Sunday, May 18, 2008

Finally a Nice Weekend!

No, this isn't our pool, but you can see it from our deck. Given the miserable, cold rainy spring we've had, it's a welcome sight to see the Hancock girls enjoying their pool.

As might be imagined, the warm, sunny weather with temperatures in the upper 70s got us thinking about planting. Here are a few of our pots--not quite finished yet, but we've made a start. Paul insisted on an angel leaf begonia. He loves begonias; I'm not so much a fan.

And here is the man with his watering can. We visited three garden centers before settling on our choices today.

This is the usual assortment of wave petunias and impatiens, but we hope to post more of our rose garden in full bloom very soon.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Quilting Friends in Iowa

For 15 years now the quilting group that I started while we lived in Belvidere has traveled to Kalona, Iowa for their annual quilt show and sale. Once we moved I haven't always been able to go, but this year Mary Magnus made the trip up with me and we had a fabulous time at our "Girls Weekend."

Here we are gathered in front of one of our favorite haunts--the Amish grocery store. This place has amazing bargains, as well as some items it would be difficult to find anywhere else. Here it appears that Sandy is consulting our itinerary for the day. We had quite a schedule to keep.

Even though we had a lot to fit into three days, the Amish were as unperturbed as ever as evidenced by the horse and buggy going by on the road next to the store. Kalona is the largest Amish community west of the Mississippi, so horses and buggies are common fare.

This wall quilt was a favorite with Mary. I like it too. There's no shortage of inspiration in Kalona.

Jan B. and Marie enjoy the sunroom, a favorite place for cold and windy, but sunny days. As you can see, the quilters knit as well as stitch.

Jan F. was our hostess for the weekend. We stayed in her wonderful new home in Kalona. Not much furniture yet, but we certainly managed to be comfortable with blow-up beds and our own linens.

Here's a photo of a beautiful pastel bear claw quilt.

Babette smiles from her sunroom perch. She and Jungah made a fabulous soup for on Saturday evening. Nothing like taking your own caterer with you. This group has it all.

And finally, here's a churn dash quilt -- a favorite, yet simple design made more interesting with the choice of colors.