Sunday, November 30, 2014

"OPA!" Grand Illusion Clue #1.............

"I have handled more "broken dishes" than the clean up crew for a Greek wedding!"  Kevin the Quilter

The quilt block kind!
100 "Broken Dishes" units.

Alas dear friends.........Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville Mystery, FINALLY arrived on Black Friday!

Linking up with Bonnie's "MYSTERY MONDAY LINK UP!"

Truth be told, I stared at the countdown clock on my blog for countless hours awaiting the first clue's arrival.  I was almost able to complete my version of Bonnie's "Blue Ridge Beauty."  But, had trouble with one of the borders, so that will be fixed this week with photos to follow.  With the protests in the metro St. Louis area, staying in on Black Friday was a no brainer.  After a wonderful Thanksgiving with family, I drove back home on Thanksgiving night.

We had a really great Thanksgiving meal together and a really nice visit.
I hope you all did the same with your family and friends!

I was able to get this week's clue finished and am VERY excited to see where Bonnie takes us next! It took me a little longer for clue #1 this year, and I think that is because I am challenging myself to only use the same scrap fabrics 10 times or less for each color in each unit in this scrappy quilt with the exceptions of gold (constant) and navy(simply because I am more limited with this color).  I have to say, I am REALLY enjoying my color scheme.  Perhaps more so than in previous years?  Maybe it is the placement and possibilities in this first clue????? I don't know what it is THE SAME color scheme I have used for:

"Easy Street"


"Celtic Solstice"

For those of you who may not know, I choose a patriotic color scheme for Bonnie's mystery quilts, and donate them to Quilts of Valor.  My colors are:

Yellow for Yellow
Neutral for Neutral
Navy for Black
Red for Pink
Blue for Turquoise
Silver for Green

Shall we take a look at Clue #1 in photos?

Hmmmmmmm....... I really love this last layout!  That could be the basis for a whole other quilt for me to make!  I really love working on Bonnie's mystery every year.  It affords me the opportunity to meet quilters from around the globe that share the same passion I have.  I love seeing everyone's work as well.  Cutting all of the strips and squares for this clue on my new AccuQuilt Studio sure did help the process!

Oh, and.............I have the 80 additional half square triangle units completed as well!


Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Press on Quiltvillians!
Kevin the Quilter

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving week........ "GRAND ILLUSION" Mystery Countdown.........

First, I would like to say how very thankful I am for the many friendships I have made through my blogging endeavors!  This year has been a "biggie" in terms of my blog with the QOV Block Drive! Thank you for being a part of my life and passion!

I would like to take this time to wish each and every one of you at home and abroad....


I will be travelling to my parent's home this week to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family.  I hope wherever you are, and however you celebrate, it is the best ever!


For all of you "Bonniacs" out there..........

Not that we are that excited or anything..........

But, just so you can keep track of time for the "Grand Illusion" mystery...........

Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Happiest of Thanksgivings to you and your's!
Kevin the Quilter

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bonnie UFO Challenge...........

Many of you may know that Jo of  Jo's Country Junction is hosting a

This is to encourage many of us "Bonniacs" to complete one or more of our works in progress that uses one of Bonnie Hunter's patterns before her much awaited.......

I have to be honest......I wasn't sure if I would be able to participate or not before the start of this particular UFO challenge due to a ton of stuff going on here at my home.  And selecting one UFO to finish out of the 3 I have going on was hard.  But, I have risen to the challenge, and I believe I WILL be able to get my version of Blue Ridge Beauty completed before Nov 28th!

All laid out!
This is a massive quilt!  Sorry for my inept photo!
I had to use the floor as my design wall!

I am taking this in quadrants!
I like the "shortest seam" way to make a quilt, so this was my best option.

And here is the lower left corner of the quilt on my design wall.
This would make a cute baby quilt, wouldn't it?

This quilt is going to a very special cousin that gave me our grandmother's treadle machine!
You can read about that here !
She's a little nuts over the University of Kentucky!
This will be the backing and the binding.

