Friday, November 30, 2012

Does Pat Sloan Ever Sleep?

I believe the days are speeding up.  That's the only explanation.  Time for tinsel, lights, and pretty wrapped treasures.  Not here, of course - but I'm optimistic.  Soon.   I bet Pat Sloan's house is decorated already.   More about Pat, a little farther down this post.

There are several projects going on here in different stages.  Some on paper, some on cloth, and some only dreamt about.  I hope to be able to show more soon.  I do have this project - The Mrs. Billings Coverlet by Somerset Patchwork & Quilting.  This is what my hand piecing looks like in my lap....

I just added the 5th border today.  I have mixed feelings about it.  I LOVE it, but the pressing of this project is vexing.  There are many pieces here, most on the bias.  Karen's wonderful instructions suggest to finger press, so not to stretch out your quilt top.  I can agree wholeheartedly with this recommendation - yet I WANT to press.  I long to iron.  Mrs. Billings is looking a little wrinkled and puffy right now - like she has had a wild night out on the town.

So, except for the center block of hexagons, this has only been finger pressed.  I so want to steam this baby into submission, but know that isn't really wise at this point.  Yet I see other peoples Mrs. Billings posted online looked prim and starched.  C'mon people - confess that you're pressing this.

Besides that little problem - I love working on this and am dreading the time when it has to be put away for awhile.

Make sure to stop over at Pat Sloan's Blog today - she is having Pat Sloan's Holiday Giveaway!
Today she is talking about Polly and I.  No doubt Pat is talking about us because she is delirious.  She is one of the hardest working women in the textile industries.  Really.  She has projects going ALL THE TIME.  Today she has a Minick and Simpson giveaway..... a Game Board Quilt Kit featuring Indigo Crossing fabric from Moda.

This fabric doesn't even exist yet (at least not in yardage).  This kit is made from the last of the sample yardage from the mill.  Indigo Crossing will be in your local quilt shops in February.   Go over to Pat's blog RIGHT NOW.  Maybe if we all follow along on her blog hop - Pat will take a much deserved nap.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

No Leftovers

In the new special issue of Country Home magazine, there is an article on some of Polly's Christmas decorating.... it's available on newsstands right now.  

We hope your Thanksgiving went well, your Black Friday was productive, and that you are not too bogged down with leftovers.  Bill and I had a wonderful time in Texas.  There was a little bit of quilt stuff and a lot of good food and family.  If this blog was written by someone more competent there would be lots of pictures to record it.  But, you're not that lucky.  Happiness is Quilting is a great shop in McKinney Texas that invited me to do a book signing.  Check out their facebook page for proof!

Earlier in the day I was at Moda - checking out our new fabric strike-offs and shopping the warehouse. Of course, some of the ladies took me to lunch too.  Thanks Susan, Lissa, and Deb!

I'm now home and getting back into work mode.  A whole bunch of stuff needs to be cleared off the worktable to even start working.  One of the things on my work table...... this new toy from Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe in West Linn Oregon...... 

The LightPad from Artograph

This cool toy is a lightweight, slim, portable lightbox.  Think of a large iPad.    This baby really throws off a lot of light.  I have been coveting a lightbox for quite awhile and was thrilled to find this at Hollyhill.  I can't wait to mark some quilt designs onto my next completed quilt top.  

While running errands last night and this morning a wonderful thing happened!  I could drive from one side of town to the other.  The Ann Arbor Stadium Bridge is completed.  Finally.  For 13 months, it seemed like it could be said, "You can't get there from here."  Now we can.  The west side is now connected to the east side.   13 months.  You know what else took 13 months to build?  This.

Empire State Building
Yes, our little 400 foot bridge took the same amount of time, and just about the same amount of money.  

Seems about right.  

Now that we're back home someone is bemoaning the lack of Thanksgiving leftovers.  Without turkey leftovers, there can be no turkey corn chowder.  I think a small roasted turkey is on our schedule for tomorrow.  Bon Appetit!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Airports and Caffeine

I'm home for a few hours until my next trip to the airport.  Just enough time to download a few pictures and tell you all about Homespun and Holly!  The wonderful workshop we just finished at the Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe in West Linn, Oregon.

It was fabulous, just like we expected.  I can still smell the pine needles and spruce.  Real trees everywhere! 

Santa stopped by and delivered presents

Or maybe it was one of Santa's helpers - Chief Elf Brian.
What a peaceful and lovely place to work all day on stitching and hooking.

And then there's the shop.... 
Holiday Decorations.....
Goodies Everywhere

I would go back again in a heartbeat.  As a teacher or a student.  

Now on to some family gatherings, turkey, football and more.  Have a safe holiday everyone.


P.S.  As I surf the internet a tiny bit on my way back to the airport, I saw this.  Just so you know where ALL the Twinkies went?  They went here.

