Monday, May 23, 2016

YAY! It's Official -- My NEW BOOK is Out in November 2016

Just found out for sure this past week that my new book, I LOVE PRECUT QUILTS! will officially be out in November this year -- six months from now!  WHOAH!

I received the Fall 2016 C&T catalog and my book is in it!  Yippee!

I also found my book on Amazon for pre-order.  WOW!

Hopefully, I'll be headed to Fall Market in Houston this October.......

Monday, May 16, 2016

UFOs, WIPs, Leftovers.......and a Little Snow

For the last couple of weeks, I've felt sew free to create in my studio.  Wow!  For the last six-eight months, all of my work in my studio has been professionally driven, sew this is such a nice change of pace for me.

The first thing I created was a new messenger bag/purse for ME, which I already blogged about a couple weeks ago.  After that, I got down to the business of trying to clean up my studio a little bit.

I finally sorted through all of the leftover fabric from my new book.  Wow!  What a big pile of bits and pieces and odds and ends.  I sorted them out by project and happily found several piles that could become a quilt of some kind. 

As an aside here, my dear friend Melanie, challenges herself to use the leftovers from one project to create another project.  A Two-for-one, if you will.  Sew, thanks to Melanie's process, I'm inspired to do the same.

I started with a stack of almost 5'' squares leftover from one of the quilts in my new book.  I added more squares from my stash and a white solid.  And came up with a really cute little throw quilt.  Sweet and fun.

I've also been playing around with a stack of blue and cream batiks from a recent magazine project.  In keeping with Melanie's philosophy, I used the left overs to make a cool skinny table runner.  And I STILL have more of this collection leftover.  Hmm.  We'll see what else I can create.

Next I found three UFO's and WIP's that needed layered with batting and backing and machine quilted, including a split ninepatch throw I made a couple years ago, I think.

Here's what I accomplished in the last week or two:

Five quilts -- REALLY, FIVE QUILTS.  Yes, I know that they're on the small side, but that's FIVE quilts out of my to-do pile in my studio.  HURRAY!

And as a happy thought, several of these projects were original designs.  I'm thinking of submitting them to Cut Loose Press.  Yay!  I'll let you know how that goes.....


Okay, SNOW. 

Can I even say that word legally in the middle of May?

I live in northwestern Pennsylvania, okay, NOT the mountains in Colorado.  But yesterday, nature was laughing at us.  The trees are opening their leaves, flowers are blooms, people are beginning to plant their gardens and their fields.  You know, a pretty normal spring in NW PA.

Then yesterday happened.  May 15th.  The day of SNOW.  Sew weird.  Sew strange.  Seamingly impossible, but it happened.  Yesterday.  Here's the proof:

Happy April Fool's Day....on May 15th.  Hah!  Hah!  Mother Nature.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

And the Winners Are......

WOW!  What a super fun Blog Hop, wouldn't you agree?  I had such a great time!

Thanks to everyone who participated AND stopped by my blog.  I hope that you'll stop back from time to time to see what quilt mischief I've gotten myself into (wink, wink).

I'm sew excited, too, because I gathered lots and lots of new ideas for future blog posts.  THANK YOU BUNCHES!

Okay, here are our Lucky Blog Hop Giveaway Winners:

Summer in Texas wins a copy of 100 Blocks vol. 13

Cecelia in Florida winds a copy of Orphan Block Quilts

AND I decided since sew many quilters visited and left messages that I'd give away a second copy of my book, Orphan Block Quilts.

So, our third winner is Jamie in New York.

Yay!  WAHOO!  Cool Beans!  Cue the confetti!  Let loose the balloons!  Let's blow our party horns!  Congratulations, winners!  Your prizes will be there soon!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

100 Quilt Block Blog Hop

Greetings and welcome to my blog!  I'm sew glad that you're here.

If you stopped by early this morning and my Blog Tour post wasn't up yet, I am sew sorry.  Somehow it didn't launch when it was supposed to.  Probably human error.......Thanks for checking back in.

Did you know that there's a BLOG TOUR going on right now from May 2nd until May 6th?  Did you know you can win fun quilty prizes?  Visit Quiltmaker magazine's blog, Quilty Pleasures to learn more, register for prizes, or to see the featured designers.

What fun!  It's my turn to host a block party as part of the Volume 13 Blog Tour on my blog!  WAHOO!  1....2...3.....Let's all blow our party horns!    Whoosh.....I'll throw the confetti.  Hey! Turn up the music -- loud!   Okay.......that's more like it!  Let's get the party started!  Yeah!

