Snow, Chaos & Christmas!

 It's been awhile since we've had a white Christmas. That might surprise you since we live in Colorado, but we're just outside the foothills where the prairie begins.  We have to drive for about an hour (due west) to experience John Denver's, "Rocky Mountain High"!  And when it snows, Colorado is so sunny, it usually melts the next day.  So, this was a really wonderful treat for Christmas.  It snowed & snowed & it was really, really cold.  Outside was beauty & bliss - inside, well that's another story!
 I did a little googling of "creativity" & "chaos" & found quite a bit of scientific, as well as philosophical articles.  Aaaak!  Too many Christmas cookies to focus clearly, but here's my favorite:

“You must have chaos within you
to give birth to a dancing star.”
Friedrich Nietzsche 
Yeah, well, I'm not really sure about that - you be the judge!

I began with Pink Chalk Studio's Countdown to Christmas tutorials!!!  Oh, my - snowy bliss outside & creative bliss inside!! 

I absolutely fell in LOVE with Day 9 Home for the Holidays by Retro Mama

This is Retro Mama's original design (blue roof).  The tutorial was excellent - lots of photos - easy to follow.  The pdf templates were great. 

But, of course, I needed to add my own touch!  Some curtains in the window, a bit of hand embroidered flowers, etc.  Did I mention I LOVE Ric-Rac??  Best invention ever!

After I showed them to friends, they said:  Wouldn't it be great if they had a little pocket on the back - you know, to hold things?!  Like a lavender sachet or a little note ....

Ten hours & LOTS of cookies later, I did it!  That probably wasn't the best combination for productive thought, but it's Christmas!! 

I also added a little fiberfill stuffing to the chimney for support. 
These are SO addictive!  I found even MORE buttons -snowmen & moose & trees & little hearts for doorknobs ... 

I really liked "fussy cutting" Santa & reindeer for a fun rooftop  (bottom right).   

So, there they are - my DANCING STARS!!  Now, I better dance on over to my sewing room & get that chaos mess cleaned up! 

Hope you had a wonderfully-creative Christmas, too!  Faith.

P.S.  My favorite Christmas song that always makes me feel grateful for living in this wonderful place:  Colorado Christmas, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band


Fun with DOTS!!

Today, it's all about DOTS; polka dots.  I love them.  In all forms.  Once they catch your eye, you see them everywhere - falling from the sky (snowflakes are really snowdots when you don't have your glasses on) - tangerines on a lime-green plate - blurry lights on a Christmas Tree (again, better with glasses off).  Buttons are really useful dots.  But, of course, I love fabric dots the most. Like I said, they've been everywhere lately:

The fabric on the right is from a very sweet collection by Holly Holderman (LakeHouse Drygoods).  The flannel fabrics on the left will become a scarf, perhaps with scalloped edges  (half-dots) & yo-yo's (gathered dots) - gives me chills just thinking about it!  The cups came from a local thrift store that a good friend introduced me to - New Horizons

New Horizons recycles everything they can & what isn't fit for sale still goes to GOOD USE!!  And, that kind of completes the circle DOT!  Faith.

P.S.  If you still haven't heard enough about polka dots, see this:  Polka Dot Origin  As for me, I think it's time to get out of the house & go play in the snowdots :)


9/11 & Freedom Quilt Experience - Denver, Colorado Capitol Building

Remembering 9/11/2001:
I had taken time off from work the previous week to be with a very, very sick dog & was still exhausted from the ordeal.  Normally I listened to the radio on the long drive in, but that morning I treasured the silence.  I was so exhausted I didn't notice the mood of my friend on our ride down to the cafeteria for coffee.  He asked me how I was doing.  I said Mollie-dog would recover.  He just stared at me.  He knew I would always remember it was he that broke the news of 09/11.  I am grateful for his gentle tolerance when I said - "I'm sure it was an accident."  He said no.  We didn't speak after that.  TV's had been set up in the cafeteria.  Except for the broadcasts, it was a silent day - each person lost in their own thoughts.

A quilting friend sent me a great article on a 9/11 quilt memorial in the Denver Capitol building.  I hope, as someone who loves quilts, it will bring you comfort.  Here is an excerpt that really says it all (the link follows):

"It is not so hard to imagine the women who made these quilts taking this day into their hearts, going to the fabric store, running their hands over the bolts of cloth, breathing the smell of cotton as the yards are measured. It is not hard to see them cutting and pinning the squares, ironing each block, heat rising from the fabric. If each act is a meditation, each quilt is a prayer. One piece bound to another, the individual contributing to the greater, stronger whole. It is an easy metaphor."    
                                                                       Cynthia Martin, Quilt Curator
Read more: Griego: Quilt display in Colorado Capitol a magnificent comfort - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/griego/ci_18870203#ixzz1Xl94yQHg
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse


Olde Schoolhouse Quilters 13th Annual Quilt Show - Part 1

I just love everything about quilt shows!  There's always something to inspire & usually there's a "boutique" where you can pick up some pretty good bargains (more about that on later posts - I hope!).  So, when a friend asked me to join her at the 13th annual quilt show in Westcliffe, Colorado, I jumped at the chance - the scenery on the drive out there is spectacular & the quilts were, too - I think you'll agree!

