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Monday, July 22, 2013

Sallie's Baby Quilt

My "other" daughter, Sallie, is having a baby.  Seems like just last year, she and Laura were in high school.  They've been best friends since grade school and still are.  I made Sallie a baby quilt for her little girl.  Sallie likes lighter colors like pastels.  Since I'm more likely to use hot pink, orange, lime green and bright teal, together with a hundred other colors, this quilt was so far out of my comfort zone.  It was fun to do, but I questioned myself at every block.  Oh, and Sallie doesn't care for pink, so the quilt has more teal and green that she does like.  I didn't have the heart to tell her that in five years, everything she buys is going to be pink and purple.  Everything.  Sorry, Sallie.

 This is with the fluorescent lighting in my studio.  Below is at the shower Sunday.  It was in a grade school cafeteria, and there's another window to the left of Sallie.  Regardless of where they stood, somebody's head was going to be backlit.  Sorry, Marc.

There were lots of friends and family there.  The gift table was overflowing.  Sallie kept pulling adorable little outfits out of bags and boxes.  I told her she has more baby clothes than a Penney's.  I've never seen so many onesies, booties, matching socks, jackets, and sleepers in one place outside of a department store. This will be the best-dressed baby ever.

I was going to do a full-strip quilt, but changed my mind after I bought the fabric.  I bought six different fabrics and used three of my own.  Each block has one of all nine fabrics.  I did log cabin blocks with a larger center.  The logs are cut 2" wide.  The center is cut 4" square.  The first strip, I cut 4" wide, cut two center squares from it, then cut it in half for 2" strips.  Then two more strips 2" wide.  Two rounds of logs, and the blocks finished 9.5".

I started out just sewing a strip on and cutting it off evenly after I pressed it over, but it wasn't working very well.  After two blocks, I cut exact-size pieces, about four of every size of every fabric until I knew how many I'd need.  Worked much better.  The block aren't all in the same orientation.  I was much more concerned with the same colors not being next to each other.

I made the top a couple weeks ago at a 5-day quilt retreat.  Up by Hannibal, MO, at a place called Kinderhook Lodge, an hour and a half from my house, in the middle of nowhere.  We saw deer every day.  Ate all our fabulous meals in the dining room.  Had a complete kitchen in our large sewing room.  Everybody had a bedroom to themselves.  Absolute heavenly bliss.  And none of my chocolate-covered cherry jello shots made it back home.  The recipe is on my Nov 13, 2011 blog.

 My non-quilting friends can't imagine why I would want to go to a quilt retreat, and ask what else we did besides sew.  We ate and slept.  Other than that, we sewed.  The other eight ladies are so wonderful.  They've been doing this retreat for many years.  It's my second one with this group, so I'm the new girl.  We'd tell stories and laugh till we cried.  Everybody helped everybody else with any problems and gave advice on colors and fabrics whether it was wanted or not.  My kind of group.

Small world story:  one of the ladies there, who I've known for several years, Sandy, has a boyfriend, Rich, who is a teacher.  He taught school for one year, '69-'70, in my home town of Steeleville, IL, pop. 1600 in '68, at the Lutheran school.  He taught, AND REMEMBERED my brother in the 7th grade.  Steve's now 56 years old.  I didn't know Rich because I'd already left for St. Louis after high school.  Sandy called him, and we talked for about 15 minutes.  He described my brother, tall, skinny, blonde hair, and played basketball (which Rich coached).  Geez, I can't even remember last week!

It's cooling off a little here.  I understand parts of Canada (hi Kim) are having a heat wave.  Hope you're cooling off, too.


Friday, July 19, 2013

New Tie-Dyed Shoes

Yesterday, a giant mushroom, today the coolest shoes ever.  Even the laces are to "dye" for.  Couldn't resist.  Despite what John says, they are NOT clown shoes, NOR do they look like a unicorn threw up on them.   I love how all the bright colors mix and swirl.  Just gorgeous.

Anyway, I have to thank Scott, the coolest cat dad ever over at the Katnip Lounge,  He posted a picture of his tie-dyed shoes a couple weeks ago, and I had to have some.  Mine are the lighter version of his.  Scott has an Espy site selling tie-dyed shirts, bags and things.  Check it out from the Katnip Lounge site.  Although Scott probably wasn't even round in the late '60's, I had a front-row seat when the hippies reintroduced the world to tie-dyed clothes.  I've dyed lots if fabric for my quilting, even selling some at large quilt shows across the country.  I once had a 2-yard piece of cotton fabric, dyed with all the colors of the rainbow, and it was stunning.  I had it draped in my booth to show off, but not to sell. I had plans for that baby.  A lady talked me out of it for $50 ten years ago, and thought she got a bargain.

I thought the shoes were something new.  All my friends know I envy all the little kids who come in Petsmart with their sequined, lighted, and blinged up shoes - that they don't make for anyone over 12.  However, these are a limited edition from New Balance and came out early last spring.  I spent two whole nights searching the web for a site that had these in my size - the size everybody wears.  All sold out.  Several questionable places had my size, but just the sentence structure told me they probably weren't in the USA.  No way was I giving them my credit card.  Finally, I found these at Foot Locker's site.  Yea!

Because I know everybody's going to want a pair, too, the number is  NB W 890 V3.  The first letters are for New Balance, Women's.  I think the V3 is version 3.  They aren't as sturdy as my other NB shoes, but they're also about $30 less.  I'm okay with that.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ginormous Mushroom !

Last Sept I found giant mushrooms growing in the back yard. They're poisonous if eaten, but were amazing to see.  This is from the post.  The biggest one was 7.5" across, about as wide as my hand span.

Then, two days ago, we had another mushroom.  Only got one so far, but it's a whopper.  It measures 11.5" across.  Looks like something from outer space.  It's in the same location as the ones last year, about 6 ft from the house and patio.  What I wouldn't give to be able to chop this baby up, saute it with butter and garlic, and eat for a week.

It got so big and heavy it had to lean over to rest in the grass.  The stem didn't break.  It's growing that way.

This was two days ago when the mushroom was just a baby.  I thought it was a different type of mushroom, since it was taller.  I forgot how they got wider.  Lucy didn't want to be anywhere near it, but I got her to sit sort of near it.  But she wouldn't look at me, so she wasn't really there.

Last year they came in Sept, and it's only July.  If I get any mushrooms bigger than a foot across, I'll let you know.  Yeah, I know the grass needs mowing.  Our lawn man, Randy, is a police Lt. in real life and works some lawns in on his days off.  He hasn't had one in a while.  John's mower broke about 5 years ago and it seemed cheaper to pay Randy than buy a new riding mower.  Plus, John can park his car in the garage.  Stay cool, everyone.