Kennesaw Mountain Table Runner

Creative Quilters, I’d like to introduce you to Kennesaw Mountain, the March pattern update to our year-long color-of-the-month series.

Inspired by the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War in 2011, this table runner gets its name from a battlefield near my home in north Georgia. The red-violet, mustard-yellow, and yellow-green reproduction fabrics give an historical feel to blocks that look like they’d be right at home in Civil War times. I’m not a quilt history expert; rather, I’m inspired by that period of history to create a project that commemorates our history in a muted, dull color palette.

Kennesaw Mountain Pattern Update:  $5.95 (free to subscribers – keep reading!) Add to Cart

If you can’t get to the quilt shop to select your own fabrics, no worries.  I’m offering a Kennesaw Mountain kit as well.  It’s best to choose your own fabrics for your color palettes, but we all have those times when life gets too busy and we just can’t get to it.  I’d rather you be able to do the lesson with a kit than not at all.

Kennesaw Mountain Kit:  $21.95 Add to Cart

Learn by Doing

March’s featured color is red-violet, and while most people think of fuschia, magenta, and raspberry, I chose a more elegant and historical palette.

The key to contributing a mood to a quilt is by orchestrating the intensity, or how bright, the colors are.  A child’s quilt relies on high-intensity, bright fabrics to convey an energetic, playful mood; reproduction quilts rely on duller, muted intensity fabrics to create an aged, historical feel.

Learn New Techniques

You’ll learn how to identify the dull fabrics in your stash by making your own intensity wheel, and selecting just the right fabrics for Kennesaw Mountain.

Forget quilt as desired!  I’ve included quilting designs, the very ones I used in my own project, based on simple quilting women of Civil War times would have included in their own quilt.  Color-0f-the-Month subscribers are also enjoying our weekly chats and videos, and are looking forward to a new video on how to do freemotion quilting next month.

To order the Color Mastery Table Runners enhanced e-pattern. click here: I Want to Master Color

One More Peek at Pink

February is almost over, and I’ll miss our look at everything pink this month.  Being the only woman in a household of boys and men, it was delightful to play with pink fabrics, thread, pomegranates, baskets, and paints.  I don’t want to say adieu, but March calls.

A couple more peeks at pink.  I’ve shared this quilt before but wanted to do so again, as I don’t make many pink projects.  This quilt was for a baby adopted by friends, and I had so much fun basking in toiles, paisleys, and pastels.  It truly was a joy to make.

Here’s one of several blocks I made to makeover a Log Cabin quilt that was my very first.  You can see both here in my Extreme Makeover Quilt Edition video:

Goodbye pink!  We had so much fun together.  I look forward to the lessons and joys ahead in this creative journey called Color-of-the-Month.

Watercolor Inspiration

Great art often inspires great art, and I’ve been inspired by my Color-of-the-Month table runner patterns to capture them in watercolor.  I’m delighted to create in both media, as they complement each other.  Quilting is a precise, geometric discipline, whereas watercolor is a loose and often uncontrolled process.  Watercolor has a mind of its own, but I can make an exact 12″ block for my runners.

While the fabric version of a quilt and its watercolor counterpart both present the same colors, achieving them couldn’t be more different.  As a quilter, I go into the fabric shop and select exactly the colors I want, and plan my quilt from those unchanging swatches.  As a painter, I create my own versions of those colors by mixing different pure hues:  Aliziran Crimson, French Ultramarine Blue, Yellow Ochre.  They even sound beautiful, don’t they?

I had intended for this watercolor series to be my own private playtime, a creative exercise just for me.  But I just have to share!  So, I’m making these watercolors available on note cards, a set of 10, with envelopes, in my store.  Look for them here in the online store.

The Pink Fat Quarter Bundle Goes to . . . .

Jojo Hall!  Congratulations Jojo, the sweet bundle of pink fat quarters will be on its way to you.  Send me your mailing address at maria [at] colormastery.com, and you’ll soon be on your way to a pretty pink project.  Goodness, that was a lot of p’s!

A genuine thank you to everyone who forwarded my newsletter – over 26 times – even more than last month.  It’s a great way to let your quilting buddies know about all the great color resources at the Quilts & Creativity website.  I’m really excited about the opportunities we have now using social media to spread the word and share, so let me know what social media you enjoy:  reading blogs, chatting on Facebook, reading my newsletter, YouTube – talk to me!

