Friday, March 27, 2015

More Dresdens

Hello Everyone,

I mush have an addictive personality since I'm so addicted to quilting and designing.  When Patti from Marcus Fabrics sent me a box of Past Endearments, the fabrics immediately started talking to me. 

I'm going to put the little vases together connected by a flange.....of course.  You know me, I love adding extra little touches especially when the fabric collection includes a plaid!

As always, it's been a busy week under the oaks at Sew'n Wild Oaks.  Our eldest son turned 40 on Wednesday.  There's a big party this weekend with a 1970's theme.  My job was to prepare a slide show for the event.  I've been sifting through hundreds, yes hundreds of pictures over the past two weeks.  I've been scanning photos so everything is digital for the slide show.  The walk down memory lane has been melancholy.  This is a picture of me holding a 5-week old Charlie.  I can't believe I ever had hair that long.  Very 1975ish.

Fast forward 33 years to Charlie, now Chuck, holding his little 5-week old son Jess.  Jess is all dressed up for his Godmother's wedding.

Fast forward another five years to Coach Chuck with Jess.

Thank you for so many years of happiness Chuck.  Here's to another 40!  Love you and your family forever.


P.S. Chuck takes after his ruggedly handsome Dad!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,
As always, my girls were very busy during class yesterday.  Isabelle was busy creating an adorable Easter Basket.

I love the fussy cut flowers with the Spring green leaves.

Peg stopped by to show us her Grammy Squares.  Aren't they something!!  Peg is making this quilt totally from her stash. 

Karen is adding to her collection of Grammy Squares too!  I think the girls should combine forces since their blocks look so good together.

Patti whipped out two little Dresden vases very quickly.  She has the perfect spot picked out for them in her home.

Irene has a lot of her baskets made, and is starting to assemble them together for her For The Love of Baskets quilt.  This is also a great way to utilize some of those scraps that are hanging around and multiplying in your sewing space.

Marti is creating some beautiful blocks for Once Upon a Vine.

The block layout sheets are so handy for placing the finished components.

Irene finished some more blocks for Country Corners.  Her color selection is perfect for a wonderful quilt for Fall.

Barbara is making a Big Lucy!  This is going to be a pillow to match a Southwestern quilt that she made last year.

The bonds of friendship are so strong in this class.  The girls are so supportive of each other and me.  What a delightful day we had in the classroom. Thank you all so much for having such kind hearts.  Not to mention your great sense of humor!  There was so much spontaneous laughter throughout the day.  Good for the soul.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

......and then there were six

Hello Everyone,
Just a quick post before I head off to Sew'n Wild Oaks class this morning at In Between Stitches.  Here is a picture of my night job.....Lucy Boston blocks.  This block is made with only three different fabrics. Historical Stripes by Paula Barnes for Marcus Fabrics, and Paula's Border Companions also from Marcus.

This one is a combination of several different lines.  Individually, I'm not crazy about this block.  Having said that, I think it looks wonderful when combined with the rest of them.  It brings something new to the table.

Slowly but surely, my grouping is coming together.  I could work on these blocks all day, every day and never tire of them.  They are just SO addictive.

I get to spend the day with "my girls" at the shop. I look forward to seeing them every month.  Be creative today. Dig out an old UFO and realize why you fell in love with it and started it in the first place.  Completion gives you a wonderful sense of satisfaction.  Be satisfied, be happy, and just be YOU!


Monday, March 23, 2015

Past Endearments

Hello Everyone,

When a package from Marcus Fabrics arrives, stop the presses, stop EVERYTHING to caress and fondle the fabrics.....and make something new to add to my quilt using Dresden templates of all shapes and sizes.  This is what I will be presenting in my Sew'n Wild Oaks class tomorrow at In Between Stitches.

The new line of fabric from Marcus Fabrics is called Past Endearments by Judie Rothermel.  This wonderful collection will be available next month.  It is so gorgeous I had a difficult time cutting into it.  I wanted to preserve the pristine look.  After a few minutes of admiring the collection on my cutting table, I dug in.

You've already seen this little basket, also made with a combination of many different Marcus fabrics.  Quality fabrics make up beautifully, and combine so nicely together.  The Dresden templates are so much fun to play with to create something new and different.

I have great plans for the new collection.  I'll be using it when I start filming again for The Quilt in July.  I'll be combining Past Endearments with other Marcus fabrics in my Patchwork Math segments in the classroom section of TQS.  I can't wait to start making quilting components all different sizes with these fabrics!  I need more hours in the day.....but sister Gail will help me!  We can spend another three days together at the cabin and be Rick & Rack, the dynamic quilting duo!   We've had many offers to make it a dynamic quilting trio.  If we become three, we will need to have a new name for our group.  Larry, Mo and Curly is all I can come up about you?


