Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Quilt Shop Hopping...

As we left northwest Iowa last weekend, the husb took me to few quilt shops.

First stop, Homespun Quilt Shop in Estherville. This shop is owned by Candy Fredericksen and was opened in 2001. It is also a Bernina dealership. I have never been to the shop before, but I have visited their booth in Chicago or Houston and made some purchases. Here is a look inside the shop.

Even the Ladies Room was full of quilts!

I loved this shop because I am a sucker for Civil War and 30's reproduction quilts. I bought 2 kits and a hand full of FQs. A pretty good start I'd say!

On to Forest City and The Quilted Forest.

This shop is owned by Shelley Robson and opened in 1998. This was my 3rd opportunity to visit the Quilted Forest, but I hadn't been here in several years. Shelley is also the creator of Pieced Tree Patterns. Remember the table runner I made my SIL 2 weeks ago? It was a Pieced Tree Pattern. Well look at all these patterns! At $3 each I could hardly contain myself.

I chose this pattern.
Okay... I know what you are thinking... I could probably make this little table runner without the help of a pattern. Well, my little 40+ mind can't remember a thing. And even if it could, it is only fair to purchase the pattern from the creator. {Jackie if you are reading this... you don't need to point out that I bought yet another version of a square in a square... apparently it is what I do!}

Moda Bakeshop fans, check this out... this is one of two displays in the store stocked with bake shop ingredients.

Every inch of the walls were covered with samples. {Hey, there is a red and white sample of the table runner pattern I bought!}

I couldn't leave without buying an Aunt Grace Charm Pack and 3 yards of this wonderful stuff. Sew Now! Sew Wow! by Alexander Henry. I've never seen this before and I had to have it... where have I been?

Shop number three was Country Threads in Garner. Who doesn't know about Country Threads? Owned by Connie Tesene and Mary Etherington, this shop and pattern company opened in 1983 in this chicken coop.

And here is the barn where classes are offered.

I bought a cute Dick & Jane kit for Eva K {Mom}, 3 Flag Day Farm charm packs, a Charlie the Cat Itty Bitty Quilt kit, and a small flag quilt kit. Good to get my Country Theads fix. As we left, Mary yelled come again from her riding lawn mower.

If you are in the Garner area they are having an Early Bird Sale Friday, July 17. 6 - 7 am 25% off, 7 - 8 am 20% off, 8 - 9 am 15 % off, 9 am - 5 pm 10% off. Saturday, July 18 is Fat Quarter Day. All pre-cut FQs: 20 for $30.

Wow... it is 10 am... do you supposed I should get dressed for the day???

Go Sew!

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Week at the Lake...

I have been at the lake {Okoboji} for a week with the husb and good friends from Iowa. Our friends the Hayworths have been going to the lake for 15 years. We were finally lucky enough to join them.

We had a room with a view at Fillenwarth South.
We ate, drank and were merry with old friends.
The boys biked and prepped for RAGBRAI. {250 miles over the week}
We hit Arnold's Park, took afternoon cruises on the Fillenwarth boat, and made many trips to the Nutty Bar Stand. {Yum Yum}
It was really a great week.
On the way home Friday, Brad took me to a few quilt shops - more info on that & pics tomorrow!

On Sunday Brad and I celebrated 23 years of wedded bliss. Prince Charles is still in Germany and comes home Saturday.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Whirlwind Weekend...

I think I already mentioned that I traveled to my sister's home in Dubuque, Iowa for her son Riley's high school graduation party. Mom and I stayed a few extra days and we managed to get in some shopping.

We went down to Bluff Street and stopped by the Fourth Street Lift. This is where Skip {my dad, may he rest in peace} and Eva K {mom} fell in love.
We went to The Cotton Cabin Quilt Shop too!

{Skinny Sister Jeanne}

Mom and I traveled back to her house {Flanagan, IL} on Tuesday. On Wednesday we had a sewing day. I made this table runner from a kit I bought at The Cotton Cabin. This simple pattern called The Big Easy by Pieced Tree. The kit I bought contained everything {love that} needed but the batting. I won't let you look at it too close because I quilted it too - something I usually do with my credit card.

