August 31, 2009
Now for a couple of quilt related things! I entered four of my quilts and a knitted shawl into my county fair this year. I brought home one first place, three second place and one third place ribbons. Not too bad of a showing I guess!
It is always a lot of fun to see my quilts hung up at the fair, and even more fun if there is a ribbon attached to it!
I showed you a little glimpse of this quilt here with a promise of showing you the whole quilt when it was finished. I started this quilt a long time ago (I refuse to pin point the exact time). A friend and I some bartering and in exchange I was to make her this quilt.
I am happy to say it is now finished! I don't have close up photos of the machine quilting right now, but I hopefully will have on my next post. Camera batteries always die when you don't want them too! The border is more of a burgundy color then what this photo shows. I sometimes have a hard time getting the colors to show just right in photos. This was as close to the true coloring that I could get.
I just had to share this photo of my Hollyhock. I planted this by seed in the early spring. After I planted it I read on the seed packet that this plant wouldn't flower until the second year after planting. Boy was I ever disappointed to read that. Needless to say I am thrilled that the packaging was wrong.
Look at this beauty! It shows up so well in front of the white fence. I think this is one of my prettiest flower this year!
I have been working on a guild challenge again. This time we had to use a certain fabric and make a tote bag or a hand bag with it. I am very happy with the results so far! Wish I could show you a photo of it too this time around, but that will have to wait until after the challenge is due on Sept. 22. Can you ever have enough tote bags? I don't seem to be able to!
August 29, 2009
August 10, 2009
The art of making and applying piping isn't hard once you know the tricks. Susan is very generous in the sharing of her knowledge. I am planning on having fun with that curved piping technique.
On Friday night Susan gave a lecture. She showed many of the quilts from her books as well as some of her award winning quilts. We were able to see "up close" because of the use of a camera. That made it so much easier to see exactly what she was talking about when she referred to different areas of her quilts.
She also used the camera during her classes which made the many little details easy to understand.
There were many little quilts to look at and learn from. Susan pays quite a bit of attention to the little details, and that is what makes her work stunning.
Susan had her books and a couple of other helpful products available. Yep, I think I bought most of them. Yikes!
There were quite a few vendors at the retreat also. Look what I found! I think I bought two fat quarters for the usual $2.50 each, but the rest of the yardage was for $4.00 a yard. I didn't buy all that I would have liked, but I did find enough to make me happy.
See the four fat quarters on the right hand side? I won those in a door prize drawing. Fun!
Now the next photo will be understood by the city gals like me. When I pulled up in the parking lot at the college where the retreat was being held in Mt. Carmel, IL I looked over to the next street. There were fields of growing corn. What surprised me was that I was still in the town limits. See the stop sign and the 35 mph sign? Where I live you have to drive at least 25 - 30 min. away to see the first sign of crops growing in a field. By the time you see corn fields the speed limit is at least 55 mph. I'm not making fun of this by any means. I just think of it as small town charm!
August 5, 2009
I won a give a way from Paula, The Quilter. I love it, and boy am I a happy quilter! Thanks Paula, you made my day! I am looking forward to making this beauty.
As I said earlier I have been able to get a lot of sewing time in lately and best of all most of it has been spent in my Summer Palace. I got the "big guns' out the other day and did some machine quilting. All that is left on this wall hanging is the binding. I am going to make you wait to see it until after the binding is on. Shame on me! *G*
I went to Shipshewanna, IN with some of my quiting friends the other day. Did we ever have fun! I tried to be very very good and not buy as much as I have been know to when I visit the Shipshewanna area. This is what I bought:
I found some great buys and some fabrics that called my name. They just had to go home with me. Beautiful flowers were outside of all the shops. This was one of my favorite photos. Just lovely!
Tomorrow I am traveling down to spend a few days with my parents and to attend a Quilter's Retreat. I will tell you more about that in another. I will be taking four different classes. I am so looking forward to visiting with my family and of course the opportunity to meet other quilters and to learn more about the art of quilting! Now it is off to finish packing for my trip!
