Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Crossing the Pond

Ahoy Mateys,

I've been blown off course over the past couple of weeks, and finally had a chance to get back to my new "Crossing the Pond" pattern.

I'll be adding my latest block to the design wall this week. It is so gratifying to watch the quilt come together.  Today I'll make more sashing sections, and watch the quilt grow.

Thank you all for your orders in my Etsy shop for my "Leaf Peeper" quilt pattern.  You've been keeping me very busy filling orders!  If I had another few hours in each day, I would like to make a "Leaf Peepers" in batik. 

Time for me to start my day and set sail into my sewing room.


Sunday, July 26, 2020

The Leaf Peepers Pattern Is Available Now

Hello Everyone,

I put the finishing touches on the pattern cover yesterday and my Leaf Peepers pattern is now ready for prime time.

I guess I shouldn't wish my life away, but I'm looking forward to Autumn.  Maybe it's positive thinking that the current situation our country is in will get better.  I'm ready to sit back and enjoy a pumpkin spice latte!

Click HERE if you are interested in purchasing a pattern.

I hope you have a great Sunday.  

Stay well,

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Leaf Peepers is a Wrap

Hello Everyone,

I played hooky from quilting yesterday and took Leaf Peepers out on a photo shoot.

I wanted to have a good picture to put on the front of the pattern. I will release the pattern this week and put it on my Etsy site.

We headed out to Ironstone Winery in Murphys, CA because we knew this old building was there.

There was such a difference in the color of the quilt going from sunlight to shadow.

This is probably my favorite picture, but it doesn't really showcase the quilt with any detail.

It was hot yesterday while we were out taking pictures. Note to self:  Do not wear sandals when out tromping through the weeds and woods holding a camera and a quilt.  My toes felt very exposed to rattlesnakes.....and this is the time of year when they are very active.

Several years ago, we were at a winery buying wine barrels for Mr. Joe's woodworking business.  Again, I was in sandals. When Mr. Joe moved a barrel, three rattlesnakes were behind it, and  prepared to strike.  I never knew these two old people could move so fast!

Those of you who follow my blog know that my granddaughters are involved in FFA (Future Farmers of America). They raised turkeys, goats, and pigs. The girls were so disappointed when the county fair was cancelled, and there was only an online auction. They loved spending two weeks at the fair every summer talking with fairgoers about their animals.  They loved showmanship and judging in the ring in front of a large audience.

This year, judging took place from pictures the girls submitted. Emily's goat was crowned reserve champion.

Kinsey is taking her pigs for a walk.

Emily does the same with her pigs.

Taking five turkeys for a walk is the equivalent to herding cats!

So, to make a long story short, we bought a pig.  A whole pig. Our new freezer will be delivered next week.  Now we have to clear a spot for it in the garage.

Next year, Emily wants to raise a steer in addition to goats, pigs, and turkeys.  I guess we should have purchased a bigger freezer.


Thursday, July 23, 2020

Snow Days Quilt Continued

Hello Everyone,

I put the foot pedal to the metal yesterday and finished off the borders on this quilt.

I have only one yard of the snowman fabric for the borders, so my borders are pretty narrow.  I had exactly 1" of fabric leftover.  That was cutting it a little close!  The finished size of this flannel quilt is 60" x 70".  It is going to keep me nice and toasty when I'm curled up by the fire this Winter.

This is the panel section cut up and put into the middle of my design.  The fabric is called "Snow Day" by Barb Tourtillotte for Henry Glass Fabrics and it is shipping to stores now.

Every quilt I make has its picture taken on the antique sled.  This Christmas quilt on a sled is perfect.

I have to scoot and get ready for company today.  Since we will be outside, social distancing on the deck, I do hope it's not too hot.


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Snow Days Quilt

Hello Everyone,

I've been wearing my Henry Glass & Co. Madam Ambassador hat over the past few days. In between machine quilting Leaf Peepers, and pattern writing, I've been trying to spend time in my sewing room making blocks.

Little by little the pile of blocks started to grow.  The fabric is called "Snow Bird" by Barbara Tourtillotte for Henry Glass & Co.

I was wondering how to incorporate the panel into the blocks of my Heartfire pattern.

Mr. Joe came up with this idea.  I cut the panel out the exact same size as the rest of the unfinished blocks, and incorporated them into the final layout.  Before I knew it, all of the blocks were made and I was on a roll stitching them together.  I missed Mazey's walk yesterday because I wanted to get this done. 

