Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Finishes

I have two types of finishes this week.
First, yesterday my husband and I paid off our mortgage.  After 24 1/2 years our home is paid for.
Whooppee!!  We are doing the happy dance.  Jiggity, Jig!!!
Second, I have finished potting flowers.  I have been working on gardening over the past two weeks.  I am so excited that I found this large pot and the kits for my fairy garden at Gordman's.  I bought all my succulents at Hornbaker Gardens.
Its so fun to peek out the backdoor at night and see the lights on the little house.

What do you think my fairy is dreaming of?  Do you think she dreams of fabric and quilts? 
Wednesday, I knew the rain was coming after lunch, so I got busy and planted the rest of my pots.
I lightly watered each pot as I got them put in place.
I cleaned up my and went inside to write my blog post. 
It just poured outside.  We got 3/4 of an inch in 30 minutes.  Yikes!
Needless to say, Mother Nature watered all my potted plants.
I have a quilt on the longarm and hopefully next week will have quilty finishes.
Yours in quilting,

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Vintage Thingie Thursday - Grandpa's Garden

So last Thursday, when I didn't post a story, I was headed to the Quad Cities.  We made a stop at Flick's by the airport.  Flick's is a home improvement store for kitchens, baths, and lighting.  We had purchased a bathroom sink  and our dining room light there previously.  We are trying to do our homework so when the contractor gets back to us with a floor plan, we know what items and style we want.  It was a productive morning looking at cabinetry, counter tops, bathroom vanities and flooring.  There are so many choices on the market.  What I liked best was the time to look.  We arrived early and were allowed to browse without be hounded by a sales person. 

We also stopped at Johnson's Carpet Shoppe on the way into town to further research the vinyl flooring the contractor recommended.  We looked at some flooring at Flick's but what we saw at Johnson's Carpet was stunning.  We brought home samples to see how things match our current woodwork and décor.  TaDah! We have flooring picked out.  The new vinyl flooring looking like hardwood but is more durable for a four dog family!  Doing the happy dance!

Next to Flick's is a landscaping yard with loads of mulch.  Bingo!  We now have picked out the color of mulch and can buy a truck load.   Another accomplishment!  We have picked out golden mulch due the possibility of arsenic being in the red mulch.

I haven't posted a Vintage Thingie and linked up with the Colorado Lady for a while.  While tending to my flowers yesterday it dawned on me that many of my perennials are vintage family heirlooms.
We have been in our home 25 years this September.
These are irises that my grandfather gave to me and we transplanted them from his home when I moved here
I have lost a few, but I think keeping them going for 25 years is an accomplishment.
Later I will have pale lavender iris with purple highlights.
It is hard keeping the four dogs out of the flowerbed by the deck.  They are pretty good at sneaking through almost any fencing.
I also moved several style of hostas from Grandpa's garden.
This solid green hostas will be waist high and about four feet wide by the middle of summer.

These small hosta with the white margins travel in a border along the flower bed to the side of the house.

Last but not least, Coral Bells.  These are about 23 years old.  I transplanted these from my parents' home.  The Coral Bells wrap our back deck and line our north lot line.  The humming birds love them.  Its fun to sit on the deck quietly as the sun goes down and watch the humming birds feed.
The benefits to having vintage perennials are the low maintenance.  Every 4 or 5 years I split a few of the plants that get crowded in the Spring.  Otherwise, I weed and mulch each Spring and then enjoy the low maintenance the rest of the year.  I do plant a few annuals for color but not the amount that I did when we first purchased our home.  I will post pictures of the annuals on my Friday Finishes tomorrow.
Today I am linking up with the Colorado Lady.
Yours in quilting,

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Work In Progress Wednesday

Last Wednesday, my husband and I took a day trip up to Bolingbrook, IL to IKEA.  Woo Hoo!!
We are finally making plans for some remodeling on our home.  We are hoping to remodel the kitchen and put down new flooring in our home.  There maybe more additions to the home but we will see how the contractor draws up the plans.  Don't you think there should be a bonus room that we can make into my sewing studio?
Here's my husband, Rod, trying out the kitchen island.  I have dreamed of having an island along with chairs so we can eat at the island or when we entertain people can sit and visit.

