Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Extreme Barn Makeover

Hello Everyone,
Now I like my barn a lot more.  Here's the after picture. It looks more like a barn and less like a church.  I put the trim around the pumpkin advertisement and inside the barn door for added dimension.  Three more pumpkins added more whimsy and color.


 Here's the before picture.

I hadn't planned on spending a WHOLE day on my barn renovation.....but now I'm glad I did.  Since I've spent so many months designing and appliqueing, what's another day in the life of this quilt?  It's all the little details that define a quilt, and possibly the quilter. 
Each pattern will include this pumpkin label which is printed on archival ink on sateen fabric from Olde America Antiques.  I love their selection, the customer service is wonderful, and they make a great product.

Today I'm going to try to finish the scarecrow and get some more of the sections sewn together.  I won't be doing an extreme makover on the scarecrow, but he does need a face so he can see the crows in the pumpkin patch!  The big reveal will be soon.....I hope. 



Monday, July 29, 2013

Toyland Tree Class Is In Session

Hello Everyone,
Yesterday was the meeting of the Toyland Tree ladies at In Between Stitches.  Their quilts are coming along beautifully.  I think the baby dolls are adorable.


The Marionettes look like they are doing a little dance.  His candy cane shoes are doing a tap dance.

The trains with the giraffe are will soon be chugging around the Christmas tree.

The girls are doing a fabulous job on their blocks.  We meet for only four more sessions, and I think there will be some finished quilts before Christmas.

I'm off to work my Monday at the shop.  It is so much fun to fondle fabric all day, see all the projects that people are working on, see new fabrics and patterns, and visit with the customers.  The Monday Ladies will be there quilting, and they are always a delight.  There's a good day ahead for me.....I hope all of you have a great day too.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Progressing Slowly

Hello Everyone,
Progress is slow, but at least I'm moving in the right direction.

I've also been working on the directions and tracing the applique blocks for the printer. Details, details, details.

Busy day today and I'll post more when I have the time.  My September deadlines are approaching far too quickly.  I may hibernate for a week and chain myself to my computer and sewing machine.  Speaking of computers, it seems to have recovered from the nasty virus. I got it back from the computer hospital good.


Thursday, July 25, 2013


Hello Everyone,
I'm back to blogging after a few days of not posting.  All I have to show for my efforts lately is my embroidery in the evenings.  After embroidery.....

Before embroidery.  Those little touches make a big difference.  I'm adding embellishments to each and every block.

I've been outlining some of the baskets features with 2 strands of floss for a "finished" look.  After.....

Before.  It make a difference.

I've also been working on the reference manual for my Patchwork Math class at Quilting in the GardenQuilt Sue and I are on the same page with our classes!  She will be arriving in the States in 2 months.  Check out the giveaway on Sue's blog.....the fabrics look absolutely wonderful.

I'm still having computer issues after the computer was in the hospital for two days with a nasty virus.  The virus was so bad, the technicians hadn't seen anything like it before. Now it appears that my screen is going south with hundreds of blue lines traveling through images.  As soon as the internal the fan turns on, the blue lines go away.  I think the computer is having a hot flash, and the fan alleviates the problem. I can still work on my pattern directions and resource manual, but pictures are an issue.  It's going back to the computer hospital today.

Speaking of pattern directions, I've been working on Harvest of Hope directions.  I have my light box out and I've been finalizing all of the tracing of the applique blocks.  The larger applique drawings are now down at the printers.  There are so many details to think of to make the pattern complete.  Now I just have to finish the quilt, quilt it, bind it, and collate the patterns.  It makes my head spin.  I think I'll go play with the grandkids.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Country Charmer Hits the Road

Hello Everyone,
My Country Charmer quilts spent a weekend at a quilt show in Oregon and now they will be traveling to the International Quilt Show in Long Beach, California with Janet from The Quilt House.

The Quilt House is a fabulous shop located in Gardnerville, Nevada.  It is always a special treat to visit The Quilt House.  Mr. Joe and I pack up a picnic lunch and the dog and drive over the very scenic Ebbetts Pass, elevation 9,000 feet, in the high Sierras and make our way to Gardnerville from the cabin.  There are much easier ways to get there if you are in the Lake Tahoe area, but we like the windy, narrow mountain road over the pass and then wind our way along the Carson River.  The pass closes for the winter, so we make our trek over the  pass and through the Quaking Aspens in the Fall before the first flakes fall.  One time we drove over the pass in the convertible without checking the weather forecast first.  I bought a ladder at an antique shop to display my quilts, so we just put the top down and had the ladder sticking out.  All was fine until it started to rain and snow.  It makes for a great story, but we were a little wet by the time we got back to the cabin.

The Quilt House is just "my style".  I love it!  The shop is gorgeous.  It is beautifully decorated with bolts and bolts of luscious fabric displayed on every shape and size of antiques......from large old sleds to wrought iron beds. You will be warmly greeted by the helpful staff then you begin exploring the treasures inside the shop.  I found the shop when it was featured in Quilt Sampler Magazine....and I'm so glad I did!

