Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Inspirational Friends are a Blessing!

Today ... the day before Thanksgiving ... I find myself reflecting on the blessings in my life.
Eight years ago ... when I began this dillydally journey ... I made many important "lifestyle" decisions.  One of the most "life altering" decisions ... was to surround myself with those who have a positive impact on myself and others.
1987 - Northwind Quilters Guild's First Anniversary - Sharon is on the right.
Thirty years ago, when I moved to Cordova, Sharon was one of the first people I met.  We immediately became fast friends and shared many common interests!  We had such fun!  A friendship built on the trials and joys of everyday living.  I can't believe that it has been nearly 20 years since she and her husband left here to return to their childhood home in Orofino, Idaho.
They purchased acreage near their hometown, and immediately began turning their dreams for this phase of their life together into reality!  A rural home surrounded by pasture ... a yard filled with fruit bearing trees ...
... and a small barn to raise and train National Award Winning Welsh Ponies!  Yep ... their ponies are the top of their breed!  Such an amazing accomplishment!
Meet Howard ... the ever diligent supervisor of all the ponies and any other barn activity!  I loved how he was on task and posted himself outside the barn door!  Too cute!
Two of the pretty mares and their spring foals!  It was difficult to get good pictures of the horses as they were not interested in standing still!  Imagine that?  It was so fun to see them ... they are such beautiful animals!
Their pup, Lacy, watched as the 20+ ducks came by to say hello and receive snacks!  Endless entertainment!
This is Thumbsie ... see her six toes?  Such a cutie!  She was a stray that adopted Sharon and Mike several years ago ... and she is a lover!  She and two other kitties are in charge of the household.  A barn and pasture filled with ponies, a garden, an orchard, a pond of ducks, an occasional deer or elk in the pasture ... all things that dreams are made of ... a busy and wonderful life.
But Sharon's dreams didn't stop there!  Five friends and she opened their own quilt shop!  Talk about creating your own vision of heaven on earth!  Material Girls Quilting is a must stop if you're in northern Idaho!
You can feel the fun and creative energy as soon as you enter!  It is a busy and vibrant shop for a community this size!  While there, many customers had traveled from the surrounding area to get supplies for their projects.  There are samples everywhere to inspire shoppers!
Not only did they have a wide selection of fabric ... their range of pattern choices was off the charts!  I spent most of two days in the shop ... it is a busy place ... filled with happy customers!
I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am for Sharon and her husband.  They truly are living their dream.  I am so grateful for the week I spent with them.  She is such an inspiration as I begin the next phase of my life ... what a blessing to have a friend whose life serves as a wonderful example for us all!  That is why I wanted to share a bit of Sharon's story with you ... the life she has built, based on her passions, encourages us all to pursue our dreams.  Thank you Sharon ... you are a blessing!

Do what you love.  Pursue your dreams.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Monday, November 24, 2014

Idaho QBees!

Oh ... how I enjoyed my week in northern Idaho!  Everything about this "side trip", as I worked my way home, was wonderful!
How It Happened
Nearly a hundred years ago ... ;-) ... Sharon and I began our quilting and knitting journey together.  Twenty years ago, she and her husband left Cordova and returned to their Idaho childhood home.  We have often dreamed of an opportunity to sew and knit together again, but distance and expenses usually made that impossible.  This year the dillydally stars aligned themselves and on short notice, it all became a possibility!  Her plan was to have me teach a knitting class, as a few quilt camp participants were interested in expanding their knitting experiences as well as having time for us to sew together!  Win/win in every way possible!

Quilt Camp
I loved seeing their Quilt Camp traditions.  Many quilters brought mascots that have attended camp multiple times.  Lots of stories and fun surrounding them!
Chinese auctions are a big hit!  Participants contributed pin cushions this fall ... next retreat pillowcases are planned!  What a hoot!  Lots of giggles and competition!
Here the Camp Director is pressing her dress for their annual Red Dress Dinner!
Sharon is infamous for her antics!  The night before, poor Nancy made the mistake of sharing her  concern about her intestinal malfunctions.  Sharon showed up the next morning ready to assist!  Dressed in plastic, with tongs, spoon, and nose clamp ... she was prepared to physically remove the problem!  Too funny!

