Friday, October 17, 2014

A Great Day for a Quilt Show


Going to a quilt show on an overcast, gloomy October day really does the trick if you need some perking up. The Prairie Star Quilt Guild of Wheaton, IL is having their show today (Fri) and tomorrow (Sat) at the DuPage County Fairgrounds.  It's too late to attend today but if you live in the Chicago area do yourself a favor and stop by tomorrow.  Not only are the quilts fantastic but there are wonderful VENDORS too. I brought extra cash along with my credit card in case I stayed awhile and needed to eat something but as it turned out I was frivolous and spent all my lunch money pretty early on (!) so I walked out of there hungry and penniless . . . . Yes,  I am a quilter and fabric always comes first. But no, I will not put a hot dog on my credit card . . . . It doesn't kill me to skip a meal now and then anyway, LOL.

There were so many beautiful quilts on display. I am always amazed at the level of creativity and skill when I attend shows like this. So many different styles of quilts and all done beautifully.

This quilt shows up at almost every show I attend and I'm always happy to see it - baskets from When the Cold Wind Blows by Barb Adams and Alma Allen (Trick or Treat quilt made by Marion Schlindwein)






Be Square by Jan Sharpless


Saltbox Sampler made by Carol Andermann


Mary Zenger combined wool and cotton beautifully in her Holiday Inn quilt and won first place!


Stars and Stripes (a Minnick & Simpson pattern) made by Elvira Illig
(Took this one for Sue B.)


Amish with a Twist made by Ann Kowalyszyn

One of my favorite vendor booths was Woolkeeper  - featuring lovely designs for wool applique by Kathy Wall.




I went to the show looking for some pretty wool to use in a few projects for wool applique and regular applique I'm in the process of designing. What a nice surprise to meet Kathy and discover that she's a fan and has made a few of my patterns in wool (Orange Peel above and and Civil War Baskets, below). Who knew they'd look great in wool too?? Thanks, Kathy!

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It's exciting to see all the things quilters are doing with wool now and to see all the wonderful colors available. A Different Box of Crayons also had a great booth and I bought some incredibly beautiful hand-dyed wool from them too.



Yes, I sure am going to be having some fun with wool pretty soon . . . .

There was one antique quilt booth I had to stay away from - there were way too many toy irons and sewing machines I was drooling over.




I couldn't post all of the pictures I took of quilts so I'll add them to another post in a few days. Have a great weekend. You know what I'm going to be playing around with tomorrow . . . . (no, not a toy iron, sigh. I already have a green one just like it.)




Thursday, October 9, 2014

Whatcha Making?


Don't you love surprises? Yesterday's mail brought a nice surprise - eighty 6" x  6" fabric squares from a recent Small Quilt Group Charm Swap. I knew they were coming but had no idea what they would look like. 


Wow. What a nice variety. When you sign up for the swap, you buy a little over a yard of one fabric, cut it into 40 squares and send them to the swap hostess. She sorts them out and sends you 40 different print squares that others have sent to her. How much fun is that?


True, you have to pay for shipping and yardage, and so maybe it's not exactly cost effective, but it's fun to get so many different pieces of fabric to use in my small, scrappy quilts. And lots of prints I have never even seen before. I'm able to get a lot of mileage out of the six-inch size. Some quilters consider these scraps, and they toss them away. They're like jewels to me. I signed up twice for 2 sets of charms so I received 80 squares. I don't have 80 friends who quilt (or friends period, aside from all of you!) to swap fabric with so it works really well for me.


This month in my Yahoo Small Quilt Group we are working on making square in a square blocks for our small quilts of the month.



I spent some time this morning playing around with the squares and finding good combinations of prints for making my blocks. 


Now I have some smaller scraps left over to add to the pile . . . . 


By the way, is is Fabriholic or Fabricoholic??   Click here to join my group. We'll be doing another fabric swap next year.




Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How's Your Day Going?


Honestly, some days I feel like I live on a farm. Every morning after I get up I go out into the back yard with the dog and my bucket of oiled sunflower seeds and fill the bird feeders, sprinkle something on the ground for the squirrels (so they stay away from the feeders), refresh the bird bath, then throw the ball around for the dog and make sure she does her business.


Today, after I finished my "farm" chores and my husband left for work, I started the coffee, fed the dog and began to plan my day. Hey, a day with no commitments for a change!  I actually thought that maybe, just maybe, I could get something done. I was even willing to turn off the computer for awhile. The dog begged to go out again. I ran back inside to pour myself a cup of coffee and get my sweater. I swear, TWO minutes later, I poked my head out the window and saw that she was lying on her back, rolling in something on the grass.

