Friday, December 19, 2014

My REAL Bunco Club

Meet my real Bunco Club. These are the women whose friendship inspired my books. We've have years of fun and countless adventures together. Where did the time go?!

Bunco Christmas Dinner ~ 2014
Back Row: Sharon, me, Faye, Bev, Sandy T.  / Front Row: Sandy K, Sandy C, Liz

Wishing everyone the happiest of holidays...

MERRY CHRISTMAS

HAPPY HANUKKAH

As always
HAPPY QUILTING...


 ...and
Happy Reading!

ENJOY YOUR SPECIAL HOLIDAY WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS CLOSE BY

Love and peace to all,
Karen

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Quilter's Garden Quilt Shop & Retreat

Talk about winning the lottery!
Beth and Carol, owners of the Quilter's Garden Quilt Shop in Princeton, Illinois, invited me to talk at their monthly gathering of the "Garden Party Clubs." The presentations were scheduled for Tuesday evening, December 9, and Wednesday morning, December 10.
Now, here's the cool little wrinkle...above the quilt shop is a quilting retreat center that sleeps eight people and because the retreat just happened to be empty on Tuesday night I got to stay in the retreat all by myself! How fun is that!
Since you've all seen pictures of my trunk show quilts in previous posts, this time I'm going to post only a few pics of my quilts and then share photos of the fabulous retreat with you. Let me suggest that if you are within driving distance of Princeton, Illinois, you might enjoy getting some friends together for your own private retreat. The retreat is in an old building with 12-14 foot ceilings and looks over the active downtown of Princeton (coming from Chicago it is a wonderful breath of fresh air!).
Here's the website for the retreat: Retreat
Pricing you might ask? VERY REASONABLE! Cost: $120 per night for up to 6 people and $20 per night for each additional person.
Oh, I almost forgot--in addition Beth and Carol own an incredible women's clothing store named Sassy Sisters (right next door to the Quilter's Garden and also accessible through the quilt shop). I picked up a cool scarf at Sassy Sisters =)

LET THE PICTURES BEGIN!!

With Carol Keller, co-owner of The Quilter's Garden
Beth Rosene and Carol Keller of the Quilter's Garden
The Quilter's Garden storefront
I love this--It's in the bathroom of the Quilter's Garden so when you "sit down" this is what you see!
One of my quilts--The Gathering Basket
The finale quilt of my trunk show--Aunt Grace Circle of Friends
RETREAT CENTER:

There are three bedrooms all with twin beds--this is where I bunked for the night.





Another bedroom
Kitchen area with table
Breakfast nook
Quilt and linen storage
Two work rooms with tables for individual stations, ironing boards, design wall, and very large cutting boards.
A beautiful antique fireplace...check out the size of that cutting mat!
Sewing area with design wall
PATTERN PURCHASE:
I though this was really a cool idea. I saw a sample of the finished piece and bought the pattern at the Quilter's Garden. It's kind of hard to see the details in this photo but this is a portable ironing board with a pocket and handle to carry your large size ruler. When I finally get around to making one, I'll post a photo. It looks relatively simple...famous last words!!


Sorry I'm taking longer than usual between my blog posts.
I'm spending every moment on book three =) I'll keep you updated as to when I hand it over to the editor...soon I hope, very soon!

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.
SOME OF THE QUILTS IN MY TRUNK SHOW:
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: http://mamalovequilts.blogspot.com/
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: https://www.etsy.com/shop/woollyfabulous 
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
QUILTS:








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!