Posts Tagged With: applique

do SOMETHING: YES! Quilts

A few months ago I realized again that I can’t fix the world. I know, it shocked me too.

And at the same time I realized again that I can influence my corner of the world. And after a conversation with a quilting teacher/lecturer/designer who held a common secret dream for influencing a specific part of our culture, we plotted and schemed about how to do SOMETHING, even though it would not be everything that needs to be done.

I had held an idea in my heart to make small cuddle sized quilts to encourage women who were experiencing the stress of unplanned pregnancy. Just something soft and beautiful to remind them that they aren’t alone – that there are resources and people to help them. My friend’s face lit up when I mentioned my secret dream and she told me she had thought the same thing — and even had a name for such quilts – YES! Quilts. You’re Each Special.

I’m SO thankful for my graphic artist friend, Gail Wilty, who worked on this logo for us to use on this first batch of quilts!

So, we sought advice and counsel from some folks who work everyday in that area of our culture – and also from Him who knows all things. And we made some preliminary plans. Then I announced this opportunity to the quilters in my guild. I was delighted at the gracious, generous response! The result (so far) is that I delivered ten small quilts this week to Safe Harbor Pregnancy Medical Center to be gifted to a select number of their clients – women who need an extra reminder that there are resources available to them and their babies. 

Let me introduce you to Dion who is the director at Safe Harbor Pregnancy Medical Center.  I also met one of the client advocates who will be distributing these quilts.

The quilts are each uniquely beautiful…

one holds words of grace – literally,

another the calm of deep blue,

the beauty of a whole cloth design with the soft touch of a wool blossom,

the sweetness of hearts and accented quilting designs,

the soft touch of pastels,

 

the happy delight of daisies,

the sparkling whimsy of flower fairies,

the fun of two quilts which started with the same happy floral and ended up very distinctly different

– this one features vintage buttons!

It may be that you, too, want to change the world and realize that you cannot. But, maybe there is SOMETHING you can do to make this world more beautiful, more caring, more safe … Take fabric in hand and make it happen. We are cheering for you!

Learn more about Safe Harbor HERE.

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Categories: Inspire Me!, Sister isn't answering her phone, so I'm telling you ... | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m a “Prepper”–Are You?

I’m a “prepper” but with no bunker or ammo or supply stock (other than fabric).  I’m not prepping for the end of the world but I am prepping for the first winter blizzard. Here in Colorado it is very hard to believe that it is even fall let alone winter. But a dear friend (I think she is still a friend even though she totally destroyed the order I had just put into the sewing studio. :/) has given me BAGS of fabric and “stuff” to go through.  I don’t mean little grocery bags, I mean trash bags! Six of them!

bags-web

Bags of friendship!

There were yardages, starts and stops of projects, kits, scraps, books and one whole bag of Christmas fabric.  It is enough to keep me busy all winter.  I’m ready for a little snow on the ground to keep me in the house. If you know me at all, you know I have never met a shade of green that I didn’t like but would you believe that in all those piles there was only ONE piece of green.  Guess I’ll be OK working with the bag of fall colors. 🙂

green-web

Lonely Green

All of us have projects that we start and then put away for a while (Tell me I’m not alone in this).  A couple of these were put away for good reason (not working out as planned), but some I’m sure were just not on a deadline.  So I’m thinking about imposing a deadline on myself to finish these up.  I can’t let my sister in on the decision because she knows my procrastination skills are excellent. The first special treat to work on are the squares of embroidery that are completely finished. They await a special setting that will of course use some of the bag fabrics.

embroid-web

Embroidery blocks

I know a little girl that is REALLY in need of a new quilt for her big-girl bed.  She might like the mouse, or the bear, or the A-B-Cs.  I know that she would like some fabric out of the purple bag.

girl-web

Girl without a quilt.

