Sunday, May 29, 2011

School's Out,... Almost!

  Ah, the last few days of school are upon us! Our seniors graduate today and it's pouring down rain right now. So much for an outdoor ceremony. Now they'll be crowded into the gym with limited seating. Maybe by the time graduation is over the sun will come out in time for the dozens of parties around town. With a class of 167, there are lots of parties and they started last weekend. My husband and I went to one last night for a wonderful young man, Archie Keomanivong. We got in the car and Randy asked, "Do you know where we're going?" I said, "Yes, I have the invitation right here!" I read it out loud and Randy said, "Becky! That's the street behind us! We can walk." Who knew? I've lived 4 houses away from this kid for 14 years and didn't know it! We laughed all evening over that one. I teased Archie that he could have been giving me a ride to school. Archie is one of my library regulars and I'll dearly miss him next year. He will be studying Culinary Arts with plans to open his own restaurant after college.

  The kids aren't the only ones excited about the end of school on June 7th. The staff are counting the days too. As much as I enjoy the kids, I do have a life beyond the library! I look forward to working in my flower garden and long days of quilting. Weeks of not having to squeeze in some sewing or quilting after school and before my second job, then after getting home and bedtime. I can sew from sun up to sundown and later if I want. Yippee! Who says summer is for kids? If that's true, then I'm the biggest kid around.

  I've started sewing blocks for the first quilt for the Love and Valor book. I have 54 blocks completed, but can't show them here for privacy issues. I have 3 other quilts designed and named for the book so far. It's an exciting venture and a little scary too.

  Last week my friend, Kay, invited me to go to Spring Green, Wisconsin with her for a one day road trip, 4 hours each way. Her son in law was opening a new book store and she wanted to surprise him and be here for the first day of business. She has told me many times what a great little town it is and it has a fantastic quilt shop, Country Sampler. I'm always game for an impromptu trip, so off we went! She hadn't exaggerated one bit.  The population is 1440, but the town has a lot of neat little shops and points of interest. The new book store is a wonderful addition to a charming downtown district. Country Sampler earned a top ten quilt shop rating in BH&G"s Quilt Sampler magazine a few years ago and for good reason. It is located in a lovely old building and packed with fabric, notions, patterns, books, gifts and beautiful samples. They had a large selection of Civil War reproductions and other beautiful fabrics in soft muted tones. I wish I had remembered to take a camera with me, because everywhere you looked there was something "picture worthy" to see. I spent a couple blissful hours there shopping. We ate lunch at the General Store. That was a neat experience too. They have a menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, and delicious desserts in the cafe area and you can buy toys, gifts, cards, and boutique type ladies clothing in the store area. Kay's daughter is the Director of Communications for the American Players Theatre in Spring Green, so we had to pay a visit there before heading home. It is an incredible facility. I got a private tour of the costume department and observed the teams of designers and seamstresses working on costumes for the next production. I could not believe the costume storage room. It had hundreds of costumes hanging on long racks in a huge room. They do lots of Shakespeare so most of them were period costumes, some even "my era" the Civil War years. I would have loved to have my pick of them! One room was the millinery,  but the milliner was out. Oh, the bonnets! They were to die for. If I were a thief, one of those bonnets would have walked out of there with me for sure. Again, if I'd had a camera, the costume workshop would have made for some really neat pictures. They had enough fabric and notions for a quilt shop. We had a great time and packed a lot in for a 13 hour trip. One of these days I'll buy a mini camera and keep it in my purse so I'm always prepared.

  I bought a George Washington toile at Country Sampler and just had to make something of it this week. I fussy cut the portraits to use as alternate blocks and made some 9-patches from blue and gray fabrics. This is the center for what will be a medallion style quilt. This one is just for fun and for me. I wish the fabric had featured Abraham Lincoln instead, but GW is good too. Sorry, the photo is a little out of focus.

   I got "Cozy Cottages" back from the machine quilter, LaDonna Cole, on Friday. I usually hand-quilt, but this was foundation-pieced and too thick to hand-quilt nicely. As soon as I bind it, it will ship to my niece, Michele, in California. For once, I remembered to take a picture before I give a quilt away!
   I don't think you can see the 7 blocks with houses in them in this picture. It's pretty busy. In the center of the 4th row from the top is a block with a white church resembling the church my grandparents belonged to and my Mother still attends. The stained glass windows are made from bits of Grandma Lillard's dress. This would be my niece's great grandmother and her daughter's great great grandmother. Every small town needs a church and they are usually in the center of town, so "Cozy Cottages" needed one too. Grandma's dress gives it history.

  I'm off to another graduation party. Keep stitching!



  1. Your day out sounds like SO much fun!! I wish you would have had your camera too:)
    Love your George Washington medallion center. What a lovely piece!!

  2. I just want to tell you I like your blog. I share your passion for civil war quilts and history and I'm looking forward to future posts. ;D

  3. I have been to Spring Green. Every fall we go to Galena, Ill for a long weekend. A year ago we took a little day road trip to Spring Green we had a lovely day! The Country Sampler is delighful too!!!!

    Carolyn :)

  4. George is looking mighty good in your medallion center. The blue was a good choice to go along with his portrait.

  5. Thanks, Karen! It looks better in person than that terrible picture shows. I cringed when I saw how my son was pulling the top tight as he held it up for me. I bit my tongue and said, "Thanks, son, for your help." I hope it isn't stretched out of square when I add the next border! The gray fabric around the pieced center is a new favorite. It's "Simpler Times" by Jeanne Horton for Windham. I have yardage in gray and in brown. It reminds me of cannonballs, so it's perfect for Civil War quilts.