Nebraska or bust!

WOW! What a trip we had to Nebraska!

Cheri Terry and I set out to travel to Nebraska just a little over a week ago.

It was “Nebraska or Bust!” LOL

We were exhausted by the time we arrived. So, why did we travel from Michigan to Nebraska? For Quilting of course!

I was asked sometime in 2017 to teach a 3 day retreat at Country Traditions Quilt Shop, you can check out the shop

Here-> http://www.countrytraditionsonline.com/

Country Traditions is located in downtown Fremont in an old furniture store. I have never been in a shop as large as this one! You should put this on your “must go see quilt shop list”. They have fabric for everyone! Patterns galore, Accuquilt, sewing machines and notions.  The store is beautiful. Hardwood floors throughout. Oh, I kept saying that no one can sneak around because the floors creak so much! LOL The classroom is to die for! So huge, well lit, plenty of iron stations and cutting stations for everyone and your sewing space is plenty! Plus! One of my great friends works there. You might know him. He is a quilt designer and author. And! And!! He won 2 Blue Ribbons and 1 second place at the 2018 Nebraska State Fair. Who am I talking about? Scott Flanagan of course.

Here is how the journey went:

Cheri and I left my home on Sunday, August 19 in the morning I believe around 10:15. Our goal for the day was to get to Iowa and do some sight seeing. Now weeks before the trip Cheri and I met to try to plan out our journey. Where should we stop at, where should we eat, sleep, visit this quilt shop and that quilt shop and oh, look there is one way up here in Iowa…you should have seen me getting pretty excited about all the quilt shops we “could” possibly visit!

Day 1: Drive to Iowa. Stop at Davenport, spend the night

Getting to Iowa was a little bit of a journey in itself….If you look at the map, there is only one way to get around Lake Michigan. Interstate 80…I-80 West..you know what that means? Chicago traffic and toll roads…I dislike, very much dislike Chicago traffic and toll roads. There is always a back up on one section on I-80. Does not really matter which part of the interstate there is always an accident some where and well we all know what that means…you sit in traffic and just crawl..get no where fast.

Cheri found an alternate route at the last minute that allowed us to see some country side. The country side was nice. We ended up getting back on I-80 in Jolette, Illinois. Hopped on 80 fast and finished our journey. I believe we ate lunch on that stretch of country roads in a little town that did not look so “well” kept…I just kept driving 🙂

Lunch: Cheri made these fantastic roll up type burritos for us that had bacon and ranch…enough said, it had those 2 ingredients and it was delicious! YUMMMO

I’m one of those people that has to have certain snacks on hand when I travel…one is pretzels, I prefer pretzel sticks. I made sure I had my pretzel sticks with me for pretty much the entire trip.

Cheri found a quilt shop that was open on Sunday…so guess what? We stopped there. The shop was in Illinois not too far from the Iowa border. I found a few fabrics…who’d thunk it, lol! I also found this cute book of puzzles for quilter’s.

Once we arrived in Davenport, IA we went to dinner at a steakhouse, I think it was Texas Roadhouse. We had planned on staying at a hotel on the Mississippi River about 15 minutes where we were having dinner. Except there was a Hampton Inn right next door to Texas Roadhouse. I did not want to drive another mile so we stayed at the Hampton. I was so happy to not have to drive. I was ready to get in my jammies and veg for the evening. And we did!

Day 2: Davenport, Iowa

I thought those coffee cups in the picture above were adorable. It did not even occur to me that they were meant as male/female cups! LOL I brought 2 of the paddle coffee stir sticks home for my son Chris. He sets up GI Joe’s at Christmas time. These coffee stir sticks are perfect size for GI Joe.

Once Cheri and I got moving, we went sight seeing! First stop: Buffalo Bill Museum on the Mississippi river. How cool! Loved it!

Quilts inside the Buffalo Bill Museum

Downtown Le Claire, Iowa
The Mighty Mississippi River. That is Illinois on the other side of the river
American Pickers…Antiques Archaeology Shop

We stopped by the quilt shop that next door to Antiques Archaeology shop named Expressions in Thread. Very nice shop.

Once we finished our site seeing in Le Claire, IA we headed to the Little Red Hen Quilt Shop in Muscatine, Iowa. OK, now this was an interesting trip. First of all, it is a must see quilt shop! My friend, Melissa Winters (former employee of AQS) is employed there. I had no idea what to expect when I walked inside the shop. It is HUGE! And there are  SO MANY ROOMS OF FABRIC! Now the adventure part of it, is that navigation brings you into a subdivision….hmmm..we drove around the block a couple of times trying to find this place. Finally, as I drove really slow both Cheri and I looked to our left down an alley…there it was!!! Drove back around the block to enter their parking lot. There it was tucked away behind the houses…it is NO SMALL shop! It is huge! Lots to offer quilters!

