Friday, July 30, 2010

Vacation Part 2

I finished my pictures from the 2nd half of our vacation!  Our DD3, Kari, flew back home after our week's visit with DD2, Kirsten, while hubby and I went on for week 2 in Colorado. Yes, this was our first summer vacation without any of our girls!  Of coarse, we have had extended weekends trips without them but never a summer vacation!  It must mean we are getting closer to becoming empty nesters! Although we both enjoy hiking in the mountains and other outdoor activities [and we did our share of them], this week was much more relaxing ~ Farmer's Market, walks in the parks and a trip to Glenwood Hot Springs (sorry no pictures at the hot springs)!  Have a look at beautiful Colorado!
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I'm back!

Well this post is well over due but somehow when you get back from vacation, it takes awhile to get caught up! 
First, let me show you what was waiting for me when I arrived home.  A package with these lovelies inside!

I won this give away from Dawn over at The Straw Needle.  Two quilted heart potholders and a charm pack of Aster Manor for Moda!  Thank you Dawn!

Next up is a follow up on my Charming Girls' Quilt Club.  As mentioned before, this month's theme is Self-Care.  When I first posted about this topic, I mentioned that I was going to treat myself to a pedicure!  And I DID!

It was wonderful to pamper myself and have pretty feet before heading off for vacation! 
Love the red!

This past Monday (the day after we got home), I completely finished by Between Charming Friends QAL quilt.  I needed to bind it since I couldn't do that without my machine.  Here is the finished 'A Little Gem!'

And finally an update on my goals!  
Quilting ~ finished by QAL
~put the borders on my Red & White, need to get backing material
~finished my Applique Posy Needle Case (and a little extra surprise) for my swap partner and sent it.  Will post pictures once it's received. 
~have worked on a design layout for my stitchery, but it isn't finalized.
~second Happy Camper quilt may have to be put on the back burner due to other priorities coming to up.
Reading ~ while on vacation, we listen to 3 books on tape.  Does that count?  I would think so since I couldn't really be reading while listening.  These included:
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
Smiles to Go by Jerry Spinelli
and My Antonia by Willa Cather
I also finished 2 books.  
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
and Free Range Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee 
I'm currently reading The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks!
Vacation ~ I will share Part 1 of our vacation now! We had a wonderful time with our daughter, Kirsten and future SIL, Mike (and his family) in South Dakota. Take a look! Hope you enjoy it!

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Will need to post about Vacation Part 2 later!  Be back soon!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Between Charming Friends Quilt Along Finish-well, almost

Just checking in from my vacation to show you my Between Charming Friends Quilt.  As I have been away from my machine for most of July, I decided to hand quilt my mini quilt.  Yep, most of my time in the car was spent stitching.  This was my first attempt at hand quilting a whole quilt.  I think it turned out okay for my first time.  I really admire those hand quilters out there.  I struggled with keeping my stitches consistent in length.  I guess practice makes perfect [and a better hoop and different thimble may help too!]  Any advise from hand quilters is welcome!

In the details picture, you can see my quilting, very simple.  I did use 5 different colors of hand quilting thread.  Next time I think I would like to try using pearle cottons. As you can see, I haven't bound my quilt yet.  That will have to wait until I can get back to my machine.  I'll post pictures later.  Sorry for the poor quality of these photos.  I'm not sure why they seem so washed out. 

We have finished Part 1 of our vacation and are enjoying Part 2.  Will share later!  Be back soon!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Camper and news!

