Saturday, June 29, 2013

Christmas in (almost) July

Well it is really warming up here in North Carolina, but my sewing is for the cold time of year instead!  Recently I sent out a couple of projects in Holiday Bouquet to magazines.  They will run them this winter but I thought I'd give you a sneak peek!

Unfortunately this is all that I can show.  I have two other projects that I'll be able to show soon - one is a pillow version of O' Christmas Tree, my class for the Charlotte Quilters Guild on July 11th.  The ornaments are REALLY fun to back with fusible, cut out, and applique.  Some SKUs of Holiday Bouquet are already selling out, so if you were planning on ordering, make sure to place your order soon!

On another note, I was SO sorry to miss speaking to the people at Quilter's Loft in Mooresville on Thursdya night.  We will definitely reschedule.  I wouldn't have dropped out last minute like I did but this happened about 1/4 mile from the interstate.

I know.  Apparently something hard and small punctured a hole on the inside of the tire and it completely collapsed.  Thanks to everyone at Quilter's Loft for being so understanding.

On a more positive note, there is "new baby" in our house...

The Bernina quilting frame with Quilt Motion software.
Isn't she something?  She needs a name, don't you think?  Any suggestions?

I haven't had a chance to play on her yet because I'm on my fifth day of upgrading Windows 7.  Really.  It just keeps going.  How many updates can one computer need?  Thanks to my dad for all his help.  (He set up this frame too!)

Hope you are escaping the heat and happy sewing!

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Color Essentials

Several people have written to me in the last week wanting to know if it was true that I have a second book coming out in the fall. It is, in fact, true.

Color Essentials is a part-color-theory, part-quilting book with 12 projects, all of which encourage you to experiment with color.  Colors can function differently depending on their quantity, intensity, and surroundings, and this book emphasizes those concepts. It is like painting with fabric!  To make this affordable, both for shop owners and quilters, Color Essentials uses a range of Robert Kaufman Kona cotton precuts, including fat quarter bundles, charm packs, and roll-ups.  Of course I used the Pastel and Bright palettes already on the Market, but I really wanted to have a cool and warm palette as well with which people could experiment so I went to the folks of Robert Kaufman Fabrics and asked about the feasibility of their developing such products.  Here we are.  Thanks so much Robert Kaufman for allowing me to pick from and make collections with your wonderful colors!  

I really hope you all love working with these palettes as much as I do.  Introducing Sunrise...

And Sunset...

Both of these collections come in charm packs, roll-ups and fat quarter bundles.  The charm packs and roll-ups include 42 colors each and the fat quarter bundles include a subset of these - 23 colors.  All the information is in the book.  For those who might be a little nervous, several different background colors are suggested for each palette to get you started.

So which is your favorite?

Happy sewing!

P.S.  The winner of The Quilting Life Giveaway is Madame Samm.  Congratulations - I'm sure you'll love Sherri's book!  And for those of you who wondered the lie was #1.  Sherri's very smart grandmother told Sherri she would have to make the quilt herself so she would catch the quilting bug!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer Travels

Hi everyone,
I hope you are having a wonderful start to your summer!  We are gearing up for summer activities and projects here.  Are you working on something fun?  Maybe starting a new project?  I hope so.

I'm going to be visiting and teaching at lots of shops and guilds this summer... If you are in the Carolinas area please come visit!
Thanks so much to Pat Sloan and APQ radio for having me on yesterday!  The podcast can be downloaded here.

Happy sewing!

P.S.  If you pre-ordered the Modern Blossoms embroidery collection, I received my shipment and your copy  is on its way to you as of this morning!

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Friday, June 7, 2013

A Quilting Life Book Giveaway and Blog Tour

Hi everyone,
Today is my day to talk about a quilting life on my fellow C&T author and friend Sherri McConnell's A Quilting Life Blog Tour!  I have long admired Sherri's blog by the same name.  In fact, she was one of the first people I met at my first Market in Salt Lake City and she is every bit as sweet as she comes across on her blog!

A Quilting Life is chock-full of projects with Sherri's clean, beautiful aesthetic.  I ordered a copy when it first came out from Sherri's shop and I want to make so many of the projects in it!  (And you know, Sherri, it isn't fair to tempt us in that way!!!!)

I love this quilt called Water Lily in Kate Spain fabrics!  I particularly love Sherri's color placement.