I taped 2 short videos of the shop. There were a total of 7 rooms of fabrics and quilter’s supplies. The two videos I shot are not enough to show you what all they offer. You should stop by there and see!

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipOpOAtczSnw7PPPrc2X2kPKrI6SBsPLsoGcu4GX

 

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipOcIa9LsqDZHs9AVKw_38PipYoK57MoBnkzsti2

You would think I was tried after all this driving and shopping…nope! We had one more place we had to go!

Kalona, Iowa!

Such a neat downtown!

You can read about that part of our journey in this blog post

http://nancymcnallyquilts.com/blog-post/quiltingontheroad/day-2-of-nebraska-or-bust/

 

Happy Quilting!

Nancy McNally

 

Day 2 of Nebraska or Bust!

I decided to write about Day 2 of our Nebraska or Bust journey in a separate post.

Day 2 was busy with lots of shops and sight seeing, but this city Kalona, Iowa was extra special. Quilt blocks in the side walk! Cheri has more pictures from the downtown. As soon as she shares them with me, I will update my blog. Until then enjoy!

By the way, it was raining when we ran around Kalona’s downtown taking these pictures…we are a mess!

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Can you name the quilt blocks? Go ahead, give it a try! I’ve numbered each block.

Is that not the coolest?!! Iowa is a great state for Quilters….After we finished running around the downtown taking pictures, we drove due west on Hwy 92…More cool pictures to come in a separate post. Barn Quilts!

That night we drove west to Winterset, Iowa. Home of??? Who knows? Scott’s Aunt Linda! LOL I bet you were thinking, Home of Fons & Porter, Quilt Museum and Pieceworks Quilt shop! Well of course that too. Cheri and I stayed with Scott’s Aunt. Aunt Linda is fun and full of energy! She is a great host. Day 3 of our journey coming….

Happy Quilting everyone,

Nancy McNally

It’s Almost Harvest Time!

It’s almost Harvest time!

Have you ever wanted to make a pot holder to match the season?

I have the perfect project for you!

Apple Harvest pot holder

And, you can complete your pot holder in a day!

Yes! You can Learn, Make and Create with me at Annie’s Creative Studio

https://s3.amazonaws.com/publishing-videos/LMC0094_Snippet.mp4

Grab your favorite apple red and green and let’s make a pot holder!

So, what will you learn in this class?

How to work with heat resistant batting, making pockets…yes, I said, “Making pockets” how exciting is that?!  The sides of the Apple Harvest pot holder are pockets. You reach in from the center of the apple. By sewing pockets you keep your hands protected from any burns.

Oh, one more thing that you will learn, how to sew on a bias binding.

The curve on the pot holder is a gentle curve so it is easy to manipulate the bias binding.

I used my Clover Wonderclips to hold the bias binding in place.

Apple Harvest pot holder was so much fun to make!

To top off the pot holder, there is a pretty green leaf to add to the top.

Sign up for the class here! And don’t forget to show me your project

http://www.AnniesCreativeStudio.com

That’s all for today.

Happy Quilting to all!

Nancy McNally

Enjoying life…

Developing my Business plan/goal

What do I want to do and how I want to accomplish my plan/goals

I returned home last evening from Indiana. I was there recording 2 online classes for Annie’s Catalog, Annie’s Craft Store. The drive allows for thinking time…and thinking I did along with singing along with some great tunes. Thoughts: continue Enjoying Life…how?

I was thinking about a conversation I had with Susan, the producer of the online classes. She asked me where I teach at. My response was I teach for guilds and for a local quilt shop. I used to teach at national shows, but I find the national shows extremely stressful. So I decided no more. I could if I only taught say 2 classes, but for the most part you tend to teach 3 to 5, any less and it is not worth the money. It is a lot of prep work, the supplies needed to bring for each class, plus bring enough supplies for extra sales…it just got to the point where I could not keep up with it. The first 5 years I was doing all of the above I had no one to help me. I do now, and maybe one day I will try to teach again at a show.

Do I enjoy what I do? YES! I want to keep it that way!

The owner of one of the shops that I taught at in the past placed an amazing opportunity in my lap! I thought about it and I was on board!  Another opportunity was presented to me shortly after by Annie’s. I chose Annie’s. That meant, I had to say no to the shop owner’s opportunity…that killed me! I still want to be there! My decision was based on: I need to enjoy what I am doing. I do not rely on the income that I make. It is fun money that is all. If I add the shop owner’s position to my schedule, I would stop doing what I love the most. All my time would be spent working for others.

In a nutshell, I love teaching. I also love designing quilts. And that my friend is what I plan on focusing on.

