Thursday, January 28, 2010

Another Addition to Lifetime Quilt List . . . .

Talking about my quilt binders the last couple of days got me to thinking about what type of patterns I actually use the most, a pattern from a book, a pattern from a magazine, or a an individual pattern, like the patterns I bought at the quilt show. The majority of the patterns in my binder are from a magazine.

Out of the 54 quilts I have finished, 26 or 48% have been made from an individual pattern, 25 or 46% have been made from a pattern out of a book, and 3 or 6% have been made from a pattern out of a magazine. Hmmmm something to think about.....I may have too many magazine patterns in my binder, probably because they're relatively inexpensive, relative being the key word. I could think about this stuff all day long, but you're probably not into math, so on we go....

This is Quilt # 22, Spice Market, one of the few quilts I made from a magazine pattern. I made this quilt in 2007 as a housewarming gift for a friend of my daughter's.

This is the only picture I have of this quilt. This was back in the days when I made my poor husband hold up my quilts, he never did get the concept of holding them by the corners. Thankfully my quilt pictures have improved, I replaced my husband with a photography frame system. (other than the quilt holding thing, he's a keeper, so I only replaced him when it came to taking pictures of my quilts.) Unfortunately my daughter has lost touch with this friend so this is the only picture of this quilt I'll ever have. But at least I have one.

The pattern is "Spice Market" by Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle of FunQuilts. It was in the April 2007 edition of American Patchwork & Quilting.

This was the suggested way to quilt this top, and that's what I went with, it turned out great.

Here's another color option for this quilt....I just love it when designers do this, when only one colorway is shown, it's so easy to think of the pattern in just that one way.

Just another little something I picked up you know where.....

you know me and red, how could I resist....

And finally, the pattern I blogged about on Tuesday, Trellis, it showed up as a class on The American Quilting blog, for a retreat they're organizing...if I lived in Utah, I would be there, February 18th. Check it out if you're in that area.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

In a . . . . . .

I got a few questions after yesterday's post about my binder system, so I figured I would expand on it a little today......

I maintain four binders, and keep them right there on the top shelf in my sewing room. I have a pattern binder ( Favorites), a general quilting binder (Thelma's Very Special Quilt Binder), a finished projects binder (Patterns) , and the top ten patterns binder (I Can I Will Dream Big).

Everything you need to create a binder system of your very own is at your local office supply store. The Favorites binder, the one that holds most of my patterns, is a 3 inch binder.

I like to get the binders that have the clear plastic cover so I can decorate them up.

Inside I open up the patterns to reduce bulk and store them in a plastic sheet protector. The big binder has two patterns per sheet holder, so I as page through the binder, I have the pattern pictures on both sides.

The sheet protectors are also great for keeping everything together. This is my finished projects binder, and those are the templates I used for the snowmen heads....all together and ready to go if I ever want to use them again, or loan them out. (quilt # 40 "Under the Stars" by The Rabbit Factory)

At first I kept my finished projects in with the unfinished projects, but it seemed like I was looking for them all the time, having them together has been a real time saver. Plus, I needed the extra space in the unfinished binder.

I also use these handy dividers, here's how the patterns are categorized... #13 has the most patterns....I seem to just love star patterns. I didn't realize it until I sorted my patterns and noticed the huge stack of the ones with stars.

My miscellaneous binder (Thelma's Very Special Quilt Binder) has the following categories:

Blocks - for clever block ideas. Sometimes I like a certain block but not the whole quilt.

Bindings/Borders - pretty self explanatory - I have handouts from classes on binding and pictures I've cut out of magazines of borders I like.

Backing - Sometimes I see a quilt top that I think would make a good quilt back..or other clever ideas for the backs of my quilts.

Quilting - Even though I don't quilt my own tops (yet) if I see a quilting pattern that I like I store it here, that way I can pass it along to my quilter. It's so much easier to show her what I want instead of trying to describe it.

Craft and Gifts - this is where I store my Tuffet patterns, and other clever gifts ideas I see.

