Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why I blog...


(pattern found here)

I blog for lots of reasons. Here's a few:

1. I love to quilt and teach and share.
2. I love looking at pretty pictures of quilts and want to return the favor.
3. I like meeting other quilters from all over the world.
4. I like getting comments and feedback from people who understand quilting.
5. I like to write and take photos almost as much as I like to quilt.
6. I like knowing people can just google me if they want to find me.
7. Selling my patterns is a thrill...every.single.time.
8. Encouraging people to try something new makes me so happy.
9. Knowing someone is quilting because I encouraged or inspired them is incredibly rewarding.
10. I enjoy it.

I also like to read other blogs.
Thanks for reading this one!
Diane

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Give Away Winner!!

SPLASH pattern found HERE


That's right, I totally forgot that I was giving away a PDF pattern of SPLASH in honor of my birthday last week. Old age must be affecting my memory. I'm so sorry!

So later today I will be emailing the PDF to everyone who entered by the deadline of Sept 8. I mean how am I supposed to choose? You are all so sweet and I really appreciate your patience. The fact that you are still following my blog means so much to me! Thank you from the bottom of my little old forgetful heart!

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane


UPDATE:
I've emailed the PDF to the winners but I had several entries without email addresses. If you won and didn't get an email from me, leave me your email address and I will send it out today! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

10 Minute Tip




Set small goals. Instead of thinking to yourself...I really need to finish that quilt! Be more specific. Add the next step to your to do list for the day. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by an entire quilt, it seems much more managable to "Make 5 Blocks" or "Cut the background pieces" or  "Sew one row together". If you get more done, fantastic! If not, at least you will be one step closer to having that quilt finished, but instead of guilt, you can feel a sense of accomplishment. Now go get the next step done on whatever it is you are working on!

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

Monday, September 15, 2014

Q & A or TMI?


(This quilt has nothing to do with this post, I just think every post should have a photo.)

When I give trunk shows or programs to guilds I notice I get the same questions over and over. I don't know if any of you readers are curious but I thought I would share some of those questions and answers here. So here goes...

Q: How do you have time to make so many quilts, do you ever sleep?
A: Sleep is highly over rated. I believe in the power nap and take one several times a week. I do dream of sleeping 8 hours a night, but that's just not realistic at this point in my life.

Q: When do you quilt?
A: I am a big believer in getting small things done in every spare minute. I sew almost every day. Even if it's just a few minutes to get some four patches finished, or to cut out a new pattern, or wind some bobbins and clean my machine. Those little 10 minutes here and there add up.

Q: Do ever cook or clean?
A: Well, that depends on who you ask. My husband would say, not often enough! LOL But I do try to meal plan and grocery shop to make those tasks as efficient as possible. I love my crock pot! I do at least one load of laundry every day and I occasionally clean the house very thoroughly (my daughter says I'm OCD) but I try to tidy up every day, and deep clean every couple of weeks.

Q: How many kids do you have?
A: I have three awesome teenagers. Kelly is 17 and when she's not riding her horse (English hunter/jumper) she's got her nose in a book or giggling with friends on skype. I also have twin boys David and Danny who are almost 16. Yes they are identical, and no I don't get them mixed up (very often) and they are 15.5 months younger than their sister. What can I say, I've always been efficient. They are both laid back and love to run cross country and on the track team. They also spend time doing various outdoor activities that require helmuts. I actually wanted to have four children but once I realized I could get another set of twins, I decided not to push my luck. Twins run in my family.

Q: What is your favorite thing about quilting?
A: Honestly, that would be hard to choose. I love the designing and selecting fabrics, but I also really love piecing, and machine quilting. I even like binding. I'm not a huge fan of basting, but it is a necessary step so I can hardly skip it.

Q: Do you have a quilt room?
A: Yes, I am very lucky to have an entire room in my basement dedicated to quilting. I know how fortunate I am but do we ever have enough room? I try to keep things tidy and not have too many projects going at once, try being the key word here.

Q: Do you have a longarm?
A: No. I dream of having one some day but currently I quilt all of my own quilts on my domestic machine. I have a Janome Horizon and it is wonderful! I also have a large sewing desk with extension table so I am very lucky in that respect.

Q: How did you first get published?
A: I opened the magazine and looked for the page with contact information and found where to send submissions. That simple. Didn't know anyone at the magazine, didn't know anyone who had published in one. I'm kind of like that...I just try something and see what happens. You never know if you don't try!

