Someone gave ME a quilt!

Are you one of those people that gives pretty handmade gifts, hand crafted items, but never seems to receive any? That’s me, too. No one ever seem to think of shopping at vintage stores, or antique shops, or craft fairs for me (I guess they assume I’ll make it myself), occasionally I receive a quilt shop gift certificate (always appreciated!).

Except Toni. She has always found unique, sometimes odd and unidentified, gifts for me, shares my love of fabric and all things sewing, and she’s generous. She gave me THIS:
It’s a quilt she made (a UFO until recently) that I have coveted for over five years. Made of mostly Amy Butler “Charm” fabrics in the navy and pink colorway that I sadly never bought any of. She gave it to me at our retreat this weekend as a belated birthday gift. It was SO worth the wait. The back is the gorgeous Chelsea Rose pattern (and check out that striped bias binding!):Toni, I love it, as you know, and I’ve already spent two evenings snuggling with it, despite the fact that it is unseasonably warm this week! I love you, too, girlfriend.

Our Guild retreat was this past weekend, I managed to finish up these Bee blocks, for Liz and Angela for One Block Over…I did a BAG FULL of cutting to finish up my Halloween quilts for next October… and I stitched most of my Christmas quilt top (pics to come as soon as I finish the top). Mostly I ate bad-for-me junk food, talked, slept, drank a margarita toast to my engagement, and laughed a lot. Retreats are good. Great friends are even better.


Spring Quilt Market: Westminster Fibers and Amy Butler

For anyone that likes bright, contemporary designs, the Westminster Fibers booth does not disappoint…Gorgeous quilts made up from Jennifer Paganelli’s newest lines, “S. St. Croix” and “Poodle”:

Erin McMorris’s “Weekends”, Joel Dewberry’s “Modern Meadow” and Denyse Schmidt’s newest (click on photos to enlarge)…

Gorgeous quilts incorporating Amy Butler’s “Love” collection… The log cabin there is stunning!

Loved, LOVED, this quilt….

Here’s some Modern Meadow eye candy, and Valori Wells‘ “Nest”….
Valori’s individual booth was lovely…just lovely…

She has some sweet little $3.00 mini patterns, but all this bird stuff was thrilling me to tears! I love a sweet birdy design!
Felicity Miller‘s “Gypsy” line is one of my faves!

I had the pleasure of meeting Anna in her booth, and oohing and ahhing over the slip-covered sofa….her book, her lovely fabrics….

And this quilt that I FELL HEAD OVER HEELS WITH….

The pattern for the quilt and the pompom pillow will be out late Summer.

Walking past, or through, Amy Butler’s booth is sort of like a candy store for fabri-holics… Well, it’s like that for me anyway. Absolutely gorgeous….

She has quilting fabric and patterns, clothing and accessory patterns, home dec fabric and patterns, yarn, paper, stationary, bedding, and now WALLPAPER!

That’s right, that isn’t fabric covering her booth walls, it’s actually Amy Butler wallpaper!
he colors are breathtaking…

We saw sneak peeks of her new Soul Blossoms fabric…can’t wait to work with that!

Now, I just need to channel all of this inspiration into production! Thank goodness I have a long weekend to get some sewing and creating done!

Making a List, Checking it Twice

I’ve crossed a few biggies off of my Spring to Finish to-do list:

1) Quilt & Bind B&W quilt
2) Quilt and bind dress-form mini quilt
3) Finish Valentine runner
4) Finish six Nearly Insane blocks that are cut
5) Bind Girlish Charm quilt
6) Finish
Chrysanthemum quilt
7) Finish Birthday quilt top
8) Bind the Shining Star quilt
9) Finish Flying Geese runner
10) Finish Lisa’s medallion border
11) Finish Studio canvases
12) Finish vintage sewing machine table
13) C’s baby quilt
14) Finish new shower curtain
15) Make 10.5″ 30s Block for Karen
16) Clean out closets 1, 2, and 3 (Decided to do my LEAST favorite, first!)
17) Store Sample-batik jacket

I decided that #16 was the most dreaded of the tasks, the rest are all enjoyable on some level, but #16, only possible to enjoy that task when it is complete. So I dove in, and have my Spring closet cleaning and organizing done, a full two weeks before my sister’s garage sale (where all the “toss” items are going).

Over the weekend, I finished up my last Valentine table runner while watching Anne of Green Gables.

And the biggest accomplishment was finally binding my Girlish Charm Quilt, a generous King-sized mammoth… made with all Amy Butler prints…
The “chains” are all Amy Butler Charm fabrics (hence the name of the quilt), and the fabric between them is from the Amy Butler Midwest Modern 2 line.The binding is bias binding cut from this Pink Lotus Pond by Amy Butler:The back used up the remaining Charm scraps I had, and a lovely soft pink Kona Cotton. It took forever to stitch the binding down just because of it’s size…but I have a great feeling of accomplishment, now that it is done!

Tonight: The Chrysanthemum Quilt!

Parcels in the Post

Don’t you just love getting packages in the post? I mean, really, what’s not to like? …Something in the mail that is NOT a bill, something that’s sometimes unexpected, it’s all good! I was excited to receive one from Margaret of Mainely Quilts of Love the other day…lovingly wrapped,

It was my Girlish Charm quilt which she quilted for me on her long arm. It has a gorgeous (not that you’d know it by my horrible photos…ugh!) allover feather design…

Lovely, isn’t it! And a perfect compliment to all the Amy Butler fabrics.

The back is pieced as well, in leftover Amy B. Charm fabrics and Kona Cotton:

This quilt is huge, over 100″ square, which makes it a) Very heavy and, b) Too large to lay out flat anywhere in my new home for photography. If I could find a clean snow bank outside, I guess I could get shots of it outdoors. Maybe this weekend. I still have to bind it, anyways, so more photos after that is done!

