Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Blog-a-versary Giveaway Winner!!!

Thank you, everyone, for leaving such nice comments on my last post!  It was fun to read about the favorite quilt blocks among us!   Star, Log Cabin, and 9-Patch took top honors... and some of you couldn't name just one, or any, because you love them all!  

I was excited to get home from work today to pick the winning number for the Paint Box Charm pack, and two 1/2 yard cuts of coordinating fabrics.   Eighty numbered, little squares of cardstock filled the bottom of my fabric bowl.

I held the bowl up high, reached in, and drew number 21!

The 21st person to leave on comment was SUE, from COZY LITTLE QUILTS!!!

Congratulations Sue!  I will contact you via e-mail for your shipping information!

Many, many thanks to all who participated in my unscientific poll of favorite quilt blocks.   Now it's time for me to get busy in the sewing room... my favorite evening refuge!!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Blog-a-versary and a Giveaway!!!

Yesterday marked my one year anniversary in the world of blogging about my adventures in quilting!  

After reading and following quilt blogs for about 4 years prior, I decided to join the fun... and fun it has been!  In addition to "meeting" so many wonderful quilters through the world of blogging, I discovered their genuine generosity... their willingness to share ideas, patterns, tips, sources, and their friendship!   It has been a true pleasure getting to know each and everyone!   My list of "to-do" projects is growing, thanks to all of the wonderful projects I have seen on YOUR blogs!!!   It's crazy!  I have never looked more forward to retirement as I have since meeting all of you!!!  

I'm going to have a giveaway to celebrate my BLOG-A-VERSARY!    I will be giving away this...

... a charm pack of Paint Box, 42 charms by Laundry Basket Quilts for Moda, and 2, one-half yard cuts of coordinating fabric!   It will be up to you to come up with a project.  The fabrics are beautiful! 

For a chance to win, please leave a comment telling me what your favorite quilt block is... mine is the Log Cabin.   If you don't have a blog, please leave an e-mail address so I can contact you if you are the winner.    I will randomly draw a number on Tuesday evening, and match it to the comment left at that position.    I will ship within the USA, or Canada... sorry, no over seas. 

Once again, thank you for following me on my quilting adventures...  I'm enjoying the ride, and I hope you are too!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

More road trip goodies!

I swear I am still recuperating from last weekend's road trip!  Coupled with "back to work" mode, and the intense Iowa heat, it's not difficult to call it an early night on these weeknights... and that's what I've been doing.  (Oh retirement... where art thou???) 

I have a few more goodies to show you from my visit with Carolyn, Julie, and Missie.  We each brought a few projects for show and tell time.  When all the shopping was done, Nancy, the owner of Inspirations, allowed us to settle in her upstairs classroom, to drool over each others pretties!

My goodies included a few mini quilts, blocks, and my Moravian star.  All of these projects have been the subject of previous posts on my blog.

Julie proudly shared her cotton and wool sampler flimsy.  This is Summertime, a Primitive Gatherings design.   It's a real beauty!  Nice work Julie!!!   I'm so mad at myself for not taking a picture of Julie's jewelry charms!  Inspirations has them displayed in the cutest three tiered metal tray!   Next visit... I promise!  To get a real good look at them, visit Julie's website here

Carolyn shared a collection of darling towels that feature her own applique designs.  So cute... love that patchwork Christmas tree!  Carolyn has retired from her successful career as a designer.  You can see more of Carolyn's work by visiting her here.   She is also a very talented watercolor artist!

Carolyn's scrappy scarecrow greets you with a grin every time you unfold him to find your favorite needle!

Missie's wool and needle punch pin cushions are just the cutest...

... as are her English paper pieced star pattern pincushions!

"A Warm Welcome" is a 22" x 22" paper pieced and appliqued quilt Missie designed.   It is one of many patterns available from her pattern company, Hallbrook Designs.     

Click on the pictures to get a larger view of the yummy fabrics, the detailed applique, and the unique scrappy border!  See more of Missie's design here.

A close friend of Julie's met us in Kalona and joined us for lunch.  Her name is Kim, and she designs some of the most unique, antique looking, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.  Again, my apologies for NO pictures!  Kim has a wonderful blog.  You can see her jewelry and visit her Esty shop with a click of the mouse on her sidebar.  But before you do, take time to look at the beautiful pictures of Kim's lush garden flowers, and rural Iowa at its best... wonderful photography.  It was so very nice meeting you Kim!

