Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Prairie Paisley II........

Hello Everyone,

Don't look at the pictures if you do not want to be persuaded to buy some Prairie Paisley II by Minick and Simpson for Moda.  An explosion of patriotism is going to invade my sewing area this week while I work on a quilt combining this.......

.....with this older collection called Clermont Farm also by Minick and Simpson.

I was dreaming of the possibilities in red, white and blue of what I can make with these fabrics.  You'll just have to wait until tomorrow to see a block or two.

This is pattern writing week for Buttonwood and Winterset.  The Winterset pattern is close to being done thanks to the help I received from my sister, Gail. I'm not leaving the cabin until the patterns are finished!  Well, I may have to leave to rake the dreaded pine needles.  Oh, how I wish we had snow to cover them up until Spring!

Have a great day everyone.

As always,


Saturday, January 28, 2012

No Pattern Test Dummy Here

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday, my sister Gail spent the day with me working on her Winterset quilt.  I handed her the pattern, and with very little advice or instruction from me, she went straight to work on her first block.

After cutting out the 60 pieces of fabric (for one block) from the cutting chart, she placed them on the block layout sheet.  It's a good thing she enjoys puzzles!

She plans on making another block today at her house without any help at all.  I'll wager she will be making more than one today once she gets on a roll.  The only issue with the pattern layout sheet is....don't sneeze or let the wind disturb the pieces.  Now Gail has four cats and all I can say is......good luck with that! 

I added two extra leaves in the kitchen table and worked at the computer while she worked across from me on her sewing machine.  She didn't know I was stealing a glance her way, observing every move and stitch.  It was interesting for me to watch her interpret my pattern directions.  I gave her a red pen and she jotted down important things that I needed to add to the final product.

After four hours of very precise cutting and quilting, I'm no longer using the phase PTD (Pattern Test Dummy).  Gail thoughtfully worked her way through the directions, and gave me some valuable insights.  If she can make this block, she can do anything!  Both of us have gone skydiving which also taught us we can do anything! 

Challenge yourself today and tackle a project you've been afraid to start.  You CAN do anything!

As always,


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Madrigal and Embroidery

Hello Everyone,

I'm working on the embroidered embellishments on Madrigal.  I have to get the center section completed before I can sew the blocks together. 

Since my leaves are a light green and cream check, I decided to stitch around each leaf to give them a subtle dimension.  Once I started this, I realized just how many leaves I need to outline.  This will keep me busy during television time in the evening.

We have friends coming for dinner tonight, Santa and Mrs. Mike.  Mrs. Mike had total knee replacement surgery just two weeks ago, so this is a big outing for her.  I gave Mrs. Mike the option of bringing dinner to her, or she could maneuver her walker to our house.  She choose to get out of the house since she is getting bored with her surroundings.

If dinner turns out, I'll post the recipe and a picture on the recipe section tomorrow.  Santa and Mrs. Mike have been my new recipe guinea pigs for the past 35 years.  I've had a couple of flops.....but Santa Mike is very kind and gentle with his food critique.

As always,


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Moving Right Along....on Madrigal

Hello Everyone,

Since I was working at the shop yesterday, I didn't get get any time to work on Madrigal, but I thought I would show you the blocks I've completed so far.

Some more fat quarters from the Urban Cowgirl fabric line followed me home yesterday that just begged to be incorporated into the blocks.  I'm anxious to make some blocks with the first fabric on the left.  To me, this looks very retro and I love it.  This isn't my normal palette, so I'm working a bit outside of my comfort level.....and you know it's not so bad.  I'm enjoying the challenge.  This fabric is so pretty that it has been easy mingling them with fabric from my stash.

I appliqued the center section during the football playoffs on Sunday.  I still have to do the embroidery and I'm thinking about adding some additional embroidered detail around the leaves to give them a bit more depth.  That will be a good job to work on tonight when I sit down for the evening.

Gotta run.  My to-do list is calling my name earlier than usual.

As always,


Monday, January 23, 2012

All Things Dutch

Hello Everyone,
The Blueberry Crumb Cake fabric by Blackbird Designs, brought images of all things Dutch to mind.

