Monday, February 29, 2016

Blogging Break

Keeping up with blogging and other social media can be exhausting at times, even when you're healthy. Right now I'm down with a nasty flu bug and have no energy so who needs the extra stress?  I've been writing posts almost non-stop since 2009 so I figure I deserve a break. Hope to be back soon. Maybe I'll even have some fresh ideas.  There's a place on the sidebar where you can sign up for e-mail updates. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Celebrate National Quilting Day

Come celebrate with me. On Saturday, March 19, 2016, I'll be teaching a workshop at the Kenosha Public Museum in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as part of a National Quilting Day event. We'll be making one of my favorite simple and scrappy quilts - the Orange Peel quilt from my book Remembering Adelia. This happens to be one of the most popular classes I teach and I never get tired of seeing all of the different variations quilters come up with for their quilts. It's a very relaxing workshop and a lot of fun.

You're welcome to join me and the Southport Quilters of Kenosha, Wisconsin, who are sponsoring the class in conjunction with the museum for a National Quilting Day event. The theme is "Scrappy Days are Here Again."  For details, click here.  (Scroll down the page to see the National Quilting Day events.)

It'll be a full day of quilting fun. In addition to the morning class, I'll be giving a presentation in the afternoon. In between, you can browse the quilt show with  beautiful quilts on display and lots of quilting demonstrations by guild members. Sound like fun? Then come on over. Wisconsin's beautiful in March. (More info about the workshop here. Contact the Southport Quilters Guild to sign up.)

It's one of my favorite classes - 

The orange peel (melon, pumpkin seed) pattern has been around a long time but when I made my quilt they weren't really very popular at all. If you did see any they were almost always two-color quilts. It's nice to see sooo many quilters making orange peels now and incorporating them into their different designs.

Back when I was writing Remembering Adelia and a few years before I began my Dear Jane quilt, I noticed that Jane Stickle had used a lot of peels in her famous quilt. Since Adelia also lived and sewed during the Civil War, I decided to include orange peels in the book and weave this quilt into Adelia's story. It was fun poking through my reproduction scraps, making the peels and then hand appliqueing them over that summer. I made them a few at a time in between working on the other quilts and when I had made enough blocks I put them together into my quilt.

We'll talk about Adelia's Civil War diary as you make your peels and sew them together by hand or machine -  your choice. I'll give you some tips on making the peels using a simple starch and template method. Or, you can use your own favorite method of applique to construct the quilt. Some make their quilt with reproduction prints from the Civil War and others use their favorite bright prints. They all end up looking great. 

Don't be afraid of the applique part. I'll hold your hand, I promise. It won't be that bad. You'll do great. 

Here's a pretty blue and white orange peel quilt runner I made. 

Have I convinced you yet?

MARCH 19 -  ORANGE PEELS - Let's do this. (Bring scraps . . . )

Hope to see some of you  there.


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[It's always an awful lot of fun to make a quilt like this in a group with like-minded quilters. If you can't make it this time but belong to a guild and would like me to come and talk a little bit about my quilts and teach this one (or any other) in a workshop to your group, contact me for details. I'm always up for making Orange Peels!]


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sharing the Love

Happy Valentine's Day! I started celebrating early. Yesterday, I had fun meeting some wonderful quilters and giving a little talk and trunk show of my quilts at one of my favorite shops - Ye Olde Schoolhouse Quilt Shop in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.  Jeanie and her staff were welcoming,  wonderful and warm, as always. Thought I'd give you a blog tour to share the love with you. They clearly love their customers (as well as quilts and fabric and all sorts of cute quilting-related things)

Ye Olde Schoolhouse - it's a "must stop at" shop.

A wash tub full of scraps! What could be better for making my scrappy little quilts?

Stop by if you're ever in the area. The shop is a few miles north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

Jeanie at the shop made up some kits of some of my quilts. I think there may be some left. Contact the shop  if you're interested in buying one.

Thanks to all of you who braved the cold and came out to see me yesterday! It was great to see so many familiar faces and also lots of new ones. 

Gotta love this little box.

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Have a great Valentine's Day, everyone. My sweet husband let me sleep in this morning and then made me cranberry scones for breakfast. And, now, it's snowing . . . . what more could I ask for? (Being able to watch Season 2 of "Fargo" would be nice . . . it disappeared from my cable service before I finished Season 1. Love that show and now I'm hooked. You betcha!)

I was hoping to get something finished for the challenge this month but I was busy working on finishing up my book quilts and meeting my deadline. It's all turned in now (Yay!) and I just have to wait until the Martingale staff does it's magic  . . .  It's going to be hard to wait until the end of the year to see how it all comes together. 

Here's a little peek . . . 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Heartful Month

I love hearts and have a soft spot for most things that are heart shaped. Thank goodness for February and Valentine's Day because it gives me a good excuse to indulge myself. I usually immerse myself in hearts and heartfelt thoughts all month long. 

I've been chastised for wearing my heart on my sleeve at times but ask me if I care. I do have a lot of heart-shaped jewelry and I wear it often (on my neck, and on my ears . . . ).  Perhaps that's what they meant?

I have more. And I know I will probably buy more. I can't resist a nice pair of silver heart-shaped earrings. Or a vintage locket. Or a bracelet with hearts on it. . . . Depending upon how you look at it, this is either ridiculous or pretty cool. Makes it easy for my family to always know what to get me for my birthday  . . . .

"The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart."   ~Helen Keller

 "Within your heart, keep one still, secret spot where dreams may go."  ~Louise Driscoll

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So - Happy February! To me, the whole month of February means Valentine's Day. If you haven't already heard, this month our small quilt challenge will be making something that celebrates hearts.  You can choose to do any kind of  Valentine's Day quilt you like. Go to the Facebook or Yahoo group pages for further instructions and join us. It's fun to see photos of what everyone comes up with. Make a quilt with appliqued hearts or make an embroidered hearts quilt or just a red and white quilt, as long as it has a hearts theme.

Perhaps there's a pattern you've always meant to make but never found the time? Maybe this is the year. Pick out some pretty fabric. Sew some squares or triangles together. Make something just for yourself. Put your heart into it.

"Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart." 

"The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love." 
~ Wm.Wordsworth

"Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it."

Stop worrying about doing something GREAT. Focus on doing what is right in front of you - with GREAT LOVE. A quick read & a #freeprintable!:

"Let's all just be nice."


I'll be finished with all my book quilts next week (Yay!) and then maybe I can make something "heartful" myself.  

Also, don't forget - a week from today, on Saturday, Feb 13, I'll be at Ye Olde Schoolhouse Quilt Shop in historic Cedarburg, Wisconsin, celebrating. Hope to see some of you there.  I'll be the one wearing hearts (on her sleeves and everywhere else).

Happy St. Valentine's Month!