A Finish – Chasing My Tail

Last weekend I finally finished a quilt I’ve been working on since Memorial Day.  I decided to name it “Chasing My Tail”, because that’s how the last few months have felt, both emotionally and physically.  Here’s her story:

IMG_3547The fabric and pattern for this quilt were gifted to me by my good friend, Courtney, at the French Seam.  The fabric is from the line “Color Me Happy” by Vanessa Christenson for Moda (V and Co).  The pattern is Scout from Cluck Cluck Sew.  The pattern was really well written, easy to understand, and comes together quickly because you’re sewing strips.

IMG_3670During the first month of putting this quilt together, I lost my golden love, Bubba Jr.  Wow do I miss him.  This quilt was always intended to be the “porch quilt” for our new sunroom/porch.  I had visions of Bubba and I spending many hours relaxing there and looking out over the fields he couldn’t run in anymore.  Best. Dog. Ever.   So there are lots of tears of love, pain, and love again quilted into this quilt.

IMG_3910I decided to quilt this one in the hoop using the quilting ovals pattern from Meringue Designs.  Love, love, love my Bernina 830 LE.  Of course, sometimes “this” got in the way…

Moose helping with "Chasing My Tail"

Moose helping with “Chasing My Tail”

I love the texture of the quilt.  The concentric ovals represent the circles I’ve been spinning in the last 3 months.  The backing is a dark blue print paired with some more pink (I love the way the navy and pink play with the turquoise and the white).

IMG_4126IMG_4125It’s been washed and is all warm and crinkly.  She’s getting a lot of good use and just seeing it all spread out when I walk onto the porch makes me smile.  And again, there’s this….

IMG_4147There are lots of wonderful scrap bits left over when you are trimming the strip sets for this quilt.  They were so pretty I couldn’t throw them away, so I made a matching pillow.  I also ran across some Mustang by Melody Miller for Cotton & Steel in linen (!!!!) last weekend and I think it’s perfect!

IMG_4150That’s the story of Chasing My Tail.  Hope you all had a wonderful summer.  I am looking forward to fall.  I adore the season 🙂  TGIF!

Just Breathe….

I had every intention of posting a purely quilty post this morning along with a review of a new (to me?) product called Flatter.  I’ll still do that, but I find myself sitting here the last few days and especially this morning with my eyes constantly leaking and the inability to breathe.  Mainly because of this old man…

IMG_2906I wish I could put into words all the love I feel for him and how much my heart is breaking.  We are nearing our final days I fear.  His appetite (which has never been good particularly…he’s a picky little turd and what King Bubba wants, King Bubba gets…we all know who is to blame for that) has been waning for the past week and this morning he wouldn’t even eat his go to thing that he never turns down…white bread.

IMG_3732We started underwater treadmill therapy on Friday to try and build some core strength and muscle mass in those back legs.  I realize that at 14 I am buying time, but I have his kidney values well controlled…so it’s just those damn hips/legs without muscle mass to support him in the rear.  The hardest thing is to be a veterinarian and NOT be able to fix your own baby.  Harder still is knowing that the time is coming soon will you will have to make the ultimate decision, be strong and be there with him until the end because that is what you owe him for all the years of love and joy he has brought into your life.  I have never felt so ill equipped for that role in my life.  I am a hopeful person, I am a strong person…but knowing this is coming is killing me.  When do you make the call that it’s time to give up hope?  It’s ironic, I counsel clients all the time on this.  Clients who I consider friends.  I know the right things to say to encourage them when it’s time to let go and what to say to make sure they don’t feel guilt over their decision.  Funny how it doesn’t hold water when it’s me telling it to myself 🙂

IMG_3735But for now, he’s looking sexy in his socks and doing a lot of sleeping.  And getting lots of hugs and kisses and all the love I can give him.  He’s my boy, my Bubba Jr.  Any emotional strength you can send my way…much appreciated 🙂  And if you could find the switch to turn off my water works so I can get some work done for the coming week and meet some presentation and article deadlines that are looming…well, then even better 🙂   Thanks for listening and I promise more sewing/quilting updates coming soon.  Until then, may your days be “golden” ❤


To All the Quilting Podcasters – xoxo

WARNING – Not a lot of quilting pictures (or any…) in this one 🙂

So, I am behind as usual.  Once I went back to work after vacation it was nose to the grindstone again.  But that’s ok, I love what I do….I just wish I had more time for some quilty fun 🙂

This morning though, I thought it was important to put something out there.  There have been several times over the last few months where I’ve been listening to one of my quilting podcast friends (and I really do feel like they are friends) and one of them will mention that a listener commented on their podcast that they were sharing too much of their personal life and that they were in some way offended or put off by this sharing.  This happened most recently when I was listening to an episode of Laura‘s from Sewing Mom Podcast and someone felt she shared too many details about her foster children (yes, I’m a few episodes behind, but if you haven’t listened to her you should check it out!).  For some reason, this really got to me.  Here is a woman who already has 6 children of her own, is giving a part of her life, her home, and herself to help these little kids and IN ADDITION to all she has going on, she’s taking the time to share her life and sewing journey with us by podcasting.  And someone has the gall to tell her they don’t like what she’s sharing?

