First up: an evening trunk show to a packed house of smiling faces!
The next day, our first workshop started bright and early. Because I didn't know the area well, and I was staying with my niece and her family, I planned a little extra time and arrived at the workshop location a bit ahead of schedule. A quick google search for some morning caffeine landed me right in front of a famous bakery. A quick step inside Kirschbaum's Bakery, and I had scored dessert for later!
Next it was on to some serious sewing! Bloomin' Steps was our project for Friday. Some folks (not mentioning any names!) came with a scraps ready to sew, counted and organized to a 'T.'
Soon we started seeing whole blocks, pressed to perfection! . . .
On Saturday morning, a new set of smiling faces appeared to work on the Stained Glass project.
Although, it's hard to choose, this quilt has to be one of my favorite workshop projects. The resulting quilts always look so wildly different based on a couple of inspiration fabric selections and the coordinated scraps.
There are bright and whimsical combinations. . .
. . . Reproduction . . .
. . . Misty neutrals. . .
. . . Bold reds, gray, and black . . .
. . . A rainbow of colors inspired by stained glass.
Once all the workshop participants retreated to their home sewing studios to continue working on their quilty masterpieces, I spent an extra day with Karen (my niece), Josh (her hubby), and Faye (their super-adorable 2-year old). Our destination for a stunning November Sunday? The amazing Garfield Park Conservatory.
Step inside to a series of connected greenhouses, each representing a different climate. Tropical palm trees to start.
With the terrible events only recently unfolding in Paris, this worker was arranging pennies purposefully in one of the water features.
This greenhouse was like walking into a quilt of light.
And the flowers. . . delicate orchids. . .
. . . Splashes of color to make a quilter drool!
Giant leaves of every color and shape. . .
Even Chihuly glass leaves in the koi pond.
Deserts full of prickly succulents in the next greenhouse.
Each greenhouse has so much to take in. This must be a gold mine for teachers and botanists in the Chicago area. And a treasure for people like me who enjoy perpetual summer sun and plant life. (I feel a sudden desire to make a pineapple quilt!)
My drive back from Chicago was uneventful with clear, sunny skies the whole distance. And a star-filled sky after sunset. Pretty unique for November in the central and northeast US!