Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Count Down

I can hardly believe how quickly 15 days went by!  Wasn't the Primitive Christmas Blog Hop fun??!!  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and sure hope you did, too!!  If you visited Stacy West's Buttermilk Basin blog you also learned that she decided to host several more of these wonderful soirees this coming year!  YAY!!  Exciting stuff. 

Know what's also exciting?  Announcing the two winners of my blog give-away!!  They are...

Elizabeth...who posted:
Thanks for the cheese spread recipe - filing it away for this year's treat! And, those snips are really cool! Have a Merry Christmas, Pam - and thanks for a very satisfying blog.


and Quilter47...who posted:
I am so happy to see this pattern and cant wait to make it. Watching Christmas Vacation on Christmas Eve is a family tradition and we even have some of the Hallmark Christmas ornaments. I missed out on buying Cousin Eddie's RV. Have a wonderful Christmas and thanks again for the fun pattern and a chance to win.
Ladies...please email me ( with your address info so I can get those wonderful Gingher snip scissors in the mail to you in time for Christmas!

My thanks to everyone who visited my blog, not only during this special blog hop, but who regularly take time to check-in with me.  I so appreciate you all year.  Most of the time, I do what I do alone, and you keep me company while I'm designing new quilts and new fabric lines, stay with me during the boring paper work, and give me a good reason to keep doing what I love.  I'm so grateful to all of you! 

To everyone who took the time to leave me a comment, I can't begin to thank you for your very heartfelt words and Christmas remembrances.  They filled my spirit with so much joy...I can't begin to express what it all meant to me.  Thank you so very, very much!!  

Some of you asked questions in your comment, and I was unable to answer you because it was sent "no reply blogger".  I would be happy to answer you, but I have no way of doing so.

Several of you inquired about the sampler shown in the photo above with the Gingher scissors, asking for the name of the pattern.  The sampler is from my collection of antique samplers, and was one I have not yet framed.  I just wanted something pretty in the photo with the scissors.  Never meant to frustrate anyone, and there are tons and tons of wonderful sampler patterns out there.  I certain you'll find some for your stitching pleasure.

Just wanted to remind you that you have one more week to take advantage of my special offer of FREE SHIPPING!  

I have bundled a kit of the three quilts from my brand new pattern, Tokens of the Past: Gathering In Red.

You will get the pattern, a Prairie Gathering 10 inch pre-cut, and the borders and bindings for all three quilts!  

Click here to read more about this special offer.  

Offer for free shipping ends December 22nd.  

As we count down the days until we celebrate the reason for the season, I hope you're not terribly rushed and stressed over all we do to make the holidays enjoyable for our families.  I know this is easier said than done.  Try to take a little time to stitch something for yourself.  Stitching always brings a sense of peace to my heart and spirit, and I suspect it does the same for you.  Oh, and by the way...I'll be trying to take my own advice!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Welcome to our Primitive Christmas Handwork Blog Hop!!

Welcome to my day of...
 A Primitive Christmas Blog Hop! 
This is my first year participating in this awesome event, and I'm so jazzed to be a part of it!  It has been such blast visiting every designer's blog each morning to see what new and wonderful project awaits.  While I adore making wool projects, it's not something I normally work with when designing, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and give it a try.

I've been designing original quilts since 2006, and began designing fabric for Marcus Fabrics a few years ago.  My first BOM program with Marcus, called A Prairie Gathering, is about to begin at your local quilt shop next month.

I have a new pattern series that has just been released, called Tokens of the Past, and Gathering In Red is the first pattern in the series.  I designed three quilts for this pattern, and am super excited about the brand new 10 inch precuts of Prairie Gathering fabric that I used to make the units and blocks for all three quilts.  Click here to read more about the pattern and a special kit offer with free shipping!!  

Christmastime certainly brings our family traditions to the forefront in our lives, doesn't it?  In our home, we definitely have lots of them we love repeating each year, and sometimes begin new ones.   We live in suburban Chicago, so we enjoy (yes, I do mean enjoy...well, most of the time!) four distinct seasons, and Christmas would not be Christmas without cold weather.  We all hope for a White Christmas, too, but it doesn't happen all that often.  

Cookies have long been a part of Christmas at our home.  Our daughter, Nicole, has taken over 90% of the cookie baking now.  

And...our son, Ryan, has taken over decorating the outside of the house.  Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase's character from the movie Christmas Vacation) is my son's hero, and he'd like nothing more than to wrap our entire house in lights.  (Um...sorry, but the answer is no again this year, Ryan.)

