Thursday, July 28, 2011

Autumn Journey Charming Thursday

By the time you read this, I'll be on the road to visit the Threads of Friendship Quilt Guild in Bloomfield, IA, then on to Quilt 'n Kaboodle in Cherokee, IA. When I return home, my granddaughter, Aleece, will be visiting for a week while her parents get settled into their new place. I plan to get a little pool time in and help her make a small doll quilt she's had laid out on the floor.

For this week's Charming Thursday, Autumn Journey takes center stage. I love the colors of fall and try to incorporate the browns and pumpkins into the classic KT red, green and navys each year. My Mom loves to decorate with leaves, so this quilt was created as a Christmas gift for her several years ago.

This fast and easy Irish chain starts with a Jelly Roll with scattered raw edge leaves. We actually have a couple of kits for the lap size (above) that were unearthed while reorganizing this summer. Isn't it amazing what you can find tucked away? Just email me directly if you're interested. We'll have more goodies on the website later next month, including Christmas on sale in August.

Oh yes! We also have kits for the Summer's Last Bloom quilt on the cover of Primitive Quilts magazine. If you haven't experienced it yet, you can get one at and check it out.

Expect pics of Aleece next week!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Congratulations to Donna from sunny Florida - you're the winner of the Snow Blooms charm pack this week. Your comment about "missing your regular stuff" made me think of my sister who decorates for the seasons - fall, Christmas and "ordinary time". Her house is full of bird and pear motifs about half of the year for ordinary time, then does up fall with a flurry of leaves, pumpkins and autumn colors by Labor Day.

Thanks to everyone who shared their Christmas decorating strategies. I've enjoyed reading each one. Our kids/grankids gather on the 23rd or 26th - whenever everyone can come without another commitment. I would rather have everybody there for the day than see them on the 25th for an hour on their way thru to yet another dinner. Over the past few years, our tree has shrunk from an 11' prelit artificial tree - that took hours to decorate - to a skinny 5' tree in a crock.  I even tied the ornaments on with bias strips of red plaids so we could store it already decorated! We take it out before company comes and put it back in the storage room with a sheet over it when they leave. Because the cabin doesn't accomodate large groups, we have family celebrations at the KT studio building where we have a table that seats 18-20 comfortably and lots of room for the kids to run and play. Since we're no longer hosting quilting retreats there, the decorations have dwindled considerably. I pull out several of my favorite Nativity scenes by WilliRaye, Willow Tree and Jim Shore, add lots of Christmas quilts and greenery and call it good. A couple of years ago when we switched to a much smaller tree, then 4-yr.-old Delainey asked me "But where's Christmas?" I responded, "In my heart, just like you." It was an off-the-cuff remark, but it really struck me as true. All the decorations don't make it Christmas, it's the faith and love of family that makes it all special.

Thanks for sharing your stories and your time here on my blog. Watch this Thursday for Autumn Journey. I'll be on the road to Bloomfield, IA for their guild program that evening and a workshop on Friday, then on to Cherokee, IA for workshop & program at Quilt 'n Kaboodle quilt shop. I'd love to see you there!

Check in tomorrow for a preview of the new Flannel Days fabric - it feels divine! We'll have fat quarter bundles on the website soon.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Snow Blooms Charming Thursday

Snow.... what a wonderful thing to conjure up this hot, hot July morning. I've been thinking about cold, snow and Christmas quite a bit lately - the new Christmas line I just submitted the first of the month, the 14 lb. box of vintage wrapping paper I bought on ebay as inspiration, and the gift for my Mom I finally found in the closet. I'm sure none of you have ever stashed a Christmas gift during the year and then couldn't find your excellent hiding spot again - or, just totally forgot about it. When I ran across this particular gift - a pair of metal leaf sconces to go with a painting in her living room - I took it directly to her house and helped her hang them up. It only makes sense - she has 6 more months to enjoy them, it's much less hectic now than at the holidays and I don't want to take the chance that the gift would be put away too well AGAIN. She was tickled and announced she loved Christmas in July. Just might start a tradition.

But I digress...snow, oh yes. Snow Blooms was inspired by a single tulip poking up thru the snow one Feb. after we'd had a week of very mild temperatures, then a snow storm. Yup, that's Kansas. Five prints, five colorways, fun collection.

With a limited number of squares in the charm pack, a mini trip around the world fit the bill.

Question of the day: When do you start decorating for Christmas and how long after do you keep your holiday theme going? Has your Christmas decorating changed over the years?

Comment here by Sunday night at 10pm CST for a chance to win the Snow Blooms charm pack - and maybe a little something extra I found hidden away.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Is it hot enough for ya?

Temps are hovering above 100 here in the heartland. Oppresive heat and humidity are forcing me to stay inside and sew instead of working in the yard. Not a bad thing, it's just starting to feel like cabin fever in Feb. all over again. I'm ready for a change of scenery. Thank goodness next week I'll be headed to Threads of Friendship Quilt Guild in Bloomfield, IA for a program (Thursday, July 28th) and a workshop on Friday. Then on to Cherokee, IA for a workshop/program at Quilt 'n Kaboodle Quilt Shop on Saturday. We'd love to see you there!

Aleece was checking out the blog comments and quilter's pictures over my shoulder and remarked "June must be a nice lady". I asked why she would think that and she responded, "Because she has Hello Kitty by her name."  That was random enough for me! Congrats to June for winning the BtoPII charm pack this week. I love the way that child's mind works.

