Monday, December 12, 2011

Chicago Cultural Center

We had a great time on our third HEG field trip--Chicago and the Cultural Center.We had lunch at the Park Grill in Millennium Park. A gentleman from a neighboring table snapped a photo for us. Huette, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable and experienced. In spite of our (well, my) tendency to wander, she kept all of us organized and together. (She also knew all of the warm ways to get from place to place and where all the bathrooms were.)
This is the view from the restaurant of the skaters enjoying the chilly weather.
We strolled around the park a bit and walked over to the "Bean."
Here's the Cloud Gate from the inside. If you can spot me in my purple coat, you have better eyes than I do!
Next we shivered our way to the Palmer House. We may not have seen much actual needlework on this excursion, but we really enjoyed the holiday decorations and found a lot of visual inspiration in the decor of the buildings. Check out that ceiling!
This was the carpet at the Palmer House. I took several pictures--perhaps a crewel paisley design will be forthcoming. We left and after a brief stop to check out the walls and ceiling at the former Peacock Jewelery store, we wandered up State Street. The Sullivan designed former Carson's building is being revamped by Target. It looks like they're preserving Sullivan's lovely metal filigree designs. We wandered through Macy's, looked at their Tiffany Dome, and then headed to the Cultural Center.
This is the view up from the entry way of the Cultural Center.This is the ceiling in the entry way. This building was originally the Chicago Public Library so the designs feature author's names, quotes in many languages, and printer's marks. This type of mosaic work is Medieval in origin; it's called Cosmati. The designs are more flowing and not rigidly geometric. I saw quilt patterns everywhere.
This is the famous Tiffany dome. And no wonder. It is amazing! The symbols in the center are the signs of the zodiac.
This is the room the dome is over. The walls are all Cosmati work with a filigree design. The logo here is the Chicago Public Library.

We wandered a bit more, looked through an exhibit of art using letter forms, and then caught the train home.

Our next field trip will be to Designer's Desk in Geneva, IL on January 20 or 21.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Militarily related

I came across a couple of things today I would like to share with you. The first is an article from the Knitty Blog about a Homewood woman who has coordinated a huge effort of knitting for the military. The second is from a Facebook post with an address for sending holiday cards to recovering service people.

Ms. McDermed and some of the more than 400 items her group contributed this past year.

A nice profile of Mary McDermed, a knitter from Homewood, Illinois, who is leading an army of volunteers to make scarves, helmet liners, neckwarmers and other warm items to ship to US Military personnel in Afghanistan. She leads a group of 45 crafters, most of whom are senior citizens. She was inspired to start the effort after reading an article in a 2009 Homewood Veterans Committee newsletter sent to her husband, Ed, a World War II veteran.

Turns out the military mailing address for holiday cards was not legit. Sorry.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sudoku stitching

Sorry to take so long to get this posted. This is my frame for my sudoku project. I stitched it before the official directions came out, so I used satin stitch with my inspiration colors. Since I started this way, I think I am going to continue working my own way as well.


Here you can see a close up of the 2 different sizes dividing the boxes, with the border over 3 stitches around the outside.


I used a variegated DMC pearl # 5.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Part I of the Mystery Project

Here are the samples for the borders for the Sudoku Mystery project.This is mine. It doesn't look bad here but I think the border is much too thick-bright and will overpower the stitching to go inside. I used one strand of Watercolors for this. The article author used one strand of floss. Big difference.

Someone (Peggy P.?) suggested perhaps using black inside the squares and I thought perhaps that might work well. I'm going to check my stash for black or very dark blue fibers in various textures to make up the 9 combinations I'll need.

Jane C. used a thicker thread but it's not a vibrant and she used satin stitch for the borders so they're less prominent. (Hopefully she'll edit this and add a photo of hers.)

I got another surprise when I began stitching with the Watercolors--I used it to select my other colors and looking at the skein while in the store I didn't see any blue in the fiber at all. I bought purples, russets, and a bit of pale green. When I began stitching all I saw was blue. I cut the thread to deemphasize that and I pulled some blue pearl cotton from my stash to add to my fibers. So, learn from my mistake: Don't forget to untwist the skein you're using to select your other colors and walk it to a window to really see the colors in it.
To show how floss would look (and because I really couldn't envision one strand of floss on 18 count canvas, I made up two single squares. I think they'll make nice ornaments. And one strand of floss looks quite nice with the braid stitches used in the projects.

The inner braids are one thread wide, the inner dividers two threads wide and the outer border three threads wide, all pretty much with the same overlapping cross stitch braid pattern.

On the left I used one strand of Needle Necessities overdyed thread. On the right I used an unknown silk (I'd lost the tag). It has seven strands. I used one strand for the narrower borders but tried two strands for the widest border and liked the coverage I got.

