Tag Archives: Quilting

Beautiful Mondays

Amicalola Falls on a Sunny, Fall day

Most people dread Mondays.  After all, they mean back to work, away from home and family.  And rainy Mondays are the worst – as it’s doing here in Georgia today (the photo is from Amicalola Falls on a sunnier day).

I’m deciding on a different outlook.  Mondays present a great day of opportunity.  Monday is a day to start fresh, with an entire week of possibilities ahead.  I can’t wait to see what this week brings.  I’m looking forward to new quilt design ideas, fun business opportunities, friendships, and time with my family during Fall break.

What opportunities await you this Monday?

Okay, here’s one:  I produced a new video on fall’s two hottest colors this season, and it’s over at my Color Mastery blog.  Check it out.  Who knows what possibilities await in your stash or the quilt shop?

Side Trip

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We spent last weekend with family attending my father-in-law George’s funeral.  My boys were dreading the long drive home, so I scheduled a side trip to break up the drive and work in a little history as well.  I guess once you’ve been a homeschooling mom, you’re always looking for those teachable moments.

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We decided to stop at Andersonville, the civil war prison site for Union soldiers.  It wasn’t exactly on the way, but we felt like it was important enough to make our trip significantly longer.  My younger son did the Junior Ranger activities and earned his badge, while my older son enjoyed our driving tour, stopping at sites to look and learn.

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13,000 soldiers died at Andersonville, and many states whose dead were among those later erected monuments in their memory.  The Womans Relief Corps had more than one statue, and I did a rubbing of their insignia.

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Of course, I had to know if a quilt had been made to honor any of these soldiers, and there was (please see update below).  James George, a Union soldier who had been captured and stayed at Andersonville six months, later recovered at a Washington D.C. hospital, where Boston women made James an album quilt.

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From the Permanent Collection of the New England Quilt Museum, Photo by David Stansbury.

I have received an email from Judy Schwender, Curator of Collections at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY, which offered the following:

There is no definitive evidence that the quilt was given directly to the Union soldier James George by the makers. Since I first saw this quilt ten years ago, I have been gathering information on its history. There is no indication from either the family history, including documents, which states this was the process. If you wish to read what has been uncovered to date, please see the book “Massachusetts Quilts Our Common Wealth”. An essay written by Anita Loscalzo and myself, along with wonderful photographs, can be found on pages 252 through 256. I am continuing the search for information and hope to complete a paper on this wonderful quilt in the near future.

Both Anita and Vivian are skilled quilt historians.  An excellent resource for quilt history is Uncoverings, the journal of the American Quilt Study Group.  You can find out more about articles from this journal athttp://www.americanquiltstudygroup.org/uncoveringSearch.asp .

Seems a bit of controversy surrounds the origins of this quilt and no definitive answer exists.

Facebook for Quilters

How would you like to have an exclusive one-on-one color consultation with me for your next quilt?  My July 2009 email newsletter has a special section on social media for quilters.  Today we’ll look at specific ways you can use Facebook to connect with like-minded quilters across the globe, and how you can win a one-on-one color consultation with me! Facebook is a great way to share and talk with the big names in quilting you may not ever have a chance to meet in person, as well as chatting with quilting friends between guild meetings.

Color Mastery on Facebook

Did you know the fastest growing group on Facebook is the 55+ demographic?  Quilters, from hobbyists to professionals like Mark Lipinski, Jodie Davis, Lazy Girl Joan Hawley, and me share and connect with fans and quilting community.  I connect with my students, readers, friends who’ve moved to far-away states, elementary school pals and neighbors on Facebook.

Try it and join my Color Mastery fan page.  Everyone who becomes a fan this week will be entered into the contest to win a color consultation with me on their next quilt.  I’ll announce the winner on the color Mastery fan page on Monday, Aug. 17.  There you’ll see my latest news, events, videos, and catch up!  Join at http://www.facebook.com.  I’m at http://www.facebook.com/mariapeagler.

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Here’s a short video on how Facebook works:

Next up:  Twitter for Quilters!

Quilt Camp at Willow Ridge Press Studios

Quilt Camp at Willow Ridge Press Studios

This week I hosted six children in my quilt studio to make Quillows.  They were practically giddy they were so excited! We planted the seeds of lifelong sewers and quilters, and they were beaming with pride and tightly hugging their Quillows when they left.

