Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Busy Week!

I've had a busy week. 

On Tuesday, some friends and I went to Sewing, Etc, to sew.  We love to go stitch with Kelly, the owner.  Marilyn got a lesson on one of the long arm machines from Jo.

Marilyn quilting, with Jo looking on
Marilyn was quilting one of the charity quilts for our little quilt guild.

Kelly was also using one of the long arm machines.
Kelly, setting up one of the long arm machines
As you can see from the pictures, this quilt store is packed full of fabrics and notions.

I was working on purses.  I'm making 4 at one time, so, it is taking me longer than I expected. 
Betty Sue, the featherweight, set up

outside of one of the purses I was working on

On Wednesday, 3 of us from Land of Lincoln Quilts of Valor, went to Skokie, IL, to the Veterans Court.  We awarded 4 Quilts of Valor.
4 veterans with their Quilts of Valor

On Thursday evening, we had Ladies Crafting, at my church.  Oops!  I forgot to take any pictures.  I was prepping Half Square Triangles for the Quilts of Valor sew-in next Tuesday.

On Friday, Marilyn, Jo and I drove down to the Fabric Center, in Morris, IL.  I used up all my Retayne, while washing over 100 yards of fabric, that I got in Arkansas a few weeks ago.  I was good, as I only got my Retayne, and 2 small pieces of fabric, for a special project that I need to start working on. 

On Saturday, Rita, the Illinois State coordinator for Quilts of Valor, Marilyn and I, presented 32 Korean Veterans with Quilts of Valor. 

I was so busy handing out quilts, that I didn't have time to take any pictures, but, Rita's husband took several, and they are on the Land of Lincoln Quilts of Valor blog.

Today, our church had a Chili Cook-off.   There were 3 different categories.  I entered the Venison Chili category, and WON!  Woohoo!
my certificate

my trophy

Next week will be a bit slower, thank goodness.  We do have a Quilts of Valor sew-in on Tuesday.  I haven't had a chance to be an many of the sew-ins this year, since they keep happening while I'm either out of town, of have just gotten home. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Little Stitching

It's always hard to get much stitching done when you return from a trip.   There are so many other things to do, to catch up (like washing over 100 yards of fabric I purchased on the trip).

I have gotten some stitching done this past week.  I decided to make my Bear Paw quilt smaller, so, since I cut enough HST's for the largest quilt, I can make 2 of the 2nd largest quilts, and not have to cut more HST's.  Woohoo!  It's kind like getting 2 quilts for the work of one.

Sew Fresh Quilts
Bear Paw QAL  

I now have 29 Bear Paw blocks completed.  I only need 28 blocks for the 2nd Largest quilt. 

29 Bear Paw blocks

I trimmed the square using my 7.5" X-Block ruler.  It was much easier than moving my larger ruler around each block.

7.5" X-Block ruler
Glad I remembered this ruler.  I haven't used it in a few years.

I also finished prepping (stitching, cutting, ironing and tearing the papers out) of the last of the HST's.  This is how many I have left, now, ready to be stitched into blocks.
496 HST's (1.5")

It's been very relaxing, sewing these pieces into the Bear Paw blocks.  I've been chain piecing bits and pieces at a time, while listening to the Harry Potter audio books. 

On Saturday, we had Ladies Crafting at church.  I pulled out my Be Attitudes project, that I haven't stitched on since early August, and got a few stitches done.
Be Attitudes block
It was nice to do some slow stitching again. 

Tomorrow, a friend and I will be stitching at a local quilt shop, with the owner.  It's always fun to stitch at Kelly's shop.  Later in the week, I'm supposed to help Rita, the Illinois State Coordinator, present several Quilts of Valor at 2 different events.  I haven't done much with Quilts of Valor this year, since everything seems to fall about the time I'm leaving for a trip, or getting home.  It'll will be nice to be back in the thick of things again. 

What are you working on??????

*(If you are a no-reply blogger, or are Google+, please leave me your email address, so that I can respond to your comments).

Friday, October 21, 2016

Family Reunion

My bi-annual Family reunion was in Mountain View, Arkansas, last weekend.  Last reunion, I had everyone there sign 2 matching blocks, that I turned into 2 matching quilts.   I kept one quilt (I did donate the fabric, did the sewing, paid for the longarm quilting, etc). 

For many years, about a decade or more ago, someone would go to the local Walmart, and buy a cheap quilt and grab some Sharpies, and have everyone sign the cheap quilt.  The quilt would then be auctioned off, to raise funds for the next reunion.  Every time I'd sign that cheap quilt, I'd shudder.  We'd not had a cheap quilt to sign for a while (we ALWAYS have the auction, though) so, I decided that we needed a nice quilt instead.  The quilt is always the last thing to be bid on.  This time, we decided to sell raffle tickets instead, since so many people couldn't afford to keep bidding on the quilts.  With raffle tickets, everyone gets a chance on the quilt, no matter how much they can afford to spend.  We sold $460 in raffle tickets.

