Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hosanah! Happy Easter

Single 10" block on point

Made by Kathryn Wright and appears in my book: Perfect Piecing Perfect Points

New Class: Cupid's Arrows
Palm Quilt using 10" blocks and Regency Dandy fabric collection
Yes. You can see that I have made a LOT of these blocks and quilts. I happen to enjoy the block when I can paper piece it. I thought I'd show them to you for Easter.

It's Easter. Hallelujah. He is risen. The Palm block is a traditional block that has been historically pieced with intricate templates and in two sections (with the seam running through the center diagonally). I redrafted the block in various sizes for foundation paper piecing in an off-center log cabin arrangement of the patches. Very quick and the points are very pointy.

I've made several quilts over the years. Here are some of them. They all sing "Hallelujah!"

Single 10" block set on point in a flanged pillow
4 blocks on point in my favorite quilt using this pattern
7 blocks set on point. Sold this top to a friend who LOVED it!
Casablanca Palms. Made for Blank Fabrics for a Spring Market display
Hosannah Quilt in my book Paper Piecing Perfect Points
OK. Don't panic. You have to remember that I do this for a living, which means that when I sew I find someone in the industry (fabric company, magazine, publisher) who will pay MONEY for my design. I enjoy what I do, but I use what I do to make enough to pay the bills. Not a lot of money, but enough to keep the wolves from the door. And that makes me sing HALLELUJAH everyday. I don't take it for granted, that's for sure.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Daffodils in my  backyard jungle
Actually, it's March SNOW brings April flowers! The backyard in my rental house is a total jungle past the deck. My husband often says that if we owned it we would just nuke the entire thing and start from scratch. (We owned homes for 25 years and spent hundreds of hours doing all that improvement stuff) For now, I just enjoy not having to mow it and seeing the daffodils growing wild.

My daughter Audrey sent this pic to me this morning. She loves to buy flowers at the grocery store (she lives in an apartment). She wanted me to see the spiderweb trivet I made for her a few years ago using my precious stash of REAL FEEDSACKS! She loves to rummage in that box and make little things. I often make her things like this so she can enjoy these vintage treasures.

Authentic feedsacks used in this spiderweb trivet
Today it is pouring down with some serious April showers. But that's what the flowers love and we have to give preference to those things that bring us beauty in life, right?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Orange Peel

1930s prints for a Lafayette Orange Peel quilt
Doing research into the historical Orange Peel patterns and remembered this little quilt I made in 2003. Since gone to live with some little girl, I think.

This basic petal shape can become so many blocks: Joseph's Coat, Pumpkin Seed, Petal. It's the shape of my EZ Double Wedding Ring two-template acrylic set.

Playing with petal shapes
Now back to my research. Just had to add some eye candy to my blog today. I've been traveling for 6 weeks and it's good to be home for more than 3 days at a time. Sewing machine and stash - here I come!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Friendship Plume

Friendship Plume, an old Mountain Mist pattern
I follow the Quilts-Vintage and Antique Facebook page and they were discussing this pattern. I had redrafted it over ten years ago and made a pillow. I have several others cut out, but it sure is a lot of cutting!

I'm getting ready to begin the work on the 2016 Quilter's Block a Day calendar (yes!) and I'm going to revisit several of my Hawaiian applique patterns. Here is a simple Fleur de Lis pattern I made into pillows many years ago.
Simple Fleur de Lis pattern
Fleur de Lis pillows in batik fabrics
Just eye candy here. Used to sell the patterns but I'm getting away from print-and-mail. Maybe I should put them up on my Craftsy pattern page? What do you think?

Don't you love that flange on the pillows? My favorite way to finish them, with the flap in the back so the pillows can be changed out.

Still on the road (6 weeks - yikes), but I'll be home with the dog and husband after the weekend. Something to look forward to - and yes, my beloved stash and sewing machine!

Monday, March 31, 2014

New York Beauty

New York Beauty quilt top
I follow a Facebook page of antique quilts that recently featured a few New York Beauty quilts. I love that many of them are NOT flawless. There are imperfections, just like the one above.

