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Showing posts from February, 2014

Where Am I Now?

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Flower Pots and Stars, circa 1920 I have looked for this quilt off and on for years. It captured my heart over 3 decades ago. I found it in Metropolitan Home Magazine, January 1982 on a page titled: Design Portfolio, Moderne Quilts.  The caption said: "Flower Pots and Stars, circa 1920. Pieced in carnival pastels, this original quilt has the verve of early Disney animation." No kidding! The quilt was courtesy of American Hurrah of New York, which is no longer in business. I did contact a few quilt historians to see if they remember the quilt, but alas, nothing. I called it Metropolitan Home Star and used it as the basis of a quilt featured on the cover of my second book, Supersize 'Em Quilts. I wanted to call it Metropolitan Home Star, but my publisher nixed that idea. I just called it "That Spikey Thing . . . That Spikey Thing on the cover of my second book Those are 21" blocks so I could paper piece the spikes on a regular piece of paper (7" p

Improvisational Quilting and More

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From my No Sneaky-Peeky class I partnered with Windham Fabrics a few years ago to "pattern" 8 of the Gee's Bend quilts (with permission, OF COURSE, from the original quiltmakers). From that I created a class called - are you ready? - No Sneaky Peeky. Each student got a brown lunch bag, stapled shut, filled with strips, strings and various pieces of these Gee's Bend hand dyed batiks. From there we had to put our hands in, pull out a few strips and ONLY sew with what we got without peeking. Crazy, huh? But a lot of fun and everyone's quilt was so different. (You can see several of my Gee's Bend quilts on my Craftsy pattern site; look on right  sidebar >>>>) Fractured Jewels - on my way to a second class Then I was asked by the Sewing Expo (for whom I teach in 16 cities a year) to create another improvisational class, which I called - are you ready? - Improvisational Adventure. My first attempt was making the Fractured Jewels pattern you

Happy Birthday, George - and a giveaway

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George Washington - the first president of the United States of America Today is the zillionth anniversary of the birthday of George Washington. Not really, but you get what I mean. George was a man of integrity and never lost heart as he led our fledgling country to independence back in the 1700s. I was listening to NPR this week and the announcer said on "President's Day" - February 17 -  that "today was the birthday of  George Washington . . .". Dude - just because we celebrate both Lincoln's (Feb. 12) and Washington's (Feb. 22) birthday on the same day - to conserve holiday time off - doesn't mean that it's literally the ACTUAL day. And this guy was not young, so he had to remember when we had both days off from school. I remember when I was in school (a hundred years ago) that we actually celebrated BOTH days as holidays. Sigh. We've lost sight of how important each man was to the founding and birth pangs of our new country.

Mardi Gras, Staggered Stars Quilt and Free Pattern

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Staggered Stars Quilt - 64" x 64" Just in time for Mardi Gras and all the purple and gold! This quilt reminds me of New Orleans and the raucous celebrations that take place there for Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler. (Don't ask me what that means; I'm only quoting from my friend Jeannine, who has a Mardi Gras party every year about this time). There is a story here about this quilt and how it made its way to New Orleans . . . I made this quilt over 10 years ago and it appeared in Quilt Magazine while I was an editor. It was simple to make - yes - even that center star. It's just an illusion of weaving, all done with color placement. Simple squares and triangles easily rotary cut - and very large patches - make for a fun block to sew. And who says that rows of stars have to line up like cookie cutter shapes? Stagger your blocks for visual interest. There are 3 sizes of blocks: 24" center star (wow!), 12" stars surrounding the center, and 6" sta

More Upcoming Classes - Machine Quilting

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Snow Quilting - the night before we got 12" of the real stuff!  No, I'm not teaching a class on Snow Quilting - just free motion quilting. I thought I'd see if it would work on a blank slate of snow on my glass outdoor table. What do you think? A few out-of-control feathers. Swirls. Curves I teach for the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo. I love being a part of it! They treat me very well and I teach my heart out. I love my students, I get to share whatever quilts I've been making for samples and it helps me pay the rent. A good arrangement, I think. So, what does Snow Quilting have to do with it? The Stipple or Meander stitch - one of the first we work on After some intro, we concentrate on getting a good curve. Remember, the feed dogs are not engaged. Someone once said that it's "Dancing with the Feed Dogs Down." I like that, don't you? How about some spirals? And yes - we can cross lines. Come get me, Quilt Police! Pebbles. I h

Vintage Quilt Items

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School box covered in a Baby Blocks quilt pattern A visit to my daughter Audrey's apartment this week brought me up close with a few of her vintage items. She loves old things and hunts them out in thrift shops and junk stores. This school box above is quite graphic, decorated with a paper coating with the traditional Baby Blocks design. I don't think the angle is 60 degrees, but it still is a Baby Blocks motif. Rescued yo-yos repurposed into a place mat or hot mat I bought a bag of these yo yo rectangle units from a guild show sale. There were oodles of them in a brown paper sack and I grabbed them up before they even went on sale. I turned one set of 20 into a hot pad using pre-quilted cream fabric. I used invisible monofilament thread to quick stitch them onto the background (oh, yes I did!). Go ahead; call the QUILT POLICE. I dare you! Cathedral Windows section A friend in Atlanta gave me a brown paper bag full of these Cathedral Window sections. Can you bel