Sunday, September 27, 2009

Quilt Show

Last Friday I ventured across the county to the quilt show held at Edwardsville United Methodist Church.  The lighting wasn't photo friendly but you can tell there were some awesome quilts on display.  This is just a small portion of them.

This t-shirt quilt was quite impressive and it was huge!  I loved the setting fabric for the t-shirts.  Someday I might try one of these - at least that's the excuse I'm using for the stack of old shirts accumulating in my fabric closet!

This was my favorite at the show.  It belongs to Lora Nale (the link is for the shop where she works) who did both the piecing and quilting.  I think it was a favorite of many as I was lucky to get a photo when there was just one lady standing in front of this gorgeous quilt. 

Now for the quilt show at my house!  Since D has been busy with work "stuff" all week and weekend there's been no motorcycle riding.  So I've been trying to finish up some old projects along with starting some new.  This quilt is the B.O.M. from Among Friends for 2008.  My long arm quilter finished this up last spring and it's been waiting for the binding for several months.  Finished!  I might need to re-decorate one of the spare bedrooms so I can use it but it's only a twin size.  This is not my favorite color combination but it's growing on me! 

Someone else likes this quilt though.  Beamer thinks that any time I leave my sewing un-attended, it's intended for his use as a bed! 

Have a good week everyone!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Spring Mill State Park

It's a good thing that we did our weekend motorcycle ride last Saturday because the rains began on Sunday. Although we've not had as much as folks to the south of us, we've still had high water occasionally on many of the roads. 

Our weekend ride last Saturday took us to Spring Mill State Park near Mitchell, Indiana.  The park is home to the Gus Grissom Memorial.  He was from this small town and the second American to travel into space.  They've done a nice job honoring him with displays from his school days to his tragic death during training for Apollo 1. 

We found that the Inn at Spring Mill State Park has a wonderful buffet lunch.  Have you ever had Persimmon Pudding?  They are famous for it here and the plates of it were snatched up as soon as they hit the dessert table.  We weren't in that line though.  If I'm going to splurge on dessert, it won't be on persimmon pudding :)

After lunch we headed over to the Pioneer Village area of the park.  Here's the old grist mill and waterwheel in this restored 19th century village.  We watched as they used the water driven saw mill and then the grist mill where we bought a bag of freshly ground cornmeal.

This area of the park was filled with people and we soon discovered the reason. An annual event was being held later that afternoon so we took our time to browse through the many restored homes and shops so we could stay and check out the Tri-Kappa Candlelight Tour.  We didn't stay long enough to enjoy the candlelight but we did enjoy the many musicians and artisans in period costume throughout the village.

There were some wonderful bluegrass, folk, gospel and celtic musicians.  There was even a man making lace and we found out that he teaches classes at the Bedford College of Lace Making. Who knew there was a college devoted to just lace making!  Interesting.

We enjoyed our visit to Spring Mill State Park and will probably head that way again.  I'm sure it will be beautiful in a few weeks when the leaves change.  There are already a few here and there with just a little hint of color. 
Please don't think I've given up on my sewing projects. I've got several in the works and I'll try to post some pics of those that aren't "top secret" when I can. This purse was finished a few weeks ago using a pattern by Indygo Junction and fabric from the Sierra Collection by Anna Griffen. It went together pretty easily (in fact I made two just like this) except the cording enclosed handle. Next one will have a flat strap instead.

Thanks for stopping by again!  Hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Almost 700 Miles Isn't Short

