Friday, August 14, 2015

New addition to the family...

I have a lovely new addition to my family...of sewing machines, that is! A Featherweight 221 has been on my wish list for quite a while now. A friend of mine recently had a quilters' garage sale (the very best kind of garage sale!) and had several machines all lined up, ready to go to new homes. This little beauty had a halo of light behind it as I came up the driveway, I swear!
My very-new-to-me 1946 Featherweight 221
If it could have sung the Allelujah Chorus, it would have. It was just meant to come home with me. And the very fact that it came from a good friend's family (thank you V. and M.!) and has been much loved and much used over the years makes it even better. The details on it are beautiful.

I love the Egyptian Scrollwork design on the faceplate.
So I have been studiously pouring over Dave McCallum's must-have book The Featherweight 221 & I and learning all I am supposed to know about this perfect little gem. Now I'm torn between the beautiful, classic black or something a little racier like this...

Future makeover?
Well, I'll have to save up some more pennies for a custom paint job like that so I have more time to mull it over anyway! So for those of you that may be counting (my darling husband...), that puts the inventory total at 4 machines (down from 6!) I think I'm good for a the meantime...

Happy summer stitching,


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Guest blogging at McCall's

Hi all, I'm here, but not exactly! I'm a guest blogger over at McCall's Quilting Blog today. I'll be chatting more about my project "Pressed Leaves" that's in the Sept/Oct 2015 issue. More about the project inspiration and some tips for the actual quilting technique I used. Hop over and check it out!

"Pressed Leaves"
Happy quilting,


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,