Knitter blogging friends: Prepare to be underwhelmed.
Non-knitter blogging friends: Oh wow look I knitted another hat 😉
I follow several amazing knitters who are busy making complex colorwork knitted hats, socks in their sleep, shawls with fancy lace designs, and tiny Aran cabled sweaters. And I have made ANOTHER simple knitted hat with the same pattern I’ve been using since the early 2010s.
But it’s another hat (option to wear) and its DONE!
Before my trip to Ireland I wanted to have a knitted hat to work on during the trip (a very portable travel project). Here is the hat early in its creation during my train ride from Dublin to Galway:
Since returning from Ireland in October, on subsequent my recent travels (to Omaha, Nebraska, to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and to Atlanta, Georgia) I’ve been working on the hat, especially when on planes:
And last night I finally finished that hat!
Here I am wearing my new hat (which is the same as all my other hats, ha!):
Oh and here is a follow up from my post earlier in the week Cute and Curious Kitty Quilt Trunk Show – I got the quilt that my friend J gave me while I will in Fayetteville, AR, on the wall yesterday.
I am so honored to have one of her mother’s quilts hanging in my home, I put it in the downstairs guest room:
It goes with the beach-y/nautical theme in the rest of the guest room as when you think of Colorado (hint: landlocked state), you definitely think of the ocean – ha!
Her mother hand quilted the quilt and I am amazed at all the work that went into that quilt!
The tierneycreates Beastie has already, in those posts, introduced you to J’s cat Oscar, quite the adorable kitty. Oscar wanted to be part of everything we were doing with unpacking and organizing J’s studio. He also wanted to be part of when J was trying to do a “quilt trunk show” for MJ and I.
J is a quilter but also does many other creative crafts. She is also a former architect and professional photographer. She is infused with creativity and I am fairly sure she got some of her creativity from her Mom who was a prolific quilter.
Here is J’s favorite quilt of her Mom’s which hangs in one of her guest bedrooms:
One evening J treated us to a trunk show of a collection of her late mother’s quilts and Oscar was all about being part of the show!
The quilts were wonderful but I was definitely distracted by Oscar’s mischievous cuteness!
J gifted me one of her mother’s quilts and I plan to hang it in my basement guest bedroom which has a nautical/beach theme (don’t laugh at me – I know I live in Colorado a “land locked” state, ha!):
In the previous post I mentioned my run in with the cat Oscar while I was taking my dog Mikelet for a walk in the backyard. Tierney moved Mikelet and I to a safe location, the porch swing, just in case Oscar decided we were cat toys.
Mikelet got pretty cozy on the porch swing and was ready for belly rubs:
Mikelet was a very good dog during our trip and mainly laid about and slept while we worked on the studio unpacking and organization project.
Here is what J’s studio looked like by day 3 of the project. Tierney had made it her mission to get J’s sewing machine area cleaned up so J could sit and it and sew!
I even found a clean spot on the cutting/worktable in the center of the room:
On Day, Tierney, Mikelet and I had to head back to Denver but our friend MJ sent us this photo of a completely cleaned off worktable!!!
By the time we left every box was unpacked and nearly all the boxes were broken down and moved to the garage for future recycling.
Early in our project, Tierney came across this plaque in one of J’s boxes and hung it on the wall of the studio for motivation:
I guess it worked! But what really worked was the untiring and persistent efforts of J, MJ, and Tierney (and me cheering them on) “kicking #ss and taking names” on those boxes! They were quite the RELENTLESS team!
They didn’t just unpack boxes and organize the studio, they also did some fun stuff, but Tierney forgot to bring me along so I’ll let her tell you about it in another post.
J’s new home was really beautiful. So I will just close my series of posts with some photos of her lovely home and her amazing collection of art from J’s world travels (for example the ancient Egyptian themed framed quilt is from her trip to Egypt) . Also Tierney made J a little hostess gift, one of her drawstring bags, and that is in the photos below:
Here I am in my observation tissue box taking notes for this blog post:
So after a day of unpacking boxes, J’s studio looked like this:
It might not look like it, but we were making great progress! Especially when we got the closet organized and set up for J’s WIPs (works in progress) to be stored out of the way (plus she could see all the projects she has to get done by the end of the year – ha, ha!):
Unpacking all those boxes we made a bit of mess between the boxes themselves (which we broke down) and the wrapping papers.
But we had a curious kitty Oscar who was fascinated with all our unpacking activities, especially the wrapping paper:
Oscar even tried to help us break down some of the boxes:
I’ll admit Oscar was cute, but I am not too sure of my comfort level around Oscar. When I tried to take my dog Mikelet for a walk around J’s backyard, Oscar came a little to close for comfort:
Tierney had to intervene and move Mikelet and me to another area as we weren’t sure if Oscar would think I was a cat toy!
After a long day of unpacking, J who is an accomplished pianist, treated us to an impromptu concert on her beautifulEstonia piano (which Tierney thought also looked beautiful in B&W):
Wow all those symbols on the page look complicated, not sure how J understood them all!
Well more progress to come in Part III of this series of posts…
Hello this is tierneycreates Beastie, filling in for Tierney who has just returned from a couple days in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Mikelet my miniature Miniature Schnauzer and I went with her, and we consulted/helped with the unpacking and organization of her friend J’s studio in Fayetteville.
