Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Quilt Patch - Outdoor Quilt Show

I have never been to an outdoor quilt show and now I had volunteered to help hang one. I figured my quilt hanging skills at an indoor show could easily be translated to the outdoor show.

The show was hosted by The Quilt Patch in Moose Jaw. The Quilt Patch

I believe this was the 6th year they have hosted the show and it takes place in a lovely park just minutes from the shop in downtown Moose Jaw.

Step one - GET UP EARLY (4:30 AM)
Step two - check the weather - in the event of rain - the show is cancelled which has never happened
Step three - get moving cause there is a LOT of work to be done.

We zipped off to the quilt store to pick up the 300 quilts that needed to be hung. Oh yes - the show officially starts at 10 so no time to waste.

Arrive at beautiful Crescent Park - downtown Moose Jaw - about 6 AM with cars and trucks loaded with stuff for the quilt show

Lay out tarps and look at those bags and bags of quilts!!!!!

Sort the quilts so the sizes are approximate. These girls do NOT waste time fussing with colours - just get two quilts same size (more or less) and put them in a "puddle" so those two can be grabbed and given to a hanger!!!
 While the girls did the sorting, the men were on ladders and strung the rope amongst the trees. Did I mention how efficient these people are?????   There were just a hand full of volunteers (OK - employees of the store for the sorting and their husbands, brothers, for the hanging)

This is Colleen whose two quilts happened to get hung next to each other. The one on the right is made with ties!!!!  Colleen is also the head quilt hanger upper!!!!   She whipped us all into shape and by 9 (yes NINE AM), the quilts were all up. All 'THREE HUNDRED of them. I was IMPRESSED to say the least.

Quilts hanging in the park

Quilts hanging in the park

More quilts hanging in the park
It was a perfect day for an outdoor quilt show. There was a breeze which kept the bugs away and made it not quite so hot. The sun was shining - it was glorious.

There were six vendors there and yes I had to visit them all. There are three shops in Moose Jaw - hard to believe. My favourite of course is the Quilt Patch. The owners of the store have written a book - if you do NOT have this book - you should get one. It has so many cute patterns in it. I just love it. I do NOT have the book because I have been to this store before and I had purchased a number of the patterns that were in the book. But I'm thinking I might have to buy the book and get them to autograph it for me!!!!!   Yes - I know - you want to know what book is it - well here it is.......

Tis the Season. I got this picture from Amazon web site - go to the web site and you can see some of the inside pages. I just love love love this book. Of course I have NOT made anything yet, but I am motivated now to get something done. And did I mention that this book is a BEST SELLER and is in its fifth printing!!!!   That's an accomplishment for a quilting book!!!!!

Amazon Web Site for "Tis the Season"

And the owners have a new book going to be released in October.

Anyway - go to the link and you can flip through some of the pages to see their new and exciting stuff.

They also have a line of fabric (I think there is a preview on their web site) and that will be available in stores in February.

Exciting stuff - it was so neat to chat with the owners of the store - Jeanne and Shelly. For some reason ( and it was probably Marian's fault), I came across this store a number of years ago. I think they were also in The Quilt Sampler magazine in 2006?????  (Where is Marian when I need her to check details!!!) I remember calling the store to sign up for their mystery mailout. They were having WAY TOO MUCH FUN at that store and I get the feeling that every day is like that. It really is a happy quilt store. And speaking of mystery mailout - you should call them and sign up for this (OK - I don't think they are accepting signups until September). But the cost is around $55 (if memory serves me right) and you get a six part mystery with all the fabric mailed to you over a period of six weeks. The projects are doable - they are cute and I can't wait for the next one to start. OK - so I still have two of them to finish!!!!!

Oh - yes - back to the quilt show. At four PM - the volunteers appeared from all corners of the park, the men with their ladders, the women with their tarps. The quilts were dropped on the tarp (I got to be a runner!!!!). They were folded and stacked into piles so the owners could pick them up. I think we were out of there by 5:30. Could have been sooner, but we were waiting for some people to pick up their quilts.

