Thursday, June 26, 2014

Names and Places

All quilted now. Last week I showed a preliminary photo of this table runner. The pattern didn't have a name yet, and I put out a request for ideas. Wowee! Did I ever get some great responses! Thank you so much! The pattern is now at the printer and won't be available yet for another week or two . . . in the meantime, let me introduce . . .

. . . the Toss Across Runner! Many thanks to Mary Jean R. from northern New York. Hey, MJ, send me your mailing address and I'll send you a copy of the pattern once it's in stock! The pattern should be showing up at your local quilt shop--ask them to carry it--or watch for it in the Hummingbird Highway shopping cart in a few weeks!

As for the Row by Row Experience. Here's a few things you might want to know:

 - It starts on July 1
 - You travel from shop to shop (1,250 of them are participating in the US and Canada!)
 - Pick up a free pattern
 - Repeat until you have at least 8 rows then put a quilt together using the patterns you collected to be eligible for great prizes
 - Or keep repeating, collecting, and sewing rows to your heart's content. Make a quilt, or a table runner, or whatever you like from the row patterns you collected for a memento of a great summer-long quilt shop hop.

You can find more information and answers to your questions on the Row by Row Experience website.

As for me, I'm proud and honored to have provided the row patterns for a small handful of the many shops across the country who are participating. This week, I'd like to introduce you to three of the row patterns I wrote. I'll even tell you where you can find them!

Here's the row pattern you can pick up at The Quilt Foundry in Maumee, Ohio. It's called Summer Sails.

And if you're traveling through Kansas, maybe you should swing by The Sunflower Quilt Shop in Hiawatha. Their row is called Autumn Parade.

As long as you are in the middle states, a drive through neighboring Nebraska and a visit to The Quilt Basket in York will allow you to pick up Summer Kernels. Hey, I know the rows are supposed to be horizontal, but I just couldn't resist creating a Nebraska corn stalk. And the shop owner agreed with me!

And here's the Quilt Basket row rotated so you don't have to get a kink in your neck to look at it!

And just a heads-up, don't even try to call or email the shops and ask them to send you a pattern in the mail or over the internet. There aren't many rules with Row by Row, but one big one is that you have to visit the shop in person to get your pattern! So hop in the car, mini-van, scooter, or mobile home, be safe, have fun, and send me pictures, especially if you pick up one of the row patterns I designed. And tell the shop owner I said, "Hey!"

Next week I'll show you the rest of the row patterns I worked on.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Good Things, Small Packages

I love it when a package filled with fabric arrives in the mail. My good friend Janet Wecker-Frisch has a new line of fabric with Quilting Treasures called "Draw Near." I just love these little paint box colors. I'm in the process of using them in a new project. More on that soon!

And, I have a new table runner pattern in the works. The sample isn't quite done yet, it's basted, but not quilted. I used the Mini Scrap Grid to make the small 9-patches (of course!). You can use your scrap fabrics or, this one features a brand new set of pre-cut Snaps from Hoffman. Can you believe it's called Hummingbird?! Had to have it! Had to use it! Only problem, the table runner pattern needs a name, and then it's off to the printer and will be ready to purchase at your local quilt shop very soon! Leave a comment below with your suggestion!

On Saturday, I headed to Hamlin, NY, just west and north of Rochester. The Country Neighbors Quilt Guild asked me to lead a workshop. The group decided on 99 Bottles from the book ScrapTherapy, Scraps Plus One!

Before we got too far along, Vicki had a show-and-tell. Bloomin' Steps from ScrapTherapy, Cut the Scraps! Very nice! Love the jewel tone colors!

Back to the business at hand. We used the Mini Scrap Grid to make the mini 9-patches for the 99 Bottles quilt.

Pot luck lunch included tons of great options. And a whole table just for desserts. Yum! That creamy cake thing on the right was full of fresh berries and fruit.

There are all types of people in this guild! Those who were there to play hard, share a laugh and a smile, and maybe do a little sewing. . . .

 . . . high achievers who were way too shy to express themselves freely. . .

 . . . and the creative souls who express themselves in ways you hadn't imagined before.

While it may not seem like a lot was accomplished. Nearly everyone managed to get at least one miniature 9-patch complete in time for the group shot. Only 491 9-patches to go!

Thaaaat's Niiiiice!