Great Ideas - these aren't my great ideas, these are ideas that I read about and then think, "Clever, I should have thought of that", but would forget if I didn't store them here.

Shopping and Web Sites - this is where I file the latest flyer from my LQSs, the business cards I pick up at quilt shows, and links to my favorite shops online.

Misc - this is for the things that don't fit into any of the other categories, I have some newspaper clippings of some of my quilts and some notes from quilting friends that are special to me.

Templates - this is for templates I've pulled out of magazines but have no pattern, I have a flip flop template and a sunglasses template.....

When I get new patterns or pull something out of a magazine for my binders, I throw it in a filing basket and then when I get a few things in the basket I just file everything at once.

Well that's it, it's a system that started with one binder and grew as my needs changed. I hope my organizational system helps you with your sewing room!

Here's something else I picked up at the "Road to California" quilt show.....

Inside this little bag

is the makings of a cupcake! They have the applique glue already attached.

So all I have to do is peel away the paper and press....I thought I would start putting these on the back corner of my quilts... then add my name and date.

I bought the cupcakes from the Quiltin' Cousins booth and they are by Morning Glory Productions.

Thanks for stopping by, it's a cold winter day here, perfect sewing weather.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I See a Pattern . . . . . . . .

Have I mentioned I'm a pattern collector, quilt pattern collector......

I LOVE PATTERNS!! You know how some people collect fabric, I collect patterns. I like reading how the designer puts it all together, I like driving myself crazy trying to figure out a better way to make it. I like to think there's a pattern inside me just trying to get out.

In my sewing room I have two binders for storing the individual patterns I buy or tear out of magazines. One binder holds over 100 patterns. The patterns are divided into categories, like "Holidays", "Juvenile", "Big Blocks", "Stars". I think I have twelve different dividers. Once a year I go through this binder to reacquaint myself with the patterns and to reevaluate their appeal. So when the day comes that I need a "Star" pattern, I know right where to go for some options. I don't kid myself into thinking I'll make all these patterns, but I like having them.

My second pattern binder is smaller, it holds maybe 15 patterns. These are patterns I AM going to make, for sure! Like my top ten favorites, only there are fifteen. I like to grab that small binder every now and then and read up on the ins and outs of making each top. When I finish one quilt, I go right to that binder to pick my next one.

So when I was at the "Road to California" quilt show, I was excited to see new patterns by familiar designers and new designers with different patterns. I think patterns are an easy thing to sell at a quilt show, they're light and portable. You rarely see bolts of fabric, it's mainly the bakery goods or kits. Most of the fabric I've seen online before I even get to the show, but the patterns, they're a whole new ballgame.

I bought 6 new individual patterns at the quilt show.

This pattern, "Belle Meade", is by Bonnie Blue Quilts. They had this kitted with "Rouenneries" by French General for Moda and I loved it. I've been thinking about doing an ocean waves pattern with my "Rouenneries" fabric, this pattern has an ocean waves kind of feel. The light and dark fabrics in the large HSTs really set it off. Plus I liked how the border fabric was worked into the blocks. I'm thinking this may be how I use my Rouenneries. It's going in the small binder.

This pattern is made up of traditional blocks but the color combination and setting really appeals to me. This is "Dessert Bloom" by Susan Van Alyne and Janet Pierce for Bread and Butter Quilts. I could not find an internet hit for them but according to the pattern they are from Nevada. This is the first time I've seen Bread and Butter quilt patterns, it's going in the small quilt binder.
"Trellis" is by Jillily Studio. Jill Finley, the designer, was at the show giving a demonstration on Appli-glue and has a tutorial on her website, along with all her patterns. I liked how the piecing created the interlocking design of the squares and the applique around the border. I want to do a little more with applique and this is a step up from what I've done, but not over the top with pieces or complexity. It's going in the large binder, in the "Applique" section.

