Monday, October 12, 2015

Pocket Patchwork Sew~Along: Tucker Part One

Welcome to my Pocket Patchwork Sew~Along, which I'm calling Tucker!!  There's a little more to the name than I can tell you right now, but you'll know why I chose Tucker in the "reveal" blog post.  Hoping it will make you smile!  


Tucker was inspired by a recent visit and tour of the International Quilt Study Museum located in Lincoln, NE.  They obviously have many, many quilts there, and I did appreciate all of the current exhibits, where I saw both very old and recently made quilts.  You won't be at all surprised when I say the old ones were of special importance for me.  I was most interested in the museum's acquisition of all of Mary Campbell Ghormley vast antique doll quilt collection, as well as the Civil War reproduction quilts made by Mary herself.   

Mary, you see, had been collecting vintage doll and small quilts long before it was vogue to do so.  In her book, Childhood Treasures, Mary Kay Waldvogel wrote about Mary and featured 80 of Mary's vintage quilts.  A wonderful book, indeed!  Mary (whom passed away not long ago) was a big part of the International Quilt Study Museum, and quilting in general in Lincoln.  

Some of the vintage quilts in her collection are truly stunning pieced works of art, and then there are those that are just sweet, little ordinary patchwork quilts.....tangible patches of nineteenth century living...where each little leftover square was coveted by their maker, and saved to be used somehow, somewhere.  

And..... that is the place where we will begin.  If you choose to sew-along with me, you'll be choosing your own sweet, little patchwork squares to make a little something out of the ordinary!  This is not going to be a little quilt you would normally expect from me, but I think you'll be pleased none the less.  Our sew-along will only last 4 weeks, and you'll only need to use your scraps.  

  Let's Journey The Threads of Time ™  together!!    Here we go!

I'm using 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" unfinished squares.  Tucker is very flexible, and if that size is too small for your liking, then choose the smallest size you're comfortable working with.  

Cutting Instructions:

From your vast, enormous and coveted pile of beautiful scraps, cut the following:

(20) assorted light print 1 1/2" squares.
(100) assorted dark print 1 1/2" squares.
(8) assorted dark print 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangles.

And...make (8) Half Square Triangles trimmed to measure 1 1/2" x 1 1/2".  I literally used some I had lying around.  If you need to make some, cut your squares to  1 7/8" x 1 7/8".

That's your first gather and cut your fabrics, and make or acquire (8) HST's.  The next Tucker post will be on Friday, October 23rd so you'll have some time to gather and cut your fabrics.  The subsequent posts will be on Fridays, October 30th and November 6th.   

Have I piqued your interest?  Are you jumping in with all of your scraps, or are you pondering what to do?  Well....I sure hope you join us!!

Ooopppss!! My Bad!

Oh Lord, I think I'm loosing it.  Somehow, I totally missed Karen from Breezy Points' comment where she correctly commented on the number of named patterns in my Give-Away!!  OMG...I feel so, so bad.  

Karen ~ I'm so sorry!!  I think I'm having another bout of "some-timers"!!

Karen's comment clearly read...

It was so fun to see your lovely home and charming displays. You have some amazing collectibles too! I counted 28 named quilts minus the repeats, but I counted the pin keeps-- hope that's right! 

I will, of course, honor both Karen's correct answer AND send a duplicate winning package to Margaret as promised.  

I've already contacted Karen, but Karen, if you read this first, please email me!  I don't think my "some-timers" is catchy!!

Pattern Contest Winner!!

In my last post, I offered a give-away to one winner whom correctly counted the number of named quilts listed in both the American Patchwork & Quilting profile article AND those listed in the on-line link of additional photos provided by the magazine.  

No one guessed correctly!  There were 28 different quilts named, with 3 quilts mentioned twice.

So....what I did was choose a winner from those whom commented with a numbered guess.  And the winner is.....

Margaret, who commented....

The APQ article was marvelous, as were the photos of your home. How lovely and inviting it appears! I counted 21 named quilts, (not counting the Prairie at Heart quilt, which I love, love, love. I'm pretty sure that quilt has a future in my sewing room and home. Thanks so much for your generosity in sharing that pattern with APQ). 

Congratulations, Margaret!!!  Please email your mailing address to me at, and I'll be sending you all of the patterns containing all 28 quilts!!!  Enjoy!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to play along with me, and again...I'm completely blown away by the loving outpouring through comments on my blog, and through social media over the magazine article.  I'm so appreciative and humbled by your kind words and support!!  The words "Thank You" just don't say what I feel for you all.  

