Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's Been a Crazy Busy Couple of Weeks

I've been rather neglectful with my blogging duties lately and I apologize. I got into writing mode and selfishly wanted to keep going. I must say I'm pleased with the direction Book 3 is heading...some of the details have even surprised me!

I'm also inches away from having my next pattern ready to roll, but sadly it is taking much more time than I ever dreamed. Even with the expert help I've been getting from Sandy-from-Cedar Rapids, I can't quite seem to wrap it up as fast as I'd like.

Last week I gave my guild talk, "Author, Artist, Quilter," along with a trunk show of my quilts to the String-A-Long Quilt Guild in Chesterton, Indiana. What an active group of quilters! I love that they even have men in their guild. Before my talk started Di Richards, the Indiana coordinator with the national Quilts of Valor Foundation, presented a quilt to a POW Veteran from the Korean War. It was exciting for me to witness the presentation.

Some photos from my trunk show:

Many thanks to the String-A-Long Quilt Guild for inviting me to talk about my books and show my quilts.

I've spent every spare moment (and there weren't that many of them) since last Thursday's guild talk getting ready for the BAQS Quilt Camp that I attend  twice a year. Twenty-four quilters convene in Michigan at a rural lodge for FIVE days of quilting...It. Is. Heaven. I leave in the morning and hope to come back home armed with photos and a few stories to share.

As always, thanks for looking.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Cool Private Libraries

I just had to share some photos of private libraries that I found on the internet. Some have the owner's name but others are unnamed...all are pics of darn cool libraries! Let's be honest, wouldn't we love to have one of these in our home--right next to our sewing room!

Enjoy the tour:
Keith Richards' Personal Library

George Lucas
Harlan Crow, Real Estate Magnate from Dallas, Texas.
Julia Child's personal library from when she lived in Cambridge, Mass.

Karl Lagerfield'a Personal Library
Professor Richard A. Macksey
Sting's library at the top of his staircase in London.
Library at the Biltmore House, the largest privately owned home in the U.S.

Oprah's Library
Oprah's Library

Don't forget to check the Quilting/Fiber Tips &Ideas tab of this blog for ... well... Quilting Tips and Ideas! There's some cool new stuff I recently added.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Tradition of My Real-Life Bunco Club

As I have stressed many times my books from The Bunco Club Series are FICTION--they are NOT about my Bunco/sewing group, but rather springboard from the decades of friendship we have with each other. This post however IS about my Bunco group of friends.

My real-life Bunco Club and quilting friends of 25ish years have many traditions. The one practice that I particularly love is when one of our children get married, we get together for several quilting bees and make the newlyweds a quilt. We've been working at a fever-pitch to finish a wedding quilt for a shower that was held on Sunday, August 24.

The theme for the wedding is "Alice and Wonderland." We were able to get our hands on A-in-W fabric and modified/redesigned a quilt we saw on line.True to form we never stopped eating, talking, or laughing as the nights wore on. After all these years we are like a family ... sometimes peeved or annoyed with another member, sometimes needing a shoulder or listening ear, sometimes seeking advice or opinions, and sometimes just enjoying the comfort that comes from being near people who know what you're all about. What a wonderful thing friendship is!

In no particular order here are some photos of us hard at work during two evening sessions:

Set up and ready to start. We worked in Bev's fabulous sewing room.
The mother of the groom, Sandy K.
Sandy T. cutting out arcs after the shapes were applied with heat and bond.
Liz explaining something or perhaps telling a story.
Bev and Sharon working on arcs.
Sandy C, Bev, along with the rest of use working on the layout.
Sandy T and Bev showing us a Do-It-Yourself face lift for the camera.
Liz and I "fussy cutting" yards of fabric which would become the focal point of the blocks 
Liz and Sandy K at the food table
Just SOME of our notes for determining the size of the fussy cut fabric!
Liz shows off the backing fabric while Sandy C and I mug for the camera
Sharon being ever so cute!
Putting the rows together
Our own little sweatshop busy at work. It's amazing how fast eight people can get a quilt made when working together!
A quick tutorial from Faye on how to manipulate the seams to make the quilt lay flatter

Sandy K and Dorothy working on their corner of the quilt.


Brisa and Jeff with Sandy K (Jeff's mom) just opened the quilt.

Here we are with the beautiful bride-to-be and her handsome groom.

Another successful wedding quilt made with love by my Bunco Club!
Congratulations to Brisa and Jeff...may you have a long and happy life together.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My New Quilting Toy(s)!

I came home from the Piecemaker's Quilt Show in Galesburg, Illinois, with a few new quilting gadgets. Just like our stashes...we can never really have enough quilting toys can we? This seems very clever to me, and I think I'm going to love having The Strip Stick in my quilting bag o' tricks.

Ellen's Quilting Corner was set up across from my booth where I was selling and signing my books from The Bunco Club Series. During a lull in the action I moseyed over to check out her demo. Surprise Surprise...I was hooked!

Shop owner Ellen demo-ing The Strip Stick.
You know how sometimes (like ALL the time) other seams that are close by get in the way of the seam you are trying to iron? This little stick takes care of that problem and it also gives you perfectly pressed seams. I am a stickler for ironing/pressing while I'm sewing and I can't wait to put this guy to use!

Place The Strip Stick underneath the seam you want to press.....

...and start pressing. It's that easy!
Seams can be pressed open or closed.....
...from the front or the back.
See that cute little iron? Yeah, I bought one of those too!
In my defense my little iron that I use at retreats died on me, and I'm not crazy about using my full-sized iron in a confined space at camp.

Back to The Strip Sticks, they were so reasonably priced...I bought two! One is 18-inches and one is 45-inches. With Quilt Camp only a month away, I'm getting pretty excited about sewing for five days straight!

I love supporting our quilt shops.
If you're interested in The Strip Sticks, here is Ellen's contact info (she ships):
Ellen's Quilting Corner
123 Broadway
West Burlington, Iowa 52655