Friday, August 21, 2015

Inspired by Beads

Quilting isn't the only thing that inspires me to be creative. I love playing with beads and have since I was a child.  Two words - Pop beads. Remember? What fun my friend Audrey (NOT Audrey Hepburn) and I had with those in 3rd grade, making things and trading. (Shhh, pretend you don't know how old I am now.)


If you're longing for some retro fun, Hey Viv! is a shop that still sells these.

I, however, have graduated. Not to gems, though. Now I favor turquoise beads combined with silver and natural colored, polished stones. Every now and then, instead of doing the things I'm supposed to be doing or just to take a break from making blocks for a quilt or sewing on a binding. I bring out my bead boxes and fritter the day away making earrings or bracelets. It's very relaxing and I still get my "color fix."

These unique silver beads would look great mixed with any color beads.

I've added a few new things to my Etsy shop so you can see for yourself. (When I was very young, I received much encouragement from my mom and sisters whenever I attempted anything creative - "Oh, Kathleen, it's beautiful!" Hence, the name of the shop. See what happens when someone encourages me?? I believe them.)

FYI - I make custom orders as well and if blue is not your color, e-mail me and I'll see what I can do. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Little Walk on the Prairie

There's a prairie garden near my home and it's so much fun to walk around it. Especially on days when there's no one else around.

There's a waterfall at the end.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Spools Quilt

We're making some little Spools quilts in my Yahoo and Facebook Small Quilt groups this month.

In 2008, I fell in love with this antique Spools quilt after I saw it on eBay - I think it was all the different blues that got me.  I had started an online small quilt group that year and so decided to design a spool block for one of the group's monthly challenges. 

I started, but never finished  . . . .

Many of you who are in one or both of my groups now are new to the challenges so we are recycling the block from 2008. I revised the block to be 3" x  3" this time around. You can make a quilt this month using any colors or any size block you like. Find another pattern and use set-in seams if you prefer. Remember to show us by posting a picture in the yahoo group or on Facebook. I hope I get a chance to make one for myself this time.


It makes you wonder -  how did makers of antique quilts like this one come up with such wonderful color combinations?  

Join one of my groups (see sidebar) to get the free pattern and then start having fun making your own little quilt.

Here's a vintage spools doll quilt I received a few years ago as a gift from a friend to inspire you -

Sweet, sweet, sweet.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Civil War Dresses Exhibit

Some of you may remember that I attended an exhibit of Civil War era dresses last year at a local museum in Antioch, Illinois. They have another exhibit running though this summer (it ends September 6) and I saw it this past weekend. Seeing the old fabrics and the intricacy of the sewing was truly inspirational. The dresses are NOT reproductions. All are authentic period pieces dating from the 1850s - 1870s and part of a private collection.

The exhibit features summer dresses and ball gowns . . . 

. . .  as well as 19th century mourning clothing.

If you live in northern Illinois or southern Wisconsin (or even Iowa - only a short drive away, I hear) and this sort of thing appeals to you, then stopping by the museum is definitely worth your while. Here's a link to the museum's Facebook page for directions and other info.

Children's apparel

Look - an outfit trimmed with Prairie Points.

The fabrics were lovely and EVERYTHING was hand sewn.

Pack up the car, bring some friends and take a drive to Illinois this summer. Make sure you take the informative "tour" given by curator Ainsley Brook Wonderling. The dresses are all a part of her extensive and beautiful collection of 19th century artifacts.

Here's a link to the first post about the exhibit after I visited last year.

Part Two of the exhibit from 2014.   The exhibit showcases different dresses this year.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Pattern Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Eliza Jane doll quilt pattern -

Barbara Cissne  and  Christine Jensen

Winners, if you send me your addresses I will mail out the patterns ASAP.

Thanks, everyone, for joining in the giveaway this time. Thanks also for taking time to tell us how you display your little quilts. It's fun to get creative with these, isn't it? Wish I could send a pattern to each one of you but  . . . .  I'll try to do another giveaway next month or so.

Keep making those little nine-patch quilts. They're so much fun to put together. We'll have another small quilt challenge for you to think about in August. And there's going to be lots more fun coming up soon in the Yahoo and Facebook groups.

Have a great week. 

(Eliza Jane thanks you again for taking the time to comment for a chance to win a pattern to make a lovely little quilt just like hers. She thinks it looks too cute on her little black primitive bed. You can buy the pattern here.)


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