Saturday, March 31, 2012

More Little "Peeks" for you.....

Yesterday I gave you a few teeny, tiny glimpses at what myself and 15 other designers have been doing "behind the scenes" for months now.  We have a secret project that is very near completion and will be introduced to the quilting world - oh so soon!

Here's another little glimpse:

Oh gosh, I just cannot take the anticipation any longer - here's another peek:

OK - I have to stop there - and you will just have to stop back here tomorrow to see the "unveiling" of our secret project!  I cannot stand the suspense any longer!

In other news - I'm out the door today to visit yet another quilt show - as long as the weather holds up and no nasty storms come through - I'll be taking in a large selection of gorgeous quilts!

Have a great Saturday - and we'll see you back here tomorrow for the "unveiling" ceremony!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Surprises in store for you....

Are you curious what happens when you gather up 16 awesome quilt designers and toss them all together to create a "secret" project to introduce to Quilt Shops all over the USA and abroad, which in turn will bring a fabulous new Block Of The Month program to each of you - our valued customers and fellow quilt lovers?

Well, I've got another little sneak peek for you (I'm just so terrible for posting so many of these sneak peeks lately!!!  Ha Ha!!).  I've been busting at the "seams" now for months - not saying a word what we have been working on - long distance mind you - the 16 designers involved in this little surprise that will be unveiled in Kansas City for International Quilt Market in May 2012 are spread out all over the USA.  But thanks to our creative minds and talents - that didn't matter.  

Are these cute - gorgeously put together little star blocks "peeking" your interest yet?

These little stars are part of the "secret" project that we will be unveiling on April 1st, 2012 on a very special little blog.

Oh, but I cannot help myself.  Stop back tomorrow and I'll give you another small glimpse of what you will see starting this Sunday, April 1st!

Illinois Valley Quilters' Guild Show 2012

Yesterday I showed you the pictures from the Pilgrim Roy Challenge that was on display at this quilt show. Today - here are the photos I took of a few of the quilts on display in the show put on by the Illinois Valley Quilters' Guild in Ottawa, Illinois!

(And like I mentioned yesterday, please forgive my photography skills - I had to resort to using my IPhone camera which I'm terrible with!)

Here is the slide show and if you do not want to watch the quilts on the slideshow - you can click on the link below which will take you directly to my webshots album and you can pick and choose what you look at!

Illinois Valley Quilters’ Guild 2012 Show

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pilgrim Roy AQS Challenge Quilts

Last weekend I created a little adventure for myself on Saturday and went to visit a few quilt shops I do not get out to visit often (which was excellent by the way) and I also went to visit a quilt show in Ottawa, Illinois put on by the Illinois Valley Quilters's Guild.  This was a fun show that I've never been to before!

I created a little slide show for you of the quilts that were on display from the Pilgrim Roy Challenge.  Tomorrow I'll show you the rest of the quilts on display at the show.

But first - I must apologize for these photos and tomorrows photos - they are not the best quality.  I had to use my IPhone's camera which I'm not that great at using!  I brought my good camera to the show with me, but once I got there I realized I had left the battery at home!  Oooooofffff!


Here is the slide show and if you do not want to watch the quilts on the slideshow - you can click on the link below which will take you directly to my webshots album and you can pick and choose what you look at!

Pilgrim Roy AQS Challenge 2012

Neat little tool to have!

I've been trying to catch up on emails and FaceBook questions and several of you have asked about this cool little gadget I showed in a photo last week or the week before:

And here's another picture of that gadget:

This is the Thread Caddy and I love mine to pieces!  This little gem is engineered by Barnett's LapTop Hoops and you can order yours here -and they even have a sale on them right now!  They ship fast too!! WooHoo!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Great New Quilting Book Alert!

Yesterday I purchased this book and I love it! My friend Carol Hopkins just had this book released by Martingale and Co. The quilt patterns included are awesome and the fabric "eye-candy" makes me want to stop working so hard on my own new designs for Quilt Market and jump right into making one of these beauties!

Here's a little sneak peek at a few of the patterns included! This is a must have book for your collection! Enjoy!

You can visit Carol's website and view more of her pattern designs here:

Carol Hopkins Designs

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sneaky Peek......

The weather may be getting beautiful outdoors - but inside my studio this week, the flurries are flying! I'm in full snowman production mode this week. Quilt Market is only a few weeks away! Yikes!