The venue:  Old Westcliff Schoolhouse Museum
304 S. 4th
Westcliffe, CO

September 1 - 4, 2011
10:00 am - 5:00 pm Daily

Westcliffe Tour

Here is The Olde Schoolhouse Quilters Raffle Quilt - appropriately named "Westcliffe Spectacular".  I bought some tickets & my fingers are really crossed!

Tammie Baggett (Designs to Quilt) quilted it in copper metallic thread that added a glorious shimmer.  It was pieced by many in the Guild & the binding was superb!

(Sorry about the pink block - bottom right in photo - I assure you it's a camera malfunction - not a fabric choice!)

The Guild's challenge for 2011 required the quilters to add three different style fabric borders to a panel.  These were not your ordinary "add a couple of straight borders & call it done" projects!  (I must confess to making more than a few of these!  Now, I'll have some great ideas in my repertoire!) 

This lovely Oriental Wall Hanging took 1st place in the challenge.  It was made & quilted by Leilani Robinson & includes:
            hand beading
            free motion quilting
            origami buttons (!) &
            hand embellishing.

 This creative quilt is called "Drivers' Training".  It was made & quilted by Kathy Metcalfe.  There's lots going on in this quilt, but my favorite part is the velcro-attached "garages" on the bottom border.  They provide removable storage for little cars - great idea!

This quilt kept me amused for quite some time - think of what it would do for the little ones!

I have this fabric panel in my stash - it's by Stephanie Brandenburg from her Day Dreams Collection - truly lovely.  However, I didn't envision a quilt such as this! 

Sue Davidson created several borders including one that is made of  hand-strung beads (lapis, turquoise, cornelion & glass) with lots of quilting (what I would call "thread painting") & embellishing - wow!

"Moonlit Canine" made & quilted by Judy Elkington was spectacular!  She cut up her pre-printed wolf panel so that it appeared to be a mosaic piece of art.  Her borders included piping, pieced & paper-pieced (my favorite!).  The wolf pieces were applied with fusible web & then machine quilted. 

I like how she rounded the fabric "tiles" instead of leaving them angular.  I'll never look at another wildlife panel the same again!

Well, that's enough for now.  Part 2 coming soon!  If you're in the area, there's still time to get in on that raffle quilt.  But, I think I'm going to win it, so you might just spend your $ in the boutique instead :)


Singing Kaffe's Song

I have enjoyed Kaffe Fassett fabrics for years - actually I LOVE everything he designs (read about him here:  Kaffe Fassett  - warning - you won't be able to stop - each article/project is more intriguing than the one before!)  But I must confess, I've been hesitant to use his luscious, color-drenched fabrics in my own quilting projects.  Why?  Because it's outside my comfort zone & I'm afraid to fail?  Maybe.  For goodness sake, how do you tell the lights, mediums & darks from one another?  Where does the eye have a place to rest?  Where do you start?

I finally stopped procrastinating & began with a modern pattern with LOTS of WHITE in between colorful blocks.  Hmmm...  Great design, but boring results I must confess :)  Should I just have used one of his designs & made it easy on myself?  Not quite ready for that - no matter how much I love looking at his quilts, they just aren't me - at least not yet.  I want to "sing his song" but, in my own voice!

So, with the remaining scraps I made one block of my New Traditions design.  Oh my!  It's singing to me!

I finished the table runner in record time & I couldn't be happier with the results.  Thanks Kaffe for writing such a glorious song :)   


Busy July!

Oh my - the whole month of July went by without a peep from me!  Well, lots happened & I have the photos to prove it!

The end of June was busy, busy with the 7-store Heart of Colorado Shop Hop.  I was asked by Stitchers' Garden (Pueblo, Colorado) to design their Block!  My first commissioned project was a lot of fun - Susie & Nancy were a joy to work with. 

The theme was "Nature's Treasures" & they had special Batiks designed for the occasion.  I designed the center block - which I called "Prairie Sun & Wind" - Susie & Nancy designed the setting which incorporated six blocks from the other participating quilt stores.  I think you'll agree the results were superb!

Next was a Presentation & Workshop for the Monarch Quilters' Guild on 07/11/2011 - a really enthusiastic, creative group of quilters.  Here are some photos on their website from my presentation:  Monarch Quilters  Be sure to go to July-Page 2 for more photos.
I taught paper piecing using my "Snapshot" Photo Frame Pattern & designed a special "Aspen Leaf" block for them.  What do you think?