We loved this pantry cupboard with pull out shelves for perfectly organized shelving.
The pantry cupboards are in the left hand corner.

A view of the kitchen.  This kitchen is too modern for us but we love the layout.
We bought this cool light at Ikea.  It is sage green with black stripes.  Its hard to take a picture of it.
Here's Rod with our bag of goodies from Ikea and a pan full of their yummy cinnamon rolls.  We ate the rolls in the car as we headed to our next stop.  We had a great day and got a lot of good ideas for our remodeling project.
I am blessed to be married to my best friend. 
Today I am headed out to a fabric sale.  Some friends are selling their friend's stash as she has cancer and needs additional money to pay for medications.  I am looking for neutrals.
Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday Tip

I have been out of touch since I last wrote on May 16th.  We took a little stay-cation.  My husband had a week off before Memorial Day and we took advantage of the time to accomplish a lot of honey-do's. 
The first part of the story is sad.  Our cat has been ill for sometime and there didn't seem to be a cure for her urinary issues.  So the first day of our vacation, we made the decision to put the cat to sleep. So spent most of the day with tears of sadness.  We laid her to rest next to Hunter, our dog.
Fast forward to Friday.  We went to the large number of garage sales down at Lake Thunderbird.  I found these shelving units that are only about 8.75" wide and about four feet tall.  They were stained wood so I sanded them down and  spray painted them gloss white to blend in with my studio walls.
Tuesday Tip - Garage or tag sales are a great place to find items to fit your budget.  For the price of two cans of gloss spray paint, I was able to repurpose the shelves for my thread.
I had been looking for a way to store my Glide threads and any other threads that have wide bottoms on the cones.  These shelves fit the bill and they fit on the ledge in my studio. 
I love the shine of the Glide  thread and it works well in my longarm machines.
Next Tuesday's tip will cover how I made my new design wall.
Today I am linking up with Connie at Freemotion on the River, Quilt Story and Val's Quilting Studio Crafty Ideas.
Yours in quilting,

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Finishes - Sterling Quilt Guild

Good Morning Friday!  Its still drizzling outside and only about 42 degrees, but the good news for the farmers is the crop is coming up.  Yesterday as I was driving up to speak at Sterling, the corn rows were visible in the fields.  After this rain and the warm weather coming next week, the corn fields will be green in no time. 

I spent most of yesterday packing quilts and working on my speech for Sterling Quilt Guild.  What a warm welcome I received from the quilters.
I took Maribel with me as my assistant and quilt holder so she took a few pictures for me. 
Its amazing how much space it takes to load up your quilts:  two rolling suitcases, one 31 tote and two garbage bags.  At the last minute it started raining and I had to cover up several large quilts in garbage bags.  I will probably have to get another suitcase so it looks a little classier.
After I spoke then the group provided refreshments and show n' tell.

This top will be hand quilted.

These flannel quilts will donated to the guild's yearly auction in October.
The fabric had been donated to the guild.

Another flannel lap quilt.
Thanks, Helen for three quilts!
This is a wedding gift all hand quilted by the lady on the right.
Love those rich purple batiks.

With the extra blocks she made a wall hanging with the bride and groom's names and date embroidered in the center.  She had documented each quilt she has made. 

Looks like my blue heaven on this one.  Don't you just love it!

This is some more of the donate fabric the guild received made into a beautiful quilt with matching pillows.

An Ebay find that she plans to quilt and hang in her kitchen.
Thank you to Maribel, my assistant for making me appear animated!  I got such chuckle out seeing it this morning on my phone.  Its just goofy!
A big thank you to the Sterling Guild for your warm hospitality and your beautiful show n' tell.
Yours in Quilting,

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Vintage Thingie Thursday

Oooooo.... Wednesday morning was so fun.  I joined two friends at the new Flour House bakery and coffee bar.  MMmmmmm ... good, we sampled bagels and a cream cherry scone.  Melt in your mouth good.  Sorry to say, I forgot to take pictures of the goodies.