The best part of arriving back home after a road trip is spreading out all the purchased pretties!  I'm a fat quarter-maniac...  can you tell?  The large piece of red fabric was 1/2 price... my kind of quilt backing.  My stash is short on shirting fabric... the fabric bundle takes care of that issue.  It's hard to walk out of a store without a charm pack (Collection for a Cause - Historical Blenders by Howard Marcus for Moda)... and the little house pattern is a paper piece design... I love paper piecing!!!

 Look at these yummy fabrics... it's like being in an old fashioned candy store...

I'm looking forward to the weekend... Saturday will be spent with my four terrifically fun grandchildren at a small town festival... a parade, face painting, talent show, kiddie rides... just what a small town festival should be!  Hopefully, I will spend Sunday in my sewing room... we've missed each other! 
What are your weekend plans?  Hope they include needle and thread!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

One day of driving, shopping, and laughing...

... leads to recuperation the next day!

At 7:20 Saturday morning I met fellow bloggers Missie, of Hallbrook Designs, and Carolyn, of Lee Prairie Designs, in an empty parking lot of a local antique mall.  (Our only means of communicating up to this point including e-mails, and leaving comments on each others blogs).  A silver SUV pulled up next to my white one and two smiling faces greeted me.  After official introductions that included hugs, we happily set out for our first destination where we would meet Julie, of Me & My Stitches , and begin our day of shopping, laughing, snacking, (on Carolyn's yummy oatmeal cookies), more shopping, lunching, and more shopping.   The day was well planned ahead of time, and, amazingly, we managed to accomplish our goal of visiting (and spending money in) four wonderful quilt shops! 

Before I get to the shops themselves, I must tell you that I felt welcomed and comfortable with these three talented quilters.  It's cliché, but it was like this wasn't the first time we were all getting together!   There was never a lack of things to talk about, and it was evident that we had similar tastes when it came to fabrics, because more often than not, bolts of fabric were placed on the cutting table with requests from more than one of us for a share of yardage!   And one more thing... we easily justified each others purchases when second guessing our individual decisions... I'm sure the shop owners loved us for that!

We met Julie at The Woolen Needle in Williamsburg, IA, about a 90 minute drive east of Des Moines.  Our time there was thoroughly enjoyable!  A spacious shop, with squeaky hardwood floors, a tin ceiling, and two friendly, helpful employees, I was given permission to take pictures, so I could share them with all of you! 



After lunch and visiting two more quilt shops in Kalona, IA, (no pictures allowed), we travelled to Hills, IA.  Hills is definitely a "don't blink, or you'll miss it" kind of town.  But it definitely is a worthwhile stop for quilters, for it's home to Inspirations, a 2013 Quilt Sampler Top 10 Quilt Shop!  The editors of the magazine got this one right... a real delight of a shop, loaded with batik and reproduction fabrics, marvelous shop models, a "back room" of modern and baby fabrics, and a sweetheart owner!   Nancy graciously allowed me to take pictures of her warm and inviting shop.


The second level of the shop houses a very spacious room for trunk shows and classes.  (I forgot to take pictures of it.)   After shopping the four of us retreated to this area to relax and have a small show and tell session.  I'll save those pictures for another blog... plenty of eye candy in this one!

If you are planning on attending the AQS show in Des Moines this October, and are coming from the east on I-80, you can easily visit both of these inviting quilt shops.  The Woolen Needle will be a vendor at the show.  Nancy will not be a vendor at the show, but will happily greet you at her Inspiration filled quilt shop... treat yourself, and plan a visit!

Thank you, Missie, Carolyn, and Julie, for a fun filled day!  It's a true sign of pure enjoyment when one is exhausted the next day!  When are we going again?

(f you click on the first picture in this post, you will be able to view all the images in a larger format.  Enjoy!)


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Working on it Wednesday...

