Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Great Bike Ride...

It's called the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa -- RAGBRAI, for short -- and for the 14th summer in a row the husb crossed his home Hawkeye State, on bicycle with his buddies, Team Spare Tire.

RAGBRAI is the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world.  It all started back in 1973 as a challenge between two writers for the Des Moines Register and a few readers to go see the state and write columns. Today, it has flourished into a non-competitve Tour de Iowa with 15,000 to 20,000 registered riders on any given day from every state and overseas. The seven-day trek takes riders from the western edge of Iowa, beginning with a dip of their back tire in the Missouri River,  eastward, covering nearly 500 miles of country roads -- over hills and straight-aways -- until they finally dip their tires into the mighty Mississippi.

Prince Charles joined his Dad six years ago, but only rode 3 days this year.  That is 3 more days than you'll ever see his Mom ride!  Also joining Brad this year was his biking buddy Roger, who said this ride was on his bucket list.  Here they are after completing seven days on the bike.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More Books...

I am getting a lot of "listening" in this summer while walking 5 miles each day. 

I finished The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest completing the trilogy by Stieg Larsson. 

Like the first 2 books, I enjoyed the fast pace of this crime fiction.  It kept me walking at an accelerated clip.

I finally had the chance to listen to The Help by Katheryn Stockett. 

My friend Theresa loaned me this book some time ago, but I was waiting on my book club to read it. In the end, I checked out the audio book.   Listening to this book, and the variety of southern accents was a delight.  I looked forward to my daily walks with Minnie, Aibileen, and Skeeter.  I cheered for some characters, cringed at many events, and was sad to see the book to end.  I look forward to seeing the movie next month.

I have started The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.  I am just a few chapters in and I love it.  I was able to converse with my dr husb on a topic of which he knew little.  When it comes to science and medicine, that never happens.   

I have The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain next in my que.  Any other suggestions?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Quote of the Day...

When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say.
"I used everything You gave me."  
 -Erma Bombeck

Monday, July 18, 2011

Planned or Random?...

I now have 210 yo-yos!  My original plan for this Yo-Yo Along was to use up my 30's repro stash.  Then I decided to use only my red, white, and blue repros.  Well... I have depleted that stash and I have only completed 20% of the yo-yos needed for the the project.  What's a girl to do?  Should I use up my other 30's fabric for a more random color variation?  Or should I stick to the planned color way {and use this project as an excuse to frequent more quilt shops}? 

What would YOU do?

Friday, July 15, 2011

True Confessions...

My sewing room looks like a scene from Hoarders: Burried Alive.  I would take a picture and show it to you but I fear you'd have me put away.  It is proof of the fact that I love the beginning of the creative process... but finishing projects is another story.  And because I have spent the last year at the yarn shop, I rarely entered my sewing room. 

With my summer off, I have thouroughly enjoyed spending time sewing. I have been on a stash busting binge... which is all the reason to begin new projects.  But I have also made myself complete a few UFOs. 

Here is a quilt top made of half log cabin blocks.  I know I started this project more than 2 years ago at a quilt retreat.  Women from my small group traded strips of fabric.  I needed to make two more blocks and sew on the last row, and borders.  I think my outer border is sort of skimpy but I love the fabric and I have vowed to use up {yeah right!} what I have.  When finished, this quilt will fit the antique bed in our guest room.  Last time my Mom {Eva K} visited she asked why a quilter had a store bought quilt on the bed in her guest bedroom! 

Eva K has an Accuquilt.  I borrowed it {and have not returned it yet} and cut out this tumbler quilt.  It hardly made a dent in my Civl War repros but it is another finished top!

I quilt with my credit card.  So both of these quilts {plus another I finished for our church's Habitat House} went to my favorite longarm quilter {Juna} last night at our small group meeting.  Whew... does that ever feel good!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Yo-Yo Mama...

We had 2 beautiful days for sitting on the back porch and making yo yos.  This is what 105 yo-yos looks like.

But today was HOT.  So I stayed inside and worked on UFOs... after my five mile walk.

Sew On,

Friday, July 8, 2011

I was sucked in...

I am an easy mark.  Last weekend I was blog hopping and read Jodi's {Pleasant Home} post about her intentions for her 2011 Scrappy Quilt.  She decided to join Karen's Summer Bow Tie "quilt along" on Facebook.  Participants will make one block for every day of the summer.   Hmmm...sounds like fun!    

The "quilt along" started on June 21st, so as of today I have 18 blocks pieced.  By the end of the "quilt along", and the end of summer, we'll have 95 blocks!   If you need inspiration just check out Jodi's post.  It sucked me right in.

Then, later in the week, I read that Amandajean {Crazy Mom Quilts} had joined  Penny's {Sewtakeahike} Yo-Yo "quilt along". 

Well, I have always wanted a Yo-Yo quilt.
So now I have this basket ...

sitting next to my nest.

And currently it has 26 of the 1008 yo-yos that I need to complete in it.
  I am using red, white, and blue 30's repros... at least in the beginning!

I think "quilting along" will be fun! 

What ever you do, DON'T read Jodi's blog for today.  She's joined the Farmer's Wife Sampler "quilt along".  MUST * RESIST * THIS * PROJECT.  I still have Dear Jane in a box begging to be set! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


The women in my quilt group {the Rockin' Bobbins}, are exchanging blocks for this quilt.
picture from McCalls Quilting (dot) com

In June we swapped one set of blocks.  In July we'll be swapping 3 sets of 13.  I have been sewing ahead because July can be a busy month in this house.  Here are blocks from 4 of my sets.

Here are 2 blocks I made from 8 of our exchanged blocks.

 This exchange is a great stash buster.  And the quilt will be simple but beautiful. 

If you'd like to make this quilt, you can get the free pattern here from McCalls Quilting.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fat Quarter Shop sponsored Giveaway...

In May I visited my friend Theresa in Iowa.  We spent a morning in her sewing room where I found this free pattern from Lecien on her cutting table.

Pretty cute!

Then, this morning I was blog hopping and I found this great giveaway at
One lucky reader will be given the 15 FQ Good Luck bundle and another will be given the 14 FQ Happiness bundle AND you have 4 chances to win.    

Head on over there and check it out!

Monday, July 4, 2011

It's Independence Day...

 We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Little Wool Sampler...

I have been in my sewing room but have little to show for it.  I have been trying to organize and finish projects.  I took 5 minutes and put this little project together.

  • One adorable little wool sampler purchased at the Brick Street Market  {I could not resist... the items in this booth, Turkey Trot Workshops, were 2die4.}
  • One frame from Hobby Lobby  {Nearly every other week the frames at Hobby Lobby are 50% off.  Great deal and big selection!}
  • One scrap of wool from my stash  {I am in the de-stashing mode, but this hardly helps.}   

I wrapped the glass from the frame in wool...

And mounted the sampler on the wool, after the background was in place...making it easy to center.
And... I LOVE it!

I also purchased these 2 kits for future use...

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