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On Monday we started by making a mini-Quillow.  This turned out to be quite important to understand the whole process.  The real Quillows were so large it was easy for the campers to get lost in the fabric and what step we were doing, and they really liked doing the smaller sample first.

L. topstitching her Quillow.

Overheard at Quilt Camp this week:

  • “Duh!” – a lot
  • “I don’t want to sew through my dog’s eye/nose/mouth!”
  • “The machine came unthreaded . . again!”

Mini-Quillow

Here’s our Quilt Camp by the numbers:

  • 5 girls
  • 1 boy
  • 3 homeschoolers
  • 3 private schooled
  • 1 horse fabric
  • 1 chick fabric
  • 1 dog fabric
  • 1 floral fabric
  • 1 plaid fabric
  • 1 motorcycles & baseball fabric
  • 6 pincushions
  • 250+ pins
  • 24 yards of fabric
  • 12 yards of batting
  • Priceless memories and confidence.  These campers completed a long quilting project and have the skills to tackle any sewing project they want in the future!

A big Happy Birthday wish to Camper E. who turns 12 next week and had her rock-climbing birthday party today!  A rock-climber and a quilter – you go girl!

Art Week: Gee’s Bend Quilts

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Today’s the final day in the Quilts & Creativity Art Week, and I’m concluding with a bang:  quilts from the Gee’s Bend quilters.  I’ve featured works of art from the Big Canoe Fine Art show in honor of my own art quilts that are on display at the Ann Litrel gallery in Woodstock.  Previously I featured works of sculptureglass, and wood.

Even though the Gee’s Bend quilters are from our neighboring state of Alabama, I’ve managed to miss every gallery showing of their quilts.  When they were at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, our family was in the middle of a move.  When a play based on their story was featured in Dahlonega, I was teaching.  I’ve finally gotten to see their quilts in person!

More pieces from the show:

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Gee’s Bend quilters rely on simple designs and piecing, coupled with bold color schemes for a dramatic impact.

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This is a Housetop design, a variation of Log Cabin, often seen in Gee’s Bend quilts.

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The exhibit is in a show home in Big Canoe, and this is one of its closets.  This would be my dream closet, full of about $35,000 worth of Gee’s Bend quilts, at least.

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So much of color is intuitive – even with no formal art training, this quilter used the complementary colors of yellow and violet for vivid contrast.

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A bold interpretation of a Bow-Tie quilt, done in black and white solids.  Wow.

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The red fabric in this quilt is satin and it practically glows.  You can see the sheen in the photograph, but it’s even greater in person.

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The fine art show included some smaller Gee’s Bend quilts in the $500 price range for people who wanted to start their art collections at a smaller scale.

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This quilt was my personal favorite, as it had so much going on I could have looked at it for hours and admired the fabrics and piecing.  The quilting was a simple cross-hatching, just perfect for a quilt that had such busy piecing.

The Big Canoe Fine Art show continues through July 19, and you can stop by and say hello to my husband David of Peagler Custom Homes.  He has two gorgeous homes, one on the golf course, and another on the lake, that are themselves works of art.

Tonight I’ll be at the Ann Litrel gallery from 5-9p.m., and I’ll be speaking on “Color Artistry in Quilt Creation.”  Hans Rueffert, the local Jasper chef and Food Network star will be cooking up dishes across the street at FoxTales Book Shoppe and signing his visual feast of a cook book, Eat Like There’s No Tomorrow.  I own a copy of his cookbook and you should too.  Hans found out he had stomach cancer after his stint on Food Network and has a philosophy on life that is not to be missed.  Tonight’s Friday Night Live theme is Beach Party.  See you there!

Art Week: Wood

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It’s wood day in the Quilts & Creativity Art Week.  I’m featuring works of art from the Big Canoe Fine Art show in honor of my own art quilts that are on display at the Ann Litrel gallery in Woodstock.  Previously I featured sculpture and glass.

The wood pieces in the Big Canoe Fine Art show ranged from furniture to instruments to models, and they were intricate, superbly-crafted, and sophisticated in design and theme.

The sideboard shown above housed beautiful stained-glass inserts in the doors, and the sides of the sideboard had concave curves instead of straight lines.  Not easy to do.

