Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey.

Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey. My goal is to share a little about my life, and a lot about my longarm quilting business, Lone Tree Designs.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Best of 2016 Quilty Thoughts

Me...on the path to turning "50"!

  As one year ends and a new one begins, out thoughts often turn to  reflecting on the past and dreaming of the future.  In order help us do that, Meadow Mist Designs has once again posted a link up party for those that want to share.

Meeting Angela Walters:  #1 for me was my final post of the year in which I shared that I had the chance to meet Angela Walters on a recent trip to Kansas City!  As a fellow longarm quilter, she is such an inspiration to me!

What a Difference Color Choice Can Make is #2:  As an employee in my mom's quilt shop, one of the things that I do the most is help people choose fabrics for their quilts.  When I speak and do trunk shows for guilds, they most often choose to hear my thoughts on color choice.  I had purchased fabric to make a stack and whack One Block Wonder.  Rather than make one huge queen-sized quilt, I decided to explore what the blocks might look like set the same way, but with very different fabric choices.  Heads and Tails #1 and #2 were the result.  Which is your favorite and why?

Bonnie Hunter Quilt Retreat was another favorite, and makes it into the #3 spot.  Several good friends and I had a fabulous time meeting Bonnie in Sioux City, IA at a retreat there, and I got a chance to share pics of my friends and of the projects that we worked on for two days with lots of fun ladies.  Quilters seriously are the BEST people!  Just realized that two of my top five involve meeting my quilting "idols"...:)

Crazy, Quilty June hits #4.  I was so busy with quilting fun in June that the month went by in a blur!  I started the month with a quilt retreat in Creston, IA and was barely able to catch my breath before I loaded up all my best quilts and headed to Aurora, NE where I was the featured quilter in their annual guild quilt show.  The post includes tons of pics of some of my favorite people, and lots of my favorite quilts!

Which Type of Quilter Are You?  is my pick for #5.  As I thought about all the quilters that I know and the ones that I read about in magazines, watch on tv, and follow on Facebook, Twitter, etc., I started to really ponder why each of us makes quilts, and what we choose to do with them.  What I ended up with was one of my favorite posts of the year because in the end, it doesn't matter why we quilt or what we do with the quilts we make.  What matters is the community we have while we do it!  Each to his or her own!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Meeting Angela Walters!

December is a crazy month for me!  I am finishing up customer quilts in time for them to be bound and given away for Christmas gifts for the first couple of weeks.  I try to be finished by the 15th so that I can prepare for the holidays with family and work on my own projects for at least a week or two before I have to get back to working on customer quilts.
  This year, my lovely hubby decided to take me to Kansas City to see the lights, something that I have wanted to do for many years.  It was awesome!  The weather was great, and we hit the hot spots:  IKEA, Union Station, Country Club Plaza, Joe's KC BBQ, and, or course a few quilt shops!
  When I found out that we were going to Kansas City, I had one thing on my mind...going to Angela Walters' quilt shop and meeting her!  She has inspired me as a longarm quilter so much, and I was super excited to get a chance to meet her.  I even Facebooked her to see if there was any chance that she might be at her shop in Liberty, MO during the time that I would be in town.  She is a very busy woman, and I could only cross my fingers!  Believe it or not, that sweetheart actually responded to my message and told me when she would be in the shop!  My plans were set!
  On the morning of my trip to visit Angela's shop, Quilting is My Therapy
we made our way from downtown Kansas City
to Liberty and were there right when the shop was set to open.   Angela wasn't there yet, so I had a great little visit with her friend that was working.  She was such a friendly gal!  We got to talking about running a quilt shop, something with which I am quite familiar since I have been around and helping my mom at her shop for over 15 years:  The Quilters Cottage.  I was even able to share some helpful tips and ideas with her while we waited for Angela to arrive.  While we visited, I looked around the shop.
  The quilt shop is on the historic downtown square in Liberty, MO.  The building is everything that I love in a quilt shop.  Beautiful 15 foot ceilings, brick walls, historic light fixtures...just a wonderful feel.  The fabrics in the shop are bright and colorful.  They include not only Angela's latest lines, but also her good friend Tula Pink's fabrics are represented.  In addition, lots of other fun, modern fabrics are available.  The usual notions, patterns, and kits line the walls.
Most exciting for me, the walls were also lined with wonderful samples covered with Angela's signature quilting!  I have all of her books, and have taken most of her classes on Craftsy. While I don't generally choose to quilt as heavily as Angela does, mainly because most customers do not want to pay for that type of custom work, I do use ideas from her books all of the time!When Angela arrived, it was like a breath of fresh air blew into the room!  She is so cheerful and approachable that I felt like I was visiting an old friend.  I was just so excited to actually meet her, and she was really sweet.  We talked, took a photo, and she kindly signed her latest book for me.  When I told her that I had brought the book she and Tula Pink did together for her to sign, and then forgot it in the hotel room, she surprised me with a peel and stick label to add to my book signed by both her and Tula!!! I was thrilled!  I asked if I could use the photos and write about the visit on my blog and she gladly gave her blessing, so here we are!
  If you are ever in the area, I would highly recommend stopping by the town of Liberty.  The downtown has several really cute shops including a fun coffee shop and a very lovely flower shop.  It is easy to find and in a picturesque little community.  The people were friendly and very welcoming to both my husband and I.
  Angela's shop is on the Row by Row, and she still had license plates, so I snagged one of those, along with a kit for a quilt hanging on the wall that I just had to have.  I bought her latest book which tells her story and is filled with great photos of her work.  I walked away with a memorable experience and some fun mementos, and enough quilty inspiration to last me for quite awhile!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Mystery Quilts and Control Issues

