Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Block Eight Winners -- and being grateful!

More awesome blocks and more great winners!  I am so glad that so many of us have been able to make time to quilt.  As I snuck down into my sewing room, I was grateful to "have" to make these blocks.  For 20 minutes or so I felt at peace.  I wasn't worried about the laundry or the dishes or kids' quarrels.  I took that time for everything is was worth.  I was sewing as fast as I could because I knew that the busy-ness of the day would soon catch me.  I just sewed and as I sewed, I relaxed.  When I was done, I put my blocks away, took a deep breath, and re-entered my crazy life -- grateful for a few minutes with my sewing machine. 

I hope these blocks have given you some time to breathe in your life too. 

Without further ado (Is that how you spell that?), here are the winners!!!

(Toby put a demonstration of it up on her blog for us) --

is kvparham!

And the winner of the jelly roll from me is:


And now for the fine print:
These are the Flickr usernames. I have emailed both winners via Flickr mail. I have also posted their blocks to help identify the winners. Email me (kluckau@moosequilts.com) to claim your prize.

Remember, if you didn't get your block done, no worries. There will be another drawing in two weeks! Any blocks posted between now and then will be entered into the next drawing.

Thanks for playing everyone! Keep on quilting!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Block Nine with Toby Lischko -- and the dog ate my homework!

I must say I was pretty excited when Toby said she would design a block for us.  She is one of those designers whose name you may or may not know, but you have seen her work.  In fact, right after she agreed to join us, I was admiring a quilt in a magazine and I saw this picture:

That's Toby!  If you like quilt magazines even half as much as I do (I have to subscribe to all of them -- well, not quite all -- otherwise I pay full price for them at the store), then you have seen Toby's work.  She has quilts published in quilt magazines on a regular basis. 

Toby has also donated a set of her Cutting Corners Templates for the drawing tonight!  Yeah!!! 

The templates are an option for stitch and flip corners where you normally draw a diagonal stitching line on the back of a square.  Using the templates, you don't have to draw that stitching line.  Where we only have four lines to draw, that isn't too bad.  BUT, I know I sure get tired of drawing those stitching lines when I have hundreds of little squares to draw them on, so I would love to take a closer look at the templates.

Here's Toby!

Hello to all you strippers! I’m so glad that Konda asked me to join this fun group. Let me tell you a little about myself and I will try not to be too wordy (I have a tendency to go on and on when I talk about quilting!) I currently live in Robertsville, Missouri (just west of St. Louis) with my husband of 36 years, 5 cats and 2 dogs. I have two children and 3 grandchildren.

I come from a background of sewers; my mother was a home economics teacher and seamstress and her father was a tailor, so I guess I could say sewing is in my genes! Needless to say, I have been crafting ever since I could read instructions. I taught myself knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, cross-stitch, crewel, English smocking, tatting, macramé, candle-wicking, and sewed my own and my children’s clothes for years. (I don’t think I left anything out.)
I took my first quilting class from Jackie Robinson, who owned the local quilt shop in St. Louis before she became famous, in 1985 with my mom and was hooked (sorry to say my mom wasn’t). I made a few quilts for the house in the next 10 years while raising my kids and working full time as a Special Education teacher. In 1995 I started working and teaching in a new quilt shop and things seemed to blossom from there. My first quilts were published in Miniature Quilt Magazine in 1997 and I won my first prize with the Hoffman Challenge in 1998. I was now officially a “professional quilter”! Every time a new book would come into the shop that intrigued me, I had to learn a new technique. I began to expand my skills and started entering more contests and publishing more quilts.

I started my company Gateway Quilts & Stuff, www.gatewayquiltsnstuff.com along with 2 of my closest friends in 1998 and am currently the sole proprietor of the company. I publish my own patterns, design my own templates, and wrote a book through Kansas City Star Quilts in 2009 called St. Louis Stars.

I began working with P&B Textiles as a quilt designer in 2001 and each year I would try to pick up a new fabric company. I currently design for Hoffman, Timeless Treasures, Clothworks, RJR, and Benartex, and at one time worked with Marcus Brothers and Windham Fabrics. My designs can be found in most of the major quilt magazines and as free web patterns on the fabric company’s websites.

