2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Four Corners and More

After a good night's sleep in Farmington, Aztec ruins was our first stop. It is an old Indian ruin that was discovered under brush in the early 1900's and has been excavated. We enjoyed tromping through the rooms and kid-sized doorways. This was probably my favorite stop of the whole trip. There was plenty of room for the kids to run and explore and we were able to take it all in without other people around. At the entrance to the museum/visitor's center, they also had a couple rocks out so kids could grind corn. They loved doing this and were entertained here for about 30 minutes! It also worked well later than night when their dinner had tortillas now that they knew how they were made.
The next day, we hit the road again, this time for two stops in Navajo Nation - Four Corners Monument (a been there, done that attraction), and Shiprock, a huge lava rock that comes out from nowhere.
We arrived in Gallup in some rain late afternoon, went for a swim in another hotel pool, and went to dinner and had quite possibly the best pizza of our lives at a small pizza place called Fratelli's. If you're ever in Gallup (yeah, right!), this restaurant must be at the top of your list!
One night in Gallup, and then the scenic route to Albuquerque. We travelled part of the way on historic Route 66 and saw some neat old hotels and stores, and then detoured south to stop at El Morro, another huge rock. It was really beautiful, but a little rainy and the kids were tired and hungry. If it were just the two of us, we'd have hiked the trail to the top, but with the kids we enjoyed the view from the bottom. The kids did enjoy hearing and seeing some ravens nesting in the rock and had quite a chit-chat with the park ranger about them when we returned to the visitor center.
We headed into Albuquerque for what we thought at the time was our last hotel and a couple of very kid friendly days. Last episode to follow....

Friday, May 29, 2009

We interrupt this program...

For a little quilting progress...I will wrap up the vacation in a day or so. On Wednesday, I didn't really feel like quilting, but Jenna wanted to play in the basement and wanted me to come down. I told her I would so decided to load the bobbins for the quilt I am doing for a friend (the quilt was loaded before I went on vacation). Got three bobbins wound, and then decided I would adjust tension to get it right. Tension adjusted, I decided to do a pass just to get warmed up. I put the quilt on the frame long ways so that I would have fewer passes, and I was wiped out after two. I went back down tonight and finished the job.

I learned a lot while doing this quilt - it is the largest I've done so far. Probably the most surprising thing is that I needed to test the tension with each new bobbin, even though it was the same thread. Of the four bobbins I used, three were about the same, but one was off a little. I had to do a little ripping, but it didn't take too long.

So, to preface the pictures, I will tell you a little about this Trip Around the World. My friend Lois started it in the late 1960's ('67 or '68 I think) before rotary cutters, rulers, etc. She cut every square out of a template! She added the muslin border just before giving it to me and it has a big nine patch of random blue fabrics on the back.
I meandered in the middle, and did curvy things in the border to mirror (kind of) the squares. I used King Tut in the top - no thread breaks - love it - and Robison-Anton in the bobbin. The combination seemed to work pretty well. I hope that she likes it!

I am excited to do more sewing tomorrow, as my mom and I are headed south to Bloomington for a sewing day at Shiisa. I still have to decide what I am taking, so I guess I better go!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Taos to Tuesday

Monday morning we headed north to Taos, NM. It was about an hour long drive and the kids did great. We told them we were headed toward the mountains, so they were very excited. I pictured Taos at the foot of a ski hill like those I've visited in Colorado, so I was quite surprised to discover that the town of Taos is 17 miles from the ski basin. We didn't quite make it into the mountains and Jenna reminded us all day!

She let up her grudge after lunch, when we went to a local toy store on the recommendation of a lady at the visitor's center. Boy, was that a great choice. They had a huge outdoor play area - this structure was the highlight of it. There was a whole other area with sand and a pirate ship (see full set up pictures when I get them posted - hopefully this weekend).

We stayed for over an hour, and I went into the shop and found a couple Christmas gifts for my nephews - so nice to work ahead for the holidays! Now I just have to remember that I've bought them when December rolls around.

