Monday, May 4, 2015

18 Days Away

This is one of those occasional posts I mention to students in my quilting classes. "I post about quilt-y things most of the time, and occasionally post about my grandchildren."

Eighteen days away from home, spent with family, allows for plenty of grandchildren time.

Because I was Kansas City for our daughter Jill's birthday, I made her birthday "cake." With a nod to their former life in Sydney, Australia - and my absolute adoration of that fabulous city (after visiting four times) - I made the iconic Australian dessert, Pavlova. It turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself! And the fam apparently liked it.

Tay and Aesa, two of Jill's three children who are ages five and four can be quite a handful. As brothers will do, they go wild, running and yelling, picking at each other, and sometimes playing nicely. I was best able to handle them when I was responsible for just one. Or, a nice option was to take both of them to a park where they could run!

Bapa arrived ten days after I did, and it was nice to have extra hands. 
Mom Jill still keeps a dry erase cute-comment board, and this is an exchange between Aesa and me. 

Nana: "What's my name? I'm Mrs.... ?"
Aesa: "Mrs. Nana!"

A new board game, Junior Monopoly made for hours of enjoyable quiet play.

The family has a new dog. Four month-old Milson (named after Milson Point near Harbour Bridge in Sydney), who weighs about two pounds, is an adorable, lovable teacup poodle.

The boys are slowly learning that Milson needs careful handling.

Sixteen year-old Celina is the family dog whisperer. Just like us, our Hogan loves her.

We were concerned about animosity between the dogs, but Hogan did a good job of tolerating Milson's puppy antics.

After a few days, we could see that Milson liked Hogan... following him almost everywhere. Hogan's barking though, made Milson turn tail and run!

In my previous post I shared about the wonderful day spent with Iowa friends. I still can't think about those precious hours without tears coming to my eyes. Then, I was also blessed to spend lovely afternoons, separately, over coffee, with Alex Ledgerwood/TeaGinnyDesigns and Carla/Lollyquiltz. Did you know I met both of these quilters through their blogs and Instagram?! Carla and I also spent a whole day together a she drove me around to five quilt shops!

Here Carla and I are at Sarah's in Lawrence, Kansas. Because, I liked the quilt above our heads - and ended up buying the pattern ("Prism" by Zen Chic) - I wanted to pose there. By the way, the sweater I'm wearing is a hand-me-down from Celina. I did not pack suitable warm clothes for Kansas City! I have truly been Floridized and forgotten what spring in the Midwest feels like.

I came home with much more fabric than I should have... as well as two patterns, two books, a Dresden ruler (finally!), and Flatter ironing spray.

In between times with little boys, when they were in pre-school, I managed to sew six more of these blocks. It's handy that my old Bernina QE153 now belongs to Jill.

And when I returned home, treasures were waiting! I won this "Watercolor Palette" from Hoffman Fabrics in an Instagram giveaway. This panel is 35" X 44".

Initially I'd thought to cut it up and sew it into something, but it's so pretty that I'm thinking to stretch it on canvas bars to hang on the wall. What would you do with it?

Also waiting were no less than three boxes of stuff from MassDrop! One was Clover Flower Head Pins, and another these gorgeous Alison Glass Sun prints. The MassDrop fabric price was $2.24 per fq, and shipping is free!

The third box was full of goodies, as a "thank-you" for referring five purchasing customers to MassDrop. If you were one of them thank you! Such a nice assortment - 17 fqs of "Serenghetti" by Birch Fabrics; an Olfa 45 mm rotary cutter; 100 Wonder Clips; a pair of "Happy Socks"; two tea cups; and an X-Vibe speaker.

Now I'm madly spending time in my much-missed sewing room, washing and pressing new fabrics, and beginning to select and rotary cut fabrics in preparation for a four-day quilt retreat this weekend! Members of the Gainesville MQG and our Central Florida MQG - 24 quilters in all - will be on a "Mod Retreat" for four days/three nights. Sewing, sewing, sewing! Lora and I did the planning, and learned a lot along the way! If you're on Instagram, follow our activities at #gvillecentralflmodretreat



Linda said...

Awesome watercolour palette. I would be tempted to cut it up but I think I would try to re-create it from my stash. It would make a wonderful quilt.

mascanlon said...

Such a fun time! and when we spend time with kids it's such a good reminder about why we have them young! The panel is gorgeous, I think I would stretch it as wall art!. Our KC crew is headed here in July. Ugh, Disney in the summer but that's what our granddaughter wants to do, so be it!

Oops-Lah said...

That Pavlova looks awesome and no doubt tasted equally yummy. 18 days away from home is a long time, especially for a quilter, but luckily you were able to squeeze in a bit of sewing and your project looks great. That little tea cup puppy is adorable and I'm sure he's a big hit with the grand kids.

Susan said...

So much happening in your life Linda! Of course I am jealous you got to spend time with Carla.... And I'd frame the Watercolor Palette; it would look great hanging on your sewing room wall!

leanne said...

what a fun time with the grandies !!! love that pavlova :) looking forward to seeing your version of Prism too !

Di said...

What an exciting time you've been having in KC! Catching up with dear friends, finding stitching time, fabric shopping and enjoying time with grand babies and fur babies - wow! It sounds rather full-on, but wonderful. Enjoy your retreat for some long-awaited creative time xx

Chris said...

Love that puppy! Bet you'll have a ball at your retreat and what a haul from Massdrop! Have fun!

Dar said...

What a fun post. Love the Prism quilt too. The colors are gorgeous. Cute puppy and the boys are sure growing tall. What a great surprise to come home to 3 packages of quilty goodies. It's like Christmas in May! Have fun at retreat too.

Jenny said...

You just can't beat a pavlova for dessert! And did you know of the long running argument about who invented the pavlova first? Was it the Aussies or the Kiwis? Of course, we Kiwis say it was invented here first, in New Zealand. And those Aussies will not admit that we pipped them at the post with our good idea!

HeathersSewingRoom said...

How special to be able to have quality time with your grandchildren. That looks like a perfectly made pavlova something I have yet to perfect. I really like your Hoffman chart as it has every colour possible on it. I hope your retreat goes off well.

Nancy said...

What a wonderful trip you had! The puppy found a fine family to live with. All that fabric and those sewing goodies- they'll keep you busy for some time to come. The panel- i like your idea of using it as a hanging and stretching it. It's a good reference to have on display- sort of like a color wheel.

Karen said...

Great post, have fun on the retreat. Can't wait to see what wonderful creations are born!

Live a Colorful Life said...

1. Your grandchildren are adorable. 2. I must buy Junior Monopoly. 3. Wish I could have gone shopping with you and Carla. 4. You came home to amazing mail.

Debbie said...

gosh the last few weeks have been full, but obviously lovely!

KaHolly said...

So glad to read all about your trip and to hear of your good times. I've just reached home and am setting up to sew today. Everything has been all packed away for the winter...wonder how long it will take until I have it spread all over again? Neatly, of course (yeah, right!). XO

KaHolly said...

PS. Happy Mothers' Day!

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

Looks like you had a fun time in KC. I almost bought the same fabric bundle but refrained after buying several other fabrics from various places lately.


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