Wednesday, November 20, 2013

From the heart of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was a poet! I have been reading a couple of his speeches of late and one can't help but be impressed with the beautiful way he has with words. Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as well as the commemoration of the Gettysburg Address given by Lincoln at that solemn event. He message was brief and eloquent.

PHOTO: Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865), the 16th President of the United States of America.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
-- Abraham Lincoln
Nov. 19, 1863

I am not a historian, but I do enjoy books, movies, etc. about historical events. I love the personal stories. When my friend Joan and I had the privilege of visiting the Gettysburg battlefields a couple of years ago we took a tour from a very nice man who had grown up in Gettysburg and was dedicated to sharing its history.  We were delighted with the information he shared with us. For example, he told us that it was a last minute decision to invite the president to speak at the dedication of this cemetery that contained the graves of scores of soldiers who died in battle. President Lincoln honored them with his presence, and since it was upon such quick notice, he wrote his address on the train en route from Washington, DC to Gettysburg.  No speech writers, no teleprompters, but words from the heart of Abraham Lincoln that still touch us deeply 150 years later. Surely he has been a great influence upon our nation, and his influence continues as we remember him and words.
 As mentioned in my last post, my newest quilt pattern is dedicated to Abraham Lincoln and his reputation for honesty. It is called Lincoln's Promise and is now available on my website. I had the pleasure of making it with Pam Buda's fabric line, American Gothic. If you wish to do the same, this fabric is available now at The Fat Quarter Shop, and other places as well. Follow the link to Patchalot Patterns and go to pattern page 2. Hope you like it!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lincoln's Promise

 My life has taken a dramatic shift and therefore so has my attention to blogging, quiltmaking, etc. Here is the deal. My 90 year old dad became quite ill in September and my siblings and I felt he should not be living alone any longer. The most logical solution was for him to move in with me and my husband in our Arizona home. So I flew to Arizona earlier than I intended, and my brother came from Minnesota with his two sons and they moved Dad and his belongings into my house. Dad's health has greatly improved, I am happy to say. His strength has increased and so has his desire to get back behind the wheel. That is our only bone of contention. Aside from that, things are going well. He is hooked on Netflix and watches lots of TV, and I am attending to his needs. I am happy I can be here to help him. Don't expect lots of new patterns from me however. That department has taken a back seat to Dad. Life changes, doesn't it? 

Before I came back to AZ I had the pleasure of designing a quilt with some fabric that Marcus sent me. The fabric is from a new line by Pam Buda of Prairie Women's Sewing Circle fame. Her quilts are wonderful and so is her fabric. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Pam as we email back and forth. Her new fabric line is called American Gothic and if you follow the link you can take a look at it. It is all wonderful little black and cream prints. I combined just a small amount of red with those beautiful prints and came up with this design that I call Lincoln's Promise. Somehow all the black prints made me think of Abraham Lincoln as he was always seen in his black suit and tall black hat. Lincoln has been called Honest Abe for his reputation of honesty. A promise made was a promise kept. Here is a man to whom all politicians refer, but few actually emulate.  So here is my small tribute to a great American President. May he long be remembered and cherished as one of our greatest!

 Photo: I just got this back from Mary Flynn of Quilt Hollow fame. She did a beautiful job quilting it for me. The black and cream fabric is from Pam Buda's new fabric line called American Gothic from  Marcus Fabrics. Love it! Thanks Pam and Marcus! Now I have to get to work on the pattern!

 By the way, if you are going to Quilt Market in Houston the quilt above will be hanging in the Marcus Fabrics booth, and the quilt below will be hanging in the American Patchwork and Quilting booth.

Photo: Do you have your copy of American Patchwork and Quilting, Dec 2013 issue? Check out my quilt, Star Patch! As always, their display and photography are outstanding!

“Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2013 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved

I hope you have seen this quilt in the Dec. 2013 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. I had lots of fun making this quilt and yes, it took a while! But this is what I love, playing with little pieces of colorful scraps and seeing what comes of it. I love traditional designs, and I have fun making them a little unique to give them my signature. 
 “Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2013 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

I have to show this additional quilt as well. It is designed by Pam Buda and is made from the American Gothic fabric line. It is just gorgeous! Check it out at Homespun Quilts, Pam's website. I just noticed that Fat Quarter Shop has it kitted, if you are interested. 

On a totally different vein, I HAVE A NEW GRANDDAUGHTER!   
 Photo: I have a new granddaughter! Meet Olivia Ann Patch, 7lbs 7oz. What a treasure!
 Her name is Olivia Ann Patch, 7 lbs. 7 oz.
Isn't she the sweetest? I am now blessed with 9 grandchildren. Three boys and six potential quilters! Plus Micah and Grey--my great-grands! 

