Monday, September 29, 2014

Gems of the Prairie Rocks the Peoria Civic Center!

The Fun-O-Meter was off the charts this past weekend at the Autumn Gems of the Prairie Quilt Show in Peoria, Illinois. Let me just start by introducing you to this incredible woman who has been playing Bunco for 58 years! Yes, you read that correctly...58 YEARS!!!
Meet my new friend and reader, Donna...interesting, fun, knowledgeable (especially about quilting), and as nice as she could possibly be. My sister and I enjoyed talking with her. Thanks for spending time with us, Donna!
With Donna.
Oh, and then there was Beverly Johnson. I met Beverly a few weeks ago in Galesburg where she bought my books. She has already read them and was nice enough to stop at my booth and tell the shoppers that the books were very good! As readers we all love to have somebody recommend a book as read-worthy, so thank you Beverly for your endorsement of The Bunco Club Series.
With Beverly
Shelly Hranks is an enthusiastic woman with an exciting story. She just started a business ...buying, selling, and refurbishing antique Singer Featherweights! I could tell just by talking with her that she is over the moon doing something she totally loves--best of luck to you Shelly!
With Shelly of Featherweight Fever
 OKAY A MOMENT TO INTERJECT: Really, as I've said before, it doesn't get much better than being at a quilt show spending time with new and interesting quilters and readers. I LOVE hearing their stories!

Two shop owners I've got to tell you about are Denise and Carol....

I met Denise in Galesburg a few weeks ago. It was her first time vending and I was happy to be across the aisle from her again in Peoria at her second vending experience. Denise owns Prairie Points Quilt Shop in Peoria.

Now, for Carol...Carol Keller, the owner of Quilter's Garden in Princeton, Illinois,will be carrying my books in her incredible quilting shop! Woohoo, I'm so honored! Thank you Carol for believing in me.


First Place Ribbon
Love this modern quilt!
What a beauty!
The black is great in this quilt--what a pop!
I was drawn to this quilt when I noticed the MS awareness color of orange. A quilter that was recently diagnosed with MS made it and the title says it all, I'm Still Me! Well said, Amanda Niehaus. This one touched me as it's been over 27 years since I was diagnosed with MS. the black pop.

It must be Peoria when there is a Caterpillar quilt!
Outside the Holiday Inn Hotel sat a couple of Caterpillar tank track benches. Way cool!
Happy me--Loving that I could get a gluten free bun for my hamburger...YUM!

Once again, thanks for looking. I appreciate everyone who follows my blog.
Remember to check the Quilting/Fiber Tips & Ideas tab for cool stuff.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My Five Days at Quilt Camp = Heaven!

Last Wednesday I happily got in my packed-to-the-gills van and headed toward rural Michigan. This time my vehicle was not loaded with books and book related items for a quilt show or guild talk. Instead my prized passengers were my Bernina Quilters Edition 153 and far too many quilting projects to actually finish in five days. ...I was on my way to quilt camp!

The moment when you get in the car heading for quilt camp/retreat and pull away from home is one of the most anticipated events in a quilters year! I am blessed to go to camp twice a year (five days each time) and meet up with 24 other women who are as excited as I am to be away from our day-to-day lives. The pleasure of five full days of uninterrupted sewing, chatting, and eating holds an allure for quilters that is unmatched.

A half-hour from the lodge where I will meet with my B.A.Q.S. sisters (B.A.Q.S. stands for Big Ass Quilter's Society...because we make big ass quilts) is the small Amish town of Shipshewana, Indiana. A trip to camp is not complete without a stop at Shipshe (as we like to call it). Yoder's Shopping Center and Lolly's Fabrics are my "must visits" on the way to know, because I just don't have enough fabric in my stash =)  I also make a stop at E&S Bulk Food and stock up on tubs of spices and dehydrated veggies. After that there is nothing between camp and me but a fill-up at the gas station (so I don't have to do it on Sunday).

Our theme for September was mothers and pearls. We all brought photos of our moms and we all wore pearls while we sewed!

Let the photos begin...

Home of thousand of bolts of fabrics!
This is a normal sight in Shipshe.
Interior view of the main work area of the lodge.  We're all set up and ready to roll.
Hard at work having fun!
Some of the photos of our moms displayed on the hearth...
...more Mom pictures on the piano.
Every set of tables helps in the kitchen for one meal. My group had Thursday dinner. YUM
Sisters Mary and Geri playing Oscar Trivia.
A little tired late at night but my pearls are still in place =)
Caryl is so much fun...BTW that's a Kit Kat not a cigar!
A fabulous modification on an Edyta Sitar design.
Sandy made this wonderful quilt from her fathers jeans.
Marge does spectacular hand work.
Time for a little hand stitching, reading, and resting for some.
Gail and Moe made the same quilt with different colors.
Donna is putting the finishing touches on this beautiful Double Wedding Ring for her son and daughter-in-law.
Wandering around the property is inspirational.
Discussing a Blackhawks quilt.
Chef Sandy is in love with the new ovens that were installed!
Would love to see this quilt when it is finished--good job, Judy!
An artsy piece by Linda.
Chef Sandy presents us with a cupcake dress for dessert.
Caryl's big quilt from little pieces.
Chicago Blackhawks rule!
Kathy's gorgeous quilt is perfectly executed.
B.A.Q.S. Fall 2014 with our pearls and photos of our mothers.
Until March of 2015 ladies, when we'll do it all over again!

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.