Want to have a fun quilty workshop with me at your guild or shop? Just sent Tracy an email and she'll get things set up on the calendar. In the meantime . . .

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Inner Harbor Happenings

Last week, I was on a business trip to Baltimore, Maryland, and it was really productive. I met with some very creative people with whom I'll be working over the next year. Each of us has big plans for our creative businesses in 2014. Since our meetings were on a pretty set schedule, there wasn't very much free time. But a girl's gotta eat, and when a girl's gotta eat in Baltimore, she might just hafta have some Maryland crab cakes!

When I ordered the stuffed shrimp at the local hot spot, known for their excellent crab cakes, I was expecting shrimp, and a little bit of lump crab meat. What I got was a little bit of shrimp and a mother lode of crab! Major yum, but major full, after!

On Friday, our meetings wrapped up early and five of us from the group headed to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Many thanks to Janice Pope of Anything But Boring for being our designated driver. She got us there by land, but then we relied on a more buoyant form of travel--the Water Taxi

Our First stop, the USS Constellation, docked in the harbor for tourists to visit. Hey, what do you mean, "Senior??"

This great ship was a Union vessel during the Civil War and was also deployed in the Mediterranean.

Look at all those ropes!

Hey, look! I found a Parrot(t)!

And a Ford! (no relation)

Based on the educational information throughout the ship, as well as the dark claustrophobic feeling in the lower decks, I'm not sure I'd want to make my living on a ship - unless it's a cruise liner with all the modern amenities and meal plans.

Next, it was on to the National Aquarium.

The glass-encased structure looks very inviting with much to explore.

A few steps inside, the atrium is bright and sunny with tons of water - a hint of what's to come.

I have forgotten this creatures name (I'm pretty sure it wasn't 'Harry' or ‘Fluffy’). But I do remember that he's from Australia and has a blue tongue. He's a member of the skink family.

There was a whole section of the aquarium dedicated to rainforest creatures, complete with a variety of colorful birds. You know I just loved this area!

And of course, we saw fish. Lots and lots of fish. When I dive, I'm always on the lookout for juvenile spotted drums - they are really fun to watch and can be hard to find. This is a not a spotted drum, nor is it a juvenile, but a similar species.

This week, it's back to the office and studio. I'm working on some really, REALLY fun stuff that I can't wait to share with you in the very near future. In the meantime. . . .

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Vermont Made

My trip to Middlebury, Vermont began with a beautiful drive through the Adirondacks and across Lake Champlain to Vergennes, Vermont and the Strong House Inn.

Apparently the inn is well-known for their culinary expertise at the Addison County Fair. And I must say my breakfast was exquisite! Blue Ribbon!

The grounds and interior are impeccable.

Once I was settled in for the evening, it was on to more serious business. . . Dinner! At Rosie's in Middlebury, only about 20 miles away.

Rosie's a charming diner with home-cooked fare. In a corner cabinet in the main reception area, you'll find the most impressive collection of novelty salt and pepper shakers. Shelves and shelves full!

 . . . and tempting desserts!

But seriously folks, I needed to get down to business. I was in Middlebury to present a trunk show of my quilts to the Milk and Honey Quilters Guild. So off we went for an evening trunk show, and a Stained Glass workshop the next day. We had a great time, both at the trunk show and at the workshop, but can you believe I didn't get to take any pictures? That's so not like me. My camera must be getting camera-shy!

After the workshop was a wrap (get it? A little quilt humor, there!), I had just enough time to head into Middlebury's Main Street do do some shopping. With a bridal shower gift, and two babies to buy for, I was on a mission.

The town center is a hopping place, even late in the day on a week day! I can only imagine the traffic situation during high leaf-peeking season!

Now, for a question. When I arrived in Vergennes, I chatted with Mary the owner of The Strong House Inn. At the Inn, she holds many weekend long quilt retreats. The beautiful sewing space has all the amenities and you get to stay in this amazing idyllic New England Bed and Breakfast setting! Mary and I discussed the potential for me to come back and lead one such retreat at the Inn. We'd like to get a feel for whether this would be of interest to you. Assuming the dates and calendars could be worked out, would you be interested in joining me in Vermont for a scrappy, quilty weekend of relaxed sewing in an amazing Vermont country setting? If so, send Mary a note on the Strong House Inn Facebook page. Let's see if we have enough interest to make it a plan.

Happy Stitching!