Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I love the postman!

Look what the postman delivered today. Aren't they sweet! I could eat those strawberries!

One of them will be going to a dear friend who is under the weather this week, but you can get one of your own by visiting Heirlooms by Ashton House.

Giveaways Galore!

So this must be the month of giveaways. Stash Manicure has a great one going on until Sept. 5th, so hurry for your chance to win a witches hat pattern by Crabapple and the fabric to make it with, as well as some other goodies. Their button is on the left of my blog.

My little giveaway is progressing nicely. A little more embroidery and she'll get stuffed!

Good luck to everyone.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Another one bites the dust and a little giveaway!

Last week while I was binding all those quilts, I just could not resist playing with fabrics. So I copied my friend, Pauline, and I hope she is flattered. At our SSQSG meeting, she had shared her Kathleen Tracy Flowerpot quilt. I so admired it that I had to make one for myself. I loved making the little flowers with their pinked edges and then finding buttons for each one. I'll contact a great iron worker to make a custom hanger for it, perhaps with Victorian-like flowers as the holders, and then it will adorn the wall just outside my sewing room.

Here's a little tease. Like I said, I had participated in Jo Morton's Yahoo Group's pincushion exchange. I loved the crazy wool pinkeep made by Kaaren of The Painted Quilt. So this week I made my own version. Now for the tease. When it is done, I will give it away to one of my followers. So keep checking in, and if you are not a follower, you might consider becoming one. You can choose to remain anonymous, of course, if you wish. All my present followers are already in the draw. They automatically get their names entered twice. To enter your name, become a follower for one entry and then mention the giveaway on your blog for another entry. Current followers can blog about it to get a third entry. Just send me a link to the blog on my email. Hope this is as much fun for you as it is for me.

I'll randomly choose a name on Sept. 15th, 2010 and then notify the winner on my blog. Good luck to everyone!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bounding to the finish line!

The problem with actually finishing a quilt top is that it eventually comes back from the quilter, and then you have to complete the process and bind it. Over the last week, I have bound 2 Schnibbles quilts for the shoppe, my Kathy Tracy challenge quilt, and my Ladder to Success-Version 1.2 quilt for the cover of my new pattern. My little fingers are sore! It is too hot to wear a thimble. Hopefully, the pattern will be available at the shoppe in a week or so. It has to go to the graphic designer/printer first--aka, my daughter.

I borrowed an idea from Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. and incorporated my label into the quilt back. Not only do I think this is attractive, but a more secure method of labeling our works of art. Now it will be very difficult for anyone to remove the label and claim it as their own! Carrie displays her quilts at the Old Worlde Quilt Shoppe where I teach, and we always enjoy flipping the quilts over and seeing what quote or verse she has added to her label.

And our Ms. Daphne has given the quilt her stamp of approval. Really, I think she does this so I will rub her belly.

The next picture is for those of you who do not live in the Sonoran Desert. While in CO, I treated you to the wildflowers. It isn't wildflower season here, but we still have our wild things. This handsome fella brought his family shopping for good eats in the wash behind my home. When I snapped his photo, he barked at me and the rest of the family, including some very cute little ones, scurried off into the cover of the dense,desert foliage. All baby animals are cute, even Javelinas!

Don't worry. The only reason I got so close to him is that our rod iron fence stood between us!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Look what came in the mail!

I recently decided to join Jo Morton's Yahoo Group just in time to take part in the 2010 Pincushion Exchange. At first I was hesitant, but boy am I glad I participated. It has been so fun viewing the parade of pincushion photos and then today...mine came in the mail from my secret sister in Liberty, NY. She hand pieced the precious little darling in my favorite Jo colorway. Click on the image to enlarge it so you can see the detail of the basket. It matches the sewing pouch that Tamami made for me and fits nicely in the little pocket so I can take it everywhere with me. Her gift to me also included a pair of my favorite applique scissors with a charm that says 'Friendship.' She threw in some betweens for hand quilting and needle threaders. Now I am set!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A new toy!!

Please forgive me. I don't want to bore! Two posts in one day. The UPS man delivered my new computer and I am loving it. Like the old one? We have had that one for over 10 years. It still works and will stay in service since it holds all my archived EQ4 designs! And I am learning to 'collage' pictures in the Picasa program. Anything to keep myself occupied on a 106 degree day spent indoors.

A Rant

My SSQSG has decided to donate some miniature quilt art to the Alzheimers Quilt Initiative. We found a darling log cabin pattern from Mountain Patchwork. Believe it or not, we need to get written permission to donate the quilts even though we purchased the patterns. Let me be clear. It is the organization that requires the written permission. They must have had trouble in the past.

I think this whole copyright business in quilting has gone a little bonkers. There are just only so many quilt blocks out there and many of us draw our inspiration from other quilts. I read an article in a magazine by an attorney who spelled out the rules. According to her, I cannot post a picture on my blog without the written permission of the pattern designer. So much for the fun of show and tell.

