Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Hello Everyone,
Just wanted to let you know that I haven't fallen off the face of the blogging earth.  I'm enjoying time now with family during the Holidays.  I made six more blocks for Lil' Orphan Scrappy and that's about it for the last week.  I'm having so much fun making these blocks.  I love selecting the fabrics for each one and they are all going to be unique.

Now it's time to work on the end of year accounting close for my pattern business.  Our oldest granddaughter is going to Washington DC this spring with her 8th grade class. I'm having her help me so she can earn some money to help pay for part of her trip.  She is only 13, and she picked up the accounting software package in a snap.  It is so much fun to spend some good quality time with her.  Last night she soundly beat Grammy and Poppy in Rummikub.....multiple times.  We never had a chance!

It is 27 degrees this morning and the wind is whipping through the pine trees.  I certainly hope they don't start snapping like toothpicks. I always wanted a tree house built up in the pines.....until I watch them sway back and forth.

Celebrate safely tonight.  I hope the New Year brings you everything you hoped for and more.  I wish you good health, contentment and peace.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Hello Everyone,


From my house to your house, I wish you peace and contentment today and always.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Hello Everyone,

I was contacted by Jayne last week about participating in an around the world blog hop.  I said "yes" completely forgetting about extra work days last week, potential jury duty, a visit from Santa with 17 people for dinner last Friday....and Christmas Day looming on the horizon.  Jayne emailed me a list of questions to answer and I've been thinking about them all week.  Some are easier than others, so I'll begin with the easiest question first.

What are you working on now?

Like a lot of quilters, I suffer from, "Can't wait to start a new project syndrome."  I started seeing so many Lucy Boston's Patchwork of the Crosses blocks on Pinterest and just had to try one.  Just like Lays potato can't make just one!  This is the first one I cut out, and I have another one waiting in the wings.  I'm using only Marcus fabrics since they lend themselves to my style and the style of the quilt.

I'm also working on my Lil' Orphan Scrappy quilt.  I can make these blocks in my sleep and I love them.  I love the subtle look of the quilt.  I love everything about this quilt and I enjoy working on it.

Again, I'm using only Marcus fabrics in the blocks.  Old collections combined with new collections work beautifully together.

I am also finishing up my Country Corners quilt.  I just have a few more blocks to make, then I can start sewing this quilt together and decide what to do with the borders.

Then there's Grammy Squares.  I just have to make some little hexagon flowers for the bottom right hand corner, quilt it, and it's done.....except for the pattern writing.

As you can see, I'm not lacking for projects.  I love working on each and every one of them.  The hardest thing is deciding which one I want to work on.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This question made me think a lot.  I'm not used to thinking......I just do it!  For starters, none of my quilts can be made in a weekend.....or a week....quite possibly a month.  My designs have a huge amount of detail.  I love to combine many different kinds of quilting techniques in my designs.  From English Paper Piecing to embroidery.  And then there are my signature flanges or is it flangii???

I add a flange because it gives me another opportunity to add more colors.

My flanges are almost always plaids, checks or stripes.


Another thing that sets me apart from other quilters is the fact that I design, make, machine quilt, photograph, and write all of my own patterns. I'm responsible for the whole process from beginning to end.  I design with the end quilting in mind. 

There are times when it is so tempting to pass the quilt off to be machine quilted to someone else......but I can't bring myself to do it.

It would make it hard for me to justify having a 12' machine to use as a storage or work table.

I actually love to machine quilt once the quilt is loaded on the machine.

