December 11, 2010

Special Gift

I celebrated (?) a birthday recently, and my sweet friend, Mary, sent me this amazing quilt.

You probably can't tell from the picture above how small this quilt is, so here's a picture on my cutting mat.

I'm a really big fan of Mary's work.  Look how tiny the pieces are!
And her quilting, as always, is so perfect.

Thank you so much, Mary!  It's such a treasure, and so is your friendship!

Another blogmate quilted a special gift for my birthday, but I'm going to share that one with
you later.  It matches something else I'll be showing you. 

Hope you have a great weekend!


November 24, 2010

Winner of Bloom Creek Quilts

Wow!  You guys are really knowledgeable about button storage capacity!
There were lots of close guesses!

The first person to correctly guess the number of buttons in the dish was Darlene, who
guessed 236.  Congratulations, Darlene!   

And congratulations to Jan, who asked if she could have the buttons if she didn't win the book.  It reminded me of my first blog giveaway where one of the visitors asked if she could have the cat in my blog header if she didn't win the book.  I'm a little attached to my cats, but Jan, you just won 236 buttons.

Thank you all so much for playing along.  It was a lot of fun watching all the guesses come in.  Let's do it again next month, 'kay?

And to all who will be celebrating tomorrow, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


November 21, 2010

Bloom Creek Quilts

The lovely people at Martingale & Company sent a copy of this book to share with you.  

Photography by Brent Kane
 Bloom Creek Quilts by Vicki Bellino.  You may be familiar with Vicki's work -- she has a successful quilt pattern company, Bloom Creek.  She also hosts a blog by the same name.  And now she has published this charming book!  

The book is full of beautiful projects including quilts, wall hangings, a table runner,
a pillow, and a tote bag.

The projects are all pieced, but many include applique' motifs, just enough to make the quilt visually pleasing, but not so much that it takes forever to finish your project.     

Vicki has provided full-size applique' patterns, along with the instructions for
three different applique' techniques.

  I'm sure you'll find plenty of projects that would look great in your own home. 

Hey! Where did the cat go?

If you'd like to win your very own copy of Bloom Creek Quilts, all you have to do is guess
the number of buttons in the dish.  The first person to correctly guess (or guess the closest)
will be the lucky winner. 
I'll announce the winner Wednesday evening.

Good luck! 


November 11, 2010

We're Cooking With Gas

One of my co-workers many years ago would use that phrase when we were making progress on a project.  She'd say, "Now we're cooking with gas."  I thought of her so many times while I was sewing these blocks together.

Wonder if she had a phrase that meant we still have lots of work to do? 

For a great tutorial on how to make these spider web blocks, skedaddle on over to
Heather's blog at House of A La Mode



October 17, 2010


Mary from Quilt Hollow sent me this Snap Happy bag recently.  My girl kitty had been sick, and Mary sent this bag as a "just because" gift.  She used the cutest cat fabric for the bag, and pumpkin fabric for the top of the bag.  It snaps shut tightly because it has a metal tape measure in the top!  And as always, her work is so nice.  Thank you so much, Mary.  You're too good to me!

I know I'm not the only one who gets distracted by all the amazing projects everyone else is working on, but I seem to go in many more directions than most people.  That would probably explain the countless UFOs in my closet.  I would think of signing up for a UFO challenge, but before I could finish making a list, I would have two more UFOs to add to it!  I need some serious therapy.

Anyway, I've developed an unhealthy obsession over Spiderweb blocks.  I ran across a tutorial at House of A La Mode, who was inspired by this tutorial at Quilt It.   I'm not fond of foundation piecing (I don't like removing paper, and I don't like the idea of an extra layer of fabric in my seam allowances), so this method intrigued me.  I had to make one (add one more project to "the list"). 

And then I had to make another one.

They're too much fun!

Here are some different Spiderweb quilts I found on Flickr.  Just click on the links below the collage to see the full-size photos. 

Spiderweb Mosaic

1. Progress on Spider Web Quilt, 2. Spiderweb Blocks, 3. my blocks for the Spiderweb Swap , 4. 6 rows of spideys (2 more to go), 5. Bee Happy progress-1, 6. spiderweb blocks together, 7. DSC07097, 8. Spiderweb Quilt, 9. Freshcut Spiderweb Quilt

Aren't they gorgeous?!!

And now I need to get back to what I was doing before I was sidetracked by Spiderwebs.

Cutting strips of old Robyn Pandolph fabrics to share with a special friend.

Have a great week!


October 5, 2010

15-Minute Triangles

I'm finding it difficult these days to squeeze in even 15 minutes to play.  My 15-minute triangles are waiting patiently for a little attention.  Here's what they look like after adding a few more.

I think I need a vacation.  Yeah, a vacation.

Hope you're having a good week.


