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Chicago IQF 2018

I was glad I had the day to go to the International Quilt Festival in the Chicago area this year.  It isn’t a huge show so I just went for the day.  I was there from 10 – 3:30 and was satisfied I had visited any vendors I wanted and saw the quilts.

Here are 3 quilts I liked.  I can’t post all that I like so just chose these.

I love house quilts! This one was paper-pieced.  Lovely work and I like how she quilted it.

 

 

Beautiful quilting!

And this goes with the several Four Seasons quilts I have floating in my head as well as more houses.

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Thought I’d just write simple with today.  We had freezing rain and rain most of the day.  Off and on; mist and steady times.  This evening it has changed to snow pellets.  Not much total accumulation is expected.

I worked this morning on what will probably be a multi-year project for me.  Mostly hand applique with my hand-dyed fabric so far but eclectic mix of fabrics for leaves, etc later.  The last few days I turned under edges and prepped the trees.

The color of the sky and the trees was weird on this photo so I just made it black & white.  But you see the pressing under the edges of the trunk and branches.

Today I redid some pieces and arranged on the background of the whole tree oval and the sky.  The trees are arranged and basted down but not stitched.  Reverse applique of some leaves is next on the project.

Giant Star Quilt

Jan 2017
I send boxes to be shipped to my friend, Trish, every year.  Most of the items are for distribution to the local Honduran families to which they minister.  I’ve made and sent quilts before as their homes don’t have heat and many nights can be down in the 50’s!  I don’t want to sleep that cold and not have a quilt or blanket so they are really needed.  Mostly it is my time and I use fabric I already have.  I have yet to make much dent in the fabric stash so I’m glad to make someone happy with a warm quilt.

I also send school supplies, kitchen items, and small gifts for the Christmas packages they make.  I like supporting them because my funds and the gifts go to the people who need it most.  And Trish & her family continue to minister, teach, and train the ones they help in the economically poor country.  They don’t just drop a gift and never return but continue to make sure the family knows about God’s love and to make sure their physical needs are being met.

Last year they had some of their gifts stolen so I hope that quilt is keeping a  young person warm and they feel God’s love from my work.

This year, I made a quilt in colors for Trish’s room as she’d been talking about them moving houses to allow for their son and growing family to move into their bigger home.  I thought a new quilt would be nice for her new room.  This kept me so busy the month of January to try to get it done as a few customer quilts had started to come during my weeks of vacation. (Stay-cation, of course, but I was trying to quilt for me.)

Loaded on the frame.  I forget the exact dimensions w/o looking up the notes but I think it was 96″ square.

Each star triangle got about the same but freehand quilting motif.

It was a last minute piecing idea to put piping in between the borders.  It wasn’t a smart idea either! Besides being tedious, now my triangle points were all cut off! Argh!!

And my triangles didn’t fit my corners properly.  I decided it didn’t matter in the overall look of the quilt and I wouldn’t mind it if it was my quilt!

I pieced the backing from leftover fabrics from the front and I had clearly cut way too many triangles for the borders!  

It is easier to show the quilting from the back sometimes.

So as not to be removed, I incorporated my label into the back of the quilt!  I appliqued her initial and then wrote my words on the lighter fabric along her “T”.  I added narrow fabric strips along the bottom of the label area on a 45′ angle while I pieced the backing.  I found it fun to decorate the back as I had done on the Pencil Quilt last fall.

In one of the borders, I also backwards quilted a special message to Trish that I was going to tell her about when she received the quilt.  I’ve not heard from her or if the quilt made it safely to her or not.  :\   It sort of makes me sad but I know that she is very, very giving and could have given it to someone who needed it instead of keeping it for herself.   (Hence, the label that can’t be removed.) I also know it isn’t possible to run such a ministry they do on their own and send notes to everyone that sends boxes for them.  I loved making this and would love to make a giant star quilt for myself sometime and add all the heavy freehand quilting.  It was a lot of fun!

Christmas Quilt

I bought this cloth book in a kit to make the quilt several years ago.  Finally, I was tired of waiting on myself to have it done at Christmas  so I made it!  I had the 2017 quilts finished for customers and the 2017 books caught up for The Farmer.  Time to quilt for me!

Since it was first printed to be a child’s cloth book, I cut apart each page to use as a block in the quilt.  The kit included fabric to make the pages all the same size.  I quilted around the animals and the first line of story on each page.

