Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Work In Progress Wednesday

Good Morning!  Wow, I can't tell you the last time I slept late.  Waking up at 8:30 this morning is very late for me.  The dogs didn't even wake me up.  This old body doesn't recuperate as fast as it used to.  I was up late sewing all weekend and then worked at my part-time job at the mall from 6pm to midnight Sunday night.  At least I woke up refreshed and ready to get to work.

Today I will be quilting this beautiful log cabin quilt for a guild member.

Today I looked through more of the fabric my dog groomer had given me.  I was able to match up these two fabrics which I will make into a pillow case.  Some young girl will love having a pink puppy pillow case.
I love sorting through my stash to see what combination I can come up with and then donate.  I don't need all this fabric just sitting around, let's use it up so we can shop for more!  See there is a method to my madness. :)

Yesterday I used up orphan blocks and today trying to use up some larger pieces of fabrics.  An "I Spy" quilt maybe in my future plans.  What are you working on today?  Do you have plans to use up some of that stale stash?

Today I am linking up with Sew Much A Do for We Did It Wednesday.

Yours in quilting,

Monday, April 28, 2014

Design Wall Monday

What a whirlwind weekend this has been. First, I hope this finds everyone safe from the storms that have been swirling around many states.  The pictures from the Little Rock, Arkansas, look similar to the damage in Washington, IL.  My heart goes out to those folks that have lost their homes and/or lost a loved one.

So where to start....Thursday, I finished quilting a quilt but didn't have a great picture of it.  I hope this picture gives you a better view.  Sherri, the customer, layed it out on the floor for viewing.
Here's a close up of the quilting.  I used Glide gold thread.  It gives the appearance of being metallic but its only polyester.
Friday, I headed to Fulton to Susan's Calico Creations for a couple of sewing days. 

Here's Sherri K.'s other quilt which was quilted by Carol O.   It is quilted with a variegated thread with a very hot pink backing.  I love this pillow made out of Civil War repro fabrics.

Here is Cathy K's Smith Mountain Morning Quilt.  Cathy and I took this class from Bonnie  Hunter in Peoria last October.  Below is the project that is close to Cathy K's heart.  Her daughter lost their home in the Washington, IL tornado last November.  These are the blocks that the Washington, IL quilt guild are making.  The house blocks are 3 1/2 inches square. They are trying to make 1000 blocks to represent the approximate 1000 homes damaged or destroyed by the tornado.
Some quilters are making these blocks by paper piecing.
Cathy K is piecing her blocks.  Below is a picture of her organizing the tiny pieces. 
Susan spent time catching up on her Quilt Doodle Designs block of the month.
Nancy B. spent time working on these very old redwork blocks.  Her customer found these blocks in a trunk and they are in perfect condition.
Mera spent her weekend making this quilt for a graduation gift.
Carol O made this baby quilt.

Carol R made the baby quilt above and was having a moment of creativity below. 
Betty J was busy putting the binding on three quilts.  She also was the "slice and dice" lady cutting up fabrics "Bonnie Hunter" style for stash storage.
Kathy D was busy making a blue and green beauty.
As well as the preparing for teaching the quilt below in a future class. 
Below is my design wall in process.
This is a pattern from Quiltmaker 100 Blocks but I am putting my spin on the design.

I am adding an addition border as the quilt is not large enough. 
You will have to come back to see the finished top. 
I came home Sunday worn out.  So I took a nap to recharge my batteries so that I could go to my part time job at the mall and work a floor set from 6pm to midnight.  I got to sleep in this morning.
Today I am linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.
Yours in quilting,


Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Road Trips and Finishes

Today's post will be a long one as it has been a very busy week.  Wednesday I left very early in the morning picking up two of my guild ladies and a quick stop in Buda, IL to pick up Kathy O.  We headed to The Quilt Box in Kewanee, IL for an Iowa Shop Hop.  Originally, it was planned to be a bus trip but because so many had left for Paducah it was hard to fill a bus.  So we broke up into four cars and were handed MapQuest directions plus I had a Garmin, and off we drove over to Iowa. 

