Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Firefighters Memorial

I grew up with a firefighter father.  Back in those days we called them firemen, because they were all men.  Nowadays there are women firefighters as well.  My Dad was the engineer and drove the "big red firetruck" which was pretty cool for us kids.  I remember at least one Thanksgiving dinner eaten at the fire station with the other men and their families.  I remember sliding down the fire pole and hearing the sirens go off up close.

I also remember my Dad being gone for days at a time, fighting big forest fires in California.  I remember not knowing exactly where he was or when he would be able to come home.  This was back in the days before cell phones, so we just waited and watched the news on T.V.

My husband discovered a Firefighters Memorial in Colorado Springs that honors all of the firefighters who have died in the line of duty, in North America, since 1975.  We had to stop for a visit to honor these men ourselves.  One of these men was my Dad's best friend.

We found the name of my Dad's friend Jim Howe, who left behind a lovely wife and two beautiful young daughters.

It's kind of hard to see in this picture, but this statue depicts a fireman rescuing an infant.

There are walls and walls of names of those who have died in the line of duty.

All of the names on these two walls are the NYC firefighters who gave their lives on September 11, 2001.

Thanks Dad, and all of the other men out there in this line of work who risk their lives daily to rescue and protect all of us.  I appreciate you!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Quilt Stores Have the Best Bathrooms

As I was driving to Utah Friday to go to the "Outdoor Concert" with my daughter, I knew I was going to need to make a bathroom stop.  Now usually, when I'm with my hubby, we stop at a gas station and then feel guilty if we use their facilities without buying something so we look around for something to buy and end up with food we probably shouldn't eat - like Necco's - which we both like :)

This time, since I was alone, I thought to myself, "You know, quilt stores happen to have the NICEST bathrooms, and there happens to be a wonderful quilt store in Springville, Utah that I have not been to for a very long time.  Perhaps I should stop and use their NICE bathroom, then I won't be tempted to buy food that I shouldn't eat!"
Great idea, right?

So I made a small detour to the Corn Wagon Quilt Co. and used their very nice bathroom.  Of course I would feel guilty if I didn't look around for a bit ....

If you are ever in Springville, put this on your list of places you MUST stop.  It's a fabulous store, they have tons of cute things and a very friendly staff.  They even let me take some pictures to show you all how cute their store is.

They've already decorated for Halloween and Fall.

They have a wonderful selection of wool and wool products.

The whole atmosphere of the store is very welcoming and inviting.

By the way, the sign on the left, above the wooly sheep says:
"Retail Therapy
Studies show women who undergo regular treatment sleep better, have healthier lives & have more fulfilled relationships."

I took advantage of a little "Retail Therapy" treatment at the Corn Wagon Quilt Co.

I think this cost more than a pack of Necco's....

But I'm sure it's healthier....

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Outdoor Concerts

I went to a Blake Shelton concert with my daughter last night. I don't know what it is about me and outdoor concerts lately but I'm three for three in being rained on at them in the past few years. This one was the best of the three though! As Blake Shelton said we "outlasted the crappy weather!"  He put on a great show and it didn't really start pouring until we were in the car on our way back to my daughter's house :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Animal Inspiration

I have seen some pretty spectacular animal- inspired quilts, although I have not yet made one.  If you are inspired by animals, here are some pictures I took at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs for you to enjoy :)

The giraffe exhibit was a blast.  You can get up close and personal with them, especially if you purchase some lettuce to feed them.  They have really LONG, gray tongues.  I shouldn't have been surprised at how long their tongues are, but I was.  Really Long.

The little Meerkat posing above.

When I first saw the sloth at the left, I thought it was fake because it is not IN a cage, it was in front of the cage.

Then it moved and kind of freaked me out.

And then I saw this sign....

There was a mother dear and two babies bounding through the zoo, and eating.  They were not afraid of anyone or anything and didn't seem to mind having their picture taken.

Mike said he hoped they didn't accidentally bound into the lion's cage!

We could quite up close and personal with the porcupines too.  However they smell so bad, I was happy not to get too close, or for too long.

