Thursday, March 31, 2011

Another Charming Thursday

Today we're looking back to one of my favorite collections - Seeds of Time - my 6th fabric line for Moda and the 5th quilt in the Quilters Journal series. Set in the mid-1800's, Lily and her family have been in Kansas for 20 years. The stage is set with a garden of beautiful flowers where her two oldest children will marry their loved ones in a double ceremomy under a new arbor built by their father. If you're interested in reading Lily's journal, all six of the Quilters Journal stories are available in a book (no quilt patterns) on sale now for just $9.95.

One of the challenges of this series was creating projects from the blocks in the quilt, too. The most popular has been a simple blue and white lap quilt called Bachelor Buttons. In the story, Lily pieced this quilt for her oldest son before he wed. This picture was taken in Kathy Haddock's yard - one of the most beautiful gardens I've seen.

This wool/cotton rolled sewing kit is also in Seeds of Time. It's one I carry with me on the road and holds everything I need. Call Robert for our weekly special - the Seeds of Time book for only $15! Both of these projects could be in single patterns soon, if my blogging test group votes positively. Let me know what you think and you'll be signed up for the Seeds of Time charm pack giveaway, too.

See you on the road this weekend!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Budding Designer

Last week during Spring Break my grandson, Cooper (10), came to stay for a couple days. He spent alot of time on my iPad playing games (and showing me how to find new apps), but was intrigued when Lois and I started laying out Layer Cake and charm squares on the floor for a quilt top. After asking a few questions, he proceeded to arrange fabrics and colors as well as any experienced quilter out there. He was delighted to see the pattern come together as we sewed and pressed blocks and asked some very thoughtful questions about quilting in general and my raw edge applique technique. Before he left, he asked if there were any guys that quilted. I assured him that not only do men quilt, some make a living at it. He offered to accompany me on a few road trips over the summer "just to check things out". Hmmm...I hadn't imagined a second generation of KTQ. You just never know. Here's Cooper with his Justin Bieber "do", posing with another of the Piecing the Past quilts, Peppermint Dreams (his idea).

The pictures I took of the new project turned out really dark, so I'll try again tomorrow. Guess I should have let Cooper take them :).

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Winner

Lee says she love paisleys and dots, so she'll love playing with the Pressed Memories charm pack. Congrats to Lee and thanks to everyone who comments.

More tomorrow on a new project that Lois and I should finish up today.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A New Goose

While we're waiting for the UPS guy to bring the newest fabric for market, Lois and I decided to play with a new way to make flying geese. I love the dimension and primitive feel that the soft, frayed edges of raw edge applique lend to a quilt, so why not add that soft, "feathered" edge to our feathered friends? Instead of the more traditional method of piecing flying geese with a rectangle base and squares stitched diagonally, pressed and trimmed, we simply stitched a triangle on the rectangle. Our geese were flying in no time at all!

We sewed several geese together in dozens of rows then placed them "just so" to create stars in the intersections. I love the way the light geese pop against the dark background. My homework today is to figure out how to piece the star sections extending into the border. By Monday evening, it will be off to the quilter!

Have you tried raw edge applique? Do you like the easy application and prim results? I'd love to visit your guild and share the fun.

We're in for a few more days of gloomy, winter weather so I'm taking advantage of the time to work on some wool pincushion projects for workshops later this year. What better way to spend a cold, rainy day than stitching on wool, watching a Hallmark movie with a cup of hot cocoa. Have a warm, wonderful weekend.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Charming Thursday IV - Pressed Memories

We featured our studio in the book, Kansas Quarters, in 2002 using a variety of KT fabrics, mainly Pressed Memories. Shown here are some of my favorites. Since the book is now out of print, we're offering the Scrapbook 101 quilt (on the bed) as a single pattern soon.

By my fifth fabric line, Pressed Memories, I began to notice a pattern emerge - there was a dot print and a stripe in almost every line so far. It's interesting how we subconsciously gravitate toward certain types of prints - small, even geometrics, flowing vines or large florals.

