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 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




Fall Retreat 2013

My annual fall quilt retreat was held at The Abbey Resort at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. As always, the weekend zooms by too quickly, but it’s spent well, sewing, reconnecting with friends, meeting new ones, sharing projects and relaxing. And as a bonus, the fall colors were gorgeous!


As always, the quilts were the stars of the show!

Our end of the retreat Show and Tell will be featured in my next few posts, and today just a quick overview. Most of us worked on holiday quilt projects and gifts in the sewing room. This year’s most popular fabric was hands down, the Elf on the Shelf, in both quilts and pillowcases.

(Stay tuned, I’ll be posting a pillowcase tutorial later this month with a giveaway!)




Another popular item was the mini table runner a bunch of us purchased at The Stitchery. These fun runners are great hostess gifts and take less than twenty minutes to complete.




Joanne’s Microwave Bowl Pot Holder was the most talked about project of the weekend. Luckily, there’s still time for our group – and you, too – to complete this one in time for the holidays! It’s a perfect hostess gift.


After all the sewing hours, we definitely needed a snack. Vikky was nice enough to share her recipe for Pennsylvania Dunkers – YUM!

Pennsylvania Dunkers
1/2 lb. softened butter
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup finely chopped pecans (can use more)

Mix together butter, sugars, egg, vanilla in large bowl.
Mix very well. In separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
Slowly add dry ingredients to sugar mixture. Mix VERY WELL with hands.
Separate dough into four parts.
Shape and pat each part into logs approximately 6″ long, 2 1/2″ wide, and 1″
Wrap each log tightly in wax paper and freeze.
To bake, slice thin, @1/6 inch, with sharp knife. Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes
until just slightly browned on edges.
Watch closely, they can get over baked easily.
Allow to cool a few minutes before removing from the pan. Each log makes about
25 to 30 cookies

Everyone really enjoyed their weekend of sewing and shopping so much that we’ve had a request to add an extra day next year! Get ready to begin our 2014 Fall retreat on Thursday November 6th.

Special thanks to Therese, our vendor from That Quilt Shop in Woodstock, Carrie and Nancy from The Stitchery in Delavan, Lynn Ray, Schoolhouse Quilts, and Darlene Votzmeyer, Sew Busy Quilting, darvotz@sbcglobal.net, for helping us make our weekend the best reatreat so far. A BIG thank you to the staff at The Abbey for their hard work in delivering our supplies and making our stay comfortable.



Next post: Show & Tell