Sunday, February 28, 2010

Quilter's Anonymous Meeting!

I always look forward to our monthly Quilter's Anonymous meetings...the QBees always provide me with just the inspiration I need!  Here are a few of the highlights:
We all needed the sunshine these paper-pieced blocks provided today!

We all said a collaborative...WOW...when showed this beauty that just came back from the long-arm quilter!

All we could say about this one the borders were sewn on today!

Creating a "Fat Quarter Bouquet" for a quilting pen-pal who is fighting a serious illness.

Other people who attended today were busy preparing for next weekend when the Guild will be hosting an "Open Sew"  weekend!  Friday begins with preparation for our Spring Retreat in April.  We have invited...for the first time...a national quilt instructor, Peggy Gelbrich to teach two classes!  She will be teaching Montana Cartwheel and Hunter's Star.  On Saturday, one of our guild members will be hosting a Mystery class.  I will be sure to take pictures and share all that is accomplished!

Gosh...I feel so fortunate to have all of these creative and talented women in my has been so hectic the past two weeks...when my dillydally spirit begins to fade...they provide just the inspiration I need...I truly appreciate them.  Now...I need to get some dillydallying done, hope you do the same...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's Hard to Say Good-bye...

Picture of Cordova in the Summer!
Those of you who have read my blog these past seven months know how I love the small isolated community I'm fortunate enough to live in.  You've heard how it is only possible to arrive by air or by sea.  Mr. DillyDally has always said that living here is like living in a Nat'l Park, without the restrictions.  I, too, love the natural beauty and resources that cradle this little gem of a community.  I often refer to Cordova as Alaska's version of Garrison Keillor's Lake Woebegon...the people...the relationships...a place where the community really did help raise my children...where friends become family...a place where many are impacted by the actions of one...where we share our joy, concerns, and sorrows.

We have been fortunate to have had two quilt shops in Cordova for the past three-plus years.  They each offer a wide variety of fabric, patterns and supplies, yet differ from one another.  Yes...this small isolated town of about 2000 year round a quilter's version of heaven on earth.  

Sadly, tomorrow we say good-bye to one of those shops, The Alaska Fabric Camp.  No...they were not a victim of the economy...nor had the owner become burned out...but life does sometimes throw us a curve ball...and we must rearrange our lives around what is most important...often that means something has to give.  Such is the case with the owner of the Camp.  

The Camp introduced us to a treasure of quilting experiences...I especially have enjoyed Moda and all their precuts.  When we heard of or saw a new product or pattern, she would order it for us.  There were classes, workshops, birthday parties, baby showers, potlucks, Saturday brunches and Friday Happy Hours.  It was a place where you could always find a  We feel the loss...
The Camp owner is making the right decision...for all the right reasons.  Yet...our quilting community is's hard to say good-bye...change is difficult to accept...but behind every cloud, the sun really is shining... Camp's owner will have more time to dillydally with us...we welcome that...and we thank her for all the ways in which she enriched our lives...the memories of the Alaska Fabric Camp will always be warm, just like the quilts it inspired...

Friday, February 19, 2010

President's Day 2010

I love three day weekends...time to get those "have to" tasks done...and ample time left over to dillydally!  This year President's Day also happened to be QBee Valerie's birthday...we both had the day off from work...woo-whoo...much to celebrate!  For her gift, I made Terry Atkinson's Tag Along always the directions were easy to follow...which made it fun to make!  It will be the perfect bag to take on a quilt shop hop...hint...hint...I keep trying to get my QBees to join me at the Minnesota Shop Hop...maybe in 2011!

I gave her two choices on how we could celebrate her birthday...she and her family could come for a birthday brunch on Sunday or she could come for brunch on Monday and we could dillydally together!  I'm so happy she chose to dillydally!  Last summer a group of Minnesota designers had a "Blog Hop" and Valerie and I followed it daily and made some of the projects.  We especially liked a bag that was highlighted on a July 3rd post on the Pieces of Work blog.  In August I visited that shop...of course I bought the pattern and grommets...Val's birthday seemed like the perfect time to make them.
Here's Val...sewing at my dining room table...Teacup insisted on taking up most of her chair!  I think Teacup was jealous...she doesn't like to share...and we were celebrating something other than her existence! ;-)  
Our bags in progress.
We sewed...we munched...we solved all of the world's problems...we accomplished a lot.  Washington and Lincoln would have been proud...I'm sure they took time to else could they have solved the problems of their day!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

My Knitting 101 class met for their second lesson yesterday at our local yarn shop, The Net Loft.  Most of them had completed the project for the first lesson and were ready to begin the second one.  As you can see...they are all taking their knitting very seriously...hmmm...we cannot have too much of that...I'll have to figure out how to infect them with the "silly-dilly" virus.  I've gone to extreme measures in the past...once we all did disco line dancing!  They have all caught on quickly...the best part of teaching is watching them take off with whatever you taught them...this group will create great things!  And I'll have even more KBees (Knitting Buddies) to dillydally with!  I love it!

Speaking of knitting...

