Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Snowy Christmas!

Bonnie & Wayne Browning wish you all a Verry Happy New Year. Here are some photos from our Christmas with our families in Iowa.

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
A free scrapbook design by Smilebox

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Holidays are Here

On Thanksgiving Wayne and I enjoyed our Thanksgiving dinner at Patti's Restaurant in Grand Rivers, KY. As we left home the rain started and it rained and rained and rained all afternoon. When we arrived at Patti's it was raining so hard that we had to sit in the car for a while to keep from getting drenched - luckily we had left home a bit early and we were able to find a parking place fairly close to the restaurant.

(Note: You can make any of the photos larger by clicking on them.)
If you have been to Patti's, then you know that they have a creek that runs next to the restaurant. It was overflowing because of the sudden heavy rain.

We weren't able to walk around the grounds to look at the Christmas decorations except for these poor drowned reindeer - don't they look like they are saying - please stop the rain!

But once inside it was dry and toasty warm. Patti's serves an "all you can eat" dinner for Thanksgiving. To start you can choose soup or a gelatin cranberry salad, then they serve you a sampler plate of beef, pork, white and dark turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, creamed corn, green beans, and dressing. You can re-order anything that you want more of. We also had Patti's famous bread served in the flower pot with strawberry and regular butter.

And they finish it off with a small piece of pie (like a half piece) which was just the right size. Many families go to Patti's every year. We certainly enjoyed the meal and would do this again - no cooking and no dishes either.

Wayne posed with the resident Pilgrim!

We always enjoy the decoration both inside and out (we'll have to go again to see these though). Here are a few photos I took inside the restaurant.

The restaurant has lots of different rooms and they are all decorated differently. We were in a room that had stars hanging from the ceiling and angels along the walls.

 There were angels in wreaths...

And Santa wreaths too.

And decorated trees everywhere. If you are in the Paducah area, be sure to plan a meal at Patti's Restaurant in Grand Rivers. It's about 30 miles toward Kentucky Lake from Paducah and well worth the trip.

We hope you had a good Thanksgiving Day, we certainly did.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Brownings!

We are thankful for so many things - family, friends, and fair weather. Hope the storms moving around the country don't keep you from enjoying the day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Busy week in AL and TN

This week was my last teaching job of the year and it was such fun to be with the Birmingham Quilters Guild in Alabama. I saw some old friends and met many new ones too. We started off with my Getting It Straight lecture on Monday morning, and then had a 3-hour class in Bindings - What's Old and What's New. The Windmill - Twisted Log Cabin workshops on Tuesday and Wednesday were a big hit. They had so many who wanted that class that we scheduled a second day of it. It's always such fun to see how these blocks turn out depending on the color choices...and they all work. It even works with one fabric instead of using the gradations. Thanks for having me in Birmingham!

In the photo above, taken during Show and Tell, you'll notice the Stardust quilts some of the guild members made for one of their charity projects. This is such a great pattern to use for beginning or intermediate quiltmakers, and looks great using one light, one medium, and one dark fabric. It's a free pattern that I did for the AQS Teach America 2 Quilt program; just send me an e-mail ( and I'll e-mail the pattern to you, and I always love to receive photos of the quilts you make with this pattern.

From Birmingham, Wayne and I drove to Knoxville, TN, on Wednesday evening for a planning meeting for the 2011 AQS Quilt Show in Knoxville. We are starting to work on the registration materials for the Knoxville show. Wayne and I joined Mary Miltenberger and Kelli Gibson (from the Knoxville Tourism and Sports Commission) on the Star of Knoxville lunch cruise to check out the cruise, the boat, and the food. We're planning to have an Elvis Mystery Dinner Cruise during the show in July. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Note: You can click on any of the photos to make them larger.

We cruised to the area where the Tennessee River begins. There were still some pretty leaves to see along the way.

Here I am as the Guest Captain as he narrates during the cruise down river. And I didn't even run into any of the fisherman who were taking advantage of this beautiful November day to catch a few fish...and they were catching them too.

We passed by the Ijams Nature Center that has a really nice walking path along the river. There was a cave just past this walkway too.

We were on our best behavior and not one person had to walk the gang plank!

The Star of Knoxville has a nice indoor area where we ate our buffet lunch, but you could go upstairs and be outside to enjoy the nice sunny day we had for the cruise.

As we turned the curve headed back to port,
we had a great view of the downtown Knoxville sky line.

This was a fun cruise and the Elvis Mystery Dinner Cruise will be a blast in July.
Don't miss this event in Knoxville.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Look at the colors of fall in this photo - from the browns of the cornstalks to the oranges of the pumpkins and the beautiful mums. Fall is here!

