Archive for June, 2013

Play Date #6 Spool Pin Cushion

June 29, 2013

Seems like it’s time for another Play Date! We haven’t created anything together for quite some time. How about making something useful from supplies you most likely have in your sewing room? This is a simple project and the result could be given as a little gift to a friend or make several for multiple friends. This Spool Pin Cushion could even be a holder for a place card at a luncheon for your guests to take home with them. Just pin their name into the pincushion.

Spool Pincushion

Spool Pin Cushion

I have a passion for vintage lace, linens, and ephemera, so anytime I can use even little pieces of it, I am happy. Has anyone asked you what is your passion? I like to ask that question of family, friends, and new acquaintances. Most often it leads to an enlightening conversation. My passion is working with my hands to create something that makes my heart sing. Since I was a little girl I have created with needle, thread, and fabric, paper, scissors, and glue, Crayola, paint, and brushes. I was fortunate that my mother allowed me to sew on her Singer sewing machine when I was 6 years old, and my two older sisters allowed me to have a crafting spot in the corner of our large shared bedroom.  My messes were always stacked high.

Recently, I was with long time friend, Trix Buhlmann-Epple from Berne, Switzerland. She is in the process of clearing out a family home and brought me a bag of vintage laces. What a treat to look at the treasures piece by piece. This inspired me to create something with lace, and I thought about the Spool Pin Cushion I had seen amidst other things in a blog I like to follow. If you like crafts made with lace, check out Shabby Chic Inspired. There are not tutorials on the projects, but much inspiration and eye candy.

Vintage Lace Treasure

Vintage Lace Treasure from my friend, Trix

So let’s start.

The materials you will need are simple.

21″ of flat vintage lace about 3/4″ wide

1/2 yd. of 1/2″ wide ribbon

5″ diameter of  muslin or linen to fill

5″ diameter of vintage linen for outside of pin cushion

4″ diameter of light weight batting

Lace applique piece for top

Crushed walnut shells or other pin cushion filler

Vintage button  (I used one 1/2″ in diameter)

Whitewashed wooden thread spool 1  1/2″ diameter and 2″ tall

Materials Needed

Materials Needed

The instructions are easy.

1. Machine stitch lace on right side of raw edge of outside linen circle. Stitch applique piece on top of circle.

2. Gather muslin circle with double strand thread.

3. Fill with walnut shells or your choice of filler. Pull thread tightly. Back stitch about three times to close.

Circle Preparation

Circle Preparation

4. Use hot glue or your glue of choice to adhere filled circle to top of spool.

Glue to Spool

Glue to spool

5. Glue batting circle to top of filled circle.

Batting Circle to Top

Batting Circle to Top

6. Sew button to top of lace applique on circle. Using double strand heavy thread gather-up lace edged circle. Make stitches just above the top of lace. Put gathered circle on top of filled circle like a little cap. Draw up thread tightly. Back stitch several times to secure.

7. Tie ribbon with a bow. Isn’t this the prissiest pin cushion you’ve seen?

Add your new little pin cushion to a special place or give to a special friend.

Pincushions

Pin Cushion Friends

Hope you enjoyed this little Play Date. I would love to hear from you and pictures would be great too. Stay inside and keep cool if you live in Texas temperatures like me. Until we meet again, dear friends, I hope your days are filled with your passion.

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Quilt Festival/Chicago 2013

June 25, 2013

We were pleased to take International Quilt Festival back to the Chicago/Rosemont area and the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Since we’ve been gone the area added the MB Financial Park–a new district with many restaurants and entertainment facilities located within walking distance of the Stephens Center. We enjoyed many of these places at the end of each show day but show first and then play. So with workbook and name badge in hand on June 20th, it was time to start Preview Night for the 2013 Chicago Festival. Let the fun begin!

Jill Benge and Judy

Jill Benge and Judy

The show was composed of Special Quilt Exhibits, Education on the show floor, and Exhibitors. It was hard for attendees to decide where to go first. Many started with the Special Exhibits to find their quilt or one they have heard about among the more than 500 quilts and pieces of fabric art on display. I checked out the quilts made by my friend Barbara Black in Traditional Treasures. This is a juried exhibit and Barbara’s quilts “Lone Star Garden” and “If it’s Purple…”were both among those accepted in the exhibit. Barbara’s work is perfection. They were a joy to see hanging in the exhibit.

