Wanda Gene's Musings on Life, Love and Loving the Quilting Life!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kickin' Up My Heels with Barn Dance!!

Well...only figuratively speaking. You see, I caught my nephew's cold and am feeling a bit on the puny side. My grandmother Ferguson always used that phrase for not feeling well, so using it cheers me up even when I'm not feeling physically very cheerful.

So here is Barn Dance. I decided to arrange my little blocks into a Barn Raising setting. The busyness of my "plain fabric" did not have the contrast punch that I wanted, so I needed some strong bands of color around the design. I also plan to use strong borders.

I have added more rows than show in the picture, but the size is starting to become unwieldy in the RV. I think I will put this aside for further work at home, and start on something else. I only have about 4 days here on South Padre Island (where are the days going?). So It doesn't matter much what I work on. I will have all day tomorrow here in the RV with my nephew, while the fishermen and fisherlady go out on a half-day boat.

Here are the blocks that I still have to be sewn into Barn Raising.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Feelin' Groovy!!

Hi Everybody,

Yesterday Yeager and his new friend, Midnight, got to play in the surf here on the Island. David, my niece Jennie's DH is shown here with the boys. Yeager is baring his teeth at Midnight, but Midnight is correctly guessing that it is all for show.

Play this video to see the dogs in action...I wish I felt this good!!!

Yeager after his bath back at the campground.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

These Scraps are Starting to Look Interesting!

Hi All--
These are the little half square strippies that I've been working on lately. This is using up some of my 2 inch scrap strips, even making a noticable dent in the box.

Anyone who would like to piece along with me should check out Bonnie K Hunter's website, quiltville.com. She has some super scrap patterns that are FREE!! Her directions are very user friendly and fun. Click on the pattern called Diamond Strings.

These 4" half strippie squares (finished: 3 1/2") can be arranged in many ways. The picture may not represent my final decision!

I had my little nephew, Eddie, here in the RV while everybody else went shopping for fishing tackle. We took a couple of walks and played with Yeager. He was very sweet.

Now Bonnie, Buck, and Jerry are out for an evening of pier fishing. Now, I don't fish. At all. Jerry likes fishing as much as I like quilting. So tonight, everybody is happy.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

On a Tropical Island Called South San Padre!

Hi Everybody!

Where do I start? The last 48 hours have been fun and fast-paced.

First, we had lunch yesterday at JB's Smokehouse where they have some "dinosaur ribs!"
You pick your rib, pay by the pound, plus you get beans and rice for sides. Our rib, that Jerry and I shared, weighted in at about 2 pounds. And it was so smokey and tender! This was in Los Fresnos, a little town on the mainland.

Soon we were about to cross the bridge to South Padre Island. What a view of the water! We checked into our KOA spot where we also have a great view of the water. We got set up and rested up, after a long day of driving. I set up my featherweight and got some sewing done while we watched some TV.

This morning we went to the Post Office to pick up 3 weeks of forwarded mail. Then to Bonnie and Buck's condo. We were meeting Bonnie's husband for the first time. He is a down-to-earth and really nice guy and we immediately liked him. He made this wonderful pico de gallo, in two versions : just a little hot and fiery!

We took Yeager out to the beach where he could run. Before we could even get parked, Yeager was standing up, looking out the window, and huffing with excitement at the sight of the sand!

SPI is so gloriously beautiful!

Below is the pair of Texas university prints that I bought at that little quilt shop a couple of days ago.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Last Leg before South Padre Island

Hi All--

Last night we stopped for the night in San Antonio, in a WalMart parking lot, of course.
Today we make a run for the Island! So looking forward to it!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baby Alert!!!

We had fun at Jennie's baby shower yesterday. My niece and her husband David are having a baby boy on July 29. This is the cute decorated table with cake. Grilled hotdogs, hen party games, favors, opening of presents, then cake. Great fun!!

My nephew Eddie with our Yeager.

This is their darling 9 month old German
Shepherd, Midnight, with eyes closed!

This is the lovely Bayleigh.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lake Belton--After All These Years!!


We have pulled in the RV to beautiful Lake Belton where years ago our boys and niece and nephew floated on inner tubes on some lazy summer days.

That was when my parents had a KarmelKorn Shoppe in the Temple Mall and we spent our vacation visiting with them.

