Now that we’re home from the Grand Hotel…

Elanor spent the day catching up and shipping orders. Three big bags of packages will go to the post office first thing tomorrow morning.

There’s one order from class with no name or contact info for side-threading needles. If you think that’s you, please email me at becky.pieceocake@gmail.com.

shipping

I spent part of my day going to doctors. This morning I saw my foot doctor. I have a toe that curls under its neighbor and it has begun to hurt. For now, I can wear a tiny little silicone sleeve on it. In late July, he’s going to do a ‘1-stitch’ procedure to fix it. I think that means he’s going to lop off the offending underside of that toe. If it works, the other foot will be having the same thing.

My mother told me that when I was a baby she did her best to straighten up those two toes, wrapping them to make them grow straight. It didn’t work but, Moms, they know so much.

I went to the dermatologist this afternoon. I have a line under my thumbnail that a physician/student suggested it would be good to have it looked at. My doctor looked at it and my other fingernails. Turns out, I have a similar thing going on under other nails, just not so pronounced.

IMG_4223

After much deliberation we both decided that it was probably not melanoma, but that it was prudent to watch it. I’ll be going back in 3 months. He measured but didn’t have to do a biopsy today. That’s all good news. The bad news is that I need to forego polish for 3 months. Dang!

Donna, who takes very good care of my nails so that they always look good on camera, will make even unpolished nails work for me. I’m sure of that. However, the transition from one to the other might not be so lovely so it’s good that I’m not on the road teaching again until August.

FYI: If the line under my nail gets wider and irregular, that’s bad. If you have that, go to the doctor NOW!

Side note: I wore a dress in case he needed to look me all over. Turns out, he did. Nothing of note, thankfully.

And, lastly, I should show you this room at the Grand Hotel. I took the photo as we walked by and the door was open, between guests. All of the rooms are decorated differently and I didn’t see that many, but I really like this one!

blueroom-GrandHotel

The predominant colors at the Grand Hotel are green, red, and aqua. This guest room also has a touch of periwinkle which is very nice. Many, if not most, of the ceilings are pale aqua… just like my very own bedroom at home. Sweet!

So much pattern! Big prints! Strong colors! I don’t want to bring it to my house now but it is loads of fun to visit :-). You should definitely visit the Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island. It’s an amazing place.

 

On folding quilts…

I have, for years, folded my quilts on the diagonal and have been pleased with the results. But there are many experienced quilters who feel strongly about folding on the straight of grain and today Bonnie Browning, Executive Show Director for AQS, has convinced me that folding on the straight has merit.

As we looked at quilts in the show (AQS Lancaster 2018), it was easy to see which quilts had been folded on the diagonal because those folds were very obvious. Bonnie said that pressing and/or steaming will usually make straight creases disappear, but it doesn’t help diagonal creases. She added that the weight of quilts folded ‘straight’ helps the creases fade after they are hung.

Quilts hanging in shows are relatively new and crisp, which may have something to do with it. They may not have been folded often, in either direction. I fold my quilts a lot (into and out of suitcases) and never in quite the same way.  That softens them up which may be why I don’t see hard diagonal creases in my quilts.

Bonnie also said that diagonal folding can cause the outer edges of the quilt to stretch a bit. That got my attention because I think that is probably true. I have only seen a tiny bit of give in my outer edges, but even a little is too much.

My quilts at home are rolled onto 2″ PVC pipes covered with sleeves cut from cotton fabric — that flattens creases between foldings. Any quilt that stays folded all the time is likely to show creases, no matter which way it is folded. If quilts are stacked on top of each other, that will add to the problem.

I visited with Sue Patton who always washes her quilts (washer and dryer) and reports that creases are not an issue for her. That’s a thought, right? For we hand appliquérs, it’s a scary thought, but still. I’m going to carefully choose some quilts to test this out on. In fact, I have two to share in a blog post, soon.

Sue also recommended the Tuscany Cotton Wool batting from Hobbs for its softness and possible non-crease-worthiness. I’m going to try it, soon I hope.

So, chime in with your thoughts and experiences. It’s how we all learn new things!

I’ll leave you with this photo that has nothing at all to do with the topic at hand, but I like it: Lancaster, in the snow.

