Monday, May 18, 2015

Back From Minneapolis

We're back. We're exhausted. We had a wonderful time.  We had our priorities in order.  Once we hung up the quilts - we started to charge our phones.
The theme seemed to be Buttons!  I believe every one's luggage clanked a bit when it went through security.  

The new thing that was unveiled was this new Moda pre-cut/beautiful thing.  It's called a Frivol™.  It's a 7" square pre-cut, a pattern, and some other wonderful things.  This is the Minick and Simpson Frivol™ and we will be offering them in our Etsy store in October.  The quilt in the background can be made with the Frivol™.  

I came home to mounds of mail and loads of laundry.  I also saw that we sold out of several items in our Etsy store.  I loaded up more of these.....

And these......

We now have these back in stock.  I know a lot of you have been waiting a long time.
Mrs. Billings Coverlet Patterns

Karen at Somerset Patchwork, who produces these patterns, showed me this new one - it's called STAR-A-DAY
This pattern, which has the acrylic templates included.....
lets you make adorable, teeny LeMoyne stars.  These are great for hand piecers.  The idea with this pattern is that you make one 3" LeMoyne star block a day - for one year - and you can make this 345 star quilt which finishes to a stunning 81" square. 
Karen has talked me into making this.  I'll start sometime next month as I have a boatload of other work in front of me right now.  But a star a day?!?! I can do that.  So can you.   I believe my scrap box is calling for a project like this. You can find the pattern HERE in our etsy store.

I'll have more soon.  I'm also supposed to remind you of our upcoming event.  We are going to have a American Summer sale starting on June 14th - Flag Day.  This sale will run for 1 week and we will have books and patterns on sale, special items, and even very special auctions for one of a kind stuff.  



Monday, May 4, 2015

Month 5 of The Austin Bluebird Sampler

This is the Month 5 addition to the Austin Bluebird Sampler quilt I am making.  You know that this version is from my scrap bin and it is all blue fabric.

What tips do I have for you on this section? Well, I found my 3 1/2" square ruler very, very useful.  Everything but the 2 flying geese and that one large half-square triangle are made up of 3 1/2" square unfinished units.  That makes sense since I designed this quilt on multiples of 3's.  All the pieced blocks finish to 3", 6", 9", or 12".  I made all these 3" half-square triangles and quarter-square triangles a bit large.  The instructions have you cut 3 7/8" squares and cut in half diagonally.  I just oogded it up a bit and made them 4" squares (you will have plenty of fabric in your kits to do this).  I cut the 4" squares in half diagonally and made just like the instructions say.  I then took my handy dandy 3 1/2" square ruler and trimmed them all to be perfect.  That, people... is the only way I get perfect piecing.  Make a bit bigger and trim to size.

The quarter square triangle instructions have you cut a 4 1/4" square and cut twice diagonally.  I oogded it up to 4 3/8" square, cut twice diagonally and trimmed down.  Easy peasy.

This is months 1-5 laid out.  Month 1, 2, and 3 are sewn together in 1 big block.  Months 4 and 5 are still separate.  After Month 6 is done - then this will all be in one piece.  It will be the left side of the quilt.



Friday, May 1, 2015

Blog Takeover

 Hello, my name is Annie and I live in Florida.  I work all the time. Because of that I am often exhausted. Naps are my favorite hobby. 
My name is Gibby and I live in Michigan.  This is my favorite picture of myself.  Everyone says I looks handsome.  I do!

The main part of my job is to make sure this nice man stops every day and delivers and takes away boxes.  Lots and lots of boxes.  I have this nice man trained so that he even stops on days that there aren't any boxes. Here he is giving me a treat.  He's a genius.
I also never stop helping! Here I am supervising the packaging of something called a quilt pattern.  Do these people not know this huge ottoman is for me and my comfort?

Nothing goes to print without my okay.

These swishy things are pieces of fabric. The decisions never are easy, but I try.  If I had my choice, I would spend my day dancing.....


Annie and Gibby

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April Installment of the Austin Bluebird Sampler

This has been my project the last couple of days.  This is the appliqué block from Month 4 of the Austin Bluebird Sampler quilt.  I am re-making this quilt in my blue scraps.  The pieced blocks are quite easy, flying geese and half-square triangles (I'll show those soon).  This part of the installment gets the most questions.  In particular - the wreath.  It's very easy.  It is the first thing you appliqué.

Using the template provided in the pattern you draw a circle onto freezer paper and then iron the freezer paper onto the right side of the wreath fabric.  You cut out the green circle (or dark blue in my case) and center it onto your 19" square background fabric.

Appliqué the circle down leaving openings at the dots.  You can find these "dots" by laying a ruler corner to corner of the block and where the ruler touches the circle - these are your dots.

Using the template provided, press the smaller freezer paper circle template back onto the green circle and draw around this freezer paper template.  Trim the green center circle 1/8" away from your drawn line (being careful not to cut into the background block).  Applique the inner wreath making sure to leave openings at North, South, East, and West on your circle for the birds feet to tuck under.
Once you have this sewn, you can appliqué the birds (tucking their feet into the openings that you left) and the leaves and berries.  The last thing is to sew the cherry stems using a stem stitch and 12wt thread - or floss.

Here are all the parts of Month 4 - along with the Months 1-3.......

