Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Like Mother, Like Daughter!

"Mom. I just want to sew all day . . ."
Well, what can I say? That's how I feel. Can't always do it most days, but I WANT TO (sew: that is)! Never thought my oldest daughter (I have three of them) would ever get bit by this bug, but when you buy her a sewing machine (10 years ago) and then she has a baby girl - well, that's the combo-platter, as they say.

She raids my fabric stash. Then cruises all over Kingdom Come on the internet and finds an idea. Calls mom on FACETIME - can you believe it? Asks me to pan the camera over my stash so she can select fabrics (I'm not making this up!) Made quite a pile to mail to her (she only lives 50 miles away) because she needed them RIGHT NOW.

Asks a bazillion questions and you assure her that your directions are right (Hello? I've been sewing like this for 50+ years!!)

She cuts and stitches and ignores your SIMPLE directions for turning a skinny tube of fabric for those suspenders (she prefers to reference the blog she visited rather than your SIMPLE directions). But - hey! Look at the result . .

I think she raided my button box
And can you believe this mini sewing machine? She loves OLD things (whew! I have a chance to survive because I'm really OLD)

Simple skirt with suspenders. Gotta love it!
This fabric collection is one I have had for about 6 years. I love it! It's the Helena Collection from Windham Fabrics and I refused to part with it. She fell in love with it and took several pieces with her. Then asked me to mail most of the rest of it, which I did today.

To tell you the truth: I never would have imagined a little skirt for an 8 month baby using this fabric. My motto: All Quilts. Only Quilts. All the Time!

To a hammer everything is a nail. To a quilter every fabric is a quilt. I have been sewing since I was in junior highschool (can you say 4-H dirndal skirts and aprons?) Then for a few decades I saw fabric as potential clothes, so she's right on target. She'll be quilting soon . . .

Can we see a picture of you, Debby, when you were in junior high? Yes, the date is on the picture. Scary, huh?


OK. Enough. I think I'll go find a picture of her when she was in junior high!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Star Spangled Winners

America's Star-Spangled Story
Thanks to all of you who came and visited in my week long Star Spangled Banner Extravaganza. I just want to let you know that I DO have 7 winners (actually, 9) and they've all been contacted and they are very excited to get the fabrics and other goodies. Well, who are they? (No last names, of course). I am bundling everything for the post office this week.

If you missed any of the days, click the links below. There was a lot of American history and pictures and neat quilts to fill the pages. And the comments were fabulous!

Day 1 fabrics courtesy of Windham Fabrics:
Day 1: Kathy H. of Pennsylvania
 Day 2 fabrics courtesy of Windham Fabrics:

Day 2: Mary D. of Missouri
Day 3 fabrics courtesy of Benartex:
Day 3:Mary S. of California
Day 4 fabrics courtesy of Benartex:

Day 4: Jenelle B. of Kansas
Day 4 book courtesy of Jane Hampton Cook:

Day 4: Karen M. of Minnesota
Day 5 fabrics courtesy of Benartex; calendar courtesy of ME!
 
Day 5: Mary L. of Maryland
Day 5: Sally M. of Arizona
Day 6 fabrics courtesy of Benartex:
Day 6: Lisa E. of Kentucky
Day 7 fabrics courtesy of Benartex:

Day 7: Patty D. of North Carolina
Thanks to all of you for sharing your own stories about the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, your own quilt history and those who inspired you and yes - whether you knit or crochet! Many thanks to Benartex and Windham fabrics for sending me such wonderful collections so I could share them with you. I've got some great things coming up with their fabrics, so stay tuned!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Star Spangled Banner Day 7

LAST DAY OF MY STAR SPANGLED BANNER EXTRAVAGANZA!

Tomorrow is the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner and I hope you'll be able to catch some of the celebrations via the internet or television.

Constitution Oak by Debby Kratovil - 64" x 64"
Constitution Oak is another quilt I designed for Windham Fabrics. It uses reproduction coverlet fabrics which are some of my absolute favorite fabrics because of the motifs. You can easily make this in any colorway. This is our FREE PATTERN during my Star Spangled Banner Extravaganza this week.

Let me show you a few other quilts with the red, white and blue theme:

Farmhouse Stars (from Supersize 'em Quilts)



Another Free Pattern from Windham Fabrics:

Liberty Dance
Liberty Dance by Maria Tavy Umhey - 50" x 50"
Last day for FREE fabrics (I'm going 7 for 7!)

Fabrics courtesy of Benartex Fabrics
DAY 7 CONTEST:

1. The contest is over at midnight tonight, September 13, 2014 (EST). No more contests. I'm out of fabric and out of town!

2. Fabrics  can only be mailed in the United States.

3. If I randomly select someone from outside the United States, you can have ANY of my patterns from my Craftsy site. I will email them to you (obviously, the ones that are for sale).

4. If I don't have your email, I can't notify you! Anonymous bloggers can't win!

Do you like working with reproduction fabrics, and if so, from what historic era?

THANK YOU for joining me for the entire week. I hope that you've enjoyed seeing the quilts, hearing from Jane Hampton Cook, getting a glimpse of what Mimi Dietrich and the Maryland Historical Society did in making a replica flag, and all the other bits and pieces of history.