4 Corners of Blue Ridge Beauty, in 4 days, and then pick out the borders!
I am UP for that challenge!  
Thanks Jo for hosting this event!

Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Kevin the Quilter

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Veteran's Day Week.........

I truly feel this sentiment every day of the year!
But, I am thankful that we designate a day to specifically honor our U.S. Military Veterans.

Did you all know my friend Alycia of Alycia Quilts is hosting a block drive for Quilts of Valor?
Well, she is!  And, this is a super duper easy block that will help you use up some of your 2 1/2" strips!

Here is a sampling of some of my blocks!
You need to turn your blocks into her before November 30th!
There is still time to participate and win some great prizes!
To learn more, go to this link:  Alycia Quilts 2014 Block Drive.
Best wishes with your drive Alycia!

What else happened this past week????

After an assembly for Veterans at my niece's high school, the students were let out for the day.  I have long awaited the day I could take my niece shopping to buy her first formal!  It has been a deal in the making with my sister since she was a baby!  You all know I am a pageant fanatic!  The closest I am going to get to see my niece in a pageant is by her wearing a formal for her Junior/Senior Prom. She just didn't inherit the pageant bug like I did!  I realize you all may be is REALLY early to be shopping for a prom dress?  Please realize, my niece has NEVER tried on a formal, so we had no idea what size to be looking for or which colors would look good on her.  And there is usually a pretty lengthy lead time if you buy something custom.  So, I loaded up my niece, sister, mom, and friend Mike, and away we went into the world of evening gowns!

My niece, Hannah, and my long time pageant friend, Peggy.

Of course I have a few connections in the pageant world, so I had to take Hannah to go visit one of my long time pageant friends, Peggy.  Peggy owns The Bunny Patch in Dexter, Missouri.  She has a great selection of gowns for all ages and sizes.  She is in the middle of a magnificent renovation.  Her shop is going to be........AMAZEBALLS!  Thanks to Peggy, Hannah had a really fun time trying on her first formal and seeing all of  the lovely gowns.  This was a special memory we will all be able to savor. 

We were also able to have lunch with someone who is very special to me and my family.  My dear pageant friend Flo.  Once you meet Flo you have met a friend for life.  She has taught me so many lessons about pageants, not to mention life in general!  She has endured more in her life than most could handle, and ALWAYS has a positive attitude.  I have definitely learned from her, the glass is half full!  I am so glad that Hannah has someone like Flo to look up to as well!

What do the next two photos have in common?

Well, they were both  MAJOR purchases I made recently!

One not so fun, and the other one REALLY fun!  

My washer of 16 years decided it wanted to retire!  I had it since I was in college.  Was that really 16 years ago?  REALLY?????  Anywho......I went to purchase a new matching set.  I will reserve judgment on how well I like this new set until I simmer down from the annoying delivery process!  I was delivered 3 damaged units before I finally received ones without scratches and dents!


Now onto my Accuquilt Studio..............which I am in love with by the way!  When my blogging friend Wanda of Exuberant Color informed me that AccuQuilt was having a tremendous sale on start up bundles for the Studio, I bit...........HARD!  I have long wanted the Studio, and love to work with strips.  I just had to..........really, I had to!  I have been having so much fun playing with it.  Now, it is time to get down to the nitty gritty and really cut some of my stash up for future projects.

I can't believe I am showing this image, but, this is what I am going to attempt to tame!
In the process, I am redoing my sewing space.  I need it to be more efficient, and more
appealing to my eye than just bare basement walls.  Storage boxes, more shelving and such.  
I am very thankful that I have this space.  It is just time to spruce it up!

My mother asked me what I wanted Santa to bring me for Christmas this year.........

Happy Veteran's Day EVERY DAY!
Happy sewing!
Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Kevin the Quilter

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Houston....Whatta Trip...........

Greetings all!

I would like to share with you all my trip to photos!  Please be aware this post is jam packed with photos of my trip there with my wonderful parents, quilt shops, antique mall finds, as well as the many quilts that were so inspiring at the International Quilt Festival in Houston.

I hope you enjoy the many photos and please share with me which quilt is YOUR favorite!

