Monday, September 30, 2013

Design Wall Monday

Wow, what a busy weekend.  Left home Friday morning to drive to the Quad Cities and ran an errand.  Then travelled across the Mississippi River to LeClaire, IA to visit Expressions in Threads Quilt Store.  Pam Hughes is the store owner and is going to be the teacher at the Covered Bridge Quilt Guild's Autumn Quiltaway in November.  The store was loaded with beautiful quilt displays and excited shoppers.  There was a bus trip going on and one load of shoppers was in the store.  I enjoyed listening to their banter with each other.  They were headed across the street to sit on the benches and enjoy their box lunches while watching the Mississippi River flow by.  It was a beautiful fall day on the river and the temperature was perfect.  I picked up half dozen fat quarters for my Bonnie Hunter class on Thursday. 

I headed north up the Mississippi River to Fulton, IL, for a retreat at Susan's Calico Creations.  I worked on quite a few projects during the retreat. Below is my three tier tub, purchased at Wal Mart, that I took all my projects in.  I was so proud that I controlled the amount of stuff I hauled to the retreat.  I am bad about packing everything but the kitchen sink.  So I did much better this time and I pre-cut most of my projects so I could just sit and sew.  This pre-cutting helps make my retreat much more productive.
My first project was working on this barn block designed by Bee in My Bonnet.  The first tutorial of blocks start on July 28, 2013, on her blog.  Click on the above link to find the block patterns and tutorials.
Below is a wall hanging I have made with two other blocks.  Lori Holt is the name of the designer on Bee in My Bonnet.   She also has an adorable tractor block to go with the two different barn blocks.
I worked on another Pocket Prayer Quilt.  This one was blue.
Then I moved on to make 33 log cabin style blocks for my friend's quilt.  My friend, Kelly, raises Shetland Sheep.  We are going to use wool batting made from her sheep's wool.  Isn't that cool!
This is what I am getting ready to work on today.  I will be loading it on the longarm for quilting.
Notice I have been puddling threads to decide which one to use.  I texted pictures of the thread choices to my customer and she has picked a bright variegated thread.  Whoop, Whoop, quilt on!

Have a motivating Monday.

Yours in quilting,

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Finish-End of Summer Flowers

Last night the weather man said we have about one week of summer like weather left before the first frost.  This will signal the end of the growing season.  I decided that this morning I would get up and take pictures of my flowers.  Being home this summer has made a difference.  I got up every morning and watered my pots on the front and back porch.  Miracle Grow was my helper.
The lighting was hard to get right on my front porch.  Up on the porch are man-eating coleuses.  They are the largest ones I have ever grown.  They are in a wicker planter and have covered up the house numbers.  On the steps at the top are magenta colored impatients and lower on the steps are bright pink geraniums that have bloomed their hearts out.  At the bottom of the steps on the right and left are pots filled with burgundy spikes, pink geraniums, purple petunias and sweet potato vines.  Behind the pots are giant hostas.
Here is one the pots on the back porch.
Of course, the dogs wanted to help.  Here's Indy next to the pot and Skye in the background.
I will be sad to see my plants die off for the winter.  I have really enjoy them this summer.
Have a great weekend.  I am off to a retreat in Fulton today and tomorrow.  Sunday I will be at the Gems of the Prairie Show in Pekin.  Hopefully on Monday or Tuesday I can show you how much I accomplished this weekend.
Yours in quilting,

Friday Finish-Pocket Prayer Quilts

Here is what I have been working on.  As I was fall cleaning this week, I found all the parts to make
"Pocket Prayer Quilts".  You can contact Quilter's Garden for the pattern at

The quilt is laying next to a 45 mm Rotary Cutter so you can get an idea of how small the Pocket Prayer Quilt finishes.
This is the opposite side with the printed information.
Tucked inside the center of the quilt is a silver cross that you can feel through the fabric.
I purchased the crosses at Hobby Lobby.  I ended up stitching around the printed information because my Heat N Bond Lite failed to hold.  The stitching helped hold the cross in place plus provided a little quilting for the layers.  Since this was my first one, I will bond the printed information to the backing first before sewing it all together.  There is thin batting in the center also.
I keep a jar of 2" squares, so will be using my scraps to make more Pocket Prayer Quilts.
Have a blessed Friday!
Yours in quilting,

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Quilt Show - Autumn Gems Quilt Show 2013

The Gems of the Prairie are having their Annual Show at:

Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9-5
Sunday, Sept. 29 from 11-4

Avaniti's Dome
3401 Griffin Ave.
Pekin, IL 

Admission:  Adults $7.00,  2-Day Pass $10.00

For more information check out the website:

I have entered 8 quilts in the show and will be working there on Sunday.  I will be at the Auction, stop by and say Hi!

