Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A New Baby and a Quilt, of course

When I was in Utah last month (yes, it was only last month!) I mentioned to my son that the quilt hanging on the wall was looking wrinkled at the top and the rod appeared to be bent. He jumped up and said, "well, this is why!"
Isaac loves to hide behind it and then surprise everyone!

And now look who came home and surprised Isaac! A new little sister! She was born Friday, June 24, and named Eleanor Louise Patch, after my husband's mother, Eleanor, and my mother, Louise. Quite a handle for one so small.

 As you might imagine, I have been working on a baby quilt for her. The above photo shows my favorite spot for pressing pieces as I go. It is right outside my sewing room and very handy.

 And this is the finished top! It would have been nice to have finished it BEFORE little Eleanor was born, but there were too many other things that jumped to the head of the line. I think it turned out sweet tho. I love pink, and already had several pink FQs set aside from a Blue Hill Fabric line called Little Pink Stars. Plus I added another one or two from my stash. Quilt delivery is scheduled for mid-July, after it gets quilted!.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Great Unwashed

The phrase, "The great unwashed" is a term coined well before my time, and I am using it only in regard to the washing of quilts. You know I love to play with words. 

So tell me, what is your opinion on washing fabric before sewing it into quilts? Or how do you feel about washing quilts? And at which point do you decide they should be washed?

When I first began making quilts I would wash every piece of fabric that I bought. I thought it wise to wash the loose color out of it and shrink it before sewing with it. When I began teaching I always recommended that my students do the same. After we moved to Virginia I discovered that the employees in the LQS were telling everyone, no, they didn't have to do that. It took me a while to adapt to that, but I began to see what they were trying to achieve: they liked the fabric to shrink a little and give the quilt a vintage look. At this point I really began dealing exclusively with Civil War reproductions, and I wanted to achieve that vintage look also. And it was lots easier to not wash and iron the fabric! 
 Recently I made a queen size quilt using 100% cotton fabric and 100% cotton batting. I wanted that bubbly look that a washed quilt sometimes gets. After washing and drying, I placed the quilt back on my bed and was astounded at how much smaller it seemed. I measured it and discovered that it shrank about six inches! I was not happy about that. I guess in the past I haven't noticed any shrinkage, but on this one it was pretty obvious. And I was using 100% cotton everything, so what did I expect? 

The lesson here is an easy one: if you use all cotton be prepared for shrinkage! But more than that, it also made me aware that as a pattern designer I need to adjust the sizes of my patterns. Instead of stating that a quilt is 90 inches square, I need to add "prior to washing". 

I bet many of you have had similar experiences. Am I right?

This morning when I stepped out of the shower I discovered that I had not replaced my bath towel that was thrown into the wash yesterday, making me "the great undried", right? Seriously, I need a caretaker. 

The quilt in the photo is Cocheco Gardens, available on my website, using all Marcus Fabrics. Be sure and see their newest Cocheco III line that is all pink and brown! Love it!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

And We Have A Winner!

Doesn't it feel good to be a winner? Well, I rarely win anything myself, so I gives me great pleasure to be able to give someone else the thrill of winning this book. You will love it!
I know that Tara Lynn Darr worked her little heart out writing this book and making all these darling little quilts! Follow the link below and you can see all the cute quilts in the book. I wish I could give one to each of you! So let me just say this, if you like to make little quilts, you should really buy it!
Everyone except Robyn because Robyn won the book! 
Blogger Robyn *Ü* said...
Oh my gosh! Those babies are too cute. I'd love to win one of them :) but since that's not possible I would also love to win one of Tara's books.
Congratulations Robyn! Send me your address and I will send Simply Charming off to you!
Check out Robyn's blog and all the neat things she is making! 
And Happy Quilting to all!

Oh what the heck, why not throw in baby pictures!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flag Day

 Flag Day was a big deal when I was a kid. In Buffalo, New York, where I attended elementary school, we learned patriotic songs that I still love to sing! We had parades and said the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. I hope they still do that. I have been out of school for a while, so I don't really know. Do you have your flag out today? I do! God Bless America, Land that I Love!
 Of course we American quilters also love our patriotic quilts! This one pictured (that just didn't want to load right side up) is a photo that my husband took while in New York. I can't remember where he took it. I just found it on his I-phone. But it is old and behind glass, I can see that. Maybe one of you out there can enlighten me. Awesome, isn't it?

 We US quilters love to make patriotic quilts as well. This one, called Homeport, is one of the first quilts I ever designed. It has been, and still is, a popular pattern here in Virginia Beach.  

I had the misfortune Monday morning of finding a package on the front steps that must have been delivered late Saturday. It rained Saturday night and also on Sunday, and since we never left the house all weekend this is how it looked Monday morning.
 You know what, these sideway photos both came off the I-phone. Interesting. My camera photos have never done this.
But you get the idea. Box busted open and contents soaked. 
 Here is what it looked like later that morning. 300 some pattern covers all soaked and 5 dozen envelopes permanently sealed. I was mad. Since I know we were home all day, I know we would have heard the doorbell if the postman had only rung once! But I think he is too lazy to climb the steps and ring the bell, he just heaves the box up and leaves. Fortunately I deal with a wonderful printing company, Vistaprint, and they happily replaced the whole order for free. Wow, I am so impressed with that kind of service. Their quality is awesome as well. If you ever need a printing company please check them out!
 And now I must share my new TV favorite! The show is Doc Martin and it is a British TV show that has been off the air, but is now available on Netflix and other places. The link takes you to Hulu.com where they apparently have it. His face says it all! He is brisk and rude and hilarious. He is funnier than House, who I don't find funny at all. The show takes place in this beautiful waterfront village filled with quirky people with whom he gets very frustrated. The episodes are filled with a good mix of both drama and humor. I have crammed all four seasons of the show into the past month and when I am done with the 30 episodes I will probably start over because I am hooked! And-good news! They are filming again this year! Yay!!!

