Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Quilt Improv Give-Away Winner!

We are just back from an evening out ---we spent New Year’s Eve at the movies with the DH’s brother and his wife, and I have to say that “Saving Mr Banks” is the BEST movie I’ve seen in years.

Just go see it.  If you grew up in the 50s and 60s you will so relate to the making of Mary Poppins.

Even if you were born later –our son Jeff went through TWO video tapes of Mary Poppins – when he was little it was his go-to movie of choice, and at all hours of the day he’d be seen practicing “Step in Time” with the fireplace broom all around the house like one of the chimney sweeps in the movie.  Cutest thing ever – And gosh, I hope  he never reads this post or he will kill me.

Just go see it!

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Now that we are back to our room, I set right down to do the drawing for Lucie Summers’ Quilt Improv.

450  comments!  It seems to be a book that you are going to want to save a space for on your shelves!

Drumroll please…the random number generator says:


Number 114!

And  number 114 is…….MARY W in Boston!!


Mary, I’ve sent you an email --- get back to me with your snail mail address and I’ll pass it on to the publisher who will package that book up and get it sent right to your doorstep.

Thanks for playing along everybody!

I don’t know how the rest of you will be spending your New Year’s Eve, but here in Texas we’ve got a couple hours to go before midnight.

Yesterday Miss Allison brought her sweet Belaire 301 for me to sew on while at the hotel:

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With notes, accessories, baggies of fabric scraps & everything!

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This is so clever!

Use a bread tab to identify random cords!  The 301’s cords completely detach from the machine, and this is a great way to keep them identified!

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Crumbs to play with!

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Pieces and parts to the ready…..all on the tray the hotel ice bucket USUALLY resides on, but I have a better use for it…containing my MESS on the desktop!

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This is where you will find me…paper piecing in the crumbs while I ring out 2013 and ring in 2014!

Happy New Year, Everyone –let 2014 be the BEST ONE YET!

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iPhone-o-Gram! Roll roll Rollin' in Plano!

We are on lunch break at our roll roll Cotton boll class at fabric fanatics in Plano Texas.

We've got 28 stitchers today!

The vintage machines are aplenty – in fact Melizza received three cheers of applause this morning, even though she was 15 minutes late as she had a very good reason!

She flew to Dallas from Corpus Christi to take our classes. This morning she was on her way early to Rockwall to check out a vintage singer 201 machine she spotted on craigslist!

There is no stopping a true vintage machine lover!

I've included a picture of Allisons beautiful singer 128.

A three-quarter size machine with beautiful decals.

After lunch will be back sewing our brains out – what a great way to end 2013.

Plano Day 1!

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Yesterday in Plano at Fabric Fanatics – what a GREAT day and a Happy Reunion!

This is the third year in a row I have spent New Years in Texas, teaching up a storm and playing with quilters –when it’s a holiday it just FEELS like a party, you know?

The Hubster is happy to see his brother while I’m at the shop, and in the evenings we have family dinners and get to visit.

Tonight’s plan for New Year’s Eve is to head out to the movies ((A family tradition)) and plan to see “Saving Mr Banks”.  Should be fun!

Yesterday’s class was a Mystery – and we are teaching it TWICE while I am here, so this post isn't going to include many photos of the actual project – we can’t have any spoilers on the blog!  But I bet you can see and feel the excitement and want to sew right along with us!

There were several lovely vintage ladies in class --- of COURSE you know I am talking about MACHINES, right?

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How about a beautiful short bed 301 set into a custom table top extension table?

This table was as beautiful as a piece of furniture!  It was made by the quilter’s carpenter friend – there is no source for these, it’s a one of a kind.  Oh, how I’d love to have one of these!

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The 301’s were plentiful and the featherweights were many!

This is a Long bed 301 in mocha!

The goose-neck lamp is from IKEA – there was much discussion over where the nearest IKEA is here and several ladies were making a pilgrimage about 30 minutes drive away to go get one last I heard!

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We sewed and we sewed and we laughed and we chatted!

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It was such a great day!

Because I can’t share the project with you I CAN share with you the show and tell that everyone brought for our lunch time break!

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Lazy Sunday was our last year’s New Years Mystery here – and several brought tops or completed quilts in!

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Still waiting for borders, but isn't it fun to see?

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Pieced, quilted and BOUND!!

We also had a couple from the year before ---Texas Tumbleweed!

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Bordered in Brown and Black for a very masculine effect!

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How about this one bordered in blue – and the 2014 color of the year – RADIANT ORCHID!

((The whole color thing of the year baffles me….but it’s fun to hear the buzz about it!))

Lazy Sunday and Texas Tumbleweed are making an appearance in my next book as both of them contained units I had built as Leaders & Enders while working on other projects at the same time!  I don't have an exact release date yet, but it's getting much closer!

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We even had a few Blue Ridge Beauties in the house!

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The border fabric on this one was a large blue print and was PERFECT!

