Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a family day of gratitude. I'm going to take the rest of the week "off" and spend time with my family, sew (of course), get my Christmas tree up, and play catch-up. I'll be back Monday. (don't you love the dishes in this vintage card!)

-nanette

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

'Tis the Season for Getting?

I have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. I have wonderful family and friends both near and far. Watching the news gives you the feeling that everything is wrong. But it is our challenge to move away from fear and worry, have faith and do the best we can as we care for each other. I owe a "ginormous" ;-) thank you everyone of my friends and a special thank you to several of them that are dear to me. Every day comments and interaction from my blog give me encouragement and joy. Life has been very hectic and challenging lately and I've neglected visiting my regular blogs and seeing what is going on but this weekend I'm going to get caught up with e-mails and posts in my google reader.

And speaking of holidays . . . Christmas came early this week.
My friend Sandi at A Legacy of Stitches sent the biggest early Christmas extravaganza box to me. Here are a few of the thoughtful things she included in her box. There was a letter telling me what everything was and how to proceed through he contents. Sandi is so kind.
She is also a vocalist, writer, quilter, artist and pattern designer. She sent me some of the patterns that she has designed and other goodies for me to enJOY.
Contents in the box were wrapped up and cushioned in this huge bag of felted wool. I've not had a lot of experience using felted wool very often but I've loved seeing things others have created with it. So now I have an opportunity to do the same.
Cradled inside the felted wool were these 2 boxes with the vintage creamer and pitcher. You can see why she sent them to me. Beehives and Vintage! They are really darling and will hold a special place on my sewing room shelf. Thank you so much Sandi, words aren't enough.Jane of Jane's fabrics and Quilts also sent me a box of quilting treats. If you don't know Jane, you are missing out. Jane is such a willing and supportive friend. And she seems almost clairvoyant and always makes me feel special. Look at this funny/true group of quilter's sayings she sent me. I love it. Can't you see pincushions and fun treasures using these cute quips.Here is some of the loot - darling stuff all of it with me in mind. And Jane made me a very special cottage block. Now look at the little ribbon candy fabric in the left upper corner. I mentioned to Jane how cute the fabric was in a post she made a week ago. I certainly wasn't fishing to have her send it to me but she did and so much more!
I wanted to use it to make more of the little tree ornaments I've been working on. The ribbon candy reminded me of vintage Christmases from my memories and something kids might have found in their stocking many years ago. It worked out "sweetly" in my trees. I can't thank you enough Jane, for everything. Last night was our local quilt group meeting and I took lots of pictures to post later. But Kim caught me in the hallway as I was leaving and handed me this sweet gift and a big hug. Thank you Kim. Your work is perfection on everything you do. I'm so proud to have a Kim "gem" to tuck in my purse and use. And just like Jane's fat quarter of quilter's saying goes Chocolate is included as one of a quilter's basic food groups, especially Dove chocolates!In light of all the Joy sent to me I would be remiss if I did not give to others. Melissa Jones (the sweetest girl) is involved in a great children's charity called Signs of Hope here locally. And I'm so happy to donate a couple quilts to this needful cause. I know this year charities are hurting as well. It is important to show gratitude by giving. Thanks for this opportunity, Melissa, and I wish you much success in your year long efforts for the upcoming event and I wish you all the support of local folks.

Happy Thanksgiving Lovely People

-nanette

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quilter's Haven, Bountiful Utah

Saturday we went to visit one of my daughters that lives north of us in Bountiful, Utah. Not even 5 minutes away from her house is one of the nicest quilt stores in our area - Quilter's Haven. The store is light and bright and their displays are really fabulous. The fabric selection is great, too.

Wouldn't you know I forgot my camera! I did have my phone so I used that to take some pictures. Not the best- but it was my phone or nothing.
I love this apple quilt that they have hanging in the front of the store. You can't really tell but the fabric of each apple is different and it is so well made. I think this was my favorite quilt in the store.