  There are two categories of quilters.  Those who will take a chance on making a mystery quilt, and those who won't.  I have always been of the first group.  The problem is that lack of control is quite scary for me.  I want to know that the time, effort, and money that I am spending on this project are going to be worth it.  Adding to my aversion to mystery quilts was that several times I had customers bring me quilts with the following statement: "This was a mystery quilt.  If I had only known what it would look like, I would never have placed fabric X in that spot."  They weren't totally happy with their quilt, and I was thinking, "Why would anyone ever do a mystery quilt?"
  Enter Bonnie Hunter from Quiltville.com.  I was invited to attend a Bonnie Hunter workshop with some friends last spring.  It sounded like a lot of fun, so I signed up.  Then, I went online and started researching the woman and her style of quilting.  I discovered stunning photos of her past mystery quilts. I met others who had made lots of her mystery quilts and loved them. At the same time, I had signed up to do my first mystery quilt, mainly to support my friends in my Central City guild, and had recently discovered that it was, what else, a former Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt called "Double Delight" found free on her blog.  I also noticed that my all time favorite Bonnie Hunter pattern, Celtic Solstice had been a mystery quilt.  I made a "Pineapple Blossom" and saw how easy and user friendly Bonnie's patterns were.  I bought several of her books.  I watched last year's mystery quilt, "Allietare" pass me by.  Cue this year's mystery quilt:  "En Provence",
  So, here I am, a tentative mystery quilt convert.  I am planning to start on this year's mystery quilt this coming weekend.  The clues come out on Fridays, and the information can all be found on Bonnie's website.  In order to do this, I had to trust Bonnie.  (It helps that I have met her, and she is a fabulous person, as well as a great quilter.)  It also helps that I didn't have to purchase anything to do the quilt.  I went into my stash and gleaned all the yardage that I will need to make the blocks for the 87 x 87 quilt.  I did decide to sub in turquoise for the yellow in the quilt. I love purple, pink, and turquoise together, so how can I go wrong?  I can't wait to see how this quilt turns out.  Sometimes a little mystery is just what we need to step outside the comfort zone and be inspired!  Thanks, Bonnie!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

What a Difference Color Choice Can Make!