Yours in quilting,

Vintage Thursday-Sewing Cabinet

I love that the Colorado Lady has Vintage Thingie Thursday and Time Travel Thursday.  My house is filled with old stuff that we have accumulated for one reason or another.  Today I am sharing my Grandmother's Sewing Cabinet.  In 2009, when we were cleaning out my grandmother's home, this cabinet was in her bedroom. 
I didn't know what it was and certainly couldn't figure out how to open the first drawer.
Finally, one of my friend's told me "don't you know that's a sewing cabinet and the first drawer spins open.
Look I've even kept grandma's dust inside.
So this is what it looks like in my home.  It sits at the top of the stairs in between the bedrooms and bathroom.  On top of it is my vintage milk can with the lighted fall floral arrangement.
Have a terrific Thursday and visit the Colorado Lady, Time Travel Thursday and other blogs for their vintage gems.
Yours in quilting,

Working Wednesday-Sewing Studio

This week been spent catching up around here.  My sewing room has been buried in everything imaginable since Friday the 13th.  About that time both parents got ill, worked at the guild's sewing machine cleaning day, class reunion and Homestead Festival, all converged about the same time.  One of those at a time would have nice. :)

So each day this week, I have been trying to make progress at making room to work.  First, I cleaned off my sewing table.  I am only showing the after picture.  The before picture would have just shown piles of fabric, etc.  I am sure you can imagine what that looked like.  If you are thinking, she has two pin cushions.  Yes, you are right.  The little one sitting in the neck of the sewing machine is very handy because it is close to what you are sewing or piecing.  You just pull out the pins as you go and stick the pins in it.  The pin cushion is a spool block on top.  The pattern is available on Edyta Sitar's website,
The second area I cleaned and organized was to the right of my sewing table.  This is the area you first see when entering my sewing area.  It collects things.  A picture had fallen off the wall and the frame was broken.  I got out the Super Glue and glued the frame back together and applied new hangers, so its less likely to fall down again.  If you look closely the picture is laying on the ledge under the white bag.  Here is the before picture.  Notice Rascal, who is a Yorkie, thinks he's really a mountain goat and climbs on about anything.  He was my cheerleader and the gray fur at the bottom of the picture is Skye, a miniature Aussie.
So the end results looks like this.  No tubs and things are organized.
To the right of the pictures is the stairway.  When coming down into my sewing studio this is what you see first.  This bright star quilt with the black alternate blocks that are sewing fabric.
I have moved on over to the cutting and ironing area.  This will take a while as it is a bigger area with more clutter.  Hmmm... imagine that, clutter in a quilter's studio?  The good news is there is a cutting table under the clutter.  I have at least unearthed that much.
I hope you had a good Wednesday and made some progress on your projects, too!
Yours in quilting,
P.S.  Late last night I got a quilt off the longarm so it is free to load another.  Whoop, Whoop!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday Tip

My tip for today is the little yellow ruler that Bonnie Hunter has recently developed.  I got my ruler in May when she visited the Illinois Valley Quilt Guild in Ottawa, IL.  The first step she took was going around to each quilter's sewing station and checking their 1/4" seam allowance.

You put her ruler under your presser foot and line up the 1/4" hole with your needle.  Put the needle through the 1/4" hole and presser foot down to hold the ruler in place.  Then use the marker of your choice to create a guide for your fabric.  In May, Bonnie used green frog painter's tape.  I wore that out and chose to use blue painter's tape.  I cut the tape to fit on my bobbin cover, as I know I will have to open it up to change the bobbin.  I preferred about six layers of tape stacked one on top of another to provide a tall guide.  My tape does extend back a little bit off the bobbin cover so I have a long guide surface to keep the fabric stable and straight.

