A friend sent this to me...
Finally! A doctor that gives the kind of advice I want to hear! He says that the biggest reason for weight gain is stress. To combat stress - just increase your sleep because you don’t feel stress when you’re asleep!
A friend sent this to me...
Finally! A doctor that gives the kind of advice I want to hear! He says that the biggest reason for weight gain is stress. To combat stress - just increase your sleep because you don’t feel stress when you’re asleep!
Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noel! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Hanukkah!
I know. It's still mid-July, and for most of the country, it is way too hot to think about the holidays or December. Make that WAY too hot. Except that every year, usually around Thanksgiving, I give myself a Gibbs-like smack to the back of my head and tell myself that I really should have started at least thinking about what I wanted to make for the holidays a little bit sooner. I would settle for October but July is even better. Especially since it is too hot to be outside and there is all sorts of terrific holiday fabric available. Have you seen all the holiday wonderfulness at the Christmas Cloth Store and Sew Mama Sew?
If you're wondering, I really do know Linda. We met at the American Patchwork Creative Circle over five years ago and I loved her energy, style and personality. Linda does everything... and she's raising a couple of boys at the same time. She does every kind of sewing and stitching, and scrapbooking and paper crafts, and she does it all really well. Which is rather annoying, now that I think about it. Except how can you not love something this lively and vibrant?
This is Linda's terrific new book... except the cover is wrong about one thing - it should read Sew Merry and Bright - 21 easy, fun, festive and AWESOME patterns!
I started working on this project today...
I've also got the fabric picked out for this one...
What is terrific about the book is that there is a wide variety of projects from a tree skirt to a wall-quilt - that could easily be made into a lap or throw. There are stockings and table runners, an advent calendar and ornaments. Wouldn't this be a cute little package tie-on?
(For a few of you... don't worry, I'm in that last group too.)
You have until Friday, July 20th at Midnight, PST to leave a comment. If you do, you could win you a copy of Linda's terrific book and a couple of my very favorite Christmas Layer Cakes - Kate Spain's 12 Days of Christmas and Sweetwater's Countdown to Christmas. I've been saving them for a very special occasion and this is going to be it.
And yes, I've got two books so there are two prizes. (Don't worry, I'll be able to finish the pillow without the book because I bought an e-book version of Sew Merry and Bright.)
So go say Hi to Linda and then make sure you visit everybody else this week and next:
I'm off to work on my pillow. You know, I actually might finish this by Christmas!
Thank you, Linda!
We interrupt this unexplained and not-really-necessary absence with a blog post. I bet you're thinking I forgot I had a blog. If I could figure out a way to do the blog without having to turn on my computer - or any other techie-sort-of-thing - I sometimes think my life would be perfect.
I know it would be a step toward making me happy ~ Step No. 9, actually.
I found this on Pinterest.
Life here is about the same - good, hot and moving right along. My Mom is doing great, and so is Rosie. But I'm not getting enough sleep ~ at least that's what the nurse at my Mom's doctor's office says. (Uh oh... that's Step No. 4.)
I've been working on a little project - some upcoming patterns - and these go for photography this week and by the end of this week, I'll be chained to this here computer writing patterns. Given that it is next to a large window and it has a tendency to get a little warm over here, especially in the afternoon, I don't think I can tell you how much I'm looking forward to it. No, really, there aren't words. Just so you know, when I'm busy writing patterns, I seem to spend a fair amount of time on Pinterest and Etsy.
For this "experiment", I'm having everything photographed as tops. Then I'll get busy with getting them quilted... including... yes, I will quilt a couple of these myself. You'll understand when you see them in a few weeks.
While it seems an odd thing to be doing when its hot, I've been doing a bit of wool applique and stitching. I've been stitching with Alice, a phenomenal teacher and amazing stitcher of every type of needlework at the Olde World Quilt Shoppe. And my friend Ginger has started a little wool stitching group and we've been getting together once a month to stitch a new design and have a little fun. Someday soon, she's going to have a blog and website of her very own with some of the new designs we've been working on. Because of that, she's threatened me with all sorts of dire consequences if I show you pictures of what we've done, but for now, let it suffice to say this: Winter's Jewel. Red, green, black and pretty wonderful.
