Running (and quilting) ahead!

I had started out in the new year choosing my “Word of the Year” as Flourish! Well, I have been flourishing but falling down in my blogging! Hoping the second half of the year will be better.

I began training in the late winter for the Hook Half Marathon on April 17th in Congers, NY. This race begins running around Rockland Lake and then over Hook Mountain with a 3 mile run along the majestic Hudson River and then back over the mountain and around the lake to the finish line. My daughter, Deven, joined me. It was a glorious day – sunny and mild – perfect for running! I had a PR of 2:20:25, that’s 10:43 min/mile! I shaved off 9 minutes! Not too bad!

Now My husband, Michael, and I  are training for the Newport 10 Miler in 9 days on June 5th. Hoping for good weather!

As for quilting, I’ve been happily sewing and quilting away! Here’s one of the quilts I finished this spring. My first “modern” quilting attempt. I like it! What do you think?

Happy Running and Quilting!

 

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Better late than never! My 2016 Vision board!

A few years ago, my friend, Michele Phillips, gave me the idea to create a vision board. Michele is an author, life coach and motivational speaker. She was working on her first book, Happiness is a Habit. She told me about how she made a vision board of pictures of things and phrases to inspire and remind her of her goals and dreams. Michele spoke of other visually motivating tools such as a picture of the New York Times Best Sellers list where she wrote her name and book title on the list! Fun and inspiring! I thought it was an awesome idea – a picture book of one’s written goals plus a little enthusiasm. I have created a vision board for myself the past two years. Here’s my 2016 board:

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It will hang in my sewing studio so I can look at it daily. A closer look will reveal that I am hoping to compete in a few races -the Newport 10 Miler and the Hook Half Marathon as well as improving my overall level of fitness. I’m hoping to get a few more hikes in this year. Caring for my mother in law as well as having a teenager to transport has limited our ability to take extended periods of time to take long hikes but Mike and I have promised each other to carve out more time for that. We hope to hike Mt. Khatadin in Maine. I’ve got my eye on upgrading my long arm to an Avante and hopefully a new ribbon or two from quilt shows! I even add more pictures and update it as the year goes on. Changing, just like me! Do you create goals for yourself? Check out Michele’s website or her book for a few videos and tips on creating good habits to help you achieve your own personal goals. Make your dreams come true!

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Making Headway!

Well, I definitely have made a fresh start for February. I’ve been working away on my Night Sky quilt. I love how the quilting is turning out. It’s time consuming but will be worth it.  What do you think?

 

Besides my quilting, I’ve started on my training schedule for the Hook Half Marathon and half way through my second week. The weather has been so warm. I took these pictures at the start of the week. The past few days have been in the 50’s and today it rained so the snow is just about gone. It’s been wonderful to be running in the outdoors in February in New York! What a treat!

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Have a great day everyone!

 

 

Thursday Throwback andWhat’s New!

Last year I was feverishly working on this quilt to finish it for a Christmas gift. My friend’s Mother in law had cross stitched it and she asked if I would quilt it to surprise her. So thoughtful! It turned out beautiful and her Mother in law loved it!

Next up is this unusual quilt. It’s made of clothing from my friend’s family and she embroidered names and places that are significant to her. The different textures should be a challenge! But first, I’ve got to get a 3 mile run in! Gotta keep the body in shape as well as the mind!

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Pieces in the Night Sky!

Besides resuming my blogging, I have resurrected a few old projects I had abandoned. One that I am finishing is a Night Sky quilt designed by Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts. This is the first pattern I’ve tried by Julie. It uses her Sidekick Ruler. The directions are well written and the ruler is a breeze to read and use. Sewing diamonds and triangles have never been so easy! I have two rows to sew on and then its ready to be quilted! I can’t wait! Hoping to finish in time to give it for a Christmas gift! Here’s a full view!

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Here are a few finished blocks…looks intricate but it a breeze!

 

The 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge!

I began this blog earlier in the year to document my quilting and my fitness journeys. Unfortunately life got in the way and I fell off my goal. Cheryl Sleboda, a fellow quilter, has inspired me with her 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge. So I am planning to blog every day this month and hopefully develop a new habit!

Although I have not been blogging, I have been keeping busy! I completed my first triathlon in September and have been doing a lot of quilting! I look forward to resuming this blogging journey! I hope you will join me!

Life Interrupts Us

I started this blog about a month ago with the intention of writing a few times a week the trials and triumphs of quilting with a few of my other interests like running and fitness and some family interjected in between. But as the saying goes, “Life happens as we are busy making plans.”

Toward the end of May, we received a call from my sister-in-law that my Mother-in-law was in the hospital. When Anne arrived to get her bring her home, my Mother -in -law had taken a turn for the worse over night and was unresponsive. So Mike and I jumped in the car and headed to Newport, RI. After a few days, Gma rebounded from a severe case of cellulitis. Anne and I decided to take her home since she was out of the woods. Gma has expressed an interest of passing at home and we felt if that is to come we should take her there. Well, thankfully she has done fairly well. She is weak, but happy to be home and enjoying the flow of her various children and grandchildren that come and go to visit her.