What are you working on?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy National Quilting Day!

Happy National Quilting Day to each and everyone of you! I hope you get to spend this beautiful day doing something you enjoy! I know I will be!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pride Of The Prairie Quilt Guild Show March 2012

I finally finished uploading all the pictures I took from last weekends quilt show that my local quilt guild - The Pride of The Prairie put on!  Here's a couple peeks at what I saw and at the bottom of this post you will find a link to my Picasa Album where you can browse the quilts at your leisure! While taking pictures, I tried really hard to get a snapshot of each quilts description card also!  Enjoy!!!

Viewer's Choice Winner from the Quilt Show!

I am totally in love with this quilt.  I have to make it - I just have too!  (Add another thing to my to do list!!!!  I better live to be about 250 years old or so!)

Here is Verdant Voyage by Denise Clayton - pieced and quilted!

Her quilt won the Viewer's Choice Award! Great job Denise!

This quilt pattern was designed by Lori Smith - the mastermind behind From My Heart To Your Hands pattern company.  The actual name of the pattern is Floral Delight and it is pattern #052

Above is the quilt from the cover of the pattern.  You can order this pattern directly from Lori's website here:

And here is your slide show of this quilt created by Denise!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Getting Ready To Hand Quilt With A Feline

Yesterday afternoon I set out to pin baste this quilt top so that I can hand quilt it.  As you can see above - it's pin basted and ready to go and I started the quilting last night. But to get to this stage I had a visitor that wanted to help...... of course!

The coast is clear so far - I've almost got my backing fabric taped down and ready!

As you can see the "Boss" is sneaking in and trying to investigate what I'm doing!  See her up in the top of the photo?  Almost have my batting ready to go - this picture was just before she took a nose dive into the center and I had to start over!

Batting arrange, quilt top arranged but not pinned and she's claimed her territory!  You know, it's a good thing I really love Bella the Boss.  It's also a good thing she's a short hair cat and sheds very little -  otherwise I'd be putting my feline friend in a separate room when I'm attempting to work on hair attracting projects! I teased her away so that I could straighten the quilt back out and start pinning with a few catnip treats!

 A close up of pin basting the quilt in progress!

A "pieceful"moment starting to hand quilt last night. (Of course, Bella was on my lap during this whole process while I was quilting!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Quilt Show Visit This Past Weekend!!!

I feel out of the loop after having a Sinus Infection-Cold that knocked my socks off!  This started in the evening on Saturday while I was teaching at the retreat - which by the way was a lot of fun!  I did not get home until almost 11 PM!

Here's the pretty building I was at:

Anyway, I still have a mild headache behind my eyes from this sinus yuckiness and I'm slightly stuffed up.  All this crud didn't stop me from going to a quilt show this past Sunday!  My quilt guild, The Pride Of The Prairie Quilters had their Bi-Annual quilt show this past Saturday and Sunday and it was excellent as usual!

I'll be doing a few slide shows for you from the quilts that I took pictures of.  First up today is the Dear Jane quilt that was on display. This was pieced by Sue Schwegler and quilted by Julie Karlak. This beauty received a well deserved 2nd place ribbon also!

And of course since I am so infatuated with making my own Dear Jane - I had to really study each of the blocks and the quilting!  I took several close up shots of the quilt - that way in the future when it's finished, I can make a few suggestions to "whomever" gets to quilt it!

I hope you enjoy the pictures.  Here are a few and down at the bottom of this post is a slideshow presentation for you!

Here's the Slideshow:

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I'm off to take some hand stitching outside on my deck and enjoy the warmth and sunshine!  Hopefully the fresh air will help perk me up a bit!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Getting ready for the Retreat and Dear Jane!!!

Last night was my monthly Dear Jane Club meeting - I really look forward to this every month!  Great group of gals and it's fun to get out and be among people too (I work from home and love to stay at home most of the time!).  Weekly trips to the grocery store and running the "Mom Taxi" gets a little old sometimes - so when Dear Jane night comes around, I'm clicking my heals and firing up the SUV to get to club!

Here are some of my yummy new fabric acquisitions from last night:

All of these fabrics can be purchased from The Quilt Merchant - better hurry though - of few of these are getting low in stock and they are definitely pieces that your stash are needing!

