Hi from Colorado

Boulder and the RockiesHello everyone…I’m still in Colorado, but wanted to give an update.  My son is doing exceptionally well, albeit he must be very careful and do nothing but walk, lay down and take it easy for at least another month.   The surgery appears to have been a great success.  He always told me the weather in Colorado here was mild compared to Chicago and I used to tell him he was telling falsehoods.   However, it’s the middle of winter and it is to be in the 50s tomorrow!! with beautiful sunshine.  Eat your hearts out those of you back in Chicago!   I love driving into Boulder, Colorado and being able to see the Rockies and the city below.

On the trip out here we like to stop at some interesting places…and for me, of course, I look for quilt and needlework stores.   Our first side trip was in the Amana Colonies.   There is a WONDERFUL quilt shop there.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of this one, but believe me it is worth the side trip.   Heritage Designs is to be featured in Quilt Sampler Magazine soon.   They are not only a quilt store, but also a needlework shop.   A great place to visit.  I can’s seem to find a website for them…but be sure to drop in when passing through.

Fons & PorterLater that same day we made the side trip to Winterset, Iowa.   Here one can find the home of Fons and Porters Quilt Store.  You know how one can never seem to find good light fabric…well I found quite a collection to my liking.   I collect patches from famous places I have been, mostly state parks, etc., but I found a lovely patch from Winterset with a quilt block in the middle.  The patch is a fundraiser for the Bridges of Madison County there.  Another great place to visit, so be sure to take the time to stop here.

John Wayne

Not far around the corner from the Fons and Porter shop, one can find the birthplace of our own famous John Wayne!   It was late in the day, but the visitor’s center called ahead and the delightful caretaker opened his shop for us.   Now that’s service you don’t find at home!   If you like John Wayne…this is a must.

 

Stitchers Garden1I told my daughter-in-law to go skiing with her friends in the moutains for a few days, for a break away from the caregiving.  So after spending some time with my son, helping out with the daily things like, walks around the block, laundry, shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc., I managed to sneek out with the use of our trusty GPS, and found this SUPER needlework shop, The Stitcher’s Garden, in Longmont, Colorado on Main Street.    I couldn’t stop myself and spent far too much money.

Stitchers Garden2

Nancy who helped me out was delightful, even serging the edges of the fabric I purchased.   Again…service beyond compare!!   The shop has a little bit of everything…something for everyone.   I even had to go back again this week and make a second purchase.   And since I will be here for a while…no doubt I’ll go back at least one more time.  This is a MUST stop for anyone in the Longmont, Colorado vicinity…about 20 minutes north of Boulder.  But if you can’t make it here, the online shop is great and so is Nancy.

 

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 Today I found a quilt shop nearby in Niwot, called Cottonwood Quilts.   What a great place!   It’s just a short drive north from Boulder.  First of all, the town is a delight in itself.   A quaint little town with old fashioned buildings and lovely people.   Jill at Cottonwood Quilts is a lovely lady and  charming person who not only helped me out with my purchase, but went  so far as to give me handwritten directions to another special quilt shop to visit on the way home!  You know how each quilt store has its own “ambiance”…well, I loved this one.   It’s warm and inviting and the people in the shop were just as delightful.   I know I will have to stop in again before I leave Colorado.   And I know I will shop here again on my next visit to Colorado.  Feel free to drop in to see them online.CottonwoodQuilts2

 Now I have to take those directions that Jill from Cottonwood Quilts gave me for The Quilted Moose in Gretna, Nebraska, and program them into our GPS, so I don’t have any trouble at all finding this quilt shop on the way home.

Gee…taking care of my son here in Colorado is turning out to be much more fun than anticipated!   And I feel like I’ve made new friends in the quilt and needlework shops of Colorado!

Such Fun

pb130082The Quilt Show on Friday was delightful.  They showed the most beautiful quilts.   Each one was a work of art in itself.   We all love different things and there was something for everyone.  I have a couple of photos here of my favorites, but unfortunately I forgot to get the names of the persons who made them.  I am truly sorry about that so I cannot give them the credit they are due.  If anyone knows who they belong to let me know and I will adjust my post.  But they are LOVELY.  Aren’t they the most beautiful pictorial things you have ever seen!   Remember…these quilts belong to others…so no copying.

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Of course one of the best parts of the show is the vendor mall. It is amazing to see the variety of things for sale. And the lovely people who are designing and running the shops are delightful.

I found the greatest pattern for an adorable elephant from Indygo Junction.  

Elephant Pattern

 

Here he is….isn’t he absolutely the cutest thing you have ever seen?!!! 

elephant

Sophie Jacket

And then there was this unique sweet jacket that I simply couldn’t resist.  I bought this pattern to make a spring jacket with prairie points in soft colors like this one for my granddaughters.  The pattern is called Playful Patches Jacket  and it is truly more like “instructions”  rather than a real pattern.  You use your own oversized T-shirt (in the size of your choosing) for a pattern.  It can be made with one jelly roll up to a child’s size ten and one jelly roll plus 2.5 yards of fabric for the lining for an adult to size 16.  The  company is called New Beginning Designs …(silverthimble@excite.com).  They don’t seem to have a website yet, but I have included an email address if anyone is interested.  Their shop is located in Springfield, New Hampshire.   Love it!

All in all, it was another GREAT day with friends.  For one who does not like to shop, I guess I do like to do fabric and pattern shopping.   And viewing the works of art in the quilt show was stupendous!  It was such fun.

Quilt Show

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Thought I’d share with all of you this postcard reminder I received in the mail this week.  Today begins the Greater Chicago Quilt Exposition at the Renaissance Hotel in Schaumburg, Illinois.  I have gone for the past few years that is has been here and it is a nice show.   Not nearly as big as the Spring show at Rosemont, but a very nice quilt show.  I plan on attending on Friday with some very good friends.

