"Make what you want to make, and make it the way you want to make it." Gwen Marston

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Weekend Wrap-up

This lovely postcard arrived in my mailbox on Friday, and it was accompanied by a matching mug rug.  What a bonus!  This was made by Pauline, and was from a postcard exchange arranged by Sheila


Thanks Pauline, I really love them! 

I’ve been busy this week, but I don’t have much to show or it.  I’m working on a secret project during my lunch hour, and I spent some time working on a baby blanket.  A co-worker and her friend bought kits of fleece to make no-sew baby blankets that are just fringed and tied.  But they decided they wanted something different, so I was called in.  I said “Sure, I can make something for you”.  How stupid was I?  I’ve never worked with that type of fabric, and it was a nightmare.  This stuff stretches and moves and stretches some more.  Per their request, I appliqued the baby’s name on the first blanket, and then was told that I was given the wrong spelling.  One of the pieces had been pinned to two layers of batting when I received it.  I finally got one sewed together, and tied with yarn, and I declined to attempt the second one.  I’m not usually a quitter, but this little experiment was impossible. 


Tonight, I cut out one quilt, and started cutting another.  I’m going to a retreat next week, and I want to get a lot of sewing done.  I’ve never cut in advance before, so this will be something new. 


Fall really is here, and we put our kayaks in storage yesterday.  A sad day indeed.  One of the nice things about fall, is that I get to see some beautiful sunrises on my way to work each morning.


Now if I could just find a decent place to take a picture!  The light changes so quickly.

Instead of taking a daytrip yesterday, we stayed close to home and ran some errands.  I finally got to visit our brand new library, we put the kayaks in storage, and we stocked up on apples, squash, and pumpkins.


Then we took a very short hike to a nearby waterfall, experiencing more of my favorite things of fall – walking through crunchy leaves.  And fall has a special smell, with the leaves, wood smoke from nearby cabins, the apples. . .   It won’t be long until the smells of holiday treats will be in the air, too!  Less than two months until Christmas…..

Be kind to Everyone!  Santa is making his list..Sunny


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Supporting my National Parks!

Another beautiful Fall weekend comes to a close.  After a brief debate over where to go, we decided to brave the crowds and visit a nearby National Park! 







Shenandoah National Park is home to Skyline Drive, and is an absolutely beautiful scenic drive.  October is traditionally their busiest month of the year, and thanks to our sad lack of government, the parks had been closed the past two weekends.  We knew it would be mobbed, but decided to go anyway.


Sorry to bore you with so many pictures, but it was just so beautiful!


We even saw some wildlife.



It’s a Bear!








Most of today (Sunday) was spent sewing, but I don’t have anything to show.  I prepped a project for applique, and another for some red work embroidery.  I can’t even show my Christmas QAL finished quilt, because I’m supposed to save it for the big reveal in December.

And now that it’s fall, and the temperatures are getting cooler, it’s soup weather, so I made a big pot of soup for dinner tomorrow night.  Since DH retired last year, he has been the head chef, and I decided to be a good little wife and give him a night off.

Be kind to DH…..Sunny


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fall has arrived


Last weekend, while my hometown and surrounding area was buried under 30 – 40 inches of snow, DH and I were kayaking in shorts and tank tops.  We went to a distant lake in the ‘mountains’ and we were able to find some signs of fall.


At the beginning of our paddle, we shared the lake with only two other kayaks.  It was so incredibly peaceful and quiet.


Later, a group of young men came out in a couple of canoes.  I think they were on a group trip from the city, and had never been in canoes before.  The seemed to be having a very good time, but were extremely noisy, so we just turned and went to the other end of the lake.  It was big enough for all of us.


During the past week, we’ve had over 6 inches of rain.  Here is the sky the night before it started.


After all the rain on Thursday and Friday, we decided to take a chance on a road trip for Saturday.  The day started out cloudy and drizzly,


Then the sun came out for awhile!

We had to take a short hike to reach our real destination for the day.  We had seen a picture of this site in an advertisement for West Virginia, and made it our mission to find it!






After leaving this park, we went to another area, but we ran into heavy fog, and had to call it quits.  Here we are just driving into the fog.  Before long, we couldn’t see anything!


Every parking lot near the hiking trail heads was full!


Driving back down the mountain, we saw a few more pretty scenes, and then we started for home.






Sunday was sewing day!  I finished the secret project.  what do you think?

Must go now…Be kinder than necessary…..Sunny


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Christmas QAL–October


I don’t have much time to post, because I am busy sewing.  But I missed August (beach trip) and September (Alaska), so I made sure I’d be home today.

Of course, the main project that I plan to complete today is my Challenge quilt.  Quilt Sue issued a challenge for the QAL, and I have to agree that it was certainly a challenge!  If we accept the challenge, we are to make a Christmas quilt (easy enough) without using RED or GREEN (HUH!?!).  Well we all put on our thinking caps, and there are some very nice quilts out there!  Jolly Jo is our hostess this month, and Happy Hazel will be back with us next month.


I’ve been struggling with the final design element for this, and while walking through my office the other day, I saw something on a coworkers wall that I instantly knew was the perfect solution!  What do you think?


Check back later to see what happens next.






A couple of months ago, I sorted through my scraps and made a pile of HST’s. and I finally got back to them and put them together. 


Due to my inability to read/interpret/follow instructions, it is not the right size, so I’m presented with the opportunity to redesign.  Because I am NOT taking it apart, or remaking all those HST’s!

