Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Favorite Quilt Shop - Ever!

A winter storm delayed my trip home so I was able to visit my favorite quilt shop - ever! The Quilt Merchant. The owner, Docia, has an incredible gift for display. Every area of the shop is very thoughtful and everything is beautifully displayed. She is warm and friendly, as her entire staff. I always feel welcomed back when I visit.

Here are some photos of the store:

I love this little vignette -

Cute little cupboard on top and aren't the sample quilts beautiful!

Here is the wool corner, where you'll find everything for needle punch, penny rug making, and embroidery.

Here is a newly acquired storefront room for the quilt shop. This will be used for all things bright. 30's fabrics, baby prints, and brights will have a room of their own - it's shaping up nicely! Love the bathtub.

What a surprise when this pulled up in front of the shop! It's a red wooden sled drawn by 2 beautiful horse. They were visiting from Kline Creek Farm, which it a working 1800's Illinois farm. It is used by many of the schools and scouting organizations for education.

Docia said that when it snows they sled in for hot dogs. What a hoot, as this is all taking place in a strip-mall.

Oh, yes, steamed hot dogs - the best~ I do miss a good Chicago hot dog as there's nothing like it anywhere else.

And here is my little hot dog, coco - growing every day. This is a toy she loves, a cardboard box - her little house.

Feb 16h
feb. 22nd (six days later)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Windy City Part II - The Burbs

So, after 2 fun filled days and nights in the city, I headed out the suburbs of Chicago (western suburbs) to visit with quilt friends.

We had a little show and tell at my hostess, Mary Bs' house. Here is Mary Pats wonderful repro of an antique quilt. I just LOVE it!
Great job Mary Pat. I believe she intends to hand quilt this.

I went to my old weekly quilting group and look who I met? Wendy and Jan of blogland - so fun! These two women are not only incredibly talented, but fun and friendly. My old group is so lucky to have these ladies in the group. I'm trying not to feel sorry for myself that I'm not there on a regular basis to enjoy their company.

Gosh, we look like we planned this photo, I guess birds of a feather....

This quilt was made by Sheila - the end all be all Brown and Pink quilt, I think. Wonderful! I love this simple "cracker" or signature block for it's simplicity. The variety of fabrics is great in this happy quilt.

Now, a funny thing happens when I "go a visiting". I forget to take photos because I'm so busy gabbing and laughing and catching up. So many of quilt friends brought show and tell and I didn't get the photos. I really did appreciate that they all came out on a terribly snowy day. It was wonderful to see them all.

Here are 2 spiderweb quilts that were the result of a recent strip swap. They are Mary Pat's and Sheila's respectively. This is a fun group project to do because they all turn out so differently depending on the setting and border choices. They're great, I think.

Sheila brought this little liberated house quilt that I made her last year for her Birthday. I used real 30's feed sacks and also reproductions. I wanted it to be funny and cheerful (since it was January) and I think it actually looks like a Color Blindness Test. I named it "come over and play".
I used this USA State fabric on the back.

I'll share more quilt photos is a few days -
back to puppy duty and Olympic Curling - Go Everyone!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sweet Home Chicago Part I

On my recent trip to Chicago, I spent 2 days in the Windy City visiting my oldest and best girl friends of 25+ years. We get together every year around the holidays (quite late this year) to celebrate our friendship by drinking a lot of champagne and eating and catching up.

This year we visited one of my favorite places the Art Institute of Chicago.

Here are some of my favorite things:

These are the Thorne Rooms which are miniature studies of various periods of interior design.

They are displayed as individual viewing boxes. It's easy to forget these are miniature.

These are views from the new Modern Wing - my home city, isn't she nice?

I thought these were quilt worthy. Maybe applique'?

I loved this clock and doggie -

And finally - 1 quilt on display - nice

I'll have quilts to share next time and my favorite quilt shop!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Puppy Love

Here's Coco!

What a trip. Chicago enjoyed 12 inches of snow on Tuesday, which delayed my 5 hour round trip to Madison Wisconsin to get little pup.
I also enjoyed the earthquake Wednesday morning at 4:00 am. In the meantime, New Jersey enjoyed 12 inches of snow on Wednesday. Everywhere I was and wanted to be it was snowing!

Thursday was clear and dry and I went to the farm to pick up Coco. It was such a joy to watch the cotton candy sunrise over the fields of northern Illinois. I forgot how beautiful a snow covered flat landscape can be.

Coco was the first puppy to leave the farm and she had a bit of crying when we drove away but we soon settled in together.

She was able to meet some of my Illinois friends before going home. Sheila helped us so much at O'Hare - I could not have managed without her! Thanks, Sheila!

I arrived home after an "on-board" flight delay about 8pm.

Chillin' with her new friends

Me trying to stop a moving a target -

Needless to say, my DH is in love with his new valentine.

I had a wonderful trip filled good friends, food and quilts. I'll share more this week.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Snow Day

We have had a beautiful overnight snow here in Northern NJ. I know my daughter would have loved a snow day, but they are doing a 2 hour delayed opening instead.

The famous Punxsutawney Phil groundhog as predicted 6 more weeks of winter. Well, I guess that means more time to cuddle up by a fire and quilt or read quilting books.

Here is a little doll quilt that I sent my friend, Sheila, for her Birthday. I almost always make a her a little quilt and it has often included half square triangles. This time I incorporated matching blue selvages as a little inside border.

I used this backing again - it was great for the cheddar cheese and crackers and works well here too. Instead of a separate affixed label, this time I inked right on the backing fabric.

Last weekend Jill and Susan went to a little exhibit at the The Drake House Museum in Plainfield, NJ. Susan was nice enough to send me her photos so I thought I'd share them with you. Some lovely antique quilts. I especially like the streak of lightening log cabin.

Thanks Susan!

On Friday I'm off to Chicagoland for a girls weekend. After spending a few days with my best (non quilting) school girl friends, I'll be visiting with my quilt friends. I can't wait to see what everyone has been up to.

In the new world order of air travel, it is less expensive to UPS a box of show and tell then to pack a separate suitcase. It was $42.00 round trip with insurance, versus $60.00 for the second bag. I guess the other upside is, I won't have to carry it and it will be tracked along the way.

I'm really looking forward to meeting Jan, of Be*mused. I've been a fan of her blog for years and it turns out she is a member of my old mid-west weekly sewing group. She is having a wonderful 5 year anniversary give away on her blog.

See you next week
Go Colts! (for mary)