Barn Quilts, Woolen Shop and More

I spent this past weekend in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with my lovely sister-in-law, Judy, and her friend, Kay.  We began the day with a trip to her local quilt shop, Pine Needles, for a fun quilt group to learn of all the latest things. This shop is quite famous and one of the nicest I have ever visited.  The weather was cold and rainy, but we had a great time anyway.

Then we went to Kalona, Iowa.  I share with you the postcard I picked up at the quilt shop we visited. There is a wonderful Barn Quilt Tour in Washington County to see amazing quilt blocks which are painted on the side of barns.  We saw quit a few of the painted quilt blocks as we drove into Kalona, but with the rain it wasn’t good for photos or a complete tour.  Maybe next year on a sunny day.

We promptly had a luscious lunch at the Tuscan Moon Restaurant. A super place with great food. Then walked across the street to the Willow Creek Quilt Shop (sorry no link), but a lovely quilt shop that just went on forever. Each nook was filled with a new treasure to behold.  It was hard talking myself out of buying everything.  A must see when in Kalona.

We skipped the Kalona Quilt Museum (as I actually had been there before…although it is a “great” place to visit), and left for Williamsburg, Iowa where Judy and Kay had discovered a wonderful wool shop on a previous trip. The Woolen Needle is just a lovely place to find lots of wool patterns and get the most beautiful hand-dyed wool. 

 

 

 There is nothing more wonderful and fun than spending a weekend with good friends.  Ahhhh.

Moving onto another topic….Each year at the beginning of November, my quilt group holds a holiday boutique.  All of our members make handmade things to sell.  Part of the profits go to our quilt group to sustain us during the year in order to have wonderful guest speakers at our meetings.  We also use our profits to buy fabric for charity projects.  For several years now, my contribution is a stack of baby blankets with teddy bears. On September 30th I showed a photo of a huge pile of flannel fabric.  Well here is part of the results my work.  I made about 14 blankets and teddy bears and have flannel for about 6 more (later maybe).  I also made up the “Moses Basket” to use for displaying my blankets.  While my children are all grown and my grandchildren are too old for baby blankets…they are still fun to make.

Ornaments

I’ve been working a lot without much time for sewing.  Actually I wake up at 4 AM and get some sewing done before I go to work.  I think I am a bit tired…but I managed to do these Christmas ornaments.  They are from a pattern by Indygo Junction.  I haven’t done a lot of it, but I love working with wool.  I have been collecting it for years hoping to do something fun.

 

 

 

Aren’t they just adorable.  I think I will save them for gifts for the holiday season. 

 

 

 

I think this green one is my favorite.  They worked up quickly and it was something I could do when I was really tired and just wanted to sit in front of the TV at night and “veg.”

 

 

 

The embroidery on this one didn’t take much time and it really adds a lot to the ornament!

 

 

 

 

The little Christmas tree has beads for ornaments and a tiny silver bead to top the tree.  Each ornament has a “jingle bell” attached to the ribbon.

 

 

On second thought…I think perhaps that this Mistletoe ornament might be my favorite.  When I was a young girl, I always made sure I had mistletoe around at the holidays for the all the gentlemen who might pass through our doorway!  What do you think?

 

 

 

Perhaps it is hard to choose a favorite.  But I think they will make delightful gifts this year.  Glad I spent those early mornings sewing.

Crazy Quilt Stitching

Several people have emailed me and asked for clearer and close-up photos of my crazy quilt stitches. Here is my best shot. Hope this helps. This was an experiment in crazy quilting for me. While I love to embroider and stitch, I had never really worked with silk ribbon before…I guess I am learning. Just for fun…my friend, Dolores, had some of us other friends over and taught us “how-to.” Between her lovely patience and reading a few books…voila…the makings for a pretty pillow top.


Wildflower Harvest Quilt Show

This morning my friend Pat and I were able to attend the  Wildflower Harvest Quilt Show which we learned about from Marjorie’s blog. There is still time…the show will be open on Sunday from 10 until 4 in Valparaiso, Indiana. It was a lovely quilt show. Lots of artistic quilts and many exciting vendors were there. One of my favorite booths was Pat Winters Gatherings. I read her blog every day and have a link on my blog to hers. I bought the most luscious hand-dyed ribbons from her and also a packet of beads to make a dragonfly.  She generously included for me a spider thread and bead kit and a silk for my crazy quilting.  Her booth was beautiful…so colorful with her crazy quilted purses and all of her hand-dyed ribbons.  How inspiring and such fun to look at!!  And there were plenty of people to share my enthusiasm.  So if you have time and live nearby…please stop by to see her.  She is as lovely in person as she is in writing her blog.

Here is a crazy quilt block that I began a while ago and have not completed…ahhhhh, another Work In Progress (WIP).

But I think I’ll save my new acquisitions for a brand new block.

Also want to mention that this weekend is the Sewing Exposition at Pheasant Run in St. Charles, IL.  It has a lot of wonderful vendors as well.

Progress and Past

Here is one of the blankets I managed to complete this week…Peter Rabbit and a couple of others.  The blankets are about 40 inches square and are double sided.  The flannel is all prewashed and preshrunk.  I have been making these and selling them as gifts for years now.  It is my own design with special embroidered edges.  And each one comes with a cozy stuffed animal. 

I also finished a baby quilt for the grandson of a friend of mine, but I can’t put it on the blog until I get it into the mail. Don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Everyone is always worrying about all the fabric they have in their stash.  I did too.  So I decided to do something about it.  I made an old-fashioned multi-color cat quilt.  It was a Robert Callaham pattern shown in a magazine some years old.  Thinking I would put a big dent in my stash, I even used scraps to create a patchwork backing for the quilt.   And you know what happened…I think my stash is just as big as it was before.  This lovely quilt didn’t even put a dent into my collection of fabric.   I had the opportunity to display my quilt in the public library for nearly six months.  It was fun.

 

 

 A closeup of the cats and “fence.”

 

 

 

Here is the back of the quilt…..all the left over scraps from the front of the quilt.

 

 

 

 

Here is a photo of the library where the quilts were hung.

 

 

 

 

And here is a photo of some quilting friends giving a demonstration of their quilting skills at the public library.

 

  

Quilting makes such good friends and we have such a good time together!  I wouldn’t trade this time with my friends for anything.