Tuesday, October 30, 2007

ROAD TRIP PART DEUX

I don't usually post this often. I like to give people some time to catch up. However, there is much to blog about lately! As many of you know, my friend Kim issued a challenge to bloggers on Friday to make my little Trees on the Table quilt. First of all, let me tell you that I have never met Kim. We just hit it off in blogland. Now she is my biggest promoter! Thanks to Kim several people have completed the quilt or are in the process. I have posted pictures of the completed ones on my website. I have gotten a huge response to this design! I got a sweet e-mail from Veronica in Chile who is teaching her friend how to make it. Luckily she is doing her own translating into Spanish! Muy bueno! Isn't that exciting? Keep 'em coming my friends! That is Kim's cute quilt in the photo.

I would be remiss if I didn't continue on about our road trip! I neglected to mention our new friend, Suzie. Suzie is my friend Joan's GPS navigational unit. Her last name is Garmen. Oh my gosh were we happy to have Suzie along for the ride! Suzie directed us through the back roads of Virginia without a hitch. Well, sometimes she got her left and right mixed up, but who doesn't? Suzie amazed us! If you plug in an address, Suzie will take you there. At one point Suzie said, "Are you indoors? I am turning off the satellite connection". If we missed a turn, Suzie would say, "Recalculating", and turn us around! Yes, we got quite used to hearing Suzie say "Recalculating". In fact, sometimes Suzie would sound a little miffed with us, but she always forgave us and redirected us to where we were headed. As we drove down the road I had an epiphany! Have you ever wondered how God hears the prayers of so many people at once? Well, Suzie kind of does the same thing! There are so many roads in the world, and so many people looking for directions. Think about it and you draw your own conclusions.
On to the quilt shops! We stopped at a lovely shop in Madison, Virginia called That Little Quilt Shop, located in a restored 1800's church! The shop owner wasn't in on Friday, but the shop certainly reflected her excellent taste in fabric and design. The three shops that we visited all participated in a shop hop just before we were there. Each had a beautiful quilt of original design from a group of challenge fabrics. Each quilt was amazing! On top of that, Gay Kulenguski, the owner of That Little Quilt Shop, has designed many other patterns that she has for sale in her shop. I have a feeling that Gay and I could be great friends, just based on her designs! Some of them have a similar flavor to what I design. Joan and I decided that next year we will plan a trip to correspond with the area shop hop, just to visit these three shops again, and maybe see some others as well. And YES, we bought fabric!

But wait! There's more! I haven't told you about Cottonwood! Our travels took us in a circle and we were lucky enough to get back to Charlottesburg before Cottonwood closed. Mary Humphrey, the owner, had met Joan a couple weeks earlier in Virginia Beach while visiting What's your Stitch N Stuff. She expressed some interest in my patterns, so I somewhat nervously approached her. I hate blowing my own horn and I hate putting people on the spot about buying from me, (see why I love Kim?) Mary actually did buy a bunch of my patterns and we are making plans for a trunk show! I am excited! Cottonwood is one of the primo vendors at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton in February. I am walking on air! Joan is excited too. She happened to bring her Fish Creek Cabin quilt that she just finished from my pattern. Mary has borrowed it to hang in her store! You have to understand that this is the shop/vendor that Joan rushes to the minute we arrive at Quilt Fest! (Mary, if you are reading this, excuse us while we gush!) We were so excited that we forgot to take a picture of Cottonwood! Oh, and it was dark by the time we left.

Monday, October 29, 2007

ROAD TRIP

Last Thursday and Friday my friend Joan and I took off for parts unknown....at least to us. We left Virginia Beach and drove west to Charlottesville, Virginia. Our goal was to visit Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson; and then the Virginia Quilt Museum, a little farther north. And, of course, to see as many quilt shops as we could.
Monticello was interesting. It was actually smaller than I had imagined, but for the time period in which it was built, I am sure it was considered large. Sometimes the legend renders things larger than life. It was quite fascinating, and I will probably want to read more about the man now that I have visited his home. It rained the whole time we were there so we only saw the interior of the house and didn't spend any time on the grounds. We couldn't take pictures inside, and because of the rain, I forgot to take any outside. But enough about the founder of our nation, let's get to the quilt shops!
Friday morning we drove further west and stopped in Staunton, VA. We visited a wonderful shop there called Rachel's Quilt Patch. This shop was featured in the Quilt Sampler Magazine a year ago. It is absolutely charming! The shop is in an old train station. We met Rachel Brown, the owner, who happens to be quite a talented lady. She has an applique book out called Adoration Quilts. The quilts were on display and are really lovely. There is a cute box of ceramic magnets that coordinate with the book. Also, she has a new book, a child's Christmas story, called Small Camel Follows the Star. Joan and I both bought one of those and a little stuffed camel! So cute! Yes, we also bought fabric!