The pattern called for Kreinik #12 braid but I don't have much so I used a random piece of silver (it wasn't much fun to work with, whatever it is) on the pastel piece and Kreinik #8 gold braid on the red/green one. #8 is a bit skimpy. So, when you're picking your colors, be sure to get #12 braid for your metallic.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Programs for next year

The programs for next year were unveiled at the Dinner Meeting. Next month, everyone is invited to use the templates in their folder and design snowflakes for our "Poker Chip Ornament." Please bring some pearl cotton to the meeting.


November is a beading class with Karen. You will still be able to sign up next month.

Next year we have a class for this temari, representing the game of "Hearts."


We also have a hearts needlepoint project (with beads) that Marge will be leading... I think it is gorgeous!

Please be working on your sudoku puzzles, to have the key ready for our sudoku project. Guild will provide the canvas, and we will discuss fiber selection soon. You need two completed puzzles... stay tuned!

We plan a black-work bookmark and/or nook pouch:


For this class we will be using different methods of transferring patterns to our material. Come prepared to play!

To go along with the theme for our combined show next fall, we will be working on crazy quilt ATCs (Artist Trading Cards). We hope to be able to put a display together with everyone's work.


I am really looking forward to the coming year!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Summer Challenge Project

One of the highlights of the Dinner Meeting is seeing what everyone has worked on for the Summer Challenge project. There are so many original ideas! Here a couple of members are studying the entries.


I did not take notes, so I do not remember who won first, second, and third, and I may get the names wrong. Please forgive me!

I do know that Kathy was the first place winner with this beautiful log cabin heart. Her strips were so tiny! Wonderful work!


Karen had a 3 of hearts, and so worked on a triptych for family. The picture does not do justice to the beautiful stitching.


The eight of spades inspired this biscornu. Eight sides, 8 hearts, 8 corners, etc. This side is white on black, the other side (that I did not get a picture of) was black on white. Very creative!


Marj created this project, based on the 10 of clubs. She stitched 10 different clubs in different techniques, and then put them together into a Jacob's Ladder. She showed pictures of all of them on her blog here, but did not talk about the individual techniques she used. I would still like to see a blog post about that (hint, hint).


This is my entry, inspired by the 3 of diamonds. You can read more about it here.


Karen picked the 8 of hearts, so she made beaded hearts!


Helen worked on a bargello tree from Mary Frances. The colors are amazing!


I was very pleased by the entries and the level of participation this year. We also had prizes for the concepts stitchers came up with, and even had a couple of entries for that! Thank you all for playing.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September Dinner Meeting

Monday was our September Dinner Meeting, and we had a wonderful time.

The theme for the year is "Fun and Games." The theme was introduced by the playing card motifs in the center pieces.


We had our usual delicious meal served by Glenwood Oaks Restaurant, with the addition of cupcakes for dessert.

I took quick pictures of the tables before we started eating. I am sorry I did not get a picture of everyone.

Our new president started by welcoming everyone, and having people indicate how long they have been members. There was a good representation of lengths of membership ranging from charter members (37 years) to new members who have only been with us for 1 year. It was wonderful to see everyone!

In separate posts I will talk about our activities at the meeting: this year's programs, the Summer Challenge, and the show and tell that was shared. One new addition to the festivities was a game of bingo using needlework related words. I think everyone had fun!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Crazy Quilts in Highland Park

Crazy Quilt Exhibition

Highland Park Historical Society Hosts One-of-a-Kind Crazy Quilt Exhibition; Museum Chosen as Anchor Site for Northern Illinois Quilt Fest.

The Highland Park Historical Society will host a Crazy Quilt exhibition, “Crazy Quilts and More by Addie Mangoian Davis,” July 1 – September 30, 2011, Wednesday – Sunday, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., at its museum located at 326 Central Avenue, in Highland Park, IL. The museum has been chosen as one of more than a dozen anchor sites for the Northern Illinois Quilt Fest, which will span across the six counties in Northern Illinois. Admission to the exhibition is $5.00, and special group tours are available upon request.

Davis, a native of Waukegan, IL, lived 25 years in Chicago, before she began quilting in 1974, in Friendship, Indiana, where she and her husband moved after his retirement. She describes herself as an “intuitive fiber artist.” “I couldn’t even sew on a loose button,” says Ms. Davis. “But, I believe you can do what you want to do. I fell in love with Crazy Quilts, and I was determined to make them.”

During the three-month quilt fest, a variety of other quilt-related events, including a speakers series, workshops, and appraisals will be held throughout the six-county Northern Illinois region. For a schedule of events at the Highland Park Historical Society, please visit Information will be updated as events are finalized.

