Friday, January 31, 2014

Free is Good!

Hello Everyone,
Here is a cute, timely and FREE pattern being offered by my co-worker Lisa, at In Between Stitches. Click HERE to access Lisa's blog and the free pattern.

Lisa is designing a year of Bite Size quilts and teaching them at the shop.  Lisa's mother, Carolyn Wooldridge designed and made this using wool felt.  You can make this little hanging and display it on a One-Night-Stand!

Lisa and I have so much fun when we get the opportunity to work together at In Between Stitches.  She is just the nicest person you would ever want to know.  She's a quilt designer, graphic artist, and an excellent quilting instructor.  Those are just a few of her talents and passions.

When we work together, it's usually because one of us is filling in for the boss ladies.  You know what they say, "When the rats away, the mice will play!"  When left to our own devices, we've been know to move fabric around the shop, decide and make up new kits, and generally get into quilting mischief.  It's all good mischief, and we do have fun!

If you are ever in a quandary about selecting fabrics, Lisa is a great go-to person to help you out.  Her background in graphic arts gives her an "eye" for color.....and it's NOT the "stink" eye!

Check out Lisa's blog and website for all kinds of information and other free bite size patterns.

I hope you all have a wonderful, creative and fun weekend.  I'll be teaching Heartfire at the shop tomorrow. 
Heartfire made with French General Fabrics
Heartfire pattern available HERE

Heartfire made with Midwinter Reds
Heartfire made with Fig Tree fabrics
Can you tell I'm addicted to hexagon blocks?  Sometimes I just don't know when to quit!!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Little Black Dress II Meets Country Charmer

 Hello Everyone,

I love to get pictures from quilters and friends that have made my patterns.  Looky here!  Karen in Los Banos, CA sent me a picture of her Country Charmer!

It is so classy in Karen's colors.  I LOVE IT!  I've been watching her progress, and now the quilt is officially a flimsy.  Great work Karen and such a good eye for your color combinations right out of your stash.

Karen's timing couldn't be better.  Little Black Dress II fabric just arrived at In Between Stitches.  Are you thinking what I'm thinking?  Is this perfect or what for a Country Charmer quilt?  We have fat quarter bundles HERE.

The shop also has yardage HERE.

Karen, the picture of your quilt made my day along with your sweet email.  Are you sure you aren't the designer of the Little Black Dress II fabric line?  Have you been hiding something from me?  Thank you so much for making my pattern.  I appreciate all of your hard work, color combinations, attention to detail, but most importantly our friendship.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The 4th Tuesday

Hello Everyone,

The 2nd Tuesday of the month is Sew'n Wild Oaks day at In Between Stitches.  Now, the 4th Tuesday of the month is also a time for the gathering of my Wild(er) Women!  Just look at what they've been working on.

If you can, zoom in on Azalia's little rocking horse and check out her tiny, and absolutely perfect outline stitches around all of the pieces.  Amazing!

The polka dots do weird things to the camera, but you can see that Azalia started stitching her rows together for Toyland Tree.   Then she started working on the border in class to make sure she was on track with the directions.  Azalia caught on very quickly to the border directions and she's on a roll!

Several of the girls, Kaye, Jan, and my sister Gail are working on For the Love of Baskets. The classroom looked like it was getting prepared for a May Day party with all of their baskets decorating the tables.  Sixty-four baskets to be precise!

Gail makes her blocks four at a time using the block layout sheet to keep her organized.

Vivian is diligently working on her Toyland Tree.  She is very precise also!

Her blocks are adorable.

Carol's flowers for her Summer's Blush/Winter's Warmth pattern are coming right along. Carol loves hand work and you can tell.

Donna brought in a wonderful selection of fabrics and had me help her with a few calculations for a new quilt.  (I think Donna thinks I'm brighter than I am!)

Collectively we helped her decide on square and strip sizes to cut.  Then she went to work graphing out the quilt and adding fabrics to her selections from home.

Cindy finished her binding on a wonderful quilt for charity.  Quilters are very generous with their time and talent and someone is going to be a very lucky recipient of Cindy's wonderful work.