When she came to the door ("Hi, Mom!")  I caught a whiff and Oh My Goodness. As soon as I let her in I regretted it. Whoa! I caught her before she ran past me, gathered her up and then tried to wipe her down with a soapy cloth but it didn't help. She smelled like a barnyard and now so did my whole house. All soaped up, she slipped away from me and ran to the sofa to dry herself off, with me screaming behind her. PUH-LEEZE! This is not happening. Not today. I just cleaned.


Let's see, what smells good today?

Spoiled city girl that I am, not wishing to get my hands even more dirty, I wrapped her up in an old towel, popped her in the car and drove to the groomer.  Please, please fit us in.

Goose Poop - I should have guessed. What dog doesn't love that scent? It could have been worse (skunk). "Oh, my, she IS a stinky girl today. Our regular bath won't get rid of the smell - do you want us to deodorize her too? There's an extra charge for that . . . ."  Of course there is.



I have to admit I was a little surprised. She's usually much more of a lady. I always thought she'd go for something slightly more floral than Goose Poop. 


Don't let the smile fool you.

I HATE getting sidetracked by silly stuff like this. I've got a couple of hours until I have to pick up the sweet-smelling little girl and I still have to figure out how to get the goose poop off the sofa cushion and my jeans. Wonder if I can salvage my day after that? If I can, I thought maybe I'd clean my desk. Or, since writing is so therapeutic for me, maybe I'll just write a cute little story about it to ease my frustration. Better than opening that box of cookies in the pantry.



So, how's your day going??



Friday, October 3, 2014

Vermont and Maine

How do you like my new Blog header?  I thought it was time for a change.

While I said that seeing the Jane Stickle quilt was the highlight of my recent trip to New England, the rest of that area we traveled through was nothing to sneeze at and was just lovely this time of year. I debated posting so many photos and was only going to show them to family but then decided What the Heck -  How could I not share some of those pictures too? 
               

Bennington, VT




             
Although for the most part we were a little early for the true fall colors, some parts of Vermont were just gorgeous. You'd be driving along, everything was green and then BOOM! you'd go around a curve and the colors just exploded. I was trying to read but the scenery kept grabbing my attention until I said okay, okay, I get it and finally just put the book down. What I love about road trips.


Aside from The Quilt, there were some other wonderful exhibits at the Bennington Museum in Vermont, including a nice display of Grandma Moses paintings, which was my second favorite thing about the trip. 

                               

                               

The Checkered House


I've been a huge fan of Grandma Moses since the late 1970s  when I visited New England for the first time. While I was there I bought some lovely prints to hang in my very first apartment in Chicago after college. They still hang in our home today although I've changed the frames a few times. "Primitive" was not really popular among my circle of friends at that time and having a love for paintings created by a 90-year-old woman seemed odd to them and I got teased a bit but I didn't care - I loved the primitive style and those prints fit in well with my decorating scheme - simple, affordable, resale shop antiques and wall quilts (I was not a quilter yet). Something that has stuck with me, I'm afraid. 

                                 

Hoosick Falls  in Winter, my first and probably favorite GM print. I still love it after all these years.

The museum also had a very pretty miniature glass display -



How cute are those tiny glass irons?

We traveled to Maine from there. We'd been to Acadia National Park years ago but never really saw the southern coast or the city of Portland, which turned out to be fantastic. I'm hoping not to bore you too much with all the photos but there was so much BLUE everywhere we went I couldn't stop myself from snapping photo after photo of that beautiful ocean. I know some of you will appreciate the pictures and decide to take a trip there yourselves someday. 


Beautiful little seaside towns and picturesque fishing villages





Camden, Maine

One of my favorite poets is Edna St. Vincent Millay and as we drove through Camden I remembered that she wrote one of her first and most famous poems while living in Maine when she was nineteen. It was fun to actually stand in the spot she wrote about in 1912. 

"ALL I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked the other way,
And saw three islands in a bay.
So with my eyes I traced the line 
Of the horizon, thin and fine,
Straight around till I was come
Back to where I’d started from;
And all I saw from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood."
  
                                          - from "Renascence"

Millay went on to receive the Pulitzer Prize in 1923, the third woman to win the award for poetry. She wrote some of the best sonnets you'll ever read.  





Did I tell you everything was BLUE??










The long drive back toward Sweet Home Chicago, where there is no ocean  : (



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