Thursday, August 30, 2012

You're back in Kansas, Dorothy

First of all, congratulations to Lee Butler, the winner of our cruise project, Friendship Garden. Thanks to everyone who commented or follows my blog. Your supportive comments always make my day and I love reading about you, too.

Our fantasy cruise to Alaska is over, but definitely not forgotten - nor likely to be soon. Robert and I thoroughly enjoyed a low key pace, exploring each port on foot or by bus to see the glacier in Juneau, the totems in Ketchikan and the quaint town of Skagway. We found many local artisans and their wares and purchased a few keepsakes for ourselves and the grankids. (All of that is still on it's way here via UPS. More next week.)

We love visiting other parts of the country that are so different from our own. One sight you don't see in Kansas is fresh fish markets on every street corner. Robert had to try the chowder at every stop and was rarely disappointed. I prefer crab cakes, but ate mine before I thought to snap a picture (sorry!).

The Salmon Market & clam chowder in Ketchikan.

 The City Hall in Skagway is covered in antlers - pretty cool!

On our way back to the our ship, the Norwegian Pearl, the mountains and fog in the background were sure signs we were in Alaska.
 Each day, our cabin boy tickled us with adorable towel sculptures. My fav was the elephant.

We arrived back in Seattle on Sunday morning, hauled our luggage and extra boxes to the hotel across the street and spent the day wandering around downtown, content with the outcome of our first ever Great Girlfriend Getaway. I love Seattle - the waterfront, the market, so much cool stuff to see and do. Here was a sign that spoke to me. I had missed the Chocolate Buffet on the boat and was ready for some really rich dark chocolate. How could I refuse?
 Just down the street was this little cupcake parlor with minis that begged for me to indulge in a sampler of tastes. The double chocolate and fresh strawberry did not disappoint.

Although the scenery was out of a movie and our bunch of 34 quilters were delightful, the best part was being able to spend a whole week with my buddy, Pam, who lives over 10 hours away. Emails and phone calls are fine, but quality girlfriend time is the best. Many of the girlfriends on the cruise agreed that quilting while traveling with friends makes for the most unforgettable vacations. It's a gift you give to yourself and each other. Watch for upcoming GGG events - cruises (New England/Canada Sept. 2013 is almost full), retreats and trips to spend with quilting friends and make memories.

The Moda Designer Shop Hop begins next week. More on that Saturday.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Greetings from Alaska!

What an adventure! We've seen mountains and glaciers, whales and bears. We've eaten tons of seafood and exotic fare, watched delightfully entertaining shows and laughed until we've cried. Our first class with the quilters went smoothly - Pam taught her Stillwater Creek quilt with stars and flying geese. I'm up on Thursday with Spare Change, then Sat. is our joint project, Friendship Garden. Here's a brief overview of the trip so far.

We started out in Seattle, visiting Pike's Market, watching them throw fish at the market, beautiful bouquets of flowers - most for $5 or $10 bucks! - and lush fruits and veggies. We snacked our way thru, then indulged in a seafood feast at the Fisherman right on the dock.

Mendenhall Glacier and a bear sighting...

Oops! Here's the real bear, sauntering down to the stream to catch his supper of tasty salmon.

There were fields of purple flowers everywhere, along the street, in the ditches. They're a weed here called Fireweed, but beautiful.

We were amazed at how well flowers grew when the highs thru the summer are about 60, but they get alot of rain.

So that's the trip so far. Follow Pam's Facebook page for daily updates (my phone doesn't work up here in the wild). More later!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

North to Alaska

We leave for our Alaskan cruise in just a couple days so things here are a bit hectic. One last box to pack, checklist to recheck, clothes to organize - is it really just 50 degrees there?  How awesome! Better throw in one more sweater. Thank goodness the weather has turned cooler here, but I'm really looking forward to a some real cool.

First, congratulations to Lisa J., you're the winner of the Copper Pennies pattern/kit. Please email your shipping address and I'll send it out as soon as we return.

For the next 2 weeks, the giveaway will be the project Pam Buda & I will be teaching on the cruise together - Friendship Garden. I threw one together with cotton appliques; Pam stitched her version with wool.

I'll be checking in while we're gone, so watch for updates on whales, freezing toes and good food.

Geez, I'm ready for vacation!  See you all later, Lynne

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Checking my list

Just a little over a week before we leave for our Alaskan cruise. Sure wish you all could come with us. So looking forward to cool weather - and even rain - and all the exciting destinations. The most fun for me is hanging out with the quilters, hearing their thoughts and comments, getting to know what they like and long for in the quilting world. I always learn something from my ladies and go home re-energized, ready to tackle the next project.

Congratulations to Paulette - you're the winner of the 25 Yard Dash pattern/fabric this week. Enjoy! For this week's giveaway, in gratitude for finally dropping the book off at the printer, I'm offering a Copper Pennies quilt kit. It will have the pattern just for this project included, but it's one of the projects in the new book, Loose Change. A brand new Harvest Moon charm and mini charm plus 2 fabrics are all you need and we'll include the Spare Change ruler, too!
  Just had to throw in a Mini Table Treats with a few leftover blocks. Note the scalloped edges on the smaller triangles/squares. I'm really loving the effect of the pinked and scalloped edge rotary blades when a standard precut isn't the right size. Still would love to have a smaller pinked blade - we'll see what Olfa can do.
Be sure to check in during the cruise. I'll have a kit for the Friendship Garden quilt that Pam and I designed (mostly Pam) to giveaway while we're gone. And I hope to share a few pictures of our stops along the way if I have WiFi. Follow Pam's blog, too, at Heartspun Quilts. She's much more tech savvy when it comes to blogging than me. I hope to pick up a few pointers along the way.

Loved hearing about your messy/clean sewing rooms. Messy definitely won out. I think organization is the key but I hate plastic totes. My fabric can't breath in plastic, so it's always a fun challenge to find cute baskets/bins that look good for storage and fit on my shelves. My son, Neil, is a carpenter by trade so snag him to help me gain more storage when I can. I found the 4 divided magazine shelves at Hobby Lobby several years ago, but it didn't allow for anything but books. Neil made the open shelves to add in between and made the whole unit built-in along one wall and wrapped around the corner of my studio at the cabin. It filled up quickly, but I still need to edit a bit. Now he's working on a 20 ft. desk top that will fit under my window for the computer on one end and my sewing machine on the other with lots of fold down/flip up shelves and such for the printer and ironing board. Can't wait!

Better get back to work. Hope you all have a great quilting day.