I still need to add the borders, which won't take me too long, but I won't have time to work on this today.  Our best friends are planning a day trip to the mountains tomorrow, so I need to prepare for their visit.  We will social distance out on the deck, wear masks, no hugs, not even an elbow bump.  Our friend has stage four cancer, and he has to be so careful.  He's been housebound like all of the rest of us for months, and wants to get out of the house to see friends.  They've been sequestered, we've been sequestered, so we feel relatively safe having them here.

If you click HERE, it will take you to a post from 12/14/2009 where you can see our friend playing Santa to our grandkids.  We have such a rich history of friendship, and look forward to adding many more memories.

Madam Ambassador

Tuesday, July 21, 2020


Hello Everyone,

I'm on the road to completion of Leaf Peepers.  The binding is going on.

As soon as the binding is finished, we will take this quilt out for a photo shoot for the front cover.  Then this quilt will be totally in the finished column.

In Between Stitches has kits listed on their website HERE.  The kits aren't ready just yet, but you'd better get on the list soon if you want to make a Leaf Peepers quilt.

I love it once the binding is made, and stitched onto the quilt.  I love to sit and stitch by hand.  It is soothing, relaxing, and I have a wonderful feeling of completion.  Not to mention I have another quilt to put on display in the cabin this Fall, and for many years to come.

I think we all want to get through Summer and hop right into Fall.  I would like to be optimistic about the virus.....but the latest surge in cases in my area, and California in general makes me very nervous.  My state is going backwards with our reopening.  It is quite depressing at times.  We keep doing our bit by wearing a mask whenever we are out, which isn't very often.  On the positive side, I'm getting so much quilting, and pattern writing done.

I have two other major projects to work on, and I'll get back to them this week now that Leaf Peepers is going to be in the finish column.  

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Machine Quilting Leaf Peepers

Hello Everyone,

Well, she's off the long arm and ready for binding.....not.

I figured out my traveling pattern around the quilt pretty quickly.  My traveling pattern means not too much stopping and starting.

You can see by the backside that it is fairly dense quilting.

But then I saw this on the back of the quilt.  I had a row of leaves where the tension was off.  I can't repeat what I said when I saw this.  You would be very disappointed in my use of profanity.  It took me maybe 30 minutes to stipple a row of leaves.  It took me about 3 hours to pick out that same row of stippling.  The good new is the stippling was so loose, it came out fairly easily.  I think this issue happened when I changed the bobbin.  I'm constantly checking the back of the quilt to make sure this doesn't happen, but I guess I need to check more often.

I'll put the finishing touches on the pattern, and get it ready for release this week.

I posted earlier in the week about my battle with Instagram and the hackers.  I found out once they deactivate you, that's it.  There's no going back to recover over 300 pictures and a couple of thousand followers.  Perhaps if I hadn't used the "castration" word when I was dealing with the hackers, my account would have been restored back to normal.  Insert grimace face here expressing mocking amusement.

So to make a long story, and many hours of frustration dealing with Instagram, I started a brand new account.  If you want to follow me on Instagram, my new account name is:  sewnwildoaksdesigns
I was not allowed to use my old account name.  I'm hearing more and more stories of the exact same thing happening to other people.  It is particularly bad when it is your brand name, and my identity in the quilting world.

I hope you all have a great productive and fun weekend. 



Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Machine Quilting Leaf Peepers

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday, I jumped ship and stopped working on "Crossing The Pond" and switched over to machine quilting Leaf Peepers.  

I was going to do cross-hatching in the border, but at the last minute I switched to feathers.  I can do feathers in my sleep.  I have my music on and then I just go for it.  I had my iPad on shuffle, and listened to everything from Gregorian Chant music, to AC/DC, to Christmas carols.  It was quite the line-up of hits!

I wasn't quite sure what to quilt in the setting squares, so I went with something simple, yet it makes a statement.  I'll probably quilt early this morning before it starts to heat up.  Then I'll switch over to piecing in my sewing room.