So there is another glimpse into my oh so fascinating life!

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Little More Market

 A little more market never hurt anyone, right? So here is a peek into the wonderful Bonnie Blue Booth. The quilt on the back wall is the Cotton Club BOM that we are seeing all over. It is awesome!
 Pictured above is Paula Barnes and Mary Ellen Stoddard from Bonnie Blue Quilts. More nice people with whom I am happy to connect. I really love their quilts!

 The Bonnie Blue booth always blows me away!
  This is my own quilt, Celebration Stars, which, I am proud to say, was hanging in the Marcus Fabric booth!
 This is the darling and talented Kathy Schmitz! Always in the mood for Christmas....
 When we first spotted Kathy it was the day before market began and she was down on her knees painting her floor! What a girl!
 We came across Kathy later while she was visiting her sister, Bonnie Sullivan's booth. Can you tell they are sisters? Bonnie's company is All Through the Night. check it out! Can you believe her booth? It was drop dead gorgeous! Wool applique on flannel. Watch for her new book coming in the fall.
 Here is a cool looking new book on the market by Kathy Brown. Sorry, I don't know her website. But do a title search and you will find her book all over just now!

I had the pleasure of meeting Kathy while in the Sew Unique Creations booth. Also met Granola Girl, Debbie Field. I was introduced as Patchalot by Tara Lynn Darr and told that heretofore that is what I would be known as. Never mind Marcie.
This is the adorable Renee Plains of Liberty Star in her equally adorable booth.

I bought her book, A Bird in Hand, and can't wait to dig into it and make something! I wonder if they call Renee Liberty Star?

Hope you enjoy viewing a few more photos from Quilt Market in Salt Lake City, Utah. For me it never gets old!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Too Much Fun!

Let's begin with these adorable babies! These are the adorable twins that I got to see while I was in Salt Lake City. You may already know that they belong to Becky, my granddaughter. They are now four months old. I have lots more to share, but wanted to grab your attention with these little cuties first! Grey and Micah!

It is not an easy thing to be a dedicated blogger, and as much as I enjoy it, I must admit that at times it seems a burden. You may have noticed (or not) my absence of late. First I was in SLC for Quilt Market, then visiting family out west while there, then I came home and had a hysterectomy and that laid me up for a while. Actually I pretty much slept for a week. Now I am working my way back into the game. Ideas are streaming. But I still have hardly touched on my trip and market and the babies, etc.
 So let me begin by saying that I met up with the wonderful and charming Tara Lynn Darr of Sew Unique Creations while I was at market and I got to see all her darling quilts that are in her new book, Simply Charming, and they are just that! Simply Charming! Her book is available all over the place, including her website. But you might get lucky and win it in my drawing! 

 Also while in Utah I met up with Kairle Oaks who I met thru blogging a few years ago. Now we have met face to face and I can honestly say how wonderful it was to meet her! Kairle took a day from her busy life and showed me and Joan some darling quilt shops in the Salt Lake area. 
This place, Quilt, Etc. actually has storefronts on two sides of the street and people carry things back and forth. They treated us with little bags of Utah's famous Salt Water Taffy, and also had cookies and drinks sitting out for customers. Hospitality plus, I would say! Click the link for a virtual tour of the shop on their website. It's great!

Next shop on our tour was Material Girls! The Utah shops seem to be especially fond of clean, bright colors. I would have to change my whole color palette if I lived there. This shop was darling and visually appealing. 
Then it was on to Gardner Village! We loved this place! Just look at the trees in bloom and the mountains still covered in snow and the bright blue sky! The village contained many darling shops that we visited, but of course our main destination was Pine Needles Quilt Shop, pictured right there with that darling deck over the stream.

These pretty pastels rule in this area, and I had to laugh when talking later to Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill about this shop. I told her it looked like it was painted to match her fabrics! 
Then take a look at the darling cutting table and the big drawers. I love it! I would love to do that in my own sewing room.

What a wonderful day it was, and we owe it all to the generosity of my blogging buddy, Kairle! Aren't blogging friends the best!

Here are a couple more pictures of the twins with two of their grandmas. On the right is Mary Brandt who also came to town for Quilt Market.
Mary works for Shelley Stokes and Cedar Canyon Textiles. They have those nifty Paintstiks that so many people are enjoying. They always do a huge business. People love those Paintstiks! It was nice to enjoy their company again!

So now I made you read all the way thru this post to find out what you need to do to enter the drawing for the Simply Charming book. Well, I think if you read this far you qualify to throw your name in the hat! Be sure I can link back to you or else leave me an email address. Good luck everyone! Let's give it one week and I will draw next Thursday, June 16.

Have fun clicking on those links! They are all great!