Monday, February 28, 2011

Banner Winner for February, end of month giveaway ...and yes by golly a brand NEW LOOK!

The time has come to say goodbye to our February 
Banner to Laura and Cori, Rae Anne
and Alette and Caroll. thank you for the heart you put
into your quilts for our very RED month. 

There is always one quilt that I choose to blend
with the others and this month of February
the winner is Laura. It was your shades of red that allowed
me to pick the others..thank you!
  A special package will be on its way to you..
Some Martingale design  books and a Layer Cake from 
Moda along with some patterns from Carrie Nelson
fame... Schnibbles...

Congrats to you all as in my book you are all winners..
You made our February banner indeed heart felt...

And now for a SNEAK PEAK...

MARCH BANNER Winners at 
Sew We Quilt at Stash Manicure

I did not receive as many GREEN quilts as I did RED ones
last month..but the amount was still impressive. Out  of 346
shades of green quilts...I chose 4...There were sew many hues
I ended up settling on olive greens...
Together they look fresh and clean...
( I have no idea when I am creating the banner who's quilt
is who's until I complete the look)
This often takes me a couple of days to settle on the look
than I create a new banner and text font...
I like this one? Don't you?

To all those who contributed their beautiful green quilts...
Thank you Thank Thank you ...
YOU all inspired me to think GREEN..
for future designs....
* next month it is YELLOWS, sew send me some 
when you are ready...

* their stories will be shared tomorrow...

For now, let me introduce them as their first names...
You may recognize them already...

Let's begin with ..

Now Sarah, hers top left..
What I loved about it, well everything..
it is fun, whimsical, colorful, sultry, had
lot's of depth..
A great way to showcase scraps...

Top center left is Beatrice
The right bit of green to pull up all the
colors, tied in nicely.
her overall design in amazing..
And I know you will all agree
that hint of yellow just enough to punch out
our banner...


Center right is Cristin
Another great scrap quilt..
Cristin is what I would call a modern
quilters...her use of grey as her background
gave it a lot of impact. Modern, captivating
filled with her signature....Way to go!

  Far right is Stacey
Her use of color, white background, amazing border choice
her circle blocks look like they are spinning on her quilt..
lot's of movement, very unique as she is...

 Thanks ladies of our March Banner..
you may take your bow...

And tomorrow...our giveaway for Jill's fabric
Winner will be announced. with the intro of our banner winner stories
behind their quilts...

"What do you think green your color?
IF NOT what is?
What would you like to see for future months 
in color design..?
April will be YELLOW.
May is COIN quilts in Bright Colors
June in Lavenders and Purples...
What  color would you like to see NEXT?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

If it is Sunday it is REST day! PERIOD! lol

OH -OH, my comment is not working..
now that is a
( oscars tonight)

( you will note photo/pics are not showing up on your blogs..
blogger is aware of this..another little glitch...
it is not YOU....) 
Thought you would like to know...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

UFOs, Letting Go of Guilt and Discovering Connections to the Past

Hi, I'm Terri from UFOs and UBIs, and I don't have any tips on how to reduce your stash or a great pattern, but hopefully I can give you some insight into dealing with your UFOs (UnFinished Objects).   Recently I was lucky enough to gain a crafty room, so I did an inventory of my UFOs.

These are the ones I came up with in the first go-around - I count 18 in this picture alone! And I know there are some more hiding somewhere!

The blue and red one on the far left-hand side is my oldest UFO.  It dates back to 1978, when I took my first quilting class at the local community college.  It is made from assorted calicos and poly-cotton blend solids. The teacher was a diehard traditionalist and led me to believe that it could only be quilted on a large frame.  That led to it being put aside, not having the room or the money for a frame, even though all the blocks were finished.

There are several kits as my local quilt shop does a lovely job of putting them together, I just never seem to get to them!  And my newest project is in there too, a mystery quilt from the magazine Vignette by Leanne Beasley.

But I come by this trait to accumulate UFOs honestly.  Check out these ones:

These belonged to my grandmother!  They are all hand-pieced and the fans were completely assembled, folded in the box. 

