Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Road Trip to the Texas Quilt Museum

My friends Jay, Rhonda, Linda and I headed to La Grange, Texas, last week to see the Sue Benner exhibit, "Circling the Square," at the Texas Quilt Museum.  It had been a long time since I'd been on a road trip with the girls!  

The weather was beautiful, and the drive south from Fort Worth was lovely.  The bluebonnets were past their peak, but the indian paintbrush was in full bloom and the landscape was very lush.  We've had a wet spring this year (thank goodness!) and the countryside is very green. 

Our first stop was in Giddings. We spotted the 290 Coffee Shop and stopped for a tasty lunch, as well some really good coffee.  Best I've had in a long while. 
 
 After a quick stop at a quilt shop in Giddings, we headed to La Grange and the museum.  I love the museum gardens!

Rhonda and Jay, with Linda in the background
The exhibit was wonderful.  It featured a range of Sue's quilts from 1993 to the present, and I found following the evolution of her work over time very interesting.  Her current work was well represented, and it was lovely to have an opportunity to examine each piece up close.  It was very exciting.

We spent the night in La Grange and headed home via Round Top and Brenham.  First, pie for breakfast at Royer's in Round Top:
We bought four different types and passed them around the table.  Royer's is well known for their pies.  And deservedly so.  Delicious!
 Our next stop was the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham.  I found this rose trellis enchanting.  Too bad I don't have enough room in my yard to construct one like it!
 When Brian and I lived in Houston, we often went to the ARE.  They are known for their huge variety of roses, but they also feature many native perennials, annuals and vines.  And the demonstration gardens are beautiful.
We all bought roses.  And a few other plants.  We had to wedge them in the back of the car between the bags of fabric.  But we made them fit!
 We headed back north by way of Georgetown.  Slightly out of the way, but we wanted to have lunch at the Monument Cafe.  I'm told it was featured on "Diners and Drive-ins."  Really good, although really hearty, food.
And then one last stop in Salado.  The others went to the quilt store, but by that time I'd had enough fabric shopping.  So I did a vertical tasting of Olive Oils.  And I thoroughly enjoyed them!  I ended up taking two bottles home with me.
It was a great getaway!  I hope I get to leave on another girls' road trip sometime soon!

FOCUS: Fiber

The Dallas Area Fiber Artist annual show,  FOCUS: Fiber, has been hanging at the Point, the center for arts and education on the campus of CC Young in Dallas, for the past month.  Last night was the closing ceremony and awards presentation.

I had two quilts in the show.  Tuning Fork #19 and Subdivisions #9.  Here is TF #19.  To it's right is a gorgeous piece by Sherrie Tootle.   
 A closeup of TF #19:
 A closeup of Sub #9:
 I love the DAFA show.  It is full of every type of fiber art -- weaving, knitting, crochet, clothing, paper collage, dolls, felted vessels.  Wonderful stuff!  Here are two pieces by Debbie Snider:
 And a piece I absolutely loved by Gay Young:
 The juror and judge was Julio Suarez, a local artist and art educator.  And I was honored to receive the 1st place award for Subdivisions #9.
Thanks, Rhonda, for taking a picture of me receiving the award!  And for going to Dallas with me on a very stormy night!

The show is down now, but photos of all of the pieces will soon be on the DAFA website.  You can also see work from the past several shows here.  It's worth a look.  It's a very talented group and I am proud to be a member!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The turtles are awake!

You know it's spring in the Pregger household when the turtles poke their heads out of their winter sleeping spots!  Vinnie and Shelley, shown below, have been awake for over a week.  And they are hungry after a long, cold, wet winter's hibernation.
That's Vinnie up on the garage step.  I'm not sure how he got up there.....Generally speaking, the turtles are not very good at climbing.

Lizzie, the last of the three, made an appearance last Friday.  So spring must truly be here!

And it is.  Flowers are blooming and the leaves and grass are that lovely new green color.  It's a beautiful time of year!
The fountain in the lower back yard
 
Upper back yard


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Art on the Horizon!

I'm very excited to announce my second solo show of 2015!  Twenty-one pieces will be on display at Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church through May 24.  The church is located at 1641 W. Hebron Parkway in Carrollton.  


 Rhonda and I delivered the quilts to Carrollton yesterday, and, with the assistance of Linda Alred of HUUC, we hung them.  So come on by and see them!
Rhonda under the pergola
Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church
I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, Richard and Tanya's Quilts Link a Finish FridayFriday Fabric FrenzyConfessions of a Fiber Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.  Go see all the wonderful work there!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Main Street Art Festival

We always look forward to the annual Main Street Art Festival in Fort Worth.  The festival features great artists, great music and great street food.  How can that be bad?!  

This year, the weather was perfect.  Thunderstorms had been predicted for the entire weekend, but beyond a few quick sprinkles the rain held off.  The temperature was on the chilly side Saturday morning, warming up to a very pleasant 70 degrees in the afternoon.  I took this picture early, before it got too crowded:
We just had to stop and listen to a band called "Squonk Opera."  I mean, how could we resist?  They featured a bagpiper and a very large, very blue mechanical man.  As the songs went on, things kept popping out behind and below the man.  And he moved about a bit.  It was fun!
The music was great, as well!