I promised your first post of my new Pocket Patchwork Sew-Along today, and I will be posting all about it in a separate post in just a few hours.  

Do what makes you happy!!  Hope you find time to sew today as sewing is good for your soul!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Behind The Scenes Photo Shoot Of My Home - Part Two

Let's begin today with the hub of every home....the kitchen.  My kitchen is decorated in reds, blues, deep gold and black, with a touch of other country colors here and there.  This has always been a favorite place for my antiques.  The quilt is called Remember Me from Journey Two of the PWSC club, and is a treasured and very special quilt to me because all of the signatures are from the PWSC club founding members and my dearest friends.  The founding club members signed up for the club in the early, early stages when no one knew what the club was about, and I was the only one teaching it.  They continued on with me through the last Journey!

Believe it or not, Remember Me hangs from a vintage donkey yoke.  I had no idea what it was when I spotted it at the antique show, I just thought it would be fun to hang a quilt from it.  The vendor told me what it was, which made it all the more fun!  

I'm a sucker for vintage crates and wood boxes with original advertising still in tact.  You will see a beautiful picture of this vignette in the American Patchwork & Quilting on-line link listed in the magazine (which shows more pictures of my home you won't see anywhere else.)  They make for really cool storage as well.  The quilt atop the wood crate is Four Around Nine from my Tokens of the Past: Nine Patch Reverie pattern.  
I stitched this wool sampler for the kitchen and love the colors and texture of the wool.  Now, who doesn't love wool?!  The sampler is called Alphabet Song and was designed by Shawn Williams for Threads That Bind.  I love her work.  
Spongeware and other pottery are another favorite collectible.  You'll find nothing true white in my house, as I maintain nothing stayed white on the Prairie!  

The granite-ware berry pot and jug were gifts from my dad and step-mom as they are great antiquers as well.  The yellow-ware bowl sits atop a scrappy thimble quilt.  The more fabrics the better!!  

Our dining room is anything but formal as we're just not the "formal" type.  Family meals in the dining room are casual, even when dressed-up for the holidays or special occasions.  The quilt draped over the vintage side table is called Something Blue from PWSC club-Journey Five.  It's bigger sister is Settler's Puzzle, shown on page 17 in the magazine.  One of my big philosophies is to bring out works-in-progress to enjoy what you've done thus far.  Display them in glass jars or pretty bowls, or as I've done here, in a vintage muffin tin with old ivory buttons.  You'll see other examples of displaying works-in-progress in the magazine article as well.  
I like to look at antiques not only for their obvious appeal, but for how I might to use them to display the many quilts I'm making.  This old merchants biscuit display with the glass front is just perfect for stacking little quilts inside.  The quilts in the tin are all from various Journey's of the PWSC club, and the quilt on the table is Emma's Sewing Basket from PWSC-Journey Five.
The room where I spend 40+ hours a week is my sewing room/studio and home to Heartspun Quilts, Inc.  It's situated on the first floor of the house, off the kitchen and laundry room (where I work my other full time job!  You know exactly what I mean!)

Sewing needfuls decorate the vintage spool cabinet that is put to use daily.  The tiny sampler you see in the frame is stitched on silk over one thread, at 40 stitches to the inch, and was stitched in 2002 when my eyes were younger!  To do another, I'd definitely need a magnifying glass!!  

As far as sewing rooms go, mine is not terribly large at 15 x 16.  Don't get me wrong...I'm very grateful to have a dedicated sewing room, but being that the room is this small, I need to make use of every inch of space I have.  (I do have more space for fabric and Heartspun Quilts inventory and the like in rooms in our finished basement.)  I asked one of my brothers to make custom shelves for me which we hung near the ceiling.  This frees up floor space, and makes use of never-used space high on the walls.  He made them deep enough to hold books and binders, and I can display my vintage toy sewing machines up there as well.  I think it really looks nice, too.  I found a cute old foot stool, and had a new, custom design hooked rug made to cover the top so I can stand on it when I want a book from the shelves.  You will see even more photos of my sewing room in the magazine, and through the magazine's on-line link!  

Do you have your copy of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine's December issue??  There's a whole lot of great quilts and Christmas projects in there, so don't miss it!

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting magazine.
(c) 2015 Meredith Corp. All rights reserved.
Don't forget to order your Prairie At Heart quilt kit.  It will add a little vintage Prairie charm to any room you'd like! 