Tierney and J’s Central Oregon based friend MJ also met up with us there (and Tierney and I got to fly on the same flight from Denver to Bentonville, AR as MJ had a connecting flight from Central Oregon).
J had moved from Central Oregon (where Tierney and I used to live) to Fayetteville, AR and then had a major life changes and did not have the time and chance to unpack and organize her quilting/art studio. She invited MJ and Tierney to visit her and MJ came up with the idea that we could also work on getting J’s studio to the point where she could do her art again.
Here I am on my way to Arkansas – Mikelet and I traveled in Tierney’s backpack:
After visiting with J and MJ a while when we first arrived in Arkansas, we headed upstairs to J’s studio to see what we were getting ourselves into…
Looking around, I realized we’ve got a bit of work to do.
Well I went ahead and set up a temporary desk in the tissue box so I could blog about our project!
Next guest post I will show our progress, but for now I will close out this post with a funny sign J had in her studio:
Hello this is tierneycreates Beastie finishing up my Beastie Travelogue of our visit to Ireland.
Human Tierney at some point will share her Ireland adventures from her human perspective (boring) but I am not sure when that will be. She is making stuff for her Etsy shop for the upcoming holiday season and has had more intermittent travel with Human John on business trips. Perhaps she’ll blog about all those things someday…we’ll see…
Here I am getting ready to write the Part II of my previous post – Guest Blog Post: The Beasties’ Ireland Travelogue (Part I). However, my dog Mikelet continues to be a bit naughty, seeking attention (he’s still mad he did not get to go to Ireland we John Beastie and myself) and is standing on Tierney’s favorite miniature tape measure (which is the perfect size for him), distracting me from writing!
Okay so back to my travelogue…
So after a couple days in Galway we took our rented car onto to Doolin, Ireland. On the way to Doolin we stopped at Dunguaire Castle, the Cliffs of Moher and Lisdoonvarna.
Here are a couple photos of John Beastie and I outside of Dunguaire Castle before we went inside:
Tierney didn’t let us take too many photos as it was very windy and she was afraid we would blow into the ravine!
After the castle we headed to the Cliffs of Moher. Tierney will likely share a post about the allegedly amazing Cliffs of Moher. I say “allegedly” because as she left John Beastie and I in the car! All I know is she was really hyped up when she got back in the car after visiting those cliffs!
She did let us out of the car in Lisdoonvarna, a small town which is home to the annual Matchmaking Festivalthat happens every September. Here is a little from the website linked on the name
Europe’s biggest singles festival takes place every September in the small village of Lisdoonvarna on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.The month long Irish festival attracts people from all over the world looking for Love, fun and a bit of ‘craic’. The festival is over 160 years old and couldn’t be more different from online dating services. There’s music and dancing in every bar from 11am in the morning to the wee hours of the night and those looking for love can meet Ireland’s only traditional matchmaker Willie Daly in his ‘office in the Matchmaker Bar. Legend has it if you touch his ‘lucky book’ with both hand’s, you’ll be married in six months!
In the Lisdoonvarna town center there were statues commemorating their famous Matchmaking Festival. I just had to climb up and get my photo taken:
My partner John Beastie reminded me that the statue was about “matchmaking” and since he was my “match” we should probably be photographed together:
I probably should have stood up for the photo but I’d gotten pretty comfortable in the arms of the statue!
Finally we arrived in Doolin where we were to spend a couple more days before heading back to Galway, dropping off the rental car, and taking the train back to Dublin where we would fly back to the U.S.
Doolin is known as the home of traditional Irish music and it is filled with Irish pubs with live performances each evening of traditional/folk Irish music.
My dog Mikelet has calmed down now that I’ve been back a couple weeks. If you remember from the previous post, he was standing on my desk trying to get attention while I was writing you a blog post. Now he only peers over my desk trying to get attention…
I am ignoring him for now (but will take him out of a walk in the chilly morning – Autumn temperatures have hit in my part of Colorado – when I am done writing) so I can share a photo travelogue of some of the highlights of our trip to Ireland.
I’m only going to focus on what John Beastie and I did, as human Tierney can write her own posts about her adventures!
Before we got to Dublin, Ireland the four of us (humans and Beasties) flew from Denver, CO to LaGuardia airport in New York. While at the LaGuardia airport, John Beastie and I couldn’t help ourselves and had to go and hang out where it said “Do Not Climb“. I think they meant “Humans Do Not Climb”, I don’t think this sign applied to Monsters!
John Beastie and I were so excited to go on our first holiday together we had difficulty minding the humans! (and Tierney grew up in NY and was getting a little too sentimental about the “I love NY” sign so we had to do something to calm her down…)
Our first day in Dublin, Ireland was spent with John and Tierney the humans as their friends Matt and Kathy were not arriving until the evening as they were flying in from Scotland where they had spent a couple weeks.
So Tierney and John shared with us their first Fish & Chips in Ireland:
No worries we were careful not get to get any grease on our clothes (especially since they were the only outfits we had for 1 week in Ireland!)