September 18, 2010

Sophisticated Scissors and E-Patterns

Don't they look pretty?  Darlene made this adorable little fob for my scissors.  She's such a sweetheart -- always doing the nicest things.  Thanks you so much, Darlene.  I'll really enjoy using my "fancy" scissors.
 Did you know that Martingale & Company is now offering e-patterns?  You can download a .pdf version of the Kitchen Sink quilt from my book, Scrap-Basket Surprises.  There are patterns available from lots of other books, too -- just hop over here and check them out.  The price is very reasonable, and you don't have to wait! 

 Hope you're having a terrific weekend!


September 8, 2010

Old Red Barn Co. Quilt Along

I finally picked up some fabrics for the Old Red Barn Co. Quilt Along.  I know -- I'm really behind.  With everything!  Does anyone know where I can buy some big chunks of time? 

Anyway, here are my fabrics.  Pat Sloan designed the quilt for this round, and from what I've seen so far, it's going to be gorgeous! 

And since I'm so late posting about the winner of Out of the Box, I asked my husband for a random number beween 1 and 31. 

It's 25!  Congratulations, Trudi!  If you'll send me your mailing address, your book will be on its way.

September 6, 2010

Out of the Box

Did you ever admire a whimsical, colorful quilt that told a story, but thought it would be impossible to make your own story quilt?  Mary Lou Weidman's book, Out of the Box, provides page after page of tools and inspiration to help you create your own one-of-a-kind story quilt.

Mary Lou explains the process for making wonderful story quilts, including how to find the inspiration for your quilt, how to choose fabrics, and how to draw and create your own design.  She encourages you to play, daydream, and have fun, and reinforces the idea that there's no "right way" to do it.     

I enjoyed reading Mary Lou's chapter on the personality of fabrics and each fabric's job in the quilt.  In addition to the gallery of quilts, every page in this book is "decorated" with the most interesting and colorful applique' shapes and pieced blocks.  And I'm fascinated by the "Hoochy Mama" blocks that make up the borders of so many of these quilts.  I would love to make an entire quilt using only the Hoochy Mama blocks. 

Here are little snippets of just a few of the quilts in the gallery.  There are too many to include here!   Each quilter tells the story of the inspiration for the quilt. 

This one is so sweet.  Wouldn't it be fun to make a quilt that tells a story about someone you know?  Or an event in your life?  My head is spinning with all the possibilities.

To visit Mary Lou and see more fantastic quilts made by her and her students, scooch on over to Mary Lou's blog.  I promise it'll make you smile. 

And if you'd like to find your inner artist, just leave a comment here.  I'll be announcing the winner of Out of the Box on Thursday.  Have a great week!


August 25, 2010

Really Fun Weekend

I took a little break to teach a class at (and recover from!) the Azalea City Quilters' Guild Retreat in Mobile, Alabama.  We worked on the Monkey Business quilt from Scrap-Basket Surprises.  There were monkeys everywhere!  Some of the members worked on other projects that I threatened to sneak  into my suitcase.  They're such a talented and fun bunch of quilters that I decided to join their guild just to be able to attend their UFO retreat in January!  (I pretty much invited myself, but they didn't argue about it, so I'm going.)  Joan and Karen did a fabulous job of coordinating the retreat, and continued to work hard throughout the weekend making sure that everyone had a good time.  

As if the retreat itself wasn't enough fun, my friend Karen went along with me, too!  She was able to finish three projects while we were there.  I tried to snap a picture of everyone's projects, but it seems I missed a couple.  If you'd like to see pictures from the retreat, get comfortable and click HERE

Thank you so much, ladies, for inviting me.  I hope you had as much fun as I had.  I look forward to seeing all of you again!


August 14, 2010

Bernina Love

Thank you so much for all your kind comments about my sick kitty last week.  He's home from the kitty hospital now and seems to be doing well.  This weekend my machine is in the shop for servicing, so I'm trying to talk myself into cleaning up my sewing room.  It's shocking.  Seriously.  

When I dropped off my machine, I talked to my Bernina Dude about this.
She's really pretty, and does lots of cool stuff.   On the other hand, I think if I were to pay that much for a machine, I should be able to drive it to work.  And I don't need a new machine.  But she is on sale.  Can you hear the conversation in my head?

Thinking about a new machine has me wondering about other brands, too.  What machine do you use?  Do you love it or hate it?  What are your favorite features?  So many questions, I know.  But if you feel strongly either way about a particular machine, I'd love to know about it.   

Have a good weekend!


August 8, 2010

Weekend Stuff

There hasn't been a lot of time for playing lately, and I'm beginning to get cranky.  Sometimes new fabric is just the thing to make me a nice person again. 

I've been gathering some of my 2 1/2" strips for a new project.  I hope it turns out close to the way I pictured it in my head.  If so, I'll be doing a tutorial here.  These are some of the fabrics I'm thinking of using.

