Chicago Fall Fun

I am just back from a trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois.  I had a fabulous time, first seeing my boys at the University.  Then onto an amazing reunion with 9 girlfriends, whom I have known for 38 years!    I made a quick stop at the Art Institute of Chicago and found some fresh inspiration.  Let me share one thing with you.

The painting below caught my eye at the Institute.  It’s by Alma Thomas (1891-1978) and is called “Starry Night and the Astronauts”.  I think it would make an amazing modern strip quilt.  I will need to attempt this one day soon.

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So about that trip to Ann Arbor.  I couldn’t imagine being there again and not visiting the Pink Castle Fabrics brick and mortar store.  I have ordered online from them many times, but never made a visit in person. It’s a smallish shop with friendly help and loads of modern fabrics to select from.  I must have spent at least 2 or more hours there.  I was lucky to come at a time when they are filling orders for their recent text print sale.  The remnants of those cuts, and others, are put aside for assembling scrap packs.  They were so kind and allowed me to create several different low-volume text scrap bundles.  I also got lots of 2 orange scrap packs, which I am need for at least two current projects.  I dipped into only a few sale fabrics and here is all that I got (plus 3 outdated quilt magazines).  IMG_0257

 

I even got to meet the friendly owners, Brenda and Jason.  It was a great place to stock up on scraps, and I will certainly visit again when I’m back in Ann Arbor.

The next day, I stopped into another quilt fabric store called the Ann Arbor Sewing Center. I had never heard of this place before, but it was just what I wanted.  On their lower level they have many bolts of discounted fabrics, but at $7.99 or more a yard, they were still priced too high to be bargains.  However, they had a wonderful deal to buy 6 fat eighth’s for $1.00 each and 6 fat quarter’s for $1.50 each.

IMG_0259 Finally, you know when you have a favorite fabric that goes with everything but gets used up and then you want some more?  Well, I found an entire bolt of Studio M’s Basic Mixologie Spot On, in eggplant.  You can see it on the top right in the photo above.  I bought a yard and I am so thrilled to have it back as a cherished print in my stash.  At that price point, I loved forming my own bundles, including a low-volume Univ. of Michigan fabric.  I met a lovely fellow-quilter, Debbie, who lives nearby.  We talked for quite awhile and agreed to meet for coffee next time I’m in town.  Quilters are the loveliest people!

 

This month’s Covered In Love block request is a simple block, including four half square triangles in fall colors.  I tacked them onto my fence and they are gorgeous when put together.   I love these sunset colors that she requested.  I couldn’t resist throwing in a few extra colors too, so  I have some purple and green prints in the bunch.

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In almost every project I make, especially for CIL, I try to add some novelty fabric for fun.  Patients and families dealing with hospice care can certainly use a little cheer.  As you can see below, my blocks include owls, bears, rabbits, squirrels, dogs, Ritz crackers, (crazy, huh?) and more.

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My blocks include owls, bears, rabbits, squirrels, dogs, Ritz crackers, (crazy, huh?) and more.

I am very tempted to sew these together before sending them to Kat, but I shouldn’t box her into a particular arrangement.  These will be such gorgeous quilts that I am itching to get them started.  Oh well, to the mail they go… before they get lost or eaten by a particularly devious puppy.

 

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