Yesterday while traveling with my friend, Cathy, to The Quilt Corner grand opening.  I was explaining to her how to use the yellow ruler.  I had bought her one in May but she wasn't sure how to use it.  I had explained to her that I sometimes still get a little wide at the end of a seam or start a little narrower at the top.
Here is her tip to me!  When piecing a quilt top use your straight stitch plate in your machine.  You will get less pull on the fabric and should help alleviate the narrow or fat seams at the beginning or end of your stitching.  Notice in about picture, I have in the plate that has the long oval opening between the feed dogs.  I will switch this plate out for the straight stitch plate. 
Let me know if these tips work for you.  Click on Bonnie's name above and you can order the yellow rulers on the main page of her website
Hope you are enjoying the beautiful fall days.
Yours in quilting,


Monday, September 23, 2013

Design Wall

I have had limited time to sew.  To unwind from the day, I have stolen about 15 minutes or so to sew.
I had cut two block parts out thinking I would be able to sew while visiting my dad but that never happened.

I am working the Legacy Sampler BOM at Quilter's Garden in Princeton.  The two blocks below are the blocks for September.

Below is The Battlefield Block.  9 1/2" unfinished

The second block is Cooper's Star.  9 1/2" unfinished
Today I will be driving eight quilts down to Peoria for the Gems of the Prairie Show on Saturday and Sunday.

I also hope to visit The Quilt Corner in Morton, IL.  They have three new owners and today is their Grand Opening. 

When I return home in the afternoon it will be time to warm up the longarm machine and back to quilting for customers.

I have linked up with Judy at Patchwork Times today. 

Have a motivational Monday!!

Yours in quilting,

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Praise

Today I finally slept in a little.  Being at the hospital or driving wears you out.  I went to church, bought a few groceries, and started cooking for the week.  I am still on call to go back to Des Moines to be with my dad in the hospital or help with Rod's mom.  After putting the groceries away, I mixed up a pot of chili (on the right) to simmer and set out frozen loaves of bread to rise this afternoon.
Next I mixed up a batch of Pumpkin Dip for a snack.  The recipe suggested using vanilla wafers or apple slices to dip in it.  I opted for the vanilla wafers as they are easy to have ready.  The recipe is from Hillbilly  Recipes on Facebook.
Also, I felt I needed chocolate to keep up my energy this week.  So I baked a pan of double chocolate brownies!  Yes, there are a few missing.  My hubbie and I had to taste test them.  Mmmmm....chewy, gooey good. :)
Next the loaves of bread had raised and appeared to be ready for baking.  Oh, the house smelt so good.
Ta Dah!  Golden loaf on the cutting board waiting for dinner.  My hubbie and son were impressed.
I was impressed that it tasted so good!  Next time I hope to try the recipe posted on Patchwork Times blog to make it from scratch.

I spent the rest of my day preparing eight quilts for the Gems of the Prairie Quilt Show this weekend in Peoria, IL.  I made sure they were clean, had sleeves, labels, and de-haired from pet hair.  I will drop them off to a friend in Peoria tomorrow.  She will turn them in for me and I will go down to work at the show on Sunday.  The show is being held at the Avanti Dome in Pekin, IL, Saturday and Sunday.

After dinner I received a call that my dad was much improved today.  Thank you for everyone's prayers and good wishes.  He is now in a regular room and making little strides each day.  God is good but it sure is hard to be patient while prayers are answered.

Stop back tomorrow to see what is on my design wall.  Have a great week!

