Friday, April 20, 2018

Chicago Quilt Festival

I had a great time last weekend at The Chicago Quilt Festival.  It is smaller than Houston, but so easy to drive to.

I took lots of phone photos, I hope you can see the details.

One of the highlights was a special exhibit by Cindy Rennells, of Cindy's Antique Quilts.

She featured several antique quilts using star blocks.

The green in this one was a beautiful shade.

Hand pieced and hand quilted, the alternated blocks were a glazed bird chintz.

Bird Chintz with Star Blocks
Brown Setting Triangles
Green Binding

Some examples of the bird chintz in the alternating blocks:

The indigo quilt has expertly pieced with basic quilting - a stunning classic.
16 blocks and a HST Border


Check Out The Last Row

Lower Right Corner Block

Love the Pink and Blue

Clasped Hands
The center block of these stars is
appliqué of two clasped hands

Gloved hands maybe?

So many more great quilts in the exhibit, only
a few posted here.  Thank You Cindy!!

This was one of my favorite hand quilted quilts.
Elegant in all white.


Yes, it had a well deserved ribbon!
Beautiful hand quilting, crowded area so hard to 
get photos.

Cynthia Collier had a quilt in the Traditional
Her broderie perse and quilt as you go
method is beautiful.

How many of you started a little house quilt
with Jeanneke?
I did.
My plan is to make a house to represent 
every home I have lived in.
Still a WIP....

Machine Quilted houses
Selective Cut fabrics

Hand Quilted Center

Sue Spargo had a special exhibit with so many quilts I lost track.
The layers of wool, embroidery and embellishments are impressive.
She drew quite a crowd, she did three gallery talks.

Just a couple examples from the numerous
quilts in the special exhibit.

What did I buy?
Another Cutterz ring.
Of course my friend and I got the bling models
Handy for air travel.
I need some practice because I am still getting
a bit more fuzz at the thread end than I like.
They are a Shark Tank business - FUN!

Test Batch

Then there was an ice and snow storm!
Ice in the North Chicago suburbs where I stayed.
At home, they ended up with 22" of snow.
Fortunately, I was staying with good friends and we made the
best of the day hand sewing and - baking pretzels!

Sandy O was the winner of the magazine, I notified her and have not heard back. If I don't hear from her next week I will draw again.

I hope you enjoyed the Chicago Quilt Festival photos.

Have a great week,


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Charming Idiosyncrasies

Ann's Original Inspiration Doll Quilt
The Summer 2018 Issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects is another great issue!
Ann Hermes, Notes From The Quilt Lab patterned a sweet wool table topper, "Reel Hearts"  and asked me to make an appliqué doll quilt like her original inspiration.

The timing was perfect.  I was looking for a small portable piece to work on during vacation - - a while ago!

I especially like that the magazine not only accepted, but appreciated the "charming idiosyncrasies"of the original quilt.

I made mine with the wide binding, rounded "eased" corners and mismatched heart shapes. I even copied the hand quilting lines.

Those of us who love antique little quilts know it's those "charming idiosyncrasies" that help make them so special.

It is almost harder to make them this way than "perfect".

Ann's wool topper uses hand dyed felted wool.

She incorporated the colors of a summer garden.

Beautiful photography with the bird, threads, buttons and scissors.

Mine is on the right side in green and cream.  The colors of the original 1870's green...or a bed of hostas.

The binding is the widest I've ever used on a little quilt.  It's always fun to try new to me finishes.

The corners on the original were eased into a gentle curve - so that's what I did. Again, new to me.   Each corner is slightly different.

I love it, I think it is not only charming but fun.

I am glad the editors thought so too.

The hand quilting is minimal.

Outlined close to the appliqué. with some larger arcs between the motifs.

The pattern includes the four variations in the heart shapes - you can make your hearts all the same or all unique.

I have an extra issue to send to someone lucky.
Thank you Ann and Primitive Quilts and Projects.

Leave me a comment and I'll draw at random next week.

Are you a wool or cotton maker?

What colors will you use?

Happy Stitching.


Monday, April 9, 2018

Spring Travels

I say spring, but I am looking out the window at inches of freshly fallen snow.
Last weekend I was in Kansas at the Heartland Quilt Network. I drove home Saturday night to beat the snow!
I had a nice time.
I met Dawn Heese from Linen Closet Quilts.
Had a quick catch up with Missy Carpenter from Traditional Primitives.
Had a nice chat with Barb Eikmeier of Barb's Favorites and saw the art work for her new fabric line.
I met several other wonderful and generous quilting professionals, all listed on the website above.

This Thursday I will be in Chicago for Quilt Festival - Chicago.  Unfortunately there is snow in the forecast for the back end of this trip, so I may stay and extra day if need be.

The good new is I will be back in Kansas May 1.

Blue Valley Quilters Guild - Looking forward to your program!

I am bringing many of my hexagon quilts to Overland Park, Kansas.   There is a lecture and trunk show followed by a workshop.

Maybe I will see you there?

Also in May I am doing a couple programs for the Minnesota Embroidery Guild.  One on Early Girlhood Sewing and a second, by special request, on Lucie Huig Dunnibier.  Let me know if you are interested in these and I can get you details.

May 18 & 19 I will be at Penn Dry Goods at the Schwenkfelder in Pennsburg PA.  An annual event I love.  As always I will fly out a few days early for antique shopping and museum visits.