I've been very quiet over the weekend.  My trusty laptop had to spend the night in the computer hospital with a nasty virus.  So much for anti-virus software!  Hopefully it can be fixed and will return home today. I'm using Mr. Joe's toy computer which is better than nothing.....but I'm very limited in what I can do computing-wise.  I have a pattern and a resource manual to write!  I need my real computer.  I'm off to work this morning.  I can't wait to see what new "goodies" have arrived at the since I worked last Monday.


Friday, July 19, 2013

The Finishing Touches

Hello Everyone,
The finishing touches are now being added to Harvest of Hope.  I'm embroidering little tendrils on each of the pumpkins.

This section is now complete and can go into the finished column of my to-do list.

This is the last block......THE LAST BLOCK......for this quilt.  The flower will also have little, embroidered tendrils, and the sign will be pointing you in the direction of the pumpkins.  I'm looking for just the right font for my Pumpkin sign.

I've been wanting a ping pong table at the cabin for quite some time now.  I thought all of the kids, both big and little would enjoy playing ping pong at the cabin.  I mentioned this to our kids over our 4th of July barbecue.  Now we are the proud owners of a ping pong table.  Our son knew his neighbor was looking for a new home for his table and now it's ours! The only issue was carrying it down to the lower patio.  Not only is the table heavy, it is extremely unwieldy.  My wrist is telling me that I shouldn't have lifted the table.  This may interfere with my to-do list today.....and tomorrow......and the next day......big sigh.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Harvesting Apples

Hello Everyone,
I said that I would have some plaid apples to show you and I do.

Quilt Sue asked me if they were going to be eaters or cookers.  Well Sue, they are lookers!  They are hanging high in the tree looking out over the harvest while the yellow apples wait to ripen.  I hope that little birdie doesn't eat them first.  Also, they are "lookers" because they are just so darn cute!

We are having our driveway re-coated today.  The ice and snow is so hard on the surface and it needs to be done.  I'm really looking forward to the smell of hot tar all day long!  We may just have to leave and head higher into the mountains for some fresh air.

I hope your air is fresh today and your apples are crisp. crisp sounds good for dessert tonight.  The aroma of the apple crisp cooking would mitigate the tar smell don't you think?


P.S.  Dear Peggy Sues Mom,

I absolutely loved your comment about the Country Charmer Quilt Along.
"Making these blocks is totally addicting!! I promised myself I would make one a day....but I can't stop at just one. Perhaps I could make a slipcover for my house!! :)"
 I wanted to reply to you personally, but you are a "no-reply" status.  Your comment made me laugh.  Please take a picture of the Country Charmer slipcover over your house when you finish it so we can all see it!  Yes, those blocks are addicting.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Harvesting Pumpkins

Hello Everyone,
I know it's a bit early in the season, but I'm finished with my pumpkin harvest.

Well, I think it is finished except for the stitching.

I'm working on two more blocks for my Harvest of Hope quilt.  The original plan included 10 I'm down to 8. I got a brilliant idea for another block, so two of the pumpkins were replaced.  I'll bring them back if my brilliant idea doesn't work.

I received a couple of emails asking if this was going to be a pattern, and the answer is yes.  I'll have it ready in September for purchase through In Between Stitches or through my blog.

Today I'll be making apples.  Have you ever seen a plaid apple?  You will tomorrow if all goes well.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Christmas Quilt Along - Post #2

Hello Everyone,
Here are the results of my QAL project so far.  One cute, little 7-1/2" block that needs something in the center.

I tucked a little plaid flange between the two pieces of fabric and top-stitched it down. 

Here's a closeup of the flange.

So my plan is to make a series of little blocks in all shades of neutral, with a flange, and with different little Christmas "things" in the center.  It's going to be petite and delicate....just like me!  Wink, wink, chuckle, chuckle!!
More to come next month during the QAL.  I had to cut this month short since we have company and we have some exploring, hiking and eating to do!

This is what we just enjoyed for breakfast.....Fiesta Brunch.  Now we are ready to hit the hiking trails again.

Fiesta Brunch

1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chilies
6 corn tortillas cut in strips
1 pound bulk sausage, cooked and drained
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated
8 eggs, beaten
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon onion salt
½ teaspoon paprika

-Spread half of the chilies on the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 x 2 inch glass dish.  Top with half of the tortilla strips, half of the sausage, and half of the cheese.  Repeat layers.
-Beat eggs, milk, and all spices except paprika.  Pour over the layers of chilies, tortillas, sausage and cheese.  Sprinkle paprika on the top.
-Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
-Bake uncovered at 350° for 50-60 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
-Serve with sour cream and salsa on the side.  This may be frozen after it has been baked and then reheated.
-Yield 6 to 8 servings


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Christmas Quilt Along Post #1

Hello Everyone,
It's that time again.....the Christmas Quilt Along.  This month Hazel is our hostess.  So pop on over to her site and see what she is up to along with other quilters located around the world.

