How Do I Rate My Skill Level?

Beginner:  I have little or no experience with quilt making or sewing.  I haven’t used or have little experience using a sewing machine.

Advanced Beginner:  I have experience with a rotary cutter and piecing and/or have basic sewing skills and knowledge.  I have completed at least one or two projects using a sewing machine.

Intermediate:  I am comfortable with interpreting patterns and designs and have made several quilts or garments.  I have good working knowledge of using a sewing machine.

Advanced:  I am comfortable with all levels of designing, sewing and creating quilts or garments.  I have excellent working knowledge of using a sewing machine.

Spinach Pasta Salad

Shared from LynnDee Davis
Makes a very large salad.  Serves approx. 20.

4 cups cooked, cut up chicken (Can be marinated in teriyaki sauce)
16 oz. box bowtie pasta (Can be cooked in chicken broth)
15 oz or 1 1/2 bags of fresh spinach
6 oz. Craisins
3- 11 oz. cans mandarin oranges
2- 8 oz. cans water chestnuts
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
6 oz. honey roasted peanuts

Dressing:  Blend the following ingredients and pour over above mixture just prior to serving.
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup Kikkoman’s teriyaki sauce
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
6 Tblsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Vegetable Bean Dip

Shared from Jayme Makowski
This is a recipe that I’ve done for years and may not be new to all of you.  But, is a great dish to take to a picnic, or better yet, camping !!

1 can black eyed peas
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can shoepeg corn
1 small jar diced pimento
Drain and rinse above ingredients.

1 cup chopped celery
1 medium onion chopped
1 cup green pepper chopped (I do not add this)

Combine all above ingredients.
Bring the following to a boil and pour over your bean and vegetable mixture.

1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup oil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup sugar (I use about 3/4 cup to cut down a bit on the carbs).

Refrigerate (overnight is best) and drain before serving.  Serve as a relish or on Frito corn chips.

FAll Catch Up

It’s been a long while since I’ve “blogged”, but I need to get back in the habit!!  I would like to thank all our wonderful customers for a great summer and fall season!!  We’ve been very, very busy and I appreciate all of the support!!
I am currently working on a couple new block of the month projects.  Sorry for the delay, but we’ve been trying to wrap up a couple older block of the months that have been lingering on (way too long).  So, you can be watching for those soon…….right around the New Year we will be announcing those.
I’m also working on a couple special things for December and the Holiday Season so stay posted for that.
We have moved our mail server from JBR Graphics over to MailChimp and if you are no longer receiving e-newsletters from us, please let me know and I will add you back onto that list.  This has not been the smooth transition I had hoped.
Enjoy these last few days of nice Fall weather and I’ll chat soon.

Kim Diehl……… is coming!!

We are so excited to be hosting Kim Diehl in just 4 weeks!! We have had an excellent response to Kim’s classes, but do have a few spots available if you’re still debating.  Kim will be presenting a trunk show for Chain of Lakes Quilt Guild on Tuesday evening March 12 at 7:00 at the Bible Baptist Church in Central Lake.

This is a single block from Kim’s Vintage Berry Blossoms quilt that she will be teaching in the Tuesday class.  We are offering this quilt in two different sizes.  Kim uses an invisible machine applique technique that gives stunning results!!  We’ve been busy cutting kits for Kim’s classes.
If you haven’t had a chance yet; you can like us on Facebook to stay updated with all we have going on.  I try to post on there 2-3 times a week; it’s so quick and easy!!    ch

Getting Back In Touch!!

It’s been an unacceptably long time since I’ve “blogged”.  I will do better and put it on my “Monday Must Do” schedule!!

I took advantage of a wonderful opportunity this past weekend to spend two entire days of sewing at a retreat hosted by Delphine’s Quilt Shop from Gaylord.  We had a fun, fun time.  All tucked away at a beautiful log cabin near Michawaye Resort.  A huge thanks to our cook, Ann…… She kept us well fed all weekend with wonderfully aromatic and tasty food.  We did lots of snacking, which didn’t do my exercise routine and good, but I’m back to my walking both yesterday and today.  So, hopefully the snacks didn’t cause too much harm!!

THANK YOU Delphine for letting me intrude on your group and do some sewing of my own.  I came away feeling refreshed and definitely well rested.  It was nice to not have to make any decisions other than my fabric choices!!

Unfortunately, I am currently without a camera.  I misplaced my camera at some point last fall and have been trying to find it every since; so far, to no avail.  I did, however, complete a quilt top over the weekend; yes, start to finish.  It isn’t large (approx. 50″ square), but it’s very nice. 