...I've made progress on Sister DillyDally's cardigan.  The body is done, now I need to move on to the sleeves.  Mr. DillyDally and I are serious Winter Olympics "junkies" I hope to get a lot of knitting done while we watch them on TV.  Don't you just love the Cable sweaters the Olympians wore to the opening ceremony?  
I immediately went on line to see who designed them...Ralph Lauren...they're wool and cashmere...and...are $425.00 dollars.  I almost choked!  I'm sure there are knitters out there in cyberland who are charting the pattern at this very moment!  I'm counting on it...I'm pretty adept at charting nordic color patterns, but not cables.  
Gosh...I'm I can't decide...should I knit the olympic sweater or the quidditch sweater for Brother DillyDally...some decisions in life are very difficult!  I guess I'll let him decide...of course I think he'd be especially handsome in either of them!  
Of course we show our love for one another daily in multiple ways...gestures of kindness...encouraging words...patient listening...shared laughter...a gentle touch...a soft prayer.  Do we need a national day to celebrate love?  Some say yes...others no...does it matter?  Not really...but even if it only reminds one person to appreciate those that love has served its purpose.
Valentine's Day was always special when I was growing was also my father's birthday...he would have been 80 years old today.  He always went to town that day and bought us each a heart shaped box of candy.  Every year when merchants put them out on display, I think of him.  I cherish those memories.
Happy Valentine's Day!  Appreciate those who love you...return their love wholeheartedly!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How I spent Super Bowl Sunday!

Now...had the Vikings been playing in the Super Bowl, I would have spent the afternoon in front of the television like millions of other Americans.  But I'm not one to waste much time on what should have been...well maybe just a little... ;-) ...I got over it after a few days.  What's a heartbroken Viking fan to do?  I know...teach a quilting class!
You might remember...this candle mat was a kit I purchased at Emily's Country Cottage in Bemidji, Minnesota.  Emily's instructions included hand piecing...I don't enjoy hand piecing much so I had machine pieced it using "Y" seams.  Our local quilt shop has the same guessed it...several people wanted to make one.  My dilemma do I credit Emily for her creativity...and use her ideas to teach a piecing skill?  I struggled with it...and decided to charge the participants in the class a fee to be paid to Emily...whew!  Now I could teach the class and sleep at night!

Busy QBees...we could care less about the game!

Fussy cutting takes a lot of concentration!

Preparing for those "Y" seams.

"It's not as hard as it looks!"

Accuracy is everything!
A new version...we love individuality! Hee-hee!

Nearly done...and smiling!
Eight "Y" seams...lots to smile about!

More smiles...

Big smile...

Standing tall and all smiles!

You know you've had a good time when you leave with a beautiful smile like this one.
Thank you Emily for inspiring a great Super Bowl Sunday!  I know we had a better day than the Vikings!  Maybe they should take up dillydallying in the off season.  ;-)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Iceworm Festival!

 Beginning of Parade
Over the first weekend in February, Cordova has their annual Iceworm Festival.  Last night a community variety show was held where Miss Iceworm was crowned and the Citizen of the Year was announced while several community members entertained the audience.  
The DillyDally family has a routine they follow on Saturday of Iceworm...first we enjoy a pancake breakfast at the Catholic is the Survival Suit Race...after that it is the Photography Show at the museum...the Iceworm Parade...Pioneer Ice Cream Social...Arts and Crafts Show...and finally FIREWORKS!  Remember...on the 4th of July it is light most of the our big firework display takes place now!
Last night we had heavy rain and gale force winds...when we arrived at the Pancake Feed we had heavy rain and gale force winds...when we left the church we had huge, fluffy flakes of gently falling snow...whew!  Yes...there have been years when we either watched or participated in the parade during heavy rain and gale force winds!

Girl Scout Float

Boy Scout Float

Smokey the Bear and the "Little Iceworm" (Header Photo up top) are always a hit at the parade!

And every Iceworm Parade ends with the "Big Iceworm"! 
Many people from out of town travel here to join in our festivities...
 ...we knew she was a visitor when she sought shelter from the snow during the parade by standing under the flatbed stage! ;-)  The locals were celebrating the snow (much better than rain) while she was trying to avoid it!  We got quite a chuckle out of that...I just couldn't resist taking a picture!

A few of us QBees ran into one another on the sidewalk...we had a hoot...giggling our way through the parade.  
The day ended with a beautiful fireworks display.  This was our 25th Iceworm Festival...we love living in a small town...where celebrations are steeped in tradition and have meaning to those who live here.    

I'll end this post with a slide show of some of the quilts and other art that was on display today...enjoy...
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Will you be the next convert?

Yesterday I was inspired by an email that I received from a former student who is currently attending college in the Lower 48.  She is far from in a dorm...successful in her academic rigor...but...she misses expressing herself creatively with her hands.  This is a bit of what she said,
"So...I've been thinking a lot about the dilly dally lifestyle and have decided for me that dilly dallying includes just purchasing fabric.  I bought a half a yard of four fabrics and I have no idea what I'm going to do with them.  I'm going against my type A personality!!!  The stash is getting bigger, I have unfinished projects and unused fabrics everywhere, and for the first time, I'm okay with it. :)"
Nearly four years ago, I experienced three life altering events within 6 months...I was forced to reevaluate my life and my values...and slowly I began making small changes.  Changes that brought better balance to my life...and...the concept of dillydallying was born!
I'm so impressed, that as a young woman, she can identify her feelings...respond to her emotions proactively...and stand up to the monster we call guilt! It is comforting to know that our societal future will be led by women like her.
A picture of home.

We are told through out our lives not to dillydally...when what we often need is to dillydally!  I was inspired by her email to permanently post the symptoms of a dillydally life in the margin on the right...hopefully it will encourage you to join could be the next convert!