Sunday, August 2, 2015

Primitive Quilts Magazine Winners!

Cover photo used with permission of Homespun Media LLC
My thanks to everyone who shared a comment for a chance to win a copy of Primitive Quilts, Fall issue!  We are a busy bunch of quilters, that's for sure!  I don't think we'll ever have the problem of being bored, right?  You all shared your plans for the coming season, and the many projects on your to-do list, assuring us all that we're not alone in that regard.  

Here are the three randomly chosen winners:

Kelli H said…

How time flies! I need to get started on a Christmas wool project for my sis! Also, would like to finish a quilt I started - has pumpkins and gourds - love it because fall/winter are my favorite seasons! Thanks for doing a give away.

KMSC said…

I haven't been sewing much this summer but I am going to be a new grandmother in November so I will definitely be sewing a quilt for my grandson.
Sunny said…

I love your quilt! And what perfect fabric for it. As summer is heading into its final month, I'm quilting like crazy, trying to work through a rather large pile of tops. I may save the binding for cooler weather. What better way to cozy up than with a quilt in your lap! thanks for a chance to win.

Congratulations!  Thank you so, so much for your comments.  Please email your snail mail address to me at, and I'll have those copies mailed to you mucho pronto!

In every issue, Primitive Quilts asks a unique question of all of the project designers on a wide variety of subjects.  In this issue, they asked us to share "Who in your family or circle of friends supports your stitching and design endeavors?"

It goes without saying that my family: hubby, Ryan and Nicki, support me wholeheartedly and have from day one.  They have all cheered my success, encouraged me, stuffed patterns, packed boxes and loaded the car, and cooked and changed laundry when I was under a deadline crunch.  That's just what families do, and I am very blessed.

Ronda Dranter and Debbie McClarence
And since my family have careers of their own, of course, I still need help with many of the day to day tasks, and these two dear friends help me immeasurably.  Answering the magazine's query in the Designer Notes column was my chance to thank my dear friends who work with me behind-the-scenes.  

Ronda, pictured on the left, quilts 95% of my quilts and does just a phenomenal job.  Her talents truly bring my quilts to life in stitches she sews into my quilt tops!  She has a terrific eye for detail, and the quality of her work is just outstanding.  I never, ever fret about how my quilts will turn out, and am so happy to show off her work whenever possible.  

Debbie, pictured on the right, works just about every day with me.  There is almost nothing that she can't do!  She cuts fabrics, makes kits and bundles, stuffs patterns, fills orders, does bookkeeping, and the list goes on and on.  She pieces some of the new quilts, and does so with perfection and skill. 

I was so happy when Primitive Quilts posed this question as it was a perfect opportunity to give credit to the many people who help me be all that I can be.  I am so very blessed with a wonderful, supportive family, and the greatest friends, and honestly, I don't know what I'd do without them. 

And, allow me this opportunity to thank all of you as well, for your support, your kind comments, and your purchases, too.  They all allow me to keep doing what I love.  I am truly grateful!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Primitive Quilts and Projects ~ Fall 2015 Issue!

I'm very blessed to say that I am one of the lucky designers to have a project in one of my favorite magazines....Primitive Quilts and Projects,  Fall 2015 issue!  

Photo used with permission by Homespun Media LLC.  Photo courtesy of Jim Osborn.
I love a sampler quilt, and in this quilt called Simply Charming, I combined two of my loves...sampler blocks and stars!   Each sawtooth star block has a different sampler block in the center for some very fun piecing!  
Notice how your eyes are dancing around the quilt?  Do you find yourself looking at the centers of each star, and all the warm, lovely colors and prints in the fabrics?  You and I can thank my pal Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles Quilters for the beautiful fabrics as I used a bunch of KT charm squares to make everything but the last border in the quilt.  Fun with color play, stars, and sampler'll no doubt have a lot of fun piecing this quilt for yourself!  

And, just in case you'd like to buy a kit, using a variety of Kansas Troubles fabrics, you can!!  Just call Jaime at KT Bernina and Quilts (785) 488-2120.

