Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gifts for Giving

The Holiday season is here - and so is all that Shopping!  So, this is just a reminder to consider alternative gifts this year.  For instance, November 24 is Small Business Saturday.  Why not visit a small business near you and spend your money there?  You would be supporting not only that small business but also your local community.

Actually, why not visit a small business throughout the year?  As quilters, we already do this everytime we go into a local quilt shop and buy something.  Why not take it a step farther and visit locally-owned restaurants and one-of-a-kind stores?  I have tasted some of the best food from these local restaurants and found some of the best gifts at local stores.

And, gifts can be in form of services.  Maybe pay for someone's newspaper subscription or maybe get a gift card to the hairdresser.  These sentiments are exactly those expressed in an  editorial letter by a Mr. Psalmond that appeared in the Moultrie (GA) Observer a year ago.  

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Thanks to American Patchwork and Quilting for the following:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Winners & Drive for Donations Update

Sherry B. from Iowa and Deb B. from Minnesota are the winners of the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog tour giveaway!


Thanks to all who participated!

Regarding the drive for donations for victims of Sandy, I can't express my gratitude enough!  In just a few short days, we've received such a great response.  At the CLQ guild meeting last night, there were so many donations that I could barely take all of them in my car.  Good thing there were lots of clothes and quilts/blankets so we were able to squish them all in!

Thanks so much to Lisa from Kentucky who has gone out of her way to donate to this drive.  Your family's generosity is much appreciated and very awesome.

In the last few days, I have seen more and more calls for donations.  Here are a few:

American Quilter Society/Project Linus - asking for twin to queen sized quilts.

eQuilter Hurricane Sandy 5000 Quilt Challenge - read about this on Luana Rubin's blog. Details are at here.

Bumble Beans Basics - a NYC based quilter who has organized a quilt drive.

The Round Bobbin Quilt Shop, is still accepting donations in the Philadelphia area as well.

Again, thanks so much for all the donations.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Help for Sandy Victims

We all know how devastating Sandy was.  Well, it's been more than a week but there are still displaced families who urgently need our help.  Our friend, Cyndi Hershey, told me about this and we decided to have this grassroots drive for donations.

The families are in need of winter clothing - coats, hats, scarves, gloves, etc - as well as regular clothing.  Personal hygiene items that can be used in shelters are also needed.  Kids need backpacks for school (the school will provide school supplies).  Finally, with the cold weather upon us, there is a great need for QUILTS!  Blankets are in short supply so quilts of any size would be very welcome.   

If you are in the Philadelphia, PA area, please drop your donations off at the Round Bobbin Quilt Shop in Ambler.  Cyndi and Jim Hershey will transport these donations to Hoboken, NJ where Cyndi's daughter lives and works at the school.  Otherwise, please check with other relief agencies to see how you can help or contact your local quilt shop for help in starting your own drive for donations.

Thank you for your generosity.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Are you Blog Touring?

I am so honored and glad to have my block included in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 6!  This issue will hit the stands on November 13th!  Watch for it or keep reading to see how you can win a copy.
Picture courtesy of Quiltmaker.
My block is #573, Cross Keys, found on page 54.  I so love to play with colors and shading.  So this block features blue in three shades, and a yellow-green accent on a neutral background.

Here is the quilt, as shown on page 16, that I made to showcase this block. I created a pieced sashing strip that coordinates with the block and produces a neat secondary pattern!
Picture courtesy of Quiltmaker.
So many of my friends love reproductions so I had to see what this block would look like in repros.  Then, I just had to see it in pastels and in a very graphic black, white and red!

They all look so different, don't they?  With the repro block having such a strong cheddar background, I wanted to see it in a quilt with the pieced sashing.  I love the transparency the secondary block creates!

 Here are two simpler Table Runner settings - just the blocks sashed with cornerstones:

What colors would you want to see in this block?  Post your answer in a comment below and  be sure to include your email address.  You will be entered to win a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 6 from the publishers!

Also, if you subscribe to this blog AND post a comment, you'll be entered in a separate drawing to win a book from me.  

Winners will be chosen early next week so be sure to post your comment and/or subscribe by Sunday evening, November 11. Please be sure to return to the Quiltmaker blog to keep touring everyday and be entered to win even more goodies!  

Thanks for visiting and if you're in the U.S., don't forget to vote today!  


Monday, November 5, 2012

Half Square Triangles

Today is the first day of the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Blog Tour!   Visit the other blogs listed today and tomorrow, come back to see my block and some options to use it!