I love our podcasters, I love our community, I would LOVE to figure out a way to make the time to make a podcast and “talk back” to all of you.  My heart broke for Katie of Katie’s Quilting Corner when she was going through the start of her divorce, then I was happy for her when she decided to try to make it work, and I will continue to support her no matter what things come her way in the future, whether she’s single, married, or a martian.  Because I “heart” her and I love that she puts it out there for our community.

I love Pam of Hip to Be a Square (although I think in real life if she met me I would be one of those people who kind of annoy the sh*t out of her because I tend to be kind of smiley (word?) and chipper most days, lol).  I love that she shares her kid stories and her “feels”.  I love that she is open an honest about depression and what many of us as women struggle through.  I am so PROUD of her for her weight loss journey and the self discovery she’s been focusing on.  I appreciate that I know every Friday I have something to look forward to 🙂  And of course, if I’m being honest, I love that she loves her cats as much as I love mine.  When she lost Zoom and Zapper, I had just lost my Kasey (my once in a life time cat) and I felt my world would never be the same.  I felt she understood what I was going through.  And then I giggled (silently Pam) when she brought Fred home the same week as her new babies, because that’s what happened to us too and I truly thought I would loose my mind.  Looks like we both survived Pam…cheers!  (PS – I like your Friday night wine episodes, lol).

I love Sandy from Quilting for the Rest of Us.  I think if Sandy and I ever met in person, I invision us sitting on a deck with a glass of wine, surrounded by Bubba Jr and Sam (Princess doggie, Annie, and Eddie would be there too) and we would just talk and talk and talk.  I admire her dedication, her determination and her faith.  I love that she shares her faith in such a subtle manner that you know it’s there, but it’s never preachy or in your face.  I love that her mom was a quilter like mine.  I love tweeting travel schedules with her and invision waving to each other across the clouds when we’re both traveling.

I love Sandi from Quilt Cabana Corner.  She has such a busy life with her girls and I admire that she has time to write for magazines and publish patterns and just be the downright adorable, sweet person that she is.  I love that she and her Mom go to quilt shows together like I do with mine.

I love Frances from Off Kilter Quilt.  My heart dropped for her when her mom was ill.  I wasn’t able to participate in her quilt, but there were lots of prayers headed from my house to her in hopes of a speedy recovery for her mom and lots of virtual hugs.  I admire her as a writer, a mom, and an honest podcaster.  I love hearing her adventures with the new techniques she’s been trying with Jay.

I love Tanesha from Crafty Garden Mom.  She’s a busy working mom who juggles all the balls in the air and manages to not only tell us about life and keep us hanging for new books that are coming out, but gives us reviews on movies.  She talks about work and the loss of her coworker/friend last year.  And her most recent podcast about the Craftsy drama with the Sew Together Bag and her response of “Don’t be an A-hole”…OMG, dying just dying.  I was listening to her while doing a little piecing on Saturday and was literally giggling while I was pressing some seams and my husband walked in and asked me what I was giggling at by myself.  I told him and he rolled his eyes and said “women”.

I love Allison of Within a Quarter Inch.  I have been a long time listener and I love her goofy style.  I love hearing about her twins and my heart breaks for her with the struggles she’s going through with Max right now.  My little brother is mentally handicapped and struggles with autism and it is not an easy road.  In fact, that may be the understatement of the century!  I was so happy when she started podcasting again.  I don’t care if she podcasts alone or with a co-host…I love her regardless.

I miss Brye, I miss  Annie Smith, I miss Alex Anderson and some of the other podcasters that are now off the air.

I love AJ from the Quilting Pot.  I don’t care if she records in her car or in her house…I just love to listen to her and she always makes me laugh.  And PS – I’m jealous of her longarm too (are you sensing a theme here??)

I love Daisy from Lazy Daisy Quilts.  She makes me laugh and I talk back to her during her podcasts 🙂  I’m jealous that she’s learning to longarm!  I think her generosity and her heart-felt love that she put into organizing the quilt for Frances…I would hug her if I could for just being that special.  I love that she’s giving a quilt away ON HER BIRTHDAY!  What?????  Who does that???

