Tuesday, December 10, 2013
We've had a dusting of snow and lots of cold weather which made us cancel our travel plans to Spring Green, WI. Barb and I hoped to begin work on the next Loose Feather patterns while we were gone. Now we will have to figure out another plan for getting together to work.
Thanksgiving was busy around here. All of my kids came for turkey, mashed potatoes and all of the trimmings. Luckily they each have a special dish they prepare, and since Dave grills the turkey my job is fairly easy now. My assignments are the pies, some side dishes and preparing the table....not too bad! We invited some friends to make the day fun. (Above is pictured the youngest three of my four children. The oldest was watching a football game on TV and couldn't tear himself away for a picture.)
Dave finally got the tree up this morning. Although it isn't decorated yet it still gives the house that fresh pine scent. I never think I'm going to get it all done, but luckily everything seems to work out just fine. Today I'm making Christmas cookies and I have to run to the grocery store soon to get several items I forgot. (Isn't that always the way?)
Thinking of all of you and hoping you are enjoying the holidays. Hope you are able to save some time for yourselves and family during this crazy, wild, stressful and fun season!
December's Loose Feather pattern arrived at the distributor's today. It should be in the shops soon!
Monday, November 11, 2013
I'm sorry for the delay in posting our newest patterns. I returned from quilt market in Houston, TX, unloaded the van and then drove right back to Houston. My husband and I moved his mother to Kansas City this past week. The movers are unloading her furniture into her new apartment today. I have just enough time to post on the blog, go to the warehouse and ship some books and patterns and finally help Dave's mom unpack. This move is a bit hard as she has been in her home for 40 years and she's 91 years old. She's remarkable for her age though!
The above pattern was last month's Loose Feathers (#4) and is now in the shops. The large leaves are done with the satin stitch. They change as the light is reflected on the smooth surface of the stitch.
This is number 5 and will be in the shops very soon.
Give Thanks is the second in our sewing box series. The designs are mounted into a 6" wooden box made by Stephanie Elmer of Lone Elm Lane - Early Wooden Wares.
Until later dear friends!
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
These are grocery store chrysanthemums purchased about 3 years ago. I planted them in an outside urn and now they return every spring and bloom each fall. Upon first glance you wouldn't think they would arise any panic, but they remind me my nose better be to the grindstone. There's work to be done!!! Fall quilt market is just around the corner.
These are from my pecan tree out back. If I can keep the squirrels away I might get to harvest some of these for myself. I have seen them scamper across the yard carrying a full cluster. That's when I tell my husband to call Cynthia, my neighbor, and beg her to get over here with her gun. (We have nicknamed her Annie Oakley because she's a sure shot.)
But, I digress. After attending fall quilt market for 14 years, Barb and I are changing how we look at market. We do what we can and finish up the rest of the list when we are able. The thought of market now makes me reflect just how lucky Barb and I have been. We have been able to create a business doing the crafts we love. We are very grateful.
This is one of the quilts I've been sewing for market. I'm using two backgrounds from our Nature's Basket line of fabric. This print was a coverlet converted to a cross stitch pattern. (Moda # 2720-24) I love the business of the print and the low contrast so it doesn't compete with the applique motifs.
This is the alternating background print in the quilt. It's also from Nature's Basket. The print is Moda
# 2722-24. The repeating motifs are formally organized and offer less movement which creates a space for the eye to rest.
Invisible machine applique is the method used on these blocks. Although, I must confess you can see the stitches in these close-up shots...so it's not as invisible as hand applique. After the blocks are quilted and the binding sewn in place, the quilt is thrown into the washer and drier. The cotton batting makes everything shrink up a bit. The results are wonderful. You can see the wonderful texture of the quilting and you really don't notice the applique stitch very much at all. I'm able to applique 1 -2 blocks a day using this method.
The coverlet print (Moda # 2720-24) was also used as the background in this table runner. If you want to make your own, pick your favorite 6 blocks from the Moda Blog hop. Sew them together using the 6" block templates. The first part of the instructions follow below. The rest will be in the next posting.
1. Piece the 6 - 6" blocks.
2. Cut 2 - 10” squares from the background print. Cut each in half twice on the diagonal for the setting triangles. Use one of the triangles as a template and cut two more setting triangles.
3. Cut 2 - 5 1/2” squares from the background print. Cut each in half once on the diagonal for the corner triangles.
4. Sew the blocks together in diagonal rows to make the table runner. Trim if needed, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance along all of the edges.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Friday, September 13, 2013
Above is a picture of our block. I made a 6" square. The smaller blocks look so sweet when completed! The only problem with tiny blocks is you have to sew a lot of them for a bed quilt. An example of this dilemma is shown below. Barb started making these blocks a couple of years ago. After each one she would exclaim, "Isn't this so cute?" She would carefully pick her favorite prints for the baskets and match them up with a background which perfectly complemented the basket. After making about 80 blocks, she thought she was just about done. We laid the blocks out and found she was no where close to being done. She really needed 291 basket blocks! She then just started grabbing fabric from her stash. She no longer cared if the prints went together well.... she had 211 blocks to go! (Those of you who have made this quilt probably know the feeling!)
The basket quilt is found in When the Cold Wind Blows published by the Kansas City Star Quilts.
Next Barb thought she would make a quilt of 25 blocks. Twenty five large blocks would be so much easier than 291 blocks....but it still has 125 small 4-patch blocks. The Irish Chain quilt is in our Weekend book.
How can you use small 6" blocks without making 291 of them? Make a table runner. Piece 6 blocks, add some setting triangles and a border and you're done. For our block pattern click here. Our table runner directions will follow next Tuesday.
Jeanne Zyck quilted this for me last night. Just finished the binding. (Talk about sliding in for the finish!!!) Thank goodness for Jeanne.
The prize is pictured below. Leave a comment and we will select one person to get the three Jelly Rolls. One each from some of our favorite fabric lines. The contest ends on the 16th. and we will announce a winner then. Good luck to all.
The blog hop is almost done. Here are the remainder of designers you don't want to miss.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
I've been sewing some of the blocks from the Moda blog hop. I love the small 6" ones. They go together so easily!
The fresh blue prints from Nature's Basket look crisp and clean.
I had to show a bit of stitching I've been working on each night as I watch TV. One row a night....(This sampler is from Chessie and Me. I purchased it at market - Janet Reid 1835 Sampler. This piece is done with Gentle Arts wool floss, and stitches up like a dream.
The heart fabric above is from our Blueberry Crumbcake line. If you want to set the blocks on the diagonal this sweet heart block won't work, but I can see a baby quilt of these easily pieced heart blocks.
Here's the schedule for the remainder of the week. Don't forget to come back here on the 13th!
Friday, September 6, 2013
The next Loose Feather pattern will be delivered to our warehouse next Monday. After we box them up and give them to UPS, it takes another two days to get them to the distributors. Then the distributors have to repackage them and ship these patterns out again to the shops. They are well traveled by the time they get to you. Are you keeping up with all of this stitching? I can hardly keep up with the publishing deadlines.
The initials of Barb’s great aunt are located inside the urns. Stitch your initials in the urn first and then fill with the stitches on the chart. Barb's great aunt was born in 1915, so Barb put the year her Aunt Ethel Larson was 10 years old. Just the right age to learn to stitch. What a lovely tribute to her aunt. I'll have to make one for my Aunt Dorothy!