Saturday, July 31

Back to the 30's.......

Ah, yes, the good old days. My mother would be one of the first to tell you that it wasn't so great to live through the 30's but the quilting that was done then was surely fine. The fabrics from those 30's quilts and those from the 40's and early 50's are what inspired my love of quilting. I can see those colors and prints as the ladies worked on the quilts at Ladies Aid meetings at church. So, I'll be thinking of them as I play with my stash of 30's fabrics today at retreat and I know I will enjoy every minute of the weekend!!
I wasn't planning to post this weekend but some of you really loved those blue and white fabrics pictured in my last post. It occurred to me that I should send you over to the Moda Bake Shop for a peek at the winning Quilt Minnesota Shop display. There was a contest for best display of projects with the blue and white fabric. Janice of FireflyQuiltShop didn't enter it but we both agreed that this shop really did an awesome job of creating a blue and white winter wonderland. Take a peek...... QuiltMinnesotaShopDisplayWinner!
Hope you are enjoying a great weekend! I know I am.
See you Monday.

Friday, July 30

It's a Fantastic Friday!

There are two reasons that today is a Fantastic Friday. First reason.......I am going to Bonny's for a weekend quilting retreat with my friends Sharon, Laura, Stephanie and Marianne. I have been packing for the last couple of days. Gotta be prepared, you know! :-) As I was putting stuff in my car today, I realized I should share a tip with you. See these bags...........

They're those plastic zip bags that you get when you buy sheets, blankets, etc. I love them for storing my STUFF! Notice that you can see exactly what is in each bag. There is one for batting, a big bag of stuffing (in case I make a large pincushion), a bag with rick rack, one that holds my bias tape and another one for zippers and buttons to cover. I love it that I can see exactly what is in each bag!!! When I go to a retreat, I put these in my car so that I have my own little quilt shop to go to if I need a supply item. If I'm making something and I need rick rack, I just go to the car and get the bag. :-) There is no bag for buttons, though. I think we might need to buy some new sheets just so I can get the bag I need for my buttons. LOL! Nice thing about these bags is that when I come home from the retreat, I just pop these back where they belong (I hide my batting and stuffing behind my sewing chair and the other bags go under my sewing table).
Now, I just need to pack some clothes and I will be ready to go. I'll be sure and take photos and have lots to share when I return. If you are new to my blog and want to see retreat photos from last year, just go here and here and here and here . It took me four days last August to tell you about a three day retreat. That's because it was sooooo much fun. Every year is different so I can hardly wait to leave. Kaiser and the husband are staying home alone. There are lots of leftovers in the refrigerator and a new supply of dog biscuits in the doggy jar, so they will be just fine. :-)

Now, the second reason that this is a fantastic Friday is that Quilt Minnesota, the statewide shop hop begins today. I stopped in at FireflyQuiltShop in Mankato earlier this week and here's what customers will see when they walk in the door................

It's a beeeeeautiful wall of blue and white projects! The reason that I stopped by the shop was to drop off the pattern pages for the four little projects that I designed from the Quilt Minnesota fabrics. Janice has made up kits for the project and the pattern will be included free with the kit. I also wanted to drop off a little prize that someone will win at the end of the shop hop. It's not much but everybody who sews can always use another pincushion! I whipped it up from some of the scraps left from the other projects.
The color is just a bit off on this photo, though. Looks more steel blue than it does in real life. So, if you are here in Minnesota and are headed out for the shop hop, be sure to stop into Firefly and check out all the fun projects. There are so many great shops participating that I would love to visit them all. I won't get to any this weekend but I might stop at a few next weekend. This weekend is all about the retreat and making projects with my 30's fabrics. There will be no cooking, no cleaning, no phone, no pool, no know the song. LOL! I'll be headed out mid-afternoon, then back on Sunday. I'll see you on Monday with another quilt......on the line!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 29

The Bagladies.......

I meant to post a photo of my Tuesday Crazies friends and the project they were making last week at Sue's. Here it is...........
L to R..... Kate, Arlis, Pandora, Adella, Carol, Sue
There they are......six happy stitcher's and each made the "TwoHourTulip" bag in a variety of sizes and colors. They loved making the bags and it was fun to watch them stitch. Each bag had it's own personality and matched the maker of the bag! However, my observation was that it took more than two hours to make the bag. I was doing handsewing so I was just observing the bag-making. I took a real liking to the one Adella made and can see it in some fabric I have on hand, so I may buy the pattern for myself and make the bag, too. :-)
I cut out fabrics for two bags while I was at Sue's but I just started cutting and figuring out what I wanted the bag to look like. No pattern for them ....yet, but when I get them sewn together, I'll be sure to share. :-)
Back to work......