Loads of Inspiration
A beautiful quilt made with Fig Tree fabric!
There was plenty of room for quilters to spread out and machine quilt!
Sweet applique' wall quilt!
I loved this patriotic quilt!
Snowflakes over Kansas Troubles fabric ... I was smitten!
Be. Still. My. Heart!  Buggy Barn pattern made with scraps!
A unique twist on the Bargello ... loved the results!
French General ... all hand appliqued by Nancy!  Stunning!  Everyone was working on their own projects.  There was so much to absorb ... I would have to write a book in order to share them all!
It was also inspiring to see how everyone set up their sewing stations!  This woman uses a bathroom floor mat.  It was enlightening to talk to her about it.  The non-skid backing prevents the machine and acrylic table from slipping while sewing.  The fluffy surface keeps tools from rolling around and the white color helps make things visible!  Genius!  I plan to get one soon!

My Quilt Posse!
Sharon's amazing friends took me in under their quilting wings ... I arrived without any supplies ... they took very good care of me!
Meet Mary Margaret!
Everyone wears their pajamas all day and night at quilt camp!  I loved the Scotty Dog pjs Mary Margaret made for herself!  Adorable!
Mary Margaret's Nine Patch Snowball quilt ...
... and her four-patch stack and wack!  She made a second one as well ... all for charity!  During our conversation, we discovered that she grew up in the community where I was born in Oregon!  What a small world and kindred spirit!
Sweet Miss Mona!  So generous with her time and supplies.
Here she is modeling an apron that Sharon made!  Mona is the quiet one in the posse ... she would finish a project and pack it up before any of us could take a photo!
Dedicated Donita!  This is a woman that gets things done ... with a smile that lights up the room!
Left over scraps became this rail fence lap quilt!
Such talent!  Replacing hand embroidery with free motion thread work on the machine!
Two seasonal table runners!
Another table runner with a lodge theme.
And a snowman themed wall quilt!  Donita can machine applique' faster than anyone I've ever met!
Sensational Sandy!  I refer to her as the head cheerleader!  Keeps us organized and always encourages everyone!
Here she is modeling another apron Sharon made!  Both her and the apron were super cute!
She completed this beautiful jelly roll quilt for her granddaughter.
She was also busy making these gorgeous 6 inch blocks for a large project she is working on!  It will be amazing!
Sewing, eating, laughing and sharing four days together builds close friendships ... I miss them already!  I am so happy that Sharon has such amazing friends in her life and that they welcomed and included me.  They are such a blessing to one another ... and to me.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to travel to Idaho ... to have new QBee friends ... and the opportunity to dillydally with them!

Do what you love.  Be a blessing.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Foo-Whee Fun in Idaho!

While in Idaho ...
I attended a "Quilt Camp" and was asked to teach a Foo-Whee Mitten class.  Yep, there were a few who wanted to add knitting to their quilting retreat!  The location was fabulous ... I plan to do a post just about the lodge in the near future!
Thirty years ago, The Net Loft (our local yarn store), began as a box of fiber goodies in the back of Dotty's Subaru wagon!  While making arrangements to bring supplies to Idaho, we giggled about the store returning to its original roots! ;-) Here is The Net Loft's temporary annex ... too fun!
Five quilters decided to take the plunge ... and devoted some of their quilting time to knitting!
We began by learning the technique while making our gauge swatches.  Just like us ... knitting comes in many shapes and sizes!
What a beautiful location to knit ...
... gentle sounds of needles and wool ...
... done in the comfort of pajamas.
This knitter was so fast the picture is a blur ... or maybe ... it might have been the silly photographer on spin cycle?
I always end my mitten classes with an "all hands in" ...
... and a pledge to finish the pair! :-) We met over three days for an hour or two at a time once or twice a day.  A lovely and leisurely pace ... it was a wonderful way to teach.  Lots of learning and conversation that lead to new knitting friendships.    
On Monday, I repeated the class in the city of Orofino at The Material Girl's Quilt Shop!
These amazing women took the one day crash course in Foo-Whee mittens!  They were troopers and did an amazing job!  I was so impressed at how much they accomplished and it was a pleasure to spend the day with them!
At the end of the day ... these two beautiful furbabies arrived to pick up their human mama.  My heart melted ... and if there had been any litter mates left, one would have come home with me!  Seriously, I'm ready to add a furbaby to the DillyDally family!
I am so appreciative of the opportunity to travel to Idaho ... to make new friends ... to share my knitting journey!  I am blessed ... and love my dillydally life!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally