Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Quilts Are Quilt Market Bound!

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If I had asked you to choose FOUR quilts from my new book MORE Adventures with Leaders & Enders to be featured in the Kansas City Star booth at Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh PA in just a few weeks – which four would you choose?

Can you guess which ones that I chose?

((Pardon my funny photo with the graphics blocking out the mailing addresses – it’s not like you couldn’t look them up online if you wanted to, but we don’t want to make it too easy for folks to stalk my front door, do we??  Okay, that is another funny topic all together, but we can get to that another time!))

Kansas City Star asked for the four most dynamic quilts – quilts that could pull people into the booth from far away – they needed to be REAL attention grabbers, we are not playing subtle here! 

There is a lot of competition to get folks IN the booth at Quilt Market, it’s visual overload, and we want these quilts to stand out and be noticed, not just blend in ---

So can you guess?

I chose:


Easy Street!


Lazy Sunday!


Midnight Flight



Winston Ways!

It was not easy to choose, I love them all for different reasons, but when they said eye-poppers – this is what spoke to me! 

You can view ALL the quilts found in More Adventures with Leaders & Enders in my preview post HERE.

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All taped up, labeled and ready to roll!

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The Hubster is playing CEO today ---

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Safe journey, bin-o-quilts!  Have a great time in Pittsburgh!

If you are going to Market, would you please take some photos of the quilt display in the Kansas City Star booth?  I’d love to see what I missed!  Please email them to me ---pretty please?

The quilt bags are all packed for Mackinac Island tomorrow.  My suitcase is another story –It’s too cold to want to wear dresses there for dressy dinners.  ((Yes, you MUST dress for dinner after 5pm at the Grand Hotel -- no jeans, and men must be in button down shirts with ties and sport coats!)) I’m opting for ONE pair of dressy black slacks for dinner and will pair it with different sweaters and tops and it should be good enough because this is an 11 day trip and I am limited to one carry on for clothes.  And did I mention it’s COLD there? Like icy-frozen cold?  Like we can’t get across on the ferry so they have to fly us from Pellson to the island?  Warm wear takes more space.

Maybe I’ll just need to shop once I get there? :c)

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow morning for my block reveal and my turn on the blog hop for Quiltmaker Magazine’s 100 blocks vol  9!!

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An Inbox Full of Quilty Goodness!

I'd like to welcome Roslyn Atwood to the blog today!

I met Roslyn while teaching in Tucson, and I have shown you the results of her quilt-labors in a previous post HERE.  This is one of those photos taken from that post, as the other photos she sent me didn’t have any of HER in them!

Besides, I really like this photo of her with her pile of quilts showing off her Smith Mountain Morning from Scraps & Shirttails II!

We had such a great time on that trip!  And she had mentioned that she would be sending me photos of other quilts she’s worked on and boy has she been busy!

This morning I am packing furiously for Michigan ---we have a 7am flight in the morning and so much needs to be done today. 

Including dropping off a shipment of quilts to FedEx, getting them to Kansas City Star so they can hang them in their booth at Quilt Market in Pittsburgh in just a few weeks.  I wish I were going, but I’m going to be in Southern California instead --

Anyway, Roslyn’s photos came at a great time – I can share them with you in a slide show, and I can get back to packing!

She writes:

I only sent pics of those that I did not bring for show & tell at the Tucson classes, I figured you have those already?
Playing With Jacks front & back. Quilted with "Swirls"
My Blue Heaven, not quilted, I'm going to use Baptist Fans when I get the backing together.
Baby quilts
CC,My first BH quilt, I used wool batting & gave it to a friend who still struggles with cancer.
Tobacco Road bday gift for a friend
OC 1 and 2, both QOV's
A Quincinera gift

Click the image below if you are unable to view the slide show on your mobile device.  You’ll be taken to the photo album for viewing.
Roslyn Attwood April 2014

Great quilts, Roslyn! Thanks for sharing!

Oh yes, and be sure to click over to Quiltmaker Magazine’s blog, Quilty Pleasures today – there are more featured blocks in the blog hop for 100 blocks, vol 9 going on today!  My day is May 1st, Tomorrow! – you won’t want to miss that either.

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Some Days are Meant for Playing Hooky!

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I was cruising Craigslist last night.

I almost ALMOST got off Scott Free ---

You know, I don’t know whether to be happy or SAD when I can’t find anything of interest.  I should be HAPPY that there is nothing that needs to come home with me.  I should get OFF that page and go sew something!

And then I see at the bottom of the page “listings from nearby areas that match your search”.

Oh.  DARN!

What you see here is a serial number, that I just looked up ----It’s for this machine dated 1950:


“Small singer electric machine with accessories case and folding table.  $100.00”

Heart palpitations!

And it was in Roanoke Virginia.  Roanoke, Virginia? That’s 2 hours up the road ---you need to let someone in Roanoke know to go get this!

No.  I “NEED” to go get this.  And I did.

I emailed the seller, the listing said it had only been posted 2 hours previously. And I waited --I thought for sure it would have already been snatched up, but I had an email reply about an hour later.