Stay tuned, as even more exciting stuff is coming your way.  Here’s a hint:  if you don’t use Twitter, you need to start!  It’s going to be delivering some pretty colorful results beginning March 1!  So follow me at http://twitter.com/colormaster

Bliss

Sweet and pure elation over catching this rainbow trout on Saturday.  We ventured out on the first warm and sun-filled day and spent the afternoon on the boat.  It was true bliss:  sun warming our faces after weeks of snow and clouds, his catching not one, but two rainbow trout and pleading with his dad to cook them for dinner, even though David doesn’t eat fish.

Our dog Ranger joined us for the lake cruise, and he was happy just to get out of the house, after pleading with us with his big brown eyes, “somebody take me outside!!  Dogs get cabin fever too!”

As grateful as I was for two sunny days in a row, and on a weekend, no less, I was still a bit chilly, covering up with David’s flannel shirt and the lime green knitted chenille scarf made for me by my friend Pat.

We enjoyed the trout for dinner, making Trout Meuniere, Julia Child-style, baking the whole fish and removing the entire backbone and rib cage in one swift movement.  If you saw the movie Julie & Julia, you’ll know what I’m talking about:  it’s the dish she’s in heaven over when she and her husband Paul arrive in France.  The best part?  David cooked it.  What a lucky girl I am.

Snow Deja Vu

Haven’t we been here before?  Twice in one winter is almost unheard of in this part of the country, even if we are in the mountains.  We just don’t see that much snow, not that anyone around here is complaining.  More opportunities for snowball fights, sledding, building snow men, and making a fort in the den, which happens to be the perfect place to snuggle with the family dog and watch the Winter Olympics.

We’re Olympic junkies here, watching every minute of coverage until we’re bleary-eyed and falling into bed.  Snow, olympics, and school break.  What could be better?

Kits Are Here! Kits Are Here!

I’m thrilled to announce I’m offering kits to go along with each monthly table runner in the Color of the Month series.  The Winter Bird and Love Apple kits are available in the online store, and they contain the same fabrics I used in my own quilt, with a few substitutions.  No worries, though, as you’ll love the other fabrics as much or even more than the ones I used.  I had so much fun putting together these fabrics and kits.

What I love about these kits is they allow you to play with color and value and still achieve great results in your project – just without the cutting.  In a perfect world, we would all choose our own fabrics, cut them, and piece our own table runner.  Then life happens.  Work gets crazy.  The kids get sick.  Church commitments call.  Before you know it, the month is gone and you’ve haven’t been able to get to any piecing or quilting.  Think of these as a back-up plan or a sweet treat for yourself.

A Green Valentine’s Day

My favorite school party is on Friday:  the annual Valentine’s Day party in my son’s elementary school class.  Why is it my favorite?  It’s the one time the children focus on really giving something to others in their class.  Everybody gets a Valentine’s Day card, and they each decorate a box to hold their treasures.

In year’s past, my son saved his Valentine’s cards for years, bringing them out every so often to reminisce.  A romantic at heart?  This year however, he was sick, out from school, and beginning to feel a bit too old for all of this Valentine’s fuss.  He just couldn’t get excited about decorating his own shoe box for the party.

Until he spied a funky project I had done from WhipUp, my absolute favorite craft blog.  Picnic Basket Crafts shared how she repurposed an old cereal box into a DIY shipping box for her items on Etsy.  It was just so cute I had to try it.  I had no use for it – my books and kits are too large to fit into it, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do whatta girl’s gotta do.  So I followed her great instructions, and voila – I had my own lunchbag-style box.  And it sat on our counter with really no purpose or destination.

Until my son spied it and decided it would make a perfect Valentine’s Day card holder.  Out came the construction paper, tape, scissors, and glue stick.  He did it all himself and is excited about taking it to school.  He even made his own lunchbag-box with an old cereal box I provided.

You never know where creativity will take you.  Even with the simplest of materials.

And the winner is . . . Sandra!

Congratulations to Sandra Davidson for winning the exceedingly tall FQ bundle from Robert Kaufman!  Over 20(!) FQs will be arriving in your mailbox soon as a thank you for subscribing to my blog.  Isn’t a big bundle of pink fabrics a lovely surprise to find in your mailbox during February’s cold days?  We missed the huge snow storm but are forecasted to get sleet tonight.  Winter in the mountains is an adventure!

Thank you for all the lovely comments and for sharing your pink quilts.  Roolen shared a link to her lovely pink, as did Kristen showing her art quilt group’s challenge of using pink.  Need even more pink?  Keep scrolling!