Other pieces are not my favorites. As my mom would tell me, “Don’t say “Ugh!”  until you’ve tried it.” But I’m prepping for winter not for a character building session, so I’ll pass them on to be used as backs for a charity quilt or book bags for the kids.

charity-web

Ugly fabric. Ummm, backing pieces.

There was even a challenge inside the bags and Sister knows I can’t resist a challenge.  I’ve seen the block in magazines but never attempted it before.  Someone made an excellent start on the 3″ nine-patch blocks set into hexagons and even sent along the extra pieces.  I can just see this finished with maybe some very large wool applique on it.  Back to the design board after I finish this little start up.

9-patch-web

Fun in a bag.

I do have one last confession to make.  I’m keeping something just because.  I have no plan for these blocks.  I have no purpose for them.  They don’t match anything in my house.  But who wouldn’t want to look at butterflies in the middle of the winter and that’s what I’m preparing for.

hanky-web

Wouldn’t they look great with black sashing?!

I’ve got extra needles, now if I can just find a sale on thread before the snow flies I’ll be prepped and ready to be house-bound for a few days.  How are you prepping for winter?

Categories: Inspire Me!, Sister isn't answering her phone, so I'm telling you ..., Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Winter Windows

FL Sister id tag

 

Winter windows look really different at my house than they do at my sister’s house. Look out her window and you will see windmills and snowflakes – maybe enough for a snowman; look out my windows and you will see palm trees and blooming azaleas. And the snowman at my house this year looked like this:

 

snowman2x E

Our Olaf only shared his hat with very special people!

When our families gathered for the holidays one of us had Christmas fun like this …

colorado snow

I’m sure there is a sled somewhere close by.

and the other one had Christmas fun that looked like this …

ava cropped

Digging in the sand instead of a snowball fight.

and this …

family

Family hike to supper – through the sand.

 

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But our Seasons at my Window wall hanging highlights some winter things we have in common, things we both love …. Christmas candles in the window,

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I want to make it with wool next time!

celebrations to welcome a new year and

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Celebrating the passage of time is good at a lot of levels.

a steaming pot of heart-warming tea.

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If you have followed us for a while, you know that we have used designed those appliques so that they can be used on pillow wraps. Those seasonal patterns are available HERE.

Now we are in the process of taking those same motifs and transferring them to smaller post card projects:

a table mat, a guest towel and a tea cozy (here’s a sneak peak at this set).

cozy front

And a sneak peak at Sister’s subway tile in her new kitchen!

They will be up on our store soon, available in a 3 postcard bundle. If you have enjoyed our fall post card bundle, available HERE, then this is a great way to expand your seasonal Windows collection.

Categories: Post Card Projects, Seasonal Stitches | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Holly Jolly Santa Quilt & the Never, Ever Again Sister

We are Christmas lovers. We admit it. We embrace it.

We love all things Christmas –

Ornaments 3x4

These red work ornaments are from the Starry Night collection.

mangers and angels;

SN stocking printable

These are from our Starry Night collection

trees full of lights and stockings hung on the fireplace;

figgy pudding

Yummy!

wassail and figgy pudding –

okay, so neither of us has ever even smelled figgy pudding-but you get the idea.

 

You would think that the design and production of a Christmas quilt would be pure joy. Bliss. Easy peasey pie.

We thought so too.

 

Such was not the case. Without going into a lot of gory details about miscalculated changes

and mis-measured squares

and mis-cut sashings

and ill-filled Santa appliqué suits,

let’s just say that even the sister who has a whole collection of old Santas reached her frustration limit and called a halt to the process until sanity could be restored. At that point the half-finished Santa quilt was banished to the southern division of the company via USPS with an enclosed note that read in part: never to be seen or heard about again. Ever. I mean never, ever. Never, ever again! Fiddle de de! I mean bah humbug!

bah humbug

So the partial Santa quilts were nestled away for a long, long, long winter’s nap -for a few years. Then one night when the luster of moon light on the new fallen … actually it was one hot summer day during a move when the other sister stumbled across this half-finished treasure. So she wheedled out an agreement whereby the never, ever again sister would give one more Christmas try to the project — IF all the parts were sorted out and pre-calculated and pre-cut before they were granted re-entry into the Colorado sewing studio.

