Quilt Show in the Garden 2016

A few weeks ago on a beautiful June afternoon, I was fortunate enough to have some very talented quilters display their work in my garden.

The quilts as always are the star of the day. Everyone takes time to study the quilts and vote for their favorite. Congratulations to the Winners!

1st Place – Linda Massa for The Elephant and I

2nd Place – Joan Asbury for Embroidered Stars

3rd Place – Maria Croy for Fit to be Geese

Honorable Mention – Reggie Barrow, Meadow and Ardus Bradley – Twins, Alike But Different

Many thanks to those who contributed a dessert! They were all delicious!!!


Baklava – Brownies – Pound Cake – Pecan Cups – Lemon Bars – Fruit

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Special thanks to Darlene with SewBusy Quilts for her donation of a gift certificate for the First Place Winner. (Also for helping me out so much – thanks Dar!)

An  wonderful afternoon of friends, food, fun and of course, quilts!

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Quilt show in the Garden 2015 – the Quilts

QSG 2015 1 (2)As always the quilts are the stars of the show! It is so nice to see the different fabrics, patterns and quilting and so much fun to vote for the favorite. Each year, my friend Darlene, a longarm quilter (Sew Busy Quilting) generously donates a gift certificate to the winner. And . . . this year’s winner was Reggie for Strawberry Lemonade. Congrats Reggie!!!

Strawberry Lemonade First Place

Strawberry Lemonade
First Place

The show was held indoors this year (as mentioned in the previous post) due to an ominous forecast and super wet garden. So here is a look at all the quilts indoors.


Blueberry Sweetheart

Easy as Pie

Easy as Pie


Five Strip Rail Fence


Skating on Thin Ice ~ Postcards


Valentine Yellow Brick Road

QSG 2015 7

Mystery Quilt


Door County Cherries


A Life of Plenty

And now some of the guests.







So start planning for next year — if you plan to attend one of my retreats or classes, you too can show your quilt! Until then . . .


Quilt Show in the Garden 2015 – the Food


The weatherman doesn’t always cooperate when it comes to my Quilt Show in the Garden. I’ve been having a little quilt show in my backyard (it started out as little, me and my dog Sonny) for the last five summers – three beautiful days, one monsoon rain storm and this last one. Last Friday the weather was supposed to be beautiful, until Thursday. Then storms were rolling in as they have been all summer. Severe weather was predicted for about 1:00 pm, the exact start time for the show. Additionally, the back yard was super wet from the frequent storms that we’ve had all summer. So . . . we went to Plan B, moved indoors.


I will be writing two separate posts, the Food and the Quilts. Today I’ll tell you about the food. Desserts, drinks and quilts pretty much sums up the show. I always have great luck searching for food, drink and decorating ideas on Pinterest. I even have a Pinterest board titled Quilt Show in the Garden. Check it out for your next garden party!

For desserts, I made Hummingbird Cupcakes and Caramel Macchiato Gooey Cake Bars. Both were Pinterest finds, delicious and super easy! I even made the pineapple garnish for the cupcakes. And if any of you want to make the Macchiato bars, I have a lot of instant coffee left!

QSG 2015 4

I am also very fortunate to have good friends who volunteer to help set up food and quilts and also those who contribute their own desserts.

Special thanks to:

Lori for Chocolate Covered Strawberries / Maria for Lemon Bars 

Reggie for Chocolate Chip Cookies/ Darlene for Fruit Kabobs

Lori, Darlene and Anne Set-up Helpers

Darlene for Gift Certificate to Quilt Winner

As for beverages, I served Strawberry Lemonade (also from Pinterest), a variety of Refreshe wines and of course, bottled water.

QSG 2015 3

QSG 2015 8

Be sure to click on all the links for the recipes, as well as share your own in the comment section if you like. Cheers to another successful quilt show. Happy 4th of July everyone!

Next: The Quilts


Quilt Show in the Garden 2014 – the Food!



I am so fortunate to have wonderful friends who helped me out this year for the quilt show. They hung quilts, donated prizes and made desserts! Thanks to Maria, Barb, Darlene, Maryann and Bernice for the treats, Megan Melendez (Thirty-One Gifts), Shannon Roberts (Wildtree) and Darlene Votzmeyer, Sew Busy Quilting for the door prizes and Darlene and Maryann for hanging the quilts. You are all awesome!