"Layer Cake" is by Quiltin' Cousins from Pismo Beach, California. It looks like dozens of little chocolate cherry layer cakes. I'll need to collect some good browns and reds for this quilt, so it will go in the big binder for now.
I thought these cupcake place mats by Susie C Shore Designs would look cute in my sewing room, this pattern went into the big binder. With a name like Susie C Shore I was expecting her to be from California, but she's not, she's from Arizona.

And finally, a new to me Schnibbles, "Decoy".....what is it with me and stars? This one's just going to lay out in my sewing room for awhile because it's so cute......and maybe the next Schnibbles for "A Year of Schnibbles"????

Remember the "Let It Snow" snowman pattern I gave away, and the little snowman heads my friend had made? The original pattern had 12 snowman heads......

My friend finished her top. She made it bigger AND added sashing, which I think really sets off those snowman heads. Great Job, I love it!

Monday, January 25, 2010

And the Winner is . . . . .

We Won!

Don't you just love confetti? Wouldn't it be fun to have confetti fall from the ceiling? Lose a pound...confetti all over your scales. Clean out the fridge...confetti all over the kitchen. Since I would probably be the official confetti sweeper, I'll guess I'll refrain from that home improvement.

Last night I did get to enjoy a little confetti without worrying about the cleanup. For all you folks who don't follow football, the Indianapolis Colts did win!!

That means we're going to the Super Bowl!! Well not "we" as in me, that would require a second mortgage, but the Colts are going. Woo Hoo!

Thanks to all who left the most creative comments, I laughed and smiled all weekend as they came in. I'm sure your goodwill helped seal the deal!!

I thought about splitting the fabric into 40ths, so every clever commenter would get a little something, but then I decided just to go with the original plan so four folks could actually make something bigger than a pin cushion. So each winner will receive this bundle of fabric.

All the names went into the basket, and I shook the basket until four names popped out.......and the winners are.....

Lesly - Pickle Dish
Dortha C

Congratulations ladies, send me your address and this fabric will be on its way to you. (

Please drop me a note or send a picture when you finish a project using this fabric, I'll be eager to see how you use it. And if setting it on your shelf and admiring it is your use, that's good too. I'm so happy this lovely fabric is going to get the chance to be something for someone!

"D" left a very heart felt comment about Haiti, and she's right, we all need to be routing for the Haitian people and the volunteers who are trying to improve a horribly sad situation.

This young man, Pierre Garcon, #85 for the Colts, has family in Haiti. His parents and 3 sisters were born there. As the Colts prepare for the Super Bowl, Pierre Garcon will be a reminder to please keep those people in our thoughts. The Red Cross was collecting donations at yesterday's game, and from the looks of their buckets, the fans were generous.

And finally, to Megan, the one commenter who is a New Orleans Saints fan, the team the Colts will face, Congratulations! What a wonderful thing for that city, Good Luck!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tea for Two

Yesterday's post got me to thinking about the fabric I used for "Elegant Tea Garden". It's "Tea for Two" by Northcott. It was their Quest for a Cure line, I think it came out in 2005.

I looked around my sewing room and discovered 14 different prints from that family of fabrics.

One quilt made from this family of fabrics is enough for me, so I'm giving away what's left. I'll divide this fabric up into Tea Time towers, I should have at least 4 I think.

So if you would like to own some of this lovely fabric, just leave a comment that says, "GO Colts" before Monday, January 25th. Ok, I'm kidding about the Colts thing, any comment would do, but would it hurt you to throw a little love their way?

I''ll announce the winners Monday.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Some of this, A little of that . . . . . .

Are you as happy about today being Friday as I am? I feel like I've been chasing my tail all week long, starting a dozen different things and finishing nothing. I'm ready for a fresh start, a fresh week, but not a fresh month. Where did January go? I will be so disappointed if I don't get at least one quilt project finished this month.

First order of business.....Quilt Soup, the pattern/fabric company I blogged about yesterday, they posted pictures of their cheery booth at the quilt show AND they are giving away 24 fat quarters of their adorable fabric...hop on over and leave a comment, but if you win, you have to give me half. I'll take anything you don't like! Click Here and Good Luck!

Here's the a little something I picked up while at the "Road to California" quilt show......

