Friday, July 18, 2014

I'm Rich!

I belong to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  We get our "share" of the produce on Fridays.

Here is some of today's bounty:

To prepare for tonight's feast, I baked bread this morning:

Mmmmmm, fresh bread!

To start cooking dinner, I cut up my garlic scapes:

and made pesto.  Mmmmmmmmmm, pesto!

Tonight's feast:

Salad with fresh butter lettuce and fresh carrots, fresh bread with green garlic pesto, and farfalle with oil, garlic, red sauce, and Parmesan.

I love this part of summer!

London Memories

One of the fun things I'm doing in 2014 is filming quilting YouTube videos of Pat Sloan's Globetrotting block of the month.  Each month, the block is based on a different city.  In May, Pat designed a block called "London."

I just taught quilting in Birmingham, England and spent a few vacation days in London when I was done.  I though it would be fun to bring my London block with me.

My London block visited 221B Baker Street:

Benedict Cumberbatch thought it was lovely!

My London block needed to call home while we were in London:

I also took my block to:

I didn't get a photo of my quilt block crossing the road, though, because I would have died.  I am used to traffic on the right side of the road and they drive on the wrong side of the road in England.  That's hard enough, but... Abbey Road is CRAZY!  It is a crosswalk at a three-way intersection.  There is not an official stop light/walk light.  Pedestrians must rely on the good graces of the drivers.


I managed to cross the road once without getting killed and didn't want to push my luck trying it a second time with a quilt block in hand.  I will do a lot for this quilting blog, but playing Human Frogger goes too far!

The one photo:

A little cropping goes a long way!

Other than nearly being flattened on Abbey Road, my London Block and I both enjoyed our trip to London very much!

Are you making the Globetrotting quilt?  Have you been to any of the cities with your blocks?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- Night 72

This post is late.  Tuesday night the hotel wi-fi in my hotel didn't work.  Wednesday night after overseas travel, "I" didn't work and passed out before I could blog.

I woke up in London on my last day in the UK.  I spent the morning/early afternoon at the British Museum.  I could have spent a week there!

Mosaics galore:

Proof that I "invented" ribbon candy as a quilting design:

After I checked out of my hotel in London, I noticed this beautiful walkway on my way to the train:

Future quilt alert?

I traveled back to Birmingham to an airport hotel and found the




Did you notice the fire extinguisher halfway down the hall on the left?  Here it is with the second half of the hallway:

At the end of the hallway, I turned and found...

another hallway:

My husband and I kept making references to "The Shining" movie.  We didn't notice any small children riding tricycles in the hotel, so that was a relief.

We had a fabulous dinner our last night in Birmingham.

I tried the treacle tart with sticky pudding:

Sound quite English, doesn't it?  It was delicious.

My husband had a sampler:

I may have sampled/stolen the Turkish Delight on the top left of his plate.

Farewell, UK.  I will definitely miss you.  I hope to see you again soon!

Globetrotting, block 5: London (video 4)

Today is the last video of the London block from Pat Sloan's Globetrotting block of the month.

Here's my block:

And here's my plan:

Today's video is more free-motion quilting -- Ribbon Candy!  It's probably my favorite quilting design.

My finished block:

I hope to get caught up soon.  It's July and I just finished quilting May's block!  

Meet me in St. Louis?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Globetrotting, block 5: London (video 3)

Today I have another short video of the quilting on the London block from Pat Sloan's Globetrotting block of the month.

My block:

My plan:

For today's video, I'm doing some straight-line stitching in the purple squares.  I am working on Hazel, my sweet Sweet Sixteen and Hazel doesn't have feed dogs.  I use a longarm quilting template, the Handi Quilter Mini Scallop template with Handi Grip   to keep it from slipping.

Are you ready to quilt?

Here's the block:

Stay tuned for another quilting video.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- Night 71

Oh, London... what a day I had!

I started in Westminster Abbey:

No photography allowed inside (the horror!), so I will be researching online for months to come.  Oh, for a small photo of the fabric behind the Quire!

Lunch had to be my absolute favorite meal here in the UK.  Steak and ale pie:

It was delightful.  The chocolate cake at the Patisserie next door was quite nice, too, or so I've been told.

