Sunday, December 16, 2007


last year....(I think)....... not so much.........

This year..... like today........

So calls and leves me a message saying uh... I guess we're technically having a BLIZZARD so call back at 11 to see what's going on.
I was supposed to work 10-2:30.
4 hour shifts are annoying anyway..... just enough to sap you of your energy and time when you are closing in on that last minute sewing project deadline.
Obviously it's going to take more than a little snow to affect my fashion sense anyway.
(yes.... that is a dog positioned oh so perfectly on my scarf....need I say more?)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

More Mancuso Quilt Show..... has been awhile since I posted on the ol Blogger....
and I remembered I had taken a lot of pics at the latest quilt show ( for future blogging purposes) ........
So here's some more!!!
These are the examples of the antique / vintage / traditional part of the show.
I'm not sure if they had been juried in, but I was so glad they had been included!
Speaking of vintage sure to check out Bonnie at "Quiltville"
She just finished a very cool top made entirely of recycled shirts from resale shops...AND is now working on rail fence units from the same recycled shirt source...
you can even "string along" with her on this one as she is creating a "mystery quilt"
where the rail fence units are included.
So far its looking very cool....I love almost anything with red and blue anyway....
I don't think I will be participating in this venture ( apparently I require too much sleep from here on till April.... "Wake me up when it's Spring!!!!!! or before you go-go)
but I am looking forward to seeing what everyone does!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Red and Yellow Log Cabin #2 DONE!!

One of my favorite parts of quilting( besides the sense of accomplishement when it's finally done!!) is when it gets unpinned from the machine and falls into its own new shape, free from the tension and constraints of the frame.

I also got lucky today because the weather was photo friendly. I'ts also nice to be able to stand back and view the quilt as a whole, instead of the right under my nose perspective.
Plus!! the timing is finally right and I will be able to deliver it and show it( with the owner) at Guild tomorrow night.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Greater Chicago Quilt Exposition II

Well we survived it again this year!! Thankfully this years event was "targon free"
which just added to the enjoyment.
I would like to start with the above quilts "Digital Shibori" ; by Tricia McKellar.
These were by far my favorite of the contemporary entries. Her shibori images are transferred digitally and manipulated to create a collage on silk.
Upon close examination, the image is made up of several "pieced " pieces of the image that has been transferred to silk. Very interesting,some sort of abstract, minimal and serene. Elegant in only the way a tractor tire image on silk would be .
The next day , a synopsis has to be discussed ( as any mumsy and daughter would do) and mumsy concluded she didn't like the show and that there weren't more than a handful she wouldn't care to wipe her #@&! on!! ( no need for alarm, she is taking a much needed vacation very soon!)
That being said, it was no wonder she ended up in the bar later that afternoon.
My friend and I had decided to call it quilts for the show.
The concrete floor had taken its toll on us!
I had brought the 7 Lb lunch to drag around for most of the day, and she was positively exhausted from the 30's fabric shopping session I orchestrated for her next project. ( LOVED!! spending her $ for her!!)
She insisted we search out beers at the mystery "bar" we had been hearing about throughout the day. Heard they had "hot food!!.....
Lo and behold what did our weary eyes spy but a very lovely and posh bar complete with lime green patent leather lounge chairs and quite the industrial beaded curtain!!
( for you quilt show newbies......THIS IS NOT STANDARD AT ALL QUILT SHOWS!!)
WELL!! this was just what the quilt Dr. ordered!! We proceded forward with a lovely pilsner each of Sam Adams SUMMER!! ale on draught and it was heaven!!( not a sam adams fan normally but this was a surprise and now a new favorite) too bad I have to wait only 6 months for another one!
A few other quilt cronies wandered in for a late bite of lunch and I proceeded to chat them up about my favorite subjects and ones they are knowledegable in :the appraisal,restoration and historical studies genre'.
I was interrupted by a phone call from my farm hand regarding the possibility of burning the pile( he had spent the day with our friend "the pyro") and inviting some friends out to do so. I agreed but only if he clean a couple specified areas of the house.Well I dodged that bullet cause he called back later and said the party had been moved to my friend and her husband "the Pyro)s house.Good for me , not so thrilled was she.
Meanwhile, my friend had orderd us another round and was treating us to some calamari!..and
next thing you know, Mumsy and her (*our) cousin, show up looking for a bit of refreshment themselves.We proceded to harass the bartender( like only a gang of old lady quilters can do) and generally make a nuiscense of ourselves until the cops showed up and hauled us off to the pokie where we taught our fellow cell mates the art of bad vest making!

Ha! Just kidding about that last part...making sure you were paying attention.

