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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Two Patterns!

My publisher, released two more of my patterns a few days ago.  One of the patterns is an older quilt that I'd designed a number of years ago called, "Queen's Court."  I added yardages and instructions for a lap-size quilt along with the larger quilt and I updated all the instructions and graphics.  I've loved this particular quilt for years simply because it's an easy quilt to make (even though it appears a little complicated) and it looks really nice when it's quilted.  Here's a link to see Queenie:

The second pattern is newer and is called Fractured Star.  This is a pattern that I did as a mystery on my website a while back.  There are just two blocks to the quilt and they're both easy.  I came up with a different method of piecing some triangles that makes them so much easier!  I like this little quilt a lot simply because it looks so much more complicated than it is!  (Besides -- I like all the pretty colors!)  Here's where you can find it:

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Little Bit of Vacation

Greg and I were lucky enough to spend a few days at our friends' trailer on a lake.  It's not a large trailer and I was a little concerned because I can get a little claustraphobic at times -- but it was wonderful!  The weather cooperated with the temps mostly in the 80's.  We did have a couple of cold nights but we were toasty warm with the furnace taking the chill off.  The leaves were turning, the lake was beautiful and there were all kinds of critters and birds to keep things interesting!  Greg spent a lot of time fishing and I spent time at a table outside cutting out fabric for a quilt I'm working on.  I actually got most of the cutting done and ended up sitting outside with my featherweight sewing away.......It was wonderful!   (You'll see this latest project when I've actually got a block or two to show you!)  I also went on a trail ride with some friends.  (As far as I'm concerned any time spent on horseback is time well spent!)  Greg and I both had an absolutely wonderful time and we're already planning our next trip to the lake!   

Isn't this a cute trailer!  We were really VERY comfortable living here for a few days!  Besides -- the view of the lake is incredible!

Greg caught a fish!  He's pretty put out at me because the only "fish" photo I took was with this tiny little sunfish.  He actually did catch some larger fish but I didn't have the camera when he did.


I love this photo of Greg and Jack (The Wonder Dog) on the deck.  It just looks so peaceful to me.

Let me introduce you to Peaches (aka King Copper Wood).  (Peaches is the one on the left.  That's Deb, my best friend on the right)  I rode her on the trail ride and she's a wonderful quarterhorse with exceptional manners.  Peaches now resides close to our home so we're going to get really well acquainted! 

At some point, hopefully soon, I'll have some piecing and/or quilting to show you.  Now that the garden is finished and summer chores are winding down I'm heading to my sewing room whenever I get the chance.   

Monday, September 19, 2011

Great Results!

I haven't been blogging because I've been so busy doing Trunk Shows and teaching classes!  I lectured and taught for two different guilds and had a wonderful time at both.

I was having so much fun teaching that I forgot to take any photos but luckily Judy, from the Jewel Box Quilt Guild in Grinnell, thought to send me a photo of her finished project.  (Thank you SO MUCH!) 

Everyone in class had great fabrics and I'm mad at myself because I forgot to take photos! 

I really do love teaching this Mariner's Compass class because so many people are afraid to tackle this block.   They've heard horror stories about piecing it and are afraid to even attempt it.  I'm always tickled when we get toward the end of class and everyone is putting their pieces together to make the compass -- and it works for them!  They think it's "Quilting Magic!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Parades & Quilts

We had another busy weekend!  Saturday we did house chores and then I finished machine quilting a quilt top that I'd forgotten about until I dug it out of a pile a couple of weeks ago.  I'll take a photo when it's bound.

We had our local summer celebration in town and Greg marched in the Honor Guard carrying the POW/MIA flag.  It means a lot to him to carry that particular flag.  He carries it to honor his friends and fellow servicemen and women who didn't return.  It always makes me proud -- and it makes me cry a little bit too.

