Sunday, March 25, 2012

Journal Quilt - First Strip Complete

Can't believe it has been 23 days already! It takes 23 squares to complete a strip in my journal quilt.

My final entry was yesterday's. My sister, brother-in-law and I went down to Dorais Park early in the morning. Dorais Park is home to the Dorais Velodrome. Built in 1968, this track was home to neighborhood bike races and this hill was the site of many soapbox derby races. Eventually, as Detroit ran out of money, it went into disrepair (overgrown with weeds and the site of neighborhood trash dumping).

In addition to about 200 other volunteers, we worked with the Greening of Detroit and the Detroit Mower Gang to plant a total of 400 trees in this urban park. The Detroit Mower Gang are volunteers from all over Southeast Michigan who use their own lawn equipment to mow the public parks for the citizens of Detroit. They've spent the last several years "taking back" this park and making it a gem in this hurting community. Yesterday they worked alongside members of the Greening of Detroit to plant certain kinds of trees that will prevent flooding in this greenway.

This is my sister Lorna and her husband Corey:

And this is the three of us after we planted our first tree. After this, we completed eight more!

When I returned home from a later adventure (involving an incomplete land bridge, Gilligan's Island, and walking barefoot over pointy lake rocks in March - but that's another story), I wrote up my last block. Several things I've learned about this journal quilt:

  • Do not stress over handwriting. I have the worst handwriting, but, if I stressed over each block, I would have to rewrite every one!
  • It's OK to admit I've had a lazy day. That's reality.
  • Don't write this to please others. This is a snapshot of my life right now. Besides, who is going to read it anyway?
  • My cats appear an awful lot in my journal entries. Hmmm.....
  • Write your block when you get the urge - whether it is midday or night. Best to log your adventures while you're still glowing in the excitement of it!

First thing this morning, I created my next strip. You can see I've incorporated my first embroidery block. SOMEONE special has a birthday on March 29th!

Wow! That's a lot of blank squares to fill. Off to complete one now!

Happy Sunday everyone!



P.s. My sister just sent this pic of me before the planting :)




Friday, March 23, 2012

Showing Some Progress

Abut a week ago, I showed you this:

And, except for that DARN suitcase, it now looks like this:

I'm really enjoying these blocks!  For those of you who aren't "in the know", Sanders is a Detroit institution for chocolate!

Still working on that applique thing.... these kinda looked like they were out in the heat a little too long! LOL

Have a great weekend!  Out planting trees in Detroit tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Guardian Building - Detroit, MI

Have you seen the "Import from Detroit" - Eminem commercial?  Aired on the Super Bowl last year?  As Eminem is cruising around Detroit, he passes in front of a concierge standing at the entranceway of the Guardian Building.

The Art Deco Guardian Building was originally called the Union Trust Building

The concierge is Christopher - he gives free tours of the amazing Guardian Building Monday through Friday from 10-12.  How do I know this?  Two weeks ago my sister treated me to a day in Detroit to experience this.

Thought it was about time I shared some of my favorite pics.

This was formerly the bank area - it had 80 teller windows!
Close-up of the Michigan mural

Stairway leading up to the "bank" area.  Christopher can tell you where all the marble comes from!

Mural in the lobby was created by an artist from Traverse City

He takes you up to the 32nd floor - Look!  The Ambassador Bridge!

Jefferson Avenue (left) - Belle Isle (background) - Ren Cen (right)

There are only 5 of these Tiffany clocks in existence and the Guardian Building owns two!  The  other one is behind this one.

Fabulous Art Deco elevator bank with Tiffany window called "Prosperity".

Look for me!  I always have a camera (and a gps) in hand!
Next few pictures are from Lorna's camera!

Better view of elevator bank

This is Christopher!

