Friday, October 28, 2011

Only in Paris!!

I am finally over the jetlag and kind of caught up on my life.  I did finish the top I started in Wisconsin. It's a Lori Smith design, which I made totally scrappy.  I love it but wish it was bigger. Oh well.


I did promise more Paris pictures. I had to show you this picture I took walking by a cafe near our apartment. Dogs are very welcome in restaurants and cafes in Paris. This doggie may own the place, actually!! Note the basket of croissants on the counter. It was in the morning.


There was a small cafe where my husband and I enjoyed a cafe sitting outside watching the world go by. It's typical Paris!


I also promised to share more of Will's fabulous work.  Here are a couple; One is an irish chain she made. The story behind this is that she is hand quilting it (YES!!) for a friend and liked it so much she decided to copy it.


I think I told you she does amazing hand piecing. Here's an example of a small top she made...hexagons!

I hope she doesn't mind my sharing her quilts.

Anyway, we have our darling grandson this weekend so no sewing for me. Sorry I'm so late in posting this. I promise to be better!!
have a great weekend.

Monday, October 17, 2011

And the winner is....

PARIS!! 
Thanks to everyone who guessed.  The first person to guess correctly was Linda Collins!  I have a special treat for Linda for being the first person to guess correctly. You were all great guessers. I loved coming up with the clues. Made for some fun times. Our trip was awesome. We love Paris. What's not to love?

When Bonnie and I went to Paris a couple of years ago, we met two wonderful quilters, Will and Valerie.  Each time I go, I try to meet up with them. I was able to see both of them this time again.  I was also able to see Will's husband as well. Will does the most beautiful, amazing quilts! Each time I see her, she invites me to her fabulous apartment in Montmartre and I am treated to a quilt show of her just gorgeous, inspiring work. Here is Will showing off her basket quilt. It's completely hand-pieced! And she used a rick-rack for the handles! I have many others to show you later this week.
In the background on the wall, you will notice a beautiful painting. Will's husband Soyland (sp?) is a fabulous artist who has an easel set up in the central part of Montmartre, where all the artists are. I remembered this time to get a picture of them together in front of his work. Montmartre is known as an artist's area. It's literally a mountain in Paris, with a most gorgeous church, Sacre Coeur, at the top. I was there on an absolutely sparkling day, as you can see.
Getting up to Montmartre involves walking some fairly steep tiny roadways up to the top. Here is a little staircase leading down, which is very typical of the area.

That's it for today's travelogue! I will post more photos, especially of Will's quilts, in the next couple of days. I"m trying to play catch-up, as well as beat the jet lag. It is 6,000 to Paris from San Francisco and takes a good 24 hrs travel time. That's not me complaining, mind you! Just sayin'

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Where in the world, Part II

Wow! Who knew you guys would google my clues? That's awesome!
Okay, I'm flying home tomorrow but wanted to give you all another chance to find me:
Clue #1: there is a river running through the city
Clue #2: there is a president as well as a prime minister
Clue #3: one in three households owns a dog
Clue #4: its latitude is similar to North Dakota and Maine (hi Bonnie!)
Clue #5: speaking of Bonnie, ( and this is a dead giveaway now) she and I came here 2 yes ago.

So what do you think?
Wait until I post some pictures on Monday!
Till then,

Friday, October 14, 2011

Where in the world is Randy???

Hello my blogging friends
I've been quiet recently because I'm traveling and unable to upload pictures from my phone. But last night, during a period of sleeplessness, I had a brilliant idea to run a little contest for my friends to trynto figure out where I am. No fair entering if you are a personal friend or you were at the Wisconsin retreat and would have inside information.

Another rule: please submit your guesses to me by email so you don't spoil the fun for others: randyiris@gmail.com

Prizes? Oh of course! From my trip!

First clue: needed a passport
Second: English is not the first language
third: had to cross an ocean from California to get here
Fourth: (for the history buffs) city was conquered by the Romans in 55BC
Fifth: the food is fabulous;

Any ideas? More clues later! I fly home Sunday so we have to get this contest going!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

shopping, of course

Another great part of going some place new is the chance to see new areas. I think I showed you the pictures of the cows. But we stopped at 2 (well, really 3) different quilt stores. One was in Monticello, Wisconsin, which was an adorable town.  We actually went to dinner there a few nights later and had a fantastic meal.  I thought the buildings looked so cool.



