Midwest Hospitality, Quilter Style


Yesterday and today, I spent visiting the American Quilter’s Society (AQS) show in Des Moines, IA.  Many of my readers know this show is in conjunction with the Des Moines, Iowa, Area Quilters Guild (as in, we co-host it along with AQS, headquartered in Paducah, KY) and our annual Guild show takes place in an adjacent room, so admission to the AQS show gets you admission into our Guild show.  One of the volunteers told me this afternoon that the Des Moines AQS show is now the largest quilt show in the United States for number of quilts on display, in part because of the very active, and large Guild that helps to pull it off here every year.

I am always anxious to share photos of the amazing things I see there (this year, there was a display of Japanese made quilts that simply took my breath away) but, AQS allows photography for personal use and enjoyment, only, therefore, no posting of photos on the internet.  I will weed through my pics and see what I might have that I can show you over the next few days.

I had four entries in the Guild show (one of these years I may muster up enough courage to submit something to the AQS Juried portion of the show!).  My “What a Tangled Web We Weave” Halloween quilt, first shown here during Blogtoberfest 2011 received an honorable mention ribbon.  Technically, my business partner, Trina, who did the long-arm quilting on it received the ribbon–since it was the quilting that received the judges highest marks and best comments–oh well, I’ll take it!!  This is a terrible photo, but I promise a full post on this fabulous finish with great outdoor photos, soon!

In addition, I entered my Diet Quilt, a twin size version of our Modern Fortune quilt (pics coming soon!) and my Midnight Serenade Quilt.  This is also a terrible photo, but this quilt was made for my sweetie, and he was so proud of seeing it hanging in the show, he insisted on snapping my photo next to it.  :-p

(Can you tell how excited I was to be posing for the photo?!?  At least I was properly attired for the holiday represented…)  I ran into so many good friends, members of the Des Moines MQG, four gals from the small group I used to belong to, and our sister-small group, shop owners that sell our patterns (exciting!), even my Gruber’s buddy Shelly P, and her sister who drove North from Missouri to attend the show on Friday!  I think we must have had several near misses over the course of the day, but eventually, we met up in the same place at the same time just before they had to leave to drive home!

Does your local Guild have an annual quilt show?

Do you enter quilts into shows or your local/State Fair?

Hocus Pocus-ville


This is a pattern I’ve had and been anxious to make up for some time now.  Its a pattern by Crabapple Hill; they design amazing hand embroidery patterns, made into tea towels, pillows, or in this case, a quilt.

I don’t intend to make the full quilt, as I want a wallhanging.  I made just four of the embroideries (I’ll come clean, my Mom actually did the majority of the stitching for me because she was needing a handwork project and I didn’t have the extra time, myself–so I passed the traced blocks onto her to complete for me).  Mom’s hand aren’t as steady as they once were, but she still does beautiful handwork. Together, we made the Pumpkin Patch:

Hagatha’s Laundry:

La Witch Boutique:

and Morgana’s Apothecary:

I’m still deciding on a setting for my blocks, and I may embroider a tree or something to balance them off in the center, eventually.  Here is a very un-glamorous, mish-mash of the four blocks hanging together on my design wall:

I’m very happy with the tone-on-tone print I chose for the background, I like it much better than the solid ivory the sample is made with.  The details drawn into this pattern are amusing and very clever–click on my photos enlarge them and read the little signs, etc. on the “witchy” businesses…  Hoping to have a finish before this Halloween, but time will tell…

Do you do hand embroidery?

If so, what have you made?

Blogtoberfest Day XXXI–A Very Happy Halloween

….from (in order of appearance…):
the Bull
Pig Will
Pig Won’t
the Mermaid
her Mama
Thing 1 (that’s Me!)
Thing 2
Richard Simmons
the Clown
the Gypsy
the Witch
the Ninja
Boba Fett
the Soldier
the Nudist
and the Game of Cat & Mouse

(Weren’t you relieved to see the nudist was on strike?!?)

Until next year, and another month of Halloween Fun!!!!!

Blogtoberfest Day XXX–Do Not Be Afraid

Last year at Halloween, my nephew, who was hyper-excited for Halloween for at least a month leading up to it, was paralyzed by fear at the first “scary” mask he saw–nothing would calm him down or convince him that it was just another boy behind the mask.  He went home, petrified, after visiting five houses…  A few months later, he was again terrified, when his cousin pulled a Batman mask out of his toy box and put it on.  For some reason, he was paralyzed by just the sight of a dark mask.  
This year, his Aunt started working on him early to overcome his fear of masks.  She explained to him that God did not give him a spirit of fear, but rather a spirit of courage.  Eventually she convinced him to promise to wear the Batman mask when he visited her house, so he could see that it was just a mask, just a piece of plastic.  He was hesitant at first, but eventually tried it on, and decided it was no big deal, because, as he said, “It’s really just me under here!”  We’re hoping this practice carries through when it’s time to trick-or-treat this evening.
I loved the way my sister-in-law explained it to him, using Faith and God in her logic.  It reminded me of one of my favorite verses of the Bible, Psalm 91:

 1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
      will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
 2 This I declare about the Lord:
   He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
      he is my God, and I trust him.
 3 For he will rescue you from every trap
      and protect you from deadly disease.
 4 He will cover you with his feathers.
      He will shelter you with his wings.
      His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
 5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
      nor the arrow that flies in the day.
 6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
      nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
 7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
      though ten thousand are dying around you,
      these evils will not touch you.
 8 Just open your eyes,
      and see how the wicked are punished.
 9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
      if you make the Most High your shelter,
 10 no evil will conquer you;
      no plague will come near your home.

