kingjenia's Blog

This is where I yap about the quilts I'm making, ideas for new quilts and little things about life that gets in the way.

Catching rainbows, catching up...and big quilting news

Well a lot has happened in my life since we last talked!

Jim and I took a wonderful road trip vacation through several national parks with a visit to his family in Montana at the end of that rainbow.  It was a spectacular journey and we thoroughly enjoyed our time together in addition to seeing so many beautiful places.  

I was going to take some quilting to piece as we drove, but I would not have picked it up once.  I was too busy watching the lovely view-master views as we drove through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and back again.  The rainbow never once faltered in its colors.  We had spectacular scenery, many fabulous meals, and we met many people along the way.  I can say that I did not miss my sewing once during the trip, however now that I'm home I feel more dedicated than ever to get back to (I can't call it work) stitching.

The first stop was Great Sand Dunes National Park.  I had never even heard of this one before and it was a surprise to find it so close to our first nights lodging in Alamosa, Colorado


These photos are just a sampling of our trip.  I have more than 2000 pictures from this trip that I just can't edit out of our album.  It really was that nice.  The next picture was taken in Eagle, Colorado on the way to Sylvan Lake.  These guys were all standing in a field in a neighborhood with houses across the street.  It was as if they were just waiting for us to come along.  

I am so happy we took our vacation when we did.  Look at all we would have missed if these national parks would have been closed as they are now.  The next visit was 2 days exploring Flaming Gorge National recreation area.  I have so many lovely photos from this place but this one should give you a good idea of the beauty here.  



From here we headed north through the Tetons and Yellowstone.  We had some clouds in the Tetons, but I particularly like this photo.  It was fun taking advantage of making this trip in a convertible car.  Imagine the wind in your hair the fresh mountain air and all of this scenery that surrounds you.  Fun fun fun.  Here's the Tetons as we head out and away onward to Yellowstone.


Its so hard to choose just one photo from Yellowstone because there are just so many different views.  There were buffalo and my first time seeing moose.  There were waterfalls and of course old faithful, there were wild horses and ducks, herons and geese.  We went at the right time of year because nothing was too crowded.  I have heard about traffic jams and crowds, but we didn't have any of that.  Just a simply fantastic journey.  Here's some of the geothermal activity that's not old faithful and probably something you don't always see.  When I was standing there at the geyser all I could think of is, wow I'm actually here seeing the things I have read about all these years and yes they do live up to their reputation.  


Okay so I couldn't pick just one, just like potato chips, right?  

We entered Montana on what they call the Bear Tooth Highway.  It was so awesomely beautiful with more mountain scenery and left over glacier snow in small pockets.  But I won't bore you with more pretty pictures.  How bout this for an idea of what this part if the trip was like:  


We had stops in Billings, and Sidney Montana and a really special tour of Forsythe before reaching the end of this part of the rainbow which was a visit to Jim's family.  We have been together for 6 years and I have been wanting to meet his family all this time.  His immediate family are all spectacular people and I just knew his extended family would be the same.  

Meeting his Aunt Ruth was just as I thought it would be.  We immediately hugged and I could feel the love in her arms.  She smothered me in love and fabric and many great stories of life on a Montana ranch.  They have a working ranch and farm which was the most beautiful place I could imagine.  Life isn't always easy for her but she's one of those rare ladies who sees the bright side always and perseveres just like her sister, my mom-in-law, Jim's mom.

Yes, I did say she smothered me in fabric.  She has given me enough fabric to make quilts until the day I die.  She had already sent some home but we just had to look at her stash again and how can I refuse even more of this really nice, vintage material?  I took what I could fit in our small convertible car.  Someday I hope to make her something very special.  I have so many ideas in my head I just wish I could clone me and have time to get all these projects done.  

I can't resist posting this photo of the Montana sunset before we move on the our return trip and Rocky Mountain national park, and the big quilting news I promised  You can only find a sunset like this in Montana, right?    I have others without the oil rig, but hey it's a sign of progress and they in Montana make a living off of mineral rights.  I'm so glad about this, it helps them make ends meet when life on the ranch or farm isn't the best because of weather or other natural disasters.


Now the last national park we caught on the way home, before I give you my big quilting news.  Hmmm, how do I choose just one from Rocky Mountain National Park?  Will this do?  


Now that I've bored my audience with my vacation photos, I can spring the big news... My entry into the Grand Central Terminal quilting challenge was chosen as a finalist.  There were 30 entrants selected to be finalists and my little piece was chosen.  I am so fortunate to just be a finalist, I feel that I have already won, even if I'm number 30, I feel so special in having been chosen.  This is my first contest and I would never have even though about entering if it weren't for Jim's encouragement.  Typically I'm not a competitive person but now that I have tried I am so excited to be a part of it.  Here's a link to my gallery so you can see what it's all about

basically I made this.


Out of this as required.  


And they liked it!  SURPRISE, SURPRISE!  We will know on November 9th who the winners are.  I feel like I've won already just being a finalist.  

I have continued to work on the crazy rainbow rows and my mother-in-laws block of the month.  I have also expanded my antque sewing box collection, but that's another story. 

Sew, until next time...




# re: Catching rainbows, catching up...and big quilting news@ Saturday, October 5, 2013 11:30 PM

Your trip sounds wonderful.  I loved seeing all your pictures.

Your quilt Is a winner, you are very creative with fabric.

by gini

# re: Catching rainbows, catching up...and big quilting news@ Sunday, October 6, 2013 9:05 AM

Thanks, Gini

The trip WAS something I have needed for a long time.  Jim and I both needed to get away and just have a good time.  I love taking pictures and he loves driving we make a really great team for a trip like this.  He didn't let me drive 1 mile he said he's not as good with the camera as me, and he wanted memories too.

I'm hoping my design and essay will carry me.  I'm afraid my quilting skills are nowhere near the others that will be entered.  After all, in just a beginner and professionals were also allowed to enter.  I'm sure my hand work will pale in comparison to the wonderful machine work I can imagine they received.

Thank you for the encouragement.


by Jenia

# re: Catching rainbows, catching up...and big quilting news@ Sunday, October 6, 2013 4:01 PM

Absolutely gorgeous pictures - you really have an eye for that.  The quilt is also cool.  It's amazing to think that all of those different-looking sections came from that one piece of fabric.  I hope you do well!

# re: Catching rainbows, catching up...and big quilting news@ Sunday, October 6, 2013 11:21 PM

Thanks, greenmonstr.  The picture taking is a life,long hobby which I have enjoyed for travel photography and making pretty memory books for us to look at from time to time.  The quilting is a new hobby for,which I am still very unsure of my ability.  There must be 20 items on the quilt which could be nit picked on,  I'm hoping that my d sign is so unusual and that no one else chose something like this.  That's the only way I have any chance at all.  To be chosen is a price ledge is never imagined would ever come true.

by Jenia

# re: Catching rainbows, catching up...and big quilting news@ Tuesday, October 8, 2013 11:15 PM

Your trip sounds amazing.  Thanks for sharing all the beautiful pics.  Your quilt is perfect.  Congratulations on getting this far and fingers crossed for further advancement.

by Nana

# re: Catching rainbows, catching up...and big quilting news@ Wednesday, October 9, 2013 10:01 AM

Thank you Nana, I'm sure the photo is far better than the real thing when it comes to the quilt, that is.  The real thing is far better than my photos when it comes to the trip!  I appreciate your crossed fingers, I will need all the luck possible to get further.  It will be exciting because I think all finalist will be displayed at Grand Central for a year beginning in March if I read the rules correctly.  That alone is something special to me!

by Jenia