Edit - This quilt is a version of a pattern from Cyndi Walker's book "Spotlight on Scraps" . A fabulous book - I have it.
Decorated dish towels all hanging in a row and so cute.
They had the sweetest giant cupcake pincushion. The picture really doesn't do it justice.
This looks like I took the picture in black and white. But no, it's all black and white fabric. They had a fabulous selection. I know Jackie is doing a black and white challenge for 2009 and I really need to join in. She even started a new blog for the challenge- go check it out.
Look how cute that yellow goes with the black and white. Red is the obvious color I would pick as a compliment color with black and white but I'm thinking I really like that yellow a lot.
This machine is beautiful - a work of art. I wanted to pick it up and make a mad dash for the door.
In the front of the store they had some newer lines of fabric displayed. They had every single color way of Sandi Henderson's Farmer's Market fabric - I hadn't seen all the colors up close before at one store. I had to get a few fat quarters. I could have sworn I saw some of Sandi's fabric on a TV show the other night (pajamas) but she said it was only a similar print.
This was taken next to the front door. Everywhere you look in this store there is something wonderful and beautiful. If you ever get the chance to drive near this area, you've got to stop here. The store is right off one of the I 15 exits - don't ask me which one though, but it is easy to find, and worth it.

If you click this last picture you can better see the "man chair" next to the door - I thought that was funny. But smart.

-nanette

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas Ornaments

When I was 17 my parents moved from Pennsylvania to Utah. There was not enough room in the moving truck for a few boxes. Left behind were our very vintage Christmas ornaments and my old toys. I've mourned those things and think about them every Christmas. Over the years I've replaced some of the toys but I've yet to replace the ornaments. Maybe someday.

This year I decided to decorate our tree simply with plain Christmas balls and fabric ornaments.
Over the weekend I started making the new ornaments. I made Nordic inspired houses - above, with this pattern at Orange Flower patterns and tutorials. Warning: Very small pattern! I made mine slightly bigger. The finished size of my ornaments is 6" high x 3" wide.

Here they are all puffy and finished with the ends stitched shut after stuffing. I used cotton fabric for the main house part with a linen look - it's much cheaper than real linen for this application and looks nearly the same.
I also fussy cut my matryoshka fabric (was an unused curtain panel) to make stuffed babushka dolls to hang on the tree. I had made sachets with this fabric previously and liked them so much I decided to make ornaments with them.
I also cut out the scraps of my Michael Miller fabric in tree shapes and then quilted them instead of stuffing them. I looped brown rick rack for the tree trunk and used narrow rick rack for hanging.

This is only a start. I realize I need to make lots more and I want to make some to share, too. I planned on decorating my tree Friday so I have work to do.

-nanette

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fun Fabric Friday and Cottage Quilts

I know, I know, I haven't blogged in a few days. Isn't it awful when your life gets in the way of your hobby? So terrible.

Tricia, a local gal, great quilter and sweet new friend wins the prize for "First Christmas Cottage Quilt Completely Finished"! (unless there is one of you that has kept quiet about yours?). Tricia had it quilted by a woman that quilts for me too, from time to time. It is quilted in candy kisses. I love the flying geese trees and the sashing. It pulls it all together. So fabulous Tricia. She's going to bring it to our quilt group meeting on Tuesday and show it. I absolutely love it.So my first cottage flimsy is done. But I haven't taken it to the quilter. And I found out I missed the deadline to submit it to the local Festival of Trees. I will be sure to donate one of the quilts I make next year. I have some other ideas for the other 2 cottage quilts I'm making but I've had to set that aside for a bit. You know how that goes. It is such a crazy busy time of year.
Yes it is Friday. I thought I'd show 2 of my vintage stash fabrics. This one has a rick rack pattern in the border print design.
Two different prints meet the house border. I love the colors and the peaceful neighborhood scene. It is a really unusual and lovely fabric. I originally bought it to cut up and put pieces in my bag kits but I really hate to chop it up.Here is one of my vintage kitchen prints. I like the brick and I will most likely fussy cut the piece into projects. I can use the brick when I make "other" cottages, too. The blue in the fabric just pops out at you.

I've got some new bag kits in my Etsy store (or will today). I sold out so quickly last time and put some more together this week in case there was someone that still wanted a kit. I really enjoy making the kits and deciding what fabric to put in which grouping. Thanks to those that purchased my last ones!

