This week’s shout-out is to Margie, owner of Margie’s Sew Much Fun!
Located in the Florida panhandle, in Crestview, Margie has been serving her community since 1971.
Offering over 3500 bolts of fabulous fabric (awesome patterns, too – #usebothsides) and both Bernina and Janome machines, you can be sure Margie will show you a fun time!
Margie is a “repeat customer” of #usebothsides patterns and she is a delight to work with. You can tell from the name of her quilt shop and our delightful phone conversations, I can just tell she’s got a fun shop YOU really need to visit!
When our daughter landed her first job out of college, we had no idea that her new adventure would become one for us, too. I especially didn’t expect it to influence the quilt patterns I’d design!
(If you wonder why I said FIRST job…she’s a musical theatre actor – there is always (ideally) a new job in this line of work!)
Because she’d landed the lead role and we’d never been to South Dakota before, we took a road trip last summer. Of course, along the way we stopped at quilt shops. That’s how I met the owner of the Quilt Shop in Chamberlain, SD. It was just on our list and close to the highway! See South Dakota Quilts & More and OKLAHOMA Backroads in South Dakota .
The owner, Sonya, and I brainstormed pattern ideas for her clientele and soon I was designing bison and other wildlife patterns. She carries LOTS of fun fabric with beautiful reverses!
This summer our daughter landed Sophie in Mamma Mia and off we went again! If you get a chance, stop in Chamberlain, SD – its simply loaded with fabric and has wonderful local art and craft as well.
We were able to visit again and drop off some new designs.
Here’s a big shout-out to Sonja in Chamberlain…and many thanks!
My fun, sweet, adventuresome neighbor travels from time to time. When she’s away, I walk over to her house and water her flowers using her vintage watering can.
When the editor at AQ Magazine asked me for a new quilt design using BOTH sides of a floral fabric, I went straight to Merle’s house to sketch out her watering can!
So here she is…Merle’s Bouquet!
Do to the long time between designing a quilt pattern and the publication date, it seemed the day would never arrive. When I got a call from friend Nancy to look in my mailbox, I knew it was time! It was fun for Merle and I to open the issue together.
Here is the original quilt as it appears in the magazine.
This is a version using another focus fabric, making it look completely different! It’s pictured here with Merle’s can.
The RJR fabric has a vivid, painted look with a variety of flowers and birds to add to your quilt. The focus fabric and magazine are available HERE.
Thanks for following my blog! Visit my Etsy Shop for more than 28 patterns plus fabrics and Use BOTH Sides!
Many months ago I had the honor of presenting my program to a great (and enthusiastic) group of quilters – the Loose Threads Quilt Guild of St. Peters, Missouri. They had a fantastic turnout for the guild meeting and we had a lot of fun!
That night was a debut of Lil’ Susie, which 15 people received free with purchase (plus another 12 the next day in class).
Take a peek at just a few of their “Grace” class projects in progress:
Notice how the focus fabric makes all the difference? Each one has it’s own personality.
In classes, in addition to making a cute little quilt top, the quilters’ play with their fabrics, learning the nuances of value and how it relates to both sides of the focus fabric and what’s surrounding it.
Once their fabrics are chosen, it’s all about building their bouquets!
Now, take a look at this creative gal – who just happens to be the gal who inspired me many, many years ago to join my local quilt guild. Vickie brought an old window pane to build her “Grace” bouquet!
Isn’t she fabulous?
A happy shout-out to the Loose Threads Quilt Guild – Hope to see you lovely quilters again soon!
This may be my shortest blog post ever, because I am still at a loss for words, more than 24 hours after finishing Kya’s story. I hadn’t planned on sharing the quilt shown below yet, but I need to – I guess it’s my feeble attempt to thank Delia Owens for the insight into a habitat I knew nothing about while enjoying a fantastic and enlightening book.
This guy was hanging around me at sunrise on Pensacola Beach. I found the feather focus fabric later that day at A & E (Pharmacy) Fabrics. The light on his face and throat and the borders are the reverse of the focus fabric – #usebothsides
Thanks to my dear friend, Kim, I’m calling him Lord Stanley.
What book are you reading? Let us all know in the comments!
There’s simply no way to take pics of all the fabulous quilts at Quilt Week, because 99.9% of them are just THAT! Here are just a few that made me stop, take out my phone and grab a shot. Hope you like them, too!
Oje De Dios by Mary W. Kerr, quilted by Candace West was featured with Mary’s whole series at the Rotary. She takes pieces of old quilts, blocks, or parts of quilts and incorporates them into new works with a modern flare. She gave each quilter freedom to do whatever they wanted for the quilting.
Below is Homespun, quilted by Donna Ferrill James. The wonky star was made from a worn quilt with lots of various designs in it. Mary was able to salvage parts by hand-piecing the star points. She used other workable parts as part of the backing.
Below is Fan Flower, quilted by Vicki Maloney. She purchased three fan blocks at an antiques shop and Vicki worked her magic using those three blocks!