Betty Lou asked in a recent comment if I would classify KT fabrics as reproductions. My understanding is that reproductions are designed to come as close to the original quilt with period colors and prints as possible. I have the luxury to choose vintage prints from any era, then  recolorize, resize, cut and paste and play with them as I please to get the look I want. I'm not locked into strict reproduction rules, I've just kinda developed the KT look over the years and try to stay true to what I love. Color is the biggest factor for me, but often, I start with a print that is just 2 colors and make it a multi-color or it might be a double pink or a funky acid green and make it any color I want. Small, even geometrics/dots and vine-y prints are my go-to favs for mix-ins once I find the right larger print for the feature piece. Having a theme helps, but often, the fabric leads me to the theme. I like to use stripes and prints with a strong line and turn them on the diagonal, too. They're easier to work with in a block. What are your favorite go-to prints? Do you start a quilt with a larger print or just collect randomly and pull from your stash? I'd love to hear how you "plan" a quilt.
Thanks to all of you for your support and comments over the past 20+ weeks of Charming Thursdays. Another Christmas line is up this week.
Til then, stay cool!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

B to P II Charming Thursday

For those of you that are not KT fanatics, BtoPII is Bound to the Prairie II, the follow-up to the original BtoP from last week's Charming Thursday. I'd love to bring back several of the prints in this collection for a KT Fav line someday. What do you think???

BtoPII was created as a companion line to BtoP for the BOM in the QJ series. (That's quilt-speak for block-of-the-month in the Quilter's Journal series - don't ya just love all the abbreviations? Kinda like being in the CIA, FBI, M-O-U-S-E). Together, these two fabric groups have just about everything I could want in a scrappy quilt - florals, stars, checks and tone-on-tones - perfect, if I do say so myself. Here's a project using a print charm pack, a plaid charm pack and a wool charm pack (Moda made 8 wools to match my fabric for the applique on the BtoP quilt), soon to be a single pattern.

Charming Churn Dash is already one of our new KT Classic Charms - it works well with most charm packs since there are always more darks than lights. And who doesn't need another table runner?

Leave a comment to win the BtoP charm pack by Sunday night at 10pm. Watch for the winner right here Monday morning.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Flannel Days - computer generated quilts

After messing with this for way longer than it should have taken, I finally got the Flannel Days cover to download - wahoo! Sometimes I'm so frustrated by all the technology, but it's also a lifesaver at times. Case in point - this quilt doesn't actually exist yet. I haven't received any of the fabrics from the Flannel Days collection, but the pattern is due NOW. What to do? Use fabric images scanned into the computer to make a digital quilt. It's not quite the same, but it definitely works in a pinch.

I'm intrigued by all the gadgets and whatnots that my kids can't live without and even purchased an iPad a few months ago. I really like having my life on the calendar and surfing for recipes, etc. but I don't really feel I'm utilizing it to it's capacity. What are some of your favorite apps? What do I need to learn to do on my iPad? Any suggestions out there, ladies?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bound to the Prairie Winner

Linda is the winner this week of the Bound to the Prairie charm pack (and no, unfortunately, the chest the wool candle mat is sitting on won't fit in a priority envelope :) ). Please email your mailing address to so we can send your winnings. I also need last week's winner's address - KathiP, are you out there?? Thanks, ladies.

Our new flannel fabric collection is finally ready! Flannel Days will be making it's way to quilt shops later this month. I can't wait to get my hands on some to make quilts for my kids. They all love my brushed plaids for casual lap quilts so it will be fun to add some prints to the mix this year. Since I haven't had any fabric to play with, the quilt for the pattern has been computer generated. I felt the design needed to be simple for fast and easy quilts that would be used and loved. Finishing up the pattern today - hope to finish a quilt soon after the UPS guy delivers the fabric!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bound to the Prairie Charming Thursday

I know, I know, it's not really Thursday, but after a round of really mean storms Wednesday night, our power, internet, TV, everything was blown out for the day. We have lights and A/C now, but still no TV/internet at the cabin which, of course, is where all my info for the this post was saved. Oh well, starting over never hurt anyone.

Our charm pack giveaway today is Bound to the Prairie, one of my all time fav KT fabric lines and the 6th in the Quilters Journal series. From Piecing the Trail to Kansas to Stitches on the Oregon Trail and Bound to the Prairie, it's been a great adventure for our quilter, Lily, and her family on the Kansas plains, homesteading in the mid-1800's. While reading actual journals, researching historical events and creating characters loosely based on family members, it's been quite a process for me as a quilter to make the stories come to life. All six of the QJ stories are in a book - now just $9.95 on our website. It doesn't include any quilt patterns but is an easy summer-by-the-pool (or A/C) read. Leave a comment by Sunday night to be eligible to win!

Monday, July 4, 2011

We made the cover!

Have you been introduced to the new Primitive Quilts magazine? It is beautifully done - really more like a quilt book - with lots of great projects 4 times a year. The premier issue blew me away so we're thrilled that my quilt made the cover of the 2nd issue - isn't the cat a happy accident? It will be on newsstands soon but you can also subscribe by going to their website at Absolutely worth it!

The winner of last Thursday's Winter Rose Charm Pack is........KathiP from Aurora, IL! Hope you enjoy your little piece of Christmas in July.

I'm off to pick up grankids - my daughter and several of the grankids will be coming and going all week. We're in charge of grilled corn-on-the-cob with jalepeno butter and dessert for the BBQ tonight. Better get movin'!

Have a safe and Happy 4th of July!