Tuesday, March 11

Frequent Flyer Miles

Spring Greetings!  We had a good chuckle over this last evening when we saw this on the side of the Catholic Church in Pipestone.  I think there are many of us who think this is fitting for this year!!
Although March may have roared in like a lion the first week with a dumping of snow and rain that turned to a scary coating of ice.  But, prayers have been answered this week as the temps have warmed up and our piles of snow are melting and the fields are turning black!!  You can just smell the spring in the air and we hope it stays!!
 We sure have racked up some frequent flyer miles the past few days right here in Minnesota.  We traveled up north among the pines on the weekend and down south among the rolling hills last evening.  We've had such a good time and are anxious to share our journey with you all, so without futher ado we'll get started!!

On Saturday we traveled up to Little Falls to meet with Pam and four of her friends to work on wool projects.  We had the delight of meeting Pam and her friend Arlene at the quilt show in Red Wing and were invited to travel to Pam's home and spend a day teaching wool projects.

 So come Saturday morning we pointed the jeep north and headed to the spend a day in the tall norhtern pines.  We got to spend most of the day at a beautiful location right along the frozen Mississippi River stitching up a storm and enjoying some delicious food, especially the pie and glorious sunshine!!

All of the ladies were busy stitching on various projects and got lots accomplished.  It was so much fun to spend an afternoon with these five ladies and were thrilled to see the enthusiasm they all had while working!  Thank you ladies for the enjoyable time!!

Last night we loaded our jeep up and pointed  it south to be among the beautiful rolling hills in southern Minnesota to join the Pipestone quilt guild for a trunk show presentation of our Pastthyme patterns.  We were thrilled to hit the road early so we had some time to kill on our way to our destination, and we took advantage of it!!
Our first stop was the bakery.  You will see that food is a common theme here.  If you ever get to Granite Falls you should stop into Carl's Bakery and get a sugar doughnut and long john.
THE sugar doughnut.  Super messy but soooo delicious.  Trust us-it's worth the stop!
We made a stop in Marshall and admired this guys enthusiasm for spring as he was rockin' the shorts!  We decided that we should check out Mar21 for wine some night we get back that direction.  It is conveniently located just down the street from the quilt shop, which was where we decided to stop.  Always fun catching up with Cami and Tracy and it was the first time Lacey had visited their shop.  A fun stop along our way.
As we continued on we admired the ridge of windmills along the southern ridge.  We also noticed that they too had lost a lot of the snow that had fallen this winter.  Lots of black fields. . .and smells of skunks who have also decided that winter must be over!!
Our next stop was in Ruthtown.  We noticed that gas was $3.39.  Yes, those around home know it is at least twenty cents higher and we did a little victory dance in our car at the sight of this!  The other thing was that this sign had a sign saying they sold homemade beef jerky.  Those of you who know us gals know that we love our 'junk' food and love to graze.  On any given day we have to move bags of chips, munchies, pop, pretzels and/or cookies as we create.  We grazed on some of THE BEST jerky that we've had from a locker plant...ever.  Ooooh man was it good.  We ended up eating all we had in our car before we made it to Pipestone in hopes of getting to stop again on our way home.  We didn't get to stop and get more as they had closed. . .our balloon deflated a bit by this.  In fact, we have laughed. . .if anyone from that area comes our way we will trade jerky for fabric (hahaha...yes-it was that good!!)    :-)   We also want to give a shout out to the kid working, who was one of the nicest young men and in such a jolly mood.
We met with the guild at the courthouse, which was in a beautiful old building.  (lots of neat buildings in Pipestone if you are ever in the area)  We laughed as we sat out front. We laughed a lot, at the rate we were going this weekend we shall live long!!  We laughed because we realized we were out of jerky and so we smelled the bag to "savor the flavor" and then decided we needed to assemble our new cart to tote our items in. 
Our cart wasn't as big as the tank in this photo outside of the courthouse but it will 'save our backs' and make for less trips upon unpacking.  Our crash course in assembly went well at the noon run so we decided to use it.
 We got the wheels on and base assembled and decided that we could skip adding the pin to hold on the handle.  (after all we didn't have far to go and it looked like it sat down far enough into the cart it would hold just fine)  we loaded it up with our suitcase, trunk, antique boiler, and pattern box and took off to the door.  We managed to make it to the sidewalk before we ran into trouble and once it started it just kept coming. 

 We pulled the handle out of the holder upon hitting the curb and lost our load.  We hooted as we picked up our spilled luggage and laughed even harder as our suitcase fell over in the snow bank after we got it stood up.  Guess those pins were more vital than we thought and a necessary step to the process. We got our cart pinned and loaded up, managed to maneuver a bit more gracefully into the doors and into the elevator where we waited and waited and started to panic while we weren't moving.  Turns out in order to move you must pick a level higher or lower than the one you are currently on!!  We laughed some more about this and prayed our trip back to the car would go better!!  