All is well with the Patch family! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Stash Talkers

So, how was your summer? Mine went fast. I feel like time is slipping away from me. I will never ever catch up and am not really trying anymore. On the bright side, that does take the stress off!

My friend Marae in Arizona does a lot of quilting for me. When she quilted Diamond in the Rough she fell in love with it and made her own. Her colors are a little softer than mine and it is lovely!
Marae and her twin sister belong to a sewing group that they call Stash Talk. Follow the link to their blog and you can see lots of fun projects, like this one below!

 And this one above!

This is Marae's daughter Michelle and she has completed my Indian Paintbrush pattern. I never get tired of seeing my quilt designs made by others. Beautiful job Michelle!

 Michelle is a pattern designer and her designs are wonderful. The one above is called Zipper. She has an Etsy shop called Red Bucket List where she sells her patterns, plus fabric packs and some kits. It is a great site. I know you will love it!

Hope you had a nice weekend and got in a few stitches! 
And thanks to all of you who LIKE me on Facebook!
 **** I have just been corrected! The Zipper design above is a pattern from Thimble Blossoms. Follow the link for lots of darling patterns!  (9-17-13)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Summer of Books

 I'm sitting in the kitchen waiting for little pasta shells to boil so I can make some shrimp salad for dinner. Shrimp salad is a summer favorite around here and summer is all but gone today. I cooked the shrimp and need to peel it. Also need to chop up some celery and onion. A simple and satisfying meal. Maybe I will throw the last of the blueberries into some muffins too! An ambitious feat for me!

This has not been a summer of blogging for me, but it has been a summer of reading. I have read lots of good books this summer and listened to a few as well.

The King's Deception - Steve Berry

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer was my favorite!
I read and enjoy all types of books and must admit that this one sat on the shelf for a long time simply because the name turned me off. Once I picked up the book and read a few pages I was hooked. This is a beautiful book in every respect. It takes place during and just after WWII in Guernsey, in the Channel Islands between England and France. The island was occupied by the Germans during the war and the book describes life there; the hardships as well as the joys. The characters are so endearing that you fall under their spell and feel that you are a part of their merry band. You feel the need to go there and meet them all.
The worst part is when you have completed the book and discover that the author, Mary Ann Shaffer, passed away in 2008, the year the book was published. A great loss for all of us who love this book! We would have loved more from this author.
If you are a Goodreads member you can friend request me and we can share what we read! I love that website!

I have been getting a little sewing done as well, but nothing that I can show, which I feel bad about. I have also been painting and doing yard work, not too exciting, and it leaves me exhausted! It all takes a very long time as I work for a half an hour and lay down for a half an hour. 

Don't forget to check out my Patchalot Patterns Facebook page and please LIKE my page! 

Have a great Labor Day weekend! And put your flag out!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Honk if you love flying geese!

I'm at it again with the flying geese! And this cute quilt is called Gosling-Go-Round. I'm happy to be able to finally share this quilt with you, thanks to the kind ladies at McCall's Quilting.
 Pretty darn exciting! McCall's Quilting September/October issue is featuring this quilt. If you follow me at all you may be surprised at the colors, as I am quite faithful to Civil War repros, but these fabrics actually fall into the reproduction genre. In fact, much to my delight, Judie Rothermel has two new lines that will work very well if you are looking for these colors:
 Judy Rothermel's Strawberries, Blueberries and Chocolate and also her Party of Twelve, both from Marcus Fabrics. According to Marcus Fabrics, "Madder reds, indigoes, chrome yellows, poison greens, double pinks and other colors were used prominently in the 1800s, resulting in vibrant, lively quilts that would brighten any room." 
We are so lucky to be able to find these fabrics by simply doing an internet search! 

If you have a subscription to McCall's Quilting it will be in your mailbox soon, otherwise, look for it in stores around July 30th. 
Now about that geese are called goslings, I am sure you know, and the geese are rather small, and they are going round and round, and the colors seem young and playful, hence the name, Gosling-Go-Round. You know I love to play with words, I just can't help myself.

I hope you like my quilt! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bloglovin and More

I guess I am joining the throngs of bloggers moving over to Bloglovin, so I am hereby claiming my blog!!! Not sure what that means, but since they tell us to do it, I'm doing it. This is the second time I have had to move my blog list to another program. Each time I am disappointed and maybe a little less involved than before. Guess we shall see what this one does for us. I have to say that I am surprised that Google eliminated their program, but oh well. 

I have all these little quilty things around that I need to finish. This one is a doll quilt for my granddaughter, Ellie. Maybe you remember her baby quilt that was published in McCalls a while back? They called it Teaberry Stars, and included it as a free online pattern in a bed size quilt. 
I added the border to this doll quilt today and now I need to get it quilted for her and maybe find a dolly too. 