All in all a fun way to spend a weekend.  Now it's Monday, and the predicted thunderstorms are here. It's dark, chilly and wet outside. I'm definitely staying in today!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

1000 Quilt Inspirations

I just received my copies of 1000 Quilt Inspirations by Sandra Sider.  And I'm very excited to see four of my quilts in the book!  In the abstract quilt section, pages 214 and 215.  Wow!

You can buy copes of this wonderful book at Amazon.  Sandra has curated a very exciting collection of quilts of all types, and it is a wonderful reference/inspirational guide to have on your bookshelf!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Spring Break 2015 -- Part 2

We spent a lot of time on the beach in front of our villa.  Swimming, snorkeling and then lounging in our beach chairs.  And Janet and I, both early risers, met for coffee most mornings on the beach.
 We had hauled 8 days worth of food and drinks from Tortola, but our plan was to cook breakfast and dinner and to go out for lunch most days.  So we did.  This is "Flash of Beauty" restaurant, at the east end of Loblolly Bay.  I liked the mix of colors:
 We did explore other parts of the island.  This is Cow Wreck Beach.  Apparently, in the late 19th century a ship carrying cow bones foundered off the coast.  For years afterwards cow bones were washed ashore.  We didn't see any bones, just beautiful shallow water and white sand:
 The most beautiful beach, in my opinion, was at Pomato Point.  I've never seen such beautiful water:
And, once again, we had the beach to ourselves.  
Our evenings were spent making dinner and enjoying happy hour on the ocean side deck of Lavenda Breeze. This was our happy hour view, looking over the beach grapes to the bay:
A beautiful end to the day!

One of the things that sold us on Anegada, besides the isolation, was the snorkeling.  It was supposed to be wonderful, with the best reefs on the island right in Loblolly Bay. And it was, although during Brian's first day snorkeling he came face to face with a 5' barracuda.  Yikes!
 The coral was gorgeous and colorful:
 And we saw lots of colorful fish, such as this trunk fish:
 This little guy was very pretty.  I haven't figured out what he is:
 Every once in while, we came across a very big fish:
 After 8 days on Anegada, we took the ferry back to Tortola.  Brian and I had decided to spend some time in San Juan, Puerto Rico on the way home, so we said goodbye to our friends and headed off in a taxi to the Condado area of San Juan.  We enjoyed wandering around the arts district and had a fabulous meal at Yerba Buena, a Cuban restaurant.  Brian loves Cuban food.
 We enjoyed San Juan, and would like to explore more of Puerto Rico.  Maybe next year!


Spring Break 2015 -- Part 1

We've just returned from another fabulous tropical spring break.  This year we wanted to "get away from it all."  It's a cliche, I know, but we really tried to look for a place where there were very few tourists.  So after months of research, we decided to visit the British Virgin Islands.

We flew into the capital island of Tortola.  We met up with our Denver friends, our usual spring break co-conspirators, and spent the first several days at a villa, "Mermaid Villa", on Beef Island, a very small island connected to Tortola by a bridge.  The view from our deck was spectacular:
We spent several days exploring the beaches and towns on Tortola.  This is Brewer's Bay.  I was fascinated by the rocks on the left of this shot and did several sketches of them.  
 Brian relaxed.
After a strenuous morning of navigating Tortola's mountain roads (honestly, I've never been on such steep and curvy roads.  They were frightening!), we stopped at the Callwood Rum Distillery in Cane Garden Bay.  Rather a rustic place:
Of course, we had to taste all of their different rums to decide which one(s) we wanted to buy.  After a few samples, we were very happy:
Our primary destination was the island of Anegada.  Anegada is a very interesting place.  Almost as large in area as Tortola, but very flat.  The highest spot on the island is 28 feet.  And it is very sparsely populated: only 180 people or so actually live there.  From Tortola it's an hour long ferry ride.  An interesting trip when you have 6 people, 8 suitcases and 8 boxes of food and provisions.  Did I mention that Anegada doesn't have any grocery stores?  We had to buy what we needed and take it with us.

Luckily, the ferry was large and the porters helped us with our "baggage."  And we were off to Anegada:
We had rented the only villa on the island, "Lavenda Breeze."   The sleeping quarters were on the ground floor, the living areas (and a 360 degree deck) on the second story.  This is the inland facing side of the house:
Only a few yards from the house, Loblolly Bay stretched out.  The house was situated right in the middle of the bay's beachfront.  There was a restaurant at each end, and several small cottages, but other than that we had the 3/4 mile beach to ourselves.  It was amazing!  White sand, turquoise water, the coral reef less than 100 yards offshore.  And no other people. Perfect!
 I spent a great deal of my time in a beach chair:
 We had lots of "friends" of the non-human variety around.  This is a ghost crab:
We also saw humpback whales out beyond the reef.  Several times they were so close we could see them breeching and slapping their tails as we sat on the beach.  We also saw lots of turtles, rays, exotic birds, colorful fish and flamingoes (there is a flamingo preserve on the island).

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