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Quilting Retreat at The Quilt

Hello Everyone,

Big news here! In honor of International Quilting Weekend, March 20-22, 2015, The Quilt Show (, the web TV show hosted by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, will open all of its shows from the first nine series-- shows 100-1513 --for the entire weekend. This means that, for three special days, everyone will have the chance to view over 200 shows, featuring some of the quilting world’s leading artists, for FREE. 
This year's sponsors are contributing over $5000 in prizes, including the Grand Prize, a BERNINA 550 QE.  Other prizes you have a chance to win are:
·         Innova – Have your quilt professionally quilted ($500 value)
·         Superior Threads – five $100 gift certificates
·         RJR Fabrics – a Delicious Selection of RJR Fabrics
·         AccuQuilt – GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter
·         Missouri Star Quilt Company –  $500 in Quilter’s Cash plus signed copies of Volume 1 of Block Magazine and Man Sewing Swag
Just click on the Quilt Show logo and it will take you where you need to go to be able to view over 200 shows!!!  Get your popcorn and a beverage and enjoy the shows.  You will learn so much from quilters around the world.  Think of it as a mini-retreat weekend.  Tell your friends and neighbors to spread the word.  Get a bunch of friends together and enjoy a day or two of shows.
You can also enter to win fabulous prizes.
Thank you Alex and Ricky for making this possible.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Sweat Shop Central is Closing Down.....for now

Hello Everyone,
You've all heard of Frick & Frack, the famous ice skaters.  You've heard of Click & Clack, the famous guys from Car Talk.  Now we bring you Rick & Rack, the not-so-famous quilters! (Both of us want to be Rick, so we are still deciding who is who.) Honestly, I wish you could be at our quilting table while we come up with this stuff.  It is a wonder we got anything done yesterday. 
Well, I know I was treading on thin ice when I served Gail a bowl of porridge the other morning.  I had to step up my game to pancakes with strawberries yesterday, in hopes of getting the maximum amount of productivity out of her.
Yes, one of my favorites and it was delicious!  It must have worked because we were on a mission yesterday to get all those blocks done and we did!  Of course, if the truth be known, I had a little help from Miss Mazey.  She hijacked my machine by plopping herself on my foot pedal and immediately sent my Bernina into overdrive.  Lynn knew it wasn't me at the "helm" since she's never heard me sew that fast before!

This was one of the highlights of her day.  Her Strip'n Sew went from this..... this.  She got a tattoo!  

Isn't she beautiful!  Now I have the "official" model.  I am still waiting for the stadium seating...maybe on my next visit to the sweat shop.

I did have one little "organizational" problem.  I had just said to Lynn not five minutes before that I hadn't had any rejects.  Guess I won't say that again!

This is what 39 Heartfire blocks look like when stacked together with their little connecting triangles.  By mid-afternoon they were all done!

Then we started sewing the rows together once we decided on a perfect arrangement.

There, all the blocks are now sewn it's time to sew the rows.  This is when we pooped out. 

Now this is my idea of "pourage"...
Thanks for all your wonderful comments on both the blog and e-mail over the last several days!  Lynn and I loved hearing from you!  My job may be in jeopardy because of all the willing volunteers out there, including Barbara G. who says; "have iron will travel".  I'll have to keep my Bernina humming, and without Mazey's help, to insure my job security!  Stay tuned as "Thelma and Louise" or "Rick and Rack" will be back when we hit the road in early April for a visit with the ladies at the Foothill Quilt Guild in Auburn, CA.  And now I have to pack up and hit the road because we are out of donuts!

Rick & Rack

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sweat Shop Central Day Two

Hello Everyone,
Well, Gail survived day two in the "Sweat Shop" at Wilder's Last Resort.  Our attention was focused on making lighter blocks to add to the design wall.

Good Morning Everyone,
Yes, I did survive day two and you will be happy to know that my production stats were up!  I got six blocks done AND I did get a whole donut!  We started in at 5:00am today thanks to an early morning wake up call from little Miss Mazey.  Honestly, I was at my machine at 5:00.  Of course, I did take a few minutes out to play Words With Friends.  Do you think the boss noticed?  I'll have to keep my nose to the grindstone the rest of the day to make up!

No fancy studio for quilting here.  All you need is a dining room table and a bit of room to spread out.  A nice view of the forest is also a "perk".

Gail was the recipient of the first Strip'n Sew off the assembly line.  Her Strip'n Sew doesn't have the stadium seating for her strips.  I got the bright idea in the middle of the night that the Strip'n Sew needs to be at an angle for better viewing.  While she is here at the cabin, Mr. Joe might just modify her model.  It is just like fixing a chair leg, shave a little of here, and a little of there......and it's never right!

Yes, about my Strip'n Sew, Mr. Joe.  It would be very nice to have the stadium seating variety.  And while you're at it, how about a tattoo?  I know I did decline a tattoo the last time I was at the sweat shop but I have now reconsidered and would like one...on the Strip'n Sew, that is!