I cannot stress enough the difference this bar made in my quilt show experience.
Usually towards the end when the old ladies are pooped , we have to settle for a folding chair if we're lucky, most of the time it is a piece of carpeted concrete floor, while waiting on friends or the bus. Had I just heard about it and not experienced it for myself I know I would have been skeptical.
This show wasn't on par with the major players like Paducah or Houston/Chicago ,but was worth the trip if one was in the general vicinity. Not to mention, Shaumburg is a shopping mecca complete with IKEA and any other possible retail experience one may hope to find.
Next up;: more photo worthy quilts from around the world..........

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Log Cabin #2 and QUILT SHOW ALERT!!!!!

I've been working on this:
the second yellow and red log cabin for a new customer. The two matching quilts are for her grandchildrens beds at her home.
The first one was finished just as she was coming to pick it up and went out the door without pics ; I didn't want to post anything until she saw the final product.
I have to say I've really enjoyed quilting these also. I've just fallen in LOVE with this color combo and want to somehow do something for myself in these hues.
I'll just ADD IT TO MY LIST!!!
QUILT SHOW this weekend in Schaumberg,IL at the rennaisance center(?).
My Guild is taking a bus full of ladies up for a big fat day of quilt related
festivities and stash enhancement....... You know!!!!!
F.A.R.T. !!!!(fabric aquisition road trip)
Unfortunately I will have to be satisfied with just drooling and fondling( maybe some sniffing?!FOR SURE SNIFFLING!!) only........
(See previous blog regarding large shiny expensive necessary equipment.....)
So So Sad Schnoobie!:(

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

More fun.........

Old, wornout, funky and gunky....

New! Shiny! Gut Wrenching Expensive! Looks Like a Thermos!!!

again... a chance to say goodbye......

Let's look at them together!!..sort of a "Generational Portrait".........

What's long, shiny silver and costs more than my Mortgage???????
That's RIGHT kids!!!!

I'ts a brand new, shiny and VERY EXPENSIVE Well Pump!!!!!!!!!!
wow!! Just when you hoped things wouldn't any worse.........
( I had a very long and drawn out post documenting the inhumanity and blatant disrespect at the job yesterday but lost it due to god only knows)..
Lets's just say it was a 2 beer evening and exactly 2 hairs away from being my "previous job"......
And then today!!......(I thought my shower water looked extra dirty last night??..)
Good morning!! Your water is very murky!!!
We called a well guy and he diagnosed it over the phone pretty accurately.
He showed up with his crew in the afternoon and confirmed the horror.
(I guess it could have been needing a new well dug!)
Thanks anyway this will do just fine for a second runner up.
I guess they last 10-15 years and it looks like we're right on schedule folks.
According to the date on my well tank in the basement its 15 years old.
So after much wailing and moaning and gnashing of teeth ( that was just me..)
the new shiny silver pump complete with new pipe and wiring was installed in less than one hour.
One very painfully expensive and shiny hour.
Did I mention my ETSY shop?? 2 quilts for sale....also ...
Farm Fresh Organic Brown and Green/Blue eggs...... Organic Catnip for sale ...
Donations accepted.........

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Safari Baby Quilt Done!!

Some Quilt Content!
Today was the "Perfect Fall Day"!; clear and crispy !!
I took advantage of the gorgeous colors and took some photos of the trees turning at the back of my field and the new (old recycled metal!) roof that Doug was installing on the chicken coop just in the nick of time.( next up blog....)
I was especially pleased with the majestic Fall sky and the rich contrast of colors in the backdrop of this shot against the neutral quilt.
I've had this Baby Quilt quilted for some time now....just needed to pull threads and put the binding on.
And now its done!!!!!Just in time for the upcoming Holiday gift shopping season.
So now I've got 2 (count 'em wooo hooo!) QUILTS FOR SALE in my ETSY shop.(see link below!)
Selling on ETSY is something I've been wanting to try for a while now, but I've been concentrating on "Guaranteed Income" like quilting customer quilts.
Selling on E bay or ETSY has always been "iffy" for me anyway.
Kind of like a bonus or extra credit ....or something.....?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Friday, November 02, 2007

Thursday, November 01, 2007

" out here in the fields, I farm for my meals........"

