Tuesday, September 29
This one is in very good condition. The backing on this one is the red fabric that borders this quilt. I love the circle in the center and decided to invent my own story for the maker..........I am sure it's a wagon-wheel that is a symbol for the wagon that carried the young woman who stitched this across country from the East to Ohio, to Missouri and then north to Iowa.
Speaking of stories, have any of you read the books by Emilie Richards? I am currently reading "Sister's Choice". She also has quilting instruction books that go along with her novels. Who is your favorite author of quilting related stories? And what's your favorite quilting book? I treasure a copy of "The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt" by Carrie Hall and Rose Kretsinger. My favorite instruction books are in my small collection of old quilting books that first inspired me. Then I have several of Better Homes and Gardens quilting books that area a staple for finding blocks and quilts to make.
Hope you are enjoying a quilty day wherever you are. Lovely crisp, fall day here in the midwest!
Monday, September 28
I'll be doing a pincushion workshop for the St. Peter Quilt Guild next Monday and then on Oct. 20th I'll be teaching a pincushion class at Firefly Quilt Shop in Mankato, MN. Janice, owner of Firefly, has ordered up some gorgeous wools and you can see some of them in the photo of the cupboard at her shop. She gave me bundle to use to make samples (in the basket in the photo). The little pincushion/needlecase sets are patterns that I designed and made a few years ago.
Working with wool is so relaxing and it is so easy to take along wherever you go. Must get back to work on wooly projects now.........
Saturday, September 26
Oh, my, now that the flu is a thing of the past, I have been out and about and busy as a bee! I can't share everything that's gone on in the last three days because if you're like me, you don't have time to read every bit of news of every blog. I do want to thank all of you that stop by my blog. Sorry that I haven't posted the past couple of days but as noted, I was busy as a bee! Here's what kept me busy.........this past Thursday I taught a crazy quilted pincushion class at the Stans Museum in Shakopee. Now usually, we are in the actual museum building which is behind the house in this photo. But because of the opening of their new 1950's exhibit, we were set up in the Stans home which is part of the reasons for the Stans Museum. This house is the boyhood home of Maurice Stans, resident of Shakopee, MN and the former Secretary of Commerce to Richard Nixon. It's a charming little house and if you are in Shakopee, it is worth a visit. I'll share more about the pincushion in a day or so.
I was up early (yes, I really was) on Friday morning and I was............
......................well, almost. Actually, I went to see a couple of guys......Lenni and George that have a real quilting connection. :-) They are, of course, not really guys but that's their names. They are long-arm quilting machines. Heidi Kaisand, National Sales Director for APQS and other APQS (American Patchwork Quilting System) reps shared their enthusiasm for these machines. I decided to go because I have come to realize that there is no way I can hand-quilt all the quilt tops I have on hand and I have so many projects that I want to make! Plus, I like to do the work myself. I was impressed and when I gave the machines a try, I was surprised at how easy it was to use the them. I also knew within minutes that I preferred Lenni to George. To check out the machines just go to APQS !! And to check out Heidi's blog, go here.
I'm not looking for really cold weather, just a nip in the air that tells me it's fall. It was so lovely outside this
Wednesday, September 23
The quilt is called "StarBlooms". Years ago, I grew some Strawflowers in my garden, then dried them and used in wreaths and other arrangements. I had a "bumper crop that year". Tried to grow them several times since then and have had no luck. This design reminded me of those Strawflowers. The nice thing is that once this quilt is "grown" the flowers will never die! LOL! If you'd like to try this design, you can find it here....... PatSloanStarBlooms .
I cleaned away the summer cobwebs (and probably a few spiders that were looking forward to Halloween). Then I put away the summer quilt on my chair and replaced it with an old wool patchwork quilt. You can also see a new piece - "Arabella's Blooms" (Pat Sloan design) in the center of the photo............
It's my new "front porch project" because I am almost finished with the other two projects that I worked on this past summer. They are down to the hand-quilting and one "Summer Blooms" is this close to being done! Picture will be posted tomorrow! The other is the basket table runner and that one will likely be finished in a couple weeks. After I cleaned the porch, I decided it was a good idea to take my lunch out there and relax and did just that!
When I came back in the house, I caught a quick glimpse of this pair crossing our back yard. I grabbed my camera and click!..........
This quilt is another quilt that someone gave me so that I would be it's caretaker. That someone was Carol, staff member at Villa Maria where I host my retreats. The quilt belonged to Carol's husband's family and was brought from Pennsylvania when the family came to Minnesota many years ago. The family's last name was Morgan. That's all Carol knows about it. She put it in my hands so I can share it with my friends here and all of you out there, too.
