Sunday, September 17, 2017

Hannah and Danny's Engagement Party!

We hosted a small engagement party for Hannah and Danny last night, and it was just so much fun! They are a perfect match, they have so much fun together, and their love just shines through, doesn't it?
Just before we cut the amazing cake, which I had made especially for Danny and his love of golf. Cake created at Kirsten's Danish Bakery in Burr Ridge, IL. 

It was delicious, too!  Yellow cake with chocolate mousse filling, and buttercream icing. Yummy!

Our special guests were my brother and sister-in-law, Chuck and Jean, from Burke, VA, who just happened to be travelling through town the same weekend as the party!

Scott and I with Hannah.  Love her new dress! 
Group shot (and my finger, too, I guess - oops!), featuring Hannah's friend, Katie, our daughter, Genevieve, her bf Dave, Emily's husband, Matt, and our daughter, Emily. It seems that Dave and Matt became best friends last night after sitting together!

Nice smiles from Emily and Matt!  You can see  everyone having a good time, which I love.  We decorated with sunflowers, Hannah's favorite.

My wonderful husband, Scott - the party happened to be on our 39th wedding anniversary!

The guests of honor! Their wedding in May of 2018 will be here before you know it!

Couple more finishes for 2017

"Oh My Stars" for a special baby-to-be! My daughter's sister-in-law, Erica, expecting their first, a little boy, has planned an adorable aviation themed nursery, with navy, gray, white, and gold scheme.  I had lots of fun with this!  Did NOT turn out as planned, but better!

After searching locally, I found this cute border fabric on etsy, and the quilt was planned around it.  Simple blue stars (mimicking propellers?), set off by smaller stars, centered with compass points. 

Love this little touch of yellow, and the two different gray/white prints in the background. Quilted flawlessly by Sue Pawlowski.

Soft and snuggly for the little boy! 

Fun at Erica's baby shower!  L-R, daughter Genevieve (due in December), daughter Emily (due in February), Erica, me, and daughter Hannah (getting married in May. Needless to say, I have lots of quilts to make!!!
"Eleanor's 4-Patch" for a dear friend of the family's second born, little Eleanor.  I was unsure of her color scheme, so I used some soft baby quilt fabrics from my stash, with splashes of lime green, my favorite, and a wide white border. Simple quilting finished this quilt in a hurry!

Gratuitous puppy shot! Our dog, Buddy, loves to pose. 

Quilt on my antique baby rocker, which held me, my mom, and my grandma!

Cute baby Eleanor, with her equally cute mom, Cara.  Irrestible!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Farm Quilt - inspiration to finished!

"The Farm" - finished!
I had so much fun with this project, from inspiration, to design, to completion.  Much love was sewn into the quilt!  Made as a gift for my cousin, Julie, to honor the memory of my aunt, Marilyn, and to my grandparents' farm in Wisconsin.  After my grandparents were gone, my aunt and uncle moved to the farm after their retirement.  

Starting the design process.  For the most part, I made this quilt with my scraps ONLY.  I feel it pushes my design skills to use what I have, and I feel connected to my grandmothers, who were both quilters, and did not usually purchase fabrics for their quilts.
I started designing the sky in horizontal strips of hand-dyeds and batiks, but not loving the look.  The rust batiks would become the windmill. 

It is so quiet at the can see so many stars...and the sky is so blue!  The air is so fresh!
I spied these quilts by Terry Kramzar on the internet (you can find her website here) and was just drawn to them!  I love the pieced background technique, which I adopted for my sky.

Sky completed (much better!), starting to add the borders.  The log cabin scrappy blocks below are leftovers from my grandma's quilt!  

I kept my inspiration pieces close by while designing.  The farm's actual windmill is at the top - no vanes remaining!

Getting there!  The dark blue print edge triangles were in my stash - leftovers from a previous project, which I had cut the wrong size! Twice! So I had lots of them. :)
I like to insert all of the pins before closing them.  I feel it keeps the quilt-batting-backing layers nice and flat, and the finished quilt, if a wall quilt, is flat, square, and smooth. 

Basting the quilt prior to machine quilting.

I added an applique border on left and top, because of Marilyn's flowers growing at the farm, so graceful and wild and free.  I also added a thin orange/red print piping, a favorite design technique of mine.

