Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Taking a day to play

Congratulations to Alicia! You're the winner of the Holiday Medley scrap strips. I'm up to my neck in new Harvest Moon fabric for market, so I'll have to wait until the weekend to make some sense of this pile. Thanks for commenting and for your patience :).

Robert and I took a rare day to play on Saturday even though I should have been chained to my sewing machine, making quilts for market. It was such a beautiful day we couldn't help but play hookie. AFter seeing an advertisement on TV, we headed to Wichita to the annual Cowtown Museum Civil War Reenactment. The North and South soldiers had camps there, with authentic (looking) tents, clothing, cooking utensils and guns. There are about a dozen homes from local politicians and town fathers that are furnished in the period. Very cool, but very small. The downtown boasts a dozen businesses including the blacksmith, forging hooks that were for sale at the General Store,

 and a dressmaker's shoppe with calicos for 8 1/2 cents a yard - oh my!

 The general store had a wonderful array of bottles and tins, dishes and dry goods. Many were reproductions, but well done and interesting.
 The tailor's shop had "Fine Men's suits for $12 each" and displayed some cool wooden templates...
 The funeral parlor boasted a "try-it-for-size coffin". I think Robert fits pretty well.
 A charming horsewoman dressed in red stopped to let her ride graze while she explained her role in the community of Mayor's wife. All the people in period dress were so knowledgeable and gracious. I kept wishing I'd brought a couple of the grankids that are studying American history. Maybe next year.
 After lunch at the saloon (a little disappointed in the hot dogs and chips, but the sasparilla was good), the reenactment of a civil war battle commenced in an open field next to a home set in the south. It was a bit disconcerting to me that the battle was won by the South. Hmmm.....
 Right next to us was a real live cowboy, cheering on the Southern soldiers and helping out with his own six-shooter. His parents kept asking him to sit down and be quiet, but he was half the entertainment!

We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering thru garden stores and antique shops, inspired by all the wonderful vintage items in the living museum town. When we arrived back in Salina, we had about 2 hours to waste before going to see a movie (the last ones I saw were The Lorax and Kung Fu Panda II). We picked up some food at the drive thru and proceeded to the park to watch the geese and take a stroll. To our delight, it was prom night and dozens of young people were dressed in their finest, taking pictures at the gazebo and by the duck pond. We had a blast just watching them and remembering our own high school dances. Finally, we went to see The Hunger Games. I've been waiting for a free night since it came out weeks ago. I listened to the entire trilogy on my trip to WI last month and was totally and completely hooked. We seldom go to the theatre anymore, but I wanted to see if it lived up to the books. I liked it, but Robert was a bit lost in parts since he hadn't read it yet. I think that's just the nature of making books into movies. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but not if the character is thinking 2 pages worth of thoughts in one glance. All in all, a very nice day out with my best buddy.

Now back to business. This week's giveaway is (2) Holiday Medley Mini Charms (2 1/2" square). Comment here by Monday night and we'll see you next Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More Christmas on the way

Brenda (Bjeanand@gmail.com) is our winner this week of the Holiday Medley charm pack & pattern. Please send your mailing address, then sit back and relax until the fabric actually ships in about 6 weeks. This week, we'll be rolling up the scrap strips of Holiday Medley from Moda - about 2 Jelly Roll's worth in each. Comment here for a shot at winning one! Wow, think of how many Twinkly stars you could get out of that!

I had a great time visiting with Pat Sloan yesterday afternoon on APQ radio. Still haven't gotten up the nerve to listen to myself (don't you just hate the sound of your own voice?) but felt pretty good about not sticking my foot in my mouth too badly. She definitely makes it easy for her guests. Looking forward to visiting with her at market and again in June at the Vermont Quilt Festival. I'll be teaching 5 classes in 4 days the last weekend in June. If you in the area, I'd love to meet you!

Tomorrow I'm headed to Creston, Iowa to teach a class and share my quilts at their guild meeting on Thursday evening. I love to show how easy and satifying my raw edge applique method is, turning intricate-looking piecing or curved seams into simply stitched pieces. Most quilters can't believe how quickly a block can go together. It's fun for those of us who love to see a project come together in a flash, especially for quilts you plan to use daily or give as gifts. No guilt, no worries. I'd love to come visit your local quilt guild and share my passion for quilts, too. Email or call me for more information.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Don't Forget!

