Tag Archives: Quilting

Video Review of Inspired by Tradition – New Applique Book by Kay Mackenzie

Welcome quilters to Day One of Kay Mackenzie’s blog tour for her newest book, Inspired by Tradition:  50 Applique Blocks in 5 Sizes.  If you’re new here, allow me to introduce myself.  I’m Maria Peagler, author of the Benjamin Franklin award-winning book Color Mastery:  10 Principles for Creating Stunning Quilts.  I’m a workshop instructor and I’m thrilled to have a book like Inspired by Tradition for my students.

Watch my video review of Kay’s newest title, then read on for how you can win you very own copy.

Want to learn more?  Check out all 50 blocks at Inspired by Tradition’s Amazon page.  Check back daily at Kay’s page from March 23 – March 31 to see who will be hosting Kay on their blog.

Want to win your own copy?  Just spread the word about Kay’s new book, by sharing this page with your friends, sharing on Facebook, Twitter, or sending an email to your guild’s Program Chairperson or Newsletter Editor.  I make it really easy:  simply click on any of the icons at the top or bottom of this post to share on your favorite social network or via email.  Then tell me here in the comments how you shared, and you’ll be entered to win.  Check back tomorrow when I’ll announce the lucky winner.

Winter Wonderland

Six inches of snow fell late Sunday evening, and it has since turned to ice.  Our boys have been out of school all week, and won’t go back until Tuesday due to MLK Jr. holiday.

It was fun the first day, sledding, throwing snowballs, and hiking mountain trails in the snow.

The second day it was still fun, but the ground was icier:  better for sledding but more difficult to get around.

The third day the ground was covered in ice.  It was my son’s birthday, and he was stuck at a friend’s house after spending the night.  He couldn’t walk home because it was too icy (the snow was powdery enough to walk to his buddy’s house the day before).  He waited until the sun came out and tried walking home.  He fell a couple of times, but was slowly making progress when some friends picked him up in their 4WD Jeep and gave him a ride home.

I’m now officially over it.  I ran out of Coke Zero yesterday (a true emergency), but we still have milk, eggs, bread, and other staples.  Cabin fever has set in, and the kids are grumpy.  I got out all kinds of art supplies, science project books, and anything else I could think of to keep them busy.  They’re tired of sledding (as am I), and my husband can’t convince any of us that this is fun anymore.

Sounds like a great day to quilt, doesn’t it?  How has the snow affected you and how have you coped?  I’d love to know!

Quilting’s First-Ever Music Video

I’m so excited to share another quilting industry first with you:  quilting’s first-ever music video.  It features the 12 table runners in the Color Mastery Table Runner enhanced e-pattern series.  We had a lot of fun putting this together, and a big thank-you goes to my son, who really did the hard work.  He produced the original music in the video and put together all of the still photos.  He’s a talented guy, and it was fun to collaborate on this mother-son project.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did developing it.

Thanks for watching the Color for Quilters video. If you enjoyed it, please sign up below for my monthly newsletter that contains color tips, quilt designs, and a recipe. I promise not to use your email for any other purpose: I don’t like SPAM either.  As a thank you, I’ll send you 10 Color Tips for Quilters and a gift of a color wheel chart so you can get started with your own fabrics today!


Color Mastery Table Runners offers:

  • 12 table runner patterns, each 16×40″, featuring a different color each month
  • 10 short instructional videos where Maria shows you time-saving and accurate piecing and quilting techniques
  • 10 presentations offering professional quilt designers tips on each month’s color and how they used them in their own projects
  • table runner projects are great for mini-lessons and no UFOs
  • the most beautifully decorated table in your neighborhood!
  • great opportunity for group projects, bee groups, and quilt guilds. Enjoy a color challenge with different results each month

Click here to learn more about the table runner series:

I Want to Master Color

Maria Peagler Reveals Another Quilting Exclusive on Pat Sloan’s Creative Talk Radio

What a big finish to 2010 we had with the Quilter’s Favorite Things giveaway! We had so much fun with that contest and we had five lucky winners. This Monday, Jan. 10, I’ll be Pat Sloan’s guest on her Creative Talk Radio show. You won’t want to miss this interview, because I’ll be revealing a quilting industry first on her show, and her listeners will get the exclusive scoop.  Join the party to hear us chat about color, Pantone’s color for 2011, and of course there will be prizes! So tune in and don’t miss the fun. To listen in, visit her show’s website and click the listen live button. The show runs from 4:00 to 5:00, and I’ll be on the second half starting at 4:30.