Thank you for taking this little tour of my home with me.  I hope you see a few things that may inspire you.  

And, I also want to thank you all for your well wishes and congratulations.  It has touched me deeply and has filled my heart with joy.  You're kindness is appreciated more than you'll ever know!! 

In a previous post, I promised a give-away, so here it is!

Count the number of  the named quilts in my patterns, seen in the photos of the profile article, AND in the photos of my home through the on-line link provided for you in the magazine.  Leave your comment for me to this blog post, and one lucky winner will receive ALL of the patterns named in the magazine, and on-line!!  

Post your comment with the number you choose by midnight, Sunday, October 11th.  I will reveal the winner on Monday, October 12th.  Please include your email address in your comment.  

Monday, you'll also receive fabric requirements and news about my next FREE 

Pocket Patchwork Sew-Along called... Tucker!  

The best way to participate in the FREE sew-along is to subscribe to my blog posts.  That way, you will receive the posts via email, and you can easily print the sewing directions.  To subscribe, type your email into the "Follow By Email" icon on the right-hand sidebar of my blog.  Follow the directions given to confirm your subscription.  That's it!!  

Monday, October 5, 2015

Behind The Scenes of Photo Shoot At My Home-Part One

For me, it isn't everyday that my home is photographed for a magazine.  How about never until now!  My family and I were flattered (to say the least!) and excited just to see how all of this would work.  Fascinating stuff, and a very fun way to spend four days!! 
Senior Editor Elizabeth Tisinger Beese &
Design Director Nancy Wiles
Quilt on table is Elizabeth's Prairie Garden~PWSC Journey Three displayed on top of a coverlet. 
We were visited by Senior Editor, Elizabeth Beese and Design Director, Nancy Wiles, along with photographer Greg Scheidemann, and his assistant (and lovely wife).  

This photo shows Nancy fluffing my American Gothic quilt to stylize it for Greg to shoot the quilt and all the samplers that are hanging on the wall you can't see (photo on pg 19 in the magazine).  The Bear Paw quilt on the wall behind the sofa was my first quilt acquisition.  I purchased the top from a fellow teacher at a quilt shop where we both worked long before I knew how to quilt.  I love it so much, I decorated the entire living room around that quilt.  Blues and greens are a favorite color combo for me.    The quilt on the wall behind the blue chair is called A Light In The Window from my Prairie Women's Sewing Circle club ~ Journey Three.

In my family room, things have been moved around a bit to photograph some of my prized possessions, my Three Sisters samplers.  My husband, Ed, bought the three samplers for me for Christmas last year.  I'm still amazed that in over 150 years, the Three Sisters have remained together, and I'll certainly do my part to keep them that way!  Nancy chose to lay them on top of the table for the photo, which you can see on the computer monitor.  (The photo is on page 19 in the magazine. )
This is how the Three Sisters are displayed in my home.  One rests a top a vintage sewing machine drawer that my pal Lynne Hagmeier gifted to me.  I've turned the drawer into a narrow shelf, and think they all make a good nineteenth century vignette.  

Here's how it all looks on any given day.  The quilt draped over the blue chair is Union Blues, and the other is a quilt I made long ago for my family to use, and for which there isn't a pattern.  You might spot our little Yorkie, Bella, in one of her favorite spots in the house, with her head in between the stair rails.  

I love old samplers as much as I love quilts.  I own three with dates in the 1700's, and the rest, nearly thirty more, are all dated in the 1800's.  I have some reproduction samplers mixed in with the vintage samplers on the wall in this room, and repros and vintage samplers are displayed all over the house.  
Also displayed in the living room is one of my all time favorite quilts, Scraps From Home, from PWSC-Journey One.  Love the combo of round yo-yos, and straight lines of the Flying Geese, finished with a soft scalloped border.  Also pictured is the Star Strings Pinkeep, which has a quilt included in the same pattern.  Both are terrific scrap-buster projects!!  
In a vintage treen square wood bucket sits a few things that make me smile.  A star block wool pillow, a QUILT sign, and a tea towel with the sampler alphabet.  I collect lots of things with the alphabet on them!  The items in this bucket are changed out with the seasons and holidays. These little vignettes make me happy, and provide a place to display lots of favorite things.  I'm sure you have those favorite spots, too!

Well, that's all for now.  I don't want to bore you to death!  I'll post more pictures of my home and sewing room in my next post.  