Each year, I share some of the recipes with all of you.

Buttercream Bars are a favorite in my house. I’ve been making these for years, the recipe came from a friend of my moms. They are super easy and so delicious!

Buttercream Bars

  • 1 17-oz box Dromedary pound cake mix
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 8-oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Combine pound cake mix, melted butter and 2 eggs until well blended. Beat one minute. Pour into greased 9×13” pan. Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add the other 2 eggs and vanilla to the cream cheese. Set aside ½ cup of powdered sugar. Beat the rest of the powdered sugar into the cream cheese mixture. Pour over batter in pan. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until cake pulls away from sides of pan. Cool 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining powdered sugar.

The other two desserts that I made came from Pinterest, one of my favorite places to find new ideas. I’m always on the lookout for something new each year for the quilt show. Check out my Pinterest Board and you’ll see lots of great ideas for a summer garden party. Here are the links to the  recipes for the other two desserts- Pink Lemonade Cupcakes and Strawberry Shortcake Tiramisu. And don’t forget the Tequila Sangria, its always a hit, I serve it every year!


Tequila Sangria

  • 2 bottles Red Wine (not Merlot) 750 ml each
  • 1/2 cup Triple Sec
  • 1/4 cup Tequila
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Vermouth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • Sliced lemons, limes and oranges
  • 2 cups 7-Up or Sprite

Mix wine, triple sec, sweet vermouth and lime juice in container of choice. Add sliced fruit and refrigerate for a few hours, just so your alcohol picks up the fruit flavors. You can also add slices of apples and grapes. After mixture is thoroughly chilled Serve over ice and add sugar and Sprite/Seven-Up to taste.

And one more, Pecan Pie Bars, everyone’s favorite!

Pecan Pie Bars

  • 2 cups unsifted flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 (6 oz) pkg toffee chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for glass dish). In medium mixing bowl, combine flour and sugar; cut inbutter until mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Press firmly on bottom of 13×9″ baking pan. Bake 15 minutes. In medium baking bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk, egg and vanilla. Stir in chips and pecans. Spread evenly over prepared crust. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool thoroughly, cut into bars. Store covered in refrigerator.



Quilt Show in the Garden 2014


We could not have asked for a more beautiful day this year for the 4th Annual Quilt Show in the Garden. Each summer, I host a garden party to showcase the quilts and talents of those who attend my events during the year. As always, the quilts did not disappoint. There was a mix of traditional and contemporary, along with beautiful hand applique and embroidery. To add to the party, we also enjoyed some delicious desserts with friends!


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The winner . . . Jacque’s Butterfly!

For this post, I’ll concentrate on the quilts. All of the guests vote for their favorite from the quilts submitted. Thanks to Darlene Votzmeyer, the winner is awarded a gift certificate for longarm quilting from Sew Busy Quilting. Our 2014 winner was Jacques Butterfly, submitted by Cathy Tierney. This was Cathy’s very first quilt! Jacques Butterfly is a Block of the Month that I taught in 2006 with our Itasca Firehouse group. Cathy’s use of bright colors that she pulled from the border fabric showcases the many different sizes and types of blocks that make up the butterfly. And as a very first quilt, it was actually a very intricate design. Congrats, Cathy – amazing effort!

Now for more quilts . . .


Young at Heart Pet Rescue, Crazy Eights, Jacque’s Butterfly, Pink and Green and Savannah


Yellow Brick Road, Tulips In Bloom and Wild Goose Chase


Chocolat (background) and A Little Porch Time


Bluebird of Happiness and Flower Baskets



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Chocolate Cupcake and Quarter Cup

Sharing our quilts on a beautiful summer day is a wonderful way to celebrate the art of quilting. I hope some of you are already thinking of what you will show next year!

Next up: The Food




Quilt Show in the Garden 2013 -The Quilts


I was first inspired to host a gathering that I call “Quilt Show in the Garden” a few years ago on a bright, sunny June afternoon. I was toying with the idea of making a digital scrapbook of my quilts (this is still on the to-do list) and wanted to take some photos out in the yard with green grass and blooming flowers. Though my dog Sonny and I were the only attendees, I was able to take some beautiful photos of some of my favorite quilts. After telling some of my quilting friends about my little photo shoot, they asked why they weren’t invited. So the following year I expanded the guest list.

