Antiquing Stop In Illinois

An antiquing stop in South Beloit, Illinois; two malls in same town.  I browsed around in Angela’s Attic first and then right across the road was the Roscoe Antique Mall. How convenient!

Angelas antique mall

Roscoe antique mall

Many years ago I bought my daughter Roxie a set of the Pyrex mixing bowls. Recently one has broken so I’m on the lookout for a replacement. I think that’s a great excuse to go antiquing!  It turns out not all the sets are colored the same, who knew? Roxie’s set has the yellow large bowl and she is missing the second from the smallest bowl which in her set is red.

Pyrex bowls

An Amish made covered basket; I have a collection of the Amish baskets started but I have found several of these at local thrift stores for a fraction of the antique mall’s prices. The very first Amish basket I ever bought was on one of my trips at a travel plaza stop. An Amish lady was there with her buggy and had set out a huge assortment of baskets and homemade jams. I have a real appreciation for anything handmade, whether it’s quilts, baskets, or jams I love it all!

Covered Amish Basket

There were very few quilts in these two malls however I think this one would make a wonderful leaders and enders project. I can just see this very scrappy with hundreds of different fabrics!

Tree Quilt

I came really close to getting this for my garden!

Sewing machine tractor

I love it when I come across something I’ve never seen before and this basket cart was a first for me. A great alternative to the wire shopping carts.

Basket Cart

That was enough leg stretching and eye candy for me, it was then back on the road, and next stop home!


Pat Speth author of:  Nickel QuiltsMore Nickel Quilts, Amazing Nickel QuiltsNickel Quilts & Borders, and The Big Book of Nickel Quilts

To schedule a Nickel Quilt lecture or workshop contact Pat at the email below.


May 11 Storm Travel

As many of you may recall May 11th , Mother’s Day brought storms across much of the country.  I began my drive home that day, starting in Colorado Springs and eventually ending up in Omaha, NE.

I knew I was going to be driving in storms that day, but I have driven in thunderstorms before and wanted to get out of Colorado before the snow started there. I’ll take rain over snow almost anyday!

So, several hours into this day’s nine hour drive things started looking a little sketchy and someone at the travel plaza where I was gassing up mentioned a tornado. I looked at the sky, decided it wasn’t that bad and headed out again.  Well let me tell you it kept getting worse, as it turned out I was driving into the storm, catching up with it!

You know it is bad when you are passed up by storm chase vehicles, yes two of them!  I’ve never seen one of these before on the road and I really hope I never have the opportunity to see one again!  It’s sort of like; you don’t want Jim Cantore to visit your town! This is what these vehicles look like, somewhat like a small tank without the guns.

Storm Chase Vehicle

This is what it looks like as it is passing you up on the interstate.  Don’t worry this is an image I got off the internet; I was not crazy enough to be taking a picture while driving in this storm.

Chase vehicle driving A

Somewhere around Lincoln, NE I drove out from under the storm and the highway patrol was closing Interstate 80 for traffic heading west, into the storm. Also another first for me, a storm that was not a snowstorm, which was so bad they were not letting people head into it!

Arriving safe and sound in Omaha, checked into my hotel and turned on the news for the weather. This is one ugly weather map!


I drove through a lot of hail this day and from the sound it made while hitting my vehicle non stop, I am really amazed no windows were broken, that’s how loud it was.  Judging by the dents it left in my van I’m guessing it was somewhere between marble size and quarter size.


Will this experience stop me from driving to so many guilds for workshops and lectures? No Way!  We must quilt!


Pat Speth author of:  Nickel Quilts,   More Nickel Quilts,    Amazing Nickel Quilts,  Nickel Quilts & Borders, and The Big Book of Nickel Quilts

To schedule a Nickel Quilt lecture or workshop contact Pat at the email below.









Road Trip Kentucky Portion

I’m on an extended teaching road trip and my first stop was the Bluegrass Quilt Festival in Shepherdsville, KY.  One of the workshops I taught there was the “Small Wonders” workshop, in which seven different quilts can be made.  And guess what quilt (along with 30 others) is traveling with me on this trip?  Turnabout!  I’m having so much fun sharing it with other quilters before I send it off to a charity this winter.  The Turnabout quilt is also constructed with what I refer to as the “Small Wonders” technique so I offered it as an additional option for this workshop.


This is South Dakota Star, just one of the quilts being worked on in this workshop.

S D Star

Now I’m leaving Kentucky behind and heading to Pennsylvania, with an overnight stop in Maryland.  The leaves are starting to turn!  I was worried that it might be a little too early in the season to see the Fall foliage but Mother Nature is already putting on the show!