 Here I am making progress on my wool sampler. I am excited to see this coming to life!

I just saw that Lisa Bongean (of Primitive Gatherings) has a new fabric line out of little flowers and also pastels. Blow me over! Last time I spoke to her she told me "I like dark quilts", which we can believe because she is Primitive Gatherings! The new line is darling and I can't wait to see what Lisa does with it! Follow the link and check it out!

Happy summer friends! 

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Home in Virginia

At last I am back in Virginia. I returned home a week ago after a plane trip that was not ideal. My connecting flight in Newark, NJ was cancelled and I was lucky to get a hotel room, thanks to my husband who procured it for me. The airlines said they ran out of hotel vouchers and lots of people spent the night at the airport. I won't use this format to complain, just use your imagination. 

We have had lots of rain, but fortunately it dried up for the 4th of July and people were able to enjoy the beach and the fireworks without getting rained on. I did not go. Without having our kids here I don't feel much incentive to brave the crowds. I was just happy to be home. 

 I finally got going on this darling sampler project from Primitive Gatherings. I have had the kit for a while and recently Anne at Cottons and Wool blog showed her finished sampler. It got me moving to finish mine. It is wool on cotton applique. The hardest part is the prep work, which is what slows me down every time. But seriously, it wasn't that bad.

I had a blogging friend come to visit on Wednesday! What fun to meet another blogger face to face. This is Joan Parker from Keeping You in Stitches. Joan is a mover and a shaker. She has raised eight children and she is still going strong! She is a prolific quiltmaker! These are two quilt tops that she brought to show me. They are great! The top is made from plaid shirts ala Bonnie Hunter. The flying geese quilt has very small geese that were the ends of binding strips, etc. All paper pieced into this beauty. It was great fun to talk and share our quilts, etc. Quilters just connect with no problem, don't you think?

I'll be back again with more. Enjoy summer! We waited so long for it this year!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Heat Stroke

Greetings from the desert where the temperature is hovering around 100 degrees. The streets are deserted and people do not venture outside unless they must.
I finally have a little bit to share, so here goes.

Last year my nephew was expecting a baby boy and they opted for gray in the baby's room. I found some really cute Buggy Barn fabric to make them a baby quilt. This summer I decided to try and use up the scraps on an additional quilt. I changed the design somewhat, but think this will be a nice little boy quilt as well. It has gone to the quilter. Yay!

Now we have a new grandbaby coming and thus another new quilt to create. I am using the same chain block, but in soft and sweet colors for our new little girl! I really need my cage rattled to come back from the Civil War, but this is a nice change. Today I will sew all the rows together. It feels good to get something done!

Last week I got a nice surprise. A message was left on my home phone from Judy Hodges in Tempe, AZ who wanted to share her quilt with me. This is the second memory quilt that Judy has made using my Saddle Tramp pattern. Follow the link to see my original. Judy did an outstanding job of taking my simple design and changing it into this beautiful memory quilt. She placed photos in the stars and chose a palette of purple and green. Since I am still in Arizona I was able to meet Judy and see her quilt in person. Let me tell you, this photo does not do it justice! It is a beautiful quilt! It was taken directly to the quilters after we met, so maybe I can share a quilted photo in the future!

Anyone wondering about Rembrandt can rest at ease. I hear from Sandi regularly letting me know of her well being. She is adjusting in her new home and has taken to snuggling in bed at night with Sandi's son. I know Karen would be pleased. I sure am! 

A week ago we drove a little way out of town to find this pretty sight. Saguaro Lake, with boats even! Saguaro is the name of the cactus in the foreground. The saguaro cactus grows only in the Sonoran Desert which is in Arizona and Mexico. The photo shows buds where the cactus is getting ready to bloom. This lake was a pretty sight, but let me tell you, it is so blasted hot that it didn't even tempt me. Give me a good old Minnesota lake where they actually have breezes!

Signing off from under the fan in Mesa, AZ.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Hi everyone, I have been absent from Blogland for a while, traveling and spending time with family. Not much quilting going on with me, but nevertheless, I am hearing from people who have questions regarding my quilts.This makes me happy to know that someone remembers me, even tho I have not been "on the scene"!
I got a phone message from Sylvia in Australia asking about the fabric I used in the quilt Picks from the Past, above, published by American Patchwork and Quilting, Feb. 2012 issue. Sylvia did not leave a way for me to contact her, and I am not at home to answer the phone, so maybe Sylvia might read my blog. Like fruit, fabric does not stay on the vine very long. It is replaced regularly by something new. The fabric in that quilt was out of season by the time the magazine hit the stands. I can tell you that the fabric line in that particular quilt was called Civil War Chronicles, by Judie Rothermel, from Marcus Fabrics. And even tho that fabric is long gone, you can check the Marcus website and see that there are new, beautiful fabric lines available. For Civil War reproductions, Judie Rothermel always has a new, irresistible line available, as does Paula Barnes. Also Pam Buda is designing for Marcus now and has a great new line called Prairie Dobbies! If your LQS doesn't carry these lines you can do an online search of the name and find a store. 