We also wandering about the streets of downtown Dublin taking random photos:
When we met up later that evening with Matt and Kathy, we got to enjoy our first fresh Guinness pint in Ireland! (Okay it was Tierney’s pint, she had a lot of hesitancy of letting Beasties near alcohol…):
The next day we first visited St. Patrick’s Cathedraland John Beastie and I entertained ourselves by finding places we probably shouldn’t pose for photos at:
After the Guinness tour, we met up with Helen of CrawCraft Beasties who made me and I’ve already shared the stories from that reunion (for me) and first time meeting (for Kathy and Tierney) in my post Guest Blog Post: Beasties Return to Ireland!.
The next day we took the train from Dublin to Galway to spend a couple days in Galway.
There was so much to see looking out the train window, every if it was overcast and raining.
Here we are in the lobby of the lovely hotel we stayed in Galway – the Galway Bay Hotel – which was right across from the beach/water:
It was so windy in Galway along the water, John Beastie and I tried to take some photos but my hair was blowing everywhere:
Human Tierney had the same problem (but she pulled it out of her face for her selfie):
Of course John Beastie and human John did not have this problem, as they have not hair (on their heads)!
We finally had to settle for a photo away from the wind among some flowers in the garden at the hotel:
I’ll continue our Beastie Travelogue in my next guest post, but I’ll close this post with a really stupid photo Tierney took of us while she was waiting for human John to check out from the hotel (so they could head via the car the four humans had rented to the next part of the Ireland adventure!)
She had us stand in a tray on the coffee table of the hotel lobby (my eyes are rolling):
This is tierneycreates Beastie guest blog posting (if you are new to this blog, my story is on this post – I’m A Monster!!! and you can see all my posts at this link: Beastie Adventures).
You haven’t heard from Tierney or myself in a while as we’ve been in Ireland!
Tierney, John, John Beastie and I recently returned from Ireland and I got to see my maker Helen of Crawcraft Beasties & Knit with Helen; and Tierney got to meet Helen in person for the first time!
We had lots of adventures in Ireland visiting cities such as Dublin, Galway, Doolin, etc. I told Tierney I would get the blog posts on our trip started as she is still rather jet lagged.
Here I am trying to write this blog post (sitting at my desk that John built me, see post Guest Blogger: A Desk for Me!) while my dog Mikelet is trying to get attention from me as he missed me on my long trip (we did not take him for fear he might get misplaced during the trip).
We visited Ireland with Tierney and John’s friends Kathy and Matt who visit Ireland a couple times a year. Kathy’s family is from Ireland and she still has family there and Matt who is part Irish, is well versed in Irish culture and history.
Kathy also knows Helen as she has been working with Helen to get her husband Matt his very own Beastie!
John Beastie, Tierney, Kathy and I met up with Helen and visited a pub for a Beastie reunion with Helen. Here are a couple photos of our initial reunion, I could not decide which one I like best of my awesome maker so I included them all!
She was pretty pleased to see us again as she sends her Beasties out all over the world and rarely gets to see them in person again once they’ve traveled across the ocean!
After the pub, we all headed to Helen’s studio for a little tour of her studio, to meet the new Beastie for Kathy’s husband Matt, and to take a little knitting class (Helen is a professional knitting instructor) to learn how to knit cables (which scare Kathy and Tierney).
This is Helen’s new studio and although John Beastie and I were not “born” here but it was awesome to be in a place where our fellow Beasties are now “born”:
Here is a little photo tour of Helen’s bright and cheery studio:
After a little studio tour, it was time to meet “Matty Beastie” (and his dog Riley) the new Beastie Helen made for Kathy’s husband:
Matty Beastie comes with his dog Riley the Chocolate Lab (to see the Canine Riley check out the post Loved (or mugged) by a Lab, Tierney is Riley’s “Dog Godmother”), a pint of Guinness, as well as his PJs (if he gets tired of wearing his jeans) and his famous slippers.
Helen brilliantly added a magnet to Matty Beastie’s chest so he could hold up his pint of Guinness:
John Beastie and I took a group photo with our new friend Matty Beastie who we would now be touring Ireland with:
As you can see I was not sure where to look during the photo as Helen was also taking a photo of our group at the same time.
We got distracted during the photoshoot and Riley ended up sampling some of Matty Beastie’s Guinness!
I did take Matty Beastie aside and give him some tips on managing humans and how to get away with things right under their noses…
While John Beastie and I visited with our new friend, the humans Helen, Kathy and Tierney) had a cable knitting class. Below is a photo of the class sample and a photo of Tierney clumsily trying to knit her first cable (she won’t be whipping out a new Aran sweater for me anytime soon…).
I am sure Tierney will do a post about it whenever she finishes that headband.
After the knitting class, we headed back out to a pub (the humans visited a lot of pubs while in Ireland) to meet up with human John and human Matt so he could be surprised with his new Beastie!
John Beastie and I watched with anticipation while Matt excitedly unboxed his new Beastie:
Matty Beastie was a hit with Matt and John Beastie had raise a pint to toast the newest member of our US based Beastie family!
More stories to come on our Ireland adventures. Tierney asked me to include this photo as proof that she and human John really did come on the trip:
I am also including this photo – Tierney captured in a moment of pure joy hanging out with my maker Helen in person for the first time:
Recently we returned from a long weekend trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. This time we did not stay on “The Strip” (the Las Vegas Strip where the major hotels, shows and attractions are located), instead we stayed in the section of downtown Las Vegas know as Freemont, or the “Freemont Experience“.
