Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A Little Sewing

I have not been doing much sewing over the summer months and into the fall.  I seem to have lost interest for some unknown reason.  Do I have too many quilts languishing in the closet?  Too many scraps to cull through to find something I really want to work with?  Lots of patterns waiting to be made, but not the right one?  I can't really say why I have put down my needle and thread.

I recently went to Quilt Camp which is our guild's name for its retreat.  Quilt Camp is held 2X per year at a resort in a little town about 20 - 25 miles from my house.  It is really a golf resort, but this time of year in Wisconsin, there's not much golf happening.  So the quilters take over.  I was a little leery of going since I really had no projects to work on, but I signed up in April for this event and I wasn't going to miss it.  Everyone can work on their own quilts or work on quilts that the guild is donating.  This time we were working on Service Quilts which are gifted to returning soldiers.

So I dug thru my RWB strips and came ready to sew.  We made lots of 10 1/2" blocks to put into quilts like these.

I also put together this little quilt to donate to the pediatrics ward.


I also put together 5" squares to make a quilt for our local homeless shelter.  

I worked on some other pieces and parts of quilts that I hope to finish in the future.  It was a fun weekend with my friend Vicky.  We even had time to visit the local quilt store which gave us 20% off on our purchases.  I was on the hunt for 30's repro fabrics to make a Lori Holt quilt.  I am accumulating quite a variety.  The good news is I won a $20 gift certificate to the local store which I was able to use right away.  Yea!!

Since I returned from the retreat, I have been busy sewing away to finish the work I started while at camp.  Having a goal has really gotten me going.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Fun in the Bogs

My hubby and I went on a fun excursion yesterday to the cranberry bogs.  This is cranberry harvesting season in Wisconsin.  There is an area in central Wisconsin where 60% of the US cranberry crop is grown.  We learned all kinds of interesting facts about cranberries.  Like what, you might ask.  Like there are only 5 states that grow cranberries. Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Wisconsin.  Cranberries are a native plant and are grown from transplants, not seeds. Cranberries have more vitamin C than oranges and are the highest fruits in antioxidants.

So we drove halfway across the state (2 1/2 hours) to Pittsville High School to take a tour.  This high school offers to only class in Cranberry Science in the US and the students conduct the tours as part of their class.  We first watched a video and then got on a school bus to drive to a local cranberry marsh.  (They didn't call them bogs.)  The students took the bus with us and using a megaphone, told us all about cranberry farming and processing.  They were really very knowledgable of the whole thing and many worked at one of the facilities.

Here are a few photos of the marsh area and the cranberries being harvested.

The plants grow only about 6" tall.  All the berries in the foreground are waste berries that have fallen off of trucks.  

This is called support land where water is stored in a reservoir.
The field is flooded when it is time to harvest.  The berries are raked loose with a harrow on a tractor and then they float to the surface.  They are gathered with a boom, a large flexible strap or hose that corrals them.

 More berries being corralled.  The white berries are separated out for white cranberry juice.  (It doesn't stain kids' clothes.)

Berries are pumped from the field.  Debris and water go in the dump truck.  Berries go up the conveyor on the left.

Dirt and waste into the dump truck.

Gazillions of berries into a semi.

Then we went to a processing plant where the berries are cleaned, tested, and put in large wooden bins totaling 1300# of berries.
The semis dump the berries into a large vat about 8 feet deep that is outdoors.

They are washed and screened several times for debris.

The berries are then loaded and weighed in the wooden bins.
 The bins are either sent to a facility down the road to be made into juice or dried cranberries ...
or they are stacked 9 high and put in cold storage (-10 degrees) until needed.  It was only 32 outside yesterday, but WOW was it cold in that freezer!!  The students said it is great fun to come in the freezer in summer and lob frozen berries at each other. 

After the tour we returned to the school for lunch.  We were served Wisconsin cheese soup (we are the dairy state, after all), a pulled pork sandwich with cranberry horseradish sauce, yummy, and vanilla ice cream with cranberry sauce.

