Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Let the Holidays Begin!

New apron!
It's hard to believe that we're celebrating Thanksgiving here and the Holiday season has begun!  I can't wait to pull out the Christmas quilts again and decorate the house, can you?  Maybe you're already ahead of me, but I just can't pull Christmas out until after Thanksgiving.  One holiday at a time, please!  

The sewing machine has been humming away embroidering dish towels for my daughter, and she took 25 back with her today.  Amid all the towels for her museum fundraiser, I took the time to embroider an apron to wear in the kitchen on Thanksgiving.  So cute!  (The embroidery download is from Embroidery Library.)  
It will be pretty busy around here for the rest of the year.  I'm helping with costumes for a Christmas program up at church, as well as playing guitar and singing - so lots of evening rehearsals coming up over the next two weeks.  I'm also on the committee to put on the Women's Advent tea at church, and there are several museum events in December too.  How's a woman to get any quilting done?!  I'll just have to look forward to January, which is always a very productive month for me as far as quilting goes.  Quilting is the best thing to do during a Minnesota winter!  

So, let the Holidays begin: quilt on!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

An afternoon at the Expo

It was a cloudy and blustery November day in Minnesota today, but it was also the first day of the Sewing & Quilt Expo.  So, there was a ray of quilty sunshine!  This year the event is being held right here in Bloomington, so I popped over for a couple of hours this afternoon to check out the vendors and see what was new.

They usually have several quilt displays which are such fun to see.  There were some wonderful art quilts in one area.  In another spot was a series of very artistic small quilts and fabric art pieces called "Breast Pockets" to honor women (and men) who have had mastectomies and have decided against reconstructive surgery.  I should have snapped a photo of some, but you can learn a little about it here.  

My favorite was group of wall-hanging size quilts had Autumn themes.  All were so very creative and a delight to see!  I snapped photos of a couple that inspired me, and actually seemed within my skill set.  Maybe they will inspire you too!
The First Leaf to Turn by Zeeta Magnuson.
I love these brilliant sumac leaves!
Branching Out by Carol Carter.
It's hard to see, but the background is scrappy neutral diamonds.
Lots of layering in the leaves, and some even 3-D.
Wish I could give credit for this one, but as you can see,
I cut off the title and didn't realize it.  But I love the quilt!
The quilter is from Wisconsin, and the title might be Fall Abundance.
The Expo runs through Saturday.  Here's a link for more information if you live in the area.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

It's pumpkin time!

Finally, a little bit of piecing was done last weekend!  Seems like it's been Forever since I did any sewing. I'm really trying to get Dad's stamp collection sorted out before I get into fall quilting and it's completely taken over the dining room.

That being said, we were at the lake last weekend pulling in the pontoon, lift and dock, and buttoning up the place for the winter.  DH went to bed early after all that work, and I had the chance to spend an hour at the sewing machine upstairs and made these little cuties:

They will be in the October row in a months-of-the-year row-by-row quilt that I occasionally pull out and work on.  I've run out of the black fabric I was using for background.  Do you think I could have planned ahead and make sure I had enough???  Been to four fabric stores, with no luck finding a match.  But I'm not too worried.  I'm making it up as I go. Looks like they could use a few applique pumpkin leaves.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

French Cottage Find

There hasn't been much going on in the sewing room for the past month, and I'm in serious withdrawal!  I've had just too many other things going on.  But that doesn't stop me from snapping up a quilting bargain when I see one and I just couldn't wait to share it with you.

On the way to the grocery store yesterday I stopped in at the thrift store next door.  There on the shelf for only $14 was a complete quilt kit for "French Cottage," a block-of-the-month from Jo-Ann.  All twelve blocks and the setting kit, all together and unopened!  At full price it probably ran about $195.  Whoop!!!
French Cottage block-of-the-month

Never having used purchased pre-packaged kits like this, I was surprised to find that all the pieces are already cut!   I thought there would be fat 1/8ths of the different fabrics and you cut your own pieces, so I picked it up thinking I'd just add the fabric to my stash.  I really don't need yet another quilt project - I have so many on the list to do this winter - but it should really fly together if I don't have to cut out the pieces.  Seems like it's half done already!

Have you ever made a block of the month like this from a kit?  Did your quilt look like the original, or did you make changes to make it your own?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Display boards

Pearl buttons, apron patterns and Workbasket magazines.
No quilting again this week, but I've been super busy putting together all I need for my demonstration booth at Heritage Days tomorrow.  Costume done (check!) Trunk packed with quilts (check!)  Two display boards finished (check!)

Still have the large quilting frame to bring up from the basement, and then pack up the van.  If you are in the Twin Cities come on over!  I would love to see you at Bloomington Heritage Days.  The historical society tents will be open from noon to 6pm.

Notions, advertising and 1940's sewing books.
Park and Ride from Kennedy High School on 98th and Nicollet, or from Normandale College on 98th and France.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Fabric in the mail!

It was so exciting to get a package of gorgeous fabrics in today's mail!  One of the blogs I follow is Field Trips in Fiber written by Vicki Welsh, . Vicki is a wonderfully creative quilter and artist who hand dyes fabrics.  She has been encouraging her readers to get busy finishing up UFO's so we can get to work on our Dream Quilt project.  I've been commenting just to keep myself on task with my UFO's, and much to my surprise, she had a drawing to win a yard of her hand dyed fabric - and I was the winner!

We sent a couple e-mails back and forth, and she generously sent these luscious light blue pieces. Thank you, Vicki! I'm planning to use them to make my dream project...a Storm at Sea quilt.  (Which I constantly keep calling Ocean Waves for some reason.)  Now I have all the fabrics, and the pattern, so this fall/winter it's 'game on' for Storm at Sea.  No excuses.

Vicki has a great Etsy shop where you can get some of these, and many more, wonderful fabrics for your own special project.  The weight and quality of the fabric is very good, and her colors are so clear.

In addition to her fabrics, and her quilting, Vicki is an amazing artist in a number of other mediums.  She is creating a mosaic wall she in her home, and makes lovely bowls with slumped glass.  She also makes beautiful quilted postcards for her family and friends and shares how to make them on her blog.  Someday I'm going to give that a try!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

More State Fair Quilts

Most of the quilts entered into the Minnesota State Fair can be found in the Creative Activities building.  And what an amazing display!  You will have to take my word that there are stunning applique and intricately pieced quilts all throughout the building.  I tend to photograph quilts that I actually have a fighting chance of making myself some day. So, let's take a look around and see what caught my eye....
Market Basket - traditional block
flannel Floating Friendship Star - traditional block
This just looked so cozy!
Some darling small quilts were also on display.
This grouping in the Ramberg Senior Center included
an award from a LQS: Rosebud's Cottage 

And though I don't think Dear Jane is a quilt that I will attempt, this lovely version was folded on a display shelf. I wish we could have seen the entire quilt to fully appreciate the artistry that goes into making it.
Dear Jane in batiks on black background
Surprisingly, there were not labels with the quilter's names on the quilt displays in this building so I can't give credit where due.  Congratulations to all the quilters whose work is displayed!  You have outdone yourselves again this year, and it was a delight to see your quilts.