I told them I’d like to come get it in the morning.  “Do you really want to drive that far?” “Yes, yes I do!”

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The case is in great shape, and there are “some” accessories included – in a vintage greeting card box!

I sat down at the machine, and I ran it.  The story goes that the machine belonged to the gentleman's wife's grandmother who bought it in 1950 and lived until she was 99, passing away just recently.  It was her machine and she sewed on it often.  ((My heart is pounding!  A one owner machine!))

Some quick brain math let me know that she was 35 in 1950.  Probably raising young children and fitting in sewing on this machine in between all the other busy jobs a young mom has to fill her days and evenings with.

The grandmother passed away recently in Pennsylvania “on the farm, as they were Mennonites.”  said the gentleman.

“Did she quilt?” I asked.  “Oh yes, she quilted quite a bit in her younger years, she loved to quilt.”  he told me. 

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Machine on my dining room table.

The machine shows the normal wear and tear of 64 years of good use and still purrs like the proverbial kitten.  I asked the gentleman what the grandmother’s name was.  “Her name was Mary Jane.”  So Mary Jane this machine will be.

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64 years of wear on the table too.

From what I understand the table was folded up and put away when the machine was not in use.  The wood cut out part that covers the opening could not be located, nor would it have been recognizable as a viable piece apart from its table ---but that’s okay with me.

I love that the most worn places are the places where Mary Jane would have often laid her scissors, her pins, her seam ripper, and other tools – but most of all her hands.  I look forward to getting to know this machine by placing my hands where Mary Jane has had hers so very many times over the years.

And just let me say one other thing, gently in closing:

Just as it is not polite to ask a woman her weight or her age, it is not polite to ask a quilter how many machines she owns and why.

Just smile and know that I am a happy caretaker of this gift.

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Thoughts on Thread Selection!

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How do you chose which thread color you want to use on your quilt?

For me ---I’ve got to do the “lay it down and look at it” test, because sometimes the thread I *THINK* I want to use…just isn’t the one that does the best job of traveling between the light fabricss AND the dark fabrics in the end.

I tend to lean toward threads that are neither too dark as they cross over light areas, or too light when they travel through the darker patches in the quilt.

Here you can see I have chosen four different colors of pink – and I am about to do a test to see which one is really the one that I want.

At first I thought it would be the third cone – the very pale pale baby pink – but you know what? It just didn’t do it for me after all!

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Laying all 4 threads out across the quilt patches.

The pale baby pink thread is the very bottom one.  It travels fine through the lights, but when it hits that dark purple triangle, it looks almost white….no, this won’t work, it will shout out “too light!” at me.

It’s hard to tell in the photo, but here is the thread I chose:

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Neither too light, nor too dark –just right!

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I want to “barely” see the thread!  What I want to see is the quilting texture!

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This is looking great so far!

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All these fun scraps, I hope my new niece will have many years of loving this quilt!

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Just off the machine!

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Loads of pretty texture.

I’ve used this pantograph before as I love it.  It’s called Lavish by Hermione Agee of Lorien Quilting, Australia.

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I think a purple binding is in order to tie everything together!

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Little SewMor gets a workout with a straight stitch only walking foot!

Did you know that if you have a vintage straight stitch only machine like a featherweight, you NEED a straight stitch only walking foot so that it works correctly with your machine’s feed dogs?  It’s true!  Walking feet that were made for zig zag machines have wider feed dogs on the foot to match the wider feed dogs on the machine bed.  If you have a straight stitch only machine with narrower feed dogs, you need a walking foot that will match those narrower feed dogs.  My SewMor is wearing her straight stitch only low shank walking foot with pride and function!

And I've just added this little quilt to the "hand stitching down" pile!

I’ve got a special errand to run today.  An unbelievable deal too good to pass up….can you guess what it is?

Be watching for that post later!

Oh yes, and be sure to click over to Quiltmaker Magazine’s blog, Quilty Pleasures today – there are more featured blocks in the blog hop for 100 blocks, vol 9 going on today!  My day is May 1st, Thursday – you won’t want to miss that either.

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Kicking off Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour!

It’s that time again!

And maybe you knew it already, and maybe you didn’t – but if you are enjoying some blog browsing time this evening you will want to click over to Quiltmaker Magazine’s Quilty Pleasures Blog for the kick off and Giveaway for 100 blocks, VOLUME 9!!

Visit Quilty Pleasures EACH DAY through the blog tour -- you will find the line up of each day's featured blogs there are new ones daily! Click their link sto vist each blog and enter their giveaways!

You have many chances to win a copy or to win one of many other great prizes.

Be watching for MY Day, Thursday, May 1st!

I can’t wait to share my block with you!

((If you look carefully, you just might see it on the cover, can you guess which one??!))

Be sure to visit the sponsor blogs for more chances to win:
  1. Clothworks
  2. Handi Quilter
Sew very exciting!
New news coming on my trip to Mackinac Island ---The ferries are having a tough go of it with all the ice!  It looks like arrangements are being made for us to catch another little flight from St Ignace over to Mackinac on Thursday instead of relying on a freight ferry to get us there.  Oh, this is going to be an adventure.
Yesterday here in Winston Salem, NC it was 82 degrees and gorgeous.  Today on Mackinac?  40 degrees with 22 mile an hour winds, with the windchill factor making it feel like temps in the mid 30s.
Oh boy.
There has also been some of THIS going on in the studio today in between everything else on this busy Monday:
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Quilting in Progress!
Have a lovely Monday Evening, Everyone!