Turning Leaves MD

Fall, such a great time of year! Many quilt guilds schedule retreats at this time- If you’re not sure what to pack up and take to your retreat, work on a Nickel Quilt! Grab those stash fabrics, charm packs and fat quarters, and make a scrap quilt that will be loved for years to come!


Antique Shop Quilts

On my last road trip I stopped in a couple of antique malls on my way home to stretch my legs and to hunt for those great old quilts.

This was a wonderful old top in perfect condition and recently hand quilted; love all those charm triangles!

1000 Pyramids

Below is a great old quilt that has seen better days, but what I found interesting was that when looking at the quilt in the antique shop I didn’t notice any plan to the fabric placement in the flying geese units.  It wasn’t until I looked at the photo that I noticed the careful placement of blue in the sky portion of the units in every other unit.

Flying Geese

This quilt top was fabulous and really hard to leave behind!


A closer look at this corner section reveals a fun “make do” patch on the brown large triangle.  The setting triangles all had bias edges along the outside, I wonder how much they have stretched out of shape over the years?

Bias edge

I have always loved the simplicity and versatility of the nine patch block; this quilt was a delight and I like how the use of some black fabric makes this quilt sparkle.

Double nine patch

Time to stop looking for antique quilts and get home to work on my own!


Taking it all with you

When I drive on a multiple guild trip I tend to take lots of stuff!  Four large tubs of quilts, two large suitcases, one of which is all workshop stuff, and many boxes of product.

Of course there is always something I drag along which doesn’t get any use, and on this trip it was this exercise mat.  I had the best of intentions but never got around to actually using it, maybe it was because I spent too much time on the computer answering emails and writing this blog!  But certainly loading and unloading this stuff has to count towards some kind of workout program.

Then there are the items I bring that always get used; like this power strip.  I never go on a trip without it; hotel rooms never have enough outlets for all the things I need to plug in.

And higher watt light bulbs to replace the 13 watt bulbs found in most hotel rooms.  A must if I want to do any kind of work or reading.

All the comforts of home (almost)!


Springfield Antique Malls

Travelling to teach my next workshop, I managed to get to five antique malls in and around Springfield, Illinois in one day.  So much to see!  It was definitely the day for quilts using double pink fabrics.

These first three quilts I could very easily see myself making.

A Nine Patch with four patches.

Broken Dishes

Irish Chain

And this last quilt is a Lemoyne Star which is not on my “to do” list.  I’ve made a couple of these blocks before and do not find them fun.  Maybe I could tackle this as an English paper piecing project.

And then just when you think you have seen everything along comes a patchwork jacket. And not just any quilted jacket but this is from double knit polyester! Truly one of a kind.

What can I say – it made me smile!


Road Trip Books

On my road trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma I decided to re-listen to some old favorites. Rosamund Pilcher has to be one of my all time favorite authors. It’s like being with an old friend. I started the drive with Winter Solstice.

From the publisher: In Winter Solstice Rosamunde Pilcher brings her readers into the lives of five very different people….

Elfrida Phipps, once of London’s stage, moved to the English village of Dibton in hopes of making a new life for herself. Gradually she settled into the comfortable familiarity of village life — shopkeepers knowing her tastes, neighbors calling her by name — still she finds herself lonely.

Oscar Blundell gave up his life as a musician in order to marry Gloria. They have a beautiful daughter, Francesca, and it is only because of their little girl that Oscar views his sacrificed career as worthwhile.

Carrie returns from Australia at the end of an ill-fated affair with a married man to find her mother and aunt sharing a home and squabbling endlessly. With Christmas approaching, Carrie agrees to look after her aunt’s awkward and quiet teenage daughter, Lucy, so that her mother might enjoy a romantic fling in America.

Sam Howard is trying to pull his life back together after his wife has left him for another. He is without home and without roots, all he has is his job. Business takes him to northern Scotland, where he falls in love with the lush, craggy landscape and set his sights on a house.

It is the strange rippling effects of a tragedy that will bring these five characters together in a large, neglected estate house near the Scottish fishing town of Creagan.

It is in this house, on the shortest day of the year, that the lives of five people will come together and be forever changed. Rosamunde Pilcher’s long-awaited return to the page will warm the hearts of readers both old and new. Winter Solstice is a novel of love, loyalty and rebirth.

On my trip home I started The Shell Seekers, also by Rosamund Pilcher.   I believe this is the third time I have read or listened to this book.

From the publisher: At the end of a long and useful life, Penelope Keeling’s prized possession is The Shell Seekers, painted by her father, and symbolizing her unconventional life, from bohemian childhood to wartime romance. When her grown children learn their grandfather’s work is now worth a fortune, each has an idea as to what Penelope should do. But as she recalls the passions, tragedies, and secrets of her life, she knows there is only one answer…and it lies in her heart.

Guaranteed good reads!