I enjoyed giving away the fabric. If you're not  a follower, I hope you'll consider becoming one (via Bloglovin' or email) so you can get more free patterns, see more of my quilts (and those of other quilters) and join in on the occasional giveaways I have.






Friday, September 12, 2014

Star Spangled Banner Day 6

Stitching  History with the Maryland Historical Society
Welcome to Day 6 of the Star Spangled Banner Extravaganza. I came across a story on the Martingale blog that ANY quilter would enjoy. The famous Mimi Dietrich took part in the "Stitching History" project last year as part of the Maryland Historical Society. It is a FABULOUS read with a lot of pictures.

Visit the STITCH THIS site to read about it. Well, can we see some pictures here first? Of course!

Working on the Star Spangled replica

Such a beautiful sight, huh? I love the red, white and blue!

The Star Spangled replica
And, of course, they got to test it out at Ft. McHenry . . .

Long may She wave
How about a FREE pattern?


Stars of Valor
Stars of Valor by Betty New - 56" x 67"

And, we can't forget about the fabrics, right? These are from Benartex Fabrics and they have a British theme. See? We have kissed and made up with you Brits! After all, you gave us the Beatles.

London Bridge fabrics from Benartex
DAY 6 CONTEST:

1. The contest is over at midnight tonight, September 12, 2014 (EST). I have ONE MORE contest tomorrow, so come back and bring your friends.

2. Fabrics can only be mailed in the United States.

3. If I randomly select someone from outside the United States, you can have ANY of my patterns from my Craftsy site. I will email them to you (obviously, the ones that are for sale).

4. If I don't have your email, I can't notify you! Anonymous bloggers can't win!

Have you ever participated in any historic re-enactment (other than grade school)? Or do you enjoy seeing special events that feature historic re-enactment.

And come back tomorrow for more quilt inspiration, free pattern and of course, free fabric!






Thursday, September 11, 2014

Star Spangled Banner Day 5

I even crochet in patriotic colors!
Today is a somber day in America. It is the 13th anniversary of the fall of our Twin Towers in New York City. As we watched it unfold on our televisions all across the nation, we were so emotional. And then as the days went by, flags began to appear EVERYWHERE I looked: in the front of many houses on my street in Atlanta, in the front of stores, gas stations. Everywhere!

Here's my flag quilt again:

American flag quilt by Debby Kratovil
And here is a block I designed for my Block a Day Calendar with Martingale:

Star Spangled Banner block from from the Quilter's Block-A-Day Calendar (Martingale, 2007)
You can have the pattern for this 18" block FREE: Star Spangled Banner block

Would you like to see all the blocks? How about WINNING a copy of the companion CD? It has all 366 blocks in two sizes PLUS 12 quilts made from the blocks.



And then there's the FABRIC giveaway, right? How about 5 half-yard cuts of these from Benartex?

Five half-yard cuts of fabric is our prize today

DAY 5 CONTEST:

1. The contest is over at midnight tonight, September 11, 2014 (EST). (I have another contest tomorrow, so come back and bring your friends).

2. Fabrics and Calendar CD can only be mailed in the United States.

3. If I randomly select someone from outside the United States, you can have ANY of my patterns from my Craftsy site. I will email them to you (obviously, the ones that are for sale).

4. If I don't have your email, I can't notify you! Anonymous bloggers can't win!

OK. This is different: do you knit or crochet? What colors and types of yarn do you like to work with.

And come back tomorrow for more quilt inspiration, free patterns and of course, free fabric!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Star Spangled Banner Day 4

Patriot's Day quilt by Debby Kratovil
Yes, that's my quilt (or was my quilt; I have since gifted it to my nephew Blair because he loved it so much). You can have the pattern FREE by clicking on this link: Regal Eagle, with Windham Fabrics.


(Yes, she's young and beautiful as well as smart!)

Here's our last day with Jane Cook. This is just a small taste of how rich our American history is. It's been 200 years since the writing of the Star Spangled Banner, but it's not always been viewed as a patriotic, feel good song. I asked Jane about that and here is her answer:
 

What inspired you to write about the national anthem?

An ESPN commentator in Nov. 2013 suggested that The Star-Spangled Banner shouldn't be sung at sporting events because it was a war anthem. Likewise, news stories pop up frequently with attacks on patriotism. I decided to write America's Star-Spangled Story to help Americans rediscover the story behind the song as part of the national anthem’s 200th anniversary celebration on Sept. 14, 2014. I hope it will also inspire some American pride, too.
"The rockets red glare; the bombs bursting in air. . ."
(Debby speaking): War and battles are ugly. We hate them! But when someone tries to "take your stuff" and it doesn't belong to them, sometimes you have to get tough! I mean, what if someone burst into my house and marched upstairs to my sewing room and started to drag all my fabric and sewing machines outside into his/her moving van? - Well, that's what was going on here!

(OK. The British weren't looking for sewing machines because they hadn't been invented yet.)

