Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Viroqua Guild Talk

Not even freezing wind chill temperatures of -12 degrees stopped the women from the Vernon County Piecemakers Quilt Guild from attending my guild talk and trunk show in Viroqua, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, November 18. We had a fun night and I enjoyed meeting each and every one of you!

I had coaxed my hubby to join me (that's code for help me) on a fun two day adventure. Viroqua, in western Wisconsin, is about five hours from our home in the southern suburbs of Chicago. We took a roundabout route so Bob could explore a few museums (that's code for casinos) along the Mississippi River. Heading due west across Illinois to Davenport, Iowa, we then headed north along the Great River Road. We wove our way through bluffs and the beautiful geological Driftless Zone of the Upper Mississippi River Basin toward Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. We watched as the waters of The Big Muddy became increasingly frozen..."I've never seen it frozen this early," a local retired man told my husband. The final 60 mile leg of our trip consisted of snow covered farm land with few small towns and no public restrooms.
We took a slight detour on our way to Viroqua and visited LeClaire, Iowa--Home of the American Pickers: Antique Archeology. No sign of Mike, Frank, or Danielle, but a half block away is a very nice quilt shop!
Here I am chatting up my books.
My Threads that Bind quilt.
Dresden Plate with Robyn Pandolph fabrics--Used on the cover of Book 1
This was a gutsy moves showing my Chicago Bears quilt deep in the heart of Packer Land, Wisconsin, and just a stones throw across the river from Viking Territory! The ladies were very gracious and we only joked a little about our famous football rivalry!
Monterrey Medallions a Terry Atkinson Design
My own design--Rocking Horse Quilt
Another of my designs--Quilters Spools
Quilters Spools Wall Hanging
Many thanks to the VCPQG for inviting me to speak and the warm welcome and hospitality you extended to Bob and me...I had a blast!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Tutorials and a Recipe

I've been rather silent lately as I'm working diligently on Book 3--Marge and Beth. It's taking me longer than I thought it would (what doesn't) but I assure you it's coming along nicely. Here are a few tutorials I thought you might like and one WOW recipe.

This is the sweetest holiday mug rug I've seen and can be personalized with a name. Cute little hostess gift, too. Holiday Mug Rug Tutorial

I'm beginning to get into the modern quilt movement. Here is a link to a free PDF tutorial for this Modern Quilted Tree Skirt.

If this is true, and I believe it is, most of us must be extraordinarily cool!

I recently ran across a blog that I'm enjoying very much: Mama Love Quilts by Nicole (Link to her blog on the left). She has a great page on Tips and Tutorials.
Most of you know I'm a fanatic about teeny-tiny blocks...I simply LOVE making them. Here is a photo of a lovely little quilt that Nicole made for her daughters dollhouse.
Check out more about Nicole here:
Wow! Look at the scale...Great dollhouse quilt
I've also become visually smitten with quilts made from red/black/white fabric. If only I had as much quilting and sewing time as I have ideas it would be amazing! Take a gander at this beauty and guess what...there's a tute for it! Free Pattern & Tutorial

I adore cooking with crock pots--you've got to admit it just doesn't get any easier. This looked like an fabulous sweet to make for the holidays and it must make a bucketful! Peanuts, chocolate, and peanut butter chips...YUM!
Enjoy =)  Crockpot Christmas Crack

Thanks for looking...Gotta run and write some more.
Peace Out

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Seam Ripper, Pin Cushion, and Fall in Chicago

Am I the only one who didn't know what that little ball was for on a seam ripper?

I just ran across this YouTube video and I haven't tried the technique so I can't vouch for it but WOW if this works ... I'll be a happy ripper!
I can't wait to try this!


I'm loving this sturdy jeans pin cushion. The instructions are in Swedish and I ran them through the Google translator and got a choppy version of directions. I'm thinking maybe a tuna can and some stuffing/batting...
Website: Jeans Pin Cushion
Translation of instructions from Swedish to English:
I do not know how long I thought that I should sew a pincushion or two. I use the little puny pad that sits on top of the can when buying needles. It is short, frayed and small. Now it was a good girl in "We Sytokiga" on facebook that inspired me to finally get started. Obviously I want to do it my way and then it's not entirely surprising that I sewed the cushion from recycled jeans. As a base, I have a tin box as it has been in the candy and the filling comes from an old mattress.

Enjoy Photos of the Beautiful City of Chicago in Fall

The Bean

Love These...

 Happy Stitching and Reading!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Friends, Quilts, and Beautiful Weather

It's been a fun and exciting year of vending my books from The Bunco Club Series at numerous quilt shows. This past weekend marked the final quilt show on my 2014 schedule at the Northern Lake County Quilt Guild Quilt Show in Round Lake Beach, IL. 

Meet Kathy...a very nice woman who was wearing a beautiful pin that was embellished with a zipper. She purchased the pin from an etsy shop and, of course, I HAD to check it out!
Take a look: 
Thanks Kathy for letting me take a photo of you with your Woolly Fabulous pin. I LOVE it!

