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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rearranged the sewing room

I don't know about you, but my sewing room shares space with a guest bedroom and sometimes it's hard to work around the bed space.  For a while I had it right in the middle of the room, up against the window.
Before the bed!

Desk and sewing table on the right

Ok, a real guest bed, finally!
I love my counter top over the cabinets along the far wall, but on the right side of the bed I had my desk and sewing cabinet against the opposite wall.  It seemed ok for a while, until running around the bed every time I wanted to use the iron (see it in far corner!) or trimming a block at the cutting board meant I spent more time walking around the bed than I did sewing!  I mean, it looked nice and all, but not very functional.  Then I had this brilliant idea.  My husband just rolls his eyes when I get these brilliant ideas because he knows that means he will be involved!  LOL
So I moved the desk, the bed, the sewing cabinet, rearranged my pegboard and found some real floor space!  Cool!  I made a nice triangle for working--machine to cutting board to the iron.  Way way better!!
Rose Hill Lane quilt I designed for RJR Fabrics!

So now I have this nice L-shaped work space!  My sewing cabinet is in front of the closet, but it has wheels to easily move it when I need to find something stored.  The most used items are in the cabinets and drawers so that won't be a problem.  Of course the dogs love it because they can see out the window, or just lay beside me on the bed when I'm designing on the computer.  I love that I can see and actually USE my design wall again.  At first the new bed placement looked way out of balance, so I figured I'd just hang a quilt or two to ground it, like a headboard.  I ended up hanging the runner on the window wall--it was just the right amount of space, and it matched.  John hung the TV above the desk after this picture was taken, and it turns or tilts so it still works ok.
     Those small colorful blocks on the design wall are my first blocks for the Tula Pink 101 Modern Blocks from her book.  They are so much fun to do, really fast and easy, and picking out the fabrics is the best part! I'm using some of her fabrics, a lot of solids and anything funky in my stash that I can find.  I highly recommend her her book, it's something new and different!
I can't wait to do more!!  Let me know if you are or have been working on these!  Trust me, you won't regret them.  Have a great week and don't forget to quilt something!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Terry Atkinson was in town!

One of my more recent adventures was being asked to show my quilts at our local quilt shop in Henderson, NV last February on the same day that Terry Atkinson came to town and showed us all her wonderful quilts, runners, small projects and patterns.  What a fun lady, and so talented!  It was a thrill to meet her and talk a little bit of shop!  She was full of great ideas and some good business sense.  Thanks Terry for sharing!
She was nice enough to take a picture with me, and her trunk show was wonderful. (Terry is on the right). So that day I got to display some of the quilts that I had designed and made last year.  The center quilt is the Lemon Tree that I mentioned before when I couldn't find a picture! The center block on point is a lemon tree applique with star blocks set on point in the first border.
The smaller star quilt you see on the right made cover of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine's Feb 2014 issue.  What a surprise and a thrill.  While I was there for the day, a customer came in to show me her version of the quilt in fall colors, what a great job she did, and I apologize to her for not finding her name that I had so carefully written down!

“Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2013 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.” 













These are a few more of the quilts I had on display.
  We had some great sunsets this winter too that I just had to share.  Now it's spring and I can hardly believe that Easter is right around the corner.  This was an exceptionally gorgeous display of Mother Nature, right from the back yard.  What a palette this would be for a quilt!  If you ever wonder what shades and values to put together in a quilt, just look around you, Mother Nature gives us the best possible examples and choices!  I'll be back with more soon, there just so much to share!! Happy quilting everyone. Have a great week.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Let's start with today!

I know, I've been a very bad blogger.  It's been over a year and i have so much to share with you, but it's going to take some time.  I got a little overloaded last year--so much so that this year i promised myself some time off, time with family, friends, and quilt retreats.  Time to work on my dozens of quit tops to get them quilted. Time to finish a few of the UFO's in the closet.  Time for a book, a really good one, and a real Saturday afternoon to take a nap and be down right lazy.
I've missed blogging a lot, and it's time to return. Life has been good, and yes, i still love to quilt....maybe even more than ever before.  I took the first 3 months of this year to recharge my batteries and start my new plan.   So I'm starting with today.  It's a perfect day to start! And I'm starting with my most current project!