 I believe they date to the 1940s, based on the fabrics used.  This Snow White print is one of my favourites:

My mother wasn't a quilter (she sewed clothing) but she inherited these two projects.  At some point in the 1990s, she whipstitched the Dresden Plates onto a yellow poly-cotton blend.  Again the family trait raised its ugly head and we now have a 3-generation UFO!  I'm determined to finish it this year by adding a solid circle to the centres of the plates, some simple sashing and simple quilting (and maybe I'll get my daughters to help with the quilting to make it a 4-generation quilt).  So future quilt historians aren't confused, I'll be sure to put a label on this one as the fabrics will span a 70-year period!

Here is the second project.  I'm not sure what pattern this is, but it is interesting to see how my grandmother constructed it.  She started with the centre square, then added a 2" square on each side, and then added the next "ring" of squares. Here's a closeup of how she did it.

It seems so foreign to me, who learned chain piecing and assembly by rows.

I have a number of blocks, all in various stages of construction and I'm debating not completing the quilt, but having it framed to show all the various stages.  I think it would make a great piece of art!

Having these UFOs/projects in my possession has given me a new insight into the past and my own habits and a wonderful connection with my grandmother and my mother.  It has also given me an opportunity to revel in my own UFOs and not feel guilty about having one or two left undone (although 18+ is too many).   I love handling the fabrics, imagining my mom and grandma working with them and wondering if my grandma ever did finish a quilt, as I don't have any and don't remember seeing any.

So how do I plan to deal with my UFOs and let go of my guilt? 

As I'm organizing them, I'm bundling them in a package, making sure it is complete with the pattern and some notes about when I bought the fabric, pattern and who I plan to make it for.

I started a blog to keep myself accountable and add a list to prioritize my UFOs, and that has led to completing 3 this year already!  Here is a picture of my latest completed flimsy (for a new baby granddaughter due to arrive in June):

And I don't let myself start a new project without completing an old one.  This means I can still play without getting bored, which I can easily do.

The best part about finishing some UFOs?  I can add the leftover fabric to the stash, and start all over again!  So dig out those UFOs, add some notes to them for future generations to enjoy, just in case you don't get to them and leave the guilt behind.  And if you get some done, share them for all to enjoy

I have a giveaway!~

Leave me a comment here on Stash, and then come on over and  visit me here.
become my follower ... and you can win this...
Book Marie Osmond's.. Heartfelt Giving...

( Madame Samm did this review)

Good Luck everyone and thank you for having me Madame Samm and all of you
who visit Stash. It was indeed my pleasure.
Terri in BC

congrats. Terri, 
chose the lucky winner of this great book...

#25 is Laura from Quilting Fun

Marie Osmond has heart and she pours herself into this delightful book of sewing projects. From aprons to pillows, to doll quilts and tween quilts, she has something for everyone. Her patterns are all included in a pretty pink envelope, her designs are tasteful

and well illustrated. Her customized ruffled shower curtain is a must for all those who are looking for a feminine bathroom. If you can sew a straight line you will be able to stitch this up in a day, add some coordinated bath towels and you will end up with a one of kind look that will become your favorite room in your house. This is a must read and one you will want to own if you are looking for multiple projects for all ages. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

End of Month Giveaway with Jillily Studios...oh yes..!

If you don't know about Mrs Jill Finley, make
it your business to visit her today..
Take a peak here at her new designs..
 Yes this one? 
Isn't she sew nice to end our month on such a fine giveaway..
Yes I think sew too!
She is one designer who has crisp bright fabrics, 
and I just purchased a magazine that she was in 
about a pattern of houses...

What was the magazine called and the name of her pattern????
Tell me, tell me who?

If you like it, and I, YOU, WE... sure do!
I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv it...
( why can't I just keep it )
Can I enter in my own giveaway? 
Can I ? NO...ok. here is the scoop.

Be a follower for goodness sake, that is easy..
And second tell me tell me what
and you know that other question I posed in this post...
Those who do will be in the draw for these..

