Friday, June 29, 2012


We're having a heat wave!  Not much to do until our pool membership starts in 2 weeks except rely on the generosity and enjoy the good company of our bestest friends at their pool.  Joseph and Jack stayed cool by jumping in the pool over and over and over.

Will kindly let Joseph borrow his little flippers, and he was zooming across the pool!  I'll definitely have to invest in some of those.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Purple One

Is there much more to say about this quilt?  It. is. purple!

This quilt was made for one of Joseph's preschool teachers this year, Miss Sandra.  Since I made teacher quilts last year, I thought it was only fair to do the same this year.......especially since I only had to make one, since Miss Kasia was his teacher again this year.  Phew, I don't think I could have pulled off another two!

Purple is, of course, Miss Sandra's favorite color.  If I heard that once, I heard it a thousand times.  Joseph could not see something purple without reminding me of that fact.  Sometimes daily.  Sometimes more.  So when I came across this fabric, I bought a ton of it, thinking it would be the perfect "feature" fabric.  

I simply love it with the combo of greens and grays, and I adore the variety of prints from my favorites, polka dots and stripes, to houndstooth, floral and damask.  Unfortunately something happened along the way, and the main fabric wound up being lost in the tiny squares on the front of the quilt and became the majority of the backing.  I guess that's what happens when you're in a rush and don't have a plan.  I gave myself 3 weeks to do the whole thing, and tried to stay with simple strip piecing, basing the pattern on this one from Red Pepper Quilts (again).

It's a fun and pretty quilt, but I honestly can't say it's one of my favorites.  Maybe I'm just not that into purple.  Maybe it's just that I could not get the soundtrack from "Purple Rain" out of my head for more than 3 weeks while sewing this.  Yes, more than 3 weeks.  I had too much going on and didn't get it done it time.

The quilting was straightforward - outlining and diagonals, and I am seriously loving this machine binding on larger quilts.  It's done in an hour and looks fantastic from both the front and the back!

It's a nice "lap sized" quilt, 62" x 62"

As with all my quilts, Joseph asked to keep it and said he was sad to see it go.  But off we went and delivered it today to a very wonderful teacher, who loves purple very much.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Glad Grad

Joseph graduated from preschool 2 weeks ago!  (and I'm just getting around to posting this now!)  Our grad looked very dapper but we might have thought to remedy the Justin Bieber do in advance.

The school put on such an adorable program.  The kids lined up and marched in, and then had a music show with Miss Angela.  Joseph just loves to sing!  You can even hear him from across the room.  You can tell they worked so hard all year long learning all these songs and using all the different instruments.

The event was documented quite thoroughly...

The teachers presented each of the graduates with a diploma, a "bobble head" statue, and a giant binder of much of their accumulated writing and art projects.

We, in turn, presented the teachers and staff with some year end gifts.  As a room parent I helped come up with many of the ideas, one my favorites being this framed photo.  I had taken a picture of the entire class with the teachers a few months before, and we passed the mat boards around and had each of the kids sign them before I framed them.  So cute!

It is so, so sad saying goodbye to Westmoreland.  We've loved having Joseph there these past 2 years.  He has grown and matured, learned so much, and made so many wonderful friends.  We owe a lot to Miss Kasia and Miss Sandra and will miss them so much!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pool Toe

With a lot of this:

comes this:

Friday, June 22, 2012


You have to love resorts that have nightly fire pits for making s'mores.

They were so good the 1st time, we went back for s'more!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mt. Evitt

As I mentioned, our hotel room at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort had a balcony facing the mountains.  One morning, long after the fog lifted, we crossed the little bridge over the road and headed out for a hike on one of the trails on Mt. Evitt.

Every room is equipped with several walking sticks to take along.  Nice touch!  We chose Naugle's Mill Trail, a wooded trail which wound up being about 1.5 miles.  Not too bad with a 4 year old in tow, and quite lovely to be out encouraging him to explore and appreciate nature.

And no one got poison ivy!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

History in Motion

Upon arriving in a new town when on vacation, one of the last things you want to be greeted by is a giant plume of thick, black smoke.

Unless, of course, your point in visiting is to take a ride on an old fashioned steam engine.

While in Bedford, PA, Brent planned a day trip over to nearby Cumberland, MD, for this exact purpose.  He had heard about the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and knew Joseph would love it.  He has still not tired of trains!  The standard excursion makes a 32 mile round trip from Cumberland to Frostburg.

Some of the highlights along the route are Helmstetter's Horseshoe curve (a 1/2 mile curve with awesome views of the valley), the 914 foot long Brush Tunnel through Piney Mountain, and the Narrows (a mile long 1000 feet deep gorge).

Once in Frostburg they turn the engine around the old fashioned way, on a turntable.  Very fun to watch!

Then after lunch and a little time to explore, it's back to Cumberland.

Someone got a good nap in on the way back, not shocking since he was up to watch the sunrise.

The train also does "murder mysteries" and a "Santa Express" around the holidays, and you can even rent out the caboose for private parties.

They'll also transport a bike for you, which is something that we might be interested in doing when Joseph is a little older if he continues to love biking as much as he does now.  Turns out the C & O Canal, which originates near us in Georgetown at Mile 0, ends in Cumberland, MD, 184.5 miles later.  A towpath runs along the entire length of the canal, and there were people riding the train one way and then biking back from Frostburg to Cumberland.  Not sure we'd be able to bike 184.5 miles, but 16 is a good place to start.