Wednesday, October 07, 2015

A Quilt Show/Road Trip

Last Saturday I decided on the spur-of-the-moment to attend a quilt show in a distant suburb. It was a long drive from where I live; I ended up driving 60 miles round trip (with a stop for refreshments and a wrong turn). It was my own personal little road trip, and I had a fun time.

The first picture is a quilt made by a group called Make it Modern. It was not a Make it Modern quilt show, but some of the members of MIM are also members of the group which was putting on the show (Women of the West). This quilt, made by Make it Modern, won third place at our state-wide Minnesota Quilters show, although I don't know the category in which it won. My cousin is part of that MIM group and was working on her contribution to this quilt when I was with her at a retreat. I might have even given her some pieces of my fabric to put in her blocks. So I feel I have a connection to that quilt, very loosely, of course.

The second picture above is made from Kaffe Fassett fabrics and one other kind which I can't remember. I like the quilt. You can see in photo number three that the quilt helpers were real angels. Literally. I asked if I could take her picture, and she serendipitously was standing next to a quilt that she had made.

This next quilt, below, was gorgeous! I voted for it for Viewers' Choice. It was modern-pieced and beautifully quilted. It was called something like Long White Afternoon. One of the angels pulled it over so I could see the quilting on the back. Lovely! The maker is named Peg Lindberg; I am a new fan of her and her lovely work.

This next quilt is also by Peg Lindberg. She makes up her own patterns. I like to do that, too, but she far surpasses my abilities. I can't figure out how she made this blue one. Can you?? I thought it was just rows of boxes, but the box borders don't line up, so I can't figure it out.

This next one is beautiful, too. I didn't notice who made it. I love it. The quilt story said she needed a painting for a particular wall space, and couldn't find anything she liked, so she made one herself. Sounds kind of Peg Lindberg-ish. Maybe it's hers, but I really have no idea.

This next one might cause you to think you're losing your eyesight. You're not. It's fuzzy-like on purpose. Take a look at the close-up. I think it's a panel, pieced in an interesting way, and the quilting enhances the fuzz look. Nice work!

Next: the maker took a class in which she learned various art quilt techniques. I should have studied these more carefully; I'll have to study the photo with a magnifying glass.

Next: more pretty quilts, Multnomah Falls, a Lone Star pattern which is something I hope to make some day before I die and/or stop quilting.

I had good luck at their boutique. I got there late in the day when everything was half-price; I picked up some real bargains.

It was a nice, spontaneous road trip. I might go to another quilt show again soon. Solo adventures are fun!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Friday Books: Presidents' Club

Last week I attended our annual cousins gathering where we include a book discussion. This year's book was The Presdident's Club, Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy. It's a long book (500 pages) which I would never have picked up to read on my own. I wasn't done reading it when I left town to attend the reunion, but I read like a demon for the next day and a half, and I finished it just in time.

This book was very interesting -- better than I expected! The information was fascinating. It has to do with the presidents of the U.S. who have returned to private citizenship. They get together and discuss lots of things, including former and current politics, and they act as advisors to whomever is the sitting president. They are the only other people in the world who have done the president's job and who understand its unique pressures and difficult decisions that are required. So they can be very valuable resources to the sitting president.

What was amazing was all the finagling and even competition that goes on between the presidents. Some of them hate each other during campaigns but then become great friends when they both become former presidents (or the opposite can also be true). Some of them have a hard time giving up the power and they keep their fingers in the pot, trying to stir things up and affect policy decisions (um.. just take a guess... Nixon?). Some of them surprise me with great upstanding qualities I was unaware of, and others disappoint me and fall down a notch or two on my list of presidents I admire.

The book starts with Truman and his reliance on his predecessor, Hoover (immediate predecessor FDR having died). It ends with Obama. It is VERY well researched and full of factual and fascinating "drama." I'm glad we chose this book, which I never would have read without the cousins' reunion requiring it.

