6/19/14

Raw Materials

Today I'm telling you about things that are in development...some planned, some only imagined.

Yesterday I met up with my friend, Lenelda, from high school. Lenelda and I knew one another from the 7th grade on. While we weren't fast friends during school, we knew one another well. Also, we swam on the city swim team together, which is probably where we found the most camaraderie. Lenelda is a quilter, and so our planned day included lunch and visits to two quilt shops. It was great fun catching up on the many things we each have done over the years. Also, I was able to see her mother and her younger brother. Her mom drove to many a swim meet, and her brother was also on the swim team, although he was just a little boy then...perhaps five years younger than Lenelda. She surprised me with these soft crocheted washcloths.


We spent some time catching up, and then went to Greenbaum's Quilted Forest. They have the most beautiful collection of batiks. I've had an eye out for jewel tones for my stained glass quilts ever since I started getting interested in those projects. These caught my eye.


Also, I loved these stripes and picked up a half yard cut of each. I love stripes for bindings, but these could be used for other things as well.


Then, I fell in love with this one. It could be cut into strips to take advantage of the many colors.


But it also reminded me of the beautiful landscapes of the Sonoran Desert in Tucson. I could see using this in a landscape quilt. I've always wanted to try doing something with this scene. Maybe the fabric will motivate me.


They had books at 50% off, and I liked this one...because what I really need are more books. The shelves haven't fallen off the wall yet, and so I'm working harder.


And with a trip coming up in September, I decided to pick up this more up-to-date version of the Quilters' Travel Companion.


I have an app for finding quilt shops, but the directory is nice to have as well. Also, take a look at the route below. Know of any good quilt shops I should check out? I'm always open to suggestions.

After buying out the store there, we had lunch, and then headed to The Cotton Patch just a few miles up the road. Lenelda pointed out this fabric, and I fell in love with it. It's just so pretty, but it also reminded me of a china pattern Mikasa used to make. When Mike and I were engaged, I drooled over this china, but I never bought any of it. I already had my grandmother's French Bavarian antique china, which is lovely, and I really didn't need to be dragging more china around at that point in my life. In any case, I really loved this fabric, and so I bought three yards of  it. I can see using it as a back or borders...or anything, really.


Also, these fat quarters. The lighter ones will make good embroidery backgrounds, and the middle one could be used in landscape quilts. It looked like something I might like for my Doors of Ireland.


And, of course, this one below was an absolute must. It would have been life-threatening to pass it by.


And since I was sure my life would be over if this wasn't a part of my stash, I really was thinking of you. What would you do if I died and stopped writing my blog? So, really, it was for you that I bought it. You're welcome.

I spent several hours this morning looking at maps and deciding where our trip would take us this September, making an absolute mess of my office.


I laid out an itinerary that takes us far too far to travel in the time we have allotted. It is ever thus. My eyes are always bigger than my calendar.


Most of those pins don't have any meaning beyond forcing the route onto the roads I want to take. (I'm the main planner for these events. I just tell Mike to get in the car, buckle up, and then mush!) 

So this takes us across the "Montana Hi-Line" on US Hwy 2, then due south to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. There are some other things along that road through North Dakota, but the prime destination for this trip is Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota. Then, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park on Lake Superior, then south through Minnesota and across the corner of Iowa into Nebraska. (Yes, Diane, it does go through your town!) Across a scenic highway in Nebraska to Chacon State Park. Then, north to Badlands National Park in South Dakota, west to Devil's Tower National Mounument in Wyoming, then back toward home. (Yes, Marei, it goes through your town too!) As it stands, it's a little short of 5,000 miles, which is way more than we can manage. I'm afraid those destinations in Iowa and Nebraska will have go to, which is a shame. Or maybe we'll give up the Badlands in South Dakota. I'm not sure. I have tour books and visitor's guides on order for all of these places, so I'll make some final decisions when I know more.

When I'd looked at that as long as I could stand it and whimpered about the places we might have to give up, I decided it was time to get busy. So then I processed the rest of the strawberries and got those into the freezer. They have a few minutes to go before I bag them up.


Then I headed outside to fill the bird feeders and check on things in the greenhouse. One of the tomato plants has several tomatoes on it, and a few are actually getting some size to them.


At first, I was a little chagrined not to see tomatoes on any of the other ten plants, but I kept looking and finally found one.


There are probably more because there are plenty of bloomed out flowers, but it's a little hard to find them right now.

The green leaf lettuce is large enough now to start picking the leaves, and the second round of red leaf has germinated nicely.