Heads N Tails #1

Heads N Tails #2


  Color.  The choices made when picking colors for a quilt 
can truly "make" or "break" your end result.  As a teacher and lecturer, I am frequently asked to speak about color.   As an employee at a quilt shop, I am often asked to assist customers in choosing fabrics that will look good together and will create a pleasing finished product.  It seems that color can be a real stumbling block for some quilters.  Some don't feel that they have an "eye" for color and need assurance that what they have chosen is "right."   The truth is that, while some choices are really not great, there is no "right" when it comes to color choices.  Some choices are not the best use of color, and some choices are definitely better.  However, if you love it...it's "right"!  
  My most recently finished quilt tops were specifically designed to illustrate the difference color can make in a quilt. Both quilts began with a crazy Timeless Treasures fabric that I found on a vacation to Paducah, KY with my hubby.  I bought parts and pieces of several ends of bolts in order to get the six repeats that I needed for my blocks.   Believe me, there wasn't a lot left after I cut my repeats for my hexies.  I did, however, have a LOT of hexies made.  Rather than making one huge quilt, I decided to break up the stack into two piles.  One would be set with a cool color, and the other with a warm color.  My goal was to create samples for my trunk shows that show that neither choice is "right" but one quilt will appeal to some, while the other quilt appeals to others.  Personally, I like both, and can't pick a favorite!
  The difference between the two quilts is pretty striking.  The one set with the aqua/teal is calm.  It makes me feel relaxed.  It's fairly low contrast.  Nothing about it jumps out at me, which is a good thing for some people.  The quilt set with the bright yellow/orange is exciting!  It's bright.  There's a huge amount of contrast between the hexies that jump off the top and the background stars.  The borders add an additional element of brightness and a sense of fun to the quilt.  Again, some will love that bright, exciting feel.  Some won't.  
  My first choice was the aqua.  I loved the pretty, soft color with the bright fabric that I used for my blocks,  It seemed to calm the wild pinks, yellows, and reds of the hexies themselves.  It made me think of a tropical vacation.  After I chose the aqua, I auditioned TONS of other fabrics with the remaining hexies.  I tried bright red.  I tried orange.  I tried hot pink, purple, greens of various shades. Nothing seemed right.  Finally, as a last resort, I put a few hexies on top of the yellow.  Zing!!! I had a winner!  Sometimes, this is the perfect way to decide on a color for lattice, or for borders.  Make your blocks, and then audition fabrics for the setting.  This can save a lot of time and money because you will know for sure that what you bought is what you like with your blocks.  The key is to choose what you like.  It's your quilt!  Bring a friend for a second opinion, or ask the quilt shop employee to give you their thoughts, but the choice is yours!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Which Type of Quilter are You?

Gigi enjoys a good snuggle up next to a quilt!
A built in houses quilts rather than books
The entry way is the perfect place to showcase wall quilts.
Table runners can herald the season anywhere.

 Do you ever think about how people use their quilts?   Some people give away everything they make.  Some people save everything they make for family to fight over after they pass out of this life. Some use their quilts in their everyday lives, and some, like me, do a little bit of all three!

One of the ways that many people use their quilts is to bring joy to others.  Some quiltmakers are so unselfish that they literally give away everything they make as quickly as they make it.  They are the kind souls who give generously to as many charities as they possibly can.  Others, thinking that they are being helpful, give these precious quilters their "scraps" and the fabric that they found in grandma's basement.  Sometimes, these "gifts" simply feed the need to quilt non-stop for others in a desire that nothing go to waste.  Bless their hearts!   I am not one of those lovely people!

Yet a second type of quilter saves everything they make because it is too special to be used.  This quilter believes that every quilt they make is an heirloom, and, after being carefully shown to others, the quilts are packed away in a chest or in the back of a closet only to be taken out and refolded once a year so that permanent creases do not develop.  The idea behind this type of quilting is nice, I guess. The thinking is that our relatives, once we are no longer with them, will love and cherish these quilts as much as we do.  The reality...many of these "heirlooms" end up on garage sales, at Goodwill, or worse, being fought over at a family auction because no one can decide who should get grandma's quilts.  Again, this is not me.