I love that Pat Sloan brings me new people from the quilting world every week with American Patchwork and Quilting Radio show.  I love that she takes the time at Market to talk with these people when she’s there also as a pattern designer, fabric designer and working gal.  I love her blog and I love that she shares with us on Twitter and Instagram more things than just quilting.

I adore Stephanie of Modern Sewciety.  Wow, this girl has just exploded onto the scene.  I LOVE her style, I love her voice, and I am LOVING learning so much about different sewists, quilters, etc. out there.  I have started following several new blogs and been introduced to tons of interesting people (virtually) just from listening to Stephanie.

And last but not least, I love Amy Ellis and April Rosenthal of The QuiltCast.  They are fun, easy to listen to, and I love hearing the behind the scenes of what it’s like to be the person behind the fabric, behind the book, what it’s like getting ready for Market, what it’s like to be there.  I listen to them talk about their deadlines and I feel their pain because even though my deadlines are for veterinary related articles, talks, etc. it makes me feel better to know that there are other women out there that have a tendency to bite off more than they can chew in the face of trying to grow their business.

There are more of you out there, so please don’t be offended if I didn’t mention you, these are just my top folks that I listen to.  I truly appreciate everything all of you do to create your podcasts, edit them (or not), deal with the frustration of uploading them, finding a hosting service, dealing with iTunes, paying the fees that you do to support your site….but more than anything, I appreciate that you come into my world..whether it’s once a week, once a month, or only occasionally and you bring me a little piece of yourself.  For those few minutes, you take my mind off the stress of my job, which causes me insomnia and sleepless nights, you allow me to focus on something other than the crazy I deal with on a daily basis, and you invite me into  your world.  I can’t thank you enough for all  you do for the quilting community!

So, let me end on this note.  If you are one of those people who are acting judgmental, holier than thou, and leaving snarky comments on my friends podcast/website comments….in the words of Tanesha…DON’T BE AN A-HOLE!  There is a stop button on your media player.  Use it, delete the channel, cancel your subscription, delete it from your feed…do whatever you need to do good to feel good about yourself…but stop picking on my friends!  No one is holding you down and forcing you to listen.  The rest of us like being invited into their lives.  If you want straight quilting talk with no personal life messes, go buy a book.  Stop, just stop.

Sorry for the vent, I just felt like my friends needed some love.  I really do hope we do a twilter retreat at some point because the idea of spending a few days with all my podcasting and non-podcasting twilter friends…well, that just sounds like heaven wrapped up with a bow to me 🙂  And just for comic amusement if you’ve made it this far….here’s the Moose strutting his stuff 🙂



Yoga Moose :)

Yoga Moose 🙂

Vacation Accomplishments

Wow!  I have enjoyed having a week off so much that I told my staff I’ve decided I should take the summer off.  Needless to say, they’re not in favor of that and it might make paying the bills a bit difficult, but oh boy….this was a much-needed retreat from a CRAZY five months.  I really can’t believe we’re at the end of May.  I have NO idea where the last 5 months have gone (wait….yes I do, I was traveling like a crazy woman and working my butt off, lol).

So, without further delay, here is just a little peek at what I did this week.  First, I started every morning (after the chores were done of course) with a cup of coffee on the front porch with this smiling boy who turned 14 (!!!!!) back on the 10th!  How he got to be 14, don’t ask…seems he was just a goofy pup not too long ago.  Every day we have with him is a blessing.  Lots of limping these days and we’re in early renal failure, but he’s happy and I keep him pain-free.  He still likes to walk to the barn every morning and night (but then he prefers to ride back in the gator, lol).

IMG_3556Mom came out last weekend for a “photo shoot” with Aunt Joann’s quilt.  Special memories here that will last a lifetime!


We finalized plans for the addition of a sunroom and deck on the back of the house!  I have been wanting to do this forever, but we didn’t want to finance it, so this has been a 5 years of savings and lot’s of speaking gigs kind of project.  Construction should start in the next 2 weeks.

Thompson over view 4 Thompson over view 2Lot’s of stuff happening on the sewing front and that was truly the most awesome part of vacation…just being able to sew and relax with the windows open, the birds chirping, and the horses munching.  Heaven!

First I got caught up on our Farmer’s Wife blocks.  I am sad to say that these were February’s blocks…we had to put everything on hold when my travel schedule got out of control and mom had to have thumb surgery.  We’re back on track and I have picked out our 5 June blocks.  With the addition of February’s blocks, we have 65 out of 111 complete.  That means we only have 46 more blocks to go!  Amazing.

