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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mini Retreat

Isn't this beautiful?  Some quilters I know colloborated on this project - but (horrors!)  it became a UFO.  The current holder is considering how to pick up where others left off with both machine quilting and hand stitching.  No matter what she decides, I know it will be beautiful!
Jane doesn't like piecing.  In fact, she hates it!  Her quilts are made with applique - and she's a pro!  This is the beginning of a quilt for a family with members and memories in Minnesota, Wisconsin, California and Louisiana.  Unfortunatley I couldn't stay for Day 2 of this retreat - so I didn't see how it turned out.  Jane said she had many more pictures to add.  If she posts a later picture, I'll let you know!

There were other quilters that retreated to their hotels before I went left on Saturday night.  I wasn't able to take pictures of their work.  Amy, Diane, Karen and Laura - I apologize!  I hope to get pics of your beautiful work when we get together in June!

Lois is working on this quilt for a client - made from clothing from a loved one.  I hope to see this when compete.  She has a border that she's still working on.  We were intrigued to see how many different fabrics she included such as wool suits, polyesters and even a swimming suit.  I like how she did crazy blocks, using fabrics in one color family per block.  I could have studied this quilt all night!

As it turns out, Lois lives close by and she's something of a celebrity. In 2003 she made a Ground Zero Quilt.  You can see it here:

It was made in a Lone Star pattern, to give the feeling of an explosion.  Each diamond is a photo of someone who perished on 9-11.  The Ground Zero Quilt will continue to be on display around the country for a long time to come!  If you go to the link and read about the quilt, she put a great deal of thought into its design.  Very powerful!

Had a great time with friends old and new, and learned a few quilting tips too. 

Now that's what I call a great day! :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Grandma Clara Meets Finley the Puppy

Grandma Clara meeting my niece's new puppy - Finley.  When he nipped her thumb she said "Oh - He has better teeth than me!"  Still making jokes at 102.  Amazing!!!
Here Finley let's Aunt Bea know he likes her too!

It was a nice Easter with family.  Including the newest four-legged member!  :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Barn Quilt Top 100 - Please Vote!

Woo Hoo!  I have THREE designs in AccuQuilt's Barn Quilt Top 100!
My heart be still!
Here's where you go to vote.  My entries are 30, 62 and 68. 
And I'm not alone - Doreen from Sew Cal Gal designed 13.
Vote for your favorite five!  :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Heritage Designs Quilt Shop, Amana, IA

Got to visit Heritage Designs Quilts at the Amana Colonies a few weeks ago.  Don't let its rather plain outer appearnace fool you - there is much to see inside!

Here's what you see when you walk in the door. 
See those quilt backs hanging overhead?
Here's how they look from the other side.
This shop has a lot of batiks and Japanese prints.  They also have a knack for using traditional patterns in non-traditional ways, such as these hexies appliqued to a very modern looking quilt.  Ingenious!
I also like these off center quilts.  Not only do I tend to think "inside" the box, I think dead center in the MIDDLE of the box.  These quilts throw that practice right out the window - with striking results.
Likewise for the colorful star quilt and the moose - good visual impact!
More quilts and fabric.  Wouldn't mind that center quilt in my living room for spring!
Though I tend to focus on quilts, cuz that's my "thang,"
Heritage Designs sells a lot of needle work supplies as well. 

Check out their website, they sell patterns, quilts and even complete quilts.  :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bottle Quilt Finish!

This puppy is quilted, bound, labeled and shipped.
Funny how a looming deadline can take some of the fun out of quilting. 
Next order of business - some much needed relaxation!  :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

Pine Needles Sewing Center

Visited Pine Needles Sewing Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Their motto is "Sew Inspired," and as you peruse the following photos, you'll see that they do it (inspiration) well.  Not only are the quilts and merchandise impressive, but they hold over 100 classes a month!  Some cost money, others are free.  Nice, huh?