At 10 o'clock we headed next door to Beetz Me shop.  This shop is quaint and fun!  Look at these vintage sunglasses and hats.  The whole store is full of vintage, worldly, and unique home décor and gift items.  As well as, some fun summer clothing and accessories.  Its fun to get of the house and visit the local shops and have fun.  We sure caught a case of the giggles trying on the vintage cat's eye sunglasses.
I couldn't pass up the wine selection.  I am not a big drinker but enjoy an occasional glass of wine.  I bought a bottle of Raspberry Moscato.  It should be refreshing on a hot day when we finally get another one.  Today, we may see 60 degrees today with scattered showers later.
Today I have been organizing and packing my suitcases for my speech tonight at the Sterling Quilt Guild.  I laid them all out on the sofa first.
Then packed the quilts from last to first.  Rock n' Roll we are ready to go.
Have a geat Thursday.  Today I am linking up with Colorado Lady.
Yours in quilting,

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Work in Progress Wednesday

This weather is crazy.  Monday it was 90 degrees.  Yesterday we were lucky if it reached 54 degrees.  So with the chilly weather, I didn't want to turn on the furnace so I started baking.  First, I had four very ripe bananas and made a double batch of Banana Coffee Cake.  This will be sent with my husband to work for a treat.  

Next I made Rice Krispie treats for my son.  Then I moved on to making Jello Fluff Salad.  I make the Jello with one cup of boiling water.  When it is all dissolved I add one cup of ice cubes.  This helps with thickening the Jello quicker.  You may have a few ice chips to pick out.  Then set the bowl in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes.  You want the Jello about half way to being fully set.  I drain fruit while waiting.  This time I used orange jello and mandarin oranges.  I take the Jello back out of the refrigerator and stir in 3/4 of an 8 oz container of Cool Whip.  I use a wire whip to stir it together.  When mixed fold in fruit and frost the top with the remaining Cool Whip and refrigerate.  This is an easy salad to mix up and my guys love it.   Take it to a potluck dinner and you won't bring any home.

Moving on to dinner.  I pulled a chuck roast out of the freezer and used the recipe under my recipe section.  Having the roast in the oven kept the chill off the house all day.

Today I have to finish organizing and packing my quilts for my speech tomorrow night at the Sterling, IL guild.  I am excited about this opportunity and I am looking forward to see Beth Mathew again and meeting all her "quilty" friends.

After organizing and preparing for my speech it is time to load a quilt on the longarm.  I have not had a quilt loaded since last Wednesday.  Time to get back to work.

Have a great day!

Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday Tip

Today I thought I would share how I make my quilt labels.  First, I wrote what I wanted on the quilt label on my computer using my word processing program.  Then I printed the label on fabric with paperbacking meant to be fed through my Inkjet Printer.  You may also use a fabric pen and write your message on fabric to make your label.  After the ink dries, I heat set it.  Trim the label to unfinished size, remember you need to leave your 1/4" seam allowance.  Then I used scraps from the quilt top to frame the label.
Lay the label on a piece of fabric and pin.  I prefer the fabric that I used on the back of the quilt.  Put the right sides together and stitch a 1/4" seam around label.
Carefully, cut a slit in the back. 
Pull the label through the slit and turn the right side out.
Use a button hole or whip stitch to stitch shut the whole in the back of the label.
Press your label and hand-stitch your label on the back of your quilt.

Have a great day!  This quilt is on its way to its new home.  Woo Hoo!!! An eleven year old UFO off my list.  It feels good!
Yours in quilting,

Monday, May 12, 2014

Design Wall

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and celebrated Mother's Day your way! 

Today I need to recuperate.  I have worked five days in a row at the mall.  Its mostly a holiday job.  The store just schedules me around special holidays to help out with extra business.  It was nice to work that many days in a row to get familiar with all the new items in the store since Christmas.  I get pretty excited when I (the old lady of the group) makes the sales or bag goals we are given.  This gives me a daily dose of socialization.  When I go down to my sewing studio and don't see or talk to anyone each day, it gets pretty lonely around here.