In the meantime, here's a rundown on the different ways to make Half Square Triangles (HST).  I find that I use certain methods depending on the project I'm working on.  When making an HST, you typically need 2 different squares of fabric, 7/8" larger than the desired finished size.  So, to make a 2" finished HST, start with cutting two 2 7/8" squares.

1> The very simplest method is to simply cut a square into 2 triangles.  Sewing 2  triangles together make a HST!   This method is simple and fast.  However, working with the bias edges can sometimes be intimidating.  I would suggest using sizing or spray starch first to make things go more smoothly.

2>  The second, more popular method, is to mark the diagonal on the wrong side of a square of  fabric.  Layer two squares right sides together and sew 1/4" away from the marked line on both sides.  Cut on the marked line to get two HSTs.  This method is easy and simple but not as fast as the first.

3>  Using paper foundation is pretty popular.  There are several products in the market that work well, including software that allows you to print whatever size foundation you need.  This is such a great idea to make very precise HSTs.  However, tearing out the paper can be time-consuming.

4>  Use a ruler/template to cut or mark HST pieces.  For example, a lot of patterns require 2" finished HST squares using a 2 1/2" strip.  The best way to do this is to use special templates.  These methods are great when dealing with pre-cut strips.  

With any of these methods, one can always make oversized blocks that get trimmed down to exactly the size  needed.  So which way is your favorite?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

To Market, To Market (Traveling Girl, Part 2!)

 Quilt Market was exciting and exhausting - as usual!  Modern Quilting was quite pervasive with lots of vibrant color in tonal or solid fabrics everywhere.  Chevrons, hexagons, triangles, circles - these were patterns I saw over and over again.    There were rulers and acrylic templates everywhere - to cut curves, to cut triangles of a variety of angles, to cut half square triangles, to cut hexagons, - you get the drift!  
Some new fabric lines include Sue Spargo's line with Robert Kaufman, Quilting Treasures has Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin for next halloween, Red Rooster has the elegant Belle Notte and Lonni Rossi designed Fairmount Park for Andover.  

Remember, tomorrow is when the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Blog Hop starts!!!   At Market, I had this HUGE button pinned to my bag.  I placed a dime on it so you can see how big it is!  

When I got home, my copies of the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks  had arrived!  So exciting!  

Tuesday is my assigned blog day so check back in!  Lots of giveaways on this Hop!  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Travelling Girl, Part 1

Where do I start?  I have so much to share with you!

First, our families and friends on the East Coast are constantly in our thoughts.  Sandy packs a wallop and it is simply heartbreaking to listen to the news.

Last week, my husband and I went to San Antonio.  What a beautiful city!  We tried to see all we could but among the best things to do were to visit the Alamo, where we were moved by the stories, and enjoy the Riverwalk.  For my birthday dinner, we went on a dinner cruise on a barge that went around the Riverwalk.   Curiously, everyone else who had made reservations to be on the same cruise cancelled!  So, Mike and I shared our own private dinner cruise with Wayne the waiter and Dan the captain!  How awesome is that?!

Made from rattlesnake rattles!
I was quite fascinated by the architecture and design of the buildings and bridges over the Riverwalk.  It seemed as though each bridge was unique and the buildings were something else.  Here are some pictures - including that neat hexagon tile floor!

A building along the riverwalk

One of the bridges.
One of the bridges.  Love the curls!

Market Square

Prickly Pear Margarita at Boudro's

The Riverwalk at twilight
After San Antonio, we headed to Houston to attend Quilt Market but that is for the next post!  Though I must say that it is always so much fun to see old friends and friendly faces!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Short and Sweet

Check it out!  My quick quilt is on the cover of an upcoming book, Quilts By Monday

Picture courtesy of Annie's Publishing.
Beautiful Timeless Treasures Tonga Batiks are featured on this quilt.  So yummy!

I'm not sure when it's being released but here's the link to Clotilde.  

That's it for now - short and sweet, wasn't it?  Gotta go get ready to share my quilts at County Line Quilters Guild  tonight.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Projects, Projects and More Projects!

The new AccuQuilt book just came out - "GO! Inspired"  and two of my projects are in it!  

Picture courtesy of Annie's Publishing.

 Look for "Diamonds Jubilee" and the patriotic "Confetti Welcome."
Diamonds Jubilee
Picture courtesy of Annie's Publishing.

Confetti Welcome
Picture courtesy of Annie's Publishing.