To add even more to the fun, I’ll be posting live on Facebook during the show.  I’ll be asking questions and giving away prizes during the show, so listen in and answer the questions I post from the show to have even more chances to win!

Here’s to a colorful and creative 2011!

Blessings Tree Table Runner

Creative Quilters, I’d like to introduce you to Blessings Tree, the November edition of our year-long color-of-the-month enhanced e-pattern series:

Every Thanksgiving I long for a way to permanently record our blessings.  As often as I teach my children the lesson of gratitude and try to practice it myself, the daily carpool, school, work, dinner, and errands tend to take over, and we forget.  Here is a simple way to remember, record, and reflect.

The tree starts out bare, just branches, trunk, and buttons.  During our Thanksgiving day with extended family, we’ll catch up with stories of loved ones lost, children who’ve sprouted so tall you barely recognize them, and hugs and kisses all around.  As we cook, catch up, and enjoy time with those we love so much, we’ll begin adding leaves to the tree.

We’ll each write down on a leaf, with a gold metallic marker, what we’re grateful for this sign, sign and date it.  As more and more family members add their blessings, the leaves begin to accumulate.

Then, before we all sit down to the meal, everyone will add their gratitude leaf to the tree, until it’s overflowing with blessings.

Enjoy your loved ones this Thanksgiving holiday.  Cherish the time together, and continue to remember how richly you’ve been blessed with November’s Blessing Tree pattern.

Here’s a hint for next month:  count the branches on the tree.  Hhhmm, would be great for December, too, wouldn’t it?  Stay tuned and I’ll show you how to turn the Blessings Tree into an Advent Tree for Christmas.

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

Orange: September’s Color of the Month

Orange is a bit of a conundrum:  it harkens fall like no other color, yet quilters have a love/hate relationship with it.  More than any other, orange is the most challenging and disliked of all colors when I survey my workshop students.  However, those quilters who love orange do so with an unwavering commitment to it and find a way to use it in almost every quilt they make.

So here’s something for quilters on both sides of the orange fence:  if you have a passion for orange, you’re really going to enjoy this month’s show, which features stunning and innovative uses of it in quilt projects both large and small.  If orange is not your favorite and you tend to stay away from it, you’ll be surprised by what you see:  one of the quilters in the show felt the same way and unexpectedly found herself relying on it for her designs.

Get advice from the pros and see their quilt designs and fabrics using orange.  This month I host Edyta Sitar, Betty Alofs, Pat Sloan, Sarah Whitney, Geri Richardson, Faith Wellman, and Laura Berringer of Marcus Fabrics.  To view the show in Full Screen mode or to embed this slideshow in your blog, just click the Menu link.  Remember to support these wonderfully creative designers by asking for their patterns and fabrics in your local quilt shops!

Autumn Antlers Table Runner

Creative Quilters, I’d like to introduce you to Autumn Antlers, the September edition of our year-long color-of-the-month enhanced e-pattern series:

September’s featured color is orange, a perennial challenge for most quilters.  Orange, more than any other color, pops up as quilters’ least favorite color in my workshops.  Well, no more.  I show you, in Autumn Antlers, how to work with orange and make it one of your favorite colors in your quilt’s color palette.

Orange is one of the brightest colors in the quilt shop, and many only think of it for halloween, pumpkins, and garish college football team colors.  That’s about to change, because I give you artist’s tips on how to work with a challenging color and make it your own.  Eric Carle, author and illustrator of gorgeous children’s books, did this with colors he didn’t like, and they became his favorites.  Orange can become one of yours too.  Trust me.

Autumn Antlers design is fun, funky, and sophisticated, and evokes fall without limiting its place on your table to only the fall months.  This runner would be welcome in any season, any month, in any home.  Timeless design, innovative color, all in one stunning runner.

Autumn Antlers Pattern Update:  $5.95 (delivered early and automatically to pattern series 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 an Autumn Antlers 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.

Autumn Antlers Kit: $21.95 Add to Cart

Learn by Doing

In addition to learning how to coordinate a fresh autumn color palette, you’ll also discover how to:

  • cut and place applique motifs
  • learn the best stitches to use for machine applique, including optimal stitch length and width
  • improve your machine applique skills by watching two step-by-step videos (COM Subscribers only)
  • quilt a freemotion flame design to harmonize with the antler design

So not only do you get a sophisticated and new original design, you update your skills as well.

