Saturday, September 29, 2012

Baby Quilt

Hi Blog Followers!

Kate is wonderful about keeping up with our blog.  I did want to share my day today.  Had a baby shower to attend for a young couple in our neighborhood.  They have both served as Captains in the
Army in Afghanistan.  We are grateful for their service and are glad they are home safe and part of our wonderful community.

Just wanted to show you my gifts - of course a quilt! and my first attempt at a knitted baby sweater!

It was a great learning experience....I just want to know why a newborn needs pockets in a sweater???
Car keys, ATM card...oh that's right that lifesaver- the pacifier!

I am quilting tomorrow - are you?  Have fun if you get a chance to!

Elizabeth ( aka Libby)


I have discovered the one down side to not working a regular day job. When you work at home, you are always at work!

It is important to have some down time/fun time- even when you have a lot to do! Even when you can hear the work calling you from the other room.

Today, we took a little time and went on a hike. We went to Roxborough State Park. At first I was disappointed. It is fall, and since we went a little south, we did not head to towards the "color".

But, once we got going, the beauty of the area got to me and I was no longer disappointed.

We parked our car and wandered up to the visitor's center. This was one of the signs we saw before proceeding out onto our trail.

It is a little hard to read (sorry, fuzzy picture!), but it tells us what to do if we encounter a bear or a mountain lion. Ok. Well. 
I guess it is good to know, but.... mountain lion? Oh, and that we should be on the lookout for rattlesnakes. Snakes. Not high on my list of adorable wildlife creatures.

But off we went. And it was worth it.

At one point, we took the path up to a lookout. Amazing up there. And so quiet.

The only sounds I heard were the small insects buzzing past and the rustle of something in the brush. 
Nothing else.
No cars.
No music.
No noise at all.
So peaceful.
And beautiful.

Of course, at one point, I fully expected to hear music, see Julie Andrews and watch the hills come alive!

A wonderful spot and less than 30 min from our apartment. Wow.

Not a big fan of this sign.... but everything has it's good side and it's not so great side.

On the good side, the sky was just so blue today to the east.

Hazy off to the west.

All in all, a lovely adventure.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Happy quilting,

p.s. yes, I did get in my machine quilting. I did not post pictures as it is not something you want to see yet. When it improves, I will show off.

p.p.s. It may be a while till the improvement. Just saying.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Machine Quilting and New Patterns

Do you all machine quilt your own stuff? Hand quilt? Longarm?

When I first started quilting, I hand quilted my quilts. And between working (my "day" job has always been in nursing), raising three fairly active kids, housework.... you know the drill, it took forever! And of course, my short attention span didn't help either!

Pinwheels and Posies hand quilted by me!

I loved the look of hand quilting, the feel of it as you ran your hand across the quilt. And at first, ages ago when I started seeing more machine quilting, I didn't like it. Too much color- I remember a quilt with bright blue thread across the beautiful white fabric!

These days,  I love machine quilting. It is beautiful when done right, and quicker than hand quilting. I always hate to make a decision based on speed, but sometimes it is a factor. So, years ago, I found a few people who did great machine quilting and they have quilted many of my quilts.

Look at this Mosaic Medley quilt done by Connie White of Golden Bells Quilting. Beautiful.

Mosaic Medley machine quilted by Connie White of Golden Bells Quilting

And this one is one of my favorites. I designed this quilt and taught it at a quilting retreat sponsored by Quadrille Quilting. It is called Seaside Retreat.

Part of Seaside Retreat machine quilted by Connie White

I love how she quilted waves in the blocks that represent the waves,

and pebbles in the area that represents the beach,

and rays in the sun,

and clouds in the sky.

And I just am in love with the quilting on our two new patterns done by Laura McCarrick of Always Keep Quilting.

Huey Louie quilted by Laura McCarrick of Always Keep Quilting

And Daisy Mae. I know I already posted these, but they deserve a second look!

Now, while I will still have some quilts quilted by these amazing artists, I do want to quilt more of my own stuff. And I have done some machine quilting. Mostly straight line sort of things. Mostly on our small projects like the banners and runners.

This table runner, Pinpoint, came out pretty well I think. I even tried a little stippling.

But I want to be able to do more. And machine tension seems to be a struggle for me. The quilts look good on the front; just don't turn them over. So, I have decided I need to do two things.

First- Practice. Practice . Practice.
And the other is to take some more classes. Classes give you feedback, ideas and the motivation to keep practicing!

I just took one from Heather Thomas at Golden Fiber Arts Studio. Fun place! And she was great! One of the things she suggested is to try to find 21 days where you can quilt every day. It takes time to develop muscle memory and doing this will help.

So that is my new plan. I am going to do a square a day. So will look great and some will not, but I will do them.  I am off to use my coupons at Joann's and get some muslin and batting and make some squares. And tomorrow, I quilt!

Wish me luck!

happy quilting,

p.s. Our new patterns Daisy Mae and Huey Louie will be out in another week or two! SO exciting!!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Winners of the September giveaway

Welcome Fall!
Thank you to all who entered our fall giveaway! We really appreciate everyone who visits the blog. And what blogger doesn't love comments?