The challenge this year is, make a Christmas quilt without using red or green fabric.   AAARRRGGGG!!  This is hard for me.  I may have to make this quilt one way for the challenge and another way outside the challenge.  So I poured over my stash and I've selected golds and neutrals for this go round.

I cut a circle in the top fabric and used the starch method of applique to finish it off nicely by turning all of the raw edges to the inside.

You'll just have to wait to see what I do just might include a flange!  I can hear my company stirring in the front bedroom.  I'll try to post some more later on today after we enjoy our hearty mountain of pancakes and before we head out for a hike.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Making Progress

Hello Everyone,
I finally have a name for my new quilt, Harvest of Hope. I still have to do some embroidery on the basket block, but I couldn't wait to see how this section was going to turn out once it was sewn together.


I finished 36 components for my border and gave them wings.

Here are the four borders all lined up.  In the past, I'm the greatest procrastinator when it comes to putting borders on a quilt.  I find it boring to cut long lengths of fabric, get them just right and sew them on.  This is the first border that I've had fun making!  I think all of my borders from now on are going to be much more interesting.

I've been auditioning inner and double outer borders.  I think it looks great on this side of the quilt.

But I'm not sold on this side of the quilt.  I'll decide when I get the whole center section together.

Don't forget, tomorrow in the 2nd weekend of the month and that means it Christmas Quilt Along time.  Our hostest is the very comical Hazel.  To find out more information about the QAL, click HERE.  The challenge this year is to make a Christmas quilt without using red or green.  This is going to kill me!  I've come up with an idea.....not sure that I'm totally sold on it.....but I'll give it a go.

See you tomorrow at the QAL.  The Christmas music will be playing and driving our company bonkers.  Actually, they will think that I'm going bonkers.....and they are probably right!  I've just confirmed what Mr. Joe has known for years!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fall Quilt

Hello Everyone,
Yesterday I started my day selecting fabrics for the new quilt.  All things Fall went into the mix.  That purple polka dot really shows up!

Then I made a bunch of HST.

Then turned them into this, a corner square triangle with HST.

Then I gave it wings.....

....and started playing around with border ideas.

I need to sprout some wings so I can fly through my day.  My to-do list includes getting ready for weekend company, finishing up the border sections, grocery shopping, and preparing applique pieces for five more pumpkins.  I think I need a nap.  When I look at my pumpkins, I'm thinking I need to make a red one to go along with the purple pumpkin and maybe a green pumpkin too.  Why be conventional?

The corner square triangle unit is one of the twelve components that I'll be teaching at Quilting in the Garden in September.  I'll be demonstrating how to resize this component and make several variations of this unit.  It's fun and easy to make.  My kitchen table looks like a bushel basket of leaves got tossed on it.  I love it! 

Sprout some wings today and let's all fly through our day together.  Soar with creativity and beauty.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,
I look forward to the 2nd Tuesday of the month with great anticipation.....and this is why.  I get to spend my day with some of the nicest, creative people on the planet during my class at In Between Stitches.
Paula finished all of her hexies, and she started attaching them to the background fabrics.  Just feast your eyes on her attention to detail in the placement of each and every flower petal.  They are going to look so good in her Party in the Garden quilt.

We lovingly call them Paula's Pasties since Elaine likes to model them!

I'm grouping the photos by quilt this time to show you how different the quilts can look when they are made in different colorways.  Here is Peggy's beautiful Summer's Blush/Winter's Warmth.

Here is Evelynne's version she made from a kit I put together at the shop.  Same quilt, different color beautiful.

Kay's quilt is almost ready for the flange.  See the stripe fabric poking out?  The sashing fabric that Kay picked out is wonderful.  Again, great attention to detail with the fussy cutting.

More of Kay's blocks.

Peggy is making a pillow for her Mom using the Nostalgic Pillow pattern.  I love the fabric selections.

Next, we have Isabelle's and Barbara's parade of Minglewood blocks.  Both of the girls on working on their sashings at the same time.

We helped Barbara with her block layout.  We were all moving blocks around the wall and I didn't get a picture of the whole thing!  Next time.

Carol is working on the swags for Toyland Tree.  Her swag looks like a big smile.  We were all smiling yesterday.

Kaye and Gail are working on their For the Love of Baskets quilt.

Cute, little 4-1/2" baskets in the birthing process.

Susan is making my Butterscotch Baskets pattern for her daughter.

Her little baskets are just so sweet!

Today's grand finale is brought to you by my sister Gail.  Her Butterscotch Baskets quilt top, complete with mitered corners is done! This is a gorgeous quilt....a labor of love.  All scrappy, great attention to detail right down to the fussy cut block centers.  WOW!

What a fabulous way to spend our day....surrounded in beauty, friends, and a creative spirit that permeated the classroom.  Girls, you are the best!