Wednesday, November 30, 2011

One More Week...

Just one more week to comment and be entered to win over 1300 KT charm squares. It's been fun to read what everyone would do with this stack of fabrics - lots of drooling and fondling going on for sure. And many generous quilters willing to make quilts to donate to good causes.

We're in the process of revamping out website so I've taking pics of stuff at the KT studio. I enjoy collecting anything having to do with sewing, especially acorn shaped items. Here's a look at some of my favorite junk.
 Many of my acorns have a thimble and needle holder inside and are carved from vegetable ivory. Some are wooden, a couple have a pincushion, as well. The paper acorn on the left front is an Acorn Stove advertising piece; the card in back holds Acorn snaps. Too fun!

                       Clamps to hold a quilt in the frame were shaped like birds for fun and function.
                                The beaks open like a clothespin and some have a bonus pincushion.

An old printer's tray (about 5 feet long) keeps vintage sewing items neatly displayed - advertising thimbles, tape measures, needle cases and thimble holders. It's fun to hunt for things with local advertising as I travel.
Now if someone would just dust it for me!

Moda's Designer Blog Hop begins Monday, Dec. 5th and continues throughout the week with almost 2 dozen designers sharing a block and a recipe for you to download free! I'm sure there will be more a couple giveaways, too. I'll post a list of designers to watch for over the weekend.

Keep commenting!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

More ideas for 1300+ charm squares

I realized last night as I was working on the pattern for Collection of Scraps that this might the perfect quilt for the stack of charm squares. There are only a couple of strips (that can be pieced) that are too long to cut from a 5" square. You can just about get one block from a pack of charm squares.

Here's a closer look at several blocks so you can see that we made each one just a bit
differently depending on the fabric available. Very fun!

I better get cookin'! The kids/grankids/parents will be here this afternoon expecting to eat our version of Thanksgiving leftovers. I make a massive turkey hash with all the fixin's; Mom makes the pies (with her perfect flaky homemade crust) and my oldest son, Neil, always comes up with some fun new dessert to try. This year, pumpkin/gingersnap/cheesecake parfaits. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Have a good weekend enjoying leftover turkey.

Please comment for the giveaway on Thursdays post. Thanks.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

KT Charm Collection Grand Finale

Okay ladies (and gentlemen), here's what we've been waiting for all year - a chance to win one of each of the 38 KT charm packs from the past 11 years! I'm so glad we did this because now even I have a charm square of each of the fabrics. Here's the pile - over 1300 5" squares - almost 19" tall!

What would you do with over 20 yards or 34,000 square inches of KT prints and plaids? Can you imagine the number of projects you could make? Simply sewn together as charm squares (4 1/2" finished squares), you could have the makings of 4 centers for queen size quilts (16 x 18 squares each) or 7 lap quilts (12 x 14 squares each). Cut some into half into bricks, triangles or fourths for mini charm squares for truly charming quilts, runners and gifts galore. Oh my!

Thought I would share my stash of KT precuts - Charms, Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, Honey Buns and Turnovers. I also have fun collecting Moda designer tins and specialty items.

Quilters ask me all the time how much fabric I have and the answer is: Not as much as most quilters! I save small amounts of my favorite pieces for scrappy projects, but we're usually using the latest collection so it doesn't help much to have alot of oldies on hand. This is all I have of Sandhill Plums - so far :) .

 Bits and pieces, works in progress and leftover precuts are kept in 16 vintage locker baskets on an old wooden shoe rack. That's Flannel Days piled up on top. It's so fluffy, it's hard to fit on the shelves!

Best of luck to everyone! You may comment as often as once a day until Dec. 7th at 10pm. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Dec. 8th. Stay tuned for a fun little blog hop with the Moda designers in December, too. More goodies!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sandhill Plums Winner

Pat from New York is the winner of this week's Sandhill Plums charm pack and charm pattern. Just proves how random our random number generator is since she won just a couple of weeks ago, too! But Sandhill Plums is all so new, she'll have to wait a few days to receive her goodies since the pattern is still being edited. It's been so fun reading all your comments recalling memories of Gramma's cooking specialites. I thoroughly enjoyed the warm feelings flowing from the pages.

Don't stop following the KT blog now - we're not done with our year of giveaways yet! Still to come is the grand prize of one of each KT charm pack printed to date - over 1200 charm squares from the past 11 years. The giveaway begins this Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, and continues for 2 weeks thru 10pm on Wednesday, Dec. 7th. You may comment as much as once a day over the 2 weeks. The winner will be announced Thursday Dec. 8th.