My pink doll quilt, made just because I needed a feminine touch in my home:

Chocolate Covered Cherries from Color Mastery:

I’ve made some design changes here at the Quilts & Creativity blog, and you’ll see a few more over the coming weeks.  The most exciting of which is I’ll be offering kits for the new Color of the Month pattern series in my online store.  Oh, did I mention I now have an online store?  Yep, pretty excited about it too!  Look for the kits next week.

My email newsletter will be going out soon as well, so if you haven’t signed up yet, you can get your hands on the newest issue by clicking on the Email Newsletter tab at the top right of the screen.  Coming to you will be a color tip, quilts, my schedule, and a great recipe!

150 is Here!

You did it!  150 subscribers to the Quilts & Creativity blog.  I’m so proud that my corner of creativity is reaching so many around the world.  Thanks for the blog love and I’m giving everyone the weekend to subscribe and enter the drawing for the big FQ bundle.  If you’ve never subscribed to blog before, it’s super easy.  You can either:

  • read your favorite blogs (including mine) in a blog reader from Google, Bloglines, or Yahoo
  • receive my blog posts in your email Inbox

Either way, you sign up over in the sidebar to the right where it says “Don’t miss out – Subscribe to My Blog”

I’ll announce the winner of the Robert Kaufman fabric bundle on Monday, so you have a few more days to subscribe.  Don’t miss out – subscribe!

If you’d like to know more about reading blogs in a reader, here’s a great video that explains it in plain English:

Pink: February’s Color-of-the-Month

In the month of hearts, roses, and valentines, pink is a natural for February. Being the only woman in my home, I enjoy touches of pink here and there, so I had a blast putting together this month’s show. Nine terrific designers and fabric companies offer their tips for using pink in a palette, and don’t miss how you can win a ginormous fabric bundle valued at over $60!  (If the text is too tiny in the presentation, click on the Full icon at the bottom to view it Full Screen.)

This is my 250th blog post and I’m celebrating with a big giveaway! I’m giving away this stunning Robert Kaufman pink fat quarter bundle when my blog reaches 150 subscribers.  So, if you haven’t subscribed already, do it now by clicking on the Subscribe buttons in the “Don’t Miss Out – Subscribe to My Blog” section of my sidebar.  When I reach 150, I’ll be giving this away to one lucky subscriber.  Ready?  Subscribe!

Love Apple Table Runner

Creative Quilters, I’d like you to meet Love Apple, the February update to my new Color-of-the-Month pattern series:

Learn by Doing

This month’s color lesson is all about value, and you’ll learn how to work within a single color palette and still get enough lights, mediums, and darks to make your baskets and pomegranates stand out.  Then take this lesson and apply it to every other quilt you make!

Learn New Techniques

This month’s update even includes quilting designs!  I listened to my loyal subscribers and they wanted suggested quilting designs, so I offer two different free-motion quilting designs in the pattern.  And I show you, step-by-step, how to make accurate half-square triangles that keep their points without getting cut off.  I also have step-by-step photos on how to precisely place the appliques so there’s no question where they go. Each month will showcase different techniques so you can become a more versatile quilter.

To order the Color Mastery Table Runners enhanced e-pattern. click here: I Want to Master Color

All Dressed Up . . . .

The cupcakes were baked, decorated, and ready to be nibbled on in a ladylike manner.  My studio was sparkling, ready for the Mom & Me Quilter’s Tea guests to take a tour.  Their parents won the experience at a silent auction for my son’s school.  Books autographed, check.  Camera, check.  All done a day before.

My elder son and husband were away at a Boy Scout caving trip, so it was just me and my younger son.  Who came to me in the middle of the night saying, “Mom, I don’t feel so good.”  Poor guy.  He was up all night with a stomach bug.

Tea postponed, check.  After all, fiddle-dee-dee, tomorrow is another day.

Like the frosting on those cupcakes?  Then you won’t want to miss February’s Color-of-the-Month show.  It’s the first Tuesday in February, only 7 days away!

January Newsletter

The January issue of my newsletter is out and it’s filled with promise for the new year. While some resolutions are drudgery (losing weight and going to bed earlier), I personally like to cloak mine with fun opportunities. Like exploring a new aspect of my creativity. My latest newsletter helps me and you do that by filling you in on:

  • New Color-of-the-Month feature offering innovative tips on color from the industry’s top quilters and designers
  • My latest teaching schedule. If you’re in Georgia, you’re in luck! If not, forward my newsletter to your program chairperson
  • A fabric bundle giveaway
  • Chicken Cutlet in Mustard Sauce recipe

Haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet?  Click on the Email Newsletter tab at the top of the screen, and soon they’ll be coming to your Inbox automatically.  And I don’t do anything with your information but use it for my newsletter, of course.