The book is more for intermediate and advanced quilters since the projects include the more unusual shapes. 

Bottle and Cup Wraps
Picture courtesy of Quilter's World.
AccuQuilt is giving away copies of the book with a purchase from their website.  Check it out asap at  

I also have a cute project in The Scrap Sensation - a pair of wraps for cups and bottles.  It's a great way to avoid having condensation from a cold drink get all over your hands and belongings.   And, I just love it!

Check out the Pillow Pizzazz book.  It's chock-full of ideas!  If you want to try a quilting technique - old or new (raw edge applique, big stitch quilting, prairie points, etc), chances are it's in this book and your test project need not be any larger than a throw pillow!  Just in time for the holidays, my "Tis the Season" pair of pillows, made from Northcott's awesome Stonehenge fabric line, are also included in this book. 

More to come!  But, enjoy and ciao for now!  (Been watching Fabio cook on, can't you tell?! LOL)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Roman Mosaic

Well, there goes the summer of 2012!  I barely saw it!

I have so much to write about but let me just start with these series of photos about a new Roman ruin.  It's such a stunning discovery and the patterns on the mosaic simply make me think of QUILTS!

So, enjoy!

Read all about it at

'Til next time...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Unexpected Delights

A couple of weeks ago (it's been THAT long???), I went on a weekend quilting retreat with a group of friends in Lancaster.   Over the years we've gone, we had gotten into the habit of stopping at a fabric shop or two (or three...) on the way.   This year, my friends were delightfully surprised to find the book, "Quilting in Black and White" with my quilt, "White Birches" on the cover!  As it turns out, that was a surprise to me, too!!!   :)

What an awesome way to start the retreat.  So, thanks to Leisure Arts and House of White Birches for this unexpected treat!

One thing about quilting with your friends is that you can just relax and let the sewing go wherever it wants.  This time, I just wanted a race!  And the Jelly Roll 1600 was the way to go!

It seemed endless at times - more like a marathon, I thought.  But, really, in only about 2 hours, I transformed a Jelly Roll, from start to finish, into a Lap-Size Quilt top!   Here it's draped over the couch.  Pretty big - and FAST, don't you think?

Click here to check out the possibilities and instructions for the Jelly Roll 1600! Thanks to the folks at Heirloom Creations for coming up with this great idea!

NOTE to my non-quilting friends - The Jelly Roll I'm talking about is a bundle of 40 strips of fabric. It would be a tad difficult to transform food into a quilt.... ;)

A springtime retreat would not be complete without wonderful, colorful flowers.  So, here are some pics - Enjoy!

Pansies so pretty in their window box.

We watched these irises bloom over the weekend.  These yellow irises were just so lovely! My favorite!


Just one more picture -  does anyone know what kind of flowers these are?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Of Dogs, Quilt Shops and 5 Cent Bags

First, I just wanted to share these pictures of Roxy and her "cousin", Lucky.  Aren't they adorable?!  
Lucky generously shares his bed with Roxy.
Lucky just chillin' after Roxy took over the whole bed!
Roxy as the Easter bunny! 
We went to Montgomery County in Maryland last weekend to visit with family.  We learned pretty quickly about the 5 Cent Bag Tax.  Have you heard about it?  

Basically, as I understand it, all retailers in that county now charge 5 cents for every bag - paper or plastic.  So go to any retail shop, whether it's the supermarket or the quilt shop or the craft store, etc, and make sure you have your recyclable bag in hand.  Otherwise, be prepared to fork over the 5 cents or carry your purchases in your hands.   I know the intentions behind the tax are really good for the planet but, boy, I missed those free bags!!   

What do you think about it?

On the same trip, I went to visit Capital Quilts, the local quilt shop in Gaithersburg.  After finding just the right fabrics for a project, I checked out and, of course, did not receive a shopping bag.  The woman who was helping me was so generous and  gave me a recycled fabric bag instead for no charge.  She even matched my purple fabrics with the bag!  Recycling fabric totes (which quilters have a ton of!) is a fabulous idea!  

Recycled tote from Capital Quilts!  Thank you!
Speaking of quilt shops, the new local quilt shop, The Round Bobbin in Horsham is having the Grand Opening tomorrow, Saturday, April 14.  There will be demos, door prizes, specials, food and even a drawing for a Bernina sewing machine!  So be sure to drop by.   

Oh, and just one more picture I had to share!

Mini lying on top of multiple pillows and blankets.
Look at those eyes!!!

Link:  The Round Bobbin Grand Opening  -