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This one was an ooooh and aaaaahing SHOW STOPPER!

It started as crumb piecing as a leader & Ender project and then it took on a life all its own in the form of stars…the black is awesome, isn't’t it?

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Close up of crumb stars with itty tiny pieces!

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OH so fun!!

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Everyone loved Sherry’s Double 9 patch and the way the reds chain through one way, and the blues the other….fun fun fun use of  1-1/2” scrap strips!

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Thanks gals, you made yesterday a ton of fun!

And today we do it all again with Roll Roll, Cotton Boll!

Tonight after the movie I’ll be drawing for the winner of Lucie Summers book, Quilt Improve.  Head over to that post HERE to leave your comment to be entered into the drawing!

Whatever you do today, make the last day of 2013 the most memorable, the best ever!

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Monday, December 30, 2013

iPhone-o-Gram! Quilting up a storm!

We are all here at fabric fanatics in Plano Texas for a long holiday week of quilting out 2013 while quilting 2014 in!

We've got gals from all over the great state of Texas from as far away as San Antonio and even Corpus Christi with us – if we quilt it,  they will come!

We can't show you what we are working on yet, as it is a surprise!

But don't worry, this project will be making an appearance in an issue of quiltmaker magazine during the coming year – we will keep you informed of when that will appear!

In the meantime – we are having fun playing in the scraps, getting to know each other, and filling the room with Quilty chatter and much laughter :-)

With love from all of us –

Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 5!

Have you survived your Holidays SO far?  Here we are at December 30th –the year is drawing to a close.

I have SO much to be thankful for ---and there is much reflection going on in my heart, especially this time of year.

I’m grateful for new friends I’ve made – for relationships with siblings and relatives that have been tried and truly strengthened this year.

And most of all I’m grateful  that you are still here listening to me blather on and wax philosophical when we should be sharing our Part 5's!

How are your part 5's coming?  Which method did you use? I hope your blog posts will give some insight into what you like, what you've improved on, what you've been amazed by and what you've learned!  I love reading what YOU have to say with each new clue.

Let's Link Up!

If you have never participated in a Link-Up before, the first thing I want you to do is to read the entire tutorial I wrote about Link-Ups HERE so you can know a few things before you dive in head first.

There is a lot of good information there that will help you understand things like WHY we need the address or URL of your individual specific post, not just your main blog address.  It will show you how to FIND the correct URL and link it correctly.

Remember, if you link to your main blog, and not the specific post I will have to delete your entry and have you try again because I can’t fix it for you.

To find the URL for the specific post, go to your blog and click on the title of the post you want to link.  Look in the address bar at the top of your browser.  The address of your post should end in .html  NOT .com!

PLEASE LEAVE OFF the http:// part at the beginning of your blog address when you fill in your info below . The form auto-adds that for you.   If I were linking, my address would start with Quiltville.blogspot.com/, not http://Quiltville.blogspot.com/

*NOTE* Your blog address does NOT include the @ symbol!  That's for email addresses only, and that won't work in the linky either!

Your blog must be view-able to ALL, not just a handful of people that you have invited.  If your blog is private, please don't link up.  It's frustrating to those who click to view and are told they can't.

You can link ANY progress of ANY step on any of the Link-Ups.  For instance, if we are on a Link-Up for part 4 – and you are just on part 1, you can still link that.  Just SHARE where you are!

In your post – PLEASE include a link back to THIS POST, http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2013/12/mystery-monday-link-up-part-5.html  not just to Quiltville.blogspot.com.  I post more than once a day, so if someone clicks a link on your page to just my main address – they likely won’t find the link-up. That will only take them to the most recent post on the blog.  They won't find any of the other links that people have taken time to place on this page.  It will be a dead end street for them.


Make your links (Both yours and mine) post specific.

New links can be added until Thursday, Jan 2nd at 11:55pm EST.  If you miss that link-up, just wait for the next Monday and link then.

Have at it, Peeps!  I’m anxious to see what you've been up to!

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother ---

markvideo2This is my handsome BABY brother Mark.

Mark is 3 years younger than me, and has been a huge example of love in my life.

He is 48 years old, has a wonderful wife and 5 terrific children.

Mark was recently diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.

He underwent surgery about 6 weeks ago, and is now half way through his treatments of radiation and chemo to make sure that we got it all.

This past week we got the message that though he was winning the battle against cancer, he was losing the battle of keeping his hair in the process.


This past weekend, My other four brothers collaborated to do something for Mark to show him that though we are not close in proximity, we are bonded by more than time and space.

Scott called Rick, who called Michael who called David ---and they all went and shaved their heads so that Mark will not have to walk this journey alone.

The video below was posted on Facebook last night, but I didn't find it until this morning while at the airport -- and there I sat, a blubbering mess, so grateful for family and the love that brothers share for each other.

I am so lucky to have these five wonderful men as my brothers!

I love you all!

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Quilt Improv Blog Hop & Give-Away!