So... even though I am working on some magazine projects, I had to try a project in A Quilting Life.  I decided to sew up the Mod Runner in Holiday Bouquet.  It is such a fun pattern!  My photo really doesn't do it justice but it has been raining here for the past few days and I'm indoor-photo-challenged so I had to make do.  I hope you can see how cute Sherri's design is.  I really had fun fussy-cutting the motifs.  It was simple to piece - I did it while making dinner.

Since Sherri asked us all to talk about how we have a quilting life while driving kids, doing laundry, working, cleaning house, etc.  I decided to talk about how I got this runner pieced and dinner made in about two and a half hours.

One of our kids has a pretty severe dietary limitation so eating out is pretty much not an option for us, even when I'm on a deadline, so I have some simple-go-to recipes that I use.  This one is really simple, but you do have to be home to watch it (which is just perfect because then you can sew at the same time!)

Eggplant, Garlic, and Cherry Tomato Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella

You'll need:

  • Good quality olive oil
  • 3 large eggplants or 6-8 small ones (I like the small ones better - they are less bitter and you don't have to salt them)
  • 4 heads of garlic (yes, you read that right - we LOVE garlic and in this recipe it is carmelized until it is sweet, but you can use less if you want)
  • 1 bundle of asparagus
  • 1 package of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lb. of fresh mozzerella (the little balls save time)
  • 1 lb. pasta - we like spirals or "bow ties" but any shape will work (and if you have anyone that is gluten-free use gluten-free pasta)
  • basil, oregano, salt, and pepper
  • parmesan

  1. About two hours before the meal, peel and slice eggplant into 1/4'' -3/8'' wedges.  Arrange the eggplant slices in a colander and salt each layer - leave them for an hour.
  2. Now this is the important part... while the eggplant sits cut all the pieces for your Mod Runner!  Piece a block or two!
  3. Go back to the kitchen and use dampened paper towels to wipe off the salt off the eggplant.  This helps get rid of bitterness.
  4. Cut off the tail end of each head of garlic.  (This will make it simple to squeeze out the garlic once it is roasted.)
  5. Arrange eggplant and garlic in a large casserole dish coated with olive oil.  Brush the top with more olive oil.  Sprinkle with basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Put in the oven and roast for about 45-50 minutes, basting with more olive oil every ten minutes or so - don't let it get dry.
  6. Go back to your sewing area for about half and hour and piece the remaining Mod Runner blocks, running back to baste the eggplant intermittently.
  7. Come back to the kitchen and put the pasta water on.  Steam the asparagus, either over the pasta water or in a rice cooker (I LOVE the rice cooker for cooking vegetables perfectly every time!)
  8. Cook and drain the pasta.
  9. Take out the eggplant and garlic.  Squeeze out the cloves and mash them up with a little more olive oil.
  10. Toss pasta, cherry tomatoes, mozzerella, eggplant, asparagus, and garlic/olive oil mixture.
  11. Serve with a bit of parmesan and after dinner go finish your runner!
To enter to win your own copy of A Quilting Life leave a comment on this post telling me which of these statements about Sherri is a big lie.  (The others are true!)
  1. Sherri's grandmother inspired her to quilt by making a beautiful quilt for Sherri's son's bed.
  2. Sherri is a true fan of the double-Irish chain block.
  3. Sherri has been blogging for five years!
To get other ideas about how people have quilting lives (and to get more chances to win a copy of the book) make sure to visit the other blog tour stops.

Monday June 3rd
Tuesday June 4th
Wednesday June 5th 
Thursday June 6th 
Friday June 7th
Saturday June 8th 
Sunday June 9th
Monday June 10th 
Tuesday June 11th 
Wednesday June 12th

Don't forget that you can enter any of the giveaways on any of the blogs until June 14th after which winners will be announced!

Happy sewing!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pat Sloan's American Patchwork and Quilting Radio Show!

Guess what?  I'm going to be on Pat Sloan's American Patchwork and Quilting radio show this Monday, June 10th at 4 pm eastern!  I'll be chatting about fabric design, quilting, and Modern Holiday.

The show is at 4 eastern time, but you can also listen to it with podcast form.  (I usually listen to episodes while I quilt.)  Hop on over to tune in!

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Modern Holiday and all my new patterns are in!!!

So, if you have already pre-ordered in my shop (or if you are my mom and REALLY need your copy), your book will go out tomorrow.  I ordered an extra case, so you can still order and I'll ship it right out.

My new patterns came in yesterday afternoon too and are shipping, so it has been a  pretty exciting day around here!

Happy sewing!

P.S.  If you ordered my "Modern Blossoms" embroidery collection it still hasn't come in, but I went ahead and shipped your patterns yesterday!

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