Ron, the quilt winner
Ron loves his quilt.  People were so thrilled with a family made quilt, that I decided to make another one.  I'll have blocks ready at the next reunion.  I think I've already found a pattern, and I have lots of 1930's reproduction fabrics in my stash.  I may make blocks to be signed, for each reunion.  Now to find some great signature block patterns for future quilts.

Our family reunion always starts on Thursday evening, with a catfish supper.  On Friday morning, we eat breakfast together, then take a tour of the area, stopping at the family cemetery, and several different 'family' spots (like the well that my grandfather was born next to).  On Friday evening, we have a supper (catered this time) with lots of time to check out the items to be auctioned.  For the first time, we had a silent auction.  It was great.  We had more time to spend chatting with family members, and checking out if we were out bid on the items we wanted.  I won most of the items I bid on.  I only took pictures on one item.  These pillows were made from a shredding quilt that a family member had made, many years ago.  A family member made pillows out of the few remaining 'good' parts of the quilt, so that at least part of the quilt could be preserved.  I've never seen this block before.  It's strings, with rounded corners on two sides.
pillows made from a family quilt that was falling apart
The lady who made these pillows, brought me some thimbles that her mother had collected.  Her mother passed away, and, Melinda thought of me with the thimbles.  How sweet of her.
January & February thimbles

After the auction, we have a talent show.  Most of the time it is like a jam session.  We have several musicians  in the family.  Anyone can stand up and sing a song, do a poem or reading, etc.  Lots of fun.

jam session/talent show
On Saturday morning, we have a family history session.  People bring family pictures, and share history that has been collected over the decades.  I got to see pictures of my grandparents that I'd never seen before. 

On Saturday afternoon, we meet at the Shady Grove Baptist Church, that some of our family members helped to start, over 100 years ago.  We sing there, and tell stories.

On Saturday night, everyone walks around the town square, and listens to the different local musicians that gather and perform in little groups.  This has been a highlight since the reunion started.  This happens every weekend in Mountain View.  The city has built several gazebo's around the square, where the people can perform in small groups.  You can wander from group to group.  Of course, there is ice cream and hot chocolate, and other goodies you can buy.  The place we stay is only 2 blocks from the square, so, we can go as long as we want, then, head back when we get tired.

On Sunday morning, there is one last gathering, during breakfast.  This time it was at the gazebo, a couple of doors from my room.  I brought a couple of breakfast casseroles. and others brought some food items, too.  What a nice way to see everyone before they leave.

Of course, I did come home with a few items from the local quilt stores and antique shops.  You saw the fabrics and items I got in Batesville, at this post

On the way to Mountain View, we passed a sign on the highway, that said 'Quilt Shop 2 Blocks', in Reyno, AR.  Hubby quickly turned around, and we found the shop.  What a happy surprise!  The owner is a sweetie!  Of course, I found some fabrics that I couldn't leave behind.

fabrics from Reyno, AR quilt shop

 On Wednesday, I spent the day shopping in Mountain View, while hubby and a relative went on a 15 mile hike.  Here are some of the goodies I found.

I couldn't pass up this apron kit.  Yes, I just got some of those fabrics, but, the kit was less than buying the fabrics by themselves and the pattern, too.
vintage apron kit
 There are 2 quilt shops in Mountain View.  One just changed owners in May.  I bought my Janome there, at another family reunion, 12 years ago.  I'll miss the previous owner (she retired), but, the shop is similar to what it was, and the staff was friendly.  Also, across the street, is another quilt shop that is also a gift shop and has some of the cutest clothes.  I forgot to take a picture of the top I got.  Here are the goodies I got at these two shops.
fabrics, ruler and carrot buttons
 I got a quilt kit from another store, a few months ago, but, they were out of the rulers needed for the pattern.  This ruler is the one I needed for that kit. 

I found a great piece of vintage 1930's fabrics at an antique shop, along with these great thimble salt & pepper shakers.  I also found a mini teapot.

vintage fabric, mini teapot and thimble salt & pepper

 No vintage sewing machines or quilts this time, but, what a fun time I had.  I was so busy that I didn't get to pull out my sewing machine that I brought (I've been bringing a sewing machine for the last 10 years). 

I can't wait till the next reunion!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Batesville, Arkansas

I've been to my family reunion, in Mountain View, Arkansas.  We just got back on Sunday evening.  We left the Sunday before, so that we'd have a few days to 'play' before the reunion. 