IMG_3592I finally had a chance to put all of the ones I have made up on the wall together last night, so here they are.  I really have NO idea how these are all going to tie together in one quilt lol, but I said I was only going to use stash fabric and I have stayed true to that.  I love how when I look at the blocks I can see what was going on at the time in my life and remember special times associated with certain fabrics.

IMG_3593Now, you might have noticed that this is actually hanging ON the WALL.  The other big project of the week was to clear out my sewing room/office.  It has been SO cramped for so long that it just makes me edgy going in there.  First I got rid of Bubba’s big over stuffed chair that was taking up an entire wall.  With his legs, he hasn’t been able to get up on it for over 4 months and when he does, he can’t get down on his own without falling.  It was an accident waiting to happen…so out it went.  Then I got rid of an old kitty condo that was taking up space under the window.  The cats are always on my sewing table or desk, NEVER on their designated space, lol.  So, with that space opened up, I turned an old table that my mom made years ago into a much-needed cutting table.  I added some 5 inch risers and voila!

IMG_3566You can see my Grandma Foster’s old treadle machine there now 🙂  It was crammed into a corner and covered with books.  Moosie likes it too.

IMG_3573Now, as you can see above, the appearance of the self-cleaning litter box beneath the new cutting table AND the lovely brown risers do not add to the ambiance I was trying to create.  Home dec is totally outside of my comfort zone, but with Mom’s encouragement, I bit the bullet and decided to make a skirt for the table.  I fell in love with the Moda Mochi dot linen fabric.  Mom tried to teach me how to make ruffles by  pulling on two threads….after several frustrating tries, I went and purchased a ruffler foot, lol.  This is why god invented technology right??????  Seriously…this thing is a dream!  Here is the finished skirt.  Looks MUCH better than the litter box and risers 🙂

IMG_3585The ruffler foot and I got on famously!  Talk about super simple.  It had 3 settings:  ruffles every 12 stitches, every 6 stitches, or every stitch.  I did every 12 because I wanted looser ruffles.  Now, the new hemmer foot and I, well that is a different story.  We are still not on speaking terms.  I had enough of the mochi dot left over to make a fun little pillow to sit on the chair by Grandma’s machine…I mean Moosie’s chair.

IMG_3586IMG_3588Fun!  I still want to paint the room too, but there are some other things I need to clear out (aka “purge”) before I tackle that.  However, I had such fun with the ruffler that I might consider making curtains when the time comes, lol.

Up next on the cutting table?  Well, I am working on the Scout quilt by Allison Harris at Cluck Cluck Sew.  My awesome friend Courtney from The French Seam (she’s also my neighbor at work, lol) gave me the pattern AND the fabric.  Seriously, how lucky am I to work next door to this lady????  If you’re in Indy, you should totally check her shop out…AMAZING fabrics!  I “heart” her 🙂  All of the strip sets are cut and sewn together (thank you for your help Moosie), so today we cut and piece the blocks together and hopefully get the top stitched.

IMG_3547So, it’s been a fabulous vacation and I still have 3 days left!  Cheers!  Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!




Hugs and Kisses

My Aunt was diagnosed with renal adenocarcinoma several months ago.  She had one kidney removed and did very well for several months.  Recently we discovered that the cancer was back…damn cancer.  So, she has started chemotherapy.  Mom and I had the idea to make her a quilt to snuggle with while undergoing her chemo treatments.

IMG_3533I found the pattern for X’s and O’s by Elizabeth Dackson of the blog Don’t Call Me Betsy.  Mom purchased the pretty batiks and pieced the top, then sent it to me.  I did the free motion quilting and binding.  Just finished it up today 🙂IMG_3531 IMG_3527I hope she loves it and it brings her comfort.

IMG_3529Here’s to it almost being the weekend and being on vacation next week!!!!!  Hope you’re all well 🙂

A Little Quilting…A Lot of Life

Well goodness, it has been a week around here!  Not much news on the quilting front but I have managed to get a little sewing done here and there.  Hopefully lots more this weekend as it’s supposed to be COLD with a capital C around here.  Sounds like time for some beef vegetable soup in the crock pot and some quilting time 🙂

I have to say a big thanks to everyone who has been posting their quilt market/festival photos, tweeting and instagraming (is that a word, lol??).  I have really enjoyed following a long.  A special thanks to Tanesha at craftygardenmom.com, Alison at withinaquarterinch.com, and Amy at amyscreativeside.com for their recent podcasts detailing their time at market.  I smiled and giggled my way through all of them and enjoyed them immensely!  I am now CERTAIN that Alison and Tanesha  and I should NEVER go shopping together…who knows what haul we would come back with?  We seem to exercise similar levels of restraint…NOT LOL.

