Friday, September 30, 2011

200th post and over 200 followers...time for a giveaway!

I have been remiss with my blog etiquette! 
I let my 1st blog-anniversary go by...
 then 200 followers came and went...
 so with my 200th post (did I really have that much to say?!?),
I decided to celebrate!
Remember this...

Would you like a signed copy?
Leave me a comment,
nothing more.
You must not be a non-reply commentor!  If you are, please leave me an email address where I can contact you.  Leave your comment by Sunday night at midnight and I will draw a number on Monday morning. 
A sneak peek at what is inside for the winner:
a few schoolhouse projects,
some adorable sewing needfuls, and
Abacus, the quilt I pieced for Renee.

Still having trouble leaving comments, even though I upgraded my browser.  So for those of you with your comment section attached to the bottom of your post, I am reading and enjoying your blogs, but am unable to leave comments.  I can leave comments on the blogs where the comment is on the side or separate...wierd. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My blogger is broken!

No pictures today!
Anyone else having this problem and know the solution?
On the blogs I read that have the comments at the bottom of the post and a code word, my comments do not go through.  The blogs with the comment section separate from the posts work just fine.
So I am reading and enjoying posts, but cannot comment on some of my favorite blogs.
Hope they fix it soon.
Ok, so I had to share another picture of my beautiful daughter!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh, Happy Days!

Our beautiful daughter married "her best friend and the man of her dreams" this past weekend.  It was an amazing day full of joy and laughter. 

Now back to some pressing projects.  This week will be a machine quilting week.  I have quite a few tops in the queue.  Hopefully, I will have two to show by the end of the week.
I also need to get a backing ready so Autumn Houses is ready to go to the quilter at the end of the month.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Renee Plains new book...

Stitches from the Schoolhouse
Picked up my copy yesterday!
My friend, Kimber over at, was the editor and I helped Renee by piecing her large quilt, Abacus.
Renee is such a talented designer and I love all the projects in her book.
The hard part is deciding which one to do first.

Focus Cheryl!
So many distractions and sew little time!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tales from Telluride...

also known as 'To Hell You Ride' in 1889.
Telluride is infamous as the mining town where Robert Parker, aka Butch Cassidy of the Wild Bunch Gang, robbed his first bank in 1889 for a little over $20,000.  It fascinated me to learn that Butch, or Bob, learned to defy the establishment as a young teen in Utah.  First, by helping his family run an underground railroad for Mormon polygamist escaping persecution in the Midwest, and then as a cattle rustler with his mentor, Mike Cassidy.  Unlike Butch, who came to Telluride for its money making opportunities, we came to hike at high altitude and parted with a good sum of money!
Although expensive, the town is charming with its brightly painted homes, historical buildings, fine cuisine and breathtaking views. 

Upon the advice of our host at the Wildwood Canyon Inn B&B, we chose the Bridal Veil Basin for our hike.  Getting to the basin was the beginning of our adventure and involved climbing 1,200 ft. up a gravel, 4-wheel drive trail to the top of the falls.  The picture above of the valley floor was taken about half way up the road.
 Perched on the top of the falls is a small hydroelectric plant built in 1907 by the Smugglers Union Mine.  Bulkley Wells, Harvard graduate and the mine manager for over 20 years, convinced the mine's owners to build the power plant to help defray fuel costs.  At the same time, he convinced them to build a 12 room 'apartment' atop the plant so he could "entertain in style while looking down on the workers below."  It is rumored the notorious womanizer entertained more lady friends than business clients.  The home was abandoned by Wells when the plant closed.  It was privately owned and restored around 2000, but is now vacant.  Although listed on the National Register of Historical homes, there are no plans to open it to the public.

Once we gained access to the area above the falls, we chose the Gray's Basin/ Mayflower Mine trail since it was touted as a 'memorable' hike.  That was an understatement!  The day started out cold with a high, misty cloud cover, but we are prepared backcountry hikers and had our rain gear.  After climbing a little over 1800 ft. into the Gray's Basin and less than a few 100 yds away from the mine, the rain turned into a bone chilling snow. 

Although my DH desperately wanted to explore the mine (just above his left shoulder), our common sense prevailed and we decided to head back.
When the skies cleared briefly, I captured the first snow of the season on the peaks around the basin.

Although we were early for the trees to turn, the remnants of the wildflowers of a month ago provided some fall color for a few photos.
The good news was that at 11,953 ft. I experienced no altitude sickness.
Therefore, I will not need one of these while hiking in Peru!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Goals Accomplished...

Well, almost!

For those with great eyes, you can see that the birds at the top still need to be sewn down.
I love this quilt, but I am so ready for it to be done!
Do you ever feel that way about a project?

