Friday, June 26, 2009

Finishing the "Jewels of Summer" Southern Indiana Shop Hop

My intention was to take a picture at each quilt shop on the shop hop, but...I must admit I got distracted! Once the shopping started, picture taking was not my first priority. I got pictures of SOME of the shops.

We started out early this morning--my friends from Lynnville, IN, were at my house by 6:30 a.m. their time. (I call that zero dark thirty!) Our first stop of the morning was Craft Town in Salem, IN. I'm sorry to say I didn't get a picture of this shop. I think we all found items to purchase there. (I have pictures of my purchases at the end of this blog. I succeeded in doing my best to support these quilt shops in this "bad" economy and managed to buy something at each shop.)

...on to Margie's Country Store and L & L Yard Goods in Madison, IN. (I just love Madison. It is such a scenic little town with great shops. I want to go back just to spend a day browsing all the unique stores.) Margie greeted us and showed us their version of the Shop Hop quilt. The shop is small, but it is packed with lots of nice samples and products.

Here is the Shop Hop quilt for Margie's Country Store (along with some Shop Hoppers).This is a picture of Margie's shop.I bought my Kaffe Fassett fabric here. This fabric has a lot of the colors I used to decorate my house. I thought it would give me some ideas about accent colors I could use. If you look closely at this next picture (I think if you click on the picture you can get a close up.), I'll bet it will make you laugh! This is what greeted us just across the street from L & L Yard Goods. I'll bet the girls at L & L didn't know just how colorful their neighbor's laundry was today. Here is a picture of one room in the shop.Next, we visited Sharynn's Quilt Box in North Vernon, IN. I found a pattern here to use for our guild's Comfort for Kids quilts. I didn't get a picture of the shop, though. We did stop shopping long enough to get a bite to eat at the Subway there.

The Quilting Bee in Edwardsville, IN, was our next stop. I found some more fabric for my living room wall hanging here. I think I might have purchased a book too! This is the Quilting Bee...
Our last stop was The HollyHock Quilt Shop in Corydon--what a nice little shop. They had great refreshments--home-made goodies! They had some patterns I had never seen. I managed to buy a few things here, and I found a "jewel." That meant that I got to pick a free fat quarter of my choice! That was fun. We finished the day at Magdalena's restaurant. We needed the break!
We managed to make one more stop before we headed home--the Birdseye Dairy Barn. Some of the girls had not experienced an ice cream cone from there. You really have to see them to believe them. Mmmmmmmmmm.

Now, here are my purchases--something from every shop...
All in all, it was a very good day!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Southern Indiana Shop Hop

I’ve been hot on the Southern Indiana “Jewels of Summer” Shop Hop trail! On Monday, some friends and I hit three of the shops. First, we stopped in at The Stitching Post in Washington, IN. We were greeted by the owner Mary Dell. I bought some linen thread here. Next, we moved on to The Village Mercantile in Boonville, IN. Here we found Marilyn in her tiara! We enjoyed the crackers (oil, ranch dressing mix, and red pepper flakes were added to Saltines). I found a wool ornament pattern I just couldn’t do without.
From there, we headed to Sew-Tech in Evansville, IN. I found some orange, yellow, and red fabric here. (I’m eventually going to make a wall hanging to decorate my newly painted living room.) Tomorrow, we are heading out bright and early to the other shops—Sharynn’s Quilt Box in North Vernon, Margie’s Country Store in Madison, L & L Yard Goods in Madison, Craft Town in Salem, The Quilting Bee in Edwardsville, and The HollyHock Quilt Shop in Corydon. I’ll let you know how that goes!!!!

Quilt Gardens in Amish Country

A friend of mine just informed me of a unique happening in Amish country in northern Indiana that some of you might be interested in. It is a quilt garden tour. Check it out at There are some beautiful pictures of the gardens at the site. I gathered this information from the website. It sure looks like something I’d like to do.

What You Need to Know about the All-New Quilt Gardens Tour
- It's easily accessible, eco-friendly and just a single tank of gas (or less) from most of the Midwest's major markets
- It's absolutely free and totally flexible- you set the pace
- It's the perfect way to experience the beauty of Northern Indiana's Amish Country through a panorama of artistry, gardening and tradition

There are 80,000 glorious blooms, 16 gigantic gardens, 16 super-sized murals, 32 juried designs, and 7 welcoming communities all placed along the nationally-recognized
Heritage Trail Route.

