Friday, August 24, 2012

Cheerful garden quilt...

This was a really happy customer quilt to work on. I LOVE working on sampler quilts. I tend to pick 3 quilting design/motifs and then mix and match those motifs throughout the quilt--giving it a cohesive put together look. The designs used in this quilt are feathers, ribbons and u-turns. Enjoy...
Full view...

3 years of hard work FOR SALE in Inwood, Iowa....

Ashley and Tyler are starting a new chapter in their life together and have purchased an acreage right on the south side of Inwood. Tyler has owned this house for at least 3 years during which time they have done an extreme amount of demoliton and remodeling on the inside. Keeping the bungalow style yet giving it an updated modern chic look!! While I might have a biased opinion--I think they have done an amazing job!!!
I was there helping with some cleanup from the main floor bathroom remodel--no more 1950's pink bath fixtures!!! Following are some photos...not all of course..but check the realtor site for more info--the home is on Church street--just north of the City Park.
Door to a great backyard...
Fireplace in family room--restored original wood floors...
Bedroom focus wall--handpainted faux wallpaper...
Great way to remind each other why you married them...
Great storage and sink in laundry room...
Amazing laundry sorting area...
TV area in basement...
other side of basement tv area...
Well those are the areas that were ready for photos when I was there. This is a 3 bath, 3 bedroom home, lots of cupboards and countertop in kitchen. Great open concept floor plan on main floor. And once again--I may be a bit biased but Ashley and Tyler have done an amazing job with this home and we are very proud of them!!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Quilting interuppted!!!

So I had every intention of having Happiness is...finished so that it could hang in the Quilts and Vines show last weekend...well my machine had other ideas.  The needle fell out, bent the hook retaining finger into an "L", and lodged a broken piece of needle in the hook assembly. Yes that is a lot of techincal words that I now completely understand.
So I had my trusty employee aka Loren come and see what he could do. We removed the broken pieces and called APQS for the replacement parts. The new parts came a couple days later and we retimed the machine with the new parts and there still was a horrible clatter going on plus the fact that I wanted the needle to stay in and overtightened the screw so much that it broke off in the needle bar--so we called the service department to make an appointment. Tuesday morning I left at 6AM for a 9:30 appointment--we put the packing box in the trunk just in case they couldn't fix it while I waited.
But have no fear--Amy the service lady at APQS had my machine purring like a kitten in 30 minutes!!! She put in a new needle bar, dremmeled off a bump on the new hook retaining finger that was making the horrible clatter, and retimed it to perfection!! She then seatbelted in the back seat of the car and I was all finished!!
So of course I couldn't just go right home--I took the long way home and had my own little Iowa shop hop. Stopping at 5 shops on the way home. Had a neat little trip all by myself!!!

I had an afternoon of quilting time in before the major interuption--photos to follow....
So now that I am a week behind again--I zipped off Happiness catch up on customer quilts.
Hopefully soon....will keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tie dye Family Reunion Quilt

When Loren was growing up the Vanden Bosch family would get together for everything!! Many holidays were spent at Sherman Park in Sioux Falls. New Year's tradition was getting pulled behind a pickup in car hoods in alfalfa fields and then homemade soups made by all the aunts. So once all the families started having families of their own the getting together started to dwindle...until a few years ago one family decided it needed to start again and the biannual cousin's gathering was started. We have met at Inspiration Hills the last 3 times and it works out really nice.
Last time Loren's family was in charge. Well if I am in charge there needs to be something creative as part of the activities!!! I had seen this Sharpie tiedye demonstrated at a quilting retreat and put it in the back of my mind for reference. This seemed to be the perfect time to use it.

Gather the supplies...7"-8" squares of Kona white fabric is my preference--but can use anything
an assortment of colored Sharpie markers--I did have a few Bic colored markers and they worked similar--but left the original drawn line a bit more obvious
Styofoam drinking cups and rubber bands to go around them
Regular Rubbing alcohol and an eyedropper
Pigma black scrapbooking pen to sign name after alcohol dries

I don't have any step by step photos but the idea is to place the fabric on top of the glass, then secure with the rubber band around it. Pull the sides to get any wrinkles out and then let the family have fun drawing on them. When finished drawing we made the whole top circle of fabric wet with the rubbing alcohol and let the kids watch the colors spread into each other.  When the spreading of colors has stopped take the fabric off the cup and lay flat to dry then use the Pigma pen to add the signature to the square.

Be prepared to have way more fabric squares than you think you will need because the kids REALLY have fun with this project!!! And actually the adults did too!!!

I trimmed the squares down to 4 1/2 " and then sashed them all with 1 1/2" black strips. Quilted it with an allover meander in a soft pastel varigieted Rainbows Superior thread. Bound it with the black. I must admit that it looked quite striking!!!
These are some kind of Statistics  equations--or something like that--from a professor!!

