Saturday, May 31, 2014

Cheering on the Swimmers … Long Distance


T#1 and T#2 are swimming this weekend, but Nana and Papa had to stay behind to watch the two little ones.  This is a large meet, with no crash room, so expecting the little ones to sit through a long afternoon on the pool deck (especially a little one who would be skipping her nap) is asking for trouble.  Daddy had to work today, so Nana and Papa got drafted to watch the littles.  While we love the time with the two littles, we miss being able to cheer on the swimmers … so we’re following along at home, thanks to our Meet Mobile App.


I’m taking advantage of the down time (T#4 is napping and T#3 is having some quiet time) to get back to work on trimming my triangle blocks (for DD’s quilt).  photo

The stack on the right are the trimmed blocks as of this morning.  The trimmed stack is now about twice as high as the untrimmed stack … so I’m making progress.  The job was made MUCH easier thanks to my Bloc Loc ruler!  I cannot imagine how tedious (and inaccurate) the job would have been with a standard square ruler.  I wonder … will trimming these blocks count as Slow Sunday Stitching?  I’ll take some hexies with me to work on during the swim meet tomorrow.


I realize I forgot to show you what I got for Mother’s Day … from DD and her (1)

I have to admit I got a little teary-eyed.  (The Willow Tree figurines were gifts from them on other occasions.)  Red heart Red heart Red heart


We’ve got rain in the area … wonder if we’ll get any today.  We’ve had rain in the forecast every day, but I’m not sure we actually got any here … although we did drive through rain on our way to St. Louis yesterday afternoon as well as on our way home. 


Have a spectacular Saturday!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge



After a break from the Hodgepodge (the Hodgepodge requires some heavy duty thinking, and that’s just something I don’t do when at the beach!), I’m baaaaack!


1. What news story are you following right now?

Between being at the beach for a couple of weeks and a busy weekend upon our return, I haven’t seen the news to be following any stories.

2. What's the last thing you wanted but didn't get?

Another week at Hilton Head?  Winking smile

3. May 28th is National Hamburger Day...when did you last have a hamburger? Other than your own kitchen or BBQ grill, where is your favorite place to go for a hamburger? And for all you non-meat eaters out there...when you're invited to a cookout what is the one side dish you hope is on the menu?

We had burgers yesterday at DD’s to celebrate T#2’s birthday.  If we’re going to have burgers, I prefer them cooked out on the grill, but if we’re going out for burgers, my favorite place has got to be Five Guys.  Love me a little bacon cheeseburger and a little Cajun fries!  Yum!

4. How have your priorities changed over time?

I used to be so fastidious about keeping the house neat and tidy.  The minute I’d see a smudge, I’d whip out the cleaner and cloth and take care of it.  Now … not so much.   

5. What's a favorite memory with your grandparents?

I remember a candy dish filled with lemon drops.  Playing shuffleboard in their basement.  Leckerli and chocolate spritz cookies every year at Christmas. 

6. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being fantastic!), how good are you at multitasking? Share an example.

I’m a woman, therefore I multitask, right?  An example?  How about yesterday:  getting caught up on my recorded episodes of NCIS, doing laundry, checking email and Facebook on my iPad … all while hand stitching. 

7. How would you summarize your highs and lows for the month of May?

Low: leaving Hilton Head.  High: returning home to my favorite people.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Hard to believe … but the Queen of Random is having trouble coming up with a random thought today.  Surprised smile

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Weekend Wrap-up

No time to rest up this weekend … we unpacked and jumped right back into life here at Chez Nana. 

We had the two littles here for a sleepover Sunday night … Mama and Daddy took the two bigs to dinner and a movie (God’s Not Dead) to celebrate the last day of school.  T#1 finished up 6th grade, T#2 finished up 4th and T#3 finished up 1st grade.  T#4 will be ready to do a little preliminary kindergarten work this fall … Mama’s going to have her hands full!  photo 3

I did a walkabout through the yard to check out how things are growing. 
Here’s a picture I took of our green beans before we left:photo 2 (1)
And here they are now:photo 1 (1)

It looks like we’ll be having tomatoes before too long (forgive the blurry shot … it’s hard to see my phone’s screen when it’s so sunny).photo 4 (1)

We’ve already had a couple of salads using our red leaf lettuce, and I’ve got flowers blooming, too!Garden 20141

We got together at DD’s yesterday afternoon for the family birthday party for T#2 … she’ll be 10 on Thursday.  We all played some kick ball.  T#1 and I played Trac Ball … I should say he played and I tried to play … I did more running to fetch the ball than I did catching.  Winking smile

By the time we got back home Monday evening, I tried to do a little stitching on my hexies, but I was just too worn out to concentrate.  I have a feeling that I’ll be just as exhausted tonight … I was up at 3:30 this morning (am I still in the Eastern time zone?), and I’ll be watching the Ts this afternoon while Mama has a doctor’s appointment. 