Last Opportunity to Subscribe and Buy Patterns

September is the last month you can buy a Color-of-the-Month subscription or individual patterns.  Why?  Because these beauties will be offered in a book, along with a bed quilt using the monthly blocks, that will be available in 2011.  I’ll still be sharing the monthly table runner projects for the rest of the year, but they won’t be available for purchase:  you’ll have to wait for the book!

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

Arbor Lane Initial Sketch

Arbor Lane’s humble beginning started with this lovely rough sketch.  Every one of my quilt designs starts with my own hand, pencil, and paper.  I spend so much of my day at the computer, I welcome the back-to-basics of sketching and playing in my journal.  And that’s exactly what I was doing here:  dreaming of a medallion design I would love to make.

I wanted it to be a quilt that a beginner could make, especially since the blocks are pre-cut.  While the piecing and applique would be simple, I wanted a sophisticated look to the quilt.  No sampler look here:  I wanted a beautiful harmony in the design.

Ten designs were ultimately offered to JoAnn’s, and they selected mine.  The process was much like Project Runway, but we were each in our own studio, sketching, measuring, coloring, and giving it our all.  Our own version of Tim Gunn would guide us in the right direction:  center design too similar to what had been done before, tweaking color schemes, sending block designs every week to my tester Scarlette for her wonderful work.  Every moment of dreaming, design, and making Arbor Lane was a joy.  I learned much and grew as a designer and an entrepreneur

See that vase and those birds?  While JoAnn’s didn’t use them, I did later in my table runner series.  The vase shows up in Petite Pineapples and a simple version of the birds is in Winter Bird and Petite Pineapples.  You never know where a creative journey will take you.

Remember, you have until the end of the week to guess how long it took me to make Arbor Lane:  cutting, piecing, and applique.  Some lovely fall fabric could be coming your way!

Boost Your Own Economy

The latest economic news is a bit glum, especially when you consider we’re about to begin the major quilting season.  Fall holds great promise with terrific quilt shows and conferences, cooler weather, new projects, and guilds getting back underway after a summer hiatus.  What’s a quilter on a budget to do?  Don’t despair – it’s Frugal Fabriholic to the rescue!

I’m announcing a program that lowers the price of the Frugal Fabriholic e-book to just $3.99 as long as the national unemployment rate stays above 7%.  As of July 2010, it’s 9.5%, so we’ve got a long way to go, and Willow Ridge Press is supporting quilters in this tough economy.  Be good to yourself and spend on your quilting passion without breaking the bank, using my 12-step savings plan as your guide to saving more cash for your quilting stash.

The e-book is available for anyone who uses a computer or e-reader:

  • Kindle bookstore at Amazon
  • iBook store for the iPad
  • PC, Mac, or any e-reader device at Smashwords
  • My own Quilts & Creativity online store.

Don’t have an e-reader?  No problem!  You can read the Frugal Fabriholic on your home computer, no matter what kind you have.  And for $3.99 –  less than one fast food meal, you can learn how to save over $13,000 on household expenses.  Learn more about the book at the Frugal Fabriholic website.

Confused about Color?

I put together a list of the many resources I’ve created over the Color Mastery journey and put them into one place for you.  Wow.  No excuses not to have outstanding color in your quilts any more!

Color Tips for Quilters by Maria Peagler

Studio Tour

We”re doing a virtual studio tour over at the Color-of-the-Month forum, sharing photos of our creative quilting studios, and I thought I would share mine with you.  My own studio is the bonus room over my garage, and I share it with my husband, who has his office here too.  He often jokes that I take up 3/4 of the space in the room, which is about right.

This is my main sewing and writing nook, where I have my Bernina Artista 170 (which is about 10 years old) and my writing desk to the left.  My computer is normally on the table, but this particular day it was busy elsewhere.  My favorite part of this alcove is my husband made both my writing desk and my sewing table, which folds up into a sideboard when you’re not using.  But when am I not using it?  He built this for me when our children were infants and toddlers, and I was without a sewing space of my own.  I sewed in the den, after the kids were asleep at night, and I could open up this cabinet, sew to my heart’s content, and close it up with no pins, thread, or other items that might end up in a child’s mouth.

