Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bishopville Con't - The Button Museum

Why is this man smiling? He's the Button King!
His name is Dalton Stevens and he lives in Bishopville, SC. His hobby has made him famous, appearing on tv with Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Bill Cosby, Reggis Feldman and others - also on tv in Japan. And all because he loves buttons. His story is that when having trouble sleeping at night, he started sewing buttons on his jeans, his shirt and his hat. He went on to cover a car, a casket, a piano, and many more objects. I have included a few pictures from his museum, and he is quite a character. Be sure to click on the pictures so you get a real good look.

So ladies, if your husband starts getting up in the middle of the night, you better hide your buttons!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pearl Fryor Topiary Gardens

Here are some pictures from the Topiary Gardens to just give you a taste of how amazing this place is. The garden is actually located in a neighborhood and Mr. Fryor has filled his yard and some of his neighbors' yards with his topiary art as well as metal sculpture (junk art as someone called it on Saturday - I believe it was his son). It is really worth the visit if you are ever in that neck of the woods. Its about 5 miles off I20 just below Camden, SC.

And just to give you a peek at my yard, which by no means compares to Pearl Fryors - here is my favorite spot to sit and read, or sew, or rock a cranky baby, or just do nothing but enjoy being outdoors. Also, our Tulip Poplar is blooming and I thought you might like to see one of the blossoms. They don't last long.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bishopville, SC

Oh my gosh, did we have a fun trip. This trip started out as one to see the Pearl Fryer Topiary Gardens in Bishopville, SC . As we traveled, we found out though that this tiny little southern town had other sites to see - and see them we did. I will show a few pictures today, but want to show more of a few of the places we visited on blogs over the next few days.

Our trip started Friday night, getting out of town for just an evening of relaxation before starting the Bishopville tour on Saturday. Bishopville is only an hour and 45 minute drive from my house, but you know how it is, sometimes you just have to get away. We spent the night in Hartsville, as the only motel in Bishopville looked not quite so desirable. Saturday morning, bright and early, we headed out - our first stop being an antique and used furniture store - which also houses a barber shop. Here is what greeted us as we entered the door.

I thought - O Boy! My kind of store!!! The owner turns out to be Grady Brown, a SC House of Representative Member. He was busily cutting customers' hair (now why did I not get a picture of that??) and after an exchange of opinions about Gov. Sanford's position on Federal Stimulus funding, I purchased these three quilt racks from him. The back two (dark wood) are fairly new, but I just love them. The white one is very old and in need of a good refinish, but still very sturdy. I plan to put baby quilts on it in the nursery.

From there we traveled on to see the Button King Museum (pictures to follow in another blog) which was way out in the farming area and we finally had to dig out the GPS to find. Then on to the Cotton Museum, right downtown (once again - another blog), then to the Pearl Fryer Topiary Garden (bunches of pictures in a future blog), then to a Revolutionary War Park in Camden SC (stayed tuned) and finally to lunch at the Garden of Eat'n in Kershaw, SC. We had a plate of delicious Carolina style BBQ - YUM. It's always fun to check out the local resturants, especially when in small town South Carolina there aren't many (translate any) major chain resturants. This place was great, friendly home town greeting when you walk in the door and some of the best iced tea ever. Hey Darlene, I bet you have eaten there, huh, considering this is your home town.

And we couldn't get this close to Waxhaw, without a vist to a new quilt shop I had not been to yet called the Quilt Nook. My camera battery fizzled out on me back at the Cotton Museum, so I was relying on my hubby for pictures at this point, and did not get a picture of the shop. But, I did take some pictures of my purchases when I got home. The stencil is a new kind that you use with the Pounce chalk marker. I plan to use this in my French Braid quilt. The shop has a great selection of Batiks and patterns. Well worth a trip to Waxhaw.

So that was my Saturday excursion. I will be showing pictures of the sites we saw in future blogs, just too much to show on one. Hope you all had as fun a day as I did!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Whatever have I been doing???

It has been over a week since my last post - well just one day over, and I have not accomplished much other than work, work, work. I have been working long hours - and very frustrating hours, too. We are implementing a new computer system at work, and it does get overwhelming.

So, what have I done to relieve the stress???

Saturday, my quilt club met at my house and I gave a lesson on back basting applique using the A Tisket A Tasket blocks. We had a great time. I fixed a lunch of Tortilini Pasta Salad and Peach Cobbler. Yum!

