A Christmas Card in Quilt Form

Imagine spending Christmas in the peace and quiet of the country. You are in the fresh air, with good company, a roaring fire, and a bright star overhead. A hammock swings gently in the evening breeze. A lantern lights the words in your favorite book. If only life were so easy!

Here is a Christmas card from the Campground, in quilt form, to make and hang in your home.

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The pattern should be ready by next week and available at Maryland Quilter.

Growing and Changing, Hopefully For the Better

Last year around this time I renovated a haunted house quilt. This year, I’m remaking another quilt, Christmas in the Campground.  Here is the original quilt, designed in 2011:

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A few weeks ago I decided to make a pattern of the quilt to sell in my shop. I thought it would be an easy project. The quilt was already made, writing the pattern should be a snap. I’ll just make another version of the first one, taking pictures and writing the pattern as I go.  But then, as I looked at the quilt, ideas came to me. I thought, what if I just did this, added this, changed this, moved this, took out this, and pretty soon I had a completely renovated Campground quilt. It is taking me weeks instead of a couple days to complete and I’m not done yet.

Here is the new 2015 version of Christmas at the Campground, in progress:

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Here is a detail:

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I hope to have the quilt and pattern done by next week.

Stop and Smell the Flowers

Living here in Maryland the weather is often exasperating.  Like Goldilocks’ porridge, the weather is either too hot or too cold. If the temperature is okay, then it is windy or rainy or just cloudy. Then there are those few days that are amazing. Perfect humidity, clear skies, chirping birds. You want to tell nature, “You got it right, now don’t stop”.  Alas, nature has it’s own agenda.

So,  what  can a person do? I have decided to forget about the weather. I will instead enjoy the flowers. They are more predictably beautiful. In fact, if you create your own fabric flower garden it will bloom in perpetuity.  Here is a flower quilt to enjoy every day, regardless of the weather.

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The quilt has been sold, but the pattern is available at Maryland Quilter.

Do You Know Where You’re Going Next?

Sometimes I look too closely at the individual stitches in a quilt and forget to consider the design I’m creating. A good quilter keeps her eye on the details but always considers the entire tapestry. That’s not bad advice for living life, either. I don’t want the consideration of small tasks to keep me from seeing the big world around me.

Do you want help remembering the big world?  Here is a quilt to remind you to look at the world from a bigger perspective:

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The mini quilt will fit on a counter top or hang on a wall. The completed quilt is available here The pattern  is available here.

I am like a turtle overjoyed with the new spring weather!

Spring is breaking out here in Maryland. The leaves are unfurling so fast, I think I can almost hear them if I listen closely.  All of nature seems to have jumped out of winter’s sleepy bed and  into spring’s lively exercise. I am so inspired that I, too, will rush from my cozy sewing room where I quilt all winter. I will run (slowly) to my lovely rocking chair on the porch, where I will quilt all summer.  Hey, it may not sound exciting, but I am like a turtle overjoyed with the new spring weather.

Do you want to feel like a tree growing it’s spring leaves?  When you sew these, your own leaves can take form while the real ones around you open up. So you will feel even more a part of nature!

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This pattern is called Elizabeth’s Tree. I named it for my daughter, who loves to sit under trees and read books. Here is the pattern available in my shop.  

So Many Snowmen

Every year in November I design a new Christmas ornament. One year it was redbirds, last year was Beta fighting fish. This year’s ornament was suggested by my daughter, Evelyn. She wanted a snowman. She was probably thinking of Olaf, but I was thinking traditional.

I love making the ornaments in batches. Making so many allows me to streamline the pattern, improve it, and experiment, too.

So here is the Maryland Quilter 2014 ornament:

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If you want one, buy any item in the shop and mention “snowman ornament” in the comment section at checkout. I’ll include one in your order through December 20, 2014.

Fear Is a Liar

It’s bitter cold this morning in Maryland, wayyyy below average. I looked out my window and the birds are slow to come to the feeder because of the cold. For an instant I was afraid for them, that they would freeze on the branches. But then common sense took hold. They have been cold before and will be fine. God takes care of them.

What are you afraid of?  Whatever you fear, it probably won’t happen. Fear is a liar. I tell myself that and have a poster to remind me.

Here is a quilt and pattern I made awhile back. It features some of the chilly animals I care about:

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The quilt and the pattern are available in the shop here .

Frog and Toad and Bats

What is the best size for a baby blanket or quilt?  I’ve been asking myself that question for a couple years and I have the answer:  Babies need some of every size. When they are newborn and need swaddling, bigger is better so their feet don’t stick out.  When they are in the stroller, smaller is better so it doesn’t drag on the floor. When they start to crawl, any size works.

I have many large baby blankets in the shop. Now I’m stocking the virtual shelves with smaller stroller quilt blankets. Here is one of the newest and cutest, with Frog and Toad fabric:

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And since I’m still stuck on Halloween, here is a bats quilt:

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Frog and Toad is available here

Halloween bats quilt and the pattern are in the shop here

The Poky Little Puppy and Trick or Treat

I only know one person who likes to read more than I do. That’s my sister, Lois. Not only do we both share a love of reading, but we both love books– we love to hold them, flip through them, display them on shelves, and read them.

My sister has found a new creative outlet for her love of children’s books. She brings the story characters to life by creating play sets from Little Golden Books. Children can read the books and play with the characters in their own setting. She just opened an Etsy shop, Tuscaroraarts, to sell her books and playsets. Here is my favorite, The Poky Little Puppy:

Poky Little Puppy Play Set and Little Golden Book handmade pretend play toy with storage box

You should go visit and see her other amazing, creative playsets.

Here is one of my newest projects, a trick or treat quilt. The triangle at the end of the stripe kinda reminds me of candy corn. This was a subliminal addition to the quilt, a product of my unconscious desire for Halloween candy 🙂

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The quilt is available in the shop here.

It’s Frustrating When a Sloth’s Face Gets Stuck to Your Elbow.

The design for Harold the Sloth was going great until…. I ran into trouble with the body fabric. Should I try to stay true to the sloth’s remotely possible coloring or do I  just do whatever I want? Because I did not have the answer to that question secure in my design vision, the result was eight sloth body rejects. Evelyn claimed one and drew all over it with marker, but I still have 7 Harold the Sloth fabric rejects. If you are interested, send me a line and I’ll sell them cheap, like real cheap:)

I know you all are waiting to hear the story of Harold’s face stuck to my shirt. This is what happened. I was creatively zooming along in my workshop making Harold. I had his tiny nose, eyes, eyeballs, and most important, a perfectly positioned crooked smile. I was ready to sew! Then there was a kitchen emergency (Evelyn needed help pouring a glass of milk). When I got back, Harold’s face was gone!I couldn’t believe it. I look all around and finally see an eye on the carpet. Then I found an eyeball in the hall and two more pieces in the kitchen. His smile was still stuck to my elbow, go figure. The nose is  MIA, but it is really, really small, so that is a reasonable loss.

Here is Harold with his reconstructed nose:

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He is for sale both the quilt and the pattern in my Etsy shop:)