We finally peeled them out of the toy store as our meter was running out of time and turned the corner to see a quilt store! I quickly ran in with Jenna, but didn't even look long enough to fall in love with anything. They had lots of fabric in a small place and I just didn't have the patience to browse through it all. If I ever go back, I will visit the quilt shop while the kids play at the toy store!

Next, we headed to Taos Pueblo, an historic Indian site where they have lived since about 1100. It has been through several battles, but the Pueblo Indians have lived there the entire time, rebuilding their church several times. Today, many still live there and sell their goods to tourists. We saw some beautiful pottery and jewelry, but didn't come home with any (I spent all my money on fabric!). Here's a view of me and the kids in front of the stream (which is why I have a death grip on Jack) across from the pueblo that is most photographed there. It was beautiful land, but I'll stick with electricity and running water any day!

Last stop in the Taos area was the Rio Grande river gorge, a beautiful view of the river from a bridge. Jenna was asleep in the car so Mike and I took turns walking out above the river. Breathtaking. Mike and Jack posed for a self-portrait and you can see from Jack's hair that it was quite windy. To add to the bridge/river excitement, there was a police car with lights and siren that crossed the bridge while Mike and Jack were there! He was so excited about it, he could hardly tell me.

We decided to drive home on the high road (scenic route) from Taos back to Santa Fe, and while quite a pretty drive, it seemed to take forever. I think it doubled the trip back! Arrived back at the hotel and Mike fed the kids leftovers while I picked up some dinner for us. Jack stayed in the room with me to go to bed, and Jenna and Mike went down to the pool since she had napped in the car.

On Tuesday, we packed up to leave Santa Fe and head to Farmington. We did run to the local farmer's market and then let the kids play in a park for a while because we knew they'd spend the rest of the day in the car. One more swim in the pool, one last stop at Josh's BBQ, and then on the road. It was a 3 1/2 hour drive and the kids were great. I drove so Mike could take pictures along the way. I can't even tell you how many beautiful mountains/rock formations we saw....here's just one.

We arrived at the new hotel and, you guessed it, had to check out their pool. This one was outside and warmed enough to be comfortable, so we all enjoyed a good swim, then dinner, and easily to bed. More to come soon...wow - there is a lot to post about this vacation!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

After the Santa Fe Serenade

We had a great flight out to Albuquerque despite having to get up at 4:30 am to get final things packed and kids up before my mom arrived to take us to the airport. The kids were both totally fascinated with the airport and the airplanes, and they both behaved very well on the planes. On the way out, we each sat with a kid, window and middle seats in the same row. It worked very well for passing food and toys and general communication. Jack and I did get a little sleep on our side of the aisle, but I don't think Mike and Jenna did. After a 40 minute wait for our car at a severely understaffed car rental counter, we headed north to Santa Fe, with a quick stop for lunch. I thought the drive to Santa Fe went really fast, but I think that is because I was dozing for most of it (but did hear the serenade at the end).
We arrived in town, passed our hotel, and decided to drive into the center of town. It was crowded, but very neat. We were too tired to get out and look around, so we went back to the hotel and all four of us took a long nap. Can you tell that day 1 of our trip was mostly about naps? The evening brought a trip to the store to get soy milk, diapers, and snacks for the room, and then we picked up dinner and went back to the hotel. I honestly can't remember if we went swimming that night, or waited until the next morning, but I know we had no less than 3 trips to the pool in the first two days. The kids loved the pool. Jack was a little fish. Jenna was a little more reluctant and spent most of her time on the side trying to splash Mike and Jack! I was dealing with a nasty case of poison ivy and the beginning of a cold, so I didn't swim much, but did go down to the pool with the gang when they headed down, so I was able to snap some pictures.
Jenna got this noodle from the maintenance man who found it in the storage room.
She loved blowing into it to make bubbles in the pool.