My project was featured in the June 2014 issue of @apqmagazine! It went on the newstands today.  See my project, as well as other featured projects from this issue here:
I happen to love blue, and the blues in this line by Robyn Pandolph for RJR Fabrics really hit home with me.  I grew up on the California coast and the sea foam greens, aquas and blues really speak to me.  The quilt is aprox 74" x 74", so it's a good bed size.  I have another quilt I call "Lemon Tree" from the same line.  When i find those pics I'll post them. 
Spring is trying hard to get here, and it's nice in the Southwest to have flowers already!  I have really felt for so many this winter that have had such a long hard freeze and lots of snow.  So here's to spring!  Get inspired to quilt something new.   See you soon.





Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!

I've been a busy bee this year, and I needed to update the most recent publications for some more of my quilts from 2012.  Here it is, Dec 21st, the date we were all doomed to die at the end of the world, and lifes keeps ticking on.  Not that I was ever worried about the Mayan calendar!  LOL!  There have been many sad events in these last few weeks but I believe in hope for the future, and continued strength to endure, even hope and faith to push us forward, to enjoy the God given days ahead. 

I also wanted to spread some Christmas cheer and some of my favorite Christmas surroundings with love to all, and especially my family and friends. These are just a few of my favorite things.

  To finally finish a wool project--priceless!
 
 
And our little dog Peanut under the tree.
A quilt for the wall, and a treasured cross stitch from my daughter many Christmases ago that I just love.

Music boxes and
homemade decorations from years past. 

Even a new tree topper we call Larry, Moe and Curly!!!
 
I will post the last quilts and magazines of the year in my next post.  Somehow work just doesn't seem to belong today.  Have a wonderful Holiday Season!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Is it Fall yet?


 Well, the heavy monsoons we had this year really made an impact on the Las Vegas valley.  This is a view from our back yard as the huge storm that flooded so many parts of the city rolled into our area, in the southwest part of town.  The storms are over now, and the crisp cool evenings and early mornings of Fall have arrived.  It is so wonderful to walk the dogs and be comfortable!  My husband and I decided to celebrate the Fall weather with a new purchase, to give us hours of exercise and entertainment that we are already enjoying, new bicycles! 

My new Specialized bike has 21 gears which we need because we live on a mountain and all the streets in the area are hills!  Talk about a workout.  But I'm like a kid with a new toy and so excited to be able to just jump on and ride whenever I want.  It's comfortable too, which is a bonus.  No more being housebound from the summer heat!!  This is my favorite time of year.
Well, Fall also means that Fall Market is in full swing, and believe me, the quilts are cranking out every few days.  I'm busier than a one armed paper hanger to say the least.  I'm having the best time though, with the new pattern designs and quilts from the new fabric lines that will be revealed in Houston.  I have a sneak peak for you of one that I finished that is going into a magazine next spring.  It is an RJR line called Cold Spring Dreams and I just love the contemporary look using florals! What do you think? 
Here's a close up of the quilting, just having fun with a contemporary design.  Can't show you the whole thing yet, but you get the idea!

 
Fall also means sprucing up the yard and the house, so we potted plants in the yard and painted indoors as well as adding new cupboard doors to the kitchen!  Never a dull moment around here for sure!


 It's been a fun ride through summer and now it's time to get out the quilts, holiday decorations and ease into a new season.  Peanut thinks sleeping on quilts is the only way to go!
Have a great week, pull out those unfinished projects, and finish just one!  Your dog will love you for it! 


Thursday, August 30, 2012

We have blog tour winners!!!!

Drum roll please, I have a first place winner, using random generation drawing, number 134, and her name is Karrie S!!!   Karrie wrote "I love your tree skirt! It is so beautiful!" Congratulations Karrie!  You will be contacted in the next week or so by Quilter's Newletter to obtain your mailing address to ship your beautiful Fat Quarter bundle from Maywood's Snowfallen collection!  Yay!  I just love it when someone wins a prize!

I have also picked (using the random generator) a second and third place winner.  Second place is Karen, number 60 in the comments list and she wrote " Love the Tree skirt, and colors.. Great blogsite too!!  Karen I will contact you for your address so I can send you the magazine issue as promised!  Oh this is fun.

My third place winner was randomly generated for number 2!  That is Celcelia who wrote, "I love this tree skirt! I've been wanting to make one for myself, but haven't found one I like. I really like yours, especially the fact that I don't have to match points. :) Thank you for the chance to win."
I'll contact you as well today for your address so I can mail you your new magazine. 

