Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I'm just a muggle...

who really enjoys the magical world of Harry Potter :)

I don't like science fiction, fantasy or wizards, but when we started reading Harry Potter a few years ago, I was pulled in hook, line and sinker before he even knew he was a wizard!

We've read all the books aloud as a family. We've gone to all the movies opening weekend (in IMAX when possible). And we listen to the books on CD over and over.

We were ecstatic to have the opportunity this past weekend to go to the preview event for the world premiere of Harry Potter The Exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry here in Chicago!

I emptied my camera's memory card and put aside some money for the inevitable gift shop and off we went!

I was a little surprised to find that the exhibit is quite "under wraps" - absolutely no photography and no souvenir program in the gift shop. This exhibition will be shown in 8 cities around the world in the next 10 years and they won't even announce the other cities yet! I can tell you that the exhibit was WONDERFUL!!!! It was over too quickly, but we enjoyed it immensely and hope to experience it again before it leaves...
These photos of the Ford Anglia (aka the flying car) were taken in the museum lobby, so that was o.k.

If you are a fan of the Harry Potter movies and find yourself in Chicago - don't miss this exhibit!

Blessings, Patti

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I "shoulda" cleaned the house.

I "shoulda" done the laundry.

I "shoulda" finished my TDIPT creations.

I "shoulda" posted to my blog.

I "shoulda" updated my etsy shop.

Instead I found an intriguing contest on Blackbird Designs blog, and I just couldn't resist.
Alma had purchased a little antique sampler on her last trip to France, "Petites Lettres Rouges".
The idea of the contest is for people to stitch the design while Alma and Barb are in France again, and they will have a drawing for a French souvenir from their trip. How fun! I love a challenge!

Here is my adaptation:

I was inspired by the arrival of the spring robins for color. I changed the name to "Faith"
signifying my renewed focus on my faith this spring and added a sweet spring rabbit, a few little birds and a Victorian symbol of faith, hope and love. It's stitched on 25 count dirty Dublin over one and finished into a little sewing book.

Here is the back:

The bird on the back was inspired by a pearl broach owned by Martha Washington.

And inside:

How fun this was to create!
I'm off to go email my entry to Alma and Barb.
And then I better get back to all those things that I "shoulda" done...
Blessings, Patti

Saturday, April 18, 2009

International Quilt Festival

My sister-in-law, Joy and I attended the International Quilt Festival this weekend. It's one of our favorite outings of the year. There are 500+ vendors from all over the country and 1,000+ quilts on display from all over the world! Oh my! We tried to see every booth and every quilt - and I think we did a pretty good job. Of course, with all the hyperventillating in all the wonderful booths I forgot to take any photos until the very end. Maybe I'll do better next year.
Many of my favorite shops were represented including Country Sampler, Country Threads, and Primitive Gatherings and some of my favorite designers like Lori Smith.

We had to go back to the Primitive Gatherings booth for just one last thing, so I took a quick picture. I wish that I could have bought one of everything! And their wools are just sumptious!

The booth was quite crowded, but worth the wait!
I tried to take photos to give you an idea how huge the vendor area was...

This was just one aisle of many...

The quilts on display were just incredible! I wish that I had taken notes of the titles and quilters names and locations...

It's amazing to think of all the hours spent on all these inspiring works of art.

Country Living magazine had a special exhibit of 30 quilts to celebrate their 30th anniversary. I was so happy to see the quilt above in person as it was shown in their magazine and on the cover of the festival program. It is called "Pennies from Heaven" by Gretchen E. Gibbons and Lisa Calle. I just love the wool applique!

I just love this schoolhouse quilt - it was created to honor the underground railroad.

Each house has an oil lamp lit in the window and the name of someone who assisted the underground railroad on each door.

I have to say that I am partial to traditional quilts, but there were a few more unconventional quilts that appealed to me as well...

Who can resist this sweet face?! It looks like a photo - isn't it amazing that it is a quilt?

The colors on this quilt were so vibrant.

Isn't the workmanship on this quilt incredible?!

I loved this entry from Poland.

I have to say that I was pretty good with my purchases and came in under budget. That being said, I have quite a list and plan on doing some internet ordering soon from my favorite shops to spread the purchases out :)

I was deighted to buy "Autumn Gatherings" directly from Lisa Bongean and Carole Charles and they were kind enough to sign my book. (Some of the kits from this book are at the top of my list for purchasing!) I bought "Fit to Frame: Set Ten" from Lori Smith and we talked about how I plan to do these in wool applique.

Jodi Barrows of Square in a Square has a line of fabrics out called "Celebrating Abe" (shown on the left) - how could I resist?!

My favorite purchases of the day:

The old tomato and strawberry pincushion is made of velvet and stuffed with sawdust and emery - I've been acquiring a bit of a collection lately...
The quilt top is made of wonderful shirtings and is about the size aof a twin bed. Can you believe I actually debated about it... eventhough the price was $12?! What was I thinking?! Phew - thank goodness I bought it, or I'd be regretting it today!

I have to admit I've been spending a bit too much time just looking at all the lovely fabrics it includes...

