Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day Quilt Pattern Sale

Happy Earth Day, quilters! In the interest of helping out the environment, my publisher, Martingale, is having a blow-out e-pattern and e-book sale this weekend. E-books are 50% off and e-patterns are only $1.00 each. That's right - $1.00. What a deal.  Go digital for Earth Day and visit the website to order. (With e-patterns and e-books, you just download them instantly to your computer (or iPad). So easy - no paper and no waiting for the mail to arrive.) 

Here are a few of my favorites -

Of course you'll want this orange peel pattern of mine if you don't have it yet  : )  

You can't beat this kind of a pattern sale. And there are many more. Too many to list. Visit Martingale's blog or website for more info and order a few if you need a few new books, patterns or projects to work on (Hah! You know we always need more projects . . . .). 

Have a great weekend and Happy Earth Day! I'll be spending my time quilting inside today but cheering on my husband from the window as he cleans up the earth in the backyard, mows the lawn and picks up a multitude of tree branches from the last storm.  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I know it's not really a race or I would have conceded a long time ago.  I STILL have 3 blocks left to go to finish the center of my Dear Jane quilt. I had 2 separate days picked out last month to work on them but got interrupted with family things and never got to it. Oh well.

Even if I don't have time to work on the blocks I haven't forgotten them. I still like to take them out and post photos now and then because it really encourages me to keep going. 

Today's not going to be the day and probably not tomorrow either because I have too many other things I need to work on. But I AM thinking about you, Jane. I often wonder how long it took you to complete your quilt and if you ever struggled. 

Small goals - Three more blocks. 

It's not a race, it's not a race, it's NOT a race. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Cozy Life

It's raining here today. The kind of rain that makes you want to stay inside and get cozy.

But I really don't mind the rain and I needed something to read so I went to the library this morning. Ever wondered why the country of Denmark is consistently named the happiest country on earth? This book sparked my curiosity and I'm about to find out - 

Not that I have any thoughts of leaving the U.S. or anything . . . .

After I got home I looked into this happiness concept and found an interesting article in the New Yorker last year about the Scandinavian concept of "Hygge"  - a Danish term defined as "a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being." The word does not translate into English very well but "cozy" comes close. Russell, the author and a British journalist, defines the term as "taking pleasure in the presence of gentle, soothing things" like a freshly brewed cup of coffee, cinnamon rolls and warm socks. And maybe a quilt or two? Hygge has something to do with creating sanctuaries for ourselves during life's dark or difficult times.

What's cozy to you? Reading? Sewing inside on a rainy day? I'll read a little and then I'll sew a little today. 

For me, sometimes cozy is a clean sewing table that's conducive to creating . . .  . Getting rid of distracting clutter makes me feel good so I can cozy in and sew.

Surrounding myself with pretty things makes me feel cozy . . . 

Working on the sofa, cozying up under a quilt, near a dog while the rain trickles against the windows . . .

Delighting in my finished blocks . . . 

Making a  great pot of coffee . . . 

Crossword puzzles (and coffee) . . . 

Coffee cozy I made a few years ago. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

New Quilts from Old

Doll quilts from the past were often plain and simple, constructed from easy blocks. Don't you love seeing photos of antique doll quilts? Sometimes I get to see real ones up close. Because they're so simple they're not too difficult to reproduce. A few of the quilts in my book  Small & Scrappy  were inspired by antique doll quilts.

This Flying Geese doll quilt, for example.

A few years ago I taught a workshop and met Chris L. who brought a few of her doll quilts to share with me. I took a photo of one and saved it, knowing I was going to reproduce it one day. Chris came upon my new book recently and e-mailed me so I asked her to send some photos of the original doll quilt that inspired me a few years ago -

Like the cute conversation print label I "slapped" on the back of my little Flying Geese quilt? I say slapped because it was difficult enough to finish all of the quilts on a short deadline, much less sew intricate labels on all of them. Sometimes, when I'm in a hurry,  I just press a piece of fabric that's been backed with fusible web onto the back of a quilt and sign it. I always tell myself someday I'll do better  : ) 

Here's another quilt from the book that was based on an antique doll quilt I purchased (bottom) - 

Actually, I bought it thinking it was a real antique doll quilt but it appears to be a block from a larger cutter quilt  that was made into a doll quilt. Oh well, still cute. And inspirational enough that I knew I wanted to reproduce it with new fabrics. 

My Honeybee quilt was inspired by yet another antique doll quilt. 

I changed the colors and gave mine a little more of a scrappy feel with many different reproduction prints.

Once, years ago, at a different workshop, I met Tricia whose passion was making quilts from leftover vintage or antique quilt blocks. No reason you can't make simple doll quilts from these blocks. Another great idea.

I have a stack of old hand-pieced blocks with plans to become a simple doll quilt one day.

Still in the UFO pile after five years . . . . Too many other things to work on.

*  *  *

Get ready, Quilters! The next clue for my Welcome Home Mystery quilt will be posted in the Files section of my Facebook and Yahoo  groups on Saturday, April 1. No foolin'. Hope you're keeping up. 


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