First, we headed to Merry Stitchins in Jesup, IA.  This was about a 3 hour drive to a lovely store and  retreat center in the quiet country. 
This store is probably the largest I have ever been in.
Meet Mary the owner and hostess of the retreat center.  She prepares breakfast for you each morning while you stay at the retreat center.  I was able to go visit the retreat center which is two large rooms, one for sewing and one classy dormitory style room for sleeping 11 quilters.

Following are couple views of the store.

Here's my partner in crime, Kathy O.

This is spacious, well it classroom.  The sale fabrics were off to the right.  I emptied a bolt for them!

This is checkout counter.  Staff were so friendly and helpful.  I brought a collect of fabric to make a baby quilt.  We left this store and headed to Marion, IA for the Cottage Rose Shop.

This was a fun store.  The owner is a pattern designer and her patterns looked difficult but she had simplified many of the steps to make them easy for everyone.  They are also a Janome dealer and we got a preview of the new Janome embroidery machine.  All I can say is WOW, that machine does everything.  After a long morning of travel and shopping, we walked down to the corner Maid Rite Diner for some re-fueling.

The third shop was just two blocks away, Connie's Quilt Shop.  Don't let this one fool you, it does not look like a quilt shop.  Inside it is well lit, with floor to ceiling bolts of novelty, civil war repros, batiks, blenders and kits.  Kathy O stocked up on some yummy Civil War repro fat quarters.

The fourth shop was Pine Needles of Cedar Rapids.  This shop is like a quilt city.  If you can't find it here... just saying.  They are a Bernina dealer. I don't think anyone from the shop hop left this store empty handed.

These are my travel mates for the day (from left to right) Kathy Olson, Joyce Allen and Ruth Hayward.  We traveled about 450 miles and visited 4 quilt shops.  It was a very successful, fun filled day and I would definitely do it again.  I wouldn't mind staying overnight at Merry Stitchin's retreat center next time. 

I spent Thursday baking in the morning.  I made cranberry corn muffins, frosted pumpkin muffins, and chocolate banana muffins.  I will be heading to Fulton, IL later this morning for a retreat at Susan's Calico Creations.  There's a group of us that gather from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin about four times a year.
For dinner I baked meatloaf, au gratin potatoes, green beans and the cranberry corn muffins.  That will leave the hubbie some leftovers to eat while I am gone.
I was making the frosting for the pumpkin muffins and was having a hard time getting it smooth and creamy.  Finally, I stuck my finger into it for a taste test.  Uugh!  No flavor at all because I had grabbed corn starch instead of powdered sugar.  I just got the giggles over this.  Really, corn starch looks just like powdered sugar if not labeled.  So I dumped, this batch out and started over.  The second batch tasted much different and was a success.
In the afternoon I headed to the basement to finish quilting a quilt top for one of the ladies who will be in Fulton. 
I didn't open the quilt all the way, with all the white I was afraid one of the dogs would leave footprints.

It turned out lovely.
Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday Tip - Tall Stool

Rascal trying out Mom's new stool!  Weee!
Last week my husband and I took a family member to Peoria for a medical appointment.  We had time to shop.  One of the stops was at Gordman's.  I had a few coupons and knew that Rod needed new golf shorts.  So first, we visited the men's section and got him the basic colors in golf shorts to match his collection of shirts.  Then we started to wander through the rest of the store.  Previously, I had looked at these bar stools as a possibility to sit at my longarm.  I tried them all out (wish I had taken a picture at the selection of stools).  This one seemed the most comfortable and was not tippsy.
 Here its as low as it will go.
Here its as high as it will go.  Which of course is too high as my legs won't fit under the bar.
 This was a pretty good deal.  I have been looking for a chair or stool but most were $200.  Although this is just a bar stool, it meets my needs and doesn't take up much space.  The best part of all, it was marked down to $39.99 and I had a coupon for 20% off.   I have used it while picking out stitches which can really be hard on the back.
I also used it while sewing at my domestic machine.  The table is a little high so using the stool while sewing puts me at a better position so I am not lifting my shoulders all the time.  I could also easily pack this to take to a retreat as it doesn't take up much room.  I am one happy shopper with the deal on my stool!
I am going to get outside a little today.  The sun is shining and the birds are singing this morning.  Headed to the barn to meet the horse shoer and then a facial at Merle Norman.  Then back home to finish two quilts on the longarms.
Today I am linking up with Connie at Freemotion by the River.  I hope you aren't getting flooding Connie!
Yours in quilting,