That evening my daughter has us over for a hotdog cookout and some BIG news - I am going to be a grandma again in November!! Woohoooo.
Sunday was church, then over to see my folks and then back home to start working on my friendship blocks for April. Here's a little peek at what I am working on, and yes it is applique, back basted applique to be exact.
Monday was a fun day!!! I took the day off work to attend a workshop being sponsored by my local guild. Cindy Blackberg was our guest speaker for the meeting on Monday night, and the workshop I attended was on hand quilting. I am not sure you can see much in this picture, but I actually made some improvement on my stitches. Cindy taught us how to quilt sideways and using a spoon underneath to keep from sticking your finger. I still have a ways to go, but felt encouraged after the workshop that I can learn to handquilt with little even stitches. Cindy's quilts and stitches are amazing.
The rest of the week was pretty humdrum - to work, home, bed, to work, home, bed. I dare not complain though, as I am thankful to have a good job that I enjoy. Thursday night after work a friend (Darlene R) and I went to Mary Jo's to get fabric for the May club project. Now that was fun.
After work today, my husband and I packed an overnight bag and headed for Bishopville, SC. Our goal is to relax, have some fun and spend tomorrow roaming around seeing what we can see. Specifically we hope to see the Pearl Fryer Topiary Gardens - more on that tomorrow.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

And the battle is on.....

I showed pictures of my pin basting the French Braid quilt a couple weeks ago. Since then it has been draped over a chair in my sewing room..taunting me, daring me to start quilting it. Today, I took my weapon - my trusty ole faithful New Home Machine - and attacked my French Braid Monster quilt. I am proud to say, I am

winning! This faithful machine has its battle scars, which if you enlarge the picture, you will see. But not from pins and scissors and monster quilts, but from my sweet innocent looking Felicia...yes, she attacks my machine, biting and scratching. Now what is up with that?

But the machines of the world can relax, Felicia sleeps in her Rubbermaid bed. (Notice the window frame..that has felt the sting of her claws as well.)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring has Sprung!

Easter Sunday was breathtakingly beautiful in South Carolina. I hope you all were able to enjoy the holiday weekend and spend time with family and in worship. The dogwoods and cherry trees are in full blossom and I could not resist clipping a few branches to grace my dining room for the family dinner. I think the trees are more beautiful this year than I remember them being in a very long time.

On the sewing scene, I finished my first A Tisket A Tasket block which just happens to be the February block - it was too beautiful outside to work on the first block (January) which is a snowman. These blocks are so much fun to make! Thank you Anne, Bunny Tales, for the free BOM. Check out her blog!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Spring decorations

I have never been one much for decorating, other than at Christmas. Reading blogs though and seeing all the pretty things you are all doing, just inspires me to try and do a few things too. So today, I had to go to Hobby Lobby anyway in search of teal color machine quilting thread, which I did not find, and while there I wandered over to the Easter decorations and lo and behold, everything was 50% off. Go figure, after all, doesn't everyone wait until the week before Easter to start thinking about decorating? So I find these really cute little bunnies in a basket and Easter egg garland which, although it looks white in the picture is bright lovely shades of pinks, lavenders, blues and yellows. My very first Easter decorating purchase.

Now the next step is trying to determine where to put these lovely bunnies. Over the fireplace mantel of course, so I take down the family tree wall hanging that I have there and unpack my summer stained glass window quilt flowers that I normally hang up in the summer and add my bunnies to the mix. I think it looks kind of Springy and Eastery.

Now that is the extent of Spring - Easter decorations I own. My snowflake wall hanging is still up in the dining room and I think my family is pretty tired of looking at it. The problem is I don't have many wall hangings or table runners for that matter - I make large quilts as a rule. So, I go digging in my hope chest and come across this one that I made years ago at a Linda Cantrell workshop. Down go the snowflakes, and up goes my Lady in a Red Hat. I would like to think that for the next week I can call her Easter Parade! (If you enlarge this picture and look at the quilting you will see that I hand quilted this with silver metallic thread - before I knew how totally insane it is to hand quilt anything with metallic thread. )

Now for the front door, yes, believe it or not, my Christmas flower wreath is still hanging up. Somewhere in the depths and dark corners of my basement hangs a beautiful Spring wreath with yellow daffodils. I have no idea where it is, and no desire to fight throught the masses of boxes and stuff to find it, so for now, the Christmas wreath comes down and I guess I will go shopping to find a Spring wreath for the door. And that is the extent of my decorating today. A trip to Michaels is due tomorrow - so stayed tuned, no telling what I will find there!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Good reading...

Tonight I went by Books a Million in search of the Spring/Summer Quilt Sampler magazine as I thought it was time for it to be coming out. Well, I know now that it won't be until next month - but while there, I had to pick up a few books.

The first - The Lost Quilter - I did not even know this one was out. I just love the Elm Creek Quilt Series and so had to pick this one up. I have them all, and even enjoy re-reading them.

While there, I always check out the sales tables, and I found these books for cheaper than what a paper back would cost.

I have been wanting to read the Endless Chain, but I noticed on the cover that it says it is the second book in the Shenadoah Album series. Have any of you read it? Do you know what the first book is? I might want to read it first.

Then I found these two Jan Karon books. I started this series a long time ago, but I think I will get book one and start it again. Felicia was checking them out as well. I keep telling my kids she is really a very smart cat!