Silver skates, frozen canals, wooden shoes, Dresden china, Delft tiles......and windmills. I didn't incorporate any of the beautiful browns or the "crumb" part of the fabric line. You may be seeing the browns in another design.

Binding.....check. Hanging sleeve.......check. Directions.......unchecked.

The patterns directions for this quilt are taking me forever to complete. There are more components to this quilt than some of my previous patterns. But, the quilt is a wrap, so to speak and will be on display at the shop starting today.  I'll be teaching the first session of this class on February 21st.  The second session will be March 20th.

The side view shows off the quilting a little bit better.

I'm off to work at the shop this morning.  I'm sure more quilting treasures arrived since I worked last week.  The Monday Ladies will be there quilting today in the classroom.  It is always fun to see the projects The Monday Ladies are working on while chatting, laughing, and sharing in the camaraderie with other creative quilters. 

Don't forget to be creative today.  Creating a smile on someones face counts!

As always,


Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Week in the Woods

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday was a great day to hunker down, enjoy the torrents or rain, and work on the cheerful applique center for Madrigal in the new colorway.  It rained buckets here yesterday, no snow, but rain was just as welcome.  This basket of flowers came together in a flash.  I picked my colors, didn't change my mind once, and before I new it, the pieces were prepared and ready for stitching.

This quilt almost has a retro 1930's look.  I think it is a combination of the green that was so prevalent in the 30's and 40's, and the red check flange. This quilt still has a long way to go before completion, but I couldn't wait to lay the blocks out on the table for a quick look at her.

Here is a picture of the center applique from the first Madrigal for comparison.  This version is more elegant and formal.  The new version in lighthearted and cheerful.  It is amazing to see what 'look' can be achieved by using different fabrics. 


I finished the binding on Winterset last night.  Now, all I need to do is the hanging sleeve, quilt label and finish the directions. 

It's been a very productive week in the woods for both Mr. Joe and me.  We haven't lost power, just a flicker of the lights now and again.  Our tools, both woodworking and quilting have been buzzing with activity.

Have a wonderful Saturday and enjoy your time.....it's a wonderful gift.

As always,

Friday, January 20, 2012

A New Spin on Madrigal

Happy Friday Everyone,
A new line of fabric arrived at the shop a couple of weeks ago and a few fat quarters followed me home.  Urban Cowgirl by Urban Chicks for Moda is such a pretty and unique fabric line.  As soon as I saw it, I knew exactly what I was going to make.  So I took a little bit of this.......

.....and added a little bit that from my stash.......

.....and a new version of Madrigal is coming alive.  I'm auditioning fabric from my stash for borders, flanges and setting squares.  This is a totally different look than the first version.  All of my required elements are in this quilt, plaids, checks, stripes and polka dots.

This could be Christmassy.....or not.  The personality of this quilt is starting to reveal itself with each and every block.

Between making blocks, I'm working on the directions for Winterset.  I refined the block layout sheet and cutting chart.  Now, I'm making the block while keying in the steps at the same time.  Making graphics along the way while trying to make the instructions crystal clear, takes lots of time.

The binding for Winterset is almost finished too.  My goal is to have it finished and on display in the shop next week.

Enjoy your day and be creative. 

As always,


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Yo-Yo Quilt Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,
Last Tuesday, twelve women gathered together in the classroom at In Between Stitches and started their quilting yo-yo journey.  Yo-yo's every color of the rainbow were born throughout the day from 30's fabric......

....to scrappy.  You know scrappy and I are very compatible!

The quilt is called Welcome Wagon Yo-Yo and is in Kim Diehl's Simple Graces book.

The tones for Nanci's quilt were very soft and muted from moss greens to lavender to rose colors.

 Margie is going to add in some blues to her French General grouping.

More scrappies.

Batiks from Kathy's extensive stash.

The little baggies started filling with circles.

Madonna came prepared with bags and bags of finished yo-yo's that she and a friend made over the last several months.

Civil War yo-yo's too.

