Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy Fall Ya'll!

 Happy Fall Ya'll!

 My family at this year's family reunion.

Lots of things are scheduled during the fall.  The kiddos are busy with sports and other activities in school.  Hayrides, and bonfires.  Fall harvests and prep for next year's crops.  Lots of flying for me because I take November off usually.  And, of course, we always hold my mother's family reunion during this time of year.  We had a really nice one this past Sunday.

At this year's family reunion I was able to make some long overdue thank you's to some special family members in the form of:


Enjoy the photos of the presentations to my Uncle Lee, a Korean disabled veteran, and my cousin Donald, a Vietnam veteran.  All photos of the presentations were taken by my cousin Phyllis.
I appreciate all of the family members that were present for these presentations, and everyone who took photos as well!  As you all know by now, all of these quilts are presented on behalf of 
Quilts of Valor, Eastern Missouri.

 It was exceptionally emotional being able to present these quilts from the block drive to family members and in front of several other family members.

Lil' Bubs brought the quilts in to be presented.

"If you've never heard it before, WELCOME HOME!"
I say this to every veteran I present a QOV to.

I think their smiles say it all!

It was such an honor being able to award QOV's to these guys!  My Uncle Lee hasn't been in the best health this past year, and it was good to see him smiling!  He told me he had NEVER been thanked for his military service before!  How sad is that?  My cousin Donald jokingly said he may have to change his opinion about me! LOL

Thanks to my cousin Donna for these photos!

After the presentations were over, I caught my nephew talking to his Great Uncle Lee.
He was sharing with him about his wounds from battle.  I loved talking to Uncle Lee when I was a kid about his military service.  The one thing I will ALWAYS remember him telling me about is how he prayed and talked to God while he was in the heat of combat.  He promised God that if He got him out of this war alive, Uncle Lee would do anything God wanted him to do.  Well, God did get him out, and I can say with assurance that Uncle Lee has kept his promise as he has been a Baptist minister for the last 45 years.

I was also blessed to receive this practically new Singer sewing machine from my Aunt Doris at the family reunion!  One of her elderly friends gave it to her because she said it was too hard for her to use. My aunt (who is a very talented seamstress) thought I may be able to use it as she already has a working sewing machine? What a blessing! Thanks Aunt Doris!

In other news........

The Perky Piecers Quilt Guild volunteered to work on the blocks from the block drive!
23 tops were completed this day!
That leaves approximately 26 more tops to complete!
OH YEAH!!!!!!!
This encourages my hope to get all of the tops completed by the end of the year!

These gals really went to town getting these tops done!

 Time flew by......

visiting and sewing on a very rainy day.....

everyone worked so hard to get so much accomplished!

Pat on the left offered to quilt some of the completed tops, along with Kim, who I wasn't able to get a photo of.  Joanie, on the right, did a FABULOUS job of organizing tops to sew!  She painstakingly laid out 17 quilt tops row by row, numbered the rows, and had them all nice and neat for all of the sewers that day!  It worked AMAZINGLY well!  I was VERY impressed!


And, here is a little update on Flossie.....remember, my grandmother's treadle my cousin gave to me?

My dad is really helping me get her back to her original finish.
The years were very hard on her, and she needed a little face lift!

My dad already has the actual treadle looking showroom new!

Enjoy the Fall ya'll!
Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Kevin the Quilter

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Two Quilt Shows.........Two Weeks

Can you all believe I am here again this week?


I had a friend look at my computer, and after much research, said friend, found a solution to my computer woes!  I did lose ALL of my photos..........however, I have them all on disks.  So, aside from some minor tweaking.........should I say this?????  I don't wanna jinx myself..........I may be back in blogging business????

But, don't hold your breath.......just like the St. Louis Cardinals when they make it to post season......
I digress.........

I have been able to attend 2 different quilt shows in 2 different cities, the past 2 weeks!

First, the River Heritage Quilt Guild in Cape Girardeau, Missouri held their bi-annual show last weekend.  My friend Dar of  Dar's Patchwork Garden asked if I would like to go?  YES!  Of course this guild is very special to me as it has many members that are near and dear to me.  And, it was the first guild I was able to speak to about Quilts of Valor and make some presentations too.

 This quilt absolutely took my breath away!  My eyes were dancing all over it!

 My friend Donna recruited this gentleman to enter his quilt, and it won first place in it's category!
I can certainly see why!  These 9 patches finish at 1.5 inches!
Shirtings anyone???? YES PLEASE!!!!!!

I just had to try it out!
Talk about addicting!  I am reconsidering which trimmings of fabric scraps I may toss out next time!

Then our beloved Bonnie at Quiltville surprised us all this week with the colors and yardage requirements for this year's mystery!  Drum roll please...........

This year's mystery is based upon Bonnie's visit to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan.
People are going crazy over this mystery on the Facebook group: Quiltville's Open Studio, and rightfully so!  It is such a beautiful color scheme.  However, you all know me...........

