Monday, September 29, 2008

Stash Dashing with friends

On Friday and Saturday I did the Heart of Carolina Stash Dash with some wonderful new friends, K and P. We had a great time! The route took us all the way from Carrboro (an hour northwest) to Wake Forest (an hour north) to Selma (an hour southeast). We did most of our dashing on Friday and saved the trip to Selma for Saturday. K took us to a wonderful little German restaurant in Selma too. Very, very good! K was the driver (bless her) and P was my fabric spotter. I told her what I was looking for and she spotted it in every shop. What a gift! Me, I was overwhelmed most of the time and always the last to checkout at each store. They were so patient with me! :-)

The theme for this year was "Home is Where Your Heart Is" and each shop featured a quilt and gave away a block pattern in the theme. (I took all the photos with my cell phone so some are a little dark.) We also won door prizes at several stores but I've forgotten who won what at which store! LOL

This is at Etc. Crafts in Cary.

Etc. Crafts also had the Capital Quilters Guild Opportunity Quilt displayed on the front porch.

We are hosting the North Carolina Quilt Symposium, in May, at Peace College, and this is the raffle quilt. Wanna buy a ticket??? It's gorgeous! :-D

The Dog House quilt was at Elegant Stitches in Cary. Cute, cute, cute.

Elegant Stitches is located in the Waverly Place shopping center. I've got to give them a huge amount of credit for hanging on in this nearly empty shopping center. The most recent newspaper article doesn't point any fingers directly, but it's truly been a shame how many businesses have had to move to less ideal locations or been put completely out of business by this mess. :-( The most recent casualty was Flame Kissed Beads. Very sad. I wonder what's really going to happen next.

On a brighter note! The next stop was Thimble Pleasures in Carrboro. Too far for me to go regularly but what a nice store!!! This is their house quilt.

By then we were gasping for lunch. We splurged our calorie allotments on burgers at Red Robin. Yum! I had a really nice fish sandwich with slippery insides that I managed to spill all down my front in spectacular fashion! You can count on me!!! LOL The shop after lunch was Quilts Like Crazy in Wake Forest. Their quilt was bird houses.

Then back down into Raleigh to Carolina Sew 'n Vac where we received the light house pattern. Thank goodness the stores have their names on the patterns. Otherwise, it was such a long day I'd have no clue where we saw what!

The pretty Victorian houses were at Sew Unique in Raleigh. We were given the pattern for the blue house.

The fun house quilt at Bernina World of Sewing in Raleigh made me think of Whoville. :-)

So after an exhausting Friday we started much later on Saturday and drove down to Selma. This lovely quilt was the offering at Whistle Stop Quilt Shop.

Just to the right you can see her concept drawing. They sell kits of the quilt but I'm hoping she's going to sell just the pattern one of these days. Then I can have the fun of slowly collecting the fabrics. For me that's a major part of the fun. I sure collected a few this weekend!

We had lunch around the corner at the Edelweiss Bakery & Cafe. YUM. Apparently they hosted an Oktoberfest and street festival a few weeks ago. I'm sorry I missed it! The town is full of antique shops and I couldn't resist a photo of the front window of this one. Looky who's been spotted in Selma!

Ok...sigh. I guess I've milked my Stash Dash recovery time long enough. Time to get to work with a paint brush. It's a lovely day though. :-)

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Well it was a surprise to me anyway. :-) Last week Mom spotted two new stems coming up in my garden and we had no idea what they could be. Then, not knowing the significance, Dad cut out an article in the paper for me about Hurricane (or Surprise) Lilies. He just thought it was interesting. Well looky what we have here! They certainly were a Surprise. Fascinating in fact!

This was also the week of the tree removal. :-( None of us was happy about it but as the insurance companies all assured us our tree problems were "acts of God" Neighbor Man and Lady figured the choice had been made for them. Sigh.

I spent most of the day outside with my camera watching the action and commiserating across the fence with Neighbor Man. The tree people made efficient work of it with a crane and chain saws. The crane work took only two hours. Cutting it up and taking it away took the rest of the day.