The next 2 1/2 days were in the Santa Fe area, and it was really nice. Very dry weather, warm in the sun but cool in the shade. We wandered through the streets and shops downtown and saw lots of neat things. Mike took a ton of pictures, so I will include just the highlights here then load the rest to my picasa page and post a link when they're up.
An example of some of the unique and beautiful architecture. This was a hotel in downtown. Most of the buildings and homes were adobe or stucco, quite a difference from what we see here in the Midwest!
Jenna chasing a pigeon down the street next to Palace of the Governors, one of the most historic buildings in the city...but she's impressed only by the pigeon!
We had fantastic food in Santa Fe, just by chance. A lucky spot for lunch, a recommendation from the desk clerk at the hotel, and a restaurant that just looked yummy when we drove by! By far, my favorite was the BBQ from Josh's - Texas style brisket that was so good we went twice - and to be honest, we probably would have gone a 3rd time, but they were closed on Monday!

On Sunday afternoon, when the crew was sleeping, I snuck out to Santa Fe Quilting. It was a really nice shop with tons of batiks and blenders. They had more light batiks than I've ever seen before. I couldn't go crazy though, because of 1)the recent shop hopping in Ohio, and 2)the weight restrictions on luggage these days. I did pick up a few nice batiks and a couple other pieces. Will post pictures as soon as I take them!

Those are the highlights from Santa Fe...will post about Taos and the remainder of the trip in the coming days.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Serenade in Santa Fe

We arrived safely on Saturday morning and had an hour drive up to Santa Fe. Lots more to come when we get home, but fot now, I just had to share a little song Jenna sang us all the way to Santa Fe.

"I have a little turtle, his name is Chinese Chicken,
I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim.
He drank up all the water, he ate up all the soap,
and then my little turtle, he turned into a choke."

Pictures to come when we get home - it is beautiful here!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Nothing to show

Just a quick post to say hi and let you know that I will likely not be posting for the next week - headed on the first family vacation since we had Jack. It is unbelievable the planning/details that go into travelling with two toddlers, not to mention all the stuff we have to tote along. If I get an internet connection and have anything interesting to say, I'll post from the road. Otherwise, I will fill in when I get back.

Not much sewing going on this week, but I did get a big quilt on the frame - probably won't get to it until I return, but it is ready for me!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Block Party

On Friday, I got out of work in the early afternoon (after a week in training), and headed home to get some sewing time in since I missed out on my time the rest of the week. I was a little scattered, as there are some things I want to work on, and they are not on my to-do list for the month, and I try to get the to-do list done first, so I can move on to the other projects guilt free!

After a little reviewing of projects, I decided to work on log cabins for my nephew's QOV. It has extra urgency now since he arrived home safely on Monday night. Now I understand why log cabin quilts are so impressive. I've always loved them and always wanted to make one, but never thought before about how many pieces are in each block. It took me the rest of the afternoon and a little into the evening to finish 6 red blocks. I added them to the 2 I did at retreat and I think they are looking pretty good. My bee mates will make me blocks this month, so I will wait to make more until I get those and see what color they are (I told them they could either make red or blue).
My mom came up to work with me while I was early in the sewing of the log cabins. She worked on cutting out a beautiful star quilt through the afternoon and into the evening. It has 15 sections with different stars and connecting sashing (mostly flying geese), so she wanted to get several of the sections kitted so that when she was ready to work on them, she could just sew.
When I finished the log cabins, I really wanted to go down to the basement to work on my HQ, but mom was in the middle of a kit, so I decided to start cutting for a couple comfort quilt blocks that I need to send out this week. I managed to lay them out correctly, but sew the squares on the end incorrectly 6 of the 8 points! Arrgghh...what started as a couple blocks took the rest of the night, and as I was sewing them together, I begin to wonder if they were all supposed to be red, white, and blue or just patriotic. I hope the gold, red, and blue one can work in the quilt!
Here's what I had to show for myself after 6 hours in my sewing room. It was a great time to work and sew with my mom.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

April Accomplishments

This was a very good month as far as accomplishments and sewing time went. Of course, having a whole weekend of sewing time helped a little bit!