I had a little down-time when I would get home and here's what I accomplished. First, I sorted all the fabrics my dog groomer had given to me.  The dog groomer puts bandanna on each dog before they go home.  She handed down her left-over fabric scraps to me.  I pressed them and cut them to size to make pillowcases for charity.  I cut out 11 pairs of matching fabrics to make 11 pillowcases.
 I sewed two of the pillowcases.
Today the dogs are at the dog groomer having a spa day.  I took the above pillowcases to show the dog groomer and she decided she would like them to be donated to the Washington, IL Tornado victims.  What a  great team effort by the two of us!  From scraps to pillowcases.
 Then I found this Skinny Pin Cushion on the Internet.
The pin cushion is to lay in front of your sewing machine to stick your pins in as you take them out sewing a seam.  This is a quickie thing to make and you can use up leftover scraps.  I pulled four -
2 1/2" squares out of my 2 1/2" jar for the ends.  I chose to use muslin scraps as a liner inside.  I use Parakeet Gravel & Grit from Wal Mart for the filling.  The Parakeet Gravel & Grit comes in a box and fills approximately two to five pincushions, depending on their size.  I like the weight the sand filling provides.  Here's the link if you want to try one.  The only thing I would do differently would be to leave an opening in one of the short ends for the filling hole.  I filled mine from the center and had a little trouble getting enough sand in for the firmness I like. 
Today I am linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.
Yours in quilting,

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Finishes

This has been a busy week and beautiful weather.  The weather has been pounding down on some area and for that I hope your families are safe.  We needed some rain and we go about 1/4" overnight.
It tried to have a thunderstorm while I was trying to cook out last night but it just blew over and never really developed.

There was a good speaker at the Gems of the Prairie guild meeting Wednesday night.  She was from the Illinois State Museum and talked about the quilts and women's roles during the Civil War.  There is a display of these quilts in Lockport, Illinois until October. 

I finished two quilts this week for the same customer, Stephanie O.  This bright, cheery quilt is for her granddaughter.  It is quilted with lime green Glide thread and a clover edge to edge pattern.  This quilt has Fairfield's Nature-Fil batting in it.  I love the feel of this batting.  The texture is so soft like silk along with beautiful drape.
This quilt is for the 9 year old grandson to grow into.  I used Orange Sizzle thread by Perma Core and Blustery Breeze in the center of the quilt.  Custom designs in the corners and borders.
The back is very graphic with the solid black backing making the stitching pop. 
A little closer view. 
I met Stephanie before the Gems of the Prairie Guild meeting and gave her the quilts.  We had dinner at Chili's together and chatted about our families.  I picked up a new baby quilt to quilt from her.  This a joint venture in making a quilt to be auctioned off for the benefit of St. Jude's Childrens Hospital.  The quilt is orange and white polka dot fabrics with lots of open spaces for quilting.
This weekend I will be working at the mall for Mother's Day.  Happy Mother's Day to everyone! 
Coming up next week, on Thursday evening I will be the guest speaker for the Sterling, IL, guild.  Thank you to Beth Mathew for all her planning to make this happen.
Yours in quilting,

Monday, May 5, 2014

Design Wall Monday

The thermometer says about 66 degrees, the sun is shining and its simply a beautiful day outside. Spring has sprung in Illinois!

My neighbor and I drove out to Hornbaker Gardens yesterday.  The plants are so tempting.  I am particularly getting interested in succulent gardens.  They had such a wide variety of unique plants.  They also showed many fairy gardens in their displays.  Do any of you have a fairy garden(s)?  I may ask for some of the succulents for  Mother's Day and try a little container fairy garden.  Below are some random pictures I took at Hornbaker's. 

 There are so many garden decorations from baskets, statues, iron décor and the fairy garden accessories.

Can you see the fountain in the lower right corner.   Its not in my budget but was so soothing to watch.  In the distance there are garden paths you can walk to get landscaping ideas.  It would also be a beautiful place to have an outdoor wedding.  My dream would be to have an outdoor quilt show in this location.
This is the quilt on my longarm machine.  I hope to finish today.
I am working on the border to a baby quilt.

So how will this sew together because its so tiny?  The squares are 1".  Guess you will have to wait for the finish.  Stay tuned...
Today I am linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.
Yours in quilting,