Friday, February 25, 2011

Crying again - but these are good tears!

Life just keeps getting better and better as the minutes of today go by and once again, I'm crying happy tears of joy!  Look what's in my local newspaper!!!

Here's a link to the article if you would rather go directly to the newspapers website!


Jolietan to sign copies of new quilt book

Story Image
Tara Lynn Darr of Joliet will sign copies of her new book, "Simply Charming: Small Scrap Quilts of Yesteryear." | Submitted by Tara Lynn Darr
If you go
What: “Simply Charming: Small Scrap Quilts of Yesteryear” book signing
When: 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 26
Where: Roberts Sewing Center, 2011 Weber Road, Crest Hill
Etc: Book signings, demonstrations and a showing of each of the 20 quilts in the new book
For more information: Call 815-729-1600

Simple nine-patch blocks, dazzling stars and basket blocks. 

These are just some of the patterns quilters can make from their leftover fabrics using the just released book, “Simply Charming: Small Scrap Quilts of Yesteryear,” by Tara Lynn Darr of Joliet.
In this book Darr, a nationally-known quilt designer whose designs have been published in “American Patchwork & Quilting” magazine, features 20 little patchwork quilts, all of which have a nostalgic look reminiscent of Civil War patterns.

“I like history, so all of my quilt designs come from old antique quilts,” Darr said. “They’re either a reproduction or a new pattern that used the traditional patterns of antique quilts as inspiration.”
Darr’s favorite pattern is her “Grandmother’s Flower Garden,” an old antique pattern Darr has recreated many times. As a child, Darr spent many happy hours watching her grandmother quilt and her mother sew. Darr began sewing when she was a little girl and taught herself quilting 10 years ago. She has since made — and kept — hundreds of quilts.

“It can be hard to learn at first, but if you persevere you can get it down,” Darr said.
Darr had previously self-published two quilting books, now out of print, and an additional book about rug hooking. When Kansas City Star Quilts approached Darr about a third quilting book, Darr decided one featuring fabric remnants would have the greatest appeal.

“People are still going through hard times, so this book shows them how to use up their scraps,” Darr said. “If you want to recycle clothing instead, just make sure it’s 100 percent cotton. It stitches easier and wears longer.”

Even if you have never quilted but can sew a straight seam, Darr’s book may be all you need to get you started. Since beginners may not have leftover material, Darr suggests visiting a quilting shop and asking for good, inexpensive fabric. 

Warning: quilting can become habit-forming.

“It’s cheap therapy,” Darr said. “It’s a relaxing and very soothing way to enjoy yourself.”

Darr’s company, “Sew Unique Creations,” is an online quilt shop specializing in Civil War reproduction patterns and fabrics. For more information, visit

A Little "Miss Rosie's" Love to share

I've been brought to tears this morning - but in a good way!

Go see what my sweet friend Carrie - AKA - Miss Rosie's is talking about today.  She's having a really sweet give away on her blog just by answering a really fun question!  Look what she's giving away!

My Book and this

Or this awesome book (which I bought and love and want to make every single quilt in this darn cute book!!!)

and this fabric

Yes my friends, it tickled me to death this morning to read her blog post.  I cried - very happy tears though!  I just cannot tell you how absolutely cool it is to see our book popping up on blogs.  I'm amazed and delighted and humbled.  It's going to be a good day.

And just in case you missed the link above to read Miss Rosie's Blog, here it is again:

Love and Hugs to each of you!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Date Night With My Sewing Machine

OK, it's really bad when you have to set up a "date night" with your sewing machine!  I'm not kidding - I've been so busy trying to get things ready for upcoming shows, packing orders and family stuff that yesterday I decided it was "Date Night With The Sewing Machine".

This is what I did!  I've been tinkering with this idea in my head on how to do a pineapple block - but not have to do paper piecing.  I'm not a big fan of paper piecing - it's a stretch when I use triangle paper even, it just drives me bonkers to have to tear off all those little bits of paper off!

Anyhow, I think the block turned out pretty well.  I want to sit and play around with this idea a little more. I used all pre-cut strips of fabric from our January fabric pack of the "Simply Strips Club". 

