Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Was In The Shop The Other Day...

And guess what I saw? Blank quilt spaces!!
You know what that means, don't you?
New stuff to be inspired by!
Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Oh, Fun.

How was your week? Mine was fabulous. My sister came to visit with her daughter and we had the best time together. We took a trip to AST to get Dayna's supplies for a quilt adventure on Saturday then on to Ikea for lunch and a little shopping. My favorite part of Ikea is the As-Is section, especially the textile bin. You never know what you will find there. Dayna scored a king size, beautiful chocolate-colored quilt for $10. Sweet.
Friday was spent at the doctor's with our mom who, hopefully, is finally rid of the last prickly offender in her kidney. Fingers crossed. We know the staff at the surgery center very well now. In fact, I'll be knitting all of them washcloths because that is what I worked on while I was waiting. Nothing peaks curiosity and brings a few subtle hints like a pair of knitting needles and some yummy yarn.
Saturday arrived and we left home at 8:30 AM to drive to Watkinsville, leaving snoozing children behind. Not to worry, they had their own adventure in Little Five Points, shopping and people-watching! We arrived at the Dragonfly Quilt Shop right at 10:00. Perfect. (I kept wanting to call it the Dragonfly Inn. Oh, Gilmore Girls, why did you have to end?)
It's a darling shop, filled with beautiful sights for your eyes and the nicest people working there.



I wonder how much sewing I would accomplish if I had something cute like this to inspire me?

The Georgia (UGA) corner. We were a hop, skip and a jump from Athens, so you know there just had to be one! My husband would love this nod to his alma mater.

Part of the reason we went was so I could meet someone I had spoken to on the phone but had never met in person. Tina is a MaryJane's farmgirl and we have been trying to get together for a while now but life, as it does, prevented that from happening. Until Saturday!

Me, Dayna and Tina after a very busy day of quilting!

I walked into the shop not knowing anyone but my sister and left having made a new friend. Actually, a whole room full of new friends! It never fails that when you get a group of women together, sewing machines humming, the result is a fun-filled, friendship-forming day. It happens everywhere. Every woman in that classroom was funny, bright, happy and helpful. I wish I had taken photos of the quilts being made because each one spoke to the beauty of its creator.

This adventure in quilting was my sister's first. We made Gift Boxes by Cozy Quilt Designs, which happens to be the very first quilt I made! Fun to sew, with just enough challenge to make you feel as though you have really accomplished something. Dayna is giving this quilt to Mom for Christmas.


Here is Dayna's very first quilt on my design wall. She used Fig and Plum for the blocks and chose a pretty pale mauve for the background and a green floral for the border. Not exactly her favorite colors, but they are Mom's. She's coming back in three weeks to run a 5K with me and she will finish the top then. That is if she can find a happy placement for the blocks! In know how she feels.



Here's mine, after the cat decided it would look better with a more casual appearance. I turned my blocks for a different look because I already have one done like the pattern. One of the other quilters had her block arranged this way and I really liked how it changed the whole quilt. I used Charisma by Chez Moi for Moda, along with a beautiful gold polka dot from Bee's Knees for the background. It gives this quilt a lot of energy without overpowering it, I think.
I was sad to see my sister and niece leave yesterday morning. We always have the best time together and I missed them immediately. But, they'll be back for that killer of a 5K next month. (What were we thinking?)
Until then, you'll find me at A Scarlet Thread with my quilting sisters there. No, they are not the original, but they are the next best thing!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Giant of a Giveaway!

Fly on over to Jaybird Quilts and leave a comment for a chance to win one of Julie's amazing Giant Pincushions! If you don't win, that's okay. Julie has a fab tutorial on Moda Bake Shop today so you can make your own!
How sweet is that?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Sister.

For the life of me I cannot figure out why this little quilt took me so long to make. I think it was because I wanted it to be perfect for my sister. Her birthday was at the end of last month. Better late than never.




I used Moda's Hello, Betty! for this quilt. My sister has a closet full of Fiesta Ware in every color imaginable. This colorway just happens to match some of her vintage pieces perfectly. What a stroke of luck.



The pattern is the Disappearing Nine Patch. So cute. I used the easy-peasy way of making the block that Rachel shared in her Moda Bake Shop tutorial. I omitted the sashing because the quilt was so small, but you can bet I will be making a big one using her pattern!! It's just adorable.
When my sister sets her dinner table she will now have something that will be just as fun as her Fiesta adorning her table.
She's coming to my house on Wednesday. Don't let her know what will be in the gift bag, okay?
.
.
.
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PS- I haven't given anything away. She doesn't read my blog. ;)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What a Find!!

One of the first places I head to at an estate sale is the piles of textiles and linens. You never know what you will find. I usually come home with something I can't live without, like this piece of vintage children's fabric:


My guess is that it came about from the movie Mary Poppins. Don't they look like British nannies riding bicycles?
The only problem is that I cannot find out anything about it. Anywhere! There are two yards of this yummy stuff. I wonder what the woman who bought this was going to make with it. Was it curtains for her daughter's room? A dress? A nightgown? I will never know.



