Monday, January 31, 2011

New Techniques

This weekend, while Justin was sitting on a frozen lake in a little tent near his friends' little tents I decided to go to Northern Minnesota to visit my cousin Katie and our grandma.  Grandma Phyllis, although still healthy and mobile, is not crazy about driving in the winter and has been bored lately so we thought it would be nice to visit.  Also, she enjoys sharing our interest in sewing and quilting and I wanted her to show me how to quilt with my new sewing machine. 

When I was growing up we spent alot of time at my grandparents' house. We were there so much the summer my family was visiting/returning from the middle east that we had a season pass at the city pool there.  My aunt and my mom both stayed at home when we were little kids and during the summer we would spend days at a time there, eating summertime lunches of sandwiches and chips before heading to the pool for the afternoon where us girls (there were four of us...Myself and Andrea, and Katie and Brenna) would play "mermaid" games (Disney's The Little Mermaid was the movie of the moment).  My brother was the only boy and who know what he did all the time.  I don't know how he could stand it to be honest!  If we weren't swimming we were playing outside in the vacant lot (which is no longer vacant) next door or sitting at the table in the basement coloring and drawing pictures on the big stacks of computer paper and construction paper my grandparents provided from the school and bank where they worked while our moms sat up at the kitchen table paging through magazines.  It is the house they grew up in so being there often resulted in reminscing about funny stories from their childhood and lots of cackling.  Looking back, it seems very idyllic! 

Katie and I both mentioned our nostalgia at being at our Grandma's house.  At our age it is nice to still have that part of our childhood accessible because I know alot of people my age who have lost their grandparents and some did not even get to know them as children.  If they are alive, many have moved into assisted living or smaller, low maintenance apartments.  Although the decor has been updated with each decade almost everything is the same.  My grandpa's various coaching and teaching awards still hang on the wall in the basement, along with a bulletin board with baby pictures and funny newspaper clippings pinned on it that hasn't changed since the early 90's.  And I like it that way! 

The side of the basement where we used to draw and color is now my Grandma's quilting headquarters.  She has an abundance of fabric and a big fancy sewing machine and a big rotary cutting mat that covers the whole table. 

We put the proper quilting foot on my machine and Grandma showed me her signature swirling quilting design!  There was nothing to it!

This was my frist attempt.  It was OK.

I also learned the "right" way to bind quilts.  I usually just cut the back larger than the front and then fold it over and sew it.  The right way involves strips of fabric that are sewn on the back and then folded over and hand sewn on the front.  I am skeptical because I don't like had sewing but I think it looks alot better so I will give it a try. 

My first attempt.  The corner looks good!  By the way, those are just not be alarmed by the hideous floral/snowman combination!

I think I've got it!

Ooooh...look what I did!  ALLAN!  The possibilities are endless!

On Sunday afternoon I stopped at the farm to pick up Jake because Andrea and Kirk were back from Hawaii.  At Christmas he had to be coaxed into his kennel with a meat stick before he would leave.  This time, he wouldn't go at all!  Not even for a meat stick!  He wouldn't leave the step and when I tried to lead him by the collar he put on the brakes and locked his legs in place!  My dad had to come out and carry him!  We recorded it on my dad's phone and I think it's hilarious.  It might be a "had to be there" moment but if you know the family you might like it.  My favorite part is when my dad says "Dinner plate!" and tries to get Jake to chase after a food tray.  It is kind of sad, too, because my parents' dog is crying and wimpering as Jake finally gets up in the kennel.  If you watch, please ignore the ridiculous giggling from my mom and I!  At 2:30 is when Dad finally takes action!

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