I've also gotten a slew of new quilting books in the past month that I have been enjoying, including this one:
Sew Merry and Bright - 21 easy, fun and festive patterns. And while it is still 12,000 degrees outside and way too hot to think about the holidays... Christmas is just 161 days away.
Do you know Linda? I met Linda years ago and she's one of my favorite quilt folks to talk to because she knows everybody, she knows everything that's going on, and she's got a terrific take on some of the sillier things in the business.
And Linda has a book tour starting tomorrow ~ July 18th. Here.
July 19 - Sew Mama Sew ~ Beth Wilson
July 20 - Pat Sloan
July 21 - Ellen Luckett Baker of The Long Thread
July 22 - Kate Spain
July 23 - Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced
July 24 - Martingale & Co.
July 25 - Henry Glass Fabrics
July 26 - Fat Quarterly
July 27 - Aurifil
July 28 - Fat Quarter Shop
July 29 - Mark Lipinski
Books. Prizes. Projects. And who only knows what else.
One last thing ~ I've been cleaning out "the closet" and I've got a few things listed in the shop. There are a few fat quarter bundles, some layer cakes, a couple of kits and even some red fat quarter bundles I made up while organizing my closet a little while ago.
Alright... I hear someone behind me. It's time to go to bed.
She's not sleepy, she just wants the treat she gets before she goes to bed.
I intended to be back before now but it seems I had the intention but not the intent.
Intent implies a sustained unbroken commitment or purpose, while intention would imply an intermittent resolution.
Intermittent resolution. That's me!
What has been sustained and unbroken is my appreciation and gratitude for your support! Thank you! So. You like Bounce.
I do too. Enough that I seriously considered keeping the quilt and trying to tell Thelma that it was "lost" in transit somewhere. Boo hoo. So sad. So sorry. Oh well. But she knew I was lying. Like I wrote... I tried to tell her. She wasn't buying. I think her exact words were something like "I know where you live..." Thankfully, I have my own Bounce quilt. It's different and I really do love it. It's been hanging in my bedroom... mostly because it is too hot to actually try to use right now.
I'm starting to think I have issues with conformity. I don't know if I was in a rebellious mood when I first started thinking about this quilt but from the start, my goal was to break away from neat, orderly rows of blocks. The challenge was to get the blocks to "bounce" while still maintaining some balance with the background. Meaning, they could have bounced more but that would have resulted in having a lot more "white-space" between the blocks. I enjoyed making this quilt so much that I think I'm going to try to make another one this summer... in between other things.
Yes, I have a few things on my cutting table right now, or the ironing board.
Blitzen. Ready to cut -- probably Sunday night before I go to bed. Yes, I'm a bit of a night-owl, late-night sewing is my most productive work time. The phone doesn't rarely rings and it is nice and quiet. This is a project that will be published sometime in early August.
No, it isn't a new Schnibble. There will be a few more of those coming but this isn't one of them. Yes, that officially makes this a "teaser".
Speaking of Schnibbles - oh my gosh! Have you seen the amazing variety of Leap Year quilts made by the lovely ladies participating in Sinta and Sherri's Year of Schnibbles? Every month I'm floored by the creative variations and differences but this month was the topper. I. Love. Every. Single. Quilt. They're stupendous! To see the quilts -- Sherri's Parade & Sinta's Parade.
Wait! Wait! Before you go look at those quilts, let me show you the rest of the new Schnibbles! I do not want to have to follow those parades!
These are my Leap Year quilts.
Have the Sweetwater ladies done a collection that isn't wonderful? This is one of my favorites though -- Reunion. (And yes, I say that every time, and I stand by the statement right up until the next collection is released.)
This was made using pieces from my box of 1 1/2" strips. It started out as a just-for-fun experiment and ended up being a variation on the pattern. I love scrap quilts like this.
This is Dimestore - made using the Urban Cowgirl collection by the Urban Chiks for Moda. I love this collection.
The interesting thing for me with this collection was that most of the quilts I saw made with it went "dark", using a brown or blue for the "background". But I saw the fabric collection as a bit sun-washed and slightly faded, so I preferred it with a much lighter background - a couple of them actually.
