Monday, August 29, 2011


Oh My! If you only knew how long it took me to post this picture. You would all feel very sorry for me. It's started last Wednesday when my 8 year old, decrepit computer caught a virus. If you are in my email contacts, you probably already know this. Everyone got a lovely spam advertising male enhancement pills. I am so sorry. If it makes you feel better, that computer is now sitting in lots of little pieces in the back of my car, waiting to go to the recycle center. I am now blogging on my new iMac! It's wonderful, except for a few glitches. Like all my photos got transferred over into separate files instead of my well used, well known PC files. It took only about an hour to find this. No fear, lots of iMac classes are scheduled, so I should be up to snuff shortly. Anyways, this is from another quilt in the Victory Girls book. Polly found some vintage embroidered kitchen towels with kitty images on them. All of them referred to the home front during WWII. Since gas was rationed, biking was a necessity. The original towels were in a group of seven - like days of the week. We came up with 2 more images and reworked them into this quilt
Glenn, from Yarn + Needle did the stitching for us. Thanks, Glenn! I then put them together with some string pieced blocks, (Very recycle friendly that string piecing!) and came up with this.

Oh, and have you heard about a Moda Designer Blog Hop that will be starting soon? I'll have more later. After my class, when I learn how find photos.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Victory Girls!

We've heard that the book is being printed as I type this. That means it will start shipping shortly! Pre-orders are now being accepted on our website. Remember that we can autograph copies if you like - just note it on the order.

The Victory Girls quilt was a joy to make. I enjoyed every stitch. We wanted to do right by our mothers, aunts, grandmothers and neighbors. Every block had a theme and, if I had to choose, this one was my favorite.The inspiration for this was the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. You know, the REAL baseball league that was started during WWII. Since many of the other pro players (Men) were serving - baseball was in danger of collapsing during the war. It started in Chicago and was a small league in the Midwest. Living close by I have heard tales of it and even met a few of the veterans. Besides, isn't this movie one of your favorites?A League Of Their Own

If you think you would like to make the Victory Girls quilt, Polly and I will be at Holly Hill Quilt Shoppe in West Linn Oregon in November. Polly will teach a hooked purse, and I will teach a portion of this quilt. We can't wait!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Visits, Quiltmania, and Other Stuff

Yesterday was not turning out well. I won't go into all of it, but one of the factors was that the expected delivery of our next fabric collection did not happen. (Top Secret for a couple more days!!) It's looking good for Monday, though. So, because of that, other things on the schedule got changed. In the midst of all the hubbub, I got a phone call. It was Barb and Mary of Me and My Sister fame! They were 45 miles away and we NEEDED to get together for lunch. Of course we did! This is outside of Zingerman's Roadhouse. That's good eating, people. Here is Mary with one of the robots that are starting to materialize downtown.I'd tell you more, but soon Barb will blog about it on their blog - and it will be funnier and have better pictures, so if I were you, I'd just wait.

What else? We had a bit of a thrill this week. I got my issue of Quiltmania!I have been a rabid fan of this magazine since I picked up a copy a few years ago. This glorious French publication is a never ending source of inspiration. This issue just happened to have a Minick and Simpson favorite - the Chippewa Nine Patch. Thanks Quiltmania!

Since the new fabric isn't here I have been working on the Hawaiian quilt. It is going pretty fast actually. I'm about 1/3 done. I have some of the flower buds on (but not the flowers yet)Next week look for some sneak peeks of the new fabric line and some more Victory Girls!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Late Night Catch Up

Well, it's about midnight and I'm posting the American Banner Rose fabric winners. We'll have more info and stuff this weekend. We might even have a little sneak peak of our next collection - as long as Mr. UPS man cooperates.

So, here goes.... the American Banner Rose Fat 1/8 Bundle goes to Becky S. The Jelly Roll™ goes to Emma, and surprise gift goes to Hildy in Germany! Email me here and I'll get the goods to you. Thanks for all your terrific recycling tips. While we also put out paper, cardboard, plastic, and glass each week for the city to pick up - some of you make us look pretty lame. Inspiring! I also use my fabric selvages for utilitarian string and gift wrap ribbon. There is lots of room for improvement, though.

More later.....


Monday, August 15, 2011

Victory Girls and More

(Scrap drive in the 1940's. Everyone pitched in. )

It's feast or famine here at M&S. Day or weeks with nothing except pictures of my groceries, and then everything kind of hits at once. I'll probably have a few more posts this week.

First of all here are a couple more sneak peeks at Victory Girls...
I'll post some more later this week. This quilt, the rugs and several more quilts will be in the Kansas City Star booth at International Quilt Market in Houston in 2 months. Seems like a long time doesn't it? I guess it does unless of course you have to make things to show there - then it's all about time management from now until then. We have just started CRUNCH time here as we just heard our new fabric is on it's way. The new patterns are being designed and proofread. But - more about that later, too. Oh, there will be a Moda Designer Blog Hop coming up shortly too.

Right now we are awaiting the delivery of American Banner Rose fabric to all your favorite quilt shops. I am hearing that it will be very early in September that the yardage will start shipping.

In anticipation of that we have some pre-cuts that will get you started......

(Thanks Camille Roskelley for this photo!)

Just comment here on your favorite recycling tips, be it paper drives, canning, or whatever. We all could stand to recycle more. Make your comment before Midnight, Thursday August 18th and you could get a fat 1/8 bundle, a Jelly Roll™ or other goodies. Thanks!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Victory Girls

In a few weeks our new book will be out - Victory Girls. The idea for the book came about in a round about way. Lissa Alexander, a VP of Marketing at Moda Fabrics, suggested we do a BOM. An Americana one of course. We tossed around a few ideas and knew we wanted to honor women. At first we tried to encompass lots of American women, but we narrowed it down to the women of the 1940's who sacrificed quite a bit for our country. Thus, Victory Girls came about.

