Saturday, September 17, 2016

A record-breaking week


There are several quilts I have been waiting to post here on my blog.  Cardinal Points is the latest collaboration between Gail Stepanek and me.  We just found out that it is a winner at Quilt Festival in Houston but we will have to wait until the award's ceremony to find out exactly what it has won.


Gail is an amazing piecer; all those itty bitty diamonds are pieced!

This is quilted mostly with 100 wt. silk thread but I did break down and use a small amount of metallic thread.  I used Sparkle thread from YLI -  it is a subtle twist of metallic and 100 wt. silk.  There are two batts, Hobbs wool and Hobb's cotton/wool blend.

This turned out to be a record-breaking week for us; in addition to finding out we had won something in Houston, Cache of Carats won Best of Show at the AQS show in Chattanooga and Stars on Mars won Best of Show at it's final show - Quilt Expo in Madison, WI.  Wow!

I've had a long vacation from quilting, an enforced vacation, because my machine was off being worked on. While I was having some new goodies installed on my machine , Brad the Innova guy discovered that one of my bearings was shot.  He ended up taking the machine off with him for repair. Because of one thing and another, I ended up being without my machine for over a month.  The first few weeks were fun but I began chomping at the bit to get back to work.  It's now home and running better than ever. I love my new upgrades; the latest version of Lightning Stitch- my stitch regulator and  the new micro handles and light.


The board of Prairie Quilt Guild always makes a quilt for the outgoing president.  I quilted the quilt we made for President Judy Ermey - she loves sunflowers so this is appropriate!

It's a signature quilt signed by the board members and all the speakers from the past year.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Time on my hands

I've been enjoying having my quilting time to myself although I haven't had a longarm to work on for the last few weeks.  My machine is being worked on and I am looking forward to getting it back soon with some new goodies added to it.

My guild's last speaker was Lea McComas and she did a wonderful program and workshop.  For her workshop, we sent her a photo of a person or pet and she prepared a pattern to work from.  I'm a huge fan of Lea and after that class have an even greater respect for her quilts.  Although I am happy with my finished project, making it just about finished me!

Just look at this pattern - all those itsy bitsy little pieces to cut out! Aaaack!


But I persevered and am happy with my little quilt of my husband, Peter.

I went to an auction a week ago with a nice assortment of antiques including a collection of vintage toy sewing machines.  I hadn't planned on bidding on any of them  but they were going for a song so I bought this cute little red one for my studio.


At the auction I was struck by the fact that the audience was 99% my age and older.  No wonder prices seemed low; how many sets of china and pieces of nice old furniture does one person have room for?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The final two!

I just finished my final two customer quilts - now I am on my own and able to work on whatever I want! 

This was the next-to-last, an Eleanor Burns pattern pieced by long-time customer Marsha.  I used to call her the Thimbleberries Lady but she has branched out!

As always, her piecing is excellent which makes my job easy.

My very last customer quilt was a doozy!  Cecelia started this Latte quilt years ago and has been waiting a very long time for me to finish it for her - sorry Cecelia. 

 It was a doozy because it is BIG, has some very stiff fusible interfacing (which Cecelia apologized for) and lots of satin fabric.  The interfacing was only a problem because if I had to pick stitches out, the needle holes were impossible to get rid of.  So, I didn't make any mistakes!  Yeah, right.


So now I can get busy on the many projects of my own that I have put off, including cleaning up my house and studio.

Last week I went to a wonderful estate sale here in Sedgwick.  Many generations had lived in this house and they never threw anything away!  It was bursting at the seams with great old stuff. 

I found this wacky old pincushion

And went back on the last day of the sale when everything was 75% off and bought this beautiful 19th century wool shawl.  Gorgeous colors! 

I also bought an old quilt which I will post about once I have done some research on it.

Gail Stepanek and I are both excited to see the cover of the next Quilters Newsletter magazine - we're cover girls!!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

It takes a village to put on a quilt show

My quilt guild show, Common Threads Regional Quilt Show,  just ended yesterday and as one of the co-chairs of the show I am happy to have today to relax and put my feet up.  Our show is every other year, thank goodness, and requires lots of work by the show committee and by many guild members volunteering during the show.  The show was a success, with about 550 quilts hanging and our vendor booths sold out.

We have a big hall to fill.


My fellow show chair Cheryl  and I spend a lot of time running back and forth so were allocated scooters.  This is one of the best parts of being show chair as far as I'm concerned!


It was Cheryl's idea to include a lounge area in the center of the show.  Good idea!

She also made the 13 foot long QUILTS sign that hung above the lounge with the help of several guild members.  I quilted it but who can tell what I did when it is up so high! Here is Cheryl enjoying the lounge.

Here is a bird's eye view of the show.

