Friday, October 23, 2015

Five Finishes!!!!!

When we were in Virginia earlier this month, our grandchildren each made a donation quilt  top. When we got home, I used my one week between trips to quilt each one and sew on the binding. I finished hand sewing the binding on this last trip. I don't sew in the car but I do enjoy handwork while watching sports on TV.

I laundered the quilts this morning and took some photos in the wind before the rain began.

First is Grace's quilt. She wanted a little more interest so she added random blue squares/rectangles. She called it The Bright Quilt. The binding is the same striped fabric she used in the quilt. 

Next is Jackson's Baseball Quilt. I knew his would be symmetrical. I was going to use black for the binding but Ray and I decided the brown was a better choice.

Colter's Frog Quilt is very cheery.  I was surprised that Colter established a pattern for his strips. Since he used that wild striped fabric, I used it for the binding.

Crosby wanted a pattern for the strips in his Truck Quilt but then he/we decided not to use the last yellow strip and to add a little length with the red on the ends.

After I trimmed the sides of Ivy's Pretty Quilt, it just seemed too long for the width. So I folded each of the bold colors (blue and both green strips) and sewed a seam with the adjoining strip and made the bold colors about 1/2 the original size. I think it is even prettier now.

Now I am working on the pile of unfinished quilt tops that are threatening to take over the sewing studio. I am determined to get the pile down to around 4. We'll see how that goes....

And the treasures...

Wow, after I unpacked and started pulling out my new treasures, I was really a little surprised. I thought I was restraining myself but I may have gone a little overboard.

I found these at an Amish shop and thought my stash could use them.

Oranges and neutrals are always in low supply at my house.

I love blues. The piece in the middle top row has been in my stash many times. I seem to use it and never have enough. I probably should have bought 10 yards instead of one.

 I use lots of pretty reds.

My stash was very low on pinks

and yellows.

Kaffe Fassett fabrics always attract me. These two are from the newest line.

I thought these would be great bindings.

I bought these to make table runners, I think. It may turn into a small quilt.

With some white, these will make a small quilt or table runners or both.

This was a Daily Special at Missouri Star Quilt Company the day we were there.

These precuts were also added to my stash.

I guess it is pretty obvious that I like bright colors!

Applesauce is in the slow cookers, the freezers have been cleaned, and the laundry started. I have a few more things on my list and then I'll be sewing.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Birthday Celebration has come to an End!

This morning we headed north and stopped in Peoria at Wildlife Prairie Park. I think the actual address is Hanna City. We had a beautiful cooler day, and a nice hike/walk around the park. And we did not climb up or down a gazillion steps! 

The park is pretty although it might be even nicer in the spring and summer with all of the flowers. 

I enjoyed seeing all of the animals and watching the otters, the cougars, the bear, and the wolves.
An otter
Mike the Buffalo
A black bear
As we headed on, we couldn't just pass by Tanners Orchard north of Peoria so we stopped. This is the first time we've eaten lunch there - my BLT with apple slices was really good! We picked up some Sweet Tangos to eat and some Courtlands and Jonathons for applesauce.

We arrived home late this afternoon and are now unpacked. I've had a great birthday celebration. All good things must end so this celebration is over. But we will continue to celebrate life - that's an everyday thing around here!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Still celebrating...

This morning we headed straight east toward Illinois and stopped in Hannibal, Missouri. It's a rather neat place to visit - we saw Mark Twain's boyhood house and then walked up to the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse. We didn't know that you could drive to where I was standing to take this picture - instead, we climbed MANY steps to get this far and then climbed the rest of the way up. It was a beautiful day for exercise!

When we walked down all of those steps, we decided to walk around Historic Downtown. We found Hickory Stick Quilt and Gift Shop - Wow! 

We walked in the door and I knew I was going to love this store! The display quilts were awesome - I was given permission to take photos and I'll share my three favorites.

This store covers 3 buildings and has lots of fabric - all displayed nicely.

The lady working was super nice and I just wanted to buy and buy and buy! I will definitely return to Hickory Stick whenever we are in the area.