It's never to early to start on the August Simply Charming mini quilt.  Darlene and I began this venture together in February... every other month we are making a mini quilt of our choice from Tara Lynn Darr's book, Simply Charming - Small Scrap Quilts of Yesteryear.  We invited other quilters in blogland to join us.   The sew along began with a gusto, but participation dropped in the month of June.  And that's okay!  We said this was a no pressure sew along... and Darlene and I both know that as quilters, our "must make" and "want to make" lists seem to grow longer and longer as the year advances!  That said, join us if you would like!  I will provide a link for you to showcase your mini quilt of choice in early August.  The link will be available through early September. 

I selected Coal Miner's Tunnel as my August quilt. 

I'm stepping out of the civil war fabric arena for this cute mini!  I used a charm pack of Hometown, by Sweetwater for Moda, for the body of the quilt.  Tara's pattern calls for 54 charms.  This charm pack numbers at 42, so instead of 5 vertical rows I made 4.  This was a fun pattern to piece together!

Instead of one wide border, I  added 3, one inch borders in coordinating fabrics from the Hometown line.  At this point it measures 19" x 23".   Backing and binding to come! 

Road trip coming up on Saturday!  I'm meeting fellow bloggers Carolyn of Lee Prairie Designs, and Missie of Hallbrook Designs, bright and early in Des Moines, and the three of us will travel east to the Woolen Needle in Williamsburg, IA.  Meeting us there will be Julie of Me and My Stitches.  We'll explore the delights of the shop before heading to Kalona, a quaint Amish community, where the planned agenda includes lunch and more shopping.  Our final adventure of the day will take us to Inspirations in Hills, IA.  Inspirations is featured in the 2013 Spring/Summer issue of Quilt Sampler magazine, as one of their top ten quilt shops!  I must remember to wear comfy shoes...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

No Sew Sunday...

...just tending to my summer blooms on this hot and windy Iowa day...

... and later a birthday party for a very handsome 2 year old...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Celebrating the Red, White, and Blue...

The highlight of the summer... 4th of July!  Parades, picnics, baseball games, flags, sparklers, backyard barbecues, bands playing patriotic music, and fireworks!   Nope!  It doesn't get any better than this!

The above photo is of the first patriotic table topper I made... 2004 or 2005... (Kansas Troubles pattern?  I don't remember and I can't find the pattern... I may have taken it to a pattern exchange a few years back). The 8 skinny borders are machine stitched in the ditch.  I hand quilted around the center stars, and the traced stars on the striped border.  Makes me think I need to do more hand quilting!

During my vacation from my computer, I made four more paper pieced blocks from Rosemary Youngs book, Quilts from the American Homefront.   I have ten blocks made, and ??? more to go!  Haven't decided on the number of blocks as of yet... but they sure are fun to make!

Five Letters

Grand Birthday Present

Rifle Instruction

Postcard Letter

 Wishing all of you and your families a safe and wonderful 4th of July!!!

I think this says it all...

Monday, July 1, 2013

I've have never enjoyed the hum of my computer so much!

It's back home where it belongs... my computer!  I'm so happy!!!

Now I can share a few projects that have kept me busy over the last couple of weeks.  Without a computer and TV at my disposal, I happily spent some quality time in my sewing room.  The first project completed began like this...

...1.25" x 5" strips cut from charm pack pieces.  One charm yields 4 strips.  I dug deep into my collection of charms and found this oldie but deliciously goodie...  Indigo, Pewter, and Honey by Judie Rothermel, for Marcus Brothers.  (I'm guessing that it's 4-5 years old).  With just 21 charms this was the perfect choice to make a little 16 patch mini!

Soon those strips became this...

...and my mini was complete!  


It was a bit tedious at times but I'm pleased with the results.  The finished size is just shy of 12" x 12".
My other June finish is Kathleen Tracy's selection for her Small Quilt Talk Sew Along.  The pattern is "Flowerpot Applique Wall Quilt" from her book entitled Remembering Adelia

The fabric flowers are made by ruching, a French term that means to gather or pleat.   I like the look of applique.  I'm still a beginner when it comes to this technique... I keep telling myself that the only way I'm going to get better at it is if I keep doing it!  This project had just the right amount, and I learned there is room for improvement!    My quilt finished a bit smaller than the pattern because my border fabric was cut at 2.5 inches instead of the 3.75 inches the pattern calls for.  Visit Kathleen's blog for more information about her Small Quilt Talk Monthly Sew Along. 


Time for me to catch up on reading what other bloggers have been up to!  Thanks for visiting, and come back again!