I am drinking a Lone Star beer that Jerry bought in Belton, with this beautiful view outside my window.

It doesn't get much better than this.

I am also working on my little string blocks, trimming them while my pictures are loading. Hopefully, I will have a nice little set of blocks to set together when I am home again. When I get a bit further, I'll post some pictures of them.

Oh, BTW, we stopped in Waco where I made us some wraps for lunch. Of course, I made sure that we stopped in the parking lot of a quilt shop! I bought some Texas college prints. They will be really cute in my scrap quilts, because you don't know what you'll find in Wanda Gene's scrap quilts!

I guess I'll just go sew!


Monday, May 18, 2009

In the Lone Star State

Hi Everybody!

We reached Texas today and are now spending the night at Ray Roberts Lake just north of Dallas. The scenery has been especially beautiful today, with every shade of green present in the lush countryside.

I have been getting a little sewing done lately, setting up my featherweight for a couple of hours after dinner. I have been piecing some strings (strips) on foundation paper to be re-cut into triangles later.

Here is a little bit of Texas scenery.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Road Ahead Calls Once More

Hi All--

We made a few (only about 200) miles today, but then that is all that we had scheduled ourselves for today. Yes, we estimated each day's journey and stopping places (all just guidelines, we feel free to make any changes that we fancy). Right now we are happily cocooned in our RV in a Walmart parking lot in Winfield, Kansas. True, we didn't even make it out of Kansas but we are close to the Oklahoma border.

Today, before leaving the RV park, we did some cleaning. The blankets and sheets on our bed needed to be shaken out. One by one, we shook all the dog hair out of each item. Walnut Grove RV park is now covered by a 1-inch layer of fur. You've heard me use the British slang term, "gobsmacked"(I just love that word!). Well, we were fursmacked!!

It's not that Yeager sleeps with us...he has his own bed on the floor at the foot of ours. But every morning he has a ritual that he jumps up on our bed and does his cuddly puppy routine and shows us just how much he is delighted to start another day with us. He can be so endearing and loving (not that he can't be a knucklehead when out for a walk). Lately he spends more time being endearing and less time as a knucklehead.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Our Last Day in Kansas City....

Hi Everybody!

Here is a stunning quilt designed and made by Candace West using CompuQuilter, a computer that can be added to a longarm machine. I took a class this morning with Candace that introduces CompuQuilter capabilities for beginners. This is so amazing!! I would love having one of these to make my quilting cool like this. Maybe next year...we'll see.

Here is another of Candace's quilts--this one took a ribbon in the show:

In the afternoon Jerry and I visited the Harry Truman Presidential Library and Museum.
We spent a couple of hours browsing the exhibits, then walked Yeager for a bit.

Here is a liberty bell with the library in the background.

And below is Jerry and Yeager on the grounds of the library.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Non-Stop Classes!

Hi Everybody!

Wow, have I been busy since MQS started!

Wednesday we spent the early part of the day at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. I am just in awe of the amazing painting masterpieces there. At 3PM I went over to MQS for the start of the show, where the quilts are also artistic.

Thursday I had three classes, for a total of seven hours. First, a three hour APQS maintenance class. This is the care and feeding of my brand of longarm machine. Very important! Then, two design classes. Jerry made a crock pot dinner for us.

Today I had my best class so far, with Deloa Jones as teacher, Sensational Sashes and Borders.
Here is a photo of the sampler that Deloa quilted as a demo for us:

Here is Deloa signing my book:

Jerry took me to a steak house that someone told him about called the Golden Ox. The food as excellent, but my favorite dish that they served us was a truly remarkable lobster bisque.

Here is a photo of the grilling kitchen:

Well, I want to get a little piecing done tonight so I'd better get to it!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Some Exploring Today

Hi All--

This is the WWI memorial tower that we visited yesterday. The displays in the main building were both informative and heart-breaking. We saw two films that explored the many changes in the world that made this conflict all but inevitable. We Americans stayed out of the war until there was no choice but to take a stand in the outcome.

Both of my grandfathers fought in this war, serving in France in the battle of St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Both suffered wounds but survived. I am so grateful for their service and sacrifices as well as that of their fellow military men and women. I am also grateful for the medical providers in the service who helped the wounded recover to go home to their families after the war.