And here are a few quilts from the show:
This is Judy Ermey's quilt made from a Judy Niemeyer pattern.

The combination of Judy's precise piecing and Siriporn Hollar's beautiful quilting were amazing.  I'm surprised this didn't have a ribbon hanging on it.

Shirley Binder made this from a collection of Kaffe Fassett fabrics from a pattern by Jenny Bowker.  Love the colors!

Donna Harrison loves working with wool applique.  Aaack!  Look at all those half square triangles!  This is a Primitive Gatherings pattern.

Donna's beautiful quilting.

This is my quilt Hot Wings, which I just managed to finish in time for the show.  I made the wonky butterfly blocks for our guild block challenge several years ago and was determined to get it done this year.

I like this quilt made by Lois Crane from curtains embroidered with mathematical equations that she made years ago in college.  My husband Peter would have wanted to keep this one.

We invited other area guilds to join our show and this quilt was made by Jo Oliver, a member of the Wichita Modern Quilt Guild.

Jo calls this Pod Quilt and it was inspired by Sara Kelly's Pod quilt.  Nice quilting.

There are vintage and antique quilts entered for display, like this quilt entered by Sara Farley, maker unknown. 
Beautiful quilting and stuffed work.
I'm a sucker for fat cats so I like Jenny Hutson's quilt which she quilted herself.

Janet Ghilino Bates designed and made this dinosaur baby quilt for her grandson.

I love polka dots and the way Rae Blain used them as background in this Piece of Cake pattern which she calls, Granny's Gone Dotty.

 Siriporn Hollar did a spectacular job on the quilting of this Bunny Hill quilt made by Jan Munroe.


Tammy's feathered star quilt is a winner.  Tammy is the queen of neutrals and they really work here.

I entered my little quilt called Nosegay and was happy to receive a blue ribbon and surprised to receive the NACQJ Award of Merit from our judge, Connie Silber.

Best of Show went to Donna Mease for her beautiful applique quilt made from a pattern by Edyta Sitar.  She also won Best Applique.
Time to take down 550 quilts and get them back to their owners. 
And time to give back my scooter and pass the responsibility of the show on to the next Chair and show committee.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Four cranky cats and some quilts

Donna does such a beautiful job on her appliqued quilts.  She is making heirloom applique quilts for her grandchildren and I did another one for her several years ago.  This is her most recent quilt, it's a pattern by Edita Sitar and it is certainly full of applique!  The SID  alone took many hours to finish.


It is quilted with Bottom Line thread and has wool batting .

Donna requested feathers, curved cross- hatching and lots of frills and fills.  She got it!


Wilma brought me her Mariner's Compass Sampler - a challenging pattern I would never be brave enough to attempt.  This quilt has So Fine thread and another wool batt. 


I asked her if I could use some colored thread in that wide tan border and a little silver metallic on the

It's been so long since I posted - since before the AQS show in Paducah.  I drove there with my crazy road trip friends, Michele and Lori.  They are great fun to travel with and have been going to Paducah for years, so have the trip down pat.  They know the best places to stop along the way, all the best restaurants and quilt shops.
I was looking forward to the trip and to seeing my quilting partner Gail Stepanek, who also planned to attend.

AQS used to call the winners of the big awards once the judging was finished on Sunday. Gail enters our quilts and did not get a call but did receive an email saying we had won something, so we attended the awards ceremony Tuesday night expecting to hear we had won  1st, 2nd, 3rd or Honorable Mention.  Our category was announced at the end and we were biting our nails by that time.  They announced third - not us, then second - not us.  Yay, we thought, we have won first!  Then they announced first - not us!  Holy Bazoly -  it turns out we won one of the big awards!  We won the APQS Best Longarm Workmanship Award and our quilt, My Brunette Whig is now part of the collection of the National Quilt Museum  joining Mistaken Identity, our quilt that won the same award in 2014.  The only person that looked more shocked than us was Marilyn Badger when she won Best of Show - she hadn't received an email at all.

Gail and I are so honored and loved sitting in our chairs and meeting quilters from all over the world as they came by our quilt. 


I was there all week so there was time to get out and about.  We ate strawberry shortcake prepared by Boy Scouts (and their moms !),

Lori, Michele, Heather and Gail
We visited the Purple Toad Winery and drove across the Ohio River to Metropolis IL to have our pictures taken with Superman.  I was impressed by his Big Boy Panties.

There was still plenty of time to shop at the show and we really had to pack stuff in for the drive home. 


 My main purchase was a new lightbox.  It's huge compared to my old one and lies real flat on the table.  It was expensive but will be wonderful to use on Gail's next quilt!


I was gone almost a week and arrived home to find four cranky cats waiting for me.  Elsie hid from me until the next day and then followed me around giving me this pitiful look:

Don't leave me again!!!

She doesn't like quilt shows.