Saturday, September 28, 2013

I Saw A MOOSE!!!!!! (Minnesota trip, part 2)

On Wednesday morning, hubby started his 6 day/5 night solo hike on the border route trail.  As soon as he hiked away from the cabin, I headed down the road towards Lake City, MN.  About 15 minutes after I drove off, I rounded a curve and saw a MOOSE standing in the road.  I couldn't get my camera out of my purse before the moose walked off up someone's private road.  Oh My!  Those moose are HUGE!

I told you those moose are HUGE!
 Don't worry, I haven't been drinking, and this isn't the moose I saw.  We saw this orange moose at Black River Falls, Wisconsin, on the drive up to Minnesota.  I just couldn't resist using this picture.

I really DID see a moose, though.  The moose population is way down in Minnesota since 2010.  I'm supposed to report my moose sighting to the proper authorities. 

I did get a little souvenir of my moose sighting before I left the state.

my moose sighting souvenir
Isn't he cute!

More Minnesota trip tales to come!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Minnesota Trip (part one)

Hubby and I just took a great vacation to Minnesota.  We were gone for 12 days, so, you will see our trip in installments.  What a great trip!

We headed up to Duluth, MN, to catch the coastal road up to Grand Marais, MN.  All along the coastal road there are places where you can park and check out the scenery of Lake Superior.  We've seen Lake Superior from Wisconsin (Bayfield), and from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  This time we get to see it from Minnesota. 

We stopped along the Skyline Parkway, where we saw several people surfing in Lake Superior.

surfers on Lake Superior

It is really hard to get a picture while they are standing up and surfing.  They spend most of their time waiting for a good wave to come in.  Most of the surfers we saw were near Duluth. 

rocks on Lake Superior

Lake Superior shoreline near Duluth
 We stayed in Two Harbors, MN for the night.  We had to check out the breakwater in the harbor.

John in Two Harbors

start of the breakwater

light house at the end of the breakwater in Two Harbors, MN
I had to check out this little bird that was hopping along with me on the breakwater.  Every time I'd take a picture of him, he'd move. 

little bird on the break water wall

Here is a different shot of Lake Superior at Two Harbors.

Lake Superior at Two Harbors, MN
We saw lots of deer in town at Two Harbors.  We saw deer grazing on the veterinarians lawn, and also on the main street in town.  They didn't seem to notice the cars or people.  We finally got a shot of some deer after they crossed a road.

some of the deer in Two Harbors, MN

The next morning, we drove to Gooseberry Falls State Park.  The falls are just a short walk from the parking lot.  Well worth stopping for (we stopped both ways). 

John by the falls

Look in the top, right corner of this next picture for the cave opening.  Before we left, there were several youths trying to figure out how to get to the cave (it's harder than it looks).

Gooseberry Falls with a shot of the cave in the corner
This is a view of down river, from the falls.

view from the falls
At the headquarters building (they have a great gift shop, too, with better than normal prices), they had several stuffed animals to represent the animals from the area.  I just had to take a picture of the snowy owl (think Hedwig from Harry Potter).

snowy owl at Gooseberry Falls
We reached Grand Marais, MN in time for a late lunch.  We ate at the Dockside Cafe on the harbor.  This was our view, while we ate lunch on their balcony.

view from Dockside Cafe's balcony
Dockside catches their own Lake Herring each day.  We ate the Lake Herring fish and chips for lunch.  YUM!  We came back the next week for more.

After lunch, we headed inland on the Gunflint Trail road.  We stopped just outside of Grand Marais, at the overlook on Pin Cushion Mountain (did you catch that name?). 

overlook at Pin Cushion Mountain
We had to stop and hike the Moose trail overlook.  No moose, but a nice hike in the woods.

We stayed at Heston's Lodge on Gunflint Lake. Across the lake was Canada.  We stayed in Birch cabin. 

our cabin, from the lake
We'd happily go back there again, and bring more family members the next time.  This is the view from the dock near our cabin.

the dock at Heston's Lodge
That is Canada in the distance.  I never sat in the chairs, I just walked down the dock, to the step down, and sat there.  The water is so clear.  I just wanted to jump in, but it was too cold.

water off the dock at Heston's
We didn't think ahead about eating supper (we did bring food for breakfasts), so, we headed to the Gunflint Lodge restaurant (Heston's doesn't have a restaurant).  Here is the view from our table.

view from our table at Gunflint Lodge restaurant
Dinner at Gunflint was pricy, so, I bought some supplies from Heston's the next day (it was way too far to drive to a grocery store) and we cooked our own supper.