The fall issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects is available now at your local quilt shop and has 14 more wonderful fall projects to welcome the changing season.  AND.....

I have three extra issues of the magazine that are lonely and need a good home, so...leave me a comment about the end of summer and beginning of fall, and what you will be working on in the next few months.  Post your comment and I'll choose winners on Sunday.  

We've got to keep our sewing machine and hand piecing needles busy and happy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Prairie Gathering Quilt of the Quarter ~ Month Seven

It's now month seven in our Prairie Gathering piecing journey.  At last, you have graduated from Quarter Two, much of which was spent on repetitive piecing, all in preparation for more exciting tasks!  Yay!!  You will be so happy that you did just that!!

The photo above shows what your quilt top should look like today.  We're about to add the Flying Geese pieced border.  Be certain your quilt top is the correct measurement stated in your pattern before proceeding.  

Following along in your pattern for Chapter Seven, you will gather (9) Flying Geese units to make one half of one side of your Flying Geese border.  As you can see in the photo above,  I arranged all of my FG according to the red goose print.  There will be nine piles.  Each pile has the same red print with assorted lights.  
For each border section, choose one red print from each pile, trying not to repeat the same light print for a nice, scrappy mix.  Arrange the (9) FG units in a good mix for each section.

When sewing a pieced border together, DO NOT sew all the pieces for the border together and then measure the border, or skip the measuring and just sew it to the quilt!  Nine times out of ten, your border won't measure what it should.  You have no idea what seam(s) are sewn in error, so you have to check them all.   

What I'm about to say is the most important advice I 
can share in producing accurate, pieced borders!!!

Begin by sewing (4) pairs of FG units: press.  Each pair should measure 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" unfinished.  Stop and measure right away.  If any one of the pairs does not measure correctly, you instantly know what seam is a problem.  Rip it out and sew it's a small big deal!  Do not proceed until all of the FG pairs measure what they should!!!! 
Now you can sew (2) sets of pairs together: press.  At this point, your FG section should measure 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" unfinished.  Again, if it doesn't measure what it should, the center seam is the only problem.  In essence, you are isolating any problems making them easy to identify.  Do not proceed until the (4) FG units measure what they should.  

Next, sew the two (4) patch sets together.  Now the FG border should measure 3 1/2" x 12 1/2" unfinished.  And again....if the border doesn't measure what it should, there's only one seam that could be the problem!  You know what to do to fix it!
For the last step, sew one single FG unit to the strip: press.  The strip should measure 3 1/2" x 14" unfinished.  If it doesn't, again, you know where the problem is and it's very easy to fix. Repeat these steps for the remaining border strips.

In this way, you can be super confident that your pieced borders will measure exactly what they should.  You just can't beat the great feeling you have when everything fits together, and all your points are in tact!  It just takes a few minutes to check your measurements and correct any errors as you go.  
Sew (2) FG borders together, checking the measurements listed in the pattern.   Repeat to make another, and sew them to the sides of your quilt top.  Be ever so proud of yourself that you have taken the time to measure along the way, and everything is looking good!

Assemble the top and bottom borders in the same manner, sewing the Square in Square units you made in a previous month to each end of the borders.  Check your measurements again according to the pattern.  Sew to the top and bottom of the quilt, then check the measurement of your quilt top.
You can sew plain border #2 to the quilt top and enjoy the fruits of your labor!  The Flying Geese border really adds a lot of movement and excitement to the quilt, framed by the deep, dark red really pops!

Additionally, you'll be continuing to make your red on red Two-Patch units.

You'll be working to begin assembly of the Four Patch border, beginning with the cornerpost units, moving on to the Four Patch units.   Hate to sound like a broken record, but be sure to measure!

Make a bunch of Half Square Triangles for your Large Triangle Sawtooth border units.  These must, must, must measure correctly, too!!

I hope you found my pieced border hints to be helpful to you.  Taking these steps with every quilt you make will result in a beautiful, accurate quilt that goes together well and looks great!

I also hope you enjoy the story included this month about the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.  Gotta admire their spunk!  