Last night we had our dear friends, Ken and Ruth, over for dinner.  I was so excited to have them because Ken is the secret recipient of my Happy Camper quilt!  Ken is a wonderful person, always giving, thoughtful and kind.  We have so much fun with him and his family.  We celebrate together, we share our heritage, we spend holidays together and we camp together!  It is more like family than friends!  WE LOVE THEM SO MUCH!
It is not his birthday. [That's in October, way too long to wait.] Father's Day had just passed.  No special reason.  I wanted needed to give it to him...Just Because!  Ken had no idea.  He even asked Ruth why we were having them over for dinner.  [Usually we are going over to their house. They are always hosting! They are very good at it.  Me, not so much!]
BUT our evening started with another surprise!  [We were going to tell them sometime during the evening...we got permission from our daughter, Kirsten.]  As we were sitting down with a glass of wine and appetizers, my phone rang and it was our daughter!  She wanted to tell them herself.  I put her on speaker phone and she announces that she has exciting news! Then she says...I'm ENGAGED!  Of coarse, they were extremely excited for her and Mike!  They got engaged on the 4th of July under the fireworks in Rapid City, SD.  As she puts it...fireworks in her heart!  Pictures soon as we are heading to SD on Saturday!  Makes me even more excited to see her [if that's possible]!
So...back to our dinner.  We had maple glazed pork tenderloins cooked on the grill, roasted vegetables and seasoned and grilled potatoes.  It was a tasty summer dinner! Dessert was a refreshing Norwegian cheesecake that's as smooth and cool as ice cream.  We moved into the living room for more coffee, comfort and conversation.  I presented Ken with a package and my few words to him...Just Because!

Yes, the quilt looks upside down...but not to him.  He was looking at all the details!

Here are some more pictures of the quilt!

Aren't the little camper so cute?

In the border I quilted the names of 18 different places that they have camped.  Some with us!

Hope you enjoyed it!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

What's up!

It has been a while since I have posted and I do have so much to share.  First up, I would like to say a BIG thanks to those who voted for my Mariner's Compass quilt.  The response was awesome and my quilt won!! The sponsor for the week was Around the Block Quilters Shop and I won a $30.00 gift certificate to use in the shop.  I already picked out and received my prize!  I chose 3 - 1/2 yards of Woodland Bloom by Lila Tueller for Moda, 2 charm packs and 2 - 1/2 yards of Frolic by Sandy Gervais for Moda.  They are so pretty!  Thank you Christine !

Next up is an update on the Charming Friends QAL.  I am in the process of hand quilting my quilt.  Kelly has given us free range on how to quilt our quilt.  I have never hand quilted an entire quilt before so I thought I would give it a try.  May take me awhile!  

Kelly also opened up the Charming Girls' Quilt Club to new members!  Yes, I went along and joined.  Kelly's QAL was so much fun I couldn't resist.   I hope I can keep up with it.  We are to post goals every 2 months and each month there will be a theme.  July's theme is 

Here are my thoughts on the subject....
Moms (myself included) generally have a hard time with this subject.  It is a part of us to be the caregivers to others, especially our children.  When our children are small, they need us - we drive them to their activities, wait for them, help them, nurse them, feed them, clean up after them, encourage them, cry with them, etc.  You get the picture - there is not much left for ourselves.  Our needs are happily sacrificed. Our identity becomes tied to our children.  
Have you ever been known as [insert your child's name] mom? 
But our children do grow-up and their need for us becomes smaller.  When this happens, our role changes.  Yes, I will always be their mom but the time invested decreases and now there is more time available for me. I tend to find it hard to allow myself 'me time' [other than quilting].  I need to learn to allow myself to relax, enjoy life, be thankful and feel pampered.    
To start, I think I'll get a pedicure this week!

My goals for July and August will include some quilting but I will be away from my machine for a good part of July.  
Vacation - Week 1 - really enjoy our visit with our daughter, Kirsten.  Make it quality time! See and experience her new life out in South Dakota! Visit Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, caves, some quilt stores and more!
                       - Week 2 - hubby and I head to Colorado for some alone time.  Relax and enjoy each other in the beautiful mountains atmosphere.  Outdoor activities may include hiking, biking, hot springs, sightseeing.  
Reading - Summer reading is really lagging behind my usual goal.  Pick up the pace and read at least 2-3 books during July and August.  
Quilting - Finish QAL - hand quilting
              - Red and White - add borders, sandwich and quilt
              - Applique Needle Case Swap
              - Stitchery Quilt - design layout
              - Happy Camper 2 - recut and piece top

Lastly, I wanted to mention that I did have another finish for June.  It is my Happy Camper quilt that I have previously mentioned and gave peeks of here.  I finished the last stitches in the binding and labeled it on June 30th!  I can't show you yet as it hasn't been received by the special recipient.  Pictures soon!