On Tuesday, we headed to the starting point of the Magnetic Rock hiking trail.  Hubby planned on walking the trail, then continuing on, all the way back to our cabin.  The whole hike he took was 12 miles.  Magnetic Rock is only 3 miles.  I hiked most of the way to Magnetic rock before I turned back to the car.

John at start of Magnetic Rock trail

me, sitting on a rock at the beginning of the trail

tiny water fall on the trail
Hiking isn't my thing.  I have bad feet (arthritis) and bad balance.  I've also injured my ankle repeatedly over the years, starting in junior high.  It just isn't worth having to watch every single step I take, and not getting to enjoy the scenery.  There were lots of places to stop and check out the view on this trail.  I also took a hiking stick to help me along. 

I had my day at the cabin planned.  Of course I brought along a hand crank sewing machine (more about my machines in another post, oh my!).  I needed to work on some exchange blocks that are due on Oct. 1st (still not done as I write this post, Oops!).  I took parts of my blocks to pin, and pinned them while sitting on the dock and watching the water ( I love being by water).

pinning my exchange blocks
See, I was getting stuff done.  These blocks are more 'fiddly' than I thought, and, I also had to fix a few of the pieces.  I had to quit when my tendonitis started shooting tingly pains up and down my arm. 

This is my view while I ate lunch.

view of Canada while I ate lunch
When I couldn't work on the blocks anymore, due to my tendonitis, I just sat here and read a book.  What a lovely day!

More on our trip in another post.....

REMINDER!  If you are near Yorkville, Illinois this weekend, check out the Kendall County Historical Society's Fall Festival at Lyon's Farm.  There are crafts, a flea market, lots of booths with fun items, lots of historical buildings to tour, food (yes, it's yummy) and lots of fun activities for the kids.  There are also tractors and a car show.  Oh yea, did I mention that I'll be in the newest building with several of my vintage sewing machines and lots of my quilts?  Come visit me and play with some of my machines. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Week's worth of updates

I've been busy around here, getting ready for several upcoming events.  One you'll hear about at the end of this post, the other, you won't hear about until 'after' the event.  Lets just say that I'll be in vintage sewing machine bliss.

A few things have gotten done around here.  Starting with the embroidery on another 2 Harry Potter blocks.  Here are the blocks, on my new design wall.
embroidery done on 2 blocks

Prefects Who Gained Power book

The Boy Who Lived (Twice): The Real Story by Rita Skeeter and Matical Flora & Fauna books

Predicting the Unpredictable book
Hubby also got something finished.  About 20 years ago, hubby's uncle made me a porch swing.  The swing has needed to be rebuilt for a few years now.  Hubby decided to take the old swing apart, to use it as a template, and build a new swing. 

swing that hubby built
Didn't hubby do a great job!  He even included a piece of the old swing underneath, so that the original swing will be a part of this swing.  Hubby's uncle died many years ago, so, we didn't want to 'forget' who made the first swing. 

On Monday, my little quilt guild celebrated it's 10th Anniversary with a Tea Party!  Several of us have been members since the first Members Tea, that started the guild.  I love this guild.  It is 'cozy' and nice.  It was my first quilt guild.

Thelma made us a special cake to celebrate the event.

10th Anniversary celebration cake
We also had decorations!

some of the decorations

tables all set up, waiting for the quilters to arrive
We had a pot luck dinner.  The food was wonderful!  We also had drawings for prizes and we even had fun painting 'favors' as an activity.  (sorry, I forgot to take pictures).

Here are pictures of our members.

Wego Quiltin' Quilt Guild members

Wego Quiltin' Quilt Guild members

Wego Quiltin' Quilt Guild members
Some members turned in philanthropy projects that we've been working on.  We got 3 wheelchair size quilts for the veterans home.  This is our November project.

wheelchair size veterans quilt

2 matching wheelchair size quilts (shown one front, and one back)
This guild is also collecting placemats that will be given to our local Meals on Wheels group.  We need over 75 placemats to hand out at Christmas.  Here are the first 17 placemats, turned in. 

17 placemats for Meals on Wheels

An update on my baby commission quilt.   Last night, hubby and I delivered the quilt.  It was well received.  Here is the new owner, sitting in hubby's lap, with her new (and her old, tattered) quilts.

the new quilt owner and my hubby
I know that the quilt is well accepted, as it was drug all over the house, along with the tattered quilt. 

