Putting Together Masterpieces: Quilters Share Their Art at Quilt Show

People with a gift for picking up the pieces and putting them together displayed their creations at the gathered at the fifth annual Cabin Quilters’ quilt show in Bartonville, just outside of Peoria, Ill. The artform is something that’s been passed down. The show featured nearly 70 handmade and machine-quilted creations by club members.
Fran Slater, 75, of Peoria nearly could keep her excitement in check. “I just love these quilt shows. I’m like a kid in a candy store,” Slater said. She said quilting is, for her, nearly an addiction. “If I don’t get to my machine, I just don’t feel right,” Slater said.

Cabin Quilters club historian Kathy Henderson, 55, who lives between Bartonville and Glasford, said necessity and nostalgia inspired her to quilt. Henderson said her grandmother left behind about 10 unfinished quilt tops that held memories.

“I could see dresses and shirts Grandma had made,” Henderson said, referring to the fabric used. Henderson recalled her grandmother making quilts and clothing on a treadle sewing machine. “I can’t paint. But, I feel like this is our creative outlet,” Henderson said, of herself and fellow quilt club members. She said, like her grandmother, she machine-quilts. Doing it by hand just isn’t her style. “It’s too slow for me,” Henderson said.

Club President Cheryl Mangold of Bartonville, 58, also said her grandmother’s love of quilting rubbed off on her. Since Mangold’s grandmother lived far away, Mangold said she only saw the finished product — not how her grandmother created it. Mangold said failure to find quilts she liked and the featuring colors she liked and a desire to leave a legacy behind inspired her to quilt. “I just started having grandkids and thought I better start quilting,” she said.

Retired schoolteacher Delores Haller of Bartonville, 73, said her mother as well as her maternal and paternal grandmothers quilted. “They used to put it in the quilt frame. When I was kid, we used to have fun playing underneath the quilt,” Haller said. According to Haller, her quilt collections includes ones dating back to the early 1900s. Haller said keeping her quilting experience full of variety has helped maintain her interest. “Sometimes, you look for a pattern that’s challenging,” she said.

A wall hanging, which Haller’s mother pieced in the 1940s, was featured in the show. “When I look (at it), I can see pieces of clothing that I wore when I was a kid,” Haller said. She stressed it was a genealogical artifact. “It’s just good memories of the family,” Haller said. Her grandmother’s love of quilting, Ida Picco of Bartonville, 52, said she inspired Picco to use fabric to make masterpieces. Picco said the double wedding ring quilt, which her grandmother gave her in 1973, is among her most prized possessions. Her grandmother, Picco said, used a treadle sewing machine to piece quilts for other people and make clothes to help raise her six children. But her grandmother, Picco said, isn’t her only source of inspiration. According to Picco, a high school teacher, her workplace has given her a place to employ her talents. Making baby quilts for colleagues has given her a lot of practice, she said.

A higher power has also been an inspiration. “I think the biggest challenge is the banners I make for my church,” Picco said, referring to Bartonville United Methodist Church. Getting the the banner’s message was clear was that challenge. The banner features a sunrise over cross, with strips of satin that represent the whips used on Jesus. That banner usually hangs over the church’s altar. Picco said she considers her quilting expertise a blessing. “Quilting, in itself, is a gift you are given,” she said. But quilting isn’t just for women’s.

John Marquis, 55, of Peoria — Picco’s boyfriend of 25 years — has learned to love Ida’s interest. “I’m in a world of sewing. I’m not afraid to sew. Since I’m around it all the time, I just do it,” Marquis said. He said he’s quilted for nearly two years. According to Marquis, he knew how to sew before meeting Picco. But Marquis credited her with mentoring him.
“She kind of fine-tuned me,” Marquis said. She and Marquis, Picco said, have quilted together and noted a couple of those quilts were in Saturday’s show. An “Elizabeth Sampler” quilt, which Marquis hand-quilted, was also on display. He made the quilt for Jean Sigulas of Peoria, a widow for whom he’d done some handyman work.

“It’s not a quilt, unless it’s handmade,” Marquis said, noting Sigulas’ opinion. He said it took him 40 days to complete Sigulas’ quilt. “I think enough of her to do this,” Marquis said. Slater was impressed. “This is great for a beginner,” Slater said, before wondering out loud whether it had been made on a machine. “There is not a machine stitch on it,” Picco said, proudly. Sigulas, who was unsure which quilt was hers, searched the show for it. That search didn’t take long. “I saw it right away. My eye drew right to it,” she said, after Marquis made certain she knew which one was her quilt.

Discovering her quilt nearly overwhelmed Sigulas. “John, can I hug you?” she asked, after examining her gift. The quilt is an heirloom that she’ll always cherish, Sigulas said . “I love (the quilt) because John means so much to me,” she said.
Marquis isn’t the only loved one with whom Picco quilts. She and her mother, 81-year-old Ethel Picco, create together.
“She and I spend a lot of time together,” Ethel said.

While, Ethel said, she’s quilted for nearly a decade, she’s been a Cabin Quilters member for only three years.



