Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On the Road with Dean and Betty

Betty and Dean Barton of Missouri

Towards the end of my morning walk, this lovely couple stopped to ask, as Betty put it, "a dumb question," not knowing that for a teacher, even a retired one, there are no such things as dumb questions.  It was simply where the nearest Wal-Mart might be found and that was easy to answer.  That out of the way, I had a chance to chat with Dean and Betty Barton of Missouri who made my day with their story and positive outlook on life.  Seems this couple, both of whom had lost spouses to cancer, have been married only 18 years after having met in a Wal-Mart.  This is their first motorcycle and they're on a road trip heading west and apparently having a super time.  They told me that after Dean's son suffered not one, but two strokes this past year and their daughter-in-law a heart attack, they realized that if there are things you want to do, get on it - life is short and at best, uncertain.  A few more minutes of chatting about real estate (lower in Missouri than Colorado) and quilting (Betty does her own long-arm quilting) and they were on their way to Wal-Mart. An anniversary, perhaps?  I don't know.  But I do know that my morning was brighter for having met the Bartons of Missouri.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Falling Into Autumn

Fabric: Moda's Autumn Breeze by Sentimental Studios
Leaves: A beautiful gift from God!

I take a walk most mornings and generally follow the same route, heading first up to Main Street, which in Georgetown is a dirt road in the shadow of Saxon Mountain.  The last few mornings have been cool, bordering on chilly, until I hit the sunshine on Rose Street.  Though it's still August, there's definitely the feeling of fall in the early morning air.  Just the other day I came upon these harbingers of autumn and since it's my favorite season, I was delighted.  Nothing like a crisp fall day to make a person want to knit or quilt.  Right now, I'm working on a scarf knitted with Mountain Colors Twizzle in Blooming Gale and have plans to start on a quilted throw using Moda's Collection for a Cause: Warmth, designed by Howard Marcus.  A percentage of the proceeds from quilt shops' purchase of the Collection for a Cause fabric goes to charity. The current "cause" is Habitat for Humanity - how appropriate for Warmth! What do you have in mind for the coming season?

Hats Off!

Hats off to The Quilted Purl customer Rene for creating this fine hat, her very first! Rene came to the shop a couple of weeks ago and expressed a desire to knit a hat and we discussed what was holding her back. A self-taught knitter, Rene is obviously talented.  We spent a short time going over some basics of hat knitting, which probably took more time than it should since Rene knits in the Continental style, while I knit in the English style.  She chose a beautiful Lonesome Stone Alpaca in the natural colors of two alpacas and here is the result.  Thanks for coming back for a little "Show and Tell," Rene.  I'm anxious to see what you knit next!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fun Freebie

3.5 inch Mug Rug

There are a few magazine and newsletters that send me emails and every so often there is a free pattern or free ebook offer.  Quilting Daily had an excellent pattern  (click on "pattern") that you may be interested in for a quick and simple gift.  It is called a "Mug Rug" and I had such a good time with it I made a dozen of them to start and sold four that afternoon.  Though the pattern calls for 3.5 inch squares, I used the remnants of a jelly roll, so mine were made with 2.5 inch squares.  Then I branched out and tried using some left over Charm Pack squares of 5 inches.  That seems to be a good size for a teapot, sugar and creamer.  Matching mug rugs would complete the set.  Finally, today I made one of the called for dimensions.  This really is a better size, I think.  None of mine have the matching mug marker.  People I drink tea with have to be responsible to keep up with their mug on their own!  Let me know what you think of the pattern. Enjoy!

2.5 inch Mug Rug
5 inch Charm Rug - good for teapot, sugar, creamer?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ready, Set, Sew!

My work area is down by the cubbies which hold some of my stash.

Moda Bake Shop is setting up links to various shops and studios so folks can see where others sew.  I entered The Quilted Purl when invited to do so, then realized there are few pictures on this blog of the shop itself.  So, if you have been wondering where I have fun all day, take a gander!  Better still, stop by for a visit!

A good place to sit, visit,  knit, or do hand stitching.

The computer is for me, the extra sewing machine for students.

Good natural light is a plus!

The cutting and ironing area

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Going Back and Moving Forward

My beautiful Aunt Doris 

I recently spent six days in the Atlanta area.  Late July is not necessarily a time period I would recommend for a visit to the sunny (read hot and humid) south, but as I was able to spend that time with family and dear friends, it was a very pleasant break.  Having lived in that area from 1978-1998, I was familiar with the area, but not with the million changes in traffic patterns, roads, and development.  Fortunately, family and friends had not changed and were as comfortable as ever.

It is never easy for me to go back to a place and see change (remember, I was a history teacher and love the past) but what a treat it was to sit with my Aunt Doris, reminisce, and catch up on family.  At 88, she is a beautiful, remarkable woman and such fun to be with as you can see in the picture.  She and I had a delightful few days, shopping, chatting, enjoying a delicious lunch and visit with my best friend and her husband.  Even a traffic tie-up on I-285 didn't dampen her spirits.

One evening, we sat and looked at family pictures from over sixty years ago that I had on my iPad.  Once through wasn't enough, so we did it twice, remembering those now watching over us from heaven and the good times of the past.

Going back certainly has its plusses, but so does moving ahead.  When my young, (ten and seven year old) cousins returned from their short family vacation, they took me in hand and introduced me to "Face Time" on my iPad.  After I returned to Colorado, young Meghan contacted me on Face Time to help her solve a little knitting dilemma.  What fun to see her, talk to her, and help her with her knitting!  Then last night she and sister Maddy checked in on me while my grandchildren were visiting.  Within seconds these four cousins, who had never met, were chatting and Maddy and Ruby showing each other their favorite monkeys while Austin kept declaring "I love you, cousins!"  Me too!

Maddy and Meghan with their knitting