Michael and Gma
Michael and Gma

While I was in Rhode Island caring for Gma, I received word that our dear friends, the Karassik family, had been involved in a horrible tragedy. Bruce Karassik and his beautiful daughter, Larisa and Larisa’s friend had been struck by a drunk driver as the drunk driver ran a stop sign. Our beautiful Larisa was killed and Bruce and her friend were seriously injured. To say the world stopped turning for a few minutes is an understatement. My heart was broken in two. This beautiful girl, Larisa, had been a constant in our lives for the past 7 years – since our families met when my daughter, Grace and Larisa’s sister, Alina met in kindergarden and became best friends. Our families have been linked since that time and have enjoyed many happy moments together. Michael and I have had the privilege of watching the 3 Karassik girls grow. Larisa had really begun to blossom into a beautiful, compassionate, smart young woman – she had a bright and exciting future ahead of her. It was unfathomable to think she was gone. The past few weeks have been heavy. My little girl is trying to cope with her first loss in life while witnessing unimaginable grief of a family that considers her their “4th” daughter. My heavy heart is lightened by the outpouring of love and caring by my community for my friends. Food trains, special care for the sisters, remembrances by the school, sports teams and local churches have shown what we already knew – Larisa was a gem, a beauty on the inside as well as the outside.

Larisa's butterfly
Larisa’s butterfly
Larisa
Larisa

The Karassiks are Russian Orthodox and had a traditional funeral and burial for Larisa. Although I speak no Russian, the beauty of the chants of the psalms and songs moved me. Larisa had attended a Russian camp each summer with her family and participated in their scouting program. Last summer as she turned 13, she was given her “woodland” name – Monarch Butterfly. At the burial, a friend of the Karassiks gave my friend, Anastasia and her daughters each an envelope with a Monarch Butterfly in it. They opened the envelopes and the butterflies flew to Anastasia and landed on her. One just above her heart. They lingered for what seemed an eternity. It was not lost on anyone that this was a sign from Larisa and she was saying her goodbyes to us all. We were all given Monarch Butterfly pins that day as a remembrance. My butterfly is pinned to my spool quilt in my sewing room. It gives me comfort to think Larisa is watching over me as I sit, sew, create and dream. I look forward to seeing that beautiful girl again some day when we are all reunited in the heavens. Life can change instantly. So hug your kids, your spouse, your friends a little tighter. Be a little kinder. Quilt something. Do something you’ve never done.  Share your love.

Anastasia and the Monarch Butterflies
Anastasia and the Monarch Butterflies

Northern Star Inspiration Part 2

Here are a few more of my favorite quilts from Saturday’s quilt show by the Northern Star Quilt Guild. I thought Diana’s “selfie” was awesome! I met Diana several years ago when she came to my quilt store. She had brought with her a quilt that was a portrait of a cat. It was fabulous and her work always is impeccable. What I loved about this quilt is the quilting. Her quilter, Wilma from Christian Lane Quilters, added a special touch quilting in Diana’s name into the quilt.

Selfie Stash by Diana Sharkey. It received an Honorable Mention!
Selfie Stash by Diana Sharkey. It received an Honorable Mention!
Selfie Stash bu Diana Sharkey
Selfie Stash bu Diana Sharkey

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Diana's quilter, Wilma from Christian Lane Quilters, quilted her name right into the quilt
Diana’s quilter, Wilma from Christian Lane Quilters, quilted her name right into the quilt

I found myself draan to many of the Modern quilts displayed in the show. The quilt, “Going my way”, struck me. I think it was the a combination of the colors and the quilting designs. I think the curves of the quilting designs are a beautiful juxtaposition to the pieced cubes in the quilt. Don’t you agree?

Going My Way by Claire Victor
Going My Way by Claire Victor
Going My Way by Claire Victor
Going My Way by Claire Victor
Going My Way by Claire Victor
Going My Way by Claire Victor

This inspires me to start working on a Modern Quilt design I have rolling around in my head. What inspires you?

Northern Star Inspiration

On Saturday, I attended the Northern Star Quilt show in Somers, New York. Usually, I attend with a few fellow quilters, but this time I decided to go it alone and take my time viewing the quilts in the show. I found it refreshing to wander the floor by myself and study each quilt and was inspired by so many beautiful works of art. I will share with you some of my favorites over the next few days. Hopefully you will find some inspiration too!

I was thrilled to see my quilting BFF, Debby Siccardi, won 1st place in large bed quilts and best machine quilting! It was well deserved and I know how much time and energy she put into sewing and quilting this quilt!

Debbie Siccardi's quilt:: Dreaming of Alaskan Glaciers
Debbie Siccardi’s quilt:: Dreaming of Alaskan Glaciers
Debbie Siccardi's quilt:: Dreaming of Alaskan Glaciers
Debbie Siccardi’s quilt:: Dreaming of Alaskan Glaciers

Best of show, “Marvelous Martha” was a fabulous piece. Donna Chambers really out did herself using mixed media – cotton and silk fabrics and texture magic and an exquisite hand painted face. Donna also received a 1st place ribbon in the Wall quilts category and a N.Q.A. CJ Award of Merit for Outstanding Achievement in Quiltmaking.  The quilting on the piece was just beautiful and I really loved Donna’s use of the striping in the border fabric. My photo does not do it justice.

Best of Show: Donna Chamber's Marvelous Martha
Best of Show: Donna Chamber’s Marvelous Martha
Best of Show: Donna Chamber's Marvelous Martha
Best of Show: Donna Chamber’s Marvelous Martha