We also went to Spring Green, which was our little excursion.  I had to stop a take a picture of this little farm stand selling tons of pumpkins. It was blowing like crazy that day, although I don't know if you can tell in the picture.


Here's the quilt store in Spring Green, which I think was adorable. Note the bikes just propped up against the store window.  These were a couple of girls' bikes getting ready for the bonfire for Homecoming that night!!


I have to tell you that one of my favorite things from Wisconsin is getting apples in the fall. OMG. They have the BEST apples I've ever tasted.  OF course we had to stop at Edwards Orchard and I HAD to bring home a couple of bags of apples (which were eaten in very short order).  This place is amazing!! I love going there.  Good thing I don't live closer!


Oh and lest you think I haven't seen the darling grandson, let me show you a recent picture. He was concentrating very hard on the back cover of one of his favorite books. Such a sweetheart!!


Hope everyone is having a great week!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

cooking fabric??

One of the wonderful things about being with quilters is there is always something new to learn. DarLynn was telling us about how she takes fabric and dips it in coffe (etc) and then bakes it in the over. WELL, that sounded too cool to me so we whipped up a concoction, consisting of coffee, tea, vanilla, red wine, and maybe something else.  Oh yeah, coffee grounds. It doesn't look too appetizing to me...


It looks like something a toddler would make. But seriously, the fabric came out great. What an amazing process!!

Here is a sample:


That was muslin, which you can see "uncooked" next to it and the finished product.  I used some shirtings as well and cut them up for my quilt. I LOVE how they look in the quilt.

I highly recommend the dipping. I'm not so sure about the baking, unless you want that burned look! VBG.  Still, it was an amazing experience. Thank you, DarLynn, for the ideas!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wisconsin quilts

I promised I'd share pictures from some of the things being worked on at our retreat. This is just a small sample.  This was a very talented group of women, very serious about their projects but OH SO MUCH FUN.

First is my friend DarLynn's pinwheels, which she made out of Bonnie's bonus triangles. DarLynn does just beautiful work. I think I've showed you some of her other quilts from when I visited her in August.
Bonnie is a relatively new quilter (you'd NEVER know by looking at her work). Here are her baskets which have hand-sewn handles!! Bonnie is a crack-up...she went with us to sample the Spotted Cow at the brewery. Quite the trooper.


Pat and DarLynn organized a fabric swap last year commemorating 9-11 with a quilt from Edyta Sytar.  I participated but didn't do more than a few blocks.  Debbie, who is quite the quilter, had hers all together ready for binding:


I didn't take pictures of everyone's quilts, unfortunately. I will show you what I finally decided to work on. It is a Lori Smith pattern and I had great fun doing it. I will need to add the borders but it's just my kind of scrappy quilt!!


There's more to tell about....stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Back from Wisconsin RARING to sew!!

Hi everyone,
I'm back from my retreat in Wisconsin. We stayed at the house in the center of the photo. A little bit about it:  I have 2 friends in that area who invited me to join their quilting group at a retreat in a lovely house in New Glarus, Wisconsin.  It was a 6 day trip filled with so much fun, companionship, music, food, and quilting!!! We had a glorious time. It is a fabulous group of women from such diverse backgrounds. I loved every minute. I"ll be posting pictures all week.

This was the view out the back of the house.  Those are cornfields between me and the silos/barn. The corn cobs were of course dried out but so beautiful. I wanted to take some home with me, but NO ROOM!! Too much fabric. But that's another story.

We took a drive to Spring Green, which is a very small town about 35 miles away from New Glarus.  Along the way, I had to stop for this picture. Quintessential Wisconsin, in my opinion!!

New Glarus is known for many things, one of them being their brewery. We, of course, had to drop by for a sample of their Spotted Cow (that's a beer!!).  Here are DarLynn and Bonnie, very happy tasters!


I will post about the sewing aspect of the retreat in a day or so.
Have a great Tuesday.