Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Big Day

Cornell University in Ithaca, New York has a very well-known and well-respected Ornithology Lab. Almost exactly one year ago, during spring migration season, Team Sapsucker, a team of six birdwatchers hit the trails, paths, highways, and byways in Texas to have a "Big Day!" A Big Day in birdwatching terms is when you try to see as many different species of birds in a 24-hour period. Perhaps you've seen the movie The Big Year?--Same idea with a longer time frame.

To raise funds for the Ornithology Lab, the team saw a total of 264 bird species in one 24-hour period. Pretty amazing by any birders' standards.

Thought you might enjoy this video that captures the essence of the Big Day, 2102. A similar 2013 event is in progress for this migration season.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Busy Weekend!

This past weekend, I headed out to a quilt show and a quilt shop and a baby shower. What do those three things have in common? Quilts, of course!

Locally, on Friday at the Towpath Quilt Show, I was a guest at the Calico Gals booth to sign books. Here's Janet Lutz, Calico Gals owner, and me taking a quick photo op.

And then on Saturday, I was off to Naples, NY where I participated in a shop hop at Carriage House Quilts. We talked about all kinds of quilty things, including the new pattern, Chopped, and some demos.

As you may already know, my niece in Chicago is expecting her first child next month. Simultaneously, my husband's cousin here in New York is expecting a baby girl in early June. So on Sunday, I went to a baby shower.

When I received the invitation, I knew just what to do. . .

A Bring-a-Book baby shower meant only one thing to this quilter. A book panel--typically used to make a soft-cover book--turned into a quilt. A few years ago, I created this pattern to be included in a book to make fast quilts for kids from Landauer. The book used panels and fabric coordinates from a line illustrated by my friend Janet Wecker-Frisch, who keeps a wonderful blog, you should check it out. I no longer have the quilt created for that book, but recently found a book panel from Quilting Treasures featuring the Beatrix Potter Tale of Jemima Puddleduck, and went from there.

Trimmed the panel, added pieced sashing and cornerstones, furled the four-patch seams so all the seams fall together beautifully. And quilted it.

Ta-Done! And that's how quilters do books!

It needs a label. Just because I was in the mood to fuss, I found this embroidery pattern at Urban Threads (don't go there if you don't have some time to kill--I got lost in this site--there is so much really fun stuff to see--and buy!). I added some applique to the label. . .

. . . And one of those Magic Blocks I've become addicted to . . . and some fluffy ribbon, and it's wrapped, ready for giving.

Off to the shower. Jill now seems to be fully stocked up with diapers, onesies, bedding, and you name it. All she needs is a baby. . .

 . . . and that will come soon enough!

Happy Stitching! . . .


UPDATE. Quilty Hugs to Newtown. The quilts given to Newtown have been reaching their new homes. Volunteers in the Newtown area and employees at The Taunton Press are delivering the quilts collected in January personally to family members and first responders.

Quilts recipients also include children at the school who still struggle to process the events of that December day. One family, whose son is a first grader, lost everything in a recent house fire. They received five of the quilts. My editor at Taunton tells me that "people are very thankful for the kind thoughts, prayers, and quilts." And she asked me to pass this message along to those who sent their quilty hugs to Newtown: Thank you.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I am a Material Girl!

A quilty thing happened on the way to Washington, DC. Last weekend, I attended the Creative Arts Business Summit . . . and on the way, I made a side trip to the Material Girls Quilt Boutique in La Plata, Maryland!

In Maryland, I pulled into the gas station to fill up after the long drive from Syracuse, NY to La Plata. Once I filled up, a little lighted sign showed up on the gas pump screen . . .  Would you like a car wash today?

Oh my goodness YES! My car was covered with road salt from the Syracuse winter. Once the car was blue again (as opposed to salt-coated), I pulled in front of the shopping strip where Material Girls Quilt Boutique lives. My GPS and the sign told me I had arrived at my destination!

And so did the sign on the door. . .

A step inside the door, and I have arrived! The shop is bright and sunny, filled with a luscious fabric selection.

 . . . I want some of that. . .and that. . .and that!

The high ceilings throughout the store give it a really up-to-date look. Your next Bernina sewing machine is waiting for you right here in this room!

And I could lose hours and hours sewing and sewing in the stitch lounge. It's quiet now, but imagine all the creative juices flowing when this room is a-hoppin'!

Every corner of the store offers a fresh perspective and lots of fun products to sooth your creative itch.

Care to share a bench? This line of fabric reminds me that the Atlantic Ocean is just around the next corner or two. Maryland crab cakes, anyone?

Hey, where did all these happy quilters come from? Some 50+ sewists came to see the trunk show. Wowee!

And the show-and-tell. Sheila made her scrappy quilt and put some team spirit on the back!

And of course, time to sign books and have a chat.

Now, you didn't think I'd go away empty-handed did you? What's in the pink bag? Well, you'll just have to wait to see!

The pink bags are helping the 'Girls' celebrate their 10th Anniversary. I can't wait to see what the next 10 years will bring, don't you agree?

Happy stitching!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


It's a new month, so I'm pleased to announce the newest Snap Sack kit. The featured pattern for April is Kite Tales

Kits include the pattern and all the fabric needed to make the little wall-hanging quilt. A new pattern each month. The kites are so perfect for Spring, don't you think?! Ask for your very own Snap Sack kit at your favorite LQS.

And speaking of new stuff, a new pattern is here!

A few weeks ago, I revealed this sneaky-peek photograph in my online newsletter, 'Good Migrations,' and introduced it with the words, "Coming soon!"

'Soon' has arrived! A brand new pattern from Hummingbird Highway is here. . . Chopped.


This pattern has tons of options. Here's another color way and another block arrangement.

The pattern starts with eight fat quarters plus some background yardage.

Make a simple block, then chop it up. Use all the parts (and I mean all!) in a lap-sized quilt and a matching table runner.

As a double bonus, the pattern includes tips so you can use cut-up scraps from your ScrapTherapy bins!

Fast, fun, easy. A great combination, in my mind!

Happy stitching!