We wanted to honor the women who entered the workforce - Rosie the Riveters they became known as.This was the block we used to represent her - a factory lunch pail. The "WR" on the pail represents Willow Run, the bomber plant outside of Ypsilanti Michigan. It's practically a stone's throw from where we grew up.
Let's not forget that everyone became a farmer and planted a Victory Garden.
There's a lot more. Here it is all together.
We had so much fun making these quilts and rugs. We hope you like them. We'll have more about this book when it comes back from the printer.

Polly wants me to remind you that there are only 4 of the Semper Fi - Watering Can rug kits left. You can find it on the homepage of our website.
Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hawaiian Quilt Making

I've made several Hawaiian quilts - or in the Hawaiian style. Making them is the best part about them. I know for the next several months, I will have a hand work project to work on. First, all the applique - and then the quilting. Over 25 years ago I took a class with Roxanne McElroy; She wrote the book That Perfect Stitch about her love of the genre and her version of them - Tahitian quilts. AND, That Perfect Stitch is a great book for hand quilters. It's always THE book I recommend. Sadly, Roxanne has passed away, but her daughter Dierdra McElroy had added to the book and it has now been re-printed.The first step was to make an original pattern. Once I got over all my hesitations and procrastinations and put pencil to paper - it went pretty fast. I copied that pattern (you only have to draw 1/8th of the design - much like a paper cut snowflake) onto tissue and then marked it on my snowflake folded fabric. This is my fabric folded 4 times (8 layers). I stapled through it every few inches to keep it in place as I cut. Yes, stapled. Roxanne said so and it works great. The only stapler I had in the house was a tiny desk stapler so off I went to Staples and found this.A regular desk stapler with a super deep throat. I don't know what the supposed use is for this stapler, but I can tell you - I stapled my fabric layers in a hot minute using it. You can't really see the staples, but take my word for it - it's stapled all over. Now, I cut. A good set of seamstress scissors - I used Gingher - went through these 8 layers like a hot knife through butter.My background fabric is folded the same way, it's just a few inches bigger all the way around than my cut fabric. OH, and make sure to press well after each fold. You want to see those creases really well.
At first I tried to do the basting of the two layers together on a table. Basting is easy, but takes a couple hours. Sitting in a chair while doing it seemed like the nicest way to tackle it. Alas, it didn't work out. My table was just too small and the working area just didn't take up enough of the surface area, but I tried. So now I knew I needed to work on the floor. NOT a fan of floor basting anymore. I cracked my patella a couple of years ago and there is just no way to get comfortable. You might remember the cracked knee story. It was when Bill and I refinished the floor and I chased a cat and fell and ruined my knee and the smooth shiny floor all in one motion. Anyway....Here is the backing laid out and taped to the floor. You can still see the creases that were ironed in. That blue mess is the top all cut out, staples removed.
It looks impossible, but it will work. All you have to do is line up the fold lines. There were fold lines ironed into the blue fabric too. Here is what it looks like after a few minutes. I am slowly unfolding and lining up the top and the bottom - fold lines matching.
Here it is a few minutes later. Lots of breaks were needed to accommodate the cracked knee.
Ater an hour and a half - this is what the "snowflake" cut top looks like unfolded onto the backing.

Now I needed to baste it. This is the easy part. I used Roxanne's Baste-It glue. Notice the ingenious bottle. The needle thin applicator lets me put the tip of the bottle underneath the edge of the the applique about 1" in. No picking up the fabric - no moving it at all. Just place the tip under the edge and squeeze a dot of glue. I put one dot every couple of inches. This glue basting of this queen size quilt top took under an hour. I starting stitching last night. It's all downhill now.

As for my pattern.... it's just something I drew that was inspired from antique Hawaiian quilts, and has a little Jane Sassaman thrown in for good measure. This is the foliage of the quilt top. There will be a few flowers on top of this, once this is sewn. Thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hello, Anybody Here?

We're still here. We have never taken this long of a blog break before. It won't happen again. Things are just a bit busy here. There were family get-togethers and summer celebrations and even some work.

Thursday Bill, myself, and Rachel and Michael went to a Tiger's game. Rachel and Michael are my my great niece and nephew and Polly's grandkids.Don't ask about the game. I think we went to the only loss they had this week. What else..... A package arrived with some goodies from the Moda warehouse. If I were you, I would expect a giveaway very soon.

I have been writing - a lot. That will be for some future posts. I also started a little project for a gift. It's an Hawaiian style quilt. I have made several before and I love to make them as it is all hand applique and hand quilting - the perfect travel project. You do need a window of several days for the prep work. When my current writing project is done in the next 2 days, I hope to baste this thing. All I need is a very large flat surface, a bottle of Roxanne's applique glue, and maybe a good movie playing in the background.More on the Hawaiian quilt later.......

The good news is that our next book is getting very close to it's publication date. So close, that we have been given the go-ahead to let you have a few peeks. The book is called Victory Girls: Patriotic Quilts and Rugs of WWII. It will be published by Kansas City Star books. Here is one of Polly's wonderful rugs....
Polly's rug is her interpretation of the border of my quilt - which you can see a bit here.Thanks for stopping by. There will be more posts of Hawaiian quilt basting, more peeks at Victory Girls, and even some give-aways.


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