It's going to be a patriotic color scheme for me again this year!
I will have to tweak colors, probably adjust the lighter blues, and darken up the silvers....and I will have to modify the size of the quilt for QOV standards, but, that shouldn't be a problem.
I am SOOOOOOOO excited!
It is SOOOOOOOO generous of Bonnie to offer us fans a free pattern and mystery!
Please thank her if you haven't already?!?!?!

Speaking of Bonnie's are some photos on the progress of my cousin's special quilt!

  Can you all guess which pattern I decided to make for my cousin????

And, yesterday I attended the Loose Threads Quilt Guild of St. Charles County quilt show with my friend Bev.  We enjoyed wandering through the vendors, and seeing all of the beautiful quilts.  Here are few for your enjoyment.

 Stunning Civil War Love Letters

 If I remember correctly, this quilter worked on this since 1990!

 Bucket list quilt for me!
Love all of the reproductions in this one!

This quilt was from the 30s!  Very well preserved and quite striking with all of the marbles!

As I walked through the quilts all of a sudden I heard...."Hey!  Kevin the Quilter!"  This nice quilter called me over to see her beautiful antique quilt that was being inspected by an appraiser.  She recognized me from my presentations in Cape Girardeau.  She is downsizing and is donating some of her heirloom quilts to museums.  She told me none of her children or grandchildren wanted any of the quilts that have been in her family for years.  She even has the provenance!
I asked if I could be her honorary dice!

She showed me this quilt as the appraiser was working on it as well as two other quilts.
All hand work!  AMAZING!  She said she wants people to be able to appreciate these works of art and that is why they are going to a museum where they can be cared for properly and enjoyed by spectators.  What a thrill to be able to see this quilt up close!

So there you have it!  Two Quilt Shows in Two Weeks......not to mention, Two Blog Posts in Two Weeks!!!!!! OH YEAH! more thing..........

Halloween is just around the corner!
I saw this creepy display at an antique mall FREAKED ME OUT!
I will be at the International Quilt Festival on Halloween!
Stop me and make sure to say hello if you recognize me down there!

Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Keep on quiltin'!!!!
Kevin the Quilter

Sunday, October 5, 2014

September.......and other things.....

I don't know what to say folks.......
I am in a blogging.......funk/situation??????

It is due to several reasons I suppose?  But, mainly, an ill functioning home computer!  I have always heard the fastest way to lose readers and viewership is to not post.........well, I hope that isn't true!  I feel I have been able to get to know a great many of you through my blogging endeavors, and please know I have been reading and keeping up with your blogs.  I hope you won't leave me, but, right now......blogging is next to impossible due to a computer that is going to have to be replaced.  I have tried blogging from my "smart" phone, but, that just hasn't worked either.  I am in the process of researching computers, and hopefully can purchase one soon.  As I am typing this blog post, I have had to restart the computer about 4 times already! GRRRR!!!!!!

I do want to fill you all in on what happened in September:

Sophia Annabella supports Quilts of Valor too!
(Rest assured, these quilts had not yet been washed before presenting them.)

 I was honored to be able to speak at the September meeting of the Thimble and Thread Quilt Guild of Greater St. Louis.  I was able to present 7 of our Quilts of Valor there to some deserving veterans!

 They love me!  They really love me! LOL  I love being able to put a smile on people's faces!

The 8 veterans after being presented their individual Quilt of Valor.
(Seven are quilts from the block drive and my friend, Mary Ellen of Mary, Mary Quite Contrary, generously presented a quilt she had made.)

If you look closely in the far right portion of this photo, the WWII veteran and Purple Heart Recipient is being saluted by the veteran in front of him.  Talk about a moving moment!  The presentations were well received and I hope that we were able to inspire some of the guild members to continue making quilts for our veterans.

I really had a wonderful time discussing the way I work, and hopefully encouraged the quilters present on ways they can incorporate items from their stashes into quilts they can give to others.  Here I am showing a way to get those "odds and ends" neutrals pieced into a backing.

Thanks for the invite Thimble and Thread Quilt Guild!!!!!!!
Again, if you are interested in me doing some Quilt of Valor Presentations at your local quilt guild, don't hesitate to contact me!

We almost have ALL of the tops finished from our block drive! HOORAY!
I cannot thank ALL of the quilters who have helped make these quilt tops enough for your support and participation!
130 quilt tops completed, 15 quilts finished, 12 quilts presented
I will be donating some of the quilt tops to a QOV group in Southwest Missouri that is covering 140 veterans returning from their tour of duty.  I am also donating some tops to the River Heritage Quilt Guild in Cape Girardeau to help them start up their own Quilt of Valor group!  And of course, many of the tops will be donated to Quilts of Valor, Eastern Missouri to be hand quilted for veterans.

September was my birthday month as well!

 It was my 40th birthday, and my server was working for a REALLY good tip!
She got one too!

I received an AMAZING gift from my BEAUTIFUL cousin Marcia for my milestone birthday!
My maternal grandmother's class 127 treadle made in 1923!
We believe that my grandmother was the first owner of her, and boy, did she ever give this machine a work out!  Sewing clothing and quilts for 12 children kept this treadle VERY busy!
I shall call her "Flossie" in honor of my grandma!

