Wednesday, July 27, 2016

New England, Here I Come!

My hubby and I will be traveling to New England tomorrow for the Augusta, Maine Quilt Show!  I'm so jazzed about returning to Maine because there's just something so special about New England.  I'll be teaching four workshops and giving a lecture through Sunday, and spending time with fellow quilters is one of my favorite things to do.  For my hubby, he will be hunting lobsters.  

Monday, we will head over to Vermont for a few days of exploration and vacation.  I can hardly wait!!  

Watch for another Scrap Give-away coming soon!!  I have loads of Star Spangled Liberty scraps in need of a new home.  

Find a shady porch, grab an iced tea and some hand stitching.  What a fine time that would be!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Last Chance!! Tokens: Union Forever Special Offer!!

Hello Dear Readers!

Just a quick reminder that my special pre-order pricing ends tomorrow on my newest Tokens of the Past: Union Forever quilt trio kit.  

My sincerest thanks to all of you whom already placed your order.  You guys have blown me away with this one, and I'm so very grateful.  Please know that your support allows me to keep creating fabrics and quilt patterns to enjoy and inspire, and I try never to take that for granted. I'm so very thankful to you all!!!!!!!!!

Click here for all the details.

My husband and I have been invited to join a big bunch of our friends to go cruising on Lake Michigan today on a friend's family boat.  Something I haven't done in years, so we're excited. 
It is horribly hot and humid, so I hope I don't melt.  Hope you enjoy your weekend, too.

Happy Summer!! 

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Little Chenille Trim

Since my post for our Buttermilk Basin Summer Blog Hop, I've received a couple dozen inquiries about the red chenille trim I added to my Americana Pinkeep.  I promised to let everyone know how easy this really is.
The hardest part of adding the chenille trim is finding the chenille trim.  (I've solved that problem for on!)  The chenille comes in a soft ecru color and it takes the color in dye very, very well.  I chose a color of Rit Dye (wine) I wanted, and mixed it up in a Ball jar with very hot water. (Follow the directions on the box/bottle.)  Then, just drop in a length of chenille into the jar and let it sit in there a day or two.  Check to see if the color is what you're looking for, and wearing gloves to protect your hands, rinse the trim, and hang to dry.  That's it!

I stitched the trim to my finished pinkeep by whip stitching (or couching it) over the seam.  Use thread to match the color of the chenille trim and sew it down as you go.  When you get to the ends, have them overlap about 1 inch or so.  Easy, breezy!

It adds just a little touch of something special to the whatever you're making.  You can double the chenille to make it thicker if you have a larger project.  You can twist it, too.  

Now...about finding the chenille trim.  I bought mine from one of my all time favorite shops, Quilter's Station in Lee's Summit, MO.  I called there today, and they still carry the chenille, and would be happy to send it you by mail.  Or...if you're lucky enough to live nearby, definitely stop in.  You won't be sorry you did....and it's a must see if you're traveling in Missouri!!!  
You can call the shop girls to order yours at Quilter's Station at 816/525-8955.  The chenille is very reasonably priced.   

If you missed out on my Buttermilk Basin Summer Blog Hop day, no worries!  Click here to get all the goodies you missed.   The blog hop is still going on, so be sure to check the Buttermilk Basin blog for the designer schedule.  There's so many wonderful projects and recipes there just for you!

There's just 7 days left to take advantage of my special price offer for my brand new Tokens of the Past: Union Forever! quilt trio.  This has been a very hot item (thank you, everyone!!!) and is only available by pre-order....if you've been thinking about ordering this quilt kit, there are just days left to do so.  Click here to read all the details.

Happy Summer Stitches!  

Monday, July 11, 2016

Welcome to our Summer Blog Hop!

Welcome to my day on the Buttermilk Basin Summer Blog Hop!  

Summer is in full swing here and I'm doing my best to enjoy every lovely day.  We've had a run of warm and comfy days here where the weather is perfect and being outside is wonderful. 

The house is still decorated in all things Americana, and I've been in this patriotic mode for awhile.  I'm sure it has everything to do with my new patriotic fabric line, called Star Spangled Liberty (Marcus Fabrics), about to hit your local quilt shops next month.

Stacy asked all of us some summer related questions, so I'll fill in my answers for you:

Do I have a Green Thumb?  Well...I can grow things outside the house but have no luck growing plants and flowers inside.  I'm OK with that.  

Average Temp Where I Live:  Here in the suburbs of Chicago, we average temps in the high 80's to 90's with some humid, sultry days getting into the 100's.  I'm not a fan of the hot, humid days and look forward to the cooler days of fall.  

How Do I Stay Cool During The Summer?  Staying indoor with the A/C.  We used to have a pool, but no longer.  I try to enjoy the cooler mornings.