Well technically I picked up two of these little somethings, two charm packs of Stars and Coxcombs by Terry Clothier Thompson for Moda. Picking up some charm packs was on my "browse and buy" list. Those Schnibbles patterns are all about the charm packs, and since I've yet to make one of those patterns using a charm pack, I thought it would be a good idea to have some on hand, to be ready. Most of the charm packs at the show were lines I'd seen before, Rouenneries, Civil War Home Front, nothing new. Then I saw "Stars and Coxcombs". It was new to me, I thought, "this must be a line just out".

Well after I got home, and looked closer at each fabric, I decided I really liked "Stars and Coxcombs" and needed more. I would call it a cross between "Kansas Troubles" and "Civil War Homefront". I searched my favorite shops for this fabric but got no hits. So I figured this fabric was so new it wasn't online yet. I then went to the Moda website to find out it was released November 2009! This is when I realized that my favorite online shops don't carry every Moda fabric line. I guess it was naive of me to expect them to, but that was my assumption.
Lesson learned, check the Moda website monthly for new releases!

Naturally, this story has a happy ending, I did find a quilt shop offering the fat quarter bundle of this family of fabrics AND it arrived yesterday! On a side note, this is my first fat quarter bundle, I thought the shops cut and packaged these things, but MODA does it! Who knew? At first I swore not to take off the plastic cover, but it caused a glare in the photo, so now I swear not to untie it.

Are you ready for another quilt.....something bright and cheerful on a dreary day......

This pattern is "Elegant Garden" from Evelyn Sloppy's book, "40 Fabulous Quick-Cut Quilts". A marvelous book for all quilters.

It's quilted with an all over loopy pattern and the back fabric has lovely tea cups and tea pots.
I made this quilt in 2006, and it has all its points! I picture this quilt sitting in a sunroom over the arm of a white wicker sofa surrounded by hanging ferns....of which I have none.

This is Quilt # 17, which I named Elegant Tea Garden, and it's 52" X 72".

Nicole, at Sisters Choice, made this quilt in greens and reds, it's gorgeous. Take a look, don't you just love seeing the same pattern made in different fabrics? Click Here

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Quilt Soup . . . . .

While at the "Road to California" quilt show last week, I was introduced to a designer who was new to me, Barbara Jones of Quilt Soup. The name Quilt Soup comes from the designer's feeling that quilts and soup "both come from the heart". She designs patterns and fabric and includes a recipe with every pattern.

The Quilt Soup booth was open, cheery and welcoming. Barbara Jones had quilts rolled and stacked in a basket that you could actually touch, she was OK with the touching and super friendly.

She has a new pattern book out,

and I bought it! The patterns chronicle a girl's life from a baby quilt to big girl bed, grade school, junior high, engagement, wedding and full circle to another baby quilt. All the quilts are precious and girly.

This quilt was on display in the booth, it was just adorable. It's the big girl bed pattern.

I also bought this kit.
The skill level for this pattern is listed as "Confident Beginner". The cutting and sewing directions are detailed and clear. The free recipe is for watermelon popsicles.

The fabric just screamed "Spring" to me.

This is the fabric for the lady bugs!

Barbara Jones was a molecular biologist before switching to a career with quilts. If you're in the mood for something light and cheery, check out her website and blog, it has free patterns along with fabric and all the patterns she has designed.

Sinta over at the Pink Pincushion not only went to the quilt show, but she was organized enough to remember her camera. Hop on over for some great pictures of the quilts at the show.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

There's No Place Like Home . . . . . .

We had the nicest time in California but it's always great to be home. We picked Cooper up at the dog motel on the way home from the airport. Cooper boards at the same place where he goes to doggy daycare. It's nice for him, a familiar place, familiar people, and familiar friends who give him plenty of exercise......

and I mean plenty. He went to bed as soon as he got home and slept for 12 hours.

Here's quilt #3, or the back of quilt # 3. It's a nice all over pattern, well done, I like how the pattern overlaps, but not in an obvious way.

