Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October

We've been away too long haven't we?  The calendar has been nagging me to post, but what to do when your life is uneventful, boring, and redundant?  What could I possibly rant on about?

First of all, Today is Polly's birthday.  Everyone say Happy Birthday to Polly!  It's also the UNOFFICIAL start to Fall.  The real start was a week or so ago, but you see October on the calendar and you know it's autumn.  Polly tells a story about her birthday when she was a kid.  She is a fan of pumpkin pie and her "Birthday Cake" every year was more often a "Birthday Pumpkin Pie."
I listen to this story in horror as I would never choose a pumpkin pie over cake.  Some people who know me (and some who read this blog) know that I have ranted the past several years regarding the over-pumpkinization of our fair land. It's a ridiculous thing to get worked up over, but someone has to do it.  This is what I found at the grocery store 2 days ago…..
Dear God, no.  And looked what was keeping it company….
I have learned to avoid coffee shops this time of year because of this…...
I'm now getting horrible things like this sent to me via instagram from other like minded folk.  Thanks.  I think.

I stole this wonderful picture from the internet, but It spoke to me……..
  

October is also a few other things…. It's Halloween season, it's Getting Ready For Quilt Market Season , (and the reason some of your favorite quilt blogs are a bit spotty lately) and it's also Post Season Baseball.  Forgive me while I try not to have a nervous breakdown.  Go Tigers !

Laurie

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Autumn

It's finally Fall here in Michigan.  The calendar says it won't be here until next week, but believe me, it's here.  The windows are mostly closed and someone has even threatened to turn on the furnace. Bah, humbug to that. They were told just to grab another quilt.  It's way too early to start that nonsense.
 The market has been bursting with beautiful things…. These peppers were roasted….
 And then turned into this melange of roasted peppers, olives, parsley and other goodness.
 Leigh Ann stopped by and added some new pillow covers to my collection! These are made with the Paris Flea Market Linens by Moda Fabrics. They are lovely! Thanks Leigh Ann!
 Lori and Dan came to town and we experienced the quintessential Ann Arbor Fall experience.

 What can I say about the game? Well we won, but it wasn't electrifying.  Matter of fact, the halftime show was the highlight of the afternoon.

Today I have been tied to the computer putting out virtual electronic fires.  Hopefully I'll have something quilty to show you soon. (While spending the day on the computer I've been trying to avoid all the "pumpkin" madness infiltrating social networking sites like Pinterest and Instagram.  Just so you know - I prefer my morning cup of coffee pumpkin-free.)

Laurie

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Moda Love Blog Tour Winners!

Thanks for stopping by our blog - and all of our colleague's blogs to comment out Moda Love!

I'll tell you who won the the Lexington Jelly Roll™ and the Lexington Layer Cake™, but first, let's see what I made with Lexington…..
 All lined up on the clothes line are Biddy's Quilt, Great Lakes Patchwork, Blue Garden, and Morning Walk.
 .
 Morning Walk (top center) was inspired by morning walks with Gibby and his search for rabbits and squirrels.  True Blue (center bottom) was a little quilt using the dark blues and golds.  Great Lakes Patchwork is on the right.  
 Blue Garden is a mix of piecing and appliqué (on the left). Biddy's Quilt is on the right.
Our popular pattern Nantucket usually shown in red and cream, but it's a grand 2 color quilt that works just as well in blues and creams.  

The winner of the Lexington Jelly Roll™ is Debra Kay Neiman

The winner of the Lexington Layer Cake™ is Beanstalk

Please email me HERE and I'll get them out to you as quick as a rabbit on one of Gibby's morning walks.

(For some hinky reason - I cannot get Biddy's quilt to download in our Etsy store.  We have tried.  Sigh. If anyone is interested in it - email me here and I'll mail you an actual paper copy of Biddy's Quilt)

Laurie

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Moda Love Blog Tour


 Today is our day on the Moda Love Blog Tour…..

Can you stand it?  You folks don't know how close you came to missing this stop along the tour.  We had a storm Friday and we lost power.  The prediction was we wouldn't get power back until Tuesday or Wednesday.  Fate intervened and power returned Sunday.  We did what everyone does when they have been without power for 2 days, we cleaned out the fridge. Then we cleaned some more.  Once the Simpson clean train starts - there is no stopping it. I'm not kidding. Here are 6 of the many windows we washed.
In keeping with the theme of this Blog Hop - I HATE washing windows, but I LOVE a clean house. 

