Friday, October 12, 2018

New Squared Away Kit!

I've been making time to quilt all of the tops I pieced in September, and I just finished this one:


The bright colors of this Squared Away Cutie Quilt shone on the dreary autumn day.  I live in upstate New York and I will put our autumn colors against anywhere in the world, but dreary days are dull everywhere.

The ribbon candy quilting makes this quilt.  If you aren't a ribbon candy expert, try using a stencil.  This quilt uses the 1 1/2" ribbon candy stencil.

Happy Fall, Y'all!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

New Cutie Pattern: X Stitch!

I love Cuties
Yes, I do
I love Cuties
How 'bout you???

I admit that I am hopelessly in love with Cuties and Cutie Patterns.

Here's my latest pattern, X Stitch:


I usually grab my "bright" Cuties to make my first copy of a new pattern and they look great in this pattern!  I have my eyes on a stack of red/white fabrics, neutrals, blue/yellows, and black/white/neon pink.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

New Article

Do you subscribe to Quilter's World Magazine?  I write a machine quilting column in each issue.

The Winter 2018 issue is ready and my article "The Inside Scoop: Edge-to-Edge Quilting" is on pages 82-84 (for your convenience).

Have you ever wondered the stitching order for an all-over pattern on a quilt on your home machine?

Wonder no longer.


Let me know if you have any quilting questions that I can address in future columns.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

To Market, To Market...

In May, I attended Quilt Market in Portland Oregon.  While I was there, I made mischief with Teri Lucas, ate Salt and  Ice Cream, and filmed an episode for Annie's Creative Studio featuring New Tools!


Sign up for your Annie's Creative Studio Free Trial and check it out!

Friday, October 05, 2018

Doubly Sweet

I finished one of the quilt tops I pieced during my month of recovery from medical treatments.

I pieced a Sweet Tooth Cutie quilt using my black, brown, and yellow 1 1/2" scrap strips and this was the result:


I quilted ribbon candy, the world's sweetest machine quilting pattern, in the cream background strips:


Did you know that I have stencils that can help you stitch accurate 1" ribbon candy?

I used Quilter's Dream Wool batting and it really makes the unquilted strips POP!


I give away most of my quilts, and this Storm Trooper agrees that this quilt is perfect for a man.  Maybe I'll bring it to a Coffee with a Cop day and show a local officer my appreciation.  (One of my closest female friends was a police officer, but in my town male officers FAR outnumber female officers.)


Friday, September 28, 2018

Today is MY Day!!!

Today is my day on the Tie One On Blog Hop!



My super-talented friend, Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios, designed a wonderful line of batik fabrics for Banyan Batiks/Northcott, inspired by vintage men's ties.  Watch an interview I did with him about his Tie One On line HERE.

If I had to describe this fabric line in one word, I'd choose "wearable."  They are so wearable that I decided to make an infinity scarf using these fabrics and my Scarves to Share Cutie Pattern.


I love that red print so much that I used it twice in this scarf.

The weather is turning to fall here in upstate New York, and that means boots and sweaters and scarves.  I have my first new scarf of the season ready to wear!


And wear it I did!


Cutie Patterns are written to have very little waste.  I took what little fabric was left from my scarf and sewed the pieces together:


Then I grabbed my Postcard Cutting Tool, stabilizer, and white fabric for the back of the postcard:


 I fused the layers together and trimmed with my Postcard Trimming Tool:


I zig-zagged around the edges and put them in a cellophane envelope for mailing:


Now these lovely men's wear fabric postcards will spread a little message of love through the mail.

Speaking of men's wear, this is my favorite men's wear look:


I'd love to see that look come back!

Did you know that every stop on the blog tour is giving away a bundle of Tie One On fat quarters?  

To enter to win Scott's fat quarters from my blog, please leave a comment telling me your favorite men's wear look.  Comment until October 2.  I'll pick a winner on October 3.

Visit every stop on the blog tour for more chances to win fat quarters of Tie One On!

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter HERE for more quilty goodness delivered right to you!