Tearing down the show

Then we had a lovely BBQ hosted by the shop owners. All the vendors were invited and the volunteers. No matter where in this world you go - you have something in common with your fellow quilters!!!!!   I also got to meet a designer - Debbie Richards who designs these quilts.

DJ Richards Design

I think we need to investiage a class in this technique. I love them and they are different.

And then the day came to an early end. Everyone was tired - no kidding - when do you get up at 4:30 AM on vacation except to hang a quilt show!!!!!

I had loads of fun and I've been invited back next year to help out. Hmmmmm - maybe I helped out a bit too much!!!!!   Like I said - this is a fun place to shop and would be a fun place to work!!!!

If you want to meet Jeanne and Shelley yourself - they will be hanging out at the CreativFestival in Toronto in October!!!!!    Make a point of checking out their booth - you won't be disappointed.

Oh yes - I made some observations while I was at the show - which I took tons of pictures at, but they are on my other camera and there are TOO MANY to post)

1. A LOT of the quilts are long arm quilted
2. A LOT of the quilts were quilted with a loose overall pattern (regardless of pieced or applique, pattern or style)
3. A LOT of the quilts had PLUSH or MINKY on the back. They were so warm and cozy - you wanted to curl up with one despite the fact that it was hot that day. The story is that once you put minky on the back - you never want to put cotton on the back or even flannel. I bought some to put on the back of a quilt that M liked.
4. A LOT of the quilts were fairly simple whether they were applique or pieced, but they were all GORGEOUS.

Well - there you have it - an outdoor quilt show. If ever you are in the area of Moose Jaw around the time of the show - you need to make an effort to get here. Or at least - get to the store!!!!!!

Did you notice the orange car in front of the store (the first picture today)???  Well I think they must like orange cars here - look at this one......

As I was snapping this picture, the owner came out and got in!!!!   Great!!!!!

I have to show you this gorgeous bracelet I found.  Technically I didn't find it, but someone told me about it. I just LOVE IT.

Have a great day!!!!


And then..........

We spent the next two days geocaching!!!!   Day one - we didn't find too many, and we also DID NOT get a good start. The weather was warm and the sky was clear. We started on one that required a LOT of walking so just Caroline and I went. Well after about 200 M - we were ATTACKED by mosquitos. Too stupid to turn back - we forged on and literally my legs (which were bare and NO bug spray) were covered with bites. This is going to be BAD!!!!!   Then we came to the washed out road (the cache was on an island) and the high river had washed out part of the road. No problem - we can trek through the prickly bushes on the side - I couldn't feel a thing because my legs were protected by mosquitos!!!!   Let's just say that is the least amount of time I ever spent at a cache - thank god we found it quick and then swatted like mad all the way back. We did NOT go for the other cache on the island.

Some we couldn't get to because of muddy roads or high water. Drat - well maybe another day.

The next day - we headed in a different direction and managed to find all on our list except the first one. We searched and searched but no luck. But we were in anticipation of a BOOK EXCHANGE cache. This one was big enough to put books in and we had a couple that we were finished with. The cache was in the most bizarre place but we found it and exchanged our books. I have since started the one I chose and I can't put the darn thing down. That is why at 1 PM last night - I couldn't sleep. I hope to finish it today!!!!!

While we were out - you guessed it - we found a LOT of Subways. They are in every small town.

Subway in Langham

Oh yes  - I have to tell you about my car. I wanted a mid-sized car so I could take the bike back to the airport with me. They gave me a Ford Focus. In my mind - that is a small car and it is small, but we have managed to pack THREE suitcases in the back - Caroline's is HUGE and M's is heavy. What do these girls need to bring for two weeks??????   Anyway - we did try the bike box and it fits so I guess I am OK. But I am thinking that I need to get a new car. I like all the gadgets and gizmos in the car, although I wouldn't buy this one.

Back in the car again and off to my other brothers. Yes - we have spent a lot of time packing and repacking - well the girls have - I travel light. And there was a BIG surprise at my brother's house - the girls were THRILLED.