My Mom surprised me by taking a bus to Des Moines for the quilt show with members of the Mississippi Valley Quilt Guild. She didn't even tell Karen that she was coming on the bus because she was afraid Karen would tell. I was surprised when she tapped me on the shoulder in the hallway - and my reaction was, "what are you doing here?" Then I gave her a big hug. She loves it when she gets to put one over on me.

And here we are standing in front of the Best of Show quilt (black & pink one).
L to R: Karen, Mom, Bonnie, Bonnabelle Rayner

You can make any of the photos larger by clicking on them.

 After the AQS Quilt Show in Des Moines, Wayne and I spent a few extra days in Iowa to visit some of our family. It's always a whirlwind but fun to see everyone. We said we visited from meal to meal with our sisters, mothers, and friends.

We had barely arrived at Karen's home in Durant when some of the high school students were out doing a fundraiser for school. This one was very clever. They had a goat in a wagon and all of the kids were riding in the wagon around town. They stopped in front of Karen's driveway and unloaded Mike the goat (this wasn't Karen's son Mike - grin) and the kids made us an offer. Mike was going to live here until we paid up - $10 and he would go away, but for $15 you could buy insurance that he would never return again. What fun they were having.

And here's MIKE the GOAT just before we paid up and they trotted Mike on down the street to gather more funds.

One of Karen's farmer friends always decorates their hay bales for different holidays. For Halloween they had a black cat, a pumpkin, and a giant spider.

Karen, Wayne and I spent one day in Kalona, Iowa. The first stop is always the Cheese Factory - have to get some fresh cheese curds, and then it was off to the Willow Creek Quilt Shop - and I found some fabric I needed for a quilt I'm working on. Kalona is working on the downtown streets. Then they will be working on the sidewalks. They are going to insert some quilt blocks in the sidewalks when they do them. That will look really nice.

We had a nice lunch with Mom and Stanley, and stopped to see our friends Connie and John Bohling on the way back to Muscatine.

One evening we had dinner with my youngest sister Marcia and her husband Don. Here we are sitting on the hay bales outside The Machine Shed.

Marcia and Don's granddaughter, Brienna, was able to have dinner with us too. She is growning up too fast.

Marcia and Brienna had to jump up on the John Deere tractor outside the restaurant. We always have fun when we get together...

Next we had lunch with Wayne's Mom, Maxine and Buster, and his sister Kathi.

Now anyone could tell these two are brother and sister. Buster and Maxine at the Farmer's Restaurant.

Phew...that was a busy week. After two weeks of being away, it was back to Paducah and working on the Paducah show. Tuffy was really glad to see us after spending two weeks at Kitty Camp aka boarding with our vet.

Our next show is in Lancaster, PA, March 16 - 19, 2011, and then the Paducah show is April 27 - 30 (the week after Easter - it's really late in 2011). If you are looking for a summer quilt show, our show in Knoxville, TN, is July 13 - 16, 2011.

Mark your calendar for next year's Des Moines show - it is September 28 - October 1, 2011 at the Iowa Events Center. Don't miss it!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beautiful Fall Weekend in Paducah

Fall, well sort of. On Friday we had more new windows installed in our home. That meant moving a lot of furniture so they could work on the windows. And after they were installed, there were curtains and blinds to wash...all done now. And then we washed the new windows. It is so wonderful to have sashes that fold down inside to wash the outside of the windows. We purchased composite windows from THV (True Home Value) and so far they have lived up to their sales pitch. The windows are wood grain on the inside and almond on the outside with aluminum trim so we don't have to paint anything. The mullions are between the panes of glass so you are just washing one pane of glass to clean them. Yeah!

The first group was replaced in the living room and kitchen - the thermostat sits on a wall between these two rooms. Our air conditioner runs half as much as it did. Now we have put new windows in the computer room, the family room and the hall bathroom. Still have two bedrooms to go but we couldn't move everything at once so they are working at our speed.

The hummingbirds are eating like crazy right now. There can be about 20 birds fighting over the 8 spots on our two feeders. And you always have one that guards the feeder. This hummer decided it would sit on the whirligig that my sister Karen gave us - just happens to have a hummingbird in the center of it.

That rascal Tuffy decided to be a night prowler last night...didn't come in until 2:30 a.m. Earlier in the evening I snapped a couple of new photos of him - he hates the camera though and always avoids me if he can. I was faster than he was.

Is he saying: "Okay, so you snapped my photo but I don't have to like it?"

