Sunday, March 18, 2012

St, Patrick's Day Road Trip

   Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day and since I'm 3/4 Irish, I always celebrate it big. I don't drink, so by doing it big, I mean I dress very green every year. I wear a shamrock tiara and a green feather boa, a green St. Patrick's Day shirt and a little Leprechaun pin that I've worn every year since I was 4 yrs. old. It was my Irish grandmother's pin. She died when I was 4 and I got her pin, which to a 4 year old was quite a treasure. She probably got it at the Five and Dime store, but it's priceless to me. Sorry, it didn't scan well, but you get the idea...

  It was also Breakfast Club yesterday. Jane and I went together. I may have embarrassed her in my St. Patty attire. She's much too kind to say so though. We saw some pretty quilts during show n tell. Jane made another darling baby quilt. She said she bought these baby picture squares several years ago in Kalona and she was getting tired of them making angry faces at her every time she came across them in her stash. She decided it was time to sew them into a quilt. Lol. Isn't it adorable? The babies sure look happy now!

Here are a few more show n tell pix...
  Someone announced at Breakfast Club that Muscatine was having their quilt show this weekend. I didn't have to twist Jane's arm to convince her to go. We were already an hour north so we only had to drive a half hour east to get there! It was a nice show with a lot of full-sized quilts. I took pictures of my favorites.
This antique beauty was purchased by Pam Brown as a top for $75! She then hand-quilted it.
I loved this antique Lone Star. The  background was fugitive purple as you can see. I liked the little arrangement with the treadle machine and small quilt.

This was an interesting quilt. I thought it was antique till I read the label. She saved Crown Royal bags and labels till she had enough to make a quilt. I assume Crown Royal is a liquor of some sort. It reminded me of 19th century quilts made of cigar labels. Neat idea.

After watching the PBS film "Quilts of Valor" last Saturday, this quilt at the show caught my attention. It's going to be a wonderful family heirloom for this soldier.

  Jane and I came home inspired to dive into our stashes and create! I quilted and sewed the binding on the doll quilt I showed you a couple posts ago. I'll share a picture when I take one. I soaked it to remove the blue markings and it's still damp. Our husbands went for an all day (after church) bike ride, so we had quilting time today. I haven't talked to her to see if she quilted, but I worked on Winds of War for a couple hours. I'm speaking in Wellman, Iowa tomorrow evening for the Kountry Quilters, so I had to pack everything in totes and load my car this afternoon. I'm leaving right after work tomorrow.

  My quilting beckons me. Keep stitching!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

What a Week!

   This has been a wild and crazy week here in Mt. Pleasant. Our high school boys basketball team played in the state tournament. We've made it there the last three years. The first year we got 4th place, not bad. The second year we got 3rd, that's better. This year we thought it would be a "building" year, because all the starting players graduated last year. We had 3 players from last year, now seniors to place our hopes on, all the rest had been on JV last year. Where there is a will, there is a way! This is such an outstanding group of young men, hard-working, determined, unselfish, and ready and willing to be coached. They only lost one game this season when they played a 4A team to challenge their abilities. We are 3A. We won the opening game on Wednesday pretty handily and the game the next night was a little more challenging. Last night we played against West Dubuque for the championship and won in double overtime 66-62. It was a squeaker and nerve-wracking, to say the least. I'm sure my blood pressure was pretty high during most of the second half. The boys won as graciously as they had played all year. I couldn't be more proud of them if they were my own sons. a "welcome home" celebration was held in the high school gym this afternoon with a huge crowd in attendance. I should have mentioned that the last time Mt. Pleasant won the state championship was back to back wins in 1917 and 1918! We also brought home the Good Sportsmanship trophy and $1000 prize for the 3rd year in a row, which has never been done before. You can imagine how thrilling this is for the whole town.

Here's the Champs...
  After driving 2 hours each way 3 times this week and getting home at 1 AM twice, and then daylight savings time robbing us of another hour's sleep, we're all pretty tired and have been running on pure adrenaline. I'm sure I'll sleep good tonight. Tomorrow at school should be interesting. The students and staff will find it difficult to get back to normal and settle into the daily routine, but we'll manage.

  I did find time to finish quilting the Reap the Whirlwind sample quilt this week when I wasn't at work or at the tournament. Here are a few shots of it. I hope the traces of blue marking that are still evident don't show. I have to hit them with a damp cloth again for the third time!

And a closeup...
I'm starting to quilt the Winds of War sample now. I hope to get a lot more quilting time in this week!

  I haven't given any Civil War facts to you lately. Did you know that this past week in 1862 that naval warfare was introduced to the Civil War? The Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia (formerly the USS Merrimack) attacked the US fleet at Hampton Roads, Virginia, on March 8. The next day, the ironclad  USS Monitor arrived at Hampton Roads to join the fight. This first battle of  the ironclads resulted in a draw, but Naval warfare was forever changed.

 I hope you have a great week ahead and keep stitching.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

"Crunch Time"

   Winter decided to visit Mt. Pleasant this weekend. We've been spoiled by mild weather and no snow days at all this year. I knew it was too good to be true. After all, this is Iowa, not Florida! Still, it was a shock when I came out of HyVee getting groceries Friday and the parking lot was all white with a heavy wet snow covering everything and still coming down. It had been dry when I went in. It was really cold so I hurried to my car and loaded the groceries in the trunk. I wiped the side mirrors, got in, started the engine, defrost, and wipers. I was definitely going straight home and settling in for the rest of the day with a cup of tea and quilting till supper. I started to back out and in a second saw a car in my rear view mirror. I braked, but before I could pull back in the space...CRUNCH! The SUV parked directly behind me had backed out at the same time, but the driver didn't see me and didn't stop until she hit me. Darn! That wasn't in my plans for the day. I called the police and we each waited in our cars. The policeman parked behind my car and just as I got out to talk to him, the man in the car next to me started to back out directly into the police car! The officer jumped in his car and threw it in gear as I started pounding on the window of the car. The man stopped, but if the officer hadn't shot forward, the patrol car would have been t-boned. That pretty much gives you an idea of the visibility at the time. The policeman called it an equal fault accident since we were both backing out at the same time, no tickets issued as far as I know. I have a basketball size dent on the right corner of my bumper, but that's it. Her SUV had a scratch.  Less than an hour later, the snow stopped and the sun had melted it off except for some in the grass. I still went home and quilted! I needed to in order to calm down. Quilting is the best therapy in the world no matter what ails you.

  Saturday was clear and hardly a trace of the snow left. I finished piecing the Winds of War sample and quilted all day and evening. Randy went to Springfield to visit his mother at St. Johns Hospital. She had open-heart surgery on Wednesday to replace a valve and one bypass done. She came through it well, but on Friday developed an irregular heart beat. They cleared that up with 24 hours of medication in her IV. She may even be released on Monday.

   Here is a sample of my piecing this weekend...the Winds of War sample top...

   Closeup of blocks...

   I made this little doll quilt from trim away pieces leftover from making the Reap the Whirlwind sample top. I played around with how to set the string-pieced half-square triangles, but liked this setting best. I pin basted it to hand quilt...

   And a closeup...

  That's all for tonight. The battery is dead in my camera so I can't take pictures of the Reap the Whirlwind quilt. I'm almost finished quilting it. I'll post those pix later. Keep stitching!