Sunday, April 29, 2012

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Block #480

I am excited to finally show you my block, #480 On the Path, that is in the latest Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks!  Here's a better picture of the bright turquoise square in the corner of the COVER!!!

I made this block last year.  The color of the year last year was turquoise.  As I have never been interested in turquoise, I took it upon myself to use it in some quilts.  I have been pleasantly surprised at the results.  It still isn't a favorite color, but I have learned to appreciate the color turquoise.  My block is made in honor of the color turquoise.

Then, you may remember THIS post about making a queen size quilt at hyper speed.  Well, this is the quilt I made on turbo.  It is shown on page 14 in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Vol. 5.

I like the overall picture in the magazine.  You can see that 16 blocks formed 4 rings.  I would have liked to make the 25 blocks I had intended to make 9 rings.  There's no way I would have gotten it done on time.  Here's a closer picture.  You can see that I used some Timeless Treasures batik fabrics with the gray.

Here's the quilting on the extra wide border.  I can't decide how well I like the quilting, but it works.

The block was inspired from a quilt that I designed that is in my new book Simply Charming Minis that is at the printer right now!

Here is Morse Code.  This quilt measures 16" x 18". 

And another version of Morse Code that is also in the book.

It was fun to make a mini quilt even smaller and use it as a block.  I named the quilt after I designed it.  After I named it, I was curious.  What letters am I spelling out in Morse Code?  In case you are curious too, it spells N A K A N.  Wish I was clever enough to come up with something cool that stands for. 

If you can come up with something clever and G-rated, let me know in the comments!

Of course, as with all Quiltmaker 100 Blocks blog tours, there's a giveaway!  I will randomly pick a winner from the comments Friday night at the end of the blog tour.  The winner will be announced Saturday.  If you have an email address linked to your comment, I will email you.

And check back because I will be giving away some copies of my new book when I get it from the printer whenever that is!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My day is Monday for the Quiltmaker's 100 Block blog tour!  Even better than that is this picture of the magazine.

The block in the bottom left corner is my block.  It's on the cover! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sneak Preview: Simply Charming Minis

This week I am finishing up my new book, Simply Charming Minis!  I have tried to make it a good value.  There are 16 patterns in it!  There are two quilts of each patterns!  That's 32 mini quilts!

These quilts range from 13 inches to 21 inches.

Here is one runner up cover shot (without the title).  The flying geese are 2" x 4" to give you a size reference.

Right now I am cleaning up photos.  Back to work!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Playing with Rick Rack Doll Pillows

The other day I was playing with putting rick rack around some bean bags to jazz them up.  My test subjects became two doll pillows for my two "baby" girls - age 2 and 4.

Fronts - -

Backs - -

I was surprised how slick they came together.  First I sewed the rick rack onto edge of the right side of one of the fabrics.  Then I put the two fabrics right sides together and sewed on the seam line from sewing on the rick rack - leaving space to turn it.  After clipping the corners, turning, stuffing, and stitching, they were done.  I was worried about how to get the rickrack sewn in at just the place.  That method worked great! 

I made these the weeek before easter I think.  As I made the pillows, I thought that I should save them for easter.  I couldn't.  I just gave them to the girls.  They loved them for a few days.  I don't know where they are now.  I'm sure as soon as they find them, they won't be able to part with them - for a few more days! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Quilt of Valor

Tomorrow is the absolute last day to deliver my Quilt of Valor.  I delivered it today!  Oh yeah!!!

I had something else planned, but I thought it was due in May.  I enjoyed making the nine patches for my spring quilt, so I decided to make nine patches for the QOV.  The alternate block is a star batik that I got many years ago.  I have been saving it for just the right quilt.  It asked to be used on this quilt.  I hesitated after not cutting it for so many years, but I listened.  I'm glad I did.

It isn't a fancy quilt, but I like it.  I quilted it in my Quilt of Valor pattern that has a Statue of Liberty, Liberty Bell, Eagle Head, and the words "Thank You" on it.  I like quilting red, white, and blue quilts in gold thread.  Here's a close up of the eagle.

This quilt will be shown at HMQS in a Quilt of Valor Challenge. I didn't make mine to win the challenge.  I made my quilt to support HMQS and Quilts of Valor.  I have worked with both organizations for many years.

If tomorrow is the deadline, does that mean I turned in my quilt a day early???

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Flower Block Exchange

You may remember this flower from THIS POST last week.

We exchanged our flower and nine patch blocks yesterday at our quilt guild meeting.  The flower I made is my signature flower.  It is really easy, and I have several versions of it in patterns of mine including:

The cover quilt "Charming Flowers" in Simply charming Collection,

a version with sashing and pieced borders called "May Flowers" in Simply Charming Seasons,

and a version with leaves and applique in a single pattern called Sweet Baby Kate.

This was my nine patch block.  I did end up making two versions of this block.  The other version had the dark red in the center.

I ended up making a few extra flowers and nine patch blocks because I just made up all that the strips I cut would make.  I laid out the blocks today.  What do you think?

I am so impressed with all of the blocks!  I love it!  I have 6 extra nine patch blocks, so I am going to add two more rows.  Instead of making extra flowers, I am going to use 6 plain blocks that have a busy floral print.  I think it will work.  It won't happen until a couple other things get done first.