We also got to go up inside of the tower to the top. Here is a picture of the dowtown Kansas City skyline taken from the top of the tower.

Afterward we decided to find some good BBQ in the downtown area. We chose Fiorella's Jack Stack BBQ, another of the great KC dining spots. This bull statue is representative of Kansas City as a stockyard cattle drive destination that goes back to the early days of the midwest.

Here is Jerry at our table inside the restaurant.

Today at 3PM the quilt show opens for Shopping Frenzy night (all the vendors will have specials for this day only) and the first displays of the quilts. Woo-hoo!!


Monday, May 11, 2009

My First Class at MQS

Hi All--

I took my first class this morning from Jodi Robinson, and excellent teacher who made this gorgeous quilt.

The class is called "Less-Stress Feathers" and we got to do hands-on practice on Handi-Quilter machines.

Later, after Jerry picked me up for lunch and we went to an old warehouse near the banks of the Missouri River that had four stories of

Here is another picture of Jodi's quilting:

Here is a picture of the sample that I took home from class. Two quilters shared a machine and took turns practicing the different designs. At the end of class, we cut the sample down the center and each took half.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sewin' in the Rain....

Hi All--

This my cozy little sewing room, formerly known as our RV. Jerry said today, "You do take up all the extra room in here, don't you?" But he said it in a nice way.

It's raining, sometimes pouring, this afternoon, which does make it very comfy and cozy in here.

Jerry made a nice breakfast for us and then we went to church. I sewed until we got hungry, about 2pm Kansas time. I had told him that I wanted to go to an authentic KC "BBQ joint." I was hoping to get off the beaten path so to speak (Mothers Day and all) and avoid the crowds while getting some really good food. We were not disappointed!

Johnny's served the most amazing slab of big meaty pork ribs (not baby back ribs). We also had draft beer, seasoned fries, onion rings and cole slaw. There was not a thing on the table that was not absolutely delicious! We won't be hungry for a week!

I talked to my sister, Bonnie, about our upcoming visit. She just remembered that she has to go to Killeen, TX for her daughter, Jenny's, baby shower on May 20. We won't arrive at South Padre Island until May 22, so there's no conflict. But then I realized that we would be driving right through the Killeen area on May 20. So I just invited myself to the party! Bonnie was so excited---so am I. Can you imagine anything just working out like that?


Saturday, May 9, 2009

I Think We're in Kansas, Toto!

Kansas City, Kansas to be specific. We made it to our first of two destinations. We pulled our rig into town one day earlier than we had estimated. I called the Walnut Grove RV Park when we were still two hours out of KC to see if they could take us one day early and they said sure, come on in.

We stopped earlier in Emporia to do a little thrifting and I got my hair cut. Yeager got invited inside a small thrift store where he greeted the young guy behind the counter like an old friend. Yeager got to lie down behind the counter while we were inside the store.

I have my featherweight set up and have even done a little piecing this evening. Tomorrow we go out to sample some of KC's famous BBQ...What fun!!

I have been lazy today and have snapped no pics at all. I'll try to do better tomorrow.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Three States in One Day!

Hi All--

I couldn't resist posting the last with picture of Yeager and his kitty friend in Aunt Mary's living room. Don't they make a sweet pair?

We spent last night at Lake Marvin in the Northern Panhandle of Texas. We made plenty of miles yesterday and today as we crossed first into Oklahoma and then into Kansas.

(Thanks, Aunt Mary for the almond butter....we made a delicious breakfast with it on toast!)

We have now stopped for the night at Lake El Dorado between Wichita and Kansas City. We bypassed both Oklahoma City and Wichita to avoid the toll roads and to see the beautiful grasslands as we drove.

This is our RV at Lake Marvin this morning.

I am trying to get on Kansas time but it
ain't easy. It is 2 hours later here and I
have 8 AM quilting classes at MQS on
four mornings. Getting up at 6:30 AM
will seem like the middle of the night!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Antiquing in Amarillo, Texas

Hi All--

We had a great day in Amarillo today. Aunt Mary knows where all the great thrift and antique stores are located, and we covered most of them. I bought lots of cotton plaid men's shirts for recycling into my quilts, and got GREAT prices on them--some as low as 99 cents.

I also visited a cute little quilt shop.. the Route 66 Quilts and Things. This is a fat quarter that I bought for a souvenir.

