Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Quilt Patterns hot of the press!

Finally .... here are my two newest quilt patterns I've been promising you. The first pattern shown here, "BFF Dresses and Do's" , uses a fun and easy new technique that I call "swap-liqué" The dress, hairdo, shoe and pet appliqués can be changed any time and a different one put in it's place. How fun is that?
The BFF's (best friends forever) themselves are permanent appliques and the pattern includes traceable faces and full size templates. Use delightful '30's fabrics for the borders and dresses as used in the model, or get brave and pick anything you like. How perfect for any little girls bedroom. This pattern includes 6 dresses, 6 hairdo's, and 2 pets. Watch for companion patterns with even more holiday and seasonal outfits, accessories. pets, and more available soon.
The quilt measures 26" x 41".

The second quilt pattern "Blondies" is one block easy with quick rotary cutting and easy as pie instructions for "Fearless Blonde Quilting". This easy machine quilting technique is an ideal way to conquer your fear of machine quilting. Designed for the timid and blonde alike this technique will not intimidate you. If you are still hesitant to try machine quilting, make the crib size and start there. If I can do it so can you, I'm blonde. The quilt comes in 2 sizes and also has easy pick fabric selection based on values, i.e. light, medium, dark. Lap size is 56" x 70", crib size is 36" x 42".

You can find both of the new patterns on my website or if you're a retailer contact Checker Distributors, Pattern Peddlers, or Quilterswarehouse.

Now I have to get back to drawing board - literally, and finish designing the "BFF" spring/summer/autumn collections and take some pictures of my green peppers that are growing in my earthbox garden.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Quilting Retreat or Marathon?

I have returned from our quilt retreat but the name "retreat" is a bit deceiving. You might picture our quilt retreat as a laid back, slow paced event where we sleep in late and get to bed early, but no not us......

I guess the prospect of 5 uninterrupted days of quilt time turns us all into quilt maniacs. We get up kind of early, some earlier than others, then head over to our studio in the woods and start right in on whichever project is in progress at the time. We break for lunch and get right back at it. Then some may take a power nap or a walk, and then right back to quilting until dinner. Then it's back to quilting until the wee hours (for some) and then we start all over the next day. But boy do things get accomplished. Sandra was frantically finishing the had quilting and binding on her star quilt to get it entered into our local guild's quilt show coming up in February and she got it done and it's gorgeous! Fran made this sweet Valentines wall quilt and then made some matching placemats too. She was also making paper pieced cranes for a large quilt called the "Peace quilt" it is going to be quite a project but beautiful. Fran loves a challenge.

I finished up my feedsack mini quilt that is going to be auctioned during our quilt show for breast cancer research and it may be a small quilt (10" x 13") but it has a painfully long name thanks to too much chocolate and not enough sleep I think. It's the "phenomenal frilly feedsack four-patch frolicking through the fern-filled ephemeral forest. " What can I say other than I did have help with the name. I also finished the new pillows for the family room, they were fun to make.

I also designed a new applique quilt and got it all cut and basted .

My friend Cathi has been wanting to dive into making a quilt in the style of Melody Johnson, made with all beautiful clear saturated solids and so she finally dove into her treasure trove of solid fabrics she's been collecting and just started making all sorts of wonderful elements that she then stitched into this stunning quilt at right.
I think Melody would be proud to have inspired her.
Check out Melody's blog at

My friend Karen was doing a 9-patch marathon for a new quilt she just started.
It's a pattern from Minick & Simpson called the Chippewa 9-patch.
It's all done in beautiful blues, rich reds and soft neutrals
Needless to say from the stacks of 9-patches you see, she was getting tired of 9-patches by the end of camp.
It's going to be so beautiful when finished.

Barb and Jessie both purchased kits of a fabulous Kaffe Fasset quilt "Jubilee" while they were in Houston and they both finished piecing them, and both ended up with stunning quilts. It will be fun to see how they each quilt them. They both did a great job and with all those diamonds - oh my - how they also must love a challenge! Fran is posing behind an adorable quilted top that Bonnie made for her second granddaughter.

So goes another quilt retreat and naturally we can't wait for the next one! Quilting and laughing among friends is a treasure to be cherished and repeated.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Patchwork Pillows & Playtime

I was tossing in a load of laundry today and realized I was like the cobbler with holes in his shoes. The toss pillows I made for our family room have long since lost their "luster".
Actually I don't even remember how long ago I made them but new ones are definitely overdue. Today I went into my "room of many fabrics" and started pulling out some possibilities.
Speaking of the "room with many fabrics, we had a small party New Years day and one of our guests had used the ladies room upstairs and when she came down she grabbed me by the arm and was beaming as she said breathlessly "you have got to show my boyfriend your fabric, he thinks I am the only one with a room of fabric" We had quite a chuckle over that one. Actually, last year, I have been working on whittling down my cache of fabric and will continue to do so in 2009 and so I plan to make the pillows from fabric on hand.

I began a few sketches this afternoon. I want to make something kind of quirky and more colorful this time around, as the old ones are, well, boring. I liked them when I made them, of course we've been looking at them for a long time too.
Here's what I have pulled off the shelves so far. We'll see which ones end up in the new pillows.
I won't be making these until mid January when I and 7 friends hit the road for our semi-annual quilt retreat. Ah yes, 4 nights and 5 days of quilting playtime & mayhem, no cooking, no dishes, no laundry, no dusting, no errands, no interruptions, are you getting the picture? We started doing this about 8 years ago and we start getting giddy when retreat draws near. We start making lists of all we need to pack, we decide on our projects and always bring too many, we start laying in supplies of chocolate and make our lists for quilt shop stops on the way. I try to plan a project that isn't business related but when I have a deadline then it comes with me, usually I have a little of both business and personal projects that bring so this time I will be making my new pillows and perhaps finishing a UFO or two and who knows what else I'll pack into the car.
I love getting to work side by side with my group of friends and to see all of the fabulous creations that blossom as the days go by, not to mention the especially good belly laughs that spread like a contagion around the room as we stitch and chatter, certainly food for the soul.