So, what’s been happening around here?  Well, this stubborn young lady and I are getting ready to start some training with a reputedly wonderful trainer.  Today is our first session and I am SO looking forward to what we’ll both learn.  My 1200 lb goofus and I have a lot of work to do together.  It’s a long story, for another time, but I reached an all time low a few weeks ago when the farrier was here and Tongo was in a snit and I couldn’t get her under control.  It’s hard to find a trainer with a mentality that isn’t just “you have to show her who’s boss”…seems like many horse trainers are similar to the Caesar Milan’s of the dog world (as a veterinarian, don’t EVEN get me started on his crock of alpha dog crap).  Tongo may seem like a big, pushy girl, but once you get inside her head there is a wonderful curiosity and love of being with people and involved in whatever you do.  I just need someone who will help me tap into that and work with her on ground manners, etc. so her “crazy” is a little more controlled and doesn’t end up hurting anyone.  So cross your fingers, I have a lot of hope riding on this guy.  Here’s a few pictures of my silly woman (apologies if you came here only for quilting pics LOL).

Tongo helping with gate repair

Tongo helping with gate repair

tongo1We call this one “mirror, mirror, on the truck….if I break you I don’t give a “bleep!”  🙂IMG_1076IMG_0718

Speaking of trucks….Lexi broke a nail this week and decided to die on me Tuesday night on my way home from the gym.  Turns out she needed a new alternator which Jim says must have been carved out of gold.  I prefer to think of it as doing my part to support the economy 🙂

In quilty news, not much happening other than still working on Mason’s memory quilt.  I was moving along like gang busters and then I hit a wall.  My plan had been to keep the quilting straight line and very simple so as not to detract from the photos, but once I got the basic lines stitched down, I felt like the picture blocks needed a little something more.  So after playing on Clingwrap with designs (seriously…the BEST way to audition designs), I decided to go with some small bone quilting…which has slowed my progress down immensely.  SIGH…but it will be so worth it!

IMG_2655It’s fall here and one of the most beautiful times of the year to live in the country.  I bitch about it all year-long because we’re a million miles from civilization, but it’s truly beautiful out here in the fall.  We celebrated last weekend by taking a long walk along the creek that borders the back of our property line and letting the golden boy go for a long swim.  Seeing him so happy brings a tear to my eye because a few months ago, I would have never counted on having him here in November.


So there you go…a wrap up of my week.  Here’s to lots more quilty love next week 🙂

Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Montana Quilt

Blogger’s Quilt Festival :: Fall 2013

Have you been following the Blogger’s Quilt Festival hosted by Amy Ellis?  This is something I’ve enjoyed following every year but never entered for several reasons.  Normally I’m working crazy hours and the time for entry is long past by the time I actually get caught up with my blog reading, lol.  Also, I’ve always considered myself such a novice quilter I never thought my work was “good enough” to be entered in something like this.  This year I’m throwing caution to the wind!  Many of my quilty friends have linked up and so what the heck?  The worst that could happen would be I would get an email from Amy saying, “uh…what do you think you’re doing??” to which I would of course respond with how much I admire her work and have been a long time fan (xoxo Amy….thanks for all you do!)  So here we go!

IMG_0147My entry into the “Throw” category is my Montana Quilt that I finished earlier this summer.  You can find my original post about the finish here and early pictures here.

IMG_0151The reason I chose this quilt to enter is because it was something totally out of my comfort zone that I didn’t think I would like when I started it, but ended up loving because of the memories I now associate with this quilt.  See, the husband purchased the original pattern on a business trip to Kalispell, MT in 2011.  He gave it to me for Christmas and I was like, “wow!  Thanks honey!”  Let’s be honest, I wanted to ENCOURAGE the fact that he would buy me quilty gifts on a business trip out of the blue (uh..yeah!) but this was definitely not my cup of tea.  I’m more of a Bonnie & Camille, Sweetwater, Kate Spain kind of girl 🙂  A quilt featuring wildlife from Montana was kind of “meh”.  So, it went into my closet and stayed there for a few months.

IMG_0149The following April he casually mentioned that he hadn’t seen me working on the quilt.  Then my Catholic guilt commenced (thanks Dad!) and I thought I better get piecing.  So out it came.

Close up

Close up

Gosh there were a lot of triangles in this quilt!  So I finished piecing the top and back in the closet it went.  UNTIL…in June 2012 I had the chance to tag along on a business trip with him to Montana.  OMG…I fell in love with the place.  Never has there been a more beautiful place and all of a sudden, the fabric came to life for me.  All those silly triangles that made the effect of the running streams went from being a PIA to reminding me of this.