The third type of quilter never makes a "magnum opus" in their quilting.  Every quilt is a "wham, bam, thank ya ma'am" quilt.  I am talking about Turning Twenties, Jelly Roll races, etc.  These quilts require nothing more than some fabric, a bit of time, and voila...instant gratification.  Because these quilts don't take a lot of time to create, they become ordinary, everyday objects.  They don't require custom quilting...any old pantograph will do.  They grace the beds of every room in the house.  They are used as table cloths, couch covers, and picnic blankets.  No worries.  If they wear out, we simply make another to replace it.  Me?  No way!

I am definitely a combination of all three types of quilters (as I assume a lot of us are!).  When I can, I donate to charity.  This means that a few small quilts per year are given to a charity of my choice.  I make a doll quilt or two for Christmas Of Sharing.  Toys for Tots has received a few of my quilts.  I give a quilt when I hear that someone has had a fire.  I may pull out a quilt for a friend who has a child in the hospital.  These are items that I give when I feel led to give, not out of obligation or some sense that I "have to" because I have been asked.  My time is valuable, and I don't choose to use it sewing for charity all the time.  I want to give back, but I also want to make things for myself and my family.

The main things that I do with my quilts are decorate my home and share them with others!  I display them whenever and wherever I can.  I do trunk shows and lectures so that I can share my work.  I enter them in quilt shows, the state fair, and hang them at the quilt shop.  My home decor reflects the seasons, and quilts, table toppers, runners, and wall quilts are a big part of that.  I give quilts to my kids, their spouses, and my three lovely grandchildren.  Most projects that I begin are simply for my own enjoyment of the creative process.  If I need a quilt for charity, I can usually scare one up from my stash.  If I feel like looking at a purple and teal pineapple on my bed, I have one!
Pineapple Retreat is one of my newest "favorites"
If I want to enjoy a reproduction 1930's quilt on my bed?  I have one...
What a handsome quilt hanger:)
The point of all this rambling...I gotta be me.  Each of us comes at the art of quilting with different goals and reasons for pursuing this quilting life.  My quilts are too special to ever be used as a table cloth, but not too special to ever use at all!  What kind of quilter are you?  I would love to hear from you how you like to use your quilts!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Quilty Friends

  Have you ever met someone that made you feel so comfortable in the first 5 minutes that you feel like you've known them for years?  I felt that way last night when I met Karianne Wood (pronounced "car-e-ann")  of Thistlewoodfarms.com  She was so genuine and so funny that I walked away wishing I could know her better! The minute I got home, I started following her blog...what better way to get to know Karianne than to read her blog on a regular basis!
A fun project using Karianne's fabric line from Hoffman Fabrics called "Sweet Tea"
  As I thought about my instant liking for Karianne, I started thinking about all my "quilty" friends in general.  Quilters are just the nicest people that I ever come across!  Whether I am doing a trunk show for a guild full of women that I have never met, teaching a class full of eager learners, or taking a class myself, I am always so excited to meet fellow quilters.  There is an instant rapport that occurs between two quilters.  Rather than awkwardly searching for something that we might have in common, we have an instant connection in a shared passion for the quilting arts.  From that connection, it doesn't take long for us to find other things that we have in common, and a friendship develops so quickly, it can feel like we have known each other for years.
   Believe it or not (and those that know me well and think I talk non-stop may not believe it!) I am an introvert by nature.  I find meeting new people uncomfortable and stressful.  Often, I avoid situations where I will be thrown into a group that I don't know.  The exception to this natural tendency of mine is when I have the chance to meet and spend time with quilters.  They are so warm and inviting, so welcoming, so unconditionally accepting, that I feel at home.  The friends I have made in the past seven years as a longarm quilter have truly blessed my life.  I have met wonderful women and found a comradery that I need in my life.  I am so thankful for my quilty friends, and I can't wait to make even more as I continue to speak and teach about my love of quilting.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Variety is the Spice of Life

