The Perfect Tree

I've noticed that everyone has their own image of their "perfect" tree.
Some tall and some short...some thin and some a little on the chubby side.
Long needle and short needle, fur and pine.
Some fake and some real.
For as long as I can remember, our family tree has come from Budd's Christmas Tree Farm so it only seemed natural that I would continue to get my annual "perfect" tree there.
If you're not familiar with Budd's, it's located by Clarks Grove, MN and owned/operated by the Budd family...I happen to be buds with one of the Budd daughters.
This is the first tree that caught my eye....just so happens to be the first tree in the farm.
I was in the market for tall, skinny, fir with lots of imperfect holes.

Because it would be WAY too easy to by the first one when there are a million more trees to pick from, I kept looking. Then I found this tree....I took a picture of it for a couple reasons.
A) It reminds me of Charlie Brown
B) Pretty sure I begged my parents to buy this EXACT tree when I was 10 years old...it's grown up kinda funny with character just like me :)
C) If my brother was with me, he would cut this one down, trim off about 8' of trunk and put it in his house. Every year he ends up with an odder looking tree...I think he feels sorry for them or something.
D) Why not?
NOTE: On the way out of the tree farm I ran into Diane from the quilt shop. She and her husband were there cutting down their "perfect" tree...pretty sure she picked this one so I know it has a good home :) Just kidding...I'm guessing she's also a fir person... and this is a pine.
Oh well, I'll visit again next year at the tree farm.

Then, after walking down row after row, looking at tree after tree...I found this beauty.
My mom just looked at me and said "Katie, it's like 15' tall" I said "I know mom...I have 8' ceilings, it will work." she laughed...I cut it down.

My favorite part of the whole process is cutting it down

Dad helped me carry it to the truck...just look how perfect it is!

Stop back again soon to see it prominently positioned in its new home!
Hope you have fun picking/putting up your PERFECT tree!


Bus Trip

So, It's been a long time since you've heard from me and you're probably wondering where I've been.Well, you see....NASA was looking for a female to send on a secret mission....Sorry...I better not elaborate on that one, you know how secret missions and NASA are! What I'm supposed to tell people when they ask is that mom and I were bus moms. We were directly responsible for 51 other fellow quilter. We only departed one shop short a passenger...but we caught it before we made it more than 15 feet fortunately. We went to 6 shops in MN and WI in 2 days. It was a fabulous trip.

Here are some shots from our trip:

The shop that hosted us Saturday night served us root beer floats...it was like 23 deg outside and they really hit the spot :)

We also played a dice game for fats...I wasn't a winner :(

And another dice game for random goodies....I wasn't a winner :(
Here's the boobie prize winner....just think, had we really left her at a shop earlier in the day, she wouldn't have won that roll of cheap, scratchy TP.

This was the welcome sign at the hotel...they got us all wrong...I later found out there was a group of rug hookers spending the night too. Oh well, we got lots of laughs in before the hotel management felt the need to set us straight.

And here's a lovely picture of all us girls on the bus...sorry to those of you in the front seat, you missed out on the picture.
It was a good time with lots of laughs and tons of wonderful fabric!

Wishes for a Blessed Thanksgiving

Every year at this time, we reflect on all the blessings we have been given. From good health, warm homes (or cool depending on where you live), clothes to wear, religious freedom, and people that love us and call us family... we all have something to be thankful for.

Also around this time evey year, one of the networks usually airs "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" . This cartoon has become a tradition to watch for a lot of people...including me...the history of thanksgiving/prayer scene is my favorite part, and I think we have a lot of the same things to be thankful for that the pilgrims did the first thanksgiving.

Here's a snippet from the cartoon with the history/prayer scene:

As some of you travel and some of you host the meal, I wish you all the very best this Thanksgiving.



Whoa! look at that! Wednesday.

Okay, I have a tutorial to share with you. Bonnie has introduced that shop to the jelly roll in a tube. I had to make one just because it's such a cool concept. I used a little honey bun (1 1/2" strips) for mine and it made a cute baby quilt.

I'm not sure if this is the exact video clip that Bonnie found, but it's the same concept.

Here ya go...prepare to be amazed!