It's hard to believe it is September already!  Once this month is over, the good motorcycle riding weather won't last long.  So last weekend we took a short (some people wouldn't say almost 700 miles isn't short!) trip to a part of Kentucky and a little of Tennessee that we've not explored.  Friday afternoon we traveled some back roads to stay off of rough I-65 and made our way to Clarksville, TN where we spent the night.  It was meant to be just a starting point for the next leg of our journey, but D was kind enough to let me seek out a quilt shop before leaving town.  Blooming Stitches is a very nice, bright and  friendly shop.  Of course I made some purchases and you can see the owner, Christine in the red top, cutting my selections.  That's all you'll see of that though because hopefully it will turn into a Christmas present for someone special!   
The next leg of the trip was a journey up the "trace" in the middle of the Land Between the Lakes.  Bounded on either side by Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake, this National Recreation Area has a lot of interesting places to explore. 
We found the old iron furnaces to be interesting as well as the Visitor Centers.  It was interesting to see the displays about the original residents of the area and how their descendants were uprooted and re-located when the TVA took over the land to develope a national recreation area. 
Driving up the middle of the penninsula, we saw very little of either of the lakes.  But we took one of the only paved side roads to explore some of the lakeshore.  With over 300 miles of untouched shoreline, there are so many beautiful, secluded spots for a little fishing. 
One thing every visitor to this area must do is stop at Grand Rivers, Kentucky to enjoy a meal at Patti's Settlement.  We had heard the food was good here, but had no idea the whole establishment was so huge.  In fact, we didn't even realize all the little shopping areas behind the restaurant existed until after we had finished our meal.  
D had to order the "famous" TWO inch pork chop!  Don't you love the satisfied look on his face!  I told him I wouldn't post this pic.  But I lied! 
Notice, no potato.  This is why. 
Another one of those photos that can be an optical illusion.  The coconut cream pie was huge, but maybe not as huge as it appears here!  Our ride home on Sunday included a stop at the Overlook Restaurant in Leavenworth, IN where we met up with friends B & D on their motorcycle.  We then stopped at the town of Lanesville to check out Heritage Weekend and a few of the old tractors and steam engines. 
With our farm backgrounds, just like the old folks that we've become, we reminisced about some of the old tractors from our childhoods. Especially this old John Deere! 
Couldn't help myself with this photo!  Pretty good Abe Lincoln impersonator isn't he? (I don't know why I can't get this one centered though!)
And of course I had to post this photo too.  Sorry Mr. D but the look on your face as you tried your hand at goat milking was just too priceless!
So once again, I give you another travelogue!  But that's what we've been doing.  A little quilty stuff has been started, but don't expect to see many photos.  I've been enjoying watching the little peanut a couple of days a week and it's made me realize how hard I worked back some 25-30 years ago!  Thanks for stopping by again!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cuteness Here!

So what do Grammie and the little Peanut do when he comes to spend the day?
We get out the camera.
Make some silly faces and some funny noises!

And just wait for the cuteness to show up!

The Last of the Miles!

I promise this is the last of the photos I'll post from our vacation last month.  When it gets to the point where I can't remember which one goes where in the sequence of our travels - it's time to move on!

I'm not sure where this pretty mountain range with the wildflower windowsill was  but it's pretty typical of the scenery we enjoyed through this portion of our trip. 
We did have to dodge a few rain showers and stopped to pull our rainsuits out occasionally.  This is our attempt at a self portrait!
Here's the full effect of the rainsuit.  Obviously I'm not making any fashion statement here but then I don't know that it's possible to care when riding a motorcycle for several days and attempting to stay dry (or cool or warm - depending upon the conditions of the moment!)
We spent some time exploring the Mabry Mill and taking a gazillion photos of this famous pictureseque old grist mill/saw mill.  Of course D was fascinated with the sawmill and old woodworking shop. 
Since we were there right at lunch time - we checked out the restaurant. 
It didn't take much to talk a hungry biker into trying one of their famous dishes.  Take a couple of cornmeal pancakes, stuff them with pulled pork and cheese then serve with the requisite cole slaw and pickle!  Maybe not the prettiest dish on the menu, but surprisingly good and definitely filling! 
One of the prettiest overnight stops on our trip was in Blowing Rock, NC.  We stayed at the Village Inn .  I think this is an older motel that has been remodeled and updated.  The rooms were small but attractively updated and decorated in an upscale lodge decor. Two complaints though were the non-working wi-fi in the room and the bedding on the comfy beds that kept slipping off.  (They do make fitted sheets for those deep mattresses!)  Otherwise - very nice!
Another interesting stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway is the Moses Cone Manor, one  of the Southern Highland Craft Guild shops.  A gorgeous old home with a great view.