On another note, I've been thrown off of Instagram.  A scumbag impersonated me, and hijacked my account.  This scumbag contacted my followers and told them they had won a bunch of money.  This happened the day when my Internet was out, and I had absolutely no idea what was happening.  I'm the victim here, yet Instagram permanently deactivated my account.  I received an email on Saturday telling me it was deactivated in error and they were sorry for any inconvenience.  I was reinstated for 24 hours only to be deactivated again.  Dealing with their website is the equivalent to hitting my head against the wall while pounding sand.  The help phone number is a Medicare number.  Their support email is useless. I'm going to send a registered letter to them, along with the email I received re-instating me.  Can you hear and feel my frustration in my words? 

I get a lot of pattern orders after I post on Instagram. Since all of my workshops, lectures, and shows have been cancelled, I don't want to loose that resource too.

I may just start a new account, but I can't use my Sewn Wild Oaks name, since the hijacker compromised it.  I tell myself not to stress over this.......but I'm stressing over this.  I think I have steam coming out of my ears.

I'm going to go quilt to get in a better frame of mind.  I'll be better tomorrow.....promise.


Monday, July 13, 2020

Crossing The Pond

Ahoy Mateys,

I've been holding up in my sewing room and working on "Crossing the Pond" to stay cool and beat the heat.  Here is an image of the components I made for the 10" block, and attached them to my block layout sheet.

This is an image of the alternate block that is part of the design.  I love working with the "Journey to America" fabrics by Judie Rothermel for Marcus Fabrics. They are all so gorgeous, rich is color and a nice variety of scale.

This is on my design wall today. I still have many more blocks to make to complete the layout.  As I get parts and pieces completed, I put them up on the design wall, and decide what colors I need to add, and where they need to go.  The sashing is an extension of the block, so I can't stitch anything together until I decide on the final layout.

Your nautical term for today is, "Let go and haul", which is an order indicating that the ship is now on the desired course relative to the wind.  It has been so hot here in the mountains, that I've been enjoying the time in my sewing room under the ceiling fan.  Occasionally, I'll find a stray component blown off course, and on the floor.  I feel the wind filling my sails, and all I want to do is work on this new design.

I hope you all have a great week, and I'm wishing you full speed ahead  on all of your projects.


Thursday, July 9, 2020

Hexagon Tutorial Part One

Hello Everyone,

This post is Part 1 of a tutorial for my Heartfire pattern. You will learn how to make this cute block. Since I wrote the pattern eons ago, I found a better way to make the block, and this process is quicker.

The fabric that I'm using is called "Snow Birds" by Barb Tourtillotte for Henry Glass Fabrics.

I cut my center hexagon with a 4" acrylic template.  You don't have to have a template, but it will make your life easier.  The 4" is measured from flat side to flat side.  Not point to point.

I cut a whole bunch of strips that are 1-1/4" by the width of fabric.  This way I can see them and have them available right at my finger tips.

I select three strips for each block.

Next, place the hexagon on top of the strip, right sides together.  You don't need to make just one at a time.  You could make several blocks with the same strip, and just chain piece.

ALWAYS press toward the strip.

You will add the next strips like this.

Now comes the important trimming part.  Most rulers have a 60 degree line on them.  Line your ruler up on the seam line, and trim off the tails.

Rotate the hexagon, and trim the other side.  Line your ruler up along the 60 degree line, and the seam line, then trim.  Just lift your ruler up, and rotate the section underneath the ruler.

Rotate and trim again.

Then you will end up with this little cutie.

Now you are ready to finish off the center section by adding the rest of the strips.

Now when it comes to trimming, you have two reference points.  You have the 1" line on your ruler, and the 60 degree line.  It is important that both of them are in alignment to insure a perfect block.

There, the center is done.  It should measure 5-1/2" from flat side to flat side, NOT from point to point.  I'm finding a smidge of variance in my blocks since I'm using 2-ply flannel.

Now you are ready for round #2.  Follow along with this placement.  You can see that I'm starting round two where the two seams from the prior strips come together.

Align your ruler with the 1" mark and 60 degree line on your ruler. Trim, rotate and trim all of the strips.

Then you have this.

Add the other three strips.

Now this will measure 7" from flat side to flat side, not point to point.

Now it's time for the final round.  You know the routine by now.

The block will measure 8-1/2" from flat side to flat side.

This is a great pattern to showcase a cute little "something" in the center of the block.  It is also great for an I Spy quilt.  I usually have at least five blocks going at the same time.  It really goes much quicker that way.  Occasionally there is a happy accident or two!

I'll work on Part 2 of the tutorial this week.  I just need to carve out some time in my busy day.