Would you believe that he has already figured out how to open the new screen door on the new sliding glass door to the back porch?

I had some fun on eBay last night. I've been watching some quilts there and the auction closed last night. I was able to be the final bidder on four quilt tops. Two can be used in my next book. And some lucky people may get the other two after they are quilted. Now I have to get my name on my machine quilter's list to get them all quilted. I'll shoot some photos after they arrive so you can see how beautiful they are.

Speaking of quilts, have you made your plans to go to the AQS Quilt Show in Des Moines? It's getting close, October 6 - 9. There will be nearly 1,000 quilts on exhibit. You can click here to register. We're going to have fun with Eleanor Burns on Wednesday, Joe Cunningham on Thursday, and Jim Shore (maker of those Heartwood Creek Collectibles with quilt designs on them) on Friday, and brunch with Flavin Glover on Saturday. Hope we will see you there!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Visiting the Amish in Lancaster, PA

Hi! It's a beautiful Sunday here in Paducah, and I haven't written on my Blog for a while. I thought I would share some of the photos I took while I was in Lancaster a week ago for a quilt show planning meeting. I have reduced the size of the photos to make this message load faster. You can enlarge any of the photos by clicking on them.

We (Terry Guill and I) stayed at the new Cork Factory Hotel. It is a restored cork factory with a lot of charm. My room had a comfortable bed, a huge shower with lots of hot water (not always the case in hotels these days), and very high ceilings.

Like many hotels and convention centers today, the Cork Factory Hotel had a very interesting bar of "green" soap.

The box says "This innovative ergonomically shaped "waste reducing" soap has been designed to eliminate the unused center of traditional soap bars."

When you think about it...what do we usually throw away - that center that they didn't put into the bar in the first place. Great idea! The box is made from natural recycled packaging with soy based inks.

While we were there, Terry and I had a couple of hours to spend seeing the sights, so we took a buggy ride into the Amish countryside. Here are a few photos from our ride....

We knew we were getting close to the farming area when we began passing the buggies on the highway.

Aaron & Jessica's Buggy Rides was the one we chose. There are a number of families along the way that provide these rides.

Our ride began by driving through a covered bridge. Did you know that there are 27 covered bridges in Lancaster County and many of them are near the city of Lancaster. Sometimes you can look over and see one as you are driving along.

It was fun to see all of the flowers blooming at every home along the way


What a pastoral scene. Our driver told us that 80 families live on the farms you can see in the background.

In addition to horse and buggy travel, this young man was hitching a ride on his wagon as it rolled downhill. Both young and old alike used these scooters - a bicycle with a flat section for your foot...and no seat. They moved along at a pretty good speed on these scooters.

Someone asked what the children did. Then we say this young girl making hay on this hot 90+ degree day. The children help with chores around the farm.

We had a fun afternoon enjoying the peace and quiet of the Amish countryside. We are having fun learning more about Lancaster and the Amish community there.

The dates for the AQS Quilt Show in Lancaster are March 16 - 19, 2011. You can make your hotel reservations now; just click here to book your room online.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Update on the Young Eagles in Decorah

The eagle cam was shut down on July 7, but click here to get the latest on the young eagles and some photos too.

I hope you enjoyed getting a close-up view of the hatching and raising of these young eagles as much as we did.

Is it hot where you are?

Happy is another hot day here in Paducah, where the temps have been in the high 90's for the last several days. Rain, rain, come again some day to wash this heat away. The grass is dry and crinkles when you walk across it.

It's been a busy few weeks since I last wrote a note here. The AQS Quilt Show in Knoxville was July 14 - 17 and I'm finally catching up with laundry, work, and my e-mails.

We don't have a garden this year but sure are enjoying the fresh veggies and fruits from the Farmer's Market. We can get fresh-picked peacher from a Southern Illinois orchard that has a stand here in town...look at these beauties. Peach cobbler, here we come!

Since it is so hot outside, I decided this was indeed a good weekend to do some sewing. Starting to sew on a new Xquisite scrap quilt in a whole different color scheme for me - browns, creams, teals, and some greens. Well, the teal is one of the colors I use a lot, but not the others. It will definitely have a modern look to it.

Hope you are staying cool, whereever you are....

Saturday, July 3, 2010

In Memory of Deanna

On Thursday, my longest friend, Deanna Tumey, passed away after her battle with pancreatic cancer. This is my tribute to my dear friend. Our sincere sympathy goes out to her partner, Karen. We will all miss Dee.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: In Memory of Deanna
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
A slideshow by Smilebox