We make lots and lots of cookies each year to give to family and friends.  One tradition we have enjoyed is dropping off large trays of cookies to our local police and fire departments, along with a big "thank you" to them for their service in our community.  We've been doing that for more than 10 years now, and little did we know when we began, that our son would one day be a fireman/paramedic!  We send lots of cookies to the folks at his firehouse all year long.  

The recipe I wanted to share with you is also a long-time family favorite.  Every year, Christmas Eve is spent at my cousin Debbie's home (who took over for her mom after more than 50 years!), and this yummy dip as one of the dishes I bring.  I know our family would be terribly disappointed if I didn't!  
It could not be easier to make, and actually feeds a crowd.  I split the recipe in half, leaving one portion at home to serve on Christmas Day, and the other goes to Deb's for Christmas Eve.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Click here for a downloadable, printable version of the recipe.

And now...for the little project I designed just for you!!

What is it about a red pick-up truck filled with Christmas trees, coming home from the Tree Farm, that just says Christmas to me?  Is it just me, or do you love it, too?  

That's what I chose to depict in my little wool pinkeep.  As always with my pictures, (sigh) the blue background of the pinkeep is much darker, more of a muted soldier blue/navy in color.  The color of the blue background looks much better in the cheesy dip photo above.  (If you knew how many pictures I have taken of this pinkeep!  All I can say is thank God for digital cameras!)  I love having pinkeeps all over the house.  Love how they feel with crushed walnut shells in them.  

They look good in a big antique dough bowl arrangement......

...or on a table vignette.  They go everywhere, and add a little, special something in design and texture, which is exactly what wool does, right?!

I'd love to have a red vintage pickup truck parked in my driveway, filled with real Christmas trees. (Wouldn't that be an awesome outside decoration for the driveway, Ryan?!)  Oh, yes Pam, that's practical!!  Well...a girl can daydream.  Since that's wholly unlikely to happen, I'll just enjoy my pinkeep, and the good feelings it brings!  

Click here for a downloadable, printable Tree Farm Wool Pinkeep pattern.

I also want to share with you one of my favorite handwork notions...these small and very portable snip scissors by Gingher.  They tuck into little bags for your to-go stitching, and snip threads beautifully.  I have two of these babies to give away!  Leave me a comment, and I'll draw winners on December 15th!  

Well, I'm so glad you stopped by to visit my blog.  Thank you for coming, and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas, and a blessed New Year.  My thanks to Stacy West of Buttermilk Basin for coordinating the entire Primitive Christmas Blog Hop!  What a great event this is!!

Be sure to visit Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm tomorrow.  
I can hardly wait!  

Happy Hand Stitching to Everyone!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Enjoying Holiday Preparations

I've been busy with preparations for the holidays, as I'm sure many of you are as well, and quite enjoying myself.  The house was decorated last weekend, and my hubby, kids and I are really getting into the spirit of things.  I'll begin wrapping presents today, and soon the cookie baking will begin.  

During the week, I've been working on designing the new quilts using my new Treenware & Berries fabric, and with writing the patterns.  My friend Deb has been here working to assemble the Prairie Gathering patterns as they'll ship to all the quilt shops very soon.  Lots to be done, and there are some good things coming for your piecing pleasure.

I sure hope that you've been enjoying the Primitive Christmas Handwork Blog Hop!!  Every morning, I grab my cup of coffee and my iPad, and start at Stacy West's Buttermilk Basin blog. Stacy is the person responsible for all this stitching goodness, and is the creative wizard behind the scenes running the show.  

Stacy has been writing the most wonderful stories of each designer, allowing us to all get to know them a little better.  She provides the link for the designer who is posting that day.  Wonderful!  Today, Stacy introduced us to Kathy Cardiff, the oh-so-talented designer of The Cottage at Cardiff Farms.  Check it out for yourself as Kathy shares a wonderful technique for transferring words, lines, anything onto your wool project, not to mention her recipe and awesome project!!

Lots of good things as we enjoy this holiday season.  Be sure to come right back here for my day to post, this coming Tuesday, December 9th!  

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Join Me At The Country Loft!!

Pinch me again, as very, very lucky me has been invited to spend three days at one of my favorite shops ever....The Country Loft, in LaMesa, CA!!!!  