Some of you have asked about the pattern for Melissa's wedding quilt.  Click HERE for a link to Yellow Patty Lucy.

I told you my girls were busy!  I just realized I forgot to take a pictures of Isabelle's applique work!  Next time Isabelle, I'll take and post three pictures of your applique to make up for my oversight.

Accounting day for me today.....BORING...with a capital "B".  I wish I could train Mr. Joe in the fine art of accounting.  We'd either be millionaires on paper or we'd have checks bouncing all around town.....probably the later.  He's much happier and very competent in his woodworking shop, and it is best that he leaves the accounting to me.

Have a great day quilting everyone.  I wish I could join you.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Yellow Patty Lucy is Machine Quilted!!

Hello Everyone,
Yeah, this gorgeous quilt is now off the machine and let the miles of binding begin!  This is the quilt that had me shaking in terror and worry every time I thought about how I was going to quilt it.  Once I decided what to do, I dug in and the terror vanished stitch by stitch......the worry hung on a little longer.
Each corner has feathers coming out of a double heart.  I marked a spine for the feathers and then started filling in.  Are all the corners identical and a mirror image?  Not you on your life, but they are close enough.  (Notice I'm not showing you a picture of the whole quilt!)

There's a different design in each of the light sashings strips because they were all different sizes.  What to do?  Well, I did something unique in each one.

 The center section had a bit of an issue.  It wanted to poof up way too much.

So I nailed it down by stitching in every other little block.  By the time I finished, I became an expert with these little guys.  As Lisa said, "Quilt it into submission."  So I did.

I'm sure after the wedding this quilt will be hanging at In Between Stitches.  Those of you that are local can view it in person.  I'll take a picture of the whole quilt then.  I will also compile a list of everyone that had a hand in the making of this wedding quilt.  Without them, I wouldn't have had anything this beautiful to quilt!

Many of you expressed concern that I was going to spoil the surprise by posting pictures before Melissa had a chance to see it.  Well, she promised me she wouldn't read my blog for a few days because she doesn't want to spoil the surprise either.  Now we can't wait to give it to the very special bride! 


Friday, January 24, 2014

Yellow Patty Lucy Day Two

Hello Everyone,
I don't have a ton of pictures to show this morning of my machine quilting progress.  There are a lot of blocks that look like this.

There are a lot of borders that look like this.  You may be wondering what that little black bee is doing in the fabric.  Well, the logo for In Between Stitches is a beehive, so there are little bees flying around the quilt.

The micro handle bars are really helping me with all of the micro stippling.  My machine has two sets of handle bars.  I can adjust one set quite low and close to the quilt which gives me greater control on all of the fine details.

I've worked my way down to the area of the center medallion section.  I can't say that I'm half done just yet, but I am making good progress.

I know when I've spent too much time at the machine when Zinnie comes to me with her toy and drops it at my feet.  She's telling me it's time to get out of the house and go for a walk.  So there's "quilt speak" (my post yesterday) and there's "dog speak".  Both are very subtle and you always have to be listenting and pay attention to what their heart is trying to say.  I think there may even be "husband speak".

Have a wonderful weekend and do something fun!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Quilt Speak

Hello Everyone,
Melissa, the co-owner of In Between Stitches is getting married next month.  This is her wedding quilt made by her relatives, friends and employees. It is beyond gorgeous! The pattern is called Yellow Patty Lucy by American Jane.  I told the girls, you make it and my contribution to the effort will be the machine quilting and binding.  When I saw the whole quilt the first time on Monday, terror stuck.  How will I quilt this???
I waited for two days for the quilt to "talk" to me.  Quilt speak is very subtle and downright hard to hear.  I started quilting this afternoon after doing a lot of listening and a little bit of marking.

 The top border is now finished.  Onward and downward as I work my way to the bottom of the quilt.

 Lots of ruler work and prayer along the way.

A wedding quilt has to have hearts.  This one is going to have 24 hearts.

