Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holiday Memories

Happy Holidays! I hope you all had a Happy Holiday. Ours was wonderful, our children and grandchildren were here and the 'grand dog' too.

My granddaughter loves 'sock monkey'. That is an understatement. Last fall I found a 'sock monkey' at the Houston Quilt Show s0 that was one gift taken care of. I also had bought 'sock monkey' fabric. I made her a quilt with the fabric and put it and the monkey under the tree. It warmed all of our hearts to see the joy on her face. All afternoon the quilt and monkey were her constant companions.

this is why we make quilts, to make memories. The quilt may be dragged on the floor and shared with the dog. Decades from now the quilt may no longer exist but the memory of this Christmas will stay with her as an old woman and told to her grandchildren.

I hope your Christmas and holidays were memory makers too.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's Snowing

It's snowing in Virginia. The first snow of the season. Wet sloppy stuff. No fun at all. It made the drive to the fabric store watchful of the road and the other drivers. I know I should have made the trip the day before or wait another day but I just have to buy the remaining item and finish the project.
The holidays are quickly upon us and I still have two more quilts to finish for Christmas. The outside decorations are up, we did that last week when the temperature was 68. Tomorrow we will start on the inside. I guess I'll get up an hour early next and spend it in the sewing room.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

And the winner is...

Wow, what a wonderful response to the Blog Tour. All the comments were positive and supportive. I made my self leave the house around noon. I kept going to the computer to see if any more visitors had come by. I checked again just before going to bed. It was like Christmas - checking to see if any more presents had been put under the tree.

Ok, here is what you want to know. The winner from CPG Designs, winning a free issue of 'Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks from Today's Top Designers' goes to
Kris Paquette of Michigan. Congratulations.

Enjoy the rest of the week's sites. Happy Quilting

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Today is the day!

Today is the day. I feel like I'm having a very important dinner guest. Oh - I am having an important guest. You!

Welcome! Thank you for coming to the Quiltmaker Blog Tour. I visited the sites yesterday and what fun. Everyone has different style. Please enjoy my blog and be sure to leave your name and address in the comment section. Someone will win a free copy of the '100 Blocks magazine. Your privacy will be respected.

My goal in designing quilt blocks as three points to meet.

First - To focus on the fabric. The beauty of the fabric is often why we bought it.

Second - Designs that are beginner friendly. Experienced quilters will appreciate the quick and easy projects they can create.

Third - Versatile in the types of projects ie. quilts, wall hangings, table runners. The block should have ability to be used over and over again.

Ahoy meets that goal. I have posted here and on the flickr site. some suggestions using the Ahoy block in different fabrics and layouts. I hope it will be just the beginning for your creations. Bon' Appetite.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I am in a magazine

I am pleased to say that I have a quilt block included in a special issue of 'Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks from Today's Top Designers'. What an honor to be included with some of the well known names in the industry.

As a celebration 'Quiltmaker' is having a Blog Tour. Follow the 100 Blocks Blog Tour daily Nov. 9-13 (Monday - Friday) at for inspiration, ideas, and giveaways galore! Look for 100 Blocks from Today's Top Designers in local quilt shop, or purchase it at I happen to know there are lots of great giveaways.

I am to be featured on Tuesday Nov. 10th, please visit my website and/ or blog. My website is or here on this blog. A link is on my website to bring you back to this blog. If you go to you will be some great picture of projects connected with this Quiltmaker project.

Come visit me on Tuesday. One visitor will receive a free issue of this magazine. Remember there are 100 blocks - that's 100 possible quilts you could make in the coming year. ;)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thank a Vendor

I've been home a week from the Houston Quilt Festival. I have finally caught up on my sleep. Now its time to catch up on everything else.

Festival was an amazing experience. One sees another side of festival as a vendor. First there is a considerable effort vendors put into bringing their products to the attendees. They must arrange for the booth, electric, flooring, and displays. These items have to be planned, arranged, and paid for before the event takes place. Vendors function on faith that the attendees will make it all worth while.

Vendors can spend the season traveling from show to show. Sometimes packing up on Sunday evening and traveling thousands of miles to the next show. Often friendships develop among the vendors on the same circuits, and after a few years friendships between vendors and customers.