But, what I love about this, is that she kept it for all those years. From 1964 to now even though it's purpose had long passed. I have a feeling that she and I shared the same dilemma- this fabric is so darn cute that I cannot cut into it. At all.
My next step is to write to Mattel and see of they can help me in my search. Hopefully they will be able to solve the mystery.
Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

S.A.G.A.

SAGA, or the Strippers Anonymous Group Association,met on Saturday after strip club. The class is for those who want to get a head start on the next strip club quilt or to get to work on a past one.
Can I just tell you how much fun we had? Oh, my goodness! There were approximately 20 women who stayed and we had a ball. What is it about when women gather together to work on projects? There was such a spirit of camaraderie in that room as we helped each other sort out pattern directions, chose color combinations and began stitching.


Conversation threads floated through the room, weaving a cloth of new friendships.

There was a lot of sort-group, sort-group happening.


It's rather fun to see the different sewing methods.
Neat as a pin or a bit sloppy, which one are you?
I will admit that I am a bit on the sloppy side, but learning. :)


These white gloves do more than make you look like Minnie Mouse. They will prevent you from cutting off parts of yourself with the rotary cutter. Yep, a very handy thing to keep with your quilting tools. Handy! Get it? Ahahahaha. Okay.




I loved watching the thoughtful ways that our group approached their color combinations.



The world is a very small place. Trust me. I discovered that my sewing neighbors knew me from when I worked at a local elementary school! It's been 11 years since I worked there. My goodness, time flies.


The key to being able to assemble your quilt project quickly and with only minor errors is to be organized, organized, organized. Repeat after me, "Sort, stack, label."
And buy stock in Post-It notes.



See how happy you will be if you follow that simple rule?



All smiles.
All the girls accomplished a lot during S.A.G.A. I was able to sew all of my strips together for the new quilt! That will make me more likely to finish it before August 1, the next time we meet.
To make the afternoon even better, we were served delicious grilled hamburgers and charred (the only way to eat them) hot dogs, cooked by Karen and Ken. With a full compliment of condiments and toppings as well as some of the yummiest potato salad ever, we filled our tummies as well as our creative places.
I hope that S.A.G.A. becomes a more regular event. I loved chatting with Karen, Maryann, Carol, Flash, Sis, Lynne, Kathy (my sewing neighbors) and the rest of the girls. I learned a lot about them and especially from them.
I don't think I could have asked for a better way to spend my Saturday.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Singing Quilter

I found this clip this morning on youtube. It's pretty darn cute. You might have to turn up your sound.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Three Cheers!!

June's strip club had a patriotic theme using Sandy Gervais' Zippity Doo Da line. It's a perfect choice for honoring the red, white and blue.
Below are the finished quilts (or tops) made by the Scarlet Strippers. They are just beautiful.













And here is a sneak peek at July's quilt! It is absolutely amazing. I hope I can do this one. Eek!

Here's a little close-up. Aren't these colors dreamy?


After strip club finished, we all rushed through the shop to choose our accent fabrics for the quilt. Then it was back to the classroom to set up our sewing machines to begin working at SAGA. "What's SAGA?", you ask. Well, come back tomorrow to see.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Okay, I Cannot Keep This A Secret Any Longer.

My friend Stacy shared this with me a while ago and I'm not sure why I did not pass this sweet website along to you sooner. Please forgive me.
The Missouri Star Quilt Company offers a deal-a-day on their website and there are some sweet deals indeed!
Just last week I got a Louisa charm pack by Terry Clothier Thompson for Moda and an Easy Dresden ruler by Darlene Zimmerman for $6.95 plus shipping. Seriously! And shipping is a flat rate of $5, no matter what you order!
Go visit them now and see what deal they have for today. But be warned- they usually sell out quickly!
Pop by tomorrow for the latest quilts by the Scarlet Strippers and a peek into the S.A.G.A. class. We had a blast!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Timeless.

Last fall my friend, Joyce, called me and asked if I would like a stack of Better Homes and Gardens she had in her closet. She was doing some major house cleaning and discovered that she had every issue from 1972-1976. I said yes. Who wouldn't? Those were the years I was in high school! Yes, I'm that old.
It has taken me a while to go through these magazines, mostly because they bring back a ton of memories. Remember the Ford Pinto? It's advertised in one of the issues along with the Chevy Chevette. How about the Ivory Liquid "Who's the mother and who's the daughter? Can you tell by their hands?" advertisement?
The February 1976 issue proved to be a gem, full of beautiful photographs of quilts and chronicling the work of seven amazing quilters. I've photographed some of the pages for you to see.



The woman in the photo below is Mary Kyle of New Mexico. Her pinwheel quilt consists of 500 blocks and more than 7,000 pieces. Her work is beautiful. I hope that her family treasures that quilt and the time that went into making it.


