Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sew and Tell

Fusion pattern from my book Scrap Quilt Secrets

I didn't actually make any of these quilts, but I was lucky enough to see them! These are all made from recent classes, workshops, or patterns...

A mini Pumpkins in the Patch from a recent workshop.

An apple version of Pumpkins in the Patch from the retreat.

Sawnee Shadows pattern from my book Scrap Quilt Secrets

Plaid Paws pattern from my shop

Another Sawnee Shadows pattern from my book Scrap Quilt Secrets

Thank you SO much for send photos of your finished quilts! 

It makes me so happy!!


Luna doesn't care who made the quilts or which pattern was used, she just wants them piled high near a window for her comfort and viewing. She's a quilter's kitty for sure!

Enjoy every stitch,
Diane

Thursday, October 12, 2017

How Big is a Scrap?


Or perhaps I should ask, "How small is a scrap?" In this world of quilting and fabric and cutting and sewing and cutting again...when does the fabric become a 'scrap'? Is there a certain size or shape that declares "I am now a scrap!" or rather do the number of times it has been used qualify it as a scrap rather than a fabric?


I am pretty sure that each and every one of us has a different answer to that question. And since you know how I never wait to be asked, I'm going to share with you some of my thoughts on the journey from fabric to scrap...


I wrote this post on Buying Fabric which pretty much cover everything (and then some) about my perspective on choosing fabrics at the store. It's a question I get on a regular basis.


And I wrote this post on Choosing Fabrics for a Project. This isn't the only method I use, but it's a good one for pulling the best combinations from your scrap bin!


One of the most popular posts I've shared was about THE LIFE CYCLE OF A FAT QUARTER BUNDLE. This covers all aspects of the life of a piece of fabric once it lands in my sewing room.

Since 'scraps' are usually my GOAL rather than my leftovers, I might have a different perspective than many of you. Or maybe not? What do you consider a scrap?

Enjoy every scrap! (whatever size it maybe!)
Diane

Monday, October 9, 2017

Family Fun Weekend



Virginia Tech hosted 'Parents Weekend' this past weekend and we decided to create our own version of a family weekend. Since I had heard that festivities for the VT weekend were pretty minimal, I decided it would be better to create our own fun.


We met half way between VT and home in Charlotte, NC because that is also where Carowinds is located. If you've ever met my family, you know we LOVE roller coasters! The bigger, the faster, the better in our opinion!


We loaded the car and picked up Megan (Danny's girlfriend) and David joined us from UGA. Kelly had planned to go with us as well until 3 of her professors decided Monday and Tuesday would be exam days. So we really missed her, but she was feeling kind of under the weather anyway, so it was probably best that she rest and study.


It misted a light rain almost all day at Carowinds but that didn't stop us from riding every roller coaster multiple times. The rain didn't dampen our fun! And you can see that Danny has matured so much during his first two months at college. LOL


It was so good to see the boys together again for the first time since August. It was so fun to hear their stories, share lots of laughter, and get some great hugs! It was the best weekend I could have asked for. Nothing does a momma's heart good like being with her kids.

I hope you had a great weekend too!
Diane


Monday, October 2, 2017

Pumpkin Patch Retreat



Earlier this year I was asked to teach an 'in house' retreat at Tiny Stitches (where I have the pleasure of working on Wednesdays and some Fridays and weekends.) I was so excited to spend a whole weekend with the fun folks who frequent the shop. I'm not exaggerating when I say we have the best quilters anywhere! These ladies are fun, creative, kind, supportive and wonderful to be around.


I was excited to plan and prepare for the weekend. I added a smaller version of the pumpkin quilt to the menu of offerings. I swapped the oranges for reds, and we had an apple quilt! Either version could be made in either size.


I had so much fun choosing fabrics and making bundles for the shop. It made me smile every time one of the bundles was happily snatched up by one of the retreat attendees. The excitement was building and it was a joy for me to see how much enthusiasm was being thrown into this event.


Small surprise projects are a trademark of the Tiny Stitches retreats, dating back long before I arrived. So I got busy planning two small surprise projects for our time together. I wanted them to be easy and quick, but useful as well. So I drew giant candy corn patterns and assembled tea towel kits. I love seasonal towels for the kitchen and this one is going to look awesome in my kitchen. I makes me happy to know there will be matching tea towels all over town.


Then I drew up the pattern for this tiny pumpkin pin cushion. The leaves are wool and its all tied up with pearl cotton and a cute little brown button. My dining room table looked like an assembly line all last week while I sorted, stuffed and packaged all these little surprises. The goody bags also included a fat eighth bundle from the shop, candy corn candy (of course) and a bonus pattern from my postcard pattern collection.