I was contacted by James Brooks at Stitch Craft Create letting me know of a blog hop featuring the book Quilt Improv by Lucie Summers.

Would I like to participate?  OF COURSE!

You know that scrappy wonky freeform improvisational quilts are amongst my favorites – I’ve always got something going on the side in the sew-as-you-go genre.

I’m game!

I waited patiently for my very own copy of Quilt Improv to arrive ---it came while I was in Germany and was waiting for me when I got back!

This book is chock full of inspiration and gorgeous photographs.  There are easy quilt “Recipes” to help break you out of your self-imposed “all lines must be straight and all points must match” straight jacket and the projects will give you the nudge you need to let go!

I love Lucie’s way of breaking away from rigid rules.  “Approximate sizes are given for the quilt units but don’t be ruled by measurements – Just add pieces or trim units as necessary

I like this girl!

I think she and I would get along famously if we had time to sew together, can you imagine?

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Quilt Improv on top of my ever-growing pile of green string blocks!

A bit about Lucie:


Lucie Summers lives in a farmhouse surrounded by countryside in Suffolk, UK, with her farmer husband, two boys and an anti social ginger cat. She graduated a million years ago from Norwich School of Art & Design where she specialised in print making.

A million years later, she's still printing up a storm and sells her distinctive fabrics and products under the Summersville label on Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade goods.

Lucie has been featured on many prestigious design blogs and is becoming well known for her colourful and unconventional approach to creating quilts.
She has won many awards in the UK for her distinctive pieces and has written many articles and tutorials for US patchwork and craft magazines as well as being featured in countless craft books both in the UK and worldwide.

Lucie loves charity shops, the seaside and summertime, but really dislikes cold weather, baked beans and raisins.
Read news on Lucie and her colourful life at blu-shed.blogspot.co.uk

I wish I had time to play with some of the ideas in the book – but you all know I’ve been a road warrior the past couple of months.  I AM so anxious to get playing with my scraps – and I love how Lucie makes it look so easy!


She approaches each individual technique in improvisational piecing, referring to them each as building blocks.  And they are!  The techniques you work through in each chapter can be combined with each other in many different inspirational layouts.

Many you will recognize from traditional string quilts, such as the basic string block, rail fences and chevrons, but these are brighter, bolder, a bit more free!  Each technique can be made into a mini quilt all its own – or combined into larger quilts.

I fell for this one hook line and sinker:


I love this little ditty called “Pieced Squares”  Bring on the bright and saturated colors!
((And the polka dots in here make me happy!))


The book is full of large full color photos in gorgeous settings!

This is one of my favorites, all in solids!


But I really love this one also!  An uptake on basic crumb piecing – but look at the color gradations and the sashings – I love this!  It reminds me of the fields I saw in Ireland ((Only reference I have, I’ve not been to England yet, but that is coming up this next August 2014! YES!)) as viewed through a paned window.  Doesn’t your eye just go toward the yellow in the upper right?  That’s where the warmth and sunlight is.  Beautiful!

From the back of the book:


About Quilt Improv:
Take inspiration from simple objects to create 12 beautiful, contemporary quilt blocks. Create original quilts from each block design and adapt them to your own style. Learn how to interpret print, pattern and shapes into unique quilting ideas and experiment with a range of innovative techniques for impressive, professional results. Covers techniques such as square piecing, basket weave, half-square triangles, chevrons, quarter circles and portholes.
Are you game? Ready to play in the scraps? Would you like to win a copy of Quilt Improv? 

Leave me a comment in the comments section below!  I’ll draw the winner on New Year’s Eve!

And while we are at it, here’s the run down of the blog hop. Be sure to visit and register each day at the blogs below for even more chances to win!  Dates go all the way through January and I’m looking forward to reading the posts all through the BLOG HOP!

Improv Quilts Quilt Block Designs
Mon 16thSummersville
Wed 18thThe Long Thread
Thur 19thA Stitch In Dye
Fri 20thFresh Modern Quilts
Sun 29th Quiltville’s Quips & Snips
Improv Quilts Rope Quilt
Mon 6thDiary of a Quilter
Wed 8thBlueberry Park
Thur 9thSew Take a Hike
Fri 10thVery Kerry Berry
Mon 13thSew Justine Sew
Tue 14thJaybird Quilts
Wed 15thLily’s Quilts
Thur 16th – Cut To Pieces
Fri 17thHappy Zombie

Improv Quilts Railings Quilt

Mon 20thFreshly Pieced
Tue 21stFresh Lemons Quilts
Wed 22ndCrazy Mom Quilts
Thur 23rdGen X Quilters
Fri 24thHandmade by Alissa
Mon 27thDon’t Call Me Betsy
Tue 28thI’m a Ginger Monkey
Wed 29thSew Mama Sew
TBC – Ryan Walsh Quilts

Good luck, everyone!!

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You do not need a Facebook account to read the Facebook posts - They are viewable to all! Feel free to read & quilt along with us!