Sunday, October 23, 2016

Minnesota Fun & Friends!

Oh my ... I find that I love posting experiences after the fact!  Not only does it allow me to relive and revisit that experience, but it also gifts me with the opportunity to think, ponder and reflect on how I was impacted by it.  
Taken October 1st
This post is not written in chronological order, but reflects my time spent between family and the amazing road trip taken and hosted by Mary Ellen!
While driving (it is about 5 hours) between Northern Minnesota and the Metro Area I took the opportunity to stop at two of my favorite quilt stores!
It had been about 4 years since my last visit ... they continue to inspire me and I found many treasures to mail home!
This sincere and thoughtful welcome was waiting for me on the nightstand in the guest room Mary Ellen had prepared for me!  I was so touched ... and felt like royalty!  Squeal is the phrase we use to declare our excitement when texting and emailing one another!  I was so excited to spend time with her ... we turn everything into an adventure!
In between other activities, we visited a couple of metro quilt stores, Twin Cities Quilting was a new shop for me.  Loved the selection of fabrics!
And a quilter's trip to Minnesota would not be complete without a visit to Glad Creations!  I have always loved everything about this shop!
I met a new friend, Nettie ... she is the person I bought my hand-crank antique machine, Flora, from!  We met her for breakfast.  Look at this menu!  Yep ... this is the home of my people!
Of course, I had to have the Norwegian Lefse Breakfast!  Yummy!
We also went to Nettie's home where she shared many treasures!
Her box of vintage Yo-yo's made my heart sing!  Nettie is as fun and inspiring as her yo-yo collection!  A new friend ... and she is an inspiration!
Sharlene and Karen, from Southern Minnesota, drove up to the cities for a day of catching-up, lunch and shopping!  We spent our day exploring White Bear Lake and dropped in to visit Roseann at her studio!  Roseann's studio is such an inspiring place!  Like she does ... the studio fills you with creativity and the belief of possibilities!
Roseann joined us for lunch ... she highly recommended the "pot roast" sandwich!  I had never had a mashed potato patty on a sandwich!  Absolutely delicious!
We loved these flowers made with sewing pattern tissue ... too fun!
Karen, Sharlene and I spent the rest of the day leisurely shopping and exploring while we caught up on our lives.  We picked up right where we left off while on the Oregon Trail last summer ... friends like that are such a blessing ... I appreciate them in sew many ways!
I love Mall of America and had to spend some time there ... it was great to see the changes over the past 4 years!  I enjoyed a bit of shopping, dinner and a movie!  A visit to the Twin Cities is not complete with spending some time here!
This bag at Caribou Coffee just cracks me up!  And it is true that Minnesotans love their coffee ... I come by my addiction very honestly! ;-)  Ten years ago, when I began developing the principles of the "dillydally lifestyle" one of the primary cornerstones of my philosophy was to spend my energy on relationships that were a positive influence in the world.  That decision was and continues to be life changing!  I am so grateful for the friends featured in this post ... they alone are reason enough for me to visit Minnesota ... I am already looking forward to my next visit!

Do what you love.  Spend time with friends!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Childhood Home - Northern Minnesota

Mr. and I returned to Cordova Tuesday evening to a very affectionate welcome from Flicka and Nissa!  They were very well taken care of by Brother and Girlfriend DillyDally!  This blog is primarily a personal journal ... and after opening it today, I realized just how much I haven't recorded.  Time to catch up and move forward!
Farm Property - Minnesota
My arrival to Minnesota was interrupted by flight cancelations, a new flight schedule, and lost luggage!  Let's just say that if a flight itinerary could go wrong, this one did!  Without going into further detail ... just know that I did eventually arrive in Minnesota via Texas!  Yep, my first visit to Texas was brief, but I'll be back for a longer stay some day!  When I finally arrived in Northern Minnesota ... it was a joy to see family and familiar places.
The homestead is no longer owned by family.  Picture taken from my farm property.
Because of my teaching career, this is the first time I was able to visit my childhood home in October!  Fall was always my favorite season ... such a thrill to return and enjoy the warm days and chilly nights!
Brother with BoBo the donkey
I stayed with my brother and spent the evenings with him and his family.
My sister-in-law with BoBo!  He was her Mother's Day gift!
My nephew appears to be the grandchild that inherited the "farming" gene!  He has been developing a herd of beef cattle, has two horses and bought his mother a donkey!  BoBo steals the show ... just adorable ... if I could care for one here in Alaska, I would want one too!
My siblings and I all own some property from the original homestead built by my great grandparents.  All of the pictures in this post were taken from the acreage Mr. DD and I own.
My sister and I spent the daylight hours together.  She and I walked the property that was once pasture for the dairy cows.  Many wonderful memories of bringing the cows to the barn for milking!
She made this beautiful wreath with materials she collected in the woods!  Such talent and creativity ... it hangs on my brother's fireplace.
My sister is also a master gardener ... and preserves her produce expertly!  She made a beautiful lunch for us, serving her home grown food and using her heirloom dishes and linens!  Lovely in every way!  I treasure the week I spent with family ... with our parents gone, visits tend to be far and few.  It makes me appreciate the memories we create now ... that much more.

