Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall Leaves

I was hurriedly mowing the yard this morning before it rained.  I'm having a wiener roast for my Red Hat Club on Thursday night and wanted to mow while it was dry.  (I hope it dries enough for the wiener roast!)  I had to stop and take pictures--the leaves were so beautiful.


Festival at Funk's Grove.

On Saturday, we stopped by Funk's Grove to look at the fall colors and were surprised to see they were having a festival.  Our friend, Terry, enjoyed working with a blacksmith.  There was a lady doing silk ribbon embroidery.  It was beautiful.  I haven't had a chance to check out her website yet.  There was a tanner, a basket weaver, woodworkers, pumpkins to decorate, scarecrows to make, food to buy--a great family festival.  Next year, we will have to go earlier and take some money to buy some of the beautiful crafts.

                                             There was also music, and it was really good.

                             A beekeeper was out of honey, but it was interesting to watch his bees.

             We will definitely try to go next year when we have more time.  It is very family-friendly.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Ladies and Quilts from Gees Bend

                                                 Quilters from Gee's Bend, Alabama.

My friend, Rosie, and I drove down to Eastern Illinois University on Sunday to see some of the Gees' Bend  quilts and quilters.  What an inspiration to listen to their life stories about growing up in the poor south, picking cotton, walking in the civil rights marches, quilting, and praising God for all of his blessings in word and in gospel music.  Their quilts are very unique--made from whatever materials were available, often making their own pattern  as they went.  They have been featured on NPR.  Their quilts have been displayed around the country.  If you get an opportunity to see them and their quilts, it will be a blessing.  I'm posting the quilts that were displayed on Sunday.  You can see more by googling Gees Bend quilts.

                            It took the lady, who is in her 80's, 2 1/2 years to make this beautiful quilt

                                          This quilt was made out of postal workers uniforms.

                                 Thank you, ladies of Gees Bend, for sharing your talent with us.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Two of my sisters are coming to visit tomorrow:  Carol from southern Illinois and Judy from Indiana.  No quilting today.  Instead, this evening I was busy making potato salad for tomorrow evening when we are going to have a little wiener roast around the fire pit on the patio.  Also, I'm baking apple pies--one for tomorrow night and one for a friend who is having a rough time, a chocolate crumb crust for a chocolate pie and a regular crust for a coconut cream.  Thank you to my sister, Shirley, for the fresh apples for the pies.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tutorial for an Aspen Landscape Block

I made a 12.5 inch landscape quilt block for the "Leafs Me Happy" blog hop.  I've never written a quilting tutorial, but I taught middle school for 24 years, so how different can this be from preparing a science lesson?  (I guess I will find out.)

I was inspired to make this block after taking the cog rail train up Pikes Peak last week.  The aspen leaves were a beautiful golden color.  I wanted to capture their beauty.  Here is my attempt:

First, I needed to choose fabric to use for the sky, the aspen leaves, the ground, the tree trunks, and the colorful underbrush.  Most of these fabrics I got at Ruth's Stitchery in Colorado Springs, my favorite quilt shop.  The fabric for the ground was purchased at a quilt store in Alaska this past spring.  I also needed fabric markers to recreate the aspen bark, a small piece of fusible webbing for the shrub, and some fabric glue for the leaves.

Next, I appliqued the fabric for the earth to the 12.75 inch square of blue sky fabric.  I trimmed away the extra sky fabric from the back of the block.  I looked for a batik of white with a little gray for the tree trunks, but could not find one.  Instead, I used a very light batik with a little tan mixed in.  I cut strips varied widths for the tree trunks, choosing to make 5.  Next, I shaded in the strips with gray and black fabric markers to depict the bark of the aspen trees.

After shading in the aspen bark, I placed the aspen trunks on the block along with an underground shrub, moving them around until I liked the arrangement.

The tree trunks were hand appliqued in place.  The shrub was fused into place.

Next, the aspen leaves were added.  These, I cut (free-hand) from the yellow batik.  The leaves were quite small, so I chose to use fabric glue to attach them.  Later, when I quilt the block, they will be fastened down more permanently with thread.  I trimmed the block to 12.5 inches.

I auditioned several fabrics for a border, and finally chose a navy blue batik.  The block seemed much brighter using the navy blue than other fabrics I tried.  I added the borders and a few more leaves, and, my first landscape block was completed!

I'm really enjoying the blog hops from Madame Samm's site,  It has given me an opportunity to see so many quilters' ideas and projects, and inspired me to create my own blog.  Thank you, Madame Samm for featuring the blog hops on your webpage.  I hope to participate in more hops in the future.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Leaf Me Happy Blog Hop

I've been working on a block for a quilt blog hop.  It will be published Monday on "That Other Blog".  I didn't know I would have a blog up and running in time to post it.  I plan on sharing a tutorial for the block soon.  This was my first landscape block, so I was pretty happy with the outcome.  I'm not sure how I will quilt it, but I think it will make a nice fall wall hanging.  It's always fun to try something new!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nursery Rhyme Quilt

This is the quilt I did for my first grandson, Nathan Michael Gentry, born June 16, 2000.  The blocks are all hand appliqued, and the quilt is hand-quilted.  I had surgery earlier in the year and was off work for 6 weeks.    
This is the most intricate quilt I have appliqued, and I don't think I will be able to top it.  Each block was so much fun to make.