Saturday, November 29, 2014

Small Business Saturday

Karen's Holiday Craft sale was a success. Black Friday was never so much fun. Lots of people but no injuries that I'm aware of.  A very well-behaved crowd. Quilters are fantastic, aren't they?

Karen, me, Candee and Cheryl - Small Quilt Fanatics 

I just heard that today is Small Business Saturday. Do your local businesses (like quilt shops and people who make and sell their crafts) a favor and support them this weekend. Without the support of all of you, there would be none of the things you hold most dear available - all that creative inspiration.

A few of my new patterns that I'll have today at the sale. You'll be able to buy them on my website by Cyber Monday.

It was so nice to meet some of you yesterday. Mickeyann was there and asked me to sign one of her quilts. I've signed plenty of books before, but that's the first time that's ever happened.

The sale runs through Sunday.  I will be there today (Saturday) signing books and selling lots of my new patterns for working with wool. If  I don't see you today, you 'll have to wait to get what's new. Here's a sneak peek of some of the patterns that'll be available online soon - 

Wool Mini Christmas Tree Skirt

 My special Christmas ornament pattern.  I had such fun making these - 

Yes, that's Kitten in a Mitten and Mr Rigby (modeled after my beloved Wheaten Terrier pup who passed away) along with their friends Brown Birds at Home.  

And there'll be lots more. Told you I was working  hard. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

All Is Well

It's one of my favorite times of the year. All is well here and we even got a little bit of snow. Snow makes me happy. I know, I know, I'm not supposed to like it or even admit I like it, but I do. I still get that same giddy feeling as I did when I was a child and woke up to find it snowed overnight. Makes me all happy and eager to walk and play in it and lift my face up into the cold air and catch snowflakes on my tongue. (When no one's looking, of course.) When my daughter was young she used to say the snow made her feel all "glowy" and I always knew exactly what she meant.
I hope all of you have a wonderful and pleasant Thanksgiving holiday (despite the snow if you get any). We'll be home hosting a nice gathering of family and friends as usual. I've been so busy working on my new patterns I haven't even begun my Thanksgiving preparations yet. Other than food shopping. I'll have to begin the cooking and baking and cleaning tomorrow.
I decided to give you more than a sneak peek at the new patterns - If you can believe it, I have one all ready to go. I wanted to have it completed before Thanksgiving so you could order the pattern and make it for the holiday but time got away from me and I had so many other things I needed to do. Thanks to Sue Bennett, who graciously agreed to help me with the stitching on some of my wool projects, I was able to finish it up in time for MY own holiday table.  I'm feeling very grateful for your hard work, Sue!
I'm pleased at how this one turned out - so cute. I was going to make a penny rug out of the wool center that Sue stitched up for me but I thought I'd try combining the wool with fabric. You never really know how a quilt is going to turn out until you play around with it, isn't that true? I had no idea when I started out that it was going to have fabric borders and now I really love them. What can I say, it wanted to be a quilt instead of a penny rug . . . . The scrappy borders contrast nicely with the black I think and they give it such a festive, colorful look. The simple hand quilting lends a nice primitive touch as well.  I call it "Gather Together" because it makes a perfect festive runner for your holiday table as you gather together with family with hearts full of gratitude.
If you haven't worked with wool before, this little table runner pattern is a perfect way to begin. The  pieces are nice and simple and easy to work with. The pattern includes complete instructions on how to get started working with wool.

Order the pattern here.  Because of the holiday and the fact that I will be busy at Karen's craft sale for a few days after that, I'll ship orders next week.
*  *  *

One other thing I am really grateful for this year is a healthy dog.  Puppy Ophelia (Lia) was sick last week and needed to see the vet twice. I was more than a little worried because she's never sick. It was so cold here for awhile that I propped her puppy bed up on the couch near me for a few days while I sewed because there was a nasty draft on the floor. Gotta keep my sick baby warm, you know. She's feeling much better now, thank you.

I don't know about all of you, but at our house we use the Squirrel as a stick for measuring wellness. I knew Ophelia wasn't feeling well for a few days when her interest in chasing squirrels (and birds) dropped down to zero. She'd go outside to pee and dash right back inside. Here's how I knew she was finally feeling better - that would be when I left the room and she jumped up on the top of the sofa and started growling and barking like a maniac when one of our "locals" came up to and sat on the window ledge to peek inside and taunt her. "Hey, Lia  - we haven't seen you outside in quite awhile, what's the matter? Nah nah nah nah nah - You can't catch me!"  So I gladly opened the back door and let her have a go at him. She chased him all over the yard for a few minutes until he escaped up a tree. Sick indeed. All is well. All is well. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Crunch Time

I've been sewing up a storm. Working hard and fast to get my wool samples and patterns finished by Black Friday for the Holiday Craft sale at Karen's. You are going to love what I've been busy creating. Patterns for Wool applique projects (and regular applique too) - Penny rugs! Pillows! Pincushions! Christmas Ornaments! A Mini Christmas Tree skirt! All the new patterns will be available for purchase on my website on Cyber Monday. Here's a little sneak peek - like the pincushions?