Tuesday, September 22
Hmmm, well, I was feeling good enough to get back to cutting charm squares from my Christmas fabrics tonight! I've been putting them in piles to go off to some of you blogging friends who are waiting for them! I started the cutting a couple of weeks ago when my husband was home on vacation. I found that while he was home on vacation that he got a lot done but I, well, not so much. It's good to have him back at work. :-) As I was cutting my Christmas fabrics, there were a couple that caught my eye and I knew they would look good used in the stockings challenge that Pat Sloan has going on at her website. It's another one of those "have been printing out the patterns and going to do them one of these days" projects. I was ending up with lots of scraps of fabrics so I started making the first stocking ......... then the second one. Finished them both in one night. I was hooked. Every evening while my husband was on vacation, I finished off a little stocking. Just like I can see Gail Pan's "Christmas Wish" blocks in a wall quilt for my pink bedroom, I can see these stockings in a wall quilt that will hang by my front door. I plan to fill the stockings with candy canes and add other fun buttons and bits. They stockings were easy to do and I had fun using trims and buttons to really make them "pop". Here are the finished ones up to this point...........If you want to make these just move it on over to Pat's WEBSITE and you'll find the patterns! Thanks, Pat!
My Christmas stash covers the years of 1976 up to today. I thought I'd brought all the Christmas prints upstairs to my sewing room and tonight I went to the basement looking for some fall leaf fabrics and found another box full of Christmas fabrics! Over the years, I bought lots of Fat Quarters and 1/4 and 1/2 yard and, you know, some of them are really cute!
I also found the fall fabric, thank goodness! Especially, since this is the first day of Fall/Autumn for many of us. We got a nice refreshing rain which made the leaves on the trees sparkle. Just a bit of orange and a touch of yellow are beginning to show up now. I'll be back later this afternoon when Autumn officially arrives and share another post.
Saturday, September 19
I was also thinking of my mother in the wee hours of this morning when I couldn't sleep because of the cough and sore throat and oh, how my ears ached! When we were little she would warm some mineral oil and then dip a cotton ball in the warm mineral oil and place it in our ear. It was soothing. I went to the bathroom cupboard and thankfully there was a bottle of mineral oil in there. I didn't take the time to heat it, just placed it on the cotton ball, put it in my ear and laid down on the heating pad to get some sleep. And it worked. I got 2 1/2 hours of solid sleep! I felt a little better after that nap. Then I took another one after lunch and before supper. I think the cough syrup is making me drowsy. It hurts to talk so I am glad that the doctor said stay home til the cough is gone. I should have stayed home all week. I'm going to make every effort to not pass this on to anyone else!
So, other than naps, what did I accomplish today? Well, I did some handquilting on a tablerunner then, I went to the pantry and decided to check all the canned goods and boxed foods to make sure they weren't expired. Exciting, huh? I've never had a pantry until we moved to this house so having a good supply of food on hand is a blessing. Again tonight, I heard another news story that donations to food shelves are down so tomorrow's excitement will be to pull a couple of bags full of items from the pantry and donate it to the Food Shelf. And there'll be some more handquilting tomorrow and probably a nap or two.
And speaking of naps, Kaiser the Wonder Beagle, excels at napping....................
When I saw that he had fallen asleep on the edge of my project table as his pillow, I couldn't believe it. How comfortable could this be? Must have been fine as he slept there for over an hour! I'm glad he likes to nap because when I am not feeling well and need a nap, he lays down and takes one, too! :-)
I'm feeling better today than yesterday and hoping that tomorrow I will feel better than I did today!
Have a lovely Sunday!
Friday, September 18
I thought I was going to be setting up an exhibit of some of my vintage quilts at the Henderson Library tonight as it's Heritage Days in Henderson this weekend. After consulting with members of the library group, we decided it was best to just post a notice apologizing for my illness and recommend to those interested in quilts to go up to the Sibley County Historical Society and check out the quilts there. Sometimes the best-laid plans just don't work out. However, I won't be bored. You'll find me in my sewing room this weekend, taking my meds, getting some rest and hoping that by Monday the cough is gone. I have a program to do for the Prior Lake Quilters on Monday evening so I need to be well by then! Already thinking about what Plan B will be if the cough is still lingering.
Hope you have a good weekend. I am planning a quiet one!
Thursday, September 17
I wanted to share some photos of the Old Barn Boutique that is located just north of Belle Plaine, MN. I've passed by there many times but don't always get the chance to stop. On Wednesday, though, I had time as I headed home from the Art Institute. Of course, I realize now that I was probably spreading flu germs everywhere I went and for that I am very sorry. I thought I was doing okay that day but not the case. Luckily, I can't pass it along via the Internet so you are all safe!