Bonnie Hunter's Pineapple Blossom Pattern from Quiltville.com

Pattern comes from Civil War Legacies III
     Have you ever known a quilter who said, "I only work with reproductions."  or "I only sew with Kansas Troubles."  or even, "Bright, happy fabrics are the only ones I like to use in my quilts!"  Are you one of those quilters?
   Believe it or not, when I first started quilting, I was one of those quilters.  I thought that the only quilts I should make were quilts using fabrics that matched the decor in my home!  Guess what that led to?  Several mauve and country blue quilts that I didn't really enjoy making, and that I certainly do not like now!  Those were the predominant home decorating colors when I first started quilting.  They were also not colors that I particularly enjoyed.
     A true "light bulb moment" occurred for me about 8 years ago when I made my first quilt out of colors that I loved, simply because I loved them!  It was a single Irish Chain made with turquoise and silver fabrics.  It opened up a whole new world for me!
     Anyone who knows me knows that I love brights!  I do use bright fabrics, especially batiks in many of my quilts. However, I also like 30's prints when used in a sampler-type project.  I love Kim Diehl.  I have a growing obsession with reproduction prints and the cute small quilts from books like Remembering Adelia and Civil War Legacies I, II, and III. 
  Think of the world of creativity that I would be missing if I were still stuck only making bed-sized quilts out of my current home decor colors (transitioning to mostly neutrals with gray and taupe...now that would be a pretty boring quilt!).  
     My novice quilting self hated yellow.  I now have a black and yellow quilt that I love.  I have a 30's sampler set together with yellow.  My younger self didn't like applique, didn't care for 30's prints, and would never have used orange for fear that it might "take over" my quilt.
     While there is comfort in using tried and true color choices, there is a lot more excitement in stepping outside of that comfort zone, thinking outside the box, and throwing a little orange into your quilt!   The more experienced version of me has learned over the years that variety is truly the spice of life!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Merrily I Row Along (Year Three)

Quilt-n-Bee in Traverse City, MI
  Last week, the hubby and I went on a lovely trip to Michigan.  Whenever we travel, I want to see as much of our wonderful country as possible, and learn new some new things.  This trip was an opportunity to go to Michigan for the first time.  I learned and saw a lot of new things!  For example:
1.  Wisconsin loves the color Barn Red, and it's named that for a reason!  Lots of red barns in Wisconsin!
2.  Mackinaw City ends in "aw" while Mackinac Bridge and Mackinac Island end in "ac"---however, they are all pronounced as if they end in "aw"!  Who knew?
3.  The Caribbean is not the only place in the world to find beautiful Caribbean blue water.  Lake Michigan has it's share of gorgeous water in the shallow areas around Traverse Bay.
4.  Independent quilt shop owners and employees are the friendliest people in the country!
5.  The diversity of people and landscapes in this land of ours never ceases to amaze me.  We are truly blessed!

  I timed the trip to coincide with the end of the annual Row by Row Experience.  We drove through Iowa, dropped down into Illinois to pick up a really cute license plate, drove through Wisconsin via Beaver Dam to Nancy's Notions, of course, and finally, headed into Michigan.
  Now, the hubs is a patient man.  He lets me plan the trips, and he doesn't mind stopping at quilt shops along the way, so for the weeks leading up to the trip, I did my research using the Row by Row website to find cute plates and rows, and to coordinate my travel plans to pick up as many as I felt would be reasonable.  My final number of shops? TWELVE!  I found the website for the Row by Row to be easy to navigate and invaluable in my trip planning.  Be sure to check it out next year before you travel anywhere!

 One of the highlights of the trip was a stop at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  The visitors center in Empire, MI is privileged to have the award winning art quilt from the ArtPrize contest by Ann Loveless in 2013.  She was the first ever quilt artist to win the top honor. She has since won a second time, and is the only person to ever win the contest more than once! Her work has opened up the world of quilting as a true art form and has really been instrumental in opening the general public's eyes to the fact that quilts are, in fact, an art.
Needless to say, I collected lots of rows to add to my previous two years' of collections.  At this point, I have way more rows than I could ever put in one quilt.  Some of the rows will make really cute "stand alone" wall quilts, and some of them probably won't make the cut at all.  One of these days, I will have to sort through them all and make a plan, but for now, I am just enjoying the hunt!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Get Finished!