Back to work for me, I'm itching to get playing around with some of the newest Jo Morton fabrics - Toasty and Luminarias - what fun! But first I have to get a few things ready for our book signing event at 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Jo Morton Fabrics are here! Primitive Muslins - back in stock too!

New Jo Fabrics have arrived!
Lookie what the sweet UPS man delivered yesterday!



Also - good old Moda is on the ball!

Primitive Muslins are back in stock - Mr. UPS was a busy boy today when he hauled this up to the door!


We also have one yard, half yard, fat quarter and fat eighth bundles back in stock also!  (We are actually cutting those today, so everything will start to ship tomorrow!)

Hope you are having a great week!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bow Tie Quilt

Just sharing a little progress on my Bow Tie Quilt this morning.  Actually, this quilt is called Gentlemen Caller and it's a pattern from the Prairie Women's Sewing Circle: Journey #1

It's fun and super easy to make!  I just wish it was "super easy" to find more time in the day to sit and finish it!  I'm almost there though!

We'll have kits available for this one.  We just about have them cut and ready.  As soon as we get them assembled, I'll upload them to the website!

See this cute quilt on the pattern cover?  It's the one in the lower right hand corner!

Friday, February 18, 2011

I'm a big goober....

OK - wanna know why I think I'm a big goober today?  See that really cool feathered star pattern above?  This is the same block that we use in our logo and have been using for 3 years or so now!

Do you know how many people have asked me for this pattern?  It happens..... A Lot!!!!  At Shows, comments on this blog, through emails and even phone calls.

It's not a block that I designed.  It's a block from the Electric Quilt Programs.  I just picked a feathered star block I liked, tinkered with the colors and used it for my logo.
I've been meaning to do a pattern for the block and stitch it up into a little quilt because of the requests.

Well, (and here comes the "I crowned myself a goober today" part) - I've been sick this past week - nasty cold that just will not quit - so can I blame my "gooberishness" on this???? (is that even a word??).  I thought to myself this morning, I just do not have the energy to do anything, this cough is knocking the life out of me, my stomach muscles actually hurt from coughing!  This block popped into my head so I thought, ok - I'll go tinker on the computer enlarge the block, pull some fabric and start hand-piecing this pretty little gem.  But wait......

Duh - Look at this...

This is the Smoky Mountain Stars Stamp set by Cindy Blackberg.  It's the same block as my logo.
Duh..... big duh.  We carry these stamps and have for almost 2 months now.

I tell ya, it could have smacked me in the face with as many of these as we have sent out to people these past couple of months.

Well, I love Cindy's stamps and plan to use them to make the above pictured quilt.

But I still plan on making our logo into a little quilt someday and offer it as a pattern.

Now that I've admitted to being the world's largest goober today and have quit laughing at myself, I hope you enjoyed your chuckle over my silliness. ;O}

I'm off to sew, hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

2 Favorites in new Quilting Magazines!

Wow - do you not love this quilt?  This quilt is the reason I bought the new Quiltmaker magazine -  March/April 2011.  I really need to add this one to my to do list.  Absolutely wonderful!

Next up.....

Really like this one also, called Broken Dishes in the March/April 2011 issue of Fons & Porter magazine.

So much inspiration, so little time!

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Few Little Bow Tie Blocks!

Yesterday I was able to have a little fun in the sewing room:

I have several more to finish, but I am really having fun with these little blocks!  I'll be using a red fabric for the setting squares on this little quilt!!!

Have a great weekend everybody!
And below is our current newsletter which we just sent out.  If you are on our Newsletter mailing list - read no further, you've already seen this!!!!
This Newsletter is a "biggie" so grab a cup of coffee, tea or your choice of beverage and enjoy!  (When I get on a roll, I can really roll!)
The Following Books are now back in stock!
This fabric line should arrive this month!
Barbara Brackman's new line Civil War Reunion!

Civil War Reunion Fabric Collection

Coming In March and Now available for Pre-Order
There will be a lot of fabric arriving in March - look below to see what I mean!!!

Crossroads To Texas by Betsy Chuctchian

Civil War Ladies II by Pat Nickols

Collections For A Cause: Faith by Howard Marcus
(we actually have three 42-piece Fat Quarter Bundles of Faith in stock now!)

