Friday, January 19, 2018

A Prairie Journey

It's almost a book! Here's the cover -  A Prairie Journey, Small Quilts That Celebrate the Pioneer Spirit. Published by Martingale, it will be released in July. I am sooo excited.

Is this cover gorgeous or what??  Blue, blue and more blue - can you believe it? Makes you kind of swoon a little. But don't get too excited yet. It's just the cover; it's still not finished. I spent the last couple of weeks going over the proof pages with a fine-tooth comb, checking the layout and illustrations to see that there are no mistakes, that everything reads perfectly and that the instructions are clear before the book eventually goes to print. Making final changes and suggestions. Then it goes to the editors who will also do this. They still need to take photos of the quilts and add them. I spent days looking for antique photos that will complement the quilts and text. It's a lot of work for a publisher and takes a lot of people a lot of time. I've been working on it myself for the past year. But it's all coming together and I'm very proud and extremely happy with it. 

A Prairie Journey is now up on Amazon and, while it's still pretty early, I see that you can pre-order copies. Read the publisher's book description - 

"Inspired by yesterday's traditional blocks and today's reproduction fabrics, the author of the best-selling Small and Scrappy returns to share more petite quilts with ties to the past. Thirteen designs whisk readers back to an era when the time-honored quilt blocks today's quilters love were just making their debut.

"Stitch projects with names such as Wagon Wheels, Crossing the Plains and Aunt Sarah's Scrap Baskets, or make a Tree of Life friendship quilt featuring blocks autographed by family members [or friends]. Vintage photos and the words of pioneer women from the mid-nineteenth century, a time when quilting offered a welcome respite from the hardships of moving westward are sprinkled throughout."

The release date is July 16. I will probably begin taking pre-orders for signed copies sometime in May. (Just so you know, it will likely be a little cheaper on but the books are not signed if that matters to you.) Please check my website or Facebook page occasionally as we get closer to the release date and I will put any updates there. 

As you can see, my Welcome Home Mystery Quilt from last year is included. This is why I never posted my finished version. I wanted to surprise you. 

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I hope some of you are already finished or on your way to making the first block of our NEW Mystery Quilt for 2018 - Friendship Garden. The next part is easy and will be posted in my small quilt groups and my website on or about February 1.

Have a great weekend! We're expecting a warm up and I'm afraid all of our snow will soon be gone. You know how I love the stuff . . . .

Friday, January 5, 2018

Mystery Quilt Sew Along

I'm starting another Mystery Quilt Sew Along this year. It's called Friendship Garden. The first block is an appliqué design. You can read about how the sew along will work by visiting the Mystery Quilt page on my website or going to the files section in my Yahoo group or Facebook group and clicking on the link called "Welcome to the Mystery Quilt." Then, download the first block.

Yes, it's applique! I took a poll and some of you said you wanted to do some applique this time so here you go.

Pretty simple but be warned, the pieces are small, so take your time. My leaves are slightly wonky. But it's finished.

Around the first week of each month through June, you'll get instructions to make another part of the quilt. Those blocks will be pieced, not appliqued, and posted on my website and the Yahoo and Facebook group file pages. 

I'll be sewing along with all of you and, if you keep up, your quilt top will be finished by summer. You can take the rest of the year to finish. I hope you will sew along with us! Our group members will be sharing their progress as we go along and that's a good reason to join the groups. Just click on one of the group links on the side of the blog to join in the fun. Please remember to read the files and patterns before you begin so you have all of the info you need. Also, it's helpful to read the messages posted in the Facebook group about the Mystery Quilt if you have any questions. It only takes a minute to scroll down through the posts. You may find that the questions you want to ask have already been answered. 

Beginners are welcome. This is a no-pressure, sew-at-your-own-pace project. If you don't like appliqué, no worries -  there is an alternate pieced block for you to substitute. The rest of the quilt will be the same. Choose your own colors and fabrics from your stash or scraps. I am making mine scrappy using some of my favorite reproduction scraps but the quilt would also look great as a two-color quilt or done in modern prints. Or, try wool for the applique. 

If you missed the Mystery Quilt for 2017, you'll be happy to know that I included it in my next book, coming out in July.

We'll also be working on small quilt challenges from my Small & Scrappy book during the first few months of the year. After the Mystery Quilt is finished, we'll make some quilts from the new book. There are a few really sweet appliqué quilts in that book so maybe now is the time to learn how to do appliqué if you've been procrastinating. Try visiting YouTube to see some applique tutorials. 

Here's the small quilt for January - Crow's Foot doll quilt on page 34. It's fast and easy and a nice little project to display for Valentine's Day. Or, make it in different colors.

Looks like it will be a good weekend to stay in and do some sewing. In addition to taking down our Christmas tree and decorations I need to do some other cleaning up since my sewing table got a little messy around Christmas. Also, look for some scrap bags for sale on my website next week if you're interested in picking up some of my random reproduction scraps to add to your own scraps for the blocks in your quilt. I'll be cutting some of them up this weekend.