On Thursday we traveled to Sean {bro} and Karen's new home in Monticello, IL. Sean has been painting and their new kitchen is red. I gave Karen the table runner and she was thrilled.

Here is Emerson {aka Baby Cakes, or simply Cakes} trying to make a phone call. Mom bought her that hoochie mamma halter top. She is only 18 months old and she sang the abc's to me, counted, and told me No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. Obviously, she takes after her Aunt Anne!

My midwest tour continues as I travel to northwest Iowa in the next couple days.

Sew on and sew forth!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Get Your Google Account Here...

I get a lot of people that tell me they want to leave a comment or sign up for a giveaway but it doesn't work when the attempt it. I think the easiest thing to do is set up a Google Account.

To set up and account, go here and enter the needed info.

• Enter your Email Address
• Choose a Password (minimum of 8 characters)
• Reenter your Password for verification
• Enter your location
• Enter the word verification (I can never read these darn things!)

Choose “I accept Create my Account”.

You will get a account creation verification screen.

I tested this by setting up an account for my sister Jeanne. I had to put the password in a second time -I likely screwed up the word verification {doh!}... but I just entered everything again and it worked.

Bling Giveaway...

Hey There! I am at my sister's house and Mom and I were just having a cup of coffee and reading blogs while Jeanne busies herself with stuff that I would leave for another day (or week). She is an active one (which explains why she is a size 4 and I am a size... oh, never mind)!

Any who... Vanessa over at V and Co is sponsoring a giveaway. Look at this charming necklace.


The giveaway will be closed Wednesday 11:59 pm mountain standard time. The winner will be announced Thursday at 10 am. GO SEE V!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Good Yarn...

Yesterday I went and trained for my new "job". Can you really call it that when it is going to be so much fun?

In July, I will begin "working" at The Village Yarn Shop one day a week.

The Village Yarn Shop opened a year ago and is owned by Harriett McNabb and her husband Terry. Harriett is very friendly, extremely enthusiastic, and has a real love for fiber. I took a couple classes at the shop in the last year and throughout the winter I would go in and sit and knit. Eagle Creek Coffee is just on the next block so you can grab your cup of Joe, travel a few feet down the brick street, and find a comfy chair at the yarn shop. I love the atmosphere.

One day a couple months ago Harriett asked me for my number. She called me later that evening and asked if I would be interested in working at the shop one day a week in the fall. {pretty flattering} I wanted to discuss it with the husb, but was certain being surrounded by yarn one day a week would be right up my alley... and probably therapeutic! So... here I am.

I will be working on Tuesdays with Tiffani. She is a great knitter! Yesterday she was working on lace! And Maureen (taught my sweater class) and Jane (taught my sock class) will be working at the shop too. Loooove them. I will be the least experienced knitter there {scary}... but I am certain to learn a lot.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What's Up Wednesday...

Hey there... I have so much going on I can barely keep up! It's all good. So HAPPY it is SUMMER!

WW update, I am down one pound - after exercising 6 of 7 days!!! And when I say exercise I mean
Wednesday :: 1 hour with the personal trainer
Thursday :: 55 min brisk walk
Friday :: 1 hour with the personal trainer
Sunday :: 75 min brisk walk
Monday :: 1 hour with the personal trainer
Tuesday :: 50 min on the exercise bike
{I am bragging here, because this would have been unthinkable 6 months ago}
Mr. Scale...where is the love? Whatever... I'll take the loss and run with it! I have noticed an increase in energy - which is great!

Can you guess what I am doing this afternoon? I am going to train for my new job at the local yarn shop where I will be working 1 day a week beginning in July. I am pretty excited! I will probably end up paying them to work (if you can call it that) there! And we'll have to build on a room to the house to accommodate my growing yarn stash.

Just 2 days until Prince Charles (my son Charlie) leaves for Germany. I am in a place we like to call DENIAL. He'll be gone 3 weeks. He is really excited but I think he is in for a shock. This only child is going to live with a family that has 2 girls. I think it will be an adjustment - and a great learning experience.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Oh Boy...

