Saturday, February 6, 2016

Plays Well With Others

Hello Everyone,
One little 5-1/2" basket appeared on my design wall.

I put a frame around her.

Then let her go "play" with the other blocks. 

She was quit happy to be the center of attention.  One down, eleven more to go. Then of course there are many more star blocks to make.  This is a BIG quilt.

Enjoy your weekend.  Go play!


Friday, February 5, 2016

Butterscotch Baskets Continued

 Hello Everyone,

After reading all of the comments from yesterdays post, I see that we have a common bond, our love of Thimbleberries and Lynette Jensen.

I'm making great headway on the Block of the Month (BOM) for RJR fabrics using Autumn Landscape designed by Lynette Jensen.  I have 32 blocks completed.  During the BOM, you will be making 4 of each block.

At my cutting station (my kitchen island), I'm cutting enough fabrics to make each block four times.  Once that is done, I'm doing some power sewing.  Before I know it, I have four blocks completed.
In this case, I have enough cut for sixteen blocks.  Sometimes I feel like I'm herding cats trying to keep everything organized.  So far no major mistakes.....that I know of!

Each set of blocks is then assembled into a grouping of four.  Take a good look at this picture that I took before the blocks were stitched together.

See the little dot of red in the center?  Yes, it takes a bit of time to stitch and flip a little square on the corner of each block before they are sewn together.  To me, that little elements adds so much to the overall design. It looks like a little bow tie. It's just stinkin' cute!

All of my little red squares are attached and the empty spots will soon be filled with little baskets and pinwheels around the outside.  I also like the look of the four, little off-white squares in the center of the cluster.  Another fun and unexpected little "bit" in the design to add interest.

At first I was concerned the large scale prints wouldn't work well in my small pieces.  I was so WRONG!  The diversity of scale and color is working beautifully in my design.  Stepping outside your box is so worth it! 

Click here for the link to Lynette Jensen's blog.  You can add this one to your morning blog reading.  I know I did!

Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments yesterday.  I'll try to personally respond to each of you today.  Company is coming for dinner tonight, so I have to clear off the dining room table so we can eat.  I won't be doing quite as much power sewing today.  We've been enjoying the snow up here at the cabin.  The water doesn't look too inviting this time of the year.

We tried to convince Mazey to walk out on the dock, but she wasn't having any part of our planned picture.  The other evening when we took Mazey out for the last walk of the day, I slipped and fell on my patoot on the icy road.  It's a good thing I have a lot of padding!  I know where your mind is going.......I was wearing a heavy jacket....wink!

Enjoy the big game this weekend.  I'm cheering for the Clydesdales!


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thimbleberries Meets Sewn Wild Oaks

Hello Everyone,
Everyone has their favorite designer.  Mine is Lynette Jensen of Thimbleberries fame.  Her sense of style is the reason I became a quilter and then a designer.
Before I ever started to quilt, I started collecting Thimbleberrie books and patterns.  I loved her style and wanted my home to look just like Lynette's.  I read her books from cover to cover like a novel.  I loved her sense of warmth, her use of plaids, and the incorporation of antiques into her home.  I remember reading about how she decorates, and she said, use what you have.  Those words have rung true for years and I use what I have.  I don't go out and buy something new, I go shopping in my own home, move things around, and make my rooms look new, even though some of the items are older than dirt.

I own every book, manual and a lot of Thimbleberrie patterns and fabrics. 

Here is one of the Thimbleberrie quilts I made and notice I hand quilted it!  That was back in the day when I had time to hand quilt. 
Here are my Thimbleberrie books.  I was so sad when I heard the news a couple of years ago that Lynette retired.  RETIRED!!!! She can't do that.  Is this going to mean the end of collecting Thimbleberries books? 

So let me set the stage.  I received a call from RJR fabrics last July. They told me Lynette Jensen was coming out of retirement and would I be interested in re-creating my Butterscotch Baskets pattern in Thimbleberrie fabrics for a Block of the Month.  WOULD I!!!!!!  I remember asking the VP of sales on the other end of the phone line if she could hear my heart beat outside my chest! I was beyond over the moon. I was speechless. Ask Mr. Joe, that doesn't happen often.....if ever.

Here is my original Butterscotch Baskets.

Here she is again hanging on the wall in one of the guest rooms at the cabin.  The throw pillows on the bed are from a Thimbleberries pattern and fabrics.

I went straight to work creating with the digital swatches RJR sent me from the Autumn Landscape line.  Here is a digital version of the New and Improved Butterscotch Baskets.

Here is an alternate border idea.

The boxes started to arrive on my doorstep.  I starched, ironed and folded all of the fabrics and put them in my little basket.

I cut strips the size I knew I needed and loaded up my Strip 'N Sew that Mr. Joe makes.

I'm ready to create!  Stayed tuned to see what I made this week with the strips. I think you will be surprised.



