Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bee In My Bonnet Row Along

I'm finally in!
When my good friend Lori Holt started her
Bee In My Bonnet Row Along
a month ago
(boy does time fly)
I had too many irons in the fire to start a new project.
Lori gently nudged me a few times through e-mails to join along because she knows how much I enjoy being part of her quilting world.
With my move to Arizona, we can't sit next to each other physically and sew much anymore, but
we can still share on line time together :)
Plus, I'm a Lori wanna be.
I love everything she creates,
and want to make everything she makes. 
So, I'm in.
Absolutely in.
 One of the most wonderful things about Lori's quilt alongs is that she gives such detailed tutorials.
The Row Along was created for the ladies in her church, and was specifically designed to teach technique to new quilters.
Row 1 comes with great instructions.
 Even though I've made a few quilts in my time, I admit I learned a really cool way to make 4-patch segments.
Now I want to make lots and lots of 4-patch segments.
If you haven't read Lori's instructions, you need to run over
and check it out.
Very cool.
Showing the long shot makes this filler row look veeerrry long.
In truth each square is only 2 1/2" with the row = 48 1/2"
The finished quilt will be twin size when completed.
This is a scrappy quilt, which is perfect for me, because as you know, I am all about using up my scraps right now.
Lori is giving instructions for each row every 2 weeks, and she just revealed Row 5.
Back to my machine!
I have some catching up to do!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Giving Quilt

      I was quite pleased when the publishing company Dutton/ Penguin Group contacted me recently and asked if I would like to review the newest novel by Jennifer Chiaverini.
I really enjoyed reading and writing a review on Sonoma Rose last February when it was released.

Jennifer's newest
takes us back to Elm Creek Manor for a quilt retreat with a special purpose.
Set around Thanksgiving time, participants have signed up for "Quiltsgiving" where all the quilts will be donated to
Project Linus
a charitable group that collects blankets for critically ill children.
Many of the same characters we know and love from the Elm Creek novels have returned, with new faces and stories added to the mix.
I have read that Project Linus is a special charity close to Jennifer Chiaverini's heart, and it's wonderful to see her incorporate the generous nature of quilters through out this latest novel.
As each character is developed, we see the many of the challenges facing women of today, and yet their hearts are united in a desire to share their time for a very worthy cause.
Healing and comfort takes place on on a duel level, not only for those who will receive the quilts, but also for those who have gathered at the Manor for the week.
If you would like a copy of Jennifer Chiaverini's latest novel, it can be found at

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Trunk or Treat

  While our daughter and Son-In-Law have been vacationing in Hawaii, we have been busy, busy, busy, having fun taking care of the grandbabies for the last 9 days.
From car pooling, to soccer games to dance lessons, I had forgotten how much energy is needed to keep a 2 year old, a 4 year old and 7 year old occupied and happy :)

Our church hosts a fun family activity each year on the Saturday night before Halloween called
Trunk or Treat
Tonight we helped a Ninja, Princess and GI Joe get a head start on gathering buckets of candy before the official holiday arrives.

 At around 6:00, while it was still light outside, families gathered in the church parking lot and began adorning the trunks of their cars with Halloween decorations.
Dinner was then served while the sun began to set in the warm Arizona sky.
Here in the desert, the weather is just now dropping below 100 degrees, and the children will run freely in sandals and shorts for most of the winter. 
 We decorated our daughter's trunk with a Halloween quilt that I made for her a few years ago.
We then set our chairs out and waited for the trick or treaters to come by for candy.
I don't know who has more fun, the children, the parents or the grandparents.
 It's always so interesting to see what unique and original costumes the children will select each year.
And then there are the parents of those children.....

Friday, October 26, 2012

Gina of Threaded Pear

Gina Halladay (Threaded Pear) moved here to Arizona this last year from California.
It seems like she knows so many of you in the quilting world, so you may be very familiar with her.
She used to own Cranberry Quiltworks in So. Cal and ran a Gammill Longarm dealership.

We both were invited to join in with a small quilt group here in Mesa, and I have been getting to know her a little better.
So much energy and so many talents!
Pattern designer, national quilt teacher, entrepreneur extraordinaire!
Gina is creating new companies right and left.
One day I could see she could use a little help binding a quilt as she was rushing to get ready for a quilt show.
Fantastic-O is a fat quarter friendly quilt that whips up quickly.
 Pattern can be found on Threaded Pear's web site.
 Love the machine quilting
 And rounded corners
And you can see by this picture that Gina is a ton of fun.
Heads up for those of you who live here in Arizona, or for those of you who would like to attend:
Gina is hosting a Studio Party!:
Dream Laugh Create
Sew, Craft, Journal, Quilt
with Becki of Whippy Cake
*laugh with friends, finish up projects
Demo's and guest artists
Nov. 15th
at Noah's
2100 E. Yeager Dr.
Chandler, AZ
Register at

