Tuesday, May 28, 2013

While on Vacation... (Part 1)

Caution: Long and picture heavy post!

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend. My husband and I have been on vacation on a rather large road trip since last week Tuesday. I have been without cell or internet service for the past few days, so I thought tonight would be a good time to write a blog post. Currently we are in Seattle, Washington, but I should back up to our first stop along our Great Western Road Trip (as we fondly call it).

We packed up and left Madison, Wisconsin last Tuesday night and made our way to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We were going to stop at Falls Park there, but it was completely blocked off by road construction. So, the only things we saw in Sioux Falls were a bunch of strip malls with tiny casinos in them.

From there we made our way to Mount Rushmore National Park. It was the first time that I had seen the monument, although my husband has seen it at least 3 times now. We only stopped for a little while at the park. It was very scenic going in and out of the park though, so we took quite a bit of time on a few scenic drives. We also stopped at Devil's Tower and Wall Drug on our way out of South Dakota. Then made our way to Billings, Montana.

That's a sarsaparilla in my hand... ;)

We then drove from Billings, Montana to Spokane, Washington. On the way we went through the Rocky Mountains. I felt like a little kid seeing snow for the first time while we went through the mountain pass. It was so cool to see snow on the trees. We had heard earlier that morning that they just opened up the last road/pass in Montana, so finally all of the roads were passable. Lucky for us since we didn't really plan in advance to even ask about that!

While in Spokane we walked along the river front to see the falls. Spokane also has a lot of sculptures along the river walk, so we took our picture in front of the large Radio Flyer. :)

From Spokane we made our way to the Sasquatch Music Festival. We did have a small diversion to Dry Falls which was amazing. If you're ever near Spokane, Washington you should stop there. The view is to die for and the drive to and away from Dry Falls is filled with stunning scenery and scenic turn-offs - just spectacular!

At the music festival, we camped outside at a beautiful gorge for 4 days while we listened to fantastic music. It was so much fun. We were a little cold since it got down into the lower 40s outside. I've never camped before when I could see my breath in the air! It only rained a little bit on one day for us while we were there. Unfortunately it was while we were waiting right up front at the stage for Cake to play. We got pretty soaked, but it dried out later that evening, so not too miserable. The concert Cake put on more than made up for it. Besides them we also saw Andrew Bird, Imagine Dragons, Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and tons of other great bands. We had a blast!

Our little set up :)

View from the main stage - this picture doesn't do it justice!

We packed up the tent this morning and then made our way to Seattle, Washington. After a much-needed shower and short rest, we had a great lunch of crab cakes and crab chowder (yum!). Then we headed off to see some sights of Seattle. We went to the public library, the Smith Tower, (made a stop at the stadium the Seattle Seahawks play at for my husband), Pike Street Market, and the first Starbucks.

Of course we are from Wisconsin... :)

I tried to go to a quilt shop called Undercover Quilts, but they closed about 3 minutes before I got there. I'm hoping we might be able to go there tomorrow, but here are some pics of their windows outside:

An art quilt made of Puget Sound!!!

Loved the look of these fabrics, especially the sea creature one!

Tomorrow we're hoping to take a ferry somewhere (we haven't exactly narrowed down where yet), and then explore the place around the Space Needle for a bit (maybe) before making our way down the coast to Portland, Oregon. :) So - that's it from us for a while, hope you all are having a great week!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Charity Quilt Update

Hello everyone! I've had a couple of busy days trying to get my Hands2Help charity quilts finished up. I didn't manage to get mine quilted, but I did get my mom's quilted. :) Here's how they turned out:

The first two quilts are for the Happy Chemo charity. The first one was a cute frog and lady bug quilt. I stippled in the middle of the quilt and then did a loop pattern in the border. The second one was a fun and colorful quilt with butterflies and VW bugs. I stippled in the middle, then did hearts in the first border and loops in the outer border. They are both 45" square. 

This last quilt is for the Quilts Beyond Borders charity. It's another one with the fun and colorful butterfly and VW bug fabric. They wanted these heavily quilted so I stippled the whole thing. This one is 45" by 59" I think...

My mom is going to put the bindings on and ship these off herself. She already has the bindings put together, so I bet she'll have these in the mail next week! :)

In the mean time, I'm going on vacation for the next 2 weeks. We leave on Tuesday night and won't be back until June 4th. We're headed out west for the Sasquatch Music Festival in Washington. We're driving out from Madison, Wisconsin, so it will be a long road trip. We'll see Mt. Rushmore on the way along with some other rugged scenery. On the way back we're stopping in Seattle and Portland and then spending a couple of days in Yellowstone before coming home. I hope my husband doesn't get sick of me in the car! (We have some books on tape and good music so I think we'll be OK - just gotta find some hand stitching now...)

