Saturday, September 20, 2014


I have become a temporary citizen of Wisconsin!  I have spent the better part of the last 10 days across the border in Augusta, WI, and have 3 more days to go.
Staying at this retreat center makes me feel kind of spoiled, it is such a nice pleasant place and surroundings, and someone else does the cleaning!  

A week ago I was here with a group of quilters, organized by the Ham Lake Piecemakers, but attended by an assortment of quilters who enjoyed the time together.
Here are pictures of some of the beautiful things that were created:

Judy G. put all the pieces together on her quilt of pears, a pattern by Fig Tree.
Love her color choices!

A wise owl quilt by wise Tracy E.--destined to be a gift.

Bags to the left of her, bags to the right--Leisl's beach bag factory!
She reconstructs discarded broken beach umbrellas during her summer
at the East coast, and they sell like hotcakes!

Tiffany, daugher-in-law of Judy, finished her first quilt!

We all shared meal duties and feasted on good food, snacks, and laughter!
Another excellent adventure, sign me up for next year!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

alive and well

Just letting you know that I am still breathing!

I have found the answer to one of life's important questions:
How many times can a 2 year old ask "What's that"?
Answer:  Infinity

We (Bob and I) spent a wonderful long weekend with our 2 little grandsons.  And then collapsed!
There are many entertaining things to do when you are 2.
Ride on Grandpa's lawn tractor.
Look for toads.
Go to the apple orchard.
Help grandma cook something.
Build a fire with Grandpa.
Pull weeds.
Play outside with front end loaders and dump trucks in the sand.

And then there's baby brother, who likes his bottle many times a day.
And learning to eat cereal.
And work on rolling over.
And tummy time.
And holding onto rattles.
And jumping in the bouncer.

We all had a good time, and we were all glad to see mom and dad return from their trip.
Being grandparents is a good thing!

One of our weekly produce bags brought us these very pretty vegies, and I just had to take a picture.  I have never seen a purple cauliflower before!  It turned the water purple when I steamed it.  I should have used it for dying some yarn!

Remember the new yarns that I bought on vacation? I made myself leave them alone until I finished the little sweater that I had been working on.

Here it is after washing, all laid out to dry.  
The letter "B" stands for Burke, their last name.
And solves the problem of whether to put their first initial on it and then the other won't get to use it.
And now that that's done, I am figuring out my next project!

Monday, September 1, 2014

2 finishes

I have finally had a little uninterrupted (well, mostly) time in my sewing room to finish up some things for new classes at the store.  Right now is the back to school time of year, and that carries over to the store, too!  We have a long list of new classes opening up, for a full list go to the "Classes" tab on the website and choose the list of classes from the drop down menu.

I am really happy to finally get things pulled together for a new class I have wanted to get organized for quite awhile.  Since learning how to do English Paper Piecing a couple of years ago, I have wanted to do more with all of the different shapes.  Maybe it's the geometry thing, I always did like that class!  But stacking, moving, shifting, reversing and twisting those shapes fascinates me.  I know, dorky!

This new class will meet once a month or so (I plan to lay low during December!).  It's mostly a social and work time for anyone who wants to come, but each time I will have a new "featured shape" and a project that showcases that shape.

Our first class (in October) will feature the clamshell and this pillow project as an example of how to use them.

Then, in November, we will feature the tumbler shape, and the instructions for this little zipper tote.  It was fun to put together the tumblers using a little "Moda Candy" pack that I had picked up somewhere.  This pack is a bundle of 2 1/2" squares cut from a whole group of coordinating fabrics.  Makes it so easy to get a bunch of prints that go together.

I assembled all of the tumblers and then had to decide what they would be used for.  Not another pillow.  Maybe a little tote?  Make that a zippered tote!  I appliqued (by machine) the tumbler blocks onto the turquoise fabric, added some Soft and Stable, lining, zipper, and voila!

After I had it all together, it needed a really good steam press.  Which is hard to do on these 3-dimensional objects.  I was reaching for my pressing ham (which needed a dusting) and realized that my special little pressing mitt would be just right for this.  It actually is an oven glove or potholder for cooking, made of some of that heat resistant silicone stuff.  It's pretty firm, yet flexible.  It fits on my hand like a mitten, and I wear that on one hand inside the little tote while holding the iron in the other hand and moving the iron over the area that needs pressing.  It's a little clumsy, but it just dawned on me that it would work so much better to have a 3rd hand!  Look out, Bob!  Next time you will be wearing the mitt!

And now my next task is to write up the directions for these 2 projects!

Then, for my wool applique class, I really should get these 4 little guys quilted and bound.  They are part of my on-going wool applique group at the store.  It's been fun to see the combinations of wool and cotton, piecing and applique.  These patterns are all designed by Stacy West of Buttermilk Basin.



And speaking of Stacy, I am so excited to be a student of hers at a special event she is organizing.  It is just a few short weeks away!  She is using a barn in the Wisconsin countryside for what I hope will be an annual event.  Classes, shopping, food and fiber!  I might never leave!  You, too, can attend.  All the info is on her website.