Thursday, June 4, was the last day of school, which makes my baby boy a SENIOR in high school. I am not sure when he grew up...I, of course, have not aged at all.

Here he is, touring the Indiana University campus last spring.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dinner Party Planning...

The dinner party is tonight and I am still making plans.

I think we will start out with cheese, crackers & wine on the back porch. Yesterday I made a quick run to Trader Joe's. {So lucky to have Trader Joe's!} They have a great selection of cheese so I picked up some Saint Andre and Double Cream Champignon. We also have a 1/2 wheel of Maytag Blue Cheese. This combined with crackers and some red grapes will make a great starter.

For dinner we are having a salad, grilled pork tenderloin, asparagus, and heavenly potatoes. What are Heavenly Potatoes, you ask? Well... our friends Pete & Peg love to be in the kitchen and they often cook for friends. They share the best recipes! So here is a great recipe for heavenly potatoes, but I like to call them...

Pete's Potatoes

3 lbs russet potatoes, pricked with fork
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup whipping cream
3 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes directly on oven rack and bake 45-60 minutes, or until easily pierced with fork. Remove from oven, cool slightly, and halve lengthwise. Grease 13 x 9 x 2 inch or 3 quart baking pan. Scrape out potato flesh. Discard peels or save for another use. Mash potato flesh with electric blender or hand mash until smooth. Add butter and milk and stir until blended. Spread in prepared pan.

Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. With electric mixer, whip cream to soft peaks and fold in Gruyere by hand. Spread evenly over potatoes and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until heated thoroughly and topping is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve warm.


The great thing about these potatoes is that they can be prepped way ahead of time and popped in the oven when needed.

For dessert I think I'll make a trifle. Since blueberries are so good right now... how about...

Blueberry Lemon Trifle

3 cups fresh blueberries, divided
2 cans (15-3/4 ounces each) lemon pie filling (or make it from the box)
2 cartons (8 ounces each) lemon yogurt
1 prepared angel food cake (8 inches), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Set aside 1/4 cup blueberries for garnish. In a large bowl, combine pie filling and yogurt. In a 3-1/2-qt. serving or trifle bowl, layer a third of the cake cubes, lemon mixture and blueberries. Repeat layers twice. Top with whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish with reserved blueberries.

I served this at book club one time and it was a big hit.

Now I just need to decide on a salad. Something simple... I think I'll call Peg and ask her.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Oh-Cherry-Oh Giveaway...

Before I run off to Rockin' Bobbins, Anina of Twiddletails is having a giveaway! It is a Moda charm pack of the Oh-Cherry-Oh variety. All you have to do is answer one interesting question in the form of a comment.

Sewing to Share...

I should be cleaning and prepping for tomorrow night's dinner guests, but a cup of coffee with you is much more fun.

My quilting group the Rockin' Bobbins meet tonight. We are still exchanging nine patches for a scrappy reproduction quilt. In the last 2 days I whipped up my contribution for the month of June. This is probably one of the few times I wasn't completing my required sewing an hour before the meeting.

While I am at it I thought I would show you a couple of nearly completed projects {sans binding}.

This is a quilt I made for my sister's birthday.
{That's right... her birthday is in November... I'm a little late.}
There is a funny story behind this quilt. Last October, while traveling to Homestead Cabin Retreat (that is to Wisconsin from Indiana), my sister Jeanne(from Iowa) met me in Rockford, IL at The Quilter's General Store. Are you still with me? Anyway, Jeanne doesn't quilt, she barely sews. One time she was going to make a table runner with fabric, trim, and a glue gun {that CRACKS me up}! But I digress. This quilt was on display at the store and there was one kit left. Jeanne purchased the kit and asked me to make it for her birthday. I agreed. So I went on my merry way to the retreat, then traveled home and tossed all my quilting stuff into my sewing room. November rolled around and I asked Jeanne what she wanted for her birthday. {She always says my homemade gifts are best.} " The quilt,"was her reply. "What quilt?" I said. "THE quilt!" she retorted. I had no idea what she was talking about. She reminded me WHAT quilt. "OH... that will have to wait," I answered sheepishly. And we had a good laugh complete with giggles and a few snorts.