Top Ten Habits Revealed

Look what the post man delivered today to my mailbox!  My Top Ten Habits article is on the cover of the Feb/Mar Quilter’s Newsletter magazine above the masthead.  Woo-hoo.  I’m thrilled, proud, and humbled all at the same time.  My husband and I are going out to dinner tonight to celebrate.  In the meantime, I’m working on a project and not getting nearly enough done.  I know you’ve had those days, so gotta go!

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Quilting Unit Study for Homeschoolers in E-book Form

Quilting Unit Study by Maria Peagler

I’m proud to announce my Quilting Unit Study for Homeschool Families is now available as an e-book on Smashwords.  No matter what e-reader you use, the file format you need is there.  Kindle, Stanza, Palm, PC, Mac, Sony, or even for online reading.  They’ve got it all.

The cutie on the cover?  My little guy, about three years ago.  We had just finished a week of giggles, excitement, and a lot of pink fabric during the first offering of Quilt Camp I held at my home for a few girls whose parents won the event at a silent auction.  He was totally outnumbered by the girls, but didn’t mind.  In the photo he’s adding a bit of tying on his quilt.  He’s graduated since to one with American flags and Harley-Davidson motorcycles and sleeps with it every night.  Still a quilter, though.

The quilt pictured on the cover is the Doll Quilt from Color Mastery, a great project for children, or the Brownie Troop/Homeschool Mother/Craft Queen looking for a quilting project to do with their children.  Hmm, wonder how I would know that?

All Dressed Up and a Transformation

Winter Bird by Maria Peagler

I couldn’t wait to dress up Winter Bird on my table, with my Christmas china, candles, and flowers.  My kids love having dinner by candlelight and think it’s quite a special occasion when I bring them out.

Winter Bird shadow by Maria Peagler

As I was arranging, adding, and editing the table setting, something started to happen.  Can you begin to see it here?

Winter Bird Light by Maria Peagler

The light.  Soft afternoon light streamed in my kitchen windows, to make long shadows and highlights on the table.  This is exactly the kind of still life I love to capture as a watercolor painter.  Gorgeous depths of color and value created by soft light.

Winter Bird Flowers by Maria Peagler

My kitchen, as well as my entire home, doesn’t get a lot of light.  Our neighborhood stresses a natural, subtle look to the homes, so no one has much in the way of large front windows.  But the back windows are where the sunlight invites itself in.

This elegant setting called for a special dinner:  homemade spaghetti and meatballs.  Yum.

A big welcome to the Color-of-the-Month pattern subscribers!  I can’t wait to see those table runner photos in the online forum.  I’ll be sending you the link to join by email.  Until then, I’ve got a birthday cake to make:  my older son turns 14 tomorrow!

Winter Bird Table Runner

Creative Quilters, I’d like you to meet Winter Bird, the January edition of my new Color-of-the-Month pattern series:

Learn by Doing

As an instructional designer, I know there’s no better way to understand a subject than to actually try it.  The Color-of-the-Month table runner series  offers new color palettes and quilt techniques every month, delivered directly to you.  I make it so easy you have no excuses not to try it!

Learn New Techniques

Winter Bird’s color scheme is spare but so elegant you could use this runner all year long.  And I show you, step-by-step, how to make those tricky square-in-square blocks, without wasting a bit of fabric.  The applique is fused, so it couldn’t be easier.  I show you a terrific and quick way of making bias stems so fun you won’t want to stop.  Each month will showcase different techniques so you can become a more versatile quilter.

To order the Color Mastery Table Runners enhanced e-pattern. click here: I Want to Master Color

White: January’s Color-of-the-Month

Welcome to a new feature in 2010 here at Quilts & Creativity:  Color of the Month.  The first Tuesday of each month, I’ll be featuring quilt and fabric designers and how they use the featured color in their palettes.

This month?  White!  Get tips and see quilts from your favorite designers for your own quilts.

5 Creative Ways to Use White in Your Quilt Color Palette

Note:  Slideshare is having technical difficulties, so here are the links for each designer:

Vickie Oehlke, Willowberry Lane, Lattice Stars quilt

Yolanda Fundora, Garden Party, Seascape quilt

Pat Sloan, A Baker’s Dozen

Mary Kay Mouton, Flip-Flop Paper Piecing

Maria Peagler, Winter Bird

Is it Christmas Yet?