Did I mention we tour the bank vaults in the basement?
I love Detroit, and my sister & I will be seen out and about its wondrous streets over the next few weeks.
We're volunteering to plant 1000 seedlings in one of its parks.
Then it's the Belle Isle geocache event/potluck.
Moving of the Koi for the Belle Isle Aquarium
Cleanup and potluck on Belle Isle
Distributing books to promote literacy.

PHEW!  Now I just need to find time to quilt!
Hope you like my picture journey!

Some Kind of Wonderful - Vernors

Alright! Another finish! Seems like a small one, but they're adding up!

This was supposed to be a hot cocoa cup, but I LOVE Vernors (the Original Ginger Soda!) The stuff coming out of the top is all the bubbles that spray you if you drink it too quickly.

Hopefully, by tomorrow, I'll have another one to share!

Happy stitches!



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Red Brolly - Free Easter Embroideries

Hop on over to Red Brolly! She has posted wonderful new embroidered Easter goodie bags!

This year and another.

She has such a fun blog and has great whimsical free embroidery patterns! She's the one with the great Brutus embroideries I featured a few months ago!




Some Kind of Wonderful - Ice Cream Cone

Okay, here's my next one.  My favorite ice cream (well, I love them all, but this one reminds me of my Mother) is butter pecan.  So, here it is!

To have a nice variety of fabrics, I bought several charm packs for this project.  The "cone" is one of them.  However, when I went to use it, I realized the pattern piece wouldn't fit the traditional up-and-down way so I layed it sideways across the charm square.  Didn't it make an awesome weave pattern?  MUCH better than originally planned!

Tomorrow (hopefully) will be completed block #3.

Have a great day!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Some Kind of Wonderful - Daisy

Slowly but surely I'm making headway! I'm almost done with the embroidery on my SKoW blocks!  I hoped if I posted them when completed it'll continue to motivate me to work on these each night.

Here's my daisy:

It measures 18 1/2" long and was a little hard to embroider without warping.  I really enjoyed appliqueing this one!

Now, off to my ice cream cone!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy National Quilting Day!

What are YOU going to do today?

I'm already in my room working in my journal quilt, prepping the embroidery of my SKoW blocks, and washing the black background for my butterflies.

Happy Stitching!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wanna See A Lovely Book?

For work today, I needed to go to our Sleeping Bear Press offices to train some of their staff.  Look what I got?

My friend Lauri had told them that I'm a quilter so they gave me my own copy of 
F is for Friendship: A Quilt Alphabet.

Wanna hear the funny part about this?  Lauri, another quilter, helped the author with suggestions for the book.. and I had helped Lauri!  I still have the spreadsheet from our brainstorming session.

Funny how it all comes around? 

Helen Wilbur is a fabulous author and Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen is a very talented illustrator.  Check it out!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday Funny!

It's mid-60's in March in Michigan.  So, instead of quilting, I've been playing hooky on this sunny Wednesday afternoon!

The funniest thing happened to me during my adventures today.

I was signing a log at a geocache in Farmington's Heritage Park (geocaching is kind of like a treasure hunt using a gps played by MILLIONS of users all over the world).  The geocache was called, "Are The Dear Watching You Too?"  And....


Five of them were quietly watching me and wondering (just like you), "What is she up to?"

Had to share!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I Have Talented Friends!

What a great surprise!?! I came home today to discover a medium size envelope in my mailbox. The return address clued me in that it was from my good friend, Lauri! (I hope she doesn't kill me for sharing this, but I'm SO geeked!) As my Sister would say, it's always easier to ask forgiveness later!

Lauri started off with, "Isn't it fun to get real mail, that isn't a bill, an advertisement, or reminder of a doctor appointment?" Really and truly - it is! It's been such a long time since I received personal, unsolicited mail.

As well as her friendly letter were the following enclosures:

According to Lauri, these are two handset, foot-treadled samples she made on one of her fabulous machines. Lauri does typesetting on these presses - a love she inherited from her father.

Her letter and cards really brought me out of my funk. She is so talented - I had to share!