A visit to Debbie's Quilt shop!

Here it is.......Debbie's Quilt Shop. It's located in the community of Osage in northeast Iowa, almost to the Minnesota border, in fact. Before we visited the shop, Sue took us to the best bakery/co-op.....Kountry Kupboard. Oh, yum. I bought the best package of Butterhorn rolls. I love a real bakery! But you're here for the take a look at this......just a small shop, you think.............
until you walk in the door and you don't know which way to go because there is so much to see. The shop is filled with fabric and related items but there are also lots of gift items......and tea cups! This is what you see when you walk in the door........

Then you just start wandering this way.......

and that way............

(and my apologies because Blogger is cramming these little photos all together and the words get hidden by the photos..........I loaded them the way I did in my old format but that doesn't work so well in this new template......too late to re-load photos...I'll figure it out before my next picture-loaded post.)

and, oh, my............
lots of 30's fabrics!!! I had to restrain myself here because I have a ton of 30's fabrics.

(I will be taking all my 30's to a retreat this's kind of a tradition. More on that after the retreat.)

Yes, I really had to restrain myself as there were loads of 30's prints. I'll bet there were some I don't have but I was not tempted.

About right here I told the clerk I was looking for a yellow fabric with black polka dots. I was sure that they wouldn't have it. So wrong. I passed it on my way into the shop!

I loved this dresser with it's display of colorful fabrics.....

and then I saw the rick rack.......giant rick rack!

I was only at the middle of the shop at this point.......
so I took a picture of Sue choosing fabrics.
Then I wandered some more and pretty soon I didn't see any of my friends but I heard their voices. That's because they were all up there............
So, I climbed the steps to see what was up there............and then turned and took a photo of where I had just come from.........
There's a hallway at the back right that I almost didn't go into until Pandora told me there were teeny teacups back there. Yep, I bought a couple but they are for something way off in the future. :-)
So what was "up there"? It was Christmas upstairs!
This was a cool tablerunner. Adella has made a couple of these and it's all in how you cut and piece to get that nice look.
Oh, my, this shop was really a Joy to behold. :-)
And I saved the best til's a snowman made from batting!
How cool is that? Very cool, I think! Made me wish there was some real snow that I could grab and toss on my rosy cheeks. It was just a wee bit warm upstairs. It was back down the steps and time to check out. This was a great shop that was filled with way more goodness than what it looked like from the front of the store. I just love it when you walk into a store and find it is so much more than you were expecting. If you find yourself in the vicinity of Osage, Iowa you won't want to miss this shop. And, of course, you'll want to visit the Kountry Kupboard, too!
I am wondering how it got to be Thursday already. Where did this week go? Sewing to do today and cleaning, too. And in that order!

Wednesday, July 28

Fabric shopping!

When we were at my friend Sue's last Wednesday, we were there on the perfect day. What made it perfect? Fabric shopping, of course. And we were in luck because there was a fabric garage sale and we made sure we arrived within minutes after it started. I should have taken a picture to show you the garage full of fabric and basement, too, but I was shopping remember? And the prices were great so I totally forgot about pictures. After I got home though, I laid out my purchases.............
The green on the left is going to go with the 30's fabrics that I'll pack up and take to a retreat this weekend. The pink just made me smile and the green was so pretty that I know it will find a purpose with some lovely floral fabric. :-)

The floral batik fat quarter in this photo is our challenge fabric for Kindred Kwilters. I found these two pieces that will work with it and when I got home, I found a deep rosey swirl fabric that will really pop if I add it to these three. You won't see this stuff for a long time. I think I have til February to get something done from this fabric. That means you'll see it when the snow is falling. :-) After today's heat, I really am ready for cold weather. I promise not to complain about the snow or cold. Really. ;-)

After we all made several fabric purchases at the garage sale, we were told to visit a little shop/studio where local gals meet and stitch, plus there were some items for sale. How is it that there is always some one thing that is perfect at every fabric shop? Sue found a Civil War kit that she couldn't resist. I found this Sunbonnet Sue panel for my mom and I put it in the mail to her right away. She got it on Monday and when winter comes she can make little wallhangings or doll quilts with it.
You would think that was enough shopping, but no, there was more to come in the afternoon. We all enjoyed lunch back at Sue's house and then packed up our stuff and headed out of town. We were on the way to Osage to Debbie's Quilt Shop. And wait til you see what a great shop it is! And speaking of waiting, you will have to wait til tomorrow to see it because this is it for today! See you then!