Better get to the grocery store before everything for Thanksgiving dinner is gone. We do our family thing on Saturday so I have plenty of time to prepare. Just Robert and I hanging out, watching movies in our pj's all day Thursday. Now that's something to be thankful for!

Something else to be thankful for is good friends, like my dear friend Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts. We met in Ottawa, IL last week to do some brainstorming and planning for our cruise to Alaska next summer and met with our travel agent to plan even further into the future. We had a great time antique hunting all day Thursday and stayed up late chatting about family and plotting projects and surprises for the cruise. If you haven't decided on whether or not to join us, ask for a Girlfriend Getaway for Christmas. Your hubby will appreciate not having to shop and you'll have a wonderful trip to look forward to next year. Have any of you been on a quilting cruise? Where to? What was the best part? Where would you like to go next?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sandhill Plums Charming Thursday

Our newest KT fabric line, Sandhill Plums, just made it's debut at Fall Quilt Market in Houston a couple weeks ago. Yummy shades of plum, red, navy, green, gold, black and tans are just made for a spring-themed project. The charm quilt for this line is a little table runner called Sand Plum Jelly. Sandhill Plums are unique to this part of the country, planted as windbreaks in sandy soil back in the homesteading years and are known for their tart berries each summer. Anyone who's tasted a Sandhill Plum can certainly appreciate how much sugar it takes to make those little berries palatable for jelly.

Several other projects featuring Sandhill Plums precuts are in a blog posted last week on
Nov. 9th. Check them out!

Comment here by Sunday 10pm. for a chance to win a charm pack and pattern for Sandhill Plums!
Anyone out there ever had Sand Plum Jelly?
What is your favorite food memory from your Grandmother/family?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cattails & Clover Charming Thursday Winner

Congrats to Lisa Marie - you're the winner of the Charming Thursday Cattails & Clover charm pack and pattern. There's only one more edition of Charming Thursday this week, then the grand finale begins on Thanksgiving Day with the most charming giveaway of all: over 1200 KT 5" charm squares - one of every fabric so far! You'll have 2 weeks to comment. What a great Christmas present to yourself!

Yesterday, I reintroduced several projects we're now offering as single patterns from previous books or quilt shop exclusive clubs. Today, I have a few more for you - Wildflower Baskets Charm, Pinwheels in my Garden Charm,Twinkling Stars and Flowers by the Cabin.

Flowers by the Cabin is a former KT Stash Society favorite. Raw edge flowers bloom
on traditional log cabin blocks.

Twinkling Stars is another KT Stash project. We've simplified a traditional Huner's Star with a raw edge template stitched onto opposite corners of a square; cut in half to make triangles, then sew 2 different triangles together. Easy, peasy!

Simple little baskets make good use of a charm pack for a spring
wall quilt to brighten up your entry.

Pinwheels and a pieced border offer the perfect background for fused and raw edge
appliqued flowers borrowed from the fabric prints in Garden Inspiration.

Stay tuned for our final Charming Thursday this week featuring Sandhill Plum, our newest
KT fabric collection due in quilt shops in February. You'll be the first on your block
(heck, on any block!) to have a little piece of it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

100 Quilt Blocks Winners Announced

Okay ladies, the 3 winners of a Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Vol #4 magazine are: Kathy, Anne & Dona! You know who you are because you received an email from me with the big news. Thanks for having your email link on your profile. It's so much easier to contact my blog winners if I can email directly instead of just posting your name and hoping you check back to see it. I appreciate all the lovely comments about the block. We're planning to make a couple projects next year featuring it, so keep watching.

Over the years, we've made quilts for books, our KT Quarterly Newsletter, KT Stash Society and Charmed Club that were very popular and have had requests to offer those projects as single patterns. I'm happy to announce several new projects as single patterns this fall - Bachelor Buttons, Prairie Medley, Crossing Mulberry Creek and Picnic Plaid. Each of these was offered in a shop exclusive program or KT book over the past few years. Now, we're making them available to everyone!

Who doesn't love a blue and tan scrappy quilt that's easy to piece with a touch of raw edge applique and finished with red buttons? Bachelor Buttons first appeared as a bonus project in our
Seeds of Time Block-of-the-Month. 

 Prairie Medley is just that - a medley of print, plaid and wool charm packs that work together to create a fun little quilt with lots of personality and charm.

Crossing Mulberry Creek is pieced with simple 9-patches - a quilter's staple - then embellished with raw edge navy plaid squares cut on the bias that are added after the quilt is quilted. A great man quilt!

