Friday, February 27, 2015

Quilting Grammy Squares......Still

Hello Everyone,
Mind-numbing and painstakingly boring are the words in my vocabulary this week.  I've been using them a lot while machine quilting Grammy Squares.

I'm slowly working my way around each and every block.  There are so many starts and stops that I can't get a natural rhythm going.  It would have been criminal to quilt an all-over design on this quilt.  I'm using wool batting which makes the blocks pop.  I know I'm going to love it when I'm done and I can't wait to cross over the finish line.

Once I finish quilting around each block, and I'm halfway done, then I will sail through the cross-hatching on the borders.  As you can see on the right-hand side of the picture, I'm just adding a couple lines of cross-hatching to hold the borders in place while working my way down the entire length.  I've found that this keeps the borders flat and loads back on the machine easier once it's turned.

I'll be down at the shop this afternoon.  A bus full of quilters from the Mother Lode Quilt Guild arrives around 1pm.  When the shop suddenly fills with 45 quilters, it's a mad dash to get all of the customers taken care of quickly with personalized attention. 

I'll be at the shop again tomorrow teaching Country Charmer to a full classroom.  This is one of my favorite classes to teach.  It is all about color and accuracy.  AND it will be a nice break from machine quilting!!!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,
What a great day we had yesterday!  The girls were so busy working on their projects and produced some wonderful eye candy for you today.  Susan's little Dresden basket is perfect for Spring.  She is ready to start stitching and adding flowers.

Isabelle is also ready to start stitching.

Irene has a wonderful blend of fabrics.

Marti decided to have all of her sections the same to create a beautiful basket.

Wendy is stitching!

Marti also finished more baskets for Once Upon a Vine.  She fussy cut each basket center. A girl after my own heart.

Gail is pattern testing Grammy Squares for me and produced this little cutie.  This pattern will be finished and available for purchase soon.  She's now all set to make some more......they are addicting.

Patti made her first Lucy Boston block.  Don't you love the center?

Cindy finished four blocks for The House on Edgewood Lane.  I'm making up kits for the quilt and I'll post it when it's ready.

Karen stitched on the last flange for Nostalgic Christmas!  Borders here we come.

Barbara dropped by and showed us her latest quilt.  It is spectacular.  I'm sorry that I can remember the name of it, but I can find out for you.

Carol got her quilt top together which she started in a Laura Nownes class.  So cheerful and ready for Spring.

Don't forget to enter the drawing for Mr. Joe's Strip'n Sew.  Just leave a comment so Mr. Joe can read it.  You could be the proud owner of a Strip'n Sew made by a ruggedly handsome, and crotchety senior citizen.

We had a wonderful day yesterday in the classroom at In Between Stitches.  The girls all embrace life, and each other.  It is a group of very special women.  I wish all of you could join us on a Tuesday. To quote Susan, "I get enough joy out of this class to last me the whole week."  So do I Susan, so do I.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hint of Print

 Hello Everyone,

Thank you for all of your wonderful, and some very funny comments yesterday on the blog.  Today I'm sharing some new fabrics with you that Marcus Fabrics sent to me last week called Hint of Print by Molly B's Studio. 

Since I just taught Heartfire, I thought this fabric would make up beautifully in the line.  So I made a couple of blocks.  Just like candy or potato chips......I can't make just one.

The line comes in two colorways.  It was so hard to decide which way to go!  I have a red Heartfire already, but I don't have a blue one.  Also, some of the fabrics from the blue colorway just arrived at In Between Stitches.

Don't forget to comment on the blog and enter your name in the drawing for a Strip'n Sew made by Mr. Joe. The drawing ends this Saturday, February 28th.

All this week you can watch me on The Quilt for FREE.  Just click on the button, wait for the show to load, get your coffee and you are all set.

I'm off to the shop to see what my girls have been up to for the past few weeks.  I know it is going to be wonderful!


Monday, February 23, 2015

View My Segment for Free on TQS

Hello Everyone,
As promised I said I would be posting a link to The Quilt and you can watch it without becoming a member.  BUT, I highly encourage you to join TQS and become a card-carrying member.  There is so much good information for quilters on their site.  Just click on the Watch Me button and you are there!  It doesn't get any better than FREE! After you click on the button, give the program a moment of two to begin.
In honor of my show, Mr. Joe has been busy in his workshop making a Strip'n Sew.  (He wanted to name it Strip Search, but I vetoed that!)  Anyway, let me get right to the point.  I've been using a pasta dryer for years to sort my fabric strips.  We have been unable to locate anything like it, so Mr. Joe made some and we are going to give one away this week on my blog.  The one he made is much more substantial than the one I've been using, and it is at angled, which makes it easier to see your fabric strips.