Urban Candy by Sew Kind of Wonderful
   If you are like me, you have a lot of unfinished projects.  I love the creativity of starting a new project!  Choosing the pattern, deciding on the fabrics, hunting through my stash and then through quilt shops to find the perfect choices, and the thrill of beginning.  I love it all!
  Things get a little iffy after that:)  I generally work on a project for a day or two before I have to get back to my "day job" of longarm quilting for customers.  It is rare that I have more than a couple of days a month to actually sew on my own projects.  I take time to babysit my three beautiful grandchildren, go to Kearney to work at my mom's quilt shop, go to quilt guild, take classes, and do lots of other necessities of life, so, too often, piecing and quilting my own projects takes a back seat.
  After awhile, though, I get to the point where I am close enough to finishing a project that I can smell it!  I know the end is in sight, and I have the motivation to put all other distractions aside and FINISH!  Quite often, that motivation is external in that I have a trunk show or a class coming that requires me to finish something new to show and tell.

 Urban Candy was a sample that I originally started for a
class that I was going to teach at the Quilters Cottage.  It is generally my practice to begin a sample, figure out all the ins and outs of the pattern, the new ruler, etc. and then teach the class while my sample is in process so that I can show the step by step process of making the quilt.  The problem with that for me is that once the class is over, there is no need to rush to finish the project because, more often than not, I am already on to the next sample for the next class.
  I taught the Urban Candy class as a part of a series of several classes using the Quick Curves Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful in 2015.  Each sample was partially finished when I taught the class.  I decided this year that I really do need to finish those samples and add them to my trunk shows because they are so pretty!  The one that was the closest to completion was Urban Candy, so I buckled down and got 'er done!  The next one to get completed is Metro Rings, and it is on my design wall right now.  I will share it when I get it done.  It is fabulous!
  Here's a tip for you...just like the idea of paying off debt by focusing on the smallest bill first, paying it off, and then moving on to the next smallest...I find that the most productive way to finish projects is to focus on the projects that are the closest to being finished.   Get one done, move on to the next.
Granted, we all have projects that are going to take us a long time to complete.  I took class with Bonnie Hunter last April for two different quilts.  I haven't touched either one since I left the class. Why?  I know they are going to be time consuming, and I am focusing on older projects that are closer to completion.  Those projects will be something that I will pack up and take to an all day sew or a retreat where I can just sew the day away on making blocks, and making some headway on a time consuming project.  
  Another way to be more productive is to focus on one project per month.  I have talked about this before on the blog, but for those of you that are new, here's how it works:  Choose 12 projects that you need to work on for the year.  Number them 1-12.  Each month, draw a number, and for that month you work on that number of project.  If you finish early, you can go back and work on a project from a previous month that you didn't get finished, or you can do like I do and have a secondary list of what I like to call "bonus" projects that you can work on once you finish your project for the month.  Many months, you will not finish that project.  Life gets in the way.  Projects are too big to finish.  At the beginning of the next month, you put that project away and work on the new project.  This really helps with burnout and keeps you excited about your sewing projects.  Sometimes, you may be so close to finish that you will continue on the next month.  That's okay, too.  It is just important that you get motivated, get working, and get FINISHED!                                                              

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hop 'til You Drop with Row by Row

The back of a customer's Metro Rings quilt.
My Row by Row License Plate Collection

  Well, I am half way through another month, and in spite of my desire to slow down and enjoy some quiet sewing of my own...I have been running around like a crazy person again!  I have been working a lot to catch up on customer quilts after being gone so much in June, and have come to a place where I am comfortable with my waiting list.
My Dresden Star featuring "Ugly" fabric!
  I was able to take a class this month on Edyta Sitar's Dresden Star pattern with a good friend at the Quilters Cottage in Kearney with my mom as the teacher.  The fabrics that I am using are not necessarily what I would choose, but the centers are a part of an "ugly fabric challenge" that we put together for next year's June retreat.  I was actually pretty happy when I drew my "ugly" because I like it! That just goes to show that we all have different tastes and different creativity, and that is one of the things that makes quilting so great!  My quilts are like no one else's (unless I bought a kit, or sold my idea as a kit in the shop, which is the most likely of those two scenarios).
  This past weekend was so much fun!  A few friends and I took a quick little day trip to the east and collected some license plates, row kits, patterns, and a whole
lot of fabrics and fun for the annual Row by Row.  If you haven't joined in this new phenomenon, you really should!  It is a really great way to travel, visit quilt shops
and collect some mementos along the way.  My advice:  Get
out there and "Hop 'til you Drop!!!" 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Crazy, Quilty June

