May 092016

Here’s some communication I’ve had with a recipient of one of our quilts. She’s trying to find the maker of the quilt. If it looks familiar and you were the one, please let me know and I will forward her contact information to you. I’ve told her we might not be able to find the maker, but we’ll try.
Thanks. Jane Erickson

“Hello, I am a proud owner of a quilt that I received after having a baby in the NICU at RMH. I was wondering if I provided a picture if you could tell me who made it so I can let them know what it means to me. Also there was writing on the corner and it was washed off and I would love to know what it said. Thanks in advance. Here are some pictures of the quilt. I also want you to know what the quilt meant to me and what an amazing thing you are all doing. My water broke at 33 weeks, I was nervous knowing that my child was going to go to the NICU. The first time I visited my daughter in the NICU was a bit of a blur I remember holding her for a very short time and that is it. The next time I went in I had no idea where she was or which isolet was hers but I remember seeing a very bright and beautiful quilt draped over one isolet it made me smile, it was the perfect colors for a little girl and my two favorite colors. As the nurse pushed me to my childs isolet I realized that the isolet covered with the adorable quilt was my babies isolet! I immediately said who makes these amazing quilts?!?! I was sobbing it made my day so much brighter. Every day I would come in to see the beautiful quilt and it always caught my eye. One day the quilt was gone and I panicked a little when walking towards the area where my daughter was at, this was a good sign! She was out of her isolet!!!! The quilt was still there folded next to the bed she was in. The day she was able to come home I knew I couldn’t leave the quilt there I HAD to have it, it was my ray of sunshine on some really scary days. I will cherish this quilt forever and I will tell my daughter all about the good deed that someone did that made a really scary place seem so much brighter. Thank you for what you do.”


May 062016

SPAM on May 21st has been cancelled due to the Cherry Valley Library book sale. The tote with zipper workshop will be done in June. Click HERE for supply list.

May 012016

Thursday, May 5th:

Mini-Morning Workshop: Work on quilt tops for Rockford Rescue Mission. 9:30-11:30, Bethesda Covenant Church.

Program: Ilene Bartos (website). “Borders, Sashings and More”. Trunk show with discussion on how to add interest to your blocks and by your choice of borders and sashings. Come prepared to take home some ideas for your next quilt or bring finished blocks to discuss alternate sashing/border ideas. 1:00 and 7:00 p.m., Bethesda Covenant Church


Friday, May 6th:

Workshop: “Autumn Paths” with Ilene Bartos. This class teaches the following techniques: color theory, how to sew braids, partial seams, and flat fold piping. This project can be done in a wide variety of color schemes, so pick your favorite focus fabric and have fun. 9:30-4:00, Swedish American Heart Hosptial


Saturday, May 7:

Workshop: “Fractured Piecing” with Ilene Bartos. This workhop focuses on using freezer paper templates to sew straight seams that have very little matching. It can be done with either my “Fractured Leaves” pattern or “Double Trouble” pattern. 9:30-4:00, Swedish American Heart Hosptial



Apr 042016

Thursday, April 7th:

Mini-Morning Workshop: Floating Star Table Runner, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Bethesda Covenant Church
Supply list:
Sewing machine, sewing supplies, rotary cutter, mat, ruler.
Fabric list: 3/8 yard background, one Charm Pack or 32-5” squares. Cut background into 2 strips 2 ¾” by LOF, sub cut in (32) 2 ¾” x 2 ¾” squares. Also from the background fabric cut (4)5” squares.

Program: Lisa Binkley (website)
1:00 & 7:00: “Adding Sparkle and Texture to Your Quilts”. Whether you’re interested in trying bead embellishment for the first time or you’ve done some embellishment but are looking for additional inspiration, this lecture is for you. You’ll learn step-by-step instructions for embellishing your quilts and garments with beads and see 75-100 images of Lisa’s beadwork for additional inspiration. This lecture includes the display of some of her quilts and smaller framed work. Bethesda Covenant Church


Friday, April 8th:

Beginning bead embroideryWorkshop with Lisa Binkley: “Beginning Bead Embroidery”. Have you had some bead embroidery experience or taken my Beginning Bead Embroidery class and now want to learn even more beautiful techniques? Come to this workshop with a pair of sharp scissors and your creative thinking. Students will receive a kit with beads, thread, and a sampler base, plus hand-outs. Students learn how to beautifully and securely incorporate larger beads, buttons and cabochons into your quilts and bead embroideries. They also explore a variety of edge stitches and fringe techniques while creating a sampler to take home for future reference and inspiration. Full day. Click HERE for supply list. 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Swedish American Heart Hospital


Saturday, April 9th:

Bead embellishmentWorkshop with Lisa Binkley: “Bead and Button Embellishment: Simple to Spectacular”. In this half-day class students learn a dozen different ways to embellish quilts, garments, and other fiber art using simple buttons and beads together. Students also learn about variations on these 12 techniques so they can go home with many new ideas for how to have fun adding texture and design focal points to their quilts and fiber art. This class is suitable for all levels of stitchers. 1/2 day. Click HERE for supply list. 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Swedish American Heart Hospital


Saturday, April 16th:

Special Projects & More (SPAM): Continue working on the Mystery Quilt. 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Cherry Valley Library


April 20, 21, 22, and 23:

Day trips to Paducah. Click HERE for details and instructions for booking your flight.

