Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Giveaway winner!

No, let's make that winners! So many great comments - thank you so much! I'm so glad to hear there are so many folks out there that love their fall colors as much as I do :) I decided one copy wasn't enough, so we'll make it two! I have a very high tech way of selecting the looks something like this...

Yes, I print out the comments, cut them up into cute little strips and then pick one with my eyes closed! Pretty clever, huh? So clever, I can't figure out how to get the silly picture below rotated correctly, jeesh! Whatever! Here are the lucky winners...

Congrats Linda B. and Emily C. - please email me your addresses and I'll get the issues mailed off you right away.

I hope some of you will put some of your own beautiful scraps to use and make this project yourselves. Please send pictures to share if you do - we'd love to see them!

Happy quilting,


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Pressed Leaves and a Giveaway

With summer in full swing, it's hard to believe fall will be here before we know it! I want this beautiful summer in my Pacific Northwest to last forever, but I'm ready for fall for a couple of really good reasons - one of them is the upcoming issue of McCall's Quilting, September/October 2015 that will be hitting your mailbox and store shelves soon. One of my favorite recent projects is being featured - "Pressed Leaves" - and it even has its glamour shot moment on the cover!
It was such a fun project that used some of my favorite scraps framed by a really great neutral newsprint fabric. The one I used is from Collage by Carrie Bloomston for Windham Fabrics. If you can't find this one around, not to worry. Any great print neutral would be perfect for this project. Your favorite quilt shop probably has some already on hand, so check them out.
Pressed Leaves table runner
With so little actual snail mail these days, I'm always excited when something like this lands in my mailbox...advanced copies! So it must be time for a giveaway! Leave a comment below and share your favorite fall leaf color for a chance to win a free copy of the McCalls Quilting September/October 2015 issue. I'll pick a name out of the hat and mail off a signed copy to you!
Time for a giveaway! Leave a comment with your favorite fall leaf color to enter.
The other reason I'm excited for fall, of course, is because of this little beauty that I'm anxiously waiting for....
Just found out the release date has been bumped up from October 15th to October 6th. Nine less sleepless nights of anticipation for this first-time author. I can't wait to share it with you :)

Happy summer quilting,


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New pattern and a shop hop

So here's what I've been working on lately, a new pattern. Not for a magazine this time, just for retail sale in shops. Of course, I'm flying by the seat of my pants again so I'm never quite sure how these things are going to turn out. Producing a pattern is so much more work than I ever think it's going to be. Writing, editing, photography, graphic design, the list goes on and on. And that's without sewing a single stitch! But, I'm giving it another go. So this is Cavanaugh Crossroads...
Some of you in my neck of the woods may recognize the name. I started working on this during a retreat out at Lake Cavanaugh with friends not too long ago. The block itself is from a traditional block design from early last century called Crossroads. Nothing too clever - just putting the two together and I decided I liked the name, so there you have it!

Here are a couple of test blocks we did in alternate colorways. You know how much I love my Kaffes! I was playing with the photo editor app on my phone, inverted the colors, and decided I had to make it in Kaffe reds with a black background. The center is Moda Grunge Basics "Decadent". Not for the faint-hearted! Reminds me of flames! My lovely friend Verna made a test block in batiks, soft blue/greens with a melon center which turned out great (but I can't download the pic for - sorry!) Batiks are always a winner. She made one in 30's too - I love it. (That one I managed!)
Done in Kaffe Fassett's red "Lotus Leaf" fabric.
Super sweet in Verna's 30's too

The pattern, as shown on the cover, finishes at 54" x 54", a nice throw or baby quilt size. The blocks are BIG, 18"! The pattern also include size options for twin, queen and king size. I rate this as a beginner/easy pattern. A half square triangle is the about as tricky as this one gets, and you even make two at a time.

Availability is limited at the moment. I rushed this one into production so it could be available during the Western Washington Quilt Shop Hop, June 24-28. You can find the pattern at Fabric-Etc. in Bellingham. The original quilt top will be there on display, too. If you're not in the area, you can contact Carol and the crew to order. Shop owners and distributors - if you're out there! - feel free to email me directly and I'll hook you up!

Happy summer quilting,


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Look, look! A book, MY book!

Wow, I thought this day would never come! I am so excited to share this great news with everyone. If you were wondering what the heck I've been doing with all my free time, this is it!  I have my first book coming out with Martingale Publishing in October 2015. And here it is!

Many of you know that I have been a quilter for quite some time and have had a lot of fun publishing my quilts in various magazines over the last couple of years. I started to look at my projects in a different light and thought, hey! I might have something here! So I took the plunge, wrote up a submission proposal, sent it in and that's it. No, not at all actually! It takes a lot of w-o-r-k! But what they say is true, if you really love what you are doing it shouldn't feel like work at all and I love to quilt. Write, proof, edit, and edit some more, maybe not so much, but I'm ready for the real fun to begin!
Truly, I can't believe it myself. It has been such a great learning experience so far. I have been working with a great group of professionals at Martingale and I won't lie, it is really cool! The first time I saw the cover concept they came up with, I could hardly breathe!
So, as this project is coming closer and closer to it's official birthday on October 15, 2015, I'm looking forward to giving you some more sneak peeks at all the goodies inside! But for now, join me in a big yippee and let's go sew something!
Happy Quilting,

Friday, June 5, 2015

Quilting with friends

"What the heck do you do on a quilt retreat?" That's just like asking a fisherman, "what do you do on a fishing trip?" but the question seems to come up every time I tell a non-quilter I'm heading off on a quilt retreat, which I try to do a couple of times a year, or even a sewing day with friends. I guess it's hard to imagine doing something all day long if you've never done it before, but if it's your passion and what you love to do, it's not hard at all.