Yours in quilting,

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Finish

Welcome to my Friday Finishes.  This has busy week to say the least.  This week I have been split by either taking one parent to Methodist Hospital in Peoria and cooking her meals ahead so she can be independent at home.  Or, sitting with my father at Iowa Methodist Hospital in DesMoines, IA.
Spent a lot of time sitting, cooking or driving.  I live a hour from Peoria and 4.5 hours from DesMoines.   You might say I am meeting myself coming and going. :)

As for quilting finishes, I dug for charity quilts that are finished but not delivered. Both the quilts are for the Gems of the Prairie Quilt Guild in Peoria, IL.  The quilts will be delivered to St. Francis Hospital Children's Hospital or the domestic abuse shelter.
I love this blue and brown brick pattern.  I quilted it with chocolate brown stars.
This is a simple block pattern with burgundy, hunter green and floral print.  I quilted it with burgundy thread with feathers and leaves.  It still needs a binding.
As a longarm quilter, I try to quilt up as many charity quilts as possible.  I have quilted 13 quilts for the Covered Bridge Quilt Guild and 2 for Gems of the Prairie.  I have several more waiting for both guilds.  I love the satisfaction of knowing someone is getting warmth or security from our quilts.
I have linked up with Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Link a Finish Friday, Michelle's Romantic Tangle and Freedom Fridays.  Please check out their wonderful blogs.
Have a great weekend everyone.
Yours in quilting,

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Vintage Thursday

Each year our guild, the Covered Bridge Quilt Guild, sponsors a sewing machine cleaning day. Above is a view of all the machines lined up waiting for service.  I didn't take a picture of it, but there was also an express lane for those who came from out of town and waited for their machines to be serviced.  The assortment of machines brought was interesting:  sergers, embroidery, featherweights, Kenmores, Singers, Janome, etc.
The Galesburg Sewing Center technicians arrive before 9am and set up shop at the Princeton Public Library.  I took four machines in for service, 2 featherweights, 1 Janome 6600 and 1 vintage Haines.

I purchased the Haines machine at an auction in July for $2.50.  I asked the technician how much it would cost to replace the motor and also the controller.  The price quoted was $50 minimum.  So I opted to wait on this repair.  This machine weighs in at least 50 lbs.  It is not logical that I will be hauling it around to retreats or classes.  I have not given up on it but will have to wait until my rainy day fund is a little richer.  :)

I will be linking up with the Colorado Lady for Vintage Thingie Thursday.  Visit her to read about her vintage decals.
Enjoy your Thursday!
Yours in quilting,


This week has been a whirlwind of activity taking care of our parents.  My dad lives in the DesMoines, Iowa area and is in the hospital for a leak in his esophagus and hernia repair.

Rod's mom had to be taken to Methodist Hospital in Peoria.  She will be needing further help as she will require more medical treatment this week.

Today's post is short and sweet because I am in Des Moines staying with my dad. 

Have a great Wednesday!

Yours in quilting,


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday Tip from the Design Wall

These are the blocks that have been on my design wall and I worked on Sunday night after sitting at the hospital all day.  Needed some sewing therapy.
These are my completed September blocks for the Country Threads BOM.  I am very happy with how they turned out.  My tip is: I use Best Press Spray on my fabrics before cutting.  Spraying with Best Press and pressing my fabric before cutting out squares, almost eliminates stretching fabric.  I do use steam when I press.

 I DO NOT iron back and forth, only up lifting the iron up and down to press.  You may use additional Best Press when putting rows together, but I found I didn't need additional spray. 

I try to complete my blocks each month when the directions are posted the first of each month.   This month was a little delayed with so much going on. 

If you are working on this Block of Month, I would love to hear from you.  Have linked up with Patchwork Times.

Yours in quilting,

Monday, September 16, 2013

Blog Growth

Thank you to all blog followers that have been visiting me over the past couple of weeks. Quilt Crazie has zoomed to over 4373 views. There has been a lot of growth lately.  I have learned to link up with other bloggers and share my stories.

I hope to be able to sponsor my own linky party soon.

Thank you for being part of my blogs' success!

Yours in quilting,

Whoop for Cooking Monday

Wow, such a busy weekend with my Class Reunion and the Bureau County Homestead Festival.

Our biggest concern now is taking care of our parents.  My father is in the hospital in DesMoines and Rod's mom has been in the hospital in Peoria.  Both have ongoing medical issues that require our help and support.

Today I am cooking for the week so Rod and Aaron will have food while I am gone to be with my dad.  Also, Rod will be able to take food out to his mom that she can easily heat in the microwave.

Sweets first!  Baked chocolate chip cookies, notice the bottom two spaces are empty.  MMmmm....they tasted good.

On to Rice Krispy Treats.