Luminarias by Jo Morton

Toasty by Jo Morton

Cedar Chest Memories by Faye Burgos

Greystone by Paula Barnes

Bancroft by Judie Rothermel

Alices Wash Day Blues by Carrie Quinn

Centennial Treasures by Judie Rothermel

All of the above mentioned fabrics can now be pre-ordered.  We have been informed they all should be arriving in March 2011.  Sometimes there are delays in shipments, but so far we are on track to receive them all next month!

Please remember - as always - with all pre-orders placed, your credit card will not be charged until your order is ready to ship.  If you are using PayPal - we receive payment instantly on these transactions, even if you use a credit card - Paypal will charge your card immediately and it is beyond our control.

Also - on all pre-orders - if you order in stock fabrics as well as pre-order fabrics on one order - all fabrics will be held until everything is in stock.  All fabrics and fabric pages will tell you if the fabric is a pre-order item!

Upcoming Quilt Shows

Our Quilt Show season will also begin next month. This means our inventory will start changing as we start cutting fabric to fold into fat quarters and more bundles!  If you need yardage of something that we are getting low on - you are better off ordering it now, before we cut it into fat quarters and other cuts!

Our first show will be:

Marcy 18-19, 2011
Just Imagine Quilt Show
Friday 5-9
Saturday 9-4
21st Annual Gathering Of Quilters
The Patrician Banquet Center
Schererville, IN

Feel free to click on the links above to visit their website for more information!

After this show in April - it's Paducah time!!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Few Little Finishes!!!

Last night I was in one of my "moods".  I had to get something accomplished.  I had to sit down at the sewing machine.  I had to get - something - anything finished!

Well, I'm happy to say, I've finished 3 little quilts that have been "almost" finished for a year now.  The poor little dears have been hanging on one of my design walls screaming for attention now.  They seemed to reach out and smack me in the face every time I walked into my sewing room, yet I never could seem to carve out enough time to pay attention to them.  Well, last night I just could not take it anymore!  I was able to get all 3 of these quilts bound and finished!  That's all - that's all they needed, yet they hung on the wall for a year or more actually - that's sad - that's really, really sad.  Here they are!

First up is this little darling.  The quilt top was gifted to my by Miss Kathie of the Inspired by Antique Quilts blog.  I hand quilted this one last year while vending at a show in Valparaiso Indiana.  Isn't it a cutie!

This is Cheddar Cheese and Crackers - a quilt I made last year during a "Quilt Along" with Lori of Humble Quilts who so generously gave the instructions step by step on her blog. Love the cheddar!

And this one was actually the first version of this quilt:

Which was one of our pattern releases last year.  I made the first version and then went back and did it again, made it smaller and added fun corner borders for the pattern version which you see above that is called Star City!

I'm off to play for a little while today.  I'm pulling fabrics to work on a quilt model for our quilt show booths this year. I'm working on one of the quilts from the Prairie Women's Sewing Circle Club!  More specifically the quilt in the lower right hand corner on the cover below!

But first, I'm going to put these 3 little finishes of mine in the washer and get them going.  I love that slightly puckered antique look on my quilts! Then they'll be ready to find a spot on one of our walls here at home!  It feels good to have finished something!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Idle Moments and Peaceful Quiet Time

After a full days work yesterday, I needed a few minutes of quiet "me time" late in the evening.  I sat down to do a little hand piecing and my mind started to wander a bit.  My mind drifted back to memories of my Grandma hand piecing and quilting.  I thought about my Great Aunt who still hand pieces and hand quilts.  I thought about both of my Aunts who are both avid quilters - both hand and machine.

As I sat stitching and thinking in this quiet and peaceful time, I happened to think about some older patterns that I had produced awhile ago, specifically for those people that enjoy hand piecing or smaller type projects that can be completed in a day by machine.  I thought I would share one of those out of print pattern with you today and send you many wishes for a little quiet, peaceful time in your day.  Pick up a needle and thread and practice your hand piecing or learn a new technique and try your talents at hand piecing.

Here is:

Blazing Star

The following files are in PDF format, click on the link to download each.