Sonny at the very first Quilt Show in the Garden.

Sonny at the very first Quilt Show in the Garden.

My intention was to create a fun event to give back to all those quilting friends that support my events and classes throughout the year. Everyone invited to display quilts have attended my retreats, belong to one of my quilting groups or have taken classes with me. I’m always open to adding new quilters and quilts to the event, if you’re interested please let me know.

There are very few requirements:

1. Only one quilt per person.

2. No larger than a large lap size quilt.

3. Bring something you haven’t brought in the past, no repeats.

Here’s a look at the beautiful quilts from our most recent event, the 2013 Quilt Show in the Garden!

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Each year we vote on our favorite quilt and give out a grand prize. This year our prize came from one of our long-arm quilters, DarleneVotzmeyer (NuVys Custom Quilting). Darlene graciously donated a gift certificate for our winner.

And the winner is… Maria Croy whose quilt “Little Inspirations” garnered the most votes! Maria’s quilt combined her love of quilting with her love of cross-stitch. The quilting on her quilt was done by our friend, Lynn Ray (Schoolhouse Quilting).

Maria and her winning quilt!

Maria and her winning quilt!

Many of my quilters wanted to share our awesome talents with non-quilting friends, so we threw the invitation out to anyone who was interested in a outdoor garden party. We had a bunch of additional attendees, maybe someday they’ll enter their own quilts!


Quilting Friends


Sister-in-laws, Maria and Linda


Swimming Class Friends


Long-time Friends – Connie, Pam and Loraine

And of course, Sonny with Joy K.

And of course, Sonny with Joy K.

Finally, I would like to thank all those who donated door prizes for the event.

Thirty-One Gifts – Megan Melendez, Woodstock

Lunch With Lori – Lori Boyd, Elk Grove Village, (lqqkr71@aol.com)

La Bellissima Salon – Carol Keyzer, Phenix Salon Suites, Schaumburg

Antoinette’s Candles – Antoinette Giacone

NuVys Custom Quilting – Darlene Votzmeyer, Huntley, (darvotz@sbcglobal.net)

The Quilt Show in the Garden is a great way for people to share a special quilt, discuss our love of sewing, and just hang with other quilters and friends. Hopefully many of you can attend one of my events in the coming months and will be inspired to make a quilt that you would like to display in 2014!

Quilt Show in the Garden 2013


It was a gorgeous June day for the 2013 Quilt Show in the Garden! I was so hoping for sunshine after last year’s monsoon and the weather really cooperated for the most part. We had a full day of fun with beautiful quilts in a garden setting, box lunches and a gathering of friends.

Last year I divided the event into two posts, with the quilts coming first and the food second. This year though, everyone was really ready to hear about the recipes, so we’ll start there.

Pinterest is the number one spot for party planning these days and it was my first stop as I planned my event.

Many of us have fun playing and pinning – I happen to designate one of my boards as “Quilt Show in the Garden” and pin garden party ideas, recipes, and tablescape ideas, every time I see something good.

This year one of the better pins that I found was for box lunches. The original blog post was for a bridal shower but can easily double for a garden party. I found great ideas for lunch, sources for boxes, bags and other supplies as well as tips for packaging. First though, I needed to decide on food.

My friend Lori is starting a small catering business – Lunch with Lori – and I was excited to help her spread the word by having her provide the chicken and pasta salads. I purchased the croissants from Costco, and my Breakfast Club quilt group all pitched in to make the fruit cups. The lunches were a big hit, and it really helped the entire day run smoothly to have the lunch packed the day before.

Bags for croissants and stickers for sealing

Bags for croissants and stickers for sealing

Fruit cups

Fruit cups

Salads, fruit and croissants ready to go!

Salads, fruit and croissants ready to go!

