Thursday, August 20, 2015

Quilt Retreat With Friends

IMG_2000 2Three of my girlfriends and I decided to spend several days together in a beautiful, peaceful place in the sandhills of Nebraska called Uncle Bucks Lodge in Brewster NE.  We decide we all needed a bit of a break from our real life and time to sit and visit and do some stitching or work on other projects too.  If you have never been to the sandhills region of Nebraska and you are passing through our state I would highly recommend you take day to drive through if nothing else.  Wikipedia has a short history of the area and if you are driving head west on highway #2 from Grand Island and you will drive right through the heart of the sandhills and a jog off to highway #91 will take you to Brewster and Uncle Bucks Lodge2015-06-09-16.33
IMG_1942We were so fortunate that we got to spend our sewing and visiting time in this large room in the lodge.  We had lots of room to spread out and it had great lighting for our projects. IMG_1963 22015-06-09-09.40We took walks around the small village, Wikipedia says the population of Brewster is 17.  It is also the county seat with the court house situated in the village, would guess it is the smallest town that is the county seat in the country.  We took walks each morning to stretch our legs and to smell the spicy aroma of the sandhills that hug the edges of town.  If you have ever been in pastures in the sandhills you will recognize the smell.  Have tried to figure it out and think it is probably a weed or grass that gives off the pleasant smell but it is very distinctive. 2015-06-10-07.20Someone made the greatest street signs, each one a different silhouette.  We tried to find them all but we may have missed a few.

Another treat we had every day was homemade goats milk ice cream across the street from Uncle Bucks and it was so yummy.  It is self serve and you put your money in the cup in the freezer.  This couple also had a self serve refrigerator with fresh eggs, goats milk, soda and treats.  Small town and rural trust at it’s best.2015-06-09-16.27Here are some other views from the edge of town and some of the village that is right in the middle of cowboy country.2015-06-10-07.19.21
IMG_1973Shirley is working on a hexagon quilt.  She had lots and lots of hexies basted and was starting to put them together but it may be a while before she is done as it is going to be a bed sized quilt.IMG_2014Janet chose to bring along a cross stitch project and she also spent some time doing some ripping for me.  I had a quilt commercially quilted once and it was not a good job so have been trying to remove it a bit at a time.  I appreciate friends that will rip for me.IMG_2016Fay is a fantastic beader was working on some of that plus she picked up a couple rocks on our walks and was felting wool roving around them and when dry she was going to embroider them.  Anxious to see them finished.IMG_2017I was the only one that brought my sewing machine but I got lots done on a large fabric duffle bag.  I had precut all the pieces and had them labeled at home.  We tidied up our stuff each night but could leave it all there to work on the next day.  IMG_2013We had such a great time that we have plans to go back next year.  We arrived on a Monday and returned home on Thursday and  the other guests that arrived or departed were interested in what we were doing and would sit and chat a bit.  One family with three little girls were there two nights and the little girls were so delightful.  They had questions about what we were doing but also just sat with us and told us all kinds of stories.  They had us four adults rolling with laughter at times.

If you haven’t figured it out we loved Brewster, we loved Uncle Bucks and we loved spending time together.

Until Later,

Friday, July 17, 2015

Nebraska State Quilt Guild 2015 Challenge Finished Part 2

IMG_4856As promised here is the finished quilt – wall hanging.  It finished at 20” x 17.5”.  I did add some beading and a few buttons too so check that out in the detail photos below.  Some of my quilting lines do a squiggle here and there but I am trying hard not to be such a perfectionist and rip all the imperfections so they stay as first stitched.IMG_4857IMG_4870IMG_4854Can’t wait to see how the other challenge quilts I worked on are finished and the other groups that worked on challenge quilts.  Our annual QuiltNebraska is in about a week  so I don’t have long to wait.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Nebraska State Quilt Guild 2015 Challenge Finished Part 1

IMG_2201The Nebraska State Quilt Guild started a challenge in small groups July 2014.  My group had 4 members.  As a reminder here is my block before it went on it’s travels to get it’s borders.  As a reminder here are the challenge rules -It is a round robin challenge with a team of 4-5 quilters of your choice.  Each quilt will start with a 9” finished center block.  You will build around the center block using borders with the following shapes—pinwheels, circles, diamonds, applique, and some embellishment.  The front of the quilt must have at least one of each shape listed but you may use more of these shapes if you wish.  Each quilt cannot exceed 120 total inches around.  It must be quilted, bound and a label sewn on the back.