 (The circle box top pattern is in The Civil War Sewing Circle for those of you who have that book.) Isn't the blue wool flower brooch sweet? Karen made it for me and she'll have some in assorted colors available at her sale. And lots more fun things.

Taking time to stitch small things is a lot of fun for me around this time of year and they always make great gifts for friends and family.

My Christmas stitchery patterns are also still available and make cute hanging ornaments and tags for gift packages. 

Reminding you again that there's less than a week left before the Holiday Craft Sale and don't forget - I'll be doing a book signing on Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. Hope to see some of you local people there.  But even if you're in Iowa, Indiana or Wisconsin, do stop by if the weather's nice and you don't mind the long drive. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Free Patterns for Small Quilts

Everybody loves doll quilts. They're so easy and fun to make. I have quite a collection and I could go on and on. Do you know that I always have some free patterns for small quilts and things that you can download from my website, Country Lane Quilts?

This morning I spent a little time creating a Pinterest board for the free patterns so that those of you who are on Pinterest can see them all in one place and share them with your quilting friends. I will try to add to them now and then when I have a new one out. There's quite a few there but I can't give all my patterns away, you know - a girl's got to make a living, LOL. Still, you could whip up a bunch of really cute quilts from the free patterns and give them away as Christmas gifts.

And, if you happen to know a quilter who's just beginning and needs a simple pattern to try making a small quilt, you'll know just where to send her.

Turn it sideways and you'll have a great placemat. Don't you just hate it when people say that about your adorable small quilts you've spent so much precious time making? PLACEMATS!!! Accck. 

It's still technically autumn and Maple leaf blocks make cute quilts and runners or even coasters. 

Have a good weekend. I am still working on finishing up my new wool and applique patterns I promised you - coming very soon!  I have a few "elves" (named Shirley and Sue) who are helping me get them all put together. In the meantime, until they're ready, go out and start buying yourselves some pretty wool pieces because you'll need them when you see some of the cute little things I've designed for you to make. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Holiday Craft Sale - Quilts and More

Every year my friend Karen Schultz has a Primitive Craft & Holiday Sale at her home in Elgin, Illinois. I've been attending for a few years and since she holds her sale on the Fri and weekend after Thanksgiving, it's my kind of Black Friday event to attend. You won't find me among the crowd at the mall - I always find something much more to my liking at her house. It marks the beginning of my Christmas shopping. 

Karen makes some wonderful things I often say I'm going to make myself but I don't actually seem to find the time. This Christmas banner, for instance. Could have made it myself but didn't - with everything going on at the holidays it was so much easier to buy it ready made from her, LOL.

Last year, Karen asked me if I'd like to display some of my handmade earrings at her sale, which went over well. This year she went even bigger and asked me to come back and sell some of my books and also do a book signing.  Of course, I said "Sure!"

I'll be there for a few hours on Friday and Saturday (Nov 28th, 29th) with copies of my books, small quilt patterns, earrings, and will also have several NEW patterns for the wool things I've been working on this month. You won't want to miss this one. I'm very excited to be announcing a new pattern line of some small projects for you to make. (More about that later. You'll have an opportunity to buy the patterns on my website in a few weeks.)

Karen works hard all year making her handmade items  -  quilty things and primitive woolie things that we all love so much. Along with some primitive wooden items for the home, her husband Bill makes those adorable primitive doll beds you always see on this blog that are perfect for displaying small quilts. 

Here are some of the things I've bought from Karen in the past -  some were given away as gifts. 

I admired this quilt and what a wonderful surprise  -  Karen gave it to me as a Christmas present last year. It's always wonderful to get a quilt that's been made by  friend. 

I love these painted wooden carry-alls.  

The cases also fit your rotary cutter.

Here's another sampling of what lovely items Karen makes - along with much, much more.

She makes and sells small quilts!

Pincushions and ornaments make great little gifts.

We hope you'll join us in our wonderful primitive, quilty collaboration this year to kick off your holiday shopping. There's something for everyone. I'd love to meet some of you or reconnect with those of you in the Chicago area I haven't seen in awhile. 

I'll be bringing copies of ALL of my books. (And have some of the quilts from the books displayed.)

Books make great gifts for quilter friends.

(Not primitive or quilty, but my handmade earrings also make wonderful holiday gifts.) 

Hope to see you there! You're all welcome.


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