Today I am off to a quilt show: Quilt -a -Fair at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont. The merchant mall has over 90 vendors- this could be dangerous!

We have had a great week and as I was getting some orders ready and out the door, I was looking at our pattern, Two Star Tote. It is one of our earlier patterns and like it's big sister, Four Star Tote, it nevers seems to go out of print. So while I was printing and packing up some Two Stars, I thought, I should make a fall Two Star Tote. It is such a fun pattern to use with holiday or seasonal prints.

So these are the fabrics I chose to use. Fun, bright  Halloween prints. Sometimes you buy these fabrics because they are just so adorable, but you are not sure what you are going to do with them!

Two Star is made with just 4 Fat Quarters.

And here is the finished product. A few hours and... Viola!

A cute treat bag for Halloween!

I just love the little spiders....

The one time I like spiders by the way!

Oh, but you came here for the giveaway!

Drum roll please.....

The winner of the Autumn View pattern is:


Wonderful giveaway! Love the fabrics you chose.

Thanks! I am going to include enough of this great corn fabric in case you want to use it for the corn block. And a few surprise FQs.

The winner of the Stack O'Jacks pattern, fabric pack and the Aurifil thread is:
Kathy MacKie!!

Fall is my favourite time of year and your colors make me happy to know that pumpkins are now in season!

The fabric includes one of my hand dyes and it is really pretty! I hope you like it!

I will be sending the winners and email so I can ship out their goodies!

Enjoy this beautiful fall weekend- at least I hope it is beautiful where you are. Off to get a pumpkin latte and then to see some great quilts and maybe do a little shopping!

happy quilting,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I have been participating in a group to try to get my business recharged. Energized. Updated. Moving forward. And there was a video that was recommended and I recently watched it. It talked about why you do what you do.

Do I know why? Do you know why you do what you do?

When we were kids (or when my kids were kids!) and we asked our parents "why?", sometimes we were told: Because I said so. My mom said it, I am sure her mom said it and I know I have used it a time or two. Or three. And it worked. We were the authority. In charge. No questions need be asked.

Why did we use it? Sometimes because it was the millionth question in a row and we were tired. Other times it was because they were just questioning to question and we were tired. Sometimes it was just easier than the long winded explanation of what made our decision correct. And sometimes, we just wanted them to obey and not question. Because we were tired.

Listening to that video, I wonder about my business why? Why do I do what I do? And why would anyone want to play along?

And really, Because, is a very good reason. Because I can't imagine not doing it. I love to sew. I love to design. I love fabric- the colors, the texture, the feel (well, the feel of good fabric, not the cheap stuff!). I love the way it makes me feel- sometimes calm, sometimes energized, sometimes just inspired to create. I love yarn for the same reasons- the colors, the texture, the feel. I go into yarn stores and run the skeins of yarn across my cheek. I have a small basket of yarn on my mantel because it makes me smile.

And I love the finished products- the quilts. The bags. The scarves and sweaters. The colors of the quilts all blending together in spots, making contrasts in others. The feel of the quilting as you run your hand along the top of the quilt. The feeling of accomplishment as you look at what you created.

And I love to share- share what I created and to see what others have created. It is inspiring, calming, rewarding, energizing...

So, why you may ask?

Just because.

Happy quilting,
p.s. I am sharing a little giveaway - click on this post.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Giveaway for September

Giveaway Monday is here!

In honor of the arrival of fall this week, we are doing a fall giveaway. And in honor of the fall colors, Jim and I went up to the Colorado Trail at Kenosha Pass on Sunday- what a beautiful day!

 The sky was just so blue.

What a gorgeous spot. I am so glad we went to see Colorado's fall display. Very different from what we are used to in New England but quite lovely in it's own way.

But on to the giveaway!

First we are giving away a copy of our pattern Autumn View. This is a great time of year to pick up fabrics for this quilt. If you don't want to make the whole quilt, make a few of the blocks for a table runner. We might even include a FQ or two to get you started.

Here is a runner I started back in CT. I am going to have to finish that this fall. It will look great on my table! I love the batik border. The colors are so different from what I used in the quilt.

Second we are giving away a copy of our pattern Stack O'Jacks and enough fabric for the top and binding! And a spool of Aurifil Mako 28 to add some spiffy quilting to your project!

The fabric stack even includes one of my new hand dyes! It's the top piece and is one of my absolute favs from my days of dyeing. I hope you like it too! Hard to see it in the photo, but trust me- it's lovely!

And the Aurifil thread is yummy!

Stack O'Jacks is one of our favorite patterns. It goes together so quick and the pumpkins are just so darn cute! The big guy on the bottom looks even better when you give him some little black button eyes! (Excuse the crummy pictures though- I am having trouble with lighting this am! It's a cloudy day here in CO and there is no good spot in the apartment!)

