I'm sitting in Heathrow now awaiting my flight home. I am such a homebody, I don't really enjoy traveling. I traveled a bit in my career, not a lot, but enough to see Europe several times. I travel solely to see my grand babies -- which is reason enough. The kids took me on a day trip to London on Friday. It was a quick trip but I was able to see Westminster Abbey,
Buckingham Palace, and Parliament...
But the real reason why I came is these two......
Haddon is the absolutely sweetest little baby ever. And Emma, oh my, this girl has such spirit. We laughed and played.
My love tank was filled to the brim this week, visiting these loved ones. I am so thankful for the technology to see them on FaceTime, but there is nothing like holding these babies in my arms and feeling their skin, hair, and hearing their little giggles in person. I am so blessed by this little family.
I'm in Cambridge this week! My son has a temporary job with Cambridge University until the end of February, then they will move back to Edinburgh. Thinking it was time for a visit to see my grands, I came out on Feb. 11th. Thank you Delta for a great flight here. I got here only one day after her third birthday. This cutie is definitely my girl....
I hadn't seen little brother since he was only three weeks old.
His momma describes him as the "dream baby." He is so happy and eats and sleeps wonderfully.
We went on an outing the other day to see the sights. First up the Mathematical Bridge. Here's a little history on it...The bridge was designed by William Etheridge, and built by James Essex in 1749. It has been rebuilt on two occasions, in 1866 and in 1905, but has kept the same overall design. Although it appears to be an arch, it is composed entirely of straight timbers built to an unusually sophisticated engineering design, hence the name.
Next up, through the opening in one of the buildings of Trinity College below, is the courtyard where it is said an apple tree grows from a seed of the apple tree with the famed apple which dropped in 1666 and prompted Sir Issac Newton to develop his theory of gravity.
Below is the clock in downtown Cambridge. I think the bug on top is some kind of grasshopper.
And a statue of Henry the 8th,who founded King's College.
I've done a lot of playing here too.....Emma and I have spent a lot of time at the swing set in the garden behind their flat.
And we raced scooters.....
My girl and her beautiful eyes.....
Precious little Haddon.....
On Valentine's Day I kept the kids while my son and daughter in law did a day trip to London. I enjoyed it, and they did too. They never get a day/night out to themselves.
I even got a chance to get in a four mile run today. It was perfect. Found a great place to run, didn't get lost (which is always nice) and saw lots of new sights.
...but this is why I am here.....
I think we are going to do a day trip to London a couple of days before I head home. I am looking forward to that......there might be another picture overload post!
Thank you McCall's for publishing my White Nights quilt! This, my friends, is my favorite quilt. When I decided to build our king size bed, I knew I had no quilts big enough, so off I went to EQ. I wanted something bold and had several ideas floating around in my head. I used the Easy Draw block method to design one block.
Yes, just one block. A unique block with an odd size of 9". I wanted to make a black and white nine patch where four blocks meet. If you read about my Sassy Sister quilt, then you will see a resemblance to this block. This is actually the first one I designed, Sassy Sister was a re-design with fewer pieces.
This block does have lots of tiny pieces. I wouldn't call it easy just because of all those little 1" strips.
If you are like me, you love quick and easy, but every once in a while I want to make something a little more difficult or complex. I love a quilt that has some dark and light fabrics to contrast with the medium values. I chose Amy Butler's Dreamweaver fabric line in fat quarters for the color. Lots of bold, modern prints, that went great with the black and white.
I started by cutting all the pieces for one block (except the black and white) from each fat quarter. Then I put all the same sized pieces together. If I remember correctly, I was able to cut about four blocks worth from each fat quarter.
All those pieces! I strip pieced some of the black and white units, but there were still lots to lay out.
It took about 30 minutes to make one block at first. As I got more used to making them, my time improved a little.
I was very pleased with how it turned out.
I quilted it with the Marmalade pantograph.
As you can see, I also made a wall hanging to go over our tub, and a table runner from some other Amy Butler scraps I had. If you are interested in the king size bed, I made it too. Click on this link to read about that project.
