Tuesday, July 31, 2012


 Saturday night we were lucky enough to attend a Quinceañera of a lovely girl.  

Look at that dress!  Many of these gorgeous dresses are hand made.  Can you imagine?
 She also had a lovely sash which had been embroidered with Mis Quince Años on it.

We were so lucky to have been included.  And I marveled at all the work involved.
 Look at the flowers!

Just cutting up the oranges for 30 tables and putting sashes on 300 chairs!

There were two live bands and a DJ plus all kinds of choreographed dances. What a fiesta!
 The theme was masked ball and the main color was orange with the secondary color being the yellow.

We loved being there!

I just hope I never have to sew a dress for a Quince!
Here I am with my student who invited me. It was the Quinceañera of her sister.

I was so grateful to her and glad I had those orange polka dots in my dress, hey, I kindof matched!

I hope all your fiestas are as swanky and fun!

And that you don't have to make the dresses!

Sew happy!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Valentine's day quilts - Emily and Shelby

 I finished all 40 blocks, 20 for Emily's quilt and 20 for Shelby's quilt.

I will pause while you finish your applause.

It was a long time coming, I know!  What I liked about it was once I had all the pieces cut and some of them joined, it was mindless work I could do whenever.

But it is done now!

 I looked through the project boxes for the other fabrics and really had to reread the pattern to make sure I got the right browns for the different areas of the quilt.

I cut 6 strips of brown for each stack.

This is the brown I will use for the sashing.

I poked around looking for pinks or reds for the cornerstone.
 This is what remained of the fabrics.

The brown is for the outermost borders and the reddish stripe for the inner borders.

That left the blackish red for the cornerstone fabric and I didn't like it.

Later, I found a much better red which was hiding but not sure I had enough of that.
So I did kind of a naughty thing, I went into the project boxes for the brown and pink quilt I am making with my friend in DC and stole this pink.

Yes, I did feel a little guilty as a matter of fact.  BUT this fabric began with another fabric which I used in a different project and then transferred to this box at the end of that project.  PLUS this project has been stalled since 2010, hey you snooze you lose fabrics around here!

I cut two strips of this for each quilt.  Now tomorrow I can start sewing them.  Well, after swimming, my dentist appointment and some tutoring!  Life is full and fun lately.

Sew happy!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Olympics and Quilts

Quilts and quilters are always part of any major life event be it personal or international.

The Olympics beginning in London on Friday, July 27, 2012 are no exception.

Here in the US, our quilt celebrations might be on a smaller scale.  I love these rings!

But in London, it's on a much larger scale.

There is an incredible project entitled Quilts4London.  Here is a link to the whole project.  Quilts4london  This project made 17,000 pennants, one for every athlete to take home as a gift.  Can you imagine organizing this?  And a full sized quilt was made for each nation.

There are exhibits as well about this project.  It is stunning to read about.

But the quilts don't end there. 

Here is the bed covering on the bed of every athlete.

Obviously these are mass produced.  I really like them because they have the sports but it is made in a quilt design. 

I think the photographs have very different color values for the quilt. The darker print was used in a web site objecting to these quilts.  Sew silly!

I wonder if these will be sold commercially after the event?

Want to learn and see more about this project?  Me too!

I plan to buy this book to learn all about the various quilts made for the Olympic games.  Here is the link if you would like to purchase one yourself.  Quilt book

I am in awe of the giving nature of quilters, a quilt for every nation and a pennant for every athlete.  Sew generous!

I am glad this project went smoothly, unlike the knitting controversy which has since been settled.  If you haven't read about it, here's the story.   knit controversy

Quilts and the Olympics, wrapped together in gifts of love.

Now let the games begin, I hope to watch and quilt in solidarity with the quilts4london group!

Sew happy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


 I saw this on either Facebook or Pinterest, quite frankly sometimes all of my computer fun blends together.  Going on the computer is one of my hobbies and I love Facebook, Yelp, Goodreads and my blog. Infrequently I look at Pinterest or Twitter plus a dabble or two in Instagram.  I can really get into it!