Our view out of the "cabin" - it's rough but someone has to do it.

The 12-hour sashing project that I was working on. One of many...
So if you've yet to take off with some other crazy quilting friends on a quilt retreat, let me share with you some of the basic required components:

1. Friends - old friends, new friends, crazy friends, doesn't matter - as long as they are equally addicted to quilting as you are.
2. Food - good food, junk food, no shortage of food. Quilting takes lots of sustained energy!
3. Projects - more than any one person can possibly complete in 72 hours, but you definitely want options. Especially if your location is not located near a quilt shop!

With the possible addition of a few adult beverages, a beautiful location and no internet/phone connection, you have everything you need for a really good time. I have to admit besides quilting, everything I know about menopause, breast cancer, cheating husbands, and quilt divas, I've learned while on a quilting retreat! Scary and hilarious at the same time :)

Retreats are great for being able to focus time and energy on a project. Friends give great feedback, suggestions and much needed encouragement. Where would we all be without those very important things in our lives - quilting or otherwise?

So if a quilt retreat is in your future, plan your projects, pack everything but the kitchen sink, and get ready for a good time - it's waiting for you.

Happy quilting,


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Thank you Quilters Anonymous!

For those of you that may be in my neck of the woods, I hope you take the opportunity to check out the Quilters Anonymous Show in Monroe, WA every year in March. It's a nice, big regional show with a good sampling of just about everything from art quilts to hand quilting and everything in between. This year was no exception and I always enjoy walking through this really well-planned show. It's definitely a testament to the hard work and experience of QA's 500+ members that have been putting on this show for over 30 years.

A few of the lovely things that caught my eye...

Several of these stripe block quilts that were the product of a group block exchange...perfect border treatment of these fun stripe blocks
Beautiful Minnick & Simpson, "St. Germain" by Nanci Villareale

very fun! "Happy Birthday to Me" by Dianna Park
click to enlarge so you can see the beautiful hand quilting on this one! "Rosey of Sharon" by Donna Eines
 One reason I like this show is because I can always see some quilts in person from one of my favorite on-line quilters, LeeAnn at Nifty Quilts. I love her work and always enjoy seeing the quilts I have enjoyed on her blog in real life.
Nifty's "Pine Burr"

Scrappy courthouse steps by Nifty, "Hourglass"
I'll finish up with this one, a great use of holiday fabrics!

"Pineapple Christmas" by Patsy Hayes
Of course these are just the tip of the ice berg. There were over 500 quilts in the show, not to mention a great collection of vendors. So if you've never been, mark your calendars for next year - March 11-13, 2016!

Happy stitching,


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Baby Bang Take 2

Here we go again. I told myself after I finished one of these 45 degree diamond quilts a few years ago I was never making one again.  The original one I saw was Kaffe Fassett's "Big Bang". I fell in love with it in Kaffe Fassett's Caravan of Quilts and I think you can also find it in Kaffe Quilts Again. Kaffe's version was 95" x 95", and of course, all beautiful Rowan fabrics. While you know how I love my Kaffe's, this time I went with French Country-feeling fabrics I had in my stash and wanted to use. By the time I got out to this size (about 45"x45") I was done with diamonds and bias edges, called it quilts and redubbed mine "Baby Bang".

My first attempt at "Big Bang".
It's currently on display at my university library as part of a Mathematics in Creative Arts exhibit based on the book: Crafting by Concepts: Fiber Arts and Mathematics. I wish I could claim my quilt took all kinds of crazy mathematic calculations and mind bending, but no. Just a single block - the 45 degree diamond, and a few of its friends :)

Makes this simple quilt sound kind of smart, doesn't it?

Also in the exhibit, not your everyday origami! 

There it is under all of that other really cool stuff!

Recently, I was on the hunt for some science-looking fabric, and when I found these I knew instantly what quilt they had to go in - Baby Bang Take 2! These lovelies were found at one of my favorite local quilt shops, Two Thimbles. A mix of fabric lines: three from Atomic Garden by StudioE fabrics, Fruit Stand by Jane Farnham for Camelot Fabrics, and Lucky Penny by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics.

There is no fancy technique used in the piecing of this quilt. It's just joining 45 degree diamonds - one at a time into rows, rows into eighths, and finally joining the eight sections into one. Here's the new version in progress, two eighths laid out on my design wall:

Slow and steady is the key to this one - and touching the diamonds as little as possible! It can be maddening. I swear if I even look at one of those diamonds sideways, it stretches and distorts. Well, wish me luck! If and when I finished it, it will have a new home on my office wall.

Happy stitching,