Loose Threads

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Shipshewana Quilt Festival

Yesterday a friend and I went to the Shipshewana Quilt Festival.  We both saw lots of friends and enjoyed visiting and catching up with them.  Below is the Back Door Quilts booth.  They are located here in Greenwood, and stock all of my patterns.  The two quilts hanging over the edge are made from my patterns.  The bright one on the left is my newest pattern Leftovers.  It uses leftover jelly roll strips and/or layer cake squares.  The quilt on the right is Hexagon Trail and uses 2" hexagons.  There is no hand sewing machine and is a quilt as you go pattern.  The pillow on the table is my Charming Hexagon pillow pattern done in Tim Holtz fabrics.  My patterns are also available as an instant download in my Etsy shop.  

My friend Claire that now lives in Ridley Park, PA (formerly from Middlebury, IN), entered her Little Brown Bird quilt in the quilt festival and won an Honorable Mention ribbon.  

Congratulations Claire!!!!!

Pictured in front of the photo are (left to right) Theresa, me, and Gretchen.

Here is Claire's ribbon for Applique' Large Quilt.

This quilt was made by friend Kathy Downie  This is a memorial quilt to her Dad.  It's made from his jeans.

This is the grand prize winner.  The quilt is by Janet Stone from Overland Park, KS.

I apologize for not taking the photo of the maker.  This one may be a Di Ford pattern or maybe it was inspired by her work.

Here is another that I don't have information for.  There is something that I love about a quilt that repeats a block.  This is Ohio Stars with a plain alternate block.  

This one is made from hexagons (I think).  The ribbon was for machine quilting.

This quilt was interesting because the background carried out into the border with half square triangles, but the part of this that I really liked......

was the border.  Look at the little nine patches that make up the flowers and the four patches that look like buds.  

This quilt is a Dear Jane with solid triangles.  The maker lived in Rochester, IN.

Ahhhhhh   lunch.  You can't go to Shipshewana without having a cup of soup and an Amish pretzel at Jo-Jos Pretzels in the Davis Mercantile building.

I'll show the rest of the quilt festival in the next post.  Maybe by then I will have a photo of what I bought at the vendors.........

I want to thank all of you that left such wonderful comments on my last blog post and those of you that took the time to write personal emails.  I am truly touched at the response I got when I asked the question whether to blog or not.  Most everyone enjoys getting to know others through their blog posts while others said they learned a lot from bloggers that showed tutorials and explained the processes they go through when making different types of quilts.  Some said they like a story rather than just a photo and a hashtag.   I was thrilled to hear from bloggers I hadn't heard from in a long time and from new friends that I didn't know were reading.  I appreciate each and every one of you.  If you didn't receive a personal response from me, it means you are a no-reply comment blogger, and I had no way to reach you.  

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit! 

Monday, June 5, 2017

To Blog, Or Not to Blog?

Happy June everyone!   I've received emails from several of you and have been asked in person (some of you have asked more than once - thank you and I sincerely mean it!), why I haven't been blogging and if everything is ok.  Thank you all for your concern.  I truly appreciate it.  Everything is just fine.  I've been really busy.   I have 47 draft blog posts in my drafts folder.  Writing this now feels a bit like when someone writes you a snail mail letter, and after so much time goes by you can't figure out how or where to even start. So I'll just jump in in the middle and fill in around the edges later!

I'm on Facebook some - maybe 2 or 3 times a week.  I hardly post there; that is just mostly to keep up with family for me.   I'm also on Instagram.  You can follow me there.   Instagram is so quick and easy to just post a quilt photo and a couple of words, and you're finished.  I think a lot of bloggers have gone that way just to save time.  A lot of the bloggers that I used to read regularly have stopped posting.  I enjoy reading blogs, but I also know what time is involved in taking the photos, editing them, and then writing a post.  I guess what I'm wondering is if those of you that see and read this would rather just see a photo once in awhile on Instagram, or would you rather read a blog post?  I miss the blogs that I used to read regularly, and I would like to know what you think.

I've published 7 patterns to date and have taught some classes and workshops on them.  I'll post photos from some of my workshops in a later post.  You can see my patterns in my Etsy shop here.

