Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quiltfest in Jonesboro

I was lucky enough to get away from my busy schedule and family activities to take some quilting classes and visit Quiltfest in Jonesboro TN.

I signed up for two classes with Pat Sloan... a background class named "Wild and Free" and a machine applique class named "Little Bluebird". I'd met Pat online and drove over to Pigeon Forge for thier quilt show and to meet her in person 2-3 years ago. So I was familiar with her work and looked forward to loads of fun!

One of the class directions was to bring a laundry basket full of fabrics to play with. My problem... I have all my fabrics sorted by color. If I pick some of each and put them in a basket to bring, inevitably I would want the one I left behind. So what choice did I have but to load everything into my trunk!

Pat's background class started with her discussing her quilts and showing us the difference between her light and dark backgrounds. I believe she named this one "Ma-Ma's Garden". It was one of her first experiments into pieced backgrounds and she used mostly light neutrals.

This next quilt, named "Walk in the Moonlight" shows a pieced dark background with light/bright color applique for a unique look.

Then Pat worked with each of us individually, helping us audition and choose the right fabrics that "played well together". I'm sorry to say I can't give credit to the owners as I forgot to take notes, but here is a sampling of backgrounds being auditioned.

First was this purple print with orange... she added other purples, a bit of orange and a black and white for interest. Applique a black/white flower pot and some yellow or orange flowers!

Next up the main fabric was a coral/pink/black white print. Add a variety of black and white and coral prints and Voila!.

I believe that gold and silver print is a fabric she auditioned for the flowerpot applique

This next lady had a variety of Wizzard of Oz fabrics that she wanted to use up. Instead of appliqued flowers, she is going to add a house with the ruby slippers peaking out from underneath and was deciding on how to make a tornado cloud swirling around beside it.

Here are two others. Can you believe I forgot to take a pictue of my own before laying down any applique??

At the end of the day we all had most or all of the background pieced and ready for applique.

The next day's class topic was machine applique. Pat demonstrated different stitches, stitch lengths, and techniques for machine applique. Unfortunately, the gears on my old singer are worn and I couldn't get a decent zig zag stitch much less a blanket stitch. So while the others were playing with their machine applique, I began to pin and hand stitch mine. But that's ok... I'll get mine done a bit slower, but it will get done. I still have to add the leaves and berries, but here is a sneak peak...
and I'll post a picture later when it's done... or come and see it hanging in my living room!

Hugs and smooches to Pat. Thanks for a great time!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Farmers Market Adventures

We have been babysitting our 2-year-old grandson this week while his mom takes a vacation. Satuday, it was my turn to get up early with him so that grandpa could get some much needed extra sleep and I decided to take him to the local farmers market in search of some corn. I don't usually go there since we have our own garden full of vegetables and fruit, but we haven't had much luck with growing our own corn and decided it was time to buy some locally and put it up for the winter. We walked the length of the market hoping for some lettuce for a salad tonight. He was looking intently at each stall... pointing out all the balls! (peaches and tomatoes and anything else round) Didn't find any lettuce, but we did find these eggplants. My grandson decided it was his "kickball game" (his name for a football) and he had to carry one under each arm to the car! I guess I'll be making some eggplant salad and maybe some eggplant parmasian this week!

Next I bought four dozen ears of peaches and cream corn and had to carry them just two car-lengths across the lot from the sellers truck to my car. Of course, I had my eager helper with me. He dragged one of the four bags of corn across the parking lot with all his might... refusing any help.... very loudly claiming "NO Nanna ME do it!" pushing my helping hand away. Several shoppers stopped to watch. He pulled and pulled refusing any help. "NO Nanna ME do it! Traffic stopped. Those plastic shopping bags were not up to the abuse and quickly the corn poked holes through the bag and he left a trail of four ears to my car. An older couple driving through the lot kindly sat there smiling and watching and waving him on! He made it to my car then ran back... twice... gathering up his "breadcrumbs"! So proud of himself! I'll never go to market again without my camera!

Here is some of the the corn shucked and ready for freezing. I was also able to can some jars of green beans from the garden while he napped.

And these orange cherry tomatoes run through the juicer made a nice "wake up" snack later on.

Hope you are enjoying your own garden harvest this year. If not... don't forget your camera when you go to the farmers market!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kimmie's Wedding Quilt... Done and a Blue Ribbon!

I finished the quilting on Sunday and stayed up late Monday to get the binding done.
With Kimmie's permission I'm keeping the quilt a bit longer. I entered it into the local FCE Cultural Arts program and won a blue ribbon!

It will move on to the regional competiton in September, but first, I'm going to enter it into the county fair.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pink Cadillac Diner

On the way home from Pennsylvania it was starting to get late and we needed some dinner and a bed for the night. So we started looking for an exit with a hotel and a place to eat. We drove south on route 81 to the Natural Bridge Virgina exit (it was exit 180-something) which advertised a Budge Inn and Pink Cadillac Diner and decided to give it a try.

Kong was guarding the parking lot... he was an advertisement for something down the road.

Humpty Dumpty greeted us at the front door

But the real treasure for us was opening the front door and walking into a room full of Elvis memorabillia! The walls were covered with plates, tapestry, pictures, concert posters and much more!

A must have menu item!....and Yes, he ate the whole thing!

This was a great ending to what had been a somber trip.

We'll be back to visit again someday!

UPDATE:   We recently had an opportunity to stop into this diner again. Apparently the diner was sold in 2012/13 and the new owners completely changed it. While the Pink Cadillac still sits out front, King Kong and Humpty Dumpty are gone.   Most of the memorabilia had been removed.  It was more of a 50's formica/chrome soda shop look.  We were very disappointed!  

Friday, July 1, 2011


It has been about a month since I last posted here. My dad was diagnosed in 1998 with Alzheimers and has been fading away from us bit by bit as this terrible disease slowly stole him from us. But, early in June he had a massive stroke and the time has been spent being with family and keeping him as comfortable as possible while awaiting his passing. During that time, Mom and I contacted far-away friends and family and we all did lots of reminiscing.

During his career as a hydraulic engineer, among other things, he designed and saw the creation of a system that would supply water to the people of the City of New York for years to come. During his 54 year marriage to Mom, he helped raise four children (trust me, not an easy task!), he held eight grandchildren and one great-grandson. He was always there for us helping us overcome the trials and tribulations of life and encouraged us to be strong and to enjoy life. After retiring he and Mom travelled the world... visiting and exploring all seven continents! He loved to work in the garden and with Mom's help they supplied the local soup kitchen with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. He was famous for his "dark alley facts" and loved to joke and dance and have a good time. He served in the Korean War. He went to church on Sundays and lived by the Golden Rule.

On June 18th, in a little church cemetary in Gettysburg, we laid Dad to rest. Afterwards we gathered at a nearby diner to celebrate Pop's life. Mom, my siblings and I .... all together for the first time in years. Along with cousins, aunts, and good friends we toasted Pop farewell.