The old adage “Begun is half done” was quoted several times in the negotiating process.

So the pieces were re-assessed and the whole plan re-evaluated and some extra touches were added and Holly Jolly Santa was added to our pattern collection. We think he is better for the wait – he matured along the way.

santa line drawing

And we are delighted to welcome Holly, Jolly Santa to the Sisters at Heart collections! He was worth the trouble!  Okay, to be completely honest, the never, ever sister may still be “reserving judgement.”

 

The Holly Jolly Santa appliqué figure from our Really Big Hat collection sits in the center of the quilt on a large Christmas Star block framed with gold sashing. The blocks surrounding the center are an echoing explosion of the Christmas Star.

 Christmas Star with Santa

If you can make half square triangles and split quarter square triangles, this quilt will come together quicker than Santa can lay his finger to the side of his nose and give a nod…  And the outer borders will give you lots of room for wonderful holly quilting lines.

The final touch for this holiday quilt are the felted wool holly sprigs that Santa holds, along with the holly leaves and berries scattered out to the border of the quilt.

holly

Working with the wool is such a pleasure that I cut out more holly leaves than we needed!

holly close up

The pearl cotton stitching really makes these a great embellishments as finishing touches to the quilt.

A note about the felted wool: Some quilters will prefer to quilt the quilt before they applique the felted holly leaves. That could make appliqueing the leaves and berries a little tricky. So we’d suggest that you do the stitching around the edges of the holly leaves and berries before they are attached – much like you would do the pieces for a wool penny rug. Then once the decorative stitching is done, you can attach the felted wool to the quilt with fabric or applique glue and a few hidden stitches that go through the entire quilt. We would offer the same advice for putting the felted wool “fur” on the Santa suit.

Holly Jolly close up

He’s holding on tight to those sprigs of holly! We think that is what makes him jolly!

Making this quilt can give you an extra special holiday memory if you make it together with a stitching sister. As you know, every one of our quilt patterns has a Trading Hearts Plan in it so that, if you wish, you can stitch a quilt (trading parts) with someone else even if they live far away from you. Just think of the lingering “fa-la-la-la-las” and “ho-ho-hos” that would be part of your holidays every time you unwrap a Holly Jolly made with shared stitches.

Holly Jolly for printing

I really need to add some twinkle lights above this bed!

Holly Jolly Santa is available as an instant PDF downloadable pattern or in the regular printed paper pattern format though our Etsy store.

The really good news is that by Christmas you might just find the aforementioned never ever again sister cuddled under her Holly Jolly quilt with a good book and a cup of hot cider-having no memory of the initial hurtles and challenges of making this quilt.

It could happen! We true Christmas lovers believe in Christmas miracles!

Categories: Patterns and Projects, Really Big Hats, Seasonal Stitches | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mother’s Flower Basket Centerpiece

As we navigate our shared love of all things fabric we are usually headed in the same direction, the sister and I, but we often found ourselves getting there by different routes. That was definably the case when we designed our Mather’s Medallion quilt. You can get the PDF e-book HERE.

Cindy's quilt for cover sm

The Colorado version of the Mother’s Medallion quilt.

We agreed pretty quickly as we planned the outside rows but when it came to the center medallion we were headed in very different directions. We were both ready to try something new-see a new view or enjoy a new stitching destination, you might say. But we were not traveling in the same technique direction. At all.

Sister 2 was envisioning something delicate and intricate -ribbon embroidery with some crazy quilting at the corners and I thought that would make an amazing center medallion—-for her quilt.

bouquet stamp sm

However my imagination was headed toward English Paper Piecing. I was envisioning a half Dresden Plate basket filled with flowers made from Grandmother’s flower Garden pieces and maybe some embroidered vines.

basket stamp sm

So we took up the challenge to create two very different centers for the Mothers Medallion quilt.

