Circa 2016 and the Beginning of Summer at the Choctaw Casino

Happy Memorial Day – I love holidays in our retirement years – the phone does not bring me problems to solve because all the “problem makers” are not working!!!!  Yea!!!!   This is why I crave breaks even from the retirement life which can become boring to a Type A like myself!  I like variety and changes!  Additionally, when things do not go right, it is so good for the soul to take a short break from whatever “unforeseen requirements” are driving one nuts and change the scenery.  Clay and I had a great change of pace last week and went to the Choctaw Casino for  4 days and 3 nights at the Choctaw Lodge, a place where we have always stayed when visiting the Casino.  We both prefer to take the RV and stay at the KOA on the Casino grounds, but we did not want to do that much work after the lovely remodeling job fiascal.

Here are some pictures that show how relaxing a trip can be just sitting and people watching by the Oasis Pool.   The Choctaw Inn is in the background!

Pool Side 1 IMG_1510 IMG_1511 IMG_1514 IMG_1515 IMG_1516 IMG_1517

The Choctaw Lodge is on Choctaw land, but not connected to the Casion.  I guess those of us who are blessed enough to live on 5 acres and definitely not used to crowds prefer a more secluded hotel.  For a change in pace, for our 20th wedding anniversary in August, we have made reservations to stay in the Grand Hotel.  There are 3 hotels connected to the Choctaw Casino.  The Grand, The Choctaw Inn (the original Inn that Clay and I used to stay in early 2000’s before this enterprise grew) and the  brand new hotel now – called The Spa.  There is a wonderful new concert hall, convention center, meeting rooms, and of course more hotel rooms.  On the other side of the Choctaw Inn, they have added a movie complex, game area for kids, and a bowling alley.   The Durant, Oklahome and Dallas, Texas area now have a great entertainment complex for adults and children to enjoy thanks to the Choctaws.

Here are some pictures of the Grand Hotel and the new Spa facility.

The Grand Hotel – This is where we will stay in August!
View of the Grand and The Spa hotel
Love the swimming pools at the Oasis and the hotel views.
Ah – relaxation!

We were planning on staying a week, but by Monday evening we were ready to pack up and come home.  It is amazing what a short trip away from home daily routines can do for a person! I enjoy day trips too for a break in the daily routine of life.

Now on to quilting.  I finally did get to work on Circa 2016 after 2 days of washing new fat quarters and fabric purchased in Arizona this last winter – WINTER OF 2015!  Have you realized yet that 6 months from tomorrow will be New Year’s Eve?  Summer Stolstice will arrive in 23 days (21 June) and then the days will begin to be shorter – something I love to see coming – only about 4 more months of hot humid Texas weather and maybe a nice cool Fall will be here!

Now on to Circa 2016 BOW.  Here are pictures of  the blocks I have completed.  I am using reproduction fabrics that I purchased from a 2002 trip to Branson Missouri.  I have already made a quilt from this fabric and I love it.  I have a shoe box size container that has 4″ squares and some 6 1/2″ squares of the remaining fabric and decided that there would be adequate stash for this quilt.   I chose a light tone on tone for the 9 patches, but will only use it for the 9 patches.  It looks OK, but wish I would have auditioned more background fabrics.   The little setting blocks will be another fabric – probably a lighter tan.  I thought about redoing the 5 blocks I had completed yesterday but will continue on with 7 more 9 patches and put that fabric back in the stash draw for another day!  I laid the blocks (2 3/4″ square) on the background fabric that I do not like – any comments/suggestions?  Redo – change?  (I am leaning toward changing them before I get too far into this project and definitely realize I made a boo boo!)

I love this pattern – everything comes out perfect!
9 Patches
I am leaning toward changing the lights in the 9 Patches
Pinwheels and 9 Patches
Setting the Center Medallion of Pinwheels and 9 Patches!

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your stitching!

Lessons Learned – The Hard Way

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family this year.  We have a lot to be thankful for.  Darryl is stable and we are really enjoying our time with him.  He is such fun and uplifting to us.  This is a difficult time in our lives and horrible for Darryl.  I find that my concentration level is not very good when trying to start on some of my complex projects and it becomes frustrating.  So I am working on smaller projects that will not require the intense concentration needed in making heirloom quilt.