 Picnic Plaid is one of my son's favorites - very soft and cuddly. More 9-patches carefully placed to look like a giant plaid. Doubled red plaid bias strips are added while you quilt-in-the-ditch for an easy finish. Imagine the color possibilities - browns and tans with pumpkin strips, reds and greens for the holidays, or any combo to match your home decor or school colors.

These are a few of the new/old patterns. Watch tomorrow's blog for more!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cattails & Clover Charming Thursday (on Friday)

For those of you regularly checking in on Thursdays here at the KT Blog,  you had a nice suprise yesterday with the 100 Quilt Block magazine blog tour. Hope you commented to win one of the free issues. It's packed full of great ideas for future projects.

Sooooo, Charming Thursday is today. We're getting very close to the end of our charm pack giveaways with Cattails & Clover. This collection is so new it's just now arriving at your local quilt shop!

Living "in the wild", as my granddaughter Delainey says, offers alot of inspiration for fabric themes. We have a marshy area on one end of the pond that keeps the cattails happy with wet feet. We enjoy watching them change throughout the summer as the green shoots poke thru the earth in June, the fuzzy brown heads appear in July and then burst into white fluff in August. The clover was once a cash crop my Grandfather grew when Dad was just a kid. He said they tilled it under over 60 years ago and planted wheat. When we built the cabin a couple years ago, Dad had a terrace built to redirect the water flow into the pond to avoid flooding our road. The next spring, an acre of clover appeared where the ground had been turned, seed that had laid dormant for over 60 years! Amazing! The graceful rows of clover, curving by the side of our road inspired our project Creek Bottom. Two charm packs are cut with our new KT-1/4 Circle Template, then raw edge stitched onto opposite corners of a Layer Cake square. Doubled bias strips of coordinating plaids are stitched over the raw edge of the curves to create dimension and texture. When the blocks are sewn together, the look of waves across the quilt is very dramatic with no curved piecing. I love it!

For even more definitive curves, we used just 5 fabrics for Cattail Creek. The wavy border is made easy with the template, adding a 1/4-circle to a setting triangle.

The table topper with just a few fabrics and giant rickrack trim instead of bias strips and the runner with rows of buttons were fun to play with and only require a few blocks. There's still time before the holidays!

Comment here before Monday night at 10pm. to be eligible to win a Cattails & Clover charm pack and booklet with all the projects shown here. Next Thursday is our final single charm pack giveaway, then the grand finale starts Thanksgiving Day. You'll have 2 weeks to comment (limit one comment a day, please) to win over 1200 KT 5" charm squares! There will be a couple other prizes offered, too, so don't miss out.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

100 Quilt Blocks Blog Tour

Have you seen the new 100 Quilt Blocks #4 magazine by Quiltmaker?  I enjoy seeing all the new, innovative, charming blocks the designers have created. This is one of those magazines you keep and collect for future reference. Do you have yours? We have them on our website now.

My block is #340, Kansas Home. A traditional star block is simplified with raw edge applique squares (4 brown corners and red center square) for even eaiser piecing. I love the texture and dimension of adding raw edge to any quilt block.

Also included in this edition are blocks by fellow Moda designers Kathy Schmitz and Camille Roskelley. Check it out! Comment here to win a free 100 Quilt Blocks Vol.#4. The random number generator will choose 3 lucky quilters on Monday.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Announcing: Sandhill Plums

KT's new fabric collection for spring is Sandhill Plums. The header at the top of the blog shows the Sandhill Plum bushes this fall changing color. In late summer, they produce a grape-size berry that varies from cream to yellow to pink to red. This year's extreme heat and drought left us plum-less - barely enough for the birds. My Gramma used to make Sand Plum Jelly every year for my Dad. After the first couple of pints magically disappeared slathered on homemade bread, it was hoarded thru the winter and only brought out for special occasions.

One of our projects for this group is called Plum Perfect, a 70" square lap quilt featuring a Jelly Roll and Charm Pack. A traditional star block is simplified with raw edge applique for the center, then surrounded by Jelly Roll strips. A charm pack cut diagonally to create triangles is stitched into the border seam for dimensional appeal. Leftover Jelly Roll strips are pieced and cut across the corners for a unique look. Remaining triangles were put to work on a charming pillow. Easy to do, great results!

Notice the scalloped edges? I hadn't received my precuts yet so we cut our own charm squares with a scalloped edge rotary blade. I love the effect!

One of my favorite projects is Just a Little Loopy. (Did I ever tell how hard it is to name quilts???) A Honey Bun and Charm Pack work together to make 3 different projects - a wall quilt, pillow & bag.

