Thursday, September 29, 2011


First, let me thank you all for the terrific response to my quilt book giveaway for Stitches from the Schoolhouse by Renée Plains! You all had so many great ideas for future quilt books, and I plan to share them with the publisher. We love hearing from fellow quilters. I think you're going to love our 2012 book lineup and I look forward to sharing more book projects with you in the coming months. And now for the big announcement! I've let Random Generator draw the winner and that lucky person is...

The Butt'ry and Book'ry who said...
Oh how fun it would be to win this great book! Samplers are always fun, it looks like a great book to have!
Many Blessings, Linnie

Congratulations, Linnie! Please email me privately at the email button in the right sidebar of my blog with your mailing address and I'll send the book on its way to you. If I don't hear from Linnie by this Sat., I will draw another name. I really wish I had a copy for each and every one of you who entered. It's packed with 19 fun projects that would be perfect to start this fall season! To read more about the book or order a copy, just click here

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Here's the third and final installment of my Quilt Expo posts, much later than I'd intended! I apologize for the delay but I've been swamped with work deadlines. So without further adieu, here are some highlights from our antiquing adventures throughout our Quilt Expo trip from early September. I didn't see many vintage quilts on this trip but here's one of the few. I liked its tangerine setting color.

I've always liked the Seven Sisters quilt pattern and often thought about making a quilt with that design.

Now that I'm collecting vintage tape measures, I seem to notice them more! This funny one pulls out from Santa's nose.

I really wanted to get these vintage curtain tie-backs but they weren't very practical as there wasn't much clearance for the actual material.

One of my other favorite collectibles is vintage cookery illustrations. I loved the colorful salad art on this page from a vintage cookbook.

Being an avid gardener, I was drawn to this garden-inspired vignette with a cheerful green backdrop.

I saw the next three photos at First Brick Antiques in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Pink lustreware goes perfectly in my pink and green dining room yet I resisted the temptation to buy one of these lovely pieces.

This charming doll cradle would have been perfect for one of my doll quilts but it was out of my price range.

This little tramp art desk caught my eye with its detailed carving. It was only about 20 inches tall.

The shop owner makes the most scrumptious shortbread in several flavors including chocolate chip, lavender, and almond. I enjoyed this lovely cranberry orange flavor.

At Aunt Polly's Attic, a treasure trove of eye candy awaited. I was probably there for an hour exploring all the nooks and crannies.

This corner of sewing delights captivated with jars of buttons and button cards.

I even found a couple vintage sewing accessories to add to my collection—a thread holder in my favorite shade of pink and a squirrel pincushion. 

The shop also included a vintage kitchen collectibles area filled with fun finds from the 40s through the 60s.

On our way home from Madison, we stopped by Kalona and I popped into one of the quilt shops and found some fabrics from Kim Diehl's new line.

Of course, we had to check out some of the area antiques while we were there, too. I'm a sucker for pretty vintage dishes and china.

This vintage cupboard was artfully arranged with pretty pottery in pastel shades.

Loved these vintage button cards from the Washington Pearl Button Company, but I try to stick with my budget of no more than 50 cents per vintage button card—unless it's something I don't think I can live without!

Hope you enjoyed these snapshots of our antique shop stops. And don't forget—it's not too late to throw your name in the hat for your chance to win a copy of my latest quilt book editing project, Renée Plains' Stitches from the Schoolhouse. See the previous post for more details. The giveaway ends this Thursday.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


It's time to give away a copy of my latest quilt book editing project for Kansas City Star—Stitches from the Schoolhouse by Renée Plains of Liberty Star.

Renée's books are always packed with charming projects. This one features a whopping 19 that honor the legacy of humble one-room schoolhouses of the past. Five classic quilt patterns will please both patchwork and appliqué lovers alike, while stitchery fans will enjoy the trio of samplers that echo a simpler time. You'll also find an enchanting array of sewing accessories, including an apple pinkeep, a schoolgirl's sewing kit, and a wool needle book.

To find out more about the book, see photos from it, or order a copy, click on this link. For your chance to win a copy, just leave a comment on this entry telling me what topic you'd like see in a future quilt book. I'll chose a winner a week from today on Thursday, Sept. 29th, and announce her/him on this blog. The winner will then have until Sat., Sept. 31, to contact me with their mailing address. So be sure to check back here that day to see if you've won. If I don't hear from the winner by then, I'll draw another name. Good luck to all you who choose to enter!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


While we were in Madison for the Quilt Expo, we ventured on to Cedarburg (about 2 hours east) to visit one of my favorite quilt shops. Last year I had the good fortune to write an article for Quilt Sampler magazine on Ye Olde Schoolhouse, a Cedarburg, Wisconsin, shop that I first visited the year before. You can read more about that in an earlier post here. Shop owner Jeanie Rudich had generously gifted me a stay in a local historical B&B. First on my list of places to go was her wonderful shop, located in a former 1887 schoolhouse.