Have a good weekend. - nanette

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thankful Tuesday

Yesterday I was asked if my cottages are the first to be sewn together. Nope. I think others may be as far along as me. Except for Kathy at Creative Urges! Go over and see her quilt top all put together. She did such a great job putting all the cottages together and making a cohesive quilt. It is just lovely. Each one seems to be floating in a cloud almost. I love it.

It was a very nice mail day for me yesterday.
Carrie sent me a sweet and fabulous gift. Carrie! How thoughtful and sweet of you. Carrie is a blog reader that needed a blog and she started A Passion for Applique. And Carrie is a pro.

Look at this lovely felted pincushion. So cute! I love the colors too.
Everything was wrapped in this fabulous twill tape with "from me to you" on it. Carrie how did you do that? And look at this cute cute Christmas pin! I love it. Adorable.
Carrie knows I love novelty fabric. And houses. Of course. She sent Christmas house fabric, lovely architecture fabric, and darling kitchen fabric. Sweet stuff.Look how cute that cat is in the transom. I'm going to have to do something with this fabric this holiday season. Thanks again Carrie. I ordered one of Jodie's new acrylic templates and it arrived yesterday packaged very well. I use 8 1/2" blocks from time to time and I love having a square template for each size I use. It was affordable and a good idea. The graphics are raised so I figure I can turn it upside down and it's like having a non-slide surface, sorta. Nice job Jodie.Glenna mailed me her pattern. Thanks Glenna! And that arrived yesterday, too.
About a week ago or so Lisa mailed me her template used in that fabulous star quilt I love so much on her blog. Lisa inspires me. Thanks Lisa! Every few days I have to go look at that quilt and dream of making it next year.

So yes! It is a Thankful Tuesday for me. I have the greatest friends.

-nanette

Monday, November 17, 2008

First Christmas Cottage Quilt

Notice this post says "first" cottage quilt. I have enough blocks to easily make 3. And I'm not complaining! I know the angle of this picture is not optimal but this is a work-in-progress picture. I added the tree fabric (Michael Miller) in a random block pattern to each row to break up the cottages a little. But now I can't figure out what I want to do for a border.I think I may do a one fabric border for this one. I want to save the rest of my tree fabric for one of the other cottage quilts. I will say this - the blocks are so big that they sew up really fast. I made this progress just sewing Saturday evening. My plan is to get this to the machine quilter Thursday.
I forgot my camera at home when I went to the American Quilting Moonlight Madness event on Friday. This is picture from my phone. Pardon the goofy expression on my face but this was the only clear picture. And next to me - the ever present Laurie (she has to get in every picture) with her Russian hat on. (you'd think it was -40 degrees out! - somehow this is a "cool" hat?). Shelbie and Laurie came with me for moral support and to help me set-up. I was able to market some of my patterns and kits and I even gave out the cottage tutorial instructions.

Lila Tueller and Jill Finley, both fabric designers and pattern creators, were also presenters at the event. It was really fun and I got to meet some great people. The store was really packed. Some of my friends came to see me (Kim, RaeAnn, Tricia and a few others) and I also met some readers of my blog, too (Karen, Amy, Lola's mom and some others?). Thanks for coming girls! Here is my latest sample bag for the "Mixed Bag to Quilt" pattern. I forgot to leave a sample bag at the store when I left so I'll be dropping this one back off at American Quilting. I did put some kits in my etsy store. It is a fun bag to make.

-nanette

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fabulous Fabric Friday Kits

The best part of making kits is putting fabrics together. It is always fun to mix and match colors and patterns. Today I spent some time putting strips of fabrics together for bag kits to take to the Moonlight Madness event at American Quilting in Orem Utah. I'm nearly ready to go. I am bringing several quilts to do a mini trunk show along with the bag demonstration.
Kit 1
Kit 2
Kit 3
Kit 4
Kit 5
Kit 6
Kit 7
Kit 8
Kit 9
Kit 10
Kit 11
Ready to pack up! Each kit comes with 12 strips of fabric, rick rack, covered button and pattern. American Quilting is putting kits together from their fabric too, for my pattern.
Have a nice weekend. I am going to try my hardest to get something together with my Christmas Cottage blocks tomorrow.
-nanette