Book discussion day was also my birthday. My sister gave me these beautiful flowers.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cousins 2015

I have returned from our annual cousins gathering in northern Minnesota. As usual, it was wonderful. We read a book and discussed it, I celebrated my birthday, the fall colors were changing as we watched, the lake was beautiful. All in all, it was a lovely time.

My sister gave me a choice of cake or pie for dessert on my birthday. I chose pie. Yum!

Oops! I have some photos repeated. Oh, well.. it was THAT pretty!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Books: What is Going On?

I HAVE NOT BEEN READING MUCH! I don't know why, except that I've been having a ton of fun sewing. Now I'm once again feeling my urge to read ... hopefully I'll succeed in finishing some books soon.

This weekend my cousins and I have our annual book-club gathering. We read (past tense) The Presidents Club, Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy. In my case, I am currently reading (present tense); I am woefully behind. It's interesting, and I'm liking it, but it's fat, and I doubt I'll get it done in time for our discussion of it. Boo hiss, me.

Thank you, dear, patient blog readers, for waiting for me to get a real book review up here. I hope to get back into my habit... unless I choose another fat book that will take forever to read!? We'll see, shan't we? (That fat book about Lincoln, Team of Rivals, is sitting near the top of my TBR pile. What do you think? Go for it?)

Meanwhile, keep reading! Tell me what you've been reading that you love.

Yes, I do have this problem... do you?

Sunday, September 20, 2015


I have now participated in two collage workshops. I'm well collage-educated. I finished the quilt from Jane Sassaman's workshop. I'm almost done with the quilt which developed out of my other collage lesson, given by a local friend.

Here's my Jane Sassaman-inspired quilt:
(photo is kind of blurry.. temporarily can't find my better camera, so this is a phone picture)
Name of quilt: Visiting the Other Earth

This one is my local friend-inspired quilt:
Name of quilt: Tahoe Sky

Friday, September 18, 2015

Jane in Janesville

This week my cousin and I took off on a road trip/adventure to Janesville, WI. From here it was a six-hour drive! We went to Janesville to attend a workshop being taught by Jane Sassaman. I've been a fan of Jane Sassaman fabric, so I was excited to get a chance to meet her and attend her workshop.

First thing we did when we got settled in our hotel was check our smart phones for quilt shops in the area. We found one which is in a woman's basement. She sells fabrics for $3.50-$5.00/yard!! She also has wide and extra wide backs. I found a 60-inch wide fabric for $3.50/yard; most of them were around $9.00 for the extra wides (108").

We kind of went nuts. We found some beauties and had fun piling up the bargains.

Later we went here for dinner. Challenge: try to pronounce this restaurant name! I've already forgotten how to say it. It comes from an old Steve Martin movie which I had never heard of, because I had a toddler at home back then and no time to pay attention to movies. Food was good and very affordable.

Next day, it was off to the workshop. We learned so much and had a lot of fun! These collage quilts are 100% applique, which I never thought I'd enjoy, but I'm starting to get into it! (I had a similar collage lesson recently here at home, and now I'm kind of hooked, although we'll see how much I really do in the future.)

Below: some examples of Jane's beautiful work.

cousin, Jane, me - I'm all hot and bothered in the very warm and humid conditions.

More of Jane's beauties:

After the workshop ended, we took our stuff back to the hotel and spent several more hours sewing in our hotel room. We were able to make some very good progress. Here we are, with our projects not-yet done, but much further along than we'd had time for in the workshop:

Then, on the way home, we took a gamble on a road-side sign and a 10-minute trip off the freeway to check out a quilt shop. It was a very nice one, and we had lunch in this cute little town, too.

Today I spent all day working on my project. I got it all done and am now working on hand-sewing down the binding. Hopefully I can show you the finished quilt tomorrow. I'm happy with it. (Also, thankfully, it has cooled off and I'm no longer sweating. I had to put socks on to keep my toes warm.)