They used a spiffy special ruler in the video....I was able to make due with one of my regular omni-grid squares using the 45 deg line. However, this is a really nice tool...I just didn't have one at home when I decided to quick sew one up.
Here's mine: I used a honey bun (1 1/2" strips) and then sashed between each block to make it a little bigger. (sorry, it's not bound yet...yikes!)

Here's the two currently in the shop: They are made using a jelly roll (2 1/2" strips) and additional background. As you can see, it turns out to be a pretty big quilt!

Also, the blocks are fun to fiddle around with and make up your own setting design! I really like the one hanging in the video clip...hmm....

Have you made one of these yet?
Hope you enjoyed!


Come fly with me, Let's fly, Let's fly away....

For some reason, whenever I think about this quilt Frank Sinatra rolls into my mind and Come Fly with Me gets stuck in my head.

So...here it is...."Due South" by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.
Bonnie at the shop quilted it with a small overall meander and I had her also use a wool batting.

The pattern calls for 10 star blocks positioned helter-skelter....I needed just one more for the bottom corner so I used my scraps to make this little cutie....I think it's my favorite part of the whole quilt. Also, the points aren't cut off on the bottom, I just took a bad picture...they're all there in real life!

This quilt is currently hanging at the shop, but I can't wait till all the kits sell because it looks so at home on my couch...I just want to lay down, snuggle in and watch a good movie.

Kits and patterns are available...you all should put this one on your Christmas list...doesn't it just scream heirloom quilt??? Okay, maybe not....but....it was a fun one to make!
What are you working on right now? I'd love to hear!


Just got back from church and I thought I would fill you in on what's goin on in my portion of the planet Earth.

I was quite productive yesterday.
I went to Moda You at the shop which was fun as always.
Then I can home and worked on Confetti Cake some more.

The quilting portion of my day went like this.

1) Sew strips together, then cut them apart.
2) sew them back together again...note the use of fork pins :)
3) Trimming...I truly love the cutting/trimming part of the process
4) Made more block segments to fork pin and stitch back together again.
5) When I went to bed, I had a pile of finished blocks
This is what my cat (her name is "Miss Kitty", you know...like the one on Gunsmoke...people think I lack pet naming originality) did yesterday. She napped, gave herself her Sat. evening bath, laid, sometimes sat up, and gave me that "and just what do you think you're doing" look all....day....long. I kid you not.

Well, 4 more blocks are waiting to be made and Miss Kitty's waiting to give me "the look"!
Keep in mind Sunday is the day to rest....sewing is rest! I hope you all are able to take some time to put in a few stitches :)


Here Comes Suzy Snowflake!

The weather man says that Suzy Snowflake is going to visit me today!
This excites me....I LOVE snow....always have.....always will.

My mom has this piano book filled with winter/Christmas songs...ALL the good ones :) I remember sitting next to her on the piano bench...she played and sang, I just tried to sing and sometimes managed to turn the page at the right time.

One of my VERY VERY favorites was/is this one:

It looks like Suzy is tappin on my window right now!
Gotta Go!



Retreat Show & Tell

Here are some tidbits from show and tell at the retreat. The lighting wasn't that great in the show and tell area so most of my pics aren't blogable. Maybe one of these times I'll buy one of those REALLY nice cameras...hmmm....

This is and "I Spy" quilt made by Jolyn Olson. Jolyn has a blog too that I like to read...it's http://www.farmquiltsbyjolyn.blogspot.com/. This quilt was made for a little cutie in her family. Also, Jolyn teaches at the shop sometimes too....she's a good one to take a class from. Jolyn is the one on the bottom right talking into the mic.

This is a BEAUTIFUL quilt...it's "Dear Jane" and sadly I forgot who to credit with it. If it was you, please post a comment claiming it so I can get you the credit you deserve. It is truly a work of art.

Update: Thank you Doris for letting me/us know that Trina Kirkvold beautifully crafted this quilt.

I've always envied this paper pieced turkey that Merle Stensrude made...of course, I also have this weird fascination with turkeys...I'll have to make one sometime...it rocks. Also, Merle teaches at the shop too...her beginner class is top notch and her paper piecing classes always fill up fast too!