I was born and raised in Mundelein which is only a few miles from Round Lake Beach. I was surprised when some high school friends (and some current friends) dropped by to see me at the show.

I had a nice visit with several classmates from MHS Class of 1968:
With June Michna Jones
With Karen Schellenberger Bennett
Sheree Logemann Fukai was in town all the way from Belize and she took the time to stop by the show and say HI!
Visiting with Quilt Camp Friends:
A selfie with Geri Sherwood
Moe Baly enjoying her favorite season
 Vendor Friends:
Cool charms from Chix that Stitch
Alana from Quilter's Haven in Rockford, IL

I'll leave you with one final image...this was the view from my second floor hotel window in Libertyville (through a thick plastic sheet). The exterior of the Holiday Inn was under construction. No surprise that I left the curtains closed whenever I was in the room!

Wishing everyone a fun and safe Halloween!

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wool Jacket

Check out this really cool wool jacket (made with a sweatshirt base) that is being offered as a class through my guild! At last night's meeting 4 or 5 of my friends (from my Bunco club) scurried to the sign up sheet! Pat Brackman, owner of Petals & Blooms will teach the class. Pat's shop specializes in handwork and wool of all kinds. You can check out her shop at

A little out of focus, but this is a very cool jacket!
Like an idiot I have the scarf on wrong! A fashionista I am NOT!
Now THIS is the way to wear the jacket and scarf! Nice modeling job!
Pat Brackman of Petals & Blooms at a recent quilt show.
Pat and I will both be vending this weekend at the Northern Lake County Quilters' Guild Show in Round Lake, IL on Saturday and Sunday, October 25 -26. 
I grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago so I'm especially excited at the possibility of seeing some familiar faces! If you are in the far north suburbs and would enjoy seeing some quilted beauties along with some great vendors...stop by and say HI!

One of my all time favorite vendors Judy, of Chix that Stitch, will also be at the Northern Lake County Quilters' Guild Show selling her fabulous jewelry.
Hope to see you

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dekalb County Quilters' Guild Quilt Show

A sampling of quilts from last weekends quilt show: Dekalb County Quilters' Guild Quilt Show in Sycamore, Illinois.

Soft colors
I loved this quilt! It was titled "Social Networking." There is a closeup of the fabric below.
Fabric from above quilt.
I'm very much beginning to like the whole red/black/white look. This quilt was cool!
Antique quilt from 1910.
Another antique beauty
Antique quilt made by Great-Gramma Henning
Great colors--perfectly executed.
This quilt and the one below are the same patterns...different effects.

DeKalb Corn Country! Detailed images below.

Black/white with a touch of red. What you can't see it that some of the fabrics in most of the trees have dogs or cats on them! Nicely done! 
WOW ...
...and WOW!

As always I met and talked with so many interesting people:

Karen, a librarian from Minnesota, who refurbishes and sells and sews on old sewing machines

Nancy Baker, a life coach, a creative person and writer

I love when Chix That Stitch is at the same show. Judy is such a great person and I'm honored to call her a friend! She sells incredible hand knit items and jewelry and creates personal charm necklaces on the spot. A MUST SEE!

I was thrilled when the keynote speaker entered my booth and asked if I could do a guild talk for her guild in 2016. Meet Janette Dwyer owner of more than 200 quilts and quilt tops that date from the 1880's to present day. She also appraises quilts. Awesome woman, so fun to meet her.
I wrote down the info on this woman but can't fine it! She runs a Bunco Night for Breast Cancer so I donated a book to be included in a raffle basket. Sorry I don't have more details. If I locate my notes, I'll post more info about the event.
This was fun. The guild gave every vendor their own ribbon to award. This colorful crazy type quilt got my vote and ribbon!
I've vended with Val in Stitches from Racine, Wisconsin, at the last two shows I've done. Nice woman, great purses--all her own design.
First time meeting Rhonda of Rag Spun Studio, Brandon, Wisconsin. Wonderful woman ... check out her fabulous items.
As always...The Bunco Club Series was for sale

I have the current weekend away from the quilt show circuit and have been working on Book 3. As much as I enjoy going to the shows, meeting wonderful quilters and readers, and seeing phenomenal quilts it has been very nice to get back into the groove of writing every day. The story of Marge and Beth is moving along nicely and I think you'll all enjoy the continuation of The Bunco Club.

Next weekend, Sat-Sun, October 25-26, 2014, I'll be back in my old stomping ground and home turf of Chicago's north suburbs. I'd love to see any of my old-time peeps that can make it to the show. Come on by my booth, say HI, and maybe take a walk down memory lane together!
I'll be vending at:
Northern Lake County Quilt Guild Quilt Show
Round Lake Beach Cultural and Civic Center
2007 Civic Center Way 
Round Lake Beach, IL 60073

Peace to all and thanks for looking, Karen