Lauri, love them! Thank you!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Blues

It's Monday. It's rainy and gray. I have to schedule my tax appointment, my renter's inspection, my annual physical. I'm low on gas and tight on funds. I'm a little blue today.

So I'm posting this picture - taken by my sister - of myself taking a tour of the Guardian Building on my birthday. I'm reminding myself that I'm rich in family, friends, experiences, and memories.

<sigh> I just remembered I'm out of ice cream.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Well... (lack of) Status Update

Sigh... I don't know about the rest of you, but in Michigan we've been experiencing 50-60 degree days in Winter!  Having the HARDEST time staying in and stitching!  Too much to do! Too much to see!

I took this picture at the West Bloomfield Parks & Rec.  Not sure if the sign refers to the turtle or my quilt progress lately!

Instead of stitching, I've been.....

Geocaching.  We have several amazing nature trails nearby and the wildlife & birds have been out to play! This little fellow (and two more of her friends) decided to keep me company on one trip.

Reading.  I've been selected to distribute books as part of the World Book Night (April 23rd) near my home town.  Thousands of ambassadors all over the world will be handing out free books to light- or non- readers to promote literacy.  My book is a toughee - Bel Canto by Ann Patchett.  Not an easy read to promote to non-readers so I'm re-reading it right now.

Adopting.  Nope, not as it sounds.  As some of you may remember, I'm part of an International stitching group working on a project called Some Kind of Wonderful (SKoW).  This group consists of a 100+ women around the globe working on the same project - we post our status monthly.  Hanne is a quilter from Denmark who wished to join but the blog site only allows 100 "users" at a time. So, I adopted her!  She'll send her posts to me and I'll post them for her.  Check out her newest post here

Journaling.  Ok, I know this new project is 10 days old, but I think I lead a boring life.  Each night I sign my daily square and wonder if anyone is going to be interested in this.  Take, for an example, today.  Unless I leave right now and do something amazing, the highlight for today's square will be a 9-year old's birthday party! LOL.

I have made a personal decision not to stress over my penmanship - it is what it is!  I've also decided, for the rest of the rows, to gear towards more solid fabrics - my journal entries seem to get lost in the background sometimes.

Family.  We have three birthdays in two weeks, plus my sister and I have been doing a lot of exploring and charity work.  Last month we worked at Gleaner's Food bank.  This month we're planting trees at 7 Mile and Outer Drive in Detroit.  Next month is the Belle Isle Cleanup and, I think, the Belle Isle Aquarium "moving of the Koi". 

Other people's quilts.  Oh, yes.  Did I mention I've agreed to make 4 commission quilts this season? 

So, knowing all this and knowing the lack of progress on my own quilts.  What do you think I'm going to do on this very bright, very warm March day?  Yep.  Go out and explore.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Applique is Done!

Just finished appliqueing 5 more blocks for the Some Kind of Wonderful group.  Hope to spend the next week completing the embroidery!

These are SO much easier when you prep a bunch at a time.  Now I get to spend the next week embroidering away!

Happy Stitching!

p.s. Used the new camera my family gave me for my birthday - takes great indoor pictures!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

Thanks to my sister, Wikid Kriket, I had the most amazing 42nd birthday! Do you see my tiara?

My sister took me down to "the D" for a day of adventures. We started with a tour of the stunning Guardian (Union Trust) building.

Afterwards, we geocached. Then walked along the Detroit Riverwalk, Milliken State Park, and Corktown. After an AMAZING meal at Slows Bar BQ, we continued to cache, and then rounded out the day with S'Mores cheesecake at the Twisted Rooster in Chesterfield.

How will I remember all this? This blog and my quilt journal. About 18 months ago, I read this fabulous blog post about making a 365 day quilt. After much planning, I started mine today.

I've decided not to stress over my poor handwriting. It just keeps the project true. There are 22 more days per strip:

Throughout the year, I will be adding my whimsical stitchies on special days.

What an amazing day!