July 23, 2009
I thought all was going well until I realized that I was missing some of the units that I had previously sewn. Three of one type and one each of two other units. Who knows where the missing units went. I guess that is what happens when a project sits around for a while and is moved from one place to another.
At least the units weren't very complicated and I had my extra fabric strips handy. I cut up some 2 1/5" squares and pieced away. Problem solved. I moved on and sewed the red piece that you see on to the sides of the units.
I ironed all of the units and got the next piece to sew on to it ready. Then I realized that the red strips were supposed to be sewn on the other side, next to the little blue squares. I looked through my pile of 44 units. I may have four that are sewn correctly. Can you say rip it? Ugh!
I thought I would show you the little lariat that I made to go on my rotary cutter. It even has a little rotary cutter charm on the end. Cute! I will never again get confused as to which rotary cutter is mine when I quilt with friends.
This past Sunday I took a few hours to play with this Sleeping Beauty block.
I wanted to see if the pattern was correct before I cut into my fabric so I pulled out the scrap bin and got to work. After I had paper pieced the arcs I saw that the smaller one hadn't been drafted correctly. One end of the arc was smaller then the other. I decided to go ahead and piece it together to see if there were any more baubles in the pattern. As you can see this block is anything but square. It may be pretty, but not square. I bought this quilt pattern because I fell in love with a sample at a quilt store. I guess I will be either finding another New York Beauty block pattern or redraft this one to make it work. I am sooo glad I didn't cut up a lot of fabric for this quilt before trying out the block.
I guess I had better get back to ripping out all of those quilt blocks. At least I can do it out in my Summer Palace!
July 15, 2009
Look what arrived in the mail today! Let me tell you, I just love it! Debi over at Quilting With Debi
July 11, 2009
Reproduction fabrics (of course) and a neat apron pattern. Phat 1/4's is also a Bernina dealer. I drooled over the 820 model. It is the one with the extended arm and many neat features. That machine is on my "Oh Wouldn't That Be Nice To Have" list. The owner was so nice to chat with I ended up forgetting something there, but I will tell you more about that in a minute.
Hubby told me, "Hey, there is a yarn shop next door." Hmmmmm Sounds good to me! We went next door to Fiber Wild! Talk about a dangerous place for me to be! As some of you might know, this past Winter I picked up my knitting needles again. I have had so much fun knitting socks. Fiber Wild! had such beautiful sock yarn, plus any other type of yarn you could imagine. The customer service there was beyond my expectations. Amy and Sean are the owners. While Amy was patiently answering all of my questions Sean was talking to Hubby about what there was to do in the area and basic guy stuff. I found a sock pattern that Amy had designed and I found the perfect yarn. It is the pink/purple/green/yellow yarn that you see in the photo. When I was looking over the pattern I saw something that I didn't understand. Yarn over. I have just been doing the purl knit thing. Amy showed me a few different things about knitting that I didn't know and said that if I had problems with anything to stop in the next day and she would help me. Great. When I tried to pull out my credit card to pay for my purchases I realized I didn't have it. Yikes! The last place I used it was at Phat 14's next door. I had been so busy chatting there I walked off without my card. Sean assured me that was nothing to worry about, my card was safe. I just needed to pick it up in the morning. Hubby pulled out his credit card and away we went. That night I started knitting the new socks. Yes, I had some issues with the yarn over thing. The next morning the first stop we made was to the quilt store, and yes, my card was waiting safe and sound for me. When we went into the yarn shop we were greeted with ahhhhhh your back! Amy sat down with me and helped me with my yarn over issues and made sure I knew what I was doing. I asked her for assistance with finding a light weight but warm yarn for a shawl. I always freeze on Sunday mornings in church when the A/C is on and I want to be able to put something cute around my shoulders. I found the perfect yarn and pattern to fulfill my request along with a beautiful blue yarn that just called my name and wanted to go home with me. Yes, I had a great time at the shop!
