Friday, January 31, 2014

Dreams of Warmer Weather, Inklingo and Chocolate

Photo: Once in a lifetime view. The Hathaway Bridge from Panama City to Panama City Beach closed for ice.Well February is just around the corner and hopefully it will not be as cold as January. I am sure all of you agree. For the first time that I can remember, we actually had a Winter Storm Warning here in Florida. We got lots of ice, some got snow, but many roads were closed as they were very dangerous. This bridge about 20 miles from me was closed for more than a day. (picture)
 Well while the temperatures and ice were falling, I headed to the C. A. T. House (Creative Arts & Textiles) but it was originally the cats' home.

What a great day to work on my quilt and that is exactly what I did. I was chosen to be a designer for Island Batik fabrics for Spring Market in Pittsburgh and I am so honored. Here is a sneak peak of all the lovely fabrics that I am using for my quilt.

I also have a pattern which will appear in the February issue of The Quilt Pattern Magazine. It is hand pieced and I used Inklingo to make this quilt. I give step by step directions for my pattern which is called Star Tracks! It even made the cover so I am a "cover girl".

Linda Franz created Inklingo ( with the help of Monkey) to encourage hand piecing. This wonderful method makes it so easy and once you try it, you will be spoiled. All you have to do is follow the lines on your fabric. How do you get lines on your fabric? Well you print them with your inkjet printer and you are good to go. Linda has wonderful information plus free Inklingo shapes so get your printers ready.  

I have recently started hand appliqué  and using Cindy Mccoy's patterns from The Quilt Pattern Magazine, I have made these blocks. This pattern is for a table runner, but I may make it as a wall hanging for a friend as her favorite colors are used.

I find hand appliqué to be a lot of fun, but it can be very challenging as well. I did my first appliqué years ago. I was in Hawaii and found this wonderful design. The colors are a little faded, but I love the porpoises. I really want to do more and have some patterns picked out, but haven't found the time yet.

Please share your thoughts with me about hand piecing, appliqué and I would appreciate any pictures of your projects.

I have started a monthly newsletter and there is a special offer every month. Since February has Valentine's day  - think chocolate. Sign up here!
Until next time,

PS -

I have two guest bloggers this month, Brandy Lynn Maslowski and Anna Branch. I know you will enjoy hearing from them.  To meet my guests, read about them in my newsletter.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Emergency Response Gets Life from Firefighters

Emergency Response Gets Life from Firefighters

"Pea Soup", England and Crochet!

Looking down my street!
While writing this blog, I am looking at the weather outside. It is not real cold and for that I am grateful, but it is very foggy. Living only 200 yards from the ocean (well actually the Gulf of Mexico) the fog is rolling in. I know there is a correct term concerning the dewpoint and the temperature, but I can't keep up with all of it. The best description I can give is a term that my dear English friend uses. She says the fog is as thick as pea soup!

 And speaking of English friends, I have a new one and her name is Sue Dougill. She is my guest blogger today! Now, Sue is not a quilter, but she does do hand work and that just goes along with my theme for this month and the months to follow.

Sue is known as Crochet Addict UK. 

She became a crochet addict in 2011 when she learned  to crochet due to her health issues. She suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E. When she learned  to crochet she knew she had found her craft. As she puts it, "Everything just clicked".
The first item she designed was a dinosaur hat for her son.  It was such a hit, she soon started receiving requests from his friends and as they say the rest is history.

Her favorite designs are characters and animals as she loves to make people smile. Because of her health, she can't make vast quantities, so she concentrates on designing items. She not only designs items, but helps promote other crafters and hosts giveaways. Sue says she feels part of a community and it's a community she loves to promote.

Welcome Sue!

Hi I would first like to say thank you to Nan for letting me be a Guest Blogger on her blog.

My name is Sue and I am known as Crochet Addict UK

I started to Crochet in 2011 and instantly became an addict. The first pattern I ever designed was for a Dinosaur Hat & Scarf for my son.

