Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tokyo's Triangles

TUESDAY GREETINGS BLOG PALS - I've finally jumped on the bandwagon. I recently came across a photo on flickr from someone that attended the Tokyo International Quilt Festival. They were showing us a flying geese quilt made by a woman who had been collecting Liberty fabric since 1972. She had been collecting since she was a teenager and wanted to make a quilt that she could use as a bedcover "in her old age."

The quilt is quite stunning. She pieced the flying geese blocks in standard size units as well as some skewed units to add a little interest. She used color to create a second pattern on the quilt. If you study the picture you can see the larger mountains she created by arranging similar colored units together.

Certainly a great accomplishment. I wish I could have seen it in person. I hope to be able to make my own version of this quilt some day. I've joined the flickr Tokyo Triangles group. As soon as I get some flying geese units made I will post them. I am going to use this method for piecing the standard units as you get 4 at a time.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Swap-Bot! New and Noteworthy!

Monday Greetings Everyone - I just found this awesome website and wanted to share it. It's called Swap-Bot. If your love to swap this is the site for you. There are literaly 600 or so swaps on here that you can participate in. Everything is well monitored and you get feedback and ratings for each swap you participate in.

Be warned! Swapping is addicting! I've just found this site and already sigend up for 2 within the last few minutes!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Splurge NEW FABRCS!

I just had to do it. I've had my eye on the new Joel Dewberry line, Deer Valley, for quite some time. The combination of red, chocolate and turquoise is stunning.

Look at all the yummy goodness that will be delivered to my mailbox soon! The photo to the left is the cool azure colorway. WOW!!!

I ordered a fat quarter set in Azure, and one in Persimmon. The patterns are so interesting in this line. The turquoise is so bright that it draws your eye immediately. The recent lines that have been released are all so eye catching. This is really an exciting time for quilting. All the great modern fabrics are wonderful.

The photo to the right is the warmer persimmon colorway. He still incorporates cooler turquoise, but the different shades of red he uses really spices it up. YOWZA!!

I think it would be really amazing to see how Mr Dewberry comes up with his designs. He must pull inspiration from everywhere. This line as a whole is so unique. He's already earned praise for his previous four lines.

He also has a third colorway in this line that I didn't order. The tarragon colorway just seemed a little too 70's to me. It has all the same patterns included, but the combination of yellow, chocolate and white wasn't appealing to me.

I also ordered a few fat quarter sets from Amy Butler. Just to make the most of my shipping cost. Wink Wink!

I'm a real big fan of her Midwest Modern 2 line.

I liked the way this sunset colorway line on the left combined pink and orange with a touch of yellow. Try combining those colors in a traditional fabric pattern. With her designs it works! I think the wavy lines would be a great choice for binding.

My favorite colorway for this line is definitely ohio sky, pictured to your right. I ordered this fat quarter assortment as well. The colors were relaxing to me.

Just mix these fabrics with some slate and white from her solids line and you'd have a neat, relaxing wall hanging.

I've noticed by going back and looking at all my most recent fabric purchases that I tend to gravitate toward the blues and reds. Turquoise has been a HOT color this year. It's been popping up everywhere.

Lastly, I scooped up this new Michael Miller fat quarter set of coordinating fabrics from several of his lines. There's turquoise and red, again!

I thought this set was really fun and playfull. Nice to have around in case you need to make a quick shower gift or newborn baby quilt.

The childish dots, stripes and critters stood out to me.

I can't wait to add these fabrics to my stash! Now to make room for them! Happy early birthday to me!


For some reason my blog is acting funny. Anyone else having problems today?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Memorial Weekend Photos

Hey There Everyone - Here are some photos I promised from our Memorial Weekend trip to Lancaster, PA. We had a really good time this year. We always find something new to look at each time we visit.

Here is a picture of Me, Mandy, Rowan (with sunglasses) and Brennan (snoozing) in front of the big trout farm. We visit this spot every year. Rowan has fun feeding the trout. I like to swing on the chairs and visit the gift shop right next door. The weather was gorgeous this year!

Here is a few photos of Rowan and his new buddy Mallory (sp?). This is my stepmother's niece. She and Rowan got along so well. They had fun swinging on the swingset out back of the Traveler's Rest.

Last, here is a photo of Rowan next to the pig at the Hands-on House. A neat children's museum in PA.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ALL March Giveaway Prizes MAILED!

Hey There Everyone - Just one update for today. All the prizes from my march giveaway are on the way to the following folks, thanks for taking a number:

Paula H.
Tamara B.
Vicki D.
Diane H.
Juanita P.
Aik C.

I sent out emails to everyone as well. Hope you put the goodies to good use. We are now back on schedule! Whew!

The giveaways will continue in JULY!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Condensed Updates and MORE Rain

Hey Bloggie Friends - Has it really been almost an entire month since I last updated y'all? Well, life happens as they say. Even in sleepy towns where I'm from. The days pass faster and faster when you have so much to accomplish. Families grow and that's just what mine's been doing. Growing like weeds!