Congratulations if you've actually gotten this far! I hope I haven't bored you to tears.
Enjoy every stitch!
Diane













Friday, September 12, 2014

#QuiltingLive

(one of the quilts from the vintage collection with modern quilting)

I spent Friday at Quilting Live in Atlanta. I was there when the doors opened and didn't leave until every booth had been shopped, every quilt had been admired, and every quilting rock star had been met! It was too much fun!


My friend Martha and I were volunteered to pose in the Quilt Land booth and we might have had a bit of fun with the dress up and decor! Just a little.


Then we might have bought a few things, 


...and then a few more.

(another vintage quilt with modern quilting)

And then we looked at some gorgeous quilts.

(Victoria with her quilt that was incredible!)

And the highlight of the day was meeting Victoria Findlay Wolfe and having her guide us through the collection of wedding ring quilts. She was as charming and nice as she is talented! 


We also got to meet the quilter who made this quilt (which won the wedding ring competition it was hung with) and let me just say that this quilt is even more gorgeous in person than it is in the photo.

(by the amazingly talented Rachel)

This version was made in DENIM with some seriously fabulous HAND QUILTING and we might have had a conversation about THAT. Impressive doesn't begin to cover it. I told Rachel I would take a photo of her quilt and say hello to it. I also spent some quality time just admiring it. Her choice of fabrics and threads and texture combinations are so fun. 


Without a doubt, this quilt got the best laugh! It was part of the collection by John Flynn showcasing some of his work over the years. This quilt was inspired by the 2000 presidential election. He chose to quilt donkeys and elephants in the corners of the blocks, and he wrote quotes from the debates in the sashing. But what he wrote in the white section of the sashing is "what he heard"...blah, blah, blah.... I laughed so hard. He also included the yelllow block to represent florida since the red blocks and blue blocks represented the political parties of the other states. And on the back...patriotic hot air balloons. How perfect is that? I love a good sense of humor when it comes to politics! 

We also ran into a few friends (a dozen or so!) and that is always fun. It was a great day, and I look forward to doing it again next year!

Diane






Thursday, September 11, 2014

September Mini of the Month



This month's mini is a super tiny 6 1/2" square. I based it on my Mardi Gras Memories quilt but chose two colors instead of three. I also shrunk the block so that I could use a mini charm pack. I only made four blocks and no borders so this is the perfect size for a hot pad or mug rug. I put two layers of batting in mine so that I could use it for either purpose.


I layered a red square on top of a white one and marked a line on the diagonal. I sewed on the drawn line, cut away the excess on one side and pressed toward the red. I trimmed the blocks to 2". I made eight of these.


Then I made the four patches. I cut the squares in half down the middle.


Then I layered the strips right sides together with a red on top of a white.


I sewed the strips together along one side using a quarter inch seam allowance.


I finger pressed toward the red and layered two sets together alternating red facing white and white facing red. I sewed along the end, using a quarter inch seam allowance.


See how I nested the seams together so that they would meet perfectly?


Then I did the same thing at the other end.


I cut these units in half, and finger pressed the seams so that the intersection lay pinwheeled to reduce bulk. 


These four patches were 2" square now. I also made eight of these.


I laid them out in the design I liked. Play with it and see if you like a different arrangement.


I sewed the units together in rows, then sewed the rows together.


For the backing I simply made a nine patch from leftover squares.


You can see that it is the same size as the top. I layered two pieces of batting and quilted very simply by machine. I added a single fold binding and machine stitched it down as well.


You can see the quilting lines from the back.


How easy is that!?! It took me about an hour at the most.
I still had plenty of squares leftover from my mini charm pack.

Quick Review:
Make 8 HST from 8 red and 8 white squares.
Make 8 four patches from 4 red and 4 white squares cut in half.
Units will measure 2" before sewn together, the block will be 6.5" finished.

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane







Tuesday, September 9, 2014

AP&Q Calendar 2015

(used with permission from American Patchwork and Quilting)

The new 2015 AP&Q Calendars have arrived! I'm super excited to be included again this year as 'November'. Didn't they make my quilt look nice?

(used with permission from American Patchwork and Quilting)

If you would like to purchase a copy that comes complete with all twelve patterns, just leave a comment with your paypal address and I'll send you an invoice. The cost is $24, that's only $2 a pattern with a free calendar!

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane
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