So next time you attend a show you might think about thanking a vendor for their effort.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Houston Quilt Market

It's 10 p.m. and I just finished sewing the binding down on a quilt. There is nothing unusual about that ...except I'm in a hotel room in Houston Texas. Today was the last day of Quilt Market in Houston. All the vendors, manufacturers and designers are packing up and disappearing into the night.

Three days of beauty and function filled the convention floor. We were inspired by the coming treads in color and textures of the fabrics. A return of 'minkee' like fabric is available in great colors and embossed textures. They were stunning. The browns in the animal prints were very elegant. Lots of pastels too.

We saw a lot of pastels, a popular trend of lavenders and chartreuse was noticeable. Earth tones are still popular and very nice. And yet we did see some deep saturated colors. Something for everyone. Watch for Windham's Flannel Rose and Baby collection. Hoffman's Batiks are always to die for.

The Warm and Natural folks are importing a fabric group from the U.K. The group has several collections ranging from oversize flowers, Asian inspired, to Picotage dots. I bought fat quarters of the Picotage dots in Black & White, Rust (the new color trend) & White, Tan & White.

Now why was I binding a quilt in a hotel room in Houston, because I am going to be a vendor of my pattern line at Festival. I need the quilt as a sample. More about Festival later.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autumn Day on the old Planation

Sully Plantation in Northern Virginia holds an annual Quilt show each September. It is an outdoor event on the remaining grounds of the historic site. Quilts are displayed, vendors reunited and local guilds host. Children's activies are available with an emphasis on living and quilting in the 'olden days'. Tours are given through the historic 18th century house.

The show is held rain or shine so you know there were a lot of prayers for good wealther. The wealther was perfect. Everyone enjoyed the lovely day.

Late afternoon came and the families and quilters left for home. The staff and vendors packed up their tents and wares and drove away. The home became quiet again, the grounds bare, only the cars on the nearby highway to break the silence. For a few hours the laughter of children and oohs of adults brought the old grounds alive again.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

Can you believe summer is over already? How quickly time goes by each year. I made a promise to myself that I would thoroughly clean my sewing room this summer. Thin out the magazines, pull selves from the walls, well you get the idea. It didn't happen. Big surprise, right.

But I did accomplish some things this summer. I had the surgery for my bum knee. That was a good thing. Knowing that I would be lay up so to speak for a while, I prepared several projects for hand work. I now have several quilts with binding and three small projects that needed hand quilting completed. Later this summer when I was moving around again, I went to work at my long arm Tin Lizzie. Several quilts are no longer in the UFO pile waiting.

This weekend as we celebrate Labor Day, I used the time to put in some labor. I completed a Holiday wall-hanging I have had planned for a couple of years. As the darkness descended I put in the last stitches on the top. Tomorrow I will load it up on the long arm machine. No last minute stitches the night before Christmas.

I will taken a leap of faith this year and entered the world of vending at major quilt shows. Two shows are this month. One is a 'one day show' in this region, the other is the Mancuso Pennsylvania show the 17 -20th of Sept. If you are in the region try to attend. It sounds like it will be a terrific show. I will show you the 'Labor Day' quilt.

Maybe I will get the sewing room cleaned for the Holidays.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


A couple of days ago I posted on my facebook that I had been accepted to vendor at two major shows. In the last two days I have amazed at the response I have gotten from people. Happy news is always welcomed weather it is yours or someone else's. It warms the heart.

For those of us over...30, its is always surprising the vastness and speed of technology. I have connected with high school friends and the childhood neighbors.

So, thank you for the warm wishes. I hope to see you at the Pennsylvania show and Houston Festival. Stop by a say "Hi".

Monday, August 17, 2009

A New Generation

Recently I taught a small group of young ladies (10 years) how to sew a tote bag. The bag had a nine-patch front and was lined. I could and did make a sample in a couple of hours. The class consisted of two sessions of three hours each. We needed every minute.

This class was no exception to any other class I have taught or been a student of, young or old. One student hasn't any experience at all. She needs extra time to be shown the basics of the sewing machine and sewing tools. Do not misunderstand, I am not criticizing, she simply hasn't experience.

Another student has experience and is usually two steps ahead of the rest of the class. Sometimes this can be fortunate as she may help another student if the need arises.