I loved designing so much I couldn’t resist carrying on. I suffer from CFS (Chronic fatigue syndrome – also known as M.E.) and am unable to make large quantities so I’ve specialized in designing items. I love the fact that every time I pick up a hook something magical seems to happen.

My favourite design is my Dragon Hat. My son was a big influence and had a big input on this project. He is my biggest critic!

My latest design is a baby fox hat.

Not long after starting to Crochet I set-up a blog  to keep a record of the things I was making and to share things with other Crocheters. Since starting it has now expanded to share a love of everything handmade. I love to use my blog to promote and share with other people, crafts and handmade items.  This last Christmas was the first time I tried to make as many presents as possible. Not all were met with the love that I had put into them but I was proud of myself for making so much.  We even made our own soaps, chutneys and other wonderful things.

My latest adventure is with needle felting. We will see what happens!

Sue, I want to thank you so much for being my guest blogger and for sharing all your lovely designs with us. To learn more about Sue - please check out her blog! Also I will be a guest on Sue's blog in February. I will post the date soon. 

Meanwhile - just a short note to let you know that I will be a guest on Canadian Quilt Talk this Thursday, January 16th at 4:00pm PST. I hope you will join me!

Also sign up for my newsletter!

Until next time - Enjoy your favorite hand work no matter what it is. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Never say Never!

I had a good friend many years ago that made all her quilts by hand. She tried so hard to get me interested and even gave me a little kit for a pillow with the fabric squares already cut out. But I was working on cross stitch and needlepoint at that time and I was not interested in quilts.

Well that finally changed and I started quilting. I love to sew and I had been sewing most of my life. I made most of my clothes and really enjoyed sitting at the sewing machine.

Of course I figured, well I sew, so quilting will be a piece of cake - wrong. There were so many new things to learn and the seam allowances were different. I had been dealing with yards, not fat quarters. But the fact that I was comfortable with a sewing machine made the transition easier and I had a very good teacher!
I also found two books that were very helpful.

One is by Carol Doak - Your First QUILT BOOK (or it should be!) and the other is by Ellen Pahl - The Quilters Ulimate VISUAL GUIDE. Both of these books have been invaluable and I refer to them time and again!

I loved making quilts and I could whip up the tops very quickly. Somebody mentioned hand quilting and I said NEVER! I don't have enough time in the day.

Well, that was true, I didn't have enough time in the day - but what about the nights! I love to sit with my husband and stitch while he reads or we watch TV. Just a relaxing night. I was doing cross stitch, but I started wondering about piecing fabric.

I also had the opportunity to take a class by Jinny Beyer and I got her book - Quiltmaking by Hand. I was hooked. Her book was so inspiring with lots of stories regarding quilts and all the history, etc. She even had patterns and I choose one on a cold rainy day in January using my stash.

 It is a King Size Quilt (wouldn't you know I didn't start small?) and it is on our bed today. When I started it, I had no idea about how it would end up, I just started piecing. Here is the result.

Well from then on I was hooked on hand-piecing. I have hand-pieced 6 quilts (some for me and some for family and friends). I have even designed several patterns. One is " Denny's Hopscotch Quilt" available on my website. It was originally for my husband, but it was soon claimed by Denny when he was still with us. It will always be his quilt and it will always be my favorite.

Another of my hand-pieced quilts will be featured in the February issue of The Quilt Pattern Magazine. This particular quilt was hand-pieced using Inklingo. Linda Franz loves hand-piecing and created Inklingo to make it so easy. But you will hear more about that next month!

I have recently started applique and using Cindy Mccoy's patterns from The Quilt Pattern Magazine, I have made these blocks. I have just finished the third block in the table runner, so I will be posting that soon.

And I am quilting another quilt with one of Jinny Beyer's patterns using some of my favorite fabrics with fall colors. This one is just so much fun.

So it just goes to show - Never Say Never!

One more thing - if you haven't signed up for my monthly newsletter,  just go here!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year

2014 is going to be a very exciting year with lots of new, fun and interesting challenges. The first one for me is the publication of my very first newsletter –
Purrfect Spots "Mewsings"!

There will be some interesting topics, articles and even a Square One Share!