Purchase "Snapshot" Pattern
Mention this post & I'll include the "Aspen Leaf" Block with pattern purchase!

The other big event for the month was a camping trip to the Gunnison National Forest.  A little bit of rainy, cool weather to escape the 99-104 degree weather we've had lately - lots of solitude - great hikes - fishing for the hubbie - Angel got to swim a little (or should I say "dunk herself" in the shallow water).  I just sat there at times with the biggest smile on my face doing absolutely NOTHING!!  It was heavenly.  Then ...
... it got even better when a huge herd of elk came grazing through the valley.  It is the biggest herd we've seen outside of Rocky Mountain National Park.  And, it was glorious!  

I hope you were able to enjoy some of "Nature's Treasures" this summer - whether at your favorite quilt shop or miles from nowhere ;)  Faith. 


Grandma's Quilt

A long, long time ago my dh's grandmother made quilts for all the grandkids - not sure how many that was, but it was a bunch!  I wasn't part of the family then, but I remember this quilt because my db (dear boyfriend) brought it with him to the beach one day - yikes!  I wasn't yet a quilter, but I was a sewer & I could only imagine how much work went into those quilts.  I'd like to remember we were careful with the suntan oil (double yikes!), but maybe not ...

Well, I'm finally cleaning out ALL the boxes in the basement (a very big YIKES!!) & ran across his quilt.  Did I smell coconut oil, or just imagine it??  After being gently washed & dried in the fresh breezes outside, I'm happy to say - no suntan oil, no soda spills - it's as good as new - or old, depending on your view.  Quilts aren't just about design & fabric choices (that's a blanket for goodness sake!) - quilts are sewn with hopes & dreams & wishes for the future built into every loving stitch.  And, now many, many years later, my dh can wrap himself in the comfortable past & remember your hugs & talks & sweetness.  Thanks grandma - he needed that :)


Voting Results & Magazine Giveaway !!

First of all, a THANK YOU to each & every quilter who took the time to leave a comment. Since this was my first-ever Blog Tour, I had no idea what to expect.  WOW!! Your comments were graciously kind, wonderfully insightful & left me with the biggest smile on my face :)

I ended up selecting two winners at random:

1. "Sallie" will be receiving her magazine directly from Quiltmaker. Her comments:  
"Purple all the way! Thanks for the chance!"

2. "Duff" will be receiving her magazine from me. She commented:
"I vote for the purple because the radiating points have two distinctive colors whereas the orange seems to blend more. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!"

I’m sorry everyone couldn’t win! If the magazine isn't available in your area, be sure to get your copy here (plus there are more giveaways next week!) :

100 Blocks Vol 3 + More Giveaways

Now for the voting, PURPLE was the winner with more than 60% of the vote! I'm glad that so many of you liked the orange version, too, as I will probably make it up into the 4-Block Wall Hanging for a local quilt store. If I do, I will be sure to post a photo in the Radiant Heart Gallery. In the meantime, I whipped this up:
This is the first Radiant Heart I've made that isn't from Batiks! What do you think? I'm calling it "Stained Glass" Radiant Heart. A few of you had some different ideas for fabrics you might use - reds for Valentine's Day - white daisies .... I would love to see what you come up with!! Let me know - won't you ?? Faith.


100 Blocks Blog Tour - Radiant Heart Voting

I'm leaving the vote open until midnight Friday - 05/06/2011 !!  So, please continue to add your comments & ideas below (to the 05/02/2011 post to make it easier for me!) to be considered for the free magazine giveaway!

And, since you've all been so wonderfully responsive, I thought I'd add a new page to my Blog called "Radiant Heart Gallery"!  I'll be making up samples very soon for my favorite local quilt shops & will post photos there.  And, I would LOVE to see what you come up with!  Please be sure to email me with photos of Radiant Heart projects (or even blocks would be wonderful!).  I would love to add your creativity to the Radiant Heart Gallery!!!  So, stay tuned .... & don't forget to VOTE with your comment below!!!!    What's it gonna be?? 

Don't forget - giveaways each day - all week long:  Quiltmaker 100 Blocks


100 Blocks Blog Tour - Come on in !!!

Thanks a bunch for visiting me today - the second day of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Tour !!!   I designed Block #226 - "Radiant Heart" - a really fun paper-pieced block that I hope you enjoy.

Here's the Radiant Heart as a 4-Block wall hanging with a simple zig-zag border.  My photo isn't nearly as good as the one in the "Designer Gallery" section of the magazine, but at least you get a sneak-peek!!

The magazine features this block PLUS 99 others!!  What a deal!  Plus, there's all sorts of helpful info - including settings & layouts - even some all-over quilting designs! 