We didn't just sit on the bike all day - we did get off and do a little hiking.  Which only proved to us that we should do that more often!  This was a nice hike up to Linville Falls.  I think it was about 1 1/2 miles up to this viewing point. 
We stopped at Mt. Mitchell for another hike up to the summit but didn't stay long as we could see the low clouds rolling in.  Sure enough, before long we were stopping to put our rain gear on again.  Nice of them to put those little rock walls along the sides of the scenic viewing points.  Within a few miles of this we had to come to a complete stop at a visitor's center to let the rain and fog subside. 
We made it to the Asheville Best Western where we had reservations for the night with plenty of time to do some research for an interesting place for dinner.  Downtown Asheville is a most interesting place, especially on a Friday night, with a wide range of local restaurants to pick from.  We found Mayfel's and enjoyed our meal there, plus it was right across from the park where they hold a weekly "drum circle".  This draws quite a crowd, with quite a variety of participates and observers. 
We hadn't planned to spend too much time in Asheville, since we've been here before.  But we drove out to the Grove Park Inn (someday we're going to splurge for a night or two here!) and spent most of the morning browsing at the Grovewood Gallery then back downtown  to the Mast General Store and  lunch at another great cafe. I should have taken a photo of another great store we discovered, Tops for Shoes, a huge shoe store downtown also.   
With all of our browsing around  Asheville, we didn't get as far on down the Parkway as planned but spent our last night out in Maggie Valley then made our way home the next day.  One last photo from the outside of the log cabin at the Visitor's  Center at the end (or beginning - which ever way you want to look at it!) of the Blue Ridge Parkway. 
We love the Smokey Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway!  I'm sure this isn't the last time I'll be writing about a ride here!  So this is all of the posts  you will have to endure about this 2030 mile motorcycle vacation.   But I'm sure there will be more rides to come - in fact we're already contemplating a short overnight ride for this coming weekend!  Thanks for "riding" along with us!! 

Friday, September 4, 2009

Yes, There's Still More Miles to Cover

There's still more to tell about our trip a couple of weeks ago so I'll try to cover the next several miles. 
The increased elevation of Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park was a welcome relief  from the record breaking temps of the eastern states.  We found Skyline Drive to be a beautiful ride. 
Back in the 1930's the Civilian Conservation Corps were instrumental in the developement of one of  the country's first National Park to be established in the eastern United States.  This statue at the Big Meadows visitor center honors these men.
When lunch time came around on the first leg of our Shenandoah drive, we took off down a side road toward the little town of Luray, VA.  We definitely lucked out when we came upon the Brookside Restaurant and Cabins.  Obviously a favorite of the locals and tourists, we were able to get a tasty country all you can eat buffet lunch for $5.75!   
We saw lots of deer along the road on Skyline Drive.  They didn't seem to be too scared of the traffic (the speed limit is only 35 mph anyway) and this little guy was kind enough to pose for a photo.  But I had the camera ready for the one animal that I have never seen in the wild.  I had just begun to think it would never be........
There he is!!!  Did you see him?  I almost had put my camera away when I spotted him (or her?) scrounging for berries in the woods.  D stopped and turned around and we sat on the bike for a few moments to watch him and snap a few photos.  My wildlife goal is met.  Now I think I'll put a moose on the list!
When we came to the end of Skyline Drive near Waynesboro (after a very young park ranger stopped to kindly remind us that the speed limit was 35 mph :) ) I did a little research and found that nearby  Staunton, VA was home to Rachel's Quilt Patch in the historic downtown.
After a few minutes browsing and visiting with the owner, we found a nice restaurant for dinner next door in the old train station.  We were impressed by the restoration efforts of the beautiful architecture of many of the buildings downtown. 
Before heading out on the last leg of our trip the next morning, we took one more side trip.  We rode over to  Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Charlottesville, VA.  We took one of the early morning tours of the home and roamed around the grounds.  All very interesting and Mr. Jefferson was ahead of his time in many respects when it came to his home.  Unfortunately no photos allowed in the house but we did take several as we admired the surrounding gardens.   
So now I'm ready to lead you onto the last leg of our trip.  Hopefully you're not too bored with this yet!  The upper portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway was the one section of the parkway we had not yet explored. 
Blogger won't let me add more photos to this post - I guess I'll have to continue with a new one.   So you'll have to suffer through another travelogue!   And I hope to return to posting some more cute grandbaby photos too.  By the way - maybe you've noticed the new baby-ticker on the sidebar!?  Yes another grandbaby on the way!  J and J will be giving little J a little brother or sister :)  next spring.   Another exciting year in store for our family!