RapidsI went and purchased the backing fabric from a quilt store in Whitefish because at that point I wanted every single bit of fabric in that quilt to have been purchased in Montana, thus effectively being able to wrap myself in the memories of that trip every time we used that quilt.  I love how the backing turned out!

IMG_0154Here’s a close up of the strip running down the middle of the backing.

IMG_0156What wonderful memories!  So that’s the Montana Quilt.  I hope you like it as much as I do…and as much as Moose does 🙂  He pretty much claims the quilt whenever we’re not using it.

IMG_1862A special thank you to Amy for hosting the 2013 Blogger’s Quilt Festival!  I’m sure it’s a lot of work to get all the sponsors and coordinate all the entries.  It’s sure a lot of fun to be a part of this year!


Busy, busy, busy!

Gosh!  I can’t believe that:

  • #1 – it’s now the middle of August
  • #2 – that it was 45 degrees here this morning at the barn and
  • #3 – I actually have a few days of “stay-cation” and get to do some sewing!


Emmie & Moose

Emmie & Moose

Work has been insane for most of the last month.  I’ve had my hands full being a business owner and managing all sorts of fun (insert silent scream here) that comes along with owning a 3-year-old, growing business.  Mom is ahead of me once again on our Farmer’s Wife blocks, but I have high hopes of catching up with her this week 🙂  We also celebrated my 48-year-old “man-child’s” birthday last weekend with 15 of his closest relatives.  I’m really not sure there is an emoticon that correctly portrays the emotion I have to accompany that statement, so I’ll leave you with these 2 images instead, lol.



IMG_2276And then this was me…in the corner….IMG_1992And that’s all I’m saying about that 🙂  The only sewing that Scarlett and I have gotten done this past month has been on a baby quilt for my new great-nephew who shall be joining us any day.  He wasn’t due until September, but my niece has been having problems and went into labor early a few weeks ago.  They’ve been controlling it and this Monday she reached 37 weeks so now they plan to let her go whenever he decides to show up.  I’m finally stitching the binding down and then it will be ready to go.  Here it is before I quilted it.IMG_2217And the backing fabricIMG_2218So, as soon as I finish the binding and wash all the cat hair off of it (thank you Moose!), I’ll post some pics of the finished quilt before I give it to her.  Oh yes, and I need to make the label too.  That’s all I have for you as of right now.  Hope you all are doing well and enjoying the remainder of your summer!  I leave you with Mr. Moose, ever the eager helper…IMG_2228



Eye Candy! IQF Chicago June 2013

Sorry for the delay on posting the eye candy!  Life has been nuts on all sorts of levels here.  I guess that’s just the norm at age 45????  Sigh…sure as heck beats the alternative right?  🙂

So, without further ado…here you go.  I give you IQF Chicago!  Warning…this post is very picture heavy.  Photos were permitted in the majority of exhibits with the specification that any photos posted on personal websites include appropriate credit for each artist and note that the photos were taken at the International Quilt Festival.  You also have my apologies for the formatting of some of the photos and text.  For the life of me, I would have them lined up beautifully and then every time I saved my draft in WP they got wonky on me…and I got tired of trying to edit them, so I figure you’ll like the pictures regardless.  Enjoy 🙂


This was our first view of the show floor.  Mom had never been to an IQF event before, so she was really excited.  I have been to Houston and LOVED it, but this is the first time I was able to share it with Mom, thus making it just as exciting for me and something I had looked forward to for MONTHS!  We started planning this when I visited them in Florida in March 🙂

Family by Toshiko Maeda

Family by Toshiko Maeda

This quilt represents the artist’s family of 3 Boston Terriers and a Pug and their various antics.  It was crazy quilted, hand pieced, embroidered, machine appliqued, and hand quilted.

Family by Toshika Maeda

Family by Toshika Maeda

Family by Toshiko Maeda

Family by Toshiko Maeda

I apologize in advance…you’ll notice what tends to draw my eye are the animal related quilts, lol.  What do you expect from a veterinarian?  Seriously? 🙂

Crime Scene Investigation by Paula Salzman

Crime Scene Investigation by Paula Salzman

CSI by Paula Salzman

CSI by Paula Salzman

This quilt, based on the author’s two dogs was hilarious!  Quilted into the quilt were little sayings like, “I honestly think you left the steak on the kitchen counter for me.  I am a carnivore, not a vegetarian.  It would help if you removed the plastic wrapping.  That way there would be less mess to clean up.”

Crime Scene Investigation by Paula Salzman

Crime Scene Investigation by Paula Salzman

Or, even funnier…”What makes you think I tore up your underpants? Just because you found them in the backyard under the bushes with the crotch missing does not mean that I did the deed.  Remember when Fido came to visit?  I confess….he did it…NOT me!