Follow along with his blog hop here:

9/22 - Teri Lucas                https://terificreations.com/

9/23 - Robin Long              http://robinruthdesign.com/blog/

9/24 - Sue O'Very              https://sueoverydesigns.com/blog/

9/25 - Cheryl Arkison         http://www.cherylarkison.com/diningroomempire/

9/26 - Linda Sullivan          https://colourwerx.wordpress.com/

9/27 - Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill  http://blog.wholecirclestudio.com/  

9/28 - Debby Brown          http://higheredhands.blogspot.com/

9/29 - Blair Stocker           https://wisecrafthandmade.com/blog/

9/30 - Kim Niedzwiecki       http://www.gogokim.com/

Friday, September 21, 2018

Tie One On! with Blue Nickel Studio

Tomorrow is the beginning of the Tie One On! blog hop celebrating Scott Hansen's new fabric line.


I am hard at work making something just for me using this amazingly wearable fabric and will show it to you next week.

While you wait, eavesdrop on the conversation that Scott and I had at Quilt Market in Portland back in May:



Follow along with his blog hop here:

9/22 - Teri Lucas                https://terificreations.com/
9/23 - Robin Long              http://robinruthdesign.com/blog/
9/24 - Sue O'Very              https://sueoverydesigns.com/blog/
9/25 - Cheryl Arkison         http://www.cherylarkison.com/diningroomempire/
9/26 - Linda Sullivan          https://colourwerx.wordpress.com/
9/27 - Sheri Cifaldi-Morril  http://blog.wholecirclestudio.com/  
9/28 - Debby Brown          http://higheredhands.blogspot.com/
9/29 - Blair Stocker           https://wisecrafthandmade.com/blog/
9/30 - Kim Niedzwieki       http://www.gogokim.com/

Friday, September 14, 2018

What Mistake?

Last night I was machine quilting into the wee hours of the morning due to the bag of IV steroids I received as part of my infusion treatment earlier in the week:


If you haven't ever had the pleasure of IV steroids, you are missing out.  My mind and heart are racing, my stomach is churning, and sleep is but a memory.  It will wear off soon, but not yet.  So I quilted.

I machine quilted a scrappy Sweet Tooth Cutie Quilt and was tickled when I was finished


until...


Did I actually stitch a fold of the backing into the quilt?  Why yes.  Yes, I did.

Dang.

I started to plan how best to pick out the stitching when I realized that this was the perfect location for a label!

I grabbed a square of scrap fabric and pressed it into a triangle:


I placed it over the "Oops I folded over the backing" corner of the quilt:


I stitched the label in place:


Then I bound the quilt from the back like I normally do:


 I turned and clipped the binding to the front:


I stitched the binding in place from the front with a thin, neutral bobbin thread so the stitching didn't show up loudly on the back of the quilt:


I hand stitched the folded edge of the triangle in place:


Mistake?  What mistake?  I don't see a mistake on the back of my quilt!


Phew.  I hate making labels but this was so much easier than unquilting/requilting the entire corner of my quilt.

Problem solved.

I could have had another problem while quilting this quilt, but it's one I can typically avoid.

ALWAYS HAVE EXTRA THREAD ON HAND

I nearly finished a cone of FabuLux Cuddle on the front of the quilt and I actually did finish a cone of DecoBob 113 in the bobbin.  That is my favorite bobbin color because it blends in so well with most backings and matches most threads/quilt tops.

Extra thread is a good thing.

Now I need the weather to clear so I can get a good photo of this "No, I never made a mistake!" quilt!

Do you have other hints on how to avoid or cover quilting mistakes?





Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Recovery Week = Quilting

I'm home this week recovering from medical treatments.  These medical treatments make me laugh because they put my body through strange twists.  I am simultaneously:
  • cold but sweaty
  • tired but WIDE AWAKE (thanks, steroids)
  • hungry but nauseous
To get through the craziness, I'm quilting.

While I wasn't sleeping last night, I pieced this quilt:


I will get a better photo once it is quilted.

This quilt is a combination of a Dream Big panel, an inner border, and the blocks from my Go With The Flow Cutie Pattern.  I have kits for this quilt available HERE.

To keep my brain from running away with me, I'm spending a lot of time machine quilting while listening to audiobooks.  I already finished listening to Zero Day by David Balducci and am now listening to Imperium by Robert Harris.  Both books are entertaining in their own right, but the narration on Zero Day was somewhat annoying and on Imperium is FANTASTIC!

Currently, I'm quilting one of my Sweet Tooth Cutie Quilt samples:


I'm playing around with repeated echoes in quilting and will be teaching this technique at Quilt Basket in Wappingers Falls, NY on Saturday.  

So, 24 hours after my infusion, that's what I'm up to.

What do you do when you are recovering from illness or medical treatment?  Do you have any secret weapons to help pass the time until your body normalizes again?