I find it interesting that all students have "strenghts. It may be an eye for color, natural ability at the machine, or a strong desire. What is interesting is which "strenghts" lies with which person. The student that may need extra help may have the strong desire. She will not give up. The speedy student may have the eye for color.

By the end of the first session they have doubts about this project. Sewing a straight line is harder than they thought. The frustration of ripping seams apart when one square is sewn backwards shows in long sighs.

The end of the class results in completed tote bags. The pride shows in their faces. Showing-off their tote bags to all who will look: they talk of plans to make more bags for family and friends.

So begins another generation of sewers and quilters.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Well, I am recovered from knee surgery. Just about. A simple procedure but I hobbled around for a while. Still can not get on my knees so someone else will have too clean to the shower for a while yet. Gee I won't mind that.

I did plan ahead for the down time I would have recovering. I had 2 quilts ready for hand sewing the bindings, and several small wall hanging ready for hand quilting. I read a couple of books too. I should be this organized all the time I would accomplish so much more, maybe I would have fewer UFO's. But then I wouldn't be a true quilter without UFO's, right?

I have resolved to make better use of the time left this summer. Time goes by too quickly to say tomorrow is another day.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Welcome All,

Try the free download pattern for your "Daily Fruits and Veggies" table runner.

This pattern will make up beautifly with wonderful fabrics featuring fruits and vegetables that are now available. The pattern features a table runner but also try one block to create a place mat.

Enjoy the summers bounty all year long.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spring Market in Pittsburgh

Well, that was exciting. I have never been to Pittsburgh before and I drove 4 hours to get there. I have never cared for city driving before. I sure was glad to have the GPS to guide me. Once there it was easy to drive to the covention center and back to my hotel.

Pittsburgh has a wonderful convention center. It is next to the river and a train bridge runs across the river. You can almost reach out and touch it. Yet you cannot hear it inside the center.

Market is always exciting with the colors, new items unveiling, and anticipation in the air. I thought there were fewer booths than fall market but that is usually true of spring. I noticed several new vendors at this market. It is a brave soul who sets up here for their first market, not knowing what to expect.

People were shopping though. I thought that the fabric collections this season were exceptionally good. Every manufacturer had several 'must haves'. Hoffman's Red Hots, Maywood's black and gold paisley, and too many more to mention. I also heard several authors speak about their new books.

Lesley Riley has a new book 'Fabulous Fabric Art with Lutradur'; very interesting how she has used a product usually used for something else and adapted it for textile art. It can be a cross-over for Art,quilts, or scrapbooks. That's why it got my attention.

I think the months to come will challenge us to choose from the many wonderful fabrics and notions that will be available to us. Keep stitching.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spring Market

I am getting ready to go to Pittsburgh for the Quilt World's Spring Market. Market is the trade show for the quilting industry. It is always exciting to see what will be the new 'hot' tread in fabrics or notions.

Preparing to go has almost as much logistics as the vendors who attend. Are the preparations made at home. The extra meals and ironed shirts for 'hubby'. Printing out brochures and business cards and of course what am I going to wear!

Tomorrow I pack the car and head north for the long weekend. Tell you all about it next week!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Welcome to Warm Stitches

Welcome to my blog! I am all about quilting. I have loved quilting longer than I have loved my DH and that is 40 years!

I have been a serious quilter for 30 years. I am a quilt teacher and design quilt patterns with the beginner in mind. I have a web site that I invite you to visit. It is my hope to use this blog to share the interests and happenings in the quilt world. So, lets start.

Recently, at a local quilt guild meeting Morna McEver Golletz gave a lecture on Studios. Her presentation had pictures of several well known artists studios. It is always interesting to see the environment that others use to create their work.

We, the audience hope that we will find clues to help us become more organized or creative. In fact, as it is usually the case, they are just like ourselves. Suggestions were given about rolling carts, shelf units, and designs walls. Some do have spacious rooms with every bin and shelf labeled. But many have space limitations or storage challenges for overflowing fabrics just like us. One artist has a small space in her master bedroom and must clear the area each night.

The program was fun, informative and most of all reminded me of the saying...'where there is a will, there is a way'.

Keep quilting and warm stitches,