Lancaster-Snow-2018

2 days walking NYC…

Central Park…

Steve-Jeff-CentralPark

CentralPark-3

CentralPark-4

CentralPark-3

Views from the High Line…

HighLineView-3

HighLineView-2

HighLineView-a

The globe at Columbus Circle, seen from below coming up the stairs from the subway…

ColumbusCr-Wrold

A mosaic wall near Chelsea Market…

TileWall

MosaicWall-2

Our view from the Hilton Garden Inn…

HotelView-1

HotelView-2

When I got back to the hotel and started putting my stuff on the bed, I realized that I am very monochromatic this trip. Good thing I have a bright green jacket :-).

MonochromeMe

 

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

IMG_0815

 

 

Join me at Empty Spools…

I am teaching a 5-day Independent Study class, March 19-24, during Session III of the Empty Spools Seminar. Empty Spools Seminars are held at Asilomar, a wonderful facility on the Monterey Peninsula. There are a variety of classes taught during each session.

In my independent study class you are free to work on anything, not just appliqué. Your project can be art or traditional, hand or machine sewn, pieced or appliquéd. Draft a new quilt from scratch or work from a pattern. I am there to help you with any questions or problems you might have. Click here and here to see what students did in my 2016 and 2015 Independent Study classes.

This is one of my favorite classes. The room is always happy and full of energy. Asilomar is one of the prettiest places on the planet. There are still some openings in this year’s class and I encourage you to join me :-). Click here to go to Empty Spools.

Independent Study Class - 2016

Independent Study Class – 2016

The Idaho State Fair…

Before I left Boise, I got to spend an evening at the Idaho State Fair with Patty, Marsha, and JoAnn. They go to the fair every year and know what exhibits to visit and where to find the best fair food.

IMG_8170

Let me just say that the corn on the cobb was mighty fine but my favorite fair food was the Tortato made from Famous Idaho Potatoes.

IMG_8169

Imagine a deep fried spiral-cut russet potato. That’s a Tortato. Just looking at the picture makes me want another one. Why are these not available everywhere? On the other hand, maybe it’s good that they are not to be found in Sherman, TX.

We visited the flower show. Isn’t this an amazing flower!

IMG_8167

This sunflower seemed to glow. Both of these flowers had ribbons.

IMG_8165

We saw all kinds of needlework on display and I got so busy looking that I forgot to take pictures. We visited the Guinea pigs and rabbits and then we hunted down dessert: caramel apples for Patty and Marsha, a candy apple for me, and an apple dumpling for JoAnn. Too busy eating to take a picture.

IMG_8175

We did not ride any rides but they sure were pretty against the clear blue sky.

I can’t remember what this guy was selling, but his Minions were pretty cute.

IMG_8164

From Munich…

We arrived after an overnight flight to Munich in the morning. We are staying in an apartment and got checked in by midday. Before long we were out walking around to see the sites. It was rainy, but nice. These shots were taken from the bell tower of St. Peter’s church.

Munich City Scape Munich City Scape

There are many, many churches in Munich and many of them are Catholic. I feel right at home :-).

Today we went on a tour to Neuschwanstein, the castle build by King Ludwig in Bavaria. I have wanted to see this castle since I was a girl so it was great fun and I do so appreciate Celia for finding the tour. Below is Mario, our guide.

Mario - tour guide

We stopped at two lovely churches, one Baroque and one Rococo, on the way to the castle.

Bavarian Church Visit

Neuschwanstein is the castle that Cinderella’s castle at Disneyworld is based on.

Neuschwanstein

If you are interested in the castle, you can find better photos than I took online. The best shots are from from the bridge behind the castle that is closed for repairs. Deep sighs on our part. No matter—it was a beautiful day, no rain, cool weather, and great company!

Steve-Jeff-Celia_Neuschwanstein

Becky-Steve-Neuschwanstein

We stopped for cheese, sausage, and beer at a cheese farm on the way back to Munich. I’ve never seen cows this color before… they were more taupe than brown. They all wore bells and it was fun to sit by them as we ate a late lunch.

Bavarian Dairy Cow

Elder

Tomorrow we head to Salzburg!