Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cobbled Up Easy Street

I am sad to say my Easy Street is in for repairs all ready.  My texting buddy noticed that there are several four patch blocks twisted.  So in between cooking, banking, and errand running, I am correcting the twisted blocks.  The top picture shows one four patch unsewn and waiting for "re-entry".
Look in front of Rascal, almost on the front edge where there is another four patch in the wrong position.  Argh....

There is a quilting retreat at our church this weekend.  I am packed up, the food is made and I got through the guild board meeting tonight.  Headed off for some much needed rest to recharge the batteries for the retreat.

In the morning I will bake a cake for the birthday party at the retreat.  You see I baked the cakes today, but one of dogs knocked a cake off the dining room table while it was cooling.  I caught Rascal nibbling on the top of the cake.  Yikes, can't serve that.

So stayed tuned for pictures of the retreat.  We will try to fill up the walls of the Family Life Center with completed projects.  All the walls are carpeted so every wall is a design wall.  Also, the wiring was installed with quilters in mind.  That means lots of ironing stations!!

 Have a safe, fun weekend.
Yours in quilting,

Easy Street Finish

Yesterday, I got up as soon as the alarm clock went off.  Bound and determined that I would finish my Easy Street Mystery Quilt by Bonnie Hunter (  Here is Rascal snuggled down in the finished top.  I just walked away for a few minutes and look what happened.  Six and a half pounds of tenacious terrier making a bed out of my quilt top.

So I laid the quilt out on the floor for a picture and to show Rod when he got home from work.
Now look who's on the quilt again.  This time with his toy and a look that says, "look I was good all day so you could sew, now its time to play".  I posted this picture so my quilt sister, Cathy, could view it.  This morning she text me and let me know I have a few blocks twisted.  Argh.....
Now I am busy twisting the blocks into the correct position.  The backing is loaded and waiting so I can start the quilting.  I really wanted to have the quilting done so I can take it with me tomorrow to the church quilting retreat. 

Yours in quilting,

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fabric Help!

Ok, rushing to finish my Asymetrical Quilt and stitching on the binding which was pre-made when I finished the quilt top.  Yikes, I'm about 15 inches short in binding length.  I believe its a Bernatex fabric.
Its the gold stripe in the middle.  I bought it at Quilter's Garden, but I know it was the end of the bolt.  They may have a fat quarter left.  Sending out an SOS.

Yours in quilting,

Fulton Retreat

About a week ago I was arriving at Susan's Calico Creations in Fulton, IL.  This is a three story quilt and furniture store along with being a retreat center. Four times a year Susan has a group of quilters retreat with her.  If there is interest in a new technique, Susan or one of us teaches the others. Otherwise we just sew, shop, and eat. Each  their turn at cooking and/or meal prep.

Above is the quilt I finished before I left.

When I arrived many of  the gals had settled in and started their projects.  This is Mera's project.  She spent Friday evening sorting values and color families.  This was the NO FAN zone (like a no wake zone when boating).  Can you manage her frustration if someone knocked this large assortment askew?

Here is the progress she made.  It is awesome watching her design this quilt.  She was using a peep hole or reducing glass, a red tinted plastic viewer or the camera. 
Here is Susie beautiful finish quilt.  Beautiful quilting by Carol Onken.

Above isSusie's new finished quilt top.  She was busy all weekend making a stunning backing for this one.  Below is Sheri's finish.  This is a scrappy quilt is a wedding gift for her niece.
Below is  Carol's scrappy log cabin and she quilted it on her longarm. 
Below is Cathy Kieser's beautiful Easy Street finish.  Don't you just love those borders she designed.  She had extra four patches and set them on point in the second border.  You can catch a peak of my Easy Street blocks laying on the floor next to Cathy's.  I was close to finishing all my blocks but I was short a few bricks of white on black.  It is now finished after the retreat and needs borders.

Unfortunately, I find that I did not take as many pictures as usual.  I missed Karen's Paisley Embroidery quilt and Cathy's Plaid quilt along with others.  My mind was half with my dad in the hospital and half at the retreat.  So glad for cell phones and kept in touch with him each day.

Yours in quilting,

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Finish

I am working on 12 quilts for Covered Bridge Quilt Guilds Quilt Show on March 16 and 17th.  It's is a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal). They are in all different stages of being finished.

Below are two quilts from a class I taught two weekends ago. Today they ready to be sandwiched and quilted.  The pattern is called Spicy Spiral Tablerunner.  It looks difficult but it is strip pieced and cut out with the 9 or 10 degree ruler.  The ruler does all the work.

Addendum:  Today, Monday, I have sandwiched the two tablerunners.  I use 505 spray out on the deck before the snow hits tomorrow.  Want to make sure I have everything lined up to keep busy and work towards my 12 finishes by March 14th for the quilt show.

Yours in quilting,

Family First

I have been absent lately.  My dad had surgery on Thursday, Feb. 14th. 