A great big daisy name tag for you Jill..
just copy and save as png file...

Giveaway end of month....
Good Luck everyone...
love this fabric....just love it...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Scrap Busting Quilt

Pieced Border Scrap Quilt

Good morning to all of Madame Samm's blog readers.  My name is Rita (Red Pepper Quilts) ~ I love all things fabric, but making quilts is definitely my favorite pastime.  A big thank you to Madame Samm for the invitation to share with you today one of my favorite tutorials:  The Pieced Scrap Border Quilt.

Scrap Happy Quilt Top

The Pieced Scrap Border Quilt is made from two square blocks that alternate.  One block is a pieced block and the other is a solid block (white).  The pieced block is no more than a square center that has been given a pieced border.

What follows is a step by step tutorial to make your own Pieced Scrap Border Quilt, a great scrap buster project.  This quilt is suitable for beginner quilters; it involves rotary cutting, straight line sewing and strip piecing which will speed up the whole process.

You will need a total of 1.5 yards of solid fabric to make the number of blocks required for this quilt and a whole bunch of scrap fabric.


From cotton scrap fabric rotary cut pieces measuring 1 1/2 inches wide by 5 1/2 inches long.  For a great overall scrappy look I would suggest you might need 20 plus different fabrics in a range of bright colors.  You will need a total of 224 strips.


Using a 1/4 inch foot, sew together strips into sets of 3 and 5 strip blocks as shown above.  Mix colors/fabrics together at random.  You will need 28 sets of each strips set.  That is 28  5-strip and 28 3-strip sets.  Press seams to one side.  The only seams that are important in terms of direction are the outer seams of the 5 strip set - press in towards the center of the block.  This will become obvious when sewing the block together.


Cross-cut each strip set at 1 1/2 inch intervals. Discard the remainder.  You should easily be able to cross-cut in to three separate pieced strips.   You will now have a total of 84  strips of each pieced strip.


Cut a 3 1/2 inch center square from a solid fabric*.  I have used Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in white.


Sew two of the small strips to each side of the center square as shown in this picture.  Easy!  Press seams out towards the printed fabrics.


Sew the longer (5 pieced strips) to the remaining sides of the center square.  Press seams out towards the colored fabrics once again.  This ensures that no seams are visible in the white solid center square of the block.  And your pieced scrap border block is finished.  The finished block should now measure 5 1/2 inches, which includes your seam allowances.

You will have enough strips to complete 41 pieced blocks.

Once you have pieced 41 blocks you will need to cut  40 squares from a solid fabric each measuring 5 1/2 inches. A total of 81 blocks are required to make this quilt as pictured. 41 pieced blocks and 40 solid blocks.


Lay out your blocks according to the finished quilt as above.  I ensured that each outer corner of the quilt has a pieced block rather than a solid white block. Sew blocks in each row together.  Then sew rows together.  The finished quilt top will measure 45.5  inches x 45.5  inches.

I have quilted this quilt with my favorite and preferred style of straight line quilting.  I  first outlined all the blocks by stitching just 1/4 of an inch on either side of the block seams.  I then cross-hatched through all of the blocks.

For binding I have used one of my favorite binding fabrics by Marcus Brothers.  This is Aunt Grace - Polka Dots in blue by Judi Rothermel.   I machine stitch the binding for all of my quilts ~ you can find a tutorial for machine stitching the binding here.

Be sure to add your projects the Red Pepper Quilts Flickr Group where you'll find numerous fun quilts made using this tutorial:

Baby quilt #2 - making progress
by Andrea

Thank you again to Madame Samm for having me and I do hope that you use up some of your scrap fabric to make this quilt.    If you've enjoyed this guest post be sure to head over to my blog ~ Red Pepper Quilts ~ where you will see much more of my quilt making journey.

Happy Stitching!
Red Pepper Quilts

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Celebrate Quilts from the Past

I  love making small quilts with an antique look and a touch of history and, if you follow my blog, you probably do too. I'm Kathleen Tracy, The Sentimental Quilter, and Madame Samm has kindly asked me to be a guest blogger today. I'm a quilt designer and author with Martingale & Co. (That Patchwork Place).

