Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bucket List Checks!

 Last Sunday my cousins and I met up at the Grand Canyon to hike Bright Angel Trail and Plateau Point!  My Uncle Rick and his daughter Lindy flew in from Wisconsin with their exchange student Caca (Katja) and a good friend of the family Kersten.  My Aunt Lisa was unable to come so Kersten was a last minute substitution and she decided to hike too.  My cousin Tricia flew in from Minnesota. We left about 8:45 AM and this first picture is the before picture!

 Rick and Kathy stayed above and spent much of the day spotting us!  I texted all day as we reached different points and they used the color of our ever changing clothes to find us!  Here we go!
 I had my first blister about a mile in!  It is so steep.  In the end I wrapped both my first and second toes on both feet.  I will prewrap and buy sock liners (a friend told me about after) if I ever undertake something like that again!  It was beautiful and so amazing to do this journey at this point in my life.  We made it to Plateau Point and saw the Hudson River far below.  Very few people were out there and it was like being alone!

One of us has a picture of the five of us out there, but I don't have it yet, so here is the one of the four of us that Tricia took.

On the way up we separated into two, sometimes three, groups.  It was 301 flights of stairs up, 12.7 miles total and took me 8 hours and 55 minutes!  The average time is 9 hours so I was pretty happy with that! Caca is a hiker she beat us by 45 minutes--she is 17.  Kersten got a migraine and was sick all the next day and in the ER.  I think she didn't have time to train though she is 20 and in great shape.  She beat us by 30 minutes.  Tricia stayed back with Lindy and I and cheered us on or she would have been up with or before the others.  The altitude was killer.  My body held up great and I felt strong, but my heart would get pounding and I needed more air way too often.  It was so much harder to breathe on the way up than I have ever experienced. 

 Here we are with a group hug at the top!  I will cherish this day always and am so proud to check it off my bucket list!

 Here are the after pictures.  We are still smiling and there is still daylight! 

 And now for bucket list item number two--you may be more interested in this one as it is quilt related! Kathy and I put some quilts in the Arizona Quilt Guild Show this year.  We ran over there and took some pictures late this afternoon. 

Kathy with Allietare!

Me with Talkin' Turkey!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Midweek Sewing!

 This week is Spring Break where I teach so I planned a little midweek sewing time at Barb's  I brought along my Playing with Jacks (which I quilted on my own following the backing earlier in the week) and put the binding on.  I am happy to cross this one off my UFO list!
Barb finished up her 35th Ave. BOM from last year so I can mail it off with mine to Alycia for QOV.  Kathy still has about five blocks to go!
 I then sewed on En Provence for the first time in forever.  I made it this far before Barb wanted to run out to the quilt store.
 This morning I did a bunch of teaching prep stuff then found myself with a little time before work (I leave in a few minutes!) so I sewed up the blocks and then laid them out to see what this quilt will look like!

Now hopefully I will get this one stitched up and off to my longarmer.  This mystery has taken me longer than any of them.  I just lost my mojo for it, strange since I do really like it!
Well, off to work!  Super excited that I am hiking the Grand Canyon on Sunday!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Friday was a Sewing Sensation!

 I hiked on Friday morning, then did Pilates...after a salad and a hot bath I sewed and sewed and sewed.  I started out with the 35th Ave. BOM for February.  Got it done just under the wire!  Today I picked up the one for March.
 I am super happy to say  am motivated to finish off a bunch of my UFO's!  So I pulled out these Pineapple Blossom blocks from a 2015 workshop I got to go to with Bonnie.  Such fun blocks, not sure why I waited so long to get them done!  Now I have a baby size quilt ready to quilt!
 I also did the Rainbow BOM for March in red.  This is Straits of Mackinac.  Loving it!
Linking up with Angela at SoScrappy for the RSC!

I also finally dragged out the Playing with Jacks blocks from the Tuscon workshop about four years ago!  I had decided to do these blocks in modern fabrics....however when I got going I realized I did not really have enough contrast in some of my blocks and he greys really faded in and the design did not show up really well.  So they languished away for a few years.  I finally decided to take the two worst offenders out and to make six more blocks that contrasted better.  And here you have it.  Works for another baby quilt!  
SEW fun to knock two more quilts off my UFO list (well not entirely as they need quilting and binding but forward progress!).  
Today we got our March blocks from 35th Ave and had lunch with BJ.  We ran a bunch of errands and went and celebrated my nephew Colton's 4th birthday!  To top it off we headed to the casino for the first time in forever!  We won!  Kathy lost 40 bucks (plus the free 15 they have her).  I played my free 15 and won about we netted 55!  Happy campers!

Goodbye Michelle

In about 1994 I met a fabulous woman named Michelle in my American Sign Language 2 class at Phoenix College.  She was my mother's age but we hit it off right away.  She was very motivated to learn sign (and at the time wanted to be an interpreter) as was I, she was a mother of two and her older son was Deaf and had multiple disabilities.  We had so much in common that even when I moved away we kept in touch.  When I visited I would see her.  She took me to Deaf Day at the Renaissance Faire for the first time (pic below). 
 I learned in early December that Michelle was on home hospice.  She had always had many chronic health issues mostly related to her lungs and was in and out of the hospital often.  I was so shocked to hear she was on hospice. I went to see her on Dec. 5th.  She was on oxygen but looked so good.  I thought we had plenty of time to get together.  We spent a few hours mostly talking about quilting...funny enough Michelle and I both became quilters independently and we have never sewn together.  She shared all her quilts with me and this one was my absolute favorite.
 This is the pattern for reference because if her daughter cannot find the original for me to buy I may have to make my own. 
So the weekend that I was in the hospital with my gallstone issues I found out Michelle had taken a turn for the worse.  She passed away before I could get to see her though her daughter gave her my love while I was on the phone.  I will miss her always and am grateful for my own good health (other than the migraines).  They are selling the house and most everything in it so her daughter let me know I should come and go through her things.  I found these four blocks and put them into a little top already.  So sweet.

I am so happy to have this sewing box that was hers.  I have always wanted one for my living room and this one will always be special to me.  It had a tiny rotary cutter pin it in so I put that on my guild name tag so Michelle's spirit will come to Nimble Thimbles with me.
 I also bought her magazine rack.  My great grandparents had one and it is one of those things I have always wanted.  Love it and will never part with it!
 I also bought her quilt rack.  I do not have one and this one displays quilts really nicely.  The quilt on the front was made by Michelle too.

Of course I did get some fabric and sewing odds and ends too.  I hope Michelle is smiling down to see her things being used and loved.  I will be sewing with Michelle for awhile--with her things anyway--wish we could have had that sew day.