Next prepped a roast and cut up carrots to go in the oven after the cookies are baked. (See the recipe under the recipe tab.)

Followed by a big pot of mac n' cheese.  Comfort food, right!

Last, but not least making chicken and noodles for the Our Table dinner tonight at the Methodist Church.  Our church is taking their turn at cooking the meal.  I will have to deliver my 9 x 13" pan of chicken and noodles at 4:30pm.  I will make another pot for my family to eat at home. 

Bonn Appetite!

Yours in quilting,

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bureau County Homestead Festival

My previous post was on my Class Reunion which are always held on Homestead Festival Weekend.  The Bureau County Pork Producers are the sponsors but it is the Homestead Festival Planning Committee that does a ton of work getting ready each year.  Kudos to the committee.

The Festival opens on Friday night with pulled pork sandwiches being served, an opening ceremony and a dance with music provided by the Generics. 

Saturday gets and early start with the Beta Sigma Phi Craft show at the Courthouse Square and across the street the Pork Producers serving up Pork Chop sandwiches or Pork Chop dinners.  Rod and I took Harry Potter and Indiana Jones, our Australian Shepherds, up to the craft show.  Since Harry Potter is a therapy dog and Indiana Jones is a therapy dog-in-training.  The craft show provides many training experiences, i.e. children, noises, smells, other dogs, and traffic.
Harry is on the left and Indiana on the right.
Indy greatly improved in the first hour.  He gets very excited about the kids petting on him and wants to jump on them.  He changed quickly and learned to just lay down and wait while we visited.  Of course, Harry is the professional and sets a good example.
I wished I had taken more pictures this weekend so to share more of the sights we experienced.
I really got wrapped up in visiting with many folks that I only see this time of year. 
Rod and I spent a lot of time with Norine (on the right) and Carmen (left) before the parade.  Norine and her husband watched the parade with us and later we hooked up to have dinner at the Wyanet VFW Hall.  This was Fred Potter's idea and his wife and daughter also joined us.  Tracy Brenneman, another classmate was also there eating and joined up with us.  Melody Turner Sissel stopped by to catch up with Norine.  What really got me to chuckling, was after dinner we had to move up the bar area so the cleaning crew could clean the dining room.  At the new table we all started talking about our jobs, small businesses and/or blogs.  We all started swapping business cards.  It looked like we had created some new card game!
Sunday included a Flea Market at the Bureau County Fairgrounds, more pork chops, and a car show on Main Street.  We had to take Rod's mom for medical treatment, so I don't know how things went Sunday.  It rained and that may have cancelled a few things.
I am truly blessed to have wonderful friends and classmates. 
Yours in quilting,

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Class Reunion

Picture taken by Fred Potter Photography!

This weekend was my class reunion held at Chapel Hill Country Club (alias, Bureau Valley County Club or Hunter's Ridge Country Club.)  We had approximately 32 attend out of a class of approx. 199.  Unfortunately, we have seven classmates residing in heaven.  I hope they were watching over us.

A BBQ dinner was provided by Neal & Shorty's which very tasty with a choice of brisket, pulled pork or chicken.  All usual side dishes such as potato salad, taffy apple salad (my favorite) along with cole slaw and baked beans.

We didn't have a DJ or band just visited.  Kathy Seidel, our host (pictured above), provided some interesting trivia questions about Princeton High School and answers to keep us on our toes.  The memory table included our yearbooks and pictures of those that passed away.  After dinner many of us grabbed the yearbooks to look at the pictures and compare notes about what we knew about the others who were not able to attend.  The interesting thing was I felt that most of us have not change so much just our hair styles. (Below is Carmen Wilson Rod and Norine Catlano Tithof)

There was a few of the girls who joined in a chorus or two of our school song.  They did a great job.  We could have been standing at a football game.  It certainly helped bring back fond memories of cool fall nights, cheerleaders, pom pom girls, band and flag corps marching at halftime.

After the reunion ended, we adjourned to Wise Guys Bar & Restaurant to finish catching up on what everyone has been doing and telling stories. 

I hope our fellow classmates will start planning to be at the next reunion in five years.  Please mark your calendars to join us.

Yours in quilting,