Friday, October 20, 2017

Missouri Star Trip -- SATURDAY

Saturday morning, we had a nice breakfast at our beautiful motel -- then it was BACK ON THE BUS. We were headed to Macon, Missouri.

Macon is about two hours away from Hamilton....and THIS WAS A VERY SPECIAL EVENT...
We arrived in this sleepy little town...and got off the bus.
There's a beautiful little old-fashioned theater...
Called Maples Repertory Theater.  There is a VERY SPECIAL EVENT ABOUT to take place...
I love, the decorations in their lobby.
And the Ladie's Room was SO INTERESTING.
Every bathroom had a private door...and surprisingly, there were A LOT OF THEM.
This small theater was just terrific. And we were the lucky ones!! We actually had TWO special events to attend in this quaint little theater.

First up? Drumroll.....wait for it.....IT'S THE JENNY DOAN TRUNK SHOW!!


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Missouri Star, Part 4

Our day in Hamilton was coming to an end. We'd arrived, had lunch, shopped for fabric, visited every fabulous store in town. But the shops close at 5:00 -- and our trip isn't even half over...
But it's time to get back on the bus
With our new chums, Gail and Lisa
(really -- these MSQ murals are amazing...the little boys blowing bubbles...!!so sweet...)
We went out for supper (to a Golden Corral) -- and then landed at our brand new motel for the night.
We all brought in our bags...
I was very proud of my newly decorated bag!!
I didn't get pictures of EVERYTHING we did. Thank God, there are no actual photos of the three of us in the motel swimming pool...and, also there are no pictures of the six of us playing THE BEST HOTEL GAME EVER...

Gail and Lisa caught on FAST...we laughed so hard -- well, my theory is that real belly-laughing ADDS time to your life. And if that's true -- the six of us gave ourselves another month on this earth that night. At least. (and the wine helped -- thanks, Linda P.!)


How could this trip get any better??

(Hint:  Up Close and Personal with Jenny Doan HERSELF)...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Missouri Star Quilt Co, Part 3

It's hard to blog about our visit to Missouri Star Quilt Co. in Hamilton, Missouri -- because THERE IS SO MUCH GOING ON THERE, and we had such a great's hard to know where to start, much less stop...
They seemed to have five or six different totebags -- this one was mine.
It is a photo of a famous quilt...(I can't remember the name)
Gail (a friend of mine from the YMCA) and her bestie Lisa were also on our bus!!  SEE THOSE SMILES? That's the look on every face of every quilter who lands in Hamilton, Missouri...
The best picture of the back of my jacket. So good, right? (thanks, Deb, for the embroidery!)
The decor of each store is unique, and very inspirational...every room is like a work of art.
They even went to the time and trouble to make a plain set of stairs SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY.
And, there is an underlying sense of humor everywhere you look.
There's no way you could absorb all the beautiful quilts, hanging on ever wall, displayed in every shop...WHO'S DOING ALL THIS SEWING?? Really. It's like an amazing rotating quilt show that is happening 365 days a year...
Hamilton, Missouri is also the birthplace of J.C. Penney. And this store used to be the J.C. Penney store.
Hummm...Lisa and Gail seem like good prospects for the TMBC Fun Train...???


In this YouTube video, Jenny's son -- Al -- the owner of MSQC -- tells the MSQC in his own words. I think you'll enjoy it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Missouri Star SHOPPING

A trip to Missouri Star Quilt Company in Hamilton, Missouri is NO ORDINARY SHOP HOP, people!! As you drive into town, you come onto Main Street and it feels like the ENTIRE TOWN has been taken over by a society of Quilters...


When our bus arrived, a MSQ hostess came to greet us, gave us wonderful totebags full of goodies, and explained the lay of the land...

The Flagship store is our first stop...
Because, of course, you want to REGISTER.
If you've ever purchased something from MSQ online -- they already know you!
Now, you're free to go SHOPPING...
The various store fronts all deal with specific types of fabric.  Batik, Floral, Primitive, etc.
Every store has a good supply of THE DAILY DEAL (which could be 80% off a bundle of something)
This is my best shot of a block.  (I was afraid to walk out to the center of the street -- it is a State Highway)
Since I was there last year, THEY HAVE ALL NEW SIDEWALKS...
The Happy Birthday Banners were still hanging up all over town. 
And -- THEY KNOW THEIR CUSTOMERS!!  There are beautiful benches everywhere you look.
Each store has it's own individual personality.
Linda found this GREAT FABRIC in the Floral store.
You know what a weakness I have for fabric with words...
Although you pay for your purchase in every store, they scan your "MSQ pass" -- so you are racking up bonus points with every purchase.
We only had half a day to SHOP MISSOURI STAR...and that really isn't enough time. There are too many stores, and there's so much to see.

When you think this company started in 2009 -- and now they have 450 employees.  It is a.m.a.z.i.n.g...I met one employee who moved from Denver for her job at Missouri Star...and another who moved from Florida.  Holy Cow!! 