Do you remember way back in June when we showed you this? The quilt we made with a Lexington Layer Cake™?
This is the free pattern to make your own quilt out of a Layer Cake™

Moda asked us to answer some questions on this Blog Tour……

When did you start quilting? Tell us about your first quilt.

I made my first quilt at the age of 14 - over 42 years ago.  

Let that sink in a bit.

I saw a quilt in a magazine.  It was a Woman's Day that was picked up at the grocery store.  There was a picture of an antique quilt thrown over a chair.  This is for you, Barb and Mary!   (Barb and Mary, of Me and My Sister Designs, have an infamous Instagram project where they post a lot of quilts on chairs) 

It was a pieced quilt (I didn't even know what that meant yet) of indeterminate design.  All I remember was that it was beautiful, it was made of fabric, and I LOVED it. I NEEDED to make one.  This wasn't as clear cut as it would seem. Nobody I knew made quilts. Nobody I knew even owned one. I started my research at the library and checked out the 2 or 3 quilt books that were known to exist at the time.  I skimmed the pages.  I even read some of the text. Mostly I looked at the pictures.

With no fabric stash, I had to start collecting.  I begged, borrowed, but did not steal fabric scraps from all who would cooperate.  Soon, I started to buy fabric.  The only fabric store that I knew of at that time was Kresge's Department store.  The saleswomen soon learned of my project - and scattered when I walked to the cutting table.  I asked for an 1/8th of a yard of just about anything that didn't look too slippery.  This was 1972.  Polyester was king.  The fact that I even found cotton or cotton blends is a miracle.

The easiest looking diagram in the book was a one-patch.  There was no such thing a rotary cutter or cutting board yet.  With scissors in hand I cut out hundreds of patches "by eye".  Rulers, pencils and such just seemed a little too much like math class.  I forged ahead.  With the aid of a neighbors sewing machine it was pieced.  It was sort of rectangular-ish. 

Next, I looked at those diagrams of a quilt top in some contraption called a quilt frame.  "Did anyone have a quilt frame?" I asked. You could have heard a quilting needle drop. 

There had to be another way.  Another neighbor said ALL quilts were tied. She sounded like an expert and I took her advice.  The quilt was tied in an afternoon with a bed sheet for the back, a thick polyester batt, and some acrylic yarn.  The quilt fit my bed and lasted my High School years, my college years and a few years after that.  It became a favorite cat bed. Eventually the un-natural fiber disaster started to disintegrate and I threw it away. When my husband Bill took out the trash that evening he spotted it and saved it. My first quilt now lives in a bag at the top of the closet. Thanks Bill.

Did making a quilt this way - at this age - make any sense at all? No it didn't.  

It was meant to be because it was true LOVE.

If you comment here about this quilt, your first quilt, your last quilt, or something that you LOVE - you can win this….

A Lexington Layer Cake™ or a Lexington Jelly Roll™ - designed by Polly and I for Moda Fabrics. (A company we LOVE)

Make sure you stop by to visit



Thanks for stopping by

Laurie



Friday, September 5, 2014

Moda Love



Before you head out for all you weekend fun - make sure to stop by the 3 stops today along the Moda Love Blog Tour..

Basic Grey

Fig Tree  

Pat Sloan

Come back here on Monday when we get our chance.

Another little news item….. I'm on Instagram now.  Yes.  Peer pressure works.  You can follow me here   

Laurie

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

This Will Take Awhile

Oh, we certainly have a lot to catch up on.

First of all, a little about my vintage sewing suitcase.  Uh, NOT such a good idea.  On the flight there, I checked it and when I picked it up off the carousel - it was tagged by security.  It got a lot of attention.  The sharp objects…... the large sand pincushion all housed in a vintage case that possibly a bad guy wouldn't mind blowing up….. you get the picture.  Things were quite tousled, but intact.  On the way home I took out the large sharp objects and decided to carry it on.  Well, that got a lot of attention too.  It was swabbed for explosives and I was asked questions.  The last baggage carrier even suggested I should enter the 21st century and buy something with wheels.  So, no more airports for this carry all.  It will only go on sewing trips that I take in a car.  Geesh, nobody appreciates vintage charm I guess.

