Friday, May 20, 2016

Kate Spain Grand Canal Give-a-Way

Earlier this week I received some news via email, that I am still excited to share with you. I won the Kate Spain Grand Canal Give-a-Way Prize. And, I am not usually one to win contests. 

There were many, many entries, as I can only imagine. To win this contest there were six questions everyone had to answer to be considered. One each day, about a photograph Kate was inspired by in Venice that helped her to create this new Spring Collection.

So if you are reading this, and are at Spring Quilt Market 2016 in Salt Lake City, UT., check out the rest of this blog post and Kate's Collection. Go through all six days of her posts, so you can see all the fabrics in each colorway. Then go see The Grand Canal Collection at Moda.  

If you are not at market, and wish you were like me, enjoy this blog post, check out Kate's, and hopefully you will be as inspired as I am to create whatever makes you happy.

I have two baby quilts, I must get finished. Then, I think I am going to make the pattern from this kit.

Below are the photos I took of the collection after it arrived at my home.

It's was almost two years ago that we went to Rome, Florence and Ostuni.  Hhhmmmm, we missed Venice.  This collection makes me want to go!!
Have a great weekend!! 


Today I am linking up with Beth's Main Crush Monday@Cooking Up Quilts.

I love comments and read every one of them! :)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Handy Tape II - Now It Comes With a Dispenser

Handy Tape II now comes with a dispenser, which makes it easier to use.
Love that. 

The tape repeats every 12", and the entire roll is 25' long. 

It also displays measurements in centimeters.  See above. I don't often write such high praise for a product - but this time I came across a product with quite a few benefits.

Personally, I really like this product, because it is portable. Portable sewing products that work, are usually a big hit with me. I can bring it to quilt guild meetings when we have an open sew day, to the pool, or whenever I am sewing away from home.

And, I also use it at home; 

It is great when I am figuring out the final measurements of a small, medium or large quilt, and then calculating how much batting and backing fabric to use.

I  love that it provides a 1/4" on each side of the tape, so I can easily gauge my scant 1/4" seam allowance, when using it for sewing on a machine.

And, the tape can be re-used more than once.  It saves money and helps with carbon foot print.

BIG cavet:  I do not post about products for a fee. I will except a product such as this one to test, so I can write about it.

This can be used with many other crafting and art projects. Now that it comes in a dispenser, it makes everything so much easier.

You can find Handy Tape II, made by Colonial Needle at your local quilt store. 

Today I am linking up Sunday Stash @mollisparkles.

I love comments and read every one of them! :)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Denyse Schmidt - Improv Quilting Class

Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with eight other women; an Improv Workshop at Denyse Schmidt's Studio in Connecticut. Denyse was assisted by Richard Killeaney of Ocheltree Design.

Their studios are in an incredibly cool, old warehouse. Many years ago it was a lace factory. I'm sorry I didn't take photos of the inside or the outside to share. It was pouring rain, and very foggy off and on, so outside photos were not going to happen yesterday. And, there are many other artists that occupy the floors of the building. I was not sure about the rules of photographing Denyse's long hall, dotted with colorful doors, with artists names on them, and art hung on the walls. I may have needed to obtain written releases in advance of the workshop.

The industrial elevator can only be operated by hand, and a special key. Richard showed me a line of red paint in the elevator that had to be aligned with the red mark of the floor below or above, to know where to stop and open the elevator doors to enter and exit. Along with this, and the long, wooden paneled hallways, I felt as though I took a step back in time to the Industrial Revolution.

As most of you know, and for those who read this blog and are new to quilting,
Denyse is a much celebrated and prolific quilt and textile designer. If you click on this link to her web site, you can learn more about her, the upcoming workshops, (which I highly recommend), the fabric collections she's designed and curated, (I'm a big fan of her solids collection), her paper goods collection, and books she has authored. 

The objective of the improv workshop is to not think about all the decisions, as quilters we make in choosing fabrics and colors. In the old days, people used and reused old clothes and whatever fabric they had around. In the end, they still produced beautiful quilts that were used on beds and loved.

The only thing we were told to bring was a 1/2 yard of fabric. We'll get back to that later.

We came into the work room. Each table had three bags on them, filled with scraps that were small, medium and large, as shown above. 