I thought I would experiment with this quilting design in one of the borders.  First I marked the spine to distribute the design evenly around the center section, then started filling it in with feathers.  I'll be bonding with this quilt over the next few days while I quilt my way across and down.

The pattern says, "A pretty miss all dressed in yellow caught the eye of a handsome fellow."  This quilt is perfect for Melissa and her fiance!  All of us at the shop couldn't be happier for them.  They make a wonderful couple, and deserve every happiness of a blessed life together.  Insert an extremely happy face here!  (The face will be happier once this quilt is finished!)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Heard it Through the Grape Vine

Hello Everyone,
Now it's time to get back to some real work and get some quilts together for some of my upcoming events.  When I imported this picture into Blogger, it reminded me of a clown's eyes and nose!  I think my brain has been deprived of oxygen.....I'm losin' it!

My design process is always in a state of change.  I thought I just needed to make a couple more basket blocks, add a border and call this one ready for quilting.  I was wrong again!  I changed the layout, made it bigger, and now I have to make a lot more blocks. Sometimes I just don't know when to quit.  It's a good thing I enjoy making these little blocks for Once Upon a Vine.

Now let me rant about the US Postal Service.  Why does it take a package 5 days to travel to the postal hub only 50 miles away? I could have hand-carried my box of quilts and patterns in half that time with the box strapped to my back!.  I was literally and physically sick every time I thought about my box lost for 5 days containing almost 100 patterns, my Country Charmer quilt AND Harvest of Hope quilt destined for The Quilt House.  Janet, the owner of The Quilt House was going to display both of the quilts at Road to California.  Once the box gets to Nevada, the girls at the shop have to turn right around and send it Next Day Air to Ontario, CA.  The box may arrive just in time for closing day of the show.

The good news is the box was found and I won't have to have my friends Quilt Sue and Nancy help me applique a new Harvest of Hope quilt.  (They are breathing a sigh of relief right now!)  I was going to ask Lesley if I could borrow her gorgeous Country Charmer until I could make another one.  You are all safe girls......for now.  Your services might just be needed at a later date!

Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments on my last post about my upcoming appearance on The Quilt Show.  This is going to be a quilting journey that you can all take with me.  I'll keep you posted about it every quilted step of the way.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Geese are Soaring in Formation

Hello Everyone,
Yesterday I taught my Patchwork Math class at In Between Stitches.  The class that Alex Anderson was popping in to observe.  Well, the reason for her observation was to see how my class would fit in as a segment on The Quilt Show!  I'm going to be on THE QUILT SHOW!  Now ask me, did I have the presence of mind to take a picture of Alex Anderson in my class??  I was so caught up in my own excited terror, that I totally forgot.
The girls in the class were fabulous!  They just went along with the flow of the class like quilting pros.  They made beautiful components and started arranging and rearranging them on the design walls.

They were brave enough to work with directional fabrics and passed the test with flying colors.

It was so much fun to look around the room at all of the color choices. 

From brights........ traditional fabrics.

Arranging the different components at the end of the day is always a fun time during the class.  I think the girls surprised themselves when they ended up with at least 25 completed components.

Candace joined in for a repeat performance and refresher course, and continued to work with her Geisha girl blocks.

I want to thank all everyone that left me comments on my last post.  YOU provided me with so much moral support and helped me believe in my abilities.  I received many private emails, phone calls, and e-cards full of good wishes.  I feel that all of YOU have made this possible and I can't express my thanks enough.  So many have supported me along my quilting journey, and I appreciate each and every one of you.

Now to the logistics.  The taping for my segment for The Quilt Show is going to be on June 29th at the San Jose Quilt Museum.  The program won't air on-line until 2015!  I have a list of things to complete before the taping......such as a new quilt design using only the components in the book.  Oh this is going to be a fun and busy next few months.  My sister Gail is going to be pressed into are some of you reading this right now!

I'm off the a bridal shower today and I should arrive home just in time to cheer my Niners to victory in the football playoff game this afternoon.  Now that I'm totally "spent" from the excitement of the last few days, it's time for me to sign off and start planning.