Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mystery Bus Trip

Bright and early (6am to be exact...yawn!) 49 excited quilters meet up with this handsome guy who loaded us all up on this big blue bus.  Except for a few of the ladies, most of us had no clue where we were going!  We were promised a fun day, and by golly!  they were right!
The fun started as we boarded the bus!  The committee had a terrific goody bag for us, with a cool handmade name tag (to help the shop owner's identify the bus people and give us our due discount!)  We all got a great recyclable green bag from JoAnn's, which most of us filled by the end of the end (more on that later!)  We also got the cool little Fiskars scissors, which are great for handsewing!  A raffle ticket for door prizes, a salty snack, napkins and wet wipes to keep us neat completed the bag!  To keep our strength up, we all got a delicious muffin, and a cooler of bottled water was availble to keep us hydrated during the day!
We had lots of fun trying to guess where we were going, as the bus started our journey.  We started out headed west...were we going to Morton and Peoria, or perhaps even further west?  When the bus pulled off in Bloomington, a general cry went through the bus, oh no! It's way too early for a quilt shop to be open!  But to keep us on our toes, it was just a well planned potty break.  When we turned north from Bloomington, we started thinking Rockford, or Madison, WI.  Well, we did stop in Rockford, pulling into the Quilter's General Store right at opening time!  I didn't get a picture of the shop, but it is in an old farm house!  Every inch of space was used!  They had some great fabric, especially kids theme!
Besides fondling fabrics, we quilters like to eat (you got that idea from our goody bag, right!)  So our next stop was lunch!  The Machine Shed in Rockford is a terrific restaurant!  They were pre-warned, er, notified that 49 hungry ladies and one bus driver would be visiting them, and they were ready and waiting to serve us!
I split a BLT with another lady, and we had more than enough food!  The sweet potato fries were served with cinnamon butter to dip them in!  BTW, this was my plate...Alma's was identical!  we shared the fruit cup you see in the background.  Then another lady who had too much on her plate gave us her cole slaw which Alma and I shared!  They didn't have any lemon meringue pie that day, or you would be looking at a picture of that!
Next stop was the Quilter's Haven!  Another delightful shop!  We all oohed and aahed at their selection, then helped the economy of Rockford!
Back on the bus, and we headed east.  We drove through Dekalb...we saw signs talking of Aurora in 22 miles....were we going to Naperville?  Great shop there!  But then we turned south.  Went through a lot of towns, but we finally knew...we were going to Morris!  The Fabric Center is a fantastic store, and was our last store!  They have a huge store, with all kinds of fabrics, lovely shop samples, and places for weary quilters to sit and contemplate!  They graciously stayed open an hour later for us, and we graciously made it worth their effort!  Supper was at Culver's in Morris.  I was good and had a salad, and I was so good, I rewarded myself with a Lemon Ice with raspberry topping!  It was very good!
Like all good days, it had to come to an end.  I got home at 9:30, welcomed by a happy dog and hubby!  And see, I did manage to fill my shopping bag!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Millie Sorrells Advanced Heirloom Quilting

On June 2, I had the opportunity to travel to Decatur, IL to take a class from Millie Sorrells, quilter extraordinaire!  Millie is a lovely and gentle lady who does drop dead gorgeous quilting!  She had a quilt win a second place ribbon this year at Paducah, as well as having a miniature quilt hang in the show!  Millie also has the privilege of having one of Superior Threads Kimono Silk threads named for her (it is a beautiful red)!  What a fantastic class it was!

We practiced different quilting patterns in the morning, then Millie gave each of us a class kit that included cotton sateen, wool batting, a spool of Kimono silk, and a Schmetz needle, size 60.  She even included enough bias binding to finish off our sampler!  Now that is a class act!  We ran out of time to finish the sampler in class, but I didn't let it be just another UFO in my stash!
This was such fun to work on!  I had never done clam shells before, always afraid that I could not get them perfect.  But I marked out a grid, and went for it!  I love the checkerboard effect! And what is not to love about a feathered wreath! 
The nautilus design was not from Millie's class.  I got this idea from Teri Lucas, another quilter extraordinaire!  I love the swirling lines, and being able to use more lines to fill in!  It was uber fun!
Speaking of Miss Teri, I was fortunate to have been interviewed by her for her blog.  Please check out her blog, and not just my interview, but her whole site!  She is an awesome quilter, and an awesome person!