Archive for September, 2009

This past weekend the Pine Tree Quilters hosted our biennial quilt show. We are located in North Central Wisconsin and our membership is over 100.  We are probably considered to be traditional quilters, favoring classic patterns in piecing and applique with a mix of machine quilters and hand quilters. But as new techniques and fabric lines come along, there is always interest in giving those a try too.

I hope you enjoy the photos of some of the many quilts that were on display. Entries came from our local area, other Wisconsin towns and some from out of state. Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and come along for a visit to the 14th Biennial Quilts Among the Pines.

Friday – set up day

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PTQ Quilt Show 09 002Waiting for quilts to be judged and then hung

PTQ Quilt Show 09 003Saturday morning – the quilts are ready! This is a wool applique beauty – the quilter? – One of our guild member’s husband!

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Indian Orange Peel

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One of a series of blocks that made up a quilt – all quilting snowladies doing their thing – really cute embroidery!

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This quilt was made for a granddaughter – the quilter volunteered to make a similar one for our #2 Raffle Quilt this year – our members worked on it as a group – all pastel batiks and antique reproduction stampings are featured.

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No paper piecing used on this classic blue and white quilt – each point done individually and lovely machine quilting.

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You may have seen this before – My First 65 Years – had to include it so you know I really finished it!

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A few of the smaller quilts – tiny yo yo’s…

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Smaller yet…

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Really small…and tiny buttons…

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Small wool appliques – interesting stripe background

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I hope you are enjoying your visit at our show…there will be more photos posted in the next few days – the Bed Turning, always a favorite,  and some close ups of quilts that took special awards and Best of Show. So plan to come back soon as there is more to come!

Have a great day!



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On being a quilt scribe…

Hi everyone – was beginning to wonder if this new post would get done tonight. We have had high winds all day, causing a 4 hour loss of power. Everything seems to be up and running again. So here we go…

When I signed up to be a scribe for our quilt show judges, it was with  some apprehension…afterall, judges are the “quilt police,”  – that is their job! They go through a lot of training to achieve their certification. Any nervousness on my part was quickly dispelled early Friday morning when we met…our judges are knowledgeable, obviously enjoy what they do and are eager to share tips and feedback. With over 300 entries, we quickly went to work.  Large work area tables were set up & covered in sheets. One area was for the actual judging and the other tables were for staging. Runners were assigned to bring new pieces to the tables and then organize the quilts that had completed the judging process.

We had 2 judges and the quilt categories were divided accordingly. At the tables I worked at, there were 2 scribes and 2 other guild members who handled each quilt  – holding up or turning back each entry for the judge. My “sister” scribe and I alternated recording on the comment sheets which worked well and allowed time to complete each form. Our job? To record each comment by the judge accurately. Over the years these comment forms have continued to evolve and this year were quite easy to work with. Below is a copy of one of my own.scan0001

The judges were so positive about each quilt – always finding a feature (s) that gave the quilter encouraging feedback. They recognize that whether a quilter is an accomplished and experienced artist or just starting out – that particular quilt represents energy, time, thought and preparation and has great value to its maker. The quilt is part of her (or him in some cases – we had some wonderful entries from men this year!) The suggestions for possible improvement were always made in a very tactful and “non-discouraging” manner.  As you can see by the comment written under “areas that might benefit from improvement,” I need to work more on removing any marking lines. This was an area that received comments on a couple of my other entries also. So this will be something I will focus on in the future. Maybe I need new glasses??? I sure didn’t notice anything prior to turning the entries in!!

Receiving close scrutiny were #’s 8 & 9 – both relating to binding. It is absolutely essential that the binding be done correctly. Neatly mitered corners with tiny stitches closing off the miter on the front and back; binding that should be filled completely to the edge of the quilt and finally, the binding, when turned to the back of the quilt, should be hand stitched down with very small stitches. The judge would take the binding and actually pinch it together – if there was any gap, it was noted. We learned that poorly applied binding is one of the biggest No-No’s!

The other major notation involved # 3 – any long, straight edge – such as inner border, should be straight, not wavy. Straight as an arrow!

One great little “tip” for times when you may have used too light a thread in sewing blocks together – Perhaps a little gentle pressure might reveal those light stitches in contrast to say, a black background…use a black pigma pen to dab the threads and hide them.  New to machine quilting? Try using a “busy” background or one with a slight texture to it.  Same goes for your choice of backing…a woven or slightly brushed finished just buries those beginning stitches. Stripes are so big right now & can make a huge impact in a binding or border. Applied flanges also add interest to a piece when used next to the binding edge or further in on a secondary border. And it sure catches the judges eye quickly if not done correctly…loose or wobbly, not connected at the corners…big mistake!