Personally, I will continue to post my pictures, always giving credit where credit is due. I have written QNM hoping to get permission to share my rendition of Autumn's Bounty with friends and perhaps show it at our state quilt show. I admire designers like Kaaren, who shares patterns and publishes tutorials on her blog. I have removed the 'copyright' verbage from my blog. I understand the need, but wish there weren't so many hoops to jump through, even to donate a quilt to raise funds for charity!
Sorry for the rant, but I had to get this off of my chest.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I'm making progress on all fronts. Autumn's Bounty (aka Autumn Harvest) has one corner designed and just about stitched down. I am using a primitive whipstitch per Renee Plains suggestion (from her book, not from her personally.) I am waiting for some wool thread in the mail to give it a try. Next step is to repeat the design in the upper right corner and then decide if it needs anything else. And...I am contemplating a final pieced border. Am I nuts?!

My romantic stars challenge quilt is pieced and quilted. Just the single fold binding left. My machine quilting teacher, Carol, will be proud of those 'fat and happy' feathers.

And I have selected the fabrics for my notebook cover. Don't you love those homespuns by Diamond Textiles. It magically appeared at the shoppe this summer while I was away.

I'm a procrastinator, so this will probably get made the week before I teach my color mastery seminar. I have at least a month.
And I know this will come as no surprise to those who know me and those who are getting to know me, but I have started on 'The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt.' So much for staying focused and completing UFO's.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

I have seen so many beautiful antique quilts that I just had to share the only one in my possesion. This was probably made by my maternal great grandmother in the early 1900's. Not being a quilt historian, I am just taking a guess at its age. It is in very sad shape. The binding is coming off and as you can tell, the batt is clumped. I don't want to attempt to restore it because then the hand quilting will be lost. So I drape it over the chair in my sewing room.

The next quilt is the first pattern I ever designed and published. I had seen an antique quilt set in the same manner and knew that Judie Rothermel's Indigo and Pewter line would do it justice. I call the pattern 'Ladder to Success'-version 1.1. My purpose was to design attractive quilts that beginners could make and be successful at. My daughter has a degree in graphic design, so she laid out the pattern and did all my illustrations for me.

And the final picture of the day is 'Ladder to Success'-version 1.2. Again, I used Judie's Nottingham Village fabrics for this one. Brown and blue quilts are so yummy! I have a few more blocks to make and then off to the quilter. Hopefully, my DD will have time to make the few changes necessary to the first version and then we will print. The girls at the shoppe have kindly taken the patterns on a consignment basis.

The one thing I now have is a deeper appreciation for pattern designers and editors. It is not that easy. How much or how little instruction do you need to include. What is the best way to describe a block. Don't be too wordy or you will lose your audience. Etc.,etc. This last one may truly be my last formally written pattern. I will continue to design and share with friends, but the effort so far has totally outweighed the end result. In other words, they aren't selling! :( Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Really Quick Show and Tell!

So inspiration comes at strange times, even in strange places. To keep myself occupied while I sat in the waiting room of the surgical center, I took with me every book or magazine I owned that contained folk art applique. About an hour into the ordeal, a light bulb went on. I knew what I wanted in the corners of my Autumn Harvest quilt. When we returned home and John was sleeping off all the drugs they gave him, I sequestered myself in my sewing room and began sketching, cutting and placing the little wool pieces. I don't know if it was the lack of sleep on my part last night or my morning coffee, but I had the courage this morning to COMMIT and ironed them in place. The veges are things I grew this summer in my garden. The sunflowers Mother Nature provided in abundance in the yard. The 'black-eyed susan' grew wild in one corner of the yard. The crows ruled the valley behind the cabin and were frequently seen perched on the cornerposts of the garden gate. And even though I have no Bittersweet in my yard, I remembered that my dear friend, Rosie, had said it was her favorite treat in the fall. It's addition really brought the design all together! Of course, I have some more work to do in the center above the big sunflower and on the crow side, but like a kid, I just could not wait to share. I had planned to do Jo Morton's yahoo group's virtual retreat this weekend, but now all I want to do is finish this puppy. Oh, yeah, and I still have to unpack and transition back to living in this home. (That means clean house since the spiders and dust took over in our absence!)

And, by the way, John is doing well and the surgery was successful.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Oh so, OSO, clever!

Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. is OSO (bear in Spanish by the way) very clever. She complains about doing math, but her math skills must be exceptional. She has figured out how to get 4 small HSTs and 1 larger HST from the same 5" charm square. Therefore, none of the fabrics were repeated in the paw blocks. They only appear again in the border. How does she do it?! Needless to say there was very little waste with this one.

Which one? Why this one, appropriately called 'OSO.' The fabric line is Looking back by Moda.

My daughter also pieced 'Plan C' as a shop sample this summer. We both loved the cheery Aunt Grace fabrics. Whitney at the OWQS did a great job, as usual, with the quilting. Kits for both these quilts and 'Little Red' are available from the girls.