If you didn't know by now, I always have a travelling project with me and here I am working on it at my parent's home the night before we left.
I have been working on 10 gazillion half square triangles for a while now!

First stop was Marshall Dry Goods, Inc. in Batesville, Arkansas.
Oh yeah, we drove there, because, I never get to drive anywhere with my job and actually
SEE the countryside, and stops along the way.
Picnic lunch anyone?????

 Nice idea for plaids!
This quilt was found at Mid-Towne Antique Mall in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Another beautiful antique tulip quilt found at Mid-Towne Antique Mall in Little Rock.
I should have splurged for this one because it is really lovely, and well made.
It would be a really pretty Christmas quilt, don't you think?

We stopped in Texarkana the first night, and the next morning got up bright and early and headed to Mineola, Texas and Stitchin' Heaven.
This was a great little shop full of wonderful kits.
And, darn the luck, I had just missed Bonnie Hunter!!!!!

We then went to Tyler, Texas and stopped at Ye Old City Antique Mall.
I really loved this place, and a couple of the booths had exceptional antique quilt displays.

The nice lady that had this booth was there and was telling me about these blocks.  
The best she could surmise is that these were made by a teacher of a school or Sunday School class.
There were several blocks tempting....but, Houston was coming up!  $$$$$

Driving on through East Texas..........

We visited Heart and Home Quilt Shop in Jacksonville, Texas.
The owner was absolutely delightful, and she had a lot of vintage sewing machines.
Many of them are used in her classes there.

We stayed in Livingston, Texas on the second night.

My dad LOVES to travel......and he had always wanted to visit Galveston, Texas.
It is a very short drive from Houston to Galveston, so you better believe I was gonna take him there!

He just HAD to touch the water......he would have jumped in, but, it was a little cool this day!

We then settled into our hotel in Houston, and awaited the arrival of my friend and quilter Ann.
I was able to get Ann a pass to fly down for a couple of days so we could enjoy the International Quilt Festival and view Radar together.

Truth be told, my mother is self admittedly NOT a good traveler.
She gets really nervous in large cities where there is a lot of traffic.
We thought it would be best to take a cab to the convention center for festival so we could avoid having to park.  This was my mother's very first cab ride!
I have to give props to our cab driver though.....he really drove nice and easy for my mom.
Can you see how nervous my mom is??? Poor little mama!  The things she does for her kids and grand kids!

 What a beautiful site to behold upon first entering the George R. Brown Convention Center!
This was the festival's 40th anniversary!
What a stunning display of RUBY quilts to help commemorate the occasion!

We HAD to find "Radar" right off the bat!
No awards this time, but, what an honor just to be accepted into the show!

 Ann, along with me and my parents.

What a blessing it was to share this experience with my mom and dad!

I loved seeing the faces of my parents......they were literally in awe of the beautiful works of art!


Quilts did you say?

You wanna see some quilts?????

Well, alrighty then........enjoy the show.................there were several quilts I would have loved to have photographed, but, they were parts of exhibits where photography wasn't allowed.

Winner of Large Wall Hanging, "Hurricane" by Jannike de Vries-Bodzinga.
What a lovely and fascinating artist.

It was great being able to see and speak with the creators of these quilts.
If you see someone standing in front of a quilt in the following photos it is because that
person created that particular work.

 Victoria Findlay-Wolfe's quilt "Lace."
Victoria has a really great blog post about entering quilt shows here.

Lunch time at Quilt Festival!!!!!

Ann quilted this quilt for Casey York.

 The Australian Quilts Exhibit was beyond beautiful!

 The Quilts of Valor booth.

 My dad loved the title of this quilt as it is a phrase he uses quite often, "Mass Chaos."

 "Samson and Delilah"

We drove the entire trip back to my parent's home in Southeast Missouri the very next day!

I have to admit, I think this year's International Quilt Festival was one of the best I have attended..........and not just because I was blessed to have a quilt in the show! LOL

I hope you enjoyed all of the eye candy!
I was really inspired by all of the quilts.....time to start a quilt now!

Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Kevin the Quilter