There were two grizzly bears that came right down to the glass and put on quite a show.  I was very thankful there was glass in between me and them.  They are HUGE.

This would make a great quilt though wouldn't it?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pinning in the Sunroom

Yesterday I pinned a couple of quilts - in the sunroom!  It sure beats pinning in the garage :)
My hubby even helped me pin this one.

This is a napping quilt I made for some friends.  The napping quilt size is kind of in between a twin and a lap quilt.  I really like the size, even more than I thought I would.  I used a 60 inch wide backing fabric, so I did not have to piece it, as the quilt is 51 inches wide by about 76 inches long (perfect for a nap, or curling up with a good book).  I used my new favorite batting Quilter's Dream Request.  You have to "request" it at our local shops because they don't normally carry it.  Lorraine at Hi Fashion is good about keeping me in supply though - she lets me know when she's ordering :)

This quilt was made by Gini from the CO West Quilter's Guild.  She donated it to be sold at a quilt show next March and needed a volunteer to quilt it.  It was time I volunteered to do something for the guild so I will be quilting it.  It's a beautiful quilt!  I will post better pictures of both quilts once I get them quilted.

The napping quilt pattern was found in this Modern Quilts magazine by Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle - issue #2.  It's called "Best of Both Worlds".  It went together really nicely! The top and bottom borders though - the half-inch sections - took as long to piece as the entire rest of the quilt!  I am excited to quilt this one and gift it to our friends.  I hope they like it!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bonsai Trees

One more post about the Denver Botanic Gardens!

Check out the roof on this educational building!  Looks like a hexagon quilt!

Since I love miniature quilts, you could probably guess that I love other miniature "things" as well - like these miniature trees!  These were in the Bonsai tree section of the garden and I was amazed at how much they looked like large, mature trees, when in actuality they were only one or two feet tall.

This is truly an art form to be able to do this.  I wonder if it is as difficult, or more so, than making a miniature quilt?

Here is my favorite :)  It looks like something right out of a fairy tale.

They all had signs similar to this one that informed us how long "they had been in training."  Over 30 years for this one pictured above.  Amazing....

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chihuly's Gondola

If you watched my slide show you saw this picture of Dale Chihuly's gondola at the Denver Botanic Garden exhibit.

I knew I had seen it before and sure enough I had - as a quilt!

Melissa Sobotka had seen Chihuly's glass art exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum and she said, "The colors screamed to be made into a quilt."
She said she created one ball a day out of batiks and raw-edge appliqué.   She also used Tsukineko inks to give depth and soften the edges.  She soon filled the boat with these beautiful balls and quilted it on a rented long arm machine and her domestic machine.
AND - she won BEST OF SHOW at the Houston International Quilt Festival last year and that's where I had seen it!

Melissa's quilt is also featured in this month's issue of The Quilt Life.  It is the "centerfold" feature on page 45.  In the article Melissa says that after her quilt won Best of Show in Houston last fall, it caught the eye of Dale Chihuly, who then sent her warm congratulations and an autographed gift!  Way to go Melissa!

Sadly, this issue of the Quilt Life is the last one.  I have really enjoyed this magazine and will miss it very much.  Thankfully The Quilt Show with Alex and Ricky is still going strong.  I have learned much from that show over the years.  They feature many amazing quilters and keep quilters up to date on the latest information from around the world on their Daily Blog.  Go check it out, if you haven't already.  And remember, "It's a new day, everyday!"

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sew Savvy at Hi Fashion

Saturday I attended the Sew Savvy club at Hi Fashion.  It's always fun to see all of the new stuff!  My problem is that I need to use up some of my "old" stuff!  Oh well, one can look right?

Cute tablerunners!

More cute monthly mini size quilts made by Lorraine.  The flower pots on the far right were done in wool.  These little quilts are so fun and just the right size for a little gift.  And, Patch Abilities keeps coming out with more and more patterns!

A new Kim Diehl "whatnot" club is starting up soon with Heather.  It's tempting....