I have been trying to work my way through my stack of UFOs.  My daughter-in-laws Mother passed away in early February, and she was only 2 years older than I am.  So I thought maybe it was time I do something with all of the tops I've finished.  My thinking is that someone would be more likely to do something with them if they are actually finished rather than just a top.  So, I sent the larger quilts like the Bonnie Hunter mysteries to my favorite long arm quilter.  (I'll take photos and post later.)  The smaller ones that I think I can manage, I'm doing myself.

These 3 quilts were all quilted by me on my home machine (a Bernina 160).  The is a Kim Diehl pattern called Short and Sweet from her book Simple Charm.    Her pattern had petals around the outside of the quilt in the border, but this border stripe was in my stash so I used it.

This is Peppermint Twist from Jo Morton's book Remembrances.  This book has been out since 2007.  Doing a quick Google search, it is out of stock most places.  I did echo quilting around the center.  I really enjoy echo quilting.  Maybe it's because there is an imaginary quilting line to follow.  

This quilt is my own design.  I had the hexagons either left over from another project, or they could have been from a project I'd started that never saw the light of day.  The baskets are from the book When the Cold Wind Blows by Barb Adams and Alma Allen.  This book is from 2008.  The baskets in my quilt finish at 3" and are the result of staying up too late at a quilt retreat.  A lot of us were making the famous basket quilt called Trick or Treat from the book.  As I remember it, the quilt has 300 or so baskets that finish at 5".  Someone thought it would be a good idea to downsize them to finish at 3".......and I was too tired to think straight.  I did the 3" baskets you see in the quilt below and stopped.  My 5" baskets are still in a baggie waiting to be sewn into a top.  I haven't counted them, but I didn't come close to the 300 baskets in the book.  

I drew the basket, made some stems and leaves and then added the hexagon flowers.  I did echo quilting around this center block.  I try to keep with the Dear Jane motto, "Finished is better than perfect."

My favorite books on machine quilting are Heirloom Machine Quilting by Harriet Hargrave and the Shape by Shape books by Angela Walters.  I think the best way to do machine quilting is just to "go for it".  It's like learning anything:  the best way is to just practice.

I hope you will answer my question:  To blog or not to blog?  You can leave a comment below or email me at lakrug@comcast.net

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit! 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Thistlewood Fun, Pillows and Pincushions

Last Saturday was so much fun.  Karianne from Thistlewood Farms blog came to Back Door Quilts to give a lecture and show us her fabric line.   

Karianne entertained us with stories of how they moved from Dallas to a small town in Kentucky.  The photo below shows some of the quilts and pillows made from her fabric line.  She is right that cotton fabric is a lot less expensive to use for home dec than actual home dec fabric.

Her stories are entertaining, and she is in person just as she writes on her blog.   She's just someone that would be fun to have as a friend to hang out with.  I can imagine she would be fun to go with to antique shops or to garage sales.

There were several door prizes given away that day, and I won the fat quarters from Karianne's fabric line in the tree shape.  A charm pack of her sweet tea fabrics was given to everyone as they came into the lecture.  I bought a couple more fat quarters to go with the others.  I have a plan for them.   

On Sunday afternoon I taught another Charming Hexagon Pillow class.  One student came all the way from Cincinnati.  

A friend sent me this photo yesterday.  She was at a retreat, and someone there was making a pillow from my pattern.  

I have a third pattern for these little pincushions co-written with my friend, Nancy.  Nancy gave me the pincushion on the right below.  The girls at Back Door asked if I could write a pattern for it.  So with Nancy's permission, we have a Hexie Pincushion pattern.

Here are my two very favorite trick or treaters.  

I'm heading to Shipshewana next week for our semi annual Jane Stickle retreat.  I always try to be realistic about packing and how much I really can (or can't) accomplish from Wednesday- Saturday.  Since I drive, I just load in a lot of   a few projects just in case the mood strikes to work on something different.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today. 

 Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

It's Fall Inside

Here are my decorations for fall that are on the inside.  This Dresden Table topper is Halloween and made from my pattern available in my Etsy shop here.


My friend Pam gave me this lantern for my birthday a few years ago.  I always enjoy decorating it for the holidays.  It sits in my entryway.

Here is another Dresden table topper done in fall fabrics.  