I finished my last customer quilt for the Covered Bridge Quilt Show at 4:30pm Wed., Feb. 13th.  (Woo Hoo! Doing the happy dance.)  Went with my hubbie to bowl out for our bowling league and had a quick dinner with our bowling partners.

Threw luggage and retreat supplies in the SUV and headed for Winterset, IA, where my dad lives.
Drove staight thru while listening to Debbie Macomber audio books, just over four hours.  Got about three hours sleep and we were up and off to the Methodist Medical Center in DesMoines.  Surgery at 7am and then waited the rest of the day for an ICU room.  Dad is still in the hospital and asking for prayers for his recovery.  He has lots of fishing and gardening plans for the summer so need to get him back on his feet as quickly as possible.

Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dairy Queen is OPEN!

Spring must be just around the corner.  Last night Rod and I headed uptown and turned the corner onto Main Street.  There in living color was the Dairy Queen all lit up and open for business.
WooHoo!!   I think I might be drooling, while contemplating that first Blizzard!

What is your favorite flavor of Blizzard?  Mine is Heath.

Yours in quilitng,


Spicy Spiral Tablerunner Class

We started out the day having breakfast with friends at McDonald's.  I am hooked on the Fruit & Maple Oatmeal.  Hard to believe something healthy tastes so good. 

Headed over to the Christ Community Church to teach the Spicy Spiral tablerunner class (School House Quilts).  We had five students who came all charged up and ready to learn.  This pattern takes 8 fat quarters and 1 yard for the back.  Above are my fabric choices.

Here is Kathy Closen, Kathy Baltikauski, and Cathy Cullinan.  They have completed one half of their spiral. They were such a happy bunch and pleased as punch with their results.  The cutting the strips out with the 9  or 10 degree ruler is the most challenging part.  The sewing goes fast. Weee!!!!

Most had their tops close to completion at the end of class. Here's Judy's top in sections.

Now its done.  Congratulations to all. 
Yours in quilting,

Monday, February 11, 2013

One More to Go

Finished quilting this Turning Twenty Quilt on Friday night.  I used the Drop of Paisley design by  I used a soft cream thread by Quilter's Choice (Omini) on top and in the bobbin.  I am most pleased with the thread choice.  The thread sunk into the fabric and blended beautifully with all colors.  I spent quite a bit of time puddling different colors of thread on the quilt top.  I didn't want the thread to pop out at you.  I want to achieve texture on the quilt top.  The customer stated this quilt would be used and washed.  I chose the Drop of Paisley design because it give very even coverage and will help the quilt tolerate repeated washings.

I have one more quilt to quilt for a customer.  Then I will get all of my quilts finished for the show on March 16-17th at the Bureau County Fairgrounds in Princeton, IL.

Yours in quilting,

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sunny Day away from the Studio

Yesterday was a fun day of escape from the studio.  The sun was out and it was about 43 degrees cool.  Started off the day heading for Peoria but before leaving town had to turn around and get gas.  I forgot I didn't have a debit card.  So  turned around to get gas where I could write a check locally.

Once again headed down the road with Montana by Debbie Macomber, audio book playing, a Diet Coke, and fruit/maple oatmeal from McDonald's for fortification.  First, headed to East Peoria to pick up Cathy and then off to Groveland to pick up Sue Sue.  By the time I arrived in East Peoria, I had finished the audio book and give it an A rating.  Just a good romance.

The first stop on our adventure was Havana, IL, at Ma's Got a Notion.  This store has relocated since I was there last.  Wow, we were impressed.  They have a large selection of wide backs, civil war reproductions, Moda, stripes, homespuns, and a notions wall.

From there we headed to Springfield to have lunch with some of the people I used to work with.
Headed around the corner from Central Office and had lunch at Bernie & Betty's.  Mmmm good burgers along with great conversation.

Next was Piece & Applique in Rochester, IL.  There we hit batick overload.  Cathy and I had taken our Easy Street quilts (Bonnie Hunter's mystery at along to find border fabrics.
I found the batik that Cathy was looking for and there was enough left on the bolt for her borders and because she finished the bolt she got a 20% discount.  Cha-ching!!  Then she found the solid teal blue she was looking for and finished that bolt another 20% discount. 