Freemont is older and grittier than the Vegas Strip and definitely filled with colorful characters. Initially I took photos in color but then I thought it would be fun to take a series of photos in Black & White and share them with you as part of my ongoing blog post series – Life in B&W.
One morning I went wandering and there were a few interesting metal art installation in downtown Vegas including a heart filled with locks and keys; and a very large praying mantis:
You’ll see the sun in some of the photos – it was only 9:00 am but it was already very hot (eventually climbing to 100 degrees F/38 degrees C) and the sun was definitely part of my walk.
Here are some buildings and street scenes that caught my eye:
Here is a little of the actual “Freemont Experience” section of downtown Vegas:
My favorite discovery during my wander in downtown Vegas was the street art on some of the buildings:
And here was my favorite:
Be a Maker! Not a Taker!
Oh and in case you are wondering – I donated a little money to the slot machines and called it good. I am not much of a gambler. We did take the bus and spend part of one day of the trip on the Vegas Strip and had some wonderful meals at a couple favorite eateries on the Vegas Strip: Eatalyand Din Tai Fung.
We didn’t catch any shows this time but we had a lot of fun lounging at the amazing pool at our hotel (Golden Nugget) that had an aquarium in the center.
My partner John was brave and did the water slide that takes you through the aquarium. I stayed poolside sipping on my frozen cocktail!
Early July we met my brother, his wife and son in Chicago for a long weekend.
I’ve been to Chicago, Illinois many times, and each time I visit it is like visiting for the first time as I have a different experience each time.
While visiting I took a bunch for B&W photos and this post is a photoessay of my visit.
STARBUCKS RESERVE CHICAGO ROASTERY
We went to our first Starbucks Reserve Roastery while in Chicago and it was so cool! I rarely go to Starbucks and would rather support a small independent coffee shop, but I would recommend if you come across on you should visit it at least once, it is quite an experience.
Here is a photo from first entering the roastery:
We spent a bit of time in Millennium Park which is a “mandatory” place to visit on first trip to Chicago.
Here are some photos from wandering around downtown Chicago.
She’ll be back tomorrow with Part III to finish the story, but I am slipping in today and sharing ten (10) B&W photos I took during the quilt retreat. I’ve numbered them, let me know which one(s) you enjoyed the best.
From the upper back deck of the quilt retreat:
From the lower back deck of the quilt retreat:
From the back of the quilt retreat on the beach level:
From my walk along the beach:
Black and White photography makes even the most mundane interesting in my opinion. The tire on the beach was sad (the pollution of our oceans) but beautiful at the same time when photographed in B&W.
My favorites of these ten photos are #4, #5, #9, and #10. I do love also the creepy mystery of #8 – the beach house obscured by trees.
I guess if I had to just choose one then I would choose #9. The beach was covered with oyster shells.
As I mentioned at the start of this post, I am just briefly popping in on the story of this retreat, the tierneycreates Beastie will finish up the story of our adventures tomorrow.
I was in Austin, Texas the week of 05/23/2022, the same week of the School Shooting Massacre In Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday 05/24/2022. I was staying in downtown Austin, where my partner John was attending a multiple day work meeting with his leadership team.
Tuesday 05/24/2022 I was coming out of the hotel gym after a great workout, about to go back to my hotel room, shower and then spend the day exploring downtown Austin, when I passed by the hotel bar area where news of the shooting was being broadcast.
I stood there dumbfounded and in shock, surround by other hotel guests who were equally in shock. The school shooting occurred 10 days after another horrible mass shooting that shook me to my core – the Buffalo, NY Grocery Store Shooting.
John was in a work meeting and could not be disturbed so I was left to spend the rest of the day in distress, flipping from news channel to news channel to find out more and more disturbing details while sobbing.
That evening I went to dinner an evening boat tour to see the bats that live under one of the bridges on the river that runs through downtown Austin, with John and his colleagues. At dinner we kept the conversation as light as we could and several of his Austin based colleagues talked about the amazing Central Library in downtown Austin.
Library? An awesome library?!?! Those of you who have followed my blog for a while know that I am obsessed with public libraries. I’ve loved libraries since I was young (9 or 10?) and spent a summer at the public library nearly every day, riding my bike to the library every day and befriending the kind librarians who worked at the library and took me under their wing.
John’s colleagues mentioned that the Austin Central Library had a rooftop garden and amazing architecture.
Libraries to me are nearly sacred peaceful oases. I knew that Wednesday I needed to visit the Austin Central Library.
And I did. And it was a peaceful oasis and my spirit was centered and calmed for a couple blissful hours.
Here is the photo essay about that visit.
I walked a mile through the beautiful park (River Metro park?) along the Colorado River running through downtown Austin to the Central Library. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and in another post I will share photos from that walk as well as other photos of downtown Austin.
I entered the library on a lower level and I tingled with anticipation. Here are the stairs that greeted me that I could not wait to climb:
Before ascending the stairs, I noticed the library had an amazing high tech book return station:
After ascending the stairs, and being the library geek I am, I stopped at the information booth, informed the library team member who greeted me that it was my first visit to the library (and how excited I was to be there) and got a map to guide me through the library.