Until then....hope you find some time for stitching and other delights that feed your soul. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Can't Believe It's Me in AP&Q Magazine!!!

Quilt in the photo is Scraps from Home bonus project in
Journey One of The Prairie Women's Sewing Circle club.
I am still in disbelief over having been chosen to be featured in a profile article in American Patchwork & Quilting magazine!!  But here it's finally out, and I am humbled and grateful for this wonderful adventure!  
Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting magazine.
(c) 2015 Meredith Corp.  All rights reserved.
My profile article appears in the December, 2015 issue which is arriving now in your mail box, your local quilt shop, and newsstands everywhere.

Several members of the American Patchwork & Quilting magazine staff came to visit us the week following the July 4th holiday, and did we ever have fun!  Oh...just a little stress when a national magazine comes to photograph your home!!  But, they took all the worries away, and we all enjoyed every moment.  

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting magazine.
(C) 2015 Meredith Corp.  All rights reserved.
I was also blessed to design a special quilt just for this issue, and it's called Prairie At Heart.  The name says it all for me, and you can read lots more about what inspires me, and see lots of pictures of my home and sewing room.  

Photo used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting magazine.
(c) 2015 Meredith Corp.  All rights reserved.
Prairie At Heart was inspired by an amazing nineteenth century antique quilt that just caught my eye for it's powerful pizzazz, and patchwork simplicity.  One glorious, yet easy-to-piece block, with loads of shirtings and dark prints, set on diagonal point against a sweet navy blue print fabric, just really jazzed me!!    I hope you love it, too!!

The pattern for Prairie At Heart is, of course, found in the pages of this, the December, 2015 issue. Also in this issue is a web link to see even more photos of my home!

Kits are available, with exactly the same fabrics I used, 
all from my Antique Cotton fabric collection for Marcus Fabrics.  

Click here to order a kit, and bring a little Prairie into your home.  

I'll share more photos of my home, and some behind-the-scenes pictures of the photo shoot in my next blog post!!  I also invite you to click on over to the Marcus Fabrics blog, where you'll see a few pictures you won't see here.  

And...I'll have a BIG GIVE-AWAY next week, so watch my blog for news!!  So exciting!!  

Sending out the biggest THANK YOU to all the amazing and oh-so-talented women working at American Patchwork & Quilting magazine.  You're a joy to work with each and every time I am lucky enough to do so!!!  

Find some time for the stitching that feeds your soul!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bundles, Bundles, Bundles!!

I ask you....who doesn't love a cute bundle of Fat Quarters??  I know I do!!  Sometimes, you know you just need more of a particular color in your stash...and stashes need to be fed from time to matter what non-quilters say.  You never have enough I right?

I've added what I call "color bank" Fat Quarter bundles to my website.  

All bundles are a fun mix of just my fabrics, designed for the most fabulous fabric company ever....Marcus Fabrics!!!!

Starting with my favorite color....RED!  Love, love, love!!
And there are warm and cozy BROWNS!!
And bundles and bundles of creamy, luscious LIGHTS!!  

All will be a wonderful addition to your stash and upcoming quilt projects.  I can also put together assortments for you, via email request, such as nothing but tone-on-tones, and/or all shirtings, etc.  I've been doing that for customers all along, and would be happy to do so for you!!

Click here to see all the available bundles and color banks.

There will be more color bank bundles added as collections come out, and I have three new collections already in production with more coming later next year!  Feeling excited and so blessed.

Just a fun reminder.....another FREE Pocket Patchwork Sew-Along is coming very soon!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Quilt Storage Out of the Box!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about having a storage dilemma for holiday quilts.  You know, those quilts you only use once a year.  I asked for your advice and ideas on how you handle this issue.  I received many wonderful comments to the post I wrote and I thank everyone for helping me  (click here to see my original post and comments.)

I received an email from Marcia B. that I thought was particularly inspiring, and asked her if I could share her ideas with all of you.  Happily, she said YES!

Marcia writes that she discovered awhile ago that she can layer one quilt on top of another so that the borders and other elements of the quilt underneath peek out from behind.  The black applique borders of the bottom quilt extend past the red print border of the quilt on top of it, making it look like a whole new quilt!  So, so cute!  