Boxes are filled and waiting for ribbon

Boxes are filled and waiting for ribbon


Lunch Table

Onto beverages and desserts! My inspiration, of course – Pinterest! My daughter Michelle ALWAYS makes desserts for birthdays and holidays, so of course I tapped her skills for the quilt show once again. I chose three single-serve fruity desserts and we brainstormed on the last one for something quick, easy and chocolatey which happened to be the very popular Kraft recipe for  Oreo Cookie Balls.

Dessert Buffet

Dessert Buffet

Oreo Cookie Balls

Oreo Cookie Balls

The fruity single-serve desserts included Lemon Bars, Blueberry Pie Sour Cream Bars and Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes. (Follow links for recipes.) I found them all on Pinterest, though we decided to change the strawberries to blueberries in the sour cream bars since we already had the strawberry cupcakes. The swap was pretty easy, just a substitution with the pie filling. Everything was pretty fantastic, especially the strawberry cupcake frosting, which, since Michelle was a little pressed for time this week, I actually made myself. It tasted like strawberry ice cream! Definitely make these part of your upcoming summer outings and share your desserting in the comments.

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

Blueberry Pie Sour Cream Bars

Blueberry Pie Sour Cream Bars

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

Finally, drinks . We served Tequila Sangria (see last  year’s post for recipe), Lemonade Iced Tea and a bucketful of bottled baby waters, as my grandson has nicknamed the 8 oz bottles – which I have to recommend for parties because it’s much more likely that people will finish them when they’re smaller. IMG_2748


Presentation has always been one of my favorite parts of event planning and again Pinterest was a great source of inspiration for my garden theme tablescapes.

I recycled/re-used the chalkboard trays I painted for our bridal shower in April, found an awesome silverware/napkin wrap idea, and even found ideas for my flower arrangements. Keeping with the Quilt Show theme, I ALWAYS utilize quilts as table toppers, my own and some beautiful antique quilts I have collected.

I chose orange and green as my color theme, mostly because of the adorable napkin/silverware combo I found, and I carried out the duo in the croissant bags, ribbon and flowers.

Carrots - the napkin and silverware neatly wrapped.

Carrots – the napkin and silverware neatly wrapped.


If you haven’t perused Pinterest lately, I hope this post triggers your pinning for the rest of the summer, there’s just so many different ideas out there and it’s such an easy place to find them.

It’s so great to be able to incorporate my love of quilting with the fun of entertaining by hosting my Quilt Show in the Garden. Even though we did encounter a little rain this year, it was nothing compared to the backyard downpour of 2012. We were able to display the quilts and enjoy the sunshine for a few hours until a quick storm rolled in and we moved the party indoors. There was a great turnout, including many of my non-quilting friends, and we are all looking forward to next year. Thanks to everyone who came out for the afternoon, and since this was the food post a special thanks to Lori & Michelle.

Next up: The Quilts!

Quilt Show in the Garden – Recipes

My 2nd Annual Quilt Show in the Garden was full of beautiful quilts. I also whipped up some delicious garden inspired food. My last post showcased the quilts and now it’s time to share the recipes.

Strawberry Carmelized Pecan Salad

  • Mixed Greens
  • Red Onions (thinly sliced)
  • Sliced Strawberries
  • Mandarin Oranges (1 can drained)
  • Feta Cheese Crumbles (3 to 4 oz)
  • Caramelized Pecans (recipe below)
  • Salad Dressing (recipe below)

To prepare dressing:  1/3 cup raspberry wine vinegar, 2/3 cup olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 tsp salt. Combine ingredients, whisk together and chill for at least 1 hour.

Caramelized Pecans: 2 TBS sugar, 1 cup pecan halves; Brown pecans in saute pan with sugar, stirring constantly until sugar melts and caramelize around them.

Chicken Salad Puffs

I found this chicken salad recipe, Chicken Salad Supreme, in the Daily Herald Food Section. I made mini cream puffs and stuffed them with the chunky chicken salad.

Mini Puffs

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 4 Eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat water and butter to a rolling boil in a 3 quart saucepan. Stir in flour. Stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball, about one minute. Beat in eggs, all at once, continue beating until smooth and glossy. Drop dough by slightly rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake until puffed, golden brown and dry, about 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Fill with cream or salad mixture.

Shrimp and Tuna Tea Sandwiches

I served Shrimp Spread and Tuna Walnut Spread on cocktail rye bread.