And then I received some of Jo Morton's Bridgeport fabrics... "darker" is good. Red is better.
Charlotte -- additional proof in the case of Carrie v. State of Conformity.
Farmer's Market by Brannock & Patek for Moda. This is the quilt that presented the math considerations I wrote about a few months back. As in: if I make the half-triangle squares this size, these are the sizes I can make the center square. It was also a quilt that had me thinking about the fabric itself - which fabrics I like to use and which ones I don't. I'll tell you more about that later this week.
Because I know that some folks are not quite as enamored of "random" as I am, I decided that Charlotte needed a v. 2.
Modern Vintage by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. Miss Daze - Darlene - pieced this Charlotte, and after asking her to making 300 half-triangle squares, she still hasn't decided if she's going to speak to me again.
There aren't nearly so many half-triangle squares in Hubble - Miss Plus-Size Schnibble.
So why is Hubble a Schnibble? Two charm packs - or less than 84 charm squares - is my arbitrary limit for the charm pack quilts. Okay, so that just makes the center of the quilt, you'll need a few more for the pieced inner border. But I have precedent on my side - Center Stage is the same way -- two charm packs for the center of the quilt and a third charm pack for the pieced border.
I've had this block/page -- Aunt Rachel's Star/Page 269 -- bookmarked in my Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns for years, probably since I bought my copy of the book in the mid-1990s. I made a few tiny adjustments with the placement of the light and dark triangles... I don't think Rachel would mind.
I think I'll be making another version of this one too -- I already have a plan. And most of the fabric.
But first I have to finish the stuff I'm working on finishing. And just so you know that I am working...
The little "snippet" bowl on my cutting table. California Girl by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda. This one is done. Next up...
Unless I do Blitzen first. Blitzen. That "sounds" cold.
Actually... that's making me think of Blizzards. The kind with the capital "B". The kind that comes from Dairy Queen.
It's also the kind of Blizzard I can get at the Dairy Queen that's less than five minutes from the house.
Okay! I'm out of here!
And yes, I intend to start on Blitzen in the morning!
Unless I get distracted.
Or the phone rings.
I think I wrote something about being back sooner than today. But as I've written to friends this past week, ideas, thoughts, to-do's and don't-forgets tend to spontaneously explode in the heat, leaving me with little puffs of smoke coming out of my ears.
But I haven't forgotten the important things on my list.
And somebody else. Not sure who. But it will be entertaining to find out what might go wrong this time. The first time, the show's computer malfunctioned and the telephone call was dropped mid-way through the interview. The second time, there was competition from vacuum cleaners, doorbells and jets. What's left? Locusts? I suppose I should be happy that I'm not in Texas preparing for a visit from Debby.
Here's what Pat has to say about Monday's show!
Take 5! I've got books! Yes, books... as in two of them!
Ladies, if you'll check your e-mail boxes, there should be an e-mail from me asking for your mailing addresses.
To everyone who left a comment - thank you. I appreciate it, and if I had books to give everyone, I would definitely do it because it is a terrific book - a worthy addition to any quilter's library. If you can't find it at your local quilt shop, or if you don't have a local quilt shop, you might want to check the Martingale website. E-books are on sale for $9.99 through Monday - June 25th. (I bought the e-book this weekend so that's why Jen is getting the copy Kathy sent me.)
Finally, since Mondays are the start of a new week, it's finally time for some new patterns. They'll be in the shop on Monday morning and I'll be back by Wednesday to tell you a little more about each one.
Really. Wednesday. Two days after today - Monday.
Unless it's hot and my head explodes. Or my computer.
See you on American Patchwork & Quilting Radio!
Same Pat-time! Same Pat-channel!
[Hehe Really, how many chances does anyone ever get to use that line?]
[I know. The answer is "too many".]
I know. I was confused too. Kathy Brown asked me to review her new book.
Five fabrics. JUST five fabrics. In one quilt. I'm pretty much on record as stating that if five fabrics are good, fifty-five have to be better. After all, more is better, right?