Notice there are two quilts on the very top, turned on point, and flipped over, so only the backings are showing.  One has the black and white checked binding (a Christmas quilt), and the other a red binding (an autumnal quilt).  This idea, she says, makes her think a lot more about what fabric she chooses for backing.  Great idea, don't you agree?! 
Marcia goes on to say "Using my larger quilts folded with the backs showing and layering them over the backs of chairs is now common practice in my house.  I don't always want the front to be on display, but if its season oriented, it gets turned around and used for the color or the theme (this quilt with ticking is a large Halloween quilt.)  It helps me not to get tired of looking at the same quilt over time, as if it isn't even there any decorating."  With the small dining room she has, Marcia can "store" seven or more quilts without any of them "clashing or overpowering the space with too much color or pattern.  This makes me happy" she says.  

Marcia layers quilts even when she's showing the fronts.  Looks so very comfy!!

Displaying the back of her quilts means that Marcia's labels will also be on display.  Marcia purposely centered the label on the backing so that when she folded the quilt into thirds, the label would be in just the right spot to show it off.  Notice the blue bird?

Marcia cleverly tucked the important label information under the bird's wing!!  She says "I'm a big fan of paper folding, and this came into play by designing the wing of the bird to unfold as a heart with the information inside.  The wing then buttons closed which was labor intensive but worth the effort."  We wholeheartedly agree!!  She goes on to say "the black backing fabric really shows off the labels, and also looks great."  I really, really does!  

Marcia says "I now challenge myself to come up with creative labels and color specific backings to make the layering even better.  It has given me a unique way to make my quilts standout a bit, and has opened my mind to possibilities that I never would have thought to do.  I do more labels on the front than on the back, and "hiding" them is so much fun!"

Notice the sashing print to the bottom right of the wing applique.  

Marcia told me "The flap above looks a bit like a regular sashing between the flags.  It is re-enforced with light interfacing and hand quilted before being sewn in place along with another flap that will be the actual label.  it doesn't take away from the overall design and works well for a wall hanging quilt."  How wonderful is that?!!  

I leave you with more of Marcia's lovely words as she writes "Our homes are the gallery of our works in fiber art. " are absolutely right, and I have truly been inspired by you and your gorgeous quilts!  

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your beautiful quilts and ideas with us all.  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tokens of the Past: Attic Treasures

Introducing my newest pattern in the Tokens of the Past series, called Attic Treasures! 
Once again, the units and blocks for all three of these cutie quilts were made from just one 10 inch precut of my new Antique Cotton fabrics (for Marcus Fabrics)!!  Add some yummy sashing, border and binding fabrics and you're all set.  

I thought you'd like to see some up-close pictures of the quilts, and the wonderful quilting by my friend, Ronda.
Back In Time from Tokens of the Past: Attic Treasures

The first quilt is called Back In Time.  It was inspired by a nineteenth century doll quilt I saw recently and fell madly for.  So unusual, so simple, so stunning!  All of the quilts in this pattern were inspired by very simple patchwork.  Lovely colors, great fabric prints, and simple patchwork make for classic quilts!  Quilt size is 21 x 21.

Remembering Mama from Tokens of the Past ~ Attic Treasures

The second quilt is called Remembering Mama.  Sixteen Patches and Sawtooth Star blocks make for a simply beautiful combination.  I knew those alternate blocks would be a place for gorgeous quilting, and the design really makes this quilt come alive, don't you think?!  Classic patchwork and great colors and prints really make for another classic, sweet little quilt.  Love, Love!!  Quilt size is 20 x 24.
Forever Memories from Tokens of the Past ~ Attic Treasures

The third quilt, called Forever Memories, is actually just one large block.  I have always loved this block, called Birds on the Tracks, and thought it was a great choice for an eye-catching small quilt.  Again, simple patchwork triangles and the sashing X are the only thing needed for a center that really pops in this classic quilt.  It was fun and super easy piecing these three small quilts, and I hope you'll have fun making them, too!!  Quilt size is 27 x 27.

The Tokens: Attic Treasures patterns are available now!!  To order the pattern, click here.

Tokens: Attic Treasures Quilt Trio ~ Complete Kit

The Antique Cotton 10 inch precuts will be available in early October!!  As I so often like to do, I'm inviting you to pre-order the complete Tokens: Attic Treasures Quilt Trio complete kit, which includes the pattern, the 10 inch precut, and all borders and binding to make all three quilts.  Regular price for the kit is $111.00.  Your special pre-order price is just $96.00!!  A $15 savings!!  Offer ends October 2nd.  

To pre-order your Tokens: Attic Treasures complete kit, click here.  Your kit will ship in October, as soon as the fabrics arrive!