From there we drove on to the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg. I have to say I expected more. It is located in an old house, which was neat, (Joan in picture) and there were a few wonderful old Civil War era quilts on display. Not nearly enough! They also had some current Native American quilts on display that were very nice. No tour, no informational handout, again-no photos! The best thing they had was folded on a rack in an upstairs bedroom and it should have been displayed more prominently. The quilt was the inspiration for a line of reproduction fabric by Quilting Treasures. It loads slowly, but you must click on that link and see the design, fabrics and directions! I sneaked a photo of the actual quilt all folded on the rack. I know the Quilt Police will be knocking on my door.
Isn't it wonderful! I should have bought the pack of fat quarters at the gift shop! But I did pick up a few pieces at Rachel's and at another shop called Cottonwood.
That is all I have time to report on for today! More on Cottonwood later!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

TREES ON THE TABLE

I have been delighted to see my little tree quilt coming to life so quickly. Libby and Kim are the first that have completed theirs and sent me photos. I will get them posted on my web site, but in the meantime you can go to their blogs and see for your self how cute they turned out! They each decided on a different border, which makes it even more fun to view. Libby, of course, added her special touch and made hers primitive looking. I love it! Kim decided to issue a challenge to see how many people would like to make one this weekend. That's great if you can do it, but it is also great if you make it whenever you have the time. Once you see how easy it is, you may want to make more than one, as Libby, Kim and I are doing.

Libby and Kim both caught an error or two in cutting, which I have corrected on the pattern. Not a big deal, you would have figured it out. But it always helps to have extra eyes when it comes to proofing directions. So thanks my friends!

As you can see, I posted a photo of the quilt on the top of my sidebar for now. You can find the free directions by going to my website, patchalotpatterns.com, and clicking on free patterns. If you e-mail me a photo of your tree quilt I will add a link to your blog, with your permission. I am so happy with the positive response you have given me! Have fun with it!

I have lots more to share, but will have to come back later! I hope you do too!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

KID STUFF


I have been laughing at my funny grandchildren and just have to share a couple of stories. This is the part where you can zone out if you only want to see quilt stuff. But if you want a laugh, read on!

Remember the little Plumpkin, as I have so often called her? She is two years old and lives in Minnesota. She decided to walk to her other Grandmother's house who only lives about ten miles away. My daughter was chasing her down the sidewalk when she turned around and said, "Mom, I'm not a kid anymore!" Apparently this is a quote from one of the Lion King movies. Here she is all decked out for Halloween. Don't mess with her!
The other funny story comes from Arizona. My son and granddaughter (the flyer -age 11) decided to make a pillow case. He bought some fabric and prepared to cut it. Darling granddaughter gets out the supplies. First she finds my cutting mat under the bed. Then she goes into the garage and gets her dad's right angle tool from his woodshop. Next, she pulls out the drawer in the kitchen and removes the pizza cutter! She was overheard saying, "this isn't turning out as good as when Grama does it." Hmmm, should I tell her?

Monday, October 22, 2007

TREES ON THE TABLE

It has been fun getting so many opinions on this quilt. I played around yet again and came up with this option. I like it a lot, but then I liked all the other versions as well! So I just had to make a decision, and since the response was pretty much half and half, this one works for me. It finishes at 24" square. If you want to make it, I have spent a couple days writing directions. Believe me, you can make the quilt faster than that! Go to my web site and click on the free pattern link on the right side of the opening page. If you make this quilt I would love to have you send me a photo to post on my web site. Deal?