I should have trusted Kathy. If she said it could be done, then it could be. Then again, maybe it only works because she designed the quits. Whatever the case, I should have known better than to doubt a Louisiana girl, they're pretty smart about these kinds of things. If you don't already know, Kathy has written several terrific quilt books - Take 5: Quilts From Just 5 Fabrics and Strip-Smart Quilts: 16 Designs from One Easy Technique. It's about what you'd expect from a smart girl from Louisiana.
All that, and she still talks to me! I know. I'm confused too.
In all seriousness ~ yeah, right, that's me... ~ I love the book.
It goes without saying that every quilt in the book could be made with scraps, fat quarters and even pre-cuts. That's the easy part. The beauty of this book, and what puts it at the head of the class (I'm sorry... I couldn't help myself.) is that they are perfectly suited for just the five fabrics. At a time when every one of us is wanting to sew up some of of our stash, these sixteen quilts will keep you busy for awhile. These quilts are the real "stash-busters" because they can be made with the kind of stash most of us actually have.
This is Rocks With the Stars. The starting point is a couple of yards of a medium-to-big "focus" print. Can I have a show of hands of who doesn't have four or five of these sorts of pieces in the fabric closet? I should probably raise both hands.
While Kathy's style is what I would probably call "updated traditional", every design works for any style of fabric. From clean and modern to country and/or primitive, reproduction to eclectic, batiks to brights, these designs will work with those fabrics.
Loves Coffee Milk. I love this quilt ~ it just might be my favorite. Have you been itching to make a quilt using all solids? Brights, neutrals, modern or pastel, you only have to worry about picking five colors! Even if you completely change the color palette and use prints, Kathy's directions and method for making this quilt will give you perfect results without having to worry about fabrics and/or colors touching.
This is Gets a Buzz Cut. I love this block. I've used this block in a scrap quilt. So how is it that Kathy used just five fabrics and made it look scrappier than mine? That's probably my favorite single thing about this book - even though all sixteen of the quilts use just five fabrics, each one of them looks like they have more fabrics than that. She's made quilts that look like scrap quilts but aren't. That's genius.
Here's what you need to do - leave a comment on this post by midnight on Wednesday, June 20th to be entered to win a copy of Kathy's book, More Take 5 Quilts. The winner will be announce on Thursday.
And don't forget you still have four other chances to win:
And that's all she wrote.
That's when she'll have wrote more.
Five is the luckiest number that you'll ever do... no, I am so not singing or re-writing any more song lyrics. Well, not today anyway.
It is the terrific follow-up to her bestselling book, Take 5 Quilts ~ Quilts Made From Just 5 Fabrics.
If you hang around for five days this week, you could win one of the five books being given away... though I bet there are a few more than that. Here are the five:
Monday ~ Tara Lynn Darr of Sew Unique Creations. I think I met Tara at my first Market almost ten years ago. We were both just out of high school. She is flat-out, bar-none, absolutely one of the nicest people in the quilting business... though it was just a little annoying that she released 237 new patterns at Spring Market in Kansas City and every single one of them is an I-need-that-now-kind of project.
Tuesday ~ Rosie's Alter Ego
Wednesday ~ Pam-Viera McGinnis of PamKittyMorning. Pam was in my workroom this weekend. Well, not her personally, but her oh-my-goodness lovely fabric, PamKittyMorning was there and I was cutting and sewing and pressing to my heart's content. Though I think my heart is going to need more of that fabric soon... and the PKM Love. Visit Pam on Wednesday but watch out for the spider.
Thursday ~ Barbara Groves & Mary Jacobsen of Me & My Sister. I've known Barb and Mary for at least fifteen years, which means I know the "real them". I was there when Barb got up on the cutting table in the store to dance to a movie soundtrack, and I was there when she learned about the capillary action of water on sweatpants... and that's all I'm saying about that.
Make that six, counting Kathy - the leader of the pack.
As for life here on the home-front: it's hot. HOT. But good. I'll be back a few times this week... I know, I'll believe it when I see it too. Baby steps, right?
I didn't have any pictures of anything to share so I borrowed one from a magazine - one that I saved for my bulletin board. It just makes me happy and it is a nice almost-Father's Day sort of picture.