This is my second machine, the Bernina Activa, which I use for teaching, taking to workshops, and sewing campers during the summer months.  When the machine isn’t being used, this table is the Willow Ridge Press shipping area.  Multi-tasking anyone?

My armoire, with my sons’ drawings on the doors.  Open those doors and voila . . . .

all kinds of storage inside.  This was a prefab, unfinished armoire, and my oh-so-handy husband stained it and added the rods and hooks inside.  This was in the den along with my sewing sideboard before I had a studio.

My cutting table, assembled from DIY kitchen cabinet units from Home Depot.  My husband offered to build me a custom cutting table, but he’s a builder, and I knew my project would be put behind everyone else’s paying projects (as it should be), so I suggested we just pick some ready-to-assemble units and make our own from those.  I think he was secretly relieved.  It has three deep drawers on the end, great for craft supplies.

My design wall, but I can show you only half of it.  Other projects are in the works and they aren’t ready for their debut yet!

My thread racks and color collages, which I have all over my studio.  I used to post my collages in my bedroom closet when I didn’t have a studio, and every morning when I got dressed, they would greet me.  I loved it!  I also stored my fabric in wire shelving units in my closet.  Don’t let lack of space inhibit your creativity!

Stars & Stripes Table Runner

Creative Quilters, I’d like to introduce you to Stars & Stripes, the June pattern update to our year-long color-of-the-month series.

June’s featured color is blue, a perennial favorite with quilters of all styles.  Stars & Stripes shows you how to coordinate different blues while avoiding an over-matched appearance.  Discover how to coordinate varying color intensities, from dark and deep to bright and light, and make them sing together in a beautiful harmony.  You’ll also learn the secrets of why the traditional red, white, and blue color palette works, and what you can do to make it your own.  Subscribers to the enhanced e-pattern series get exclusive access to a video tutorial on how to apply the rick-rack that you can follow along with as you apply your own, especially around those tricky corners.

Stars & Stripes Pattern Update:  $9.95 (free to pattern series 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 Stars & Stripes 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.

Stars & Stripes Kit: $21.95 Add to Cart

Learn by Doing

In addition to learning the latest color techniques, you learn how to create harmony among the three blocks which are different and unique:  the Mock Eight-Pointed Star block gives you the set-in look without the set-in seams, while the original Rick-Rack Old Glory block provides unity, harmony, and contrast.

Learn New Techniques

Jumbo red rick-rack provides a whimsical finish to Stars & Stripes, and I show you how to apply the rick-rack so that the corners turn with ease and the start/finish point is invisible.

Forget quilt as desired!  I’ve included quilting designs, the very ones I used in my own project, that make Stars & Stripes really shine. The quilting is the finishing touch that unifies all the design elements in the runner, and it’s super easy.  No free-motion needed!

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

Yellow: May’s Color-of-the-Month

Welcome to the May Color-of-the-Month slideshow, offering tips on using yellow in your quilt palette:  yes you can successfully coordinate yellow with other colors and make it behave!  You can do it!  This month I host Yolanda Fundora, Barbara Campbell, Maribeth Schmidt, Exclusively Quilters, and Rochelle Martin, sharing fabric designs and gorgeous quilts.  Get inspired to create a fabulous summer project and remember to support the participants of each month’s show! (If the text is too tiny in the presentation, click on the Full icon at the bottom to view it Full Screen.)

Ready for more color excitement?  Participate in my Color Mastery social media scavenger hunt for your chance to win over $75 in prizes (fat quarter bundle, table runner kit, and a new book – oh my!).

Sunflower Summer Table Runner

Creative Quilters, I’d like to introduce you to Sunflower Summer, the May pattern update to our year-long color-of-the-month series.

May’s featured color is yellow, which so many quilters find to be challenging and avoid using.  No more!  Sunflower Summer shows you how to make yellow play well with others, giving yellow a chance to mingle and be social with its friends from around the color wheel without overwhelming the quilt and giving it that “oh no!” look.  Yellow can be overwhelming in any project, and Sunflower Summer reveals how you can coordinate yellow in any quilting project.

Sunflower Summer 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 Sunflower 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.

Sunflower Summer Kit: $21.95 Add to Cart

Learn by Doing

Yellow is the brightest color in any quilt shop, and using it in your quilt’s color palette takes special care and handling.  Without savvy color skills, your quilt can have an off look, even if you use limited amounts of yellow.  I show you the why behind yellow’s glare and how to avoid yellow overload.

