Monday, July 22, 2013

I'm ALL blocked up !! LOL


OK, rest assured - it's not about THAT !!!! 

Everywhere I look in my sewing room, there is a pile of blocks...

Blocks I am making...
Blocks I have been gifted...
Blocks I won in Block Lotto....

I am trying to reduce the clutter...  and I simply REFUSE to put them in a box or bin - cause that's the kiss of death - they will stay in the bin for EVER.... 

So - I am sewin up a storm making tops out of these blocks...  Here's the first one.  Mystic threw himself down one second after I put this on the floor.  It is made from a group of blocks that were supposed to be finished during Lent - well, is it EASTER yet?   Better late than never...


 This little top comes from 9 lotto blocks I won from the Sunshine Online Guild...  this is a real fun setting for blocks...  borrowed from a guild member.  I'll probably make several more since there are still piles of blocks in there..............
And then I quilted up this little scrappy Falling Charms - top sewn by another build member - Mystic likes yellow, it seems.   (and yes, all my charity quilts have a quick stop in the washing machine before being put in the box...)   I swear it just lands on the floor and he is on it in a second.


I really love doing these little charity quilts for Sunshine - it's so fun to finish up a top in a reasonable amount of time - I have several full-size quilts in progress, but I enjoy these little guys most of all , I think !

Happy Quilting, everybody !

Kate

























Saturday, July 20, 2013

oh, it's a great Saturday Sewing Day !!!  yippee..............

 Borders are now on two side of the Pineapple Quilt (Bonnie Hunter's pattern)
Only two more sides to go -  oh I want this quilt finished....
 I have been working on this little piece of a linen quilt -  more photos when this gets a bit futher along....
and one more block of Sue Garmen's pattern is finished - these are just so much fun !

Well, let me get back to the machine - I'm sewing and cleaning, sewing and cleaning... DH is off to the Farmer's Market and to get lunch -  a yummy salad from Wendys...  it's a beautiful day here - a little chilly this morning... 

Hope everyone is having a good day...

Kate

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Headed East on the California Zephyr

A Travelogue......   a little late in coming, because life has been busy - but nonetheless, the story of my train trip from San Francisco to Denver...

Now, mind you, my friends thought I was nuts to take the train for 33 hours, instead of flying for six... but I have always always wanted to travel far by train - it sounded romantic and beautiful, so I thought this was the time...

According to the Amtrak website, the California Zephyr is the most beautiful train route in the country... well, after a long and stressful year in the "day job", I was ready for some relaxation and beautiful scenery... 

Boarding in Emeryville (near San Francisco) , one looked around and sees the wide range of people - families with children, senior citizens, young people with backpacks...  all ready for a bit of adventure.  I couldn't help wondering what compelled them to use this mode of transportation - unless you are willing to sit up in coach all night, travelling with a sleeper compartment is more expensive than a plane...  but I had no time to delve into their stories.  Cause - here comes the train to the Emeryville stop !!!!  I hear the whistle blowin...............(thanks, Johnny Cash)

  Soon enough, in rolled the train, and the cry of "All Aboard" was heard up and down the train. 
I climbed into my little Roomette, No. 5, and settled in - within minutes, this tidy little space was crammed with "stuff"...  shoes off, pillow ready for naps, I was comfy... that little table pulls out for a great working or snacking space !  And I had brought along enough needle work for about a month, so I was sure to have plenty to do !!!

Day One was a travel across California...  we headed out of the San Francisco Bay area, and soon passed by Suisun Bay, where our Navy stores a large fleet of mothballed WW II ships - these ships can not be dismantled because of environmental concerns, so they just sit there...  like ghost ships.


The train was quiet, swaying gently, and a nap became an increasingly good possibility.  So, throughout the day, I read, napped, did some stitchery, and had a perfectly lovely and restful day, watching these scenes go by:










 
Then it was a climb into the Sierra Nevadas, past Donner Lake - where the famous Donner wagon party became stuck in the winter, and nearly all starved, finally resorting to cannibalism... it's a fabulously beautiful area, near Lake Tahoe and the fabulous ski areas...

time for DINNER - yummy...  one can go to the dining car, or have a meal brought to your sleeper car...  when you get a sleeper car, the meals are in your ticket, so heavens, let's not pick this day to diet !!!!

