Thursday, March 28, 2013

Winter's Last Stand

After a bit of wintery weather this week here in central New York, and with a few inches of snow on the ground, several of the neighborhood kids must have decided that there was just enough snow to make a snow man. . . or two. Will these 'guys' be the last for the 2012/2013 winter season? Only time will tell.

The "Classic"

The "Weight Watcher" (Love the 'doo!)

The "Tilt"

The "Dragon"--this one has been slayed

Next! . . .Spring!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Welcome Spring!

The ground may be covered with white snow outside my window, but I don't care. The calendar says it's spring, and I'm gonna roll with it!

All the signs are here. The days are definitely getting longer. Huge flocks of red-wing blackbirds now congregate daily outside my window at the bird feeders. And my favorite nesting cams are starting to deliver news of first sightings of migrant birds and eggs in raptor nests. I LOVE this time of year!

Just in time for Spring, I have a new pattern out with Cut Loose Press. It's called, Up One Side Table Runner.


WARNING: A shameless plug follows. . . *grin!*
Triangles playfully fly up one side and down the other on this fun-to-make table runner.

All those triangles. . . looks intimidating. Not to worry!

Cut strips. Easy, right?

Use a specialty ruler to cut triangles from the strips. I recommend the Creative Grids Multi-Size 4590 ruler, for example.

Trim the triangle points with Marti Michell's Corner Trimmer Template. I suppose you can skip this step, but man-o-man does it ever make the piecing easier, so why would you skip it?!

And sew.

Need a shower gift? How about those graduations coming up? Summer pick-a-nic season will be here before you know it. . . .

Ask for and buy the pattern, Up One Side Table Runner, at your favorite independent quilt shop. Or pick it up here.

In the meantime, enjoy the first full week of spring!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Back from the Races!

It feels a little like race day around here. Or maybe end-of-the-race day.

I have been working on and talking about the newest ScrapTherapy book forever, or so it seems! And just yesterday, the first copy of the book, ScrapTherapy, Scraps Plus One! arrived at my studio from the publisher!


That means that the new book will start showing up in your favorite places to shop for books very, very soon! Ask for it at your favorite shop, order it here, or you can even download an eBook directly from the Taunton Store.

Yippee! Skippee!

Speaking of Races . . .
Last week, I mentioned that I was headed to Oh Susannah's Upstairs Inn in Watkins Glen, NY for a long weekend - three and one-half days of nearly non-stop sewing. This week, I'm here to tell you I survived the weekend with my quilty girlfriends, and I even got a few things done.

I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

First we had to pack. It can get pretty tricky when six women have to load up sewing machines, projects, food (we didn't want to starve), and clothing for a long weekend. But we did it. My CRV is loaded and ready to roll. By the way, this was just enogh space for two of us. Beth and myself. (Good grief!)

Oh, Susannah's and the Upstairs Inn was our destination. Our cozy accommodations are just one flight of stairs above the shop.

Tempting daily visits with Sue Knapp our 'landlady' for the weekend, kept our fabric and supplies from getting too thin *a-hem!*

Once we were settled in, it didn't take long for projects to emerge. Color. Variety. Fun!

Beth brought this doll, a gift to a refugee family from Somalia. But the doll needed some new outfits - like this coat made from a little girl's coat at the second hand store. This little doll is stylin'!

These blocks represent two different projects, one more contemporary, one more traditional.

Color, one row at a time. . .

More color. . . threads and fabric squares waiting their turn

I pulled out some fabric leftovers and made a few quilts for the local hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Ooops! A decision point: Change the thread. Don't change the thread. Go shopping and decide later. . . .

With all the sewing going on, a quilter is bound to get hungry. Fortunately we left some space in the car to bring some snacks.

 . . . and breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Inn has a small kitchen, complete with all the necessities to eat-in.

And the town! Watkins Glen is a charming community, the inn is steps away from the village located at the very southern tip of Seneca Lake, one of New York's Finger Lakes. Nearby wineries offer some fabulous selections.

Right around the corner, you can find some really yummy yarns. (Yup, I got some!)

A few steps further, and Seneca Lake greets you.

These boats won't be in dry-dock much longer. With the sky so blue, sailing weather is on the way.

I like this one! Do you suppose they know any quilters?

I think this seagull was hoping for a snack. This is a male seagull (identified with 50% accuracy *wink!*)

Watkins Glen's claim to fame is Formula One racing. The Watkins Glen Grand Prix. Reminders of the racing spirit are evident at every step - literally!
Painted race cars on the sidewalks. . .

. . . Winners' names embedded in the concrete . . .

. . . and murals on the buildings.

Any quilt get-away isn't complete without the fellowship of good friends, shared recipes and sewing tips, and lots and lots of laughs.



Beth and Melonie


Smurfette. . . Huh? Looks like we had an extra guest. At least she's learning to sew!

Our goals were ambitious for the weekend. I think we each brought more projects than we had time to complete. But that doesn't matter. Reaching the checkered flag wasn't a goal for each and every project stuffed into our vehicles.

The real trophy is in the memories.

Happy stitching. . .and racing!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Gone . . . Quilting!

This week I'm very excited because I'm headed to Oh Suzannah's Upstairs Inn in Watkins Glen, NY for three full days of nearly non-stop sewing. This has become an annual retreat weekend for myself and a few other quilty friends.

The Inn has all the necessary comforts to accompany a productive, relaxing, and fun weekend. Cozy rooms, lots of well-lit sewing space, a kitchen to prep morning and mid-day meals, and plenty of restaurant options walking distance from the inn for a yummy, stress-free evening meal. And the best part, the quilt shop is just down the stairs!

Only trouble is . . . which of the long list of projects-to-do should I work on first? I think we are each bringing enough to last us for three weeks, not three days! Eh, well.

Since I'm headed out of town this week, thought you might like to peruse the most recent issue of Through the Needle Magazine.

I contributed a pattern and tutorial for this issue of the online magazine from Bernina. The project converts orphan quilt blocks into a set of lovely place mats, chop-chop!