Favorite Summer Drink:  Iced Tea (year round favorite), frozen peach slushes and strawberry martini's.

What Did I Do For July 4th?  Stayed home this year, had a BBQ, and enjoyed the mild weather outdoors.

S'Mores:  Well....I've only had one once and I don't care much for marshmallows.  Am I the only person who doesn't enjoy S'Mores?

Do I Frequent Farmer's Market:  YES!!  We are so blessed to have a truly excellent Farmer's Market about 10 minutes from home.  You can see more about this below.

Favorite Summer Fruit:  Summer brings all of my favorites.  I adore dark cherries and haven't met a berry I didn't love.

Do I Enjoy Handwork Outside?  Oh yes...outside, inside, in the car, on a plane.  I enjoy hand stitching wherever I go.

Favorite Summer Tradition:  It's funny how our favorite summer traditions have changed over the years.  They are so different now than when our kids were small.  The one thing that remains over the years are cooking and dining outside to enjoy the weather because winter will be back before we know it!  We frequent places with outdoor dining, and several places where we meet our friends to enjoy live music, drinks and good food.  

Every Sunday in Frankfort, IL, which is the next suburb over from where I live, they hold a spectacular Farmer's Market.  The village of Frankfort has a town square, village green, loads of artisan gift and antique shops and lots of wonderful restaurants.  (On Thurday evenings, they also have a terrific Cruise Night where my hubby goes to show his collection of vintage cars and hang out with friends.)  We try hard to attend the Farmer's Market every Sunday, weather permitting.

They always have live entertainment.  We bring lawn chairs, a small cooler and choose a shady spot to enjoy the music and people watching.

Loads of people, old and young, families with little ones, and dogs all come for the fun.

Of course, we all come for the food and special items by local farmers and artisans.  The variety of offerings is quite amazing.

Our absolute favorite booth is Stamper Cheeses.  They're a local family whom make their own over-the-moon delish artisan cheeses and offer samplings of everything.  Smart move as they often sell out early in the day which is why we make it our first stop.  We enjoy so many of their creations with the Almond Apricot Gouda and Raspberry Asiago being our favorites.  This Farmer's Market is such a gem in our community and it's absolutely free.  What is not to love?
The Potluck recipe I want to share with you is a big, big hit whether I take it to a Potluck, or just make it for us at home.  It's easy, has just a few ingredients, and is absolutely delicious!
Ice Cream Jell-O has been in our family since my kids were young and a neighbor brought it to a block party one year.  It's something cool, light and fruity when you're serving heavy things like BBQ chicken or ribs, bratwurst and smoked brisket.  It's so, so good, we often have a little as a dessert!  Are you groaning over another Jell-O recipe?  TRUST ME, this is not your ordinary Jell-O recipe and is quite DIVINE!
There's nothing hard about making it.  Like all layered Jell-O recipes, it just takes time and is totally worth it.  You can substitute any flavors of Jell-O you like, but lime, lemon, peach and black cherry are the standard flavors the recipe calls for, and we love them just the way they are.  Click here for a downloadable/printable copy of Ice Cream Jell-O.
In keeping with my Americana theme this month, I was inspired to design this little Americana Pinkeep for your stitching pleasure.
Just the perfect, small stitching project to bring to your porch or patio and whip up.  You'll have the remainder of the summer to enjoy it!  

Click here to download/print my Americana Pinkeep pattern.

If you love making patriotic quilts, be sure to visit my blog for a limited-time special offer on my new Tokens of the Past: Union Forever! quilt trio.  

Click here to read all the details.

My thanks to Stacy West of Buttermilk Basin for once again hosting this oh-so-fun Summer Blog Hop. 

Hey, it's so very nice outside, I'm gathering something fun to stitch, a strawberry martini, some cherries, and a slice of Raspberry Asiago cheese.  See you on the deck!  

Friday, July 8, 2016

Summer Blog Hop Begins Today!!

The hopping fun begins today as Stacy West of Buttermilk Basin invited 12 designers to participate in another of her super popular blog hops.  She's added two more to make a total of 14!!  Beginning today, hop on over to each designer's blog to see what FREE project and summer recipe is in store for you.  What's not to L*O*V*E about this event, right?

Designer Cheri Payne of Designs by Cheri kicks things off today.  Click here to see her posts and free summer design.  You can also see the entire line-up of participating designers there, too.

Be sure to come back here to my blog on Monday, July 11th for my project and recipe.  

