Saturday, August 30, 2014

It's All in the Details

Hello Everyone,
I'm not missing in action......I've just been busy creating.  The center section of Emilie Elizabeth is now ready for the final stitching.

I auditioned many fabrics, and here's the winning combination of colors for the flower.  All of the fussy cutting is definitely worth the extra effort.  There wasn't a green in this fabric line, so I went with the gold for the leaves and the stems for an interesting look.

This has a nice old fashioned look to me.....reminiscent of days gone by.....back when my Grandmother Emilie Elizabeth, was growing up.  She loved purple before the saying, "When I get old, I shall wear purple" became popular.  I guess that makes her ahead of her time.  I remember her wearing a purple hat when she got on the train to ride across country from California to visit her sister in New York.  Back in the day, hats and gloves were quite popular when riding the California Zephyr. Gone are those days of style and refinement.

All of the setting triangles are sewn together along with all of the other components of this quilt.   I haven't worked on an applique project in months.  It feels good to take needle in hand and sit and stitch. 

Family is arriving for the Labor Day weekend, summer's last hurrah.  My goal was to have the quilt to this point before their arrival, because I know I won't touch this while grandkids are in the house.  We have more important things to do, like look for bugs under rocks, play ping pong, go to the lake, and hike in the woods.  Not to mention have the little kids help me in the kitchen.  Pancakes always taste best when fixed by a 6-year-old!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,
There was a full house in the classroom yesterday at In Between Stitches for my Sew'n Wild Oaks class.  The girls have been very busy making Country Corners blocks.

Barbara stitched a lot of her little baskets together and made a beautiful table runner with them.  Barbara began making baskets for her For the Love of Baskets quilt.  After several session with "Jack the Ripper", Barbara decided to sew the baskets together and call it quits with the scrappy backgrounds.  She wasn't pleased with the direction the quilt was going. Barbara did the smart thing.  If you don't like the direction your quilt is taking.....then stop.  You will never be happy and it isn't fun to work on the project any longer.  Barbara now has a beautiful table runner.  She's happy, the baskets are happy, and she's free to work on a different project.

There was some beautiful applique taking shape in class for Fall and for Christmas.

There was also a lot of cutting taking place with Eilene and Laurie.

Karen shared a quilt she just finished make out of a jelly roll.  So pretty!

Three cheers for Isabelle's finished top section for Harvest of Hope. Literally, the class cheered for Isabelle.  Now she is ready to move on to another block for her quilt.

There is always so much inspiration in the room.  The girls applaud each other and I applaud them for accomplishing so much and having so much fun while they quilt.  They inspire me!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Two Finishes

Hello Everyone,
I can hear coffee mugs across the globe pounding on the table with quilters saying, "We want Gail, We want Gail!"  Well folks you are stuck with me again.  My sister Gail had to go home since her husband and kitties missed her.  It was wonderful having Gail here with me, working on Emilie Elizabeth together, laughing, eating cookies, and going to (by) a tattoo parlor!  It is an oddity that the word tattoo and parlor are used in the same sentence.
So back to quilting we don't go!  I filled in at the shop yesterday and I'll be working at the shop today.  Tomorrow I'm teaching, so my continued work on Emilie Elizabeth is on hold for a couple of days.  But, I do have some beautiful pictures to show you that quilters sent to me.
Kathy sent me this picture of her finished Madrigal quilt! Kathy took my Madrigal class at Ladybugs Quilt shop a few short months ago and now she is finished!  It is so beautiful Kathy.  I loved your fabric choice for your flange......very striking.  Your basket of flowers is just perfect also, as is the entire quilt.  Thank you so much for taking my class, and making my pattern.  I love it!  I especially loved the fact that you sent me a picture.  I teach so many classes and see the beginnings of wonderful quilts, but rarely get to see the finished product. Great job!