I’m also working on a secret project.

And now I must get back to stitching!  I’ll be back later.

Kindness matters…….Sunny


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Come for a visit!

I enjoy travelling and seeing new places. Most Saturdays will find Husband and me headed out on a daytrip, whether it is for kayaking, hiking, fall scenery, or a new farmer’s market. I had to work half a day this past Saturday, so we resorted to kayaking on the Potomac River, less than 10 miles from our house. As I was paddling along, I was thinking about what a great area we live in. IMG_1996

Hagerstown is a small town in western Maryland, and if you’re coming to visit there’s a good chance you’re a history buff. Washington County is steeped in Civil War history. Antietam Battlefield, the site of the “single bloodiest day in American History” is located just to the south of Hagerstown. Preserved as a National Park, the quiet serene landscape makes it difficult to imagine what happened there on that day in September 1862.


For an awe-inspiring event, try to time your visit for the first Saturday in December, when over 23,000 luminaries are set up to represent the casualties of the battle. If you prefer to visit in the summertime, the first Saturday in July is the date for the annual concert and fireworks in the park. Well worth attending.

History buffs will also enjoy visiting Fort Frederick State Park, home of the restored Fort Frederick, a fort from the French and Indian War and American Revolutionary War.

Bicycle enthusiasts have their choice of the 78 miles of C&O Canal Towpath that run through Washington County, or the 20 mile Western Maryland Rail Trail. Both are used by bicyclists, joggers, walkers, and even the occasional horse.


If hiking is your thing, approximately 35 miles of the Appalachian Trail follow the mountain ridges of eastern Washington County. There are several State Parks along the Trail’s route, so there are amenities and facilities for hikers. The AT also runs along the base of the first Washington Monument, built by the residents of nearby Boonsboro. While not nearly as tall as the famous landmark in Washington DC, it is an easy climb to the top, where you can look out and see much of the county, or spend some time watching and counting hawks.


The Potomac River forms the southern border of Maryland and is a popular place for boating and fishing. Much of it is fairly shallow which invites the kayaks, canoes, and small fishing boats. In the deeper waters behind the dams, you will find the larger boats towing skiers and tubers, as well as a plethora of personal water craft. There’s a place for everyone on “The Peoples’ River”.


At the end of the day, you can come back to Hagerstown for fine dining and shopping. Many restaurants feature seafood, and if you’ve never had a Maryland crab cake, you owe it to yourself to treat yourself to Nick’s Airport Inn for one of the best crab cakes around. From its beginnings as a humble road house, Nick’s has grown into one of the finest restaurants in town.

While we don’t offer world-class shopping, Hagerstown is a shopping destination with the Valley Mall and Premium Outlets in the south end of town. And since this is a quilting blog, I must mention that we have two very nice quilt shops in town – Wilson’s and Traditions at the White Swan!

And if you’re just looking for a place to relax and hang out, don’t miss our City Park. It’s a beautiful park in any season; it contains two small lakes which are home to ducks, geese, swans and fish. A stroll around the lake will be just the thing to walk off those crab cakes you enjoyed earlier!


Now, Kendra Thornton is going to discuss her home of Chicago, Illinois. Below, she has outlined some of her top destinations and eateries in the city!

If you’re planning a visit to my fabulous hometown of Chicago, you may already know about the most popular sites. There’s so many to choose from and they all have their merits. However, take this local’s advice for a unique and exciting Chicago experience!

1. The shops on Southport Avenue in Lakeview offer a more relaxed option from the "Magnificent Mile" on N. Michigan Avenue. Stop by the famous home of the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field nearby, and then take a leisurely stroll through a variety of boutiques and stores including Krista K and Tula. What I love about Southport Avenue is that I can find the latest fashion trends as well as clothing from Chicago’s best designers. Every neighborhood in Chicago has its own unique style, and the shopping tends to reflect it. There’s something for every taste and budget in the city!

2. I know Navy Pier Park sounds like something for tourists, but trust me, this is a popular local hangout! You can’t find a better view of the city than from the 150-foot Ferris wheel, modeled after the first one built for the Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. The Pier offers a host of other rides too, like the wave swing and a beautifully hand-painted carousel. A walk along the water’s edge provides spectacular views of Lake Michigan. Navy Pier Park is one of my family’s favorite weekend spots to bring my family. Spend an afternoon there and you’ll know why. Navy Pier is also in the early stages of being renovated to give it a more contemporary, green feel!

3. I know NYC gets all of the buzz, but Chicago has an awesome skyline and downtown of its own! You won’t experience the full splendor of our city if you don’t see it lit up at night. If you do find yourself visiting Chicago, you must stay in a hotel in the heart of the city. The website gogobot will help you find great deals on the best Chicago hotels. Whichever hotel you choose, there's sure to be great food close by as well.

4. Speaking of food, I know you'll try some authentic Chicago deep dish pizza while you’re here. But did you know that our fair city is also famous for its hot dogs and sausages? Hot Doug’s boasts the best hot dogs and a menu of dishes you won’t find anywhere else, with some fun, funky names! For a true Chicago gastronomic experience, you must eat at Hot Doug’s!

There are a multitude of other Chicago destinations that are well worth the visit. Take it from me though, the places above should all be on your to-do list when visiting my home city!

We hope you enjoyed visiting our towns.  How about a tour of your town?

Sunny and Kendra