My cousin, Kelly, had her second baby right around when we were getting married. For her first baby, Julian, I made a cute little bib/burp cloth thing (a rectangle to put over your shoulder to sop up drool...not sure what to call it) with a hand-appliqued chick on it, since she and her husband, especially, love orange. As usual, I didn't photograph it - if I had a nickel for every cool project I made and gave away without photographing, I'd have...well...at least a dollar! Anyway, you'll just have to take my word for it that it turned out very cute. I wanted to do something a bit bigger for her second baby, both for her and as a special thank you to her parents, my aunt Roz and Uncle Dean, who were kind enough to host our completely wonderful wedding reception crawfish boil at their house in New Orleans. I wanted to finish the quilt in time to bring it to New Orleans, since I thought they might enjoy having the quilt at their house for when baby Archer comes down to visit (or they could deliver it on one of their many trips to see their grandbabies), but I didn't have much time to get it done because I'd been so focused on finishing the quilts that were long overdue for my bridesmaids, Anne and Talia, before the wedding.
The weekend after our wedding, Bryan and I went to Chapel Hill to see several nights of surf band music (my husband's obsession) and to see where he grew up, meet up with some of his best college friends to celebrate our marriage, and to generally take a stroll down memory lane. We had a really fun time during the days, heading over to Greensboro one day to our favorite BBQ place, Stamey's, and hiking through the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park that he'd gone to frequently as a kid. We drove by old houses he had lived in and by the little lake that was the location where he and his brother first "ran away from home" with their backpacks filled with PB&Js and comic books. We even drove by his elementary school. (I'm a nut about stuff like that...I made him do the same thing with me when we went to New Orleans for our "official" reception, including my elementary school, favorite park, and the first house I remember living in!) We saw the house in Chapel Hill that he shared with his awesome housemates in college, the planetarium where he worked (and saw an amazing show about black holes that really blew my mind), and we enjoyed walking around campus. We also went to some great restaurants for dinner in Chapel Hill that I'm still craving, including the Lantern and Cholonad. But, the official reason for the visit was the Instro Summit. I've started to like surf music (especially since we went to Croatia 2 years ago to see an incredibly friendly Croatian surf band called the Bambi Molesters and ended up being interviewed for Croatian television for the length we went to to see the band). But, I am not a concert-girl, despite marrying a man who likes nothing better than going to see live music. I knew I didn't need to sit in a little bar for almost 24 hours over the three days watching bands (though I did go one evening and it was more fun than I expected!). So, I decided to try my hand at a strip quilt, ala Film in the Fridge and after seeing one of the charity quilts Katie made last year, except that I also wanted to do it in the quilt-as-you-go method, and I wanted to do it in the hotel room when he was off galavanting with a few of his college friends the first night of the shows. I cut all the print fabric at home so that I wouldn't need my cutting mat (though I forgot to cut the coordinating solids I so carefully purchased). I knew the hotel would have an iron and ironing board, so all I needed was my strips, batting, backing, pins, thread, and trusty sewing machine. And voila! I used Kate Spain's Central Park fabric on the front, an old hand-dyed for the back, and Kona cotton (perhaps tangerine) for the binding. (I should add that Kelly lives in New York and takes her kids to Central Park, so it felt doubly appropriate!)
In addition to sewing down the binding by hand, I wanted to actually sign the quilt, since that is another of the things I rarely do but am trying to improve on. I think it helps that my new married name is 6 letters shorter than my maiden name. It's a bit hard to see in this picture because I just used orange thread instead of perle cotton...why I took all these pictures indoors is beyond me, since I could have taken some really great outdoor shots, but there you go...at least I got my mom to help me snap some pictures for once!
|Uncle Dean, the host with the most!|
|The traditional "crawfish race"!|
|Intense concentration on putting crawfish into my mouth!|
|My brother, Rob, continuing the family tradition, and sharing a crab claw with his son, Rowan|
|...who happily accepted.|
|The happy couple, complete with my aunt's hysterical wedding decor!|
|Bananas Foster in action!|
Commander's Palace with the famed Bananas Foster (who knew cinnamon thrown on the fire would make such a good show!), the impeccable Mr. B's Bistro, Bryan's old favorite Mother's Restaurant, and Emeril's Delmonico. And we couldn't go to New Orleans without a stop for beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde. But the best meals were at my uncle Dean's house. We had an amazing brunch the day after the crawfish boil with crawfish etouffee omelets, crepes, fruit, and the best hash browns on earth (made from the potatoes, onion, and garlic from the crawfish boil). And before we left, my uncle went completely above and beyond and made my absolute favorite - crawfish bisque - complete with the crawfish stuffing in the shells. Thank you so much, Uncle Dean and Aunt Roz, for being such wonderful hosts. I asked my nephew which of his aunts' wedding celebrations he preferred, and, of course, since my reception did NOT involve putting on a suit or sitting through a boring ceremony but did involve eating delicious food, playing horseshoes, fishing in the canal behind my uncle's house, and playing lots of fun games, well...I won hands down! :)