The border quilting was a fast double scallop and loops (ornaments) and the small decorative blocks in the quilt design had a freehand loop and leaf depending on which way I was moving at the time so they go different directions.

 

The last page tells of the animals welcoming the baby Jesus, The Great “I AM”.  Also the name of the fabric line.  A quilt shop in SD put the kit together to create the quilt from the book.  When I bought this at a quilt show, they said it was their last kit.

Since I had the binding on but not wrapped by Christmas I finished the hand-sewing the week following Christmas and plan to keep the quilt out all winter.  Someday a little one might come visit me and we can read the story while keeping our laps warm.

My first time to use a corner and fast label!

Tried several places of real southern BBQ — oh my, if only I could make a pork roast end up tasting that good!!
This place was small and full on a Saturday noon, but oh.so.worth it!  We ate outside in the shade and it was just lovely!
The Purple Daisy Cafe’ just at the bottom of Lookout Mountain.  Very good BBQ pork & chicken that we sampled as well as the sides.  Personally, I loved the window valance!

Saturday road trip to Lookout Mountain.

From Alabama, to Tennessee, to Georgia, to Tennessee… to get to Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga!

We rode the incline railway down and right back into the 1 hour line to go back up.  It was over 100′ plus much humidity so it was a long, snaking, cue-line waiting to get back on. The ride and view were fascinating though!

view from the top of the town and area below

We were only at the top view point, above the railway for a few minutes, just long enough for me to have the nerve to get to the edge for the photo above, when my text message went off that our car parking was ready to expire! We hustled back up more hill to our car and headed out for lunch.

After lunch, we visited the Chattanooga Zoo.  Not worth the cost of entry but they did have a steel giraffe!

Real giraffes would arrive sooner if only I had donated….

~~~

Back in Alabama, we walked through Lowe’s Mill… a very cool old cotton mill factory filled with studios of a variety of artisans.  I was so glad JP had found this as a place we could tour.  I loved seeing the shops even tho most were closed, the front side was glass for viewing their wares.

They had 2 large swings and I loved swinging!   P doesn’t know my childhood experience with swings so thought I needed pushed.  Meanwhile, I was glad JP got good photos.  🙂

 

 

A hike in the Caverns Cave National Park – 1 hour cave tour on Sunday.


After lunch and a bit of shopping – one of JP’s hiking spots after a lovely drive up the mountain side!

Other highlights of our 3 days there — Our first Costco visit!   The struggle of being in the Bible-belt and trying to find a place for lunch out on a Sunday! And we learned to make a U-turn tho we felt guilty every time!!

We had to tell him goodbye Sunday evening as he is early to bed & early to rise, leaving by 7 a.m. for work each day.  We stayed that night yet and then headed home the next day.  A wonderful visit!

There were 4 quilt – sewing shops in the town on the Row-by-Row Experience and with the travel theme most had rockets, missiles, and NASA, & Army themed patterns.  I made super fast stops at all 4, they weren’t too far from each other, the men tolerated me, and I’m excited to have them from the trip.  I picked up another pattern on the way down and one on the way home.  Yeah!

Hopefully we get another visit in the new year as well!

First Time to AL

We were both excited to finally get a visit to JP’s new place in Alabama.

It is about 11 hours of driving and we didn’t leave home until early afternoon so only tackled the long state of IL on our first day. The next day after a stop at only one quilt shop in Quilt City, USA, we continued to his town arriving about 2:30 p.m.   We checked into the hotel and cooled off a bit, adjusting to the temps over 100′ F.  He was soon off work and called that we could come meet him at his apartment.  We had packed his list of what else he wanted to have at his place from  home.   His Green list and his Yellow list made it in the car along with our 2 suitcases, a cooler of meat for him, and a cooler of snacks for us.  He was surprised!

Nothing like the welcome sight of seeing him come down the steps of his apartment after so many months of not seeing him!  Swoon!  The crepe myrtle trees lining his apartment building (and all over the city)  were in full bloom.  Stunning!  This is the view out his living area and the men making another trip to  unload.

He gave us good tours and activities for us to do while we spent 3+ days with him as he got Friday off by his new boss.  So thankful for all the comp hours he had already put in!

We saw the NASA Space Museum….  I have been a big NASA fan since the Apollo trips when we’d watch them in school. Seeing all this up close was fantastic!  Having an intelligent tour guide — tender to this momma’s heart!

This is the Marshall Space Flight Center.  (He was at Langley NASA Research Center before.)

Mostly I have photos of their backs…

JP offered to take my photo! (rare!) Me with one of the Space Shuttles!  The size – immense! The boosters it needs –  Just more than I could ever imagine!

 

It was Space Camp Graduation day and the kids got to ride the rides.  We chose not to be so sick being shot into the air!

In short, Wernher Von Braun led to the rise of Huntsville after they lost the cotton industry and the city is  now “Rocket City”.

This building had a whole Apollo rocket with all the pieces laying down so it could be viewed. Then one outside, standing up, seen for miles.

JP & me in front of an Apollo rocket.

They had a photo op place because of the kids’ Space Camp graduation day.  I wish I had gone to space camp! Some earned or purchased uniforms! I wanted one until I saw the prices!  But I got my “souvenir” photo!  LOL!

It was 105′ plus higher heat index while we were there.  Really we are melting in the photos!  He is used to it a bit more, working outside often in heavier clothes.
~~~

