Wisconsin Fun

Herrschners fabric

Earlier this month, I spent several days up in Wisconsin, at Mom and Dad’s, hanging out with family and friends. The day after I got there, Mom and I headed to the Herrschners warehouse sale. She and I went a few years ago, and I was excited to go again. Everything, including yarn and fabric, is nicely discounted, and you never know the treasures you’ll find.

Herrschners yarn

I didn’t find any yarn that caught my eye this time (which is fine since I’m still working through my yarn from last time), but I did buy a bit of fabric. It’s hard to pass up fabric at $4.99 a yard.

Herrschner fabric purchase

The first fabric on the left is for a Quilts of Valor project I hope to start soon; the next two are great boy fabrics for charity quilts; and the rest are just for me.

Moms next quilt

It wasn’t long after we got home that Mom started planning her next quilt with some of the fabrics she picked up at the sale and some from her stash.

The next day my sister Carrie and her husband Doug and my sister Jenny and her two kids came for the weekend. I noticed my niece Stella (age six) was carrying around a book she had made. She’d thumb through it every once in a while at Mom and Dad’s.

Fashion bookFashion book 2Fashion book 3

It turned out to be a fashion book. The top photo is the cover; the next one is my favorite drawing in the book (I like the lights and the pattern on the dress); and the last one is one of Stella’s favorite drawings (her other favorite drawing is also of Elsa from Frozen). It was so fun to page through it and see all her creations. She’s got a great sense of color already.

It wouldn’t be a trip to Waupaca without at least one hike around “turtle lake” at Hartman Creek State Park. Near the lake is a small outdoor amphitheater that we always stop at first.

Ivan on stage

There Ivan performed a song from The Aristocats, the play he was in recently at school. Ivan played the head dog, and when he performed for us, he started with a bit of dialog to set the scene and then launched into his song. It was just like on a recording of a musical! For the play, the kids passed around a microphone, so that’s what Ivan is holding here.

Jenny on stage

For the last twenty years, at least, any time we come to this stage, Jenny performs a stirring recitation of the poem “Queen Anne’s Lace.” She first read the poem in one of our old Childcraft books.

Stella on trail

We didn’t see any turtles on the lake. But there were lots of dragonflies on the trail. And a silly six-year-old.

Hartmans spider

And a dam with a gigantic spider on an old piling.

Hartmans ferns

A few days later, Mom and Dad and I went back to the park to take the Allen Lake trail. I love the gorgeous ferns!

Birthday fabric

Finally, the weekend included a bit of a birthday celebration for me. My sister Carrie gave me a compact, absorbent towel for my car (with a “Don’t Panic” label on it, for all you Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy fans) and a lovely scarf. My sister Jenny let me select a piece of vintage fabric from a treasure trove of fabric she picked up at a yard sale. I selected this border print. I can’t decide if I’ll make a skirt or a quilt with it, but the piece is large enough for either.

It was a great trip, as usual. And I’m a lucky girl to have an awesome family I love hanging out with.

Finished Pinwheel Challenge Quilt

Pinwheel Challenge Quilt sideHere it is—my finished Pinwheel Challenge Quilt! As I mentioned in my first post on this quilt, I received the fabrics as part of the Michael Miller Fabric Challenge through the Modern Quilt Guild. All the pinwheels were made with the challenge fabric, and I added the solids and a bit more of one of the challenge fabrics.

Pinwheel Challenge quilt final

For the quilting, I just echoed around the pinwheel shapes, which got a little wacky as I got further out and the pinwheel echoes collided. I probably should have drawn more of these echo lines to ensure they were straight. But I just went for it, so some of them are more than a bit off. For the orange strip and bottom fabric, I just quilted intersecting wavy lines. I hoped maybe this would conceal the crookedness of the bottom fabric a bit.

Pinwheel Challenge quilt backHere’s the back of the quilt. I like that you can see the quilting of the pinwheels (although from this distance, you can’t see the closed part of the pinwheel and can only see the outline, which looks a bit like an unfortunate symbol—let’s ignore that).

After I bring this quilt to the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild meeting tonight and I get a label put on, it will be off to Project Linus. I hope it brings someone a bit of joy.

Closed: Book Giveaway!

Kosbab book cover As some of you may know, I’m fortunate enough to make my living editing craft books. Someone has to do it, but I sometimes can’t believe I’m one of the lucky few who read craft books and work with craft authors every day.

One book I worked on recently was The Quilter’s Appliqué Workshop by Kevin Kosbab. In it, the author explores three different appliqué methods—raw-edge appliqué, prepared-edge appliqué, and needle-turn appliqué—and presents projects using each.

For this particular book, I didn’t actually see the projects until I received a copy of the printed book. And I love them! The style is modern with a retro feel. And even though I’ve done only raw-edge appliqué to this point, I definitely want to try my hand at the other two methods, too.

Kosbab table runner projectThis table runner project is in the prepared-edge chapter as the white appliquéd circles are made from bias strips. Appliqué, bias strips, and curves?! Yeah, I know, but see how cute it looks!

Kosbab pillow projectAnother favorite project of mine features these pillows. The trees are needle-turned and the tree centers are hand embroidered. For me, a project like this is just about slowing down and taking the time to do some hand work. I enjoy it when I’m doing it, but it seems hand projects rarely make it to the top of my to-do list. This pillow might be the exception…

The exciting news is I have an extra copy of this book to give away to one of my blog readers! Just comment on this blog post by midnight EST on Tuesday, June 10, 2014. One person will be chosen at random on June 12, 2014 to receive a copy of The Quilter’s Appliqué Workshop by Kevin Kosbab absolutely free! This contest is open to everyone—family, friends, and non-quilters alike. Your comment can be anything—say hello, state your favorite kind of appliqué, or just share something about a project you’re working on now. To leave a comment, you do need to include your e-mail address, but only I will be able to see your e-mail; it won’t appear in the comments.

Good luck!



And we have a winner! Peg, it’s you! I’ll be e-mailing you to ask for your address. Thanks to all who entered—I really appreciate it!