Hope you all have a terrific Tuesday!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

And This Little Piggy Slow Stitched All the Way Home


Our trip is over … we are home.  Talk about your mixed feelings - I’m so glad to be home, yet I want to be back on Hilton Head Island! 


We drove 9 hours yesterday and 4 hours this morning … I got 144 hexies basted.  Not too bad considering that I didn’t work on them at all between Spartanburg, SC and Knoxville, TN (too mountainous … too much risk of motion sickness).  Here are my 144 hexies (it doesn’t look like that many, does it?).photo 2-001I’m linking up to Kathy’s slow stitching party


Part of the enjoyment of walking along the beach is the interesting sights we see along our walks.  We encountered a sea turtle nest on our walk Thursday 2 (3)

We came upon a gecko Thursday afternoon … we always seem to come across at least one on our trips to Hilton Head. 

photo 2 (2)


Friday’s walk on the beach was even more enjoyable because we saw dolphins!  We don’t consider a trip to Hilton Head complete until we see dolphins at least once … but we hadn’t been out at the right time to see any this year … until Friday.  They were pretty close in (as is often the case), but I didn’t have my camera with me.  Sad smile  We also encountered more crabs.


I love the track left by the one crab.  And to “celebrate” our crab sighting, I “had” to have a soft-shell crab sandwich for lunch!  Winking smile


We also booked a condo for our fall trip!  A “mere” 3 1/2 months away.  Winking smile


I’m not expecting to have any more time with my needle and thread today … we’re unpacked and I’m trying to get caught up on laundry.  And more importantly, I’m going to get some T-time tonight!  DD and DSIL are taking the two bigs to a double feature at the drive in tonight (Heaven Is For Real and God’s Not Dead) to celebrate their last day of school. 


And now through Thursday the 29th, you can vote on the Blogger’s Quilt Festival (the link is to the hand quilted category, where I’ve entered my blue and white log cabin that I blogged about here).  You can see all the quilts by clicking on the categories here.  Here’s your chance to be a judge at a quilt show!  Winking smile


One last thing:  I am sending out an SOS to my fellow quilters.  I bought the connecting fabric for my Martha Washington’s Flower Garden … the red hexies in the picture of my 144 hexies … at the time when I thought I was going to make this quilt as a wall-sized quilt.  I found I enjoyed the whole hexie process so much that it looks like my MWFG is going to be a bed-sized quilt.  Which means that I don’t have enough red fabric.  Sad smile  I Googled the fabric I’m using, but I cannot find an online source for it.  I was rather hoping that someone either knew of a good source for out of stock fabrics or might have a little bit that she wouldn’t mind parting with (I’ll be happy to pay shipping and handling to get it here to SW Illinois).  It’s Windham Fabrics’ Worn and Loved by Jeanne Horton – #29523-1.  fabric


The first load of laundry is ready to go into the dryer … I’d better get hoppin’ or there won’t be any clean clothes for tomorrow!  Have a blessed Sunday!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Look What We Found on the Beach

Yesterday on our walk we encountered something else we've never seen here at Hilton Head.

Remember the shell I found earlier?  Its relatives were busy little beavers yesterday ... it was low tide, and we couldn't tell if they were trying to make their way out to sea.  There must have been hundreds of these trails all along the beach. 

One of my unwritten "laws" when we're at the beach is to take a photo - or ten - of the sun rising (or setting if applicable). 

There's something truly humbling about being at the water's edge ... especially when the sun is rising.  It boggles my mind that some think that this earth is just an accident.

I'm still basting hexies ... there's nothing more enjoyable or relaxing than working with my needle and thread near the water's edge.  When we get home, I'll have to count to see how many hexies I basted while we were gone. 

Our days here in paradise are dwindling down to a precious few ... I'm definitely not ready to leave here, although I'm certainly beyond ready to see DD and my Ts ... I'm missing them something fierce ... this is the longest we've been gone and has reinforced the decision we made to stay in illinois when we retired. 

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching - Island Style

We're still here on the island ... while I'm missing my DD and my Ts something fierce, I am nowhere close to being ready to head back home.  ;-)  

We found plenty on our walks along the beach the first couple of days - three crabs and a gorgeous shell (the shell was no longer alive, so it will go home with us). 