Before I close, I do want to tell you about the name. White Nights is the name for the phenomena that occurs in St. Petersburg, Russia, usually from around June 11th to July 2nd. During this time the sun doesn't drop below the horizon. It is a fascinating time to be there with lots of activities going on during this natural event. Several years ago I had the opportunity to travel there on business and take my teenage son. When I designed this one, it reminded me of that time. The bright colors of the day, offset by the white and black to represent the white nights phenomena. Even though it never gets dark then, night time is still for sleeping snuggled up with a homemade quilt. Hope you've enjoyed seeing more of my White Nights quilt.
If you'd like to be entered for a free March/April 2017 issue of McCall's Quilting, along with a mixed bag of scraps to get you started on your own White Nights quilt, leave me a comment. I've included some charm squares from Bonnie and Camille's great happy-go-lucky fabric line. Contest for residents of the contiguous United States only. Contest ends February 18th.
It's been my habit to do at least about 12 quilts a year. This year seems slim, however, there are five more I can't show yet. Three from one pattern, and a couple more. Those three new quilt patterns will be out in magazines this spring. Here are the others I did in 2016.
First up, a baby version of Edinburgh Square.
Another Edinburgh Square for our church Threads of Love ministry.
Sassy Sister was selected as the cover quilt of Fons and Porter's Quilting Quickly magazine, September/October 2016
Dandelions was published in McCall's Quilting July/August 2016
Another Edinburgh Square charity quilt.
Made this sweet animal quilt for my new grandson. Oops, forgot the pattern!
Checkered Past was selected as the cover quilt for Fons and Porter's Easy Quilts, Fall 2016.
How about you? Would love to see your finishes! Email me and we'll chat quilting!
Lots of folks really love the Christmas holidays. Me, I love New Years Day. I love the thoughts of a new beginning, new goals, new adventures. I've been thinking about my 2016 goals. So far, this is what I have:
Create 3-4 new quilt designs (this includes submitting them to magazines) Check! I submitted 7 new designs and 1 block design and all were accepted!
Finish the scrappy wonky star bed quilt (a big goal, been working on it for a few years and can never get the motivation to finish, which is unlike me; the blocks are small and take about 30 minutes each)Nope, still don't have that motivation. :(
Make a widow a Remembrance quilt No, but am glad I didn't have any friends lose their husband this year.
Crochet some slippers or another crochet project No, didn't do this either.
Run 500 miles; 3x/week, a few 5ks, a 15k, and one half marathon (this is cutting back from last year; this year I want to focus on maintaining my health, not necessarily any new running goals; included in this is to maintain my weight and my current "no running injuries" status)Yes! Got in my 500 miles, several 5ks, a 10k, a 15k, and a half marathon. Also, no running injuries and have maintained my weight.
Read the bible through YES! I've done this several years in a row now and it has become a habit, a good habit!
Read at least 3 book club books and attend at least 3 book club meetings Did terrible on this one. Not sure I read even one book club book this year nor attended one meeting
Vacation with the husband Yep. We went to Jackson Hole, WY in the spring.
Visit the kids in Edinburgh at least once Yes sir. Traveled over there in June to go to the Highlands with them. Beautiful country. Then again in September when my little grandson was born.
Do an outside project (not sure what - possibly re-paint the faux tile on the screened porch; maybe do a square foot garden; maybe even do a boat garage add on) Check. I made the screened porch privacy fences but my best project of the year was our farmhouse style king size bed I built while the hubby was gone on his annual fishing trip.
I tend to have all to-do type goals but I do want to also have some of another type...
Live intentionally These are harder to judge. I tend to have a plan, always. So maybe living intentional wasn't a good goal for me.
Be kinder I hope I was.
Try to put myself in others' shoes Again, hard to judge but I honestly did try.
Age gracefully I think I did this. I don't fret too bad about my wrinkles, gray hair, and my middle aged middle, but running and staying healthy helps me in this area.
Well, a good evaluation is important, don't you think? I am just glad that I don't have to meet certain criteria, and perform to be loved and valued by my heavenly father. Jesus took care of that for this sinner. However, I do want to strive to be a better me, learn more, do more - those goals come pretty easy for me. Being an introvert, the ones I struggle most with are doing more for others, helping them, listening more, being more compassionate.
So how about you? Here it is already January 13th. What are your goals for 2017?
It was tough, but I finished and got a new personal record. I'm not fast by any stretch of the imagination but at almost 58 years old, I am just happy to be able to do it. 2:36:29 today which beat my best half marathon time by about a minute and a half. I am really proud of my brother. He walked his first 5k after losing 77 pounds since spring.