Monday, July 26

What's on the line?

Good Monday morning everyone! If you follow my blog regularly, you may recognize this quilt. I shared a photo of it last year in a September post (go here if you want to read that post). It's been on my mind this weekend because I was preparing the letter that will go out to my quilty friends about my upcoming September retreat at Villa Maria. Thinking of the Villa made me think of Carol who handles all the retreat arrangements. And that made me think of this quilt that she gave me a few years ago during one of 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 and now I am the "caretaker" of the quilt. I just love scrappy quilts and so any more words are not necessary.......just enjoy the photos........

While the quilt is actually quite worn, I don't mind. There are so many wonderful fabrics in it that it is fun just to study all the different prints and colors. Makes me smile. :-) And then I wonder who made it......were the fabrics from family clothing.........did the woman buy the fabrics......or did several women contribute to the blocks? Oh, how I would love to know the history behind this quilt and so many others. This reminds me that I should get busy and put labels on more of my quilts!

You may notice a bit of a change in my blog. I decided to try one of the new templates that blogger recently added. I think I like it. Also, there is a button for "Patches 4 Lissa". If you are a quilter and have a bit of time and fabric, you might like to add your block to this great project that Jane is coordinating. Click the button to learn more.

I had a busy weekend and never got the rest of my visit to Sue's posted for you all. That will come in my next post. Have a good Monday and a great start to the week! It's the last week in July!! Can you believe it!! One more month til September and cooler temperatures!


Friday, July 23

Tuesday Crazies Roadtrip.......

No roadtrip is complete without fabric. :-) Actually, in my book, no trip whether by bus, plane or train is complete without a bit of fabric! So, as I wound my way cross-country to my friend Sue's house for a little retreat with our Tuesday Crazies group, I made a stop to stretch half-way there......and, of course, I made it at the little town of Wells where there is a Dueber's Variety store. I would not have known it was there but my friend, Cindy, told me about it. She passed away last winter and so I stopped there because we were always going to take a roadtrip out to Wells and never got to it. When the clerk asked me where I was from and how I ended up in town.......I told her about Cindy. And so, I'm going to tell you right now....if you and a friend are talking about having a day it before it's too late. With thoughts of Cindy on my mind, I took a quick look over the fabrics and found these.......
two vintage-looking pieces of yardage that will be used to re-create the patterns on a couple of those vintage quilts I've recently hung on the line. I'm not planning to re-create these quilts anytime soon but when I saw the fabric, I thought.....better buy it while you see it because it is perfect for that old vintage look quilt!
Then I chose these fabrics in the photo above that will end up in a couple of tablerunners sometime in August.

This selection of fabrics will be used to make a new version of a quilt I designed for the "Sew Close to Home" quilt retreat a few years ago. This project won't begin til this winter when I prepare samples to share at Kindred Kwilters. :-)

When I got to Sue's, it was as if we were at a real live retreat. There were treats and goodies like this gift that was on my bed. Actually, the polka dot bag was a birthday gift from Sue (a really yummy smelling "sticky buns scent" candle). The wooden bowl was made by her husband, Bob. Each of us received a custom made bowl in a different type of wood. Mine was wheeping willow. This is the second piece of Bob's work that we have all recieved. :-) Sue made us all little crocheted bookmarks just by looking at an old one done by her husband's Great Grandmother. I never learned to crochet, so I appreciate anything that anyone crochets for me!

Everybody was hard at work at their sewing machines...........
That's Adella on the left, Carol on the right in the photos above. And below, it's Kate on the left and Arlis on the right.
And here is Sue, hostess, friend and the one who was helping everyone with the project they are all making. You might be able to tell what it is but I won't show the finished project until my next post.
Pandora was a speedy stitcher and had finished her project before the other gals so she moved on to another little project that involved circles. She is deep in thought as she traces fabrics for little fabric flowers.

I wasn't making the project the gals were working on as I just wanted to relax and do handwork. I brought along my wooly pincushion project and when I finished it, I was "happy as a clam". I celebrated with a glass of milk. Love it with ice so I was twice as happy.