My furry pal was keeping me company on my walk about while keeping his nose to the ground sniffing out little furry mammals. (Yes, the field needs mowing...badly.)


And that brings me to now. I haven't done any sewing for two days, and so that's where I'm headed as soon as I bag up the frozen strawberries. I'm making good progress on the last stitchery for the Gardener's Journal quilt. 


I should have it finished in a day or two.

What's going on at your end?

16 comments from clever and witty friends:

gpc said...

Sweet washcloths, what a nice gift. Wow. Busy you! I love those stripes, and sort of stripes. I have no idea why, but I would have had to buy them, too. The flowers, too, although I am not a flowered fabric person. And yes, thank you, it wouldn't have done at all for you to fade away for want of (more) cat paw fabric. I love the idea of a day spent planning with maps. Lucky you! The Theodore Roosevelt and Badlands parks were some of my favorites as a little kid. We saw a lot of prairie dogs and mule deer, and my sister stepped on a cactus which totally made the trip for me. I like her (lots) better now, thank goodness.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Lot's of goodies!! I really love that floral - lite and delicate and the poppies!!

Sher S. said...

Oh my!! love all the beautiful batiks, they would go well with my collection. Love the kitty paw print, haven't seen it in red before. Your trip sounds fun but long. Love your garden ladies, that quilt is going to be fantastic. Very whimsical.
We just got home from checking out how our new house is coming along in Florida. They say 2 months we should be able to move in....boy do I have a ton of packing to get done in my sewing room.
Love seeing Smitty out and about.

sunny said...

You'll want to spend a couple of days in the Black Hills in SD, if you haven't been there before. Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Monument . . . .

Ranch Wife said...

Well, you certainly found some treasures! I have been avoiding the batik bandwagon, but I'm weakening fast. I am trying to DECREASE my stash, but I'm beginning to wonder about that. :) What line is that floral from? I'm planning a floral quilt and that would be a great addition! Thanks so much!
I am envious of your garden!

Betty said...

Those are some great fabric finds! You and Smitty have been very busy. I love seeing him checking out his territory, no critter is safe on his watch!
I finished piecing a 6 year old UFO and got it layered for quilting today. I need to get started on it but had to check out blog-land first.

Colleen said...

ok just a few places to consider this restaurant my mom found on some recommendation where Jane Fonda and Ted Turner got kicked out of. http://www.oasissteakhouse.com/ The http://www.fws.gov/refuge/national_bison_range/ is an amazing drive! Lots of animals on dirt roads hanging on the mountain. Amazing views.

Brown Family said...

Beautiful fabrics! I love the multi colored batik! I would lobe to take a trip like that!

Dana Gaffney said...

Great fabrics, the floral and the batiks are wonderful. I have lots of tomatoes on the vines, now's the waiting game for red and eating, it's torture.

Marei said...

So glad you and Lenelda were able to get together. I wish I was there!! Love all the goodies you picked up....and thanks for the kitty print...nice that you considered all of us when shopping. Looking forward to seeing you in Sept. Go ahead..try not to sing "see you, in September. See you, when the summer's through." And don't tell me you're not old enough to remember Shelley Fabares singing it. I know better.

Diane Wild said...

You certainly have an ambitious itinerary. You have to go through the Badlands. Glad you will experience Lake Superior. I haven't been there in years. Once you hit my little town you can sleep. Nothing to look at unless you want to visit the Traverse de Sioux Treaty site in St. Peter. Google it.

LethargicLass said...

I am positive you said you would be getting close to me this year's trip... you're not getting close at all :(

LethargicLass said...

I am positive you said you would be getting close to me this year's trip... you're not getting close at all :(

Michele said...

I love that floral too and I want some! Info on it pretty please so I can hunt some down.

Kate said...

If you do drive through Spokane/Coeur d'Alene, I have some recommendations, though I'm pretty sure you've been to half of them already. Lots of fun fabric purchases - I could definitely see that batik as a desert landscape!

quiltzyx said...

Nice crocheted cloths! Mine seem to get all catty-wampus... ;)

Oh boy are those fabrics delicious! You did great.

That is an ambitious trip plan. I did almost 5K on my 2 week roadtrip, but I wasn't towing anything, and rarely stopped to look around in between my planned visit stops. I think if I'd had a co-pilot I would have seen more. I still took lots of pics - most all of them out the windshield!
The strawberries made my mouth water! Such a beautiful red, aren't they? And the lettuce looks grand too. I refuse to comment on those OTHER things...!
Wow! The last stitchery for the GJ! Good on ya!