Of course, the feature fabric is usually the starting point, but it's easier for me to gather piles of companion prints. I'm always on the lookout for a subtle stripe with a print over the top to place on the diagonal for visual movement. Small vine-y leaf prints are a favorite and are easy blenders. But the dots are my favorites - so simple, but they can be arranged in a mulititude of ways, make great backgrounds and in scattered in multiple colors can be the glue to pull a quilt together. What are your favorite prints? Do you start your quilt with a border or work your way there after finishing the blocks?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stars over the Plains from Piecing the Past

I love old quilts - from crisp quilt tops that have never been finished to hand-pieced/quilted perfect examples to soft, worn everyday quilts that have been well-loved. Much like the imaginary playmates I had who helped me make Barbie clothes and host fashion shows, they all have a story. (Go ahead and laugh. I have friends who've told me I'm fairly normal.) I've purchased a few "investment" pieces over the years, but most of my finds are love at first sight. When a quilt calls to me, I notice the colors,fabrics and block chosen by the quilter, as well as the size and quality of workmanship - and then the story in my head begins. If there are a wide variety of fabrics, did she have a scrapbag handed down to her by a mentoring aunt or gramma? Did a group of friends come together to make a quilt for a family in need? If the quilt appears planned, was it meant for "good" or given as a gift?

In the quilt shown here, the large quantity of pink stripe in the setting blocks indicates it was either purchased or handed down and was the starting point for the quilt. Most of the stars are in blacks and indigos with a few reds scattered for interest. Were the half dozen pinky/browns added at the last minute to fill in the needed rows? Why are there several of these odd blocks clustered together instead of spread more evenly across the quilt? Had she hit that point in her quiltmaking that she just needed to finish it and go on? Her story? Let your imagination fly!

Monday, March 21, 2011

My New Look For Spring

My tulips are only a few inches high, but I'm really ready for a little bit of spring. The sunflowers will have to do until my garden offers up some more seasonal fare.

It's Monday once again, so it's time to announce the winner of the Quilt Connection charm pack for Charming Thursday - quiltpix (from the TNT Quilt Guild)! Really enjoyed your group of ladies. Hope you enjoy the "vintage" KT fabrics! Please email with your address.

Thanks to everyone who put their two cents worth in about the single patterns from A Year of Kansas Troubles. After tallying up the results, June, July and January were definitely the top three. I'm happy to say we're moving forward with that plan because of your enthusiasm and support. Watch for the new patterns (and a special deal) soon. (Just don't tell Robert - he already thinks we're a non-profit organization.)

See you tomorrow with another quilt from Piecing the Past. Til then, enjoy the arrival of springtime with sunny skies and the whole world turning a beautiful shade of green.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Shopping break

One of my favorite antique stores is Artichoke Annie's in Columbia, MO. It's just loaded with primitives in a very clean, well-maintained setting. I always find something there to inspire me or that I can't live without. Here are a few of my favorite booths this time. On our way home, we stopped at a new antique mall not far from there called Veranda. (Had to leave my purse in a locker and forgot to take my phone out for pictures.) Lots and lots of cool primitives and furniture. Not enough room in the car to take home my favorite thing - a 3-tier wire plant stand in just the best shade of grungy green. Oh well, another time.

I'll be back on Monday with the latest Charming Thursday charm pack winner. If you're interested in the 3 book series of Quilt Connection, call Robert for a discount this week - $18 for all 3 books!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Charming Thursday IV - Quilt Connection

Kansas/Oregon Quilt Connection was the 4th in my Quilter's Journal series of quilts/stories and my 4th fabric collection for Moda. One of my favorite prints is the large maple leaf tone-on-tone that is now part of our KT Favorites line as 108" wide backing in several colors. I enjoy piecing the back of a quilt to match/coordinate with the front, but that doesn't happen very often anymore given time restraints. Do you like/use wide backing for your quilts? If you haven't tried,you're missing out. You don't have to figure out how to piece the back and, at just $16/yd., it's a bargain! Check it out on our website at

Included in Quilt Connection are about 10 bonus projects using the blocks from the quilt - the quilt on the Murphy bed and the runner are 2 of them. The pillow is from Perennials.