The next stop was at a neat bead shop called Galena Beads. I have always wanted to learn how to make my own jewelry, but to be honest, I need another hobby like I need a hole in my head! I was looking at the many ready to wear jewelry pieces that were available for sale there and found a beautiful green necklace and ear ring set. The only problem was that I only had one top to wear that would work with that color. I then saw a sign that said I could take learn how to make my own necklace right then. I mentioned it to Hubby. He said to go for it. As I was picking out the beads to use Hubby told me he would go and visit some of the shops and come back in a little while. To make a long story short, when Hubby got back I had just decided what beads to use. He sat down beside me as I was guided along the process of making my first necklace. That was so much fun I decided I needed to make earrings to match. Fun! I also bought beads to make a bracelet to match when I got home. This is what I made:
As we were walking into different antique stores the owners recognized my dear Hubby and say, ahhhh your back! I didn't think too much of this until about the third time when the shop owner asked to see the jewelry that I made. (Hubby had told him his wife was making a necklace and he had time to kill) I happily showed him. I then commented to Hubby about the many shops he had been in while I was at the bead store. "Well," Hubby said, "I was gone for an hour and thought you would have had the necklace made by the time I got back." I couldn't believe that it had taken me an hour just to pick the beads out! There were so many to choose from and I kept changing my mind. I thanked Hubby for being so patient and understanding. At the antique store, Gustafson & Grey to be exact I did find this:
They are silver button covers that for some reason just needed to go home with me. We had a wonderful time in Galena!
July 5, 2009
My town has their 4th of July parade on the 3rd. They call it a twilight parade. It starts at 6:30 p.m. If you want a prime spot to watch the parade you had to stake out you spot at least an hour before it starts, if not earlier. My friend Char loves to take photos. She told me that she always wanted to take a photo of the parade from the overpass that crosses the parade's path. Was I game to drive while she took the photos? Sure, I would love to. I guess I should mention that the parade route is also linked up with the big festival at the park so the roads are more congested then usual. We took off on our adventure. We had to figure out how to time the traffic so we could slow down at the top. I found out that if I drove really slow at the bottom of the overpass the people behind me would go around me in the other lane. After they went around me I would speed up to get to the top of the overpass. That gave me time to slow down to almost a stop so Char could snap the photos. It worked! We did a few passes and ended up with some great photos.
This is one of the best photos of the evening. A giant flag is carried down the parade route. Char was so happy as this is her favorite part of the parade each year.
Happy Independence Day!
June 27, 2009
This is a view of the downtown or business area. There is one little shop after another. There are many different types of shops there ranging from quaint little antique shops to shops that have the latest of apparel. I had three favorite shops there: Phat 1/4's (a wonderful quilt store), Fiber Wild (a good name for that store as I went a little wild with the different yarns there) and Galena Beads (I always wanted to learn how to make jewelry). I also found a little treasure in an antique shop. This post would be too long if I went into detail about the shops and what I bought, so I will save that for the next post. Oh, did I mention the many restaurants to choose from? Or about the chocolate shops and the popcorn shop? Yum!
Since Galena was founded as a mining town it is no surprise to see the houses built into the hill sides. What was interesting to me was the steps that lead from one street up to another. You may have to click on the next photo to get a good view of the steps that seem to go on forever and forever. One thing Hubby found interesting was the number of chimneys that the buildings had. So many fireplaces! I will admit I found looking at the trees, the number of church steeples and thinking about the next shop to wander into more interesting then the chimneys. I guess it is a girl thing huh?
I thought the steps were lovely to look at, but with a heat index of 100 degrees I had no desire to try to walk up them. Dear Hubby is much more adventurous then I am. He is also in much better physical shape then I am. He wanted to see what was at the top of the stairs. Here is a photo of what he saw looking down from the top of the stairs. See the little purple spec standing by the top of yet another flight of stairs? You may have to click on the photo to see it. That is me.