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Meet Kari Carr and See Her Lovely Fabric

At Quilt Market in Portland, OR this spring, I had the pleasure of talking to Kari Carr about her new Hoffman Fabric line, With a Twist.



It just arrived in my shop and I stitched it into a Share and Share Alike Cutie Quilt


The kit for this 44"x44" quilt is available HERE and ready to ship out on Monday, September 10, 2018.  The kit includes  binding, backing, pattern, and FREE SHIPPING within the United States.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Weekend Wrap Up

In the United States, we celebrated Labor Day with a three-day weekend and mine was grand.

On Friday, I was browsing downloadable audiobooks from my library and found The Midnight Line by Lee Child.  Listening to Jack Reacher novels whilst quilting is one of my greatest joys and I was shocked to discover that I had never read the latest book.  I'm proud to announce that I listened to the entire book while quilting this weekend and all is once again right with the world, except...

In this book, Jack Reacher is described as "Big Foot" and "The Hulk" since he's such a large man.  That makes Tom Cruise the obvious casting choice for the Jack Reacher movies (she said sarcastically).  Say it with me now:  "Tom Cruise Is Not Jack Reacher!!!!"

OK, now that we have that clear, let's talk quilts.

I finished a postage stamp quilt top from my 1 1/2" strip scrap basket that I've been working on for the last few weeks:


I cut into some new and yummy fabrics that I'll talk more about in this afternoon's Facebook Live (Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 pm NY time):


I pieced yet another Sweet Tooth Cutie Quilt from the contents of my 1 1/2" strip scrap basket:


Will I ever see the bottom of that 1 1/2" strip scrap basket?  I've made about 10 quilts from it so far, and it seems as full as ever!

I quilted so much that I had to start listening to another book, Hell Bent by Greg Hurwitz.  The Orphan X series featuring Evan Smoak is only three books long, but it is on my "read as soon as it is published" list now.

I also took a walk with a friend, chopped some firewood, and am now getting ready to teach at WV Quilts this weekend.

Labor Day is the unofficial end of the summer here in the States, so I hope you ended your summer well.  The weather doesn't feel like autumn yet, but it feels like a new season is starting.  I have some wonderful quilty surprises for you this season and can't wait to share them with you!

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Let Me Explain

When I was working in the yard yesterday, I slipped off my work gloves and distractedly did a bit of work in the brush without them.  I got some minor scratches, splinters, and nicks on my fingers.  One of my medications leaves me prone to skin infections and I did, in fact, wake up with minor skin infections on various parts of my hands.  They'll be fine by tomorrow, but I declared today as a day of rest from yard work.

I rested horizontally on the sofa, as one does, while looking at my bandaged hands.


I started thinking about the movie, The Graduate:



and my Two Words are "Work.  Gloves."

Suddenly I left the land of The Graduate and was in the Land of Make Believe



But for some reason, Mr. Rogers' eyebrows were made of electrical tape.  I had spent time with him earlier when he and I saved the world by together controlling the robots who fought off the alien invasion:



Fred and I (he asked me to call him Fred) shook some hands, signed some autographs, and took our victory lap.  Then I recorded a radio commercial for him.

I realized that Fred was the original Yoda:



As I was parsing the "It's you I like" Yoda-esque sentence, I was suddenly punched in the eye.

Apparently, while my brain was in the Land of Make Believe, my body relaxed the muscles holding my hand in the air for me to inspect my bandages.  My hand dropped and I punched my own self in the left eye.

If you see me and notice that I have a black eye, blame Mr. Rogers.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Light Labors on Labor Day Weekend

I am home for all three days of this Labor Day Weekend and I'm planning hundreds of hours of activities to fit into these three short days.

First, quilting.  I downloaded The Midnight Line audiobook from my library because Tom Cruise Is Not Jack Reacher!  I plan to listen to this book in the next three days and quilt for the duration.

For quilting, I am playing with some botanical fabrics that want to become a Cutie Quilt. What color would you use as a background for these fabrics?


I was thinking black, but I think the purples are too dark for a black background.  Yellow?  Olive?  I'm starting my weekend stumped.

Speaking of stumps, I'm sure I'll work on my woodpile.  A string of tornadoes swept through our area in May and we lost a bunch of trees.  Many more were weakened and we've lost even more since.  In July, one was leaning on our house and we brought in tree guys to safely bring it down.  We were left with a lot (TONS!) of wood to process.


