Monday, January 26, 2009


My sister-in law out in San Diego loves NASCAR. When I saw this fabric, I knew I had to make her a quilt with it. Because the NASCAR fabric is so busy, I broke it up with turquoise sashing . After quilting in the ditch and crisscrossing the blocks, I named it "NASCAR Crossroads. " I mailed it today and can't wait to hear her reaction!
As you can see from the label, I put the title at the top. I then drew and colored a race car. It also has to and from whom, along with the date finished. Check on my earlier blog as to how to make this label:

Because I had extra NASCAR fabric that is licensed and cannot be sold in my etsy shop, I also made her the following cosmetic case. It is my first case and was so easy. It was fun, especially adding the colored beads as a zipper pull.

A quilter always has scraps, so I made a crazy quilt postcard. The bright colors really shine in this one. As always you can visit me in my shop at

Quilting Cafe, where something is always brewing

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Camp Armour, Illinois Institute for Engineering Students

During the first half of the 1940s, at the request of the U. S. military services, Illinois Institute of Technology became an education center for both civilian and military personnel. In order to fill the need for engineers during World War II, high school seniors expedited their last year by attending a 3 month session at Camp Armour. Founded in 1923 but no longer in existence, Camp Armour was located on Trout Lake, Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. It was just north of the present park headquarters, on land leased from the state. During the 1940s, the Penn family served as directors.
My Dad attended the Camp in Summer, 1942. After vacationing in the Northwoods for 13 years, my husband and I bought property in Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. When I visited the Camp Armour site, the deer were peacefully nibbling grass in the dappled sunlight. I continued on down to Trout Lake and took photographs of the shoreline. When I sent them on to my Dad, he said it still looks the same. Here are his pictures from 1942 ( he is in the sailor cap) and my present photos for comparison. I think this will make a great art quilt.

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More Camp Armour

July, 1942

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Personalized photo postcards

My cousin recently order 4 postcards with this picture of her and her sister on it. She gave me the quote and I added different fabric backgrounds for each card. This picture was taken in 1958 at the family farm in Joliet, Illinois. It is part of picture of the whole dining table. Although it was chilly day, we still had an outdoor picnic. The rest of the day was spent raking and burning leaves.

If you have an idea to personalize a postcard, let me know and we can work on something just as endearing.

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Friday, January 23, 2009


I have listed some new cards today in my etsy shop: These are not only fun for me to make but also very sentimental. My father transferred 40 years of family pictures onto the computer. Since he took only 35mm slides with his Zeiss Ikon , the transfer quality is always excellent.

When making my postcards, I usually choose the photographs first and then find a quotation to go with it. Then the real fun starts! Picking out the fabrics and materials which will enhance the photographs.

"A mother's treasure is her daughter." The first pic is taken outside St. Viator's Church on Addison on the northwest side of Chicago. I have many pictures of my mother in this hat. The hat is actually made out of velvet. I think she still has in the back of her closet.

"He who sings, frightens away his ills." This is a quote by Don Quixote in the play "Man of La Mancha. My parents loved to give large dinner parties. Afterwards, the party would continue to the living room. My father would play the piano and sing. He even bought a micro phone. You can see others loved to join in! They were great parties. I know this to be true because I could hear them laughing from my bedroom into the wee hours of the night.

"I love you not for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you." These are friends of my parents taken in 1953. The words are the first line of a poem that was read at my wedding. These words still ring true after over 27 years!

" It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can be stupid with them." The last picture was taken in August of 1969. I have no idea what is going on with the pineapple, but it must be funny. My family was visiting friends in up state New York outside of Poughkeepsie. My dad's friend suggested that we should take the back roads out because they were more scenic. Encountering an incredible traffic jam, my dad, rolled down the window, and asked some people walking along the side of the road what was going on. It was a music concert and It took us 3 hours to get down the road. Later, we found out it was Woodstock. I was 16 at the time, and told everyone "I was at Woodstock!"

Quilting Cafe, where something is always brewing

Monday, January 19, 2009


Several months ago, I started collecting these brown and pink fabrics.I scoured quilt shops, Internet sites, and my stash. When I saw this pattern I knew it work very well with these fabrics.
I have never made a quilt with curves before. The instructions were clear and precise and I made use I pinned and pinned and pinned. By matching centers and ends, then continuing inwards, the blocks turned out perfect each time. I made sure the gathered section was next to the feed dogs. The fabric moved quite well through the needle. I removed each pin as I sewed.
I actually found the border fabric after the blocks were finished. They were the exact brown I needed. The large flowered print certainly compliments the geometric circles. When I finished the quilt, I thought they looked like chocolate cover cherries, or cherry cordials. They are named Cherry Cordial I, II, III.
I had some smaller squares from another project so, I decide to make a matching baby/doll quilt adding fabrics from the first quilt.

The first quilt had so many left over convex and concave pieces, I decided to use them to make a smaller quilt that work great as a wall hanging.
The set of all three can be purchased on my site at

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Thursday, January 8, 2009


I added a new quilt to my etsy shop, today. I fell in love with these pictures of "Things That Go" from Michael Miller fabric designs; reminds me of my childhood, as well as my own children. I know my son George, would particularly like the trains.
The colors all have a vintage tinge to them and evoke a warm feeling. Children will recognize each of the pictures and have fun identifying them. Think of the games you could play while lying in bed together. I Spy would be a great one. Or make up a story about each picture.
Here are the closeups of each quilted block.
The Fire Engine The WagonThe Delivery Truck
The Coupe Sedan

The Propellered AirPlane

The Passenger Train

The Freight TrainThe Cabin Cruiser The School Bus
The Tricycle
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Making a quilt for someone else is the most inspiring way to go for me as a quilter. While visiting my cousin in Texas, we took a trip to San Antonio. Along the way, my cousin remarked that she wished I could see the glorious wildflowers that grow along the roads in the Spring. She went on to describe all of them in great detail with wonder and enthusiasm.

I found a great applique pattern with all the Texas wildflowers. I then located on the internet, fabrics with these wildflowers in them. What a fun undertaking. I like to make my quilts in sort of a round robin fashion. ust figuring out what I will do next as it strikes me.
I gave it to her for her 60th birthday and it is called "Texas Wilds". She could name all the flowers in the center of the quilt and was genuinely thrilled. She also knew exactly where she would use it in her house...the very place I had planned for it.
I always like to get a picture of the receiver holding the quilt. Their faces tell it all, don't they. , where something is always brewing