Hope you take some time to enjoy needle, thread, and lovely fabrics!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Quilts And More Magazine!

"Images used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. 2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.” 
I am so thrilled to show you the cover of Quilts and More magazine's Fall 2015 issue!!  

The tote bag and table runner on the cover were each made from one 10 inch precut of my Treenware & Berries fabric collection (Marcus Fabrics, of course)!!  I'm so jazzed!!  

In each issue, the editors choose one precut to feature, and ask three designers to create three different projects using that precut for their Scrap Lab column.  This time, they chose my Treenware & Berries 10 inch precut!  The tote bag was designed by Sherri Falls, and the table runner was designed by Monique Dillard.

"Images used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. 2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.” 
I designed the quilt in the photo above, called Prairie House Stars, which is made using one 10 inch precut, and additional fabric for borders and binding.  
"Images used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. 2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.” 
Two blocks, a Double Four Patch and Sawtooth Star, work with the fabrics to create a colorful, cozy throw quilt that's easy, breezy to assemble!  All three projects are perfect for the coming fall season!  

Look for this new issue of Quilts and More magazine at your local quilt shop, and on newsstands!  It's loaded with lots of goodies you'll love.  

Kits are available for my Prairie House Stars quilt.  Click here to check it out!

Click here to order 10 inch precuts of my Treenware & Berries fabrics.

Click here to purchase a copy of the magazine.

Monday, July 13, 2015

My Kitchen Sink

Talk about slow stitching....I hate to admit this, but it's been several years...yes, years since I finished redecorating my kitchen.  I've been looking at a blank wall while doing dishes all this time.  Now, I don't mind taking my time in finding just the right pieces for decorating my home, but staring at a blank, painted wall while doing the dishes is just wrong on so many levels.  

Several months ago, I had it!  Enough is enough.  If I don't take the time to make something pretty it will never happen.  I knew all along what I wanted to make, it was just making that project a priority that was the me the priority.  We always put ourselves last on the list, don't we?  There was nothing stopping me but me, so as Nike says...just do it already!

Yesterday Remembered, designed by Kim Diehl in her book Simple Graces
I have loved this design by Kim Diehl since the moment I purchased the book.  I combines all my favorites...cotton, wool, and a lovely applique.  I took my sweet ol' time slow stitching this little sweetie and enjoyed every stitch!  

Now, I have something lovely to look at while doing dishes, cooking, and anytime I'm in the kitchen (which often seems like half of my life!)  I chose all the components carefully, right down to the antique buttons.  

As you can see, there's already soapy water in the sink!

Even when I'm just passing thru on my way to my sewing room, it makes me smile.  After all, isn't that exactly why we bring needle and thread to fabric anyway?  It just makes us so happy to spend our time sewing, and have something truly wonderful to enjoy afterward.  What's not to love?

My friend, Becky C., from my wonderful group of women for my Prairie Women's Sewing Circle club at The Quilt Merchant (I miss you all so much!!!), shared this awesome tip for hanging quilts.  Becky is truly an inspiration when it comes to decorating her home with quilts, and she shared how she uses the velcro 3M Command Strips to hang small quilts.  It's really wonderful.  It doesn't harm the quilt, or the walls at all, and you can easily remove or re-position the quilt any way you'd like!   My husband asked me if I was worried about the quilt getting dirty from any splashes at the sink.  Well....not so much, but honestly, if by chance I was concerned, I can just pop the quilt off the wall, and put it back.  So far...after all these years, the blank wall made it thru unharmed, so I'm not that worried about the quilt. and I need to take a lesson from this!  Make time to sew, and make more wonderful things...just for us!  We deserve it!   

And thank you, Becky, for passing along such a great tip for hanging quilts!  


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Love Worn

My sample yardage of my next fabric collection, Antique Cotton arrived, and we've been busy sewing and sewing several new quilts.  Here's a little peek at some of the blocks for the feature quilt called Love Worn.  I'm so jazzed about how the quilt is coming along and can't wait to share the finished quilt with you all.  