"I get my back into my living....."
Wait!! What's that rumbling noise??
Now if you know me at all, you know I love me some farm equipment.
I ran like mad for my camera. It was all I could do to not run up to the driver,all excited jumping up and down and beg to ride with him!!!
My adult senses got the best of me and I figured the next best thing would be to just blog about it!!!( Bummer!!that's sooooo not even close!)
Back in the "working in Chicago days" I would come home @ 7 p.m. to darkness and sometimes miss the fact that my field had been picked.
Once I even got to drive a combine while picking corn! That was EXCITEMENT!!
I was so thrilled with my new experience and was eager to tell my coworkers the next day.
They just didn't get it. Not even that but most of them had no idea what a "COMBINE" was. Just one of many city-dwellers-don't-get-the-farmy-thing moments that used to happen quite frequently actually!!
I finally got smart and started selling them "blooming weeds" in their farm fresh cut flower arrangements that I would schlep in every week on the train. It was a huge pain but a nice bit of extra income.
They loved it. Ate it UP!
I also remember conversations regarding harvesting "wild asparagus" which invoked much fear and concernation in the heart of the city-dwellers. Forget about speaking of your spinach crop for bugs could surely be a problem....not to mention the dirt in which its grown.
Good times.
I can just imagine the !HORROR! my fresh organic eggs would invoke in the hearts of the city-dwellers. They're BROWN! and GREEN!! Unspeakable! Are you sure they're OK to eat????
I always used to say to them when the end of the world is near and your neighborhood Starbucks runs out of Latte' fixins and pastry , you'll be showin up to harvest that "wild aparagus" down here on the farm.
Right after you take your turn manning "the shotgun in the window" shift.
Can you tell I'm thinking about the new season of "Jericho"??
And I must apologize for the lack of new posts.
I've been struggling to acclimate to a new job and time schedule.
Pre-Up-with-the-Chickens time. Still Dark.Power nap when I come home.
Painful and definately cramping my style in so many ways.
I let the last finished quilt out the door without any pics(NAR!) thinking I would just get shots of the second identical one. Which is still in progress.
oh yeah ...a not so closet pyro friend called whilst I was blogging all this and told him of the news that the field was being cut.
His first response?
GOOD!! That means now we don't have to wait till December to burn the pile!!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Local QUILT SHOW!!!!!!

Hey Kids!!!

and fellow fabric fondlers and quilt lovers........

My long-armer friend Sandy and I will be vending our wares at a QUILT SHOW in South Holland, IL this weekend!!
It is located at FAITH FAMILY FUTURE CENTER 16932 South Park Ave, South Holland,IL.
It is being put on by the Heritage Quilters of South Suburbia
for more info and a map to there.
We will be featuring out Longarm Quilting(WE ARE LONGARMLADIES!!!) services of course...AND


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Americauna Egg #1!!

One of the "girls" pictured has givin it up! #1 in the race for the first egg!!
Aruacana/Americuana chickens lay pale Blue and Green Eggs. Just ask Martha.
This one is a lovely pale dusty green. I tried to give you some sense of color with the pink yarns. Its a "pullet" egg and it's smaller than an adult egg.
Although I was surprised at how big it was. I was Egg-specting something even smaller, but what do I know?? I'm a first-time Chicken Mama!
Buffington has been jumping on top of the girls lately we just noticed. Today he has been extra vocal....really Doodle doo-ing it up!! (typical guy:"I'm so great !!!Look what I did!! Let me tell you how great I am!!!)
So I guess this means we will be having more eggs than we need and will be able to finally start selling them!!
They are ORGANIC,SEMI-FREE RANGE( for safety reasons but very happy, just ask them!)and probably FERTILIZED!!
If anyone is interested let me know.
$1 for 6 OR $2 for one Dozen . Cash and Carry only!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Pocketfull of Stars (with bubbles)?

Here is the latest effort from the longarm studio here, down on the farm.

This one is owned by the very gracious Joanie B, she is a new customer and kindred spirit.
Story goes: My mom happened to be in a fabric store looking for the Reproduction fabrics when a stranger ( not for long!!) steps up and guides her in the right direction. Naturally my Mom starts chatting her up( UNBELEIVABLE! not) ( well ok maybe it was a mutual thing!) one thing leads to another and this person is looking for a longarmer in the area ,mom mentions my name ,she says it sounds like the name that was referred to her by a lady at the library(thanks Linda!)and wham!.
Next thing you know we are all meeting at my mom's house for some serious quilting chat; fabrics, retreats, shops, guilds etc. yadda yadda and 3 tops to quilt!!!We all hit it off right away and had a lovely visit.
If you look closely, you can see a very unusual and fun feature to this quilt. The small triangles are actually 3 dimensional and form tiny pockets in the corners.Joan told me the pattern called for sewing the edges of the triangles down but she decided to leave them open, like small triangle shaped pockets. Which, I think , makes the quilt so much more creative and interesting!
I hadn't ever seen anything like this and enjoyed all aspects of the challenge in actually creating the quilting design ,the execution of it and of course the final result.
The piecing called for a simple enhancement of the triangles. I felt an overly busy quilted pattern/design would distract and or compete with the piecing, as would a contrasting or variegated thread.
So thats the latest installment kids...
NEXT UP: Twin Log Cabins.......stay tuned.........