More pieces from the show:

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Twig chair with leather seat and carved back.

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Hand-carved barnyard and barn.

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Exquisite armoire with burled wood.

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Funky vanity with working soap dish and drawer.

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Beautiful chest with hand-forged iron detail.

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My favorite piece:  a handcrafted mandolin, lovely to see and hear!

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And a sneak peek at tomorrow’s quilt day from the show:  two Gee’s Bend quilts in a study with a desk that has a propeller in the top.

Quilt show this week at Ann Litrel gallery.  My talk is tomorrow, July 3rd, at 7p.m.  Friday Night Live in Woodstock runs from 5-9p.m. and it’s Beach Party-themed this month.  See you there!

Art Week: Glass

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It’s glass day in the Quilts & Creativity Art Week.  I’m featuring works of art from the Big Canoe Fine Art show in honor of my own art quilts that are on display at the Ann Litrel gallery in Woodstock.  Yesterday was sculpture and you can see it here.

The glass-blown artwork in the Big Canoe Fine Art show was gorgeous, light-filled, and oh-so-delicate!  I’m not in the right phase of life to have fragile sculptures like these in my home.  Two active sons and a dog don’t make for an art-display friendly environment.  That’s what made it so fun to view it in another home!

Two more photos from the show:

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Quilt show this week at Ann Litrel gallery.  My talk is Friday, July 3rd, at 7p.m.  Friday Night Live in Woodstock runs from 5-9p.m. and it’s Beach Party-themed this month.  See you there!

A Real Book’s Lasting Value

Color Mastery Fan

I want my work to last.  Longevity is one of the three main goals I have for my books.  The other two?  A post for another day.

I realized long ago that it took just as long to write a book that was trendy and out of print after two years as it did to write a classic.  And as a quilter and artist, I appreciate books that provide me with lessons for years to come.

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I often hear people complain about how expensive books are, which is why I go for those that provide me with lasting value.  I enjoy patterns, booklets, and other fun diversions.  But they don’t have the lasting value of a book.

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Color Mastery has nine quilt projects.  If you bought them individually in a pattern, each would average $15.00.  Multiply that times nine and you get $135.00.

Color Mastery also has 11 exercises, and has twelve months worth of class material.  I teach shop owners how they can offer a different class each month using the exercises and projects in the book.  A full-day class averages about $60.00, and 12 of them would be $720.00.

$135.00 worth of patterns/projects, and $720.00 worth of classes is a total of $855.00.  Still think a book is expensive?  Look’s like the world’s best bargain to me.

The real test of a book-lover’s book is this:  does it provide those things that make a reader’s life easier, that will make the book last, and makes it easy to find, or get more information?  I printed Color Mastery on museum-quality paper using the best photographer and printer in the industry.

I included an index to make information easy to find.  Look at the latest quilt book you bought:  I bet it doesn’t have one.  Publishers are skimping on this kind of stuff and betting you won’t notice.  Bibliographies too.  I want to know how to find out more information when I’m interested in a topic, and I know my readers do too.  And librarians love them.

Does the book’s binding last?  Is it sewn or glued?  Color Mastery’s is sewn, of course.  And it has a spine, so you can find it on a store shelf or your own.

Look for these qualities when you buy a book.  Be a discerning consumer.  Expect them in your books and ask for them.  And support quilt book authors who give you the best.

Magical Moments

Sketching mesmerizes people.  When people learn I’m a quilter, they often offer comments such as, “Oh, my grandmother did that,” or “I’ve always wanted to learn how to do that.”

But tell them I sketch, or even better if they see me sketching, and they are truly facsinated.  They stop what they are doing to watch me or even come over to watch my penstrokes on the page.  Sketching really does attract a crowd.

My friend Karin took these photos at Symphony on the Green, including these of my family:

An orchestra, art, family, and a beautiful day.  A perfect summer recipe.

And a by-the-way note:  Annette, one of my students at the Stitching Barn Color Mastery class, tried my recipe for the Five Bean Pot from my May/June email newsletter.  She noticed, however, it called for only four cans of beans.  The can of baked beans is the large, double can, and I count that as the fifth can of beans.  Since I have kids at home, I try to make my recipes as kid-friendly as possible, so that’s why only four types of beans in the Five Bean Pot recipe.