Saturday I went over to the LQS to see a quilt that one of the ladies (BC) made from my pattern, Pioneer Trail. It turned out really great! Several of the quilters have a Friday Bee that meets at the LQS and they did a block exchange using this pattern. They asked me to come to their meeting in January to see all the quilts that they completed from this pattern. I am excited to see them. I told them each person with a completed quilt can choose one of my patterns. This is the first one that I have seen completed. Yes, it needs binding, but essentially, it is done. BC has made at least two others of my patterns that turned out really neat. Last year she made Christmas Kisses from Judie Rothermels Spirit of the Season line, and she made Quilt Jam in pinks and browns. Both are gorgeous!
Hopefully you can enlarge those photos for a good look!











Friday, October 19, 2007

DESIGNER DILEMMA

I took the poll down, but sure enjoyed your input! Be sure to go to my website for the link to the instructions for any of these versions of this quilt!

What do you do when an idea keeps mutating? This is where I drive myself crazy. There are so many directions that this design could take at this point. EQ allows me to appraise each idea before I decide which to make. Even then, there is no right or wrong answer, just a personal preference. These are just three examples of what I have been considering. This finishes at 24 inches. Do you have a favorite arrangement?


I am going to try to write directions for this and get it up on my web site as a free pattern. Hopefully this weekend. Then if you want to make this, you can decide on your own ending!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT


Aside from being glued to the computer to see what everyone in the world is doing on a daily basis, I have been doing a little sewing. I came up with this idea for a table topper a while back and finally had time to give it a whirl in actual fabric. This is what I have so far. (I just realized I wrote "whirl" about a pinwheel. Sometimes it takes me a while to catch up with my own cleverness.)


This is the block in EQ. It is 8" finished. I made the tree with the Tri-Recs Ruler. Now, if you are interested you can mess around with it on your computer and see what you think the next round should be. I have a plan, but it would be fun to get input. Do you EQ? :)


I am trying to limit myself on the computer as it seems my life could be spent in more productive ways. (She says with sarcasm). It seems that I have an addictive personality. I base that on all the same reasons that you, yourself, might have an addictive personality if you are back here reading my blog again. Apparently chocolate and Moda is not enough! A good start, but we want more out of life. I think a clone would be a great thing, actually. Another self who could follow directions and "giturdun", as Vicky says.
Speaking of chocolate and Moda, Kim was on that subject yesterday. She won a pack of fat quarters in a drawing. But really, you have to read Kim's version of it. She tells the story as only Kim can!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

WOOLLY- WOOLLY


Look what my friend in California sent me! WOOL! She has been into wool for a long time, way before it was the rage. And she has bought tons of it at garage sales in the form of old blankets. That is what she sent me--big pieces of thick, wool blankets! What can I do with it? I'm thinking, I'm thinking... It is such wonderful wool! You will have to come back often because it may take a while for me to make something. But I will, and it will be really cute!

If you saw my cute little turkey pincushion a few days ago, I mentioned a chicken pincushion kit that I also purchased. Well, here she is, all stitched together! I just love this little thing! As I mentioned previously, the designer works at The Quilted Apple in Phoenix and makes them exclusively for that shop. I told her she needs to write a book! She wasn't too interested, but I warned her that after my blogging friends see these everyone will want them.
One more comment about the Memory Foam. Everyone seems to be interested in it. I think that is the stuff that you "apply directly to the forehead"! Maybe that is what Kim was trying in that photo of her below. She doesn't look too pleased with the results.
Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, October 11, 2007

NEEDLING


Do you have a friend who is constantly needling you, and not in a quilty way? Meet Kim! Kim is my blog buddy, whom I have never had the pleasure of meeting. She makes me laugh at the insane comments that she makes, both on her blog and mine. But that is not enough for her, nooooo, she has to thread her way into my life through e-mails, accosting me even further. I made the mistake of suggesting to her on one occasion (or maybe several) that my age is becoming an inhibiting factor. Once in a while I forget things. Not like Darlene, mind you, who forgets she has scissors clamped in her teeth. Well, I once went to a quilt class and totally forgot to take my sewing machine, but luckily I discovered that I had taken the class before, so I just enjoyed the social aspect of it. (True story).