Here's a picture of our efforts by the end of the day.  Now we did take an afternoon break and took Mazey for a walk around the block.  It isn't all work, and Gail got her donut!  A whole donut, not just a half.

The Marcus Fabrics, Hint of Print and Spice Palette are just fabulous together!  We love them and we love working with them.

Yes, we did have a nice walk around the block and maybe we'll get to do that again today AND there are still donuts left in the bag!  Oh, and I hear rumors that there is barbecued tri-tip for dinner so maybe I'll stick around for another day.

I've received several personal emails from ladies that want to apply for a position in the Sweat Shop.  I think if I play my cards right, I could invite quilters to the cabin to sew for me, while I sit and design more quilts!  I could retire my Bernina and never stitch again.  What do you think?  Do you want to apply for the job?  I think it's a good plan.  For some reason, Gail thinks she's Little Orphan Annie and keeps humming The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.  (Sorry Gail, child labor laws don't apply here at the cabin.)

Lynn only thinks she is hearing The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow over the roar of my speeding Bernina!  Actually I am humming Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Sixteen Tons and what do you get, another day older and deeper in sweat...".  On that note, it's back to the coal mine, I mean sweat shop.

Gail & Lynn

P.S. It's almost time for my bowl of porridge!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sweat Shop Central Branch Office

Hello Everyone,

Well, we are at it again.....sweat shop central has opened a branch office at the cabin.  My sister Gail met up with us yesterday with her sewing machine, rulers, iron and everything else she needs to help me make a new version of Heartfire.  I know this looks like a block from Grammy Square's, but this block is larger and there aren't any "Y" seams involved.

 Gail here...Yes, "The Sister Act" is at it again, AKA "Thelma and Louise" only we are not on a road trip this time, just at our "branch" office in the mountains.

We started with Hint of Print from Marcus fabrics.

We've combined the Spice Palette Cinnamon & Honey collection, also from Marcus Textiles, along with Hint of Print.  You know me, variety is the spice of life!

 Now you are probably wondering why we are on a mission to make a Heartfire.  Well, this quilt is going to be on display in the Marcus booth at Quilt Market in May!!!


Gail here again...Note all the many blocks below.  I have to admit I only can claim two of those.  Lynn got a head start on me.  Also I am switching from doing the Grammy Squares 6" block to the Heartfire 8" block so I really have to think about what I am doing, especially the cutting part.  I know I will have to pick up the pace today so my sister doesn't send me packing!

I have just been informed that porridge is on the menu for breakfast.  Oh, that's right, this is "sweat shop central".  It has been disguised in the name of Irish Oatmeal.  That should tide me over until reward time later.  As many of you regular followers of Lynn's blog know, my reward last time was a half a cookie.  Now I have my eye on a bag of apple cider donuts.  Do you think I will get more than just a half?

Follow along with the Sister Act this week to see just how much we get accomplished.  Only 27 more blocks to go, plus the connecting the "no sweat" sweat shop!

Gail & Lynn

P.S. I had a very nice surprise this morning when I opened The Daily Blog from The Quilt Show.  A slide show of my quilts is featured HERE

Monday, March 16, 2015

Grammy Squares Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,

Another great day in the classroom at In Between Stitches last Saturday.  The girls really put a lot of effort and thought into their little hexagons.

All of the following pictures will give you some ideas for beautiful and different colorways.

Barbara really went to town on Saturday!  I guess I should tell you that she is a pattern tester, or I can let you believe she sews at the speed of light! (Which I think she does.)

There were many different methods of fabric organization in the classroom.

There's the ruggedly handsome Mr. Joe's Strip'n Sew which he is mass producing.  (At last count, I think we have ten in the garage!) You can't rush these old, retired people.  Maybe I should have Barbara work in the shop with him, and 100 of them would be made by now.  Barbara, do you think you can run power tools, while sewing blocks together?  On second thought, the sawdust might be an issue on your fabrics.


Toilet paper roll, ingenious!

I'm really looking forward to seeing Pat's blocks!  So different, so sweet, they will be adorable.

Isabelle, I forgot to take a picture of your little bee block!  Next time.  Here are the girls proudly displaying their blocks.  You'll be seeing more and more of these blocks over the next few months.

The Grammy Square patterns are now available at the shop.  We don't have it on the website yet, but if you want to call the shop, I'll be there today and I can take your order over the phone.  It will be on the website soon.  I'm also putting Grammy Squares starter kits together.  They will also be on the website this week.  It will help "jump start" the process using fabrics I've selected.

To all the girls in the class on were delightful!!  You have no idea how much fun I had spending the day with YOU!  Thank you, thank you for your friendship and your support of me, and my patterns.  All of you are my inspiration.