Shrimp Spread

  • 1 Small Can Deveined Shrimp, Drained
  • 1 8-oz Cream Cheese Softened
  • 2 TBS Onion; Chopped Fine
  • 1 TBS Mayonnaise
  • 1 Hard Boiled Egg, Chopped
  • 1 TBS Lemon Juice

Mash together with fork.

Tuna Walnut Spread

  • 1 6-oz Can Tuna
  • 1 3-oz Cream Cheese
  • Lemon Juice
  • Chopped Onion
  • Chopped Walnuts
  • Pickle Relish

There are no measurements, just mix to taste.

Tequila Sangria

  • 2 Bottles of Red Wine (750 ml each, not Merlot)
  • 1/2 cup Triple Sec
  • 1/4 cup Tequila
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Vermouth
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • Sliced Lemons, Limes and Oranges, Sugar to taste
  • 2 cups Sprite or 7-Up

Mix wine, triple sec, sweet vermouth and lime juice in container of choice. Add sliced fruit and refrigerate for a few hours, just so your alcohol picks up the fruit flavors. You can also add slices of apples and grapes. After mixture is thoroughly chilled Serve over ice and add sugar and Sprite/Seven-Up to taste.

For dessert we served my daughter’s version of  Sparkling Surprise Carrot Cupcakes, her carrots weren’t exactly the same as the Pinterest recipe, but just as adorable and delicious.

Finally, a few more pictures . . .

Quilt Show in the Garden

My 2nd* Annual Quilt Show in the Garden was held on a lovely June afternoon, beautiful quilts showcased NOT in the garden, but indoors as a result of a sudden rain storm that couldn’t have had better timing. Better timing meaning that as we were about to hang the quilts outside the sky started to darken. A bit disappointing for me as I had been planning this event for weeks, ordered chairs and had the tent and tables set up decked out with my grandmother’s tablecloths and flowers.

Since there had been no rain for days, I wasn’t surprised that the storm would hit at the right moment so we had to go with “Plan B”. The quilts were displayed throughout the house, beautifully arranged by Maryann and Reggie. I also had lots of help with the food prep from Maria and Barb, and dessert made by my daughter, Michelle. Thanks to all of you for helping make this day a success. We had a few minutes before the guests arrived and toasted our good judgment in keeping the quilts inside.

Maria, Barb, Reggie, me and Maryann

The real stars of the day were the quilts! Seventeen quilters showed their work. These ladies came together as a result of belonging to one of my quilt groups or quilt retreat groups.

Antique Tied Quilt and Flower Power, all fabrics from London.

Vintage Nine-Patch

Life’s A Stitch, Antique Log Cabin, Shadow Applique

Garden Trellis and Cozy Cabins

Lily Chain, Alex Anderson’s Bluework Sampler, Le Jardin


Quilted Garden

Cherries Jubilee and Spring Fever

Whig Rose Flowers

All the quilts were beautiful, though we did have a little contest going for “Best in Show”. Thanks to Megan from Thirty-One Gifts and Darlene from Sewbizy Quilting for donating prizes to our winners. Barb L. won first place, a quilting gift certificate to Sewbizy and Mary K. took second place, winning the “Master Quilter” bag full of quilting goodies.

Lily Chain by Mary K. and Le Jardin by Barb L.

Despite the weather, everyone seemed to enjoy the afternoon, the food, the quilts and the chance to talk quilting! We did get outside for a little while later in the day, at least we were able to enjoy the rented chairs for a short time. Thanks again to everyone, especially to those who shared their beautiful quilts. We’ll try for outside again next year but as we all know, you can’t control the weather so I will keep my fingers crossed!

For More Quilt Show in the Garden, watch the video on Schaumburg Heartbeat, starting at 28:30, http://www.parkfun.com/tv/schaumburg-heartbeat/2012/july-2012.

Next Post: The Recipes from Quilt Show in the Garden

*Many have asked about the “2nd” Annual Quilt Show in the Garden. Last year on a beautiful June day, I decided to hang some of my favorite quilts on the fence and deck, with me and my Sonny in attendance. The banner picture at the top of this page is from that day. Other’s asked why they weren’t invited and from there, the 2nd annual was born.

Sonny at the First Annual!