Thursday, April 23, 2015

Polka Dot and Paisley Quilts

I sewed the last of the binding down on these quilts today and loaded up the patterns in our Etsy store.  May I introduce.....
From left to right.... Sweet William, Harbor Springs, and Polka Dot Garden.

 Sweet William is half-square triangles, strips, and the centers are from our printed bandana fabric from the Polka Dot and Paisleys collection.  The printed bandanas are a cheater cloth than can be used whole as a great backing for quilts - or cut up and the bandanas used separately.  They were from a collection of a woman's bandanas that were all polka dotted in some way.  We love them. Sweet William is 82" x 82" and the physical pattern is HERE and the digital download is HERE.
 Harbor Springs is our version of an antique quilt.  Isn't she lovely? Pinwheels and baskets all go together quite easily.  She measures 68" x 85" and the physical pattern is HERE and the digital download is HERE.
 Way over on the right is Polka Dot Garden.  This is both an applique quilt and a pieced quilt.  I made it entirely from my scrap basket.  You can use all your Minick and Simpson scraps too.  It measures 65" x 74" and the physical pattern is HERE and the digital download is HERE.  We will have kits of this - or the selling of pre-kits - in June.  Sadly, all the shirtings I am ordering won't get here until August.

 I don't know if you can see my hand quilting, but I quilted it in close rows with big stitch quilting.  The quilting rows are spaced randomly (just to bother some of you.  I'm talking to you Leigh Ann) I used a light blue Aurifil 12wt thread.  I will be stocking this thread in the Etsy store.  I will stock some basic colors that I use - red, cream, light blue, black, and some others.
This is my blue and white Austin Bluebird Sampler in progress.  This is months 1, 2, and 3 sewn together.  I wish I could give you some wisdom on month 3 (the pinwheel, the sailboat and the modified 9 patch on the bottom section).  It is all basically strips, squares, and half square triangles.  No secret tips to pass on - except my personal preference.  I press seams open.  Yes, even for strips and half square triangles.  I know to press to the darker side is easier and faster - and you can nest your seams when you do the 4 patches - but..... I find I do better piecing when I press my seams open.   It the less bulk I think.  That's as much wisdom as I can possibly pass on today.  I'm a little tired.

We hope you like our new additions.  

Laters,

Laurie



Thursday, April 16, 2015

It's Happening

I thought I better check in before you sent out a search party for me.  I'm well.
 We had a nice time a few weeks ago at the University of Michigan Spring game. The Spring game is basically a practice that you can go and watch.  A lot of people showed up to watch.  It was a lovely day.
 Last week, Bill and I went to the Detroit Institute of Arts for a little day trip.  They currently have an exhibit of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.  Unfortunately, you couldn't take pictures in that exhibit, but Diego's mural in the courtyard is always open.  It never ceases to impress.
 While waiting in line for the special exhibit - this is what we saw - Romare Bearden's The Quilting Party.  It's a huge glass mosaic.  There was inspiration everywhere.
 One cannot go to a museum without purchasing something from the gift shop. These horrible - yet beautiful Frida Kahlo socks came home with me.  Frida with a spider monkey.  Please, how could I NOT buy these?
 What else is going on...... Here is a peek at Polka Dot and Paisleys!  The quilts will be coming back from Kari the quilter next week.  I'll have lots of pictures of them then.
This was last night's dinner.  My first and last attempt at a Scotch egg.  It was delicious, but quite rich. A half egg would have sufficed.  You see, it's a soft boiled egg wrapped in sausage, then rolled in bread crumbs and fried.  While yummy - it was quite a production. A whole lot of production for 2 lonely eggs for Bill and I.

This is a new pattern for us - it's called Polka Dot Garden.  The pattern will be on our website next week.  We're proof reading it right now.  It's a scrap pattern.  I posted this on Instagram and got quite a few questions about it.  We will kit it - but it won't be for awhile.  Since it takes so much light shirtings (or low volume) I need to order a whole bunch of them.  It will be weeks before they get shipped to us.  

