Really Random: Quilters Rock!

Anyone with quilt-y friends knows, quilters are typically a kind a generous lot.  Over the past few months, I’ve been the recipient of some of that fun generosity.  My business partner, Trina gave me this Jack-o-Lantern flash drive (in May, because we are both big fans of Halloween!), and her husband had the serial quilter decals made for us:

Cindy showed you my decal on my Beetle, which travelled to Gruber’s in Minnesota with me this year.  

But I sold my Beetle in August and bought my little Yellow Mini Cooper shortly thereafter.  Thankfully, they had one more Serial Quilter decal for me, so the Mini Cooper is properly decced out.

And the Jack-o-Lantern flash drive, he’s darned cute.  Trina hunted him down on the internet and had him shipped all the way from Japan, so I could have a fun drive, too.  (Her’s is a monkey)

I was lucky enough to win a few bloggy giveaways this Spring and Summer, including this one from Carolyn Friedlander, including her Sessoms pattern (LOVE!) and a hand-picked jelly roll:

I have a nearly finished table runner made from this pattern (just need to quilt it so I can show it to you!).  And one day, I plan to make an entire quilt fro this pattern–it’s lovely!

Stephanie is one of my Gruber’s friends, (and a fellow Iowa native) I met her for the first time in July 2011, and saw her again at Spring Quilt Market in May 2012 and this July… She became one of those fast friends, an immediate connection that felt like we had been friends forever. Little messages pop up from her at The. Most. Opportune times.  I don’t how she does it, but she can sense when I need a little pick me up.  She sent me this “happy” earlier this year at a time when she knew I needed a hug:

She knows I love Kate Spain, and I had admired these journal/calendars on her blog… and it came with the sweetest note.  It holds all kinds of notes related to the pattern business these days, and every time I look at it, it gives me warm fuzzy thoughts of a treasured friend.

Much of our time lately has been spent house hunting (read: scouring realtor.com at least once a day for new listings; obsessing over properties we are interested in; mentally moving ourselves and our stuff into the space)… you get the picture.  We put an offer on a house that we still refer to as “the Dream House” and we lost out on it not once, but twice.  I’m pretty sure that ship has sailed.  But we keep looking and my thoughts are about 78% focused on houses and architecture these days.

As a diversion, I’ve been trying to catch up on some reading, including a large pile of magazine on my nightstand, and this pile of books from our library:

What’s occupying your thoughts these days?

Have you been the recipient of a quilter’s generosity lately?

An Inspired Idea

I recently attended a Tour of Homes in my neighborhood, all were at least 100 years old. I ‘ve always been interested in architecture; ancient, historic, contemporary…you name it. I love architecural details; cornices, gargoyles, spires, shape, color… My surroundings fascinate me in even the smallest ways almost all of the time. I enjoy walking neighborhoods, because I notice details I never see even if I’ve driven by it dozens of times. I spent most of my childhood living in an 1880s home, with a porch like the one below, a stained-glass window in the open stairwell, an etched glass window on one of the exterior doors…and even though I believed the upstairs to be haunted for the first 5-6 years of my life there (I outgrew that belief) I loved the character of that home.
What I noticed in particular on the Tour of Homes were the lovely stained glass windows, both as part of the original architecture of the home…And as salvaged items used as decoration in the homes…They are all sort of quilt-like, aren’t they?
Simple lines…with beautiful colors and patterns…
And, I was totally amazed by these daffodil windows. Incredibly unique.
They sort of look like an applique quilt, don’t they?

I’m thinking I need to make a quilt inspired by the beauty of these windows. Keep your eyes open, for you never when inspiration might strike…

Super *what* Sunday?!?

Sunday was a great day. The temperature was above freezing for the first time in weeks, I had a free day to spend with my sweetie, and no obligations. What did we do?

We went here…
To see this…
And watch this…The Des Moines Art Center is a beautiful museum, the building itself is a masterpiece, designed in three stages by architecture GiantsEliel Saarinen, I.M. Pei, and Richard Meier. On Friday, a new exhibit opened featuring American Regionalist artists from the Depression era, most notably, Iowa native, Grant Wood. His most recognized work of art, American Gothic, has returned home to Iowa for a limited engagement. There are works by Thomas Hart Benton, Margaret Bourke-White, and other early 20th Century geniuses…the exhibit is wonderfully done and incredibly thorough. Best of all, other than the $10 we spent in the Gift Shop, the day was entirely FREE!

In the evening, we chilled out by watching Sense & Sensibility on Iowa Public Telelvision. I love that my sweetie would rather go to an Art Museum and watch artsy films with me than sit and watch a silly ol’ football game. Ahhhhh….life is good.

Seriously, if you are anywhere near Des Moines in the next three months, you really should visit the Art Center and take in this exhibit.

P.S. I have one more happy bit to note: since January 1, 2009, I have lost 9.6 pounds (and I do not intend to look for OR find them again!)