The library’s interior was amazing. The library has 6 levels, connecting with lofty ascending staircases. I explored all 6 levels!
The library has a huge clock that it can be viewed from any level and is as tall as a level or more:
This window, viewable from many levels, is just breathtaking:
I already heard about the rooftop deck and was planning on making that my last stop after exploring the other levels but then I discovered the library had a READING PORCH and I started on a mission to put together a “library stack” to take out to the reading porch.
I headed to my favorite section – Non Fiction – 700s to put together my stack!
I took my lovely “library stack” to the reading porch and spent a couple hours reading books as well as having a little picnic lunch I put together on the enclosed porch with views of downtown Austin:
It was so amazingly peaceful on the reading porch and I could only hear the bird song (there were trees filled with birds near the porch) and the sounds of traffic below. It was such a wonderful place to read my “library stack”(which I could only read/look through at the library since I was not a local resident).
After a couple hours in the reading porch and some reading of/flipping through the books in my stack, I returned them for re-shelving inside, and then wandered additional levels until I got to the rooftop deck.
A couple fun standouts on my way to the rooftop deck include the “Technology Petting Zoo” and the Board Game area – where you could grab a board game and play games with friends/family at the library!
I was not sure what to expect of a library’s rooftop deck but I was pleasantly surprised! It was huge, filled with people reading, visiting and lounging about. It had a garden area and amazing views of downtown Austin!
Here are some of the photos I took while on the rooftop deck:
I was craving something sweet and after the rooftop deck, I headed back to the ground floor of the library and had a cupcake at the library’s cafe called the Cookbook Bar & Cafe.
And guess what – the cafe was filled with used cookbooks! You could browse/flip through cookbooks while you ate (and I did) – it was glorious (and the cupcake I had was glorious!):
With my belly full of delicious cupcake and my spirit soothed by the energy of a public library, I headed back to my hotel, enjoying the scenery immediately outside of the library on my route back to my hotel.
I took a ridiculous amount of photos but I tried to select the photos that would give you a general idea of how awesome the Austin Central Library was to visit. Here is a little video tour if you are wanting more:
Oh and I thought this was pretty cool – I’ve never seen a library do this!
The Rancho Bernardo Inn is one of the prettiest hotels I’ve ever stayed and their property is amazing. As their website proclaims, they have 265 acres to explore and I think I explored at least a quarter of those acres during the 4 days I was there, while John was attending conference sessions, etc.
In the previous post about this trip (Rancho Bernardo in Black and White) I shared some of the photos I took in B&W. Now I will share the photos in color so you can see the true beauty of this place.
Here is the photo I consider the “money shot” from the stairway down to the spa and pool area – it was just breathtaking:
We stayed in one of the rooms off the golf course (and John did get to play golf one afternoon) and here was the view when you stepped outside our room:
I spent several days wandering about the grounds of the resort and here are color photos from that wander:
The food at the resort was amazing, very “farm-to-table” style of cuisine. During my wandering I discovered they have a “Chef’s Garden” on site and I guess that is why the meals tasted so fantastic!
In addition to wandering/exploring the grounds while John was at his conference, I also found a cozy nook off the main lobby, in front of the fireplace (it was October and got a little nippy at times) to sit and work on the English Paper Piecing project I brought (I always bring hand work when I travel):
I’ve been working on this project for years, and I should do a blog post update some time.
Although I wish I’d had more time with John to do some sightseeing while in San Diego, as he was so busy with the conference, I did manage to keep myself entertained for a couple of days.
One thing John and I did do together was go to Eleanor Burns’ Quilt in a Day one afternoon. I’ll show you photos from that visit on the next post.
We went to San Diego, California in October 2021 for a conference that my partner John was speaking at and stayed at the lovely Rancho Bernardo Inn/Resort.
I came across photos from this trip in my online photo album and realized I never blogged about it (wait – did it really happen if there is no blog post?!?!? ha!). Next post I’ll share color photos and an overview about the trip (including stopping by Eleanor Burns’ Quilt in a Day) but for now here are some photos I took in B&W during my stay.
I like to pretend I am a photographer and do B&W photoshoots (see my blog post category Life in B&W if you want to see more of my delusional photography…)
I love trains! When I was a kid we had an awesome old train set, courtesy of my paternal grandfather, that my parents would put around the Christmas tree each year. For a while I collected model trains and I’ve always loved riding on trains whether short distance or longer distances (for example see post – Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part IV).
So I was over the moon when our friends set up a trip to the California State Railroad Museum. I am not sure how long we spent in the museum (time ceased to exist while I was in there) but I remember them telling me: “Tierney we have to go now, we have other things to do…”
I took SO MANY PHOTOS of course, but alas it was quite dark in the museum so the photos are not my best. We began our time in the museum with a tour from a retired railroad man (the museum was staff with retired railroad people, likely volunteers) and then each wandered off on our own because there was so much to see.
Here is a sampling of some of the zillion photos I took:
Upstairs there was an amazing display of toy trains (oh my heart) – a family had donated their father’s extensive toy train collection, it was mind blowing!
If you’ve followed my blog for a while you know I like to pretend I am a real photographer and take photos in B&W. Here are a couple of the B&W photos I took inside the museum:
Of course none of my photos do justice on how awesome the museum is to visit in person!