Wow!  It has been a crazy month!  It started out with a trunk show in Cedar Rapids, NE where I presented about 50 of my quilts to a group of about that many ladies!  It was an easy drive through beautiful green countryside with my hubby at the wheel, and then a program where I showed my work and talked about my quilts...never a problem for me:)
  Next, it was off to Kearney to help mom settle in to her new quilt shop.  We had spent all of Memorial Day weekend moving her stuff just two doors down the street on the bricks in Kearney, and getting everything in order to reopen, all in the span of 4 days.  Not an easy task, but well worth it because the new shop has much better lighting and several aspects made it a wise change.
  On the 8th of June, several friends and I headed off to Creston, IA for a five day retreat with a group of about 40 women from both Iowa and Nebraska.  We get together once a year for this retreat, and the rest of the year we are looking forward to getting together again!  It was so much fun, not so much sleep, and a fair amount of productive sewing:)

  Literally five days after we returned from our crazy, quilty fun in Iowa, a bunch of us hopped on a bus with ladies from the Grand Island Prairie Pioneers quilt guild and headed out for a bus trip!  Needless to say, the bus trip was tons of fun, and I bought even more quilty stuff...also never a big problem for me!  After a couple of days of recovery, I was once again in Kearney to work for my mom and to hang up my latest class sample, which I quilted somewhere between the retreat and the bus trip.

  Last, but not least, this weekend I am the featured quilter at the Nimble Thimbles Quilt Show in Aurora, NE.  I took 22 of my quilts to Aurora on Wednesday, and the lovely ladies from that guild got them all hung and ready for public show which lasted Thursday through Sunday.  I spent Friday afternoon hanging out at the show and visiting with anyone who wanted to talk about my quilts.  It was a lot of fun, and I was very honored to have been asked.  I was even interviewed and photographed for the local paper...must have been a slow new week! LOL!  Following are some of my quilts hanging at the show.  It was a bit dark for my iPhone to capture some of them, but you get the idea

  The Vintage Linens quilt to the left was created from cutting up and using linens made by my Great Aunt Adelaide Walthers, who is now 97 years old, my grandma Dorothy Hansen, my mom Phyllis, and my Great grandmother Georgia Hansen.  There are hankies, doilies, dresser scarves, pillow case tops, and armchair covers all used in this unique quilt.  The pattern comes from a class I did with Rose Cottage Quilts. Check out their website if you are interested in making a quilt like this one.  Cutting up these types of family pieces can be a bit scary, but it is worth it!
My Pineapple Retreat quilt was made from the 10" squares exchange that we did at our Iowa/Nebraska retreat in 2015.

Madame Butterfly was awarded a blue ribbon at the 2015 Nebraska State Fair.

 The Pineapple Blossom quilt to the right is a free downloadable pattern from Bonnie Hunter's website Quiltville.com, and was a really simple quilt to make.  I love the end result so much that I have already collected the fabrics in oranges and grays to make another one.  Stay tuned for photos of that work in progress.

 So, here I am at the end of the month.  My goal for the next few days is to quilt as many customer quilts as I can before heading off to Kearney to help my mom!  I am also working on a new sample for a class that I am teaching toward the end of July on Eleanor Burn's LeMoyne Star pattern.  Its a super easy was to create a quilt that looks very difficult...thanks, Eleanor!
  Hope July is a little more relaxing!  All this crazy, quilty fun has left me wiped out!  I need a vacation...so that I can collect my Row by Row!