Did I miss Christmas? Oh, no, thank goodness – there’s Santa! Actually, that’s my youngest playing Santa in this school play. When I woke him up for school the morning of the play he was nervous, but he turned out to be quite a ham. He was a pro at navigating the stage, handling the microphone, and he remembered all of his lines!

My studio has been a flurry of neutral fabrics that went into a new quilt top I promise to show you once the weather warms a little. The top flew overnight to its destination, and I was celebrating the accomplishment of a year-long project. Now I need to get those Christmas cards and teacher gifts that have been calling my name!

The weather is appropriately frigid today, and we might even see snow this weekend. We haven’t seen much snow since moving to the mountains, and my guys are patiently waiting. It will be a great weekend for cookie baking, gingerbread house-decorating, and wrestling meets. That right – my oldest is wrestling on his middle school team. I watched him for this first time this week, and it was hard to see those boys going after each other with such intensity.

Wish you and your family peace, good health, and a blessed New Year. I will be taking some time off to spend with my family during the holidays. I’ll still be on Facebook and Twitter, and I’ll post a little now and then, but nothing big until after the New Year.

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What a Difference a Year Makes

Who are those boys? I certainly don’t recognize them, as they’ve grown so much since last year! This is a photo from Christmas 2008, and my older son has grown a good 6″ since then. He’s now taller than his mom and gaining quickly on his dad. Milestones like this mean so much. As we were decorating the tree, he was thrilled that he is now taller than our artificial tree stand. Last year he had to reach up to decorate the highest branches, but no more.

We enjoyed a delightful Thanksgiving at our home with family, and spent the weekend trimming the tree and putting up Christmas decorations. My younger son couldn’t wait to put up all the Hallmark ornaments we’ve collected over the years. My favorites? Handmade ornaments we lovingly make each year, of course.

We spent days combing through my button jar making button wreaths for the tree this year. My older son worked in the ornaments between his visits to the refrigerator and the pantry. Eating is now his full-time profession. Ah, to have the metabolism of a teenaged boy!

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First Old Glory Block is Here!

The first Old Glory block is here for the Quilt of Valor!  Carolyn from St. Simon’s Island sent hers in after seeing it in the 100 Blocks issue of Quiltmaker and learning about my Quilt of Valor project.  And I love Carolyn’s fabrics, especially the floral toile-type print for the white stripes.  I’ll be accepting Old Glory blocks through December for the quilt, and you’ll need the 100 Blocks issue of Quiltmaker.  Ladies in my Simple Color, Stunning Quilts workshop last night in Calhoun found their 100 Blocks issue at Barnes & Noble.  It’s also available online at http://www.quiltmaker.com.

Carolyn’s block is on my design wall, which is packed with promises of projects to come.  Especially during the first week of December.  I normally delight in making purses for my nieces, pillowcases for my sons, a quilt for a new baby, and tote bags for teachers, but this year I’ll be doing some different sewing.  A very, ahem, large project.  That I can’t talk about.  Yet.  It will debut in the spring, but I’ll be sewing up a storm during the first week of December.  So my blog will be more quiet than usual, but know that I’m happily sewing away and thinking of all of you.

We’ll be hosting family at our home this Thanksgiving, making the traditional turkey, cranberry sauce (see the recipe in my latest newsletter), sweet potato souffle, pole beans, cornbread dressing, and pumpkin pie.  I wish you all a happy, healthy Thanksgiving with your loved ones and friends, safe travel, and a grateful heart, especially for those who have suffered through much in this difficult economy.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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My Kindle’s Here! My Kindle’s Here!

I’m like a kid at Christmas – my Kindle’s here!  After putting off buying one for too long, I’ve finally succumbed to Kindle love.  I’m an avid reader, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the Kindle once Amazon lowered the price.  Now it’s here and guess who downloaded the first books?  My sons!  My younger son downloaded a classic Beverly Cleary book Ralph S. Mouse, and my older son downloaded the latest Alex Ryder novel.  This was after they tried a sample chapter first.  I took both boys to the doctor this morning with coughs and sore throats, and they devoured books on the Kindle en route.  It was beautiful silence.
A nice surprise – some quilt books are available on the Kindle.  Mostly the state documentation books, like Tenneessee Quilts, and all the photos are in black and white, but it’s lovely to have some quilt love on the Kindle too.
So excuse me, but I have to catch up on my reading.  And my first Kindle book?  The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister.  It’s a great novel about cooking and relationships, and I wanted to read it over the summer but couldn’t find it locally.  The Kindle makes reading so easy, especially for book lovers.  Goodbye Law & Order, hello novels.

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