Monday, August 6, 2018

Conversation Prints

 The small quilt challenge for August in my online groups is Sewing Box Scraps from my book A Prairie Journey

I used some reproduction fabrics called conversational prints in some of the "bricks." These were novelty prints that were popular around the turn of the 20th century and contain image children, animals or other common themes. Conversational prints like these are a great way to add a little bit of whimsy to a quilt.

I love this little "bricks" quilt and had fun going through my scraps and finding prints that would blend well together and give it that "olde tyme" look.

Making this quilt was a lot of fun and I think it will be good practice for some of you to play with your fabric scraps as you put together another scrappy quilt. Use any type or color fabric you like. You can see that I used a variety of reproduction scraps in several different colors to give a little interest instead of using just one red or one brown row. Make your colored strips in the same color or fabric if scrappy doesn't appeal to you. You can also easily make this into a charm quilt -  use a different scrap for each piece. 

I also used some of the conversational prints in this other little quilt in the new book -

Judie Rothermel had a great line of fabric called Classic Conversationals a few years back and sometimes you can find these old out of print fabrics on eBay or Etsy. 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Quilters' Toys

I've always kind of wanted a white Singer Featherweight machine but wasn't really in the market for one until I saw an ad listing it at a reasonable price. So I grabbed it up. Isn't it the sweetest thing??

This little baby was made in 1964 and she's almost ready to go. I've had fun reading about featherweights on The Featherweight Shop website and learned a great deal from their wonderful tutorials. If you're looking for info, parts or accessories, this is the place.

You see a lot of vintage black Featherweights out there but Singer made many more of those. The white ones seem to be rather rare. I already have a vintage Singer machine but can't really use it because it needs a base or box to sit in since the cabinet was damaged when I bought it. After I took it out to be cleaned and serviced I never wanted to put it back inside. It does not sit flush on a table without wobbling so it needs a base. Another thing on my to-do list. 

I bought her a few years ago at a local Goodwill for $11.00  It was sitting in the closed cabinet above and apparently everyone else walked right past it. (Can't imagine why . . . . ) A hidden gem for sure. 

It's a beauty - in very good condition and made for the 1951 Singer Centennial. It sews beautifully.

Hope to start sewing on my new little sweetie soon! I like that it's portable. I ordered a 1/4" foot attachment last week and am just waiting for it to arrive.  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Book Giveaway Winner

Thanks so much for entering my recent giveaway and for all of your nice comments. The winner of my book A Prairie Journey is -

Jocelyn  - Happy Cottage Quilter  -  Congratulations, Jocelyn. Send me your mailing address and I will mail your book to you. I hope you enjoy making some of the projects.

I appreciate the time some of you put into your comments to tell me what's important to you about quilting and making small quilts. 

I hope those of you who already have the book have fun making some of the quilts.  Don't forget to join in our small quilt challenges every month in my Facebook group. We'll make one quilt at a time from the book. You can still order a signed copy on my website.

Did you also know that my publisher, Martingale, has an e-book (in .pdf format) available that you can download instantly to your computer? This might be a good option for some of you if you're outside the U.S. It's also a little cheaper than the hard copy of the book. You can just print out the pattern pages as you need them.  See details here.  

Keep on making your small quilts, my friends. In August, I will announce a new challenge project from the book in my groups so get your scraps ready . . . .

*  *  *

It's been really hot here so I drove a few miles and went for a walk near Lake Michigan the other morning.  Need to make this a regular habit . . . .

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Prairie Book Giveaway

I'm giving away a free copy of my new book, A Prairie Journey.

There are tons of cute little projects in it.

American Crossroads

Prairie Scraps and Barn Raising

Prairie Crossing

Prairie Window Box

Aunt Sarah's Scrap Baskets

"How much piecin' a quilt is like livin' a life! You can give the same kind of pieces to two persons, and one will make a nine-patch and one'll make a wild goose chase,  and there will be two quilts made out of the same kind of pieces, and jest as different as they can be. And that is jest the way with livin'. The Lord sends us the pieces, but we cut them out and put 'em together pretty much to suit ourselves, and there's a heap more in the cuttin' out and the sewin' than there is in the caliker."   From:  Aunt Jane of Kentucky, by Eliza Calvert Hall

Scrappy Little Log Cabin

This week I will be giving away one free copy to a lucky quilter. Please leave a comment here on my blog and tell me what it is about quilting or small quilts that inspires you the most. Make sure you leave your name and a way I can contact you to let you know you've won. I'll pick a winner at random on Friday, July 13. One entry, please!

If you don't win, you can always buy a signed copy from me here

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Prairie Journey, Finally Here

My new book, A Prairie Journey,  is finally here. If you pre-ordered a signed copy from me, your book should be arriving soon.  If you forgot to pre-order, I still have some copies left and you can order one here.  If I run out, I will buy more. 

Thanks to all of you who purchased a book. I'm really excited about this one. Love how it turned out and hope you do too. The historical touches (quotes and letters, along with antique photos) and the beautiful photos of my quilts really make it special. Totally sentimental. Here's a little peek -

Books should be available in shops sometime in early July so check with your local shop and if they haven't ordered any yet, ask them to do that. You can also buy the book through Amazon. If you are outside the U.S., an e-book may be a good option for you. You just instantly download the book to your computer or tablet. As soon as the book is released to shops, it will be available here

We'll begin making quilts from the book in August for our small quilt challenges in the online groups so if you order early you'll be all ready to join in and make some quilts along with us. You might want to visit a quilt shop and pick up some new fabric while you're at it. You have my permission . . . .

Isn't this photo surreal?? Looks almost like a painting. No filters. I took it with my phone and the light was just perfect. (Late afternoon at the Chicago Botanic Garden)

Friday, June 8, 2018

Pretty Baskets

Everyone loves baskets and they've always been a popular motif in quilts. Long ago, there were so many uses for baskets and they were such a part of nineteenth century life that it’s really no surprise that they found their way into quilting patterns as well. We should all have one or two basket quilts in our collection, don't you think?

Here are some basket quilts I've made over the years:

Civil War baskets from my book Remembering Adelia.

Olivia Loves Baskets pattern is available on my website.

Prairie Baskets is from my second book Prairie Children & Their Quilts.

Cherry Baskets is also available as a pattern on my website

The one below is a vintage doll quilt.

This month in my online groups we're making quilts from 4" basket blocks. It will be fun to see all of the different variations among those who choose to join in since you can make them in your choice of  colors, fabrics and setting. The pattern is in Files in the Facebook group or the Small Quilt Talk group. Go to the sidebar on my blog to find the links.

Here's how to put the block together. (You can find directions to make the basket block in Files in the FB group.)

I have not decided on my setting yet. You can make as few or as many blocks as you wish to complete your quilt. If you only have time to make one block, turn it into a small pillow or coaster. Making a few blocks only takes a couple of hours. I promise I will nag you to work on sewing borders on your quilt next week and then quilting it the week after. By the end of June, you should have it all finished. We get (and give) a lot of encouragement in the Small Quilt Lovers Facebook group. You should join. It's fun.  

My lovely teeny tiny blue and red baskets, a special gift from my friend Marian. 

This is Aunt Sarah's Sewing Basket, from my new book, A Prairie Journey, which will be here in July (or sooner, I hope).

If you're interested in getting a signed copy of my book, go to my website to pre-order and you'll get it as soon as it comes out. (Well, almost. You do have to allow a few days for shipping.)

Have a great weekend!


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