SOME MORE LAB LOVE
It was great to visit our friends and one of the best part of the visit was to spend time with my “dog goddaughter” Riley, the chocolate lab supreme!
Here is Riley and I in April 2019 when I first met her and we fell in love (they had just adopted her):
And here she is in November 2021 in all her grown up cuteness:
Included in our MSQC retreat was a trip to the Missouri Quilt Museum (which is housed in an old school), and this post will share photos from that visit! There was so much to see, I’ve curated my photos to just share my favorite exhibits at the museum.
When we first entered the museum, we spent a bit of time in the Miniature Quilt Exhibit! The work that went into these tiny doll size quilts was amazing!
The photos above has a lap size quilt on the wall and to the right of it, the miniature version of that quilt!
FULL SIZE ANTIQUE QUILTS
There were many antique full sized quilts displayed around the museum, here are a couple samples:
ANTIQUE SEWING MACHINES
There were endless examples of antique sewing machines. I especially got a kick of the antique Bernina sewing machine.
TOY SEWING MACHINES
Even more amazing that the exhibits of antique sewing machines, was the exhibit of TOY SEWING MACHINES!
NATIONAL QUILT MUSEUM GALLERY
The also had a gallery of quilts on loan from the National Quilt Museum:
Here are a couple of my favorites from those quilts. The second one has dogs incorporated into the trees in the quilts, so look carefully.
COOL “MODERN” QUILTS
They also had some cool “Modern” style quilts on display include the head of Albert Einstein, a quilt made entirely from fabric selvages, and an amazing denim quilt:
It was amazing, strange and interesting to see such a jam packed museum of quilting history in a small town!
Thanks for joining me on the six part series about my visit to Quilt Town, USA!
Now to share with you what it was like to attend the retreat at MSQC and stay at the retreat center.
The retreat center, known as the Sewing Center is in the middle of downtown Hamilton, MO and is an old building converted to the retreat center and accommodations. I have photos below but if you want to see the official photos/info here is the link from the MSQC website – Sewing Center.
Here is the retreat sewing area:
Our group of 6 sat by the front windows. Here are photos of our assigned sewing area for our group when we arrived, and then when we got settled in!
We rented BabyLock Sewing machines from MSQC for the retreat since we were all flying in from various places across the country (Denver, CO; Seattle, WA; New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Sacramento, CA) and did not want to deal with lugging our sewing machines to the retreat via airplane.
The retreat center sewing area has a large kitchen and a snack table area. The photos below include the snack table at the beginning of the retreat. I should have taken a photo a couple days in as it was packed with all the snacks quilters brought and put out to share.
Our meals were served at the kitchen and they were nothing to write home about, but they were okay. They did have some great desserts a couple of dinners. But here is an example of one of the meals:
You could also go out to eat at various restaurants around town. We went out a couple times to eat, and several of my quilting friends discovered an amazing Mexican restaurant in town.
We also discovered a brewery in town, Levi Garrison & Sons Brewery and several of my quilting friends and I had a nice pint while chatting with the wonderful bartender who told us stories from her life and town history.
The brewery did not serve food, so we picked up food at a local eatery and brought it in to have with our pint.
In addition to a couple meals out and a visit to the local brewery, we also had a delicious ice cream treat at the local sweet shop one day!
It was like 17 or 19 degrees Fahrenheit outside, but it is never too cold out for ice cream! (We did eat it inside the sweet shop before re-bundling up to go back to the retreat center).
The sleeping accommodations at the retreat were upstairs. The twin beds had very comfortable mattresses. The main challenge was you had to like going up and down stairs – lots of stairs. (The retreat center did have a stair lift in the back in case you were “differently abled” and needed assistance to get upstairs).
I thought it was funny they had a chair on the landing of the first flight of stairs, in case you needed a break.
They also had a seating area at the top of the stairs when you finished your second flight of stairs to get to your room:
The bathrooms were lined up dorm style – they had plenty and they had decent showers (but no soap, you had to bring your own soap):
Here is an example of one of the rooms, it is the room I stayed in:
Here are a couple more photos of the upstairs sleeping accommodations areas:
One evening we were treated to a glorious sunset outside our window of the retreat center:
Everyone was out taking photos and of course it was cooler than my photos show.
During the retreat, we would periodically head over to the Main Shop and put stuff in our boxes to be shipped home. As I mentioned in previous posts in this series, they provide free shipping (of unlimited boxes) of whatever you purchase and any projects you worked on during the retreat, to retreat attendees.
I’ll close this post with a picture of me, taken by my friend Kathy, as I am leaving the retreat to take the shuttle back to Kansas City, Missouri to fly home:
This post continues my series of posts on my trip to Quilt Town, USA to attend a Missouri Star Quilt Company (also known as “MSQC”) quilt retreat with my long time quilting friends. The previous three previous posts in the series are:
First of all, do not judge. I have a fetish for fabric scraps – ha! Okay that sounds a wee bit weird, but I would rather make things from fabric scraps than cut into yardage. I only buy fabric by the yard when I absolutely have to or the fabric is so amazing I cannot leave it in the shop (and it looks at me with puppy eyes saying “Tierney take me home…”).