Friday, January 16th, I'll be kicking off my Prairie Gathering Quilt of the Quarter at The Country Loft.  For those participating in the program through the shop, you will receive a quilt label signed by me for your Prairie Gathering quilt!  An little something special just for you!!

I will also present a lecture/trunk show from 5 to 8 pm.  I'll be bringing stacks and stacks of quilts, with some from each of my Prairie Women's Sewing Circle club, too.  

Saturday, January 17th, I'll be teaching 
my Settler's Puzzle quilt.  This quilt is a blast to make!  

Two very easy unassuming blocks work together to create the stunning quilt center.  It goes together like a dream, and we have so much fun in class making this quilt.  

I'll also cover my hints and tips for perfect
pieced borders.  

On Sunday, January 18th, for the first time ever, I will be teaching my brand new quilt, Checkerboard Stars, from my Tokens of the Past: Gathering In Red pattern.  This quilt is just so much fun to make, and I'll be giving my hints not only for piecing perfection, but for quick and efficient piecing as well.  Saving time means more time to make more quilts!!

We'd love for you to join the fun!  Click here to find out all of the details about my visit, the lecture and workshops offered by The Country Loft!  I look forward to seeing you there in January.  And, while you're at it, visit their blog, so you can keep up with all that's new and wonderful at The Country Loft.  

(It's such a hardship to leave my family in cold, wintry Chicago to go to warm, sunny Southern California, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.  Teehee!)  

Tomorrow, December 1st, marks the beginning of A Primitive Christmas Handwork Blog Hop, presented by Buttermilk Basin!!!!  Finally....I've been waiting ever-so anxiously for this to begin!!  

Hop on over to see what Cheri Payne has in store for all of us!!  Love, love Cheri's prim style!! Click here to visit Cheri's blog.

We have something wonderful in store for you every day for the next two weeks!!  

Click here to see the entire schedule and all of the participating designers.  December 9th is my day.  Have fun!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tokens of the Past: Gathering In Red Special Offer!!

Right after fall quilt market, I introduced the first pattern in my new Tokens of the Past series, called Gathering In Red.  I'm so happy to say that this pattern has been very well received.  

You may remember that I made all of the units and blocks for all three quilts from just one of the brand new Prairie Gathering 10" precut squares!  Add the borders and binding and your done!  How's that for easy, breezy??

Gotta love simple patchwork like the Checkerboard blocks that make up the center of this quilt.  Had to add the star block border....who doesn't love stars anyway?  They're always a welcome addition to any quilt, and I named it Checkerboard Stars.  Why call it anything else?
This quilt measures 24" x 24".

I wanted to feature that pretty medium red fabric, and put is smack dab in the center of the star block for this quilt, and it seems to radiate in a burst of color from the center star.  And, so I named this quilt, Starburst.  This quilt measures 24" x 24".  

I wanted a simple table runner that had a lot of movement to it, and this quilt, simply called, Friendship Stars, certainly has that.  The full range of creams and reds are perfectly set off by the deepest red border for a stunning presentation.  This quilt measures 22" x 16".  

The Prairie Gathering precut features forty 10" x 10" squares, two each of twenty prints I selected myself.  Look for the Prairie Gathering precut at your local shop in February, 2015!

As we are about to give thanks for the blessings in our lives, I'd like to extend a special offer to you....a little something to show my gratitude, and thank you for your business, for reading my blog, for your comments, and friendship.  

I'm offering FREE SHIPPING for 
Gathering In Red kits!!
The Prairie Gathering 10" precuts are available for a very limited time, in limited quantities.  Because of this, it's best to pre-order yours to be certain you'll have one.  

Obviously, red and white quilts are still all the rage as seen in this stunning exhibit at Fall Quilt Market in Houston.  Be still my heart!
Prairie Dresden Pincushion by Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts an additional bonus, with each order, I'll also include the pattern for my Prairie Dresden Pincushion!  Another FREEBIE!!  You can use the scraps from making your quilts to make the pincushion, or two, or three!  

So, visit my website to place your order.  Order by December 22nd and you'll get free shipping within the U.S.   International orders will receive a $9 credit toward shipping.  All orders will ship as soon as the precuts arrive, sometime in February, 2015, when a wonderful package will arrive at your doorstep.

Wishing you and your family a blessed and 
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

More Treenware & Berries

In my last post, I wrote about what the term "treenware" means, and since it's items made from wood, and wood is brown, I thought it was a fun nineteenth century name for this line.  There are some reds in the line as well, hence the berries.  