A rail fence block is made even easier by simply laying a 5" strip from a Honey Bun centered on a charm square and stitched about 1/8" from the raw edges. This results in 3 - 1 1/2" strips for a 4 1/2" finished block - very cool! With parts of Honey Bun strips left, I made long and short loops, tucked them in the border seam and buttoned them down for fun. With even more Honey Bun scraps, a textural pillow with loops sewn into the seams was next on the list. Then, when I realized I hadn't used any of the light strips, an easy bag from our KT pre-quilted Cattails & Clover fabric (3/4yd.) embellished with 3 rows of loops came to life. A Honey Bun and 2 charm packs makes a great sized lap quilt, too. How much fun can you have with a Honey Bun? Tons!

Both of these patterns will be available by Jan. 1st, just in time for precuts of Sandhill Plums. Yardage ships in February.

I enjoyed playing with the precut Honey Bun strips, creating texture and dimension with the pinked edges. Anyone out there having fun with them too?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Flannel Days Charm Winner

Monday came and went - actually the whole weekend - and I totally forgot about the blog. Now that I'm back on track with the calendar (kinda) after market, let's announce the winner of this week's Charming Thursday Flannel Days charm pack and pattern - quilter4. Lois and I will be cutting 5" squares tomorrow for the lucky winner so send your address and we'll get them sent out as soon as they're ready.

Another one of the market projects is Collection of Scraps. I showed a couple blocks last summer when we started piecing them. The idea began when Lois and I saw a quilt by Lissa Alexander, Moda Marketing Director, on the cover of an APQ magazine. Lots of 1" squares in a Grandmother's Flower Garden type block seemed the perfect way to showcase 11 years of fabric collections. As we assembled 1 1/2" strips and squares, I thought how crazy it was to spend so much time making a king size quilt and then not be able to sell the pattern. So, I designed a block that could be pieced in a variety of ways with lots of scraps. We each have 1 block using the first 36 KT fabric lines and a great pieced border with leftovers. A lap size quilt with 20 blocks started with a couple of Honey Buns and a simpler border. I love the result! My quilt came home from market and went directly onto my bed at the cabin. I'm sure sleeping under 11 years of fabrics will inspire me in my dreams.

My quilt has 36 blocks - 34 of the first KT fabric collections in the order they were released plus 2 scrappy blocks in the places where Lucy's Feather Bed and Farmyard Friends would be. Lois pieced the quilts together with the pastel baby fabrics in the quilt top, but I just couldn't live with it, so mine are sewn into the backing. The border has a few squares of these two lines, so I'm good with it.

The simplified border on the lap quilt finishes it off nicely without all the extra piecing. I think this would be a good long term project, making a block with leftover scraps of fabrics from each project you finish over the course of time. Eventually, you'll have enough for a bed size quilt. For those less patient, cut 1 1/2" strips from fat 1/8's and exchange with friends to add to your collection of strips, or split a Honey Bun and share. We found that 40 - 1 1/2" x 22" strips will easily make 2 blocks with leftovers to add to other blocks. The pattern, Collection of Scraps, will be available around Dec. 1st. This project has inspired some of our blog giveaways for next year. Watch for more details in January.

Question of the Day: How do you save your scraps? Do you cut them into strips/squares and keep them organized? Any tips?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Flannel Days Charming Thursday

A Flannel Days charm pack & pattern will go to the winner of the this week's giveaway. If you haven't cuddled with the new flannels, you've missed out! I was so thrilled with the feel of this fabric, but of course, it's come and gone in most shops already. Moda was unable to precut charms at the mill, so we've cut one just for this week's winner. I'm hoarding most of what I have since several of my kids have requested quilts made with this line. Even for quilt backs, it's positively yummy!

We created a simple project to showcase the flannels and keep it from getting bulky in the seams. It's amazing how "fluffy" the quilt feels!
Cheryl Ross from Heaven on Earth quilt shop in Wabash, IN made the quilt and is in Houston at Festival with a load of KT quilts and patterns. Check with her if you're interested in a kit.

Here's a look at one of the new quilts from market, Bird's Eye View, our block-of-the-month for next year. Each of the blocks was selected because of it's historical bird name, such as Hens & Chicks, Dove in the Window, Circling Swallows and Hovering Hawks to name a few. The wool & cotton appliques, buttons and stitchery add personality and dimension. So much fun to see it come together. For those of you who make KT Favorites-10 Years & Counting last year, this project is a breeze!

Watch each day thru the weekend for a new quilt/project and a peek at Sandhill Plums, available in your local quilt shop in February 2012.

Question of the day: Do you enjoy block of the month projects? What's the last one you made?