Barbara Black's Quilts

Barbara Black’s Quilts

Among the other many quilt exhibits hung one of the masterpieces made by Libby Lehman from Houston, Texas.  I said a prayer for Libby as I stood in front of “Ripple Effect” and thought about Libby and the friendship I have had with her since the 80’s. If you don’t know, on April 30th Libby suffered a stroke after a ruptured aneurysm and is now in rehab. If you want to know more about Libby Lehman and how you can support her go to Caring Bridge for updates. God bless you, Libby. We all love you and miss you.

Libby Lehman's Quilt

Libby Lehman’s Quilt

There was much talk and delight over the “ChiCOWgo” quilt exhibit. From a pattern in the book “Out of the Box with Easy Blocks” by Mary Lou Weidman and Melanie McFarland, friends and students customized the “Purple Cow” into various themes. The cow quilts were accompanied by cow photography done by my dear friend Wilma Hart. I loved looking at her photography of Texas cows as much as I enjoyed the quilts.

ChiCOWgo Exhibit

ChiCOWgo Exhibit

The greater part of my time was spent in the Education segments held on the show floor. There were opportunities to create a project or learn a new technique in ‘Open Studios” and “Create on the Spot” areas. “Create on the Spot” was a great place to sit down for an hour and for $10 you could complete a simple, but fun project such as a Poppy Brooch and Light Up Trading Cards.

Create on the Spot

Create on the Spot

I taught one of the segments to a group of fun-loving students. They each went home with three “Cut and Paste” greeting cards and materials to make three more. It was a fun hour.

Teaching at Create on the Spot

Teaching at Create on the Spot

“Open Studios” had presentations on modern quilting techniques, hand piecing, machine quilting, dyeing and painting fabric, stamping and silk screening fabric and more. Over the course of the show, four quilt artists demonstrated simultaneously under the categories of “Embellish,” “Stitch,” “Quilt,” and “Paint” in four specially designed studio rooms. There were 40 sessions of demonstrations over the duration of the show. It was a busy place.

Open Studios

Open Studios

Each day I spent time demonstrating my “Collage Greeting Cards” to a group of interested attendees. I never tire of making these cards using vintage photos and embellishments.

IMG_1799

What would a Quilt Festival be without things to buy? There were rows and rows of 300 booths selling everything from sewing machines to beads to threads to fabric to patterns and much, much more. Lisa and Nick Bongean, the owners of Primitive Gatherings have everything you could possibly need for your wool embroidery.  Check them out at their quilt shop in Wisconsin or visit them again at one of our upcoming shows.

Primitive Gatherings

Primitive Gatherings

A visit to our Commemorative booth is always a must. We have show totes, t-shirts, pins, and programs for sale there among other fun items. Barbara Youngflesh and Patty Teufel keep this booth running throughout the show. Stop by and visit them. They always have smiling faces and great things to sell.

Commemorative Booth

Commemorative Boot

Not that the time at the Convention Center isn’t fun, but it’s always enjoyable to relax at the end of the day with friends and co-workers. This night Karey, Nancy, Trix and I enjoyed a steak dinner at Morton’s. Even though we are out for the evening the topic most often turns to how we can improve on the next show. We hope you will join us back at Rosemont/Chicago in 2014. It will be fun!

Dining with Friends

Dining with Friends

Please join us for one of our upcoming shows.

August 2-4, 2013 at Long Beach Quilt Festival

October 31-November 3, 2013 at Houston Quilt Festival

April 3-5, 2014 at Cincinnati Quilt Festival

June 20-22, 2014 at Chicago Quilt Festival

August 14-16, 2014 at Portland Quilt! Knit! Stitch!

Vacation Time Is The Best!

June 20, 2013

When June 11 rolls around it is time to celebrate our wedding anniversary again. We had a delightful trip to Asheville, North Carolina and Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to celebrate our 47th anniversary. The weather was cool, the accommodations good, and the sights fun, educational, and exciting. Come along and check it out.

After flying a good part of the day we arrived at the charming 1891 Cedar Crest Inn on June 10. It is one of the largest and most opulent residences in Asheville perched on the hillside on 3 acres of garden paradise.

Cedar Crest

Cedar Crest

Our room, the Serenity Suite, was on the garden level and our own little hide-away. It would be a dream come true for a honeymoon couple, but we enjoyed it just the same.