Now go say Hi to Tara and Kathy!
Literally and figuratively. Things are looking up and good in Rosieland.
While I'm sorry that I haven't been able to thank each of you individually, I truly appreciated your kind thoughts and good wishes for my Mom. It definitely worked!
My Mom has been home for a little over a week now and she's doing really well. While we're still adjusting to a few changes, her improvement this past week is such that she's probably the best she's been in a year. It's amazing what being pain-free and able to sleep can do for a person.
With the outlook here being a little sunnier and happier, I've managed to get back to work a bit and finish up a few things. Some patterns, a little bit of sewing and a crafting task with my hot glue gun have been on the agenda.
Okay, so this isn't a whole lot to show for my sewing but this is the only thing I have that was actually finished. I'm not really in love with the navy perle cotton but that was what I had on hand that looked the best. When you've only got about 30 minutes and a leftover 5" "test block", you do what you can. I experimented with the filling because my goal is to get it so that it has enough squish to allow it to be "pinched" by the perle cotton but also have a little bit of weight to it. The Beta testing for Pinkeep v.1 went well but after deciding I could improve on it, I went in search of another block.
When I get caught up with everything else and have a little bit more time, I think I'm going to have to continue working out my filling issues. It's getting better but it isn't "perfect" yet. Still, I like the way they both turned out and they look very nice on my shelf.
On the quilt/work front there are four new Schnibbles patterns being printed later this week, and I think a big quilt pattern too. While the Leap Year PDF will be in the online store in another day or so, the other three will go up when the paper patterns are complete. At this point, the instructions are done and I'm just waiting for covers. After that, there will be a few more Schnibbles patterns next month and something else, the result of my latest experiment and/or flight of fancy. For now, let it suffice to say that when I first heard about [name of whatever], I thought it was kind of silly. But as with too many things, the thought of [it] kept rolling around in my head until I got an idea. That lead to another one and so on.
In the meantime, there is a little sewing going on in bits and pieces. Again, literally and figuratively.
The mail has helped me out too as I started working on the new pieced Summer Block of the Week from Primitive Gatherings. It arrived on Friday and I've finished all of my blocks for this week.
After having so much fun with both of the Summer Blocks of the Week last year and then seeing the terrific blocks planned for this Summer, I couldn't miss out on the fun. There's a pretty good chance that I'll wind up changing something with the pieced quilt again this time but not because I think I'm making it better. As if?! I don't mind that everybody else's quilt will be better than mine so long as mine is different. It's odd and compulsive and rather silly, but I just can't help myself. Besides, I still have all these great charm packs that I bought at the shop that I can use for those lovely blocks.
As for my hot-glue-gun adventure, the impetus for that was simple -- I have this corkboard in my sewing room and I needed some "new" tacks. Since I was having a hard time finding any that I really liked -- I know... picky, picky, picky... they're just tacks! -- I decided to make my own.
I stuck them into a small square of cork to make it easier to glue the buttons on.
This is what I stare at when I'm at the ironing board. The little embroidered redwork rooster under the stamps? I didn't stitch that, Ginger did. It is stitched with a single strand of embroidery floss and measures about an inch across. I'm not at all sure how I wound up with that piece of fabric but she's not getting it back. Ever. This is as close as I'll ever get to stitching that tiny and perfect.
That's pretty much what's been going on here the past week. I was thinking it sounded a little boring but there are times when a little bit of boring is a good thing. Given the alternative, I could get used to boring.
So until I have more to share, I hope you're having sunny skies and good days too. Though hopefully not boring... I need the vicarious thrill.
A funny thing happened on the way to Spring Market in Kansas City... oh wait, I didn't get to go.
Don't worry, everything here is fine. My Mom is fine and Rosie is fine. I'm fine too. But I had to cancel going to Spring Market. A few months ago, my Mom started having some problems that were causing her a fair amount of pain. When her doctor recommended surgery to correct the kidney issues that were causing the problem, I didn't have the heart to ask her to wait to schedule it until it was convenient for me. So she had surgery last week and she will be home from the hospital later this week. That is, if the nurses let her leave. My Mom really is a sweetheart so all the nurses like her, and they remember her from past visits.