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Alyssa's Groovy Quilt

 One of the best parts of attending the Phoenix Modern Quilt Guild is to see young, new talent emerge.
These young moms who are just learning to quilt are amazing.
Alyssa Lichner is a prime example.
As a young mother with 2 small children, Alyssa has jumped into the quilting world full steam ahead.
Alyssa recently hosted The Totally Groovy Quilt Along on her blog Pile O' Fabric
Pattern: Groove by Emily Cier of Carolina Patchworks
As a new quilter, she has made a few baby quilts, and this project was a real stretch to test her piecing skills.
She did a great job and has such an eye for color.
 Even more impressive, is the fact that Alyssa quilted her own quilt on her domestic machine!
This was only her second time to free motion quilt!
 She even quilted her own initials into the design.
Many of the experieced quilters in the room commented that she could become dangerous if she ever gets her hands on a long arm machine.
To which Alyssa responded that her husband is afraid they would never see her again if she purchased a long arm :)
This is only the beginning, and I know we will see great things ahead for Alyssa.
The back of Groovy is almost as pretty as the front.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Phoenix Modern Quilt Guild/ October

 Saturday we met as The Phoenix Modern Quilt Guild
Our numbers were a little small this month, but the Show and Tell was spectacular.
I took so many pictures that I will break down the images into several posts.
Tracy made Hopscotch, by Thimbleblossoms
Such bright, happy colors!
I really love this quilt.
 Bonnie made a quilt for her son out of batiks.
 Each block is an improv design created by Bonnie.
 Bonnie also found these panels pieces and then created her own setting.
 A wonderful example of a modern quilt, with clean lines.
 Little Twister by Angela
 Fussy cut blocks for a baby quilt
 Our guild President Tiffany
 also made a baby quilt for a friend.
Pink and Grey are such fun colors for a little girl's room, and the striped binding is a perfect addition on the edge.
More Phoenix Modern coming tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Crocheted Chevron Afghan

Daughter #2 had a birthday, and I ventured out with my beginning crochet skills to make a
Chevron Afghan for her home.
Chevrons seem to be quite popular right now in quilt fabrics and quilt designs.
I'm hoping the same holds true for afghans.
 I chose colors to match Amy's living room.
The Chevron pattern has several alternative names:
Zig Zag
Wave Stitch
The Chevron design has ancient roots, where examples of the motif were discovered on pottery dating back to 1800 BC
I chose this pattern because it looked doable for a beginner.
There are a lot of free tutorials on the Internet, which helped me get started. 
Once the first few rows were established, it was easy breezy from there on out.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Block Rescue

I finished binding another lap sized quilt for Pat Roche, and she gave me permission to share some of her creations with you.
 Block Rescue is a combination of vintage mixed with modern quilting.
 Pat loves to hunt down vintage textiles and give them a new look.
The four embroidered center blocks now have a new home amidst blue nine-patches.
 Pat's mixture of machine quilting patterns really make this quilt stand out.
Can you see why I am so excited to have her quilt some of my tops for me?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gees Bend Throw

It's always wonderful when you can do a trade with another quilter.
Pat Roche has a stack of quilts that need binding.
I find it therapudic and relaxing to hand sew bindings down.
In turn, Pat will machine quilt a few of my quilt tops for me.
We are both pretty excited to get a few projects crossed off the list!
I recently finished the binding on this small throw Pat made for her daughter.
She did an improv, Gees Bend type of quilt made with beautiful linen.
 I really liked the circular stitching Pat used for the machine quilting.
 Gees Bend quilts originate from an African American community in Alabama, and are known for their distinctive style using "lively improvisations and geometric symplicity".

I like to think of the Gees Bend ladies as being the original quilt artists of "making do" meets "Modern".

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Small Quilt Auction

 The annual Small Quilt Auction held by the Nimble Thimbles has become a wonderful tradition.
If your guild is looking for a fund raiser, this event is a winner.
 Our guild is medium in size with around 60 members.
Granted, not everyone comes to each meeting, but we had good representation for the auction.
41 quilts/small projects were donated this year.
Family and guests were invited to join us.
Below is a small sampling of some of the generous items donated.
There is a lot of talent shared within our guild!
 Bev made this checkerboard quilt, complete with checkers inserted in the bottom pocket.
Wouldn't this make a great gift?
 Even though we live in Arizona, many of the guild members are really into snowmen.
And Pat Roche's Modern Amish Quilt received the highest bid.
There was a lot of battling and competition going on with waving of bid paddles, but that is half the fun!
You had to be especially careful not to sneeze or rub your nose, or you would be included in the bid :)
Many thanks to all who donated their time and talents,
including the Auctioneers, Auction Committee and all who helped make the evening a success!