Learn New Techniques

May’s Sunflower Summer pattern uses a modified Dresden Plate block, and you’ll learn how to make perfect points without having to turn them under using hand applique.  All of the sunflower petals are done on the sewing machine!  I also demonstrate how different backgrounds can make a color completely disappear or look too strong, and how you know when your colors have achieve a wonderful harmony.

Forget quilt as desired!  I’ve included quilting designs, the very ones I used in my own project, that make Sunflower Summer really shine.  I created wonderful textures throughout the quilt, and you can too!

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

Secrets of Accurate Half-Square Triangles

The Spring Tulips table runner uses a lot of half-square triangles (HSTs) in the pieced tulips blocks.  In fact, every table runner I’ve designed so far uses them.  For much of my early years as a quilter, cutting and piecing accurate HSTs was a mystery to me.  I followed all of the instructions, tried the triangle paper, triangles on a roll, and just didn’t find a way that suited me.  I even did Debbie Caffrey’s method of cutting bias strips, seaming them, and then cutting the HSTs.  It was accurate, but a headache too.

I needed something simpler.  I like simplicity:  clean, accurate, easy, no weird tools, just the basics on how to do it right.  I finally figured out the secrets of accurate HSTs, and now I’m sharing them with you in this checklist.  I’ve become a huge fan of checklists after reading Atul Gawande’s book The Checklist Manifesto.  It’s a fascinating look at how pilots, surgeons, architects, and other creative and technical people nail down a procedure so there are no mistakes.  So here’s my gift to you:  a HST Checklist for getting them right.  Every. Time.

To view this full-size and print it out, click here for the link.  I suggest putting it next to your sewing machine or cutting table:  someplace visible so you don’t miss it!

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.

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.

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!

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!

Winners and a Call for Blocks

First, the winners:

Thank you to everyone who visited yesterday during Day 3 of the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Blog Tour.  I was so moved by your comments I selected not just one winner but two!  Congratulations to:

  • Diane Muska
  • Maeve315

Send me your mailing addresses to maria@colormastery.com and your issue and Old Glory will be on their way to your mailbox and sewing machine.  If you weren’t one of the lucky winners you can still buy your own copy of the special issue by going to the 100 Blocks website.

Thank you for sharing stories of veterans in your families, and the mention of two special organizations:  Quilts of Valor and Soldiers Angels.

I profiled Quilts of Valor in my latest email newsletter as I was so impressed with their mission.  They organize quilters to make tops for wounded soldiers, then match you with a longarm quilter who beautifully quilts it.  They ask you to document the making of the quilt with a journal, make a casing, and sign the quilt.  I heard from many of you who plan to use Old Glory in your Quilts of Valor.

Soldiers Angels is a tremendous organization that offers an incredible number of ways to support our soldiers.  Here are just a few ways:

  • adopting a soldier
  • baking homemade treats
  • making blankets
  • letter writing

And that’s just a sample.  You really need to visit their website to see all the ways we can serve our troops.  This war has been so hard on so few in our country – I know I will be sitting down with my own family and discussing how we would like to support a soldier through Soldiers Angels.

Now the Call for Blocks:

I would like to make a Quilt of Valor for a wounded soldier from the Old Glory blocks, so here’s the call.  Make your own Old Glory block (you will need the issue for instructions), sign it with your name, city, and state, and I’ll put together in a quilt.  I’ll make sure it gets beautiful longarm quilting, will make a journal (if you’d like to include your own letter or note please do). Send me a message at maria@colormastery.com telling me you’ll be making the block, and I’ll send you the mailing address.  Deadline for blocks:  Dec. 11.  Quilts of Valor has long been on my heart, and it will be so meaningful for a soldier to receive a message of support and love from a group.  Thank You!

Do I Need an Excuse to Visit a Quilt Shop?

More photos from my trip to Athens and Dragonfly Quilt Shop.  As you walk in the shop you’re surrounded by gorgeous fabrics and samples that you can’t wait to make!  Love the beautiful white armoire filled with goodies.  The shop had a Kaffe Fassett table to get quilters excited about his workshop at Dragonfly.  Deb stands next to her quilt made with Kaffe fabrics.  I loved the Dresden Plate quilt – it looked totally vintage.

After I gave Annette her color consultation and we recorded the video, the Cotton Patch Quilters and I went to dinner at Loco’s, which started in Athens.  The moose tells their story.  Later I gave my Creative Quilter’s Guide to Color lecture, but no photos:  it was a whirlwind to end by 9p.m.!