Please join us Monday, April 16 for APQ's  radio talk show with host Pat Sloan. I'm a little nervous since I tend to say whatever comes to mind and you can't take back "Oh crap!" on the radio! Hope you'll all be listening, or at least saying a little prayer that I don't embarass myself too much. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stay tuned...

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend. We celebrated 3 birthdays - my grandson, son-in-law and Dad's with food, games, egg hunts, alot of laughter and several cakes. I'm not stepping foot on the scales for a month!

Please join me next Monday afternoon on APQ radio with host Pat Sloan (4pm CST). Although the whole point is that she'll be interviewing me, Pat is joining Moda as a fabric designer this spring, so I'm excited to get to know her better. See you on the radio!

The winner of our new Merry, Wish, Joy pattern featuring the Holiday Medley KT fabric by Moda is.... Barbara (#62 comment). Congratulations and thanks for playing. I enjoyed reading all the comments about your personal Christmas decorating favorites - lots of snowmen in the mix plus Santas and homemade items. Since we only spend one day at the KT building for Christmas, usually Christmas Eve Eve (Dec. 23rd) or the weekend before, I've gotten away from decorating every square inch of the 2500 sq. ft. Instead of dozens of Santas, several Nativities and loads of ornaments on a 10' or taller tree, we hang/drape/throw Christmas quilts everywhere, set out a few special Santas, 1 Nativity and a couple of my kids favorites from their childhood - a papier mache Santa, a snow globe and a bell that plays Christmas music, to name a few. Our tree is a small 4' primitive one that stays decorated all year. We sit it up on a round coffee table with a tree skirt, heap on the presents and the grankids think it's 10 feet tall! At the cabin where we actually live day in and day out, I bring a few special Christmas items, but fill in alot with natural elements from the yard and everyday items like metal birds, vintage kitchen graters with candles and a Norfolk pine with a few paper ornaments from the kids. Very simple but it keeps me in the spirit without feeling overwhelmed about decorating.

Our giveaway this week is for the Holiday Medley charm pack & pattern, Twinkly Stars (you'll just need to wait a while until the precuts are delivered in late May). I love friendship stars but thought the tiny 1" finished squares might be a pain to piece and lay flat. By raw edge stitching a triangle on the end of 4 rectangles, then sewing them around the center square for each star, it eliminates alot of seams, adds a primitive touch of frayed edge dimension and simplifies the whole process.

Just one charm pack and a couple additional fabrics is all you need to add this bright spot to your holiday decorating scheme. It's easy enough to make several for gifts! Available on our website soon.

See you all next week,

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's Christmas!

After getting another bug exterminated on my computer, I'm so far behind I thought it was only April, but it's looking alot like Christmas around here! Last week (whenever) I showed a block I'm using for my daughter's 30th birthday quilt. I got about half of the blocks sewn up at Pam's (Buda of Heartspun Quilts) while retreating so the rest just need to be done this summer so I can give it to her before she turns 31 (hey, she'll be 30 all year). The inspiration for the block came from my new quilt, Merry, Wish, Joy featuring Holiday Medley, the new KT Christmas line, due in quilt shops in June. Get a sneak peek now on the KT website under Fabric/Fabric Collections or thru the link above. 
The double star block is created just like the one in the previous blog post - a simple 9-patch background with triangles and squares (cut on the bias) raw edge stitched on top, then the 9-patch is sewn together as usual. It makes an intricate looking block without any stress or hassle and is big on primitive charm. This takes a fat 1/8 bundle of the new fabric collection plus sashing and borders. The Merry, Wish, Joy applique in the borders is inspired by the sashing fabric that has holiday words and phrases. There's also a 3-block runner that goes together so quickly, it would make great gifts. Too fun!

Comment here about your favorite Christmas decorating scheme by next Monday night (oh, btw, I'm switching to posting on Tuesdays for the giveaways) and I'll announce the winner of a free Merry, Wish, Joy pattern via random number generator on Tuesday. Watch all month for more Christmas-themed giveaways - fabric, charms, patterns and more!