Thanks to all of you who visited my blog for a chance to win.  Don't forget there are more tours after mine so you still have a chance to win!  Stay with it--you just never know when your number will come up!

Ok, so I have to share more quiling stuff with you this morning.  I just finished a traditional quilt I designed from RJR's Incense and Peppermints line by Robyn Pandolph that will be available soon!  A couple of weeks ago, I went to a wonderful class with Kim Diehl, and I have to admit she is one of my favorite teachers!  I learned a whole new way to applique using several techniques I've used before but put together in a whole new way.  I love it!  So I had to make some applique blocks of course, plus a few yo yo's and I just shipped the quilt yesterday!  So exciting!  I'll share some sneak peak views for you here.


I just love it when an applique block comes together!  Kim's method looks hand done, but in the end is stitched on by machine. 
You use freezer paper templates, but instead of ironing the waxy side to the wrong side of the fabric, you glue stick the center of the paper side to the wrong side of your fabric.  Carefully trim around your template leaving a 1/4" seam.  The sides of the freezer paper will be loose, so use small scissors and keep rotating the edges in your hand while you trim.  Then the fun part begins.  Lay your piece right side down on a hard pressing surface, and using a small iron, (I perfer the Rowenta iron) press the edges to the waxy side of the freezer paper!  Fabulous!  You need very few snips to inner corners--like ONE-- and none to the outer curves!  On outer corners press over one side, then the next and then using a dot of liquid basting glue, tuck under the point carefully and press to set the glue. 

Now it's time to lay out your pieces.  Fold an inner crease corner to corner on your background square to give you placement registration marks and work from the bottom pieces to the top.  Put tiny dots of glue along the pressed over seam allowance only, and press in place!  This holds all the pieces in place so you don't have to make your background block larger.  This eliminates trimming your block to size after the applique is done.  By the way, I have always used bias bars for any stems, they work wonderfully!

Sew the edges of your applique pieces, one layer at a time under the sewing machine using a tiny zig zag stitch, setting about 1.0 width and 1.0 length, using a cotton thread in the bobbin and a monofilament thread on top.  One swing of the needle goes on the outside edge of the applique, the other into the applique.  You will stop and turn frequently so a hands free system on your sewing machine works well (a knee lever to lift the presser foot).  Well, I couldn't stop there so I made a pile of yo yo's and sewed them on (this time by hand) for the flowers! This was the most fun I've ever had with applique!  It's usually so time consuming, and this was a pleasure to work on.  I highly recommend all of Kim Diehl's books where she gives much more detailed instructions to the process, and some beautiful quilt designs too.
It's amazing to me what just four applique blocks can do to add interest to a quilt.  You'll be seeing a lot more applique work from me in the future! 
Have a great day and keep quilting!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

12 Days of Best Christmas Quilts!

The new issue of Best Christmas Quilts 2012 from Quilters Newsletter is in quilt shops and bookstores now!  You can also find it through www.quilt andsewshop.com both in hardcopy and digital editions.  At $9.99 it's a great value because it has more patterns than most books at half the price. 

For the second year in a row, I just happen to have another project in this wonderful Christmas issue!  It is probably my most favorite class I have ever taught, and a favorite pattern.  It's called Holly and Ivy Tree Skirt, and also is known as my Spiral Tree Skirt! 
What I really love about this pattern is that it looks so complicated, yet it is so easy to make and there are absolutely no points to match!  The secret is the use of a 9 or 10 degree wedge ruler that is 24" long to cut your wedges out of a strip set.  When the ruler is placed at an angle on the strip set it automatically makes the fabrics "spiral" around on the tree skirt! 

Leave a comment on this blog post before 11:59 p.m. MDT tonight (August 29th) for a chance to win
this beautiful prize of Fat Quarters of Fresh Fallen Snow from Maywood! 
VERY IMPORTANT!!!!  Please include your eamil address when leaving a comment so that you can be contacted if you win!  There will be one winner at random for the Fat Quarters, and I will also give
away an issue of this magazine for a second and third prize!  Again, leave your email so I can contact you.  It may not be Christmas in July, but August works just as well!  I'll announce the winners on August 30th.
Thanks for stopping by, and keep quilting!!!

Twilight Christmas

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