Jokingly, I told my husband I wanted to learn to chop wood.  The first time I tried I could barely lift the maul!  I'm stubborn, though, and swung that hammer and maul a few more times each day.  I can lift it and swing it now, but the wood is too big for me to split that way.  It's also too large for a wood splitter, so I'm splitting it with a hammer and wedge.



This is incredible exercise and I'm enjoying becoming stronger while accomplishing a worthwhile task.  I'll enjoy it even more in the winter of 2019/2020 when we burn all of this wood in our woodstove!

I also plan to cut some up some large fallen branches (4"-8" diameter) into burning lengths using my new hand chain saw.  I'm afraid to use a powered chain saw and I don't think my hands are strong enough to clutch a saw (you don't want to know how many times I throw the maul and hammer whilst swinging them -- stand clear when I'm working!) so and hand chain saw is perfect for me.  I cut a branch yesterday for the first time and I could give an anatomy lesson today about what muscles are required to use this!  If you are on my holiday gift-giving list, you might get one of these in your stocking.  They are so fun!

Are you quilting this weekend?  Working outside?  Seeing friends and family?  I'm doing all three and hope your weekend is as wonderful as mine promises to be!

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Crickets

I've been silent on this blog and on social media for a few weeks.  The first week involved a lot of this:



I spent a week on Myrtle Beach with my family and had an absolutely fantastic time.  Babies + sand + water = just what the doctor ordered!

As soon as I got home, I was unfortunately hit with several rather large challenges in my personal life (note: my health is fine) and a very unexpected death in the family.  I am dealing with all of this by making a virtue of necessity:


I learned how to chop wood.  A line of tornadoes swept through my town in May.  We lost several trees then and more keep falling.  A few weeks ago, one fell on the house.  We had it and several others cut down.  These are RIDICULOUSLY large trees and we now have literally tons of firewood to split, stack, and season so we can burn it in 2020.

This is what tons of wood look like:


I never had a desire to chop wood but it is an incredibly effective stress reliever and I rather enjoy it.  It's me vs. the log and most days I can hear the logs laugh at me.  When I succeed at splitting the wood, it feels great and it is super satisfying to see the stack of split wood grow ever-higher. (Note: I do not stack the wood.  I am married to an engineer.  'Nuff said.)  Every day I go outside and spend an hour or two swinging a sledgehammer or maul and work myself sweaty.

When I roll another log off the pile, I dislodge it and RUN out of the way!  These are over 30" across and 15"+ tall.  Once they are on the ground, I roll them and wrestle them into place and get all kinds of muddy and meet all kinds of critters:

toad

newt

We have a fascinating selection of bugs, spiders, and beetles living in our woodpiles.  I won't share those photos; you are welcome.  You'll know when I come across a snake, though, because you'll hear my screaming wherever in the world you may be.  I do NOT enjoy snakes.  They are all neck and completely untrustworthy.  While we do have a few copperheads on the property, to me all snakes are poisonous and I threaten to move somewhere more civilized whenever I come across one.

My brain is beginning to function again, life is calming down, and I can't wait to share more quilting goodness with you soon!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Florabunda Finish: A Plan B Life

I was supposed to go to New York City this week, but some weird side effects from one of my medications kept me home instead.  I wanted to turn that negative into a positive, so I spent my extra time at home finishing the quilting and binding on my Florabunda A La Mode quilt.

My new 2" Ribbon Candy Stencil is a perfect fit for this quilt.


I threaded my Handi Quilter Stitch 710 machine with FabuLux First Love thread and set to work.


 I love the high contrast between the black background and Melanie Testa's Florabunda fabrics.

If you look closer, though, you'll find that there's some color hiding in the plain black fabric:


I was surprised when I discovered that this particular blend of teal, hot pink, and royal purple thread only shows up on black when you look closely.  Who knew?

Now we both do.

This wasn't a bad Plan B for a sick day.

Do you try to redeem lost days?  As quilters, quilting can fill up the vacant spaces quite nicely!

Monday, July 09, 2018

Splendid Sampler -- Block THREE

Splendid Sampler block three is Clamshells by Helen Stubbings.

I love this block and can't wait to machine quilt it:




Helen is amazingly talented and has a great Craftsy class about English Paper Piecing.

