Thursday, September 24, 2009

Faithful Circle Quilt Show

I went to a local quilt show last weekend put on by the Faithful Circle Quilt Guild. These ladies do a lot of hand-applique and hand quilting. Here are a couple quilts that I really liked.
This one is a wedding quilt - hand and machine pieced, hand quilted by Mary Kuettler. Beautiful!
Lady of the lake blocks with a wonderful appique border. Proverb 31:10 at the top and words around the quilt. The appliqued words turned out great!

Baltimore bunnies - how can you not love it?
This one really caught my eye. It's made with flannels and the blocks are set on point. The name of the pattern was not mentioned.
Such a simple block - a couple HST and a square in the middle!
Great color combo - machine pieced.
This black one is made from simple, colorful squares with a bit of black appliequed over each block. Striking!

Scrappy quilts. The one with the tiny pieced blocks won Best of Show.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Debbie Caffrey

Debbie Caffrey was a guest speaker at our guild recently. She uses a lot of HST (half-square triangles) and little squares. When she creates her quilts, some of her blocks are designed into quarters and a small sashing is inserted - like a window pane.

I took a full-day workshop on Power Cutting. She started with how to get your fabric on grain and squared up so you can cut accurately. Her Power Cutting method starts by placing a large ruler on the folded fabric and cutting your strips from RIGHT to LEFT. This is an efficency movement because you are not disturbing the fabric and just sliding the ruler to the left. She showed us many niffty tips and tricks to make cutting quick and accurate!
I highly recommend her books, they are well illustrated and clearly written. Power Cutting Too Book - covers HST, QST, Flying Geese and more. The Power Cutting Book is especially helpful for new quilters. Click on the title of this blog to be taken to her website to see all her books and patterns.

When you can make a lot of HST quickly and accurately, it isn't so painful to make these beautiful quilts! Here are HST in two quilts. The left-overs were used in the "Tree of Life" quilt.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

19 Years

It's our wedding anniversary today. I am married to the best guy in the whole wide world! He even went to Quilt Expo with me - now there's true love!

He is very supportive of my quilting and my longarm business. He puts up with my crazy schedule - which means leaving him home to attend a guild meeting, board meeting, bee meeting, retreat weekend, an all-day workshop, a quilt show or shop hop. Usually not all in the same week! I am blessed to have such a wonderful husband. I love you Troy!

Quilt Expo Madison Wisconsin

In September I went to Quilt Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. Here are a few photos. There were many beautiful quilts on display ~ such talented quilters! Click on the photo for a closer look.

Love the colors in this underwater world!

Looks like you can take a walk right into this quilt.

Such a great quilt - she took pictures of the feeder in her back yard and transfered them into quilt blocks. It puts a smile on your face!

Here is another one with an original design. The quilter is from California.

There was so much detail in this quilt. Made from Guatamala fabrics. So colorful!

Super color placement. Made from commercial fabrics.

I love the quilting on this. Fuzzy yarn used in the yellow Iris.

Such detail! this is a wonderful quilt - too bad no ribbon! Don't you ever wonder why?
This was beautifully pieced and quilted. It took a ribbon in the bed-size category.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Magnolia Cafe

We had a wonderful dining experience at Magnolia Cafe.
I have to start off by saying that the General Manger, Susan Grena is married to the chef-owner, Kas Medhat. Susan is the neice of our friends. We had heard a lot about their restaurant and finally got a date on our calendars to have dinner there. I thought - "Okay, a little family restaurant - we'll check it out"... It was far beyond what I was expecting! It really was a treat!
It's located about 20 minutes north of Chicago in "Uptown". When I walked into the place, I thought cozy-warm ambience, wood floors, exposed wood-beam ceiling, earthy colors - greens, honey golds, brown suede. The picture here does not do it justice.
The menu is American with a light French touch. Not fu-fu or over the top. Man-sized servings, so no one leaves hungry.
This gem of a place has been featured on "Check Please" and highly recommended - rightfully so! Watch the video -
There was four of us and we all ordered different entrees -- it was hard to decide. For starters - try the crab cakes - light and tasty with a homemade tarter sauce and relish -- excellent! Or the jumbo tempura shrimp over lemon chive risotto with english peas. For entrees we had braised beef short ribs, seared scallops with truffled goat cheese ravioli, grilled beef tenderloin and pulled-pork raviolis. WOW - I wish I would have photographed the plates, because the presentation was great. We also saw a lot of "Magnolia Burgers" being served. Huge, made from 8oz Angus beef and topped with a fresh baked brioche bun.

The menu is seasonal and fresh. The serving sizes were ample! Service was very attentive, changing flatwear after each course is a nice touch. They also serve a Sunday Brunch. Here is a link to their website. Magnolia Cafe, 1224 W.Wilson, Chicago IL. 773-728-8785.

If you want to enjoy a night out with friends or have a cozy dinner for two - I highly recommend it! They take reservations and offer valet parking on the weekends. What more can I say.... it's worth the trip!
Chef Kas Medhat & Susan Grena on the left. Our friends on the right.

Me and my cutie-pie DH.
The Chicago skyline is so beautiful - we passed it on the way home. I just had to include a picture of it here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Summer Retreat

One of our bee members, Sue, lives on 20 acres with a beautiful guest house. She invited our bee to have a retreat there. She cleared and converted one room into our sewing area. Three sides of this room have floor to ceiling glass doors that look over their property - a great view with great lighting!

It was just the right size for four of us to spread out and work on our projects. She set up her Handi Quilter and finished four quilt tops!

This was the first sewing retreat for Julie G! She was very productive, finishing a Halloween wall hanging. She also finished many blocks for another quilt.

Ute creates and sells beautiful hand-dyed fabrics and quilt patterns. She was piecing quilt tops, which are samples of her newest, stylish patterns!

I was working on my Edyta Sitar Dresden Star Pattern and finished eight of these rings. I also worked on sewing together 12 Buck-A-Block that I have had hanging around.

Sue was determined to finish the last eight rows of her tiny, tiny, tiny, 9-patch "Birthday Quilt". Look at how organized she is! Her piecing is so precise - no room for any mistakes when working that small.

Sue is also working on Dear Jane blocks. (see a pattern here?) Here are a few...