Saturday, November 30, 2013

Old Dog, New Trick, and a Milestone

When I was logging into Blogger to do this bloggy thing….. I noticed we passed a milestone.  We have had over 1 million visitors to this - whatever this thing is.  Thank you, and welcome, and have a cup of coffee and stay awhile.

Hope all of you enjoyed the holiday and survived the cooking and cleaning up.  We did.  I even had time to do some online shopping.  (If you think I went out to shop on Black Friday - you really don't know me very well.)  I shopped online earlier in the week too and this arrived yesterday.  Several spools of Aurifil 28 wt. cotton thread.
Let me preface this by saying that at one time - long before we could shop and compare online - I used a quilting weight cotton thread to hand piece (the brand shall remain nameless).  I liked the heft of it and it did a great job joining the patches, but it twisted and knotted and did it's best job to slow me down.  When I discovered better made threads I used DMC Embroider cotton thread (on the spool for machine embroidery) and 50 wt Aurifil for my appliqué and hand piecing.  Wonderful stuff - both of them.  Perfect for appliqué and quite serviceable for hand piecing - but it was a bit thin for hand piecing and I made teeny tiny stitches with it to fill up the seam.  50 wt. Aurifil is still my hands down favorite for appliqué, but I was persuaded by a friend to try the 28 wt for hand piecing.  This is also the weight I use for hand quilting.  It's fabulous for that…..but now I can tell you it's also WONDERFUL for hand piecing.  No twisting, no knots, and it fills up the seam beautifully.  Yes, I can still learn stuff. 

What else did I buy online?  Well, I did some Christmas shopping and I am proud to tell you that I have whittled my list down to 3 more gifts to buy.  I hope to be done shopping by next week and I might not even set foot inside a store.  In honor of Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday - I even bought myself a gift.  It was NOT something I needed. It was something I wanted.  I saw this on Pinterest this week and I had to have it.

I found the pattern, the linen, and the floss for this fabulous stocking here.  

Yes, I really needed to get something to stitch.  I am in danger of finishing projects //laughs hysterically and wipes tears from eyes//

Besides designing patterns and fabrics for Minick and Simpson and then making those quilts that I design ….. I have the following projects in progress.

I have 2 more blocks to make in my Love Letters quilt (designed by the brilliant Blackbird Designs) Don't even ask me how I will put the blocks together. I haven't gotten there yet.

There is also the Hawaiian quilt I am making.  It is in the homestretch and about 75% hand quilted. It will be a gift. It's supposed to be a surprise gift, but they may or may not read this blog.

There is also Mrs. Billings.  She got another border added on this week.  12 borders done and 3 to go.  I tell myself that I am almost done - but as you can see - the borders do get bigger as you go along.

As it is, I needed to get on a ladder to photograph it.   (It's not pressed yet - hence the ugly masking tape to keep the edges from curling)

So, I really didn't need to get the stocking pattern.  I do have enough to do, but I tell myself that anything I can do to make Small Business Saturday a success is worth it.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Oh, and about that milestone! To thank you all for being there, for reading this prose on a regular basis, and supporting our small business - we would like to send out a gift to someone who comments on this post.

Comment before midnight December 3rd and you could win the kit for the 1868 quilt and our book Quilts and Rugs - which has the instructions for it.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Grant Park Layer Cake Lemonade Winner!

It's going to be a quiet evening here.  The weather is the type that you want to stay home and make a pot of tea.  I finished cutting out my next border of Mrs. Billings and I will spend the evening marking the seams.  TCM has a marathon of Screwball Comedies from the 30's and 40's on.  I am really looking forward to it.  Only a quilter would think all of the above is a good idea.  The rest of the world thinks my Friday night plans are sad.

Well, it seems that the Grant Park Layer Cake Lemonade Quilt has found a good home.

Tina C. is the winner!

Tina - email me here and I'll get it right out to you.

Have a great weekend everyone

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Layer Cake Lemonade

This is a quilt I recently made using a Grant Park Layer Cake™.  The Fat Quarter Shop designed this pattern and made it available to you HERE.

With one Layer Cake™, backing, batting, binding, and a free afternoon - you can make this large lap size quilt.  Kim from the Fat Quarter shop shows you how - HERE.  It's even easier than you can imagine.

Gift giving season is upon us and this is exactly what you might need to fill out your gift list.  I can even help you out a bit in that department.  Just comment here before November 22nd and you can have this Layer Cake Lemonade quilt (made by ME!) sent to you.  I'm here to make your holidays easier. You're welcome!