In addition to the Crazy Quilt exhibition, the Highland Park Historical Society will feature a display of mid-20th century crocheted and knitted doilies from the collection of Carol Sanes-Miller, also of Highland Park. For more information, you are invited to call 847-432-7090, to visit the museum’s website at, and to visit Facebook under Highland Park Historical Society.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

upcoming events

Next Friday, June 24, I'm going with World Embroideries to the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair. Once there, we'll meet with my sister and sister-in-law for a day of fiber goodness. I've never been there, but friends have and it sounds wonderful. Fibers, music, animals, and shopping. They also offer a robust schedule of classes.July, August and September in Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnegabo, Stephenson and Jo Davies Counties--right across the entire northern edge of Illinois. On August 19 and 20 there will be a "Weekend of Valor Quilt Show" in Huntley IL (near where the outlet mall is along I-90). It's sponsored by the Gazebo Quilter's Guild.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Michael's data hacked

If you've shopped at Michael's lately, you might want to check your debit or credit card records. A friend of mine (a beader) was hit and she warned me. I was there about a month ago and my credit card looks okay.

Michaels Alerts Customers of Potential Debit and Credit Card Fraud

IRVING, Texas, May 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Michaels Stores, Inc. has learned that PIN pad tampering may have occurred in its Chicago-area stores and that customer credit and debit card information may have been compromised.

The company was contacted this week by banking and law enforcement authorities after some fraudulent debit card transactions were reported over the weekend. Authorities believe the fraudulent transactions may be linked to legitimate transactions in Chicago-area Michaels stores.

Consumers who have purchased items from a Michaels store with a debit or credit card are encouraged to monitor their statements, report any suspicious account activity, and change any PIN numbers and other account security settings. Consumers who believe their accounts were used without authorization should contact the card issuer directly. More consumer protection tips are available at the Federal Trade Commission website at

The company is working to assist authorities in the investigation. For additional information and updates, visit Michaels website at

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

March Minutes

Homewood Embroiderer’s Guild
March Meeting Minutes
March 14, 2011 St. Paul Community Church

Just a reminder--Our meetings begin at 7:15.

We plan to begin the April meeting promptly in order to cover our business and have time for the workshop. The quilters who were unable to attend last month are likely to come in April—and that will lengthen the meeting. Please try to be on time and seated at 7:15. Thanks!

For April’s project, Floral Fantasy notebook cover, you will need usual stitching supplies.

April hostesses will be Linda Tylk, Elizabeth Webb, and Cathy Wojcik

President Nancy called the meeting to order at 7:25 P.M. Jane Compeau took the minutes because Marjorie was out of town. Thanks a bunch!

Pat Bellinger made a motion to approve the minutes sent out for last month’s meeting, and Marcia Hogar seconded the motion. Approved.
Treasurer’s report: checkbook has $4,472.15.

Carol discussed the programs.
The temari workshop is in 2 weeks, pick 3 shades in one family from pearl #5 from Mary Frances’ supply. Linda will make sloppy joes.
Next month’s program is notebook covers, taught by Marjorie Holme.
June will be the hex nuts bracelet.
Tonight Linda is in charge, there are no guest speakers. As soon as the meeting is done, please grab your refreshments, and Linda and Carol will display needlework books. You can take any books you want. There are 21 bags from Mary Frances’s stash. They do have a source that will take anything guild members do not want.

We received a thank you note from the organization we sent the garage sale left-overs to, to help the women of Honduras.

Discussion on sharing a show with Pieces and Patches Quilt guild of Crete. They had planned on coming to the meeting, but could not make it.
Date would be September 2012, with the show running Saturday and Sunday, with set-up on Friday.
What about a fund-raiser? No Problem,
They charge admission.
They have a boutique, we could have one as well.
They have a bake sale and vendors.
Held in a nice Junior High in Steger.
They talked about some people joining our guild. Their meetings are 2nd Wednesday of the month.
The school has a concession stand with hotdogs, etc.
Suggestion: have a “tea room” with desserts for a fund-raiser.
Suggestion: They had raffle baskets and wanted to eliminate that…we might be able to take that over.
Marge made a motion to table the proposal until next month when some Pieces and Patches members could come to the meeting. Peggy Mollema seconded the motion, accepted.

Treasurer reminded members that dues are due in May and June, $30.00, please plan ahead.

Carol asked us to please start collecting fabric for May, prewashed 1/2 yard to 5/8 yard, we also need needles and thread.

Nancy asked for volunteers for president, 2nd vice president, and secretary. We do not need a new treasurer this year.

Motion to adjourn.

