Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

More Great Pictures from Readers....

Janet from BC, Canada sent this photo to me.  I made it large so that you could see the pretty stitching.  Janet made this in a class at her LQS taught by Diane Stevenson.  She used metallic thread for the detail.  She calls it "Cranberry Salsa.  VERY pretty, Janet!  Janet blogs at What Comes Next.

 And we have another shower curtain!  Angela from Phoenix send me this photo.  Her blog is the Modern Diary.  This isn't a holiday project, but there was a lot of interest in the recent post with the shower curtain quilt and Angela wanted to share hers.  I'm so glad she did!  I think this idea is causing a lot of people to think of surprise places to display our quilts.  Thanks so much, Angela- the fishies are a very cute theme for your bathroom.  I hope you're enjoying your new home!

It's not too late to send me photos of your holiday quilts for an extra entry in the December giveaway!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

More Holiday Quilt Photos

I have more Christmas quilt photos to show you.

This one was sent to me by Jofrid.  She lives in Norway.   Her blog is called Jofridsquilt and she has been a reader of my blog for a log time.  The center star of this table topper/wall hanging is pieced and the hearts in the corner are hand embroidered.

Patti from Missouri sent this one.  She said she used newspaper squares.  She used the newspaper squares as a foundation and sewed the strips onto it.  Then she trimmed them and took the paper off.  Love it!  Patti is a longtime reader and her blog is Osage Bluff Quilter.

I love this one from Tracy!  She made this "Grinch" quilt for her friend's children, and included the Dr. Seuss book with the gift.  I'm sure it will be treasured for many years, Tracy!

And finally- a shout out for a blog I follow-
Connie from Iowa blogs under Quilting By The River.  She posted a tutorial for this cute mug rug today.  She also has a tutorial for a cute snowflake design.  The photo is hers.  Check out her blog- it's a good read.

JUST IN CASE you've never heard of a mug rug... it's a tiny little quilt that's just the right size to hold a glass or mug and maybe a cookie or two.  It's much smaller than a placemat.  Think if it as a teenie tiny table cloth for your refreshments as you quilt.  I especially like them for using up scraps, using an orphan block or a block that didn't come out right for some reason... or for a little way to test or practice a quilting stitch.  Instead of risking a mistake on a big project, or wasting the time you put into the practice- it's a fun way to use your practice piece.  They make super great gifts, too.  AND... they're good gifts for both men and women to use next to a computer.

I'm really enjoying all of the pictures I'm getting, and I love hearing stories about how the quilts came to be (or why they are a gift).  I can't wait to show you some of the things I'm making, but most are gifts and it's kind of hard to put things on the internet and keep them a secret!  I'll show you pics of my holiday projects after they are opened by the recipients.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Few More Christmas Quilts

 Here are a few more Christmas quilts sent to me by readers.  This one is from my friend, Julie, in Oregon.  She won the blocks through an online quilting group.  She created the setting with EQ.  Pretty, Julie!

And this one floored me!  Hanging a quilt as a shower curtain never occurred to me!  Hmmm.... now I have to think about this.....

Peg sent this one in.  She said it was so big that she didn't know what else to do with it.  I wonder if guests use the bathroom in her home and seem to take a little longer..... lol

Peg- did you line or quilt this? What treatment did you use? I would think it could be lightly quilted with a backing but no batting.  

These ladies get an extra entry in my December blog giveaway for sending me a photo of a holiday project.  Check the giveaway post for details.  Good luck to all!

I'm decorating this weekend.  Headed to the garage to dig out the decorations.... deep breath.... here goes.....

Friday, December 9, 2011

Henrietta Whiskers- Free Pattern!

Henrietta Whiskers

You're smiling- aren't you?  I generally make quilts with more of a contemporary flair, but this one just has something about it.  I love applique and Henrietta is such an endearing little squirrel-- what can I say?

