Rob Appell Event

Rob Appell Michael Miller FabricsI work part-time at a quilt shop. The shop did and event with Rob Appell. Rob used to work with Missouri Star Quilt Company but they let him go and now he works for Michael Miller fabrics. So Man Sewing is gone and it'sr been replaced with Making It Fun.

Rob Appell Michael Miller FabricsWe rented out the civic center in town and he did his show there. There were over 200 people in attendance and for me, the tough part was the preparation. The shop had to order tons of Michael Miller fabric in order to get him to come. And do they did. I had to cut quilt and table runner kits for each item displayed at the event. It was hard work. I made so many kits I can't even count. Some of them sold out before Rob even took the stage. That's great news for the shop.

While we were setting up, Rob filmed us. I took the opportunity to ask him for a selfie and he excitedly obliged. He is such a nice guy.

His show lasted 90 minutes and I enjoyed his story-telling as well as his quilts. He is a very talented quilter. After seeing his work I was inspired to make my own "art" quilts. And I look forward to the challenge.

It was quite a treat to be involved in this fun event.

Racine Sew N SaveRacine Sew N Save

Racine Sew N SaveRacine Sew N Save


Holiday Decorations

It's time to take the Christmas decorations down. I've been having those feelings of post-holiday let down that just won't go away. So we've had the holiday lights up for some time now because of my inability to let go.

Well the stars have aligned and the weather will be perfect tomorrow - high 40's and then a blizzard is coming (supposedly) our way the day after tomorrow. So the decorations must come down or else it might be a while before another opportunity comes. So I took photos of the outside of the house as a final farewell to the holidays.

This week I quilted a friend's quilt. It's a dinosaur baby quilt that's pretty large. It was fun to pick a pantograph and  thread color. Cindy's quilts are always nice and square and it was a pleasure to quilt it for her.


New Year, New Volunteer Project

I've been burnt out for about a year now.  I've been doing volunteer projects and I just can't keep up the pace anymore. So much so that I don't enjoy any of it. I used to.

I make charity quilts for church and for Quilts for Kids. I was on the board of directors for the local American Legion Auxiliary, I am a PTO member at my granddaughters' school, and the Webmaster for my church. And I'm tired. So what do I do about it? I get a part-time job. Talk about making things worse. Ha!

Last summer I was asked to do more charity crafts and quilts. I said no, I just can't take on anything new. I was treated like I had just killed a dog. And that did it for me. It was time for a change. I taught the church staff how to upload information to the Internet so since November, they've been managing the church website. I declined the nomination to continue on the board at the Legion in May so in fall they had to find someone else to fill my post. I finished up the church quilts with the fabrics I took home from there and since then I only do what I can at our once-a-month sew days - the rest will have to be divvied up among those who want to take stuff home. No more donated fabric for me.

As for Quilts for Kids, my granddaughter reminded me why I was doing those - to honor (and remember) my grandchildren. My granddaughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last year and she recently asked me if she could deliver quilts to the hospital where she gets her care. I said absolutely yes and I will continue to make those - but again, no more donated fabric is coming home with me. And as for the PTO, I won't give that up. I get to be with my granddaughters and that matters most.

I am slowing down and enjoying my new just say no philosophy. I still get to help others, but at a more manageable pace.

So what crazy thing did I do? ... and over the Christmas holiday?  I volunteered to help with a project where quilts will be sent to the children in detention centers at the US border. The organizer asked all her quilting friends if they would like to help. She sent us the fabrics and the batting and we would just sew utility quilts. I started on these about 10 days before Christmas and finished them today. 5 quilts are ready to go. That's what I promised her. She sent enough supplies to make more than 10. But I just have to stop. I'm exhausted and worn out. But they're done. A reminder that I said I will slow down. 

Frankly, I think I could have enjoyed the holidays a little more if I weren't so stressed about making these quilts.

As for this new job. I am cutting fabrics for quilt kits at a local quilt shop. What fun! And next week I will be doing demos at a Rob Appell Trunk Show. The demos will be of small projects using Michael Miller fabrics, which is the fabric company Rob represents. I am happy with my new job, it gives me a bigger sense of purpose. 

