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.  

Giving Away a Rabbit, a Raccoon, and a Snail.

I feel a bit guilty about the last blog post. All I gave you were old TV memories. Today I will make it up to you.  I chose yesterday’s three most popular free downloads from my Craftsy pattern store to share with you.

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You can download this rabbit for free on Craftsy right here.

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You can find this raccoon for free on Craftsy right here.

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Here is the link to the free snail pattern on Craftsy.

There are 101 patterns in my Craftsy pattern shop. Come check them out on Craftsy. (Search Marylandquilter)

Here Comes Peter Cottontail, Hoppin’ Down the Bunny Trail….

Why is it every time a major holiday rolls around, snippets of silly songs from my childhood pop in my head? I think of Christmas and all of sudden I’m humming “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”.  Halloween brings to mind the scary drumbeat soundtrack from The Wizard of Oz when the witch says, “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!”.

Today I was deciding the title for this Easter blog post and, naturally, I started singing the Peter Cottontail song. So, my Easter gift to you are old TV memories. In the classic words of Porky Pig, “That’s all folks”.

Are you looking for a sweet spring quilt to make or give? Here’s one with pretty flowers and Peter Cottontail:

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This is a very fun quilt to make. It goes together fast, is full of colorful fabric and, best of all, it’s guaranteed to look great! Here is the pattern and here is the quilt .

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.

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.

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.