Okay, you may want to know what was at the top of the stairs. This house. Neat!
I did walk up and down some stairs while we were in Galena, but not to the extent of dear Hubby.
There was to be a Hot Air Balloon Festival that weekend and we were so looking forward to seeing the sights. The weather, however, did not cooperate. There were severe storm warnings on the evening that we were there. We figured they would have to cancel the event but we drove to the golf course/resort where the event was to be held anyway. Once we got there we found out that yes, the event was canceled. We were very disappointed but we decided to drive around a little to see what there was to see. Imagine our surprise when we rounded a corner and saw this waterfall. It wasn't a bunch of hot air balloons taking off into the air but it sure was beautiful!
There are many different things to see and do while in Galena and I am only touching on a few. I would be remiss if I forgot to tell you that while in Galena you can visit Grant's home and a few other old but beautiful mansions. There is a statue of Grant, a memorial to the soldiers of the Civil War from the Galena area and many cannons to view. I am sure I didn't get a chance to see everything there so I hope to return one day. If you get a chance to stop by for a visit to the Galena area I can tell you that you won't be disappointed!
June 22, 2009
I pulled out this little project out the other day. I started this foundation paper piecing project years ago. It had been sitting on a shelf waiting to be noticed again. I just had six more blocks to make before I could sew the blocks together. Now it is waiting for a border. I believe the block is called Delectable Mountains. I like how this is turning out. I don't plan on letting it sit for a few more years before I finish it though!
I taught a beginning machine quilting class last week. I really enjoy teaching, but the only problem is that I can't seem to leave the quilt store without spending some of my pay check. This is that called to me:
I just love those reproduction fabrics. I bought a new type of basting glue. In the past I have always used a different brand that had a poor applicator tip. This new one's applicator isn't supposed to clog up in between uses. I will let you know how that turns out when I get to try it out.
Hubby and I got to go out of town for a few days last week. We had a great time. We went to Galena, IL. It is a beautiful town with rolling hills and many many steps. I will talk more about what I found to do and buy there another day. For now I will talk about a quilt shop that we stopped at on the way (kind of) to Galena. Ever since I purchased the Better Homes and Gardens Quilt Sampler 2007 magazine I have wanted to visit The Quilt Merchant shop in Winfield, IL. They specialize in reproduction fabrics. They have been a vendor at the Chicago Quilt Show that I try to go to each year and I have spent time in their booth drooling over the fabrics, patterns and quilts that they brought. Yes, I always spent money in their booth, but I always wanted to visit the store. When I first walked into the store I will admit my first thought was , oh is smaller then I thought it would be. I was a little disappointed. But then I realized that every bolt of fabric in that store was a reproduction fabric. Every single one! The smile spread on my face and the shopping began. I found yards of fabric that needed to go home with me. There is a great sale corner that has some great fabrics at 50% off. Neat! I found a few other things that I had been looking for too.
I am looking forward to trying out that little light on my sewing machine. I think it will help me to see where I am going while I am machine quilting. I'll let you know if it does what I hope it will. I will post about the actual visit to Galena soon!
June 11, 2009
It is a rainy gloomy day here and it is not easy to take a nice photo, so until that photo can be taken I will just have to share these. The block's actual name is the Wild Goose Chase. I am thinking about naming this quilt "The Needle Chaser" because I broke, bent and blunted more needles in the making of this quilt then any other quilt that I have ever made.
May 20, 2009
I told Char that this reminded me of a quilt. Hmmmmmm...she just laughed at me. I wonder why?