I know Halloween is discouraged by many Christians, but I think it can represent more than fear and evil–it can also represent the joy of childhood, the Light of God within us,  and the blessings of the Harvest.  There’s a great article about this topic here.

We live in a busy, overwhelming, over-scheduled, world today.  Why not embrace your inner child and enjoying the release of being “someone” or “something” else for a few hours?  And, I want my nephew to enjoy Halloween as much as I do.  For me, it reminds me of the freedom of childhood; having fun outside, after dark, with my brothers and our neighbors, for just one night every year.  It sounds cliche, but it was a simpler time, and who doesn’t wish once in awhile you could go back to having the responsibilities you had in childhood?  Do a little vacuuming on Saturday morning for Mom, be good for the teachers, and help with dishes 4-5 nights a week?   Sign me up…

Blogtoberfest Day XXIX–October Stitching

I’ve made 28 straight days of blogging–crazy.  (I missed October 1!)  Lest you think I’ve only sewn up Halloween themed things this month…

I completed a few more hand-pieced hexies for my Candied Hexagon Quilt:


I think that makes 71 completed hexagons now.  (33 to go…or something like that).  To view the rest, see my flickr set.  I made this tasty BEE block for Megan for One Block Over:

It’s only 6.5″ square, she asked for birthday cake blocks she is making a quilt of 60 of them for a friend’s 60th Birthday–isn’t that awesome?  Paper-pieced, of my own design–I embroidered the little flames on with my new obsession, Aurifil Wool 12 wt:

Here’s a sneak peek of my costumes for my sweetie and I, sorry sneak peeks only until after the party tonight!

Maybe you can guess what the ‘guise is with just this little peek?  I’ll be very impressed if you do…

Blogtoberfest Day XXVII–What A Tangled Web We Weave


This is a TWO-for-ONE quilt.  Let me explain…

I started this quilt the first week of September– 2010 — by cutting random sized strips from every Halloween print I owned (I really like Halloween fabric, it’s a weakness) as well as a few solids and tone-on-tones that “play” well with Halloween fabrics.  I spent a  weekend retreat last September sewing together strips and cutting triangles to make spiderwebs. The other quilters at retreat kept asking how many spiderwebs I had left to make, I responded “I’m not sure, I haven’t counted”.  At the end of retreat, I had enough triangles (NOT complete spiderwebs) to make 32 spiderwebs, which was enough for a TWIN size a AND a THROW sized quilt!  So, eventually I will have two quilts.  See, Two-for-One, or “what happens when you just start cutting without planning ahead”. 

This is (a bad photo of) the Twin Sized Quilt, 20 spiderwebs, and a mitered border of an Alexander Henry fabric (Hallowe’en Night) I have been saving for years just for this project. The background for the spiderwebs is RJR’s Halloween Night in cream. I fussy cut stripes from another Halloween print to create the “HALLOWEEN” inner border. **Temporary Insanity**
As you can see, there is a little bit of everything else in here…

Candy Corn, Spiders, Witches, Bats, Rats, Cats, Skeletons, Jack-o-Lanterns, Leaves, Spellbooks, Owls, Broomsticks, you name it…

The backing fabric for this quilt is unhappy hour by Alexander Henry:

Photo courtesy of alidzia

I finished this top at a retreat THIS September–oh, how I enjoy a weekend quilt retreat… This one involved some birthday fun..with Hello Kitty party hats…

lots of laughter, new friendships made, some creative sewing (what you have to do when you leave part of your machine at home!):

and the biggest design wall floor, I’ve ever had to play with!

And, just because my Mom can’t get enough of seeing this photo of  Miss Zoe Seaweed in the costume I made for her:

That’s one is for you, Grandma!!!


To view the other Quilts in this Fall’s Bloggers Quilt Festival–see Amy’s site.

This Week’s Halloween Party Giveaway Winner is:

Fun!  I won Veronicamade‘s giveaway during Sew, Mama, Sew’s Giveaway Day earlier this year.  One of her sweet elephant pincushions…  Congrats, Veronica!

Big things are coming in NOVEMBER, an announcement, a Quilt-A-Long, more giveaways for my followers (from some of your favorite sponsors)….  Stay Tuned!