Red River, NM…

Sometimes you have to get away from your actual business to plan the future of that business. That is why I took my office manager (Lorna), web and social media consultant (Chris), shipping clerk (Elanor), and the man who does everything else that comes up (Steve) on a working vacation to Red River, NM. The boys (jack and Bear) had to come too because they couldn’t stay home alone and, besides, we love them :-).

Red River is a long day’s drive from Sherman. Lorna and I did a lot of talking on the way out and back. I made notes and took photos. The white van in front of me in most of these photos belongs to Chris and Lorna. It was a 2-car expedition.

The land is mostly flat from Sherman to the mountains. There are lumpy stretches (not really hills), and towns. There were trees in most of the towns but out on the prairie, not so much. The elevation rose as we drove west.

I didn’t get good photos of the mountains from the car on the way to Red River because the light was wrong. And I missed some lovely photos when I was driving. It’s better to be safe than wrecked, right?

We took a more scenic route on the way home, through Tucumcari and Las Vegas, NM. The mountains in Red River quickly gave way to plateaus. The trees gave way to scrubbier plants.

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And then it got flat again, all the way home, which is one reason why we who live on the prairie go to the mountains :-).

I do love being able to see off into the distance, and I love how big the sky is over flat land, but it’s not for everyone. I’ll share more photos of the trip, with mountains and people, later this week.

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Visiting the Dallas Arboretum…

NOTE: If you got the way-too-early link to next week’s Wednesday Giveaway it’s only sort of gone. It will post on time next Wednesday. If you already commented, your comments should still be there.

Lorna, the kids, and I went to the Dallas Arboretum yesterday and it looks like spring is already here! Jack took way more pictures than I did.

Jack Taking Pictures

Bear rarely wanted to stop for a photo.

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The cherry trees have begun to bloom. That was a surprise to me — I didn’t know there were cherry trees there!

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The crepe myrtles are lovely even when they have not leafed out.

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This is for my friend, Catherine :-).

 

Let it go…

I make quilts because I can’t not make them. But, once finished, I am more in love with the next quilt. Finished quilts tend to end up in my closet. It seems that I am not finished with the urge to tidy up because I can no longer ignore the shelves stuffed with quilts.

It began with the need to take better photos of my quilts. As I unload the shelves, I’ve found quilts that I haven’t seen in years, like this Amish pinwheel. It’s one of the few that I kept from before Linda and I started Piece O’ Cake in 1994. I had time to hand quilt back in the day!

Amish Pinwheel

I gave away most of the quilts that I made before-POC. I’ve given quilts away since then, but I kept way too many made for books and patterns. I thought that I might need them in the future! Well, the future is here and I don’t need to keep them all. What to do with the quilts that need a new home?

Several are finding new homes with my friends. It’s easier than I thought it would be to choose the right quilt for a particular person — it’s a lot like the wand choosing the wizard. Giving quilts is one of the funnest things ever. I LOVE putting a quilt-smile on a friend’s face.

I know that I will run out of quilts before I run out of friends to give them to, but that’s OK. There will be more quilts. And there are quilts that don’t fit anyone I know — those are traveling with me and will be offered for sale. One this is for sure, I’m done stuffing the closet!

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The Daisy quilt, above, was made for a magazine article for Rodale Press. Or maybe it was for inclusion in a book. 

A quilter lives here!

Kim J. saw the “tea mailbox” in one of my recent posts and thought “maybe she would like to see mine”. Yes! I do want to see it and so do you!

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Kim says:

This was a collaboration with my husband.  He built the box, I drew the quilt blocks, painted/stenciled the roof and he did the painting.

Here’s the back:

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My own mailbox obviously needs an upgrade :-).

You never know what you’ll see if you just look…

I stayed in San Clemente while visiting the Surfside Quilt Guild and my hotel was just a mile from the beach. The one mile walk down to the beach was very nice, the uphill mile back to the hotel was good exercise :-).

I walked to pier for the last time Wednesday morning and took photos of seagulls because I think they are cute.

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They look like birds with an interesting attitude… sort of nonchalant and friendly. And these guys were posing for me so I got closer…

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Close enough to notice that their tails are dotted!

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Who knew! And once you notice the dots, don’t don’t you think that they pull the black and white color scheme of the feathers together? Nature is just jam-packed with little quirky details.

 

 

Outer space, all for you!

NASA has a massive library of amazing photos and they are right there for us to use! Read the fine print because there are some restrictions but for the most part we can use them for non-commercial purposes. I have always loved this sort of picture…

This image shows the galaxy Messier 94, which lies in the small northern constellation of the Hunting Dogs, about 16 million light-years away. Within the bright ring around Messier 94 new stars are forming at a high rate and many young, bright stars are present within it – thanks to this, this feature is called a starburst ring. The cause of this peculiarly shaped star-forming region is likely a pressure wave going outwards from the galactic centre, compressing the gas and dust in the outer region. The compression of material means the gas starts to collapse into denser clouds. Inside these dense clouds, gravity pulls the gas and dust together until temperature and pressure are high enough for stars to be born.

This image shows the galaxy Messier 94, which lies in the small northern constellation of the Hunting Dogs, about 16 million light-years away. Within the bright ring around Messier 94 new stars are forming at a high rate and many young, bright stars are present within it – thanks to this, this feature is called a starburst ring.

And the earth from space is also pretty darned interesting!

A hurricane, seen from space.

I was reminded about these free NASA images by John McWade. You should watch his free video about how he made calendars using these images. I read all of his issues of Before & After, published over the last many years. I learned so much about graphic design, text, and layout from him! He is now at Lynda.com and I wish him years of happiness there.

Wowie Zowie!

There’s a quilt in our new book, Piecing the Piece O’ Cake Way, that I called Wowie Zowie. I actually made it in 2 sizes: big bed-size and small baby-size. The bed quilt was designed to go on this bed, to replace that boring gray coverlet…

This is so much better. Wowie Zowie, right?!

This is a queen-size bed and the quilt covers the box spring and the bed rails, just as I intended it to. Angela Walters quilted this quilt for me and she did a terrific job, as always :-)!

Both this and smaller quilt are made solely from half-square triangles. Change the size of the half-square triangle and that changes the size of the finished quilt.