Thursday, October 30, 2008

The blues...

Sometimes the quilt design is so striking that it needs the simplest quilting. This quilt was so intricately pieced that a simple swirl design in a pale blue thread was all it needed.

It reminds me a mosaic tile floor...just beautiful! I wish I had the patience to make a quilt like this!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Phillies Win!!!

Way to go, Phillies!!!
World Series Champions!!!
photo from ESPN

Monday, October 27, 2008

Play Ball!!!

Go Phillies!!!!

Saturday in the rain...

Saturday morning found me on a train platform, heading to one of my favorite places....
Friends of mine had flown in from distant places to spend a few days in Lancaster, then in Philadelphia. I couldn't join them in Lancaster, so we made plans to get together and do a quick tour of the historic sites in Philly. The weather was horrendous and it poured all day, so I didn't take many pictures, but did get one of the Liberty Bell. We also saw Carpenters' Hall, Independence Hall, Washington Square, Elfreth's Alley, the Betsy Ross house...all the important places!

It was a great day spent catching up with some of my favorite people...

Deanna from Arizona and Becki from Florida

Mary from Texas and me...from Jersey!
And throughout all this I've also been making time to watch our Phillies in the World's a great time to be a Phillies Phan!!!
Things should quiet down this week and I'm hoping to find time to sew, I haven't played with fabric in about 2 weeks. :o( I picked up my guitar today for the first time in 3 weeks, so will need to spend some time practicing before my lesson on Thursday. Hopefully, life will get back to normal now!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I've jumped off...

the hamster wheel that has been life for the past few weeks, and hopefully things will quiet down now! One of the highlights of my Lancaster trip was a visit to the Ephrata Cloister in Ephrata, PA. It is the home of one of the earliest religious communities in the country, established by German Settlers. The state of PA acquired the remains of the cloister in the 1940s and began a restoration of the remaining buildings. The grounds were beautiful and I could understand the feeling of peace and the closeness to God that these settlers must have felt when on this land. It was breathtaking.

Back in Intercourse where I was staying, the People's Place Quilt Museum was featuring quilts from Fons and Porter. Seeing the contemporary quilts after seeing all the Amish quilts was almost jarring. The techniques were so different, but each type of quilting is beautiful in its own way.

After spending time in the museum, I went downstairs and spent some time (and money!) in the Old Country Store. I made a few additions to my Jo Morton collection of to find the time to play with them!

It was a wonderfully relaxing trip which was good, because the time since I came home has been insanely busy. Between working and quilting for customers, we had a few events come up unexpectedly.

On Wednesday morning, my son participated in a forum discussing the Amethyst Initiative at Rowan University. Two students were chosen to discuss the pros and cons of the Initiative and Andrew was on the pro side, arguing that there should be a discussion on whether the drinking age should be lowered. I was incredibly proud of him as he was the only speaker with a dissenting view and the other speakers were rough on him. He was fully prepared with statistics supporting his view and all of the other speakers congratulated him on his strong argument and his willingness to be the lone supporter. He did a great job.

Another unplanned surprise came in the form of a desperate call (while we were at Andrew's forum) from Ellen saying she was horribly homesick and could she PLEASE come home for the weekend. So Thursday afternoon I was heading to the Philadelphia airport to pick her up. It was wonderful to have her home and she looked so much happier when I dropped her off at the airport this afternoon. And I had one more fun event this weekend...but that will be in my next post!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lancaster, PA...Day 1

I took a little business trip last week, to Lancaster, PA. When quilting is your business, where else would you go? I headed out bright and early Wednesday morning...all by myself! That's right, no kids, no pets, no husband...just me! It was the first time I'd ever gone away by myself and let me tell you...if you haven't tried it, you should. I think this may become an annual event!

My first stop was in downtown Lancaster, at the Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum. On display was a breathtaking collection of Amish quilts. The quilting on them was incredible, right down to the teeny, tiny little stitches.
The museum is housed in an old bank building, so it was a beautiful place to display the quilts...

A few of my favorites...(and yes I did realize that my reflection is in most of the pictures. A photographer I am not!)

