Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Minnesota State Fair time!

It's that time of year again.  Parents are getting ready for the kids to go back to school, and the kids...well, a lot of us in fact, are heading for the State Fair.  It may be the case in your state as well.  The Minnesota State Fair has been a lifelong tradition in our family.  The sights, sounds, smells - both food and barns - make for an experience like no other.

Here are a couple quilty highlights from our visit this year.

Linus carries a blue ribbon for his quilt near the outdoor bandstand.

It was a nice surprise to see this Carver County display on Barn Quilts.  It was in the Agriculture/Horticulture Building.  Apparently Barn Quilts have found their way to the midwest.  I wonder if I should start thinking of paintinging a 'barn quilt' to hang on the garage at the lake cabin.  That might start a local trend there!  How about Crossed Canoes, Log Cabin or Lady of the Lake?

The Creative Activities Building had so many wonderful quilts on display.  Each looking so perfectly pieced and quilted.  The applique' was stunning.  And there were even more in the Ramberg Senior's Building, where my sister claims the 'real people' quilts were.  Quilts one would actually put on a bed and use.  Have you ever made a quilt and entered it in a fair?  I don't think I ever will.   It's just fine with me that my quilts won't win any awards.  They're fun to make, and use or give away, and no stress if something is a little wonky or not quite right.  On the other hand, I'm so glad there are such wonderful quilters out there who enjoy entering quilts so they can be shared by all.   Blue Ribbons to all of you!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Denim projects

The sewing machine is finally out again and the house is slowly getting back to normal (ie: somewhat cluttered) after my cousins visit.  Today I repaired the cover for the pontoon boat awning which needed some major work.  It was a 'real project' as my hubby would say.  Two trips to the fabric store!  Well, at least that's what he calls one of his projects when it takes two trips to the hardware store.

After that I had time to play a little.  Lynn at Nebraska Views posted a wonderful idea for recycling old denim jeans into some cute potholders.  While we had guests I had stashed my three (yes, three) boxes of old denim jeans in the garage workshop.  Out they came again today and I tried out her potholder design. Works great!  I think I'll be making up a bunch more of those and giving them as small Christmas gifts.

That reminded me of why I looked up her blog in the first place.  I had been looking for ideas on how to use up those denim jeans a few months ago, and found her tutorial for Christmas Stockings.  So, I tried one out. 

Mine isn't as decorative as hers, but I just wanted to see if the size pattern I used would be the right size.  It's a little small, but it turned out well.  I think I'll try another one tomorrow.

It's such a cute idea! I'm so glad she shared it.  There are several posts on her site showing how to make these stockings.  Just search for 'denim Christmas stocking' in her web site search box and they'll all pop up.

Linking up for a whoop whoop!  Getting back to sewing after four weeks is something to celebrate.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Album Quilt: Gertie Simmons

It has been a long time since the last blog post.  It has been a busy summer with quite a few out-of-town guests staying with us, and my sewing machine has been put away for some time.

Still, I've had quilting on my mind.  In every free moment I've been researching the names on the Album Quilt at the Bloomington Historical Society.  Imagine my surprise to find the name of this young woman.

Gertie Simmons block - Indian's Womens Miss. Society  Presbyterian Church
1893 Yankton Agency S.D.
Album Quilt - Bloomington Historical Society
  This young woman went on to become a well-known Native American Author, Founder of the National Council of American Indians, and advocate of Indian rights.  She was a talented musician as well, and even collaborated to write an Opera in 1913.  Here I was looking at the names in the local Greenwood, SD Presbyterian Cemetery - and to find out she's buried in Arlington National Cemetery!
Here's where you can read about Gertrude Simmons (Zitkala-Sa) .  Her mother Ellen Simmons also has her name on one of the blocks in this quilt.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Silver Anniversary Quilt: London

London Square

The next series of blocks for the Anniversary Quilt represent places we have traveled and visited.  In honor of the 2012 Olympic games in London, lets start with our visits there.  What great memories the photos from the Olypmic sites bring back!

The first block is London Square.  Quilters Cache has a great pattern here.  Only two colors!  I liked the dark blues which reminded me of crossing the ocean and of time spent along the English Channel.

London Crossroads

A second London Block is London Roads, sometimes called London Crossroads.  Here is the link for that block on Quilters Cache.  I have seen it done in several versions.  Some use multiple colors and highlight the arrows in the pattern.  Others use just two colors.  Some change the color of the corner pieces and instead of arrows, your eye sees the buildings.  I chose greys for the English fog and yellow to highlight the buildings.  I needed a darker looking block to contrast with others nearby which had a white background.  There are so many possibilities for this block! 

Make one to celebrate the Olympic Games.  Go for the Gold!