Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Back in Time - Moving Day

Mary Kay Richard, Paula McDaniel, Susan Youtz
Wheatland, WY
approx. 1975 or 1976
This is one of my favorite photos from my six years in Wheatland - a photo with lots of details and emotions. It was taken the day that my good friend, Susan moved out of the little, white house she had shared with Mary Kay for several years. Mary Kay was a speech therapist and Susan was a physical education teacher in Wheatland. Paula (also a physical education teacher) was Susan's friend from Upton who visited often, and came to help Susan move to Newcastle.

Susan and I often went to nearby Laramie Peak with Dan Brecht, a teacher who grew up in the Wheatland area and knew the back roads well. Dan often drove his little red pickup on our treks, and because it didn't have a radio, we sang belted out old songs for hours and challenged each other with Hink Pinks. We usually stopped for a picnic lunch at Esterbrook or visited Vick and Mary Ballard's ranch, sometimes bringing them supplies from town.

A few months after the photo was taken, I moved out of my apartment to share the house with Mary Kay. I lived there for a year before I purchased a mobile home, where I lived until I left Wheatland in 1979.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Lest We Forget. . .

Arlington Cemetery
Spring 1995
Memorial Day was not created to host BBQs, to go camping, or to enjoy a three-day weekend: it was established to honor those who paid the ultimate price to ensure our freedom. It's a time to proudly display the flag and to wear red poppies. It's a time to pause and utter a prayer of gratitude for those who died to protect our freedom.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years and many Americans have forgotten the meaning and traditions of the day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored or neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. (excerpt from usmemorialday.org)

How does your community observe Memorial Day?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Foreign Friday

Lake Towada Trail
Autumn 1979
The trail to Lake Towada was a 5K trek and highlighted many beautiful scenes.

Earlier posts that featured photos of the trail can be seen here.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Back in Time - 1940s Air Service

Riverton, WY
approximately 1947
I'm assuming this photo was taken at an exhibition because of the crowd and the evidence of another plane's tail in the extreme left of this photo. That plane is pictured below.

These images were in a group of family negatives that I was given several years ago. A post about those negatives can be read here.

The first photo clearly shows the name, "Challenger Airlines," so I did some online research. Challenger Airlines was founded in Wyoming and regularly flew into Riverton in the late '40s. In the 1950s the airline merged to form Frontier Airlines. More information on Challenger Airlines can be found here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Another Piecing Activity

Brenda and Marilyn
April 2016
The week I spent in Denver wasn't just about sewing: Brenda and I assembled a 1000 piece puzzle at her house, and at Marilyn's house, we finished the puzzle in the photo and started another 1000 piece puzzle.

Working on jigsaw puzzles and quilting are similar activities, which is probably why Marilyn and I enjoy both.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I Spy . . .

bathroom counter
April 2016

Sometimes images just seem to pop out at me, and when I was staying at Marilyn's house last month, an image became clear to me on the granite counter in the guest bathroom.

So tell me, do you see a face, or it is just my active imagination?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Bonus Pieces

Bonus HSTs
April 2016
This box contains 180 large "bonus" HSTs and 96 smaller "bonus" HSTs from the construction of Scrappy Lanterns, Cheerio, and another QOV that is still in the works. I love patterns that create useable scraps.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Party's Over

Nature's confetti
Private office entrance
Riverton Post Office
Riverton, WY
May 2016

The crab apple trees put on a lovely display despite the cold, rainy (even snowy) Spring weather. Now, their blooms are scattered on the sidewalks, drives, and streets like confetti from a party that ended too soon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Knitting with Scraps

scrap yarn hats
three teen-sized and three newborn-sized
May 2016
I'm still working on eliminating my scrap yarn - fingering and worsted weight. The teen hats were knit with worsted weight yarn and the baby hats from several small balls of scrap sock yarn.

My attempts to Slash the Stash can be seen here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fabric Windfall

Yardage from Marilyn
April 2016
After I finished Scrappy Lanterns, Cheerio, and Autumn Glory at the Sisters' Sew-in, Marilyn asked if I wanted to select some yardage from her older fabric stash for backings. I selected three pieces for the backings. Then Marilyn said I could take any of the fabric in the stack that I could use. Really?

What I can't use for QOV backings, I can use for QOV presentation cases. I was excited to receive this fabric windfall. Thanks, Marilyn

Monday, May 16, 2016

Oil City Welcome

Oil City Statue
east entrance to Casper, WY
May 2016
I've wanted to photograph the welcome sign that sits next to Interstate 25 on the east edge of Casper, WY for a long time. When I came home from Denver on May 1st, I decided to take time do it. I took the Hat Six exit and drove to the frontage road and was surprised that most of the road was dirt and filled with water puddles and potholes, caused by the recent snow/rain. I grew up driving dirt roads, so I didn't let the condition of the road bother me and easily found my way to the sidewalk that led to the welcome statue.

east side of Casper, WY at the Hat Six exit on the north side of I-25
According to the signage the sculpture was created by Seth Vandable and called "Man Made Energy." The welcome statue was dedicated July 7, 2005.