Here are all the fabrics in the collection!  

(I apologize for the poor photos.  Believe me, these browns and reds are beautiful, warm, lovely colors.  I have a terrible time taking pictures of fabric, as somehow, even without a flash, they seem washed out!  Trust'll love the fabrics!!)

The print above is the main print in the line.  I hesitated to even show it to you because the photo is so bad.  The colors don't look anything like the real fabric, which is a warm and beautiful brown.  This print is adorable and I'm so excited about it! 

 There are ten browns....

 Five reds.....

And six creams.

I'm still putting the finishing touches on the quilt designed for this collection.  

Watch for more news on Treenware & Berries, coming soon.  It will be shown to your local quilt shop owner in January, and fabric will be in the shops March or April of 2015!!

Don't forget!!  One week from today, December 1st.....

....our Primitive Christmas Handwork Blog Hop begins!!  

Be sure to visit Cheri Payne's blog, Quilts By Cheri, as she kicks off our designer holiday celebration.  

I invite you to return right here on Dec 9th when I post my project.  This is gonna be so fun!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Introducing Treenware & Berries!!

I'm so pleased to announce my next fabric line with Marcus Fabrics called.......

Treenware & Berries

Before I start showing you the new fabrics in this collection, perhaps a little history is needed on what the term "treenware" is all about.

The photo above shows a sample of some of the early American treenware I've collected.  Basically, treenware is (an umbrella term for) any household item that was made, carved, or whittled from essence from a "tree".  Think...household items made from a tree.

Early American treenware is plentiful and easily found in antique shops.  Some items very affordable, and some much more expensive.  Most common are cutting boards, both plain and fancy, spoons, ladles, paddles, butter presses, bowls, plates, dough bowls, rolling pins, highly sought after noodle boards, graters, and innumerable kitchen utensils.  

Treenware items were put to hard work.  They weren't meant to sit on a shelf looking pretty.   They were put to good use everyday.  While most are very plain and utilitarian in design, sometimes their maker put a little extra creative spin in the design.  These butter molds, for instance, do have a specific purpose.  The size of the mold pressed a specific weight of butter, while the pressed design marked the brand, if you will, of the butter maker.  Each one hand carved.... a work of art.  What luck it was to find a mini butter press with my initial!  

Here are a few of my antique graters, all treen, and some with original paint.  Each one hand made.  As you can see, the red one doesn't have much in the way of design (you know me with the color red, AND original paint!!  Swoon!), but the black one, albeit quite worn, shows so much character and design, and was obviously worn and loved.  

The most highly prized (highly priced!) and collectible are treen items in original paint.  I love most all of the original paint colors you commonly see which are whitewash or cream, blue, red, green, black and mustard.  My wallet doesn't often allow adding to the 'original paint' collection!  You know how that is!

So now that you know what treenware is....why use that name for the fabric collection?  Well....I love using terms from the nineteenth century, and this collection has lovely, warm browns, a few reds, and luscious creams.  Basically brown and red.....Treenware and Berries!

Here's a little sneek peak at a few of the fabrics in the Treenware & Berries collection.

I'll show you the entire line in my next post!  Have a good weekend!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Primitive Christmas Blog Hop!!

I don't know about you, but this unwelcome Polar Vortex that has returned (UGH!), and submerged most of the U.S. in cold, winter weather.  That chill in the air has worked to get me feeling like the holidays are coming soon.  

As we all prepare to give Thanks, and create innumerable To-Do lists of cookies to bake, groceries to buy, cards to send, and lots of shopping for gift giving, all in efforts to do wonderful things for your friends and family, I invite you to take a break, and do something very special...
...... for yourself!!

One of my favorite blog hops ever, A Primitive Christmas Handwork Blog Hop,  is returning, and this year, I'm soooo jazzed to have been asked to participate!!  (Still pinching myself!)

Beginning December 1st, and for fourteen days following, your favorite folk art and prim designers are offering a special, little something just for you!!  Free...a little Christmas gift, from us to you!!  While most of you know me for my "Prairie Style" roots, traditional quilting, and love of early American history, I do love to work and decorate my home in country, folk art as well, and this has given me the perfect reason to design something folky, and work with wool (hint, hint!)

Each of us will be offering a new holiday project for your stitching pleasure, along with a favorite holiday recipe (those tried and true...."everyone looks forward to it" treats) for you to enjoy.  How much fun is that???  Oh, yeah!