Monday, February 1, 2016

The Progression of Heritage

Hello Everyone,
I'm making good progress on Heritage in addition to another project on my design wall which is hidden.....more on that later in the week.  How many of you have more than one project in the works?   I'm terrible about having multiple projects going.....but I have to say I'm never bored.
I'm sewing the blocks together as I go to get that task out of the way.  It seems to take a brief amount of time to sew as I go, than assemble the whole quilt together at the end of the process.  I feel this quilt is just making itself.  I find myself staring at it on the wall while visions of machine quilting dance in my head.
This quilt is going to look good on display during the Holidays in addition to year round.  You can see Macie's Journal fabrics HERE at Marcus Fabrics.  I was so happy when I opened up the box that Marcus Fabrics sent to me.  It was just like Christmas morning.
I started the pattern writing last night before Downton Abbey.  My world stops while I turn my full attention to my favorite show.  I'm going to miss it so much when the series ends. 
This design idea came into being after I downloaded the images into EQ7 software.  I sat and played with the software and this pattern came to life on my screen.  I don't know if I should tell you or not this quilt came together while I was watching and cheering through two football playoff games.  After the actual fabric arrived, I made a couple of substitutions, and this is the final rendition.
Since my favorite teams didn't make it to the big show, I think I'll set up my laptop in front of the TV and start playing with EQ7 during the Super Bowl this Sunday.  Who knows what I'll come up with next.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Country Charmer Finish

Hello Everyone,
I love to receive emails and pictures of quilts finished by you, my readers.  I adore seeing what changes you've made to patterns and how you interpret my designs.
Sharon, sent me a picture of her outstanding Country Charmer.  If you look closely, you will see lots of plaid!!!

It makes my day when I get emails like this. 

"Well here it is... as you can see I enlarged it slightly as I want to hang it during the Christmas season and want it to fill a large wall area.  Thank you so much for this lovely pattern and the fabulous detailed instructions and perfect page of block piece placement.  You make the construction of this quilt so much easier than could otherwise be"

Sharon, I LOVE your quilt.  Well done from the fabric selection to the final borders.  Thank you so much for making my pattern and sending me pictures of your gorgeous quilt.


P.S.  I have an extensive tutorial on my blog showing you step by step how to make this quilt.  Click HERE for the tutorial.  Click HERE if you are interested in purchasing the pattern.  I am also teaching a Country Charmer class at Cloth and Quilts in Turlock on February 16, 2016.  There are a few openings available.  Check out the class HERE.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class Was in Session

Hello Everyone,
Here is a mini quilt show this morning brought to you by "my girls" the finishers.  Nancy brought in her quilted Country Corners quilt.  This quilt is outstanding!

Flashback to last October to the last night of my retreat at Snowflake Lodge.  Nancy just took the last stitch, and pressed the last seam of this beauty.  She was so done and tired at this point in time. The free directions for the Country Corner blocks are located HERE.  Well done!

Another outstanding creation is Mary's block of the month beauty by Pam Buda for Marcus Fabrics.  The next time you see this one, it will be beautifully quilted and bound.  Gorgeous!

Another flash back to October when Mary was only this far along on her quilt.

Patty finished her adorable, cuddly little snowman quilt.  She also worked on this quilt at the retreat.

Pat created an adorable Halloween treasure by Vern Mosquera.  Love the fabric in the broom.

Continuing with our Halloween theme, Patty brought in a small, embroidered wall hanging.

Nancy loves her Strip 'n Sew made by Mr. Joe.  She keeps all of her strips organized while making my Heartfire quilt.

Marti has been doing some grape stomping.  She is almost finished with Once Upon a Vine.

Isabelle's cornucopia is filled with her colorful fruits, grapes and leaves for Harvest of Hope.

Barbara is working on a dramatic Bargello quilt.

 Here is her key to keep her on track.

The pattern is in this book which is available HERE at the shop.

Now we have a parade of Lil' Orphan Scrappy blocks.  This beautiful grouping belongs to Wendy.

This block belongs to Doris.

Mary is making the blocks from my BOM program.

Gail is having a great time selecting her fabrics for her personalized blocks.  Great combinations.

We also have Paula working on her Lucy Boston block.  I learned a whole new way to assemble the pieces together.  Once I refine the technique, I will share it with you.

I'll leave today with this caption on Barbara's shirt.

My girls are the BEST!


Thursday, January 28, 2016

The New Heritage Quilt

Hello Everyone,
It's good to be back to blogging.  Thank you all so much for your out pouring of sympathy for my sisters loss of her husband.  It's been a very busy time over the past few weeks, and now it's time to get back to quilting.
Boxes of fabrics have been arriving on my doorstep.  I only had time to stare at them wistfully until this week, when I dug in and started creating.

For those of you who are Judie Rothermel fans, you are going to love the new Macie's Journal line by Marcus Fabrics which will start arriving in quilt shops in March.

I have always told you that I'm a scrappy quilter.  For the most part that is true.  But, this time I'm focusing on only part of the line.  My focus is going to be this selection below.

I started making some Log Cabins.  I've always loved Log Cabin blocks yet I haven't used them in any of my designs.  They are going to be prominently featured in this quilt.

 If you look closely at the next two blocks, they should look familiar to you.

They are Country Charmer blocks.  I set them on point in the quilt for an entirely different look.

This is what was tacked on my design wall by the end of the day.  I really like what I'm seeing so far.  Just look at all of the wonderful space I can fill with beautiful machine quilting!  I'm going to call this quilt Heritage.  I put my list of fabric requirements together, and we are placing our order for this fabric today. 

Two of my least favorite aspects of quilting are sewing the individual blocks together into rows and putting on the border.  With this quilt, I'm going to assemble the rows together diagonally as I go so I don't have that mundane task left for the end. That is going to make me a happy camper.
Again thank you all so much for helping Gail through this tough time in her life.  Last Sunday, we had an outpouring of love from the quilting community gathered here at our home. We had food, laughter, and hugs. We have never entertained so many people in our home at the same time.  Quilters poured into our house in droves. We will be forever grateful to all of you.