But enough about me, let's get back to Kim. I said to Kim that I have so many project ideas floating around in my head, and not enough time for follow through. Kim says, "The problem is that it takes a lot more time to make a quilt than it does to think up the ideas! Of course, age may take care of that eventually! LOL!" No matter how you read that it sounds like she is sticking it to me. Believe me she has made many other comments to me as well, but of course they slip my mind at the moment. Actually, that point illustrates one of my really good characteristics: I never hold a grudge for long.

Seriously folks, I gotta get some of that Memory Foam I keep hearing about!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

TALKING TURKEY


I don't know if you can see how cute this little pincushion is, but I just love it! When I was at The Quilted Apple in Phoenix they had a table full of cute wool pin cushions.
"Where's the book?" I cried! There is no book, they were designed by a staff member and sold only as kits.
I bought a chicken, a pumpkin, and three turkeys! I had to get one for each of my two quilt buddies, of course! The kits are great! Each kit contains the wool pieces, all cut to shape; Perle cotton coordinating thread, a needle, and two straight pins for positioning. Plus, there is a little bag, cut and stitched to fit, filled with crushed walnut shells as the pin cushion filler! They called

it "lizard litter", which, I guess means something if you live in Arizona. I'm clueless. Here is a picture of the cute little package. Obviously irresistible!

I picked up a pattern while I was at The Quilted Apple, which I worked on while at my son's house and am finishing up here. It is a wall quilt (have I already used the "padded room" joke here?) It needs a bit of applique and then I can sew the blocks together. Maybe I will have it ready to show in a couple days.

I have a quick recipe to share, one that my aunt made while I was in AZ. I think it is called Corn Pudding. We go for easy, right? So here you go:


1 - 16-1/2 oz can of whole kernel corn
1 - 16-1/2 oz. can of creamed corn
1 pkg. Jiffy Corn Bread/Muffin Mix
1 stick melted margarine
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
Mix all together, adding sour cream last.
Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Try it as a side dish, or on top of chili it's yummy!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

DOLLEY AND DARCIE

You may remember this quilt from an earlier post of mine. It is called Dolley Madison Stars. I had been admiring those Baptist Fans that Darcie has been doing, and I thought this quilt might look good with them. So I sent it off to Darlin' Darcie (you can check out her blog) and she quilted it for me. She did a great job, and the fans really add to the old fashioned appeal of this pattern. If you have spent any time visiting Darcie's blog, you already know how talented she is in so many ways. It was so fun to connect with her through the magic of the internet!
By the way, I don't normally have a wreath on my pillow, but it needed a little something to add interest to the photo. So now I am explaining why my photo is interesting.






The second photo is of the back of the quilt. I decided to add stash to coordinate with a larger piece of fabric that wasn't big enough. It was actually hard to part with these big pieces of my stash because I love them and wonder what I could make with them. That must be a symptom of the illness :o) On the other hand, now I love the back of the quilt as well as the front. As I pieced the back together I actually cut some of the larger pieces into several smaller pieces just to make it look "more interesting". I also used up the rest of the sashing fabric. By the time I got done, the back ending up taking several days to complete. When I got the quilt back from Darcie I looked for the sashing fabric to bind it, and realized that it was used up! Sometimes I really outdo myself!
For those of you who have been finishing up UFOs like crazy this year, this is my one UFO accomplishment! Yes, I did start others to be completed in the future. I also actually completed some projects from start to finish! It counts if they are small, right?

Monday, October 01, 2007

OUR LITTLE FLYER

This is my darling granddaughter who I just visited in Arizona. She is into cheerleading and is the "flyer" in her group. That means she is the one who climbs to the top of the group and they let go and catch her. She loves it! She is eleven years old and bursting with energy. In the bottom picture I tried to catch a photo of her in a flip. The light isn't good enough, but she flips all over the place. I never was that light on my feet in my life. She definitely takes after her mother!

When this darling girl was much smaller she couldn't pronouce her "Rs" and she called me "Grama Mousie". Isn't that a riot? Don't you just conjur up a picture of a little mouse in a dress and bonnet sitting in a rocking chair and stitching away?

That's all for today--I'm off to the races!