I found it so interesting to watch this process and seeing how  a judge must put aside such things as personal color preference – to look beyond a color combination that may not always appeal to the viewer, but to see great workmanship or creativity. Being a scribe was time well spent & I have set some new goals for myself. The first being, to slow down and enjoy the process…and to work at those “might benefit from improvement” areas. In the meantime, I will keep my own comment sheets nearby as a reminder. So, how did I actually do? Well, I was pleasantly surprised…a Blue ribbon, 2 2nd place ribbons, a 3rd and 3 Honorable Mentions. I didn’t expect all of that. And I came away with some new found knowledge…

Throughout this week, I will try to post some of the photos of our quilt show – we had some wonderful entries in addition to other things going on both days. Plan to visit with me again and as always, your comments are so welcomed and much appreciated.

Take care and…

Always take time to stitch…


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Good evening to everyone – just a quick check in tonight as it has been a very busy weekend and our 2009 Quilt Show is now in the history books! The feet are tired, the eyes are glazed over from looking at all kinds of wondrous things and I need a little time to group my thoughts. I would love to share some of the experiences and photos of the last few days. I hope you will check back with me tomorrow evening for the first installment…starting off with being a first-time scribe to one of our quilt judges.

So off to put my feet up and spend what is left of the evening just unwinding..


…will be back tomorrow!

Take care…


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Thoughtful Thursday…

What are you thinking about today? Stop by for a moment and share some of your thoughts…


Thinking about yet another beautiful fall day and cutting the last of the zinnias and a few remaining sunflowers…

Thinking about how relieved we are to have the airline tickets well in hand that will bring our son home for Christmas…

Thinking about how glad I am that the last of the applesauce is stored away in the freezer…

Thinking about my entries for the quilt show this weekend and glad that they are ready, not perfect by a long shot, but ready…

Thinking about being a scribe tomorrow and working with the quilt judges…kind of nervous as this will be the first time I have tried this…hope to learn alot!

Thinking about how glad I am that there is a slow cooker beef stew recipe going this morning (thanks to ButterYum)  and knowing dinner is under control while I clean, clean, clean…

Because my special friend, Connie, will be visiting this weekend and we have so much to catch up on!

Life is good!

Hope you are having a wonderful day…

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The Times Inbetween…

It is all about this seasonal change thing…one foot still in Summer, the other not quite ready to step into Fall. Putting on a favorite pair of shorts in the morning but grabbing a comfy denim work shirt to add to that T-shirt before heading outside…and maybe shedding layers as the day warms, only to put them back on towards nightfall. Such is our September, here on the edge of the North Woods in Wisconsin.  Our surroundings are in transition…even the golden hue in the fields has faded from a few weeks ago when the goldenrod and tansy were in full bloom. Red, yellow, burgundy & golden browns peak out from the woods and our weeping willows, which stand guard by the pond, have taken on a subtle golden green cast. The hummingbirds have disappeared and their feeders taken down, ready for storage. The pond is quiet with only a glimpse of a resident duck which seems to be unable to fly…will he survive our winter? Our goose family left weeks ago and soon the sky will be filled with migrating flocks…we may have some of them visit briefly as they head south. Their distinctive call is so melancholy and causes me to stop and look up…and pause. Time to “de-summerize” (is that even a word?) the house and get ready for Fall, which arrives next week, according to the calendar. September 22nd, to be exact…join in the fun – Rhondi over at Rhondi’s Rose Colored Glasses is hosting another great party…Welcome Fall! Click on the little pumpkins link on the right side bar.

I wonder how many autumns our old clock has chimed its way through? It has been in our care for close to 30 years & I think it might have been made in the early 1900’s…now it is reminding me that it is…

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Time for a little Fall touch to our fireplace mantel…can you tell my husband likes partridges? We have about run out of walls…

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Time to carefully store away summer theme wallhangings and light weight summer quilts…time to start bringing out warmer looking pieces…

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Time to bring out a simple redwork pillow I did a few years ago…love the rustic “Adirondack lodge” style script on the pattern. In Between Times 001

And time for our guild quilt show – 14th Biennial Quilts Among the Pines – a last reminder – if you are in the North Central part of Wisconsin on September 26-27, 2009, plan to visit us at the Greenheck Fieldhouse. We will be displaying 100’s of entries, many great vendors and a special exhibit of the Ground Zero Quilt by Lois Jarvis – http:www.loisjarvisquilts.com. Visit our guild website listed on the right side bar for more information.

That is about it for this week…I am going now…to look for more time…will let you know if I find some and where you can get it!!! Take good care of yourselves and thanks so much for dropping by. Hoping to have some quilt show images to share with you next week.

Oh – almost forgot…if you have not visited the new site “Among the Gum Trees” – be sure to do that soon…9 Australian designers have combined their talents to offer a clever showcase of their designs. Just click on my button to the right – it works, though partially hidden.

Always take time to stitch…


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This old & much used tomato pincushion was inside the little sewing box when I bought it.

