Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sunday in VA

But let me review, first ...

I DID make it to the quilt shop yesterday!  Sew Many Quilts in Covington, VA.  About 1 mile off I-64 at Exit 14.  What a sweet shop!  It goes on like a Russian war novel, with separately themed rooms, over 3,000 bolts stacked everywhere, and Norman the cat to greet you.  I was looking for some variety in my WOWs and came home with five half-yard pieces.  I didn't bother to get a pic because they don't photograph very well.

We had dinner in the dining room last night (rather than Food Lion salads we've been eating other nights) and while the entrees were delicious, the Classic Gold Brick for dessert was OTW.

Classic Gold Brick - The Homestead dining room
Bourbon Chocolate Sponge, Homestead Chocolate Gold Brick Sauce, Candied Pecans complete with gold baubles on the top!

Holy Cow, it was delicious!  It made walking those 4 miles yesterday worth it!

We decided to skip the tournament today and do a little adventuring in Virginia.  So off to Natural Bridge we went.

The approach to Natural Bridge, VA
 It's amazing to realize that the little bubbling stream at the base was responsible for carving this opening through a mountainside!  Do you see the tiny people walking along the pathway?

The sun illuminating the arch from the other side shows the variations in color deposited by the river.

Natural Bridge, VA
Only 2.1 miles clocked today, so I guess I need to skip dessert!  Sigh.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Wild and Wonderful

West Virginia!

I love the Allegheny Mountains!  We are staying at The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA (ca 1766) and driving to The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV every day to experience the PGA golf tournament.

I love the mountains, but the driving is something else!  Our drive up from Roanoke looked like this:

I swear I could hear banjos!  Only till we got to the other end of the county road with no shoulders did we see the sign "GPS routing not advised"!

Our drive down the mountain each day is considerably better.

At least it's a US highway with wide shoulders and banked curves!

The Greenbrier is always decked out to the nines for tournament time.

Below the first tee
Wouldn't these colors make a beautiful quilt?

Speaking of quilts, hoping to make it to the local shop today!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Blogging Slump

I guess it happens to all of us every once in a while.  I think things have been happening so fast lately -- trips here and there, meetings, retreats -- that I can't keep up.

So just a quick recap ...

S'mores retreat in August - So nice to see old friends and a couple of new ones.  I reported on all my mishaps that resulted in still-UFOs.  I did finish a pillow ...

... and two flimsies.

S-F-W-S table topper

Psychedelic 4-Patch Posey
With just a few days to catch up at home and pack, we headed to Upstate NY for Grandson-1's wedding.  The festivities took place at Oz Farm in Saugerties, NY ...

... starting with a welcome dinner and barn dance on Saturday ...

Interesting interpretation of "barn dance"
... that went on to the wee smalls of the morning.  Lawn games and cocktails in the round tent on Sunday afternoon ...

Bride holding forth at the craft table
... followed by vows in the circus tent ...

... and dinner served family style.

The bride had knit tiny caricatures, personally selected for EACH person attending.  Mine was a sewing machine.

Needing to get an early start Monday morning, we left the festivities before the dancing began in the barn again.

Now I have a few days to catch up on laundry before the next outing which SHOULD be a lot more relaxed.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Adding a New Family Member

GS-1 is getting married so I'll be out of touch for a few days with limited WiFi and lots of activities.  See if you can guess where we are.

View from the compound

Friday's field trip

We are not in the path of the storms.  I hope all my readers on the Southeast Coast remain safe.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

A Fun Ride ...

... comes to an end 

The garden has just about yielded it's last tomato.  By the time we get back from GS-1's wedding it will probably be a complete wasteland.

I embarked on this adventure with minimal experience and a lot of hope.  My big Christmas present from Santa was this VegTrug from Gardener's Supply.

We finally got it set up and ready to plant on Memorial Day weekend.

DH mixing the soil recipe
I was so proud of my little garden ...

June 2
I planted three Bradley tomatoes, three cherry tomatoes, three green peppers, two cucumbers, and one each of basil, dill, rosemary, and thyme.  Plus three marigolds.  I had no clue I was stuffing the trough close to, if not beyond, capacity.

We had a lot of rain right off the bat and everything thrived beyond expectation.

June 18
Then we had a dry spell and I thought we'd lose everything.  Water and fertilizer to the rescue!

June 23
Just a week later everything was thriving again and I had to stake the tomatoes.  There were blooms on everything, a tiny green pepper had started to form and the herbs were going crazy.  By early July things were looking good.