We haven't found anything on our walks these last couple of days. 

I'm still working on my hexies.  I haven't counted them, but I suspect that I've basted close to 200 hexies since we left last Monday morning. 
I've got plenty more squares to baste ... and I'm getting to a point where maybe I'll start to piece together some of these hexies into blocks. Either way, I've got plenty of slow stitching to keep me busy when we're not out on the beach. 

Slow stitching and the beach ... ahhhhh, pure bliss ... the only thing that could make this any better would be to have my 6 favorite people here with us. 

Hope you all are having a blissful and blessed Sunday!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

It’s Blogger’s Quilt Festival Time

Since I was one of the hand quilters who inundated Amy with requests to open a category for hand-quilted quilts, I figure it’s the least I can do to submit an entry of my own.  And now I can say that I’ve had a quilt entered in a “show” (on my bucket list).  Winking smile

I know that none of my quilts are truly “show worthy” … and this one is no exception.  But this quilt is full of precious memories … and is my favorite of all the quilts I’ve made over the 30 years I’ve quilted.  For that reason, I’m going to enter my blue and white log cabin.  (As many of you might remember, we’re out of town, so I’m going to have to rely on whatever photos I thought to take (and publish) when I finished up my quilt.) 

Blue and white quilts are always a favorite … they’re so simple, so striking … and a change of pace from my usual more prim fabrics.  I’d long wanted to do a log cabin quilt in just white and blue… it’s a favorite pattern, and I had an image in my mind of how striking a blue log cabin would be. 

As I was finishing up the piecing of a blue and white single Irish chain, it occurred to me that I probably had a LOT of blue and white scraps in my stash, thanks to making a couple of blue and white quilts for my grandsons as well as that Irish chain.  And sure enough, I did!  It was a sign … my blue and white log cabin was meant to be!  Other than the red for the center and the binding, all the fabrics came from my stash (and that’s saying something because I have a very limited stash).

I’m not usually a fan of piecing, but this top went together quickly … watching the first couple of seasons of NCIS (on DVD) kept me entertained while at my machine.2012_0417LogCabinQuilt0004

By the time I finished up the top and started quilting, I still had several seasons of NCIS to get caught up on, so the quilting seemed to go quickly, too.

It seemed like this quilt, from start to finished, was done in no time at all … I don’t know if it was because I was entertained by NCIS while making it, because I loved the fabrics (and the memories of the other quilts I made using those fabrics) or because I loved the pattern … or all of the above, but this is my favorite quilt.  Log Cabin Quilt 004
Log Cabin Quilt 005
Log Cabin Quilt 001

Please check out the other hand-quilted quilts (as well as the quilts in all the other categories … just click on the button at the top of this post) … I know my humble log cabin quilt can't compete with all those other quilts, but to me, there’s no comparison.  Winking smile  I love this quilt ... and that's all that matters to me.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Our Little Corner of Paradise

I hadn't planned on blogging while we're gone, but I just can't seem to stay away. Ha!  Besides, we've got rain in the forecast for the entire day ... so why not blog a little today?

We left early Monday morning and made really good time ... we stopped in Asheville, NC, home to the Biltmore Estate. I had thoughts of spending a little time there (we were in the hotel by 4:30) until DH told me how much the tickets were selling for ... since we only had a couple of hours (assuming they were even open that long), we decided to pass this time. 

As we headed out for dinner, we noticed that the Blue Ridge Parkway passed within a mile or so of our hotel ... DH was been wanting to drive along the length of the BRP for the longest time, so we had to take a drive. It was beautiful ... and I can only imagine the sights we'd see up in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and the Smokies in Tennessee. Since we will be passing back through on our way to Hilton Head in September, we're thinking seriously about adding a few days to our trip, driving up to Virginia and taking in the BRP. We won't be too far out of our way at the end in Tennessee ... we can hop back on I-26 and head on to HHI. Now comes the fun part ... plotting out our drive.  If any of you all have any advice or tips, please share!  ;-)

(Forgive the less than spectacular quality of the photos ... I only had my iPad with me). 

We arrived on the island Tuesday ... it didn't take long to get unpacked and settled in our condo. Not when this is calling us!
THAT is why we're here. 

There's never a dull moment when walking along the beach in the morning.

I brought my hexie project with me to work on while on the beach and I have several books on my iPad, so we've got our rainy day covered ... with not too shabby a view from our patio.
But it's definitely not the same as being out on the beach!  Thankfully we've got a few more days to spend here (with more delightful weather in the forecast, too). 

Hope you all have a terrific day!