We got to see the base and the outside of the building where he works.  At least we have a bit of a visual in our heads now.  We couldn’t take photos or get out of the car at all while on base except to the NASA building where they had a gift shop that I walked through.  (Another NASA shirt for me from clearance even tho he isn’t working for them now and some postcards which are very late in being mailed!)
No photos.  No getting out of the car. This is all I have from the gate.  He said this was it, Mom.  So it is through the lovely windshield! The rest of our memories are saved in our minds.  Amazing!

part 2 coming….

 

I was really glad I could get to the IQF – Chicago quilt  show this spring for all 3 days.

On the first day, I had a few hours and saw some of the quilts as well as some of the vendors.

I had a class in the afternoon and I was first to sign up and ask to be teacher’s pet so I was the helper for the class. I had the ribbon to add to my nametag and afterwards I got a pin.  (So much un-Wow factor there!)   I checked with the Education​ office 45 mins before class was to start. Soon after one student was able to buy the class from someone else but came without even a pair of scissors! She got a quick class list and went shopping. On top of it, she had never taken a quilt class!

This was very interesting sort of class. Nothing I’ve ever done in my 30 years of quilt making!  It looks like wonky piecing but technically is applique.

At these classes, the machines are provided by a mainline dealer and there is a rep for every 3 classrooms. The rep gave an overview of the machine AND…. we found out the our carefully chosen specialty threads (on class list) wouldn’t fit in the machine.  It wasn’t a brand I’d suggest in the first place but that put a damper on things a bit.  I happened to have 1 spool that could fit in the machine so used that.  A few others had the rep wind their thread onto a bobbin to use as the top thread.  I think most in the class just had to use the regular sewing thread.  Oh … Brother, not for me!  Had I or we all known, at least I would  have brought a piece of tape, paperclip, and paper cup from SBx and made my thread work!  LOL!

Karen Stone was the instructor and had a long wait in the SBx line so was late for class.

Then the Education coordinator came to talk about other classes and the evening activities (ie trying to sell tickets) and the sewing machine rep came and talked too long.  (I guess maybe I should fill in the email survey…)  Finally it was class time but about 2:20, instead of 2 as we had all been waiting for.

The class was titled, “Remainderings” and as she taught we finally figured it out.  Very fun!

Karen gave a bit of an intro but mostly we just needed to watch her get going.  I like how she taught us 3 steps and then let us work on that.  She was right at our table or we’d congregate in a group of 5 or 6 around a machine while she’d demonstrate the next step again.  We needed the beginning steps learned before we moved on and she taught that well in class.  Once we all had a few pieces of the first half accomplished, she taught the final 2 steps.  I think all of us had one block completed through all the steps by the end of class.  Not that having “just one” block was a negative!  We had many blocks in various stages to jump right back into when we got home.

My first finished block.


Some of my pieces in progress when it was time to be done.

One of Karen’s blocks

 


Other students’ blocks.  The reason I needed to carry the 2 rolls of blue tape to the classroom — to hang our blocks on the wall!  Ha!


The blocks Karen had made to show us how they all go wild and play fun together!

I jumped right back into real life when I got home.  Maybe this weekend, I can sew some more on my class blocks.  I think it will make a very fun quilt!