Also finished piecing the center of Pinwheels for Caroline, so my next goal is to finish the ocean waves blocks for the border.

This weekend was the balloon fest here in Pagosa Springs.  I was a tad tardy getting myself there on Saturday, but managed a few pics on Sunday.
Notice the carved statue below the balloon.
There are several of these around town.

We are headed to Ouray and Telluride this am for some higher altitude hiking and then back to Arizona at the end of the week. It is freezing here this morning (my house was 58 degrees when I climbed out of bed...good quilt snuggling weather!)  I am sure I will miss it once I return to the heat of the desert. 
See you all in a week.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rainy Day Blues???

A crisp, clean rain is falling today and I am loving it!
US Open tennis to watch and sewing to be done...serendipity!
I finished piecing Holiday Happenings, designed by Monique Dillard.
I have a long list of tops that need to be quilted now. 
I saw an interesting adaptation of cross hatching on Diane Gaudynski's blog called Houndstooth.
It might look interesting on the borders.  My first inclination is just to do continuous line quilting in the pieced blocks and maybe wreaths in the light squares. 

Any ideas on how to machine quilt this themed?

Finished 2 more blocks for my sampler.

Take a look at the Flickr site if you haven't lately.
I seriously love these blocks in the brown and pink colorway!

Slowly, but surely, I am appliqueing those little willow tree leaves on the last block of Autumn Houses.
What a painful process it has been...7 more to sew down.

At night, we hear a bone chilling, bleating sound that we could not identify. 
Yesterday evening we discovered its source.
A coyote has moved into the valley behind the cabin. 
A family of foxes has inhabited the area for the last few years.
Mr. Fox is the source of the noise.
He is admantly barking (sounds more like bleating though) at the coyote to leave his feeding grounds.  
I love Mr. Fox's tail.  

My rainy day goal is to finish those darn leaves, and then finish piecing the center of Pinwheels for Caroline.  Wish me luck and don't forget to leave any suggestions for how to quilt my Holiday Happenings.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

by Sweetwater for Moda.
Holiday Happenings,
 designed by Monique Dillard, published in the BHG publication,
'Quilts and More.'
This is my Labor Day weekend project.
I plan to teach it as an introduction to quilt piecing class this fall. My schedule will not permit a full beginning class until 2012.  I have opted to make it a square instead of the long runner seen in the photo.
Advent calendars were always one of my kids' favorites.

It felt good on Friday to hit the trails again.  Only 31 days until we leave for the 13,000 ft mountains of Peru.  I was surprised how winded I got after being away for less than 2 weeks.  We will head to Ouray this next week to get even higher in hopes of building up some excess red blood cells.  I'll need all I can get!

While hiking, I found yet another member of the Gentian family that I will add to my Wildflower page.  I captured a picture of the Fringed Gentian in full bloom.
It is now my second favorite wildflower after the Fairy Slipper Orchid!

The texture of this little mushroom enticed me to play with my macro lens.
And some early fall color...
I am using the new blogger interface.  Uploading photos seems to take forever, but the rest of it is user friendly and a lot cleaner looking from a graphic design standpoint.  Haven't figured out how to access my pages though...may have to switch back in order to add to my wildflower pages.
Hope everyone is having a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Harvest Time...YUM!

I returned to Colorado and immediately dove into my 1880 sampler blocks.
Nothing like the US Open Tennis Tournament and a little time with Bernie! 
 Just two more blocks and I will have all the patterns written through October.  One more row is actually ready to set, but I will finish Autumn Houses first.  I also have a pattern for a trio of mini quilts that I am itching to get started on. 

My flower garden is in its full splendor and my vegetable garden is quite prolific!
The zucchini is just about to turn in to a delicious chocolate bread, the carrots and green beans will be savored with dinner tonight, those little yellow heirloom tomatoes are in my belly, and the larger red ones will be on my sandwich for lunch.  Last night I used up my Japanese eggplant to make croquettes.  I am a big fan of eggplant and even my husband enjoyed these.  The recipe can be found here.  The only thing I changed was to add some fresh basil from the plant dear Kathy gifted me and I used Parmesan flavored Panko bread crumbs. 

I received a comment from a non-reply blogger (mkrlar) requesting a tutorial on how I prep for applique, especially making those sharp turns on the windows of Autumn Houses.  I would love to share my tips, but I would need to do so using video. 
 I wonder...can that be done and shared? 
 Anyone know how? 

Checking In!

I have been busy since my last post,  but cannot report that I have accomplished any of my sewing goals. I finished quilting both In the Woo...