The trip was fun.  Part of the trip included a tour of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln Nebraska.  We had a "behind the scenes" tour with Kim Taylor the Collections Manager.  Her job is to take care of the quilts.  I won't go into the details, except to say it is a full time job.  This is Kim showing us the archives of quilts….


These slide out trays were for the most fragile of the pieces.


This was a whitework - or Broderie de Marseille.  It was made around 1720 in France.  To say the stitches were small is kind of insulting.  They are practically microscopic.  This one was a huge favorite to say the least.

I won't post a lot more, as there were other bloggers there who probably want to post too :)


 One of the current shows in the museum was on Kit Quilts.  Kits quilts are fairly easy for the quilt collector to identify.  They were popular in the 1920's through the 1960's.  They consisted mostly of solid fabric and were mostly the colors we today consider the 1930 or Depression color palette.  Light, bright, pastels. I particularly like the one above in blues and creams - and lots and lots of hand quilting.
 This was a popular kit called Poppies.
 This is a section of a Giant Dahlia quilt kit.  What great quilting.
 Could this have been the first Pre-cut?

 This Trip Around The World mixed solids and prints.

My favorite exhibit in the Kit Quilt Display is what we now consider a contemporary "kit" - a pattern that features Pre-cuts.  Hey!!! It's my friend Carrie's quilt pattern displayed in the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, UNDER GLASS.  Hey girl, don't go gettin' a big head.  How fun is that?!  It is even displayed with Moda Fabric - just how it should be :)

A great time was had by all.


Remember that yesterday this started…..

Here is the Blog Hop Schedule……

SEPTEMBER 2, 2014
Janet Clare Designs – http://janetclare.co.uk/blog/

SEPTEMBER 3, 2014
Eric +Julie Comstock- http://cosmocricket.typepad.com/
Stephanie Ryan Design Studio – http://www.stephanieryan.com/blog/

SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
Malka Dubrawski – http://stitchindye.blogspot.com/
Lauren + Jessi Jung – http://laurenandjessiblog.com/

SEPTEMBER 5, 2014

SEPTEMBER 8, 2014
April Rosenthal – http://www.aprilrosenthal.com/
Minick and Simpson – http://minickandsimpson.blogspot.com/

SEPTEMBER 9, 2014
Primitive Gatherings – http://lisabongean.wordpress.com/

SEPTEMBER 10, 2014
Bunny Hill – http://bunnyhillblog.com/

SEPTEMBER 11, 2014

SEPTEMBER 12, 2014
Me and My Sister Designs – http://meandmysisterdesigns.com/blog/

SEPTEMBER 13, 2014
Winners Announced on ALL Designer Blogs listed above 

I'll be posting next Monday.  Come back and see us!!

Laurie

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Another Wednesday…..

What has happened this week?  Well, we've eaten a lot of tomatoes, we survived the garage sale, and I'm writing and proofreading patterns.  I'm also packing for a sweet little trip.  Here is my "sewing suitcase".
I have my favorite pin cushion, some prescription glasses for close-up work, several bags of sewing notions, some hand piecing, my quilting hoop, some piecing to make a pillow top, and some binding to sew on an almost finished quilt.  It's all packed up in a sweet little vintage suitcase with a bakelite handle.  I knew it would come in handy some day. This should keep my busy and off the streets.

Where am I going? Well, it's secret. Top-secret. It's double top-secret. It may or may not involve some other Moda Designers, and it may or may not involve me spending 5 days in my pajamas while I sew. That's all I can divulge right now.

Packed in my bigger suitcase with my clothes is Mrs. Billings Coverlet.  I've finished 7 of the 15 borders (the 7 smallest of course) and I hope to get one or more done on this trip.  

I have no doubts that you'll see pictures on Instagram from some of the others involved.

I'm leaving just in time to miss the annual migration of wide eyed students and their parents descending upon Ann Arbor.  It happens every year: out of state plates driving the wrong way on one way streets.  

Stay safe out there!

Laurie