Next up, “Ms. MacDonald Had a Farm”.  This quilt was stunning.  It’s the result of much work by Lynn Czaban and members of the Hanging by a Thread group in Vancouver, Washington.IMG_2013

Cantena by Timna Tarr

Cantena by Timna Tarr

And in case you think that the only quilts that I love are animal quilts, this one made me smile.  It’s called Cantena and the artist is Timna Tarr.  This quilt was based on an Endless Chain quilt from the 1940’s that belonged to the artist’s mother.  It was paper-pieced, hand-appliqued, and machine and hand quilted.

This quilt might have been my favorite in the entire show.  Perhaps because it reminds me of my own golden boy???  Hmmm…surely not!  Rusty’s New Teddy Bear, by Tonya Littmann, won judge’s choice by John Flynn in the art miniature category.  It was ink-jet photo transferred, machine quilted, and thread painted.  It depicts the death of Rusty’s teddy bear in less than 4 hours…a common “gutting” occurrence in our household.  Love, Love, LOVE!

Rusty's New Teddy Bear

Rusty’s New Teddy Bear
by Tonya Littmann

Sunburst, by Connie Watkins, was hand-pieced and hand quilted.  It was based on a picture of an antique quilt that the artist saw in the Folk Art Museum in New York.  She didn’t have a pattern, just a picture of an antique quilt from the 1800’s.

Sunburst by Connie Watkins

Sunburst by Connie Watkins

One of the exhibits was “The Naperville Modern  Quilt Guild Presents:  A Modern Spin On The Log Cabin Block.”  The Naperville Modern Quilt Guild had a really nice exhibit full of modern log cabin interpretations.  I love log cabin quilts…one of these days I’ll make one.  Here are a few that I really liked.

Off the Beaten Path by Nancy Lindberg quilted by Robin Adams

Off the Beaten Path
by Nancy Lindberg
quilted by Robin Adams

The Long Winter by Catherine Redford

The Long Winter
by Catherine Redford

Schwerkraft (Gravity) by Cheryl Sleboda

Schwerkraft (Gravity)
by Cheryl Sleboda

From Humble Beginnings by Lisa Winn Noonan

From Humble Beginnings
by Lisa Winn Noonan

Skyfall by Sharon Maroni quilted by Robin Adams

Skyfall by Sharon Maroni
quilted by Robin Adams


Improv Logs by Svetlana Sotak

Enough log cabins for you?  LOL, I thought they were very cool.  Next up was an awesome quilt called “The Quilt Show” by Carole Corder.  It’s an 80″x80″ quilt from the special exhibit “Traditional Treasures 2013”.

The Quilt Show by Carole Corder

The Quilt Show
by Carole Corder

The Quilt Show by Carole Corder

The Quilt Show by Carole Corder

The pictures don’t do this quilt justice.  It was hand and machine pieced, hand quilted, and needle-turn appliqued.  Bits of fabric from her paternal grandmother’s quilts are even included.  This was truly incredible!

The Quilt Show by Carole Corder

The Quilt Show by Carole Corder

Check out the detail in this little Dresden Plate quilt!  Amazing….

The Quilt Show by Carole Corder

The Quilt Show by Carole Corder

And of course, I loved the detail of the kitty in the quilt shop window 🙂

And last but not least, look at the little yo-yo quilt.  Yes, these are real yo-yo’s hanging from the main quilt.  Note the cute little bunny at the base of the tree as well.  Sigh…so wonderful!

The Quilt Show by Carole Corder

The Quilt Show by Carole Corder

Moving on….

The next quilt was called “Convergence” by Latifah Saafir.  She took bias strips and appliqued them down onto a background fabric, then quilted it.  I thought it was very striking.

Convergence  by Latifah Saafir

by Latifah Saafir

This next exhibit was one of the most interesting and fun to explore just because it was SO unique.  It was called a Quilted Yurt, made by Linzi Upton from Scotland.  Here is a link to Linzi’s blog explaining how the Quilted Yurt came about.  The pictures just don’t do it justice…really they don’t.  Mom and I really enjoyed taking our time and exploring the yurt, inside and out.

The Quilted Yurt by Linzi Upton

The Quilted Yurt
by Linzi Upton


The Ceiling of the Yurt


Inside the Yurt

And last but not least, the exhibit that had me giggling so hard I was snorting sometimes…ChiCOWgo.  These quilts were all inspired by the various artists’ take on the pattern in a book “Out of the Box with Easy Blocks” by Mary Lou Weidman and Melanie McFarland.  All of these quilts were based on interpretations of the Purple Cow.  The embellishment on these quilts was phenomenal.  I swear, I looked like a loon strolling the aisles smiling, giggling, and pointing things out to Mom.