{True Confessions: This is pretty typical of me. I still have the t-shirt quilt to complete. Jeanne gave me the t-shirts, cut out and ready to go, last July. Shameful isn't it?}

Here is another quilt, bound to get done at some point. {Highly questionable quilting pun.}

This quilt is mine, mine, all mine!

Have a good day and get in a few laughs if you can!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What's Up Wednesday...

It is hump day; well we used to call it that when I worked full time. You know, middle of the week, get over the hump, it is downhill from here sort of thing. I was thinking the rest of the week will be cake… and I could get in my sewing room, maybe organize {clear a path to the machine} and sew a little. Then the husb told me over coffee this a.m. that he’d like to invite 3 colleagues and their spouses for dinner Friday night. {YIKES} I need to clean and plan a menu. It wouldn’t hurt to get some weeding done and plant the rest of my flowers. And the windows could be done too. I’d better add cleaning out the frig.


I did manage a little sewing last night. I whipped together the last graduation pillowcase. And I worked on my Civil War Era 9 patches – I can’t wait to get that quilt done. It’s gonna be a good one! I do need to get some sewing done because the Rockin’ Bobbins meet tomorrow night. Per usual, I’ve put off my required sewing until the last minute.


Guess what… I went to WW and the scale was very good to me. I was down 3 pounds. This… after the Infectious Disease dinner and 3 graduation parties. I can’t tell you all the goodies I passed up. REALLY. I was so happy I sent text messages to the near world to tell them about it {now I am letting the blogworld know}. This begs the question … who am I trying to convince I can do this? The entire universe or Me?

Now, I have been giving my blog some thought. My original intention was to share my quilting and knitting projects and sprinkle in a few recipes. But I find myself blah-blah-blogging about other mundane details of my life. I know I am not that interesting, so let me offer up an apology, but for me… blogging is cheaper than therapy.

Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Book Club...

When we moved here, the wife of the man that hired the husb invited me to join her book club. I jumped at chance, as I knew no one - and well, it is always so great to feel like a part of something. It is funny, historically I almost never read {besides People magazine and cookbooks}. Between working full-time, being scarred in the second grade with poor reading comprehension, and the burden of a father who taught Senior English and was probably the most well read man in Illinois... I didn't have the time or inclination. But for nine years I have been reading along {Dad would be so proud of me} with group of wonderful women and have a fabulous friendship with Marianne.

The book club meets on random Sunday afternoons and we choose books and meeting dates as we go. It is really quite informal and I like that because I have heard of book clubs where participants are basically shunned for not finishing a book. We are just happy to see one another. Well...I have missed the last 2 get togethers and have not been keeping up. But I sat with Marianne at an Infectious Disease Dinner {clarification: a graduation dinner for the ID department} and got the details from the last meeting.

We are reading Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.
I am excited because I picked up this book at the the Women Of Faith conference last August and I haven't read it. {I have a stash of books - but it in no way rivals my fabric stash...Hmmmm maybe my yarn stash.}

Our book club is always looking for a good book. Let me know if you have suggestions. We may have read it, but discussing books is always fun.

Read on...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Can it be June already???

It is June 1 and with 4 days of school left, summer break is almost here. My plans for the summer are ambitious.

Take Charlie to Chicago to catch a plane for Germany.
(Have I told you he is going for 3 weeks as an exchange student at an all girl school? Really, what more could a 17 year old American boy want?)

Visit my sister and celebrate her youngest son’s high school graduation.
{Congrats Riley!}

Spend a week in northwest Iowa on a lake with Iowa friends. Can’t wait!

Spend a week with Mom…and possibly see my niece baby Emerson!

Spend a second week in Iowa for
Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa.

Meet Laurie in Wisconsin for a quilting retreat at
Homestead Cabin Retreat.

Take a long weekend RV trip to Mackinac Island (last summer we hit Niagara Falls).

Plus I have quilts to finish, others to start, books to read, and wine to open. I think I’d better get started today!


PS... Happy Birthday Mary!!!
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