Casper's nickname is Oil City, and the faces of the four men in the sculpture bear resemblance to four Casper energy giants: H.A. (Dave) True, Mick McMurry, John Wold, and Fred Goldstein.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Foreign Friday

Judy Loxtercamp, Nancy Stearns, Judith Kravetz
Southern Japan
April 1980
A group of DoDDS teachers toured Southern Japan in the Spring of 1980. Two of them (Judy L. and Judith K.) were colleagues of mine in Misawa. I can't remember what Judy L. taught, but I think it was Physical Ed. Judith and I were the Language Arts department at Robert D. Edgren High School for two years. She was from Georgia and had a contagious laugh.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Autumn Glory

Autumn Glory
Quilt of Valor
56 x 69 inches
Early April, I delivered several finished Quilts of Valor to Sheep Camp Quilt Supply, owned by the Wyoming QOV coordinator. While there, I browsed around the store and found the kit for Autumn Glory in the Clearance Room for 30% off. I thought it was a great deal and bought the kit for a "non-traditional" QOV.

The kit included all the fabric (including the binding) and the pattern. I cut the fabric and took the pieces to Denver for the Sisters' Sew-in.

Autumn Glory was made using a Villa Rosa Design, called Crimson Glory, and is QOV #92 - a complete list can be seen here

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Vintage Washing Machine

Wringer on a vintage washing machine
April 2016
Marilyn has a vintage wringer-washing machine on display in the basement bathroom. It makes me smile to see it tucked in the corner.

vintage wringer washing machine
 with agitator 
The machine even has an agitator. After filling the tub with hot water, the laundress would place a foot in the metal stirrup on the front and pull back on the handle to agitate and clean the laundry. Once the pieces are clean, they are placed in the wringer on the back of the machine, and the crank is turned to squeeze out the excess water. Doing laundry with this machine would have been easier than using the wash board leaning against the wall to the left of the machine.

My mother used an electric wringer washer for years, and I have many memories of laundry days. Have you ever used a wringer washer?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Quilt of Valor
58 x 68 inches
Cheerio was made with the same pattern as Scrappy Lanterns: I used the original layout but added another row to meet the QOV size requirement.

The 10-inch squares and 5-inch squares were prepared and marked before I went to Denver for the Sisters' Sew-in.

Cheerio is Quilt of Valor #91 - a complete list can be seen here

This pattern created 90 bonus half-square triangles (HST) that will be used in a future project along with the 90 HST from Scrappy Lanterns.

Scrappy Lanterns and Cheerio on the "design floor"

Cheerio was awarded to a veteran on May 28, 2017 
at the Little Snake River Museum in Savery, WY
Richard Lee Dunckley
May 28, 2017

Monday, May 9, 2016

Marilyn's Project

Marilyn finishing her star blocks
April 2016
Marilyn pulled a kit from her stash to work on during the Sisters' Sew-in. By the end of the week, she had all the blocks made and the sashing sewn, too.

Half of Marilyn's quilt kit on the "design floor"
She had nearly all the top assembled (sans borders) when she noticed some problems with the sashing. She had to rip back a few rows to fix the problem.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Foreign Friday

Boy's Day - Koinobori
May 1980
near Misawa, Japan 
I was fortunate to snap a photo of the traditional koinobori (carp) flying outside of this business. I purchased a used black carp - about seven feet long, and a red carp - about five feet long and used them for bulletin boards. Several years ago, I parted with them at a yard sale.

On May 5th, typically Boys' Day, families raise the carp-shaped koinobori flags (carp because of the Chinese legend that a carp that swims upstream becomes a dragon, and the way the flags blow in the wind looks like they are swimming), with one black carp for the father, one red carp for the mother, and one blue carp for each child (traditionally each son). Wikipedia

Girls' Day is in March, and to celebrate, families display all manner of dolls in their homes, many passed down from generation to generation.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Capturing the Moment

April 23, 2016
near Parker, CO
I stayed at my niece's home the weekend before the Sisters' Sew-in. We went for walks, enjoyed the beautiful weather (before it turned nasty on Monday), worked on a large puzzle, and visited.

Saturday afternoon, we noticed that the neighbors were taking advantage of the nice day by snapping prom photos in front of my niece's landscaping. (I captured the moment on my cell phone camera through the window.)

Do you remember taking prom photos? What color was your favorite prom dress?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Scrappy Lanterns

Scrappy Lanterns
Quilt of Valor
57 x 67 inches
One of the kits that I prepared from some scrap 10-inch squares and made at the Sisters' Sew-in was Scrappy Lanterns: the layout reminded me of Oriental lanterns.

Pattern: Large Fence by Let's Quilt Something
                     I used the alternative layout and added another row to meet
                     the QOV size requirement

Scrappy Lanterns is Quilt of Valor #90 - a complete list can be seen here

This pattern created 90 bonus half-square triangles that will be used in a future project.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sisters' Sew-in 2016

Front of the T-shirts that Marilyn bought for the Sisters' Sew-in
April 2016
Marilyn and I spent last Monday thru Friday quilting on our own projects in her sewing room, and we both got a LOT accomplished. I took four kits I prepared from scraps to make Quilts of Valor, and Marilyn worked on a kit from her stash. 

Marilyn purchased official T-shirts for our sew-in and we wore them the first two days. 

Nancy and Marilyn
Sisters' Sew-in
Day One
We were so focused on sewing, that we didn't even step outside until Thursday. The weather was nasty all week - perfect for sewing. . .

Centennial, CO
Friday, April 29, 2016

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