I cannot even put into words how honored and blessed I am to have received such a gift!
My mother was moved beyond was I, and yes, there were tears shed!
My mother remembers learning to sew on this machine which makes it extra special to me.

 Thank you so much Marcia!  I have a feeling there may be a quilt in the works for you!

I have been keeping REALLY busy with some other projects as well......
I just can't share all of them in this post.......GRRRRR!!!!
 Here are all of my RSC14 Soul Searching blocks together.  I kept them in the order the colors have been issued.  It is all assembled with the exception of the last row.  This is going to fit my king size bed beautifully!
Linking up with Scrap Happy Saturday.
Looking forward to working with browns in October!

And, how about some antique quilt inspiration?????

Signature blocks with no signatures.......hmmmmmm????
What is this quilt's story?  Did the maker just like the idea of the block?

 I just love scrappy 9 patches!  This quilt has been very loved!
Too pricey to save this tattered and faded quilt, but, just imagine it in it's heyday???

Interesting block?  Anyone have a name for this one???

Can't wait to get a new computer!

Who else can't wait for Bonnie to reveal the colors for this year's Quiltville

Thanks to all of you for all of the encouragement!
Thanks for sticking with me!
Kevin the Quilter

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Some really FUN stuff.......

Hey ya'll!

I  have some really FUN stuff to share with you!

The first FUN thing?  Some results from our very successful block drive thanks to ALL of you!  Rest assured, I give FULL credit to all of you who sent in blocks, fabric for backings, thread, pillowcases, and color catchers!  I am gearing up to speak at the Thimble and Threads Quilt Guild of Greater St. Louis this Friday, September 12th at 7:30PM.  The meeting is held in the Fellowship Hall of Concordia Lutheran Church, 505 S. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, Missouri.  For those of you who may be interested in attending, there is no fee to come if it is the first time you have ever visited their guild.  I will be talking about the block drive, presenting some Quilts of Valor to some deserving Veterans, and talking about my personal quilting story while encouraging others to make quilts out of their scraps to give to others.

We have surpassed 100 COMPLETED QUILT TOPS!!!!!  Look at all of the FUN we have been having putting the tops together in a variety of color schemes!

Our little group has shared a lot of laughs.... and FOOD during our 4 meetings.
We have been able to accomplish a lot having made 25-30 quilt tops each time.
I also would like to thank the Perky Piecers Quilt Guild for helping make several tops!
They have agreed to assemble tops at their October meeting!  YEAH!
We should have all of the tops assembled by the end of the year!
Thank you ALL!

I actually was able to take a little vacation with my family over the Labor Day weekend, and we had a lot of FUN camping!  While growing up, my family always camped throughout the warmer months from Memorial Day weekend, through the summer, and our last camping trip was usually on Labor Day weekend.  This trip brought back some wonderful memories, and I got to make some new FUN ones as well.......

During our down time.......we sewed quilt blocks!!!!!!
As I mentioned in a previous post, my little bubs (my nephew) has really expressed an interest in making quilts.  Here he is making some half square triangles for a quilt I am making for.......ME!  So it will be extra special knowing he and others helped to make it!

My niece had to get in on the act, and here she is getting tickled because her little brother was sewing straighter lines than she was!  Everyone has to start somewhere!

And low and behold, I go for a bike ride, and come back to find my sister working on some of the half square triangles!  She didn't share a love of quilting and sewing with our grandma and great aunts, although she LOVES quilts.  I guess we both look very stern and serious when we are concentrating????  Family trait!

After camping, fishing, and sewing it was time to run into town for a little treat!
Just so you know, eating ice cream is a family tradition and is A LOT of FUN!

Here is Lil' Bubs showing you all how to eat an ice cream cone!

I helped my friend Kelly out at her shop, O'Sewpersonal and tried to drum up some business by walking out on the sidewalk and wave at people.  Sadly, I think I scared business away, but, it was FUN none the less!

And, last but certainly not least............meeting Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville in person at the Hands All Around Quilt Guild of Central Illinois was SO MUCH FUN!  My friend Dar of Dar's Patchwork Garden suggested we go make a day of it.....fortunately, I had the day off!  We shop hopped our way from St. Louis to Normal, Illinois to see Bonnie's lecture and trunk show.  Bonnie surprised me as I was signing in by putting her hands over my eyes.......what a wonderful surprise it was!  I was a little star struck!  All of her classes were full, but, I will at some point take a class from her!

All of her quilts are absolutely breathtaking to see in person!  Here I am touching her quilts!
All of her points match perfectly, and the quilts are so flat!  I was completely and utterly impressed!

Definitely my bucket list quilt!  Bonnie's Pineapple Crazy quilt!
Whatta FUN one this will be to make!

I hope you are having FUN wherever you are, and whatever you are doing!
Thanks for visiting, and thanks for all of the encouragement!
Kevin the Quilter