Thursday, April 21, 2011

Home again, home again!

  After a wonderful 3 days in Altoona,IA,  I made it home safe and sound. I taught a class on Sunday to a lively group of ladies. Some of them had never paper-pieced before. Everyone did a great job on their blocks. Two ladies opted to make the large size quilt rather than the paper-pieced mini. It took all of about 15 minutes to feel like I'd known them forever. What a lot of fun they were.

                I don't think they even noticed I took their picture, they were so intent on their blocks.

 Here they are hard at work sewing their blocks. I promised not to name names if I wanted to include them in my blog so they shall remain anonymous.

                              She was the first one to finish a block. Her nickname is Over-Achiever!

                                                Another happy quilter with her Featherweight.

                                                                 My shy German friend.

                                                                 This wasn't so tough!

This brave lady was struggling with the pain of carpal tunnel in both wrists. Here she finally took the braces off.

                                                       She made hers out of Christmas fabrics.

                                            She opted for the full-size quilt and got it all cut out!

   I stayed in the lovely country home of Sharon and Chip Meadowcroft. After a long day of driving, then teaching, she fed me a delicious meal of chicken noodles, mashed potatoes, and green beans, YUM! It was followed by apple pie. How did she know that I love chicken and noodles?
  After supper she treated me to a private quilt show of her work. Sharon is one talented lady! Her applique is beautiful. She makes crazy quilts that rival those from the 19th century, seriously. They are covered with ornate embroidery and embellished with odd bits of jewelry, beads, buttons, and momentos. I've never seen anything like it except in pictures of antique crazy quilts. I started out taking pictures of them, then there were so many and I became so enthralled by them, I forgot to take any more pictures. What a treat that was to see her quilts and hear her stories about them.

                                                       One of her small applique quilts.

  On Monday Sharon gave me a tour of the local quilt shops. We visited the Quilter's Cupboard in Ankeny first. They recently changed management and relocated. What a wonderful shop in a blue house. It has room after room of fabric, books, patterns, and notions. Of course, I found some goodies I had to have. Our next stop was Creekside Quilting in Clive. I've been there before, but it never fails to impress. Yes, I bought more goodies. I scored big at the Hancocks Fabrics  in Altoona. They had the quart size bottles of Mary Ellen's Best Press on sale for $7.19 a bottle! I had been rationing my half bottle at home, so I purchased 3 and now I wish I had bought 4! I haven't been to a Hancocks since the last time I was in Paducah, KY several years ago. We won't discuss how much I spent that day, but when I got home and emptied the bags, I had a stack of new fabrics nearly 2 feet tall. Yikes!
  I love historical quilt books and found 2 new ones that wanted to come home with me. Naturally, I obliged them.
This new one by Sarah Maxwell and Dolores Smith is a good mix of history and patterns for quilt blocks. I have always hated orange, but cheddar is growing on me. In this quilt, it works!

Author Betsy Chutchian loaded this book with beautiful vintage photos, history, quilts, and diary excerpts. It's a winning combination.
  I've spent hours thumbing through both books every night since getting home. Now I'll spend hours reading them cover to cover and choosing which blocks I'll make first. It's fun to travel, but also fun to be home and have fun with my new goodies! I think they're calling me now....gotta go!
  Oops, I forgot to mention I gave my Civil War presentation  to the South East Polk Quilt Guild on Monday night with about 75 members present. They were a very warm and enthusiastic group to entertain. If you live in the Altoona area and are looking for a guild to join, I'd highly recommend giving the SEPQG a try! I hated to leave them, but we plan on joining up at the Des Moines Quilt Expo in the fall.

Keep stitching,


  1. Your class looks like so much fun! I didn't realize you were going to be visiting so close to where I live (I'm not really that far from Altoona). Would love to have met you! Love the books you highlighted, too. Gone to Texas is one of my favorites!

  2. The bird with the basket applique is a gorgeous piece. How fun to stay at the home of an expert applique quilter and see all her wonderful quilts.

  3. I'm no photo journalist, as this trip proved! I got so wrapped up in studying and touching Sharon's quilts, I literally forgot to keep taking pictures. It wasn't until I got home and viewed them on my computer that I realized I had NO pictures of her crazy quilts!!! Believe me, that is a loss.

  4. Sounds like you had a good time in Altoona. When I did my trunk show there everyone was so gracious.

  5. It looks like you had a lot of fun, and with chicken, noodles and apple pie I know it was just great. Would have loved to see her crazy quilts, too.