This little guy was in the kitty hospital last week.  We brought him home yesterday afternoon, but ended up taking him to the emergency clinic late last night.  Hopefully he'll be back home soon -- I won't even make a fuss when I find him in my basket of scraps.

Have a terrific week!


July 31, 2010

Have You Played Today?


Happy Saturday!


July 25, 2010

Lazy Sunday

Lazy hot Sunday.  I've been playing in my room a lot today.  I made a block from the Asterisk Quilt-Along

I found a scrap of a blue and green batik that I'd really like to find more of.  I just wanted to try the block to see what it would look like.  And now I'm in the mood to make something blue and green!

And my daily 15-minute ritual inspired by Bumble Beans' 15 Minutes Play blog:

I started with dark and light triangles, but then decided to see what would happen if I cut smaller triangles and bordered them.  I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I'm having a lot of fun getting there!

Stay cool!


July 22, 2010

Winner of Schnibbles Times Two

So we all agree!  We think Carrie's book is wonderful, Carrie's a doll, and she has a cool dog.  The winning number is 44, and if I've counted correctly, the winner is Loris!  If you'll send me your mailing address, you'll have the book soon.  I hope it's not too worn -- I've really enjoyed it!

Off to work now.  Hope you have a great day!


July 18, 2010

Schnibbles Times Two

It seems like forever ago that I told you I'd be sharing Carrie Nelson's book with you.  I couldn't give it away without first making one of these sweet quilts. 

Carrie's Schnibbles patterns have been popular for a while now. There's even a parade every month in honor of Schnibbles.  You can check out the Year of Schnibbles Parade at Sherri's blog and Sinta's blog.  If you haven't heard of Schnibbles, they're smaller quilts made with 5-inch charm squares, and they're adorable. 

Schnibbles Time Two includes patterns for 12 little Schnibbles quilts, but Carrie has also re-worked the patterns for making larger quilts from 10-inch layer cakes.  She tells you how to make each of the quilts in the small and large sizes.   So there are patterns for 12 quilts in two sizes! 

The photographer, Brent Kane, did such a perfect job photographing all the quilts in an outdoor garden setting.  I can't tell you how many times I've flipped through this book just looking at the pictures. 

If you're familiar with Carrie's patterns and books, or if you follow her blog, you already know how funny she is.  You'll giggle when you read the introduction and the acknowledgment pages.  Miss Rosie even has her own "About Miss Rosie" page. 


Carrie's instructions are easy to understand, and she provides lots of useful tips for avoiding problem situations.  For example, she explains how to deal with pre-cut (unwashed) fabrics to avoid shrinking when you press with steam.  Did I heed her advice?  Of course not.  I thought it was something that maybe could happen, but wasn't very likely to happen.   It happened.  Only a little, though.  But I should have done what she said -- the lady really knows her stuff.

I've chosen the quilt in the bottom right corner in the picture above as my next Schnibbles project.  Pretty, don't you think?

And here's one more -- the one I've been working on.  X-Rated -- my very first Schnibbles quilt!  (Does this qualify me as a Schnibbler?)  I can't believe I waited so long to make one of these. 

If you don't already have a copy of Schnibbles Times Two (and you don't mind that I drooled a little on this one and pretty much wore it out the first week I had it), leave a comment here and tell me what appeals to you the most about this book.  Is it . . .

a.  The projects are just so beautiful you can hardly stand it;

b.  The author is so darn cute, sweet, and smart [jealous eye-roll here];

c.  There are so many great projects;

d.  You want to know more about Miss Rosie; or

e.  All the above.  

Check back here Thursday.  I'll ask my husband to choose the winning number and let you know who the lucky person is.  Until then, happy stitching!


July 11, 2010

Getting Closer

How can you tell if you have a Schnibbles addiction?  I'm pinning rows together on my first one, and I'm already planning the next one.  Too fun!

I'll be sharing Carrie's book with you in a few days.  You're gonna love it!

Have you visited Victoria over at Bumble Beans?  She's wonderfully creative and unique, and I'm always amazed by the work she does.  In addition to her "regular" blog, she created a blog to challenge us to spend 15 minutes a day playing.  In fact, the name of the blog is "15 Minutes Play." 

Even when I don't think I have time to sew, I do it anyway for at least 15 minutes.  And most of the time, I end up spending a lot more than 15 minutes in my play room.  During my 15-minute play time, I've been using little scraps to make bigger fabric for cutting triangles. 

Skidaddle on over and see what else is going on over there.  

Speaking of wildly creative people, you probably already know Stephanie (and Abby) at Loft Creations.  If you don't, stop by there, too.  I love everything she does.  She just has a way with color and fabric that makes  me happy.  And make sure you visit her Etsy shop, too. 

Hope you have a great week!