Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Priming Creativity at the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild

This group is pretty creative to begin with.  But we can all use a little help.  Tricia did Nesting Boxes, Holly did Coffee Sleeves, Jen and Eileen did Mug Rugs, Erika did T-Shirt Scarves, Sarah S did Drawstring Bags, and I did a Sewing Kit and a Magic Business Card Case.

Pull on the little yellow ribbon and a business card magically floats up.

Open the Sewing Kit, and you have
  • a pair of little scissors
  • spool of thread
  • pockets for needles and thimble
  • a big pocket for whatever project you're carrying
  • a pin cushion

Here's the outside of this kit made from leftover bits.  So many leftover bits still to use.  Let me know if you want directions for either of these.  The Sewing Kit is from Rashida Coleman-Hale's book Zakka Style.  The Magic Business Card Case was a free project from Quilting Arts. The sad part of the afternoon was that we presenters didn't get to see what the others were doing.  Lovely Sarah H gave me one of her drawstring bags out of a fabric used in my Modern Round Robin from the summer of 2011.  Very thoughtful!  Think I'll check out what t-shirts I have laying around...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Quilting for a Novice

Jen, a Kennedy art teacher and one of the most talented teachers I know (she runs, she instructs yoga, she's nationally certified) has started quilting.  Look what she did with these lovely fabrics.  This simple pieced baby quilt just sings because of the fabrics and design.  She entrusted this quilt to me for quilting.  We are both pleased with how it turned out.  I sent her home with a binding demo and a book with clearly-written binding directions - Quilts Made Modern by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr.  Can't wait to see the finished product!  And I can't wait to teach Jen some of my tricks! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Time for a Shower

My friend Cecilia's daughter Kim is getting married, and her wedding shower is tomorrow. After looking at Kim's on-line registries, I was getting a sort of retro vibe with her color and style selections. And look what coordinating fabrics just happened to be in my stash, all ready to be quilted!  Between the spoon made by my cousin Jerry and the nifty new 9 x 13 pan and the insulated lining, this present is one I'm proud to give.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Squirrel vs Birthday Man

 John loves birds.  And he feeds them constantly.  Those little sparrows are really little pigs.  But John's bigger program is that the local squirrels love the bird seed.  He has moved the feeder and bought "squirrel proof" feeders.  But to no avail.

Today from the kitchen window John saw one of the squirrels hanging upside down and just munching his ass off.
 John grabbed his favorite big stick (not the same one Teddy R had).  Of course as John neared the feeder the squirrel jumped to the ground. 

But this little squirrel doesn't scare that easily.  Once on the ground he kind of glared at John.  So John chased him out of the yard. 

And here's John victorious.  Quite the present considering today is his 73rd birthday!

(Shortly after I left the house and the squirrel was back on the bird feeder.  But don't tell John)

Thursday, October 4, 2012


My fabulous Chicago Modern Quilt Guild did an art swap that turned out to be a great hit and a tremendous amount of fun.  These 25 quilts are now going to be part of a quilt exposition, thanks to fellow guildster Sara Hochhauser.  In getting these quilts ready to ship and travel, I just happen to have some of them in my studio. Aren't they beautiful?  More to come on these quilts and the exposition!

Monday, October 1, 2012

I Travel

I travel to see how others live. I travel to see different geography.  I travel to see beautiful things.  And during these travels I find inspiration - and sometimes fabrics - for things I want to quilt. I have several folders on my computer for quilt inspiration. There was once a poster we bought years ago of the doorways of Dublin. And in Norway we found a lovely similar poster. Doesn't it have a beautiful quilty look? I like the idea of a quilt of various openings. My niece Jen took a fabulous photo through a battlement in the Great Wall outside of Beijing. Think it might be time to resurrect that photo, if I can only figure out which of the inspirational folders I've put it in.

Doorways of Alesund, Norway

Cliffs of Vestmanna, Faroe Islands

We spent one glorious day on the Shetland Islands and the following day at the Faroe Islands.  After a beautiful bus trip across we took a small boat to see the cliffs of Vestmanna, which is crazy with birds and scenic wonders.  We actually sailed through this opening.  Those on the outside of the boat had to wear helmuts as protection from the constant "drippings." 

Our time in and around Reykjavik was the most interesting because of the volcanic landscape and the gentle colors.In the volcanic soil are openings - crevices, streams, plants.  It looks forebeoding but beautiful.

Bright shiny fabric from Greenock, Scotland

As most of our fellow travelers went to Glasgow or to the Scottish countryside for an excursion, John and I stayed in the port town of Greenock and explored.  I made the above purchase in a lovely fabric store where the clerk admitted she didn't quilt and so of course I told her quilting was rocket science.  It's difficult sometimes to buy quilting fabrics in other countries because the US is the mecca of all things quilting.  However, Makower is the UK arm of Andover.  I found this bright shiny stuff,  which apparently I'm attracted to and had to buy!

I'm happy to be home and think about where I've been and what I want to create.  It was a lovely trip, and I'm a lucky girl.