Thursday, June 25, 2015

Working on it . . .

Well now that I have the system running - my A1 with the IQ - I can move forward to get a very long overdue quilt done.  I don't quilt for others anymore as I found the family health requirements these past few years made it hard for me to be reliable and get quilts back to customers in a reasonable time.  And for me, the family needs came first.

My good friend, Gail, from Denver, however, is very flexible so I do things for her from time to time. This tshirt quilt is one she made and got to me last fall.  I had it on my schedule to get it done right after Christmas.  A few things happened so here I am - finally getting it finished.  I wasn't sure everything would work as it should, but so far so good!  Nice t-shirts with lots of thick, heavy graphicsand fused to nice woven,  heavier backing and then throw in a pieced back.  It is just quilting up fine!

We are off tomorrow with the grands to see Mr Rushmore.  So I will finish this when I get back.  Lots to do today to get ready.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fun days -

We have had some great days.  Saturday evening Weston and Walker came to spend the night and we went to the movie, "Inside Out".   It was quite different for the usual animated movie.  The boys enjoyed it and so did we.   It stayed with me and I love stories like that.

Sunday I took the "Dads" out to supper and that was always fun.  We went to Rio Sabinas in Belgrade and I had the best enchilada with shredded beef and a wonderful fresh salsa over it. Delicious.

Ant then Monday I decided it was time to get my Intelliquilter running again.  I have not used it for a couple years.  Life has been busy.  So I cleaned my A1 quilting machine thoroughly, gave it a spa treatment, and then loaded some samples to see if I could remember how to get the IQ to run the machine.  Here are a couple pictures of what I found to quilt. Beautiful stitches, great tension and it all seemed natural - intuitive.

I even purchased and download a new design and it all came back.  Love that IQ.  I need to do a t-shirt quilt for a friend so I wanted to do some practice pieces and these placemats were just right.Tomorrow I am going to load that t-shirt quilt.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Back from the lake

We got back last night from our first trip for the summer season to Canyon Ferry Lake.  We took the little guys with us as they always like a trip in the motorhome. Walker took this picture of the lake through the motorhome window right after we arrived there.

 The weather was perfect for them to get in some water fun the first couple days on Friday and Saturday.  Sunday it was very cool and breezy.  The boys were not feeling quite themselves and the younger one, Walker, was very sick by the time we got home yesterday. They had both been struggling with what we all thought was the leftover of a bug.  But Walker got sicker and sicker and now he has pneumonia.  He had meds with him that he took,  but they have now doubled up on the meds and are going to treat him at home with daily trips to the doctor for treatments.  It is so sad to see them sick when they are so little.

We left with them on Thursday after they got out of school from their last school day.  Here are a couple pics of them the first night when we got their beds set up before sleeping.  They were feeling pretty good - or at least they were excited about the trip.

I continued to sew a little on the binding of this little quilt.  I have named it "Leftover" because it is all made from fabric from another project - from years ago -  and it is from a time when I was active in an online group and this was done through a round robin where we mailed the items on after each round was added.  I did make some changes to it after I got it back to better fit my liking. And then it sat for a long time in the "to be quilted pile"  Now it is going to be done - Leftover - but done.  I never have much time anymore to do any quilting or fiber work - hope that changes soon.  I will show more pics when it is done.  There are some real tension issues on the back that I am going to try to make acceptable.

Monday, June 8, 2015

And we were off and running . . .

We left last Thursday for a "Gus Trip" - first time out this season in the motorhome.  We headed west toward Hamilton, Montana where there were several artists who had open studios.

We decided to take the back roads across the upper "Big Hole Valley" and it was well worth the few extra miles.  Cool with showers, beautiful clouds and green as far as your eye could see.  Little or no traffic and decent roads.  Can't ask for more than that.

Then on Friday we headed out to take in a couple artist open studios.  I actually went with the specific purpose of seeing Heidi Zielinski - one of my favorite fiber artists.  I was gobsmacked!  I must have been there 2 hours and was totally overwhelmed with all the ideas and beautiful work.  She is an amazing artist.   Visit her web page here but know the pictures, beautiful as they are, do not do justice to her work.

So we stopped for a late, long lunch so I could regain my composure and try to organize my thoughts.
We found a great lunch place in Corvallis, MT and ate on the patio.  Again, we stayed way too long. Bob really did enjoy it as well but he was wary of my picture taking.

I decided to just relax for the rest of the afternoon as there were only a couple hours left and we did some sight seeing of the beautiful Bitterroot Valley.  It is a gorgeous place.  Many years ago - many, many years ago - I taught in Hamilton.  It was my first year of teaching and I taught 4th grade.  One of my best work memories.  I was in a marriage that was not destined to last, however, and it was not a favored place of my then husband so we left after one school year.  I always loved the area and it was fun to go back.

We wanted to do more studio tours on Saturday and Sunday, but life had other plans.  We had a long visit with Bob's favorite cousin who also lives in Hamilton.  Of course that took most of Saturday and we enjoyed every minute.  And then Sunday started out with us working to make plans for a couple trips with the grandsons as everyone needed to know when those were going to happen. Just as we were ready to head out to get to at least 2 more studios, I got a couple phone calls from 2 cousins of mine from Minnesota.  One cousin is on my Mom's side and she is coming through Bozeman Tuesday morning (tomorrow).  The second call came from a cousin on my dad's side whom I have never met and she is coming through Bozeman Tuesday afternoon.  Both from Minneapolis area and they don't know each other.  So we had long visits with times and laughter and directions and - Bam - the afternoon was mostly gone - again.  I am so thankful I got to Heidi's studio and know I will go back next year for sure.

Our first outing with Gus was a good one.  Sassy Cat has settled down and is a great traveler.  Coming home today was not so great for me, however.  The AC in the cab part of the motorhome is not working up to speed and it was really, really hot out.  So, it was a long 5+ hours in a very hot motorhome traveling back.  Sassy handled it much better than I did for sure.

We left last Thursday in what is typical cool, early June, Montana weather.  We came back today and it seems like the heat of August is upon us.  

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Busy times - what else is new?

It is always busy around here it seems.  We had such a wonderful warm winter and now we are seeing that several of our smaller trees did not winter well so we will be looking into some landscape remodeling.  Several days in March it warmed enough that the trees thought it was time to bud and then we had some hard freezes again.  Such is life in Montana.

I also hit a great fabric sale in Livingston last week.  Livingston is a great little town about 25 miles or so west of us here.  Here is a group of some of the things - well all of it really - that I bought.

Sunday we had our little grandsons Weston and Walker here for a full day visit.  We worked in the yard for a bit and then took a little day trip to Virginia City where my sister, Stacey, has her old fashioned photo studio.  The boys love going there and always want their pictures taken in "authentic" garb.  

Weston is almost 10 and he got to drive the yard tractor and pull the wagon around so I could get some plants in here and there.  He said, "this is every boy's dream - to drive a tractor".  I had to laugh as I am thinking the driving part might be every boy's dream but maybe not a lawn tractor even though it is a big lawn tractor.  

Good times - still quilting - still feeling good - still loving memories of Mom and Dad and knowing I was so loved and now get to pass it all on.