...a colorful patchwork . . . inspired by quilt designs... powered by imagination.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Machine Applique Class

This is a picture of the students who took my machine applique class.I taught the class (using my own pattern) on Saturday, June 20, at the Dubois County Museum. A close-up picture of the project can be found at I sure enjoyed teaching the class; and if I do say so myself, my students did an excellent job. They were very hard workers...

Sandra is busy tracing her pattern pieces onto fusible in this picture.Nancy and Joyce were working so hard they didn't even notice I was taking pictures!Ann is checking to make sure she has all her pieces traced....and their projects turned out great!
Pamela used autumn colors for her version.Chris used a great vase fabric!I'm thinking Jean was pleased with her piece.
Sarah used the coolest fabric for her vase.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Surface and YoYo Series at St. Meinrad

A friend and I went to the St. Meinrad, Indiana, Archabbey Library painted quilt exhibit by Denise Mucci Furnish (a member of LAFTA—Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists) this afternoon. Furnish has seven quilts from her Surface Series and one quilt from her YoYo Series on display. (There are also some ceramic pieces by another artist displayed.)

If you are a “quilt purist,” the display will be painful for you. The quilts have been totally painted over with acrylic paints. However, if you can get past the thought of painting all over a quilt, you might find you enjoy the rich surface texture brought forth through the paint. Furnish says she is using discarded quilts for her pieces in this exhibit if that makes you feel any better!

The following information came from the artist's statement--She says she chose quilts because quilting is a craft medium most commonly associated with women’s domestic work; and that as a painter, she appropriates the remains of quilts and paints on them, interacting with their form, pattern, and surface. The worn quilt becomes a metaphor for aging. The deteriorating fabric and remaining quilting stitches combine with paint to create a rich surface. Beneath the wrinkled layers of paint, fiber retains a history--a trace of what went before.

This pink quilt welcomes you to the exhibit. I have taken a full view and a close-up view. This quilt was a Grandmother's Flower Garden in another life. Remember, you can click on the pictures to get a closer look.

This is a closeup of the Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt. You can really get a "feel" for the texture created with the paint in this closeup.This is the Mariner’s Compass quilt. If you look closely, you can still see remanents of the Mariner’s Compass blocks (especially in the closeup).
It is easier to see the circular Mariner's Compass blocks here.This quilt didn't have a label next to it, so I don't know what quilt pattern was used.

This is a closeup...
She also included a YoYo quilt in her exhibit. It looked like she had done some painting on it, but it was very different than the others. She mounted a YoYo top over canvas that had been painted yellow and had been printed with the words, “YES” and “NO,” in black ink.

This is the full-sized view of the YoYo "quilt."
This is a closeup of the quilt.From the pictures, it is hard to tell how large these quilts are. I would describe these as "full-sized" quilts. The YoYo quilt is long and narrow. It definitely would not have fit any bed I know of. Personally, I would have liked to see a photo of the original quilts next to these versions. I think it would have enhanced the exhibit.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Finally Home--Porch Decorations

I apologize for not updating my blog more often in the last few days. We have had two funerals within a week--one in Springfield, IL and the other in Utica, KY. I was in Tennessee when I learned of the first death. I had just gotten to Fairfield Glades (after having been in the car for about six hours). We stayed one day and drove back home (another six hours on the road). The next day I headed to Springfield (another 5+ hours in the car). The day after that, I drove back home (another 5+ hours in the car). I had a day off and then had to make the trip to Utica. At least that wasn't quite as far--about an hour and a half in the car each way. I sure have done a lot of traveling (and no quilting) in a short time.