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Thoughtful Thursday…

Good Thursday morning to you! What’s on your mind today? Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts…

A few things I am thinking about…

Finally, September 17, 2009 – the first ripe tomato of the season! It is called Chianti Rose – just simply liked the name so that is why I ordered the seeds from http://reneesgarden.com in California. She always has veggies that stand apart from the basic varieties offered. I just wish some of those California growing conditions could be included in each seed packet! This is the morning’s garden gatherings – love those long seedless English cucumbers…they run up to $2.00+ in the store for one, so I am feeling pretty smug!

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Thinking how tired my body feels after shampooing all the carpeting in the master bedroom and loft area yesterday. Wish I felt as fresh as the carpet looks!

Also on my mind – seeing my brother later this afternoon after 2 years – he lives in Washington State and we are having a family dinner tonight at Mom & Dad’s. A bit weary so will be taking a cranberry walnut loaf. When we drove up to Eagle River, WI 2 weeks ago for Bernina servicing, we found The Flour Sack – a terrific homestyle bulk food store with wonderful goodies. You can buy all types of frozen bread doughs that can be baked at a moment’s notice. And a green bean (it is from the garden though) dish prepared from the classic Italian cookbook The Silver Spoon. Should go nicely with Mom’s ham dinner.

And worrying that airline seats are going fast for Christmas holiday travel and our son is trying to arrange a flight home…why do the airlines whine & complain about not doing well, when so many folks want to travel? Instead we hear reports of cut backs on flights and everyone knows how the service is these days…$12.00 for a questionable ham sandwich and $25.00 for the 1st piece of luggage and $50.00 for the 2nd…ad nauseum…

Finally – thinking about Mary Travers from Peter, Paul and Mary – gone now at 72. How many times did we listen to that group in the ’60’s when life as we knew it was in such an upheaval? I can see her long, blonde hair and that wide grin…Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Be well, take care and share what’s on your mind today…


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First things first – a blog award has been sent to me by http://yarnjourney.wordpress.com. The Box of Chocolates Award – how appropriate is that??!! So, here is the deal…now I must share this award (and you know how much I love chocolate) with other blogs that I particularly find inspiring, fun, enlightning, etc. Here are the sweet rules from the originator.

“In my best southern accent, I would like to say that I have been thinking about a new award and what I would like it to say. People are like Forrest Gump said ” Life is like a box of chocolates and you never know what you’re gonna get.

You can see this box of chocolates is filled with different and unique candies and just like the chocolates we are all different and unique people. We are the same in that we all have common ingredients that make us more a like than not. Except for the frosting, which represents our personalities, we are indeed very similar on the inside.”

1. That you must pass this award to others.

2. Link back to me when you have passed them forward.

3. Write a nice post about this award.

4. You must read this award with a southern accent. I call it southern day where we all have to speak with a southern accent. I know that will be hard for some of you, but for the rest of us, we will be fine. So now, ya’ll just enjoy this little ol’ award and have fun with it.

5. And of course let your folks know that they have a nice award waiting for them.

I would like to share this award with the following bloggers.




As for Applesauce – I have been up to my elbows in the stuff…we picked off of 2 trees on Friday. The honeycrisp need just a tad more time…yum!

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The first batch soaked in a 50/50 vinegar & water solution before being rinsed & then cut up & placed in a water/Fruit Fresh solution.

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Cooking down in small amounts, so the apples don’t burn.

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Going through the food mill…

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The final product & getting ready to add sugar to taste…I love the pink coloration you get when the apples are cooked with the peels still on.

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Over the next few days, more batches will be done and join the other jars in the freezer. Hopefully we can store fresh apples too.

When not in the kitchen, I have been attaching sleeves & labels to the back of my quilt show entries…two weeks and counting. That’s what I get for being lazy and not doing it as each quilt was completed. Now I have 6 quilts to wrap up. I slipped up and actually did sleeves, etc. on 2 earlier wallhangings. But going over 8 entries for loose threads, dog fur or untidy corners is not my idea of creativity. Another “and what have we learned today” moment. I actually did some “real” sewing and have the little bag made for the Friendship Bag Swap over at Quilting Bloggers. Included is a tea towel to which I added an embroidered border.  And, a few little quilting goodies, yet to be purchased…must get moving on that this coming week as my Secret Partner lives in the Netherlands and everything has be mailed  soon.

Applesauce 013The stitching on my Gardening Angel “Hope” by Crabapple Hill is now complete. I am pleased with the way she turned out and have sewn the first little inner border…my thoughts are to have this Angel grow into a medallion style piece…sometime this coming winter. It is part of my new “diet” away from those chocolates I talked about last week! Love those organic batiks…

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Well, that is about it from our little neck of the North Woods…we are having our July now…upper 70’s-80’s and very dry. Might just get a ripe tomato or two, yet! Hope you have a good week and…

Always take time to stitch…


From Jan - a pincushion made with vintage '30's-'40's fabrics

From Jan - a pincushion made with vintage '30's-'40's fabrics

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