Last Spring I was contacted by Jane from Lady of the Lake quilt guild in Lakeport, California .  Jane asked if their guild could make my Country Charmer pattern as their opportunity quilt for 2015!  I immediately said yes and look at what the guild created!  A giant Country Charmer beauty!  Jane said they divided up the blocks between eight quilters.  The girls used fabric from their stash and just look at what they made!  I love it! 
Tickets are going on sale to win this quilt.  I'm going to try to clear my schedule and head up to Lakeport on October 4th for the Lady of the Lake quilt show.  Click HERE for information about the show.  Their Country Charmer will travel around to quilt shows for the next year, then it will be raffled off next fall in 2015.....which will be here before we know it!  I've always thought about making a BIG Country I know why!

Now I've got to get ready for work.  Don't worry, Gail will return as guest blogger the next time we get together.....which will be......


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sweat Shop Central - Part 3

Good Morning Everyone...

My guest blogger status is about to expire but before it does I wanted to give you one more update:

  • Baskets - Done
  • Square in a square - Done
  • Double flying geese - Done
  • Parallel geese - Done
  • Setting triangles cut - Done
It was a very productive 3 days!  We had one more minor goose problem yesterday.  Two parallel geese left their formation and ended up "missing in action".  I didn't do it this time!  No doubt they will surface at some point when they are no longer needed.

And now for the answer to the big question, what was my reward for yesterdays efforts?  The boss took me out for a wonderful lunch!  I was a little skeptical at first, though.  As we drove to the restaurant, the first thing I saw was the sign for the tattoo parlor next door.  For a brief moment, I had visions of returning home with a tattoo that said, Stitchin' B*!*!*!!

Again, thank you all for your encouraging comments over the last several days!  Now it's time to head home.  I have new fabric waiting for me for my Winterset quilt.  It has been a fun 3 days working with my sister and my best friend!  Hope the "Sister Act" will do a repeat performance soon to finish the remake of Emilie Elizabeth, a tribute to our grandmother, in this beautiful Judie's Album Quilt fabric line by Marcus Fabrics!

Gail and Lynn

P.S. My sister ate the other half of the cookie!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sweat Shop Central - Part 2

Good Morning Everyone...

Your guest blogger is back for another day.  First of all, I would like to apologize to yesterday's early morning blog readers.  Somehow my finger found the "publish" button a little too soon.  (Must not have had enough coffee in the system yet.)  Ended up with a premature blog post.  Lynn came to my rescue and did an edit quickly.

Yesterday was a very productive day.  I stuck to putting baskets together and Lynn finished all the square in a square and started parallel geese.  We are on a roll!

Yesterday morning about 10:30 Lynn went to check on little Mazey.  She came back upstairs with my "reward" for my morning efforts...a half a cookie!  She said something about keeping the troops happy.  I have only myself to blame since I did tell her I work cheap!

Since this quilt is eventually going to Houston...Houston we have a problem!  In my effort to speed up (to get my other half a cookie), one of my double flying geese ended up "flying south".  Now at least I found the problem.  Being the honest person that I am (our parents taught us well), I told "the boss".  What was I thinking?  She said my punishment would be ten lashes with a piece of thread and I would be drawn and fat quartered!  Now is that any way to encourage the troops!

Thanks so much for all your welcome comments about yesterdays post!  They were very much appreciated!  A special thank you to NMSue for our afternoon comic relief!  Lynn and I were "in stitches" reading the dog eating underwear story!  We were laughing so hard we could hardly see to sew!

The components aren't in the right order, they are just stuck on the design wall so we could see how much we accomplished.

In all honesty, we had a terrific day!  There is no better day than getting to quilt with my sister!  We even had the chance after dinner to go see all the kids and grandkids.  Lynn's grandson was at soccer practice and the girls were cheerleading.  And now, it's back to work.  I can hear those 2 remaining baskets calling my name.  I wonder what my morning "reward" will be today?

Gail & The Boss

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sweat Shop Central

Hello Everyone,
Just checking in with you to show the progress Gail and I made on Emilie Elizabeth's remake.  You are probably getting bored with my constant babbling, so today we have a guest blogger, my sister and quilting companion, Gail.  Gail will share a totally unbiased recap of our day in the Sew'n Wild Oaks Sweat Shop.



