Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thinking Ahead to Autumn

Hello Everyone,

Every once and awhile I get an idea that I can't get out of my head and I have to take action.  I've had an idea for an Autumn quilt for quite some time now and I pulled a couple of test blocks together.

These are 10" blocks and each block has 6 different fabrics.

Potential idea for a border, or sashing or whatever.

I started pulling fabrics together so I could really see what I have on hand to incorporate into the design.

I can see from this picture that I need more reds in my stash of fall colors.  I've been collecting this group of fabrics for years.  I think it's time to use them now.

You will be seeing this quilt come alive over the next few months.  I have some of the quilt designed on paper, but most of it is floating around in my brain and needs to get into the computer and turned into a new design.  I wish I could just plug a cord into my ear and have it all download into a file on my computer.  That would be so much easier!

As always,


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Field Trip to Prairie Queens

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday, Mr. Joe and I took a field trip to Prairie Queens Quilt Shop in San Jose, California.  April, the very pleasant store manager, called and ordered patterns.  They are going to display my original version of Heartfire and I will be teaching the class at their shop.  Whenever possible, I like to go to the shops that carry my patterns so they can put a face to the name.

Prairie Queens have the full line of Rouenneries Deux by French General.  I made the quilt out of the original Rounerreries and both lines are quite similar.

Do these patterns look familiar?

The shop gets a full FIVE THIMBLES from me!  With FIVE being the highest rating.  The space is perfect to house a quilt shop.  High ceilings, large classroom, good lighting and the shelves are filled with a wonderful selection of fabrics.

This wool looked so yummy, I slmost took the plunge into quilting with wool.  I now know where I can go when I'm ready to start a wool project.

I found these great fabrics.  They look so good together....checks, plaids, stripes and polka dots...all my required elements for quilting.

I actually don't venture out to very many quilt shops anymore since I've been working at In Between Stitches.  I have everything I need right at my fingertips when I'm working there every Monday.  It is fun to go out and see what fabrics other shops have to offer. All quilt shops are so unique with their own style, look and feel.

Today would be a good day for you to take a field trip.  Get some new and fresh ideas out in the wonderful world of quilting.

As always,


Friday, February 24, 2012

Urban Cowgirl Version of Madrigal

Hello Everyone,

It is time to get back to my own quilting. Even with my handy list and handy husband by my side helping me with my list, I still can't seem to get back on the quilting track this week for extended periods of time.  We've been printing patterns, stuffing patters, mailing patterns, delivering patterns and quilts......it has been a whirlwind of activity.....all good stuff!

I managed to start putting the newest version of Madrigal together.  It's been on my design wall for weeks and was begging to become an honest to goodness quilt. 

The hardest thing with this quilt is getting all of the center hourglass units headed in the same direction.  I couldn't tell you how many of them had a mind of their own and kept turing in the opposite direction..

I combined some old Beach House from Blackbird Designs and stripes from one of Nancy Halvorsen's collections in this block.  I never throw anything away.  All of the tiniest scraps are saved and used in my scrappy quilts.  I just saw a new saying yesterday which applies to my quilting room.  "I'm one bag away from being on an episode of Hoarders."  BUT, in my defense,  I know what is in those bags and I use them.

I think I'm going to go in this direction with the inner and outer borders.  I'll have a better idea when all of the blocks are together.  I love the fabric for the setting triangles.  It looks like lace and adds such a nice feel to the quilt.  The original Madrigal had flanges on the setting triangles.  I auditioned several fabrics for flanges and decided not to use them this time.  The border of the quilt looked like a set of flags denoting the finish line for a boating regatta.

I hope all of you can carve out some time for yourself in your quilting space this weekend.  I'll be in my quilting room sorting and organizing so I won't end up on Hoarders!

As always,



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pattern Testers

Hello Everyone,

When you don't hear a peep out of me for several days in a row, you'll know that I'm working at the shop or teaching quilting or playing hookie!  That has not been the case this week...the hookie part that is.  Yesterday, my friend Isabelle, my sister Gail, and I spent the day in the classroom at In Between Stitches, working out the cobwebs in the Winterset pattern.  Here are my sister's beautiful blocks so far. She is using a combination of fabrics from Blueberry Crumb Cake by Blackbird Designs and Lily & Will by Bunny Hill.

I include a block layout sheet in the patterns with the more complex blocks.  So far this idea has been well received.  It helps to corral the 60 pieces of fabric for this block.  I found a cutting error in the pattern and my sister found a clarification point.  The girls were very studious throughout the whole day.  Watching them work with very little direction from me, helps me tremendously in the writing of the pattern. 

Here is their final goal.  My sister still trembles when she hears the word applique.  (I just wispered it so she doesn't cringe.)  She may fill in her applique area with blocks, which will look wonderful on her guest room bed.

