"Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says...."Oh crap! She's up!" Unknown

Friday, May 31, 2019

Pillows and Such

Things have been slow in my Hidey Hole
since I returned from my trip to China.
I haven't been motivated to do too much.
Maybe it's because my schedule was off,
but I'm back on east coast time and sleeping normally again.

This week I've finished up a couple of odds and ends
and cut the fabric for a new quilt.

A couple of months ago
I made a Christmas tree skirt for a wedding gift.
In making this tree skirt,
I had some big pieces left
and couldn't just throw them away.

I started playing around with the scraps and made this table topper.
My mom loves it, so it's going to her!

In March my mom, sister and 2 sisters-in-law
met in Pennsylvania for a girls weekend.
We had a blast!
While we were out and about my sister found some dish towels
she really liked and asked if I could make her some pillows 
out of them.

This week the pillows were made and are ready to pass onto her.

The thing with making pillows from some dish towels
is that the design is printed closer to the bottom
of the towel rather then more in the middle.
I like to make 18" pillows,
so the design isn't centered.
I think these turned out cute
and I love the sayings on them.


This one is my favorite.


I had this fabric in my stash.
It's my sisters style and she loves these colors.

The new quilt I started is a baby quilt for a little one due in September.

You know me....bright and bold for a baby quilt!
 I need to get a couple of solid reading fabrics to add to this
collection.  All of these fabrics have been aging in my 
stash and were ready to come out and play.


The pattern was a free one from Moda Bake Shop,
but it isn't coming up right now.
I'm not able to find it on the designer's blog, either.

Here is what the finished quilt will look like.

(Image taken from the internet.)

That's it for now!
It's nice to be back into the sewing groove
after being gone for a few weeks.

Happy Quilting!

Friday, May 24, 2019

China, Part 3

My two favorite days in China were the days we visited the
Terracotta Warriors
The Great Wall of China.

A few of the Terracotta Warriors had come to my city
last year and we were able to see them up close.
Nothing compared to seeing them where they were found, though.

Each warrior has a different face and
body type. They were modeled after real people.
Their uniforms denoted their rank in the army.

There are horses, chariots and weapons among the warriors, too.


This is pit #1 of 3 pits! 
The government covered them with a roof before they were opened to the public.
The excavation continues to this day.
The estimate is that there are at least as many warriors still buried as
have been uncovered.

Some are headless.
Some are missing other body parts.


This warrior was positioned like he was holding
onto reins for the horse.


I didn't realize until I was on this tour that all of the warriors
were destroyed by the Ming dynasty.
They were found in several hundred to thousands of pieces
and have been painstakingly restored and positioned back in their original place.
 It was an amazing day to be able to see these where they were found in 1974.


In Beijing we enjoyed  a rickshaw ride through
the old part of the city.

The day we went to the Great Wall was a gorgeous day.
There aren't many "blue sky" days in Beijing,
but we were blessed to have several.
We were at the wall early
and were able to see it without mobs of people.


It is truly amazing that we were there!
It was difficult to walk along the wall.
The steps were very uneven
and the flat area was anything but flat.
We trudged along and saw as much as we could.


Can you imagine building this long before power tools,
vehicles and modern technology??

What a view!

We ended the trip with a tour of Tiananmen Square
and the Forbidden City.
 Above is the South gate in the square.
That is an oil painting of Mao Zedong.
It's replaced periodically with an exact copy.

I have to say,
this was my least favorite day of the trip.
There were mobs of people here,
pushing and shoving and taking our pictures.
My daughter stood out in this crowd,
being a redhead!
It was difficult to take in the meaning of the area
with all of the people.


This sign gave me the biggest laugh!
The government gave the bathrooms here 4 stars!
Maybe it's because they have toilet paper, soap, paper towels
and western toilets.
Believe it not,
these things were hard to come by on the trip,
especially toilet paper and soap.
I was prepared, though!


These photos are of the palaces in the 
Forbidden City.
The colors were so vibrant and beautiful.
 I kept picturing batiks as I was walking through this area.


There is an Imperial Garden in the Forbidden City.
These rocks were taken from under water
and placed in the garden.
They were quite interesting, to say the least!


It would have been a peaceful place if it weren't for the
thousands of people there.

My daughter and I will have these memories forever.
It was wonderful trip
and the best part was being together.

Happy Day!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

China Adventure, Part 2

After spending a couple of days in Shanghai,
we flew to Wuhan to board the river cruise.

As you can imagine,
cruising the Yangtze was not always beautiful.
There is a lot of industry along the river,
as well as small cities and towns.

We did get into the mountains and began to see some
gorgeous areas along the river.

This is a large hotel going up the side of the mountain.
The pagoda style buildings were always fun to see,
since we don't have these at home. 