Lynn is adding to my "to do" list and asked me to be the guest blogger this morning.  So as I sip my morning coffee, here we go...
I arrived yesterday morning not as Lynn's sister but as her "pattern test dummy" or PTD for short, reporting for duty.  Lynn had my "basket block assembly line" ready to go.  (I think she is thinking I must be a basket case expert after making Butterscotch Baskets and For the Love of Baskets.) 

She had already made the double flying geese and the half square triangles, so I had a head start on these blocks...

I was very nervous when I started in working with this beautiful fabric line.  After finishing block #1, I thought Lynn was going to give me my "walking papers".  To use Lynn's words, the block was kind of "wonky".  We discovered our "dueling Berninas" had a difference in the 1/4" seam.  One minor adjustment and the rest of my blocks met with the bosses approval.

Lynn worked away on square in a square while I was doing baskets.  She was also cutting more basket block pieces so I had an endless supply!

"Sweat Shop Central" and the "dueling Berninas"...

Wish I could take credit for all of these but Lynn had a head start before I arrived...

One of the perks of working for my sister, I can drink on the job but not until after 4:00 (house rules).

All in all, it was a great day working with for my sister.  We laughed a lot as we always do when we get together!  And now it's back to the "Sweat Shop Central."


We lost all of Tuesday to Mazey's sudden and scary health issue.  Mr. Joe and I spent most of Tuesday morning at the Veterinary Hospital holding her paw and reassuring her that she would be okay.  The poor little thing has had a rough start in life.  She has always had digestive issues and it all came to a head early Tuesday morning with constant vomiting.  She threw up a walnut-sized something that apparently has been lodged in her insides for who knows how long.  She was one very sick little girl......and now I'm happy to say she's driving us crazy with all of the activity of a normal puppy.

Lynn & Gail

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Basket Blocks

Hello Everyone,
I started working on the new Emilie Elizabeth using only the new Marcus Fabrics, Judie's Album Quilt, which will be in quilt shops later on this year.

This is an easy block.....really.  There are two double flying geese, three four patches, four half square triangles, two rectangles, and one square.

I don't know about you, but for me, I have to work with the fabrics for a bit to see what looks best together and get a "feel" for the them.  I could say that I planned the placement of the circle design in the center of my double flying geese, but it was just dumb luck.....I'm not that smart!

I think the twenty baskets that surround the medallion center are going to be beautiful.  I want all of the baskets to be different.  The only unifying part is the square running down the center.

Starting in January 2015, we will be offering a BOM at In Between Stitches that will be identical to this new quilt, and I think it is going to be gorgeous! I liked the first version of this quilt, but I'm REALLY falling in love with version #2.  You will be watching it grow over the next few weeks.  I want to have this finished by Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) in mid October, then I will be shipping it off to Quilt Market in Houston for display in the Marcus Fabrics Booth.

I have my work cut out for me.  My sister Gail will be helping me beginning today.  We will be in full quilting mode for I hear weeks?


Monday, August 18, 2014

Patchwork Math Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,
Saturday, I had the privilege of teaching Patchwork Math to a wonderful group of quilters at Prairie Queens Quilt Shop in San Jose, CA.  This group was highly motivated!  Not much chatter, all work, work, work!  I could tell they came to learn some new techniques. 
The girls had some components made and up on the design walls before lunchtime.

I use a document camera, computer, projector, and screen when I teach.  When I arrive at a shop or guild with all of my equipment, I look like I'm moving in!

The girls all made the same components, yet look at all the different fabrics and arrangements.

I love it when I hear quilters say, "My square in a square has never been so accurate!"



By the end of the day, the blocks were growing into quilted beauty!  Again, they all made the same seven components.  What a wonderful variety.

The girls used the formulas in the book and  made half-square triangles, quarter-square triangles, square in a square, square in a triangle, flying geese, double flying geese and Y-squares.  They were busy!

Can you find all of the components in the blocks?  This is like playing Where's Waldo.

I was so proud of you girls!  You exceeded my expectations, and it was hard for me to keep up with you.  Thank you for such a wonderful day, and thank you Prairie Queens for letting us use your spacious classroom in your beautiful shop.   We had a wonderful day.