My friend Janet (fellow TS staff) was in charge of the 'bling' and the food and she out did herself! There was yummy versions of pumpkin everything, lots of apple goodies too, and a constant flow of caffeine and chocolate.


 My sweet friend Mary (another TS staff) stayed with me all weekend and was my angel. She scooped in and refilled things that were emptied, cleaned messes that were made, answered questions, offered support and generally made my life easier and definitely more pleasant! 






The fabric flew, laughter filled the shop, and the whirr and buzz of sewing machines was almost non stop. These ladies cut and sewed and laughed and ate, and then repeated everything many times over. 


We even had one finished quilt top before it was all done!


I expect to see lots of show and tells from this weekend for a long time to come! My sincerest appreciation to each person that attended and especially to Maetha and the staff for the constant support and enthusiasm. I am so blessed to be a part of such an amazing quilting community.

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

Friday, September 29, 2017

September Book List




I wanted to like this book. I checked it out from the library after waiting for it on my request list. I started reading it and found it to be a quick read and interesting for about the first half. Then it sort of fell apart for me. I actually started skimming a bit and eventually gave up. I'm kind of annoyed that I had to spend $2 in late fees because I couldn't force myself to finish it. Oh well. I can consider it a charitable donation to my library. Read at your own risk.



I listened to this book on CD while driving and I must say, I really enjoyed it. I think the CD was better than the book because the accents were amazing. I love a good British accent and this one made me smile and even laugh at times. The characters are complex and likable and not too predictable, but realistic. The story is told from several perspectives and those are the books I seem to like best these days. I really enjoyed listening to this would and would definitely recommend it.




This is a 'Young Adult' or 'Teen Fiction' novel but it speaks to the truth of grief and loss and finding one's own strength in a way that I found so inspiring. I loved the characters, and the teenage angst and the relationships! I didn't want this book to end, and I am SO glad I read this. It never got annoying or irritating and the characters were all people we have known or still know! Please read this book, you will not be disappointed. I promise!



I listened to this book in one weekend while I was driving around the entire state of GA. I had an almost five hour trip to visit a guild, then I took a detour on the way home to visit my son at UGA. So it was nice to have one book for the entire journey. I liked the book for the most part, it was interesting and kept me curious, but the main character was became a bit annoying by the end of the book. I liked the other characters very much, and it was a good story, so I would have to give this one a solid B, maybe a B+.


I have just started listening to this on CD and know that I am going to LOVE it! It's actually read by the author and she has the best southern accent that makes her writing come to life exactly as she intended it to (obviously!) I have read everything by her and would highly recommend all of her books. She writes the best stories about strong southern women and their often unconventional, always wacky families and friends. She is one of my favorite authors of all time. Her books make me laugh out loud. 

As always, I love it when you leave your recommendations in the comments!
Enjoy every chapter!
Diane




Monday, September 25, 2017

A Road Trip and A Big Thank You!




(Loved this quilt by Dave!)

I would like to send a big thank you to all of the wonderful quilters in the Staying in Stitches Quilt Guild in Statesboro GA. We had such a fun time this past weekend. I am terrible at remembering to take photos because I'm always so focused on what I am doing. (And maybe I missed taking show and tell photos because I was focused on the cupcakes, what can I say?)



Before the meeting on Friday we ate dinner at a wonderful Mexican restaurant across the street, then we had a busy workshop the following day. Dave, the president, did a wonderful job hosting me and making sure I had everything I needed (including cupcakes!)


And then on my way home Saturday evening, I detoured to Athens to visit my son, David. He was happy to know that I brought him a cupcake too! We had a wonderful dinner outside at The Big City Bread Cafe and then he went to the football game while I drove home. It was a wonderful weekend!

Hope you had a great weekend too,
Diane

Sunday, September 24, 2017

2018-2019 Teaching Calendar




Now that my next book finally has a release date (Christmas 2018!) I can start planning my teaching and travel featuring both of my books and all the quilts. You can look at my Workshop options by clicking HERE and you can see my teaching contract by clicking HERE.


I'm not allowed to share my quilts from the new book yet, but think STRIPS and think SCRAPS and think FUN and some really cool TRICKS AND TECHNIQUES for beginners as well as experienced quilters. I will be adding a new book trunk show and workshops as soon as I'm allowed to reveal the photos. We can book dates NOW and choose the workshops LATER.


I would love to visit your guild or group and will offer discounts for multiple bookings and 'back to back' bookings with other groups in your area. Please pass this information along to your guild program person, or the local shops in your area. It's better for all of us when we share!



NOTE: I can still add a guild or two on my way to Texas in mid April 2018 if you are interested. Contact me with questions at butterflythreadsquilting@gmail.com

Thanks so much, and looking forward to meeting many of you in the next couple of years!

Diane
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