I’ve been a busy beaver preparing small handmade items for the holidays…finished these up last night…

The pattern for these cute reusable gift bags, AND the scone recipe is called “My Other Kitchen” by Vanilla House Designs, and it came from here. Super easy, it’s a “green” gift, and the scones are yummy! That’s a little pocket at the front of the bag to add a gift card, wooden spoon, candy cane, etc., to dress up your package. Clever!

Are you scrambling to finish up any last minute handmade gifts?

Just another Wednesday….

…HARDLY! It was day ONE of the American Quilter’s Society Des Moines 2009 Show, and I spent the day in QUILT HEAVEN! (Warning: this is an image-laden post, dear readers! Click on images to enlarge for better details.) Some detail shots from a few of the quilts that KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF–full shots to come in another post…My personal fave, done by a member of my guild, Leigh Lussie, and shown in the AQS juried portion of the show…an applique bed quilt of a pattern by Kim McLean.
An amazing wall quilt of life-like sunflowers and grapes…STUNNING…I have to double check who made this one…
A detail shot of the BEST IN SHOW quilt, and yes, it truly was. Very hard to photograph (it’s HUGE) and I did my best, but my photos will not even begin to show the beauty and craftsmanship of this quilt…
Cynthia England is one of my quilt idols, and this is a shot of her shoreline pictorial quilt, One Fine Day, which BLOWS MY MIND. I’d love to know how many thousands of pieces go into one of these quilts of hers.
And a hand quilted, hand appliqued Broderie Perse style quilt done with older Amy Butler lines, Ginger Bliss and some Charm pieces. It is a beautifully done modern take on an age old technique. Artist is Jean Clark from Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin.
Okay, maybe this goldfish and water lily quilt was my fave…and could have been my vote for “Best in Show”, lifelike, gorgeous, and mouth-dropping. The artist is Sherrie Coppenbarger from Morton, Illinois. I’m going to have to reassess my vote for fave when I go back tomorrow… And, I have only seen about half the vendor booths, but I seriously doubt I will find one that tickled my fancy like this one did:
The display and vendor booth for Handbehg Felts, a supplier of felting tools, wool roving, hand-felted wool balls, jewelry kits, accessories, etc…They had a corner booth with this awesome dress form adorned with a wool ball kits and toilet paper roll skirt, and this great “bouquet” bursting from the neck:What initally drew my eye to the booth (I was in a daze at this point, and saw into the booth before I saw the dress form…yeah, really tired and in a daze….) were these fun stockings in the Christmas fabrics I have in my stash! How cute! I haven’t checked out their website yet, but I’m betting it’s awesome, too!

Our Des Moines Area Quilting Guild is fortunate enough to have our Annual Guild Quilt Show in association with this AQS show. In exchange, we provide them A LOT of volunteer hours to man the show, assistance in planning and set-up, etc. I entered three quilts in the Guild Show this year, and nothing beats seeing them hanging amongst other lovely quilts in a large space… my Gertrude and Friends growth chart and my Canoe Crossing quilt…

Well, okay, nothing beats that feeling except maybe rounding the corner and seeing your quilt hanging amongst other lovely quilts in a large space with a RIBBON DANGLING FROM IT!

That’s right, my Gypsy Django quilt earned a Third Place ribbon in the Non-Traditional Wall Quilt category. I was thrilled to say the least, and since I was alone at the time, I whipped out the cell phone and started calling people…three phone calls and NOT ONE ANSWER later, I ran to the nearest table being manned by a friend and mine to delightedly declare “I won a Ribbon!” She obliged me with the appropriate amount of enthuiasm and took a quick break from her duties to run over and view it with me. Gotta love quilt friends. (And seriously, loved ones, where are you when I need you to answer your phone?!?)

In the afternoon, I took a class with Frieda Anderson, called “Fast & Fun Freemotion”, and guess what?!? I think I finally get freemotion quilting! She’s a very thorough, no nonsense teacher and we all concurred it was a fabulous class. Here are shots of my four “sandwiches” of doodles I made:
stippling, square meanders, and M & E’s…
Sticks and twigs & shooting stars….
and there are even some hearts, McTavishing style echos, and feathers in there, that don’t look too bad for a first time attempt! Now, I need to find time to practice in the near future at home, lest I forget everything I learned…

And last but not least, there had to be some shopping…my booty:
a Supreme Slider and Magic Genie Washers, recommended by Leah, some fun Michael Miller and Monoluna FQs, a piece of Kaffe Fassett Aboriginal Dots in a color I didn’t have!, a new Clover thimbletwo Minnesota fabric FQs for my sweetie who hails from St Paul, a stack of Art Gallery Blenders (yum!), and of course, some LOVEStay tuned for additional AQS Des Moines posts…good things are happening in our Capital city!

Happy sewing,


Girlish Charm

I first posted about this quilt here, as UFQ #7…
It looks different than the pattern in the magazine, I made all the blocks, lay them out on the floor and it looked like a muddied mess. So, I pulled out my sketch book and came up with a new layout, creating a row quilt instead. It’s huge, like 98 x 100, and therefore hard to get a shot of in my little home. It’s made from 40-50 Amy Butler Charm fat quarters, and the floral fabric between the rows is from her first Midweat Modern line.
I made a pieced back (sorry, no photos!) using a pale pink Kona Cotton and scraps from the top.
The bias binding is made as well, but it won’t get quilted until 2009, when my long-arm quilting fund is built back up! But I consider this a completed UFQ at this point!

Maggy decided to make herself an autumn decoration the other day…
She blends in quite well, no? HAPPY TURKEY DAY from Maggy and Me!