Why do I create?
I started down my quilting journey when I stumbled upon Lynette Jensen and her Thimbleberries designs.  I wanted my home to look exactly like her home.  I loved her style.  I knew I could make her quilts even though I had never made a quilt in my life.  I bought every book she wrote and hung on every word.  I bought yards, and yards of her fabrics.  She totally inspired me to start quilting. Now I have my own version of a Thimbleberrie home.
Creating and designing makes me happy.  When I design quilts, I'm actually designing my life and surroundings.  I take great pleasure looking around my home at everything I've made.  I also LOVE to teach quilt classes and watch quilters make my designs.  That is the ultimate compliment and it keeps me designing.
I love every aspect of quilting from beginning to end......except for putting on the borders......BORING!  I love being around quilters.  Quilters are caring, supportive, generous and kind.  I love spending time in the classroom with my "girls"!  I love quilting retreats,  quilt shops, touching fabric and organizing fabric.  It is all part of the creative process.
How does my process work?
My process is quite random.  I have my idea book that I'm constantly writing in.  Ideas just seems to take shape....some easier than others.  Once I start working on a quilt, the end design sometimes doesn't remotely resemble what I had in mind.  The process is fluid, and I'm always changing things around on the design wall.  A block here, and a block there and before you know it a quilt is born.
I like to take pictures of my blocks and import them into PowerPoint and play around with the design. I'm always drawing new designs.  Most of them never make it to the design wall. The majority of my designs remain in the book.
If a certain quilt design element really works for me in a pattern, I will reuse it in another pattern.  This helps establish my own personal style and consistency in my designs for the same look and feel.
I learn something new with every quilt.  Sometimes the things I learn are about myself.  I always knew I was a detail orientated person, but quilting brings that out in me to the nines!  I'm constantly adding more detail, and more color.  I know, I know, it must be a sickness.  A sickness I will never recuperate from, but I can certainly live with it!  Maybe, just maybe I'll pass on my illness to others!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Dumpster Diving

Hello Everyone,
Just checking in to let you know all is well in Sew'n Wild Oaks land.....just busy like you!  Our guest rooms will be in use over Christmas, so I had to get all of the quilts off one of the beds.  When the quilts come back from touring around to quilt shops, I layer them like cord wood on one of the guest beds.  Unless my sister wants to be like the Princess and the Pea.....I had to move the I did.

The title of this post is dumpster diving, and that's where we got this piece of furniture.  It was in a neighbor's side yard out in the elements until we rescued and repurposed it.  Originally when I was thinking about opening a quilt shop, I thought it would be a good store prop.  Well, I did not open a shop, and this piece of furniture somehow made it upstairs into our bedroom. 

This old hanger is from the International Hotel at the Los Angeles Airport.  I don't know how this found its way to our house....but it did.  Rumor has it, according to my aunt, the quilt hanging on the hanger was illegally procured by my paternal grandmother.  She somehow rigged a drawing at her church social!  Not too Christian if you ask me.  I think we are beyond the statute of limitations, so the quilt is staying put right where it is.

I love the carvings in this piece.  I just can't imagine putting a beautiful piece of furniture like this out in our side yard.  I'm always saying, "use what you have."  Look around your houses and put furniture to work to display your quilts.  Get them out of the closets and use them, display them, and enjoy them.

My granddaughter Emily, is headed over to help me prepare for the 17 people coming for dinner tonight.  Our annual visit from Santa is this evening, and Grammy can use some help!  Not to mention it is going to be good, quality time with one of the little kids.  I've made Emily's list and she is going to be checking it twice!  Enjoy your day.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Baubles and Bows Table Runner

Hello Everyone,
I only have time for a quick post this morning to show you the finished table runner.  Click HERE to see my original post about these little ornaments.

I love the plaid flange and matching binding.

I can't say who this if for since we do Secret Santa's in our house for Christmas.

I'm off to work at the shop this morning.  The Folk Art Applique girls will be meeting for their class today.  Give yourself the gift of quilting this year, and sign up for a class at your local quilt shop.  So much laughter bubbles out of the classroom at In Between Stitches.  Sometimes I have to stop what I'm doing, and go back to the classroom and investigate.  I don't want to miss anything!  Especially if it involves a good time.

Enjoy your week preparing for Christmas.  Stay in the moment, focus on what needs to be accomplished and do a little bit each day.  Most importantly, don't forget to sit down and smell the Christmas Tree. (In my case the smell of artificial tree leaves a bit to be desired!) Take time to sit by the tree and enjoy each and every ornament. Many of my ornaments belonged to my parents and my grandmother.  Wouldn't they be pleased as punch knowing their ornaments are decorating my life and the lives of my grandchildren.  Create memories.....sweet memories.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

And the Winners Are.............