After spending some time in the museum, I drove to the Rockvale outlets. After coming out of them empty handed, I found a Starbucks so I could refuel, then headed to Intercourse and my hotel room above Village Quilts at Kitchen Kettle Village. This is a relatively new place...the room I stayed in has only been used for about a year. If you ever come to the Lancaster area, I'd highly recommend staying in one of the Kitchen Kettle Villages Lodgings. They are comfortable, beautifully appointed and reasonable. They also give you metal travel mugs, free breakfast at the Kling House restaurant, which was delicious, a little basket of crackers, jams and chocolate, coffee, tea...everything you need to enjoy your stay.

There are handmade quilts on every bed...

And on the walls too! In that armoire is a television on which I watched The Phillies win the NLCS!!! Go Phils!
And of course, beautiful scenery everywhere you look...
Did I mention how relaxing this trip was? More tomorrow...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back to Providence...

My youngest and I were off on the road to Rhode Island early Saturday morning, for a whirlwind visit with Ellen. It was a beautiful weekend, bright blue skies, temperatures in the low 70s and most importantly, the traffic wasn't too heavy! It took us about five and a half hours to get to Providence and it was worth every minute. We spent Saturday walking around the city and spent some time at the Art Museum at RISD, looking at the Chihuly glass exhibit. It was amazing. The pyres you see in this photo are for WaterFire, which is a unique event in Providence. These pyres are up and down the canal and are lit at night, while music is playing. I've never seen anything quite like it! It draws huge crowds and since Saturday night was the last WaterFire of the season and was a breast cancer fundraiser, they expected about 100,000 people to attend. It was beautiful.One of the highlights of the trip was meeting Ellen's boyfriend. He's a great guy and I really enjoyed spending time with him. He was game for anything...wandering around the art museum, walking miles through the city, keeping me company while Ellen and Grace ran to Old Navy for a sweatshirt. It was a pleasure to meet him.

On Sunday morning, Ellen met us at the hotel and we wandered down to The Cheesecake Factory for breakfast. It was another gorgeous day and we sat outside and enjoyed the weather and the company for a long time. But then it was time to head back to Jersey, so we dropped Ellen at her dorm and stopped long enough for one last picture...

It was a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Instant Gratification

First of all, thank you for all of your comments and emails about Sam...knowing that there were so many of you who care really helped me get through a difficult time. I appreciate it more than words can say.

I felt the need for a quick project that would be mindless, yet would keep me busy. I dug around in my treasure boxes and found a packet of squares from the Quiltmaker's Gift line of fabric. I decided to make a simple lattice quilt with them and just put a plain border on it. That worked really well until I realized I didn't have enough of anything in my stash for a border. So I've gotten this far with it.... and I'll be making a piano key border from my scraps. I'll probably piece a back for it as well and it will become a donation quilt for my Caps and Laps group at church.

I've also been doing some knitting...this is the Yarn Harlot's One Row Scarf made from a beautiful alpaca worsted from Frog Tree. It's been in my yarn stash since last fall and I had every intention of having a lovely scarf for the boss last winter. Yeah, instead I had a lovely scarf and he still had 4 skeins of yarn at the end of winter.

This winter he'll be as warm as an alpaca.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Samuel Adams

Back in August of 2005 we adopted a very sweet, adult cocker spaniel from a shelter. We were told he was between 5 and 7, but we're pretty sure he was much older. His name was Sam and he was Grace's dog. She decided he should be called Samuel Adams (it was canoe carnival time and that involves a lot of Sam Adams...and Coors Light...and Corona...and...) and that's what he became. Sam was a pain in the neck most of the time...he had to relearn a lot of things that he had forgotten with his previous owners. Important things like how to go to the bathroom outside and how not to steal food. He did pretty well with the first, but not so great with the second. But, we loved him anyway and he became a part of the family.

Over the past few days, we'd seen a serious decline in his health. He had developed tremors, which were getting worse. He had a cancerous tumor on his face, which had broken through the skin and was getting larger. He developed a horrible cough and couldn't keep food down. So, once again the decision had to be made. He was in pain and suffering, so I took him this morning to be put to sleep.

Sam, thanks for being part of our lives for the past three years...we're going to miss you.