Go Twins!! by a young boy!!
All of them pieced together and hanging on the design wall before it was quilted.

At the reunion this last Saturday we had everyone write down who was at the last one and then we put all the names in a bag and made the oldest Aunt Nina draw out the name--she never wants to hurt anyone's feelings so she wanted to give it to everyone--but could only be one winner. Our niece Melissa Moget's name was drawn, she is 14 and her room is purple so it should be a nice reminder about family for her.

Since the last reunion we have had 2 of our members pass away and both of their spouses were very overwhelmed to see the square that their loved one had made. So it just goes to show that who knows where a memory can be made!! Try it with your family!!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Happiness is...

Happiness is....a finished challenge top!! Not only was this a challenge to design and piece, but since the pom poms are hanging through the center hole I wanted the photo to show the shadow so that you could see that. The challenge fabric is the multi-colored print around all the circles.

So there you have it...I have to clean my house this morning and sort hogs tonight--but I am going to quilt this for me today!! Finishing all 6 of the blue centers should be a challenge--not sure on how to actually hang the pom poms for real--as now they are just masking taped to the back!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sewing process....

Next post...finished product....

Thoughts on Design Star Challenge 2

In 1970 I was 5 years old.Actually on the back of this photo in Mom's handwriting I am 5 years 3 months old. 

The cut of fabric from Timeless Treasures I was given to use in Challenge 2 has a 60's to 70's groovy vibe going on in it.
Lots of color, lots of designs. Many, many possibilities to design around. My head was swimming with ideas--do I take some of the motifs and design around them, do I take some of the designs on the motifs and plan around that--or should I go with the emotion of the fabric piece and go with add in the requirement that 20% of the quilt needed to be the challenge fabric and this one had me in a quandry for a week!! I just couldn't settle on a final choice...
During my "Designing"--desperatly thinking phase--looking through 70's images and concentrating on the Peace, Love and Happiness symbols I came upon a memory of grade school. We had worksheets called "Happiness is..." We were to fill in the answer and write a story. Well now I was getting somewhere!!
This quilt is my answer and story to the "Happiness is.." McCall's Quilt Design Star Challenge2. It was a struggle to decide whether or not to go with a photo quilt this time. I decided instead to create my own block and concentrate on my piecing and technical skills--but still have a personal meaning to me. Even though I grew up in the 70's, I don't remember using the peace and love symbols much--but that smiling yellow face always makes me smile--which brought up the song by John Denver...
Sunshine on my shoulders...I don't know if I ever knew all the words or even understood any meaning to the song--I just liked listening to John Denver sing.
So to the drawing board on EQ7 software I went--along with some traditional tools. There were several false starts--I really wanted to try get a tiedye effect in the block--and in a test sample it did work--but was a bit too busy with the focus fabric--so back to the drawing board. Eventually in the moments before I started sewing the final product I finished my final drawing of the "Happy Place" block.  The journey was often a struggle with this quilt--but always a learning process.

Over 1000 miles on the back of a bike!!!

Earlier this year Erwin called Loren and wanted to plan a long weekend trip on the motorcycles out to Galena, IL--so we went for it..and well now we could be hooked.
There is nothing like riding on the back of a cycle to really see the countryside!!!
With much trepidation we purchased rain gear and planned our packing to take only the necessary items and then off we went. Only about 1 hour into the trip we had a minor issue of a loose bolt on Erwin's bike--but soon fixed and back on the road. We stopped at The Little Brown Church--cute little place. Continuing down the road we entered into Dubuque about 4:30 in the afternoon--another learning experience--big city downtown driving!! Temperature was in the 90's--but we made it through and crossed the bridge over the Mississippi in Illinois!!
A few more winding roads and we had mastered our first 9 hour day of riding--what a great feeling of accomplishment that was!!!!
Our wonderful travel guides has a great condo booked for us and a couple little day trips. Went for some delicious cheese curds in Praire Du Chen, Wisconsin,all the little tourist shops in Galena,
walked along the Mississippi in Dubuque,
toured through an antique shop owned by Frank from American Pickers, and a unique biker resturant called Poopies!! Great job tour guides!!! We found one quilt shop on the Galena stip--Phat 1/4's. And then for Jan we found 2 geocaches. The one in Wisconsin was very easy--but it took us 3 tries in Illinois--we were even looking under a bridge in possible homeless home area!! But we found them!!
Here she is looking for more spots to search!! So it was time to head home and of course the weather forecast was for extreme heat index temps--but off we went. We were on mile 870 of our trip and the heat finally got to me and I had to really dig deep into my happy place and tough it out to the next stop--going through Algona and seeing 102 degrees on the bank sign didn't help either!!! But 2 glasses and water and a 20 oz. glass of ice later and the rest of the trip home was uneventful. Loren and I are really proud of ourselves that we kept up with some seasoned riders and totally had fun and learned a lot about ourselves. We can't wait for the next trip somewhere on the backroads of America!!!