The morning consisted with two timed sessions, (approximately 1/2 hour), to create two blocks. At first, we had to pull out two small scraps, while not looking in the bag, and sew them together. We could continue to keep pulling from the small bag, and could move on to the medium and large bags, whenever we felt ready to add bigger and bigger pieces to our block. Always not looking at what we were pulling out of the bag.

That may seem scary, especially at first. However, it was really quite freeing for all of us, we felt at the end of the day.

What happens if you don't like what you've picked?

What if you pick a lot of solids in a row?  (That happened to me, but it was actually a great learning experience, that I will never forget). 

There was no such thing as a mistake here. Only opportunities!!

So much fun. And the process helped me see how to break through blocks in my own creative process. It had a different, but positive effect on the individual.
Fortunately, all good.

This photo was taken at the end of the morning before our lunch with Denyse and Richard. At this point two blocks were finished from each participant. They are all together on a design board. Denyse is talking to us, in the photo above, about how each block came together with it's own special properties.

As you can see, some of us built more of a log cabin block, and some built from the center of their blocks out diagonally. At this point in the day, there was no cutting or squaring off. There were no rulers or seam rippers in the room!! 

It was pick, place fabric next another fabric however you saw it in the moment, sew, and keep going. Total randomness. We could square off our work without a ruler, by eye, at the end of the day.

After lunch, we introduced some of the 1/2 yard fabric we brought from our stash. This is the fabric I brought.

We talked about how we tend to save certain fabric for "someday," and don't end up using it. As it turn out, I have been saving this fabric for a long time, which is from a Sandy Gervais Holiday Collection. When I purchased this, I felt it could be used for Christmas, holiday time, but not necessarily, depending upon what other fabrics I used with it.

In any event, at the table I was at we did a little trading of our fabrics too. I ended up with four more blocks that I pulled together at random.

This is what my blocks put together looked like at the end of the day. I felt it had a retro 1930's feel to it, which I liked.

Denyse pointed out that I began at the upper left hand corner with the blocks that had darker fabrics, and moved toward the lighter blocks of fabric in the bottom right hand corner.  I could see this becoming a quilt, and using some darker colored fabrics around the borders, and using lighter blocks in the center of the quilt when I finish it.

We all went home with a lovely gift bag. In the center of these wonderful treats is a fat quarter from one of Denyse's Collections. The blue fabric with the white flowers - the perfect fabric to remember this day by.

If you can attend one of Denyse's workshops, I would encourage you to do so.
Both she and Richard were wonderful hosts, teachers, helping, and encouraging
each of us to "just go with it, and live with the surprise."

Before I end this post, I want to write about two unrelated subjects.

Later this week, there will be a post about a great, revised product. Stay tuned.

Many bloggers have been posting about May is for Makers month, begun by a very talented quilt blogger, Lindsey@LRStitiched. (See badge on my sidebar). The objective is to support Indie Designers by purchasing one pattern a week, during each week of May, from any of the many talented, quilt designers. 

I believe and fully support this concept, even though I purchase a lot of books, patterns and magazines from Indie Designers, throughout the year. 

Since this is the first year of this concept, which seems to be going viral, my budget for the month of May went to Denyse's Improv Workshop, (also an Indie Pattern Designer), and a new book, by another Indie Designer, which I will review later during May to underscore the importance of this movement.

This week I am linking up with Cooking Up Quilts, Main Crush Monday.  The Denyse Schmidt Improv Class is worth crushing on!! And Scraptastic Tuesday!!

Happy Quilting!!
I love comments and read every one of them! :)

Monday, May 2, 2016

A New Baby Quilt - A WIP

There have been a lot of babies that have come into our lives these last several months. I always get excited about newborns, and it never gets old.

This little girl, who lives in Los Angeles is going to get a quilt that looks very similar to this pattern.

Brenda Ratliff@justabitfrayed designed this beauty. 

Marigold's mom chose aqua and peach for the baby's colors. The aqua is not a pure aqua. But I found just the right shade in the third photo below.

I have been collecting lots of text and low volume prints for this project.

And have been busy sewing away.

This is really a fun pattern and uses just a pop or two of color. Tonight at quilt clinic, I will be making the peach colored squares.

The scraps will definitely make up the back.  I'm playing around with a few designs for that.

Stay tuned.