This pattern is available for FREE on one of my favorite blogs... Bunny Hill Designs.  Its a series of.. I think... 8 or 9 patterns and was a BOM for 2011.  DON'T DELAY!  It will only be available as a FREE download through the end of the month.  Once the calendar turns over to 2012, there will be a charge to purchase it.  I've downloaded Bunny Hill's free BOM's for 3 years now.  If you like embroidery, be sure to follow her blog- the designs are super cute!  You can get there directly via the button on my sidebar over to your right, or just click on her blog link from this post.

Thanks so much to Bunny Hill Designs for such great patterns!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm speechless

Yes... speechless.

This photo is from the Knit and Crochet Now site.  Love them.  But this.... well.... I'm speechless.  I got a chuckle out of it- thought you might, too.

Some day this lady will have a big modeling career and she'll be on a talk show in a fancy dress with her hair just perfect... and the producers will have found this...  and they'll show it...  and she'll turn bright red and be... SPEECHLESS!

Seriously- Knit and Crochet now is a good show.  They show you how to make normal stuff. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Quilts

For the December giveaway, I'm offering an extra entry to readers who send me a photo of a holiday quilt.  I'm interpreting this loosely- It can be a table runner or tote bag- anything you've made.  And it doesn't have to be just Christmas- any holiday or celebration will work. 

I've received photos of so many beautiful things!  I just have to share them with you.

Janet, from the Yukon Territory in Canada, whose blog is Caribou Crossing Chronicles, sent me a photo of a beautiful table runner she made for a swap.  Nice swap item, Janet!  Your swap partner is a lucky lady!

Nancy from Missouri said she really had to hunt for this photo because she REALLY wants to win the pattern.  Your quilt is SOOOOOO cute, Nancy!  Good luck in the giveaway!  Nancy's blog is With Thread in Hand.

This one is from Linda is California.  Linda's blog is Stray Stitches.  I love the colors, Linda!

This GORGEOUS Christmas Cactus was sent to me by the Needled Mom in southern California.  She's a nurse and has 5 kids (and lots of GK's).... Needled Mom... nurse... needles.... get it?  OK... back to the quilts.  There are some other very pretty holiday things on her blog.  I especially like her festive placemats.

 Anna sent this.  Her blog is QuiltMom's Journey.  I just love the poinsettias, Anna!
Here's another one from Anna.  The photo doesn't do it justice, I'm sure.  Having just made a Double Wedding Ring quilt and working on another one... I have tons of respect to a quilter who makes one of these babies!  Nice work, Anna!

 Irene sent this photo.  She scanned photos from trips that her son and daughter-in-law took and incorporated them into this quilt.  She gave it to them for Christmas.  The muted colors really make the photos stand out... and the travelers look really pleased with their quilt!

Bonnie from Florida sent these.  Her blog is Here.  She's working on 15 quilts for a nursing home!  WOW!

Kathy from Ohio sent this photo of her pretty table topper.  You can check out Kathy's Quilting Blog for more pretty things.

And I saved this beauty for last.... Barbara, who blogs at Cat Patches, sent this.  I've had my eye on this pattern for quite a while.  I first saw it in red, but I think it's amazing in blue!  The embroidered snowmen are the cutest little guys!  I had the pleasure of meeting Barbara recently when she came to one of our quilt guild meetings.  I don't know what else to say about this quilt except WOW!!!

Thanks to all who took the time to send me pictures of your beautiful creations!  You are all very talented and I am so pleased to have you reading along.  Good luck to all of you in the giveaway.

You can enter the giveaway throughout the month of December, and I'd love to see your holiday quilts. (my email link is in the giveaway post).

Friday, December 2, 2011

December Giveaway- Christmas Jewel Pattern from Be Colourful

For my giveaway for this month, one lucky reader will receive a Christmas Jewel pattern!  Christmas Jewel was designed by Jacqueline de Jonge for her Be Colourful pattern collection.  The "jewels" are paper pieced, which gives you amazing accuracy.  This pattern retails for $19.95 (not your average pattern!).