Hello Humans,
My name is Mazey.  I'm an 8 month old Golden Retriever and I'm one amazing girl.  I'm also the newest random number generator for my mom's giveaway.  I have no idea what that is, but if it involves food and time with my forever parents, I'm good.  
First of all we went to the store and bought five boxes of my favorite treats.  I am in doggie heaven right now with all of these treats! 

Some of the cookies were too big, some were too small, and some were just right!  I do have Golden Locks you know.

If I had thumbs, I could help my mom write all of the numbers on my treats.  I'm not too sure about eating treats with permanent marking pen on them.  But, for this contest, I'll take one for the team.

Each person who commented or sent a personal email was assigned a number. Then all of my treats were put on the floor in front of the Christmas Tree. 

Then, my dad brought me in the room and told me not to look.  This is just like Christmas!  Don't peak, don't look, don't touch the presents, DO NOT OPEN UNTIL CHRISTMAS!

This one looks tasty.

I think I'll select this one first!
Just as soon as I got the cookie in my mouth, my dad took it out!  How rude!  Do I take food right out of his mouth?  Off his plate maybe, but not out of his mouth.
The first winner was #70!  Gill wrote:
 "Congratulations! 1000 posts is an incredible milestone!"
Then I selected another one.
#78 belongs to Susan Contreras and Susan wrote:
"Hi Lynn, When I read your blog, I feel like I'm sitting down with a friend having coffee together and enjoying the latest news about quilting creativity. The blogs uplift me and give me a sense of community with kindred spirits. You are inspiring others on a daily basis. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year." Susan Contreras

My mom has known Susan for years and she was sooooo excited that I picked Susan's number.

I think I'll sneak up on the next winner.

#52 is Donna from So Sew Crafty  Donna wrote:

 "1000 posts! WOW! I so enjoy reading all you write while sipping my morning coffee. Congratulations. Keep posting.  And, now to Mazey, the most wonderful, beautiful, loveable, adorable, fantastic, brilliant (is that enough suck up?) puppy in the whole wide world, think Donna when you draw the lucky name." 

I always do what I'm told to do Donna.

My work is done here.  This is exhausting! Can I go chase squirrels now?

Many thanks to Marcus Fabrics for donating the fabric for the giveaway.  Thank you Leslie and Melissa from In Between Stitches for donating the Gift Certificate.  Many, many thanks to you, my readers for all of your support. I loved reading all of the comments and tried to answer each of you individually.  Now to the next 1000 posts!!!


P.S. This photo shoot took about an hour to capture.  Mazey showed much more restraint than we thought possible.  We thought she was going to dive headlong into the pile of treats.....but she didn't.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,
I'm only a few days late posting the pictures of "my girls".  I've had a lot to talk about this week. At this rate, I'll be at post 2,000 pretty soon!
Let's start the party rolling by showing you my sister's Country Charmer.  WOW, WOW, and double WOW!  Gail did an excellent job selecting her colors for each and every block.  She loves the fabric selection process, and you can tell.  She will be have fun decorating her home with this quilt Christmas after Christmas.

Paula was sewing little doorknobs on her quilt that was designed by Bunny Hill.  Aren't these little cottages adorable!

Patty started working on some ornaments.

She's not sure what she's going to do with them yet, but no matter what, they sure are "vintage" cute!

Isabelle is having a barn raising for her Harvest of Hope.  Her roof is spectacular in the colors she selected.  For those of you who have been wondering, the pumpkin label is included in each pattern.  Isabelle put a nice little green check sashing around her pumpkin label.

Gail is also completing her rows for Winterset.  You'll be seeing this one as a flimsy soon.

Irene is making these little organizers. So nice, and sew precise. 

I love the plaid on the inside.

Now speaking of is Paula's nicely organized tote.  The plastic containers used to hold Crystal Light.  They have now been re-purposed to hold quilting supplies.  This is a fabulous idea thanks to Evelynne for sharing this with us.  All of us have these little containers to help us keep organized.

There were more ladies in the room, and I shared their gorgeous blocks a couple of days ago in my Country Corners block #7 post.
Somehow I'm going to have my drawing for my contest this afternoon.  Thank you all who entered.  There were still so many that didn't leave an email address and are "no-reply" status, so I couldn't put your name in the hat.  Mazey is in charge of the drawing. We'll see how she does in her new role as a canine random number generator.  She is pretty random most of the time!