My summer Schnibbles project was 'Little Red.' I call my version 'Little Orange' and love the Judie Rothermel border fabric from her Twelve Oaks line. At first glance, it appeared to be a tricky one with all those small pinwheels coming together. However, it was easier than it looks. Again, it was Carrie's inventive way of making each snowball block! Please buy up all the kits of this one so I can take mine home!

To finish off the parade, the following two pictures are of 'State Fair' and 'Decoy.' I use my square Schnibbles to seasonally decorate my dining table at our cabin. The Uncle Sam I carved many years ago in my 'primitive' phase.

Speaking of primitives, today I bought Renee Plains book, "A Bird in Hand." My first project will be her Notebook cover for my color journal. I will be teaching a color seminar in October where I can show it off. Then comes, what else, Watching for Autumn with a plump pumpkin. I may have all the fabrics she used in my stash!

Progress is being made on the Autumn Harvest quilt. The border is on and the first few applique shapes have been cut and placed. Stay tuned for further updates...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

O.K., I'm shameless...

The caption reads, "I love Bunny Hill Designs. Postcard Cuties was my Xmas present from Grandma." The caption for the next one reads, "Hi, Anne. I agree. Fairfield plush polyfill is the best!" If you follow Anne's blog, she recently did a piece on the difference in polyfill stuffings.

In an act of desperation, I staged my daughter's dog, Daphne, in the first photo in an attempt to persuade Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs to select me as the winner of a very pink, very hoppy gift basket full of her fabric and other goodies. The second photo Daphne posed for all by herself. She was having such fun ripping into the package! That look on her face says, "Busted."

If I really wanted to win, I wouldn't tell you that it is 'pet month' at Bunny Hill. The parade of proud pet owners has been a grand one! The sugar-sliders from Australia are definitely sweet. The truth is, Daphne needs no prodding. She loves to roll and snuggle on all the quilts that Kiri and I are working on. I possess 3 of Anne's patterns. One is complete (and Daphne is shamelessly posing on it-Postcard Cuties); another one has one block done; and my favorite, Autumn Houses, has a stash collection. This week I added to that stash with some rich, pumpkin colored fabrics from Kansas Troubles Summer's End collection (which can be found at the shoppe.) After adding them to the collection, it took great willpower (something I have very little of) not to start on it immediately. Yes, finishing my Kim Diehl applique quilt has priority.

A new blog made it's debut last night, Heirlooms by Ashton House. It is worth a look to see pictures of her butter yellow Victorian home and her handcrafted dolls. I personally want her pattern for her pincushions! The Jo Morton Yahoo group is doing a pincushion exchange and mine just might be made from her pattern!

I know I promised a Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. trunk show, but I forgot to take my camera to the shop on Sat. Look for it next time!
Thanks again for taking an interest...Cheryl, now languishing in the dry heat of AZ

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Geese have landed...all 92 of them!

The geese are finished! Yippy! I love the look of the quilt so far. Now the challenge, I mean fun, begins with designing the borders. Thanks to clip art, I just might be able to design some folk art applique. I will include sunflowers, which are everywhere here right now, pumpkins, crows and of course, eggplant! I may have to change the border fabric so that my wool will 'pop,' but I am headed to AZ this coming week and can visit my favorite store!

I am living up to my reputation! I have started another quilt project, but just a little mini! I have joined Kathleen Tracy's yahoo group and decided to do the challenge quilt. Her theme is romance and the blocks are sawtooth stars. First, I had to find fabric that was 'romantic.' When I made the first block, it was too large for my liking, so I drafted them to finish as 4" blocks instead of 5". That way I can set them on point and still meet her size restrictions. My plan is to donate it to the small quilt auction at the AQG show. Here are the first two blocks and my fabric choices.

For those of you who saw last nights blog, I obviously solved my own problem and I'm back in blog heaven. Hopefully, my daughter will finish piecing a Schnibbles pattern she is working on and I will share all the ones I have made with you next time.
Until then...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Market Bag

While surfing blog sites, I came across the cutest strawberry market bag made by Lucy. Check out her blog and see her antique singer sewing machine! I thought you all might also like to see the bag my daughter made. It is my favorite one of all the bags we have made (doing my part to reduce my carbon footprint!) The flowers are from my garden. I am pretending to be a gardener and farmer this summer. Saturday morning found me assisting in the pollination of my pumpkin plants while the female flowers were 'available.' You can learn some pretty amazing things when you google! Hopefully, we will have a prize winning pumpkin or two at the end of the summer. I love pumpkins and all things fall!

Yes, we made it to the Durango Quilt Co. to purchase batiks and this is what my daughter made with hers. The pattern is High Spy by McKenna Ryan. My husband and her will make a frame for it while I quilt it. I'm doing one of her patterns as well, but I am only partial finished with a couple of blocks.

Fell Off the Wagon

 It was bound to happen. I had stuck to my guns until I saw Laundry Basket Quilts' pattern, Alaska Magic. I told myself,  "It is te...