First I want to say thank you to everyone who stopped by my little corner of blogland, and left a sweet comment during the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Hop last week! I enjoyed reading about everyone's favorites and getting all the great feedback that you left me.
Random.org helped me choose some random numbers, and...Congratulations to the winners from my turn on the Hop!
Becky will receive a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks magazine:
This is my little block called Citrus Rainbow. It's Block #753 and can be found on page 50 of volume 8 (Right in the middle of the issue conveniently located by the pattern pull-out page).
It's pretty easy to make ~ wedges are cut from strip sets either by using a wedge ruler, or the wedge templates are included in the pull-out pattern section of the magazine.
I thought I'd share one of the things I like to do to play with layout design choices using a single block. This can be done easily by anyone, even if you don't have design software on your computer...or like me, you don't want to take way more time to learn how to load this block in the software than it would to actually play with designs...or like me you once knew how to do that, but would need to take an entire day to figure out how to do it again...
...So anyway, first you just copy about 16 copies of the little block shown in the magazine. (You can either copy it multiple times, or scan it once and plop 16 of them on one page and print that page out). Then you cut them out so you have 16 little paper quilt blocks to play with like the ones shown above.
Now you have what my grand daughter calls quilt puzzle pieces, and it's time to play...
By just laying them out in different orientations you can easily experiment with different looks...
...and combinations of row and column settings. These are just a few ideas. Try laying them out on colored paper and leave gaps between blocks to get an idea of how sashings and/or borders would look with the block.
**Don't forget to snap a photo of any combinations that you like, especially if you're changing them around to a lot ~ it's easy to forget that really cute design that you liked, but now can't remember what you did (ask me how I know that).
Then when you're done with them, the kiddos will spend hours "designing" with their quilt puzzle, allowing you time to actually start cutting out your fabrics...Win - Win!
Now for some Bloggy-Hoppin fun! Head over to the Spring Water Designs website and peruse the patterns. Then come back and leave a comment on this blog post letting us know which is your favorite Spring Water Designs pattern (Hint: you can view some pattern designs on the home page, or the patterns, or kits pages on the website). On Sunday the 17th, one name will be drawn from the comments to receive a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks vol. 8 magazine, and Two more winners will be drawn to receive a copy of their favorite Spring Water Designs pattern :)
Don't forget to follow along on the 100 Blocks Blog Tour daily November 11th - 15th at The Quiltmaker Blog to see other great blocks, ideas, and even more give aways!
It makes my day when someone takes one of my original patterns (like my Rootin Tootin Cowboy quilt pictured above) and makes it their own ~ and then shares photos with me!
Janell Roberts from Colorado sent me these photos of how she used the appliques from my pattern and made her version of the Rootin Tootin Cowboy quilt. She made it for their Undersheriff who is expecting a baby. Mother-to-be's hubby is a rancher, so she went with the cowboy theme.
Both parents-to-be are volunteer firemen, so Janell used this cuddly flannel on the back that has dalmatians and fire hydrants ~ her fabric choices are so well thought out, and just perfect ...and I need to find some of this flannel for my firefighter son :)
Janell shared with me that she has inherited over 1500 yards of fabric that she's using in the quilts she makes, which I think is so special in carrying forward our craft. (It beautifully illustrates the value of our fabric stashes and the legacy that lives on through them.) Thank you Janell for sharing your sweet quilt, I know it will be loved :)
Enjoy the day!
PS ~ You can go to this past Blog Post if you want that shows a different version of my Abby's Owl quilt that another quilter friend shared with me :)
We spent an afternoon the week we were in Houston walking through the amazing quilt show at the International Quilt Market, and as my photos like the one above will attest, I was in awe of the quilting. The hours and talent that were poured into those quilts resulted in some magnificent pieces of art and certainly classifies them as what we think of as heirlooms. It really humbled me and reinforced the thought I had that I'm not an "heirloom quilter".
So when I returned home and went back to work on the pile of quilt tops that I have in line for my Handi Quilter ~ all of which are receiving a simple allover meander quilting design ~ I was feeling less than inspired, and questioning my quilting talents. (...Not that I don't do more custom quilting treatments occasionally, but frankly most of the time a simple allover meander is what I'm doing to get a quilt finished.)
