It's been quiet here because we've again been spending time with grandsons.
This was our pretty, day-after-Thanksgiving, morning vista across Austin, Texas, looking toward Hill Country. It's the view from the deck of our son and DIL's new home.
We spent a lot of time with our grandsons. The youngest, LJ, is 11 months old now. He's standing sturdily, pushing a walker everywhere, including laps around the kitchen island, and now and again taking a half-dozen steps on his own.
Four and a half year-old Austin is adept at building all sorts of amazing structures with Duplo blocks - all by himself!
Also while in Austin - and this is almost too much to believe - I had the chance to get together with a dear Iowa friend! After meeting online in 1995 followed by a face-to-face meet-up at the 1996 Des Moines Area Quilter's Guild quilt show, we became fast friends, swapping emails, Skypeing, and retreating together. I last saw Deb in April, 2012, visiting her in Council Bluffs shortly before we moved from Iowa to Florida. Thinking our chances of meeting up again were pretty slim, we've continued to Skype, but happily, because we both have sons living in Austin, we arranged this Thanksgiving vacation meet-up at an Austin coffee shop! It was more than fabulous to spend time with her again.
|Me (L) and Deb at Mozart Coffee Roasters, Austin|
At the opposite end of the spectrum, also while in Austin, I had the opportunity for a first face-to-face meet-up with an Instagram quilter! After swapping a couple IG DM's (direct messages), I happily accepted her invitation to meet for coffee. It was especially handy because Mary Anne lives just a few miles from our son. After coffee and wonderful get-acquainted conversation - she used to live in Kansas City where she was involved in the KCMQG, and is the past president of the Austin MQG - we discovered how many mutual quilting friends we have!
Then she led me to a nearby quilt shop - Valli and Kim Quilt Shop in Dripping Springs. It was wonderful - a modern quilter's paradise! I've never been in a quilt shop with so many modern designer fabrics and collections.
|Mary Anne and me|
I was so overwhelmed by all the modern fabric options, I couldn't choose! Fabrics I passed up included: Cotton and Steel; Honor Roll; Terra Australis; Far Far Away; Bumble; Parson Grey; Shimmer; Crossweave; and more, including the biggest selection of Kaffe Fassett fabrics I've ever seen.
So what I settled on are: (left) a few pieces of Art Gallery "Utopia;" (right) some color library stash builders; (center) one piece of Heather Bailey "True Colors."
Valli and Kim's selections for modern quilters were delightful to touch and see in person. Though, I discovered that I didn't love some of the collections as much as I thought I might. But gosh, how nice will it be to make future visits to
Thinking of this time of Thanksgiving, makes me reflect on how nice it is to spend time with family, and how important friends are. What comes to mind about friendships is the round I learned as a Girl Scout: "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold." My silver friend, Deb is my first online and in-person friend. My newest gold friend is Mary Anne. My my recollections, Mary Anne is the fifteenth person I've gotten to know online and later met in person. How cool is that?!
That's why I'm feeling grateful for both the real life friends I made living in Iowa for 22 years, and the new friends I'm making in Florida, and for the additional friendships I've made through technology - friends who comment on my blog posts and Instagram. You're each an important part of my life, and I'm very grateful for you. Thank you!
During the long, 17 hour car ride to/from Austin, English paper piecing was my handwork of choice. I tested several blocks to pick a long-term project. I found this hexagon block on Pinterest and like it because it seems to swirl.
But now that we're home, and back into the busyness of routine activities - the holiday potlucks are lining up! - I'll be sitting at my sewing machines again. December is shaping up to be a month of free motion quilting. Linda