I don't need to tell you that it can be made in any colors and would look equally stunning in non-holiday fabrics.

To see what it might look like in other colors, Jacqueline has a different pattern that she has titled, "Jewel".

The winner will be selected at random on January 1st, 2012.  (WOW- that's the first time I typed 2012!  Wasn't it just yesterday that the calendar turned to the year 2000?!?)

To enter- all you have to do is reply to THIS POST and let me know you want a chance.  That's it!  Your entered!  I do need some way to contact you.  I have started to reply to everyone who enters.  So if you don't get a reply from me after entering, that means you are a "no-reply" blogger and I have no way to contact you should you be the lucky winner.  I'm just sayin'.  If you absolutely don't want your email on the internet, send me a private email to let me know how to contact you if you win.

Want more chances?  For a second entry, be a follower of this blog.... AND... do a SECOND COMMENT to THIS POST and tell me you are a follower.  You may think I should know that.  I do.  But I count the comments and put that number in the random number generator to pick a winner.  If you don't do an extra comment, you don't have the second entry.

For a third entry- share the news!  Tell your blog readers about it, do a Facebook post, tweet it, or take out a full page ad in the New York Times.  I don't care how you share it-- just do something to spread the word  and then come back here and post another comment to THIS POST to let me know.

For a 4th entry- send me a picture of a holiday quilt that you made.  It can be ANY holiday- for any time of year, any culture.... anything!  You can email me your pictures and the do a quick comment to THIS POST for the extra entry.

Good luck!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Karla Alexander Pattern WINNER!

Congrats to 2 Girls and a Garden!  You get to select any one of Karla Alexander's patterns on my website! I just took a peek at your blog- lots of interesting stuff on there- especially in gardening season. Now comes the hard part--- you have to pick one!

Thanks to all for entering.  I'll be posting a December giveaway shortly.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Valley of the Kings

We just added a new fabric collection today.... may I present.... Valley of the Kings from Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

This stuff is stunning!  If you like Asian fabrics, you'll like this.

We have it by the yard or in a fat quarter assortment.

Here are a few of my favorites:

I think this would make a great kaleidoscope quilt.... maybe one of the Quilt Moments patterns.

The background looks black in the photo, but it's actually a super deep purple.

All of these are prints with deep color saturation and metallic gold highlights.  

I put this collection on the website today and sold 10 yards right off the bat.

 I saw this on facebook.... gave me a good chuckle.  I couldn't resist.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jacqueline de Jonge on TQS!

Alex Anderson, Jacqueline de Jong, and Ricky Tims

Those of you who are long time readers of this blog may recall that I have posted pictures of quilts made by Jacqueline de Jonge.  Jacqueline's patterns are marketed through her company- Be Colourful.  She is a gifted artist who hails from the Netherlands. A few of her patterns are traditional piecing, but for the most part, her designs are all paper pieced.  I had the great pleasure of meeting Jacqueline and her brother, Harm, at quilt market a few years ago.  She is a delightful person as well as a talented quilter.  Her smile lights up a room!  Harm is the business manager/ marketer, etc.  This brother and sister make a great team.  Outside of their contributions to the quilting world, Harm is a banker and Jacqueline is a nurse.

The Colourful Quilt

Jacqueline is appearing in this week's episode of The Quilt Show, which is an online quilt show and MUCH MORE.  I have a membership in TQS and I love it!  It's a complete quilting resource- weekly shows featuring an amazing array of quilt artists, blogs by both Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson, educational videos, tutorials, a Block of the Month, a gallery of reader quilts, free patterns, and soooo much more.  It's well worth the annual fee.

Curling Colours

I have to put in a quick plug here--- I carry ALL of the Be Colourful patterns on my website.  I've been getting a lot of orders for them this week, but I have more on order and expect them very soon.

