Falling Off the Wagon, Again….

A couple weeks ago I said that I was done sewing Halloween quilts for this year. Then last week I made another one. Then I fell off the wagon again and made one more. This quilt began innocently enough with a yard of Alexander Henry’s Ghastlie Garden (This is the flower print on the top of the quilt). It isn’t really Halloween because it’s just gray and flowers, right? But I wanted more and I happened to have some of this really cool Ghastlie Grounds print which has interesting rows of ghastlie pictures, Sebastian the cat, and gothic garden stuff. Since flowers grow in gardens and the fabrics went together so well, I just had to make yet another ghastlie quilt. So here it is:

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Here is a detail of part of the bottom of the quilt with a handmade black fringe:

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I make no more guarantees that I’m done with Halloween until November, then I’ll be done. The quilt is available in the shop, here

Witch Says Halloween Best: Bats, Jack O’Lanterns, Spiders or Crescent Moons?

This is my last week designing and creating Halloween quilts for 2014. Because the quilts and patterns have to be in the shop for sale well before the holiday, I have to make and market items wayyy before the season. I shouldn’t complain because the lag time for merchandise in the olden days (a few years ago) was 3 – 6 months. Now, I can have a new item for sale the same day I make it. The time I need to allow for now is about 1- 2 months. This gives buyers a chance to browse, decide, purchase, receive, and enjoy the product for a couple of  weeks leading up to the holiday.

So since this is almost the end of my Halloween sewing time, I am cramming in as much as I can and working like crazy to get some of my ideas into fabric. Here is a photo of some mini quilts/ table toppers for sale in the shop:

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Would anyone like a pattern for these? I’m considering writing a pattern that would include all of the table toppers. If you are interested, let me know and I’ll make time to create it. Here is the link to the most popular mini quilt.

Linking up to Do Tell Tuesday.

Renovations Completed on the Haunted House Quilt

If you are considering a new renovation project, I highly recommend choosing a haunted house. Imagine the satisfaction of taking a sledgehammer to an old wall, and then not even having to rebuild it! So I was able to fling off roof shingles, bar up windows, post dilapidated warning signs, and bring in undesirable neighbors– and the house looks even better, even more haunted.

Here is the new haunted house:

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And a detail of my favorite part, the cemetery with an eerie tree:

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The quilt is available in the shop here

Want to build your own haunted house? The pattern is available, and it is detailed! 38 pages of instructions and full size pattern pieces, including an extra full page of optional Halloween appliques to customize your house. A beginner or experienced sewist will enjoy this project. Here is the link to the download pattern

You’re Never Too Old to Play

When I was a little girl we lived in the country. I had many long summer days with lots of time. I loved to read books and play with dolls. Now that I’m very grown up, I still love to read and play with dolls. Of course, I’m much more sophisticated these days, hehe, so I design dolls as my way of playing with them. I really love my job!

Here’s some of my summer doll creations:

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The patterns for all these friends are available here in the shop.

Easy as a Charm Quilt

We live in exciting times. For many of us, the daily rhythms of our lives are subtly changing almost daily. How often do you go shopping in the mall today versus a year ago? 5 years ago?  One of the big changes in my life over the last few years is buying fabric online. What a world of possibilities! It’s not just the variety of fabric that I can find, but also the way I can explore what is out there, find styles that appeal to me, learn about the designers, study the trends, make new connections with shops far away in physical distance but close to me in aesthetics.

I’m also thrilled to explore the new precut fabric available. My current love is charm packs. I love the way you can get 42 pieces of a complete design collection, cut in perfect 5 inch squares for under $10.00.  Here are a couple of the quilts I’ve made lately from charm packs. They may look different. but the pattern is the same.

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The quilts are for sale in my shop here The pattern, Easy as a Charm Quilt,  I’m still working on, but it should be available in the shop by August.

Have Some Red, White and Blue Sewing Fun!

Celebrate Independence Day with a red, white and blue pinwheel quilt. The pinwheel is made with a unique 3 dimensional pattern that is both striking in appearance and easy to create, even for a beginner. What I love best about this quilt is the texture– the pinwheel seems to pop out of the quilt– maybe it wants to be a real pinwheel.

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The quilt and pattern are available in the shop, here

Second Star to the Right and Straight on ‘Till Morning

When my grandmother got confused and frustrated sometimes she would say, “It’s so convoluted!!”. Usually things went downhill from there into more colorful language, but I still understood the sentiment. Something that should be straightforward in design and application was twisted instead. Quilts often fall into this category. In an effort to make a better quilt, we just make a more convoluted one instead.

Here is a pattern that is new yet seems very familiar in it’s design. It’s a simple patchwork quilt, updated to work well with precut fabric in a “fat quarter” size.

 

 

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The pattern is called “Easy Peasy Fat Quarter Baby Quilt” and it is available in the shop here. The quilts in the picture are also available for sale here.

 

The Three Most Important Design Elements in a Quilt Pattern

I believe that all great quilt designs should be clear, easy to follow, and efficient in both use of material and use of time. I want everyone who buys one of my patterns to actually make the quilt, start to finish, in a short period of time. So all my patterns have complete directions all the way to “wrap quilt around recipient”. The pattern never ends with “layer, quilt as desired and bind” — to me that means you will have an unfinished quilt top to leave to your heirs.

Every pattern also has to be clear. If you stop because you don’t understand the next step, your project may be gathering dust for years. So numbered, detailed instructions with lots of photos and email support free from me is included with every pattern.

Another important ingredient to a great pattern is efficient use of materials. And that brings me to this week’s project. I had some fat quarters in this great pattern called Indian Summer. There were teepees on one of the prints and their triangle shape inspired me to make a saw toothed edged baby quilt. When I finished the quilt, I had lots of leftover triangles, so in the interest of efficient use of materials, I designed a bunting to use the triangles. Then, because I was on a roll of inspiration and had 4 corners of leftover fabric, I designed coasters to match.

Here is the result:

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The completed set is available in the shop here, the pattern is in the works.

Simple Pleasures

Sometimes the small pleasures in life are the most satisfying. Watching a butterfly skim past your window, feeling the sun on your face, returning a wave from a neighbor, all tiny bits of a happy life. Here is another sweet bit of happiness: a perfect pair of pot holders. One for each hand, soft yet sturdy, with a simple applique design or just a bit of quilting. Brand new ones to replace those old worn out ones, and yes, you have to throw the old ones out. Then when you open the drawer and see those pretty new pot holders waiting for you, a bit of pleasant satisfaction comes along, too.

Here are some of the perfect pot holders available in my shop, handmade, patterned from perfect pot holders my mom made me years ago:

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These pot holders and lots more are available in my shop here.

If you want a larger dose of pleasure, most of the pot holders have matching tea towels available, too 🙂

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow?

When I saw this panel it was love at first sight. A sweet little girl surrounded by animal friends and flowers and butterflies. All in spring shades of pink, gray and blue. The hexagons on the top and bottom are part of the panel. All that I added was side borders to widen the quilt, batting and backing. The borders were added in a rag style so the seams are ruffled. There is no binding, the edges also have a ruffled rag finish.

Garden Girl is the perfect spring baby quilt. The center panel is a designer print by Tea and Sympathy for Studio E Fabrics . The side borders are a striped print.

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The quilt, “Garden Girl”, is available in my shop here.