Monday, April 21, 2014

Design Wall

 I have been working on a custom quilting project.  I have had problems with getting these loops on the back.  Its so frustrating because then you have to rip out and do it over.  This is ruler work and I try not to have to start and stop.  May have to post this issue on the Handi Quilter site for help. 
 I have been working on brushing our quarter horse, Hoot, and getting rid of his winter coat.  Can you see all the wads of hair scattered in the area.  I brushed while he grazed.  The birds will be happy to feather their nests with this soft hair.
There is a brush under this mass of hair.
I am a happy to report that all my Block of the Month projects are up-to-date.  I have mostly been working on the custom quilting project because Challenge Night is May 1, and the binding will still need to be added by the customer.  The customer picked up the quilt yesterday so she has about 10 days to add the binding.  I will post the finished picture on May 2nd, after the Challenge night.
 This is the UFO I have been working on.  I have one more row to sew the blocks to each other.  Then I will add the final three rows onto the quilt.
Oops, look what I found in Row 6.  I have one block upside down.  Glad to have found it now rather than when the quilt is all assembled.  This is a Kathleen Tracy pattern.  The signatures are from all the attendees at our guild 2011 Autumn Quiltaway Retreat.
Today I am linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.
Yours in quilting,

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Finishes

Its Good Friday!  Its a religious holiday for many around the world.  But today is also a good Friday for me.  I live in Illinois and the sun is shining and the temperature is rising.  We are expecting about 62 degrees today.  Saturday and Sunday are predicted to be mostly sunny and in the 70's.  Woo Hoo Spring is upon us.  It feels so good to step outside and  soak up some sunshine and vitamin D.

Last night I finished working on all my stars for the Quilt Doodle Designs BOM.  Look Sue-Sue, if you are reading!  I had to take them outside to shine in the sun. 
Last night I worked on joining all the stars while watching the final night of Scandal.
All my block of the month projects are up-to-date.  Makes me do the happy dance.
Yesterday, my husband and I took a family member to Peoria for a medical appointment.  We got to go shopping around the Peoria area.  Rod had never been to Washington, IL, after the tornado to see the damage.  Pictures just don't do it justice.  Seeing it in person makes it more believable and personal.  We drove through the devastated neighborhoods and business area.   Compared to my last trip down to Washington, this was a happier sight.  It was sunny and the streets were lined with trailers, pick-up trucks, skid loaders, lumber, etc.  Finally, you can really see a difference and feel the renewed sense of HOPE.  There is definite progress to be seen.
Rod and I stopped into Peddler's Way Quilt Shop to drop off the two quilts I had finished.  I failed to ask the sales clerk her name.  We posed for Rod to take pictures of the quilts we were leaving for tornado victims.  The country colored jelly roll race quilt was made by Beth Mathew of Sterling, IL and the red and black quilt was made by Libby Smith of Tennessee.  Thank you, ladies for your donations!
 What you can't see or hear is the ladies, behind my husband watching him take the pictures.  The ladies were watching the viewing screen on my cell phone and nodding to me if the pictures were good or not.  It was a comedy.  We finally got the pictures for the blog with a few giggles along the way.  Before leaving the store, we talked to the one owners who lost her home in the tornado.  She shared that the walls of her new home were up and this morning the crane would arrive to put up the roof tresses. Yippee!  Progress is a good thing.
I finished these two baby quilts last week.  They are for a set of twins.

 Great grandma made these quilts and I got the fun job of quilting them.  It will be easy to figure who's is who's.  One has polka dots and one has chevrons.  I used lime green Glide thread to quilt them.
I hope you have a blessed Easter weekend.
Today I am linking up with……Confessions of a Fabric AddictLink a Finish FridayFreedom Fridays, and Crazy Mom Quilts.
Yours in quilting,