As you can see - it is still in chunks.  Once I get to Month 6 - this will be in one piece and will complete the left side of the quilt.  That genius construction is from Lisa C.  I drew this pattern out and appliquéd all the blocks of the original quilt.  Leigh Ann pitched in and pieced many of the blocks.  Lisa looked at my drawing and figured out how to break up the construction into months.  And month after month is added to what you previously have - so by the time you get to Month 11 - your quilt is in 2 pieces - and you only have one seam to sew.  This quilt will never hang around in your closet or your shelves among the WIP's.  It will finish quickly.

Have you heard about this?

The next blog post on Friday will be written by someone else.  Come back to see who.



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Polka Dot and Paisley Quilts

I sewed the last of the binding down on these quilts today and loaded up the patterns in our Etsy store.  May I introduce.....
From left to right.... Sweet William, Harbor Springs, and Polka Dot Garden.

 Sweet William is half-square triangles, strips, and the centers are from our printed bandana fabric from the Polka Dot and Paisleys collection.  The printed bandanas are a cheater cloth than can be used whole as a great backing for quilts - or cut up and the bandanas used separately.  They were from a collection of a woman's bandanas that were all polka dotted in some way.  We love them. Sweet William is 82" x 82" and the physical pattern is HERE and the digital download is HERE.
 Harbor Springs is our version of an antique quilt.  Isn't she lovely? Pinwheels and baskets all go together quite easily.  She measures 68" x 85" and the physical pattern is HERE and the digital download is HERE.
 Way over on the right is Polka Dot Garden.  This is both an applique quilt and a pieced quilt.  I made it entirely from my scrap basket.  You can use all your Minick and Simpson scraps too.  It measures 65" x 74" and the physical pattern is HERE and the digital download is HERE.  We will have kits of this - or the selling of pre-kits - in June.  Sadly, all the shirtings I am ordering won't get here until August.

 I don't know if you can see my hand quilting, but I quilted it in close rows with big stitch quilting.  The quilting rows are spaced randomly (just to bother some of you.  I'm talking to you Leigh Ann) I used a light blue Aurifil 12wt thread.  I will be stocking this thread in the Etsy store.  I will stock some basic colors that I use - red, cream, light blue, black, and some others.
This is my blue and white Austin Bluebird Sampler in progress.  This is months 1, 2, and 3 sewn together.  I wish I could give you some wisdom on month 3 (the pinwheel, the sailboat and the modified 9 patch on the bottom section).  It is all basically strips, squares, and half square triangles.  No secret tips to pass on - except my personal preference.  I press seams open.  Yes, even for strips and half square triangles.  I know to press to the darker side is easier and faster - and you can nest your seams when you do the 4 patches - but..... I find I do better piecing when I press my seams open.   It the less bulk I think.  That's as much wisdom as I can possibly pass on today.  I'm a little tired.

We hope you like our new additions.  



Thursday, April 16, 2015

It's Happening

I thought I better check in before you sent out a search party for me.  I'm well.
 We had a nice time a few weeks ago at the University of Michigan Spring game. The Spring game is basically a practice that you can go and watch.  A lot of people showed up to watch.  It was a lovely day.
 Last week, Bill and I went to the Detroit Institute of Arts for a little day trip.  They currently have an exhibit of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.  Unfortunately, you couldn't take pictures in that exhibit, but Diego's mural in the courtyard is always open.  It never ceases to impress.
 While waiting in line for the special exhibit - this is what we saw - Romare Bearden's The Quilting Party.  It's a huge glass mosaic.  There was inspiration everywhere.
 One cannot go to a museum without purchasing something from the gift shop. These horrible - yet beautiful Frida Kahlo socks came home with me.  Frida with a spider monkey.  Please, how could I NOT buy these?
 What else is going on...... Here is a peek at Polka Dot and Paisleys!  The quilts will be coming back from Kari the quilter next week.  I'll have lots of pictures of them then.
This was last night's dinner.  My first and last attempt at a Scotch egg.  It was delicious, but quite rich. A half egg would have sufficed.  You see, it's a soft boiled egg wrapped in sausage, then rolled in bread crumbs and fried.  While yummy - it was quite a production. A whole lot of production for 2 lonely eggs for Bill and I.

This is a new pattern for us - it's called Polka Dot Garden.  The pattern will be on our website next week.  We're proof reading it right now.  It's a scrap pattern.  I posted this on Instagram and got quite a few questions about it.  We will kit it - but it won't be for awhile.  Since it takes so much light shirtings (or low volume) I need to order a whole bunch of them.  It will be weeks before they get shipped to us.  

Which brings me to the next topic..... Polly and I decided we will do a special event this summer.  We are going to have an AMERICAN SUMMER sale!! Starting in June we will post in our Etsy store and especially on this blog - items in a Minick and Simpson style!  We will have some kits - stitchery, hooking and quilting.  We will have gifts!  We will have special ONE OF A KIND gifts that will be auctioned and all will be variations on a theme - a RED, WHITE, and BLUE kind of theme.  The Polka Dot Garden quilt will be a special pre-order kit.

So, start saving your pennies.  I'll be posting lots of updates before the sale happens.  

I might even have more pictures of sporting events.  Bill and I will be going to a baseball game tomorrow.  It's kind of fun now that he is retired. 



Sunday, March 29, 2015

Polka Dots And Paisleys Winner

The winner of the Polka Dots and Paisleys Jelly Roll™is....


I've emailed Sandy.  Congrats!

For all of you who have joined out BOM Austin Bluebird Sampler Club - or all of you who bought the Austin Bluebird Sampler KITS - I posted some yardage yesterday in out Etsy store.  If you are looking for backing for your quilt - I have these options....

Indigo and white floral

Blue and gold paisley 

Blue solid

Red geometric


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