Friday, May 20, 2016

My, Oh My...What Has Taken Me So Long?

My promise to Blog right after Paducah didn't happen exactly the way I thought it would. Excuses aside, I was gobsmacked by my first trip to Quilt Week. Moving forward I can see this as an annual pilgrimage and wonder what in the heck took me so long to get down there. After all I live in the south suburbs of Chicago--Paducah is only a quick five hour drive from my house!
So, here we go...
a capsulized version of a life-changing experience for a quilt lover:

 Three first-timers heading to Paducah with excitement-overload running through their Quilty minds!
Glenna, Karen, and Sandy ready to roll.
We left Sunday noon for the 374 mile drive, and would spend 6 nights and 7 glorious days at Quilt Week in Paducah, Kentucky. And here we are!
About day four or five we ran into this fun photo op.

Some random photos:
Hancock's of Paducah. Are we in heaven?
Opening Night at the National Quilt Museum. Fabulous quilts and wonderful food--the perfect combination!
Lisa Bonnegan owner of Primitive Gatherings, Sandy, Karen, and Teresa
Sandy and Karen with Ricky Tims!!!
I met Kat from Studiokat Designs! She designs such fabulous bags! I've been following her on Facebook and it was great to meet her...what a nice person.
With author Marie Bostwick...her hair is gorgeous by the way!
OH, YES I DID-- I bought it!
Block a Day for a year--What was I thinking! I really do like it and have started the first few blocks...so I am officially only five (soon to be six) months behind. YIKES!





I fell in love with this.  Standing in the vendor's booth, I was transfixed by this modern table runner. I have plans to modify it into a large quilt, and have been working on it a bit since I got home. So far I'm pleased with the results. I'll post more when there is something to show.


A friend of mine, Rosemary Keblusek, had her quilt shown at Paducah! 
Congratulations Rosemary.



And then there was The Ricky Tims Show!
Wow--what a fun surprise! We had no idea what to expect but it ended up being entertaining, inspirational, and fantastic! I'm now a HUGE fan of Ricky's--Wow, is he ever creative!





And Finally, as I often say, it's all about the hair.
I have been growing my hair out for over a year. Images of long-flowing, bright-white hair crowded my creative mind. A child of the sixties...I would let my 'old lady' freak-flag fly! I would be able to style my hair into a fabulous up-do, pull it into a ponytail, or simply wear it straight. Well, after a year-plus of struggling through ugly-staged hair, I was nowhere near any of those stylish scenarios of which I dreamed.
Enter Paducah.
I saw so many wonderful hair styles on white haired quilters that I decided then and there to go short again! Before we left Paducah on Saturday I called my stylist and made an appointment for Tuesday.
Flipping through photos on my phone Louise and I decided to do a 'medium' cut. At first I liked it but after almost a month I'm ready to go shorter still.

Here is my hair diary for those that might be interested for some strange reason:
Here I am with Kat. UGH, look at my hair...I need HELP!
A cute cut, but the addition of color is soooo me.

Now we're talkin'. This is an updated version of how I used to wear my hair for years.

This is just plain cute, but not sure it would translate onto this old body!

And here's an unflattering selfie after my haircut back from Paducah.
 What will tomorrow bring at the salon?

Okay, enough with the self-serving hair phobia stories...Here are just a few of the Quilty beauties from Paducah. Note: Photos were not allowed in the Quilt Museum.






Excuse the length of this post. I had a lot to say/show about my first Paducah experience and I can see where it will easily take months before the glow wears off.
I hope you've enjoyed my random musings from my first visit to Quilt Week!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

I'm Heading to Paducah for the First Time!

I'm over the moon with excitement! I'm joining two good friends and driving due south from Chicago until we get to the quilters paradise of Paducah, Kentucky.

Just like the Blues Brothers we're on a mission! It’s 374 miles from Chicago to Paducah, we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a ton of chocolate, we're leaving at noon, and we'll definitely be wearing sunglasses!
HIT IT!  …And We’re Off to Quilt Week!



If all goes as planned, and I'm not dead tired when we get back to the hotel at night, I'm hoping to do a little blogging. ...Stay tuned.




Monday, March 28, 2016

QUILTING WARRIORS is Now Available!

I am proud to announce that my latest book, Quilting Warriors: Nedra & Lettie (Book 4 in The Bunco Club Series), is now available in paperback or Kindle version on Amazon. You can also check the 'Events' tab of this blog to see where I will be selling and signing my books. Don't have a Kindle device...not a problem. You can download the Kindle app for free on any tablet, smart phone, or even your computer.

I hope you enjoy my latest book. As always a 5 or 4 star review on Amazon is so very important to authors and is appreciated beyond words.





What makes someone a quilting warrior?
          The quilting women of the Bunco Club know how to celebrate. This time they really rise to the occasion as they design the perfect wedding for one of their own, but the day before the ceremony, an approaching snowstorm threatens to play havoc with carefully laid plans.
          As Nedra struggles to fulfill her lifelong dream of writing a novel, she is suddenly faced with the death of a fellow employee and forced to come to terms with a promise she made long ago.
          A ruthless attack causes heartbreak for Lettie. Can an attractive stranger change her long-standing  mindset about relationships, or is he just another guy putting his needs before hers?
          The members of the Bunco Club face a shock when Big Brother threatens the very existence of the Mayflower Quilters Retreat. The women put up a fight to protect their beloved MQR, but will their warrior spirit be powerful enough?

