Weekend in Wisconsin

Fresh Lemons Quilts

Last weekend, I drove up to New Glarus, Wisconsin for a little relaxation and creative recharging with some of my favorite Iowa, Wisconsin, and Upper Peninsula Michigan quilty friends (and a couple of Houston and Nashville ladies thrown in for good measure). Somehow, I have no pictures with any of them! I suppose we were having too much fun. We rented the house you see above, about 5 miles outside the downtown New Glarus area. I had no clue that New Glarus was like a mini Switzerland, so you can imagine my surprise when I rolled into town. Lucky for me, this meant cheese fondue was on the menu and yes, I indulged.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

The weekend was just perfect. I love Wisconsin with the rolling hills and beautiful farms. On the way up from my home in the Chicago suburbs, I saw lots of corn, lots of black and white cows, a huge sunflower field, and at least 15 quilt barns.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

Our house even had sheep! I’m pretty convinced I need to move somewhere with sheep now.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

I spent quite a bit of my two days there sewing, and managed to finished all the blocks for my current quilt. Jeni came up with the perfect name too – Picnic Point. I’m so thankful that I trimmed up all the HSTs before leaving. Everything went together easily.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

I threw the blocks up on the design wall for a quick photo before packing up to leave. I’m hoping to sew the blocks together this week and start basting!

Quiet Stitching

Four Square Quilt Pattern : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Phew, it’s been a busy few days. I guess that’s pretty typical for the end of the school year. Lots of celebrations, travel, and soccer with some colds and allergies mixed in. I was happy to have a bit of quiet stitching time the last couple of days. Only 4 days of school left (not that I’m counting). I’m looking forward to the relaxation of summer and spending more time with my kids. They are at such fun ages (6 and 8).

Remember those tiny squares I cut a few weeks ago? Well, after I changed my mind as to how I was going to assemble the blocks – and REcut some of them – I’m finally back in business. I think I’m going to call this quilt “Four Square”. It’s inspired by a shirt I bought this year from JCrew. I really like the simple, repetitive design. It’s calming to me.

Four Square Quilt Pattern : Fresh Lemons Quilts

If possible, I do most of my sewing as chain piecing. That means my projects usually go from pieces…to more pieces…to slightly bigger pieces…to BAM! Finished blocks!

Peony : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I also just had to share this beautiful peony from my garden. I love peony season, it is just too short. I finally had enough blooms to not feel guilty about cutting a few for a vase inside. Something pretty to look at while I sew. Now I wonder, will I get this quilt top finished before school is out on Tuesday? We shall see!

Cubs Quilt ~ Blocks

Cubs Quilt Blocks - Shoo Fly

If you aren’t a sports fan, you may want to avert your eyes for today’s post. I’m continuing my streak of gift-quilts with a fourth quilt (deadline at the end of the May). This one is for a man. Yes, the dreaded “man quilt”. I sort of break out into a cold sweat even thinking about making something that a man will like. I’ve discovered much of my fabric has flowers on it. Who knew?

Cubs Quilt Fabric

But I do know enough to know the recipient is a big Chicago Cubs fan. I decided to take that theme and run with it. I found a couple different Cubs fabric scraps on eBay and built my color palette to coordinate. At first I considered making this quilt out of rectangles – pretty much the same thing I did with the Spiderman Quilt. Then it hit me – Shoo Fly Blocks!

Cubs Quilt Blocks - Shoo Fly

I thought they sort of looked like a baseball diamond. Yes? Maybe? These blocks are easy to make. Simple nine patches with HST corners. All measuring 4-1/2″ unfinished, making the block 12-1/2″ unfinished. Hopefully I will find the time to get the quilt top assembled over the weekend!

A Doll Quilt Finish

Kansas Dugout Quilt Block

A finish is a finish no matter how small, right? Confession: I am really, really bad about completing projects that I start in a class. But when I got home from Sewtopia and started unpacking, my daughter saw my Kansas Dugout quilt blocks that I intended to make as a doll quilt for her, and she asked me finish it up that night. So we went upstairs to my sewing room and I let her pick the backing and binding, and even the quilting style. She helped me pin baste, selected a meandering pattern, and watched as I finished it up.

Kansas Dugout Quilt Block

I was so incredibly slow making these blocks in class. It probably didn’t help that I was talking to friends the whole time. I only made 9, but I think they turned out cute! I even fussy cut the mermaids from my precious Mendocino scraps. I’m pretty sure the doll and my 8 year old are happy with the quilt!

Kansas Dugout Quilt Block

I’ve also made progress on my Scrappy Kaleidoscope Quilt this week. The top is finished! (The picture was before I sewed the rows together.)

Kansas Dugout Quilt Block

I mentioned before that this is one of two gifts that I need to get done before the end of the school year. Feeling pretty good to not have waited until the very last minute for once!