Everyone is working toward this quilt, the prize at the end of the rainbow.

Are you starting on a new quilting journey this week?  A nice slow tour through your stash culminating in a gorgeous new quilt?  No matter what, just enjoy the process.

As always,


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Quilts are on The Road to California

Hello Everyone,

This post is going to be a shameless, self-promotion of my own designs that will be at the Road to California quilt show starting tomorrow in Ontario, CA.

Mary Jane from  The Christmas Shoppe will have four of my quilts and patterns at her booth.  I feel like an extremely proud mom with her children preforming onstage.  Luckily for them, they didn't have to recite any lines.  They will just let their colors and design sing their melodies.

The House on Edgewood Lane

Party in the Garden

Summer's Blush

Country Charmer

The Quilt House from Gardnerville, NV will have Madrigal in their booth.

We seriously thought about going to the show, but it is a long drive.  We are going to wait until the quilts travel a little closer to home.

It is extreme quilting day/week here at the cabin before the storm arrives and the power goes out.  If you don't hear from me in the next couple of days, just know that I'll be quilting by candlelight. I have a binding to work on, drawings for a Christmas design, applique, and pattern directions that need to be written. 

Enjoy your day everyone, and I hope you have electricity!

As always,


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Almost Finished Quilting

Hello Everyone,

Just a couple more posts of Winterset, then it will be relegated to the sidebar with the rest of my patterns.  After I ripped out the elements I quilted in the corners surrounding the windmill, I replaced them with feathers.  I can never go wrong with feathers, and knew that ahead of time. 

I had lightly marked the quilted elements with a black Frixion pen. To remove the marks while the quilt was on the machine, I used my blowdryer.  The marks are supposed to come out when they get hot, and they did!  I just lightly waved my blowdryer across the marks....and they disappeared.  Since I'm using wool batting, I didn't want the batting to melt.  In the past, I've very lightly touched the marks with my iron, but I wasn't taking any chances with this puppy!

The quilt is quilted top to bottom.  Today I will trim off the extra backing, turn it, and quilt the side borders.  I'll save the binding for next week while I'm writing the pattern directions in peace and quiet at the cabin.  Snow is predicted to start on Wednesday or Thursday.  Hand stitching binding during a snowstorm sounds heavenly to me...especially while working on a quilt called Winterset.

Am I the only person that enjoys binding?  It gives me a great feeling of completion.  I can bind for hours, until my arm tells me to stop.  Come to think of it, there is absolutely NO aspect of quilting that I don't enjoy.  

I'm all caught up in the football playoffs this weekend.  Our very own San Francisco 49'ers won a very impressive nail-bitter yesterday while the lead changed four times in the last four minutes of the game.  Needless to say, I'm not getting much quilting done while the games are being televised.   I'll try to do better since I'm not emotionally invested in the teams playing today.  Having said that, Go Green Bay, I'm cheering for you!

I hope all of you enjoy your Sunday just as much as I plan on enjoying mine.

As always,


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quilting Winterset

Hello Everyone,

I put Winterset on the quilting machine and spent yesterday afternoon quilting, quilting, and more quilting.  I would love to spend the whole day at my machine today, but I'm filling in down at the shop.  The cross-hatched center is just what I wanted.  It is simple and old fashioned and really sets off the windmill.  I'm using Dream Wool batting which gives it that little extra loft.

All free-motion feathers in the squares and stitch in the ditch around the rest of the block.

I'm very pleased with the way the borders surround the quilt with little diamonds. I'm anxious to get the first pass finished on this quilt, so I can take it off of the machine to see the full effects of my quilting.  I will then turn the quilt and finish the two other borders.  That step will take me longer, but I'm vertically challenged when it comes to feathers, and need to quilt side to side and not up and down.

I ended up ripping out this design around the windmill.  Unfortunately I quilted one in each corner.  The plan was to have them in all four corners.  After completing two of the patterns, I knew it just wasn't right.  I had way too much open space that needed something.....I'll sleep on it and come up with something on Friday.

I hope you all have a quiltingly, wonderful day.

As always,