Meet - HYDRO

Cute as a button

Little munchkin

A little puppy - just 10 weeks old. This is HYDRO. Hydro is a rescue dog (I won't tell you the story - it would blow your socks off). But Hydro is adorable, he is a busy puppy and we just loved him to death!!!!  The girls (well OK - so all of us) were equally entertained by the dog. Kind of makes you want to have a puppy again until you hear him crying in the night. OK - so I was just kidding about the getting a puppy thing!!!!

The next morning we were off to Moose Jaw. I know - I told you I should have kept track of the miles.

After dinner - there was the most beautiful rainbow. It is hard to capture them on film, but we had no problem getting this one.

The right side of the rainbow - it was a double one, but the second one is much fainter

The left side of the rainbow

We found my friends house - a beautiful old house (100 years) in the city and after having a great visit - we were off to bed - it was going to be an early morning!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!

On the road again!!!!!

I should have taken note of how many miles I have driven this vacation, but I didn't. But to kind of catch up with what's been happening here goes.

OK - pretend that this is Monday, July 18th. The girls decide that they NEED to go parasailing. And guess what there is parasailing on the beach in Penticton. So we are off to go parasailing. I could have gone in the boat with them, but Dad was with me, so we stayed on the beach. And there were TWO parasailing places which caused a bit of confusion at the beginning since the girls went to the right one and I went to the closest ones. Oh yes - just when you think you have an edge on them - they beat you at your own game!!!!!
Getting on the boat



Happy parasailers!!!!

Now we watched them and it seemed pretty simple. They didn't even get wet!!!!!   The sail went up and then it hoised them right out of the boat and into the sky. I wouldn't let M take her camera (a nice digital 35) and she was MAD. Of course I heard about it afterwards when they didn't get wet!!!!   But Caroline had her waterproof camera and they got some good shots of them in the sky.

We had a major downpour and you could see NOTHING but mist, rain and clouds off Glen's deck.

Rain and mist and clouds

Normally the view from the deck

We had a last great dinner (thank goodness we are leaving or we all wouldn't fit back in the truck!!!!)

We left on Tuesday morning, but not before we packed the back of the truck - covering everything with tarps in the event of rain. We had had a bit of rain on the way out and we wanted to be prepared.

Instead of taking a different route which was our first plan - we decided to take the same route as we had come. We passed fruit stand after fruit stand and then realized - wouldn't it be nice to have some cherries to eat in the truck. Of course by then - there were NO MORE fruit stands. Yes - we were all brain dead, but more focused on the fact that there was NO MORE room in the truck (how much luggage can FIVE people have!!!!).

The last spike!

Approaching one of the seven or eight snow sheds

Inside the snow shed
And then it started to rain and it rained and it rained and it rained harder!!!!!! 

Rain on the way home
 I was getting worried about some of the stuff in the back cause my backpack with ALL my electronics was in the back. Let's hope the tarps hold up!!!!!
We finally arrived in Calgary which was going to be our stop for the night and what did we see:??????

Is that snow?????   NOPE - HAIL!!!!!!
Looks like they had a hail storm earlier in the day. Thank goodness we didn't have to drive through that.

Anyway - I was looking for a hotel on the outskirts on the east side of Calgary and next thing you knew - we were outside and no hotels. CRAP!!!!   OK - the next town is Strathmore - let's pray they have SOMETHING.

Turns out Strathmore had LOTS of nice hotels and we got safely ensconced for the night and got to check the luggage which seemed soggy!!!!

We were ALL lucky. The inside of my backpack was WET, but nothing was damaged. I had some papers in the backpack and they absorbed the water and it didn't damage a thing. One of M's notebooks got wet, but we managed to get it dryed out during the next week. What a relief. But notice how the girls spread out.

The girls with some of their stuff - they are spreaders!!!!  And those suitcases - well they just exploded every time we got somewhere. They DO NOT know how to pack light!!!!