I had wanted to include this quilt in my recent book Paper Piecing Perfect Points and had asked a fellow teacher about quilting this for me. She insisted that I take it apart and "fix" the flaws in the side spikey borders, in particular, the one on the left. . . And I did (take it apart) 3 years ago!

And it still is in parts. All the paper pieced parts.  All sorts of parts and it has broken my heart. Sits in a dark box in the basement. Never did "fix it."

I'm going to the basement this morning. Find the box. Take it to my sewing room. Sew the parts back together JUST LIKE THE PHOTO. And I will make sweet promises to the quilt that she will get quilted JUST LIKE SHE APPEARS and will take her around and show her off JUST LIKE SHE IS.

Yes, my friend meant well. We quilters are perfectionists. I get it. But life is too short to try to be like God. Holy cow! I really don't want to compete with Him. We know what happened to that angel who tried that millenia ago!

I'll keep you posted on that quilt.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Quilt To Bridge the Generations

Going home to live with Meg
Meg is my daughter Audrey's best girlfriend. They went to graduate school together (Georgetown U) and have remained friends for maybe 10 years (what does a mother remember?)

Meg comes over with Audrey occasionally when Audrey wants to sew and raid my stash. Meg saw my unfinished Gee's Bend quilt last year and thought it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen (as far as quilts go). I knew then that it would find a home with her.

I had to query about 200 quilt shops to find the red for the borders. My dear friend Connie longarm quilted it a few weeks ago. Instead of wrapping it up,  I had it hanging on my kitchen wall last night when she walked in. It took her almost 10 minutes to notice not only it, but the big sign with her name on it! Yes, she was speechless.

That quilt is just as happy as Meg is. And you can bet that I had the greatest time getting it ready to go on its journey. I still have a smile on my face!

Yes, these Gee's Bend quilts appeal to every generation. And the younger crowd see them as modern art. I see them as a bridge to span all ages.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sunflower Blossoms: Dreaming of Warm Weather and Giveaway

Sunflower Blossoms
My publisher (Martingale/That Patchwork Place) suggested I post about my book, Paper Piecing Perfect Points. Besides needing a diversion from the 8" of snow we received on Monday, I also needed a happy quilt to feast my eyes on with a LOT color. Where is Spring? we are all asking!!

Sunflower Blossoms is really a remake of a quilt that was stolen in 2005 (along with 29 other quilts and samples). It was in a suitcase that was in a locked car in a "sketchy" parking garage in California. It was my first Dogwood Blossom quilt, based on a tradtional design and probably one of the first projects I made using foundation piecing.

Dogwood Blossom Quilt - hanging on the Giant Quilt Rack in the sky
Print ad in a quilt magazine - Sunflower Blossoms!
Yes, I know. Some of you are rolling your eyes. "Paper piecing? Are you nuts? I'd rather scrub toilets or go to the dentist!" All I can say is that you've never had a teacher to show you how easy it is and that you can get such awesome pointy-points no other way.

Do you remember this post from the Nancy Drew Blog Hop? I made a quilt using Dogwood Blossoms in the center and the flying geese from Toile Garden in the outside.

Nancy Drew Blog Hop post
You can see all of the quilts from the book at Amazon, Martingale or even here at my blog by clicking the tab above: Books

Now for the giveaway! Your own copy of Paper Piecing Perfect Points,

This is the GIVEAWAY
signed by the author (I think that's me!). Just go visit the Martingale Facebook page and check out all the beautiful projects and books they feature. Come back and tell me something that caught your eye (even if it's not paper piecing).

1. I have to have your email address, NOT a link to your Google Plus identity. No email, no chance to win. Not a link to your blog or web site. I am not a sleuth like Nancy Drew.
2. Contest is over Tuesday, March 25 at midnight.
3. Understand that I can't reply to everyone. I'm on the road for the next 4+ weeks and my dog and husband don't blog. But I LOVE READING all your comments!