But my main hobby is sewing and while I agree that my sewing is my therapy, I disagree that it is cheaper than a psychiatrist. No way!  I have machines, threads, needles, patterns, books, furniture and then the fabric.

Sew much fabric!
 Speaking of fabric (and really when am I not?) my friend Gina and I went to Thimbles quilting store in Lockport and bought the fabric for the sashing and cornerstones for our heart quilts.

I have all of my blocks, 6 made by me and 6 made by Gina.  They are all red and white, all shades of red and white into cream.  So we got the black with some dots for the sashing and the geometric red and white for the cornerstones.  We hope to find a red and black for the back.  First we have to make the tops!
I finished the second table runner.  I was going to give it as a gift but I wasn't satisfied with the tension on the back so I gave it to Emily.  I kept the first one for the same reason and it looks great on the island.  You can see both of them.

I have to get that tension issue solved once and for all.  Apparently there is a device that can "read" the bottom tension of whatever thread you have in there and tell you what adjustments to make.  Natch, I will be buying one!

Tomorrow I will be downtown again so no blog.  I am working on the heart blocks for the second quilt, I have 8 of them finished.  Maybe they will all be done when I write again.  I will let you know on either Thursday or Friday.  I have to enjoy my summer as well as my sewing!

Sew happy!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer quilts and musings

 I start off summer by putting a flag quilt up on Memorial day weekend, sometimes it stays up until the 4th of July.  Different quilts for the door in the summer and different activities.

Something I want to make sure I do in the summer is go to the concerts on the Green here in Frankfort.  Sometimes we go to Ravinia as well.  I just think summer is a great time to listen to music out of doors.  Tonight's band here in Frankfort was named 1969!
 They sang songs from my high school days, or what they called Classic Rock.  My husband, who is stuck in the same music time warp as me, also loved it.  We got to sit and eat our dinner and watch people dance and enjoy it all for free out of doors.

I have a watermelon quilt I put up next and it reminds me of another favorite summer activity - going to the Farmers' Market.  I hope you get to enjoy one by you!  The fruits and vegetables change as the summer moves on.  We've already enjoyed strawberries, asparagus and raspberries.  There are blueberries now, green beans and corn.  Plus our Farmers' Market has cheese, knife sharpening, pies; there are just all kinds of fun things.  I miss the produce when fall closes it down.
Here is a tiny picture of my summer quilt.  Not quite sure why it is so small and I could do take a picture of it, it's on my door right now.  But summer is also for indulgences!

One of my favorite summer indulgences is eating al fresco.  I try to eat on the patio of every restaurant in Frankfort plus some more!  Friday my daughter and I ate at the marvelous patio I have ever seen and the food was fabulous also.  If you live near Chicago, try to eat there.  Here's a link to it.  Picolo Sogno  It's a tough reservation to get on the weekend for dinner in the summer so go earlier!  You will love it.

I also adore swimming out of doors in the summer.  I swim indoors most of the year but for a couple of months I feel the sun on my back as I swim.  It's glorious.  I hope you have a pool or a beach you can enjoy or maybe a hammock or a field.

I also have been lucky enough to travel this summer, one of my favorite all time things to do when the weather is nice.  I think having been a teacher has made me focus on summer travel.  There are many other ways to enjoy the summer that don't involve being indoors.  I know, it is hot out there and yes, you probably will sweat.  You can always take a second shower!  Just get out there and enjoy the summer!

I hope you get to enjoy music outside, go to a Farmer's market and enjoy a summer indulgence.  (Ice cream is a yummy one!)  Enjoy the summer months and the quilts as well.

Sew happy!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey, the quilting version

 I am trying to read the latest Mommy porn book, Fifty Shades of Grey.  Trying because really, just don't think I will make it through.  I read one sentence I liked, where she pulls her Mom's quilt up around her.  I was surprised having a quilt in her life would not have led her to better choices.  (Or even better writing!)
 I thought, how would a quilter react to this guy.  Would she be impressed with his money and go along with these contracts?  Um, NO!  