I am sew sew excited to be part of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 13.  This is my first time in the magazine, although my designs have been featured in many other magazines and publications and I've authored 2 books.  I have a new book -- my third book -- coming out in November.
 Read on to find out more about it.  :)

But first......on to my block.

This is my quilt block, Cotillion, featured in Quiltmaker's 100 Quilt Blocks Volume 13.  It's block #1284 on page 51.  Additionally, it's on the front cover of the magazine.  

Can you find my block, below?

Aha!  There it is!  Second row down, fourth block from the left.

  Let me show you how I came up with the design for my Cotillion block.

When I first decided to challenge myself to create a block, I decided to start with my favorite 
quilt block, Shoofly.  I sat down with my computer and Electric Quilt 7 software to play and 
had a little fun with my Shoofly block, but one big Shoofly block wasn't very interesting. 
 Hmm.  Now what?

Then I decided to put four Shoofly blocks together to see what would happen.  Since the block would finish at 12", I made my little Shoofly blocks 6".

I knew I was on the right track, but it definitely needed a little tweaking.

What if I featured a different fabric in the center instead of the background fabric?

Better....What if I made the white squares into rectangles and the center triangles into a solid square?  This would make it easier to cut.

I was really getting excited at this point because the block was starting to come together, but it wasn't quite there yet.  Hmmm.  Maybe I should take away the triangle squares in the four corners?

Now that's what I'm talking about!  Here is my original design.  But wait -- I need to add some fabric, don't I?   I decided to use fabric from the Samantha line by Carrie Quinn for Penny Rose Fabrics.
I had recently made a quilt using this lovely pink and brown collection and was happy to use the
leftovers for Cotillion.

Aha!  There it is!  Done!

Now that I've shown you my step-by-step process for creating my Cotillion block,
 look what happens when you put them into a quilt:

Here's a very traditional setting with sashing.

This is what happens when I put the blocks on-point with no sashing.  Interesting....


Okay, since you're kind of a captive audience, I just wanted to take a moment and tell you about my new quilt book with C&T!  My new book is all about PRECUTS and will be out in November 2016.  There are 16+ projects ranging from table runners and place mats all the way up to big bed quilts. Shhh!  Don't tell, but you're the first to officially hear about my upcoming book -- it's called I LOVE PRECUT QUILTS!.  Great title, huh?  So ask for it at your local quilt shop in November.



Leave a comment on my blog anytime from May 5th until May 9th and tell me what your favorite quilt block is.  You might just win a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Quilt Blocks Vol. 13!  Woot!  Woot! 

Now if you want a chance to win a copy of my first book, Orphan Block Quilts, become a follower and leave me a another comment letting me know that you're a follower.  

Winners will be drawn randomly on Monday, May 9th.  Please don't forget to include your email address so I can let you know that you're a winner!  YAY!  GO YOU!

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.........................................

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Finally......Something Fun for ME!

For a long time now, I've been in professional mode when it's come to making quilts.  It seems like it's been a long long time since I had a little time to explore the concept of F-U-N in my studio.  So, this past week, I finally felt caught up enough to play a little bit.

First up on my play-cation was to make myself a new purse.  I got most of it completed last Sunday, but was lacking the plastic clasp so I didn't get it completely done until Thursday morning.

I used some leftovers from a Church Ladies Aprons FQ collection by Riley Blake.  I added a base of denim......and PRESTO!  One new bag ready for  -- can it possibly be?   ME!

Well, what do you think?  Isn't it fun?  AND as you can see there are pockets galore, inside and out, to keep my stuff organized.  Of course, my bag isn't really a traditional purse -- it's more like a smaller messenger bag -- there's even enough room for my iPad inside.  This is probably the fourth or fifth one I've made for myself.

Below is the one I made for my sister for Christmas this past year.  The strap was shorter for her, though, because she's not into cross-body bags and she's not very tall, only about 4'11''.

I fell in love with this design, called the Birdwatcher Bag in Cassie Barden's wonderful book, The New Handmade.

 I had the opportunity to meet Cassie Barden at Quilt Market in Houston a couple years ago.  She was so very nice and I was thrilled to show her my first bag.

Do you make you own bags and purses?  Ever since I made my first bags years and years ago, I discovered that I could make something better than anything I could find in a store.  Whether it was a design that I created or from a favorite pattern, my bag was just better.  I love how I can take a basic design and change it up with different fabrics, buttons, pockets, etc. 

Now that I've got the new bag out of the way, I'm taking on some scrappy projects using leftovers from some of the projects for my upcoming book.

