Saturday, September 24, 2011

Raffle Quilt - Work in Progress

I am involved in a small Art Quilt Group that has branched off from our local quilt guild. It has been amazing to see the talent of some of these women and some day I will share some of what they have shown our group. But today I am showing you what we are working on for next year. Most guilds make a quilt to raffle each year so they can earn money for workshops and speakers. Two of the ladies in our group volunteered us to make it for next year. I have worked on the raffle quilt the last two years and decided this year, I was out. Well, it did not go that way but I have to say this is going to be a fun quilt to be a part of. We have met several times already just in the planning process and now we are making some progress.

These are just the base blocks. The quilt will have pieced sashing and some applique in the borders. I am just so excited to see how the bright colors look on the black background. Here are my blocks.

This is my favorite. We are calling it the pomegranate flower because that is what it reminds us of.

Imagine these with some thread painting and soft embellishments.

This is the proposed layout which will have the pieced green sashing. The four corners will be slightly different flowers which are a little bigger because they do not have stems. I am sure we will make more changes but we had to start somewhere and we hope to have it off to the quilter sometime in November.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Marti and Me again.

I love how using the Marti and Me templates make me look like an experienced piecer. These templates are just amazing. This particular month we did a faux Carpenter's Wheel and boy did they make it easy. After cutting the pieces, I did not trust that they were going to turn out so I tried to lay it out by looking at the picture and couldn't do it. Then I had my 15 year old help and she gave up. The next day I placed all the pieces back in the order that I cut them and decided to follow the directions to see if it worked. And it did!! My daughter was even amazed out how it turned out since we couldn't even get the puzzle to fit together.
The difference between this and a real carpenter's wheel are the squares. The original block pattern have all the squares the same size. I cannot stress how much I love that Marti has done all the work for us.

This is going to be the center square of a Texas quilt. It would look spectacular using the recent block patterns that were given out with the Quilt Across Texas tour.

I love the red and aqua colors chosen for this one.
Here are a few more including a Christmas version.

It is so fun to go and see what everyone has come up with each month. One pattern can look so different just by the colors you use.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Katy Trail

I am finally getting around to organizing pictures and wanted to share some of mine from our summer bike adventure. It was probably the most rewarding vacation I have ever had. I have been to lots of places including Europe and Hawaii but riding my bike along The Katy Trail was probably my favorite. I love a physical challenge and there is nothing that makes you appreciate where you live better than to be completely without the comforts of your daily life. We slept in hotels but that was because I did not want to haul all my bedding around. It was hot and a tough terrain and our fuel was warm water and Cliff bars. We did usually find a place to eat dinner that was your typical small town bar filled with smoke. We all had our Ipods which besides my husband and my friend, Mary, got me through some really tough spots. I found this shirt for Mary after the trip and knew I had to get it for her. We rode most of the last day by ourselves and it was completely uphill. We now know to start from Sedalia, MO and head to Dutzow, MO.

We tried to choose historic places to stay and the first hotel was Hotel Bothwell in Sedalia, MO. It was really beautiful and they tried to keep everything in its original state.

I love the look of old buildings. It is hard to believe that these were once thriving towns with lots to offer.

These are our loaded bikes. I managed to take a couple of jackets, a book and some sewing along.

Here is my husband conducting business as we wait for our train that was delayed two hours. We got a really late start our first day which made it very challenging.

Finally, our train arrives. The train wasn't even stopped 5 minutes and the conductors do not help you with your bikes. Charlie ended up leaving a bag behind not realizing the train would take off so quickly. He was intending to hop back off to get it but they are apparently on some schedule even though they were late to pick us up. It was a pleasant ride even though we did pick up some newly released prisoners in Jefferson City.

After reading other bikers experiences with The Katy Trail, it was advised that we not ride across the bridge from Washington to Dutzow. That was great advice! It was two lanes and no shoulder room at all. I had arranged for the bike store owner to give us a ride across and he was able to replace the things that were left behind in Sedalia.

Lunch was at 4:30 on our first day on the trail due to the train being late and the deli we had planned on eating at was closed. You can do that when you are in a small town...just put a sign on the door. We found a little bar that actually had wonderful cold water.

Our first night on the trail we stayed at The Doll House Bed & Breakfast. It was outstanding! The owner was super sweet and breakfast was delicious.

It was neat to be riding along and all of a sudden you see the State Capitol of Missouri.

...or deer running through the fields.

We stayed the next night at The Globe Hotel which had a lot of history to go along with it. The owner had most everything moved upstairs because they were expecting the river to flood. She had showed us the flood lines from previous years that were half way up the walls.

She had a lot of antique quilts and linens which I loved inspecting.

There were very few buildings in Hartsburg where we stayed but this one was so ornate.

Before we arrived at one of our rest stops, McBain, we came across Boathenge.

There were so many neat picture opportunities along the trail. We did not stop for all of them or we would have never made it to our destination. Next time we are going to allow more time to take in the scenery.

Our last hotel was Hotel Frederick in Booneville. Another historic place with lots of character.

The cafe there had delicious food!

We saw so many cool barns. I am passionate about barns, houses, and churches. I particularly like the barn with the quilt block above it.

Our last day was completely uphill. I have never been so sore in my life but I have never had such a sense of accomplishment either. I just loved our trip and cannot wait to try some more Rails to Trails adventures.