One of my 'play' days was in Batesville, Arkansas.  I met up with another vintage sewing machine collector at Marshall's Dry Goods.  I'd heard of this store, but, I wasn't prepared for the size of it.  They sell to the public, but, they also sell wholesale.  I didn't enter the HUGE wholesale area (thank goodness).  Thousands of bolts and flat folds of fabrics.  There were already thousands of fabrics on the retail side of the store.  When I arrived, there was a van with California plates, that was trying to figure out how to fit all the fabric in the back (it was STUFFED full). *(Hey people, they will ship).

Here is a picture of Deena and I.
me and Deena
I figured out that I purchased a little over 99 yards of fabric (Oh My)!  Thank goodness the most expensive quilting fabric they had was $4.99 a yard.  I purchased mostly $1.99 & $2.99 per yard fabrics, along with some $1 per yard scraps.  I do have plans for most of the fabrics.
probably for Quilts of Valor, etc

couldn't resist the 2nd from the bottom, and found more fabrics to go with it

sewing themed fabrics (yes, there were lots more, but, I was good)

background fabrics

misc fabrics I couldn't resist

After we left Marshall's. we went to lunch, then we went shopping at several antique shops in the area.  I only found a few things I couldn't resist. 
wooden toy hand crank
Of course, I found a great teapot.  Not only does it have a sewing machine on the top, but, it says 'Rosemont, IL' in two places (Rosemont is where the International Quilting Show is every year, and is only a bit over an hour from me).
sewing machine on top

one of the Rosemont, IL labels, and also London, that I've also been to

I love Jim Shore.  My mother in law bought this same figurine a few years ago.  I just had to have my own.
Jim Shore Thanksgiving figurine

These were just my Batesville goodies.  I'll have to meet up with Deena again, before the next reunion.  We had a great time together. 

I'll show more goodies in another post.  Hope you all had as fun a week as I did.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Tablerunners and stitching

Well, I have LOTS of stitching on my 'to do' list, but, I pulled out these table runner kits I made up a couple of  years ago, and decided to make them, this week.  I used these when I taught a table runner class at church, for a beginning quilting group.  I decided it was time to use up the extra kits.

2 finished table runners

up close

showing backing
I made a third Christmas table runner, too, but, I still need to stitch the binding to the front.
3rd, almost done
I used faux piping binding on these.
up close of faux piping binding
I started on these Wednesday afternoon, and finished a few minutes ago.

I have done some other stitching this week, too.  I've been sewing on my Bear Paw blocks.
Bear Paw QAL
I really should be stitching on all the things on my 'to do' list, but, I just wanted to do something different.  Lots of frustrating things going on, family wise, and I needed something new as a distraction. 

PS:  If you leave a comment, and are a no-reply blogger or are Google+, PLEASE leave me your email address, so that I can reply to your comment.  I try hard to reply to every comment I get.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Goodies from the DeKalb Quilt show and area thrift stores.

One of the first things I saw, as I walked into the DeKalb Quilt Show, was a vendor booth.  That booth had the new 'Singer' fabric displayed.  I've seen this online, but, I prefer to purchase fabrics from local stores, not online.  Of course, I had to have some of these fabrics, especially as I have some of the machines featured on the fabrics.
Singer Treadle fabric

Singer hand crank fabric

Singer logo fabric

Singer fabric
I also purchased two sewing themed T-Shirts, but, they had to make them up overnight, so, another vendor was going to pick them up for me.  I'll get  them later this week. 

There was a consignment booth for the quilt guild, and, I couldn't resist checking it out.  I bought a specialty ruler.

I don't know what the intended use is for this ruler, but, it will be great for trimming up squares.  I also found this spool holder.  The wooden part that holds the spool is too large for any of my spools, but, I'm sure hubby can trim  it down for me. 

After the quilt show, I checked out some of the local thrift and antique stores.  I scored at the very first store.  I found this lovely hexie shaped quilt.  It isn't lined, but, it is quilted.  It was either a summer weight quilt, or, meant for a table.  It is fairly large.
hexie shaped quilt
This quilt had a label on the back.  I really like what she put on it. 
hexie quilt label
I showed this quilt to the lady at the antique shop, and she said she knows the lady who made the quilt.  Small world. 

I found a few items at the antique shop, too.
I haven't seen a doily/hot pad with this design before

I couldn't pass up this cute teapot

Debbie Mumm fabric, who could resist?
At the last thrift store, I found these sewing machine cams.  I don't have a clue what machine they might go to (nothing on the box). 
cams for an unknown machine
All in all, it was a very fun day on Saturday.  My family reunion in Arkansas is coming up, and I always find lots of great stuff on that trip, too.  I'll be visiting several quilt stores, lots of antique shops, and a few thrift stores, too.  It will be a month of fun finds.