Had a wonderful time…..

…..in Illini Country!

I just spent three fabulous, creativity-packed days with the ladies of the Illini Country Stitchers Guild! We had the best time; it was an amazing trip from beginning to end and the ladies treated me like royalty. I loved getting to know many of them on a more personal level — learning about their lives, their families, and sharing their passion for all things quilting! But rather than me telling you all about it, how about a little photo show?

After being picked up from the airport by Kim Lytle (thank you so much, Kim!) I spent Thursday afternoon with my good friend and sweet hostess, LynnEl Springer. She and I endulged in a little local quilt shopping where she found some gorgeous fabric…..

and I splurged on a little antique toy sewing machine to add to my collection!

I had the pleasure of dining at Panera Bread with
a fun group of ladies from the guild prior to the meeting….

 ….where everyone made me feel very welcome and right at home.

I’ll bet I was the first guest speaker who asked everyone to wave
so I could take a picture in order to introduce them all to YOU,
my blog readers. (They were such great sports!)

I thoroughly enjoyed presenting my lecture, slideshow,
and trunk show; then getting to meet-n-greet the lovely gals after the meeting.

Bohemian Crystal Quilt Class

On Friday morning the ladies were set up and ready to go bright and early.
We had a great day of stitching and learning new techniques to sew
tricky-triangle/rectangle units to make the Bohemian Crystal quilt.

These gals came with their sense of humor packed and they were ready for fun.
Notice how careful she’s being about where she’s not pressing her units?

I couldn’t resist snapping this shot. LynnEl was happily chain piecing
her four-patch units. She’s not bored, just completely relaxed.
Yep, that’s stress-free stitching at its best!

What could be better than chatting and spending a productive day of stitching?
Nope, can’t think of anything…..

Maggie’s quilt looks exactly like her planned version in EQ6.
Well done, Maggie. Your fabrics sparkle!

Marilyn did a great job of getting her blocks done in class like so many others.
(A big heart-felt thank you goes to Marilyn, Dorothy, and a few other
tech-savvy gals who helped me overcome a technical glitch in getting the
Powerpoint presentation to run at the Thursday night meeting!)

Lots of smiles all around by the end of class.

At my hosts’ home….

LynnEl and Andrew Springer graciously opened their home for me to stay.
Andrew is quite the gourmet. He prepared a fabulous dinner for us on Friday evening.

Their dog, Tucker, is amazing. I’ve never seen a dog catch things on the fly like he does!

This gorgeous quilt greeted me in the guest room.
LynnEl made the Keukenhof Tulips quilt when she took a class
from me at the AQS Show in Paducah in 2006. Stunning!

Don’t you love her license plate? She says when she’s in the car,
it’s like saying she’s in Aruba. Works for me.

Mystery Quilt Class

Bright and early on Saturday morning, everyone was eager to get started.

Kris had fun putting the clues together, one by one. 

 Bonita and Sherri had a great time at their table.

 I couldn’t believe how productive everyone was.
They all worked so quickly and blocks went together with great precision.
I didn’t spot a bad quarter inch seam in the entire group!

 Bright, bold fabrics make for glorious blocks!

 Brenda (aka BJ) had a great time in both classes. I loved her fearless use of color!

 Dixie’s watermelon batiks were simply scrumptuous!

 Donna’s fabrics matched the clothes she wore, which is often the case with quilters.
Loved her buttery soft yellows.

And the mystery is revealed!

 Kim’s version of the mystery quilt with a slightly different block layout.

 Everyone had fun laying out their blocks to see which version layout they liked best.
Decisions, decisions.

 Another glorious finish!

 I felt especially blessed to have Maureen and her daughter
Linda there on Saturday. God bless them both.

Smiles all around. What a great day. Thanks, everyone. I had the best time!

 Kris was kind enough to drive me to the airport in Bloomington.
I got to ride in her fun little mini Cooper. Now I want one.

 When I arrived home, these beautiful pink tulips were waiting on the mantel
for me from my sweetie. What a lovely welcome home!

 This photo is for you, LynnEl! Kindred spirits, right?

  1. Wow! You are an amazing blogger! What a write-up and what great pictures! I will tell everyone at guild to come to your blog to see what you have done! You are THE COOLEST speaker/presenter/teacher E.V.E.R.!!! And a wonderful kindred spirit and friend. Not only did we sometimes say the very same thing at the very same time, we even have the very same cookie jar, love to go to the very same place (Aruba and Curacao – on your coming-up cruise) and love dogs!! 🙂 It was my pleasure to have you in our home, and the thrill of you staying with us will linger on in my heart for a long time, making me a very happy person!! I can’t tell you how it has lifted my spirits to have you be with me for 3 days! Thank you for blessing my life!

    • LynnEl, you are the BEST HOSTESS ever! It was such a fun time — and I appreciate how much you opened up to me and shared your stories, your family (I feel like I know them all now) and your passion for quilting. What a blessing YOU are!

      So, did seeing the photo of the ice cream cookie jar make you smile? Like I said,…..kindred spirits.

  2. Kimberly,

    I had a great time hanging out at both your classes and seeing all the beautiful fabrics. It’s great being able to see the quilts on your blog. The ladies all did a great job because they had a great instructor. It was very nice meeting you. Thank you so much for the mystery quilt pattern and the ruler. My friend, Bev Harvey, (President of our Guild) wants to make it with me. She’s sorry she had to miss out on the classes and meeting you, but had to be out of town.

    I will send pictures as soon as we get them made.


    • Connie —
      You are VERY welcome! Truly, I appreciate that you gave of your time to help arrange for the AWESOME Jimmy Johns for us at lunchtime. I’m a complete Jimmy Johns convert now (love the Italian!) and can’t wait for the chance to come back and do it again! And I’ll be so eager to see your version of the mystery quilt and Bev’s as well. Do send pictures and I’ll put them on the blog!

  3. What a fun montage of your visit with us! Hope you can come again!

    • Thanks, Maggie! I’d love to come again — and I’ll bring a new mystery quilt and new classes, too! 😉
      Seriously, I’d love to hang out with you wonderful ladies again. It was a blast!

  4. Yes, Kimberly, the picture of the ice cream cone cookie jar made me laugh right out loud!! Definitely kindred spirits. And I’ve already put a bug in the Program Committee Chairperson’s ear to get you back here in a year or so! She said she would LOVE to do that! So, pack your bags!!! 🙂 And I’m not sharing you with someone else – you have to stay with me!!!

    • Woo hoo! Count me THERE and ready to go! 🙂
      Guess I should start designing the next mystery quilt for you gals…..

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