I'll be glad when she's home because then she won't call me at 6:00 am in the morning to ask "what's up?" Uh... not me! Not yet anyway.
Though it was pointed out to me that I would have been awake and out of bed if I hadn't stayed up until 3:00 am reading a book. Moms. They know just how to get you, don't they?
I'm just happy she didn't tell me that I probably should have been sewing. Or writing patterns. Though I have been doing both. Except I'm still running behind.
I confess to being a little disappointed that almost all of the quilts I've finished this year have been smaller ones. As much as I like making them, I'm frustrated that I haven't been able to finish the three big quilts that I've been working on. No complaints though... it is just the way things are right now. Sometimes things don't get done as quickly as I would like them to.
Of course, that hasn't stopped me from starting a new one with the Chateau Rouge collection by French General.
The quilt will be made with a bundle of Fat Eighths and about 2 1/2 yards of fabric. As much as I liked it, I was thinking that I probably wouldn't get to use this collection. But after seeing a few of the quilts that others had done using this collection, I changed my mind. The quilts are lovely but I "saw" the collection completely differently so we'll see how it turns out. Yes, I'll let you know how that goes. The fabrics have been pressed and cut, and I've made a couple of blocks... but finishing this will wait until I finish a couple other small things. And until the additional yardage I'll be using is available.
Maybe I should have written that a funny thing happened on the way to finishing what I had started?
You know what I mean. It's the kind of movement where you know you're moving, but you aren't making any forward progress. I'm just glad I don't have any evidence to suggest I might be moving backwards.
Thank you very much for "prancing along" with Pat - and with me. Three winners have been randomly selected and notified -- that part wasn't random. They are -- JMNiffer, Lisa B and Suzan. If you think that might be you, check your e-mail box. If you have something with the subject line "From Miss Rosie...", then you're it!
I'm still binding. And I'm still watching playoff hockey games. Woohoo to the Coyotes! The games have been great but I'm feeling quite old. I remember when Martin Brodeur was a youngster so I'm going to have to hurt the next announcer who feels compelled to remind everyone that Marty is now 40 years old.
Speaking of birthdays, my Mom is 82 years old today - Wednesday. After getting a ho-hum-ish sort of response to Carrot Cake and seeing strawberries on special at the grocery store, I decided to make her long-standing favorite Gateau des Fraises ~ Stawberry Cake.
Basically a cheesecake with a sour-cream layer underneath the strawberries. This cake is supposed to be served with whole strawberries on the top but (1) it looks best when all the strawberries are the same size and I didn't have that. And (2), it is so much easier to cut, serve and eat when the strawberries are sliced. So with all apologies to the French chef who created this recipe... I changed it.
Speaking of my habit of changing things to suit moi - do you remember when I showed you these blocks last year? They were part of the 2011 Summer Pieced Block of the Week from Primitive Gatherings in Menasha, Wisconsin.
It's a twelve week program and each week, you're sent the kit for five blocks.
Five stars that are supposed to finish at 4" x 4"... except I changed that. My blocks finish at 5" x 5". I also changed every combination just so that mine would be different, adding and subtracting fabrics as I went along. And because that wasn't going to be different enough, I also made more blocks. I didn't know what the shop setting was going to be, but since I was already in for a penny...
I've called my quilt Rorschach.
Yes, this quilt says more about my psyche and personality than any silly little inkblot every could.
I used a lovely soft gray tonal print by Lecien for the alternating squares and setting triangles because I wanted the stars to be the focal point of the quilt. It is also why I decided that this quilt didn't need a border. The binding is a faded red print from an early Sturbridge collection.
The quilt was going to be in a book I was scheduled to publish in September 2013 but I have postponed that because my timing is so "off" these days. (Don't worry! Yes, I had asked Lisa's permission to publish my version of the quilt.)
The only other thing I've been working on is this quilt...
When you see this one, I think you're going to laugh. Think of it as a "plus-size" quilt... and that will make sense when I tell you about it as soon as I've got pictures and a pattern cover on the way.