So when I heard that while I was at the MSQC week long retreat there was a “Scrap Bag Sale” at the Penny’s Quilt Shop I shivered with excitement.
This not my first rodeo as they say, I’ve been to lots of fabric scrap sales where you fill a bag for a specific price, with as much fabric scraps as you can fit in (and yeah, I am ALWAYS up to the challenge to see how much I can fit in the bag they provide without it breaking).
But, I’ve NEVER been to a “scrap bag” sale where 1 yard, 2 yard, and even 3 yard pieces are considered scraps!!! Yes there were a couple pieces here and there that you might call “scraps” – like quarter and half yard pieces, but most of what was in their bins were larger pieces that I definitely would not classify as “scraps”.
What I heard from another quilter during the feeding frenzy (photo below) was that Missouri Star will pull pieces off the bolt that are 3 yards or less and put them away for the scrap sale.
What you are about to see was what could be considered a “super spreader event” as no one was wearing masks, but luckily the pandemic is tapering down in my part of the world.
Here is the FEEDING FRENZY:
And yes I was right in the middle of it. I stepped out to take photos.
Actually everyone was so patient, thoughtful and kind. It was the nicest frenzy you could imagine. Quilters would yell out what they were looking for and we would pull for them and toss to them what they were looking for. I got so much Kaffe Fassett fabric this way from the bins.
Also people would take a break from being in the bins and make way for other quilters waiting in queue. Actually you had to take a break for a while as it was sort of exhausting sifting through all those yard pieces of fabric and a bit claustrophobic.
You also needed a break to stuff your bag!
Besides finding AMAZING top quality quilting fabric (of like every fabric line you could imagine) one of the most fun parts of the whole experience was laughing with everyone there as you tried to stuff your bag as full as possible.
Here were the early stages of packing bags with “scraps”:
Notice how no fabric is reaching over the top of the bags.
Here is my pile of bags starting to grow (I did stop at 4 but later got one more) as I left them among the pile of coats (it was getting warm from all those people foraging through all those bins of fabric):
Then we heard that the shop did not really care how full you got the bag as long as all fabric was “touching” the inside of the bag. So things got creative…
Here are a series of photos on my quilting friends and I engaging in “creative scrap bag stuffing“:
We were laughing so hard! It got to be a real game of “what else can we fit in there?“
Here are a couple of my long time quilting friends and I resting after our scrap foraging. We were exhausted but happy! (Note, not all our group attended the scrap sale, some were back at the Retreat Center being productive working on their projects!)
And here I am with another expression of “pure joy” like in the previous post (and note it was not just because of the amazing deals but that I was hanging out with friends, lol):
When we returned to the Retreat Center, Jessica, one of the Retreat Coordinators, challenged us to see how much yardage we had inside one of our bags.
One person had 27 yards of fabric inside ONE of their scraps bag. Yes that was 27 yards of fabric for $10.95! Most people had between 20 and 26 yards of fabric packed into ONE scrap bag.
One of the attendees actually ironed and folded her finds (show off, ha!):
I did not. I took all my scraps from the sale to the Main Shop for packaging up to send home to me! As I mentioned in the first post in this series (I think), MSQC will ship whatever you bought or worked on for FREE to you if you are attending a retreat so you don’t have to figure out how to get it home. (Yes they are encouraging attendees to shop to their heart’s content).
So, a couple days after I returned home from the retreat I received two boxes in the mail:
And here are the “scraps” I got from the sale:
I won’t tell you the total amount of fabric, because I did not even count the yardage.
I just ironed the fabric and incorporated it into my stash…while giggling…
I tried to make the first post in the series about what I worked on during the retreat, trying to make you think I was oh so productive during the retreat.
Actually I spent a lot of time with my friends wandering around the 13 specialty quilt shops they have in the town (if you’d like to see the full list see this link – MSQC Quilt Shops), in addition to the non quilting shops (like the yarn shop)! Here are some photos from those wanderings.
…and there might have been some purchasing involved…
FIRST STOP: THE MAIN SHOP
Our first stop was the Main Shop where we picked up our badges that got scanned with every purchase.
The Main Shop has numerous little “vignettes” previews of each of the 12 other shops, which are specialty quilting/craft supply shops, so you can see a sampling of what you might find in each shop. Here is a vignette of the Modern Shop inside the Main Shop as an example:
The second day of the quilt retreat, they sent us on a scavenger hunt to see all the shops and get a little treat/prize at each shop. Some of the photos below are from the scavenger hunt on the second day and some of from our first day wandering (as soon as we got into town, our feet hit the pavement to shop!)
They gave us cool bags as part of the scavenger hunt, at one of the shops, to hold our goodies from the scavenger hunt.
THE YARN SHOP– ONE BIG HAPPY YARN CO.
A couple photos from inside the yarn shop. I was well behaved as I have a decent stash of yarn and I am not a proficient knitter or crocheter (I get by), but it was fun to look!
Yes are you into the fiber arts, I bet those photos above were “yarn porn”, at least they were for me!
Now pretend you hear the below statement read by Rod Serling writer/narrator for the classic TV series – The Twilight Zone…
Imagine if you will, a quilt shop, that only has batik fabrics…in every color and style you can imagine…
Here are photos from our wander around “The Batik Zone“!
