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Quilts at the Stillman Inn Part Two

Posted by on in Stillman Inn Blog

Quilts at Bernadine's Stillman Inn

 

Part II

 

August 19, 2014

 

Wow - thank you everyone for your interest in the, Part II of the Quilts at the Inn.  On the previous blog I posted about the antique quilts and unfinished quilts I bought and finished over the years.  This one is even more fun because it's about, as I promised, the quilts I've made!

 

You may notice that a lot of them are decidedly Civil War period style.  The patterns and fabrics are more muted but still interesting.  I think I've leaned this way because 1) we live in Galena IL and 2) I love thinking about women as they sat around hand sewing with fabrics they had, usually from clothes they've worn out.  They would have quilted with these shades of fabrics.

 

I have, however, pushed myself out of the box on a few occasions to use brighter colors.  That was fun but not what my natural bent is.  I'm working on that!

 

So, here we go.  Hope you enjoy!  Mostly I hope it inspires you to give quilting a try!

 

Celebrating Women 

 

This quilt is from a book, as most are, that commemorates women throughout history that did "big things" that women just didn't do back in the days.  For example, one block represents a woman who owned real estate and rented out homes.  I used striped fabric as the background and hand appliqued all the pieces on.  These were all from my stash of civil war era fabrics.  I used the needle turn process and it took over 1 1/2 years to finish.  It was a great take-along project and I started keeping track of all the places I worked on this quilt but lost the paper I was writing on.  One place was on a riverboat ride down the Mississippi River.  Nice to sit out on the deck quilting away.  Another place was Walnut Ridge, a log cabin bed and breakfast in Platteville.  Worked on it twice there during our stays.

 

I entered this one into the local Fair.  Almost won best of show but the judge did not like the fact that I "quilted" over the applique.  This was a choice I made after much thought and I was proud of that decision.  Oh well.

 

Grandmas Garden

 

Here is another sample of the quilt above.  I believe the house is the one representing a woman from years past who owned real estate.

 

Lone Star

 

This was my first "Lone Star" quilt.  Piecing drives me crazy.  This was done using a fusible background that makes all of your points perfect.  What makes this special is that my husband saw this and wanted to hang it on his office wall right away! Awwww!  Dave, you are just tooo cute for me and soooo very smart!  I made this one in 2003

 

Eagle Lone Star

 

This Lone Star was made in 2012 using the same technique as above so I couldn't mess it up.  I added the eagles in the corners using a die cut from Accucut.  What fun.  There is a light colored background under this quilt.  I chose to quilt with a dark thread on the top and bottom of the quilt - not so smart.  You don't notice it on the top but the back looks kind of terrible.  Should have used a lighter bobbin thread.  Oh well...live and learn as they say!

 

Pieced Table Runner

 

Several years ago I decided to perfect piecing.  I have a "how to" book that was actually quite wonderful.  Can't find it now though.  I especially like the middle motif.  That is called "card trick".  Turns out I have not been using an accurate 1/4" seam.  You actually need a "scant" 1/4" seam because when you open the seam it uses more fabric to make that turn.  I had these squares laying around for about 8 years wondering what to do with them.  Then my friend Susan decided to teach us one of the "quilt as you go" methods which was fascinating.  Now my squares are a table runner and I just love it.  Thank you Susan Hunter!

 

Bargello

 

Then Susan decided to teach a group of us how to make a "Bargello" quilt.  Bright colors here that I just love.  It was a bit complicated but fun.  The more seams I had the more "unstable" the piece was so it's far from being in perect alignment but I don't care.  it's beautiful!

 

Hearts Runner

 

I found this pattern around Valentines day in a quilt mazagine and as if I didn't have enough projects, I decided to throw it together.  Glad I did.  I used all scrap fabric and I love it!  Back to the muted colors we go!  I guess I love the "homespun" look of these fabrics.

 

Pumpkins

 

Halloween is not my favorite Holiday.  In fact I just don't like it.  The very theme of it is dark and, well, I guess I don't like dark.  So, I found this pattern for bright and perky pumpkins.  Helped me to enjoy the season a bit more! This was a kit. Everything was appliqued on by machine and I used some fancy stitches from my embroidery machine to decorate the background squares.  My friend Rosie inspires me to do this.  She does it on everything!

 

Paper Dolls

 

"Paper Dolls" quilt design.  Last year my New Years resolution was to work only on projects I had waiting to be put together.  I broke that promise just once for a small table runner.  I had this quilt kit sitting around waiting to be made for about two years.  I had purchased it at the Paducah quilt show, the first one I ever went to (thank you Susan) and I'm so glad for my resolution because it's done and cute as can be.  Again, civil war, homespun colors.  Glad I bought it. This was pieced and pretty easy to do.  It would be a good quilt and more precise if I had paper pieced it.