When I last spoke with you, our new addition Brennan was wishing his mommy a Happy Mother's Day and a little birdie joined us for lunch one afternoon. It was the end of a very lovely May here in upstate NY. The college kiddies left town till next September and the weather was warmer than usual. Everyone here in Delhi hoped it would be the beginnings of a great summer. June started and so did the rain. We've been humid and wet for most of the month. Today was no different. Rain showers began in the early morning and steadily became downpours by the early afternoon. I took a nap on the couch with Rowan after work today to the sound of the rain pelting our picture window. I think we had heavy rains for nearly a continuous 4 hours. Our flower boxes are going to be a sloppy mess! The lawn is longer than we usually let it get. The nice days we did get have been busy with work and the days available for mowing were hampered with wetness.

We were able to get away during the very end of May on our annual trip to Lancaster, PA. My Dad and Stepmother along with her parents and sister (and family) joined us for a Memorial Day weekend tour. We had the usual spots that all of us wanted to visit; the candle barns, farm stands, petting zoos. We left on a Friday after work and stayed till the following Tuesday so we could go to the Roots market. That Tuesday is when the rains officially started. We drove all the way home in rain and it hasn't stopped since. We all had a WONDERFUL time. I always look forward to Amish Country for all the inspiration (and homemade canned pickles) it provides! Yum!

Next came June. This is a month that all upstate Funeral Directors dread. The start of the Spring Burial season. Most cemeteries around north country close November 1st. and reopen the end of May. The harsh winters make it hard for cemetery caretakers to safely dig graves and allow families to tour the icy grounds. The simple solution they all came up with is to close down completely. All caskets are stored in vaults until the cemeteries reopen and are deemed safe for entry. We serve roughly 125 families every year out of our 3 locations around the county. On average 30 to 40 deaths occur during the winter months. The families are familiar with vault storage as it's become a tradition. Our procedure is the same every year during this time. We gather all the folders during the end of May and begin calling families and let them know now is the time to set a date and time for a graveside service. Every year most families request Saturdays or Sundays as this is most convenient for their busy schedules. Those days are filled quickly as there are only so many weekends in a month. So we end up scheduling a graveside in the morning and afternoon on Saturday's in June along with afternoon burials on Sundays (most ministers have church services in the AM). After weekends are filled, we move on to Fridays and Mondays as the next most popular days. And the weeks fill up from there. We also have the regular at need services to schedule around the Spring Burials. June is always just a blur. Work, work, work and little else.

My FIL was in and out of the hospital again as was my SIL. My DW has been keeping the homefront together. She returns to work part time in July and full time in August. What a great relief it will be to have 2 incomes again! Thank the Lord that my job provides us with a roof over our heads and the utilities too. We've been paying out of pocket to keep our health/eye/dental insurance since my wife is on leave from her job and that's been enough to cover a small mortgage payment alone. It just blows my mind that healthcare costs are so high. It's worth every penny though for her to be able to stay at home with the kids even if it's for a few months. Family is always first!

In happy news. I've been made an Uncle for the first time. My brother and his wife welcomed a new baby son in June. Parker and his parents will be up for a visit very soon! Can't wait!

I spent the majority of this week at a work conference in Batesville, Indiana. I flew out Monday and returned on Wednesday. I spent 2 days with a dozen other funeral directors from around the country being pampered and informed about the latest and greatest in burial products. We ate, drank and had a great time. Watch out for those off the clock funeral directors. We can sure be a crazy bunch. Letting loose on the few days during the year we are not on call.

While I was in Indiana my wife took Rowan and Brennan, along with my Cousin and her two kids to visit my Mother and Stepfather in Lewes, DE (right next to Rehoboth Beach). They shopped till they dropped and visited the beach.

I took a few hours here and there to participate in a few quickie unsewn swaps on the About.com Quilting Forum. I was able to join Deb's Patriotic 2.5" Noodle Swap; Christine's Bug, Novelty and Veggie/Fruit Jar Swap & Merry's 5.5" Spring into Summer Charm Swap.

Pictures of everything to follow...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Yes, I'm still alive!

Hey Blogging Buddies - I am still alive. Still here. Still kicking!

It's good to see everyone checking in to make sure I'm OK. Thanks! You really are a caring bunch. Bless your hearts!

I've been WAY busy with work/family/life in general. I have a few days of R&R coming up and I promise I'll explain everything! Get you all updated with pictures even!! WHEW!

See you in a few days!!

OH, and to all those wonderful folks who I still owe a giveaway prize package to... You are the most patient, caring, and friendly folks in the world right now. I promise that I will have your packages mailed by the end of this week! A BIG SORRY TO YOU ALL!!

The normal giveaway will resume in JULY!! YAY for GIVEAWAYS!!
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