I'm still pulling the directions together to create this center section.  The drawing isn't hard, but the written word on how to explain the inset with the flange isn't easy.  I think I need to retreat to the cabin just like a real author, finish this pattern and put it and me out of my misery.

Isabelle has her Party In the Garden quilt all sandwiched and ready for a combination of hand and machine quilting.  This was Isabelle's first attempt at applique.....there, I said it loudly!  Her quilt is beautiful!  She added many of her own little touches that enhanced the quilt and made it her own.  She has every reason to be proud of her efforts.

While I was at the shop yesterday, Barbara brought in her completely finished Country Charmer quilt for me to see.  We are going to do a real photo session with lights, camera, and a little bit of action.  Barbara is going to let me photograph her quilt for my pattern's inside cover so I can show an alternate colorway.  Barbara mainly used Jo Morton fabric and achieved a very patriotic look and feel.

Just one more item of note then I'll let you go.  Four of my quilts will be at the Mid Altantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA starting tomorrow in The Christmas Shoppe booth. Stop by Mary Jane's beautiful booth and tell her Lynn sent you. She has a great selection of patterns, fabrics and embellishments that you won't want to miss.  I wish I could hop on a plane and jet across the country for the show.  You will have to be my 'eyes' and tell me all about it.

As always,


Sunday, February 19, 2012

In The Spirit of Celebration

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday was my special day....my un-60th-birthday. My real birthday is at the very beginning of January and I was partied out from the Holidays and said, "No more parties!"  My sister got together with all the kids and organized a very special day for me. I never had a birthday party in February and I loved it!  I think a new tradition began yesterday.

Everyone knows my passion for plaid.  Have you ever seen a plaid birthday cake?

A plaid cake that matched the napkins, paper plates and plastic tablecloth.

A CD called Forever Plaid.

The food was wonderful, and I'll post a couple of the recipes to the blog later on.  Everyone outdid themselves by making some of our family favorites.  My sister served Neapolitan ice cream with the cake since it was the closest thing she could find to plaid!

Everyone dressed in plaid shirts except for me......I didn't get the plaid memo.  But my cousin brought along an extra plaid shirt for me to wear. 

The absolute highlight of the party was a slide show made by my sister, Gail. (This is the sister that chased me around the backyard holding a pitchfork when we were little.....it's a good thing I could run faster!) She spent weeks scanning old photos and organizing them in order to the perfect music.  My grandparents, parents, childhood friends were all present in spirit.  The spirit of celebration.  I shed a few tears while traveling through my life set to music.  My sister created a treasure for me and I loved every minute of it.

During the afternoon, I stepped back a time or two and looked at all the kids, both big and little and our dearest friends, and cousin.......all family.  Family. Little cousins chasing each other around the backyard (without pitchforks), many cooks in the kitchen, friends chatting, all gathered together for ME! A very special day that I will remember always.

I have a book of sayings that my mother gave me years ago that I keep by my computer and turn the page daily.  I smiled when I turned the page yesterday and read, "I do not feel any age yet.  There is no age to the spirit."

As always,


Friday, February 17, 2012

Minglewood Month #8

Hello Everyone,

The Minglewood Monday program at In Between Stitches is now on Month #8.  After you make the blocks below, there are just four more blocks left to make before you start on the sashings and nine patches.

This month you will be making another Christmas Star block.  This is one of my favorite block designs in the whole book.

You will also make a King's Crown Squared block.

I have a picture of this block while it was still on the quilting machine so you can see what it looks like when quilted.

The last two blocks are called Aunt Dinah.  These blocks are a piece of cake compared to some of the other blocks you already made.  You'll zip through them in no time at all.

I changed up the placement on this block to make it look like it is spinning in the opposite direction.  I also alternated the lights and darks to really confuse you!

Three additional pieces of fabric were inserted into your package to compensate for a shortage a few of you experienced a couple of months ago. Refer to the insert in the package for the blocks in question.

If you want to see only the Minglewood blocks, scroll down to LABELS on the left-hand side of the blog and click on Minglewood Monday.  Every post in reference to this quilt will show up....which may make your life a little easier if you want to easily find them.

It is friday already.  Where did my week go?  Did someone take a day or two away?  I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend.

As always,


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Drop-In Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,

Last Tuesday, the classroom at In Between Stitches was brimming with activity and creativity.  Eleven women, twelve counting me, gathered together with all of their collective quilting goodies and continued their journey creating heirlooms.

Kay is working on her Party in the Garden quilt.  She did a great job on her little basket which I know isn't easy.  Such a cute section of her quilt is finished....fussing cutting and all.

Tiny little flowers will go on the mailbox block, giving it a 3-D effect.  We won't say how long this flower took Kay to make......mums the word.