...While working on my next quilt that was one of two that I pieced and was now quilting for my cousin to gift to her grandsons for Christmas, I was muttering about my lack of "heirloom" quality quilting on these simple quilts ~ then I happened to glance over at my little granddaughter who was cuddled up on the floor of my studio to take her afternoon rest, with her favorite quilt that she has claimed (a simply pieced and allover quilted quilt)
...and I teared up.
(...yes, I'm a little menopausal ~ but I don't think that totally discounts my point)
I started to realize that these humble, yet I think beautiful quilts may just be destined to become heirlooms. These quilts are being given as gifts to two young boys from their grandmother who carefully chose the fabrics to coincide with the interests of each boy. These aren't quilted in such a "fancy heirloom" way that they will be stored away in a closet because they are "too nice" to use.
...No these are the quilts they might...
Cuddle under when they are sick...or pull up tight around their necks when they are afraid at night.
These are the quilts that they will wrestle on with their favorite dog...watch TV on...and cry under when they are jilted by their first crush one day.
...And when they grow up, they will always, always remember their Grandma's love when they see them.
...So after standing there pondering all these things, and feeling a little renewed and somewhat inspired, I decided I wouldn't get them done in time for Christmas if I didn't get back to work ~ so I wiped my teary eyes and got back to work meandering...today's heirloom quilts.
Enjoy the day!
PS ~ As I write this blog post, the cat and I are now curled up in my comfy chair, sitting under the quilt that lives draped over this chair in my living room... and yes, it's simply quilted with an allover meander :)
One of the main reasons Bob and I attended Quilt Market is because we are Handi Quilter Reps, and wanted to see all of the new items being introduced this Fall in person at the Handi Quilter Booth ~ Bob stayed me with like a trooper through all of the fabric and notions at Market, but it really was the machinery that he was there to see...and of course to go to the Handi Quilter party on Saturday night :)
One of the great new Fall introductions that I didn't get any photos of is the new feature on the Pro Stitcher where you no longer have to walk around and drop levers on the carriage to engage the gears when you want to use the Pro Stitcher, this is now a button built into the Pro Stitcher! Very cool for all the Stand Up Frame quilters. I don't need any photos of this because I ordered a new Avante with Pro Stitcher and will have it in my Studio shortly for you to see!
But for the Sit Down quilters, here I'm checking out the new table option for the Sweet Sixteen Sit Down machine! It offers a wonderful new choice for the Sweet Sixteen (Can you tell I'm really a "kick the tires" kind of gal?)
There's lots of surface space without having to add any extensions and there's storage underneath. The table has an automatic built in hydraulic lift that will lower and raise the machine, so it can be stored inside when the machine is not in use...
...and the feature that's totally worth the cost of the table (which is very reasonable considering all it does and how heavy duty it is) ~ with the push of a button, it will also raise the machine up three inches above the table to access the bobbin area ~ no more bending to look underneath! Yea ~ I'll be ordering this in too :)
This picture better shows the space inside where the machine can drop down into, and the sides close in to completely contain and store the machine away when it's not in use. A great feature for people who have limited space or are quilting in a spare bedroom. Notice it also comes on casters so even though it's heavy, it's easy to move around. When closed up the table is a great size for another cutting or work surface in the sewing studio.
Another exciting introduction this Fall that works with all HQ machines is the conversion kit to be able to easily change the feet on your Handi Quilter machines from closed toe to open toe hopping foot. This makes it easier to change feet when you want a closed hopping foot for ruler work, but want to quickly change to and open foot for microquilting, much like changing feet on a regular domestic sewing machine. And there is also a set of three Couching Feet available for some exciting embellishing ideas.
I watched Helen Godden demonstrate how easy it is to couch a pretty yarn or fiber onto your quilt while you're quilting it! I sat down and played with it myself, and it really is easy!
There are some more items coming out like new video sets including some featuring Debby Brown, some ruler gripper strips, and this Bobbin Box for your larger M size bobbins :)
All the new items are starting to ship this month (the new Pro Stitcher is shipping now along with many of the smaller items), and the new Sweet Sixteen table starting to ship by December 1st. I'll be carrying everything, and will have them up on our Website soon, so contact me if you have any questions, or would like to place your orders!