There are many areas along the river that seemed to be accessible
only by boat. Therefore, we saw some very different looking boats.

The Yangtze River

One of our tours was to the Three Gorges Dam...
the largest hydroelectric dam in the world.
 It was built between 1994 and 2012 and
displaced 1.3 million people.
There is a lock system here for ships and boats to go through
in order to navigate the river.


Upstream from the dam,
what had once been a little creek became
a large tributary to the Yangtze.
We took a Sampan boat ride through some of this
area and it was just beautiful.


During the rainy season,
more water is released through the dam
and the water level rises to the tree line 
in the photo above.
Many villages and towns were flooded in this area
when the dam was completed.
 This was such a peaceful ride.


 Can you imagine going up all of these stairs to each the pagoda
at the top?
The view must have been spectacular.

And, of course, we were able to see pandas!!

We visited the Chongqing Zoo and saw a number of Pandas.
These guys above are about 2 years old.

This guy was adorable!
Each panda eats about 40 pounds of fresh bamboo a day!
If you want a panda,
China will rent a pair for $1 million a year.
Plus you have to provide the bamboo!
Any baby born to a rented pair of pandas
is sent back to China after the age of 2.

I'll leave you with this cutie and continue the story in a day or so.

Happy Day!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

I've Been on an Adventure!

On May 2nd, my older daughter and I 
headed out on an adventure.
A BIG adventure!
My daughter has always wanted to go to China.
She remembers my mother-in-law talking about her 
trip years ago and since then has wanted to go herself.
My daughter has Down syndrome, 
so traveling by herself is not an option.
China has never been top on the list of places
I wanted to visit, but I went for my daughter.
We booked a Viking land and river tour and packed our bags.
We had a wonderful trip and came home with lots of great
memories and photographs.

Our trip started off with a canceled flight,
but we were able to get booked onto another flight later in the day.
 We arrived in Shanghai late,
but hit the ground running the next morning

This shows the old Shanghai with the new.
(And American influence with KFC!)

Yuyuan Gardens are in the heart of the city,
but secluded and just beautiful.

Dragons are a sign of strength and protection.
This was on one of the walls in the gardens
and wrapped around  a section. I couldn't get a good photo
of his long tail along the wall.

This part of Shanghai is very modern,
all being built since 1992.
It's on the Huangpu River and is called the "Bund".
The building to the right with the opening at the top
is called "the beer can opener" by the locals.
It really looks like one, too!

These buildings were behind us as we looked across the river
to the modern buildings.
These were built by the British and are now bank buildings,
for the most part.


Marquis Yi's tomb (from 433 B.C.) was excavated in 1978 and these bells were found.
The largest of the bells weighs 500 pounds.
At the Hubei museum, they have a replica set of these bells
and we were able to listen to a concert where these bells were played.
They are struck with a mallet to make them ring and the sound is beautiful.

We were able to visit a silk embroidery studio
and saw some gorgeous pieces of art.
The master stitchers can divide a silk thread into 1/32 strands,
bearly seen by the eye.
There were some unbelievable pieces of animals that were
stitched.  One eye would take 2 months to stitch!

The photos do not do these justice,
but in person they looked like photographs and
not embroidery.

I will continue with our tour in a day or two.

Happy Quilting!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Knitting... It's been a while!

Knitting doesn't get much attention these days on my blog,
but I usually am knitting something all of the time.
It's my go to evening project
and my "take in the car" project.

I've finished a few things over the past couple of months
and thought I'd post them here.

The sock knitting continues for the children on the 
Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota.
 My pile is getting bigger.


I decided to knit some hats, too.
I have some heavier yarn that won't work for socks,
but only a skein or two of each color.
Boy, you will sure see that yellow hat coming in a snow storm!

Hopefully I will have enough socks and hats to fill
another box in the fall.

Happy Day!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Hands2Help Quilts...Finished

is hosting her annual
Hands2Help event again this year.

I participated for the first time last year
and am happy to help again this year.
As mentioned in a previous blog post,
I'm sending my quilts to
Jack's Basket.
This is an organization that sends love baskets
to parents of newborns with Down syndrome.

I was able to make two quilts for Jack's Basket.

This quilt was made using the "Moda Love Quilt" pattern.
I had a charm pack that was waiting to be used
and it worked so well with this pattern.

The second quilt is done and ready to be mailed.
This one was made from a pattern called 
and went together in a snap.

The fabric for the middle is just gorgeous.
The photo just doesn't do it justice.

I didn't use the outer border because the quilt
would have been too big for what Jack's Basket wants.

I had fun quilting water in the middle of this one.

The same fabric was used for the backing
and looks like a huge aquarium.

This shows the fun quilting I did in the different borders.

These two quilts will be mailed off to Jack's Basket soon.

Happy Quilting!