Apr 022016

One-day charter flights from Rockford to Paducah are available for April 20, 21, 22, and 23. Click HERE to print the instructions on how to book your flight online. For those of you who are not comfortable reserving your flight online, you can call Elite Airways at 1-877-393-2510, 7 AM to 5 PM CST, 7 days a week. You must provide the same information as you would online, especially the Promo Code … QUILT. These trips are open to all quilters.

Additional Important Information:

Arrive at RFD no later than 6: 30 AM on the day you choose to fly. Go through the TSA with your photo ID and your empty tote bag. Our plane departs RFD at 8 AM and arrives in Paducah (PAH) at 9 AM. We will then board an awaiting tour bus to take us to the Convention Center to the show. The bus will then take us at 4:30 PM to the Cherry Center where the Rotary Quilt Show is being held. The show is small in number, usually featuring an interesting antique collection but the vendors are the reason to stop and it is on the way back to the airport. It will be a short stop as we need to be back to PAH to depart at 6 PM with arrival back in RFD at 7 PM .

The air fare is $199 round trip. As we did in 2010, you will need to purchase a packet with your admission tickets to both the AQS and the Rotary Show, Show Program, bus transportation with driver gratuity included for $50. Be aware that the cost of everything involved has increased since 2010. Mail your $50 check (made out to Judy Mullen) to Judy Mullen, 4928 Zenith Pkwy, Machesney Park, IL 61115.

Mar 052016

Hello Quilters! Wow! We had a wonderful sew-in yesterday! Thank you to everyone who participated. Some gals came early to help set-up. It was so helpful to have many hands during that early time. We marveled at all of the “mystery bag” quilts that were displayed. It’s quite the challenge to be handed fabric and then create something appealing for a neonatal quilt. We had about 20 quilts submitted to that challenge. This morning I counted all of the completed quilts from yesterday. The total I have at home is 43. There are many gals who took quilts home to complete in addition to those. We even had a set of quilts for triplets and a set for twins. We had a quilt made of bowtie blocks that were handmade many years ago. I call our day extremely productive! Besides the hum of sewing machines, the room was filled with chatter and collaboration. New friends were made and plans to attend future quilting conferences are in the works. We all shared the fun of the “Out of the Box” challenge (well named!) quilts.

I want to end by sharing a story I was privileged to hear by an evening attender. A co-worker asked where she was going yesterday. She told her about our sew-in. The co-worker stopped what she was doing and shared that her niece was born 15 years ago weighing around 1#, (can you even fathom that??) and spent many months at RMH in the neonatal center. She shared how the quilt that her niece received was so meaningful to the family at that time, especially seeing it over the isolet each day they arrived, knowing their daughter was still with them. To this day, that girl still uses her quilt and the family is so grateful for the symbol of life it means to them. So, my fellow quilters, as you make and give the many baby quilts we collect, these move on to families and individuals for them to use during and after crisis situations in their lives. They give assurance and comfort in the present and are treasured memories in the future. Your time, effort and creativity are profoundly appreciated.

Blessings to all of you! Jane and Rose

Feb 252016


Neo-natal Sew-in, 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. We’re counting on everyone to come for whatever amount of time you can fit in to your schedule. We’ll have fabric to use, batting and ideas. If you plan on coming in the morning and staying through the afternoon, bring your lunch (or go next door for a bite). Bring a snack along to share if you’d like, we’ll supply drinks. Those of you who took a Mystery Bag, be sure to finish it and bring it in. We’ll display it and you’ll be a part of a special drawing. There will be tasks available for those who don’t want to haul their machines that day. Every person can contribute in some way! Those of you who are a part of the Out of the Box challenge, bring your quilt in and we have something special for you. Please join us for a portion of the day, doing what we love: sewing, chatting, laughing, and working for a cause. Bethesda Covenant Church



Special Projects and More (SPAM): Continue working on the Mystery Quilt. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Cherry Valley Library. PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE DUE TO LIBRARY CONFLICT ON OUR USUAL 3RD SATURDAY.

Feb 252016

Last week 5 of us worked on fidget quilts for Lincolnshire Memory Care Center. We were busy little bees and finished 22 quilts. A few days later I delivered them. Lincolnshire was very appreciative and they were put to use right away. Thank you to Lorna, Mary, Norma and Harriet for carving out some hours in their day. Who knows??? Any one of us might need one of those in the future.

Thank you, everyone! Jane Erickson, Special Projects