Monday, April 28, 2014

Designing Monday

Where is spring?  We are still freezing here in Wisconsin even though the thermometer says it is above 32 degrees.  The grass is trying to green up and the flowers are trying to push up through the dirt.  The rabbits and deer have already bitten off all my tulips so it might as well still be winter!  It's almost May for Pete's sake.

Since the weather is yukky, it left lots of time for quilting.  I finished this doll quilt that was the quilt of the month from the Sentimental Quilter.  I enjoy her designs and love her fabric choices, so these are an easy choice for  me.

I am also doing the Threads of Memory Block of the Month from Barbara Brackman.  The historical perspective that she provides on her websites is so interesting.  I love to read her many posts and learn so much about fabric as well as obscure history lessons.  I finished two blocks this weekend.

Our traveling daughter has a job and will be leaving us again this week.  She has been staying with us here since February which has been such a delight.  She is funny and always entertaining.  Her next trip is to Japan.  This is only a 3 month job, but it will give her a chance to see a little of the country and perhaps think about a longer contract there.

She and I made a quick trip to Chicago this week to get her visa processed.  We drove down on Monday night to avoid as much traffic as possible in  Milwaukee and Chicago.  We stayed downtown and had a 4 block walk to the Japanese consulate.  The 4 blocks were all the campus of the Northwestern University Medical Center.  Wow!  Three hospitals and lots of doctors offices.  The consulate is in the same building as the Neiman Marcus and across the street from Water Tower Place and the Hancock building.  I had lots of sight seeing planned for us.  We got to the consulate when it opened and they decided that my daughter's passport was too full.  They need a full clean page to attach the visa and at the ripe old age of 25, my daughter has already filled her passport.

Step 2:  Back to the hotel that we already checked out of and find the business center so we can print out the forms for a new passport.  Then make an appointment (You have to have an appointment!!!) and grab a cab to the Passport Agency.  It's located in a Federal Building (think armed guards and metal detectors) where we waited in line to be found non-threatening to national security.  Then up to the 18th floor.  More armed guards waited for us there.  We arrived exactly on the dot of her appointment only to be told that the photos she had printed out at home were not good enough, so back down the elevator and across the plaza to the nearest Walgreen's.   Back through security and up to the 18th floor again and the 2nd team of security guards and she made it through the first checkpoint -- photos okay, paperwork okay.  Take a number and wait to be called.  This took another 15-20 minutes.  She spent 10 minutes with the clerk and they can have the new passport ready by 3 pm.  This is great news.  We expected it the next day as they advertise expedited passports in 24 hours.   It must have been a slow day although there were lots and lots of people there.

Step 3:  Lunchtime and a 2 hour trip to the Art Institute.  I have been to nearly every museum and tourist offering in Chicago, but this was my first trip to the AI.  It was such a wonderful place.  Definitely go if you are ever there.  We had lunch at Berghoff's, an old German restaurant.  My favorite thing was a mural by our table of the White City -- the Columbian Exhibition.  I could hardly pay attention to anything else as I studied all the details.

Step 4:  By dumb luck we passed a FedEx office on our walk back to the Federal Building and were able to arrange shipment of her passport and visa back to our house.  Back through security up to the 18th floor through the next shift of security guards and pick up the passport at 3:15 pm.  Down to the plaza to catch a cab back to the consulate.  We arrived 15 minutes before closing time and left everything in their hands.  The processing time for the visa is 3 days.  Right now it is IN THE MAIL.

I was exhausted and ready to come home.  We dashed though the Neiman Marcus and back to the car to hit the road before 4:30 and rush hour.  It's a good thing I love that girl and we have so much fun together.  This was definitely more excitement than I have had in a long while.

Hope your week is great and thanks for stopping by.  Hop on over to Judy's blog to see more beautiful designs.


  1. Sounds totally exhausting--and frustrating!
    I do love that little quilt. I was tempted to make it just to try the prairie points, but resisted. : )

  2. Give me the north country of Wisconsin any day... Chicago is a fun place to visit, but, as they say, I wouldn't want to live there! (Since I can't have the north country of Wisconsin, my home state, I'll settle for the farm fields of Iowa!)
    Your April doll quilt is absolutely precious... wonderful use of fabrics! And I'm drooling over your Threads of Memory blocks... LOVE blue and gold fabrics sewn together!

  3. Absolutely love your April doll quilt! Great fabrics combinations.