We visited Wisconsin to deliver the quilt to Julie.  While there, we drove down the road to Anderson's Maple Syrup business, owned by descendants of my godparents, who started the business.
I don't think I had ever met Christine and Jan (her mother) before, but they were so warm and welcoming, and we felt and instant connection.  Christine has since visited us in Illinois.
Julie, me, Christine, Jan

"The Farm" photographed at the farm, where it belongs.  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Balance, New Quilter, 4th of July

No, this is not trick photography - it is real! Our daughter, Genevieve and her bf Dave are pregnant! We are so excited to welcome our first grandchild - a girl! - in December!

Dave was a competitive gymnast, and Genevieve is a dancer.  

Genevieve and her little dog, Buddy.  

My niece, Natasha, recently contacted me about teaching her to quilt! Woo hoo, always great to welcome a new quilter into the fold!  Now I live near Chicago, and Natasha is in Austin, Texas - but we communicated via email, and this is the result.  I think she did great!

Natasha designed her baby quilt (for a friend's baby on the way) with a simple pattern of squares.  She found the skull fabric on spoonflower.

So proud of her first attempt!  Natasha has made a splash with her adorable quilt, and already has an order for another!
It's a very ancient saying 
But a true and honest thought 
That if you become a teacher 
By your pupils you'll be taught

(from "Getting to Know You")

Congrats, Natasha!

My handsome husband grilling up our 4th of July dinner.  It was a perfect day for a bbq!

Happy 4th of July! 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mother's Day and Blogger Woes

Wow I have no idea why my banner looks so strange all of a sudden.  If anyone could enlighten me on this, I would be so grateful! Now read on as I gush about my lovely family. :)

Happy Mother's Day! Darling daughters:  Genevieve, Hannah, and Emily, and happy Mom (me)! It has been MANY years since we were all together on Mother's Day.  Oh happy day!

All gathered around the table - my preference over brunch in a restaurant at $40 each! My daughters can all cook, too!  Scott, Hannah, her fiance Danny (they just secured their wedding venue for next year!), Genevieve's boyfriend, Dave.

Scott and Hannah.  

Danny, Dave, Genevieve, Matt, and Emily.  It's a special Mother's Day for all of us because Matt and Emily just moved back to our area (Illinois) from Texas! 

There was a theme to this year's gifts:  the pool! I have a goal of going to the pool weekly this summer.  Tote bag and cool shades...

...nice big towel, plastic zippered pouch for essentials, shades again...

...coverup (maxi dress), bling-y sandals... gift of all, a lovely dinner at home surrounded by my loved ones.

Now if someone could help me figure out the changes they have made to blogger! I used to know how to use it, really I did!  But now I can't figure out how to make my banner look awesome like everyone else' it takes me forever to make each post, probably why I don't post very often.  Oh well, I know it's not a big deal, but sometimes it's the little things that can be the most frustrating!

I hope that all of you had a lovely Mother's Day! 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunset Inspiration

Back in September of 2011, my nephew got married in a "destination wedding" at the Outer Banks, N.C. Although the day started with hints of a few clouds, and perhaps rain, it cleared up and produced the most amazing sunset.  The rainbow colors were something out of a picture postcard.

Miranda's dad created the wedding arch out of some old wood, accented with fish netting and seashells.  We all gathered on the beach for a special ceremony, for a special couple.  

Although this photo is not from the wedding day, it echoes the same purples, oranges, and pinks we saw that night.  This was from their wedding website, and I used it as a "map" to create a wedding quilt keepsake gift for them.  First step, shopping for some gorgeous batiks! (never a bad idea)

Sorry I don't have a better photo of the finished quilt! I asked Nathan to send me a picture of the quilt hanging in their house...I will post it when I receive it.  I simply cut rectangles and pieced in a bricks pattern.  Quilting was done in organic horizontal lines, in various thread colors.

Quilting detail.

I do like the look of parallel lines quilting, but it is quite time consuming! I was so pleased that Nathan and Miranda were happy with the outcome.  Pretty memento to a their beautiful wedding.

Hannah and Danny's Engagement Party!

We hosted a small engagement party for Hannah and Danny last night, and it was just so much fun! They are a perfect match, they have so mu...