See Mary W. Kerr’s work and get her book TwistedHERE.
I like how Mary combined the old with the new, not just the fabrics, but the design and the quilting techniques, too. I have a book somewhere that shows how to combine hand and machine quilting – maybe I’ll give that a look and see where it takes me.
Quilt show aren’t just about prizes, ribbons, and vendors (whaaat?), are they? It’s about inspiration, aspirations, goals, achievements, sparks, and happiness.
Watch for more quilt week pics to come! Meanwhile, enjoy your quilting journey!
Quickly becoming a best-seller, Aria ahr-ee-uh is a quilt pattern for any feather-weight or other vintage machine lover!
Arias evolved from simple melodies in the 14th century and became a means to tell a story in a more emotional way, allowing a musicians (and later, vocalists) to display their talent. Arias are mostly associated with opera today.
So why call this pattern an Aria? Take a look at her…she’s definitely a singer!
While the traditionalist might cringe, fun things are happening with these featherweight machines. Tables and inserts, custom carry cases, and bright new paint jobs are indicators that these little work-horses will be around awhile.
As I mentioned HERE, I’d love to someday own a colorful featherweight, so making a Tula Pink quilt version seemed the thing to do!
#usebothsides of one focus fabric for the machine, binding, bunting (reverse), and scissors and thimble (both reverse). Choose fun, scrappy background fabrics and accent strips – all the while learning the nuances of value! (Click here for more about value.)
This quilt began with a fat quarter bundle from one fabric line. Using the “Hex and More” ruler and 2 1/2″ strips, I made lots of half-hexies and proceded to lay them out to consider my options.
My goal was to create a blended quilt version (see Blended Quilts book) of the classic Grandmother’s Flower Garden. I tried many combinations but the look really came together when I started to use the reverse side of the fabrics for the outer flower rings.
Each black center and first ring are the front of the fabric. I could have excluded the lightest (white) fabric to make the changes in value more apparent, but again, I was trying for a more subtle approach.
Start your packing – it’s time to take your quilting on the road!
Below is my 2019 Quilt Retreat List. I have found that you can’t make a good list if you aren’t clear on your retreat objectives…sounds official, doesn’t it?
Is your retreat purely for productivity? Is it social? Do you spend time shopping? Going out to eat? Do you eat quick bites on location or carefully planned meals? Is your goal to relax? Did you answer, “All of the above?”
I think that’s why i take so many items on retreat – I want to pack (no pun intended) EVERYthing I can into a few days – high productivity, great fabric shopping, relaxation, yummy food, rest, movies, music, walks, and fun with friends…is that too much to ask?
I hope this “official” list helps you on your next quilt retreat – or even just a bit of quilting on the road…
*Sewing machine, electrical cord, pedal, extra light bulb, feet, manual, bobbins, Q-tips for cleaning.
*Sewing table, extra lighting.
*Fabric, patterns, projects, kits, felt-backed table cloth or other design wall with tacks, painters tape, or 3M strips for hanging.
*Personal items which might include drinks, snacks, rice bag to heat for sore shoulders, comfortable clothing and walking shoes, pain relief, charger cords, overnight bag and products, chocolate, and popcorn.
NOW for the REST of the story: a reveal of everything that is actually in my spinning work station (I use it in my studio, plus it’s ready to hit the road on a moment’s notice. Note: I’ve never really cleaned it out before!)
Top left to bottom right: Fusible web (hmmm, not my favorite kind, so it must be for emergencies only), pressing spray, mini iron, chain-piecing cutter, very cute rice bag (for sore muscle, compliments of friend Donna), various rotary blades, The Purple Thang, a gripper tool, bandages, rotary cutter, two styles of Karen K. Buckley scissors (definitely a fave), Pre-cuts guide for fabric purchase emergencies, thumb tacks, pins, cord wrap, thread, Q-tips, battery, thread and button (?), needles, a plethora of markers and pencils, snipping scissors, Fabric Fuse (never used it), the back of something which apparently held batteries, calculator (fabric purchase emergency?) guild directory (what’s her name?), obsolete business cards, note pads, another gripper tool, clips (hmmm, for hanging table cloth design wall?), True Grips (truly a favorite), and last, but not least, Martelli cutters (I am an ambidextrous cutter, so I use both left and right-handed ones). Whew!
What have I missed? Tell me in the comment section below!
I practiced with some scrap fabric, marked my ruler as indicated in the pattern directions, and off I went! It was fun to watch the curved piecing literally “come together”.
There are numerous quilt patterns available which use this ruler. Here’s the one I used. Stunning quilt, isn’t it? I love it when my brain can’t quite find one simple design, but jumps around to the various secondary patterns in a quilt.
Here’s my first try at a mix a fabrics. As you can see, I have a few bumbles for my first block, but it was fun to make! I do suggest using a fine marker to mark your ruler for better accuracy.
I think this quilt is now on my bucket list! What’s on your bucket list? Do you have a favorite specialty ruler?