Friday, July 20, 2012

Trip to Ruthie's

My BFF Ruth Melvin, and I try to rendezvous every summer for a long weekend.  Last summer she came to California and this year it was my turn to travel to Las Vegas.  Her husband, Dwight, works for Harrah's and one of the chefs at their fancy, exclusive restaurant invited him to bring his family for a free meal.  This is a perk that Dwight does not take advantage of very often, so it was really a special evening.

It always makes me smile to see Toby Keith in front of his restaurant " I Love This Bar and Grill" in Harrah's.  Too bad the flash showed or it would almost look like the real thing. Bless his heart. 
Ruth and Dwight, the happy couple.  Love them to pieces.
Ruth takes such good care of her darling Mom, June.  She just turned 88.
Jake is Ruth's youngest son.  He's just a year older than Josh. 
He's still single girls!
After a delicious meal, we were just about ready to leave and they brought out this glorious dessert tray for us.  All of it!  I had my first creme brulee and hopefully not my last!  Everything tasted even better than it looked.  The straws are made of chocolate.  This picture does not do it justice. 
 Ruth is the most generous person I know.  She picks out the funniest cards and the best gifts.  We both love to read, so she gave me a few new books for my stack.  I still haven't converted to an e-reader.  I love a hardcover. 

 That night after we got everyone settled at home we went and played tourist at the Belaggio and watched the beautiful water shows.  We saw four different shows, all set to different music. The water shoots higher than the hotel in the background. It is so powerful and so beautiful all at the same time. 

 We went to two movies while I was there.  We thought we were going to see THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, but somehow we ended up in  MOONRISE KINGDOM.  It turned out to be a sweet, quirky, funny movie and we were so glad to discover it.  Any movie with Bill Murray is a win win for me.  We both loved it.  Then we went to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel the next day and we LOVED it too.  I will purchase both. 

The morning  I left, Ruth had her kids all come over for a big breakfast so we could see each other.  I love and adore her kids - they are more like family than just friends.  We are Auntie Ruth and Auntie Lissa to each others grandkids. 

I love Ruth. And I love her family. We always have fun, whether we're at Women's Conference at BYU, in a lovely Barstow or Mesquite Hotel or just hanging out.  On the way to and from I listened to the latest book by Richard Castle, so it was a fast, easy drive. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Dave & Tam's Homecoming

Craig's oldest brother, Dave and his wife Tam returned from their 18 month mission to Fukuoka, Japan, where they served in the mission office and taught English classes.  We made a quick trip to St. George to hear them speak in their ward.
We had such a lovely visit with Dave & Tam, and we also got to spend  time with their son Jeff, and his daughter, Kayla from Lake Oswego, Oregon. We haven't seen Jeff for about 10 years. Kayla is just a month younger than our oldest granddaughter, Paige, so she stole our heart Even though Jeff mocked me for my flip phone - we still had such a fun visit.  Tam and Dave's talks were wonderful.  We both commented that we could listen to them speak all day.  They loved their mission and the associations with the young elders, sisters,  and the mission president and his wife.  The Japanese people were wonderful and you can tell they adored them and left part of their hearts in Japan.  We had such great meals and Jeff introduced us to the comedian Brian Regan, and we laughed til we cried and our stomach's hurt from laughing so much!

We spent Friday and Saturday in Parowan with my parents. Shame on us for not taking any pictures there!  Mom and Dad are doing great and love living in such a pretty town, where Dad continues to serve as Mayor.   They both seem to forget that they were not born and raised there - and they are certain it is the most beautiful place on earth.  Or maybe a very close second to their beloved Hawaii.  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My New Project. . . . .


I have been saving my sewing scraps since I learned to sew in 1968 - 7th Grade at Lampson Jr. High School in Garden Grove, CA.  All the girls had to take homemaking, which consisted of one semester of sewing and one semester of cooking.  I sewed a lot of my own clothes after that,  and then sewed for my girls. 

I always wanted to sew a patchwork quilt using all my scraps, but nothing really seemed to fit.  I started out wanting to make a cathedral window pattern.

 I changed my mind and thought for sure I wanted to make a bow tie quilt.
Lately, I've been wanting  a hand sewing project, but wasn't quite sure where to start.  Then, one day, I discovered the blog Pleasant Home  and subscribed to her email updates. I instantly fell in love with just the blog header - cherries, quilts, fabric, a red kitchen aid mixer AND cupcakes with sprinkles (these are a few of my favorite things!) I almost wept with joy when I saw the wonderful projects and darling fabrics. And her sewing room - heavy sigh!

I was always so glad to find a new update in my mail, and this is the June 25th post that set me on fire:
All Ready to Go n Sew!
6 Point Diamond Paper Piecing post from PLEASANT HOME
As I read through her post and all the great links she provided, I began blog hopping and googling anything I could find about  'English Paper Piecing Tutorials' or "Sewing Hexagons' or 'Hexie Tutorials' like she suggested....Pinterest is such an amazing resource and I found dozens of blogs and web sites dedicated Hexie Love! Pins and Boards galore!!!  Who knew???   Plus YouTube has tons of how-to videos.  So, I decided to make a GRANDMOTHER'S FLOWER GARDEN quilt with all my beloved sewing scraps.
 hand-pieced hexagon quilt by badskirtamy
Grandmother's Flower Garden (English Paper Piecing) Video Tutorial by MagnoliaFly, via Flickr
This is the look I am going for.  I'm using Kona Snow for the background (all hexies) and a butter yellow center for every flower. I'm still not sure how to border, bind or quilt it - but I'm pretty sure I have plenty of time to figure that out. . . this will take awhile.
I started by gently "washing" my fabric. . . by just soaking it in cold water and letting it dry.  I pressed and cut hundreds of 2 1/2" squares.   I bought a few pkgs of  1" hexagon patterns at a local quilt shop and then ordered 1500 online. ( I will need  about 2100 for a completed quilt and I will be able to reuse some of the patterns).  Since I knew I would be driving to Utah, it seemed like the perfect place to start, with 7 hours both ways.
I completed all these on our trip, almost 40.  The top fabric is from the first dress I ever made. It was an empire waist with puffed sleeves and a pleat down the center front.  I thought it was fabulous at the time!

These hexies are all basted and ready to stitch together.I still have tons of background hexies to baste.

After the flower is complete, 5 background hexies are added.
I was playing around with a few that had the background hexies.  This Raggedy Ann & Andy fabric is from a shirt or a poncho with white fringe that I made for one of my sisters.  I need to research this one.

I now have my very own board on my pinterest account: "HEXIE LOVE".  There are so many beautiful, amazing ideas.  To say this is addicting is an understatement! It's all I want to do. . . Oh dear.

 As I have  stitched each flower I am reminded of the time and place in my life each garment was sewn. It has been fun walking down memory lane and remembering the events and people I sewed for.   I have fabric from my clothing, bridesmaid dresses, little girls dresses, curtains, quilts, baby quilts, and even some polyester double knit from my maternity outfits.  There is a lot of kettle cloth.  And a lot of batiste, eyelet and light weight fabrics that I had to line with a lightweight fusible "stacy" interfacing ( recommended by the quilt shop). I just hope it all comes together into a fun, scrappy quilt.

It will be fun to watch this project grow. Here are my favorite links and tutorials:
Paper Pieces - Precut Paper Shapes and Patterns
These are the experts on English Paper Piecing.  They recommend cutting squares instead of hexagons and I used these directions and it was super easy

Pleasant Home - Diamond Paper Piecing Tutorial

Bee in My Bonnet - Hexie tutorials