Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wrapping up the Sydney Trip

I'm down to the last night...  It's been a fantastic week, but I am definitely ready to be back in my own bed!  I have just about gotten used to some of the things that are different here, but others would take a much longer visit!  For example - salads.  I've been to all types of restaurants this week, and very few serve any type of salad.  Those that do serve something called "rocket" (a type of lettuce) with essentially no dressing - lemon juice or something.  I am craving a big ol' Bread Company Fugi Apple Chicken Salad.  Actually, I am craving anything from Bread Company!

I have spent quite a bit of time touring Sydney over the past week.  I hopped on a tour bus and did the city tour at the beginning of the week.  I went inside the Opera House and toured the Royal Botanical Gardens. 

The bathroom in the Opera House had the most amazing sink!  I had to get a picture:

I saw some beautiful flowers at the gardens.  So many that I have never seen in the US!  And along the walkway I ran into this little guy - just sitting there eating his lunch! 

I have so much more to share - next time will be about my trip to the Blue Mountains.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Visiting Sydney

It was a very long trip and a close call with the connection in San Francisco, but I made it!  I left home around 4:30 PM Friday and reached Sydney at 7:30 AM on Sunday.  I did get some sleep on the plane, so I am still functioning fairly well, but I'm not all that motivated to roam the city tonight.  I did some wandering this afternoon and found some really interesting things. There's a market in an area adjacent to the hotel called "The Rocks".  They had everything - lots of jewelry, art, etc.  I already have a few ideas for souvenirs. 

My hotel is located on the water, right at the base of the Bay Bridge.  My room overlooks the bridge, and the other side of the hotel looks out on the Opera House.  It's a beautiful area, although it was cold and rainy today.  I'm hoping for better weather so I can wander a little farther tomorrow - and look for some quilt shops!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Snowman Finished

I finally finished my snowman!  I need to come up with a better name, but my brain is so overloaded with work and getting ready to leave for Australia that I am unable to think of anything the least bit creative.  This rug was made to satisfy two different efforts.  It was originally designed for a Wool Club project.  We all hooked holiday-themed projects that will be photographed to create a set of Christmas cards.  We will each receive a complete set (one of each project).  I then plan to donate my rug to my quilt guild's auction in November.  It's almost ready to go - I just need to come up with a name and create a label.

My next post will probably be from Australia - I head out on Friday.  I've prepped plenty of applique for the long flight!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Shop Hop

The 2010 Country Shop Hop was lots of fun!  There were a few duds, and I wasn't all that impressed with the "special" fabric, but overall I had a great time.  I started out Thursday at Warrensburg.  I opted not to head up to Higginsville, a decision I regret since I ran short of time anyway.  The shop in Warrensburg, Primitive Stiches, is very cute and had lots of fantastic fall and Christmas wool applique projects.  From there I headed to shops in LaMonte and Sedalia.  The LaMonte shop had an excellend version of one of the x-block patterns on display.  I have the pattern and the ruler, and her sample made me want to get started on making my own.

After work on Friday I headed over to Warsaw to visit Saltbox Primitives Woolens.  I absolutely loved the shop!  I have purchased from them at shows, but had never been out to their shop.  It was really cute outside and in:

I found the perfect fabrics for the leaves in The Blessings quilt there. They had a couple of really cute rug patterns, too, but I resisted temptation.  I have way too many rugs in the works already and lots of patterns waiting in the wings.  They also had a couple of antique quilts on display that dated back to the late 1800s.  The quilts were recently given one of the ladies in the shop by someone who was clearing out a relative's house for an estate sale.  They were in incredibly good shape!

After Saltbox, I visited the shop in Lincoln and all three participants in Stover.  I ended the day with a wonderful look at fall colors along Hwy W and dinner at Panera.

I wrapped up the hop with the last three shops on Saturday.  The shop in Camdenton is a lot of fun!  I ended up signing up for another BOM there - Buggy Barn's Folk Art Blooms - beginning in Jan 2011.

I visited Ha Ha Tonka to take a few more pictures of the castle before hitting the road.  I plan to do the castle as my landscape project with Ann Marie Littenburg in November. 

I had hoped to get a picture of the castle with fall fall foliage, but found that all the trees surrounding it are junipers, so no such luck. Perhaps I will have to make a few adjustments...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Shop Hop Time!

I am soooo excited - I am going on a shop hop tomorrow!  I actually have to work first, but I am leaving early in the afternoon and heading out across Missouri to begin hopping.  I haven't been on a hop in a long time, and the last few times I participated I only visited a couple of the shops.  My intent is to visit all of them this time, but I'll have to see how it goes tomorrow and Friday.

I love the hops in central Missouri.  The shops typically have creative patterns - not just a standard block - and they usually give a 20% discount on most of the things in the store.  I'm particularly excited that they have a special batik that was made just for this hop - and it's a dogwood blossom!  I can't wait to see the fabric and the patterns.

More to come on the hop, including a picture of the fabric as soon as I get my hands on some!

Monday, October 4, 2010

New Projects

Perhaps it's time to take a break from making lists and recording less-than-stellar performance... I definitely didn't stick to my plans for September!  I did make a lot of progress on the Runaway Mystery and my snowman rug, though, so I don't feel too bad about the others.  I hope to finish hooking my snowman in the next couple of days.  I have almost everything except the details on the snowman finished.

I mnaged to get the first three rows of the Runaway Mystery sewn together over the weekend.  There are tons of seams and of course since there were no pressing instructions they are all going the wrong way.  It's very frustrating!  My answer to the frustration, of course, was to start something new.  And not just one project - I started two! I finally started The Blessings quilt.  It's a little different that the usual applique - some of the applique pieces are pieced.  Here's my start on the first block (it's still missing a bunch of leaves and dots):

I love the shadow of my hands and the camera - I have to stop trying to take pictures on the floor!  I've only appliqued about 6" of the inner ring so far.

The other project I started (or re-started, I suppose) is a Baltimore Album.  I decided to go with the traditional size this time instead of reducing to 12". I chose a pattern from the Lovely Lane collection and am making it actual size - about 18".  I started with the vase yesterday, using a piece of Japanese fabric I picked up in Colorado this summer.  I'm excited about this block - I think all these big pieces will be a fun break from all the tiny blocks I have been working on lately.

I'm getting excited about a shop hop I am planning to do next weekend.  More on that later in the week.