On another note, a quilter contacted me regarding my table topper, Calico Pennies, in the recent Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine (Summer 2013). She was having trouble  tucking in the ends by the tabs and didn't have enough fabric left to do so. Since the directions call for quilting the little top before tucking in the ends, I believe the quilting gathered up the fabric just enough to cause this problem. If you make this project you can hopefully avoid this by adding an additional half inch to the length of the back and give a 1/4" for each end to tuck in. I suspect that when I made my own I pinned it tight to prevent this, but the small additional length should help avoid this problem. 

Back to my actual life, my husband and I are in Arizona. He retired May first and then we flew here to spend some time and see family.

Photo: Danielle is off to another prom. She is wearing TALL heels. I'm not.

We were here to see our darling Danielle go off to prom. Yup, she was wearing HIGH heels, and I definitely was not! I'm the little short grandma! (OK, I may have been bending my knees a little for effect.)
We took a drive to Carson City, NV to visit our kids there. Kathryn, now 8 years old, was baptized while we were there.
We got to spend some time with Becky and the twins both in Nevada and in Utah. Here is Micah and Grey snuggled up under one of my old quilts watching TV. So fun to see them AND my old quilts! Notice that Becky had Grey's hair cut shorter so we can tell them apart. It really helps!
Photo: Ellie and Isaac enjoying cartoons on my iPad.
We visited Ellie and Isaac in Provo, Utah. They are our youngest and so full of life and cuteness! They loved watching Netflix on my i-pad. I miss these kids so much, I can't stand it!
Back at the house in Mesa we are delighted to have Mary, one of our oldest grandchildren, staying with us. She was slicing watermelon and look what she found! A heart was inside the melon! Must be a good omen for Mary, right?

My quiltmaking has come to a standstill for the past several weeks. I have been designing, and I have a few things that I need to start working on. I'm excited to get going on it all! 

That's it for now--more will be coming, hopefully soon!

Friday, May 03, 2013

I am a Scrapper!

I have been cleaning up and putting away in my sewing room. When I get serious about it I also clean up all the scraps laying around on the cutting table, floor, etc. I trim them into useable sizes and put them in appropriate boxes. It is menial labor, but relaxing to me as I listen to audible books. I feel like I am getting sooo much done! In fact, I still have a big box of scraps that are just a little too big to trim up. Ah, but I am a scrapper! I love this stuff! Making scrap quilts is always more labor intensive than a regular quilt because you have to do a lot of digging for a variety of fabric and then trim it to size. No worries, I revel it it! And using pre-trimmed pieces during quilt construction makes easy work in scrap quilt creation. So whatever I accomplish now will reward me later. 

During this process I have uncovered remnants of past quilts. I always make extra blocks and have a stash of them. I decided to put a few of these little blocks into little quilts.

These are such simple little things, but simple is always my favorite! Like many of you, I am trying to build up a nice selection of little quilts for a wall display. But I always find myself placing them under table displays or lamps, etc. 

 This one I made for my grandson's dresser. Simple and masculine I think. 

On another note, let me direct you to Lori's blog, Humble Quilts. Lori has decided to sell some of her quilts, and you know what beautiful work she does! Follow the link and see for yourself!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Variety of Feathered Friends

Our clever blogging friend Julie from Julie K Quilts made my pattern called Feathered Friends, and then she took it a step further. She made this darling tote bag! I love it so much that I must make one like it for me!
 Here is Julie's table topper or wall hanging. This turned out darling also!
If you read Julie's blog you already know that she makes lots of strip quilts. She is very creative and it is always fun to see what she is making. On top of all that talent Julie is a real sweetheart as well. We meet the nicest people on quilting blogs! 

 I am also very impressed with Janet from Mrs Sew and Sew. Not only is she a really neat person, but she has the magic touch with fabric choices. Here is Janet's adaptation of Feathered Friends. As you can see, she stretched it out to cover her dresser. Check out her blog too!
Both of these projects are a wonderful examples of how quilters adapt patterns to suit their needs. 
 Here is my original version of Feathered Friends. Most of it came from a charm pack that gave me a pretty selection of colors and textures. 

 Don't forget my BOGO sale going on now--it ends Tuesday, April 30. Find the pattern under Doll Quilts and make one for yourself!