My happiness was short-lived, though, because I just wasn't happy with my stitching project. I spent almost two hours stitching what I hoped looked like corn in full bloom but to be looked more like a bloomin' cactus! I got up on Wednesday morning and looked at it and knew I had to rip it out and start over. I decided to try to salvage the piece and it didn't turn out to bad...........

However, here's the new pincushion base that will go off to Brenda at PumpkinPatchPrimitives in tomorrow's mail and this time the cornstalk actually looks like corn I saw in the fields along the road!

I'm the nightowl in our group so just before midnight I was cutting and piecing a project from Pat Sloan's Sweet Liberty fabrics.............
and then...........
I cut out the pieces for a project from that Summer Solstice charm pack that I received in a contest at RJR Fabrics.

I'm only giving you a bit of a peek as you won't see the finish for at least a couple of weeks. Now that I'm back at home, I have a pattern to write this weekend for those snowy designs I created from the QuiltMinnesota fabrics for FireflyQuiltShop.
Okay, so that's Day One at Sue's Retreat........sometime this weekend, I'll share Day Two. You'll see the finished projects the gals made and the goodies that we found when Sue took us to her favorite fabric places!
Have a great Friday!

Thursday, July 22

On the road again .....

Let's see........time to catch up. I've been to Iowa to spend time with my friend Sue and our crazy quilting group and it was loads of fun!! I took lots of photos and will share them on Friday. Right now, I'm catching up and going back to Monday night when I presented my "Legacy of Stitches" program to the ladies at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Mankato, MN. It was a celebration of 60 years for their Women's group and I was so glad to be a part of that event. I had a wonderful time and enjoyed a really good chicken dinner, plus met new friends! Each of the tables had an old-fashioned bouquet of flowers, along with little sewing machines and other sewing related items. This is the one at our table.........
I loved all the little sewing machines!! In addition to dinner, everyone received a little purple fabric pincushion tied with gold bows that looked like a gift. Very sweet!
Many of the ladies in the group we're part of their active quilt group that has created numerous quilts for charity projects. Not everyone was a quilter but my program isn't really just about quilting. I share stories, read some of the poems I've written and intertwine it all with some of my favorite old hymns that I sing acapella. I love to sing the old, old hymns. :-) And I love to share the stories of my old quilts, some that came to me from family members and others that came to me because they needed to be shared with others and only the maker knows the quilts story.
Those old quilts are what inspired me to make new quilts, so I share some of the newer quilts that I've made and the stories behind their designs.
And when I'm all done, I let the ladies come up and get a closer look at it all. :-)

I received several nice comments when the ladies came up to look at the quilts. Some were about the songs I chose and the special meaning they had to someone or to their mother, etc. Some were about quilts they had made or old ones that they owned and the story of how it came to their possession. I enoy listening to all of them! It makes me feel so good to know that something I do can make others smile with a pleasant memory. :-)

I've never done a "shout out" about my program, but I think the time has come to do so.......if you are looking for a program for your church women's group or local quilt guild, please e-mail me for further info (see my e-mail address in the sidebar on the right). I'd be happy to go "on the road again" and share my stories, songs, and quilts. :-)


Tuesday, July 20

Tractor thoughts......

Yes, it may seem obvious that this post has nothing to do with quilting but then just might......
First, though, I was planning to post some photos of last night's quilting program at Our Savior's Lutheran Church but after I got home and got all the quilts unloaded and put away, I was too tired to load photos and write about it. I have to be up early in the morning to head to Iowa for a day out with my crazy quilting friends, so I needed to get to bed. Didn't want to leave you without something to read with your morning coffee so I thought I'd post these tractors..........
Why tractors? Well, I passed these implement dealers with their big shiny tractors on my way to Iowa last weekend. I marveled at the sheer size of them and thought about how much I love fall and watching tractors and combines in the field at harvest time. I can hardly wait to make a trip in October as they are always out in abundance at that time of year.
When I drove past the dealerships on my way home, the thought occurred to me that these big machines are to a farmer what a long-arm quilting machine might be to a quilter. LOL! So, if my husband were a farmer and wanted one of these, I'd say "sure, dear, and while you are out, pick me up a long-arm quilting machine." I know that the tractor is far more costly than the long arm is......... but........and here's when my "bubble burst".......I'm not married to a farmer! I'm married to an engineer who likes fast cars. If he decides he wants some fancy that is...I think I know what I'll suggest I'd like. :-) Then again, maybe all I need to do is show him that race quilt that is off being machine quilted and when he sees it, he will want more and we'll just have to buy a long arm. I can dream, can't I? :-)
Actually, I'm so tired perhaps this post is a dream............. LOL!
July hotness is with us and more stormy weather possible. It's July so that's normal. I'm counting the days til Fall......60 days to cool weather.......I can hardly wait!