Serenity Suite

Serenity Suite

Our suite had its own little private veranda on which we enjoyed reading and relaxing in the afternoons.  We also enjoyed a three course gourmet breakfast every morning on the house’s wrap around veranda on the second level overlooking beautiful green grounds.

Tommy on our Veranda

Tommy on our Veranda

After settling in we spent some time investigating Asheville, a lovely town of art, shopping, and dining. The Grove Arcade, which is one of the last shopping arcades constructed in the United States in 1929, is a beloved downtown landmark.

Grove Arcade

Grove Arcade

The Biltmore Estate, which is on 8,000 acres, was just a mile from our Inn and where we ventured the first full day of our vacation. We are fans of Downton Abbey and as we approached the estate we felt like we were stepping into the setting for a Downton Abbey production.

Biltmore Estate

Biltmore Estate

We spent most of the day at the Biltmore House where we could only imagine what it was like to be a guest of the Vanderbilts. We chose to do the audio tour and it was a perfect way to visit George Vanderbilt’s 1895 home and learn about the families who lived and worked there. It was amazing how much of the house we were allowed to see going up and down opulent flights of stairs from the nursery to the library to the formal dining room to the indoor pool…it went on and on.

We loved it and then treated ourselves to afternoon tea in the Library Lounge at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. It was lovely seated at the window overlooking the grounds and seeing the Biltmore House far off in the distance on another hill.

Tea at the Biltmore Inn

Tea at the Biltmore Inn

The grounds of the Biltmore Estate was reason to go back a second day which we did. Frederick Olmsted, whose designs also include New York’s Central Park, took on the monumental task of planning the estate’s gardens and grounds.The gardens went on and on and we, or maybe I should say I, wasn’t up to doing it all.  There were acres of beautiful gardens and a grand conservatory.

Biltmore Conservatory

Biltmore Conservatory

In the afternoon we took an historic Asheville trolley tour on the Red Trolley. Our driver was entertaining as he drove us through the Montford Historic District, Art Deco downtown, River Arts District, and Biltmore Village. We ate bar b q at a restaurant he recommended and then Tommy went to see the McCormick Field while I relaxed on our veranda. McCormick Field is where Bull Durham was filmed and is perched up on a hill in the middle of town. He loved it.

McCormick Field

McCormick Field

On our fourth day, after a little shopping and sight seeing in Biltmore Village, we headed for Gatlinburg, Tennessee and the Smoky Mountain Resort. We checked into a nice, new suite in the middle of downtown and made reservations to see a couple of shows in Pigeon Forge.

Both days we were there we spent time off the highways in the Smoky Mountains National Park. We took the Roaring Fork tour where there were many tiny waterfalls along swift flowing streams. We opened our windows to hear the beauty of the sound in all the greenery. Tommy wondered if the trees in our backyard are as tall as the ones we saw. I don’t think so. Funny boy.

Smoky Mountains

Smoky Mountains

We stopped at Ely’s Mill and had a delightful time talking with the owner who when she was a little girl sold lemonade at that same location. The shop had spinning, honey, weaving, local crafts, books, and antiques for sale. I had a little shopping spree right there in the middle of the woods. Tommy enjoyed it, too.

Ely's Mill

Ely’s Mill

Never in a million years would I think I would enjoy the Smoky Mountains Opry, but I did! We attended the variety show on our first night in Tennessee. It was as good as or better than any Las Vegas show with gospel, patriotic, pop, blues, Broadway, jazz, and country music. Seriously, it had a talented cast of singers, dancers, comedians and musicians. I was so surprised to see it complete with lasers and giant video screens, dazzling costumes, special effects and high-tech visuals. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Opry

Opry

The next day we saw the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show. It was entertaining, but nothing compared to the Opry. We did have some laughs.

Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show

Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show

After the dinner show we toured the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge. Now that was well worth the two hours we spent there. We saw over 4 million dollars of real artifacts, 22,000 square feet of history, and walked the full scale Grand Staircase. We received a passenger boarding pass when we entered and then could see the fate of our passenger as we finished the tour. It was a sobering experience, but so well done and a tribute to the ship and its passengers and crew.

Titanic Museum

Titanic Museum

That about finished up our vacation trip. We had ice cream (when in doubt have dessert first), then hamburgers in our room, and packed for an early flight home. It was a special trip in many ways. Tommy did a great job planning just the right vacation for our celebrations. Happy Anniversary, my sweet husband, hope we have many more.

High School Sweetheart Dance 1962

High School Sweetheart Dance 1962


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