There really is no place like home.  Family is everything!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Monday, October 3, 2016

DillyDally Travels!

I have been having a wonderful time visiting family and friends in Minnesota and California.  Even though I intended to blog during my travels, I am finding it difficult to fit blogging in as my access to the internet has been sketchy most of the time!

Because this blog is like a personal journal for me, I will share my adventures once I return to Alaska.  I am posting daily from my phone on instagram and facebook ... if you'd like to see where my dillydally travels take me, just click on the link in the right margin.

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally   

Monday, September 12, 2016

Playing with Wool!

Saturday greeted us with clear skies and stunning views!
I spent the day sharing my love of wool with eight enthusiastic quilters eager to learn wool applique'!

They were fearless ... and before long their stems had been embroidered and they had mastered the blanket stitch!

There is such beauty in watching hands at work with needle and thread ... just makes my heart so happy.  
It didn't take long ... and in a blink they were stitching down their leaves and Forget-Me-Nots!
By the end of our day, each women had made great progress!  They had practiced each of the skills they needed to complete their first wool applique' project on their own!  Gosh ... it was such an honor to spend the day bathed in their energy!  I hope that their journey with wool is long and rewarding!  I am grateful to have spent the day sharing my love of wool with them!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Aprons & a Mystery!

In my dillydally life, yesterday was all about aprons ... aprons that fit!  And the day ended in mystery!
Valdez is a beautiful place ... and a true dillydallier must pause to enjoy the view!  Always!  I took this photo right outside the door of the Valdez Convention Center ... a lovely way to begin the day!
Yesterday was all about aprons.  Participants had the opportunity to make either a 3-Piece or 4-Piece custom-fit apron.
Custom-fit means that taking body measurements is a necessary evil ... sew ... we giggled over that and quickly and began drafting our patterns!
In no time at all ...
... our personal patterns had been cut out ...
... and we were busy at our sewing machines!
Our apron construction involved playing with a tube turner!  Sew much fun!
Before the day ended they had completed their aprons!  We enjoyed a Strawberry Shortcake vintage 4-Piece apron!
We celebrated Alaska with a beautiful fireweed 4-Piece apron!
Honoring our Alaskan lifestyle continued with a 3-Piece blueberry themed apron.  And it was  customized with a kuspuk pocket!
I loved that even Van Gogh worked his way into our day!  Such a cute 4-Piece apron!
It was such a fun day!  We giggled the entire day ... talking body shapes and parts can only be hysterical ... sewing is always enjoyable ... add to that supportive and caring women ... one wonders ... is it legal to have this much fun?  My hope is that as these women use their aprons in the future, they are reminded of the fun we had!  I am so grateful to have spent the day with them!
The day ended with a ballroom full of quilters working on a mystery quilt ... just when you think it cannot get any more fun!  It was another wonderful day at the Valdez Quilt Festival!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Friday, September 9, 2016

Patchwork Primer Party!

Many months ago ... when the Valdez Quilt Festival asked me to develop a one day beginning quilting class, I wasn't sure it was possible.  But in true dillydally fashion, I said yes!
As with most things ... planning and implementing can result in two very different results!  my public school teaching career has taught me to expect that!  ;-)  Sew ... the goal behind all my plans for this class was to have the participants leave feeling empowered by the experience.  If they feel empowered, my thought is they will continue on their quilting journey!

The class was small ... which was a relief for me knowing I would be able to give them all the individualized instruction they might need.

These four lovely women trusted me with their quilting experience ... I am always humbled by teaching others.  There may be only four ... but their range of quilting experiences covered almost everything!  That alone, was wonderful as it allowed them to learn from one another's past.

This woman had years of quilting experience that included years of frustration with certain piecing skills.  She set those frustrations aside, and gained a few tips and tricks.  It was fun to see her feel pleased with the results of her efforts!

A young mother of three has to work hard to fit quilting into a very busy family lifestyle!  Her desire to create is very strong ... she shared her frustration with starting projects and then getting stuck by pieces being inaccurate and not fitting together correctly.  She focused on accuracy and the results are lovely!  My hope is that the skills she practiced will enable her to enjoy the limited time she has to piece ... quilting should be fun not frustrating!

"I can't even hem a pair of pants!" was the first thing this woman said when I introduced myself!  I loved it ... an absolute beginner!  She was using an old Singer sewing machine that had belonged to her mother ... made my heart sew happy!  It was such fun to literally watch her skills develop, and by the end of day she was confidently working independently on her pieced units!  

Life happens and our passions and desires often are set aside.  The fabrics had been received 20 years ago from a friend that has since passed from this life.  This participant's intent was to make time to learn to quilt, use the fabric (filled with memories of her friend) she had received, and gift the results to her friend's adult child.  I was sew touched.  She made great progress and will fulfill her goal!
Teaching this class was such a wonderful experience ... each of the participants inspired me ... my hope is that I empowered them!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally