Monday, June 25, 2012

Lancaster Pennsylvania Trip

My friends Pam, Deanna, and I recently visited Lancaster, Pennsylvania on a quick 2-day trip. My it was great fun! While there I wanted to do two things:  visit the Old Country Store to see the special quilt exhibit that included some of Jo Morton's quilts, and eat a fresh baked pretzel! Pam's list included visiting about 6 or 7 quilt/fabric stores, and golly, didn't we have to go with her ;-)

The Old Country Store is a delightful shop with lots of wonderful fabrics, kits to make wall quilts or tote bags, pottery, cookbooks, local candies, candles, and fabric crafts.

Upstairs on the 2nd floor of the OCS is a smaller gift shop and the special quilt exhibit area. The last time I visited, they had quilts made by Maryanne Fonz and Liz Porter--they are also 2 favorite quilting "mentors" of mine.

I have been a Jo Morton fan for 12 years now, I led her first Little Women Group 1 in 2000 in St. Charles, Missouri. I have led the Jo Morton Little Women group at JoJos in Chesterfield Virginia now for 4 years. Her quilts are just little gems, so I was delighted to finally see some of them up close and personal.

This is a pretty big quilt by Jo's standard, a beautiful Ocean Waves quilt in red/green and white. Her tan border is so unexpected, yet it finishes off the quilt very handsomely.

One thing that surprised me about Jo's quilts are how flat they are! She uses Blue Mountain Mist batting, which I continue to search for and am unable to find anywhere! The quilting is done by several different long-arm quilters, and in each quilt it is exquisitely done.

This tiny quilt sitting on a shelf was made by one of the employees at the Old Country Store as a tribute to Jo. The redware pottery is locally made, and the 3 pieces of fabric--red/cheddar/green--represent a typical historic Lancaster PA area quilt color scheme.

The next 2 photos are of the "Log Cabin Quilt Shop", which I think was my favorite shop of the ones we visited. They had this beautifully quilted quilt hanging outside the shop:

Even though we had our trusty Garmin with us, we managed to take a wrong turn, but look what we found! An incredibly beautiful covered bridge! The beams inside were just amazing, I couldn't resist getting a photo. What you don't see is the beautiful stream under the bridge, and the beautiful open field next to the bridge with a horse grazing in the distance. ah Pennsylvania! I can't wait to get back there!

We found a little pretzel shop next to a quilt shop...what's not to like about that? We noticed they were priced at 3 for $xx, so we had to buy 3 of them...1 for now, 1 for later, and 1 to take home to hubby. My favorite is the cinnamon/sugar kind. Yum! When we ordered the woman behind the counter asked if we minded waiting for 5 minutes while they baked our pretzels...fresh and warm from the oven, they were wonderful!

I am excited about planning another trip to the Lancaster area. They are holding the Quilt Odyssey quilt show towards the end of July in nearby Hershey (yes, Hershey of the Hershey chocolate fame), and another one of my quilt mentors--Bonnie Hunter--will be there teaching classes. Hopefully I'll be able to attend!

Till next time, keep stitchin' and enjoy those pretzels!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rudy Day

Tomorrow, June 25, is time to celebrate Rudolph Day again! Join me over at to have some gingerbread fun!

and until next time, keep stitchin'!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Design Wall

My design wall is currently occupied by the beginnings of "Blue Ridge Beauty" from Bonnie Hunter's book "Leaders and Enders." I love a good scrap quilt, and blue is my favorite color, so what is not to love about this quilt?

My friend Pam made it up in red and white and it is gorgeous. I'm so sorry I don't have a picture of it to show you! We both adjusted the size of the components so we could use our 2.5 inch and 4.5 inch strips from our "Scrap Therapy" fabric swaps.  My design wall will only hold 1/4 of the quilt!

So what's on your design wall?

keep stitchin'

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Wayward Girls

The Wayward Girls had another sewing day Saturday, and as usual we had a great time working on our current projects. Carol was working on a neat lap sized quilt called "Contra Dance." The large fabric block is 8 inches square. After the top is pieced together (photo 1), the top is cut in two diagonal rows and pieced back together (photo 2).

Then the borders are added.  Nice job, Carol..Don't you love the red/purple/green color scheme?

This is a picture of Pam's project (below). She had previously machine quilted it and brought it along so she could finish the binding. The pattern is called "Carrie Nation" and is a Voices of the Past pattern from Kaye England.

The applique is Pam's second project, "Stars Around My Garden" by Bits 'n Pieces. Didn't she do a great job on the stems? She has half the leaves pinned down and is in the process of appliqueing them down. This forms the center medallion of the quit which is surrounded by pieced star blocks, which Pam has already sewn.

It's always handy to have some extra lighting when doing handwork! The headlamp is sold at Walmart in the sporting goods section.

I had several small projects I wanted to work on. Each month at our Thimbleberries meeting we turn in 16 flying geese for a mystery surprise project. I am really liking this setting, and I also like using up some Thimbleberries scraps from previous projects.

I also got caught up with my General's Wives block-of-the-month by sewing 20 of these hourglass blocks. They will be the border of the queen size quilt. It was really odd making them so large...after sewing mostly miniature and small quilts, the 12-1/2 inch size seems huge!

I'm also working on Step 2 of a mystery quilt called "Cat's Meow." I need to make 96 half square triangles that finish to 1-1/2 inches square. I like making them with a 5 inch square of light and dark, sewing on two diagonal lines and cutting the block to make 8 squares at a time.

We tried a new restaurant for lunch: The Crazy Greek. We were pleasantly surprised that it was so nice inside--I was expecting something more on the order of a fast-food restaurant. The food was great...three of us ate Greek food, and the fourth (my hubby) had a wonderful Lasagna.  And for dinner, I cooked my first Mexican meal. Mexican rice and chicken enchiladas, with chips and homemade gaucamole. Yum! Best part is, I have leftovers so I don't have to cook today...that means more time to sew!

Till next time, keep stitchin'.