Lois and I just returned from our trip to Glen Carbon, IL's TNT Quilt Guild - what a warm, energetic group of women. We enjoyed meeting them all and appreciated their invitation to visit their guild. I also met Carol, the owner of Sweet Annie's quilt shop in Troy, who evidently has a corner of her store dedicated to KT and isn't in a big hurry to sell it! We had a little discussion about the merits of that philosophy as a retailer, but she insisted selling it wasn't a priority, just having it all was satisfaction enough. Ya gotta love it! My goal is to get quilters into her shop so she will start sharing her booty through our KT Stash Society. Visit Carol's shop if you're in the area and convince her to share her KT fabrics with you, too.

We also did a little antique shopping along the way. Check back for some an update on some of the goodies we found.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Charm Winner....

The winner of the Prairie Moon charm pack is Jill (comment #73)- happy for ya! Please email your mailing address so Robert can get that in the mail this week. Ladies, if you comment, please check back in on Monday to see if you've won. I still have an unclaimed item that we'll have to "redo" soon.

Clydine, if you're out there, you won the Perennials charm pack/pattern from the Moda Pillow Talk Blog Hop. We'd love to send it to you, but time is running out - tick, tock, tick, tock :).

It's snowing again here - big, fat, wet flakes all Sunday evening - but it was close to 40 degrees. Later, as the heavy sheets of snow slid off of our tin roof, it made Robert and I both jump out of our chairs with all the thumping right outside our window. Until we figured out what it was, we thought maybe our pesky skunk had brought in reinforcements. Freaky!

Lois and I are out the door to Glen Carbon, IL for a guild program Tuesday evening via Kansas City today. We're staying with my sister tonight in Olathe, KS, meeting her brand new Pomeranian puppy. Their beloved Toby (a Pom/Shitzu mix) died in January after 13 years of constant companionship and they've hated the quiet house. Gus (Robert's Cairn Terrier), gave up the little crate he'd outgrown for his new "cousin". Should be fun.

I'll be back for Charming Thursday, see ya all then!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Your Vote Matters!

Okay ladies, I've selected six of the 12 projects from A Year of Kansas Troubles book, first published in 2002. Your votes will determine which 3 we print first as single patterns. How cool is it to reach out and have the opinions of quilters from all over the country right from my chair in front of the computer - I appreciate the input!

Lois and I are off to Glen Carbon, IL for the TNT Quilt Guild meeting on Tuesday evening. It's our first trip of the year and we're anxious to get on the road and visit with some real live quilters, showing quilts from Piecing the Trail to Kansas to the very latest projects we're working on for future fabric collections. If you're within driving distance, we'd love to see you. If not, I'm booking for next year and would love to visit your guild! It's one of the most fun parts of "work" for me.

The past few days have been beautiful here. I think I'll go enjoy the sunshine and clean up the flower beds a bit in anticipation of my tulips poking their heads thru any day now.

Thanks for taking the time to comment on your favorites!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Prairie Moon Charming Thursday

Our giveaway this Charming Thursday is from our 3rd line for Moda, Prairie Moon, with it's distinctive moon/flower cluster on the feature fabric. I loved it then and still love it now. We showcased this collection and our KT signature block in a book appropriately named A Year of Kansas Troubles, creating a quilt for each month of the year using the KT block as the starting point. You can see from the examples that sometimes the block was left intact and sometimes parts of the block were used for a totally different effect. These are a few of my favs from the book that we're considering reprinting as single patterns since the book is now out of print. Anyone interested? I'd love your input on whether we should go forward with our idea. Each project would be in a $7.95 booklet. Any takers?
As always, comment before 10pm Sunday evening for a chance to win the Prairie Moon charms. Thanks for playing.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Countdown to Spring

First I want to shout out to Clydine and SandyG one more time - you were winners #2 and 3 in the Pillow Talk Blog Hop giveaway. We won't let the Layer Cake and charm pack go unclaimed, ladies, so email me soon! If your profile does not include an email address, I'm not sure how to contact you. Any suggestions?