In some other news... My husband and I will actually be moving to Portland at the end of the summer! Our plan is to be out there at the beginning of August. That means I'll be kept very busy over the next couple months while I pack things up and figure out what I'll be selling, donating or packing. If you have any moving tips (or tips in moving cats across country!!!) please send them my way. I'm sure I'll keep you all posted with the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the process. Happy quilting everyone!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Baby Shower Gift

Hello everyone. I hope you're all enjoying your month of May! I can't believe we are half way through it already!

I've been pretty busy with events over the past week. We had a visitation and a funeral for my grandfather-in-law, then I was the Matron of Honor in a wedding, and tonight we just had a baby shower. It will be the first great-grandbaby on my husband's side. I joked with my cousin-in-law that she's taking the pressure off of the rest of us to have a baby now that lots of us are married. :)

Anyway, I had been planning on getting this book:

and making the fish quilt from the front cover out of the pattern in the book. I thought I'd have until August to do this so I was going to put it together after our vacation next week.

Well, with the funeral it meant the mama to be was in town early and her aunt was throwing an impromptu baby shower. So, I put this together:

I didn't have a pattern, just the picture from the front of the book. I started it on Mother's Day night (Sunday), and finished hand stitching the binding on this morning(Tuesday). That is the fastest I've ever finished a quilt, so thankfully it was a baby quilt!!

I think it turned out OK, but not as nice as I would have liked. There were a couple small puckers on the back from the quilting, but not too bad. The other ladies and family all loved it. I think I should have used a lighter blue for the quilting, but I didn't have any.

So, just thought I'd share what I've been up to. Next on the list is quilting all of the charity quilts so that I can take them to my mom this weekend. I've got 5 to quilt in the next few days before I leave on vacation... And I still work and need to pack. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Guest Blogger!

Hi everyone and happy Mother's Day! I apologize for being MIA on the blog for a while. This past week in particular was tough for me to balance everything as I had a family funeral (my grandfather-in-law passed away last week Friday) and I was the Matron of Honor in a wedding yesterday! So, please bear with me as I get my schedule back in order. :) I promise I'll get up some more posts before we go on vacation in a couple weeks!

Today, however, I am a guest blogger over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for the Hands2Help charity quilt challenge. Please head on over there if you'd like to see what I've been up to recently and for a great banana bread recipe. Happy quilting everyone!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Weightless Wednesday #10

Happy May Day everyone! :) This post is going to be a combined fitness post and a look at what I've been sewing lately. So, hopefully that's a little treat for those of you who stick around for these weight loss posts!

My husband and I have been very busy lately. His grandfather was recently placed in hospice care and he's been a huge help to his family in that transition. It means he's been very occupied and drained lately so our trips to the gym did not increase. We've been doing a lot of walking outside actually. That meant I did get a little sunburned on Sunday... :) But, he has been a huge sweetheart and actually brought me tulips (my favorite!!!) the other day in to my office. I have the best husband ever!

With our work outs I have managed to continue to stay on track. I didn't lose any more weight this week, but I maintained my weight at 151. We have determined that our weight lifting has helped us lose weight more than just doing cardio workouts. So, the most important thing for us to do is to get in all of our weight lifting sessions (3 per week). We have been very diligent with those and have gotten in some cardio when we are able. Tonight we plan to weight lift and swim, so it should be a good night!

Heaviest Weight: 180
Starting Weight: 175
Weight Last Week: 151
Weight This Week: 151
Weight Loss This Week: 0 pounds (but none gained!)
Total Weight Loss: 24 pounds

Now... On to the sewing! :) I put together the April Color Bee Shocked block. It's a HUGE churn dash block at 24.5 inches unfinished. I couldn't square it up because my largest mat is only 24 inches long! But, if I ever need a quick quilt top, this is the block I'll be choosing! It went together so quickly and you just need a fat quarter for each churn dash block - very convenient!

The thing I've been working on the most is the guitar quilt for our praise band leaders. We'll be giving it to them on Wednesday next week, so I plan to have it finished by Sunday. I have it all pinned and marked for quilting. I'll be stitching in the ditch around the guitar and some of its internal elements and then doing straight line quilting radiating out from the body of the guitar. Then I'll need to add some holders for a dowel for hanging, bind it, add the quilt label, and then it will be done! :) I'm very excited to give this to them.

So, that's it for me this Wednesday. What are all of you up to?


Here's some pictures of the guitar quilt all finished up!

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