Sadly, the past two weeks, Dear Jane and I have not played much as I've been working as much as possible on getting ready for Quilt Market.  Here's the single lonely block I've completed:

G-3 Four Leaf Clover

It was a fun one and my fingers are itching to do more, but alas - I've been playing with this pile of wool:

I've lost half my cutting counter space due to this pile of wool goodness - but - it's all good!

Here is one of three projects I cut and arranged yesterday!

Today - I'm in full-fledged packing and preparing mode, because tomorrow I get to spend the day with about 25 soon to be friends!  25 wonderful quilters that I will be teaching this project too - 

Thanks to Pieceful Gatherings Quilt Shop for inviting me up to teach at your retreat - I look forward to meeting each of your retreaters tomorrow!  We are in for a good time!

If you are interested in purchasing the pattern for the project you see above, it is pattern #409 and is called Pieceful Gatherings.  This pattern is available exclusively through Pieceful Gatherings Quilt Shop from now until May 2012.  After mid-May 2012 you will find this pattern on our website and in your local quilt shop!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mary Schafer..... and favorite reads of mine

Several years back, I discovered this quilting book by accident during my travels to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for International Quilt Market.  I'll never forget that trip for many reasons - it was a trip there and back of never ending problems and weird experiences! Regardless, I found this book in a very out of the way quilt shop that I search high and low for - drove many miles off the beaten path to get too it - arrived and it was closed (no I did not call first).  As I turned away from the door - a gal from the inside unlocked the door and asked me if I needed something....

My first thought was to be a real smart-aleck and retort with something on the lines of the journey I had come to visit this shop, only to find it closed even thought the nice sign just to the right of this lady claimed they should be open.  Instead, I was pleasant and said, I had came to shop and didn't realize that you were closed.

Well - long story short - she wasn't happy and wasn't very nice, but said I could come in and look around as long as I was "quick" about it.  Holy Moly - I felt like I was in a thrift store.  Much disappointment from that shop - but I came away with one treasure - this book.

Mary Schafer... American Quilt Maker by Gwen Marston. Oh my - I love this book.  It's great to read all about Mary.  I love seeing all her quilts.  The story of her life is wonderful.

Isn't this photo of Mary enduring? This is how she quilted - sitting on the floor with no frame.  I've read, she pieced that way too because she was most comfortable and had great lightening from that window in her Michigan home.

Here are some other books that feature Mary:

She was in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine:

Mary is definitely one quilter on my list I would to have loved to have met.  I enjoy reading and re-reading all of the materials I own about her.  I spent the evening last night re-reading and looking at her beautiful quilts in the first book I spoke about.  It was a wonderful evening.

Here are some more links with photos of her exhibits and accomplishments!

Here's an exhibit with photos of her quilts:

This is one of Mary's quilts shown on The Quilt Index and the information provided there -
Title: Clamshell
Artist(s): Mary Vida Schafer
Material(s): Cotton, Polyester filling
Technique(s): Hand pieced and hand quilted
Dimensions: 96" x 81"
Date made: 1966
Place Created: Flushing, Genesee County, Michigan
Collection: Great Lakes Quilt Center/Michigan State University Museum
Photo Credit: KEVA
Interpretative Commentary:
This is Mary Schafer's most celebrated quilt and was made during Mary's "Challene Period." The complexity of piecing the Clamshell pattern, due to the connecting of convex and concave edges, made this historically a quilt with a high level of difficulty. Noted quilt author, Delores Hinson called it "One of Mary's best!" -- Mary Worrall
Additional Commentary:
This quilt won Best Pieced and Viewer's Choice awards in 1971 at the first National Quilt Association show, Greenbelt, Maryland. It was also exhibited at the Whaley House Museum and the Sloan Museum in Flint, Michigan, and included in the exhibit Mary Schafer Collection: A Legacy of Quilt History from July 29-December 31, 2001 at Michigan State University Museum. It was illustrated in Delores Hinson, A Quilter's Companion and Gwen Marston and Joe Cunningham, Mary Scafer and Her Quilts (figure 16, page 16). -- Beth Donaldson

Information on Mary's pineapple quilt can be found here:

Mary's Whig Rose quilt can be found here:

In fact - here's a link to a bunch of Mary's quilts on 
A lot of these quilts are in the first book I mentioned above!

Here's more information on 

Mary was quite the lady!
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