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Reproduction Directional Fabrics

Spoils from the F.A.R.T. Baby!!!!!
Used to be, back in the day....I would purchase fabrics sort of willy nilly.
I've got a LOT of fat quarters (duh!) 1/2 Y and 1Y pieces.Whatever caught my eye at the time. When going thru all my pieces, blocks and parts of vintage stuff I've collected throughout the years,It's come to reveal that I need YARDAGE TO finally put these things together with alternate blocks ,sashings ,borders backings ....that's why I needed me some YARDAGE!(mmmmmmmm yardage!........)
Lately I've been completely sucked into directional fabrics(reproduction of course!)....they do all the work don't cha know...!
This is what I hauled home from the super quick and dirty road trip.
For your viewing pleasure!!!
OH! BTW...a little birdie told me someone liked her quilt that I was working on that she saw on my blog....(HASN'T BEEN UP FOR SHOW AND TELL YET)
hmmmmm ?????COULD IT BE???????another lurker?????
So I gotta say HI BRENDA S.!!!!!!!!!! you've been chosen as "LURKER OF THE MONTH!!!!!!!
Come on out and say something!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Moving Right Along.......

Well ALMOST!!!
I've got 2 more rows to go.
Here are examples of real machine (longarm quilting top and bottom)
The middle pic is odd/interesting. Looks like someone was wanting to know what some hand quilted stitches would look like.
"Faux Quilting" I guess, because there are no other layers joined by these stitches.
I thought it would be interesting to document because you know .....
I'm going to have to RIP THEM OUT!
My quilting progress isn't as far as it should be because yesterday was "one of those days".
I'm blaming it on the impending full moon.
And the fact that I had a kind of pointy heavy frozen thing(rigid ice pack family size!) fall out of the freezer and hit me on the back of the head . It was hurty and must have affected my judgement because I threw up my hands ( on the quilting and STOOPID INTER-NOT!!) and ended up watching some ridiculous thing on "Fashion Week" and a Bridal thing.
I know.
Someone check to see if some alien being has taken over my person.
We went back and forth between some 80's rock band movie with Marky Mark(when he WAS) AND jENNIFER aNISTON (again, I know!!!??????) and the geek gaming chanel featuring the Halo release freak show shenannigans.
I think I'm back to "normal" today. (define normal!) A friend of mine called up needing some moral support in exchange for lunch.
It did us both some good to get the hell out of the house, and the beers didn't hurt either.
I returned just in time for the internet guy to show up and did not hesitate to walk up to his vehicle,smack it on the window well and inform him that if he didn't fix my internet connection I was taking HIM HOSTAGE.
( all very charming and delightfully of course!!)
So far so good cause I'm bloggin again kids.. Later!!!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Early Fall F.A.R.T of 2007 (the door mouse)

OK kids!!!
Here it is !!! More bolts of fabric than you have probably ever seen under one barn roof!!
As you can see also....some of the bolts on the floor actually blocked the view of the bolts on the lowest you had to move piles around to see everything.
I managed to find several "directional prints" in my favorite genre' "reproduction type fabrics. There were however a lot of things I wasn't very interested in. That's just me though . I'm pretty specific about what I'm gonna purchase.
I do recommend going though at least once just for the "over the top buttnormity" of it all.
On the way we stopped in Maumee at another quilt shop'The Quilt Foundry"located strangely enough in an old foundry!! They just happened to be open late that night...... lucky us!!The lady who was working there was giving us some history on the place and in addition to being a foundry waaay back in the day , it was also a manufacturer of the yellow dye that used to come with Oleo margarine.
I guess the margarine came in a sort of grey color and the yellow dye packet was mixed in by the consumer. For those of you who are too young to remember Oleo...ask your grandparents ...sounds nummy!!!!!
It was also interesting to learn that the current owner of the building had parents that worked in the building and lived nearby. He used to stop in on his way home from school.
As we were leaving, I was attacked by a quilted fish on a stick on the way out of the quilt shop...more on that later....I'm waiting for my insurance photos to be returned.
(I'm fine really!!! thanks for your concern....)
So....more stories and pics of the infamous trip later......
(I'll show you my stuff!!!) LATER!!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Up Next.....LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!

This quilt top belongs to a very good friend of mine. I believe she picked it up at a flea market..
It may be the next up on the ol longarm.
I know I will have a hard time giving this one back also