My travel partner wanted to visit the Natural History Museum.  I have no words to describe how much I like looking at dinosaur bones.  No.  Words.  My experience changed once I saw the building.  It had columns:



And the occasional dinosaur:

This is my favorite Natural History Museum.  Ever.

After that excitement, I felt the need for a consulting detective:

And then I felt compelled to walk across a street:

This photo is edited as my Facebook profile picture, but I wanted to show the raw footage.

Abbey Road was PURE CHAOS!

Cars were driving and honking while people were jumping into the street for photos.  It was the most unintentionally hilarious part of my trip.  I have a video that I might post later when I get home and have decent upload speed.  If I lived there, I would definitely find another route.

My hotel internet isn't very fast, but it is a nice hotel.  The first 6 inches of the hotel room have a lot going on:

Above:  keycard power supply (or whatever you call it).  Also a room light and two bathroom lights.  All switches are backwards of what I expect in the US.


There is no room next to the door for a chain lock, so it is on the adjacent wall.  This hotel room is EFFICIENT!

I am resting up for another adventure-filled day tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 70

I walked my feet off in London today.  I remembered to "Mind the Gap" and to "Look Left" and to "Look Right" and made it safely home.  Phew!

Oh, the places I've been:

After I ran the London 10K (or at least avoided the traffic delays), I took a boat ride down the Thames to Greenwich.  I get a lot of blog comments asking how I get so much done.  I travel all around the globe, logging 37,000 miles in April alone and being in the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western hemispheres all in the same month.

Today, however, I was in the Eastern and Western hemispheres AT THE SAME TIME!

After I pulled myself back together, I took another boat ride to the Tower of London and then walked the Tower Bridge:

This city is forcing me, a petrified-of-heights gal, to walk across a bunch of glorious bridges, just to say I did it.  Extra chocolate is required.

I walked around Buckingham Palace:


I spent some time walking through St. James's Park.  It was a perfect afternoon!  The ducks here were showing their... um.... better (?) sides:

I am not a flower child.  I have no idea what plants are called or what they are supposed to look like, but...

... this was One.  Gorgeous.  Flower:

Future quilt alert?

They grown swans big here:

This swan's neck was as big around as my arm and its head could have reached my chin.  HUGE!

At the end of the park, I saw this:

I was waiting for Cinderella to show up, but then I learned that it was the Whitehall Facade of the Horse Guard and maybe Cinderella didn't live there after all.

I walked on to Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus and took all of the appropriate photos.  Before I took the train back to my hotel, I ended my search for chocolate.

Carpo.  Wow.

I had a grande hot chocolate:

This is liquid love.  Pure bliss.  Dark, dark, dark, dark, and DARK!

Since I am a guest in the UK, I try to conform to all traditions and customs once I learn what they are.  Is it considered rude here to jump into a cup of hot chocolate and lick it clean?

Since I wasn't certain, I refrained.

Back at the hotel again, I had a disagreement to solve.  Do you see the bar at the top of the shower?

One of us thinks it is for a missing shower curtain, but the other one of us thinks (knows) that it is simply a brace to hold the glass wall in place.  Now that we both know I am right...

The shower dials were different than I've seen in the States:

Top knob is for volume and the bottom knob is for temperature.

Several weeks ago I mentioned how difficult the paperwork for a visa to the UK was.  It was; I meant that.  I know now, however, that it was TOTALLY WORTH IT!  My students at The Cotton Patch were amazing and I'm having so much fun on my holiday!

I need to rest up for tomorrow's adventures.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 69

Another day, another hotel room.  This one is in London (the one in England):

Super small rooms have super-small baths, but they are so cute!

The very first thing we did in London was to stop at a pub.  We shared this lunch:

Is there much more traditional than fish and chips at a pub in London?

I'm glad we ate that, because odd circumstances led us to eat BBQ for dinner:

We were walking along the Themes, looking for somewhere to eat dinner.  We walked past a BBQ restaurant.  My husband loves BBQ and we were debating how awful it would be to eat BBQ in London when the first drops began to fall.  We ducked inside to avoid the rain and ate a yummy, non-traditional dinner.

I saw a bunch of gorgeous buildings from afar:

Hopefully I will see some of them up close tomorrow!