Here's the front of quilt # 3, an Irish Chain done in Asian and batik fabrics...and odd combination that I think turned out well.

The pattern was called "Nine Patch on Point" by Marti Michell from the book "Quilting for People Who Still Don't Have Time to Quilt". I 've mentioned before that this is a nice book for beginners, great directions.

I like a good irish chain pattern, they look so great, all this with just a nine patch block set on point and a same size block with no piecing. I made this top in early 2005 and I can still remember how excited I was as this quilt came together.

This was an easy pattern that went together smoothly. As you may recall, my beginner quilting class taught me to how to make 9 patch and rail fence blocks. By the time I made this quilt I was becoming a pro at 9 patches....or so I thought.

It wasn't until months after I got this quilt back from the quilter that I noticed I cut off every point of the outer nine patch square with the containment border..ugh....I just didn't know any better. When I caught my mistake I went back and reread the pattern instructions. There's no mention of minding the corners. I think my setting triangles were too small. But at the time it just did not occur to me to check the corners to see if they were done correctly. I was more into a perfect quarter inch seam allowance and sewing in straight lines. I have since learned that sometimes that perfect quarter inch seam allowance leads to imperfect points.

I loved this quilt until I noticed this mistake, then I hung it in my closet. About 5 months ago I decided to get this quilt out and use it as a throw in the family room. I thought I would stare at those lopped off edges and be unhappy but I finally decided to cut myself some slack and appreciate what's right with this quilt, which is what I do every time I now happily snuggle underneath it. It's too bad that it took me over 3 years to get to that point.

With regards to Monday's blog, "State of Grace", thanks for the suggestions I'm still mulling over my options.

Monday, January 18, 2010

State of Grace . . . .

Thanks all for providing such wonderful feedback on my block choices for Toulouse! It appears #2 was the most popular choice. I was pretty much sold on #1, but I'm a control freak, you've convinced me that #2 really is the best use of the fabric that I have. As Cathy commented, it's "controlled scrappy", which suits my need to control but mix it up a little.

So as you're reading my blog this morning, I'm in a plane heading home from California. My husband needed to run out there for business, our daughter lives in downtown Los Angeles so I figured I would tag along..PLUS I got to attend the "Road to California" quilt show. Other than getting to hug my daughter anytime I wanted, the weather was the best part of this's been in the 60s and 70s. It was 0 when we left Illinois. The temperature felt balmy to us but the folks in downtown LA were wearing winter coats...nice winter coats, but a t-shirt worked for me!

I planned to show pictures from the quilt show on my blog today, but I forgot to grab my camera on the way out the door to the show!! My husband was getting ready for a meeting, my daughter was getting ready for work, and I was wanting to hit the road to miss the morning traffic, all this in a small one bedroom apartment. I'm lucky all I forgot was the camera!!

I so enjoyed the quilt show, and did pick up a few items which I mailed home instead of paying for an extra bag on the plane. I'll blog about those when they make it to my home.

So instead today I would like to blog about "State of Grace".

I bought this kit from Lisa when she was having a spring cleaning sale, I think the fabric, Shangri la by Moda, has been out for a year or two. If you purchased the jellyroll in the cute little purse, you got a free pattern.

State of Grace! I've always been partial to pinwheel quilts so I was excited to get this kit.

When I studied the pattern, I discovered that the blocks were assembled in what I think is a complicated and tedious way to make pinwheel blocks, but then I've never made a pinwheel block. Plus this pattern requires 80 of these blocks! Is this the best way to make a pinwheel quilt? Keep in mind that I'm working with a jellyroll.

This is how the 80 blocks are connected to make the pinwheel pattern.
So what do you think, is this how I should make this top?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

And The Winner is . . . . .

Congratulations Cathy! Cathy of Quilting on Main Street is the lucky winner of the "Let It Snow" pattern by Farmhouse Threads.

Thanks to all who stopped by and left a comment.

I let my husband pick a number between 1 and 27 and he chose number 18, Peyton Manning's jersey number!

Speaking of winners......