I love reproduction fabrics and small quilts and there's a mix of both in my books. Quilts come in all sizes and I'm happy that so many quilters today are recognizing that small quilts are SO much fun to make - you can actually crank them out pretty quickly in between the large ones. I sometmes like to experiment with quilt blocks, colors or styles in my small quilts before I try them in a larger quilt.

Making quilts - large or small - with reproduction fabrics and traditional blocks is a great way for quilters to celebrate the past. Many of you know that this year is the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War - marking 150 years since the attack on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. My new book, The Civil War Sewing Circle, focuses on the impact that ordinary women had on the war through their sewing circles.

There's a small quilt in this book that is dear to my heart - the little one made with hexagons that's on the cover. I love love love hexagons and for awhile they were all the rage in Blogland. Every quilter and her cousin was making these cute little hexagon flowers using the English Paper Piecing technique.

Even though the hexagon quilts we are most familiar with today were called Grandmother's Flower Garden quilts from the 1930s, hexagon quilts were actually very popular during the 19th century too and they were often called Mosaic or Honeycomb quilts.  Here's an antique crib quilt that was made in 1850 using hexagons. Isn't it lovely??

I was really inspired by it when I made my own little hexagon quilt for The Civil War Sewing Circle. Unfortunately, while I was in the middle of making the 16 quilts/projects for the book, not to mention writing all of the delightful text, I realized I did NOT have time to make a big one by hand and so I took the shortcut and appliqued the "flowers" onto dark background squares to make it go a little faster and still make my deadline. I have quite a few hexagon flowers left over -  they were so much fun to make I just kept going. Perhaps someday I'll have time to put them together into a larger quilt too!

Here's how I did it. I used printable hexagons generated by this website to make mine and set each to come out at .60. Print them out on cardstock so you can use them over and over. There are also places that sell pre-cut paper hexagons but I couldn't find the size I was looking for and so this worked better for me for a smaller quilt.

Cut out the cardstock pieces and place on the wrong side of a 2-inch scrap square.

Cut out the shape and trim to a generous 1/4" all around. Fold over the edges one at a time and baste. I like to punch a hole in the center of the paper and use a small pin to hold the fabric in place and also to make it easier to pull out the paper later.

Then whipstitch six of them around a center hexagon, one side at a time, leaving the connecting side pieces or "spokes"  for last.

Take out the papers, applique the flowers onto background squares, or whipstitch them together one at a time to make the whole quilt by hand. Maybe that's what I'll do next time for a real antique-looking quilt.

It looks harder than it is but I know you can do this! Remember, just take it ONE hexagon at a time, LOL. I'm telling you, once you start, you can't stop . . . Even though my little quilt is finished I still like to pick up some scraps and make a few hexagons every now and then - it's so relaxing. Maybe I WILL make a bigger one someday.

editors note...I did a review of Kathy's book for Martingale....thought I would include it of my fav sew far...

The Civil War Sewing Circle is reflective of an author who praises women of our past.
Kathleen Tracy introduces Adelia to us, a lady who was part of a sewing circle during the Civil war. Her desire to seek more directs us to unique designs of quilts that were made for the service men of that day. As you turn each page you can’t help but be drawn in to the words that spill upon your heart; the color that mirrors the souls of days gone by. You are moved by the hardship they had experienced. What was truly a necessity of that era, you come to understand their sense of loss; as well as the comfort that was shared by the quilters and the recipients alike.  Be it quilt designs or letter pockets; you put this book down you and you find such appreciation for the author and for being a woman who holds a thread in needle in hand. This book is certainly a treasure that touches more than your heart, it touches your soul.  I know ….whew! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Author! Author! Read All About it!

Hey Gang!  Glad to be back as your Post-er-du-Jour!  I'm Nan from Pots and Pins, where I daily regurgitate my life with the mister, it ain't pretty but so far no one has been able to stop me!