This was the placemat we had for our lunch.  I got such a hoot out of reading all the ads and especially the cheer at the top of the mat. It was so big I couldn't get it all in one scan on my printer.

Only in Wisconsin!!

We each received a goody bag to take home with cranberry juice and a package of dried cranberries.

They were also selling small bags of dried, flavored cranberries and I couldn't resist.

Ever heard of Jalapeno Cranberries?  Can't wait to try those!!

Message of the Day:


The tour was $20 per person which included lunch, our goody bag, and money left over for their scholarship fund.  How great is that??!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Passing the Time

What did you do all winter while you were in Florida, you might ask?  Well, this was our third winter in the same town and we have seen most all the sights there, although we are always surprised when something new pops up.  There are loads of parks and we have hiked the trails of all of them.  This year we were next to the ocean so we spent a lot of time walking the beach, watching the waves, picking up shells.  The usual stuff.

We spent a lot of nights playing trivia in a couple of different restaurants or bars.  Every time we or our friends had company we tried to work in a game of trivia.  We must have been getting pretty good at it as we won gift cards to the restaurant where we were playing, which meant another return visit the next week to play again.  Twice we took first prize.

The highlight of my trip was taking a class from Bonnie Hunter through the local guild.  I was so excited to be able to join them and work on the Talkin' Turkey block.  Bonnie is such a friendly and fun person.  I didn't know any of the other people, but met a few and they were very welcoming.  After the workshop, Bonnie did a trunk show which was fun too.

The first time we pulled into the garage of the house we rented this year, I immediately spied a plastic table folded up and stored against the garage wall.  I knew right away this was the table I could use to set up my sewing machine in the house.  There was a 3rd bedroom that was used as an office and a wall under a window with just the right space for the table and all my stuff.  I sewed nearly everyday we were there, sometimes for just a few minutes and other days for several hours.  Here are some of the things I was working on.

 I made this quilt top for my great niece who has a birthday coming up in May.  She will be 11.

 The pink fabric in the center of the square is elephants being carried by hot air balloons.  So funny.

 What grabbed me was this adorable fabric of girls carrying pink parasols while riding unicycles.  My little niece performs in a unicycle/ gymnastics group called Young Ambassadors.  They are ambassadors for physical fitness and perform at the half time of basketball games or at special assemblies at all the elementary and high schools and even college games in their town.  How perfect!!

 I  made these two little doll quilts for the granddaughters of my friend in Florida.  Her granddaughters live in Ecuador.  She had quilts made for them and I made these to go with them.

 I have been making a bunch of these for a Goose Chase quilt.  I made quite a few in Florida and just keep going.
 They are pretty small.

 I made this fancy carrying case to put my Talkin' Turkey blocks in to bring them home.  I didn't want them to get all wrinkly after I spent time ironing and squaring them.

I also made a bunch of these stars for a quilt designed by Humble Quilts.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Just a few more...

I still have a few more photos to share of the Daytona Quilt Show.  Are you sick of them yet?  I can always look at picture of quilts. So much easier than making them. LOL.

This quilt, called the Arc, is a picture of an arc welder looking down from above.  You can see the welder's glove in the center holding a metal rod.  The head and mask are in the top left corner.
This is such a neat perspective.

 Another beautiful Caryl Bryer Fallert quilt

 This is all little gray and black dots on a white or light gray background.  It is all appliqued.  It looks like a screenprint from a distance.

 This quilt is by Marilyn Badger, one of my favorite quilters.  It did not win any awards, which is unbelievable.  Lots of beautiful threadwork, embroidery, paper piecing, beading, etc. etc.

 Such a cute quilt.  The maker reproduced old patterns.  First she recreated the patterns by appliqueing the dresses on the white background.  Then she xeroxed the original patterns onto fabric and appliqued each one in the bottom right corner.  So clever!!  The quilt name is Memories are Made of This.

 Doesn't this elephant look like he will come right off the quilt?  So beautifully colored.  It is all applique.

 Gorgeous colors!!

Lots of beading on this beautiful piece.