Show and tell:
Carol K, Romanian needlepoint lace from shop, entrelac scarf with Kool-Aid dyed yarn.
Nancy 12 quilt blocks to trade at her quilt guild.
Jane: sashiko and three temari
Chris Tragos: knitting nice shawl/scarf.
Carol Schultz: butterfly crystal motifs
Peggy: Hawk dancer needlepoint picture from Pacific NW for nephew, beach picture for daughter, ornaments from rummage sale canvas and Designers Desk sale.
Linda Tylk, quilt/stitching floral basket from 22/24 years ago.

Quilts on Display

Two local venues are showing quilts this spring!

"Amish and English: Quilts from the Illinois State Museum Collection" is on at the Illinois State Museum Lockport Gallery (201 West Tenth Street, Lockport, IL 60441) now until September 16, 2011. The gallery is open Monday-Friday 9 to 5 and Sundays 12 to 5. Note: it is not open Saturdays. Free admission and parking (plus there's a great quilt shop, Thimbles, just a block away.

The second show is at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City (101 W. 2nd St. just north of the outlet mall). The quilt above is by Tommy Fitzsimmons, from her show "Tommy: The Material Girl." It opens April 16th and runs until June 26th.

Also showing at the same time at Lubeznik are two other shows that will be worth seeing: "Woman as Artist, Woman as Muse: Diamond Collection of Posters of the Belle Epoque 1890-1910" and "Vintage Vogue: Cover Art from the LCA Permanent Collection."

Lubeznik is open Tuesday-Friday 10-5 and Saturday and Sunday 11-4. The center is also free with free parking.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I want to thank everyone who gave me advice last month about a closure-handle for my little oriental purse. I had been thinking a hard handle (bamboo), but you convinced me I should think softer--like cording. You were right. As you can see above, I added jump rings around the top edge to hold a cord. Done! Thanks a bunch for the suggestions! Marjorie

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Morris Quilt Show

Pieces from the Heart Quilt Guild Presents

"Quilting Through the Decades"

Featured Quilter for 2011
Veronica Johnson

March 18th & 19th
Jennifer's Gardens
555 W. Gore Rd
Morris, IL 60450

$5.00 Admission Fee

Friday March 18th 9:00am-8:00pm
Saturday March 19th 9:00am-4:00pm

Internationally known teachers:
Linda Ballard
Wendy Butler Berns
Beth Ferrier
Shar Jorgenson
Karen McTavish

See our links page for links to the teachers websites

Classes are to be held March 15th-18th 2011
Registration now open

Up to 65 Vendors
Vendor and Sponsor space still available for the show
Vendor listings to come

Saturday, February 19, 2011

February Show and Tell, final post

Carol K. inspired me in January and I had a lot to show. This has all been blogged on my blog so if you may want to skip it. This little snail was designed by Thistle Threads as one of their Needlework Nibbles. It was a great deal of fun to do.Carol taught this Sashiko design in January. I completed the stitching. I don't know how I'll finish it. I think I may have another completed panel in my pile and together they would make a nice bag.Carol also showed a bag made from the Origami Bag Pattern. I was inspired and made several fat quarter bags. The instructions are at I have a version formatted for printing I can e-mail you if you want it.My sister gave me the fabric for the bag below and the trim. I love it made up in this cute bag. I will never, ever use this beaded trim on anything else. Perhaps sewing it on by machine would be okay but hand stitching--well, the thread caught in the beads with every single stitch.For the Festival of Broken Needles on February 8, I sorted my main pincushion and made this little two-sided wool cushion. I filled it with squares of wool quilt batting.And last, I had appliqued the front of this bag a while back. While I had the sewing machine out making the origami bags, I added a back and lined this bag. Now I need to add some sort of handle or cording. I got some great ideas from guild members--thanks!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

February show and tell, part II

President Nancy had a show and tell to explain where she was last month--dancing her heart out!It looks like she had a great time.Karen J.'s pieced and applique tablecloth in progress wowed everyone. She plans to quilt it with a thin batting and actually use it as a tablecloth.On my way past, I snapped Chris T's socks in progress. one more post to come...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February meeting show and tell

Since Jane wasn't present at this week's meeting to do the honors, I did my best to take clear photos of the show and tell. I'm going to post them in a few posts, in the order in which I took the pictures. Here goes...Pat B showed this amazing needlepoint, done with several colors of Watercolors. It is really incredible in person and looks like it would be great fun to do.Carol S. completed this caterpillar bracelet.Jeni S. made these three bracelets and two necklaces. (the necklace "chains" are coiled up around the pendants). She said the necklaces were a free pattern intended to be worked in clear crystals to look like snowflakes or ice crystals. I like her colored versions.This last bracelet is by Karen H. more to come...