Later, after the Mother’s Medallion quilts were finished, as we were designing individual projects from each of the component parts of the quilt, this “each to his own” approach gave us two options to work with and we were double glad that we had opted to go east AND west at the same time. We transferred the set of skills from Cindy’s ribbon embroidery over to a pillowcase to co-ordinate with the quilt.

1 Pillowcase Posy sm for web

The ribbon embroidery here uses less delicate ribbon so the result is a larger bouquet than the one in the Colorado quilt.

 

Then we used my Dresden plate basket and Grandmothers Flower Garden blossoms in a new centerpiece design.  This time we featured 1930 reproduction fabrics and some yo-yos and added piping at the inside of the border to give the design a fresh look. We finished the project off with the scalloped edges that are used on the quilt. Also, to give you another option, we included instructions for making this basket into a pillow sham. Sometimes our “you know what we could do” moments just keep on rolling.

centerpiece #3

We’d love to see a fall version with yellow and orange flowers in the basket. The possibilities are endless.

 

If you are experienced at English paper pieced quilting you’ll find this project easy to complete. On the other hand, if you haven’t ever tried English paper piecing this would make a great “get acquainted project” to learn a new technique without a lot of commitment.

HINT for guild leaders or shop owners: This would be a great beginner class project because the technique can be taught fairly quickly and enough flowers can be done so that the class can take home enough to have a finished product very soon. The class can also include instruction on stitching a mitered border and how to add piping to a border.

Whether your stitching trip with this Dresden Plate basket of flowers takes you in the direction of a pillow sham or a table centerpiece, this combination hand work and machine stitched project will be a welcome addition to your stitching journey.

AND you can get it as an instant download pattern HERE.

Mother's Flower Basket PDF cover

Categories: Mother's Medallion, Patterns and Projects | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A “Just Ducky” Quilt for Little Dreams

We were shocked at ourselves. Shocked and appalled.

To think that we had gone on so long without any patterns for little ones. We love little ones. We love being surrounded by our little ones!

 

little ones1

Kids seated

Personalities are showing!

Little ones need quilts for cuddling. Well, things couldn’t go on like this any longer – we had to address this great neglect. Sisters at Heart needed a quilt pattern for little ones!

 

The Lullaby Collection was born and the design chart came out:

Size: big crib or child’s bed size – They grow out of the baby quilt size way too soon, we have learned this sad truth!

Quilting level: not too difficult but something we hadn’t used before

Motif: ducklings, little paddling ducklings

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 Color parameters: current, modern colors to please young tastes, and blue of some kind – for water for the little paddling ducklings  

Block: off-set hexagons, using white between the aqua rows – so there would be gentle white caps in the water for the little paddling ducklings

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Borders: wide borders with contrasting flanges, one for the focus fabric and one made of wide diagonal stripes – to give those precious little paddling ducklings secure and fun boundaries

Special touch: a border with a poem – about little paddling ducklings

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Now to fill in the last frame of the design chart – NAME THAT QUILT. That part came pretty easily:

Just Ducky sign

The planning completed, we could move on to fabric for the sample. Since, for once, we were together in the same state for a few days, we could do this together!

fabric sm

And for the math calculations – this is where the Colorado sister takes the lead. We found some challenges here.

#1 – different people measure hexagons different ways. But most quilters measure the flat side and identify the hexagon with that measurement.

#2 – the offset hexagons produce an unusual finished sized row – not that it really matters because you can make the surrounding borders any size you want them. But you might notice that the measurements for the borders are a little unusual. Or you might not notice – the Florida sister hardly thought it worth mentioning.