To enter:
1. Leave a blog post comment. Anything will do! You can just say Hi! If you want, you can let us know if you like the new banner and format.
2. Become a follower of our blog and then leave another comment or let us know you already follow us. 
3. Like us on our Facebook page and leave a comment letting us know you did that.
4. Blog about our giveaway and let us know.

The drawing will be open all week and will close Friday afternoon, September 21st. The last official day of summer. I will post the winners on Saturday, the first day of fall. Thanks to everyone who visits and enters!

Happy quilting,

Saturday, September 15, 2012


So, what are you doing this weekend?

Across the street from my apartment is Clement Park here in Littleton.Every year they have an end of summer festival called Summerset Festival.

It started last night with music, hot air balloon "glow" and fireworks. The hot air balloons were tethered and they would light up in the sky- it was really pretty. It was to honor everyone touched by the Columbine High School tragedy. The school is right next to the park.

Today there is all sorts of stuff going on- including a ton of tents for food, crafts, a car show and I don't know what else. I am going to have to get over there. And soon!

Yesterday I took a class thru a local quilt guild from Cynthia England. She is a hoot! She did a lecture the night before at the guild and everyone was cracking up at her infectious style and crazy blocks.

If you don't know her work, some of it is just stunning. Click on her name to go to her website. At her class, we worked on simpler stuff but learned her technique. It was a lot of fun. Here are two little house blocks I made. They are not done yet, but I will get them done.

 They have not been trimmed to size yet, but aren't they cute? And crooked, but hey, that goes with the crazy Halloween vibe! They may look better straighter once trimmed. If not, then that's how they were meant to be!

Here is a close up of the one with yellow windows- I think I may use a brown permanent marker and outline the windows so they show up better. If I had thought of it before I fused them, I could have added a brown frame behind them. Now, I think a marker is the way to go.

I am going to make four of them for a little Halloween wall quilt.

Well, whatever you are doing, have a great weekend.

And the giveaway will finally be posted on Monday along with a new look to the blog. (Sneak peak of part of giveaway!)

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


It is raining here in Colorado. An unusual sight. At least, it has been unusual since I have been here. We have had a few small showers, but they come and go in a few minutes. Today, it is raining, a nice steady rain.

So, it is quiet here in my apartment. With my door open, there are no golfers outside my little deck, no golf carts buzzing around. Even the geese are quiet this morning. Just the sound of the rain. Steady, soothing. Ahhh.

So, what have I been doing? Well...

First I dyed.
As in fabric dyeing. On Saturday I went to the home of a woman named Karen where she was hosting a class on fabric dyeing. It was really fun. It was a small group so she could interact with all of us and we could chat as a group.

We started by over dyeing six fabrics in a rainbow to really get the feel of what happens when you dye. We used fuchsia, lemon yellow and sky blue dyes from Dharma as our base colors.

I wish I had taken photos as we went along. Here is my palette all dyed, rinsed, washed and pressed.

I chose not to manipulate the fabric a lot while it sat in the plastic bags curing. That is why I got a lot of mottling, which I like. While I don't know much about dyeing, I knew I didn't want pieces with consistent color across the fabric. I think the mottling adds more interest.

Next we did some ice dyeing. I dyed three pieces with different color mixes of the powders.

I really love the green/blue one.

And then we did a gradation. I chose to do orange as I wanted to do a color not in my comfort range and I figured with fall coming up I would have a use for it! I did one light, one light with brown and a darker one with brown.


To continue the dye story, on Monday I got together with one of the gals from the class, Marcia, and we continued to dye fabric!

We used the rainbow palette again and added some black to see the effect. The orange looks more red and the yellow is chartreuse. We did not see much change in the blue. I think we needed to add more black to that one.

And then tried a different way to ice dye.

I really like these pieces.

Because they did not sit in the dye, they are a little softer. Any prettier in person. I had trouble getting a good picture of these last ones.

What fun we had.

So I have lots of groovy fabrics to play with.

Sunday, my nice hubbie drove me around Denver to go to knit shops. It is bad to have more than one addiction. Twenty one knit shops are having a shop hop. It was one way to get me to go into the city!

I love what cities have to offer, I just wish they had more open space! And poor hubbie would love to live IN the city! What he has to put up with... But Denver is not a bad city; especially on a Sunday. Not too crowded, not too many tall buildings that block out the sun.

Back to the knit shops, we drove around the city and went to four shops. Each shop is so different! And everyone was very friendly and even though I told myself I did not need any more yarn, or books or magazines I couldn't help myself!

So pretty!

And we ended up at a farmer's market and got some pears (yummy!), gala apples, local honey, granola, and I can't remember what else. What a good day!

Yesterday I spent part the day with some fun quilting ladies and got the binding almost done on Daisy Mae. Huey is stitched and just waiting for his turn to be finished.

Today is my day in the office. I have some emails to do, a pattern (or two) to write, a giveaway to organize and maybe I will sit and sew some binding and watch "The Voice" on DVR.  Good rainy day activities.

Have a great day!

happy quilting,

p.s. I knew the geese would not stay quiet for long!