Last, but not least, my Machine Quilting students at Sew Memorable Quilt Shop in Dawsonville.  We had a full house and ladies came with all-metal Singer sewing machines to the latest new Viking, and you know what?  They were all successful!  Can’t wait to see those quilts, girls!

Behind the Scenes

After I shot this video at Dragonfly Quilt Shop in Watkinsville, GA, I gave a lecture to the Cotton Patch Quilt Guild in Athens, and drove home for a late-night arrival.  The same day, my elder son attended a workshop at the local Apple store on how to use iMovie.

I’ve been the computer expert in our home for a long time, and I taught my son how to use Word, how to navigate the internet (with supervision), and even how to create a blog for a math project.  So he was excited to help me with my video.

I planned on creating a black screen with a white title for the Title screen and ending credits, which I can do with the Flip software that came with my camera.  But after he saw my results, he offered to help me do much better.

He showed me how to create the fancy title screen with my book’s cover and the white title superimposed over it, and the ending black frames with the credits on them.  Actually, he wanted to do it all himself, but I’m trying to teach him how to educate others:  never do for them what you can help them to do themselves.

That’s my same motto for my classes.  I never do the work for my students, or else they won’t be able to replicate their experience when they get home.  I gently guide students as to how to achieve results, and everyone’s path there is different.

So thanks, son.  My video looks oh-so-much better.  Who knows what you’ll be teaching me next?

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Color Mastery Pincushion

I’m humbled and thrilled at the response from quilters and reviewers to Color Mastery.  I’m giving lectures and workshops, producing videos on color, and building relationships with quilters across the globe on my blog, email newsletter, Twitter, and Facebook.

I’m starting to work on my next book, talking to shop owners, industry experts, and fabric companies.  But the opinion that really counts?  Yours.  Quilters.  Real, honest-to-goodness, everyday quilters that make baby, bed, wall, memory, and every other kind of quilt.  I’m here to serve you.  Could you take a moment to help me?

I need to know what you look for and need in a quilting book.  I have my own ideas from my teaching, but I need your opinion.  As a small independent publisher, I must be wise in what I publish so I don’t enter into a subject over-published or compete with the big guys who have large advertising budgets.  Quilting books seem to have exploded lately, and I want to make sure I serve an area that needs it.  It’s what I did with Color Mastery:  saw a need and filled it.

And in gratitude for your time and response, I’m sending you a pincushion pattern immediately after you take the survey.  My way of saying thanks.

Click here to take the survey.  And keep an eye out for some really exciting content upcoming here at Quilts & Creativity.  2010 will be a super-creative year for all of us!

Georgia Quilt Council’s Fall Convention

Quilts on the Square

Last weekend I attended the fall convention of the Georgia Quilt Council in Carrollton, GA.  After all the years I’ve been quilting, this was my first time attending the council’s meeting, and I was impressed.  These ladies know quilting and know Georgia.  I met many wonderful quilters, appraisers, shop owners, historians, guild officers, and teachers.  It was a “who’s who” of quilters in Georgia.  I was so busy in my booth I didn’t take photos of the speakers, but here’s peek at one of the quilts displayed at the convention:

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Carrollton welcomed us with quilts hung in the shop windows on the town square:

Carrollton GQC Quilts

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Quilts Hung in Bookstore

Next was a tour of the facility that will house the new Southeast Quilt and Textile Museum:

Southeast Quilt and Textile Museum facility

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The above photo is of an interior wall of the facility, which used to house cotton bales for GoldKist.  The building was badly burned in a fire in the early 1900’s, and you can still see the outline of the hay bales on the walls.

I had a lovely time at the fall convention, and here’s a quick bulletin of events coming up and an invitation to join me.  If you can’t, hop on over to my Color Mastery blog and enjoy the resources there until you can attend one my lectures or workshops:

Oct. 13, Creative Quilter’s Guide to Color, Cotton Patch Quilters, Athens, GA

Oct. 17, Machine Quilting Mastery, Sew Memorable, Dawsonville, GA

Nov. 7, Color Mastery for Any Quilter, Quilt Shop on the Square, Ellijay, GA

Nov. 23, Simple Color, Stunning Quilts, Scrappy Quilt Guild, Calhoun, GA

Hope to see you soon in one of my workshops – let’s make a colorful quilt together!