I'm home for a little bit now. I will be "doing" the Southern Indiana 4th Annual "Jewels of Summer 2009" Shop Hop with some friends next week. We are hoping to hit all of the shops sometime during the week. Now that should be fun. I will try to take pictures and report back.
I would like to share my front porch pictures with you. (I'm just so proud of myself that I actually did something with it this year!) I usually don't have anything on my front porch (primarily because I'm seldom home), but this year I have been home a bit more and am having an easier time taking care of the flowers. I also have "decorated" with a few of my quilts--just so passersby will know I'm a quilter. I'm really happy with how it looks. If you look closely, you can see me (taking the picture) in the window!
Our porch is very narrow, though, so it has always been hard to decorate. I'm not sure if you can tell, but between the two chairs is a fountain. It is really nice to sit outside in the evening after it cools off. I'm not sure I'm going to sit out for the next couple of nights, though, the heat index is supposed to be 100-105 degrees!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Working on My Wholecloth Quilt; June UFO Finished

I finally finished my UFO for the UFO Challenge this week. This month my Amish Shadow Quilt is due. If you'd like to see it (back when it was chosen as a UFO), click here-- I did lots of machine quilting on it. Thank goodness I had been working on it all along. I will take a picture of it after I turn it in on the 24th.
Lately I have been working on "Ryan's Wedding Quilt." It is a white wholecloth quilt with LOTS of quilting. Now, here is the story on that...Ryan is my son (now divorced). I guess I should call it Ryan's Divorce Quilt! Anyway, he was engaged when I started it. At first he was getting married in December. I marked the date on the quilt and quilted it in when he called to say the wedding had been moved up to August. So...I ripped out the December date and quilted in the new August date. Then he called to tell us they just couldn't make it work, and they were going their separate ways. So...I ripped out the August date.

I was going to quilt "her" name into the quilt (before the divorce was even on the horizon), but I just couldn't bring myself to do it (thankfully). So...the one good thing is I didn't have to rip her name out. It was marked on the quilt, so I took great pleasure in quilting right over it this week! As I quilted over it, I sang "I'm goin' to wash that girl right out of my hair; I'm goin' to wash that girl right out of my hair!" Now the last ripping out I have to do is Ryan's name. When the quilt is finished, it will reside on my bed. So far, I have over 315 hours of quilting in it and lots more quilting to go. I thought I'd take a picture of it for you.

Those of you that know me very well will recognize my big "quilting helper"--Libby. It is hard to work on this quilt with Libby on top of it, but that seems to be her favorite place to be. When I actually am quilting on it, Libby tries to sit on my lap. It is pretty hard to quilt when I have to work over Libby! I took two pictures; I think one is a better picture of Libby, and the other shows a little more of the quilt. I WILL take a better picture of the quilt when I get a bit more done. I'll keep you apprised of my progress.

Monday, June 8, 2009

New Review--Tutto Luggage for Transporting Your Sewing Machine

Right up front, I’d like to say that I am not reimbursed in any way for my review of any product, and I am not affiliated with any company. This review covers Tutto luggage for transporting sewing machines. I own the large-sized Tutto for use with my Janome 6500. (My Bernina 1260 will fit in it too.) I LOVE this bag. I had previously purchased a bag to transport my machine, but I wasn’t very happy with it. It was hard to pull and hard to maneuver through doors and around objects. The Tutto is a different story. It is very easy to pull (even when loaded down with a heavy machine). For transporting a sewing machine, I like the Tutto for the following reasons:
1. four wheels make the bag easier to maneuver and cause less stress on my back and arms
2. the padded U-shaped pull bar (which is attached to both sides of the luggage’s metal frame) and the location of the wheels make the bag more stable when moving it
3. it is light weight
4. there is ample storage space for the machine’s knee lift, foot pedal, power cords, extension cords, and a book or two
5. it folds to about 3” in width for easy storage when not in use
6. there are extra pockets on every side of the bag for carrying miscellaneous items
7. there is an “accessory” bag (I think they may call it a serger bag.) available that can be strapped to this bag providing all the space needed for the “stuff” necessary for a weekend retreat
The “accessory” bag can be attached to the Tutto luggage. This bag can hold a tremendous amount of quilting-related “stuff.” Before I had my Tutto, I had boxes and bags of retreat supplies; it took many trips to unload my car. With the Tutto and the accessory bag, I make one trip. Everything I need will fit into these two pieces of luggage.

I purchased my Tutto luggage at a quilt show (and received a show-special price). The outlay of money is fairly large, but the luggage is SO worth it. I should get a commission…I like mine so much that I have recommended it to all my friends, and many have made the purchase.

