Monday, August 27, 2012

A Quilter's Retreat and a Big Debut

   This weekend was the debut of my new pattern series, Love & Valor. What better way to debut them than at a quilt retreat? I was scheduled to speak at Camp Wyoming for the Calico Cut Ups on Friday night. The camp is church run, but is available for rent to the public. It's a wonderful facility in NE Iowa out in the peace and quiet of the woods. We stayed in the Owl's Nest Lodge. I got there around 2PM so I had time to get to know the ladies before my presentation at 7PM.  What a great group. There were two mother/daughter combos and a pair of sisters among them. Meals were provided for us in another building a half mile away. Most of us chose to take a leisurely walk there. The cooks were excellent. By the time I set up my display and changed into my Civil War garb, everyone was feeling quite relaxed and at home lounging on couches and comfy chairs. It was like speaking at a slumber party. We had a really good time.I ended the program with the debut of the new quilts and was pleased with their reaction. After a shopping frenzy between 10 and 11 PM, the ladies drifted back to their sewing machines. There were a lot of quilts being sewn at that retreat. I headed to bed around midnight (we each had a private room) as did a few others. I think the rest of them gave up by 1-1:30AM. We were all up and ready to walk to breakfast by 8 AM. Pancakes and sausages were a great way to start the day. When we got back to the Owl's Nest Lodge, I gave a last call for shopping, packed up the General, took a group photo, and we were off to sell L&V patterns to quilt shops in the area.

The Calico Cut Ups in front of the Owl's Nest Lodge...





  I finally made it home Saturday evening around 6PM, tired but happy. Randy was on a weekend bike ride in Peoria, Illinois, so I was on my own. I unloaded the General and put everything away even though I was tempted to put it off till Sunday. I did my bookwork and had thought I would get some sewing done, but I fell asleep in my chair! I roused around midnight and went to bed.

  I never did post any of the pictures I took at the Meeks Mansion in Bonaparte with my L&V quilts. If you visit my etsy shop, (click the etsy button on the right side of my blog) you will see the new patterns and some of the pictures I took there. Here are a few of them...

Baby Kitty's Quilt...


Bear Tracks...

Love & Valor...

Eulalie's Doll Quilt...

Jacob's Cot Quilt...

Emeline's Garden Baskets...

Hardtack & Coffee...


   The Meeks Mansion is amazing even though the owners, Ken and Sue Burns are in the early stages of renovations. It has the most beautiful and unusual staircase I've ever seen in an old house. There are several gorgeous stained glass windows in the house too. There is a walkout balcony off the second story hallway. I stood out there and tried to imagine the view from there as it would have been in 1869 when the house was new. At the time there would have been a clear view of the Des Moines River with few houses down hill from there. The house was nicknamed "The House on the Hill" or "Hill House", because it was built on the highest point in Bonaparte.

Well, I'm going to close for now. I promised myself I'd get some sewing done tonight. Since I've passed the two hundred mark in Followers, I'm planning a giveaway. I am deciding what it will be. Come back soon and I'll post the details.

Keep stitching,
Becky






Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Coming Up for Air!

   Whew! It has been hectic getting the Love & Valor quilt series written, but I got the last pattern to the printer yesterday. I can finally come up for air. To write the directions for some of them, I had to make a block or two to refresh my memory on how I made them. The collection of quilts were made last year in anticipation of a book. That was a complicated process, and I decided to do a new series of patterns instead. They will be available for purchase by Labor Day weekend. If you are a shop owner, I do sell wholesale. Everyone else, please ask your favorite shop to carry them. Ask for Orphans of War, the Love & Valor series c2012. Here is a peak at some of them...

Jacob's Cot Quilt...
This is Emeline's Garden Baskets...(unquilted in this picture)
Hardtack & Coffee...(also unquilted here)
   I'm doing a photo shoot with the L&V quilts at a 1869 mansion in Bonaparte, Iowa this Saturday. I plan on using the pictures I take there for the  pictures on the front of the patterns.

  On Sunday, after early church service, Randy and I went to the Burlington Pigeon Show (flea market). I'd never been to it, but I'll be going back! You can find a little bit of everything there, from chickens, ducks, bunnies, garden produce, antiques, and junk. We ran into our friends, Tim and Jane Bell, there. Jane had spotted some quilt things and told me I should look at them. She was right! They were a collection of hand-made quilt stencils dating back 50 years that had belonged to a lady who had quilted with the Zion Church in Burlington for all those years. Jane bought a box of border stencils (she got first pick, because she saw them first) and I bought the rest. We plan on borrowing from each other though. Here is a mere sampling of what I bought.

    The box full of goodies...

Some of what was in the box...

  There were many many more stencils. I will see if the Stencil Company will produce some of them for me in plastic. I will definitely use them in future quilting projects. I'll bet that quilter that made them (now deceased) would be happy to know another quilter has them and will treasure and use them.

  I even bought some orphan blocks...


  The pink was never finished. I think the quilter was in over her head on that one. Love the red "Sawtooth" block with it's wonky triangles. The 1940's fabric in the Periwinkle is yummidy. I'd like to see it reproduced (even though it isn't Civil War Era!)

  School starts Thursday, so I have 2 days to enjoy before then. I'm off to Mom's today, but tomorrow I'll be quilting again. Yippee!

 Keep stitching,
Becky

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