Sunday, January 26, 2014

Just back from Las Vegas

My husband was in Las Vegas last week for business and I flew out on Friday to meet him and spend the weekend. While it wasn't exactly balmy in Nevada, it wasn't bad....maybe around the mid 50s or low 60s.....sweater weather and sun. It sure beat New York, which has been below freezing for at least a week, with more cold and even more snow predicted for the coming days.
We shot this photo of the old Vegas sign while were were walking around the old part of town, not the "strip" but the run-down seedy part of town. Most of it looked pretty sad, but one bright spot was a "container park" that was a lovely family-friendly sustainably built complex of restaurants, shops and playground.  I'm sorry I didn't take a photo, because it was a great area.
I always try to visit a local quilt shop on any visit to a new city, and this time it was the Fabric Boutique Quilt Shop on W. Charleston Blvd in Las Vegas. It turned out they were having a 20% off sale on all green fabric, including any fabric that had only a tiny bit of green in it. I got a few fat quarters, and a really great pin cushion made my a local crafter, and then we headed a few more miles out of town to the Red Rock Canyon park.
It was gorgeous! I think it's a national park, with a loop road and lots of hiking and climbing trails. We were in a cab---I don't think the driver had any idea how long were were going to spend in his car when we got in!---so we didn't stop but we got to see a lot and got a good feeling for the area. 

We stayed at The Cosmopolitan hotel, on the strip, which had a bunch of high-end shops on the first two floors. One of them, a clothing store, had a glass wall that separated it from the lobby that was lined with old sewing machines. The photo above only shows a few, but there were hundreds of them, stacked floor to ceiling, that had been made by lots of different manufacturers. It was one of the first things my husband took me to see after I arrived, because he knew I'd get a kick out of it.
I was glad to see my boys when I got back, but I'm already missing the warm weather and the great food of Las Vegas. We didn't gamble, but we had a great time.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sunflower top finished

I'm so excited to have finally finished this quilt top! I've been working on it for several months, with the intention of putting it in our guild show in April, but the deadline was last week and I missed it. Lucky for me, quilters are nice, and I got an extra week and managed to crank it out.
I'm sending it off to be machine quilted early next week. The top is approximately 78 x 78 inches, so it will be a good size for my queen-sized bed.
I have had my eye on doing a medallion quilt for ages, but this is my first attempt. It was fun, but tricky to get the borders on correctly because I'm not a super accurate quilter. I think I'll try another one soon, and see if I can get a bit more comfortable working in this style and work towards being more precise.
So I machine pieced most of this quilt, but appliquéd the giant sunflower to the background by hand, and also appliquéd the leaves to the background. The inside border the the overlapping brown lines was copied from the floor in my dining room, and the stars in the border were paper-pieced.
I'll post another photo after it's quilted and bound. Happy day!

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's a mystery no more!

After Bonnie revealed the quilt pattern on New Years Day, I assembled a few blocks so I could finally see what kind of quilt I've been making. I love it! I doesn't look as "Christmas-y" as I'd expected (that's the trouble with mysteries, isn't it?) but I think it's going to be a quilt I'm happy with, nonetheless.
And it's been SO much fun to play along! I'm looking forward to next year's mystery already.