I blogged about making the challenge block on April 17, 2015 and what it looked like when I got it back in the mail after 3 friends added borders.  I loved it and put it on my flannel board so I could study it and make a plan to finish it.  It was fabulous and I wanted to do right by it with the quilting.IMG_3961I decided it needed a final border around all 4 sides so laid the quilt on the fabric choices.  I do want to point out the angled border on the bottom left hand side.  I liked the look one of the gals did so re-fashioned the top right hand side to have the same angle.  Now it definitely has a light top and darker bottom.IMG_4718Of course fate stepped in and I didn’t have enough of the lighter navy fabric for the two borders (left and top)  Since it is a busy print I decided to just piece it matching the print design.  I pressed under the seam allowance on one side then found it’s perfect match and used Elmers School Glue to run a small line of glue on the seam allowance, matched the fabric, and pressed it to dry the glue.  I could then flip the fabric over and stitch the seam in the crease and know it would match.  I pressed the seam open to make the join less visible. IMG_4723IMG_4722Here is the corner where the pieced border is located.  I have to search and search for the spot and I am the one that pieced it!  The seam is straight down from the large white headed pin….can you see it now?  The seam lines up with the corner so almost looks intentional if you can see it.IMG_5161After the borders were all done and I did a little machine embroidery using the same built in stitches on my machine that I used in my block.  I stitched the flower like one down the navy strip in the green border and circles around the appliqued navy circles on the left.   Next on to quilting!  I want you to notice the vertical lines in the quilt below.  That is not machine quilting but my basting thread.  I used the wash out, water soluble thread from Superior Threads called Vanish.  This is the first time I have tried this technique and really like how it held the quilt together.IMG_4755IMG_4756I used this thread on the top and bottom in my machine and basted the quilt top, batting and backing together using the walking foot.  I did stitch from the center down and from the center out going both ways and had the lines about 1 1/2” apart then flipped the quilt over and again stitched down from the center to the outside on the other half of the quilt.  I lengthened my stitch about to the maximum but didn’t use the basting stitch as that tended to gather it a bit.  I could have stitched lines going the other direction but decided this was enough to hold it securely while I quilted it.  I did remove some of the basting lines if they were in the way of some of my quilting lines but left the rest  and removed it after I had the entire piece quilted.  I just soaked it in cool water until all the thread disappeared then washed gently using Quilt Soap.  I do use my bathtub so the quilt can lay flat during this process.  I rinsed it several times pressing the clean water through the quilt then used a large towel and rolled the quilt and pressed down to remove some water.  I lay it on another clean towel or sheet and block to make it square.  I know this is rather detailed but wanted you to know how I treated the quilted quilt.  Here is  last bit of info. for you  that I feel is very important - I don’t trim and bind the quilt until it is blocked.  Yes the batting stays together during the washing/rinsing and I have found I get a quilt that is more square this way. IMG_2326I used the following threads to quilt my challenge.  As you can see there is a variety of types and brands.IMG_4758Come back tomorrow to see the completed quilt as this post is long enough.

Until Later,

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mothers Day Roses

This is a late post but wanted to share photos of the beautiful red roses my husband gave me for mother’s day.  I don’t get flowers very often so these were a surprise and I enjoyed them so much.  They lasted over a week before I had to toss the last one.IMG_4786IMG_4784IMG_4787
Until Later,


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