This was my Mom's corner china cabinet.  She loved this cabinet and always decorated it like this with a garland hung over the top like this.  I'm glad that there is a place for it in our new house.

This is also in the entryway.  The little quilt is made of fall thimbles.   I won the thimbles from Stephanie......the name of her blog escapes me even though I was a regular reader.  She no longer blogs, and her blog has been taken down.   I love this little quilt and hand quilted it.   The thimbles are 1 1/4" finished.

This is a small Halloween quilt on my island.  The lacy candle holder is from a great trip to IKEA in Cincinnati with friends Michele and Barb last month.

This quilt is from an Edyta Sitar pattern.  

I machine quilted this one.  I echo quilted around the center applique' and meandered the rest.

I won the witch embroidery pattern from Gay at Sentimental Stitches several years ago.  The pattern is for sale on her web site.

I did more echo quilting around the embroidery and a decorative machine stitch on the diagonal seams of the pinwheels.  

This is Fall Foliage Spectacular from Judy Martin's book Cookies and Quilts.  I set my blocks a bit differently than the pattern.  I love the fabrics in this quilt.  Most are batiks.  If the weather permits, I always bring my quilts outside to take photos.  They just look so much better in natural light.  

I like to display some of my smaller quilts in baskets.  Here are some smaller quilts and a table runner in a basket in the entryway.  

It will soon be October.  I don't know where the time is going.  The weather is definitely cooler here, and a lot of days we need a jacket.  It's nice to get out and enjoy the weather, but some days it's too cool so more time spent in the sewing room.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today!

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.  

Monday, October 24, 2016

It's Halloween Outside

It will be Halloween in a week, and we have been doing some decorating outside.

I love fall and Halloween.  I have decorated for both fall and Halloween at the same time.  I kind of went into panic mode when I saw someone on Facebook post that there are only 10 Fridays until Christmas.  

The cellulitis that I wrote about earlier was really shingles.  I got a wrong diagnosis from the nurse practitioner.  The Dr. is treating the nerve pain.  I feel a bit better and haven't been doing a lot of sewing until lately.  I'll show you what I've been up to later.  

I love these pumpkin topiaries.   I don't have any real pumpkins and haven't for several years.  These are mostly from Hobby Lobby.  It is probably late enough in the season that they are on sale now.  You can read an earlier post on these pumpkins and see what I did with some of them here.

Here is a better look at the pumpkin topiary.  You can see my tutorial here.  My husband put holes all the way through the two bottom pumpkins and part way through the top one.  Then he ran a dowel rod through them that is long enough to hold the pumpkins and stick into the dirt in the flower pot.  

I've had these lighted jack-o-lanterns for several years.  My husband ran the cords to get everything working.  If you look in the photo above, he has something that works with a remote control.  So all I have to do to turn everything on in the evening is push a button from inside the house.  

This pumpkin is in my sewing room window and is from my days working in ceramics many years ago.  

I changed out my fall door swag for a scary wreath with spiders.  

I've added another tomato cage ghost this year.  I had used one of the cages as a Christmas tree in a flower pot, but it is so top heavy that when the wind blows the pot and tree both overturn.  So I'll do something else on the porch at Christmas time.

The ghost is made from a piece of fabric approximately 2 yards X width of fabric.  One of mine is from fabric, but the others are cut from old sheets that either had a stain or hole.  

Here's a quick tutorial, but there is a better one in an earlier blog post here and another one here.    The last link shows how I decorated faux pumpkins with duct tape.  

I used 100 indoor/outdoor mini lights and wrapped the tomato cage.  

The other tutorial doesn't show this, but over the years I've learned that in a strong wind, those cages don't stand by themselves.  So I bought a package of tent stakes available at one of the big box stores where you would buy camping equipment. 

Also, in a strong wind sometimes even though the tomato cage is anchored the sheet blows completely off of the cage, so I fasten the back of the sheet to the tomato cage with binder clips in a couple of places.  These are found at one of the big box stores or office supply store.

I use a permanent marker to draw the face.  I never know quite how they will turn out.  This guy looks a bit angry, I think.  Maybe it's his eyebrows.  The ghost in the earlier photo just looks surprised like he can't figure why anyone would put him out in this chilly, rainy weather.  

Thanks for stopping by for a visit. 

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today. 

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