I just realized, it would be too much to share photos from every shop so I will just stick to some of my favorites.
They had an area connected to the Machine Shed shop called Man’s Land where husband’s could hang out while their wives went crazy shopping around Quilt Town, USA!
Here are some photos from Man’s Land. It was quite cozy, but no they did not serve any “adult beverages” there, even though it looks like it would be a nice comfy pub to hang out in!
THE MACHINE SHOP
The Machine Shop connected to Man’s Land was a cool shop where you could buy sewing supplies. Here are some photos from that shop:
PENNY’S QUILT SHOP
One of my favorite shops was Penny’s Quilt Shop, which was the old JCPenney’sDepartment Store (Hamilton, Missouri is the birthplace of James Cash Penney who founded J.C. Penney Company) into a quilt shop.
This quilt shop specializes in solids and blenders, and here are some photos from that shop:
It is also the shop that on Thursday of the retreat had the Scrap Sale, so I spent extra time in this shop. I share more about the dream Scrap Sale in another post in this series.
The most beautiful and serene shop (in my opinion) was the Florals quilt shop. The photos I share below do not do justice to how lovely this shop was decorated.
Here is my friend Judy making some yummy selections in the shop:
Thanks goodness I had recently re-organized my fabric stash at home and gave myself a limited budget for shopping (as I do not really need anymore fabric), otherwise I would have gotten in my trouble in this shop!
I have so many photos that I had to cut it off somewhere so the Modern Shop is the last shop I will share photos of from our wander. As the name implies it was filled with “modern” fabrics with lines such as Cotton + Steel, Ruby Star Society, Riley Blake, etc.
Hope you enjoyed virtually wandering about some of the shops with me (or you are now really tired and need a nap).
Next post I will talk about the amazing Scrap Sale and the “aftermath” when my boxes of my purchases arrived home post retreat!
In early 2018 before all of our lives would change, my quilting friends and I first discussed the idea of doing a cool “bucket list” thing: visiting the Missouri Star Quilt Company, also known as “MSQC”, in Hamilton, Missouri. It wasn’t until 2021 after a year and a half into the pandemic, we decided: “let’s do it, not just visit but attend a quilt retreat there!”. I have to thank my friend Judy (the one who got me into quilting back in 1999) for her amazing facilitation and coordination of our adventure.
If you are not a quilter, or just never heard of MSQC, there is a wonderful story behind it.
Basically a quilter moved to an economically depressed small rural town in Missouri, opened a quilt shop which evolved into a quilting empire, essentially a “Quilter’s Disneyland” and saved the town.
It’s a pretty amazing story and you can read more about how MSQC came to be on their website at this link: About Us; or read one of these stories below from other sources:
My long time quilting friends and I have ordered from the MSQC website over the years and have been familiar with their story for about six years. So it was pretty exciting when we arrived in town on the shuttle van we took from the Kansas City airport. Here is what we first saw from the shuttle van and then immediately walking around when we arrived in Hamilton, MO:
The “downtown” is filled with speciality quilting shops. Here is the map from the MSQC website page MSQC Quilt Shops:
There are 13 specialty quilt shops, plus a yarn shop and other little gift and boutique shops. We did a scavenger hunt the second day of the retreat which took us to all the shops (well we did explore most of them on our own the first day) as well as several local businesses.
Once you visit Hamilton, MO, you will see why it’s called Quilt Town, USA!
Well that is enough for this post (I think there will be a lot of posts in this series, ha!). Next post I will share photos from my adventures in the shops with my quilting friends.
II’ll also have a future post coming up on the Scrap Sale we attended (fill a bag for $11 to the brim with scraps…that were not really scraps – they were 1 yard to 3 yard pieces!!!); and how they will ship all your purchases (and anything else you can fit in the box they provide) home for you for free – OH TROUBLE FOR THE WALLET! (but good trouble…)
As I mentioned in the introduction in the past severals posts, I recently returned from a nearly week long quilting retreat with my long time quilting friends at the Missouri Star Quilt Companyin Hamilton Missouri. My next series of posts will be about that retreat. It was one of those “bucket list” experiences.
For this first post about the retreat, I thought I would do a follow up to my February 8, 2022 post Preparing for Quilt Retreatand show you what I actually worked on during the retreat – one thing – the first 20 blocks for the Tula Pink’s City Sampler 100 Modern Quilt Blocks quilt:
As I shared in the 02/08/2022 post Preparing for Quilt Retreat , I cut out the fabric from my scrap collection for the first 20 blocks and made them into little packets to take to the retreat:
I had so much fun at the retreat opening up each packet and working on it. Each packet was like a surprise as I forgot what specific fabrics and colors I cut for each one.
Here are the blocks in progress on the design wall I sat next to at the quilt retreat:
And here are the completed 20 blocks which took me a couple days to complete (because there was a lot of shopping and wandering around “Quilt Town USA“, but that is another post), and it was all that I worked on despite the other projects I had prepared and brought:
Now I have the blocks home and up on my design wall at home (each block measures 6.5 inches by 6.5 inches), and it will be time to try to make another 20 to get me closer to the 100 I need to complete for the quilt!
I am daydreaming about the day I complete all 100 blocks and then have to decide on my block setting options – the end of the book has so many awesome setting options!