Louise is working on her 30's version of the Yo-Yo quilt by Kim Diehl.  So pretty!  The shop has a wonderful selection of 30's fabrics for Louise to select for her quilt.

Carol was my pattern tester for Buttonwood and here is her first block. using the new Prairie Paisley II along with some of the first Prairie Paisley fabric. The pattern passed Carol's expert quilting eye, and is now for sale at the shop.

She is going to introduce some yellow into her baskets which I think is a great idea and is going to be so pretty.  I'll be teaching Buttonwood the first part of March.  Knowing Carol, her quilt will be done by then.

Ruth Ann bought a kit to make The House on Edgewood Lane, and she started cutting into this wonderful pile to make her blocks.  Ruth Ann shopped the sale room for backings for several quilts and she hit the jackpot.

Janice uses little salsa cups to corral her little hexies.  This is just the best idea!

Chris is down to the final two rows on her Scrappy Leaves quilt.  This will be a stunner when it's finished in her rich selection of batiks.

Glenda is the most persistent quilter I've run across since I've been working at the shop.  She cut the final freezer paper pieces for the Blossom of Friendship quilt.  Her baskets are complete and now she is working on the border which is filled with flowers and leaves.

There are hundreds, maybe thousands of pieces which she is appliqueing by hand.

During the month between drop-in classes, Isabelle finished 16 or 17 blocks for Minglewood.  Incredible blocks!  These blocks are addictive and she was making almost one block a day for the past several weeks.

Kaye is putting her Sallie's Quilt together.  Her daughters liked it so much that she is making TWO of them!  Her blocks are finished and now she's putting them together. There are absolutely gorgeous!

Barbara is working on her Minglewood blocks.  The first two blocks are probably some of the most difficult blocks in the book and her blocks are almost finished for month #1.  While working your way through the Minglewood book, your piecing skills keep getting better and better as new techniques are introduced. 

Cindy is working on her hexies for Summer's Blush.  Take a peek at this fussy cutting!

So organized.....all the little squares just waiting to become flower petals.

I was taking some good natured teasing that I should include a bottle of Ibuprofen on my class supply list!  What can I say other than I really like to add little, very little pieces of detail in my quilt designs. I usually teach complex patterns and quilting ideas to stretch everyone outside their comfort zones for a challenge.  The girls were stretching every which way on Tuesday!!  From now on, I think I am going to include a bottle of Ibuprofen on my class supply lists.....it will be good for a laugh or those quilting growing pains quite common in my classes. 

Stretch your quilting ability today and work through those growing pains.  You'll be glad you did.

As always,


Monday, February 13, 2012

Quilt Show in Folsom, California

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday, Mr. Joe and I played hookie and headed to Folsom, California for the Tides of Time quilt show sponsored by the Folsom Quilt Guild.  I wanted to go see some of my quilts that were on display with three different vendors.

First up is Madrigal, made by Cherie, the owner of Quilts in the Attic in Cottonwood, California.  Cherie made the center applique section in wool. Gorgeous!  Cherie also does all of her own machine quilting.....free motion.....even the feathered wreaths.

The shop specializes in reproduction fabrics.  I've always wanted to see how this pattern would look in reproduction fabrics, and I was certainly not disappointed!

Kits for this quilt are available by clicking HERE.  The kit isn't on their website just yet, but if you talk with Cherie or Rob, just ask for a Madrigal kit and tell them Lynn sent you.

Then I went to visit Mary Jane at The Christmas Shoppe. Seeing my quilts on display is like going to visit my children.  I'm such a proud Mom!  While taking pictures in the booth, I was asked to autograph a pattern by Sheila.  This is the second time I've been asked for an autograph, and it is pretty exciting.   Sheila and I are now BFF's!!

Country Charmer was also in The Christmas Shoppe booth.  The best news is that the patterns almost sold out of both designs!  I'm just blown away by the whole experience.  Mary Jane had a wonderful selection of red and green fabrics to make this quilt and I'm sure they helped pattern sales.  I bought some checks and plaids....of course!  I also bought some adorable buttons that you will be seeing soon.  Mary Jane has a great website filled with lots of goodies!

Last but not least, is my original Madrigal, on prominent display in The Quilt House booth.  She looked so regal in her beautiful display.  Janet, the owner of The Quilt House in Gardnerville, Nevada always has an attractive booth and Madrigal will be traveling with her for the next several months.

It was fun to just take a step back, and watch people look at my quilts.  I felt like I was eavesdropping, but I just couldn't help it!

Back to work today at the shop.  It is my Monday to work and see all of the wonderful creations that our customers bring in for sharing.  Tomorrow is the 2nd Tuesday of the month and that is my drop-in class day at the shop. I have a full week of working, teaching and quilting planned.  I hope your week includes quilting too.

As always,