Yes, I will still make guild appearances! I love presenting my trunk show “What was I thinking?!”

So what is my next step? Sitting down with my helper, Cheri, and laying out a plan for the next year or two…and putting other things beside quilting on my calendar.

Happy Quilting everyone!

Nancy McNally

StayCation continued

Staycation continued to my backyard!

Yes, my backyard!

I realize most don’t have a stocked pond in their backyard, but I do and I love it!  While my sister was here we went fishing! She was so excited to go fishing. So was I! She fishes often with her husband. I on the other hand had not fished since I was a kid.

When Renee saw the pond for the first time and saw that the pond was stocked she wanted to fish. Off to Basspro shop we went! Bought fishing poles, worms, hooks and the rest of the supplies to fill my tackle box.

Did we catch anything? OH HECK YES!!

Catch and Release

So what is in the stocked pond…other than a pair of muskrats that are creating havoc with the water level???? Muskrats can cause the water level to drop from the tunnels they dig from the edge of the pond. And! The tunnels can cause the ground to cave in…just imagine walking along the edge of the pond and all of a sudden the ground gives way…

In my pond we have Crappie, large and small mouth bass, and blue gill…plus snapping turtles, painted turtles…very cool birds come to my pond too.  And I can’t forget the frogs! Lots of bull frogs.I absolutely love living here. It is my staycation all the time. I walk out to the pond everyday. I stand on the dock and just look at the water. Its calming for me.  Some days I eat my lunch on the dock. I find it relaxing.

This guy visits the pond at least 3 mornings a week

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Cn46Tmr4PcGNiay46

We have amazing bonfires 🙂

https://photos.app.goo.gl/w1YJuXAo373bKz7m6

My catch, large mouth bass
View from sewing deck
The fountain
and one of the many bullfrogs

Who wants to come over and visit? We can have a day of relaxation.

Happy Staycation!!

Nancy McNally

Remember “Staycation”

For the past several years, at least 5 years now, my sister and I try to take a mini vacation in Michigan. My sister lives in South Carolina and I live in Michigan. Each year we try to have an adventure, a vacation for her and a Staycation for me. Most of our adventures are right here in Michigan. This year we chose to do our staycation in the Metro Detroit area and beyond.

We visited Cranbrook.

Cranbrook has a home tour and a garden tour, both free!

https://housegardens.cranbrook.edu/explore/gardens

And here is a short video clip of the pictures I took from the gardens.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GBsmMpxT2dq6uWUf6

The weather cooperated with us, a little on the hot side and we both wished we had brought our bottles of water…The house was not available to tour when we arrived so we just walked the gardens. They were so pretty! You know, it is kind of interesting to be a tourist in your own area/county/state.

I think we all should look around and see what is surrounding us.

You would be surprised as to what you find!

Another staycation was our impromptu trip to the thumb!

The thumb of Michigan…you know, the Mitten State.

I decided at the last minute that I wanted to travel to the thumb. I had never been up there, and I have only heard how pretty it is up there. On our impromptu trip we saw a pretty amazing thing that made me smile big!!

Quilt blocks painted on the sides of barns!

I had no idea I was on the trail, the Thumb Barn Quilt Trail!! We did not get to see all of them…you wanna know why? Cuz I did not know it existed. I just kept driving. Renee took pictures when she could. I’m including an image of the map where we could have driven to. Our goal was to get to the thumb, the tip of the thumb. If I had known there was such a trail, that would have been my agenda 😉

http://www.thumbquilttrail.com/

You can view the Barn Quilts through the link, wish I had pictures. I think this means I am going to have to take the trip again.

Now for the thumb area! This was so much fun! Renee and I made it all the way to the tip of the thumb. There was a type of boardwalk. It was really a “breaker” for the boats coming into dock. This was so much fun! We walked the boardwalk, now it is made of cement. The waves crash along the boardwalk. As the waves crash along the arcs of the boardwalk, they continue crashing moving down the boardwalk. I loved this! Check out my video!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/UTFixf4bQgyHDt6h8

Here is how far we walked on the boardwalk

Beautiful day on the beach Lake Huron…actually, we just walked on the beach…it was too windy and a little chill in the air.

Can’t wait for our next adventure! Michigan has a lot to offer for day trips and weekend trips.

Happy Adventuring everyone! Enjoy your state!

Nancy McNally

Sunbonnet Sue, yes, I said Sunbonnet Sue

Lil Miss Sunbonnet Sue in the Kitchen

There are those quilters who just love Sunbonnet Sue and well there are those who…dislike her…which one are you?

Honestly, I’ve never made a quilt block that has Sunbonnet Sue appliqued onto the background.

Instead, I was able to make this adorable Lil Miss Sunbonnet Sue in the kitchen dish detergent cover.

