Sunday, November 30, 2008

Carol Doak's visit to Fort Worth

Mary Green sent me this picture from Carol Doak's visit to the Trinity Valley Quilt Guild last week. Carol was so much fun! And she's a fabulous teacher and an engaging speaker. I enjoyed being her hostess during her visit to Fort Worth.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pop's visit

My father-in-law has been visiting for the last two weeks. He lives in New Jersey, and always enjoys escaping the cold weather up north for some Texas sunshine. November in North Texas is lovely. Temperatures are mild and the leaves are changing color. A beautiful time of year to be here.

We took a mini-trip last week to Austin and Fredericksburg. In Austin, we toured the state capital and the LBJ presidential library. The library had a wonderful exhibit on the space race, from the beginning to the walk on the moon. It was absolutely fascinating. And we had dinner at Chuy's, always a fun place to go. We also drove to Johnson City and Stonewall and toured the LBJ ranch, also known as the "Texas White House."

In Fredericksburg we spent an entire day in the Museum of the Pacific War and the Nimitz museum. Admiral Chester Nimitz grew up in Fredericksburg. His family owned the hotel that now houses the museum, a large structure that looks a great deal like a steamboat. The museum has an exhibit detailing the Admiral's life and career, and a huge exhibit about the WWII Pacific war, from the bombing at Pearl Harbor to Japan's surrender. It was amazingly interesting. The exhibit interspersed information about the various battles with information about life in the US during the war. Very well done and, like I said, surprisingly engaging.

Outside the museum is a Peace Garden, a gift from the people of Japan. It was a beautiful place to sit and reflect about the horror of war and the resilience of nature. Pop, who was in the Army Air Force in WWII, enjoyed it immensely:

When we entered the museum, Pop mentioned that he was a veteran of WWII. He was given free admission and treated like a VIP. It was wonderful.

We also managed to do some shopping, eat German food and drink some local beer.

Back home, we enjoyed our time together and the beautiful weather. Brian took this shot of the pineapple sage in bloom:

Pop and Brian also share an interest in trains. We visited Temple train station, climbing through some of the rail stock they have on show. Here's Pop driving a train:

I really hated to take Pop to the station in Fort Worth to catch the train back home. We had a wonderful visit, and our time together is too short.
But, it's time for me to get back to work. Machine quilting work is literally pouring in, and I have lots of quilts to finish before Christmas. I've also started piecing a new fiber art piece. So I better get cracking!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Work in Progress

I was very inspired by all of the creative, beautiful quilts I saw at International Quilt Festival. This is my response:

I used a combination of Cherrywood fat quarters (which I bought in Houston) and my own hand-dyed fabric in an analogous palette. I'm looking forward to quilting it. Not sure whether I'll use straight line quilting or a something curvy or swirly. Any suggestions?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Catching my breath

Brian and I spent mid-October visiting our friends Erik, Janet, Carolyn and Elena in Evergreen, Colorado. We managed to arrive near the end of the aspen season but there was still plenty of color in the lower elevations. In fact, we took several hikes on trails lined with golden foliage. It was marvelous! I wish I could capture the color of the aspens in a quilt.

By the time we left, though, the leaves were mostly down. Maybe it was the blizzard we had midway through our visit....howling winds and several inches of snow. Our last hike was very snowy.

A few pictures. Me and an aspen tree:

Carolyn in a tree:

Carolyn and Elena throwing snowballs at Brian:

Brian, Carolyn, Elena and I posing in front of Mt. Evans:
Golden aspens against a very blue sky:

A wonderful trip! But even more wonderful, perhaps, was the news we received the day after we got home. Brian's brother, Bruce, was coming to Fort Worth for a meeting. He arrived the next day and stayed with us for several nights. His meeting ended early on Tuesday, so he and I went to the Kimbell Art Museum to see the Impressionists exhibit. I had seen it before, but it was well worth a second look. The Kimbell has been hosting a large collection of paintings -- pre-impressionist, impressionist and post-impressionist -- from the Art Institute of Chicago. I am not a big fan of the impressionist style, but I love Van Gogh and Cezanne, and the famous "Two Sisters" by Renoir and "Paris Street, Rainy Day" by Caillebotte are amazing when seen in person.
We had time to visit the Modern Museum of Fort Worth as well. One of my favorite places.
Bruce left Wednesday morning, and I headed to International Quilt Festival in Houston with my friend Sue. We had a wonderful time, and I bought some lovely yarn. And buttons. Lots of buttons. I had been complaining to Sue that I couldn't find any striking buttons to use on my knitwear and journals, but there were buttons everywhere at Festival! Vintage and modern, I didn't care, I bought a bunch of them. Oh, and we saw some fantastic quilts! One of my friends, Kumiko Frydl, won a third place ribbon for her miniature quilt. Congratulations, Kumiko! And the Ami Simms Alzheimer Quilt auction was really cool -- lots of quilts made by my guild members were for sale as well as some stunning quilts made by Fanny Narte of Imagine, Create, Inspire!
I'm home now, and ready to get back to work. But first a couple of turtle pictures. First, all three of them. You don't usually have a chance to get a photo of all of them at once:
Secondly, Tug. Who wouldn't love that mug?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hope you had a Happy Halloween!

We did! We had a visit from our little next-door-neighbor pumpkins, of course accompanied by their parents Casey and Lee.

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