This post is supposed to go up on Monday, November 18th.  It's just an hour before that date here - but I'm posting this right now.  We are having quite the windstorm now and I'm predicting we probably won't have power tomorrow.  If you are anywhere around Ann Arbor, Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland - you know what I'm talking about.

We have a tree trimmer scheduled to come on Tuesday morning to take down a dead tree in the backyard.  Uh, if it is still standing by Tuesday.  I sure hope it is, because I don't see any possibility of it  NOT hitting the house if it gets taken down by wind beforehand.  Keep your fingers crossed.

So…. watch Kim's great video and plan your Layer Cake Lemonade quilt.  Also - the Fat Quarter Shop will have a 20% off sale on Layer Cakes!

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you too - that you have power to run your sewing machine.


P.S.  It's Monday morning and power is on and tree is still standing. You can all uncross your fingers now. Thanks!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

Armistice Day - London - November 11, 1918

Armistice Day Parade - Chicago - 1952
Thank a veteran today.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Quilt Market Prize Winner and a Mrs. Billings Update

Good Morning All.  It's good to hear that some of you still make Holiday gifts. It's been an inspiration reading what you are all doing.

Well, let's cut to the chase and see who won the prize package!

Thank You Monty Hall for announcing the Winner!
The winner is MARY! (The specific Mary has already been emailed - my apologies to the other Mary runner-ups)

Mary - you will take home the spectacular Grant Park Fat 1/8 Bundle, The Bella Solid Slice, several packages of Spinning Star papers and much, much more!!!!! (Taxes and fees apply.  Kidding!)

2nd on today's agenda…. The Midwinter Reds ikats FLEW out of our ETSY store this weekend.  We'll keep you posted if and when we can get our hands on some more bolts of the stuff.

Last, but not least…. the latest update on my Mrs. Billings Coverlet.  As you know, all of you who follow this blog, the Mrs. Billings Coverlet is a reproduction of an antique quilt from the United Kingdom.  Karen Styles of Somerset Patchwork in Australia developed the modern pattern and made it available to all of us obsessive compulsive patch workers.  I visited with Karen and Paul at Quilt Market in Houston and restocked our supply of Mrs. Billings patterns in our Etsy Store.

Here is a photo of my quilt in progress. I taped down the edges for the photograph because since it isn't pressed yet - the edges curl up a bit.

Eleven borders finished and four more to go!

My friend Glenn Dragone got bit by the Mrs. Billings bug too. Glenn took his version in a whole other direction.  First he started with every bit of colorful scrap he could find…..
Then he added a chocolate brown background.  He starting adding his borders and it takes on a different look at every stage.

When I look at his quilt I think of the song Bohemian Rhapsody.  I can't wait to see what the next border looks like.  Thanks Glenn, for letting us show your quilt.


Friday, November 1, 2013

The Ikats are Here!

The Midwinter Reds woven ikats have landed! You remember these lovelies….. we made our scarves with them.  We got in a few bolts of the Dots…..

And the Zigzag…...
Both of these are the exact same color and the photo on the top with the scarf on the mannequin is the better photo.  It's the same red that's in the Midwinter Reds prints that are now in your favorite quilt shop.  Anyway….. there are here, but won't be for long.  I have kits for the polka dot scarf HERE and the zigzag scarf HERE.

These will make a big dent in your "make it for Christmas" list.  Each kit has enough fabric to make 2 scarves - one to keep and one to give as a gift. The instruction sheet is included in the kit.

We all have grand ambitions to make Holiday gifts every year.  This fast and easy kit will let you actually do it.

Do you make gifts? Have you started? Have you just given up? Tell us….. Comment here before Midnight Monday November 4th and you could win a bundle of stuff that we brought home from International Quilt Market in Houston.  First is a Fat 1/8th Bundle of Grant Park.

Then there is THE NEW pre-cut from Moda - the Slice™! 

The Slice™is a diagonal cut of a Layer Cake™. Nifty, huh!  This Slice™ is many shades of Bella Solids in blues, aquas, yellows, and greens and there is a pattern to make the zigzag quilt on the label.  You will need more of one of the Bella Solids for background - or you can just play around with the newest pre-cut on the block and see what you come up with.

Also in the give-away are some packages of Spinning Star piecing papers.  We love these.  They make half square triangles in a jiffy and they are super easy to work with. We met Liz, the designer at Quilt Market and she sent us home with a bundle.

There is lots more people, but I'm just going to let you be surprised.  


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