For all you who LOVE to share the day with friends be sure to feast your eyes on the lovely international quilts shown here.   Naturally, there is a LOT of shopping available as well.

If any of you out there have a quilt in this show, please let me know so I can be sure to look for it.  Thanks!

Busy Weekend

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It was a bit busy this weekend, but fun. Friday my husband and I attended a beautiful wedding of the daughter of a long time friend. It’s so nice to be together with good friends. And what a special occasion to share with one another. I recall the weddings of my three like yesterday. Here’s a little collage of the day. I feel like I renew my own vows every time I attend someone’s wedding. How romantic! I have been married for 41 years now. And I think we’ll make it for at least another 20.

Also this weekend was our quilting Holiday Boutique. It is similar to a craft fair, but everything is set up like you were in a large department store…without any vendors. Everything is marked and counted before and after the sale. As I mentioned, part of the proceeds support our quilting group…but more than anything else, it is an all day affair where we get to know one another better, have a good time, laugh and share a bit of ourselves. Everyone who attends says its the best sale of its kind anywhere.

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And this lovely lady was made by a dear friend of mine who does absolutely exquisite work. She is a talented artist in all sorts of mediums. Her latest project will be a crazy quilt and I can’t wait to see it.
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New Quilt for Titouan

Maggy…my soul sister in France…has a new grandson, Titouan. I had to make something special for him. A bit of fun and a bit of the United States. So I found a fabric with lots of English words on it.

They are phrases which we hear a lot, but perhaps not so common France…but then again…maybe they are common. Can anyone of my French friends tell me if you use these phrases also? I love to learn new things. There are phrases like: See You Later Alligator or Quiet As a Mouse or A Little Bird Told Me…

Reappearing Rabbit or Monkey See Monkey Do or Leaping Leopard

Or Can A Zebra Can His Stripes?

Or Busy As A Bee

His Mom (who loved the quilt) sent me this super photo. Little Titouan doesn’t seem to care…he just loves being the center of attention. Isn’t he the most beautiful baby you have ever seen???

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.

Fabulous Flannel

It’s been a busy week, working mostly. But I attended the funeral of a good friend who passed away from melanoma. She was only 58. I wrote a reflection on her illness and impending death on August 17th. And I have been reflecting on her life and passing often lately. Of course this leads to reflection on one’s own life as well.

But I have to get back into the groove and take care of projects. Here is a stack of fabulous flannel which will be turned into cute little blankets with stuffed bears and bunnies. I have been making these and selling them for years.  I’ll post a photo when I am finished. My quilt group has a holiday boutique every year in November and a portion of the profit from the things we sell goes to our quilt group.  It allows us to have wonderful guest speakers each month and to purchase fabrics for charity quilts, cancer hats and wheelchair and walker bags.  So I have LOTS of work to do before the November boutique.  Guess the wedding quilt will be put on hold one more time.

Off to work for the day…I hope I still have energy tonight to start this flannel project!

Grandchildren’s Quilts

This past weekend two of my grandchildren came to stay with me, Noah is nearly 11 and Sophia is 6. I love to see them because soon they will grow too old for their “Nana.”  Although, the children gave me a small handmade item last year to prove that will NEVER happen.

When Sophia was a baby I designed this cheerful and bright quilt for her.   The white background is free-motion quilted in pink thread with lots of daisy-like flowers.  It still hangs on her bedroom wall. 

When Noah was just a “little guy” I made this Noah’s Ark quilt for him. It was one of the very first quilts I ever made. The animals and Noah are all done with piecing. I thought I’d never finish it. Some of the animals have corded tails that hang down and the giraffe has a 3D mane.  His quilt is safely tucked away in the closet.  I understand.  While it served its purpose many years ago, I think Noah needs a quilt for an “older guy” now.

And last, but never least, is this twin size quilt I made for Haley who is now 8 years old.  It was my first large size quilt and first appliqued quilt.  The hearts are free-motion quilted with feathers in a heart motif and the background is stippled.   While the colors look muted in this old photo, it is bright and cheerful as well.  The border is a lovely floral with gold etchings.   Her quilt has been washed often and loved much.   I would like to see her have a new quilt as well.

But, alas, my last little grandson, Max, who is nearly five has never had a quilt made for him.  I need to put this on my high priority list.  

However, I suppose I should finish that wedding quilt that I have been working on first.   Perhaps I should quit that full-time job I have and really retire.  I have enough fabric in my stash to quilt at least until I am 102 years old!!  Isn’t that a wonderful thought?   Hmmm.

I will have to think about that.  Last night I had dinner with a friend who also works full-time and she really inspires me with all the artwork she accomplishes.   She is amazing; I don’t know how she does it.  We had so much fun.  Maybe with the economy, I’ll just work a little longer and try to fit more in to my days, like Marjorie. 

“A Magical Year”

Blocks 1, 2 and 3

Today is my younger son’s first wedding anniversary.  Mike and Michelle live in Colorado and were married in a meadow near a lovely lodge in the mountains one year ago today.   I called them tonight to say “Happy Anniversary.”   Both seemed to be having a fun time with friends.   But I share with you something that my daughter-in-law said to me tonight … “We have just spent the most magical year of our lives.”   Now you must understand that my son was in a nasty auto accident two years ago, needs back surgery soon, and I believe it must have been a very difficult year.  And yet Michelle could still say they had a magical year.   Mike is so lucky, and as parents we are so lucky to have her in the family.

Here are photos of the blocks I have completed so far on their “wedding quilt.”   Yes, I am slow.   It should have been done at least for this anniversary!   Alas, it was not. 

Block 4

Block 5

Block 6

Michelle and Mike

Michelle and Mike

       Happy Anniversary!!

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