First the smaller pecan was trimmed before it could become a problem. Poor neighbors. The tree is on their property but hanging over my shed. So they worry. We're grateful for their concern.

Then they started on the larger one, with the crane. Most of the pieces were as big as trees all by themselves. We were all fascinated by both the skill of the crane operator and the bravery of the man being hauled up to the top of the tree to rope the limbs. I just missed taking the best photo of him dangling high over the tree. It must have been a very cool view! The limbs never swung freely in the air. Close as the houses are, there was never any danger. And the limbs were so very gently placed down in our side yard to be cut up. What a mess, with the pecans and all. They did an amazing clean up job too!


You can see the problem when you observe this much smaller pecan tree way in the back of our yard. It's weeping from the weight of the pecans. Almost nothing is left standing straight up! It's young so I suspect it won't break.

The dogs were tired out from all the excitement. :-)

During the lulls in the action we took a stroll through Neighbor Man's lovely garden.

And took a few photos on my side of the fence as well.

Some of the crazy cosmos is finally blooming, though it was blown over by the nor'easter this week. Darned thing was about seven feet high! Nuts! :-)

Photos of the Heart of the Carolinas Stash Dash later! :-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

A computer day

Today is a computer day. Mostly sitting at my counter working on the guild newsletter and watching this tree come down. It was scheduled for today anyway, no one has shown up yet. We're all sad about it but not willing to risk anymore limbs falling on houses, gardens and people.

While I work my furry friends stay close. Either nagging me for attention...

or wrestling practically under my feet and saying, "who, me?" when I suggest they calm down for a bit...

or settling in for a session of face washing. :-)

Last week I made this "tulip" bag from Janice Pope's pattern. I would use different interfacing and batting next time, but I like it. She showed off her updated pattern at the guild meeting and I look forward to trying that one too.

On Friday I went down to Mom and Dad's house for lunch. Mom and I decided to combine our sets of bullseye blocks from the Karolina Kwilter's recent swap. We spread them out on the floor to see what the effect would be. Then while Mom and Belle took their nap I browsed online for photos of various layouts.

Dad supervised while I arranged them. He's got a good eye for form and color and spots all our mistakes for us. :-D

So I think I'll put it together something like this. It's a funny angle but I was being lazy and took the photo with my phone from where I was lounging. :-)

Yesterday The Tramp and I went to the new Raleigh Convention Center to see the RV show. It's the first time we've actually walked around the center of Raleigh. We need to go back to see more! The dome in the distance is the state capitol building. Lots of new building going on all around.

We parked near this building. I couldn't resist the mural on the side of the Lincoln Theater. If you can't see it, Abraham Lincoln is in the driver's seat.

The new convention center, on the whole, is quite impressive. The official opening was only a few weeks ago, September 9th I think. My only quibbles on this first trip there would first of all be with the choice of carpeting. Ugly, ugly, ugly with a dizzying pattern and already shredding at the bottom of the escalators. Maybe because it's so new those shreddy bits have to wear away but I certainly noticed and thought it looked awfully ratty for such a new building. And then of course I could comment on the restrooms which are also looking old already. But you don't want to hear me rant about loose toilet seats and the use of stainless steel for the stalls. Ick.

But I'll rant anyway. :-P Sigh....I know it's the "in" thing, but I just don't get why one would use stainless steel for walls and doors when it looks dirty as soon as the first person gets their fingerprints on it. I've seen it in new restaurant toilets too. Unless you plan on polishing it up throughout the day (which no one does) you can see where everyone has touched the doors and walls all day long and it's sooooo skeevy. In this case it wasn't even the restroom near the action so it looked like days and days of fingerprints. Ewww.

But, the RVs were what we came to see. Acres of small and not so small houses on wheels. Our legs got so tired from climbing in and out of them all! We don't plan on buying one but after seeing so many we now know what features and layout we'd like if we did! We also enjoyed speculating how all these huge vehicles were transported and how they got them all sorted out and parked in the building. Someone is a good organizer! It was a fun afternoon.