Here's the line up of your favorite designers, and the dates to visit their blogs.  And, that's not all!  There will be give-aways, too!!  Oohh...I can hardly wait!!  

Dec 1  *  Quilts by Cheri

Dec 2  *  Plumcute Designs

Dec 3  *  Gail Pan Designs 

Dec 4  *  Woolen Willow Designs

Dec 5  *  Ali Strebel Designs

Dec 6  *  Cottage At Cardiff Farms

Dec 7  *  Blackberry Primitives

Dec 8  *  Wooden Spool Designs

Deb 9 *  Heartspun Quilts

Dec 10 *  Notforgotten Farm

Dec 11 * Kathy Schmitz Studio

Dec 12 * Crabapple Hill

Dec 13 * Primitive Gatherings

Dec 14 * Buttermilk Basin

Dec 15 * BONUS SURPRISE!!!  Stay tuned!!

So, plan on spending a few minutes each day, beginning December 1st, with your favorite beverage, your computer or iPad, and your favorite prim/folk art designers for a little something special just for you.  It's our way of saying "thanks!", and giving back to all of you who give so much to us through the year!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Prairie Gathering Bundles and Loads of New Notions!!

Prairie Gathering Fabric Bundles!

Bolts of my new fabric collection, Prairie Gathering, arrived on my doorstep last week, and we got busy right away cutting bunches of Fat Quarter and Fat Eighth bundles!!  They're ready to ship today!! Yay!  Click on the link above to see all of the prints in the collection.   Click here to order a bundle for yourself.  

New Notions!
When I'm piecing, as often as is possible, I make my unit/block larger than needed so I can trim them to perfection.  You just can't beat the results!!  

While there are a lot of different trimming rulers out there (validating the wonders of trimming!) to try, these are the trimming rulers I feel are easiest to use, easy to read, and offer the best results.  In the past, I would only offer them when I did workshops, but since I usually run out, quilters have asked me to stock them on my website.  

Here are my favorites for the following blocks....

For trimming Half Square Triangles, the Bloc-Loc ruler is the bee's knees!!  The channel you see that runs horizontally across the ruler accommodates the seam allowance so your ruler can't rock back and forth.  It can't slip, so there's no cutting mistakes.  The measurement lines are easy to see, and you can trim two sides of the unit before re-positioning.  This is the 4.5 inch trimming ruler.

I also have it in the 6.5 inch....
...and a combo pack containing the 2.5, 4.5 and 6.5 inch trimming rulers!

This ruler, the June Tailor Half Square and Quarter Square Triangle trimmer is THE BEST for trimming Quarter Square Triangles, in my humble opinion!  X marks the spot!  Just lay the black X on top of the QST seam allowances, and trim two sides of the unit.  Rotate a quarter turn, lay the X on the seams, and trim again.  Perfect QST every time!!  Ruler can trim QST from 1.5 to 6.5 inches.

I love Deb Tuckers rulers, and the Wing Clipper is pure magic for Flying Geese units.  Never struggle again with points cut off of your Flying Geese!  This ruler will trim Flying Geese from 1" x 1.5" to 5.5" x 10".

Another Deb Tucker trimming ruler I love is her Square 2.  Used for making Square-In-A-Square units larger, and of course, trimming to perfection!  That little Square-In-A-Square block looks so innocent, doesn't it?  Yet it can be a real 'pill" to piece.  No wonder it's also called "The Humility block"!!  The Square 2 ruler trims Square-In-A-Square units from 
1" x 1" to 6" x 6".  It's a must have!

And lastly, this isn't a ruler, but a real handy, dandy thing to have!  It's a 6" x 6" folded Magic Mirror by Marti Michell.  It's so great to use to audition how a fabric will look when fussy cutting it for five and six pointed stars, and for the ever popular Lucy Boston blocks!

My Heartspun Quilts Hints, Tips & Tricks book has loads of good quilting tips for you, from
fabric prep on through quilt labels.  

It also has an entire section dedicated to "Making It Larger ~ Trimming It Down", with tables, in 1/8th inch increments, telling you what size you'll need to cut your fabric, to make your Half Square & Quarter Square Triangles larger and trim them to perfection!  I've done all the math for you!!

Click here to order any and all of the trimming rulers and the Magic Mirror.  

And with all that good stuff to aid you in your piecing adventures, you're sure to have perfect results!!  

Thanks for visiting my blog today!  Take care....