Monday, August 18, 2014

Montana

It's hard to believe that summer is on it's way out.  It has gone by so fast.  Around here, schools are starting this week.  Kade and Minda head back to classes next week.  With that in mind, we decided to blow it out and take the whole family on one last trip.  
Some family friends of Christy invited us all up to their ranch in Montana, so we packed up our cars and headed out not knowing exactly what we would find when we got there.  Actually, for a while we weren't sure we were going to get there at all.
The drive started out well enough.

The day was warm and the sky was blue when we stopped for lunch at a lovely park in Idaho Falls.


Although once we crossed the border to Montana, the weather took a turn for the worse.  We hit a storm so intense that even with our windshield wipers on high, we still had trouble seeing our way.  I took these pictures just before the hail began in earnest.  At one point it was so loud, I had to cover my ears.  I haven't been in a storm like that since we lived in Texas.  Of course in Texas the hail can get as big as softballs, so I guess I should count my blessings.

And, what we found when we got there made it all worth while.




The ranch was stunning. 150 acres of grass land dotted with corrals, stables, the main house and three guest cabins.
Matt and I stayed here, in the main guest cottage.



A rustic, 90 year old building guarded by these lovely totems and a stream running just outside our bedroom window.

The inside had been updated a bit (electricity and toilets), but for the most part, the owners left it in it's original state.

The weekend was filled with shooting contests (Mason joined in with his "popper gun"),



 and horseback riding. Here Mason is none to happy about having to wait his turn.

We were almost totally off the grid.  No cell service so we had plenty of time for ping-pong, pool, and board games.


As well as a nice float down the river.


The setting was so picturesque, we decided to get a few family pictures.  Here's Mason doing his best cowboy imitation.  In the first picture he's saying, "yeeee-haw!"

Of course, pictures can be so deceiving.  Don't they look like happy, little angels?

This picture was taken literally five seconds later.

It rained a little every day we were there and on the evening before we left we were gifted with this.




While we were there, I finished binding my Christmas star quilt.  The beautiful afternoon lighting was perfect for a few photos.


Here's the back.  I had a few pieces of a Christmas panel that I thought would look smashing in the center.  



I quilted it with a simple meander stitch and bound it with strips from several fabrics left over from the front.  
Just like a piece of art, quilts capture moods, passions, moments in time.  Even though technically this one is a Christmas quilt, it will forever remind me of the end of summer and our wonderful, family weekend in Montana.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Big Reveal


In case you don't remember, here is my quilting room before.

Here it is during construction.


Here it is finished.  The closet wasn't that big but with it gone the room seems to have so much more space.

Around the corner in an awkward little dead-end hallway, I've set up my design wall and added another bookcase for storage.  Eventually, I would like to have better furniture and a bigger cutting table, but this works for me now.


After being out of commission for over a month, I was itchin' to get to some stitchin'! Bah Dum Pah!
My Sparkle-Punch quilt is on the quilting table and I've started on a couple of stadium quilts for Matt and Kade.  They've been begging me to make them since last year and with the 2014 season soon upon us, I've got to get cracking.


Only twenty-two squares left to make.  Did I say only?


Oh yeah, check out my blue ribbons from the fair.  Not to brag or anything, but it's kind of exciting.
Actually, it's not as big of a deal as it sounds.  There are lots of blue ribbon winners.  Here's the scoop on judging at a county fair.
The ribbon colors are more like tiers.  There is the blue tier, the red tier and the white tier.  Many people win in each tier.  Out of the blue tier, the grand prize winners are chosen and they win the big, purple sweepstakes ribbon or the big, pink honorable mention ribbon.
Even though I didn't win a grand prize, it was still fun to see a blue ribbon attached to my entries.

Although, apparently I'm a better cook than quilter.  Yeah, that didn't sit to well.  I'm already planning a spectacular quilt to enter for next year.  Funny, I've never thought of myself as particularly competitive.  Guess I was wrong :)

After all the drama of last week, this one has been a breeze.  We even managed to get away for a little hike. 

The great thing is, we didn't have to go that far.  Our neighborhood is just on the other side of that hill.  

It's nice to have such refreshing beauty right outside our back door. 

Don't worry about me, I'm doing just fine.   

If your interested, I've added a new entry to my Name of Christ Study Journal.