In my last post (17 Nov)  I indicated that I would start on my Bird of Paradise (original name) quilt – but still trying to decide on which pattern to use.  I started with the A Bountiful Life pattern.  A couple of my quilting buddies had told me about freezer paper (pre-cut to 8 1/2 x 11) that one could print applique pieces from the computer, or copies.  What an experience.  I jumped right in to my new “time saver” project.  I printed the out the 4 quadrants of each block from the book on regular paper and then again on the freezer paper.  I could see the ink cartridge emptying before my eyes (LOL).  But I justified the expense because of the time I would be saving!   I proceeded to tape the freezer quadrants together with some special scotch tape….I thought I was really going to breeze through this process and be on my way.  I was until I cut out all the pieces for Block 1 and skipped over to the iron and BAM!  Gee if you put a hot iron on the tape, it melts and melts on the iron (see what I mean about concentration, creativity and the ability to think when under stress – there isn’t any).  I figured out a way to remove the tape (I think I tried to place something over the tape but that did not work either – another DUH!).  But I did get Block 1 preparation completed and have been working on it.  I realized that this paper is only good for a one page pattern, OR make 2 copies of things and cut out areas and then reprint……EXPENSIVE AND TIME CONSUMING!  I have decided that I will  to go back to the old-fashioned way of TRACING each piece!   Lesson Learned $$$$$$.   Here is the applique process I use for my needle turn applique.   I will be using Batiks for my quilt.

Block Pattern
Freezer Paper block

Notice the doted lines – this is where I used the tape that quickly melts when a hot iron is placed on it….. LOL  Not sure if I will be able to top this stupid thought process, well maybe I can as time will tell.   Lesson Learned:  Do not start a complex quilting project when under stress!


Placement Block 1
Checking the colors and placement


ABL Block 1
Block 1 – A Bountiful Life Pattern

OK – Now to continue on with the “no brain” quilter.  After my disaster with the freezer paper, a friend of mine asked me if I had any patterns for the Antebellum Ladies.   She wanted a lap quilt made with the Ladies of that Era.  I found an old pattern titled, Belle of the Ball by Cindy Surina.   Wanda’s request provided me a challenge and inspired me to continue on quilting, but with a project that is not so complex and detailed.

Selecting the fabric took a day or so because I knew the colors she would like but could not decide on Reproductions or Batiks.  I settled for a fabric line called Charlottesville from Connecting Threads that I had purchased a couple of years ago.   Because I have an abundance of the lovely 8 1/2 x 11 freezer paper and the fact that the pattern would be much easier to print out, I decided to “save time” by using it rather than tracing the pieces.  One thing about being brain dead – you can keep repeating the same process thinking the result will be better, but one still achieves the same result – PROBLEMS.  The quilt will have 4 Ladies Blocks and I have absolutely no idea how I will do the setting, but it will come, I am sure.

So here we go with Lesson Number 2 for the month!  I started having some problems when I started appliqueing the blocks – the pieces were not fitting correctly on the back ground fabric and I had to re-cut some pieces a few times.   I never have problems with my applique pieces fitting  on the background fabric – UNTIL THIS PROJECT.   Last night I finished Block 3 when the light bulb came on!!!!!  My printer was printing the freezer paper pattern about 1/16th of an inch smaller than the original pieces!  Believe you me – 1/16th of an inch is enough to drive a quilter to give up quilting forever.  So now I am down to the last one and of course, the fabric pieces have already been cut – so I know I will have to be ever so careful so I do not become frustrated and throw it in the trash can!  I wonder if any other quilters out there in the Quilt world ever get this frustrated.   The Ladies look fine, but getting there has been an experience.    Lesson Learned:   HAND TRACE ALL APPLIQUE PATTERNS.  There are no short cuts in the process!

I will NOT be using this freezer paper for printing a pattern until I figure out how to get my printer to print a perfect and accurate size of a pattern template or applique pattern pieces.  I have already printed out a few blocks of Love Entwined pieces – but those will be going in the trash can.  For the time and money I have wasted this month on brainless decisions I could have purchased the Stonefields Quilt for $200.00!   But I guess this is just part of life’s little pleasures and lessons.  Here are the finished Ladies Blocks 1 through 3.

Red Lady
Lady in Red


Blue Lady
Lady in Blue


Green Lady
Lady in Green

Clay and I have decided that it is time for a trip to the Choctaw Casino in  Durant, Oklahoma for Christmas.  We will be there for the entire week of the Christmas!  I plan on taking absolutely NOTHING to work on – just enjoy the getaway!  Clay told me I need to be a BIG Winner at the Casino this trip to recoup my brainless decisions! I will try.   I am hoping for a snow storm so I can once again enjoy a White Christmas.  The last one was in 1996 when I lived in Sterling, Virginia.  Ah,  the 1996 Blizzard!  So much fun.  If I cannot have snow, cold weather will be so nice.  We had a nice spell of cold weather in November, but now we are back to the 50’s at night and 70’s during the day – UGH!    I know that we will come back refreshed and ready for the New Year.  We will spend New Year’s Day with Darryl.  Heck – I may even find my creativity again and finish Wand’s Antebellum Ladies quilt!

Have a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year!


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