At the end of May I plan to be in Lincoln Nebraska at the International Quilt Study Center to see the Annette Gero exhibit of wool quilts, "War and Pieced - The Annette Gero Collection of Quilts from Military Fabrics".  Her book, "War Quilts and Quilts From Military Fabrics" is a wonderful resource if you would like to learn more about these special quilts.

Archive photo from 2009

June 13-16, I will be in Saint Cloud Minnesota at the Minnesota Quilters Annual Show.  This year, we
have the AQSG Traveling exhibit of Basket Study Quilts - look for me there.  I will also be giving a lecture on Saturday morning.  The Minnesota Quilt Project will have a special exhibit of Red & White Quilts in their booth to celebrate the 40th Ruby Anniversary of the Guild.  There are all kinds of vendors, classes, exhibits and more at the show.

I've heard from some of you that are getting a hotel and staying for a few days - I look forward to saying hello!

I'll be doing lots of portable hand stitching in the coming weeks.

If your guild or shop is interested in having me visit and do a program(s) for you - let me know I have several options we can make fun plans with!
Happy Stitching,

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Yes, for me - the past week was PRACHTIG! (My fluency in Dutch has a long way to go) BEAUTIFUL!
Friends, Fun, Fabric and Fun.

If you have followed my blog since I began, you know I have had an interest in Dutch fabrics since the 1990's.  I used to travel to Amsterdam for work. Dutch Fabrics was a favorite stop. I have completed a few of their quilts from the last two books.

Imagine my delight last year when I invited them to visit Minnesota and they accepted!  Petra Prins and Judith Ebbelaar visited Minnesota on their recent USA trip.

We had originally reserved an appointment to the storage room in Lincoln Nebraska at the International Quilt Study Center. With a change of plans that had to be cancelled. We were unable to make it to the Iowa Quilt Museum either. Darn flu and March weather!

We did have fun.
Velma the decided to come out of hiding.

She LOVED the ladies and a few times had to go into her own room for a nap in the sun to leave us in peace.

Maybe she wanted us to look out the window at the deer?
Or pet her instead of beautiful fabrics?

Yes, the deer came out and made an appearance.

Early morning or at dusk, they come out to raid the feeders...they are definitely suburban deer.

After a rest, we spent some time pulling things out of the vault to examine.

This is Petra and Judith looking at an antique quilted piece out on the tables.

These are study pieces, so yes - touching and examining with care is encouraged.  We wash our hands frequently to remove any oils or soil to protect the fabrics.  I do have gloves for others pieces.

Petra fabrics are printed with high quality and fine attention to detail.

We used a magnifier to compare examples.

I love this fine, fine dot in the Dutch Heritage line and plan to order more color ways of it.  See link above to order. (or on my blog side bar)
If you have any questions please let me know. The postage is always less and they only charge exact postage.

We looked at Petra's quilts from her trunk show.

All lovely!!

I had seen some of the original antique quilts, and photos in books. It was a special treat to see them in person and have Petra tell me about reproducing them.

Examining the use of fabrics and placement of color.

How beautiful!!

An extra special treat for me, Petra brought the antique "Conversation" quilt.

We placed the two quilts side by side on the sofa.

What a delight to see the two quilts side by side.

I was so enthralled I forgot to take a photo of Petra with the quilt.

Petra's Quiltmania Quilt Along

I even held the quilt and looked a the conversation prints in detail.  Later we got out some of my antique conversation prints and I shared some with Petra.


I really like how my Hexy Stars quilt colors blend with the
Dutch Heritage fabrics.

Lovely hand piecing.

Judith enjoying some fun (sick? ya, sure!!!)
After some relaxing and fun, we did leave the house!
Remember, fabric, fun and food!!

There was shopping.

The evening they were expecting 12" of snow in Northfield, we went to Reproduction Fabrics to shop and visit Margo.

Margo shared the artwork for her new lines coming out soon - fun to see! She also gifted us with some of her new paper products that use artwork from her Dargate fabrics.

Let's just say...a bags of fabric came home with us.

We had lunch at a cute cafe on Main Street.

On the way back to the cities we stopped at Eagle Creek Quilt Shop and shopped the sale and regular
fabrics. Imagine the laughs when we found sale bolts in the bathroom...

There was time for sewing, as we heard the snow warning - well, the snow never came.
We looked at the original and reproduction and variations of the Noah and Matilda Quilt.
Just a light dusting of snow the second to the last morning.

There were meals here. Including some local specials, wild rice chicken soup and 
Minnesota Hot Dish.
We had a lovely meal out at a favorite Italian restaurant.
We enjoyed some spicy food with margaritas.
(Let's just say that is not my hand, however I enjoyed one too)

I had a mini class from Judith on a new to me appliqué technique.
Great fun!  I understand Gerda does her hexagons by creasing first.

I was so fortunate to be gifted with this beautiful c.1850 Dutch
Tape Measure. I plan to research the makers mark and will 
post about it later this year.
Thank you for this treasure!!!
Thank you for the many happy memories.

Also, this wonderful hat from Marken for my ladies bonnet collection.

Painting by Rudolf Possin, Markem Museum
Here you can see the lace addition.
The style of the hair is just as important as the bonnet.

Thank you Petra and Judith for taking time from your vacation
schedule to visit from Washington DC to Minneapolis! Read more about
their travels on their blogs.
SO many happy memories made!!

Happy Stitching,