 

Gramas garden

 

Here is my "Grandma's Garden" quilt.  All hand pieced hexagons from fabrics in my stash.  Wow, this one took years.  A great take-along project but wow what a lot of work!  Don't think I'll be making another one so this is quite special.  Have you ever done these hexagons?  Jo Quilter in Bellvue IA has a quilt store and she is THE QUEEN of hexagon quilts.  Check it out!

 

star table runner

 

Table runners are fun because you can actually finish one in less than a year or two!  This one was paper pieced.  Again, my dear friend Susan taught a group of us how to do it.  Love, love, love the precise points you get with this method.  Give it a try!

 

Rosies Indian

 

I'm cheating now because this is actually a quilt my friend Rosie is making.  She saw a picture of a Lone Star quilt that looked like an Indian with headdress on.  She asked me to "figure out" how they did it.  That was not easy and I still don't have it right but they are turning out just great!  I think she's ready to quilt hers.  I still have to finish piecing mine!

 

paisley cats

 

Paisley Cats!  This was made in 1991?  So it was probably my third or fourth quilt.  It's a lap top quilt and I adore the paisley fabrics and I used denim for the hearts.  I was brave from the beginning of my quilting life as you can see I tried the interesting border on this one.

 

Beccas Quilt

 

And last, but not lease, in fact this was my first ever quilt.  I made this for our daughter, Becca.  I had no idea what I was doing but just had to do it.  It's actually my own heart design.  you can hardly see it but I added lace around the hearts.  Again, being "brave as a bear" I used the prairie points around the outside edge.  I quilted a heart in the blank squares.  Not bad for a first time, do it yourself project!  It's been in protective custody for years because Becca is afraid of ruining it.  I'll have to give it to her now that she has a daughter!

 

Poppies

 

Okay, so this is technically the "last" example.  I just have to share it.  I went on my first "shop and hop" about 7 years ago.  I bought a book at one of the first stores that had his pattern in it.  I used the rest of the stores to find all the various fabrics.  That was smart.  Always go on a shop and hop with a project in mind to buy for otherwise you buy a bunch of mismatched, "what did I buy this for" stuff!  Believe me, I know!  Also a good idea if you go to a large quilt show.  Know what you want before you go!  I used machine embroidery on this one with the Poppies.  It's an applique pattern so the possibilities are endless with it and I just love that!

 

What fun I have had over the years, what friends I have made and what places I've been all because of this lovely art!  Want to come quilt with me?  Just make your reservation at Bernadine's Stillman Inn and let me know you'd like to quilt and we'll sit down with a cup of tea and a UFO and get it done!

 

Happy Quilting,

 

Bernadine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant Park - The Place Where It All Hapens

 

 

 Galena, IL 2014

 

kayaks weird 2

 

The City of Galena has done and continues to do an excellent job with our showcase park, Grant Park.  We are so fortunate to have this beautiful park which includes plenty of benches to enjoy an awesome view of the historic downtown, a railroad track, 3.5 mile walking path and Fever River for starters.  I do not know what this breed of "kayak" is called but they are pretty fun to watch go by underneath the bridge that leads to Main Street.

 

The local business "Fever River Outfitters" provides rentals for your enjoyment to include canoes, kayaks, bikes and scooters that you can drive out to a local winery. 

 

Great location and the site for Country Fair Weekend, Fourth of July Fireworks, Picnics, Music, Private Parties, Prom photos, Weddings, Family Fun and Romantic walks.

 

biking

 

 

canoe

 

bridge

 

This is the bridge that crosses over the Fever River and lands one block from Main Street.  Great photo ops here of downtown architecture as well as the aforementioned river bike path activity.  Show up here around dusk and you will see a bevy of bats coming out atop the buildings for their nightly dinner. I know it sounds icky but really - no mosquitos and the bats aren't interested in you at all.  I've never had one come close to me here.

 

Arbor

 

 

Here is the arbor which, in summertime, is covered in greenery. Very romantic for an evening walk!

cannon 4

 

 

And of course, being a town centered around General Grant and the Civil War, we have cannons.  I was just there yesterday and I can't remember if it's 5 or 6 of them but they are all different and very cool.  

 

cannon 3 wth kids

 

 

And of course you can climb on them.  It's not just kids that climb on them either.  Quite often, while strolling the park, I will see one or two adults posing as well!