Happy Quilting!!

Today I am linking up with Beth@cookingupquilts. Main Crush Monday, and Sew Fresh Quilts at Let's Be Social.
I love comments and read every one of them! :)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Yellow Poppy Quilt inspired by The Midnight Mystery Quilt 2015

The The Big Reveal

Finally, I have finished a quilt, I have worked long hours on, and stitched in thoughts of love, healing and good health. This quilt design was created by Cheryl@ Meadow Mist Designs. It began last summer, and was called The Midnight Mystery Quilt, and was a QAL. 

For those of you who have heard this story - skip this paragraph. For those of you who haven't, here's the story.  

When I began this quilt, it had no particular home and I just picked fabrics I liked, that worked together. A few months ago, a very special friend developed cancer. We went to sleep-a-way camp together as tweens and young teens. Every summer we had the best time, EVER!! When I heard this upsetting news, I decided it would go to her, to keep her warm through her treatments.

Another quilter I know blesses quilts, knitted and crocheted blankets, and shawls. The blessing and tradition of the gift of "The Prayer Shawl," is that you give it to someone after a sad or happy event has happened in their life. You don't have to pray with the shawl on, and there is no religious symbolism related to it.

Next weekend I am going to see my friend and give this to her. 

Before I thought of giving it to her, I chose all the fabrics. Coincidentally, these are her colors. The back, which is fabric with text on it, is perfect too because she loves to read and is a "word" person. The binding came from my stash and the flowers are morning glories. This quilt was meant for her, and I hope and pray it will help heal her, and get her through this difficult time.

It always amazes me, when things like this come together for a positive and uplifting reason.  This is what makes the special mysteries of life so special.  I am happy and grateful I could make this project, and give it as a gift to such a special friend. 

Linking up with MCM (Main Crush Monday), sponsored by

More this week, so stay tuned!!  Happy Quilting!!

I love comments and read every one of them! :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

4 Measuring Skills Quilter's Can't Live Without - Part 2

I have been running way behind on my blogging due to sewing the binding on my Midnight Mystery Quilt, 

which has been going slowly, and prepping the taxes to send out. I apologize for not getting this posted much sooner, and closer to the time when I posted Part 1 of this series.

The third thing I learned while piecing this quilt, was realizing my measurements were off. I ripped out many seams. I re-cut fabric in some cases. AND I did not check my 1/4" scant inch, before sewing often enough. I was rushing, and getting sloppy.

I also sew on a few different machines each week. I attend an open quilt studio at Pins and Needles, in Mt. Kisco, NY.  My local brick & mortar store. They are very generous, and provide eight Bernina Sewing Machines for us to use.  They are all different, and 1/4" scant seam can be different on each machine.  

The above photo was about a 1/4".

And if I kept sewing at that exact point, multiplied over and over, my seams would not, and did not match. It's hard to believe the 1-2 strands of thread in the weave of the fabric, but mathematically, it makes a huge difference.

This is more like it!!

4.  This may last skill is not exactly a skill, and it may seem obvious, but maybe not so much, because we all have busy lives.  And we forget to have our eyes checked. I realized I hadn't gone for my yearly eye checkup, and my vision had gotten much better. I could see closer, much better without my glasses. My distance vision had changed a little too.  

So, I bought new glasses with my new prescription. Now I don't have to wear my glasses while sewing on the machine or hand sewing up close.

All these tweaks to my skills and my eye health made a wonderful difference in my quilt, which I can't wait to show you.  I only have two more sides to bind, which is about 150".  Then I have two inscription labels to sew on. 

Have a great week, and Happy Quilting!!

I love comments and read every one of them! :)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sunday Stash From Joel Dewberry's Collection

I am really excited about Spring. I am seeing daffodils and crocus popping up all over the Hudson Valley.  Love it.

I ordered this beautiful Fat Quarter bundle by Joel Dewberry called Atrium, through Massdrop.

There are 26 colorful fabrics from the collection. I just love these colors and fabric designs that burst with the message "Spring is finally here."

Today I am linking up with the lovely and talented, Molli Sparkles and her weekly linky party, Sunday Stash. Mary Emmens is hosting the Sunday Stash Linky Party for Molli this week.

Happy Quilting and Happy Easter!!

I love comments and read every one of them! :)