Some of our stuff drying!!!!!
Oh yes - something else that was bizarre on the way home was the temperature. Yes - we have one of those thermometers in the truck for the outside temperature. It went as LOW as TEN degrees. Can you believe it????????   Well there was hail in Calgary after all.

We awoke the next morning to a beauitful day!!!!!    Yeah!!!!!!   We still packed everything up tight and I put my electronics in a plastic bag INSIDE the backpack in the event we had rain again.

We stopped in Drumheller which was the reason we went this way. I had never been there before and we thought the girls would enjoy it as well.

BIG dinosaur in Drumheller at the tourist information booth

In the mouth of the dinosaur

Some "fossils" inside the dinosaur

The girls inside the dinosaur

Impressions of early life

These small dinosaurs were every where

Next stop was church!!!!   Yes - you heard me - even though it was Wednesday - it was a perfect day to go to church!

Caroline and M in church

Caroline outside little church in Drumheller

Caroline and Dad geocaching outside little church in Drumheller

While at the church - we thought it was a perfect place for a geocache and sure enough there was one. Caroline was the eagle eye. And good thing we got this one because it was the ONLY one we did in Alberta!!!!   I would have been ticked off if we had driven TWICE through and not got ONE!!!!

OK - so it is hard to geocache when you want to get somewhere!!!!

Next stop - the Hoodoos. If you have never been to the badlands of Alberta - I strongly suggest it. It is just incredible to see the terrain. If you can't make it - well here are some pictures.

M taking a picture of the hoodoos

The hoo doos

Incredible terrain at the hoo doos

Caroline at the hoo doos

M at the hoo doos

Just before getting to the hoodoos - well somewhere along the road - oh yes where we turned off the main highway to get to Drumheller - we saw a house being moved. Too far away for pictures. Then after the hoodoos - we were approaching an intersection and we wondered why a few cars and trucks were sitting there. Wouldn't you know it - here comes the darn house. This time we got pictures.

House on the move and it was going VERY FAST

And what is a trip on the prairies like without showing you how FLAT most of it is.

Open prairie including bug splats!!!!

By this time we are geting hungry for lunch and there are FEW and far between towns. Of course the girls are used to eating in chain restaurants and I'm thinking there isn't going to be anything like that around. M says wouldn't it be cool if there was a Subway near here. Oh right - we all snort!!!!   Get real!!!!
Then a mirage hit the horizon. A sign for the next town  -great - we are stopping no matter what they have. Then a sign - no this is REALLY a mirage now - this town has a Subway???????   NO way - YES way. We stop in Oyan and there really is a Subway here. Thank goodness for the sign because the town is 4 KM off the highway.

Subway in Oyan
 Now from the outside these are NOT fancy places, but inside - it's just a regular old Subway. This little town - population 1000 has enough business (probably from the sign on the road) to justify it and the managed said they are quite busy. No wonder - there is NOTHING else for miles.

Then we reached the Saskatchewan border - Yeah.

Me at Saskatchewan border

Then it was an uneventful trip home to the farm, but not before we stopped at the airport (Saskatoon) so I could rent my car for the duration of my trip.

After Mom and Dad went their way - we decided to stop at my favourite book store - McNally Robinson. I just love this place. They had quilts hanging in the store (and advertising the upcoming - in October quilt show)

Quilts hanging in the book store in Saskatoon
Quilts hanging in bookstore in Saskatoon
It is really nice to see this bookstore promote local talent, both quilts (every time I come here - there are ALWAYS quilts hanging in the store) and they promote prairie writers as well. How come we don't have that back home:???????

There is a nice little restaurant there as well and we had a nice dinner before leaving for the farm.

My litle bowl of soup!!!!

Our last stop before arriving at the farm was a special geocache at the Red Bull. Which the girls figured out!!!


And at last - almost 10 PM - we arrived at the farm. Yeah!!!!!!   Two long days of driving. I'm surprised how well I did since I tend to get drowsy driving for a half hour in the city!!!!!

Got to run and get something to eat and KILL the kids upstairs in this hotel. I think they are having a competition to see who can make the most noise.

Have a great day!!!!!