Today I want to answer one of the questions I am asked most often, and no, it's not, "Why did you marry the mister?"  Believe me, there is NO answer for that, as it's still a mystery to me!  And no, it's not, "Does the mister read your blog?" if he can read!   No, the question I am asked over and over again is this:  How did you get published?  As in, seriously?  You wrote a book?  Truly, you?  You're an author?  Well, as shocking as it may seem, it is true.  I'll give you a minute to regain your composure - take all the time you need.  Actually, I have written dozens of books, although only a few have been published.  I know there are many of you who have a book inside you just screaming to get out!  So today, I'm going to tell you the secret to getting published!
Are you ready?  Here goes...the secret to getting published is...there is no secret!  There's a Publisher for EVERY book!  It true!  Think about the last time you were in a book store or the library, shelf after crammed shelf full of crap...can I say that?   Books on subjects that no one in their right mind would buy!  Books about people not in their right mind - how do they know?!  Books about dirt, glitter, celebrities, parties, cooking, cars, trucks, children, parents, aging, botox, knitting, shaving, toe-nails (yes!  There is a toe-nail book!) There is a book for anything and everything you can think of, and of course, books about quilting.  Here's the thing...when I tell you there is a publisher for every book, I'm telling you the truth!  If you want to be published the trick is just to find the right publisher!

Writing the book is the easy part!  After that comes the work - the work of finding just the right publisher for you.  It helps if you have a copy of Writer's Market.  It's a big fat book filled with every publishing company in the country, along with the requirements each company has for submitting manuscripts and who to submit them to.  Read it and do exactly as it says.  It will become your bible - your best friend - your worst nightmare!  Oh wait, that's just me!  Every year a new edition of this book is released, with updated information.  This is what you need to find YOUR publisher.  And when you get one reject postcard (not even a letter!) after another in the mail, you'll be tempted to throw the book into the trash, but don't!  Just keep going, there IS a publisher out there for you!  And if you doubt me, then get yourself back down to the book store and look at all the crap that get's published!!!  Surely YOUR book is better than that!?!

Getting discouraged is part of the game...the game of writing.  Just know that.  But staying discouraged is not.  You've got to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and send out one more manuscript!  If it were easy everyone would be an author!  If it were easy all two dozen of my books would be in print, atop my mantel, where I would dust and worship them daily!  But it takes time - time to write and rewrite, then delete and start over!  Then it takes time to make copies and mail the manuscript and even more time waiting to hear back.   Eventually you're going to get a phone call ... someone on the other end of the line is going to say, "We want to publish your book!"  And you're going to scream and jump up and down and then you'll say, "Who is this?  Samm?  Is this you?  Is this some kind of joke?  This is SO not funny!  Who?  What?  Really?  Are you sure?"  Yep,  it will probably go something like that - you'll be filled with disbelief because after months and months of sending out manuscripts, spending a small fortune on postage, you'll hear someone tell you they LIKE what you wrote and they want to send you a contract!  It's mind-blowing!  And I've only written little things!  I can only imagine what it must be like to get a BIG book deal!  And I do - I do imagine it - and if you are a writer and want to be published, you should, too!

I'm certainly not an expert in the publishing arena; I have only had a little bit of success. Just enough to spur me on!  And that's what I want to do today - spur YOU on!  If you've got an idea for a book, get it on paper and get to work on finding a publisher - and then let us all know so we can buy your book!  To help you get started, I'm giving away a copy of the 2011 Writer's Market for one lucky wanna-be-writer who leaves me a comment here AND on My Blog.

So click on over to Pots and Pins and leave me a comment - thanks to Madame Samm, who told me leaving a comment on my blog was a bit of a chore, I have fixed that little problem and it should be easy as pie...oh, speaking of pie, you'll love the recipe I've posted today, although it's not pie - it's equally as good!

While you're doing that I'll be stuffing my mailbox with another batch of manuscripts hot off the presses/printer...I'm just one phone call away from hearing those magic words..."We want to publish your book!"

Thanks again Samm! Until next time, happy reading, writing, (cooking, baking, eating!)  and quilting!  xoxo, Nan