40th gift ideas – let’s get personal

The 40th birthday is huge day for just about everyone that reaches it. Finding the perfect gift for a friend of relative that is having their 40th can end up a tricky task. What do they like? What do they need? These are just a few of the questions that will flash across your mind. The perfect present is one that is memoriable and also if possible inexpensive.

In the last few years there has been a huge rise of personlised gifts. From candles to Tshits there is a huge range of presents available for personlisation.

Two of the best examples we found that looked fantastic and were very reasonably priced the two presents pictured below.

The first is a 40th print that is made of memorable words that have huge meanings.


The second is of a love heart again made of words that mean have meanings.

word art app

Gift ideas for Girlfriend or Wife (part 3)

8. Write for her
Book lovers adore the idea of their loved ones writing a piece expressing their love and value in one’s life. To make your girlfriend or wife recognize how much you appreciate her existence in your life, you can grab a paper and start penning down your thoughts. It doesn’t matter if you find yourself unable to compose a poem or a paragraph that is perfect when it comes to the choice of words or grammar skills. It is the thought that counts!

9. Scrapbook
A collection of all of your memories in the form of photographs, tickets, notes etc carry with themselves not just an overflow of emotions but also a reminder of how much your significant other longs to see you smile wide. Collect all of the photographs of you and your partner that hold happy memories that can make you giggle or even cry a river. All the tickets to the movies you’ve seen, the carnivals you’ve been to, the theatres or museums you’ve visited that you might have stored somewhere can become a part of the scrapbook along with pictures.
So, once your girlfriend sees the lengths you’ve gone to in order to save all of the things that might seem small to others but are big enough for her, she will surely never think of letting go during the hard times.

10. Leave happy thoughts everywhere
Consider the last gift idea for your girlfriend or wife an added bonus because the little things matter to her. Leave little tiny notes of appreciation everywhere your wife or girlfriend happens to pass through. Praising your woman for being in your life works wonders.

Now that you are equipped with all sorts of wonderful gift ideas for your girlfriend or wife, take a close observant look at the things your girlfriend or wife has always been interested to experience or deserves to have. Know that when it comes to true love, your attempt at doing something out of your comfort zone will always outweigh the big bucks spent on presents.

Gift ideas for Girlfriend or Wife (part 2)

4. Concert night
These sweet gestures should not just be for her birthday or Valentine’s Day, but also a day that holds a special memory for the both of you. Does your wife or girlfriend have a favorite singer she has always wished to hear live and cry happy, joyous tears singing in the same room as her? If that day is close to a concert night of her favorite singer happening in your city or a place near you live, book the tickets before it’s too late!

5. You belong in the kitchen too
So instead of getting in the kitchen like every morning to find the table laden with eggs and tea, try getting up early on her day and make breakfast yourself.

6. Surprise getaway
Who doesn’t love a little surprise visit to a week’s stay at the plaza or a cottage. Places that can drift you away from the harsh realities of the world and allow your soul to be rid of negative thoughts in the oasis of serenity. Staying at the plaza over the weekend could include spa session, movie night, bonfire and so much more. Whereas a nice little cottage or farmhouse near the beach could give you and your wife/girlfriend sometime away from work to enjoy life sipping on your favorite drinks in front of the sea.

7. Basket with love
Your lady has a sweet-tooth and doesn’t need to be full of anxiety or tension to feed her stomach with sweets. If you can relate to this, grab your keys and visit the store that sells her favorite chocolates. Buy all of her favorite sweet items and purchase a basket to store them in. You can even accessories the basket to make this gift idea for your girlfriend or wife look even more presentable!

Gift ideas for Girlfriend or Wife (part 1)

If you are in search of gift ideas for your girlfriend and wife that are not too ordinary to be forgotten 10 years from now, then you are on the road to finding the most remarkable ideas to make your girl the happiest person on the planet!

1. A musical evening
If your girlfriend or wife loves to sing or play the guitar or piano, you need to prepare for this at least months before you surprise her with this extraordinary gesture of your love. Get yourself enrolled in taking lessons whenever it’s possible for you daily or on a weekly basis to learn her favorite instrument. It’s even better if you have the voice of an angel. On the big day, surprise her with a song written by you dedicated to her. It is guaranteed to melt her heart considering how much effort she’ll know you’ve put into those lessons just to see that smile on her face.

2. Dinner for two with a surprise
This surprise comes with a twist. Instead of taking her out for dinner, cook her favorite meal from scratch. If you are not confident about your cooking skills, practice her favorite dish in the kitchen a couple of times or ask a friend or even a family member to guide you regarding how the dish can be cooked and served best. So if your wife comes back home from work after a long, tiring day or your girlfriend comes back after study group, her love and respect for you is bound to triple in size.

3. For your art lover
Girls or women who are found to have a deep interest in theatre, music, sculptures, paintings etc are very fond of watching theatrical performances or visit the art museum. Plan a visit to the place you are aware that she has always expressed her liking towards. Finding you seated next to her whilst watching her favorite play or admiring the great works of artists as you move along with her hand in hand will make her remember this day forever.