Which brings me to the next topic..... Polly and I decided we will do a special event this summer.  We are going to have an AMERICAN SUMMER sale!! Starting in June we will post in our Etsy store and especially on this blog - items in a Minick and Simpson style!  We will have some kits - stitchery, hooking and quilting.  We will have gifts!  We will have special ONE OF A KIND gifts that will be auctioned and all will be variations on a theme - a RED, WHITE, and BLUE kind of theme.  The Polka Dot Garden quilt will be a special pre-order kit.

So, start saving your pennies.  I'll be posting lots of updates before the sale happens.  

I might even have more pictures of sporting events.  Bill and I will be going to a baseball game tomorrow.  It's kind of fun now that he is retired. 

Laters,

Laurie

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Polka Dots And Paisleys Winner

The winner of the Polka Dots and Paisleys Jelly Roll™is....

Sandy@crazy'boutquilts

I've emailed Sandy.  Congrats!

For all of you who have joined out BOM Austin Bluebird Sampler Club - or all of you who bought the Austin Bluebird Sampler KITS - I posted some yardage yesterday in out Etsy store.  If you are looking for backing for your quilt - I have these options....

Indigo and white floral

Blue and gold paisley 

Blue solid

Red geometric
Laters,

Laurie

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Polka Dots And Paisleys

Lookie what we have!

Ooooh, a bandana cheater cloth!

We are making quilts with this new collection! The Moda salesmen are showing it to your quilt shops right now.  We never have enough polka dots, or paisleys.

There will be more to show soon.

Comment here on this post before Saturday March 28th at midnight - and you could win the Polka Dot and Paisley Jelly Roll™.  Comment on polka dots, or paisleys, or moving, or having your sewing stash reduced down to one box of fabric, or only having 3 pairs of shoes in your closet. THREE.  Or comment about anything at all.

P.S.  For all of you locals who do charity quilts - be they Quilts of Honor, Quilts of Valor, or any charitable organization - I have a 52lb box of Polka Dot and Paisley scraps.  Art teachers - this is your chance. Email me at lauriesimpson92@gmail.com and we'll arrange a pick-up.

Thanks everyone - the fabric has been claimed.

Laters,

Laurie


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone - Irish or not.  Polly and I are 100% Irish. Irish American.  That is assuming you can believe all the family stories. (and being Irish - those stories tend to be a little exaggerated).  Anyway, we can call Ireland our ancestral home.  Have a great day!
Clifden Castle 

Have you seen these fabulous new videos by the Fat Quarter Shop featuring our fellow Moda designer - Jen Kingwell?  We love Jen and her work.  What is NOT to love? She uses great fabric and thread and she is a champion of handwork. Go Jen!

 Preview YouTube video Quilting with Aurifil 12 weight and 50 weight thread by Jen Kingwell - Fat Quarter ShopQuilting with Aurifil 12 weight and 50 weight thread by Jen Kingwell - Fat Quarter Shop

Preview YouTube video Learn to Quilt As You Go by Jen Kingwell - Fat Quarter ShopLearn to Quilt As You Go by Jen Kingwell - Fat Quarter Shop


Preview YouTube video How to Baste and Hand Quilt with Aurifil 12 weight by Jen Kingwell - Fat Quarter ShopHow to Baste and Hand Quilt with Aurifil 12 weight by Jen Kingwell - Fat Quarter Shop


I can't wait to try the cross stitch hand quilting! I love everything about these tutorials and I am heartened that I use the same tools and techniques as Jen.  All except the "sans hoop" part.  I need a hoop.  Obviously Jen does not - it doesn't matter, as she says - it's all what works for you.


I am looking forward to my next hand quilting project.  I will be using Aurifil 12wt thread to quilt this.  You might even find a couple cross stitches in it by the time I'm done.  Thanks for the inspiration Jen.


Laters,

Laurie

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Month 2 of Austin Bluebird Sampler

Here I am to give a few tips on Month 2 of the Austin Bluebird Sampler.  This is what Month 2 is....

