East Dakota Quilter


Leave a comment

Quilt Guild Meeting & Father’s Day Gift

I attended my first-ever quilting event that involved talking with other quilters: the Crystal Lake Modern Quilt Guild monthly meeting and sew-in. Unfortunately, I missed the show-and-tell portion. (I was late for a variety of reasons. I HATE being late for anything.) I had most been looking forward to that part of the meeting, but it was at least fun to look around the room and see what kinds of projects others were working on.

The prospect of talking with other people about quilting scared me. I only know what I have found on the internet, and some of my methods are “non-traditional.” In other words, I anticipated more judgment for some reason. I am far less secure with my creative abilities than my professional abilities. I needn’t have worried; everyone I talked to was nice. I received only kind comments about my Marcelle Medallion, which was the project I brought to the meeting. Since the quilt pattern is all over the internet, I was surprised not everyone knew about it already. I was happy that I could share useful information with quilters who are more experienced than I am.

Proof I was sewing in public:

CLMQG Meeting

I finished the piecing for my first “extra” border to convert the quilt to full-size but didn’t quite have time to sew the border to the quilt top. Instead, I took a small break this week to make my dad a gift for Father’s Day.

My dad grew up in rural South Dakota and has been going back to the family farm a few times a month for as long as I can remember to help with things like mowing the massive lawn (it’s a house in the middle of the prairie, so I’m sure you can imagine), putting up hay, fixing things, etc. My grandma recently sold the house she and my grandpa built together, but the family still owns some land. What this means for my dad is he still had the responsibility of farm work but no place to stay. It wasn’t a huge deal since my parents’ home is within driving distance, but when a used camper came on the market, my dad decided it would work perfectly as a home-away-from-home. It stays on the farm property and gives him a place to stay when he’s helping out. I made him this to make it a little more like home:

camper hoop art by craftorowler

The hoop is tiny, just 3″! The pattern is Sublime Stitching’s Camp Out.

What are you doing for Father’s Day? Does your family have any traditions? I had a hard time thinking of what to make or do, as I do every year. I thought a fun project another time would be to make a Dresden plate pillow out of all the ugly ties we gave my dad when we were kids. How many M&Ms ties can one man wear?!


4 Comments

Exploring Quilt Shops Near Madison, Wisconsin

I had a fantastic weekend. My boyfriend and I decided to get out of the city. Since we didn’t want to spend the whole weekend driving, we settled on nearby Madison, Wisconsin. Most of our weekend activities don’t really relate to this blog: we ate at cute restaurants, went to a museum, walked through the capitol building and the university arboretum, etc. But I did squeeze in a few minutes at two of Madison’s fabric stores: the Sewcial Lounge and Mill House Quilts.

Madison_Medley by EastDakotaQuilter

I regularly check the blog In Color Order. The blog’s author teaches classes at the Sewcial Lounge, which is how I heard of the store. I was excited to visit a store specializing in modern fabrics. In fact, the shop doesn’t bother with any non-modern prints! It was nice not to sort through “filler fabrics.” I expected the store to contain a lot of fabrics with a small sewing space, but quite a large portion of the space was a dedicated sewing area/lounge. The small shop was bustling when I went in, so it seems I was not the only one who appreciated the fun colors! I especially liked a print with small houses and cats (which I thought they were foxes at first). I’m kicking myself for not getting at least a small piece since it’s not on their website and I haven’t been able to identify the fabric with Google since returning home. This might warrant a phone call at some point…

Comparatively, Mill House Quilts is enormous. I don’t know why I don’t remember seeing them at the Quilt Expo last September. Maybe their booth was so full of people that I decided not to stop, or maybe the fabric selection was so wide that I felt overwhelmed. Maybe I got distracted by coffee… In any case, I see the sign every time I drive from Chicago to visit my parents in South Dakota, only I don’t want to make the ten-and-a-half hour drive take longer than necessary. I was glad for a chance to stop without cutting into family time.

mill house snowman

The store was frankly even better than I’d expected. Again, I was expecting some kind of megastore the size of a warehouse. It wasn’t that. But it was still the biggest fabric store I’ve seen that wasn’t a Joann’s, and I would have been happy to receive as a gift almost any fabric in that store. There were dedicated areas for civil war prints, modern fabrics, batiks, etc. There was a whole room full of sale fabrics. I think the best part, though, was the variety of quilts hanging from the rafters of the store. There were many styles, many colors, and it SO made me want to go home and start a new project! I took a brochure with me and was a little awed by the large number of classes. I only wish I lived closer (and didn’t spend 3 hours a day in commuter traffic already) so I could attend some of them!

DMC floss at MillHouseQuilts by EastDakotaQuilter

modern brights at MillHouseQuilts by EastDakotaQuilter

MillHouseQuilts sample by EastDakotaQuilter

MillHouseQuilts civil war section by EastDakotaQuilter

EastDakotaQuilter purchases at MillHouseQuilts

Okay, so I broke down and bought a few red and white fabrics for an idea that’s been percolating–even though I’m not finished with the myriad other projects I’ve started. That’s me standing outside the store with my purchases!