Annette loved the recipe and you will too!  You can see my newsletters over here.  And sign up for them here.

New Season, New Look

Easter Egg Cake

What is it about spring that makes me want to throw open the windows and swap out the winter pillows and fabrics for brighter, more light colors?  Same goes for the blog.  I’ve photographed a new header image and am trying a new WordPress theme that’s easier on the eyes.  Larger fonts, wider sidebars.  I do so much reading online now (our daily newspaper no longer delivers to our county) that I appreciate any site that gives my eyes a break.

Let’s catch up, shall we?

Girls Lunch.  Had lunch last week in Dahlonega with Jean (JeanAnnQuilts at Twitter) and her friend Julie.  We shopped at Magical Threads, savored the Tomato Bisque at Crossroads Cafe, and chatted about quilting, market, writing, and teaching.

Georgia Book Tour.  The shop owners are so excited and promoting it to their customers.  Savannah’s shop, Colonial Quilts, told three television stations and their daily newspaper!  I’m gathering the last minute details, the family is preparing to be without mom for a while.

Kay’s Book-A-Round.  Still blogging across the U.S.  Great posts and a variety of perspectives.

Easter.  Time to rejoice, reflect, and be so grateful for all the things that are important that don’t show up in the daily newspaper.

Book Swap.  Just discovered Paperbackswap.com and Bookmooch.com through my friend Malissa.  I sent three books out yesterday and I’m getting The Thirteenth Tale, hopefully in time for our Spring Break.

Facebook.  Yes, I’ve cautiously joined Facebook.  My sister uses it a lot and I decided to finally plunge in after some friends decided it was the best way to post updates of their son’s journey across the Appalachian Trail.  I’ve actually avoided Facebook for a long time, but my goal is not to get entirely sucked in.

Twitter.  I love this tool.  If you’re not using it, you really should be.  I can keep up with other quilters, UGA coach Mark Richt, NPR’s weekend anchor Scott Simon, and other really interesting people.  I’m Colormaster.  Follow me!

Birthdays.  Happy Birthday to my good friend Pat.  We share a love of family, friendship, quilting, and gardening.  Pat just got a longarm quilting machine and has returned from classes ready to take on big quilts!

Committees.  PTO.  Church.  PAC.  School.  Guild.  Yikes!  Too many meetings, too little time.  May be time to cut back.

Soon it’ll be carpool time for school, and life as author/publisher today will be done, and I’ll be mom and wife for the rest.  It’s a lovely mix, isn’t it?

Instant Comraderie of Quilters

Quilting buddies

I had a lovely visit from a quilter from New York recently.  Janet Root, SAQA member, quilt teacher, and avid quilter, stopped by to chat about quilting on a rainy day.  We sat in the keeping room, fire blazing, and talked about teaching, our students, and where the best sales are (end-of-bolt sale at Little Quilts and Magical Threads?).

Isn’t it incredible how quilters enjoy a common interest that bonds us, no matter where we’re from?  We even have a common language:  fat quarters, batting, squaring up.  It was quite a spectacle for Emily, my neighbor who Janet was visiting.  Did I tell you how Emily and I know each other?.

You see, Emily and I were in the same book club in our neighborhood.  At my first meeting, we were all introducing ourselves, talked about our families and jobs, and Emily offered that she used to teach at Sequoyah High School.  And then it hit me.  This wasn’t just any Emily, this was Mrs. B, the toughest English teacher at my alma mater.  She taught AP English, and I had interviewed with her and been accepted into the class, but my family moved that summer, so I finished my senior year at a different school.

How small the world really is.  I don’t live anywhere near that high school, didn’t finish there, have moved to a tiny mountain town, and Emily and I are now friends and she introduced me to a wonderful quilter.  Aren’t women great?

February Newsletter Hot Off the Press

February’s Quilts & Creativity newsletter went out this week, and I can’t wait for you to see it. It includes last-minute details on my book launch this Friday, an opportunity to win a color consultation with me, the scoop on fresh, innovative spring color palettes, a sneak peek at a new product I’ll be announcing at the end of this month, an opportunity for me to visit your bee group in March, and a fabulous burger recipe.