#3 – the diagonal stripes could be made with half-square triangles or with strips with a bias one way or the other – each of us were inclined to proceed with a different method and that would change the math —- decisions, decisions …

 

Time to write the instructions – what will we call the fabric color we use for the water?

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Web research on color and design and dictionary sites produced:  Aquamarine, ultra marine, blue-green, green-blue, teal, turquoise, aqua, pool blue, peacock, surfer — surfer is a color? Okay, this isn’t helping..

What about cutting all those hexagons …. Fortunately, right at the start of the sewing process we found these wonderful templates for cutting the hexagons and the little paddling ducks. (More on those templates in a future post.)

ducky template

The quilt for the little ones just might move from concept to reality!

We soon realized that we needed a new poem for the embroidery border because what we could find in nursery rhyme books had very little to say about little paddling ducklings. So we wrote:

Three little ducks all in a row

Paddle in the water, smooth and slow

Three little ducks …..

well now, I can’t tell you everything in this post.

But, you can get the pattern HERE.

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Springtime in the Rockies

CO Sister id tag

 

“When it’s Springtime in the Rockies” is a favorite golden oldie song of my dad’s.  But I’m not sure that the Rockies really have a spring season.  About a month ago my Florida sister sent pictures of the daffodils that were blooming in her area.  Now I finally have one lone tulip blooming in ColoradoTulip-web-2
and IT doesn’t seem to really believe that is is spring anywhere, possibly because it is still snowing.  The day after this tulip photo was taken we woke up to snow again.  We were trying to load for the show in Pueblo amidst the weather challenges of spring.snow-webAfter about 2″ of snow that day, we awoke to 70 degrees less than 48 hours later.  DH says that is his favorite kind of storm.  We also had about a dozen calves join our herd in that crazy climate change.

So we are loaded for the show (I’m taking patterns for the Tulip Trio from the Mother’s Medallion Collection) tulip sm for weband I just bought a bouquet of spring flowers to prove it really is springtime in the Rockies. 

I’m setting them right next to my Spring Window (pattern available HERE). SPRING window Bedited(1)

Categories: Inspire Me!, Seasonal Stitches | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Ferns & Flowers Vase Mat: PS Project MM

Just what you need to add a little more greenery to your fresh flowers and protect your table at the same time!  This additional Post Script project is from the Mother’s Medallion collection is a great flower vase mat.

AND, best of all, a kit is available through email contact which includes:  all fabric, printed freezer paper, tweezers, Martelli non-slip Dresden Plate template, and a pattern for “Mother’s Flower Basket Centerpiece”. (Fabric may vary from the sample shown here.)

ferns and flowers vase mat cropped

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Warm Winter Wishes

CO Sister id tagOne of the things I enjoy most about Colorado winters is “warmth”.  Or maybe I should say the need to stay warm.  I love that it gets truly cold in the winter (unlike Sister’s home in Florida, regardless of her claim that she wears “sweaters”).  One of the best things my DH has done for me was to put in a fireplace and antique mantel.fireNot really this one, but you’ve seen mine on the Starry Night Stockings photo.  I LOVE a fire going.  It adds light and warmth and just says: HOME.  The next best thing to a full fire is a candle.  candlewindow1600At this time of year they come out all over my house. Some are scented, some are not. Some are real, some are not.  I even put one on my sofa.  OK, so it is really the pillow wrap from the Seasons At My Window collection. Once I get the pillow wraps going I use them each month. Add a little warmth to your favorite chair with this one:

web-dec-wrapThen let the warmth continue into January with the “time sensitive” wrap of an hourglass:

web-jan-wrapFinally, for February, you can warm up with a cup of tea:

web-feb-wrap

As you can see, I plan to stay warm all winter long.  I’m settling in for a long winter’s nap.  With Pa in his kerchief and I in my cap. Oh, wait, that’s back to Christmas.

So, wherever you are, snuggle in next to your kind of fire with a little hand work and enjoy the winter.

 

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