Saturday, May 27, 2017

My Friend Patsy Eckman




I was lucky enough to call Patsy Eckman my friend for over 20 years. She was a beautiful bright light of love, laughter and limitless creativity. She passed away earlier this week after a brave battle with cancer. I'm going to miss her more than words can express.


I first met Patsy when I was pregnant with my daughter Kelly. We were cabin mates at a quilt retreat and she made me laugh like no one else could. She was also the most creative person I think I will ever meet. But she was humble, kind and generous as well. When she finished her project before the retreat was over she designated herself as my pressing assistant and pressed all of my strips and blocks for me so I could get more sewing done. Obviously, she made a good first impression!


She wasn't just a quilter, she was a fiber artist in the true sense of the word.  She regularly made fabulous dolls and vases, boxes and bags, and her embellishments of each were exquisite. She could draw and paint as well. And her love of learning never ended! She went to quilting seminars and workshops for years, as well as taking online classes for all of her various endeavors. Her constant thirst for learning fed her skills and workmanship. She wasn't afraid to try anything!


But more than her creativity, was her joy and huge personality that were expressed in all she did. She created charity quilts with the same flourish and love that she put into her masterpieces. Her bright and brilliant inner light radiated from each project she completed.


When she was diagnosed with cancer almost a year ago, a few of us made this simple comfort quilt for her in her favorite bright colors and black and white prints. I hope it felt like a hug from us when she needed it most.


It's hard to say what I will miss most about Patsy because there is so much I'm going to miss. Her upbeat attitude, her can-do spirit, her joyful and fun-loving attitude, and her genuine kind heart and generous friendship will be remembered always. I imagine her beautiful spirit is somewhere right now finding something to embellish with stitches, beads and bling!

I often told Pasty that I wanted to be just like her when I grow up. I think that might be the best way to honor her beautiful bright light of love. Right now though, I'm really missing her.

Love you Patsy,
Diane

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Happy Birthday Butterfly Threads Quilting!



This little blog is 5 years old this month! That is crazy because it seems like a flash and at the same time, seems like forever. I've been sharing stories, quilts, recipes, books, travel and a few random things along the way. I want to thank each and every reader for following along on this crazy quilting adventure of mine. I am so grateful for all of your kind comments and generous encouragement from the very beginning.


So how should we celebrate this birthday? With a give away of course! I have a set of 5 patterns for 5 lucky quilters! The patterns are a collection of old and new and all five are not the same. I'm in the process of updating my pattern covers so I'll be sharing some of the patterns with the older style covers.


To enter the give away, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me how you found this blog, or me, or just make something up if you can't remember. You'll get extra chances to win for creativity! 'wink' The 5 winners will be announced on June 1.

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Spring Quilt Market 2017


This time last year I was at Spring Quilt Market in Salt Lake City celebrating the publication of my first book with C&T Publishing. It was a wonderful and thrilling time for me as a quilter and an author but it was a sad time for me as a mother.


I missed out on seeing my sweet girl get her honors at the Senior Honors Night. Hubby dutifully took photos and documented it for me, but it broke a small piece of my heart to not be there.


So this year, I made a deliberate decision to be home for the Senior Honors Night and to enjoy every moment with these boys. I also plan to be at the Track Banquet this afternoon to celebrate again today. Being their mom is the single greatest joy and privilege of my life. I don't want to miss a moment. They will be heading off to start their own college experiences soon enough!


I might have missed Spring Quilt Market this year, but the trade off was totally worth it! And I'm pretty sure I have quite a few more Quilt Markets in my future. I'm already working on that! But for now, I thought I would share some of my favorite market moments via social media...

AURIFIL facebook live video.

This fabric collection.

Maetha's market adventures on Instagram.

Cutest pillow ever!

What were your favorite market moments?
Diane


Monday, May 15, 2017

May Mini of the Month



It's finally here! The mini quilt for the month of May. I started the mini of  the month idea a couple of years ago and never got around to making a few of the months, so here is my attempt to fill in the remaining months. The other quilts and pattern links can be found HERE.