Here is the big red barn that houses the Old Barn Boutique.
The barn is filled with fall, Halloween and Christmas goodies. Many are handcrafted, some are vintage items, and some holiday gift items. I like the way they display everything.
Wednesday, September 16
P.S. I have been cutting Christmas charm squares for those of you that won my Christmas charm squares drawing. I'll get them in the mail in a week or so along with some fat quarters and some other gifties to those of you that participated in my tea and potholder challenges in my Yahoo groups. :-)
When I "returned to quilting" in the late 1990's, I began to meet the neatest women and quickly collected friends, fabric, and fun all at the same time. Before I go on, perhaps I should explain what I mean by "returned to quilting"............I made my first quilt in 1970 for our first child, Collette. It was just a patchwork tied quilt that cannot really be called a quilt because all the layers weren't quilted together. By my daughters standards, it was a quilt. I made little doll quilts and pillows and twin bed quilts off and on through the mid-1980's. They were all tied "comforters". Most of my handiwork, though, from 1970 through the early 1990's was done in miniature as I was active in the Midwest Miniature Guild and taught workshops in making tiny dolls and clothes, little elves, and miniature furniture, and all sorts of accessories for dollhouse scenes. I really enjoyed it all but when our son was in high school, I made some fund-raising quilt/comforters and realized that I really wanted to get back to quilting. When he graduated from high school in 1994, I got out my box of quilting books and such and jumped back into quilting. Just as he went off to college, I began volunteering at Murphy's Landing, a living history open air site that really brought me back to my "quilting roots". I began teaching some girls who were home-schooled and often visited the site. Then I offered Beginning Quilting classes through Community Ed and at a nearby Michael's store. I had a lot of fun showing others the very basics that would get them started on quilting on their own. I took the classes to our local libraries and volunteered to teach the classes in every library of our county over the course of the summers of 2001 and 2002. I met and made so many wonderful friends. I've decided I'm going to introduce you to a few of those friends because without them, I wouldn't do have the quilting stuff that I do. They keep me inspired and support me when there are ups and downs in life. I try to do the same for them.
SO, I'm going to tell you about Laura. I met her when she signed up along with her two kids for the Beginning Quilt class in the Savage library in 2002. Laura had done some quilting so she didn't really need the class, but her son and daughter both made the placemat sized project that I taught. That was the beginning of our friendship. We've enjoyed many classes together and have lots of fun at retreats. It was at my retreat last fall that Laura made a little project that I want to share with you all today. It started with this little quilt pattern you see below...........
Tuesday, September 15
I could hardly wait to get started. I assembled my supplies including several cuts of the precious white wool that I ordered last spring from the Amana Colonies.
I started with Ocean Blue first. The package said to use rubber gloves and I did - most of the time. :-) I wasn't dyeing a large item such as sheets so I adjusted the dyeing process to suit my needs. I also adjusted the amount of salt that the package directions recommend. Does the salt make the dye set? or what is it's purpose?
Sunday, September 13
Remember that woolly sheep in my last post? Well, you only have to take a look at this Father Christmas figure to see why I would love some of that wool! All you, Wooly Buddies, out there should like this gentleman in his red plaid robe with touches of penny rug style on the hem. It only earned a third place ribbon. I give it a blue. The American Swedish Institute liked it and gave it an award and I agree with that one.
Right behind Father Christmas was this gorgeous pieced and embroidered quilt. This was my favorite quilt at the Fair. I did not get the ribbon it won in the photo but I believe it was a first place blue.
Stacia and I liked this quilt and we were amazed at the number of triangles in this quilt that earned a red second place ribbon.
These beautifully detailed dolls are one example. Very, very nice and earned a well-deserved blue ribbon.
I don't knit or crochet but Stacia, my son's girlfriend, does and she was admiring this. It was so much more lovely when seen in person. My photo does not do it justice. Even though I can't do a thing with yarn, I can really appreciate the fine work done on this shawl.
After we'd seen lots of exhibits and such, we were all hungry. My husband wanted Funnel Cakes.........
and he convinced Devlin and Stacia to join him to see the live reptiles. I waited outside by the DNR nature building. No snakes at the Fair for me!! I wanted to get a picture of them exiting the building but missed it because I was too busy "people-watching".
We wandered around some more and then us old folks - my husband and me - were getting tired so we decided to head for home. I didn't have any back problems like I thought I might from all the walking on pavement. We took the day very slowly though, and never made it to Heritage Village, or the auditorium and we missed the Horticulture exhibits, etc. That's okay as there is always next year!! We're already planning to make sure our daughter and family can join us all on the same day. Hope you enjoyed this visit to the Minnesota State Fair!