There's been a lot happening here behind the scenes....exciting stuff I can't talk about just yet, but fun things keeping me busy so that, in time, these projects will hopefully inspire you! Watch for several new quilt projects coming in two different magazines all before the year end.  And...I'm still trying to fit in another Pocket Patchwork Sew Along before the end of the year as well.  Whew....better get back to work!

Find some time to make yourself happy....go and stitch!!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Embrace the Slow Stitching Movement

While attending Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis last May, I began to hear about The Slow Stitching Movement.  Intrigued, I set out to learn more.  

I have to say that once I began to learn what this is all about, it resonated very strongly in my heart.  

This is something I truly believe in!! 

So, you ask....

What exactly is The Slow Stitching Movement?

Mark Lipinski is at the very heart of this movement, and through this movement is making us aware to slow down....enjoy your stitching, and take pleasure in what you're doing.  The Slow Stitching Movement doesn't only apply to quilting and applies to all of the needle arts whether your passion is to knit, crochet, cross stitch, rug hook...whatever the stitch.

The reason I truly believe in this movement, and I wanted to share this on my blog with you is because I feel we're all in too much of a hurry to quickly get one quilt done only to start another.  And while there are definitely projects that are and need to be made that way, in my humble opinion, there are way more that should be enjoyed slowly, taking in the sheer pleasure of skill with hand, needle, thread and fabric...all while you make something lovely and lasting.

Count Your Lucky Stars
American Patchwork & Quilting
June, 2014 issue

The quilt at the left is an glorious antique that I own and is a perfect example of a quilt that was slow stitched.  Its many pieces were no doubt cut by hand, and it was definitely pieced and quilted by hand.  

Am I saying that I think we should go "old-school" and piece in the purist style from now on?  Heck no!  I'm not abandoning my rotary supplies or my BFF Bernina!!

I'm just saying that if quick and call it done were the only quilts we piece, even two hundred years ago, this glorious quilt would have never been made.

Every Little Bit
American Patchwork & Quilting magazine
June 2015 issue
I designed and made the quilt at the right, called Every Little Bit (published in American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, June 2015.)  

It took well over a year (on and off) to piece.

It has thousands of little bits of paper pieced fabric worked into the Churn Dash blocks.

I enjoyed the entire process of making that quilt, choosing just the right mix of fabrics in each strip.

Those of you making a Dear Jane quilt have already signed up to The Slow Stitching Movement because that glorious quilt takes some time and skill, to say the least!  

And, that brings me to another reason The Slow Stitching Movement resonates with me.  Skill.  

The movement strongly encourages you to build your piecing skills.  Learn and master new techniques and take pride in your work!  As often as time allows, I try techniques I've never done, such as curved piecing and mitered borders.  I'm a novice at needle-turn applique and am loving it.  It wasn't so long ago that I thought applique was a four-letter word!

Honestly, The Slow Stitching Movement is so much more than what I've described here.  Here are a few links to educate you more about the Movement:

The Slow Stitching Movement blog ~ describing what it's all about.

The Slow Stitching Facebook page

Presently, I am working on several quilts that I've designed and am taking my sweet 'ol time making.  I ponder the fabric choices for each block and piece to the best of my ability.  I'm thoroughly enjoying the process.  Time is not part of the equation at all.  I love and embrace the challenge!

And when these quilts are complete, I know my heart will fill with satisfaction knowing I gave it my best, and all the stitches hold tiny parts of me....each slowly stitched with love. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Prairie Gathering Quilt of the Quarter ~ Month Six

This marks the half-way point of our Prairie Gathering Quilt of the Quarter piecing journey.  Hard to believe that we've come this far already!  This month isn't going to be exciting, I'm afraid.  Like last month, we're deep into piecing lots of the same units, and cutting fabric, and saving for later.  Does that sound like drudgery to you?  

I know it can be, but sometimes, this is my favorite kind of piecing because I've done it all before, so don't have to think too much about it.  It's the perfect piecing to watch a movie by, or listen to a good book because you're just sending the units through the machine.  Right now, that sounds like heaven to me!
Take comfort this month in this easy, done-it-before piecing assignment because things are going to really change next month!  And you'll be piecing your little heart out from here on, making this quilt sing border by border!!