Please stop by my blog on Thursday, May 5th, for my 100 Quilt Blocks From Quiltmaker Magazine Blog Hop Entry!  I'm going to give away a couple goodies, so come by for the fun!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

First Quilt Show in 2016

YAY!  Today was the first quilt show that I've gone to this year.  I almost went to one a couple weeks ago, but we had a freak Saturday snow storm so I ended up staying home and doing some hand-sewing that day.

Today was a PERFECT day for a quilt show.

I started the day by meeting three friends at the library for a Sunday "Sew Day."  We worked until around noon then headed over to the quilt show at the high school across town.  We had some lunch and then the fun began -- quilts and shopping.

I used to belong to the guild that sponsors this show every other year, but then I had a work conflict so couldn't attend meetings.

I thought I'd share some of the quilts that I found inspiring, although there was a wonderful assortment of quilts -- around 135 to feast my eyes on.

Sadly, I really didn't have anything to submit to the show because most everything that I've done lately has been professional in nature and was shipping shortly after completion.  But, ironically, I was represented at the show -- I quilted a baby quilt for a friend a while back and she put it in the show and included my name as the quilter -- so there!  My work was in the show.  :)

Here's Greta's adorable baby quilt!

One of the quilters who exhibited at the show had several "orphan quilts."  There wasn't much information, but I really found them wonderful.  I don't know if she started with orphan blocks and finished the top before quilting or if she started with tops and then quilted them.,  It really doesn't matter, though, because she completed them and now the quilts are happy!

Not all of the quilts in the photo were from the same quilter, but it's wonderful to see quilters honoring the past by either finishing orphans or else using up vintage fabrics in new quilts.

The next group of quilts were done by friends who submitted them for the quilt show.

 This Underground Railroad Quilt (designed by Eleanor Burns) was made by my friend Becky.  This is her first "real quilt".  She won a BLUE RIBBON!

The quilt above was done by my friend Sondra....
Love love love the fabrics and how she treated the alternate rows of FG's.

This quilt was done by my friend, Suzanne.  I love her use of the tiny red sashing strips.  They really make this quilt pop.  She told me this one will be donated for a fundraiser.

This quilt was made by Sondra's mom, Cindy.  It was a medallion quilt guild challenge last year. 
 Sew Sew pretty.

This quilt was made by my friend Vita, who is an amazing modern quilter and long arm quilter!  Gorgeous, huh?

This sweet guild won a second place ribbon.  Not bad for a child, is it?  This quilt was made by my friend Jill's daughter (Shirley's granddaughter), Taylor.  She's eight or nine, I think.

Finally, this is my friend Kristine's quilt.  It was featured in an issue of Quilter's World Magazine.  Isn't it wonderful?  The amazing swirling quilting was done by another friend and mentor, Cheryl.

 My friend Pat made sure to tell me about this quilt.  The blocks were made in the 1940's by her great-grandmother and she just finished putting them together in this quilt.  Then she hand-quilted it.  What a wonderful tribune to her great-grandmother's memory, wouldn't you say?

Well, I hope you enjoyed this peak into the 2016 Country Charms Quilt Show in Cochranton, PA.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring Weather Brings.....Christmas Quilts????

After months of craziness, I am hopeful that my world is going to stop spinning for a while!

And while I enjoy this little calm in the storm of my crazy mixed-up life,  I thought I'd try blogging again.


As I sit here on this balmy April evening with the window open, the overhead fanning humming away, and the peepers (tree frogs) singing their very loud opera outside, I can't help but shake my head over my recent projects for Quilter's World magazine:


What?  You might ask.  What's wrong with you?  Are you nuts?

Probably, but in the meantime allow me to explain.

When it comes to designing for magazines or other publications for that matter, you are never making seasonal and holiday items during the correct time/season.  Strange, I know, but how else can the magazine/publication bring your your seasonal/holiday issues unless they're doing the upcoming winter issue in the spring and next year's spring issue in the summer? 

This may sound strange, but I take comfort in the fact that the seasons and holidays still follow in the correct order, just at different times of the year.

Okay, so right now I'm working on a set of Christmas place mats, a snowman table runner, and a snowflake table runner.  Right now.  In April.

Believe it or not, but there is an upside to working on seasonal/holiday items out of time -- by the time the season or holiday rolls around, I've already got a stash of new quilts ready to display, give as gifts, or donate to my favorite charity.  Just sayin'........

Here are some photos of Winter and Christmas quilts that I've made over the last couple years for various publications and patterns.