Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Tour

I am so thrilled that I have a block in the most recent issue of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Vol 7, due out May 7th.  It's the 7th time they have published a magazine with 100 blocks by 100 designers.
They really have found a successful format for a magazine and I am so happy to be part of it.
My block is on page 60.  It's called "Beach Cabanas". 
Here's a close-up of the trim on the cabanas made using ric rac and very small buttons.
With the cold, yucky weather that we have been having, I have been thinking about the beaches on the southern shore of Long Island.  I grew up about 15 minutes from the beach.  A lot of the clubs had these cabanas where you could change and leave your clothes. 
My family never had one because we rarely went to the beach.  But when I went to the beach with my friends, the cabanas were like little cozy hiding places.  I remember hanging out on the beach, eating sandwiches with sand in them (yes, a bad memory) and drinking lots of liquids out of cups with those paper straws.  I no longer live on Long Island, but memories are in the forefont because Hurricane Sandy destroyed lots of those beaches. 
I thought it would be fun to create some blocks to compliment the cabanas
 to make a quilt called "Fun At The Beach". 
How about some blocks with starfish?
with some sequin embellishments for the spines?
I also made a block with cold drinks:

Then through the magic of the computer and Microscoft Word, I created my quilt.
If you would like to make this quilt , use the pattern for the beach cabanas in Vol 7 of the 100 Blocks magazine.  You can use my patterns for the fusible appliques.  The drink cups and the starfish  can be copied(by right clicking on the image) and pasted into a Word document, using the images below.
The starfish should measure 3 /12" high.
  If you copy it into a Word document, you can adjust the size.

The cup with straw measures 6" high. Remember when creating the different sections of the applique, to leave a bit of fabric underneath for overlapping.
I created everything in 12 1/2"  wide sections.
 If you have any questions about making "Fun At The Beach", e-mail me.I'll be happy to help.
To celebrate the inclusion of my block in this fun magazine, I am going to do a GIVE-A-WAY!
The Give-a-way is Now CLOSED.
Leave me a comment about a place you visited in the summer when you were a kid. 
The winner will receive a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. 
If you are a Follower or sign up to be a Follower, you will get 2 chances.
I will pick the winner on Friday.  You can live any where in the world and be one of the first to get this magazine, since it won't be available on the newstand until May 7th.
AND.... I will include a fat quarter of silk, from my Etsy shop.
Don't forget to visit the other designer's blogs.  You can find them here:

 I am not taking any more comments.  Please read the next blog post to see the winners!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Of All the Museums in Amsterdam ....

I arrived home yesterday from our bike & barge trip to Holland.  The laundry is done.  The suitcases are put away.  I am trying to do a bit of photo organization before I get back to daily work and life.  I have to hit the ground running, because I am giving a workshop on Saturday.  It's in Oxford, Pa  and the subject ifs creating an Embellished Beauty from a photo.  There are still a couple of spaces, so if you are interested, e-mail me.
We spent an extra day and a half in Amsterdam.  This city has a ton of museums, and you can buy a pass to see many of them for free.  The Dutch have many home grown artists, such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Hals,to name a small number, and they celebrate them all. After having my heart ripped out at the Anne Frank house, I rejoiced in the development of Van Gogh as an artist.
I did have a museum on my list that not many people would have on their own list, but if you like fabric and you sew, or like fashion, you would understand.  It's the Tassenmuseum Hendrikje.  They call it the Tassen for short and it's the museum of handbags and purses.  How could I not go there?  500 years of history and eye candy in a historic home?  Fortunately they have a cafe with WiFi, which is where my husband patiently waited.
I wish my photos came out better, but between the glass cases and the dark lighting,
these are my best ones. I hope you get the flavor of this wonderful place.

Seating in the lobby

School children's bags from the 1800's that they also used as their desk.
Can you see the derivation of the Pennsylvania Dutch motifs?

Hillary Clinton never looked better!

Lucite bags from the 50's


Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Postcard From Holland

I am seeing Holland from the seat of a bike and from the deck of a barge.
Internet is hard to get,so I am sipping a Coke Light in a McDonalds in Leiden to access their free WiFi (or wiffy as they say here).
The weather has been pretty chilly and grey, but the bike riding has been great.  I'll share photos of the bikes and the barge in my next post.  For now, it will be mainly scenery.

Quilt Inspiration

Over 1000 windmills pepper the countryside.
Installation of a new Ambassador - pomp and circumstance

Monday, April 15, 2013

It's A .....

We are expecting our first grandchild in August.
To say I am excited is an understatement.
We were invited to breakfast to learn the gender.
I came prepared with a banner:
Hooray! Itr's going to be a boy!
(I wasn't clairvoyant.  It's in pink on the other side of the flags.
I am now heading off to Amsterdam on vacation. 
I will try to post some photos.
And  I think I will come home with a tiny pair of wooden shoes.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Mystery Quilters Day Out

A few weeks ago, we held a mystery quilters day out for our quilt guild, Calico Cutters.
My friend Kelly and I were the organizers and directors of entertainment.
The room was full and no one knew what the finished quilt was going to look like,
 except that it was a tablerunner.
 People cut their fabric before we got together according to the directions,
 that we purchased from Debbie Caffrey.
 3 women were seated at each table and this became the teal table, unplanned.
 Everyone brought some part of a potluck lunch.  This was the yummy dessert.
 And we had to have an afternoon chocolate fix!

We just had our unveiling at our April meeting.
Great job ladies!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bailey Is Done!

I finally decided to settle down and quilt my beloved Bailey quilt.  I finished the top in January.  You can read about its construction in previous blog posts.
I have been thinking and thinking about how to quilt it.
 I was pretty sure I wanted the direction of her fur to be my guide.
I was looking for the courage to start.
Then, a package arrived in the mail.  A book!
A book about people and portraits compiled by Martha Sielman. 
 It couldn't have been better timing.
This book is fabulous and browsing though all the beautiful quilts, I got the courage I needed to start.
I came up with a plan.  I printed the quilt on a piece of 8 1/2"x11" paper.  I slipped it into a plastic page protector and roughly drew my vision - following the lines of her fur.
I started doing the quilting one section at a time, starting with her nose and radiating outward. And of course I had to adjust as I progressed because paper isn't cloth.  As I finished a section, I poured through my machine quilting books looking for inspiration for the next section.
Machine quilting is not my forte.  I do enjoy it and I like the puzzle aspect of it.  I do not mark my quilts for free motion quilting because then I don't think it's spontaneous - which is what I like.  To be spontaneous, the design needs to flow from within.  To achieve this, I find a design that speaks to me and then I start drawing with a pencil on a piece of paper.  The design often morphs and changes while drawing into something that I am comfortable with. Then I know I am ready to stitch it and then sometimes it changes again.  The flow is what's important.

Ta Da! Here it is.  Done.
 I am very happy.  It is finished and bound with a sleeve and a label, ready to hang.
Here are some close-ups of my quilting - not too close though.