I consider myself a traditional quilter, who likes creating quilts that look difficult but aren’t. I currently designed a new template set called “Cutting Corners” because I got tired of drawing lines on the backs of squares to make Snowball blocks, Flying Geese, etc. and knew that there had to be a better way. It is a multi-purpose tool that can be used to make: a Square-in-a-Square, Flying Geese, Snowball blocks, Bowtie Blocks, diagonal seams and half-square triangles. I used it for making my block, but you can draw the line if you want. I also have a blog http://gatewayquiltsnstuff.blogspot.com/, which I have to admit I do not write in it as much as I would like, but it is a learning blog that I put a lot of my quilting tips on.

One last note: I am available for lectures and workshops and have a new quilt retreat in Beaufort, Missouri, nestled in the woods for small groups of 4-6 quilters. Information regarding both are on my website http://www.gatewayquiltsnstuff.com/. I can be reached at tlischko@yahoo.com.

Have fun making the block. I can’t wait to see what everyone’s quilt looks like!

Click HERE for instructions to Toby's block.
Thanks Toby!

Okay, so you want to see Toby's block?  Me too!  So I really did make Toby's block.  I even took pictures.  Problem is. . . .  Well. . . .  It's like this. . . .  The dog ate my homework! 
What!  You've heard that one before.  You're right, I don't even have a dog.  I lost the cord to my camera.  I probably put it in a safe place so it wouldn't get lost.  I haven't looked too hard for it because I just noticed that I couldn't find it this morning.  I didn't want everyone to be waiting on this block because I couldn't find my cord. 
Fortunately, my noggin was working enough to capture this picture off Toby's instructions:

My blocks turned out really fun too.  I know yours will too.  I also know that there will be some great pictures of this block very shortly on flickr.  So if you want to see real life pictures of this block, head on over to our flickr site in a few minutes. 

REMINDER:  You have two weeks to make these blocks.  There will be a drawing late tonight for BLOCK EIGHT.  Of course, any block that is posted before mine on flickr gets entered in the drawing.  If you are behind, now is a great time to catch up!  With these blocks, it's just as easy to make two as it is to make one! 

Happy Quilting!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Block Seven Winners!

Yeah!!!  We have some great blocks (check out the flickr site-love it!), some great prizes, and some great winners!

First of all, the winner of the Arcadia Honey Bun from Judi of Green Fairy Quilts:


And the winner of another Jelly Roll from me:


These are the Flickr usernames. I have emailed both winners via Flickr mail. I have also posted their blocks to help identify the winners. Email me (kluckau@moosequilts.com) to claim your prize.

Remember, if you didn't get your block done, no worries. There will be another drawing in two weeks! Any blocks posted between now and then will be entered into the next drawing. 

Thanks for playing everyone! Keep on quilting!

Block Eight with the Green Fairy

Oh yes, that's right, the Green Fairy!  First the Posse Boss, then the Green Fairy.  You just never know who is going to show up designing these quilt blocks. 

The Green Fairy is sometimes known as Judi Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts.  She is also a Utah quilt designer.  Judi and I have done a few of the same shows.  Judi is also a long arm quilter like I am.  Except she does a lot more custom work than I do.  Take a close look at her quilts.  She does a really good job!

Now from Judi!

Hi! I am Judi aka the Green Fairy of Green Fairy Quilts. I started to piece quilts about 6 years ago and quickly grew to love it! I loved putting quilts together, but I had the most fun drawing up my designs and making my own quilts. With the encouragement from my husband, mom and friends I started to write up my designs and built a website. It wasn't until a couple years ago that my husband and I made my hobby our full time business and we work together from home. I have over 40 patterns and we have the best prices on all the Moda precuts  out there. You can check them out at our website http://greenfairyquilts.com/.

I also started to long-arm quilt, we bought an A-1 quilting machine almost two years ago and I have had fun showing off my work on my own quilts and on my customer quilts on my blog..