Lots of goodies in store to inspire you and keep your sewing needles humming.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Little Patriotic Decorating

The Fourth of July is one of my all time favorite times of year for decorating.  Bringing out all my folk art finds is like seeing an old friend and having a visit.  It was even more fun this year with the new quilts from my Star Spangled Liberty fabric collection!  
Flag Day ~ Tokens of the Past: Union Forever pattern

Thought I would share some pictures of how I displayed the new quilts in my house.  I always love seeing how other people display their quilts as I get some good ideas, and perhaps you'd like something you see here, too.  The quilt above is Flag Day.
Patriot's Parade ~ Tokens of the Past: Union Forever!
Here's the Patriot's Parade quilt displayed with a sweet little pie safe I found on a recent antiquing trip.  It's super old, has original blue paint and dove tailing.  A lucky find to be sure. Such a simple little block with lots of movement and patriotic heart.  
Honor & Glory ~ Tokens of the Past: Union Forever!
I love table topper quilts in a small vignette.  Something about having textiles in the mix gives color and warmth, and often sets a theme.  This quilt is called Honor & Glory and gosh do I love this block.  I adore the Capital Dome birdhouse, and looks great with my vintage noodle board and firkin.  Makes me wanna pass through the dining room often!  

Don't forget that I have a special offer to pre-order a kit to make all of these quilts for your very own.  Click here to find all the details.  

Summer is in full bloom.  Hope you get some stitching time for yourself.  A rocking chair on a shady front porch sounds heavenly.  Wish I had one!  

Friday, July 1, 2016

Special Offer! Tokens: Union Forever Quilt Trio

Special Offer!
Our favorite summer holiday is almost here!  July 4th celebrations are planned, Old Glory is proudly displayed, and a big swell of patriotism fills our hearts with pride!  Americana is everywhere!

To celebrate the upcoming release of my newest fabric collection, Star Spangled Liberty, I am offering this pre-order special for a limited time only.  

Make all three quilts in my Tokens of the Past: Union Forever! pattern by pre-ordering a kit that includes: the background, sashing, borders and binding, along with a 10 inch precut that has 40 fabrics all from the Star Spangled Liberty collection.  And guess what?

The Union Forever pattern is FREE!!

Place your order no later than July 24th to take advantage of this special offer.  


The Star Spangled Liberty fabric will ship from Marcus in August, and we'll cut and package your kit, and have it on its way to you as soon as we can.  

Included only with the pre-order special is a bonus pattern to make this Flag Star Pinkeep from your leftover Star Spangled Liberty fabric scraps!   (Charms & buttons not included.)

Click here to read all the details about the Union Forever! quilts, the kit, and place your kit order!

Click here to order the Tokens of the Past: Union Forever! pattern.

Click here to see all of the Star Spangled Liberty fabrics.

Happy Birthday to the U.S.A!!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Do You Have Pyramid Fever?

In my last blog post, I promised I would share two projects that I'm really jazzed about and have captured my attention.  I didn't have time to get all of the things together for both projects, so rather than wait, I'll just tell you about one for now, and get to the other one soon.
Quiltmania magazine ~ March/April 2013 issue
Have you heard about the Panama Pyramids craze?  If you haven't, you need to know about this sweet quilt.  

Quiltmania magazine ~ March/April 2013 issue
Linda Collins found this antique pyramid quilt and fell in love.  She published the pattern in the March/April 2013 issue of Quiltmania magazine (seen above.)  Since then, a true phenomenon has occurred with quilters around the globe taking part in what has turned into a Panama Pyramid frenzie!  Count me in as one of the frenzied.  
  Linda made it super easy for all of us to make a pyramid quilt of our own when she created a set of awesome templates.  No need to worry about how to match triangles as the notched points make everything....and I do mean everything line up to perfection.  Honestly, this block is as easy as a Nine Patch....promise!
I trace and cut my pieces while I'm watching TV.  These blocks are so fun to mix and match fabrics.  I'm only using my scrap stash for the pieced blocks.  I haven't yet decided on what fabric color to use for the alternate triangles that will set the quilt.  I have lots of time to decide.
It took me less than 10 minutes to machine piece my block.  Super easy.  With Linda's templates you can also hand piece the block as well.

I've long admired pieced triangle blocks and viewed them as very difficult to make.  Perhaps they would be more of a challenge without the template, but this could not be easier.  I did not anticipate how fun they are, which apparently is something I share with hundreds of quilters around the world.  

Yes....truly around the world.  I know this because I'm part of the Panama Pyramid Facebook group!  Linda Collins hosts this group of about 600 quilters (and growing!) and we recently posted where we live.  I think we have folks from five continents!  This group posts a plethora of pictures that give endless ideas and inspiration.  You can ask questions if you'd like, and look for advice about cutting and pressing...all kind of things.  It's total eye candy and such fun.