One more question for Jane:
 

What do you hope to see in our children as they grow up into better Americans (what needs to transpire: school, home, religious heritage).

I’m concerned that younger generations aren’t developing a love for America. A 2014 Pew Research Center
study indicated that just 49% of Millennials, (Americans born between 1980 and 2000), describe themselves as patriotic. This is significantly below other generations, with 64% of Generation X and 75% of Baby Boomers identifying themselves as patriotic. Likewise, another poll reported that only 56 percent of Americans say they are proud to be an American.

Land of Liberty quilt by Judith Travis Hampton
 Let’s face it. History is often taught through names, places, timelines, and dates, which are easily forgotten. Stories, however, stick with us. We better remember stories because they have the power to resonate with us and stick with us if they’re told in a compelling, relevant way. 

Quilt by Judith Travis Hampton (with Jane's son's head peeking out!)
If our schools, homes, and churches want to do a better job of passing along our history and pride in our country, a great place to focus is on the stories. This summer, I rented the PBS show Liberty’s Kids, from the library and watched it with my sons, ages 9 and 7. They learned a great deal about the American Revolution because they watched the stories unfold in this highly accurate animated series. We need more content like that at our finger tips, whether through books, film, or smart phone apps.  That’s one reason why I’ve focused on American history in the majority of my eight books.

Flag quilt by Judith Travis Hampton
Thank you, Jane, for sharing some wonderful information with us. I am enjoying reading your book. It is perfect for any age and I'm going to make sure I read it to my grandsons when next they visit.

Now for the giveaways. Jane has graciously offered a copy of her new book, America's Star Spangled Story to one lucky winner today.

One lucky winner will receive this book from Jane
 And - more free fabric to a second lucky winner! More of the fabrics from yesterday, so if you didn't win yesterday, here's your lucky chance!

More free fabrics from Benartex
DAY 4 CONTEST:

1. The contest is over at midnight tonight, September 10, 2014 (EST). I have another contest tomorrow, so come back and bring your friends.

2. Fabrics and book can only be mailed in the United States.

3. If I randomly select someone from outside the United States, you can have ANY of my patterns from my Craftsy site. I will email them to you (obviously, the ones that are for sale).

4. If I don't have your email, I can't notify you! Anonymous bloggers can't win!

Leave me a message telling me how you have viewed the Star Spangled Banner song. Do you see it as a war cry or as something else?

And come back tomorrow for more quilt inspiration, free patterns and of course, free fabric!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Star Spangled Banner Day 3

All Star Tribute by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics
Welcome to Day 3 of my Star Spangled Banner Extravaganza. Let's get the free pattern first! Don't you love it? And wow - those stars!

We have Jane Cook back with us today. Remember, I told you her mom was a quilter? I asked Jane about that and here's what she said:
 

You dedicated America’s Star-Spangled Story, to your mother.  Why?

My mother loved quilts. She made hundreds of quilts in her lifetime, including many with patriotic themes. After an eight-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, she died while I was in the final stages of publishing America’s Star-Spangled Story. Dedicating the book to her was a way to memorialize her and pay tribute to her influence in my life.


My mom left a great legacy of character. She loved God and wanted to honor him with her work, especially teaching economically disadvantaged children. She also put a premium on family and worked tirelessly to take care of my father, brother, and I. My life will be successful if I’m able to accomplish even half of what she did in the areas of loving God and family.

Though I’m not a quilter or seamstress like my mother, writing and quilting are both creative processes. Where she used fabric to develop a theme with colors and pattern, I use words to develop story threads and themes throughout a book. I express my creativity differently from my mother but the imaginative gene is unmistakable. 

(Debby here) - Quilters! Did you hear that? We have imaginative genes! And all I thought we had were a closet full of mom jeans!

Let's see another of Jane's mom's quilts. Don't you love these little sailboats with the appliqued stars? And those little fingers and top of head peeping over the quilt I think must be one of Jane's young sons. Maybe he'll become a quilter!

Boats and Flags quilt by Judith Travis Hampton
Can I share my own boats quilt? So glad you asked!

Four little paper pieced boats
I hope you take a minute to visit Jane's web site to see what her other books are. She has several, one of which is titled: What Does the President Look Like? I mean - how did Americans know what George Washington looked like, hmmm? And do you know the story about his teeth? No? Take a visit to Mt. Vernon sometime. A fantastic place!

Let's see. I seem to have forgotten something. What could it be? Oh, yes. Fabric to give away! Ooooh! Look at those fireworks on that navy background. Gotta have it, right?

6 fat quarters provided by Benartex Fabrics
DAY 3 CONTEST:

1. The contest is over at midnight tonight, September 9, 2014 (EST). I have another contest tomorrow, so come back and bring your friends.

2. Fabric can only be mailed in the United States.

3. If I randomly select someone from outside the United States, you can have ANY of my patterns from my Craftsy site. I will email them to you (obviously, the ones that are for sale).

4. If I don't have your email, I can't notify you! Anonymous bloggers can't win!

Leave me a message telling me if you were inspired to quilt by a relative.

And come back tomorrow for more with Jane Cook, more quilt inspiration, and freebies!