They sell a lot of sell kits, so if you see something you like, check the website. 
Now, feast your eyes:

So many quilts!  So much fabric!  It was a little overwhelming.
A Chicken in Every Pot
American Pie
Basket Sampler and Almost a Flower Garden
Buggy Wheels
(Looks like they'd make for a bumpy ride.)
 Dreamcatcher's Rainbow
 Food fabric!  Always near and dear to a dietitian/quilter's heart.
Fruit Salad and Domino.  Notice the gorgeous fabrics on right.
Interweave is on the right.
Love these bright kid colors!
It was time to leave when I snapped this picture, so I didn't catch the name. 
Its so big!  Impressive, no?
Let's Build a Snowman
Block & White on right.
Lucky Stars - I love how they integrated a traditional quilt pattern with the bold colors.
Milky Way - Considered buying this kit, but the colors didn't work for me.
Still more food fabric.  Good thing we had limited time. 
I might have bought it all.
This one is on the website, where you can see the entire quilt. 
LUV the purple fabric.
Simplicity.  This is one of the first things you see when you walk in the door.  Also saw the Bernina stitch regulator in use.  Wish I'd known about that before I bought my machine.  I might have made a different decision.  If you've never seen one, the machine senses how fast you are moving the fabric and adjusts the needle speed so that you can speed up and slow down as needed without getting irregular stitches. 

FYI - They DO take trade-ins....
Summer Gifts
Table runner - very bright!
The Way We Were
Thousand Pyramids - this one makes me sad the Food Pyramid was replaced with MyPlate.  I could have made a smaller version of this quilt with food fabric scraps.
They even had Peeps fabric (not pictured). 
They really have something to inspire just about anyone.  Whether you like Civil War reproductions, 1930s reproductions, batiks, kids' quilts, modern or traditional - Pine Needles has something for everyone. 
If you're in the Cedar Rapids area, be sure to stop.  You won't be dissappointed!  :)

Barn Quilt Contest

  • Got a great idea for a quilt block? 
  • Want to see it on a 17 x 17' sign on the AccuQuilt headquarters? 
  • Want it to be viewed by thousands of passersby every day?

Then check out this contest!!!  Deadline is April 9.

I've entered about 25 times and have more ideas to develop!  :)

Iowa Report

My sisters and I learned to sew from our grandmother when we were fairly young.  I'm so excited to see this tradition continue.  My niece, Sonya, 14 designed this quilt.  She and her mom and a neighbor made it together. 
The neighbor did the embroidery.  Sonya stitched the piano key lattice and made some of the pillows.  My sister coordinated the project, helped put the quilt together and made the more difficult pillows.  Great teamwork!
Sonya did her own decorating.  She watches a lot of decorating shows on TV. 
Maybe I'll hire her to give my house a face lift!!
My sister made this quilt for Mom and Dad's room.  Kitty likes it too!
They had to put in a new floor in the bedroom and included this star. 
Wouldn't this make a great quilt pattern???  :)

Betty Crocker's 1950 Cookbook

Look what I found!  THIS is the cookbook I learned to cook with.  My mom went to work when I was 12.  I had to come straight home from school to watch my younger sister and make dinner.  Bored silly, I dug out this cookbook, read up on how to make different things, and over time taught myself to cook.

Subsequent editions involved less scratch cooking and more convenience items.  I never liked that, and secretly coveted my mother's dog-earred, falling apart cookbook.  And there it was at the book store, fresh and new - just waiting for me to take it home!
My son and I had a good chuckle at "The Kitchen of Tomorrow."  He pointed out that it was rather sexist.  All the testers in the Betty Crocker test kitchen were female.  Maybe men didn't eat in the 1950s?  LOL
I'd forgotten the comical graphics!  Too bad the cookbook didn't come with that magic wand.  I'd like to get my hands on one of those!
I love the musical score, sprinkled generously with hearts, wafting through this kitchen.  Here we see only women and children engaged in "Cooky Shines."  No, wait - I take it back.  I see one male face, apparently poking his head through the door in the upper left corner of the picture.
I absolutely LOVE this picture.  Having known relatives that came from the old country to America, this picture warms my heart.  I like to imagine what their daily lives - and those of their parents and grandparents - may have been like.

Much of the food science (such as how to make a good cake)in this book is unchanged to this day.  That's what makes this book such a great resource!  And of course, it will allow me to reproduce some of the meals I grew up on.  Such a nice surprise!  I'll have to modify the recipes to be gluten free, of course.  I wonder how many GF cookbooks existed in 1950???
On Easter I'm gonna sneak a look at my mom's book.  She got it as a wedding gift some 58 years ago!  She just might be due for a new one.  Would make a great Mother's Day surprise.  :)