I can't wait to see where the new year takes me.


What's on the design board?

Happy new year! I look forward to new beginnings and starting fresh. I hope it's a healthy year more than anything.

I think I am having a little post-Christmas sadness. The holiday came and went so quickly and I feel like I haven't taken much time to enjoy it. Maybe it's the shortened season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But it could also be my new job and taking on an extra volunteer project. I think it will be a while before I take my tree down so I can make an extra effort to sit back and enjoy it.

In an effort to start fresh, I really want to move some old projects out of my sewing room. One of them includes cute blocks that my daughter made a long time ago. They were for a quilt project she made for my granddaughter when she was a baby. And now that baby is 9 so yes, they are really old leftover blocks. I took them and trimmed them down to sew them together. I will most likely make a baby doll quilt for the 9 year old's little sister.

My design board contains those old blocks. I'm going to find some fabric to make sashing and a border to make it a little bigger. I'm sure I can dig up a batting scrap too. How nice to get this one out of the sewing room!


My Christmas Tree Farm

Earlier this month, my husband made me a large pallet Christmas tree for my front porch. I loved it so much I think it inspired him to make some more. So here are smaller versions:

I call this my Christmas tree farm. It's so very cute. I can't wait to decorate the little trees. I think he might be on to something for the craft fair next fall.

By the way doesn't my refrigerator look nice?

I'm ready for the holiday week now.


Large Print Fabrics - One Pattern, 4 Quilts

My church group received a very large fabric donation this past summer. Us ladies spent some time going through all the beautiful fabrics. I prefer to be the last one to dig in since I have plenty of donated fabrics from other sources that I haven't worked my way through. What was left for me were large print fabrics in 3 yard cuts. I held onto them wondering if I would ever think up a good way to use them. Then I found a pattern called Sidelights by Mountainpeek Creations.

I knew this would work on the large prints. It didn't matter that I wasn't using a panel like on the pattern cover, with a 3-yard piece of fabric I could cut a chunk the same size as a fabric panel and have some fun making the blocks for around the side and bottom.

Floral Fabrics

For the first one I fussy cut the flowers that went in the side and bottom blocks. I also used a large piece of green fabric that was donated to the senior center to make the background.

Christmas Fabrics

I fussy cut trees and snowmen and placed them alternately in the side and bottom blocks. What fun!

Safari Fabrics

I fussy cut different parts of the scenery in this safari print. I like this one the best.

Batman Fabrics

After I finished with the church group's fabric I remembered that I had this collection of batman fabrics in my Quilts for Kids fabric bin. I immediately dug out the fabrics hoping I could use this pattern once again. By now, I didn't need to read the instructions. I know the measurements by heart. Ha! I used the biggest print for the panel piece and the coordinating fabrics for the side and bottom blocks. There was enough to make the nice border  and with all of these quilts, the leftovers are on the backs. I love when I use up the stuff that was donated. 


Sign Painting

Our friend Kevin owns a bar not too far from our home. He hosted a make and take where we painted signs. I asked my husband if he wanted to come but warned him that he might be the only guy doing this. We headed to the bar for a good dinner - luckily the food is really good at this bar. We ate at the bar like usual then headed to the banquet area to pick our designs. I made a sign for the kitchen. I chose an unusual paint color - not sure I really like it but I didn't want a common color. My husband made a sign in our favorite "Green Bay Packers" green. We had a good time sitting and painting together while enjoying a beer and each other's company. We really do work well together. And I was right, there were 20 women there besides us. Good thing those kind of thing don't bother him.

Here are our finished products:


Olaf Quilt

Quilts for Kids
I finished this Quilts for Kids quilt today. I used a panel I got at one of our QfK meetings a few months back. The panel is so big, I just added an orange border and some scrap pieces of Olaf print fabrics that I found in my stash. A nice big blue border finished it off.

It was quilted with a snowflake pantograph that adds a nice touch along with cool blue and white striped fabric for the backing.