You can get more information on Tutto luggage at I did check on to see how the prices were running. As of the time of this review, a large Tutto bag could be purchased for $160 and up. The accessory/serger bag was available for $40 and up.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Embroiderers' Guild of America LAFTA Exhibit and the Carnegie Center

I went to Louisville today and got to check out the LAFTA (Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists) juried exhibition at the Embroidery Museum and Resource Center of the Embroiderers' Guild of America. The show hadn't officially opened, so I really appreciated that the staff went ahead and let me and a friend in. Description tags were not yet on the pieces (since we were there before the "official" opening). The show has a nice variety of fabric and textile art. There is everything from a beaded rock to dolls, jackets, quilts, felted wool, silk pieces, collages, and knitted rope. The colors and textures of the pieces were wonderful to experience. If you get a chance to go, you should. The exhibit will last from June 7-August 22, 2009. It is located at 426 West Jefferson Street in Louisville, KY. Call (502-589-6956) or check the website ( for more information.

I also visited the Carnegie Center for Art & History in New Albany, IN, to see an exhibit called Faces of Faith: the Search for the Divine. It is made up of art quilts made by Penny Sisto. Penny Sisto is an internationally recognized artist who has exhibited throughout the US and abroad. She was born in the Orkney Islands off the northern tip of Scotland, but lives in Floyds Knobs, Indiana, today. She says of this exhibit, "My desire was to illustrate those paths which unite show through these quilted images the whispers and inner prompting which guide us ever deeper into our individual Search for the Divine." She uses many different textiles in her art quilts--drapery, sleeping bags, lace, placemats, vintage evening dresses, t-shirts, shower curtains, upholstery, Chinese embroidery, etc. She makes good use of Goodwill store finds, Unique Thrift store finds, and gifts and cast-offs of friends. She combines these many diverse fabrics to make quilts that make us look a bit more closely at our own religious beliefs.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'm Baaaaaack; Very Little Quilting Getting Done; Visit to a "Haunted" Mansion

I'm back from my visit with my son in Fort Smith, AR. My husband and son were nice enough to try to take me to a quilt shop while we were there. I was excited to find one on my GPS right in Fort Smith--Heirloom Quilt II at 1415 N 38th Street. As we were getting closer to the address I could feel my heart beating faster--I was anticipating the quilt store shopping experience. We drove right to that address to find a residential area and a house at that location. It didn't look like it had ever been a quilt shop. Whaaaaaa! I was really disappointed.

While I was at my son's, I did begin to read Melanie Testa's new book, "Inspired to Quilt, Creative Experiments in Art Quilt Imagery." Wow, what a great resource! This is a great book both for inspiration and a great resource for art quilting. I want to try it all. I AM behind on my "art" quilt quota for the year. I vowed to get twelve art pieces done by the end of the far, I have two!

My husband and I stopped at the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis (a restaurant & inn) for lunch on our way back from AR. The food was VERY mediocre and the place needed some repairs, but it was quite an experience. The story goes something like this...the mansion belonged to the Lemp family. John Adam Lemp started out as a grocer offering "an item sold by none of his competitors, lager beer." The beer was made by the Lemp family and aged in the natural cave system under St. Louis. Eventually, they left the grocery business and built a brewery. The brewery was a great success and John Adam Lemp died a millionaire. William J. Lemp took over after his father died. He build the business into the largest brewery in St. Louis. His daughter, Hilda, married Gustav Pabst (remember Pabst beer?).

Now, you should know, some say the mansion is haunted. It is rated by Life Magazine as one of the 10 most haunted houses in America. The family is surrounded by numerous tragedies...
Williams' favorite son died under mysterious circumstances in 1901. Three years later, William shot himself in the head in a bedroom at the mansion. Prohibition (1919) permanently closed the brewery. Williams' sister, Elsa, considered the wealthiest heiress in St. Louis, died by suicide in 1920. The magnificent Lemp brewery once valued at $7 million and covering 10 city blocks was sold at auction to International Shoe Co. for $588,500. After presiding over the sale of the brewery, William Lemp, Jr. shot himself in the same building where his father died eighteen years earlier. His son William Lemp III, was 42 when he died of a heart attack in 1943. William Jr's brother, Charles, continued to live in the mansion after his brother's suicide. Charles was said to be a recluse and he too died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Nate and I like to stay at bed and breakfast establishments, but this is one I don't think I would be comfortable staying in. If you are interested in hauntings and ghosts, you might want to check it out. The mansion has seen much better days; but during its heyday, it had to be a sight to see.