Also, I've converted a set of instructions that I included with each of these patterns.  It's a very simple set of General Instructions for Hand Piecing, Applique & Quilting. The following file is also in PDF format, click on the link to download it.

And for those of you new to my blog, we do have a special page on our website that is dedicate to free pattens that we offer.  Almost all the free patterns there were past patterns that have now been discontinued.  I welcome you to use those patterns, enjoy them and share them with friends and family.  Here is the link to our Free Pattern Page

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Venturing out to the quilt shop...

Today I made a little trip out to my local quilt shop - had to drop off more of our books~!!!!  Plus, I had to pick up a few goodies of course!

This is one of the books that I've been wanting lately, the shop had it and I grabbed it quick!  It's great - brimming with pretty quilts perfect for my scrappy taste buds!  Here's a few of my favorites:

 To be honest with you - I like every quilt in this book!  Fun, Fun stuff!
Then I picked up these neat scissors:

After Miss Laura told me these scissors were super sharp all the way to the tip and that they had serrated edges - I was sold.  Had to get them and I just tested them out - I love them!  Definitely worth the money and a must have for your quilting tool box!  I love these little scissors so much, I just may have to order some to have in the booth for our upcoming quilt shows!!

Plus - they are going to be getting in the new Perfect Scissors by Karen Kay Buckley - had to order a pair of those too because I've just been hearing way to many good things about them!

And then last, but certainly not least, the one notion that has been on my list of things to get for awhile now, the Perfect Piecer by Jinny Beyer.

I love to hand piece and have been wanting this little tool for such a long time.  I must have never seen it before on my local quilt shops shelves, but it was there today!  Jinny Beyer is one of the quilters in the world that I would love to someday meet.  I admire her work and she is such a talented lady.  I recently pulled this book off my shelves and started browsing through it again:

Quiltmaking by hand written by Jinny Beyer - a must have book for your quilting library! Great pictures and I love reading all her tips!

Hope you are having a great week - I'm off to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and my new book.  Then I'm going to tinker around at the sewing machine tonight!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

More Spool Blocks!

I've been able to get quite a few more spool blocks pieced for our "Spoolin' Around Club"  These are just so fun to piece and I'm really enjoying using the template stamps, it saves so much time from the normal kind of quilting templates!

We were also able to get all the March Spoolin' Around fabric packs cut and ready to go.  You see - I'm trying to make sure we work a month in advance to keep up with all you fun club members!  Plus, we've gotten so many gorgeous new fabrics in again - I just could not resist!

This weekend I will start stamping more spool blocks, cut them out and begin piecing them.

I am enjoying these quilt stamps so much and because we've had a few requests, we went ahead and order the stamps for the Basket Blocks also!  Those should be in later next week - so excited about these!  Cute aren't they!

I hope you are enjoying your weekend so far!  I'll be packing orders and sewing this weekend and toss a little cooking in there too - we have a bunch of food to prepare for the big "Super Bowl" event this Sunday!  Chicken and Steak Fajitas, Nachos and a bunch of other goodies are on the menu!  Good times with friends are always welcome!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winter Wonderland

Well, in my neck of the world today - everything is white for as far as you can see.  The storm last night was amazing, we had high winds, drifting heavy snow, thunder, lightening - you name it.  

This morning we awoke to plenty of white fluffy stuff and silence everywhere.  It's kind of eerie to not see a vehicle moving and all you hear outside is silence, or the occasional emergency vehicle sirens.

After we plowed and shoveled ourselves out and helped the neighbors, we all started having a little fun in the snow.  Hey - why not, there is nothing else we can do!

Then we found out, my husband was going in to work.  They need guys to try to make it in to the terminal to clear out the snow.  No semi's will be leaving tonight carrying freight at all - thank goodness, I did not want my husband to have to go out tonight in a semi pulling two trailers loaded full of freight.  He is now on his way into work to shovel snow - that is, if he can make it there!

So, send up a few prayers for my hubbie pictured above.  He made it out of the subdivision and he told me the roads are not as bad once he got out of our snow - filled subdivsion.  But he still has not made it to work you!

Stay in, Stay Warm and Quilt!
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