Friday, August 20, 2010

Shifting Sands...

Time was, the annual family vacation down the Jersey shore marked the end of the lazy days of summer, and a return to band camp, sports schedules, and studies. We made the most of those treks to the beach, and millions of memories: long walks on the sand, our toes in the ocean, rides on the boardwalk, kite-flying and games of horseshoes. But this year is different, this year we could almost feel the shifting sand beneath our feet. In just two weeks my youngest will be leaving for college, and with her goes a simpler time, a time where I could kiss a hurt and make it better, make everything right with a hug and a cup of hot chocolate. Now she will have to find her way, grow and take chances, yet keep her ties to home and those who love her and will surely feel her absence. But for these five idyllic days at the shore, it is just like old times.
By late summer the Atlantic has warmed up considerably, but not so much that the jellyfish are any bother. Morning, noon and night, the most beautiful girls walk the shoreline, stopping here and there to pick up a shell. Jersey girls. Our girls.

I had to get a shot of this bird, the Roger Clemens of seagulls. All puffed up to frighten us away, he could almost feed our family at Thanksgiving! We laugh at the little sea birds, who run from the tide, then back again to catch a nibble.
Mixed skies reflect the bittersweet end to this year's vacation. We look back on lots of fun times, and ahead to new adventures.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quilt Retreat!

If you're looking for a serene setting to inspire your next quilt project, you have to check out the White Oak Bed & Breakfast in Strasburg, PA. Just a short ride from Lancaster, and with almost a dozen fabulous fabric shops nearby, it's a quilter's dream getaway location.

Owners Carol and Rob Kroth made the Notre Dame quilting ministry members feel right at home in their B&B when we stayed there this weekend: tasty Amish food + peaceful locale = lots of sewing projects completed.
I knew in advance I needed to get working on my daughter's dorm quilt. She'll be heading off to college at the end of August, so I bypassed the shopping excursions to focus on her quilt. It's going to be all batiks, lots of blues, purples and reds, with a few yellows and pinks thrown in to add sparkle. I'm using the flip-flop block, and this will be my first attempt at curved piecing. I did manage to get about 1/3 of the blocks completed, pictures to come soon.
Some of the quilters brought projects out of hibernation to work on at the retreat. Here's a black and bright wallhanging down entirely in half-square triangles:

Others came to the retreat with a clear purpose, for instance, to make a quilt for a little boy's second birthday this month:

Or to work on a wedding quilt for a special friend....

or a crib quilt for a new arrival...

The weekend flew by, but we left feeling relaxed, refreshed, and happy with our projects.

In fact it was so much fun we plan to do it again next year, in the spring perhaps! Thanks Carol and Rob for such an enjoyable weekend!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

First steps

Having created this blog more than a year ago it seems shameful that I haven't posted yet! Today that all changes...I wanted the opportunity to show off my quilts and crafts, and hope to have enough to post to make this worthwhile. Come and see what happens when I invest the time to take up needle and thread, fabric and yarn and create something beautiful.