Courtesy of Cute Overload - This guy is the reason you won't be able to find any Twinkies.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Wrap-up

Happy Friday to you all!  Just going to post a few items to keep us all up to date.....

First of all - make sure you read this post on Moda's Blog - The Cutting Table about quilts for Hurricane Sandy victims.  I'm sure we all have a spare quilt or two hanging around.  I know I do.

This month starts Polly's and my whirl-wind travelogue.  We have about 7 trips planned in the next 6 months and each one is better than the last.  First - we have the Homespun & Holly event at Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe in West Linn Oregon.  That is next weekend and we CANNOT wait.  Those folks at Hollyhill sure know how to treat customers - and teachers alike.  I will guarantee a good time will be had by all.  Here is a snapshot from last year's event.

I'll post the next trip too..... as I might not have time to do it beforehand.  You see, I fly back from Oregon next Sunday and the following day I fly to Dallas.  Whew.  It's a family thing - you know, turkey and all the trimmings - BUT I will make some time to be at Happiness Is Quilting in McKinney Texas on Tuesday, November 20th at 4pm for a Spirit of Sacagawea book signing.  Happiness Is Quilting is doing the Sacagawea quilt as a BOM for 2013!  Make sure to stop by if you are in the area.

Happiness Is Quilting is one of my favorite shops and I'm so tickled that they will be doing this quilt as a Block Of The Month.

What else?  Well, Polly wants you to know that you can expect some rug hooking kits to be posted in the next couple of weeks.  Whee!  These are all small rugs and we think you'll love them.  Watch here and our website for those.

I've been designing quilts this week.  Just me, graph paper, pencils, lots of erasers, and instant photos and emails to our CrackerJack digital pattern person - Lisa.  You see, I draw - old school - on paper and Lisa transforms it into the pattern you see.  Yeah, Lisa!

Nothing to show you yet - as we don't even have digital fabric to make digital quilts out of.  (Who knew that this would be a sentence I would write one day).

While designing and other stuff.... This is my Mrs. Billings Coverlet so far.  I'm prepping lots of hand-piecing for my upcoming travels.

Have a great weekend.  Bill and I are going to make a little time to see this....


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mrs. Billings, Miss Marple, and Me

Mrs. Billings Coverlet by Karen Styles of Somerset Patchwork

Are you familiar with Mrs. Billings?  This is the Mrs. Billings Coverlet.  Karen Styles of Somerset Patchwork in Mt. Waverly, Victoria in Australia did this masterpiece.  It is an interpretation of an antique quilt made in 1790 that is in the York Museum in Great Britain.   Yeah, Karen spied that antique quilt and said - "I can do that".  And she did.  If you follow lots of quilting blogs like I do, you've probably seen this.  For those of us who like hand piecing - it's kind of like the holy grail.  There are several Aussie quilters who are doing this and I have been watching and wishing I was doing it too.  There were lots of excuses.  Time, being the main one.  I have other fish to fry.  BUT wouldn't it be lovely to have this beauty to come back to when you could do a bit of handwork?  On the bus, train, or airplane?  In hotel rooms and comfy couches while watching a murder mystery?  I procrastinated, yet I kept going back to Karen's website  and blog to lurk and dream.

No more!  Mrs. Billings is here.  I met Karen at International Quilt Market in Houston last week and I confessed my obsession with her quilt.  I now have the booklet, the template, and the paper pattern pieces - and I've started!  These are the wonderful acrylic templates for each shape.  Notice the little holes in the corners so you can mark your seam lines.  Perfection.  

While waiting for deliveries and while packing up shipments..... This is what I've done.  I'm trying to work from just my scrap box (except for the background) and I don't think I'll even make a dent in that bad boy.  I'm pretty pleased with what I've done so far (center block and 2 borders - only 13 borders to go).  When I took the above picture I noticed a problem.  Sigh.  It seems I added the 2nd border backwards.  My points should point out - not in.  You have no idea how many times I checked the picture before I sewed it on.  But, it fits and I'm leaving it that way.  Just like an American to do it bass-ackwards.

Now Mrs. Billings will have to wait as I have other things that need tending to.  Just thought you'd like to see and maybe start one of your own.  I'll post my progress as it goes along, but I think there will be long periods when I can't work on it.  But, it's about loving the process, not necessarily being fixated on the end product.  I think Mrs. Billings and I will be long time friends (Miss Marple hangs out with us too).


Friday, November 2, 2012

The Fabric Shopper, Red Cross and Helping

This photo has gone viral.  It was taken a couple days ago in Hoboken New Jersey.  One small act of kindness.  It inspires others.  Sandy, the unruly houseguest has left, but she has still left many in need.

Meander over to The Fabric Shopper Blog and see what Christie has done!  If you make a donation to the Red Cross - you are in a drawing for lots of sewing and quilting goodies.  Great idea!



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