Each dowel holds 8, 1" strips.  It takes up less room and all of the strips are within easy reach. As Mr. Joe said, now you can sort your 50 shades of gray!!  I did not come up with that one.  He also wants you to know that his Strip'n Sew is MADE IN THE USA by a ruggedly handsome senior citizen.  Contrary to popular belief, he is not intending to enter the Witness Protection Program because he keeps sanding off his fingerprints while making the Strip'n Sew.  (We have way too much fun thinking up ideas for our marketing plan!)

Now I know I have been catching tons of grief for making my sister work all kinds of long hours with me on my quilts and I've only paid her in half cookies and glasses of whine.....I mean wine.  Mr. Joe sent his sister-in-law the first Strip'n Sew off the assembly line.  Am I off the hook now??? 

So please watch my segment on TQS and make a comment on my blog about the show.  This is your chance to be a reviewer.....and the Oscar goes to???  I would love to hear what you think.  (No wisecracks about my gray hair, I call it wisdom highlights.  Also no cracks about the 50 pounds the camera added!)  The contest will remain open until Saturday, February 28th at 12PST.  Mazey, our adorable Golden Retriever will be the impartial judge and select the winning entry and post the winner Sunday, March 1st. Remember, I have to have an email address if you want to be the winner of the Strip'n Sew. You can also email a comment to and your name will be entered in the contest.

Mazey stops to smell the daffodils.  Actually she ate it!
Periodically Mr. Joe will be making and selling Strip'n Sews.  I'll be posting the information on my blog when they become available.  He doesn't want to take any orders, he wants to make them at his leisure and not be tied to a schedule.  (You know these ruggedly handsome senior citizens can get a little crotchety in their old age.)

Good luck in the contest.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

My Busy Week

Hello Everyone,
Well, you've probably been thinking I dropped out of blogland since I haven't posted is a few days. I haven't left you for too long, I've just had an extremely busy week.
Yesterday I taught Heartfire at Ladybug's Quilts in Manteca.  Small class and a fun group of girls.  The girls at the shop put a kit together for Mary and it is gorgeous!  So gorgeous in fact that I wanted to take one of the kits home with me!  If you contact the girls at Ladybug's, maybe, just maybe one of the kits can go live in your home.

Mary is a finisher, so I know she will be bringing this quilt over so I can see the end product.

Nancy had all of her strips cut and ready to go.

Her blocks and quilt are going to be very striking.  Each one is going to have a flower in the center.

Shari is incorporating my favorite polka dots in her blocks.  Again, begin with a beautiful center and build around your focus fabric by drawing in colors that are in the center block, just exactly what Shari did.

LeeAnn is making a quilt for her husband, a Raider fan.  Won't he be surprised when he receives his manly-man quilt!

Charlotte was unable to attend the class, but she started it at home and came by the shop to show me what she accomplished on her own.  She doesn't need me!  I love the splashes of yellow, and of course those polka dots.

Here are just a few pictures of the location for my talk to the Loomis quilt guild Wednesday night.  What a wonderful group of ladies, and gentlemen!  They were so welcoming to Gail and me. We felt right at home from the moment we entered the hall. I displayed three quilts which I think are the best representation of my work....from all pieced, to applique and piecing combined.  Then I show an additional 20 quilts throughout the talk.

They were a wonderful audience and they laughed heartily in all of the right places!  The guild members are also good huggers!  You know, hugging is good for your health, and I received and gave a healthy dose of hugs on Wednesday.

I haven't touched my sewing machine or long arm in a week!!  Today is the day to get back to work on my projects.....but then tomorrow there's my real job, and Tuesday I get to spend the day with MY girls in class.  My sewing room is missing me as much as I'm missing her...sigh.  Today we will get reacquainted. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Thelma and Louise Are On The Road

Hello Everyone,
Thelma (my sister Gail,) and Louise (me), are hitting the road this morning to Loomis, CA for a guild lecture tonight at the Loomis Quilt and Fiber Guild.
This is just one pile of quilts. I incorporate 23 quilts into my lecture entitled, "The Geography of a Quilt."  

Barbara, the guild's president, sent me an email last week and asked me what's my favorite color.....I immediately said plaid.  Yesterday her email said she made a little something for me......I can't wait to see what she made.

