it!

And then I started working on the leftover shirt scraps wall hanging.  It went together very fast, but the quilting is taking forever!  Remind me next time NOT to do pebbles everywhere!!!!  Sheesh!  Each block takes about an hour!  Cripes!  But I am loving the look!

Of course, I didn't get it done before I needed to pack up my sewing machine and take it in for a tune-up while I'm gone.  I figured that's the best time for tune-ups, because just having it gone for these last 2 days has just about killed me!!!!  LOL

Ok......so that's all the quilting I've been doing.  But I managed to get down to Boston to visit my two quilty friends, Jean and Rita, and we had lovely visits!

And my friend Pat and I went to the MQX show in Manchester, NH last Friday, and it was awesome!!!

Here are just a few of the pics (I took a gazillion but these came out the best).....enjoy!

 "Under the Southern Stars" by Pat Cunningham

"Chocolates and Cherries" by Dawn Larsen

Isn't that fancy border quilting just gorgeous!?!

 "Outta the Loop" by Karen Marchetti

 "Standiford Star at the Quilt Museum" by Herbert Menzel Jr.

"Mistaken Identity" by Gail Stepanek          (Black just doesn't photograph well in those lights!)

 Just look at those tiny tiny star points!  Yikes!

"Sunset" by Kathie Beltz

 I LOVE that orange on blue!  Perfect piping, too!

"My Cottage Garden" by Deborah Ferguson

 I just loved these fanciful baskets and the wild flowers!  :o)

 "Cozy Comfort" by Linda Gilmartin-Hancock          (I think this was the only repro quilt there!)

"A Picket Full of Paisleys" by Lorilynn King

"Fanciful Flora" by Lois Podolny

 "Red Feathers" by Claudia Clark Myers

"Red Velvet" by Lisa Calle

 This wall hanging was stunning!  The stitching is beyond tiny!

"Whetstone and Stars" by Carolyn Rider

"A Letter Bit of Baaltimore" by Janet Stone      (There are sheep and letters, hence the name!  Sweet!)

 We loved everything about it!

 We fell in love with the topper section!  So gorgeous!

 "Serendipity" by Darlene Cordero

"Pennsylvania Hearts & Hands" by Kelley Cunningham

 We just love those PA Dutch colors!

 "Enchanting Roses" by Mary Rossi

 And I'll leave you with the BEST OF SHOW.........Totally stunning!
"Big Bertha" by Margaret Solomon Gunn

 Everything about this quilt was gorgeous!

Just look at that beautifully executed binding!  Perfect!

We're taking a laptop with us, but I'm not sure I'll be posting on the trip.  We'll see what happens!