It's pretty basic.  There is a simple star with flying geese and a monkey wrench block with half square triangles.  There are 2 small quarter square triangle blocks, so far nothing that isn't simple.
We also have the flag block.  Here is what I did for my blue and white version (the original is just like the picture above).
I am working out of one box of scraps and options are limited. (this moving thing has been a challenge).  I had a small piece of this star fabric from Indigo Crossing and I'm using it instead of the appliquéd stars.  But, no worries...... here is one of my many, many, many appliquéd stars I have done.
I have used the template in Month 2 and traced my star onto the light fabric.  I cut out with an 1/8" seam allowance.  If you are new to appliqué, I think one of the first problems you might encounter is the seam allowance.  Most people want to cut a more generous seam allowance.  It's hard to get used to, but you really need an 1/8".  Any bigger and your seam allowance won't turn under smoothly.  You will have sharp angles and bumps on your edges.  This little seam allowance makes for smooth edges.  Take care not to handle it much after this so you won't have your edges unravel.  I have glue basted this star down onto the background with just a dot or two of basting glue.  You only need a tiny dot. (and it will eventually all wash out).


Next, I clip the seam allowance at all the inside points.  One clip, and right up to the drawn line.


I start on the flat side (or the flattest you can find) and work from right to left.  I'm right handed.  I take small stitches, turn the seam allowance as I go. Don't worry about anything except for the space of 2-3 stitches in front of the needle - that is all you need to turn at a time.  Notice that my stars have rounded points.  This is on purpose.  I find rounded shapes easier to appliqué than points.  Especially when they are small like this.  If you look at all my quilts - all the stars have rounded points.  

When I get to the inside point, I take 2 small stitches to secure it.

All finished!

This is another project I have been working on.  It's called Polka Dot Garden.  We will have this pattern ready next month.

This was a total scrap quilt.  And it you're wondering..... I still have lots of scraps left.

Laters,

Laurie

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Remember Me?

Yes, it's been awhile.  Things here have been a bit goofy.  There has been a lot of packing, de-cluttering, and recycling to thrift stores.  I wish it were more exciting, but it isn't.  All I know is that I hope this stage is temporary and we move soon. Unfortunately that can't happen until we sell this place.  Oh well, you know how it goes.

Also, my iPhone died and had to be replaced.  I googled the symptoms of my sick phone and you know what came up? "The Blue Screen Of Death". Yes, that pretty much summed it up.  In the midst of all that - I lost all the pictures on my iPhone.  It seems Life is trying to teach me a lesson. No pictures.  No clutter. No fabric and sewing notions.....  (I packed away 99.9% of all of that and am working out of ONE BOX of fabric and thread, people!)   This monastic life is sure a challenge.

No other news, except Polly and I have been inundated with lovely emails this week.  All of the people who are in our Austin Bluebird BOM (that quickly sold out last year - and thus The  Moda Kits happened! ) were treated to some gifts this month.  Suffice to say, our Minick and Simpson followers are the nicest people in the world.  Thank you everyone!

But what is a Minick and Simpson Blog post with out crooked, slightly out of focus pictures?!?!

Here is what I have collected on the new iPhone this week.  You're welcome!

 This is one of the TWO storage units being packed by yours truly. All of my sewing stuff is in there somewhere.
 Yes, it's still cold. Damn cold.  But the fashion choices just keep getting better.

 This is but a smidgen of my newest quilt.  I'll have more soon on this one.

 These are my NEW GLASSES! They are getting lenses in them right now.  I hope to have these back very, very soon.
 Frigid temperatures you say? How about a salad? This one was on the menu all last week. Watercress, oranges, avocado, and a shallot vinaigrette. Yum.

 This was one whole day of misguided sewing.  It's lovely, but it will not work for the quilt.  Do not be surprised if you see this used someday - in this form or a slightly altered one.  Waste not, want not.  There is quite a large pile of these miscreant squares.
These are much more suitable..........

Laters,

Laurie

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