Here's what I got done in April:
- FQ Quilt top piecing completed and decided on borders (picture coming when borders are on)
- Big baby nine patch blanket for baby Kate
- Easter egg table runner (completed before Easter!)
- Quilted mom's charity baby quilt on the HQ16
- Quilted Jack's wedgie placemat
- Met lots of my online quilting friends in Cincinnati and attended the St. Jude's Retreat with them!
- Butterfly fling quilt top
- 2 log cabin blocks
- Block roll-up
- Runaround bag
- Completed 1/3 of the blocks for the king sized quilt (pic to come when they are all done!)

My total sewing time was 45.75 hours (25.5 were at retreat!) - my most hours in a month so far. So far this year, I've averaged around 20 hours/month, and I did the same this month at home. I am enjoying tracking all I've done!

For May, I don't have many goals for a couple reasons: burned out a little from April, season finales of several shows that I will be watching from the couch, and a family vacation at the end of the month (don't think I can get my machine on the plane with 2 kids, 2 car seats, and a stroller!). However, I would like to do at least the following:
- Load up and quilt another quilt on the HQ16
- Finish Sara's quilt
- Add to the blocks for Nick's QOV, especially since he arrived home safely on Monday night! Hooray, hallelujah, and gotta get moving now!
Hope you all had a great month and have another one ahead. I will catch up with you again in June...and by catch up, I mean that I will lamely attempt to finish half of what most of you prolific gals complete!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Growing a crafter

Jenna turned 4 last week - it is amazing how quickly we've gone from this...

to this!

My mom gave her these cute cards for her birthday and she and I played with them over the weekend.I showed her how to thread yarn through a needle (not easy for a 4 year old...and honestly not so easy for her mom either!), start the stitching and sew from one hole to another. She worked hard at it and had a great time. Later that afternoon, she was hanging out with me in my sewing room and I asked her if she was going to be a quilter some day and she replied "Um, yeah" like there was no question. Makes my heart sing! Thanks Mom for getting another generation started!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Retreat Report, Part 2

It has taken me all week to get my energy level back and the table cleared off to take pictures! I haven't blogged much about all the shopping and events surrounding the retreat, but we had lots of fun before and during. If you want to read more, Jen and Moneik are both blogging much more that I am! Stop by to visit them and see more about our shop hopping and retreat activities.

In addition to the door prizes I shared with you in my last post, there were all kinds of other goodies I came home with.

Let's start with all the things that my peeps from the prolific online quilters group brought.

Jen made the sewing machine caddy that is the base for this picture and the name tag, Moneik made the lanyard with my blog's name on it, Regina made the chapstick case, mug cozy, and the candy holder with our logo on it. Jill made the rice bags, Cindy made the coaster, and Linda brought Skyline Chili from Cincinnati! I also shared gifts with the group - finger pincushions - here's a picture of all of them before I left for retreat. A few remain, and those will go to our guild's shop at the next Quilt Show this fall.

Next came the handouts/gifts from the retreat committee. We got the Baltimore Album magazine and the Debbie McCaffrey pattern at check in. All of the other items were meal gifts. At each meal, there were gifts on the table for each quilter. I did shuffle chairs a few times to get colors I liked better and there was a little trading going on!

Finally, this post would not be complete without mentioning the generosity of those in our group. There were tons of prizes, and if someone won something they weren't crazy about, they just shared with someone else in the group who like it (hence, why I passed off the hand quilting thread I won!). I was the lucky recipient of all these things from others who won them but didn't want/need them! Wow is all I can say. I am especially excited about the Fabric Calculator and the add-an-eighth ruler (I've had my mom's for about 6 months, so she'll finally get hers back!).

All in all, it was a fantastic retreat. I so enjoyed meeting all these women and getting a chance to know them in person. I am really looking forward to another chance to go next year!