Are you participating in this round of The Splendid Sampler?  Pre-order your book HERE.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Tuesday Tip: Pressing Seams Safely

I am a huge klutz and that makes ironing dangerous for me.  I am working on a quilt that requires some seams to be pressed open and figured out how to press those seams safely:


I keep my Dritz Easy Hem near my ironing board for when I'm making garments.  It works great for that and also works great for pressing seams open!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

New Online Class!

I have a new online class on Annie's Creative Studio -- Peachy Keen!  This was a difficult secret to keep because I absolutely fell in love with the quilt!  


Here's the class description:

Three simple blocks and dimensional applique stems, leaves and flowers are all it takes to create the gorgeous Peachy Keen Wall Hanging. In this Learn, Make, Create! episode, quilting expert Debby Brown will demonstrate a quick way to make bias strips, how to make the dimensional flowers and tips to meander your background machine quilting so that it flows from one block to the next. You'll learn two methods to prepare templates for the flowers and leaves. To add the pattern to your Annie's Creative Studio pattern library or to download it to your personal device, click on the Patterns tab.

I made a sample in flat cotton and filmed while making another sample using Sew Batik fabrics.  I was not a fan of batik fabrics until I tried stitching with Sew Batik fabrics.  They have converted me 100%!

Filming for Annie's Creative Studio is a lot of fun because they give you the pattern and I get to show you how to make the project.  What could be better?

"It could be better if it was free?" you say?  Well...…  You can sign up for a free 30 day trial at Annie's Creative Studio and take this class for (you asked for it) FREE!




Thursday, June 21, 2018

Splendid Sampler -- block TWO

This week's Splendid Sampler block is Milk and Cookies by Rebecca Bryan.

I borrowed Tara Lynn Baisden's block to show how I would machine quilt it:



Oh, the things that I could say about cookies.  I tried to make the quilting look a bit like a cookie.  How did I do?

Are you making blocks from The Splendid Sampler 2?  How would you quilt this block?

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friendship Quilt Along -- Gracious

This week's block from Amanda Herring's Friendship Quilt Along is Gracious.

I am writing this post from a hotel room in Long Island, NY while teaching at Pieceful Quilting.  Next week I hope to be caught up with all of my blocks and to show you my progress.

Here is how I would quilt this week's block:


Follow along with all of the other quilters working on this week's block HERE.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Splendid Sampler Sequel -- block 1

I am thoroughly honored to be a part of The Splendid Sampler 2!  The book is available for pre-order, but Pat and Jane are releasing a block every week up until the release.  The first block is Quilt Market by Alex Veronelli.

I borrowed Kitty Wilkin's block to show how I would quilt it.



I had to quilt this block with ribbon candy because, in my not-so-humble opinion, it is the world's most perfect machine quilting pattern.  Too much ribbon candy, however, can be a bad thing.  This block divides itself into sections of three strips.  I alternated quilting ribbon candy in one strip and lines in the next one throughout the block so the quilting didn't become muddled.

Are you following along with The Splendid Sampler 2?  What fabrics will you use to make this quilt?

Florabunda -- My Day on the Blog Hop!

I'm so excited that today is my day on the Florabunda blog hop!

When I received my fabric, I fell in love!  I knew I wanted to use this fabric in my A La Mode Cutie Pattern and I showcased it against black fabric.


And here's my finished quilt!


I decided to machine quilt only the black fabric so that the Florabunda fabric would POP!  I didn't want to use solid black thread, so I decided to use First Love instead:


This probably looks like a bold choice of thread to use on black fabric, but I know from experience that this thread blends into black really, really well.  Like "impossible to photograph" well.

GIVEAWAY ALERT


Have you fallen in love with Florabunda yet?  Would you like to make this 48"x48" A La Mode Cutie Quilt using Florabunda fabric?

Enter HERE

If you wonder how you would machine quilt this quilt, you don't have to wonder for long.  My new video class will teach you how.  It's not quite ready yet, but you can join my mailing list to stay in-the-know about all of my upcoming classes.  Yes, I said classes, PLURAL!!!

Thanks for stopping by to see my Florabunda quilt.  Be sure to check in on all of the other blog hoppers!

June 7–Tiffany Hayes
June 9–Sara Mika
June 10–Lyric Kinard
*June 11–Kathy York 
June 11–Teri Lucas
*June 13—Tiffany Hayes 
June 13Jamie Fingal 
June 14–Debby Brown 
*June 14–Heidi Kelly 
June 15– David Gilleland 
June 15—Melanie Testa
 
June 16–Melanie Testa