It was such a thrill to see Jeanie again. When I first met Jeanie two years ago, I was struck by her genuinely kind character and enthusiasm for what she does. She approaches her business from the perspective of a quilter rather than a business owner. In fact, Jeanie describes herself as a quilter who just happens to be a quilt shop owner.

Stepping inside Ye Olde Schoolhouse is like stepping back in time. Quilt-covered walls and antique cupboards filled with cloth treasure make you feel at home from the moment you enter. 

The shop's specialty is 1800s reproduction fabrics and it does it well. In a former life, the shop was once home to the local Masonic lodge. These pews once used for the Masons' meetings now host fabric bolts.

Jeanie has a knack for creative displays. I love how she rescued these vintage Jenny Lind bed frames and repurposed them into quilt hangers.

Jeanie collects vintage doll beds, which often find their way into displays. This recent acquisition looks cozy with a reproduction doll quilt. The shop offers several doll quilt patterns.

A vintage child's cupboard brims with fabric bundles and patterns.

If you visit, don't forget to look overhead, too. Jeanie takes advantage of every square inch when it comes to crafting charming displays.

The schoolhouse's original boys' restroom has been renovated into a colorful nook of 1930s reproduction fabrics. 

This entry room is packed with inspiration for the 1800s reproduction quilt lover. Jeanie had a beautiful sample of the award-winning Pennies from Heaven quilt made up. I bought the book last year, hoping to make my own.

I was also taken with this endearing spool quilt!

While we were in town, we also visited the newly opened Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts, located on a historic farmstead.

This beautiful Baltimore Album quilt was donated to the museum in 2010 and dates to circa 1850.

One of the exhibits featured the hand-painted designs of artist quilter Karel Hendee.

After a long day of activities, we headed back to our bed-and-breakfast, the Washington House Inn.

They had a delicious breakfast with homemade fare such as blueberry coffeecake, strawberry trifle, and this scrumptious egg strata. The cook was kind enough to share the recipe with me.

Thank you, Jeanie, for giving us the perfect excuse to visit Cedarburg again. We had a wonderful stay and can't wait to return again some day for another visit. And for those of you looking for a new quilt shop to visit, definitely put Ye Olde Schoolhouse on your list! It's worth the drive. And for those of you who are interested, come back again to see some of the antiques I saw during my trip.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Last year I was gifted a stay in a wonderful Cedarburg, Wisconsin, bed-and-breakfast by Ye Olde Schoolhouse quilt shop owner Jeanie Rudich. So I thought it would be fun to coincide a trip out that way with the Quilt Expo in Madison. We just returned from our trip and I wanted to share some photos of the show with you. This exquisite masterpiece entitled "Vintage Button Bouquet" by Linda Roy took Best of Show honors.

It was truly a sight to behold with its fine hand quilting and hand ruched flowers.

This quilt called "Blooms for Baltimore" by Ruth Durig also caught my eye. Ruth's quilt designs were inspired by master quilter Diane Gaudynski, and she used Hari Walner's method of trapunto.

This crazy quilt called "Crazy with a Twist" by Mary Chalmers was absolutely spellbinding! The quilt took Mary nine months to make and is made mostly of wool or wool blend scraps. 

It was hand embroidered with No. 8 perle cotton.

I forgot to take notes on this quilted beauty...

In addition to the marvelous display of quilts, there were 150 vendor booths to peruse.

With half yards of fabric selling for just $2.99, you can see why this booth was bustling...

I found these half yard treasures and yardage of another print I've been looking for.

Several vendors were offering fabric at an excellent price. I found this fat quarter bundle of 1800s repro fabrics at 40 percent off and a lovely piece of fabric at just $7 per yard.

Pink and green is a favorite color combo of mine. Speaking of pink, one of the booths was selling pink Rockport socks for making sock monkeys! I didn't even realize they made them in pink. As you might guess, I couldn't resist buying some of those. 

Filled with pincushions and accessories made with pieces of vintage quilts, this booth was a magnet for quilters. The vendor makes all of them herself.

This sweet little pincushion wagon made of an antique quilt remnant came home with me.

The show offered plenty to love for wool lovers. I was especially drawn to the hues of the hand-dyed wool in one particular booth, where I found these treasures for a reasonable price.

In another booth, I met Gail of the Woolylady, who was demonstrating the art of rug hooking. Just look at the gorgeous colors in her rug-in-the-making and the quilt behind her.

For wool felt admirers, a great selection awaited in this booth's colorful cubbies.

Loving all things owl, I was captivated by this charming pincushion. The vendor was selling the pattern for him.

This booth was showcasing the Oliso Pro Smart Iron that automatically lifts when not in use. I liked the yellow color but I'm pretty devoted to my trusty Rowenta.

While I was in the Madison area, I also had a chance to visit some quilt shops and antique malls. Come back later this week for a little tour of them!