If you'd like to join the Panama Pyramid group, in Facebook, search for Panama Pyramid Sew-along 2016.  This is a closed group...just look for the place to join within the header on the page. Linda will get back with you as soon as she can.  It's that easy.

If you'd like to order a copy of the magazine and/or a set of Linda's Pyramid Templates, you can call the Homestead Hearth Quilt Shop at (573) 581-1966.

You can also buy the Pyramid Template set from The Quilt Merchant by calling (630) 480-3000.

Jump in ~ it's so fun!!!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Found Scraps Of Time

During evening television and over the weekend, I found scraps of time to work on some personal projects and was able to finish a few things!  Yes...I said finish!

Lady Liberty, designed by Lynn Horsford for Need'l Love ~ Liberty Threads book
I have been wanting to make this for soooo long, and now, FINALLY....she's done!  Just in time for the July 4th holiday.  I'm so jazzed....doing the dance of JOY!

I'm not sure why I am so drawn to Lady Liberty designs, but I am.  Maybe it's her strong, defiant stance?  I think she's so cool.  Love the details in this piece.  Her face is so simple, yet really suits her, don't you think?  
I didn't have to look far to find just the right fabric to frame the wool center.  The flash on my camera makes the red border from my new Star Spangled Liberty collection seem a lot brighter red than it really is.  (Don't blame the camera...the problem is with the person pressing the button.)  I substituted stars for wool pennies in the background.  Seemed appropriate, and I'm all for changing things to make them your own.
My goal is to have different wool quilts I can swap out during the year to have something wool wonderful to enjoy while I'm doing the dishes.  Presently, I have this Kim Diehl quilt to enjoy.
 Here she is in her place of honor.  Big stage over the kitchen sink!  Teehee.  Well, she really will be enjoyed all day as we all pass through the kitchen, or are in the kitchen.  
How have you been doing with finding time for a little sewing each day?  I'm not doing badly at all.  Finding more time than I thought I would now that I've set my mind to it.  

Oh, and I completely lost my mind and signed up for not one, but TWO new scrappy projects that I just could not resist.  I blame it all on my obsession/addiction, love of fabric, and apparently no will power.  

I'll show you the projects I couldn't resist in my next post.  Try not to judge me too might find yourself joining the fun!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Summer Travels & Workshops

Next month, I'll be giving a lecture & workshop near my home, and one out of town in Maine!!

July 21st, I'll be visiting with the Pride of the Prairie Quilters Guild in Plainfield, IL, giving a lecture at 7pm that evening at the Zion Lutheran Church at 11007 Book Rd., Naperville, IL.

The following day, I'll be giving a workshop, which I believe may be already filled.   If you have any questions about this event, you can email Carol O'Dell at

The following week, my hubby and I are traveling to Augusta, Maine for three days of great fun at the 39th Annual Maine Quilt Show.  I will be giving a lecture Friday afternoon, and four workshops over three days.  One of my classes is full and the others only have a few spaces left.   
Click here to find out more about the Maine Quilt Show.

After the show, we're taking a few vacation days to drive to Vermont, a state we've never visited before.  If you know of some fun things to do while visiting Vermont, please let me know. Nothing like getting advice from someone who's been there, or lives there. 

No matter how long you've been quilting, it's good to get out of the sewing room once in awhile to take a class, and visit a guild show.  So much to see and learn, and quilt guilds are terrific organizations to support.  I can't wait to see what's in store for me while visiting both of these guilds.  I hope you'll think about attending, too!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Finding Scraps of Time

Checking in with you....being accountable about finding scraps of time here and there to work on projects that are not work related.  I've done fairly well this about you?  This morning, I prepped the bottom of this little basket block to applique later this evening.

In addition to making a few more Nine Patches, I added lots more hexies to my hexie quilt....a long term work in progress.  
And....I'm almost done with Lady Liberty, a wool project I've been pining over for years.  All I have left to stitch are a couple of stars and the details of her face.  Despite having most of the DMC floss colors, and a mountain of Weeks and Sampler over dyed threads, I don't have just the right color to match her head.  I'm stuck until I can go shopping at my local cross stitch store. close!

During work hours, we're finishing the assembly of my next BOM quilt (announcement to come in July), and completion of writing the pattern for Tokens of the Past: Union Forever!  Lots to keep me occupied.  

June, in the midwest where I live (suburban Chicago area) is a wonderful time to be outdoors. Humidity has not yet come to stay, and no mosquitos.  Perfect stitching in the evening with a glass of wine!

Post your stitching to #ScrapsOfTimeScrapsOfFabric on social media so we can all see what you're working on.  If you don't know how this works, you can Google the above hashtag and click on the Images tab at the top of the page.  Or, you can enter the hashtag in the search bar on Facebook and the entries will pop up for you.  

Have a stitch happy week!