Yes, I did get a few more treasures - I'll share after we get home. We'd better keep me out of quilt shops if we plan to eat next week!

On with the journey... Next stop - New Salem, Illinois. Oops, New Salem, Illinois is NOT Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site. That was only  6 miles out of our way. New Salem is a tiny village with no place to eat. So the GPS was programmed again and we were on the lookout for food. About an hour and a half later at 1:30, we found Morning Star Mercantile and Cafe  in Salisbury - they served lunch until 2. Whew! It was a unique place and we enjoyed a really good lunch.
Morning Star Mercantile and Cafe
On to the Historic Site - it was just a few miles down the road. 

We had a beautiful fall day with temperatures in the 80s! Ray had never been there before and it's been 30 years since I was there. It was interesting to see again.

I didn't remember the shingles on the roofs of the buildings - one side is shingled and the other side has shingles that are higher than the first. They are just left sticking up in the air. Can you see the shingles on the building above?

The fireplaces were also interesting. They were build out of logs just like the log cabin with the chinking. 

I enjoyed seeing the old quilts in some of the cabins.

There was a Saw and Grist Mill - I guess I didn't take a picture of it. We had to hike down MANY steps, across a bridge over a road, and down more steps to get to it. Who would have guessed we could have driven to it?! Of course we had to hike back up all of those steps. Did I mention it was a beautiful day for exercise?

Tonight we are in Lincoln, Illinois, and tomorrow we will head north. Who knows what else we'll find on the way home.

My Birthday Celebration Continues On

I celebrated my birthday on Sunday. Then we left for Missouri on Monday and spent some time in Kalona, Iowa, on our way. You all know that we believe in enjoying the journey. After seeing a few shops and the quilt blocks in the sidewalks, 
One of many quilt blocks in the sidewalks
we headed over to the semi-annual Belgium Horse and Buggy Auction. We've never been to an Amish auction and it was quite interesting - I checked out all of the sewing machines. We might have spent more time if the wind hadn't been so strong. We were in a dirt/gravel area and felt a little like we were eating grit. 
Buggies at the auction

We stayed at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Chillicothe, Missouri both Monday and Tuesday nights. As luck would have it, they had a free meal Monday night! The motel was very clean and very nice - we'd definitely go back.

Tuesday we headed for the Missouri Star Quilt Company and arrived just a couple of minutes after the stores opened at 9AM. Rick met us at the door and explained the layout of the town with a map. Rick is the CEO of MSQC and we saw him many times as we wandered around. Although we arrived in rain, the rain stopped before we left the first store and we had a gorgeous, very warm day. I'm not sure which shop was my favorite. EVERY employee was so nice. It was FUN!

I didn't get a photo of every store we were in but this is most of them.
Main Store

Civil War, Kansas Troubles, etc store

 J. C. Penney's 500th store. Chillicothe was his hometown.

The Batik store

The store with the seasonal fabrics
We were able to wander around the retreat center - gorgeous!

We missed a couple of stores that are opening next week - the sewing machine store, the bakery, and another restaurant. There are also more fabric stores coming soon. The Man Cave will open in a few weeks - theater type seating and big screen TVs. The knitting store will open mid- 2016. Guess we'll have to go back!

Of course there were quilts EVERYWHERE!
One of the murals

In the retreat center

Cameras were welcome everywhere - I was told that I could take photos of anything I wanted! Of course, I was a little busy shopping.

We ate lunch at J's Burger Dive right next to the main store. Great burgers and fries! 

We drove northwest to Jamesport, an Amish and Mennonite area. There were lots of antique stores downtown. We did drive around the country and visited a couple of woodworking/furniture shops, general stores, and a couple of fabric stores. 
The Fabric Barn, an Amish store
Shearwood Crossing, an Amish store
When we arrived back in Chillicothe, we stopped at Cuts and Bolts and found a few more treasures. The owner was really nice even though we interrupted her - she was watching the Royals game.

I did find more than a few treasures - enough that I didn't want to haul them all into the motel for pictures. I'll share when I get home. Mostly I am just adding to my stash, filling in the weak areas.

Today we are headed toward Illinois. We'll see what we can find interesting along the way home...


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