She would say, hey bud, you can have your fifty shades in a grey quilt.
 We can even add a little black to that quilt.

Heck you can even have a little yellow.   But this isn't romance and I am not converting my quilting room into the red room of pain!
 If you want some control, hey, I am willing to make your quilt more modern.

But no matter what your story is I am not eating, exercising and behaving how you want me to!

I am a quilter and we have better sense than that!
Now if you behave and stop acting like a bossy butt, you might even get a masculine quilt.  But keep acting like a jerk and no self respecting quilter will have anything to do with your billionaire self. 

The End of the Quilter and Fifty Shades of Grey

Sew Happy! (and in color!)

50 shades of Yuck  I am not alone in my feelings about this book and not finishing it.  Read Carol Marin's reaction here. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fabric shopping on vacation

 What is a vacation without buying some fabric?  Why not even a vacation at all!

I used the Find a Quilt shop app on my husband's iPad to locate a great shop in Sioux Fall, North Dakota called Heirloom Creations.  I could have spent all day wandering around but when your husband is waiting in the car, you have to chose much more quickly.  I selected the grey and yellow for Emily's baby and the other one, well, just because I liked it!

I used the same app to find The Quilt Block in West Des Moines, Iowa.  Another great shop!  In all my travels I have only encountered one stinker of a quilt store and luckily it wasn't on this trip.

I loved the blue checks just because.   The other two are Kaffe Fassett who is one of my favorites.  The yellow is to mix in with my huge collection for the baby quilts. 

This past weekend I traveled to Washington D. C. for a birthday party of a dear friend who is a quilter.  So this time, it was reverse vacation shopping.  I got things here at my shop and brought them with me.  Fun!

I have been having such a great summer and one of these days, it will rain and I can stay in and sew!  In the meantime, I am having fun while the sun shines.

Sew happy!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Kalona Quilt and Textile Museum

 I was pretty excited to visit this cool little museum which you can check out at its own website if you want.

Museum link

I didn't take many pictures of the quilts because I was so bedazzled by the spool cabinets.

Sigh of pleasure.
 Last year I saw pictures of spool cabinets in a Quilt magazine and I thought, wow, I want one of those.

Then I found out the prices!  Yazow, upwards of a thousands dollars.

That is a lot of money for what is just a fun piece.

Then, I got to see them in person.

Oh boy, they are gorgeous!

And this is the largest collection in the world.  I didn't photograph all of them, I was drooling too much

 And to think that they used to give these away for FREE.  Yes, you read that right, for FREE!

The idea was that if you displayed the thread in a cool cabinet, women would buy more thread.

I know I would have.

All of these have been restored and even have thread in them.

And the thread is color coded.  Sigh of love.

 There were also English quilts which were okay and Amish quilts which were superb.

I should have taken more pictures of the Amish quilts but I did get this bed.

I love the sweet Amish dolls without faces as the Amish don't like to make images or get their pictures taken.  I saw four darling Amish children by the side of the road while we were looking at the Barn quilts but I didn't snap their pictures.

It seems like such a violation.  I know some people do it and if they are working, the Amish are okay, sortof, with it.
I leave you with one final fabulous picture.

I used to say that if I were really rich, I would have the really expensive season tickets and close parking to the Illini games.  Not any more.  I have a new fantasy purchase I will make when I hit it big.

I will buy a spool cabinet. 

Admit it, you want one also!

At least I have the pictures...any my dreams!

Sew happy!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kalona, IA

 My husband and I were on our last day of our trip and were searching for a certain barn quilt.  Ha, says my hubby, I think I saw it. 

I will just go around the block.

I glanced out the window and saw some quilt designs.

STOP!  I yelled.
 What is this fabulous building?

Why are there are these amazing quilt design ON the building?

Where are we?  What is this?