I’ve really changed the way I develop and offer lessons on this blog. I save the detailed lessons for my newsletter, as it’s easier to give a deep treatment to subjects in a format that spans several pages. I chat about personal stuff, announcements, ideas, and anything else that comes to mind on the blog. But if you want the lessons, sign up for the newsletter by clicking on the Newsletter tab at the top of the blog.

You can see back issues of the Quilts & Creativity newsletter here.

Alex Anderson Hopscotch Pattern: 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

My mouth is watering from all the delicious goodies ya’ll shared with us in your comments.  Beef Wellington, creamed onions, cornbread dressing, sands cookies, peanut brittle, raisin scones, homemade chocolate pudding, Brazilian Rabanada, and gingerbread people!  My goodness we are gourmet cooks, and I know I enjoy eating every bite my friends and family lovingly prepare at the holidays.

Today’s giveaway is Alex Anderson’s Hopscotch in Neutrals pattern.  Alex does a lovely job in coordinating a variety of neutral fabrics in this pattern, but don’t limit yourself to that.  You could use any color family here:  if your favorite color is blue, this would be gorgeous in all blues.

And the winner of the Signature threads?  DARIJAVAN come on down.  The random number generator selected your lucky comment!  Send me your email address at maria [at]colormastery.com and the threads will be on Santa’s sleigh and under your tree!

Today, let’s share our favorite Christmas memories.  Mine?  I love the memory of huge family Christmas gatherings when I was very young.  We lived in the same town as both my mother’s and father’s families, and we would all travel to each other’s homes on Christmas eve celebrating and sharing gifts of love and food, of course.  As a child, what I remember most was the largeness of it all:  the huge number of people, lavish decorations, and lots of cousins.

Quilting on the White House Christmas Tree

Susie Brady of North Carolina was selected by her congressman to decorate an ornament for the White House Christmas tree, and look at what she did:  a quilt!  She said it represented life in her area of North Carolina.  To see all the ornaments, visit the official site here.  Wouldn’t it be fantastic to be asked to decorate an ornament for the White House Christmas tree?

Signature Thread: 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

I’m so impressed with all the lovely gifts ya’ll have received, and even better, given.  Thanks for your lovely comments and for sharing with the readers of my blog.  If you haven’t read the comments, you can click on the title of the blog post, and you get both the blog post and the comments posted on it.

Scrumptious threads are a weakness of mine, and I profess my favorites are almost always the Signature threads.  They’re not easy to find since I’m a long way from most large quilt and fabric shops, so when I venture into town I stock up on several different colors.  Today I’m giving away three spools of their thread:  two large variegated spools, and a smaller violet spool.

So tell me your favorite holiday recipe to prepare for your family over the holidays.  Mine?  My husband loves the old-fashioned cornbread dressing, and the kids love any cookies I bake, but their favorites are the traditional sugar cookies, rolled out, frosted, and dappled with sugary sprinkles.

The winner of the Olfa rotary cutter?  Patty, congratulations!  You are the lucky winner of the rotary cutter.  Come on down!  Send me your mailing address at maria [at]colormastery.com.

Ginormous Olfa Rotary Cutter: Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway

If you’ve ever coveted one of those large rotary cutters by Olfa, today’s your lucky day.  I’m giving away the 60mm quick-change rotary cutter, so you can slice and dice through your fabrics just as if you had a Ginsu knife!  Then you can change that blade with the press of a button, instead of carefully laying out the pieces on your cutting table, in order, the way I do to ensure I don’t put them back together the wrong way.  Wow, I could use one of these.

By the way, you greatly increase your chances of winning if you leave a comment reflecting that day’s request from me.  So, yesterday’s winner of the Apron Jazz pattern is SarahB. who also won the day before.  Why?  Because I asked what your favorite Christmas tradition was, and Sarah shared her love of baking cookies and sharing them with neighbors.

So, if you want today’s terrific rotary cutter, tell me your favorite quilting gift you’ve received for Christmas.  Here’s mine:  I love quilting books, and to me they are the gift that keeps on giving, because I get loads of ideas from them and reread them over and over again.  Fabric I use up, notions wear out, and many quilts I sell, give away or go into books, but the books are mine forever.  Share with us the best quilting gift you’ve ever received in the comments, and the rotary cutter could be yours!