Every year I just have to have a big red Geranium plant in front of my house. When I see the beautiful pink ones I think for just a minute about getting one of those beauties, but I always end up getting a red one. Why? I don't know for sure. Tradition? Maybe next year I will try a different color. Maybe. Char and I spent four hours walking around this giant greenhouse and picking out our plants to take home. I have a bad habit of picking up one plant, looking at the others, and then putting the first one down to get a different one. That wouldn't be so bad if I only did it once. I have to pick the best one, but which is the best one? I did break a record though this year. The Geranium that I picked out was the second one I looked at. I believe Char was impressed! Yes, it took me four hours to find these beauties had just had to go home with me. The photo is a bit dull. The only time it wasn't pouring down rain that day was when it was time to take our purchases out to the car. We were happy about that part! The sad part was that I could have spent more time there just looking and the different plants. But you know as well as I do, the more time you spend in a place like that the higher you bill is as you leave!
Here is some of my work in progress. I consider this a "before" photo. As the plants grow and fill out I will try to remember to show you an "after" photo too.
Now, I guess it is back to that Two Color Challenge quilt that I am machine quilting right now. I will be able to show a photo of that too, but not until June 9. I am a long way from the finish line as far as quilting goes, so I had better get back to that machine!
May 7, 2009
I thought I would post a few more photos from the Antique Quilt Trunk Show that I talked about in an earlier post that was given at my guild by Caryl Scheutz. Such eye candy!
Here is a crazy quilt, and yes, that is me on the left hand side holding up the quilt. I couldn't resist studying it a little. Talk about beautiful!
This is a "T" quilt. The letter T is there in each block, four times to be exact. I seem to remember Caryl talking about how the ladies Temperance Movement made this type of quit. Remember, I was one of the gals behind the quilts and it was easy to get distracted from time to time!
This one is called the Princess Feather I beleive. If I am wrong please don't hesitate to correct me! Another beautiful applique quilt for sure!
May 4, 2009
This is one of the gorgeous quilts that she showed. I believe this is a variation of a Wigg Rose. I was one of the gals holding up the quilts that day (Thanks Phyllis for taking pictures for me!) and I have admit I was a little distracted at times. She showed many other quilts, but this one was my favorite. Another quilt that I thought you might enjoy seeing is actually a quilt top that was turned into a shower curtain at one time. Caryl found it at an antique store and has hopes of turning it into a "real" quilt in the future.
In the afternoon we had a workshop with Caryl concerning making new quilts today look like the antiques of the past. This is one of the quilts that we saw in the workshop. The basket blocks are of the Civil War era, the setting blocks or the blue blocks are newer in age. I loved looking at the fabrics in the baskets and the color combinations.
This past weekend Sue Nickels came to teach a class for my guild. Talk about fun! She drove into town Friday so a couple of fellow guild members and I were able to take her out for dinner and have an enjoyable meal chatting away. Saturday she taught a class about how to machine quilt an applique quilt. She gave us tips about what to do in the background area and how to embellish the applique motifs.
Sue uses a camera in front of her machine and then projects it so that the whole class can see exactly what she is talking about. You can watch each stitch as she makes it instead of everyone in the class crowding around her machine trying to see what she is doing. I truly enjoyed my day with her and my mind was filled with ideas and possibilities after class. If you enjoy machine quilting and have a chance to take a class with Sue don't pass it up!
Today I have been working on the two color challenge quilt I have talked about before. It is so hard not to snap a photo of it to show it to you...but shhhhhhhh it's a secret! The quilt top is pieced, the paper foundations torn away from the back and now it is time for the quilting decisions. So many decisions! I am machine quilting it. Do I want a free motion type of design in the borders or something more traditional? How about the quilting in the blocks themselves? What type of batting and thread do I want to use? I have made some little samples of different threads, quilting patterns and batting to help that decision along. I have spent a lot of time piecing this quilt and will spend a lot more time quilting it so I want it to be just right. Some quilts are made for the pure joy of it, and are utilitarian in nature. This one I have challenged myself and I want to be truly happy with my choices. Stay tuned for the revealing in June!