July 10
And by the end of July I enjoyed my first harvest.

Lunch, July 31
Still, everything continued to grow like Topsy, producing handfulls of cherry tomatoes and a couple of Bradleys every day.

And the weirdest cucumbers in the world.

But by the end of August the garden showed signs of exhaustion.

August 23
Yesterday I discovered something had been feasting on the leaves ...

and enjoying a few cherry tomatoes along the way.

This morning I saw a wren wrestling with something in the trough and this afternoon I discovered the culprit.

Tomato Hornworm
I smushed him after this photo.

All we have left is a batch of cherry tomatoes and one cucumber vine that looks to be producing "normal" cucumbers.

It's been an adventure; I've learned a lot.  I may plant a cool weather crop when we get back from the wedding.  Or I may just plant mums and start again next spring ...

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Retreat Day 3

A Finish!

I actually had one finished project (sort of).  I say "sort of" because my plan was to make two.

14" Double Pinwheel Pillow
This pillow cover was made from a double pinwheel orphan block left over from a quilt that I think went to our former pastor and his wife (she was a Realtor who helped us find our last house which would accommodate my invalid MIL).  I did an overlapped back in the same teal fabric I used to border the block.  I should have taken a picture of the back because I am really proud of how that turned out.  Thankfully there was a guest quilter at our retreat who had experience making pillow covers who helped me with measurements!

There was a second orphan block in the reverse fabrics (that's how that double pinwheel pattern works) but I wasn't pleased with my fabric choices for that one so it remains a project for another day.  I think it would look better in a larger size so I need to get another pillow form before I start.

I also finished a flimsy that I think some little girl will really love.  This one is going to the guild's Comfort Quilt program.

Psychedelic 4-Patch Posey
Several years ago I experimented with several types of 4-Patch Posey blocks while preparing for a class I taught at a local guild.  These were made from some small (maybe 6") psychedelic panel squares.  (I wish I had made a photo of the original fabric!)  I stacked four of each and cut them into quarter-square triangles.

Panels are frequently imperfectly printed and these were particularly flimsy as well as imperfect, so I did the best that I could.  The purpose was to demo for the class, but I hated to see the blocks go to waste.  I used a lower quality purple (not because it was a charity quilt, but because it worked with my plan) so the main portion of the top is a bit wonky.  I picked some quality fabrics from my stash for the inner and outer borders to stabilize the final product.

All week I had been using pieces cut for Alycia/Quilty Girl's block drive as leaders/enders and manged to complete one block.

QOV block
My late-night project from Day 3 that carried over to today was the Manly 4-Patch I started last month.

Manly 4-Patch
I have 4 long seams left to sew and press.  I think it is going to be double size (or a very big twin).  This one will go to the Devo and Sew closet for a future need.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Retreat Days 1 and 2

Photos finally made it to the cloud and back so I will try to reprise my progress.

After a LONG trip back to Middle Tennessee on Monday (with stops to deposit a check, take quilts to the LAQ,  pop into Target for some last-minute items, and visit Fantastic Sams for a hair cut) I arrived shortly after noon and proceeded to settle in.

At the last minute I put a stack of little shoe-box size project boxes into the car, even though I had already packed a laundry basket with big projects -- things that needed final assembly or borders or backs.  I decided to start with the small stuff and first up was a failed One Block Wonder.  I managed to salvage the blocks by making a small wall hanging.

(The large "dots" are not part of the quilt; they are pumpkins on the front side of the flannel-back table cloth I'm using for a design wall.)  The trials and tribulations involved with this project deserve a post of it's own so stay tuned.  I finished it Tuesday morning but discovered I didn't have enough of the intended fabric for the back ...

SO I moved on to another small project -- the remnants from the quilt I dropped off with the LAQ.

Table Runner
These fabrics always photograph as black from a distance.  They really look like this:

With the walking foot on my Baby Lock I did simple straight line quilting about 1/2" on either side of the seams.  I had hoped to count this as a finished project but didn't bring along a fabric I felt would work for the binding ... sigh.

My next project was possibly the second project I ever started in my quilting life, probably around 2002.

Tree of Life Table Topper
The blocks are totally hand pieced, but I added the sashing by machine.

I had planned to sandwich and baste, but I made a mistake in cutting the back so I have yet another unfinished project.

Check back tomorrow to see the results of Day 3.