Apron Pattern: 12 Days of Christmas

How about making yourself a gift of a new apron for Christmas?  Now you can with Barbara Brandenberg’s new Apron Jazz pattern.  It’s so much fun to sneak some time in for making yourself a sweet gift.  Enter your comment by 9 p.m. Friday evening and you’ll be entered in the drawing to win this apron pattern.  And this time?  Tell me your favorite Christmas tradition with your loved ones.

Who’s the winner of the Michael Miller Charm pack?  Sue B., who shared so many wonderful projects she making this Christmas.  What a lucky family you have Sue!  Send your mailing address to me at maria [at]colormastery.com for your charm pack.

Michael Miller Charm Pack of 50 Fabrics: 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

I’m so excited about today’s giveaway:  a Michael Miller pack of 50 charm fabrics from their latest “Frosted” line, perfect for winter quilting!  Michael Miller designs some of my favorite fabrics, and there’s no limit to the creative inspiration you’ll get from these fabrics.  I’m posting this reaaaaally late on Wednesday – almost 9p.m., as it’s been one of those busy holiday/work days and this is the first opportunity I’ve had to sit down and chat with you.  So, I’ll give everyone until 9p.m. Thursday to comment.  In your comments, tell me what handmade gifts you’ll be making this year – a virtual show ‘n tell.

The winner of Kay’s Teapots 2 Applique book:  Sue Cahill, come on down and claim your book, which Kay has graciously offered to autograph for you!  Send me your mailing at maria [at]colormastery.com.  Congratulations Sue, and I can’t wait to see the beautiful teapot projects you’ll be making!

Creative Grids Ruler: 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

We’re starting off the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway with a bang:  a 16.5″ Creative Grids Ruler!  I love these rulers, as they have 1″ measurements on two sides, and 1.5″ measurements on the other two.  They don’t slip around on your fabric, and they are one of my top tools.  The Creative Grids rulers really help me to be more creative and accurate.

Leave a comment and I’ll randomly select one to receive this ruler – it’s a biggie!  When the UPS man left it at my door, there was all kinds of excitement at my house:  dogs, kids, and husband couldn’t wait to see what it was.  But it’s all yours!

Christmas Comes Early

It’s been a whirlwind of activity here at the Willow Ridge Press family studios.  Thanksgiving was a gourmet feast, as my husband and I both love to cook.  He made Emeril Lagasse’s turkey recipe from his new show Emeril Green, and I made the traditional cornbread dressing, made with whole grain cornbread.

Then it snowed on Dec. 1st!  I’ve been Twittering almost daily, and I shared about our turkey sightings, snowball fights, and hot chocolate.  Now the news is there’s a mountain lion in our midst.  Yikes.  That’s almost like having a bear in our garage, which we really did about five years ago.

I was gone all day yesterday on a business trip.  I played with fabric all day long, looking through the best and most current fabric samples from major manufacturers, all headed your way in beautiful designs you’ll be seeing in the near future.  Had a great ladies lunch, drove three hours home to hugs and kisses.

My son asked me this week if I was excited about Christmas coming.  Wow, what a loaded question.  He anticipates all the magic and joy, and we moms/wives/sisters/daughters anticipate the work!  Well, I am excited, and I’ve been working hard with my friends and asking them for the most wonderful gifts for you.  Yes, you!

If you subscribe to my newsletter you’ve known about this for awhile, and the time is here!  It’s a Quilts & Creativity Twelve Days of Christmas giveaway!  Starting next week, Dec. 8, I’ll be giving away gifts for you, and all you have to do is comment on this blog.  I’ll randomly choose one comment each day as the lucky winner.  And the gifts?  Great stuff like fabric, books, notions, threads, and patterns.  So don’t miss a day.  Santa’s filling your stocking early this year!

2008 Best Craft/Hobby Books

I adore books.  Really.  I would buy books before food and clothes, and when I go into a quilt shop I always look at what the new books are.  So I was excited to see USABookNews.com’s picks for best Craft/Hobbies books.  Take a peek and see how many quilting and sewing-related titles are here.