Before you return to Quiltmaker, make sure you leave me a comment telling me which Radiant Heart you prefer.  I'll select one comment at random & that quilter will get themselves a free 100 Blocks magazine!!  If you don't happen to be selected, not to worry - go check out all the other blogs on this tour all week long for more chances.  But first, leave me a comment to get in on the goodies !!

So, what do you think? 
The ORANGE one ??  Or, the PURPLE one ??

Go to Quiltmaker for more fun & freebies!!!


Radiant Heart - Block #226

The UPS guy came today & for once, the delivery was for ME!!  My block - Radiant Heart - is in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volume 3 - page 38 - SWEEEEEEEET!  Here's what it looks like:

Radiant Heart, Block #226

I also whipped up a 4-Block Sample Quilt that made it to the "Designer Gallery" on Page 21!  How cool is that?   

More details coming soon during the Blog Tour scheduled for May 2 - 6. Each day showcases a new set of designers - my day will be Tuesday, May 3.  There will be fun - there will be give-aways - there will be dancing (well, at least at my house!) - see you soon :)  Faith.


We did it - my first retail show!

Whew!  WE did it!  My first retail show.  I was going to say I did it, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how many people have helped me get to this point - it takes a village don't ya' know! 
A very big THANK YOU to all, but especially my brave sister who manned the booth & handled the moola & so much more!

It was actually 1/2 booth (5' wide x 10' deep) for my first try, but I stuffed displayed as many quilts, tablerunners, mug mats, & centerpieces as would fit (& then I layered them).  Oh my!  At this point I think I need to thank everyone who was brave enough to enter!!  And, I especially want to thank everyone who bought a pattern when there were so many beautiful designs available at the Expo.  Thank you for being part of the Doodle Time Village - I appreciate it more than you know!  See you next year?!  Faith. 


Lots of Good News !!

It's been awhile since I've posted, but I have lots of excuses reasons for that! 
  • First, I submitted an original block to Quiltmaker Magazine & learned it was selected!  My Block - Radiant Heart - will be included in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volume 3.  Somebody pinch me!    
  • Then, Quiltmaker requested photos of projects made from blocks to possibly be included in the Gallery section of the magazine.  Guess what?!  Yep, my 4-block sample was selected!  I rushed it off for photography the next day - my block is a super-model!
  • I can't reveal my block, but here's a sneak peek at the magazine:
                      Sneak Peak - Quiltmaker 100 Blocks, Volume 3 Cover
  • While all this was going on, I decided to be a vendor - that's right - I'll have my own booth at the Pueblo, Colorado Quilt & Stitch Expo coming up shortly.  Well, it's not really my OWN booth - it's more like 1/2 booth, but it's a start.  Quiltmaker magazine graciously rushed my Gallery Quilt back in time for display.  Come by Booth 701 & take a look if you can :) 
                      Pueblo Quilt & Stitch Expo

Now, back to stitching my samples - with apologies to Robert Frost - I have miles to sew before I sleep!  Faith.


Happy Birthday Favorite Sister!!

Bad winter  weather prevented a timely birthday celebration, but for once, I was ready!!  Completed the binding on my favorite sister's quilt at 2:00 am the other night.  Here's the proof:

 Design:  "The Big EZ" Pattern by Bloom Creek
The Big EZ Pattern

A lovely design, but a stretch for me :)  As you may know, I specialize in small things!  To paraphrase Mother Teresa: 
"... we can all do small things with great love ..." 
Larger things usually leave me ... well, with a UFO!  (Unfinished Object in quilting parlance)

Very EZ design aside, this was an accomplishment for me, but I had help in meeting my deadline.  The piecing was fast & fun.  I varied from the design when I ran out of large pieces of fabric (I tend to over indulge in fat quarters - not yardage!).  But, the real joy was turning it over to a wonderful friend who happens to be a longarm quilter!  Selecting a quilting design was a delight - how can you go wrong?   We decided on "Popcorn" in the end & it turned out wonderful. Thank you PJ!   Got a few tips on different binding methods from the quilt expert & I took over again.   I really enjoy hand sewing - popped in a movie (pun intended) & was done in no time at all.  The party was rescheduled for tomorrow & best of all, I'M READY!!  Happy birthday & I hope it gives you the sweetest of dreams!!


Happy New Year Gift for You!!

It shouldn't be a big surprise to know what my new year's resolution should be - POST, POST, POST!!

So, to start off right, I'm posting a download (I'm aiming high!). For those of you who have my Last Minute Centerpiece pattern, here's a new center as a 'thank you' from me:

Download Gift Center

Click on the link above, but don't print directly from the web page :)  Instead:

     Select File
        Select Print pdf
           Select your printer
           SET Page Scaling=None
This "Gift" Center is not in the pattern :)  But, the pattern is available on my Etsy site:


Thank you & Happy New Year!  Faith.