 Elements of Nature

And I have to tell you a cute story about the time I met Jacqueline.  With her increasing popularity, she has since had to accept help from long arm quilters, but at the time that I met her, she was still HAND quilting all of her own quilts (Yep- believe it or not!).  She had several hanging in her booth and no kidding- they were jaw-dropping.  I wanted to look at the back of one, and asked her if she would mind if I touched one to look at the back. I was expecting her to turn the corner for me, but that's not what happened.  She gave me one of her big, warm smiles and said, "Of course!  They're only quilts!".

Only quilts.  Yea.  Right.  These things are works of art.  The quilting world is a better place, thanks to Jacqueling de Jonge.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Some Recent Knitting Projects

I'm still working on my 2 quilt tops (the ones from the Karla Alexander workshop).  In the meantime, I thought I'd show you a few knitting projects I finished over the last few months.

 This shawlette is called "Chadwick" and was designed by Stephen West.  The yarns are 50-50 silk and merino wool.  It's soooooo soft around my neck!

 This is what it looked like when i was blocking it.  To block a knitted piece, you wet it (I soak it in cool water with a few drops of a good wool wash).  Then you work it into the desired shape (on towels or blocking boards) and then let it dry

I had the pleasure of meeting 2 of my knitting friends, Laura and Cindy,  for a nice lunch and an afternoon of knitting together on Wednesday.  It was so much fun!  We met on a chat board on Ravelry.  If you knit or crochet, you HAVE to check out Ravelry!

 Here's another scarf/ shawlette I finished recently.  It's called the "Seaside Shawlette" designed by Wendy Gaal.  It was hard to stretch it out and get a good photo, so I bunched it up a bit for the photo.
This is a close up of the center.  The yarn is merino wool, hand dyed (Knitters Brewing Company).  It's a beautiful denim color.

And a fun scarf- the pattern is called "Molly".  Another really soft wool- Liberty Wools.  The ruffles are knitted in "short rows".  I got a new pair of purple fleece gloves.... for those dreary winter days!

And OF COURSE.... socks!  I still have my little sock knitting addiction going.  This one is very special.  The pattern is called "Totem" but Kerstin Bettig. The pattern is newly published.  Before it was available for sale, Kerstin asked me to "test knit" the pattern.  Pattern designers typically ask a few knitters to test the pattern and give them feedback.  This is the only time I have ever test knit a pattern.  I was honored!  Now I need to make the second sock.

 This is called "Leftovers Socks" by Wendy Gaal.  It was make with multi orange, gray, and white leftover bits from other projects.

 These are "Simply Twisted".  The yarn actually has a little silver woven in it so it has a bit of sparkle!

And these are just a plain ol' pair of socks.  The yarn is self-striping so it looks a lot fancier than it is.  The yarn is a bamboo blend.

That's it for now!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More of Karla Alexanders' Designs

Here's my progress on "Argyle".

This is sooooooo much fun!  The curves are really easy-- I'm not kidding! The blocks are all  made and I'm in the process of sewing them together.  I'm going to do a navy blue border.  And here's my big news... I only used one pin for each curved block!  I'm the original "pin queen".  My motto has always been, "If one pin will do... 7 pins are better!".  But Karla challenged me to use her technique of sewing curves without lots of pins.  WOO HOO!  It works!

For my giveaway this month, I offered an extra entry to anyone who sends me a picture of a quilt they made using one of Karla's patterns or books.  Here are a few REALLY pretty photos I've received:

This quilt is Wanda Hanson's "Crooked Squares".  Wanda's blog, Exuberant Color, is one of my favorites.  She has made more amazing quilts than you can shake a rotary cutter at!  Thanks for sharing this one with us, Wanda!

Lisa Marie sent this photo.  She used one of Karla's earlier books for her inspiration.  The blocks were made using Karla's "stack the deck" method... cut.... and then reassembles after another shuffle.  STUNNING, Lisa!  I love the animal prints.  Thanks for sharing and good luck in the pattern giveaway!

Does anyone else have a quilt they made using one of Karla Alexander's books or patterns?  Send them to me and receive an extra entry in the giveaway this month.