Each of the quilts shown could have been made today, perhaps with a little color change. The patterns are still being used by present day quilters- the classic Log Cabin, Star of Bethlehem, simple but lovely nine patches.


The Butterfly and Flowers and one patch above and the Dresden Plate and Windmill variation quilts below made by Rosie Fisher, catalog fabrics from the sixties and seventies. I love the detail in the Dresden Plate blocks. That pop of red makes it such a happy quilt.



How is this for incredible?


Yes, I had to give you a close-up. Made by Quirl Thompson Havenhill, this quilt is just stunning.
I have a bag of hexagons waiting to be assembled and I think this is how they are going to be put together. I rather like the more graphic appearance of Diamond Field as opposed to the more traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden.
This block below, called Fanfare, was an original design by Quirl.


Erma Wink made the quilts below, a scrappy Log Cabin and her blue and white Storm of the Sea quilt. As she stated, " The land out here is brown enough! I add the color."



I am totally in love with this scrappy Sunflower quilt, made by Mabel Metcalf. At 82, she had made 34 quilts in the previous year. Thirty-four!
She quilted the quilt on the cover of the magazine as well.



You just cannot imagine how thrilled I was when I opened the pages of this issue and found these beautiful treasures from the past. The women who made them may no longer be on this earth, but they are entwined with the threads in their quilts, a lasting legacy of their talent and devotion to their craft. These women live on in the tiny stitches and colorful patches.
I'm really glad that Joyce held onto these magazines for thirty-plus years. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Little Danish Inspiration

I recently won a copy of Jeanne D'Arc Living from Carol at Raised in Cotton. Oh, my, it is beautiful. You may be wondering why I am posting about this here on a quilting blog. Well, I have to say that this issue is full of inspiration. It is page after page of lovely Danish-French interiors that will make you swoon and get your creative juices flowing. I promise.



It is written in Danish but that does not prevent the beauty and creativity from singing to you from its pages.



A sweet and simple cot for baby, complete with a padded bumper and
cozy quilt hung over the end.


A white wholecloth quilt adorns this bed inviting you to tuck in and take a nap. Do you see those pillows? They are a lovely touch. No detail has been left out here.


I can just see this delicate blue floral design embroidered in the border of a baby quilt, can't you?

Or how about a quilt made in the palest of greys, creams and whites surrounding an appliqued bowl of lilac-colored muscari? French knot heaven. You just never know from where inspiration will come.
Next time you look through your favorite magazine do so with an eye seeking something new and different for your quilting. I am sure you will find something exciting.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What IS This Pattern?

A few years ago my mother helped her friends who were holding an estate sale. In the sale was this quilt:



Quite a few people picked it up and looked it over and, consequently, passed it by probably because of its $120 price tag and tatty appearance. At the end of the sale it had been deeply discounted, but still no one wanted to take it home. My mom called me and I went over to see it and I ended up buying it for $20. Lucky me!
It is hand-appliqued and machine quilted. I have never seen a pattern like this before and I am having trouble finding it anywhere. My research has come to a screeching halt.



Can you imagine the time this quilt took to create? All of those tiny stitches done thousands of times, it boggles the mind.




I would love to know the name of this pattern, if it has one at all. Maybe it came straight from the imagination of the quilter or was printed up in a long-ago newspaper. Whichever it was, it is beautiful, a treasure that was almost lost.
So, if anyone has any inkling about the name of this patter, could you let me know? I hope I can solve this mystery during my lifetime. ;)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like ......


CHRISTMAS!

Twilight Holiday Magic by Studio E

And a fun, funky Christmas at that! Don't you just love the retro look and colors of this fabric?

Sherri Berry Holiday by Lyndhurst Studio
I stopped by the shop last week and discovered that there are already Christmas fabrics adorning the walls and shelves! After all. it is the time of year to be thinking about making just the perfect gift or adornment for the house. You can imagine my delight when I discovered these adorable stockings made from a Moda Christmas Bake Shop treat.



How cute are these? And you can make six little stockings from the two honey buns and the pattern that are in the box! Now that is a sweet deal. Can't you see these clipped along some chunky white rick rack and strung across a mantel piece? I sure can. Now I wish I still had a fireplace.




Mary made this quilt using the width of three different Holiday Magic fabrics as the body of the quilt and trimmed it out with beautiful borders.
If you're not quite in the mood for Christmas, well there are some extraordinary quilts for you to try your hand at. This beauty made with batiks is just stunning. Shall I add it to my list of quilts to make? Why, yes, I think I shall.


Or, if you want to go bold, you may want to try this one:



It reminds me a bit of Japanese paper lanterns. My grandmother had those hanging in her restaurant when I was a little girl. The restaurant was no longer in operation but the decorations were still there. It was located between my grandparent's house and barn and was called Rita's Luncheonette. But that's a story for another day.

I have to say that my one trip to the shop has me wishing for completion of all the projects I have lined up so I may begin to sew on something red and green.
Who knows, maybe this year I'll even decorate!