Monday, April 9, 2012

McCall's Quilt Challenge

If you have ever taken a look on the left side on my blog, you know that I like McCall's Quilting!  I love working with them.  You may have seen the challenge they do.  They have been doing it for at least four years.  (That's all I could remember.)  This challenge has big prizes!  Right now, you can submit something to qualify - until about the end of the month.   

Something new this year is they have two different challenges - one for amateurs and one for professionals.  If you are an amateur who has thought about it in the past, this would be the year to try!  And the winning quilt is in their magazine!  Below is the information they sent me if you want to know more!

The McCall's Quilt Design Star™ 2012 contest has officially launched and is currently in the qualifying round phase, which continues through April 29, 2012. This year for the first time, the contest has 2 separate tracks for Amateur and Professional Quilt Designers. Don’t let the term Professional scare you…for the purposes of this contest, a pro is anyone who has ever received monetary compensation for an original quilt design. For example, if you’ve made money by self-publishing a pattern, making a quilt for a fabric company, or teaching a class based on your quilt design at a local shop, you’re a pro! Grand prizes this year include a sewing machine (a Pfaff quilt expression™ 4.0 with toolbox in the professional group and a Viking Sapphire™ 875 Quilt in the amateur group) and $500 cash to the winner of each group. Winning quilts will also be featured in McCall’s Quilting magazine.

The contest landing page is at, where you’ll find complete rules and how to enter. Professional entries are especially encouraged, as this is the first year for that division. Good luck to all who decide to compete!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What is the Definition of Procrastination?

Today I am working on transforming these stacks of fabric:

into 16 of these flower blocks:

and 16 scrappy 9 patch blocks. 

It sounded like an easy project until I saw the stack of 150 ish white squares.  They are for a guild block swap next Wednesday.  I've known about it for, oh, at least three months!

Does that mean I procrastinated?  I am going to respectfully say NO.  I really had to get another project done, so I just scheduled this project for after that project which happened to put this project done at the last minute.

I am going to say there is a difference between scheduling something last minute and procrastination.  Now if I don't work on it today like it is "scheduled" and wait until Tuesday night.  That is procrastinating!

Is there a distinction?  What do you think?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Do you Sell Your Quilts?

Yesterday I observed a man selling a motorcycle that he had made.  It caused me to reflect on selling quilts.  And yes, the picture has nothing to do with the post, but it is proof that spring is here, and I like it!

So the man didn't really want to sell the bike.  He was doing it to help his family.  One buyer came and made him an offer that was just under half of what he was asking which was already a super low price.  The man explained how just one of the parts he put on the bike cost more than what she had offered.  He refused to sell it to her. 

Later that day, a young man was looking at the bike.  He had been eyeing it for a long time.  The man (bike seller) said he would give the young man the bike for whatever he had in his pockets.  Turns out it was $200.  A lady there helping the family was upset at the man.  Even more so when he said he wouldn't have done it differently in hindsight. 

I understood completely - and I agreed with him!  I feel the same way about my quilts.

I would rather give a quilt away than sell it for a price that offends me. 

I did sell a quilt last year.  It was hanging at a quilt show, and someone was there looking for a queen size quilt for a child getting married.  She gave me a fair price for it.  Not quite what I would have liked, but it was not fine.  It was a difficult process.  We talked for a while.  When she offered a lower price I explained that these were high quality materials.  It took me a lot of time to assemble the blocks and quilt it and bind it.  I explained that I loved the quilt.  I didn't want to sell the quilt to someone who liked it.  I needed them to love it too!  She ended up paying me $50 over what she had budgeted.  I hope they really did love it.

What do you think?  Do you sell your quilts? 

Monday, April 2, 2012

McCall's Quilting: Pine Burr Made Modern

I am so excited to show you my version of the antique quilt pattern, the pine burr.  It is in the May/June McCall's Quilting that arrived in my mailbox Saturday.  This quilt has been as long time coming.  (The quilt is shown in miniature on the bottom left of the cover.)

At least a dozen years ago, I had an opportunity to see a collection of antique quilts with one of my quilt guilds.  A red, blue and tan gorgeous pine burr quilt stuck in my mind.  The only other quilt I can remember from that collectiton was a wool quilt that shrunk, so it was cool and puckered. 

Fast forward about 10 years, I decided to make one.  I altered the design a little so I could paper piece it.  I made two blocks in brown and red and tan.  I think my fabric was Chocolat!  It was slow going.  It got put away.  A while later I asked a friend of mine, Michelle Hansen, if she would make the quilt for me if I got a magazine to accept it.  Michelle said yes.  Then McCall's Quilting said yes.  Then the work began!

I knew I wanted a white background.  McCall's suggested aqua and melon as colors.  I ended up going with different Art Gallery fabrics.  They were perfect for this project! 

Michelle gets migranes on occasion.  This quilt may have given her one or two . . . or three.  It is queen size and paper pieced.  Look at this quilt!

I love it as much as the original!  My friend got done piecing it a couple weeks before it needed to be mailed.  As it happened, that was during the time the end of last year that my machine was broken.   Michelle talked to a mutual friend, Kaylene Parry, that she grew up with.  You have to see her gorgeous quilting!  HERE's the link to a close up.  Kaylene has a Statler.  Nancy Haacke designed the quilting patterns just for this quilt.  I felt bad having Kaylene do a rush job like this.  She had to talk me into letting her quilt it.  Kaylene did a better job quilting than I could have.  It's amazing!  When I get it back, I plan on entering it in a couple local shows.

One day I will finish my brown version, but until I do, I will certainly be enjoying this one!