With jerky still on our minds we hit up the bathroom, where we laughed as Darci came out and realized she had forgot to reassemble her belt. We continued our laughing streak as she fixed it as we walked down the steps and prayed that we would 'get it together' before we gave our talk. We are quite sure that any inmates, dispatch or deputy personnel got quite a laugh from us and probably wondered what we were smelling in that empty plastic bag that once held jerky.  As a matter of fact they sent the drug dog outside as we were loading our car....for a potty break of course ;-)

 We really enjoyed our evening with the Pipestone Quilters and are thrilled we were invited there to speak.  Saturday and Monday were both wonderful trips and wonderful times and we hope that you all enjoyed your time with us as much as we enjoyed our time with you.  We also thank both groups again for the wonderful food. . .and the town of Ruthtown for causing us to have jerky on our brains not only last night but today as well.  Honestly, it's probably an excellent thing it isn't just up the road from us or we'd be in trouble!!

A couple week we got in a shipment of new fabrics.  The fabrics shown above are ones that will ship out in bolts come early summer or late spring.  They are suppose to be Christmas groupings and so beings we just haven't gotten enough of the winter and cold we thought it'd be fun to continue on with it!  In all honestly this stuff has nothing that says Christmas about it at all.  We started projects with Snowbirds and Holly Wishes right away and are loving our new items.  Many of you who have seen us working on them are also loving them.  We hope to have a stack to show you before we head towards New Ulm next weekend!!  We are working on them while one of us types so do make sure you check back!!

BUT to tide you over until the show and tell from above are a few things we finished up!!
We decided our 5-yard quilt from the Sweet Serenade fabric grouping by BasicGrey needed some sprucing up.  We found some crochet flowers (and had our busy binder make us a few more) and added them to the block centers and are in love with how it turned out!!

This is our new take on our Mini Peaks and Valleys pattern. The original was set up to use a candy pack and this one uses up fat quarters.  A bit more 'tropical' than you usually see in our shop but the pop of color has been a fun addition.  This one is sized down a tad from the original as well. . .

Crazy Clover was a project that has been a work in progress for a few months and is done just in time for the upcoming 'holiday' of St. Patrick's Day.  (Remember March 17 is Darci's birthday!!)  This is a great project to use up some of those wool scraps and to dabble with crazy quilting if you haven't given it a try!

Twin Ports was originally done for Quilt Minnesota.  We knew when we created the pattern that it would work great for scraps or charm packs. . .and so the above version used a charm pack.  We chose to use some Harvest Moon by Kansas Troubles to give this version more of our signature Pastthyme feel!  It's quick to put together and finishes at a nice size for a table.

Easter Egg Twist is the newest wool felt creation for the upcoming Easter season.  It also shows off the new colors that National Nonwovens created.  The center circle is composed of lots of little circles so it looks just as cute with a candle as it does without and would be a perfect centerpiece at the holiday table.

 We just have to share. . .a couple weeks ago the two youngest members of the 'newski family were going through old family pictures.  The sounds that came from the living room proved that they were having a grand old time looking at our "priceless" family memories.  We all have lots of wonderful "what was I thinking" Kodak moments that will forever be cherished and laughed at.  We do have some nice, normal ones as well, but they aren't as fun to pick at are they?  The whole afternoon was spent laughing, and sharing stories of times gone by.  It seems like we don't always take the time to stop and smell the flowers as often as we should.  If you haven't sat down and checked out those old family albums you really should gather them up, grab a cup of your favorite drink (in our house it was Coke) and laugh and reminisce on the crazy times gone by.

 Lacey decided it would be alright to share this.  The roar of laughter was loud (and not so proud) when her brother discovered this gem in the stack.  This was the reason they sat and looked at pictures. . .to find hilarious moments of Kodak quality and 'make fun' of one another. 

This is Lacey...much younger than she is now getting ready to go to the little kids parade in Clara City.  She is not a turnip like her brother claimed her to be, but rather a sugar beet.  She matches the popular dolls that her mom created that were 'sugar beet dolls'.  To those that don't remember or didn't hear Darci began her sewing career after having Lacey and started making dolls under the name of Darci's dolls.  We've talked about sharing some of Darci's old doll work, and after that weekend do have a few to share but this was just a little snapshot at the fun our family had that afternoon.  Lacey doesn't remember much about the outfit (that we think we still have) but does recall an annoying boy behind her dressed as a cowboy who kept 'shooting' her with his fake gun.  And even though she doesn't remember it, this little get up won her a prize.

Well, until next time.  May we all have wishful thinking like this guy did by Little Falls.  We didn't know where he thought he was going to find a clean bike trail, or open lake for his kayak but we decided that we'd be all over it if he could show us his spot!

 We also want to say that to those we know who live in the Dawson area and to those who live in the Sleepy Eye area that we sincerely have been thinking of you area during the difficult times that you all are facing with the loss of such young lives this past week.  We can't imagine the scope of the loss and truly pray that God comforts you all.

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