Featured today are two more projects from Piecing the Past. The original inspiration quilt was just 6 blocks from a larger quilt that had been salvaged as a doll quilt - very ragged and sad, but one of Aleece's (age 6) favorites to pull out when she's here. That's not a problem except she loves to rearrange all the stuff in the bedroom, like doll quilts and the children's collectibles - ironing boards, high chairs, dolls, bears, pull toys. Since she was here a couple weekends ago, that little quilt is nowhere to be found. It might be folded up under another quilt in a doll bed for padding or even rolled up in a basket shoved between two larger quilts. I just didn't take the time to dig thru everything. Anyway, here are the two projects we made - one in plaids with raw edge triangles on the corners of the Rolling Stones blocks and the other, a traditionally pieced block that Barbara Brackman lists as sometimes being called Peek-a-Boo. What a perfect name for a doll quilt! I'll have Aleece locate the original on her next visit. It's always interesting to see where she's moved it and why. I'm glad she sees the entire upstairs at the studio as her playground. She loves to "iron" my collection of vintage children's character hankies on the little ironing boards using the old tin irons. One of the irons from the '50s actually had a cord to plug in and heat up. When she was about 3, she discovered this, found an outlet and was ironing for real when lights started to flicker. Her Mom and I both about had heart attacks when we realized the frayed wiring on her "real" iron was causing it. Who was watching that kid, anyway? I'd love to hear your grankid stories anytime. Please share.

See you Thursday for more "vintage" KT charm packs.

Monday, March 7, 2011

All8 Wins it ALL!

The winner of the Stitches II charm pack is All8 - congratulations and thanks for your comments. Hope to see you all again this Thursday for a look back at Quilt Connection. Anyone have a quilt they've made using that collection? I'd love to see it.

Cold, dreary Monday. Off to the building to sew with Lois. We've just completed the next series of KT Stash Society Projects and already thinking about the next one while waiting on fabric for market. More tomorrow.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

2nd Charming Thursday - Stitches II

My second collection of fabric for Moda, Stitches on the Oregon Trail II, was designed to complement Stitches I so that quilt shops would have the fabric needed for the BOM all year. (Quilt shops love BOM's, fabric companies hate them.)I was just relieved to not have to come up with another name. Our project using this group was called A Collection of Stitches. It featured seasonal wall quilts and several lap size quilts and pillow projects using Stitches I & II. The book is out of print now, but we remade one of my favorites from the book, Red Brick Road, once Jelly Rolls made their debut a few years ago. It hangs in the retreat kitchen where I can admire it during lunch. One of my sons has his eye on it and would like to have it "whenever you get tired of it, Mom", but he may have to wait until I die. I never get tired of the classic red/tan color combo and the graphic appeal of the rows and rows of strips. This pattern will be on special for $5 -this week only- if you call Robert at 785-488-2120. And we have the charm pack of Stitches II ready to go to another persistent quilter. Good luck, ladies!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Who won the BOM?

Emma from Austin, TX - you're the winner of the KT Favorites - 10 Years & Counting BOM pile of stuff! Let me know if you need the book, background, etc. and we'll make you a deal.

Here's a look at another one of the projects in our Piecing the Past book. I've got Robert fussin' with quilts and beds and taking pictures to practice his photography skills, so I figured I might as well share them. I love how the tiny 9-patches just sparkle in such a simple setting.

Tomorrow is Charming Thursday - don't miss it!