On Sunday I finished the binding on another quilt.  (Have I said it before?  I LOVE doing binding!!)  This isi another top that I found buried in The Huge Pile O' Tops.  (After owning a shop for 20 years -- believe me -- I've literally got a huge pile of quilt tops!)  I can't even tell you who's pattern it is -- maybe an Atkinson Designs? -- but I like it!  All I did was meandering but I think it looks okay.  It's kind of fun to finish up some of these long time UFO's!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Dinah & Queenie

I finally remembered to get photos of my two newest quilts.  These are the ones that Joyce (in SC) quilted for me.  Both of these are lap-size quilts and Joyce did a wonderful job quilting both of them!

This first quilt is Dinah's Delight.  This was a mystery quilt on my website a while back.  I'll be sending this pattern off to my publisher in a few days.  I just need to re-check piece cutting numbers and yardages and it takes a while because I've got three sizes of the quilt in the pattern.  (Gotta tell ya -- numbers are the WORST part of designing -- at least for me!)  I got interrupted before I got a close-up photo of the quilting on Dinah but it's just really nice.  Joyce did a kind of leafy/viney design in the blocks and they're just really pretty!

Then there's Queenie.  I think Joyce really outdid herself on this piece!  This is the lap version of my Queen's Court quilt which has been around for a while.  I was never happy with the pattern because I didn't have a program that worked very well to do the graphics so I kind of buried the pattern and waited.  Now both my computer graphics program and my level of expertise are better so I've redone the pattern and sent it off to my publisher.  Finally!

Can you see the quilting?  Here are a couple of close-ups.

Here's another one.

I've loved this pattern and the original quilt for a very long time -- but I think I just might have a new favorite!  If you've got a minute, please check out Joyce's blog at:

Also, if you've got time, check out Joyce's buddy Roada F. Tripp's blog.  It's a hoot!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Judging Day!

I was one of three quilt judges at the Iowa State Fair on Monday.  What a day!  I've been lucky enough to have been asked to do this for several years now and I really look forward to it.  It's a privilege to be allowed to judge these works of love and art.  I don't know how many pieces we judged this year but I do know that my poor brain had turned to mush by the end of the day.  We started at 8 a.m. and I staggered out the door to head home at 8:30 p.m.   It was a very long day but there were lots of rewards that made it worthwhile.  The quilts were beautiful, interesting, unique, astonishing and there were even a couple of surprises during the day.  An added bonus was getting to spend time with some wonderful and dedicated women (and a few men too!) who make everything happen once the quilt(s) are entered in the State Fair.  On top of all that -- the salad lunch was WONDERFUL -- but then, it always is! 

We took a few photos at the beginning of the day as things were getting started.  Quite frankly, by the end of the day I never even thought about taking more photos because I was just too darned tired!  Here's what I have:

I know this all looks pretty chaotic -- but it's actually very well organized.  All of the items have been sorted into their individual categories and put in numerical order according to their category and division.

All of the pieces are handled carefully and respectfully as they're transferred from their category "pile" and laid out on the table to be judged.  Once judged, they're immediately folded, hangers are clipped on them and they're ready to be hung.

Almost ready to to go! 

Off we go!

I love this job!

Sunday Sojourn

Reiman Gardens in Ames is wonderful!  I'd never been there before so I wasn't sure what to expect.  What I found were some really nice people, lots of educational info and some beautiful gardens.  I have to admit that I was disappointed to see that the roses were pretty much past their prime -- but that wasn't the fault of the gardeners!  With the horrible heat we've been having for the past few weeks my roses look pretty stressed too!  The rest of the gardens were lovely and they had a bed of moss roses that looked like a Fairy Carpet!  It was gorgeous and the photo doesn't do it justice!

They also had some bugs in the garden -- big bugs.  I mean REALLY BIG BUGS! 

They had a number of these huge bugs scattered around the grounds.  They were wonderful -- even the spider!

Although it was horribly hot and humid on Satuday we really enjoyed the gardens and have already talked about another visit after the weather cools off.  We spent quite a long time in the butterfly enclosure and loved it!  For me, watching beautiful butterflies fluttering around has the same affect as watching tropical fish swim around in an aquarium......... Kind of peaceful and soothing.

By the way -- they also have the biggest Garden Gnome I've ever seen!  Wow!  (The gnome is the one with the big red hat!)