Looking for a gift for a fellow quilter?  Here’s the list:

Winner:

The Color Book of Beaded Jewelry

by Genevieve A. Sterbenz
Creative Homeowner
978-1-58011-348-9

Finalist:
Create Your Own Hand-Printed Cloth by Ryana Gillman
C & T Publishing
978-1571204394

Finalist:
Knitbook: The basics & beyond by the Editors at Landauer
Landauer Corporation
978-0980068832

Finalist:
Machine Quilting: The basics & beyond – The Complete Step-by-Step Visual Guide to Successful Machine Quilting by Lynn Witzenburg
978-0-9793711-3-4

Finalist:
Oh Sew Easy Life Style by Valori Wells & Carolyn Spencer
C & T Publishing
978-157120-444-8

Finalist:
Simply Stunning Woven Quilts by Anna Faustino
C & T Publishing
978-1571204-523

Finalist:
The Games of War: A Treasury of Rules for Battles with Toy Soldiers, Ships and Planes by John Bobek
AuthorHouse
978-1-4343-3028-4

Finalist:
The Siblings’ Busy Book by Lisa Hanson & Heather Kempskie
Meadowbrook Press
978-0-684-05785-9

USABookNews.com – Covering what’s Hot, New, & Noteworthy in the World of Books

Quilters Who Twitter

I have a new tool in my blog’s sidebar:  a Twitter widget.  I’m now on Twitter, which is a way of following what your friends are doing.  It’s a micro-blog, of sorts.  I’m still figuring it all out and exactly my strategy for using it.  Looks like fun – a way to keep in touch in your “virtual” community.

So tell me, do you Twitter?  Have you thought about it?  Here’s a fantastic video explaining Twitter from the folks at Common Craft, who do a great job of making the complicated seem simple:

You can follow me on Twitter by looking at my sidebar or going to Twitter and click on Follow.

The December issue of Mary Engelbreit Home Companion arrived in my mailbox, and my favorite part of the magazine is the artist profiles.  But I had to share with ya’ll how much this magazine is now about quilting and fiber arts.  Almost this entire issue is about fiber art of one kind or another, profiling Amy Butler and her home, the same way it did Heather Bailey months ago.  Mavis Leahy, an art quilter is also featured, as well as some yo-yo-stockings.  Wow!

Terrific potential for artist dates on these pages.  Go pick up the latest issue and get inspired!

Quilt Project Runway: Meg Cox, Quilting Evangelist

I profiled Meg Cox, author of The Quilter’s Catalog: A Comprehensive Resource Guide, months ago here, and I attended her session at Fall Quilt Market.  Meg is the new evangelist for all things quilting, her goal being to create new quilters in the 85% of American households that don’t have one.  Can it really be that high?

Meg holds “Learn to Quilt” parties where she teaches women and girls how to quilt:  just the basics like how to pin, piece by hand, and tie a quilt. Oh, and they serve “Quiltinis” – a mock cocktail.   She approaches nontraditional venues such as bookstores, mother’s groups, and other social gathering locations where women hang out.

The interesting comment Meg made was this:  Quilters can be our own worst enemies when it comes to growing the quilting community, because we make things so complicated.

You know what?  I agree.  Go to any guild Show and Tell and the oohs and aahs go to the 3000-pieces Grandmother’s Flower Garden, the king-size Mariner’s Compass, or other such masterpiece quilts.  And we should be impressed.  But what happens when a quilter holds up a Turning Twenty or Yellow Brick Road?  Quiet smiles and nods.  Move on.  Seen it.

Let’s embrace all quilters:  new, expert, traditional, art.  We all love fabric, creating beauty, and the comraderie of other quilters.  Let’s spread the word!

Quilt Project Runway: Color Mastery’s Photo Man


Multimedia message, originally uploaded by Colorful Quilter.

Ok, so he’s The Photo Man for The Quilt Show too.  Gregory took all the gorgeous photos of the quilts in Color Mastery, and he is a large part of why the book turned out so beautifully.  After all, the colors in the quilts had to be not just lovely to look at, but accurate as well in a book on color for quilters.  And Gregory and his wife Elena Morena worked diligently to bring you gorgeous color, page-after-page.

They have their own book they’ve just published, written by Gwen Marston, called Ideas and Inspirations:  Abstract Quilts in Solids:

They had a copy at Market and it was pure Gwen – gorgeously designed quilts, all done in solids, and hand-quilted.  I’ll be ordering my own autographed copy.  My Christmas wish list is getting bigger and bigger!