Monday, July 19

What's on the line?

Today I have more than just one quilt to share! There are four vintage quilts that I hung on the line and each has a story. I took them out to the line on Saturday afternoon, the day it was so hot here. It was 92 and humid as I hung the quilts and I was mighty glad to get back to the air conditioning after I finished taking these pictures! It's quite possible that I've shared these before because I do love my old quilts alot and if I like to get them out and look at them more than once, maybe you do, too. :-) Here ya go..........
My brother gave me this vintage star quilt. He bought it at an auction for just $10 as it's very, very worn but it has possibilities. Each of the quilts in these photos today is very, very worn but on each quilt there is a section that is in reasonably good shape. In a minute, I'll tell you how I take advantage of that. Back to this star's maker pieced all the stars and then appliqued them to each block. Then she hand-quilted an interesting design around each of the stars. I tried to get a close-up photo and it didn't work so well. Maybe it will show up when you click to enlarge on this photo. It's soft and must have kept someone very comfy under this quilt.
This gorgeous quilt with it's yellow background is a favorite of the ones that my mother and dad bought at auction. It has a bad stain on it and I have not yet attempted to launder it. It's faded but otherwise it's not too bad. The edge of the quilt must have been very worn as the previous owner added a new muslin binding to the quilt. It's done very well and you almost don't notice that it's new. The block pattern in this quilt is a personal favorite of mine. I always refer to it as "Churn Dash" although in some books it is called "Monkey Wrench". Either way, I really like the block. I love the whole quilt and especially like the yellow and black polka dot fabric used for the background. It's just a cheery quilt!
These last two quilts were made by the same woman who long ago passed away. They came to me as a gift from my friend, Judith. She was at a garage sale and a young woman had the quilts for sale. They had been made by her grandmother and were worn beyond use but she hoped that someone might have a use for them. Well, Judith knew I would love them and treasure them and tell their story. And that's what I have done! Each quilt had been washed and while they are significantly worn, especially the green and white one, they still have incredible charm.
The feel of the two quilts is quite different. The green and white quilt is made of crisp white cotton fabric and bordered in white twill tape. The handquilting on this one is very fine, it's just that the green fabric has simply begun to disintegrate. This quilt is stiffer and doesn't feel quite so comfy.However, this red and white quilt is very comfy. It is made of the softest cotton fabric and it just feels like one that you would want to snuggle under on a cold winter's night. Lately, it's been too hot to think of snuggling under a quilt but in Minnesota the summer's aren't all that long so before you know it, the night's will be cool and frosty!
So what good are these very worn quilts and what possibilities can they possibly hold? The answer is simple........I measured each one and then measured the block designs in each one and come winter when the snow flies and I don't want to go anywhere in the ice and snow........I am going to recreate these quilts in fabric from my stash! And if it works, the patterns will go into that book I keep talking about. Yes, I'm working on it. There's a "time and season for everything" and it will happen one day.
I mentioned that these quilts are very worn but that each had a section that was in good shape.......and here's how I take advantage of that............................
I found the good section on each quilt and then carefully folded it so that it's good side was showing, and then I placed them on this little night table (it's in the bedroom where my grandson sleeps when he visits). I placed a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil over the wood shelf before I placed the quilts on it. That way, no oils from the wood will seep through to the quilts. This is a tip verified by the Minnesota Historical Society. If you are keeping quilts in a wooden chest or dresser, line the drawers with heavy duty foil. Line closet shelves with the foil and if you are putting your quilt on a wooden rod, wrap foil around the rod before placing the quilt on the rod.
That's all for today. This Monday will be a busy one as I am "knee-deep" in quilts that I am packing to share at a program that I'll be doing this evening. I'm taking some of my best ones along with some of the well-loved ones and hope the ladies enjoy seeing them and hearing their stories. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. :-)
Have a good Monday!
P.S. I've made a change in my comments settings and effective today, I'll be approving each comment before it is posted.
"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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