Lil’ Miss Sunbonnet Sue

You can view a video excerpt here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/publishing-videos/LMC0090_Snippet.mp4

“Sunbonnet Sue has charmed quilters and sewers for generations! Now you can add a quaint accent to your kitchen with this machine-sewn  Sunbonnet Sue liquid dish detergent cover! As you work along with expert Nancy McNally, you’ll trace and cut curved pieces, work with templates, do simple machine-sewing, attach lace, embroider accents and more.  “

When I was assigned this project I was kind of excited. Sunbonnet Sue was kind of my bucket list of projects. I just never got around to it. When I received the pattern, I immediately went to my fabric shelf! I knew exactly what fabric I was going to use. Do you ever do that? I’m sure you do. I did not have to think long about the fabrics I wanted to use, these colors were perfect together. I love the red and white. So crisp!

Now the buttons!

Did you notice the buttons?

So cute!!

Daisy flower buttons and red hearts!

Sunbonnet Sue in the Kitchen

Grab your supplies and let’s make her together! And you know what? You could make one for each season and or holiday. How great is that?!

So…my Sunbonnet Sue sits in my kitchen. Matter of fact, that is my kitchen with the tile in the background 🙂

If you would like to view more projects you can find them at Annie’s Creative Studio

Happy Creating!

Nancy McNally

 

Moving Day is coming….

Moving Day is coming soon!

Bella is ready to be disassembled

Well, Bella has been cleaned up. I had to dust her off 🙁 I have not been able to longarm quilt in a while.

I miss her terribly.

I need to get reacquainted with her. I miss drawing with thread just doodling. I can’t wait till we have her setup in the new house and I can play and create with her!

I need to get my groove back!

Her new spot is here:

New spot for Bella

Playing … I need to play with my Bella….

I still have to figure out where 2 workbench cabinets (only 1 is pictured) are going. They are full of longarm threads, rulers, all sorts of tools. I’m running out of space….I think I have to take over the second room that is in my basement. Oh bummer! LOL

 

My new cabinet from Harbor Freight

 

 

 

 

Back to work everyone,

Nancy McNally

ABC Block Club: Domino Net

Man oh man has it been a while since I have written a blog. Life has been overwhelming and I needed to take a step back to get caught up. All is good now and I am feeling more inspired to create as each day arrives. On my Facebook group page we are learning 2 new blocks a month. They are being presented by their name in alphabetic order: ABC Block Club

Facebook Group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/240137286367256/

Today’s Block: Domino Net

Rich Fall Colors for my Domino Net Block

Domino Net was a very easy block to create. Went together quickly. I can see this block using only 2 colors to create a great visual chain running in your quilt.

My friend, Cheri, has been offering our FB group history on the blocks. She has been doing a great job at researching the blocks. It is interesting to read about the origins of the block(s) and the designer. The why’s are sometimes found to let us know why the block was designed, sometimes there is no history for the block. Cheri digs and digs trying to find out as much information as she can. Keep up the good work Cheri!!

How about you? Would you make this block? Nothing difficult, precuts are great for this project.

Enjoy!

Happy Quilting!

Nancy McNally

 

Bias Exposed

Yes! The Bias has been Exposed!

I know several quilting friends are not fans of working with triangles. They are so nervous about working with bias triangles.

I also have observed that there are some “famous” well loved and adored quilting personalities that don’t mind exposing the bias to the outside of a quilt block.

Me, I’m not nervous about working with the bias any longer. I decided I was going to conquer this fear along time ago! I love working with triangles.

Just how do you deal with this pesky little wavy stretchy situation?

Here is what I have learned…the hard way, lol

Don’t pull or tug the fabric, it will stretch. That distorts your unit and increases the size

Pin! It only takes a second to pin. What pins do I use? Glass head pins with a skinny needle shaft and they are SHARP!!  Don’t use pins that you have to force through the fabric. It is worth your time to purchase nice sharp skinny(narrow) shaft pins. The thicker pins, use them for denim, upholstery and other heavy fabrics.

Spray Starch: before you cut your unit, go ahead and spray your fabric with your favorite spray starch. Spray the fabric, let the starch rest on the fabric for a few seconds. When you first spray the starch (over spray…spray too much) it will act like water. Meaning, if you immediately place your iron on the fabric to dry the starch, it will stretch your fabric. So let the starch rest for a few seconds, then iron.

I was working on a block this morning, an eight pointed star…the center looks great, but I noticed my star intersections were not perfect. I must have stretched the fabric somehow 🙁 Yep, working with the bias! I know better, I got in a hurry and was not careful.  Can you see where my mistakes are?

I can see them.

The fabric is sure pretty though!

Time to get moving and get busy on the next project, this one will have to wait.

Happy Quilting everyone!

Nancy McNally