Thanks for your continued support in helping my late in life dream come true!


Monday, March 7, 2016

Sneak Peek at Book 4

It won't be long now! Here's a look at the title, cover, and back-of-the-book blurb. It's at the editor and I'm thinking it will be available in 2-3 weeks.

QUILTING WARRIORS: Nedra & Lettie



Thanks for your patience--we're almost there!
Stay tuned ........

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Soon...Very Soon!

Red Hot Update:

Book 4 should be heading to the editor in about a week to ten days!

I thought you might enjoy this little 'funny' =)
This is me right now....
While the book is at the editor, I'll be busy shooting and designing the cover, and designing new bookmarks.

I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Keep on Quilting...


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I've Fallen in Love with Glue!

If you have never tried Elmer's School Glue as a quilting tool, it might be time for you to think about it. Somewhere around eight months ago I ran across a tutorial stating that glue will help to make the perfect binding. Who doesn't want the perfect binding?

I did a little research and found that quilters were using glue for many purposes...binding being the favorite. I learned that it only takes a teeny bit of glue and that you "set" the glue with your iron. Since it's School Glue, it's water soluble and easily washes out of the fabric. I also learned that a "micro-tip" helps immensely in making sure you only get a dot and not a puddle of glue. So here's a photo of my set-up:

 
I purchased my micro-fine glue tips from quilter Sharon Schamber at this link: http://sharonschamber.com/products/fine-point-glue-tips 
I got two sets of tips for $10.00 plus shipping. I believe Amazon has a variety of tips, too, but since I wasn't exactly sure what I needed...I stuck with the product of a well known quilter.

Here is the Craftsy tutorial for binding with glue. It works for either hand binding or machine binding. The tutorial is shown using bias tape, but also discusses using a 2 1/2" cut strip.  Note: tutorial also does not use the micro-fine glue tips. But I know I would have glue all over everything without the special tip!

Without a doubt I have made my best bindings and corners since using this method. I have also found many other times when a dab of glue is the perfect solution!

Speaking of bindings, I ran across a video tutorial where Jenny Doan from Missouri Star introduces and explains about a real neat binding tool. The tool is simply called "The Binding Tool" and here's a link to the updated tutorial on YouTube.  I've heard that some people are doing this same technique without the tool, but this is how I learned so I'm stickin' with it!
I picked up my Binding Tool on Amazon, but you can get it through other outlets, too. 

I humbly confess that my sewing room is terribly cluttered. I also admit that I can usually put my finger on whatever I'm looking for...usually. Here's a photo of my stash taking over my sofa:
 
I figure that in the scheme of life, worse things can happen than having a sofa full of fabric and patterns!


Back to work on Book 4.
Thanks for checking in and have a wonderful fabric filled day!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Oh, Yes I Did!

Over the years I have found many ways to cope with Multiple Sclerosis. I have learned that the saying, "where there's a will, there's a way," applies to those of us who love our sewing, piecing, quilting, yet find many challenges as our bodies (especially our hands) betray us.

Enter the Accuquilt Fabric Cutting Machine.

I admit that due to my lack of knowledge, the Accuquilt has always perplexed me. But due to the fact that I have a bum hand, I've kept an open mind. At quilt camp last fall a dear friend, who knows that I'm addicted to teeny tiny piecing, emailed to tell me she had an Aqququilt Go!Big cutter and had designed a one-of-a-kind, custom mini-tumbler die. I could cut 100 mini-tumblers in one pass through of the Go!Big. She told me the sizes to cut my fabrics for the die. Okay, it sounded really cool, I'm game...And more than a little excited!

This is what I did with my mini-tumblers at camp (the pen is for scale).
There are 88 mini-tumblers in a 10 1/2" square. Between 30s fabrics and teenies, I was in heaven. My mind was creatively churning! After seeing the Go!Big Accuquilt in action and doing a little more research, it wasn't long before a Go Big was on its way to my home!

Ta Da--here she is my very own Go!Big Accuquilt Cutter



And, yes, I'm loving it! Of course, I bought some dies and found that cutting with it is fun and a lot less painful for those of us with a bum hand! I also got one of Geri's mini-tumbler dies and am in the process of designing and creating a quilt full of mini-tumblers, which I prefer to call Thimble Tumblers. Sorry that I'm not quite ready to share any pics of my future masterpiece at this point, but I can tell you that it's based on the 10 1/2" square as shown above.

I am hopeful to soon have a workshop focusing on my Thimble Tumbler design.

Another fun thing that has happened: 
Two of my nieces have asked me to show them how to quilt! I'm so excited and we're having a ball. I love getting together with them every few weeks and sharing my quilty knowledge. Here's niece Laura with her 4-patches on the flannel board.

I just received a text from Laura with pictures of some disappearing 4-patches she experimented with. I'm liking it the results. Pretty colors with lots of interest.

I'm sew happy to be blogging again and I have sew much to share! I've updated the Events tab on my blog to keep everyone up to date on where I'll be appearing. Hope to see and hear from you soon.

Until next time...have a quilt-tastic day!