 

gazebo

 

Ah, the Gazebo.  Lots of wedding ceremonies, Prom photos, Bands and engagements happen right here!  

 

 

gaelna vets monument

 

 

galena vets mon

 

This Monument is always a good reminder of what people have sacrificed so we can be right here right now enjoying all of this goodness.  And of course we have a stature of General Grant.

 

grant statue 2

 

 

The house he lived in when he became President is right up the hill, across from our inn.  It has a garden with a statue of his wife, Julia Dent, who is pointed towards his statue below.  Sweet!

 

fountain

 

 

We also have this gorgeous fountain.  In a couple of weeks the planters will be filled with flowers!  It is surrounded with benches so you can sit and enjoy a picnic lunch right there.  See the Pavillion and war monument in the background?  The Pavillion is used for many things including weddings, local group picnics, bands during country fair weekend, etc.

 

kids park

 

 

Great recreation for the kids.  We've enjoyed bringing out kids and now our granddaughters there often.  Gorgeous green space.  Always something for kids to do during the fairs.

 

walking path 2

 

 

This is one of the many paths leading to the breathtaking views of downtown Main Street.  I have sat and enjoyed these views many times.  Sometimes I take a good book and sometimes I take my knitting.  Great way to relax.  Back in the far distance is the top of the original High School.  It is now filled with condos.

 

 

grant park sign 2

 

 

Thank you for taking time to view this blog.  I hope it entices you to come visit Galena.  If you live here already, I hope it entices you to pick up a good book and your dog and come sit for a while!

The "Grant Park" sign is embedded on a hillside.  A couple of years ago, during the heaviest storm we have ever seen, the word "Grant" slid off the hill.  As you can see they are now replacing it and it looks better than ever!  Way to go Galena!

 

Come see us soon!

Bernadine & Dave

Bernadine's Stillman Inn

 

There is just no denying it, we are into Fall and it is beautiful here! Fall Festivals are beginning, we just had a civil war encampment event here down our hill and I'm taking what will most likely be the last pictures of this years gardens. All that work....!

We've just spotted our second set of baby squirrels for the Spring/Summer. They are just too cute and cause quite a bit of mischief around...not as bad as racoons though. We've taken the bird feeders down and set them on the ground since the squirrels end up getting everything anyway. Fun to watch our granddaughter try to say squirrel at 2 years old!

We'll start making pumpkin and apple pies, cheesecake, hot apple cider and by the way, a lot more people are have a smores fire these days here at the inn! Yummy!

I love the random sunflowers that come up around the garden, particularly under the bird feeder. It's just a pleasant surprise that I didn't have to plant!

Once the sedum blooms you know it's time to get your warm clothes out!

Galena IL has two to three civil war encampments a year. There was one this weekend across from Grant's home. You can see it from the Inn. As a matter of fact, I can hear the cannons going off right now.

Civil war encampments are a great thing for families to do. We used to go to them and was I happy when the guys told my son he couldn't use his phone or any other electronics while there. He loved it. He was usually a water boy during battle.

They regularly go through formations that were typical in the civil war encampments. Guests love to go down and ask questions, see how they make their food, look at antique artifacts from the time like uniforms, guns, old kettles, saddles, etc.

This is always my favorite. When they set up the little log cabin as it would have been in the 1800's. This particular weekend it was Set up especially nice with lots of knitting, quilts and sewing gadgets. I love the simpler arts. I won't say simpler life because it most certainly was not simple or air conditioned for that matter! There are a lot of artists in Galena that like to work with their hands especially in the area of fibers, mending and sewing, knitting, rug making...When I work on my projects I like to think what it would have been like for women in those days. It's kind of a touch stone for me like doing a family tree is to others.


By brother-in-law Donn is going to like this pic!

I had the rare opportunity of being able to leave the inn for a walk Saturday. I sat in Grant Park trying to finish up a knitted scarf when the train came by. Next to the train tack is a bike path. Lots of people riding bikes! And next to that is the Galena River. I was able to watch several canoes and kayaks go by. What a perfect day!

Then I walked to the farmers market. Tried to find "Pink Lady" apples. I've been trying to find them for pies because the description of them is so luscious. I understand they are an Heirloom apple and hard to come by. If you see any, send one this way!

Have a great Fall and stop on in! The colors are going to be spectacular in the next couple of weeks. Next weekend is Oktoberfest complete with wiener dog races and then the following weekend is our busiest weekend - Country Fair Weekend.

Mention this Fall 2011 blog and receive a complimentary bottle of wine with your two night stay!

-Bernadine & Dave

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