Micro Moo by Melanie McFarland

Micro Moo
by Melanie McFarland

First up is “Micro Moo” by Melanie McFarland.  this was 15″x15″ and so cute.  If you click on the picture and look closely you can see the little beads on the udders and the little jeweled horse shoe hanging from her nose.  Precious!  Then the original Purple Cow by Mary Lou Weidman.

Purple Cow by Mary Lou Weidman

Purple Cow
by Mary Lou Weidman

Next up was “COWculator” by Connie Donaldson.  This quilt featured cute little sayings like “cows>bulls” and other things incorporating mathematics into the quilt in a very fun way.

COWculator by Connie Donaldson

by Connie Donaldson

COWculator  by Connie Donaldson

by Connie Donaldson

Next up is PoCOWdot by Blair Halbrooks.  Dot made me smile with all of her fun, cheery fabrics and embellishments.  My favorite part was in the description where Blair says she doesn’t mind loaning Dot out, but she’ll be happy when she travels back home 🙂

PoCOWdot by Blair Halbrooks

by Blair Halbrooks

Then there was the fun “And The Cow Says Boo!”, by Peggy Baldwin-Clayton.

And The Cow Says Boo! by Peggy Baldwin-Clayton

And The Cow Says Boo!
by Peggy Baldwin-Clayton

Seriously, check out the face on this cute girl!!!!

And The Cow Says Boo! by Peggy Baldwin-Clayton

And The Cow Says Boo!
by Peggy Baldwin-Clayton

And the last in our little cow exhibit…Vino COW, by Sandy Thompson.

Vino COW by Sandy Thompson

Vino COW
by Sandy Thompson

See the corkscrew udders?  So flippin cute!!!!

Vino COW by Sandy Thompson

Vino COW
by Sandy Thompson

Well crew, that’s it!  I hope you enjoyed the eye candy…I know Mom and I had a blast.  I’ll do a separate post showing you my haul from the show in the next week or so 🙂


Life Update – $$$ aka Bubba Jr.

Notice the $$ signs?  His royal golden self has been quite a project since the beginning of May.  Bubba Jr had surgery on May 17th to repair his torn ACL on his good leg.  It was a rough weekend, but he did pretty darned good for an old golden man.  The next week was spent trying to convince him to eat.  He had no appetite whatsoever.  I cooked for him, we tried all kinds of “low-brow” dog foods that as a veterinarian just made me shudder.  Apparently he has very discerning tastes, but by Friday the 24th we were eating dog food again and I was no longer getting this “look” when I said it was time to eat!


And then, I went out of town for 36 hours to speak in Toledo and everything fell apart.  Jim called me Thursday morning to say he wouldn’t eat and I figured it was just because I was gone and had been at his golden beck and call for the last month.  I got home really late Thursday night and couldn’t get him to eat.  Then the vomiting started.  By Friday we were in ICU and he spent the weekend there with vomiting and bloody diarrhea (sorry if TMI).  I honestly thought we were going to lose him that weekend.  But my old man rallied and I brought him home Sunday night with his catheter still in place so I could give him fluids at home.  IMG_1945

Since then, it’s been a steady battle, but we’ve been moving in the right direction slowly but surely.  The first week we spent fighting to get him eating (I’ve done more cooking in the last month then in the last year…guaranteed, lol).  You’ve never seen two dog parents get so excited about normal poop!   The first day we didn’t have diarrhea was a milestone, then the day we didn’t have blood, another milestone, then solid poop…well, that was a reason for a par-tay!

Bubba's BuffetFor the last week, golden boy has been good.  Happy, wagging, and acting like Bubba again.  I still can’t get him to eat dog food, but he loves anything with beef or bread.  He’s lost almost 13 pounds since the end of April and he didn’t have 13 to lose, so I figure, he’s an old man, we’ve already beaten the golden odds at 13…he can eat whatever he pleases.  The current choice is white bread with Beneful Beef Stew.  We are operating a Bubba Buffet.  His discerning golden tastes no longer like anything involving turkey and chicken…sigh.  He “might” have my number…IMG_1949I have lots to update you on quilting wise as well!  With so much time at home with the old guy, I have finished the Montana quilt (yeah!!!), finished my May Farmer’s Wife blocks,  finished the first 2 months of the Toes in the Sand block of the month club, and started on my Wind in the Whiskers block of the month club.  So stay tuned for more updates!  I just wanted to dedicate this post solely to Bubba since you guys have all been so sweet checking on him 🙂

Happy Father’s Day to everyone!  Bubba Jr got his daddy a special card that he intends to give to him later.  More soon!IMG_1951