I also found something very unique....carved designs in wood blocks for printing on fabric. This was at a lovely antique shop where Jerry got to talk deep sea fishing with the owner. The designs were beautiful...some flowers, geometrics and paisleys. In the larger sizes they were a little bit pricy. However, I found two geometric designs in the smallest size for just $15 each!
There was a paisley that I was so tempted to buy, but it was $50.

We had lunch at the Big Texan Steak House where the food is mighty fine, pardner!

Yeager and the black and white kitty (appropriately named Placida) continue to get along fine and Yeager has even been allowed to come into Aunt Mary's living room to hang out with us and the kitty. Who would ever have guessed? Placida cannot stay away from Yeager...I think she has a crush on him!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Posting from Canyon, Texas

Hi All--

Just a little post to let you know that we are having a very good visit with Jerry's Aunt Mary, who is a cheerful and fun lady. We had BBQ's steaks in the 5th wheel and discussed what needs to be fixed in this world of ours. Unfortunately we are not in charge, but it made for a lively discussion.

Here is Yeager being introduced to Aunt Mary's beautiful cat, with surprisingly calm results from both animals. I think Yeager and this cat would have no trouble getting along. I am gobsmacked at this unlikely turn of events!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Little Green Men from Outer Space Have Landed!!

Today we drove through Roswell, New Mexico....and you all know what they are famous for!! Loved this sign--had to stop, run back and snap a picture.

We made it to Hereford, Texas, where they call their town the beef capital of the world. They do seem to have a few of them on the hoof here. Hereford is quite near Canyon, Texas where Jerry's Aunt Mary lives. We plan on visiting her for a couple of days.

Well, dinner was cooked and served, Yeager has been exercised, and I have been working on trimming up some wonky pinwheels. If you are unfamiliar with wonky, it is a technical term used by quilters, meaning a block that is deliberately sewn or cut to appear incorrect, off-balance, badly pieced or even....SLOPPY!! Believe me, we go to great lengths to get this effect and it requires a great deal of skill.

My wonky pinwheels are going into the Old Tobacco Roads quilt (Quiltville's latest Mystery Quilt). The pattern calls for regular pinwheels, but I am making mine wonky just because it is mine!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lovin the Cool Mountain Air

We just thought that this was so funny. When we woke up this morning (still in hot deserty Arizona), we saw this truck with cold air being pumped in the window from an overhead AC unit while the driver slept.

We made it to Ruidoso, New Mexico today, high in the beautiful mountains.
The picture above is the view from Wal-Mart's parking lot , where we have stopped for the night.

Today was a special day for Yeager because he got run and romp in the White Sands! And did he ever love it, as you can see here.

The white sands were just so totally...totally...well, just white everywhere. A truly beautiful sight.

A very happy Yeager and Jerry.


On the Road Again!!

Hi All--

We actually got out of Tucscon late yesterday afternoon, but didn't drive for very long.
We stopped in Benson at a quaint little Mexican restaurant where the food was awesome! We headed for the WalMart in town to spend the night only to find a sign that said no overnight parking here. Local politics, I guess.

After a little more driving we stopped at a rest stop in Texas Canyon, which is in Arizona.
No pics, nothing of note to photograph.


Friday, May 1, 2009

This is How my Baby Looks Now!

Oh Yeah, this applies to both the good-looking guy and the dog in the picture. They both grew up. I miss both of their younger, smaller selves but I really like who they have become.

This is my younger son Jeff and Yeager.

We are taking care of a few details today. The 5th wheel (also known as the fiver) is almost packed . I'm taking lots of fabric but I'm trying to hide it from Jerry so he won't say that it is too much. Did you know that a yard of fabric weighs about 4 oz? I don't even want to calculate how much weight I am adding to our RV.

We have been planning our trip with Mapquest.com and making reservations at RV parks. I got online and reserved about 2 weeks at a KOA on South Padre Island. I'm so excited because I get to visit my sister who lives on the island!

I made the reservation for an RV park in Kansas City weeks ago. That will be our home base while I am taking classes and having quilt-related fun at MQS.

We are also arranging for mail forwarding once in the middle of the trip since we will be gone for so long. Heaven forbid that I should miss getting my junk mail in a timely fashion!