We will be hosting Kim Diehl in March and I will then be traveling with her to vendor at the Great Lakes Heritage Quilt Guild near Lake Orion.  She will be teaching there for the three days following her teaching for us and I was very honored to be asked to vendor at that function.  We are busy working on the kits for those events.  The kits will be available to non participants for all projects after the workshops are complete.  Stay tuned, I will post pictures here on the website at some point. 

I promise I’ll post again soon!!

Punchneedle Rug Hooking

Labor Day is upon us and that means that it’s time to start thinking about your fall projects.  Earlier this summer we offered a Punchneedle Rug Hooking class with Michele Mueller and it was very well received!!  We are offering another one session class on September 21 from 10:00-3:00.  This is not traditional rug hooking.  Rather, it is done using an Oxford punchneedle tool, much like miniature punchneedle.  The technique is very intriguing to me and I was able to sit in on part of Michele’s class.  I found this cool technique to be very addicting!!  It’s the same quick gratification of the miniature punchneedle, but the project is “life size” and therefore much more functional (in my opinion).  In the class we worked on a round stool cover, but I know feel that I could easily create my own design for a floor rug.
Everything that you see in the above photo is included with the cost of your class.  This is my project in it’s beginning stages.  The wool yarns that we use are hand dyed and we also combine strips of wool for added texture (they are the green at the top of the photo).  If you’re interested in the class you can find the rest of the details on our “classes” page.
We are also going to begin a Punchneedle Rug Hooking Club that will hold it’s first meeting on Friday September 28 from 10:00-3:00.  Once you’ve learned the basic skills, this club will provide you with inspiration and support to continue your rug punching.  Lots more info to post to you this week.  Please stay tuned.  ch

Busy Summer Days!!

Already……. the end of summer.  Just where does the time go??  I’ve been trying to plan ahead for a very busy fall and this has made me neglect the blog posting and web updates.
I did adopt 3 ducks this summer…. they were looking for a retirement home and “I’m it”!!  The duck’s are Indian Runners; not sure of their age.  They came from a woman who uses them to begin the training of her herding dogs; but she decided she needs new, younger ducks.  So, here we are…… with ducks.
Meanwhile, my Banty chickens continue to multiple.  Go figure…. I got rid of my rooster the end of June.  Egg incubation is 21 days.  I had a new batch of chicks hatch yesterday, August 5.  I’m not a math genius however, in my mind this doesn’t really compute?!?!?!?!
We have had the pleasure of meeting a new neighbor and her family this summer.  I’ve had some great conversations and Q&A sessions with Kym.  Below is a great picture that she took of my Dad with one of his “baby” elk, Shrek.  Shrek was bottle fed as a baby when he was abandoned by his mother as the result of a difficult birth.  Shrek was one of two babies that spring that were bottle raised, the second is a female named Fiona.  She also is unusually tame and very much a “pet”. 
I will try to post more often; I know there are many of you who enjoy reading.  We have lots of exciting stuff coming up at the shop so I will do another post tomorrow night to highlight a few of these!!

Mister Mystic

Recently, many people have told me that I lead a very interesting life.  It’s really not something that one thinks about.  But, I believe one of the things that people are referring to is my small herd of llamas.  They are part of our family and we (my husband, Dave and I) do a lot of things that include them.  Many of you have either met or heard me talk about Mystic, our “baby” from last summer.  Mystic is growing up nicely and, he and I are traveling around the state this summer participating in the show circuit for llamas and alpacas.  This weekend we will be in Big Rapids for a show on Saturday; we are entered in five classes.   
Mystic has had a lot of “firsts” this summer and this photo of he and Dave was taken just after his first bath last weekend.  His bath has to be done a couple weeks prior to the show so that his wool has time to crimp back to its natural state.  He and I have been training intently and I’m hoping for another ribbon this weekend!!

Picking up where we left off…..

The last time I posted on my blog I was vendoring on Mackinaw Island at the Annual Needlework Seminar.  One of their guest teacher’s was David Taylor.  His art quilts are absolutely stunning pieces of work.  There is quite a process he goes through to create them and I had the opportunity to peak in regularly on his three day workshop that took the ladies’ from their photo to their fabric.
Each student begins with a colored photo that is pre-approved by David prior to the workshop.  He then has you sketch out your photo using lines for movement and shadowing.  Eventually you get to start placing fabrics using a WIDE variety of colors and textures.
David will be back at The Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island in May of 2015 to present another series of workshops.  You can bet that I will be checking into that!!  I’m thinking one of my llamas or cows………..