My husband is a bit frustrated as he was on a quest to find all the barn quilts and I had interrupted his single minded pursuit.
 As we approached the building, I noticed a quilt.

In the sidewalk.

Made with bricks!

You can even see my shadow as I take the picture.

I don't care what this is, I lust after this sidewalk quilt.

Why don' I have one?
 And this door?

Why aren't all doors like this?

Or more specifically why isn't my door like this?

I was wiggling with excitement to get into this building!
 But first I had to enjoy the two images of Amish quilts that flanked either side of the porch.

I had stumbled upon a Quilt museum!

It also houses the world's largest collection of Spool Cabinets.  I know!  I could hardly stand it either!

Tomorrow I will show you some of the pictures I took inside.

It is the reason I didn't hit all of the barn quilts.  Well, MORE of the barn quilts. 
This museum was part of the Historic Kalona Village in, yep, Kalona, Iowa.

Kalona is a mere 18 miles from Iowa City and it is fabulous.

Can't you just tell from the street banners? 

Town of Kalona web site

There are about 1600 Amish citizens of this area as well.  It is just an amazing spot. 

More pictures tomorrow!

Sew happy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

More Barn Quilts from Washington County, IA

Oh you thought I was done yesterday?
Oh no, I have more cool photos.  

Hey, I took these in 100+ temps, I am using ALL my best ones.
 This album block seemed the most weather-worn but I still love it.

I imagine it will be tough to repaint these!
 This block was a little smaller but at least it is easy to identify what the block is!
 I do like the older barns better, I will admit it.
 This is a cool barn and block but I couldn't get a shot without the power cords.

I take the pictures from public roads, I want to respect the privacy of the families that live there.
 Double Aster is double cool!

I love the red accents.
 How I love the colors in this fabulous block and then red of the barn itself.
 I am pretty sure this is Merry Kite.

I had the print out and I took the pictures in order but somehow, they got a bit mixed up when I uploaded them to my computer.
 What a great barn!

But sometimes not only was it hot, but, well I could smell if they had just fertilized.  Manure smells like...well...you know!
Goose tracks!

Better than goose poop which is all we seem to get from the geese around here!

That's all the pictures I liked.  I have about 100 + more barns I could photograph.  I wish it wasn't three hours from my house.  If  you have a child attending Iowa, you are in luck, you could go every time you are in Iowa City!

Sew happy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Quilt Barns - Washington County, IA

We are back from our vacation out west!  We had a good time except for those days in the lodge at Sylvan Lake.  I knew I was not a camper girl, but I am not a Lodge girl either.  So now I know!

I visited a few quilt stores which I will discuss in this blog but first I want to start with the last part of the trip, driving East on 80 across Iowa.  When you are near Iowa City you are also near Washington County which list 115 barn quilts on its web site.  Washington County Barn Quilts  I got to visit about a dozen of them so I have to make about ten more trips here! 

 Here are some of my favorites!

 It was super hot in Iowa but it is easy to find the Quilt barns with a GPS and then you just pop out of the car and take the picture.
 This is a cool Dutchman's puzzle.

I try to get a close up with my camera but with only a 210 lens, I do what I can there and then edit them on my computer.
 I love this one, I am a sucker for blue plus I love the old barns.  

This Barn Quilt project began in 2007 and it involved a ton of work.

I didn't find any updates since 2010 so I hope the fervor hasn't gone out of the community. 
 I love the close up of this one which is Mosaic $

I even like the weather worn look of it.
 I ordered a book on Barn Quilts.  Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement

It didn't have a lot on these quilts so I found most of my information on line.

My husband and I also photographed barn quilts in Kankakee and Door County.
 I love Basket Quilt blocks.

This one is Barbershop Baskets and I adore it. 
 Next time you are driving on 80, you could pop off and go take a look at the Barn Quilts yourself but make sure you print off addresses from the web site ahead of time. 
 I used to make all kinds of Log Cabin blocks, even made vests with them.  

It's a terrific block! 

I am home for four days now so I will write some more blogs!

Sew happy!