Lastly and not from the retreat, here's the baby quilt I concocted last night. It was pretty simple...it just cut random curves....some bigger, some smaller...and then I sewed them back together. It went pretty fast and with the border - I know, the border is almost too wide but that's how that print on the border fabric worked out- it ended up being I believe somewhere in the 45" range. It will be wonderful with minkee....

Have a wonderful evening friends!
Now I've got some sewing to do!


Retreat Update

Retreat Theme: Woodstock
Here's Carolyn (the shop owner) dressed in her Woodstock attire
And here's the best shot I could get of all the sewers in the main room...It was too vast to capture the whole thing in one snap...it would be like trying to fit the entire Atlantic ocean in a mere tea cup. Trust me, the analogy checks, no stretching the truth there (wink, wink, wink)
Well, it's off to the sewing zone for me...there's a baby quilt that needs to be made. I plan to use the new Sandy Gervais line Lollipop of which I have some yardage and a charm pack and I plan to make up the pattern....watch out! I'll update you on that tomorrow too!
Stop back tomorrow for: Snippets of show and tell from the retreat and to see how the baby quilt turned out!

Later gator-


Another Wonder of the World

Last night I went to help get everything set up for the retreat this weekend at the Holiday Inn in Austin. 110 quilters in 1 room...it's a sight to see. Here's the process:

Haul a truck, van, suburban and 2 cars full of merchandise in to the conference center. Just a portion is shown in the picture.

Then the store gets set up and ready so all the happy quilters can get some retail therapy.
All the tables get positioned so there is PLENTY of space for every retreater. A full table to be exact!It got late and since my brain had to function today, I had to leave. Don't worry, I plan to go back Sat. evening and will take some pics of the retreat in action...it truly joins the pyramids, Stonehenge, the catacombs and the great wall of China as another wonder of the world...the wonders of the world people just don't know about it yet...don't worry, I'm working on that.
Would that make me "Wonder Woman"??


Simple Graces

The girls from the shop called last Friday and asked if I could whip up a couple little wool samples from this *new* book. Being on the wool binge that I'm on, I obviously agreed.

I must say that I probably *need* this book:
(and yes, if you're wondering, it's a *need* and not a *want*!)

I love the main quilt project, and pretty much everything else on the cover. The 2 little wooly things I made aren't on the cover...but...they pretty much rock.

The pincusion...It's a nice size and FUNCTIONAL!!! (stuffed with crushed walnut shells) The glasses / rotary cutter / scissor case:
I actually need to make one of these for myself...I found out last week that I'm getting old...I need "readers". Also, the stem looks pretty stark, but there are some little leaves....they just didn't photograph well! Both projects were pretty simple-simon and of course I used the Valdani perle cottons. I'm sure kits and the book are/will be available at the store.

Simple Graces!

Blog Hop - Home for the Holidays

Each of the following 12 designers will be posting each Tuesday and Friday starting Nov. 2 to share a little holiday spirit with you. Hop from blog to blog to get lots of holiday inspiration, projects and even some recipes!

Nov. 9 - Cheri Saffiote-Payne www.quiltsbycheri.blogspot.com
Nov. 12 - Kathy Schmitz www.kathyschmitzstudio.blogspot.com
Nov. 16 - Renee Plains www.libertystar.typepad.com
Nov. 23 - Lisa Bongean www.lisabongean.wordpress.com

Dress me up Frosty!

First off, sorry the pics are upside down and sideways...I have no idea why the computer it putting them in funny!!! To adjust for this, simply tilt your head to the right....and then to the left when looking at the pics!
I've been on an extreme wool binge as of late! I've worn holes in the ends of my fingers from hand work. Guess that means it's back to quilting for a while! Or, I could use a thimble...hmmm...the possibilities
I finished "Dress me up Frosty" by Nutmeg Hare
(The beautiful gray background is the floor at the shop...I forgot to take pics at home!!)

Also, don't forget to sign your work when it's all done! Mom and I just realized a couple weeks ago that we sign our stuff the same way...
KJZ....I guess it's all in the style though. Mine is a little more artistic :)
I believe kits and patterns will be available at the shop.
Happy Monday Morning....Bring on the coffee!
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