Sunday, June 26, 2011

Catch as catch can...

I'm having one of THOSE summers...disjointed, complicated, on the road, life changing...it causes my inner troll to be unhappy about not having enough creative time in the quilt cave.  My cave-anchored projects are on hold and I can only work on things that travel, catch as catch can, when I have a few minutes.

I talked about one of my favorite shops to visit while on the road between Michigan and Alabama in my last post, The Quilt Box of Dry Ridge, Kentucky, without sharing my purchases...bad, bad blogger!


Blacks, browns and blues...oh, my goodness!  The blacks are from the "Inkwell" collection by Marcus.  It is so hard to find repro blacks, and these are gorgeous!  I bought a few things with which to pepper my repro stash and enough to share with my buddies.
I am a "bag lady" at The Quilt Box, which means I faithfully return with my bag as I pass through the area and enjoy 20% of my purchases.  I've been a bag lady so long that I've forgotten what I did to earn the bag...I think I had to spend $75-$100...that wan't a problem.  Then, every time you spend $100, they stamp your bag.  After a certain number of stamps you get free stuff...I can't remember how much.  I'm always excited about the 20% off.  There is nothing more tempting than 20% off...I just leave the tote bag in the back of the car so I don't forget it!
I dare anyone to visit this shop and not be tempted by all the shirtings she carries!

My buddy Ola visited this shop for the first time a few weeks earlier and brought me THIS lovely bundle.
I
 Fat 1/8s of pure joy...pink and brown repro fabrics.
 The variety carried by this shop is amazing.  I spread them out below to see them in all their glory...
...then I opened them up to wash them and just wallowed in them for a while.  I also received the lovely new tote bag and my daughter/photographer suggested  me put it on my head to get it in the picture.  Since I am a silly cave troll, and a little camera shy...why not?!?
Since I need portable projects for the next month, I am hard at work on my Blackbird Design applique baskets.  I started these in 2010 and have about 60 done now.
When I have some prepped, they are the perfect thing to work on while away from the quilt cave.
I carry the prepped blocks around in one of my "magic boxes," a small box containing everything I need to sew away from home...silk thread, needles, beeswax, scissors, thimble, and prepped blocks.

While doing laundry last night, I prepped a few more baskets using the gluestick method (freezer paper pattern adhered to the right/front side of the fabric, turn under allowances glued to the wrong side) and a few of my new fabrics.


I have a stack that have been appliqued and are ready to soak and trim to size.  I started out making brown, cheddar, gold and black ones thinking it would be more like the quilt in the Blackbird Designs book.  But now I'm thinking color and have decided to expand the color pallet to include red, green, blue, purple and pink...all repro.  And I am using a ton of different shirtings for backgrounds.  I love scrappy...it keeps me from having to make fabric decisions.

I also managed to cut a stack of shirting fabrics 6 1/2 inches square on which to glue-baste these lovely baskets. 

After the applique is done, I will soak the blocks to remove the glue, press and cut to the 5 1/2 inch block size that I need to make the quilt.

Don't get me wrong, it is a good summer...time spent with my 14-yr-old daughter and husband and time spent in the sunny south visiting/helping my extended family is always wonderful.  Then there are the necessary lifestyle changes that come with losing almost 40 pounds since the second week in May...yippee for me!  My inner quilt troll will get back into the quilt cave in a few weeks and go nuts with my sad, neglected, lonely stash.  At that time, I need to spend some sewing time with my sad, neglected, lonely quilting buddies.  Until then, I am happy to make some progress on hand projects, maybe get to visit more quilt stores on my journeys, and work on some original quilt design projects.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Carside Critique:You'll LOVE this place!

I just got back from a week plus down in the sunny south with my daughter where my favorite aunt had shoulder surgery.  On the way to Alabama from Michigan, I had another chance to visit one of my FAVORITE quilt shops, The Quilt Box of Dry Ridge, Kentucky.