I must admit I was grateful to have dinner delivered - I don't know how the attendant managed - I found walking down the corridors very difficult as the train seemed perfectly stable while sitting, but lurched around when I was trying to walk !!

And then, soon enough, time for sleep - Courtney, our sleeping car attendance, came by and turned down the bed...  would I be able to sleep in this space?   Well, after a few minutes adjusting, I was out like a light until 7 the next morning!  This little bed was actually comfy... this photo is from the Amtrak site - my little compartment was not nearly this neat !!!!  And, yes, it has a door and a privacy curtain, not shown in this photo...I settled in, and after a little time relaxing, I was out like a light.  Amtrak practices a "quiet time" at ten o'clock - no talking on cell phones, no music, no announcements.  I didn't even wake up when we stopped in Salt Lake City in the middle of the night...




Day Two dawned in eastern Utah, soon crossing into Colorado, and wandering beside the Colorado river, in just gorgeous country:




We followed the Colorado River for miles and miles - gorgeous, gorgeous.



 
What gorgeous, gorgeous countryside !!!!  I was just so very, very relaxed...
 
 And while I relaxed, I stitched:  

 
 
and soon enough, Denver came into view, and in a flash, my little adventure was over...  But I had had a wonderful time, was rested and refreshed, and ready for my business meeting the next day... 
 
Yahoo for train travel !!!!
 
Kate
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

How Much Handwork Can I Do in 33 Hours?

Happy Weekend to Everyone !!!!

I am so very very excited:::: Tomorrow I make a fabulous train trip::::


I AM GOING ON THE CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR






The Zephyr is one of the great American train trips - I will go from San Francisco to Denver - 33 hours... I have a cute little sleeper car...

The route goes over the Sierra Nevadas, Utah, and the Rockies - I am so so excited !!!!

So - how much handwork will it take to keep me busy????

I have lots... 

Stay tuned for a report on Monday night when I arrive in Denver...

Kate




Thursday, July 4, 2013

i can SMELL the finish . . . .

The Great Hexagon Quilt is nearing completion of the top - oh lord, I can't wait... two years and three months I have been working on this thing - - and this is the hardest part so far...  just gritting my teeth and focusing on the finish line... goal is mid-August.

here's the 'progress'  photo:
July 1, 2013


Tomorrow is a SEW SEW day at my house.  yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Kathleen






Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sometimes You Eat the Bear...............

Do you know that saying???? 
Sometimes you Eat the Bear.............. Sometimes the Bear Eats You............

Well, heck, it has been a day..............

Work wasn't great - DH says "honey, that's why they call it WORK"....  enough of that already.

This project has been declared RIP - dead - disaster beyond repair... sad......... it doesn't look too bad  in this photo::::
 But, I tried a couple of things that just didn't work:  1.  double thickness of wool batting - don't do it...  stiff and heavy like a horse blanket - mistake;   2.  that blue pencil - a Sullivan 6 in 1 water soluble marking pen - its NOT water soluble........... I KNOW I SHOULD HAVE TESTED IT.....  but I did not alas, alas...................  somehow in my mind it was blue, like the magic blue pens, so of course it would come out.  

So, RIP, project - it was fun, and I learned from you, and the Sullivan pens are in the trash can....

It reminds me of a dress I made in high school - for a Hawaiian luau - I chose a fabric with tropical flowers and fruit - - and after cutting and sewing, tried it on, to discover a GIGANTIC bunch of CHERRIES positioned right smack dab in the middle of the front of the skirt............... oh Lord.... a 17 year old with a bunch of cherries positioned just RIGHT THERE - balled it up and pitched it... well today was like that - it is gone, in the trash, driven away by the big green truck.

Unfortunately later I discovered that my number 37 Bernina foot went away in the big green truck, too - it fell off the table into the trash - DH said he saw something in the trash but didn't double check - - ugh - - he will go to the Bernina store tomorrow to buy a replacement - I can't fuss - oh well, they make more of those.

On a lighter note - I was putting on binding tonight - laid the binding on the chair and went to the ladies - - returned to this...  a good time being had by all - see the little gray one hiding under the chair saying "I didn't do it"... 

oh well - tomorrow is another day, isn't it?

I'm going to settle down on the couch, hand sew a binding, and watch some tv... 

Kate












 
 
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