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!