Hesitant to sound like a broken record, but I must remind you to measure, measure, measure.  

You'll benefit in a big way next month when your units all measure what they should.  I'll be coaching you through my best tips on accurate pieced borders next month.  When the heat and/or humidity (which is how it is where I live) become too much for you, spend some time sewing and watching a good summer movie, and just enjoy this piecing journey.   

There really is so much pleasure to be had in taking your time with piecing, and soak in the beauty of your work.  That's is, after all, what its all about!  Let's not rush through it.

If you'd like, click here to see my previous piecing hints for these units.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

For The Love of Antique Cotton

There's just something about antique cotton that makes my heart sing.  

It's ultra soft.  I love the crinkle of well washed cotton.  

It feels so lived-in and cozy.  
These gorgeous quilts full of scraps were likely utilitarian, put to daily use.  When they were made, they may not have won ribbons at the County Fair, or grace the bed for a guest, but that's alright with me because they were love worn.

These quilts, and others like them, were the inspiration for my newest fabric collection, called Antique Cotton, for Marcus Fabrics.  The prints I chose are small, little calicoes and shirtings I found in many of my antique quilts.  The big quilt I am making from this collection were inspired by these quilts without focal borders.  The prints, and the block and quilt design are the focus!

There are prints in seven colors and a wide variety of shirtings.  I had a lot of fun playing with the colors in the shirtings, and matching them with different combinations of the darker prints.
It's a great mix and match line, and will certain be fun to add to your stash and scrap quilts.

My sample yardage is on its way, so I took photos (and you know me, can't take a good photo to save my life, so I'm sorry they're not better!) of the strike-offs I have.  Fear not!!  Click here to see the entire Antique Cotton collection.  Here are the prints....

Click here to visit the Marcus Fabrics blog and see more photos of my antique quilt inspirations and lots of other good stuff.  

Watch my Instagram and Facebook posts to see sneak peeks of the quilts made from Antique Cotton.

P.S.  My next Prairie Gathering Quilt of the Quarter blog will post Monday, June 22nd.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Eye Candy

I thought you might like to see the eye candy work of other quilters for a change.  

I made the quilt block pictured above, and it was an orphan, leftover from when I was making my Every Little Bit quilt featured in American Patchwork & Quilting magazine (June 2015 issue).  

I offered a couple of these orphan blocks in a blog raffle when the magazine came out, and Barbara Leyland was one of the winners.  She recently sent me this photo of how she framed the block, and I thought it looked really great, and wanted to share her idea with all of you.  Love, love the wormed wood frame!  Great job, Barb....and thanks for sending he photo for all of us to enjoy!!
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of traveling to the Haubstadt, IN area to the quilt show put on by Quilts 'N Blooms Quilt Shop.  

Shop owner, Kathy Will, her family, and lots of friendly helpers created an outstanding event.  

As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by this beauty, which is a version of my antique quilt, also published in American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, called Count Your Lucky Stars (June 2014 issue.)

And the surprises when on from there as I couldn't believe how many of the quilts I have designed were hanging in the show!!  What a thrill!!

Here is but a sampling....
Nabby's Dowry Freebie Sew Along

Settler's Puzzle 
Marcus Designers' Sew Along called Friends & Companions
Market Day Freebie Sew Along
These talented bunch of ladies had numerous over-the-moon quilts in the show.  Here are just a few of my favorites.
The Farmer's Wife...on my bucket list.
Dear Jane.  She's been on my bucket list for a long time now. of these days!
If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know how I L*O*V*E mini quilts and blocks.  
This extraordinary collection of quilt work was all hand pieced, hand quilted and all using vintage fabrics from a very talented quilter by the name of Sheila Holland.  I was in total awe.

Honestly, these were but a few of the many beautiful quilts on display at the quilt show.  I wish I could have shown them all and named each quilter, but time just does not allow for that.  I hope you enjoyed seeing these quilts, and they inspired you the way they did me.  

Off to do some piecing.....J*O*Y