Monday, December 1, 2014

Silver and Gold

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 Valli and Kim's my son's house in Austin?! All in all, it was a delightful way to spend a Saturday morning - making a new friend, and visiting a quilt shop.

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, I think I'm going to make more of these EPPed Spinning Wheels. I want it to be nice and scrappy, and may even use a variety of text prints for backgrounds. Designed in EQ7, I made an five-inch hexagon (length of one side) with a one-inch hexagon center, and printed them on card stock. It's good that I made test blocks because I found I need to tweak the paper sizes before continuing.

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


  1. Your little grandsons are adorable and growing up fast!
    How fun to meet up with internet friends, you have an endless supply. The paper piecing looks like the perfect road trip activity. Much more fun and productive than looking for license plates.....

  2. It sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Linda. I want to squeeze that littlest little grandson. He's adorable and of course the oldest is too. I remember the days of legos EVERYWHERE! I also look forward to adding to your meet in person online friends at QuiltCon and now have a shop to check out too if possible.

  3. What precious grandsons and what fun to meet up with quilty friends! Nice!

  4. What fun meeting up with 'old/new/blog' friends!!! Of course, time with grand babies is precious!

  5. Oh, my goodness, what beautiful grandsons you have! I'm sure it was the most delightful visit. They grow so big so fast. It's just too much fun to meet blogging friends. Hopefully, it will be our turn in the near future!

  6. The grands are so cute!

    I'll have to keep that quilt shop in mind the next time I go to Austin. My brother lives in North Austin so it doesn't look to be that far away.

  7. It was absolutely wonderful seeing you and Dan again! We really enjoyed ourselves. We will need to see about making this a more frequent event. I did not make it to a quilt shop in the Austin area this time but will do so on our next visit.

  8. How lovely to see two friends in the same photo.

  9. What a wonderful and special vacation!

  10. Lovely trip and fun to see photos of your grandsons: don't they grow up so quickly?? Agree with you completely about silver and gold friends, and I enjoy them all. I'm jealous that you were able to go to an Austin fabric shop--don't know as I'll get any time to do that while at QuiltCon, but nice to know it is there!


  11. So glad you had a good trip. They boys are getting so big. So now it's time to add Pensacola to the list :). Happy quilting.

  12. what fun to meet up with friends while also visiting family :) your grandies look so cute as do those epp blocks - looking forward to seeing those multiply :)

  13. Looks like a wonderful trip, time with family and friends and fabric. :)

  14. Aren't those boys just adorable, Linda! I'm glad that you got to meet up with MaryAnn and find such a lovely store. Your new project looks like it will be really fun ..... you know how I love a scrappy quilt.

  15. I can't believe how big your little guy has gotten it doesn't seem like 11months since he was born. You have had a busy time and lots of fun with all of your grandsons. Enjoy they grow so fast. Jonah will be eight in Jan. and Konnor in June. They were all here a couple of weeks a go and it was lovely to see them all.
    Christmas is coming and I haven't done much in the way of making gifts this year my health hasn't been too well.
    Only reading blogs once a week so I do get behind.
    Where are you going for Christmas this year. We are going to our sons near Toronto this year .merry Christmas to you and your husband and family.Blessings Sandra

  16. Linda, I'm so glad you met with Deb again and I think she didn't change since I saw her the last time which is quite a few years ago!


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