Missouri Star has turned the Quilt World ON IT'S HEAD!!.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Missouri Star, Part 1

Okay -- finally -- I am ready to blog about MY VISIT TO HAMILTON, MISSOURI. This combined so many things I LOVE...first of all, let's hear it for girlfriend travel!!
These are the players. The four of us are ALWAYS, ALWAYS at TMBC. Sandy, me, Linda K. and Linda P.
Getting to the departure point at 4:45 AM was the hardest part of the trip!
You already know I SLEPT for most of the ride down...(it took over 5 hours)
The Doan family has turned this town upside down....and it is jam-packed with quilters.  Lucky for us, the buildings are beautifully renovated, and there are many interesting murals...SO MUCH FUN, EH?
This mural is on the side of the main store (there is a bakery and a burger joint next door)
This mural is on the side of the renovated Retreat Center. I stayed there last summer when my sister Ronda and I went to the Featherweight Workshop.
We arrived at lunch time -- and the bus company had arranged for a lovely boxed lunch. However, LK and I decided to have a gourmet experience at the Blue Sage Restaurant...

The pot pie was delivered in it's own iron skillet. SO MUCH FUN!

This trip was about WAY MORE than just fabric shopping! BUT -- hey -- tomorrow, I'm gonna tell you about the fabric shopping!!
There are a lot of signs in every store...and you've gotta love this one...
*************** MMWI: 228.6

Saturday, October 14, 2017

My Saturdays!!

Since the kids went back to school, our routine is that I pick them up on Friday and they spend the night, and all day Saturday. So, for two days, their lives are ALL ABOUT THE GRANDMA.

Friday night, I take them swimming at the YMCA. It's fun to be in the pool AFTER DARK...
This activity NEVER gets old!!

All summer, we've been eating Saturday morning breakfast on the porch...
But the temps are dropping -- so we may have seen our last porch breakfast for awhile...

Lilly's "Acting Class" is Saturday morning...and she is enjoying that. A lot. Last week, Warren and I went to the Salvation Army for that hour -- and I bought YET ANOTHER LAZY BOY for $35. Holy Cow. SUCH TREASURE, EH?? (Wait until you see it...this new one is burgundy velvet. Whadaya think? 1985??) is our habit to eat lunch in town. Sometimes, we have a picnic in the park....but, I've also developed quite a list of restaurants where KIDS EAT FREE.
Lilly and Warren at her first week of Acting Class
So that's what I'll be doing today. And I wouldn't have it any other way...(oops...I'm halfway to a BAD poem!).

Hey -- I know this is a window in my life, and THEIRS...and I am very grateful to be able to spend so much time with Lilly and Warren. 

And, right now -- I AM LOVING MY SATURDAYS..!!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Mary's Last Resort Whitening Formula

Over the years, Mary and I have shared many things. We've traveled all over the world together...we've been to New York City, Seattle, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Sacramento, Florida, Sweden, Norway, Beaver Dam.. .well, you get the idea.
We are always collecting things for our NEXT SHOW....I have a big collection of fur collars...hummm....
We've written books, designed patterns, planned seminars. We've laughed, we've cried -- and we have NEVER ONCE run out of things to talk about.
We did our Midwest Ya Ya Show in Chautauqua, New York...what a GREAT TIME we had!!
We created these goofy outfits for the Pink and Red charity event in Puyallup, Washington. You will be happy to know we never wore them out in public...
We both enjoy collecting vintage linens and aprons. One of the joys of my life was when Mary and I designed all new updated 7 Days A Week kitchen towel designs for a machine embroidery CD. WHAT FUN THAT WAS!! Of course, our favorite day was MONDAY!! WASH DAY...

When I was writing my book, Dress Your Dream Bed -- the subtitle was "Vintage linen inspiration for today's elegant bed." I had a set of white on white monogrammed pillowcases (with tatted edges) that I wanted to use in the book. But they had been improperly stored, for many years, and they were more brown than white....
The book cover was photographed in my cousin Kim's back yard...(I still use a damask tablecloth for my bedskirt).
Those pillowcases were a conundrum. I wanted to photograph the "before" and "after" to illustrate how they could be refreshed and still used on today's beds. I took the "before" pictures but, after many washings, with various products...they were still too discolored to be usable.

Mary recommended the following treatment**:
  1. Soak them overnight in a bucket of plain warm water. When fabric gets very dry (dehydrated) -- it is at it's most fragile state. (The plain water plumps up the fibers, and makes the fabric stronger, more able to absorb subsequent treatments.)
  2. After the first 24 hour soak -- put them in another bucket for a second overnight soak with Mary's mega-whitening-solution:
  • 1/2 cup of dishwasher soap.
  • 1/2 cup of Clorox bleach
  • 2 gallons of very, very hot water
THEN -- wash them in a regular cycle (hot wash/cold rinse) with normal detergent. (I prefer Oxyclean for whitening)

THIS WAS MAGIC... I hung those pillowcases on the line -- on a beautiful bright, sunny day and they were BEAUTIFUL. Completely restored...they were a stunning, snowy white.

After the book tour, those tatted pillowcases went into my regular bed linen rotation, and I'm still using them today.


** CAUTION: Think long and hard before using bleach on any fabric -- especially vintage linen. Bleach should always be considered a last resort. By the time I use this solution, I've already exhausted every other logical treatment. Here's my criteria: If the item is too yellowed or discolored to be used on my bed -- I have nothing to lose...