Thanks so much for letting me participate in this Jelly Roll Quilt along - I hope you enjoy my block!

Thanks Judi! 

AND here are some pictures of this fun block.  First Judi's block:

Doesn't that orange just make that block sing!

AND here are my blocks!  Yeah! First with Mary Englebreit:  With this one I used my background fabric (the white) in the small squares in the center.

Second, with swanky:  With this one I used my background fabric (the pink) as the border.

REMINDER: You have two weeks to make these blocks. There will be a drawing tomorrow for BLOCK SEVEN. Of course, any block that is posted before mine (I will post mine late tonight) on flickr gets entered in the drawing. So if you are behind, NOW is a great time to catch up! With these blocks, it's just as easy to make two as it is to make one!

AND -- some incentive --

Judi has donated an Arcadia honey bun as one of the prizes, and I have another jelly roll up for grabs for anyone who posts their blocks before late tonight!

Happy quilting!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mid-Quilt Blues

Have you ever sung the mid-quilt blues?  I am not singing them right now, but I have sung them many times.  I have been thinking about it as we are in the middle of this quilt along.  I have been having too much fun seeing what the designers have come up with every two weeks and seeing all the great color combinations of the blocks on flickr to be singing the blues. 

BUT maybe you are.  Maybe you have.  Maybe you will. 

What are the mid-quilt blues?  It's when you are sewing along, sewing along, sewing along, and then for no good reason, you hate your quilt.  You want it to disapper and pretend it never existed.  You think it is going to be the most horrid creation on earth and don't want to finish.  Ever felt that way? 

I often feel that way.  I have come to accept it as part of the process.  Usually it is when I am smack dab in the middle of chain piecing a gazillion units that all of a sudden don't match.  It's like when a word you have spelled since kindergarten like "who" all of a sudden looks like it is spelled wrong.  Everything's just out of whack. 

I had one quilt I made (Simply Twisted, in my first book Simply Charming now in the Simply Charming Collection) that I wasn't sure I would like it even before I started.  I told myself that I couldn't judge it until it was washed.  Sure enough, as I was piecing a gazillion half square triangles, I hated the quilt.  I just knew it wouldn't look good.  I knew that I this time my feelings of the quilt looking horrid would be vindicated and the quilt actually would be horrid.  You guessed it . . . . I love the quilt.  Love it!  Still one of my favorites.

Of course, that doesn't always happen.  I don't love every quilt I have made.  But more often than not, I love my quilts, even after singing the blues. 

It was after my experience with Simply Twisted that I realized that for me the mid-quilt blues, for lack of a better name (If you have a better name, I would love to hear it.), is often part of the quilting process.  Understanding that allows me to sew on.  Sometimes it feels like trudging on, but sometimes I can help make it feel like drugery.  Aren't those great words - trudging and drugery?  They just make you feel their meaning. , , ,

So what do I do? 
~ Sometimes I take the blocks or units that I have done and play with them.  Flip through them, pet them, lay them out, . . . .
~ Sometimes I distract myself.  Turn up the radio and sing along, or pay attention to what is being discussed, or just zone out to the hum of the sewing machine . . . .
~ Sometimes I take a break.  Put it away for the day, a few hours, or even a few minutes.  Often walking upstairs to grab something to eat is enough time to break the mood. . . .
~Sometimes I think about taking it to show and tell at guild.  Having a mini show and tell in my head works wonders. . . .
~Sometimes I look through quilt magazines or quilt blogs or flickr, and they inspire me to sew.  And so I sew. . . .

What do you do to help yourself just keep sewing? 

P.S.  Sorry, can't help myself . . . . yes, I know there are times that it's alright for projects to be put away.  I have UFOs.  In fact, I just sent an old UFO to my sister's sister in law.  It was so liberating.  I had been feeling guilty for not finishing it for years.  I guess that's a discussion for another day. 

So with a current project that threatens to become a UFO, what do you do?  How do you save it and let it fulfill its destiny to be finished and loved?