The Quilt Box
This shop is perfectly located 4 hours south of my home in southeast (Ypsilanti) lower Michigan.  If you are traveling south on I-75 through Ohio, it is just south of Cincinnati in northern Kentucky, just off the highway at exit 159 (Dry Ridge).  As I-75 winds southeast toward Atlanta, GA, I-71 splits off to the southwest towards Louisville, KY, which is the way I usually go as I motor towards Alabama.  But it is super easy to continue south on I-75 for a few miles, get off at the Dry Ridge Exit, go to this charming shop, then travel a little west through the scenic countryside until I meet up with I-71 south.

Owner Natalie Lahner buys what she likes to fill her beautiful shop, and I LOVE what she likes!

This shop on Walnut Springs Farm started out as a log cabin, which was enlarged to make the shop.  The grounds are INCREDIBLE!

You can see the "log and chink" construction on the left side of the store.
As you meander down the long, gravel driveway, you pass Natalie's log cabin home and continue on, following the signs, to the shop on the scenic hilltop.

My family always packs a picnic lunch to eat under the tree while gazing at the rolling hills and pond.  Riley and my husband like to wander around while I enjoy browsing and shopping.

 This shop has been open almost 30 years and was featured many years ago in Quilt Sampler.
The shop carries mostly reproduction and batik fabrics, along with a few 30's.  What is so fabulous about Natalie is that she carries more obscure lines in addition to the favorites you look for everywhere.  I love her fabric eye, and load up on things that just aren't available anywhere else.
Just look at all these shirtings (and this is not all of them)!
 Yummy chocolate browns and hard-to-find black and grays.
Just some of her many green bolts...
 Reds, with blues and batiks peeking through from behind...
 New, featured lines are placed in the "cabin," in front of the hearth.
 My favorites, the blues...
The shop is sprinkled with inviting samples, patterns, magazines, books, quilting tools and supplies.  They have a nice selection of wide backings, as well.




If you are traveling south on I-75, take exit 159 at Dry Ridge.  Then right off the ramp, then turn right on KY 467 at the next light.  Go 2.6 miles, passing a barn with the Little Mermaid painted on the side, then turn left at the sign on the mailbox onto a gravel driveway.  After a short meander through the woods, and passing the first log cabin home, drive on to this fabulous shop.  Well worth the drive!!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Last day of school...at last!!

I don't know who is more excited about today being the last day of school...me or my daughter!  Those last weeks of school are a push for the parents as well as the students...concerts, award programs, dances, trips, teacher gifts to make...and no more school lunches to pack for a couple of months!

I've been working on things I can't show yet in my spare minutes, but I can show you some fun samples made by my friends for the shop and an Amy Bradley trunk show.

I love, love, love this beautiful angel quilt!  The pattern is shown below.  It is easily made by laying out pieces on the batting/backing, securing them with spray baste, applying fusible commercially made black bias tape, machine-stitching on each edge of the bias...easy, easy!  Then all you have to do is apply binding...it is already "quilted."  This sample was made by Ola Rosselot.  It is also beautiful in Christmas fabrics.

This little cutie was made from Nancy Halvorsen's latest book, "Jingle All the Way."  I really like Santa and a few of his Reindeer friends.  Mary also made this one.

We borrowed Amy Bradley's trunk show to show off her new crop of patterns.  They are AWESOME!!  I love her stuff anyway, but these latest ones are over the top.  If you have never tried her patterns, her designs are so fun and her directions and patterns are so well made.  Our picture doesn't do them justice because we have such limited wall space to hang samples, but check out the pictures on the patterns and a couple of close up shots.


 I love "Q" and "F."

When the samples were unpacked from the shipping boxes, I thought the following sample read, "Have a Scrappy, Crappy Day!"  I sure am glad I was wrong, although there are "those" days...maybe it could be made reversible!  LOL

This next pattern has so many possibilities!
Amy sent us the Nutcracker version.
And I love the turtles with vehicles on their backs and all the bright colors...

 Two quilts in one pattern...

This is a new Halloween pattern that Mary Jones made a sample to show off.

This little gem was designed and made by my friend Ola Rosselot..it is so bright and happy (it's hung over a door, so it looks a little funky...).

This little trio of patterns is offered by Country Threads of Garner, Iowa.  I couldn't take a picture of the pattern because the shop is temporarily out of them...can you see why?  Mary Jones made these samples, too.
Those are the three words I'd like to leave you with today!!  The world sure needs more laughs, giggles and smiles right now...

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)