I found a batik as a border for my Easy Street quilt and headed to the cutting table,  I also found the alphabet fabric I was looking for my Christmas Wish Quilt, free pattern from

I had everything cut and the girls found this great geometric fabric that looked fabulous with our Easy Street quilts and I liked it better than what I had already chosen.  So I gave in and bought both fabrics for the Easy Street quilt and I guess you will have to stay tuned to see the finish.  OR, better yet attend the Sea of Dreams Quilt Show at the Bureau County Fairgrounds on March 16-17, 2013, and see the finish in person. :)

After leaving Rochester, we headed for home, but not directly.  We headed to The Treadle in Bloomington.  Cathy had this strip of a lovely Rasberry Purple fabric we were trying to match and we suspected the Treadle would have it.  In the first ten minutes, we had the matching fabric bolt in our hands.  So we gave Sue Sue the tour of the Treadle and headed for home.  Dropped Sue Sue off first and then Cathy.  Loaded old magazines in my car for our magazine resale at the show and headed to the Gems of the Prairie Guild Meeting in Peoria.  Nancy Mahoney was the guest speaker and I enjoyed hearing her design stories and pictures.
Walked in the door about 10pm, kissed the hubbie good night and work Aaron up to go to work.
I am blessed to have great friends and a wonderful family.
Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

All Stewed Up

Saturday, my husband and stopped off at the Wyanet Locker and spent a gift certificate that we had been given. One of my goals is to have frozen meals in the freezer so I can spend more time quilting and have dinner ready when hubbie gets home.  We also have been trying not to eat out during the week.  Yesterday, Rod helped by preparing the carrots and celery for the stew.  Then I took break from quilting and cut up the onion and potatoes.  Mixed all the ingredients and spices together and put the pot in the oven for five hours at 250 degrees.  This is a "no peeking stew" meaning, just leave it cook for those five hours without opening the lid.  Mmmmmm good and fork tender.

Here are the leftovers cooling on the kitchen cupboard.  I put them in the refrigerator overnight and then transfer into the freezer.  We like this served over egg noodles but that's not necessary.
We are noodle nuts! (Hey, no commments. :) )

I am blessed to have a wonderful huband who likes to help.  We are a great team!

Yours in quilting,

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Rush is On!

We (I mean the members of the Covered Bridge Quilt Guild) have about 6 weeks to finish all our quilts for the our Bi-Annual Quilt Show Saturday, March 16th and Sunday, March 17th, 2013.
Judging will take place on Thursday, March 14th and then on Friday the quilts will be hung for viewing.  First I am finishing customer quilts, as a fell behind at Christmas time because of working 60 days back at my job with the State of Illinois and then three weeks of fighting off that respiratory flu virus.  I was able to do some piecing while sick as long as I could just sit.  It was a nasty virus.

This a 1600 jelly roll quilt I worked on over the weekend.  It has alternating rows of waves and fishies.  The orange border fabric is full of fishies.  It turned out really cute.

Here's a view of the fish.  Its very hard to photograph.  This is the back of the quilt.  It was fun to be creative with the Pro Stitcher. 

Here's the next quilt which has snowmen heads placed over the face of this large strip quilt.  Again, had fun with the Pro Stitcher and free motion quilting.  Placed Snowflakes randomly  on the different strips of fabric.  Some show up nicely as shown above.  Filled in with meandering loops.  Below each Snowman head are a set of mittens. This was a pattern given out at Garden Club at Quilter's Garden Quilt Show.

Have a great Monday!
Yours in quilting,

Friday, February 1, 2013

Retirement, One More Time

Here is my desk .  It looks rather plain and bland after removing all my goodies.  I retired  on May 31st, 2012.  Returned to work a 60 day contract in June and July.  Had a few months off and worked another 60 day contract ending today.

So I have work 34 years, 1 month and 1 day.  WooHoo!  Its been a wonderful career, worked with awesome group of co-workers in our LaSalle office and statewide.  I am really going to miss working with my "platinum" counselor, Rachel, and the supervisor, Jim.  This team has been working together for five years and the time has flown by quickly.  It was hard to turn in my key today and walk out the door.  I will be returning to the office on Feb. 14th for celebration potluck luncheon. 

I will now be focusing on my longarm quilting and custom quilt making business. 

Yours in quilting,

Easy Street Special Block

This has been a busy week.  I finish my 60 contract tomorrow, working back at the job I retired from on May 31st.  So this week I have been trying to get the counselors caught up.  Then during the evening I fixed dinner with my hubbie and then head to the basement studio for quilt time.  Finished the queen size quilt on Monday night.  Loaded a cute 1600 strip quilt with cute fishies and got it half quilted last night.  Quilting it with fishies and waves. 

Tonight (Thurs.) is usually our "quiet" dinner night.  Its our chance to sit and chat about whats going on just like our dates many moons ago.  We started to watch an old movie with Bruce Willis and Sarah Jessica Parker but hubbie's bed was calling.  These extreme cold days really wear the guy out.  So he headed upstairs and I headed to the studio.  Bonnie Hunter was on quilt cam so I listened to her and worked on the block shown below.  Bonnie talked just a little about the quilt retreat they are planning in Augst.  She did not reveal the dates yet.  She states she will reveal the plans when she gets back from Georgia.

Look closely to the block in the lower right-hand corner.  This was a special gift from my prayer partner to make my quilt special.  THANK YOU!

Tomorrow is the new block release for County Threads.  What to you think the next block will be?  Flying geese, churn dash, 9 patch?  Leave me a comment with your guess.

Stay warm and be safe in this chilly weather.

Yours in quilting,