I hope that your weekend is inspiring and fun!
Blessings, Patti

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


My dear friend, Claralie, sent me an email. She had a bit of fabric that she thought I might like and she was going to send it to me. I assumed a small envelope would come and must admit that I forgot about it in the business of life. A few days later, my husband asked what I had ordered as a big box had been delivered. I didn't remember ordering anything as I have tried to be good lately. I looked at the return address and saw that it was from my friend, Claralie! This was not a small envelope, but a treasure chest of unknown delights! I promptly tore into the box and found....

All these lovely treasures! My heart was pounding as I pulled out delight after delight!
Yardage of a great small cotton print that I will put to good use.
Incredible vintage rayon that I haven't seen before - a cross between a velvet and a really short mohair (that I discovered is a real dream to work with...) in an entire rainbow of colors!!!! Each color that I pulled out was even better than the last! I was so inspired - ideas for creating, swirling around in my head! Skein after skein of a wonderful French vintage cotton thread as thick as a perle cotton, but with a great matt texture. And some neat tube beads that I envision in trimming a little pinkeep.
I had so many chores to do around the house, but all I could think about was creating something from this treasure chest of jewels. Soon I gave in and started cutting and sewing and soon I had a little something to send back to Claralie as a thank you...

I loved working with the vintage rayon and vintage cotton thread. This little token can't possbily thank Claralie for being so thoughtful and generous in sharing her treasures with me! Unexpected surprises are always wonderful - and this treasure chest is the best!

I was at Michael's this past weekend and found these great black safety pins and black head applique pins so I had to make myself a vintage tomato and strawberry pincushion as well. I stuck in a few vintage corsage pins to finish it off.
These fabrics keep calling to me. Ideas and patterns keep popping in mind. I pulled out Maggie Bonanomi's "With These Hands" and created this...
There is a part of me that thinks that these fabrics and threads are so precious that I shouldn't use them, but only display and admire them. But then my mind comes up with an idea and my fingers just itch to play. I think that the answer is to create slowly and save some of the fabrics and threads to treasure.
~*Thank you Claralie from the bottom of my heart!!!!*~

This weekend is the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. My sister-in-law, Joy and I will be attending. This show is absolutely mammoth. Aisle after aisle after aisle of vendors from across the country. And hundreds of quilts from all over the world. I'll share it all with you as soon as I get a chance!

Blessings, Patti

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Blessed Easter!

Christ is Risen!
Christ is Risen Indeed!

Wishing you and your family a Blessed Easter!

Blessings, Patti

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Almost ready...

The cookies are decorated.

The eggs are dyed.
We used a new technique that I read about on Betty Dekat's blog.

The flowers and branches are cut.

I've pulled out the sweet necklace that my husband and sons gave me a few years ago.

I think that I'm almost ready...

I'm off to go finish our taxes. Then I can really enjoy Easter tomorrow :)

Blessings, Patti

Friday, April 10, 2009

What's so good about Good Friday?

That was the children's message this morning... Why do people call it Good Friday, when it is such a sad day? The answer... it shows the depth of God and Jesus' love for us. We can't have Easter without Good Friday. The tomb is sealed.
It seems like it always rains on Good Friday, as if even the heavens weep...

I said I would share some of my Easter decorations this week. It's been a busy week, so the photos were snapped quickly and aren't the best... The eggs above were made by Stacy Nash and the Robin pillow design is by Primitive Stitchin by Shelly Auen.
I've discovered that I have a "thing" for upright Easter rabbits with baskets on their backs :)
I love this piece designed by Ewe & Eye & Friends. I had a pet black rabbit growing up that I adored. We had four rabbits over the years, but he was my favorite. The little carrot is by Maggie Bonanomi.

Well, I think that I have let the eggs boil long enough... How long are you supposed to boil them anyway? There have been a few years when I have forgotten about them and all the water has boiled away - oops!

I'm off to go start the Easter baking. I wish each of you a lovely, joyous Spring weekend! I'll try to take a few more pictures before Easter...
Blessings, Patti

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Jesus is coming!
Pave the way with branches!
Jesus is coming!

Palm Sunday is my favorite Sunday of the year. I love the parade of palms and fronds - children parading around the church while we all joyfully sing and wave our palms! When we get home we add the palms to our little scene above and make crosses from the individual fronds... What a lovely day!

I have confirmation that my mom received her birthday present although it was two days late... so now I can share with you...

Isn't it sweet?! The moment I saw the pattern, I knew that I must make it. With Thy Needle and Thread / Country Stitches creates such lovely designs. I must admit that I don't always pay close attention to instructions and was shocked and delighted at how tiny this piece is...

I tried to give you some perspective with this photo. The little strawberry in the bird's beak is smaller than my fingernail.
I think my mom was happy with her gift :) Now on to a Mothers Day creation.
I hope to share some of my Easter decorations with you this week...
Don't you love this beautiful egg - it's by folk artist Maggie Bonanomi.

I usually don't cut my daffodils or many other outside flowers. But the news was forecasting yet another snowstorm, so I thought I would cut a few and bring them in just in case.

Now that the storm is snowing and blowing and the snow is quickly sticking, I'm thinking that I should have cut all of them... Oh well. I did cut a few branches of forsythia and crab apple, too. I'll hope that all aren't destroyed under the blanket of snow.
Blessings to you on this joyous Palm Sunday! Patti