Thursday, December 1, 2011

From Iowa to Black Friday

Whew!  Life is good, even when it whirls around you. It was so windy today I had a hard time thinking!

Queso, what's new? I have been busy doing customer quilts, my own projects, and starting another aspect of our business - distributors and representatives of Nolting Longarm machines in AZ, NM, West Texas and Southern Colorado!

We traveled to Iowa to meet with the company president and all of the employees, and got to see how these amazing machines are manufactured - all right here in the USA, starting with a block of aluminum and ending with a precision longarm machine.  Iowa was beautiful, as was our trip from St. Louis and through Mark Twain land, Amish country and the Amana Colonies.

A barn in the quilts on barns project in Washington county, Iowa.  Below is a sidewalk quilt in Kalona, Iowa, an Amish community

 they also have a cheese factory that makes and sells cheese curds that squeak when you eat them.  Yum

This is the entrance to a store in the Amana colonies, a really neat town, or series of towns in Iowa, founded by German immigrants in the 1800's.

We are looking forward to an install in Colorado in the next week or so - should be an adventure traversing the mountain passes - yikes!

OK, on with the quilt  photos - first is an adorable sunflower quilt made by Julie in sections on her embroidery machine.  SO COOL.  I did little "seeds" in the center, left the light petals unquilted and did a very light quilting in the darker yellow petals, the leaves, and then did  a radiating pattern outward in the "sky".  Awesome quilt.

 Next is a quilt made by Carol P and quilted by me with a sunburst type meander that I did in freehand over the quilt top - the sunlight photo shows off the quilting nicely.  I used a lovely shade of So Fine thread that virtually disappeared on the top.  The batting is Quilter's Dream 80/20 poly blend that I dearly love - just a wee bit of loft to show the quilting, but lays nice and flat.

Below is another customer quilt - a fairy godmother job - the customer gave me the fabrics and pattern that her daughter wanted her to make into a quilt.  She passed it on to me, and I pieced, quilted and bound the adorable 52x76 quilt.  The pattern is a "tube quilting" pattern that you can peep at Missouri Quilts. umm, and yes, I am wearing gloves while quilting this one.  It is COLD here in the studio in the mornings now!!

I took a workshop day at my local guild, the Valencia Valley Quilters, and learned how to make this cute block:  it is a combination of prairie point type folds and cathedral window style turns.  It's going to be a nice pillow.
We also have attended a couple of craft fairs, making pot holders and scarves and other small goodies.  I will have some of these listed on the etsy store by this weekend.

Queso, shopping anyone?  I did the VAST majority online and in my studio.. So glad that I stayed in and continued to digest my turkey dinner instead of battling over the latest electronic gadget.  I heard stories of hair pulling and pushing and shoving - nice, ladies, well done.

If any of you need any gifts check out etsy, the place to buy handmade goods.  My and Kim's store is: cherry lime quilts by sunshinecherrygirl.

Stay festive!