Thank you all for you wonderful comments about my appearance on The Quilt   I've been flying high the last couple of days, and now it is time to come back to earth and get back to work.   There are lots of details to take care of when getting ready for a talk.  I try to make my talks informative and funny by including true stories about growing up in Paradise.  I include many pictures and of course a parade of quilts.

I'll report back to you when we return.  Be creative for me today!


Monday, February 16, 2015

My Appearance on The Quilt

Hello Everyone,
A warm welcome to those of you coming to my blog for the first time from The Quilt Sit down, pour yourself a cup of coffee, or your beverage of choice and stay awhile.  There is so much to look at under the oaks at Sew'n Wild Oaks.  It is nice and calm here, no drama, only beauty and creativity by me, and the wonderful ladies who attend my classes.  Please make a comment.  I love comments and read each and every one.....multiple times.  I will also respond to everyone who leaves a comment as long as I have your email address.
To those of you who have been following me, and encouraging me for a long time, an extra special welcome to you.  It is because of YOU, my faithful blog readers, that I am where I am today in the grand scheme of the quilting world. You are my fan club, my supporters, my wings, and I'm flying pretty high right now after my first appearance on The Quilt 
I also want to thank Alex Anderson, Ricky Tims, and the entire staff of  The Quilt for inviting me to be part of your show.  Once the initial terror of being in front of the cameras subsided, you made me feel very comfortable and welcomed.   I loved how you presented my show!  You both asked all the right questions and made it appear seamless......1/4" seamless!
For most of you, this is a recap of what is on my design wall, my long arm and what's coming down the pike from Sew'n Wild Oaks.  For those of you who are new to my blog, this re-cap will give you an idea of my style of quilting.
I have most of the blocks made for Lil' Orphan Scrappy, a quilt using only Marcus Marcus medley.  This quilt sings to me.  I love it and I never get tired of making the blocks.  While I'm designing and making a quilt, I'm always planning the machine quilting.  I have this one figured out and I can't wait to finish it.

I've been bitten by the Lucy Boston block or as my co-worker Lisa says, the Lizzy Borden blocks.  I'm afraid I can't get Lizzy Borden out of my head.....but you can't fussy cut with an ax!  The LB blocks or Patchwork of the Crosses are my night job.  I have my Lizzy bin next to my chair, and this is what I work on at night while watching my favorite shows.  You'd better be sitting down for this next sentence.  It takes me about 12 hours per block to make one of these beauties using the English Paper Piecing method.  That calculation is from fabric selection to the finished block.  Now some of you may be saying, "Is she nuts???"  Well, maybe, but I feel that I making good use of my time in the evening while watching American Idol.  I don't have to think, I just stitch.

I also have my Country Corners blocks on my design wall.  Country Corners utilizes my Patchwork Math book.  I give you all of the cutting directions HERE, but you will need the book to figure out how to make the components and the 9" blocks.  I know this is a shameless self promotion of my Patchwork Math Manual, but I have to supplement my retirement income somehow!

I think the Courthouse Steps blocks beautifully frames each of the blocks. 

Grammy Squares is on my long arm......not my dog Mazey!  Although given the chance, if she had thumbs, she would try to help me quilt.  I LOVE THIS QUILT!! Love the dog too, but I really love the quilt.  This will be a new pattern ready for release in March.


I teach two Tuesdays a month at In Between Stitches in Livermore, CA and my girls are testing out my newest pattern.  This is going to be the year of the Dresdens.  I'm going to be making and designing Dresdens every which way. This will be in a new quilt pattern released at the end of the year.

Wow, now that's a lot going on at Sew'n Wild Oaks....but wait, there's more!  Filming for more segments on The Quilt Show start in July.  I'll be making mini-segments for Patchwork Math which will begin airing in the Fall in the Classroom Section of TQS.
Well all of this has made my head spin.  I knew I was busy, but not THAT busy!  It's all good, it's all fun, and it all makes me feel so blessed to be a quilter. 
Pour a second cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy the show!


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Dresden Basket

Hello Everyone,
Yesterday I planted some flowers on my little Dresden basket.
I had been thinking about placing a 3-dimensional flower in the basket which is fun, but not practical for a quilt.

This is what it looked like in the basket.  I also think I would have to make additional flowers to fill in the space.  I decided to go with a fuller, flatter bouquet.

I love sitting down to work on an applique project.  It is so satisfying and the words peaceful and serene come to mind. 

Have a peaceful weekend.