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More Showin’ & Sharin’ VCQ Style!

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Lunch time shows & shares are awesome!  Sometimes it’s hard to make students WAIT until lunch time to share what finishes they’ve brought  --and sometimes it is hard for me to wait too….

I’ll walk by, and I’ll see someone flash me a corner of a project in just a tease….Ohhhh!! You brought your Pineapple Blossom, or you’ve brought your Jamestown Landing….and then we save it, anticipation building, until lunch is over and we have gathered once again to spend the afternoon sewing.

Show and Share at the end of lunch has become a definite favorite time of the day!

Check this out!  Barbara has been following along on my latest current hexie project and has the whole center together!  Isn’t this pretty? 

She says I’m not showing “enough” of it so she can keep going ---I haven’t been working on hexies the past couple of months because I’ve been home and all of my trips through March and April have been driving trips.  I can not hexie when I drive….((This is a good thing!)) But my flying trips begin again this week, so my hexie busy-bag is ready to come with me and we will start to see it growing again.  I’m glad.  I’ve missed it.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Calling This one DONE!

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Whoowhooo! I’ve finished my Cheddar Sampler top!

It’s about danged time, don’t you think?

Yes, I pushed my way through by sewing in the evenings  after class and after the evening program at VCQ at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia in an effort to spare you from any more “Must make more string border blocks” on Quilt-Cam! 

I know you are tired of seeing me work on them, just as tired as I am of working on them…but they are done!  This photo was taken after adding ONE border – Ooh, I like!

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Two borders on!  Time to run for Pat Speth’s lecture!

It came together really well, and my new little SewMor sewed like a champ!

I also had reasons to push this through to “TOP DONE” status ---My lecture was Saturday evening and my topic was string quilting…I wanted to show everyone what the addition of string sashings and string blocks in the border did for this little sampler quilt made with recycled clothing and that lovely solid cheddar with a pop of red here and there.

These are the blocks I made through Randy’s Sow-Along at Barristersblock.  Click the Sow-Along tab at the top of her blog to find the blocks.  The setting is my own, there is no pattern given.

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Look how green my woods are getting!
((Yes, this is the obligatory deck railing photo))

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Likewise, on the deck floor!

You can tell it’s spring in North Carolina, there are all kinds of seed pod things and stuff on the deck and I was too tired and too lazy to sweep it off pre-photo.

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Check out that corner!

Those partial blocks make it so the corner turns the way I want it to.

Now for a backing, a batting and getting in line for some quilting and binding.

I arrived home this afternoon around 2pm – just a 2.5 hour drive home, but boy that last 45 miles or so was killer.  I was SO tired, and my bed at home kept calling to me….30 miles to go….15 miles to go….5 miles to go ---

I left everything in the van, and headed in for a 2.5 hour nap.  I needed it!  It was a ton of fun and I hope it won’t be long before I see these girls again.

This evening Sadie and I went out to explore the neighborhood and get some fitbit steps in.  Guess what has bloomed over the past few days?

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The most gorgeous white azalea bush EVER!!

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Yes!  Spring!

Now I’ll spend the next few days getting ready for Mackinac Island Michigan where high temps will be around 40 degrees.  Nope, not opting for that first pedicure of the season yet even if it was in the 80s here.  Looks like I’ll be wearing my Ugg boots for that ferry ride across the ice to the island!

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Stitching Away on Basket-weave Strings!

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How many blocks can YOU string piece in the course of a class day?

These gals had their sewing machine pedals to the metal as we talked and laughed and chatted and shared and swapped strips and stories.

We pushed our boundaries.  We got out of the box!

See what is happening on this happy design wall?  A whole ton of colorful fun!

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Audrey is no new addict to strings.  Look what she did with selvages!

This is a “Mondo Bag” – usually pieced with 2.5” squares, Audrey took to her selvage collection and pieced them all together and THEN cut 2.5” squares from her sets.  This is one cool fun bag.  Check it out:

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What a bag full of fun selvages!

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Blocks squared to 5.5” and ready to piece together!

You will find the free pattern for Basket-weave Strings under the Free Patterns tab at the top of the blog.  This one makes a GREAT Quilt of Valor, and you can make the blocks any size you want them to be.  Mine were 5” finished, because that was the size of the paper I had to work with for foundations!

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Gotta Have Me One!

I’ve seen these thread holders for vintage machines in a couple of places – I have GOT to get myself one.  Or two.  Maybe three ---anyone have a link?

Click the image below if you are unable to view the slide show on your mobile device.  You’ll be taken to the photo album for viewing.

Basket Weave Strings, VCQ April 2014

This morning we are wrapping it all up. There is a show and share of class projects after breakfast, and we'll be on our way home to our various destinations ---it's been a great weekend!

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