While this is not technically a mini quilt, but rather just a small one, I call it "Mini of the Month" because that sounds better than "Little Quilt of the Month". And it's my blog so I get to take liberties like that. 'wink'

When I realized I still had the heart quilt hanging in my front hall that I made for Valentines Day and that the calendar tells me we are almost half way through the month of May, I decided that now was the time to take action! So here goes...


Triple Star Wall Hanging
12'' x 24''
block size 8''

Materials Needed:
Light scraps- 36 squares 2 1/2'' x 2 1/2''
Dark scraps- 48 squares 2 1/2'' x 2 1/2''
Dark scraps for border- 24 squares 2 1/2'' x 2 1/2''
Binding- 5 strips 2 1/4'' x 18''
Batting- 14'' x 26''
Backing- 14'' x 26''
Hanging Sleeve- 3" x 12"

To make each Star block:
Layer a light square and a dark square right sides together.
Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner and sew on that line.
Trim away one side, 1/4'' away from the seam.
Press toward the dark.
Make eight for the star points.
Repeat the steps above with two dark squares.
Make four for the center of the star.
Arrange four center triangle squares, 8 star point squares, and 4 light squares to make the star.
Sew the squares into rows, sew the rows together, Press the seams to one side.

Make 3 Star blocks.
Sew the 3 Star blocks into a row.
Press the seams to one side.

For the Borders:
Sew two rows of 12 dark squares together.
Press the seams to one side.
Sew one row to each side of the quilt top,
Press the seams toward the border strip.

Finish the Quilt:
Layer the quilt, batting and backing and quilt as desired.
This quilt was quilted in the ditch around the stars and along the border.
Bind the quilt using a double fold binding made from the 5 strips cut 2 1/4'' x 18''.
Add a hanging sleeve and press the quilt.

Enjoy your little quilt!
Diane

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Find my tutorial on Craftsy today!



I am still working on the star mini quilt that I promised to share this weekend. Tomorrow will be the day hopefully! Until then, you can enjoy this little tutorial I wrote for Craftsy.

Have a wonderful day!
Diane

Monday, May 8, 2017

May is a Marathon!


I've often said that the month of May is busier than the month of December, which is saying a lot! But this May feels like a marathon. It's all good but it just seems like I barely have time to complete one task/event before the next one is upon me. Here's a peek at what's happening around here this month...


Kelly moved home from college for the summer. While I am beyond thrilled to have my sweet girl in the house again, her move from a THIRD floor dorm to a second floor bedroom left me feeling like I had been hit by a truck! I love this girl but as  you can see, she does not travel light. Luckily, my sweet little pack rat is all moved in and everything is now in it's place. Whew. The photo was taken on her first morning home. I asked her how she got into her bed and her reply...It wasn't easy mom! See why I'm so glad to have her around? LOL


Then there was PROM. Oh how I love prom with all the beautiful dresses and excitement. I'm happy to report that these two little love birds had a wonderful time! They went with 3 other couples and the girls had a sleepover at one house and the boys at another, then they continued the party the next day at the neighborhood pool. I just adore these kids!


Let's not forget that in midst of all of this, I have been working at the quilt shop, sewing samples, and helping projects meet deadlines. All of this work is what I love, but I do NOT love deadlines. I am pleased to report that I can actually scallop a whole quilt and bind it in a 24 hour period. I even impressed myself with that one!


Next the parties and celebrations will begin because these two boys are GRADUATING from high school this month! I'm so proud of them. I'm sorry they have to take so many AP exams before that happens, but I know they will do their best and because of that, I'm a super proud mom!


Family will be flying in from Arizona and Mimi will arrive from NC for the festivities. We also have friends with graduating seniors that we will happily help celebrate their achievements as well. So the month of May really does feel like a marathon!

Enjoy every celebration!
Diane

Thursday, May 4, 2017

When I'm not Quilting...


You might think that all I do is sit around and quilt when I'm not working at the local quilt shop, or traveling and teaching guild workshops. You may remember that I also write blog posts and tutorials for Craftsy, but lately I've been guest appearing on the C&T blog as well!


So just in case you missed it...here's my little interview with C&T.



And here's my post about labels on C&T.


And here's my latest tutorial on Craftsy.



And the one before that.


And now that you're totally sick of me, I will go to my sewing room, after all, I just cut out all the pieces for my next quilt and it's calling my name!

Diane
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