One of the things I've been doing this past week is cutting out quilt kits.  I've cut 4 quilt kits, so that I'll have plenty to work on at my upcoming demo.  

If you are in the western suburbs of Chicago the last weekend of September, come visit me at the Kendall County Historical Society's Fall Festival

Fall Festival

40th Annual Fall Festival
Sept 28th & 29th 10am – 4pm
Admission $5 adults children 7-12 $2
Crafts, Flea Market, Farm Demos, Antique farm equipment and much, much more.
located at 7935 Rt. 71 Yorkville, IL
I'll have a booth (inside the new building) with some of my vintage sewing machines and quilts.  Come stitch with me!

If you want to know more about this event, I also participated last year (blog post here).

I'll only have access to my lap top the next 2 weeks, so, no blog posts.  I can't load pictures on the lap top, and I like photos in my blog posts.  Don't worry, you'll get TONS of pictures and several posts in early October, after Fall Festival.  
Happy Friday the 13th!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

August NewFO's, UFO's & Finishes!

August was a busy month, sewing wise.  I guess it was to make up for the lack of progress earlier in the summer. 

I finished the embroidery on 3 more Harry Potter, The Project of Doom blocks.

Handbook of Do-It-Yourself Broom Care

Nature's Nobility A Wizarding Genealogy & Numerology & Gramatica

Sonnets of a Sorcerer & The Standard Book of Spells (Grades 1-6) by Miranda Goshawk

Unfogging the Future by Cassandra Vablotsky
I also made a commision baby quilt.

flannel & Minkee baby quilt
I finished 7 preemie quilts for my small quilt guilds philanthropy project (these go to the local hospitals NICU).

I also started moving in to my youngest son's bedroom, and turning it into my new (shared) sewing space.

This has already been re-arranged again

Hubby bought me some 1" thick insulation boards yesterday, so that I can have some design walls. 
2 3'x7' foam insulation boards

one board is covered now
I have to piece the fabric for the second board.  It will be finished  soon.  Not bad for fabric I found at the thrift store this week for a whopping $2 total. 

I also made a few sets of Bow Tie blocks for a block exchange.  These blocks have to be made on a treadle or hand crank sewing machine. 

1925 Singer 99 hand crank
post WWII Japanese treadle (Victor)
extra blocks, since I ran out of the above colors before I had enough blocks
I also cleaned 3 different vintage sewing machines this month. 

1951 Singer 301A
post WWII Japanese 3/4 size 'Challenge'
1925 Singer 66
How unusual for me, all three of these machines have motors, and all three will keep their motors (at least for now).  The Singer 66 may become a hand crank in the future.  I bought it so that I'd have a machine ready to sell, if I'm asked. 

I also finished my string quilt top for Quilts of Valor. 

Quilts of Valor string quilt top
While looking for a piece of fabric (still haven't found that piece of fabric) I found some UFO's that I'd started for Quilts of Valor, but, hadn't gotten finished.  A while back (like 2+ years ago)  I found several BOM's from Joann Fabrics at the local thrift store.  I grabbed several of them to put together to make some quilt tops for Quilts of Valor.  I'd managed to get all the blocks put together, and even had some of the rows put together, but, all of it got put away and never finished.  There is a very limited amount of space at the sew-ins, and I needed lots of room to lay these pieces out so that I could finish them.  Well, they are finished now.

1st quilt top

2nd quilt top

up close of a block

up close of another block
Joann's block of the month, using what blocks I could find (and NO applique blocks)
Also while hunting for that elusive fabric, I found 2 more Quilts of Valor projects that needed some finishing.  One had all the 4 patch units stitched, it just needed to be sewn together. 

4 patch Quilts of Valor
The last quilt top for Quilts of Valor is using up some 'extra' blocks someone had turned in.  Rita had some rail fence blocks that she didn't think we could use.   She thought they were too 'girly' for a Quilts of Valor quilt.  I took the blocks, came up with a design, bought some black print fabric and....

rail fence Quilts of Valor top

up close of some of the rail fence blocks
I don't think this looks 'girly' at all now.  This is still too small, so, I'm adding a border to it.

tan fabric will be the border
The borders will be added, and all of these tops will be turned in at the next Quilts of Valor sew-in on Tuesday.  Woohoo! 

Don't expect this much to get stitched next month!

I'm linking up with Barbara over at Cat Patches for the 2013 NewFO Challenge.  I'm also linking up with Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  I'll also be linking up with Richard and Tanya Quilts

Oh My!  It's September already!!!  Where has this year gone???  I haven't even started Christmas gifts yet.  Oh No!