Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Free Patterns From Fabric Manufacturers

Do you check out the free quilt designs that are offered by fabric manufacturers to show off new fabric lines? I must admit that I don't like many of them. However, I have stumbled across a few recently that I quite like.

Some of my favorite quilt and fabric designers partner with Henry Glass fabrics. You can find their free designs here and here. These are some that I especially liked (click the picture to download the pattern):

From Kim Diehl:

From Buggy Barn:

From Dana Brooks, My Lazy Daisy:
Enjoy getting some inspiration from the many free patterns available.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Shanghai Sewing Kit

I was reminiscing this week that a year ago at this time I had just returned from spending just under a month in Asia. During that trip, we spent a day in the old part of Shanghai, China.

After seeing the sights, we had several hours to shop (and eat) -- activities I documented with my camera.

Chinese food in a Shanghai  "food court".
And then Diet Coke at a Shanghai McDonalds!
We  could have eaten at Dairy Queen.
But instead ate dumplings and chicken wings.

Followed by Chinese candy.
Then we stumbled upon this shop.
And this is what I bought.
A cute sewing kit.
Farewell to Shanghai.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Best of Show

I patiently worked away at the office while many from Handi Quilter were at the Houston International Quilt Market and then the International Quilt Festival. (I'm hoping to be able to go in the future now that I'm more familiar with HQ's products.)

I would have loved to see all of the quilts on display -- especially the "Best of Show" award-winning quilt called "America, Let it Shine".

"America, Let it Shine" by Sherry Reynolds  of Laramie, Wyoming
Isn't Sherry's quilt amazing? And although I didn't see it in Houston, I did see it at the SLC Home Machine Quilting Show last spring where her quilt also won best of show.

Check out the quilting and the bedazzling!

I wonder if I would have the patience and detail orientation to create such a masterpiece? Probably not.  What about you?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Black Friday at Martingale

As you know, I am counting the weeks until my book with Martingale comes out.

In the meantime, however, there have been some new books released by other Martingale authors that are on my wish list.  I think now is the time to buy because they are 50% off -- plus free shipping on purchases over $30. Black Friday here we come.

I'm going to buy Jill Finley's book, Home Sweet Quilt

I love her fabric collections, so I know I'll love her quilts too.

And of course, gotta have Kim Diehl's latest book, Homestyle Quilts, in collaboration with her editor at Martingale, Laurie Baker.

Not sure what else I'm going to get, but this offer is too good to pass up. (Now if only my book were done and available for sale too!)


Tuesday, November 20, 2012


"Deseret" means "honeybee" and was the original name of what became the Utah Territory, later the state of Utah. I have collected all things beehive — especially beehive-shaped honey pots — for about twenty years. I thought it was about time to create a beehive quilt.

I designed this quilt for my book, but unfortunately it got pulled at the last minute because it made the book too long.

My brother has beehives on his ranch in eastern Utah. The sage green and golden hues of his ranch inspired the colors for this quilt. As with many of my quilts, some black also finds its way into the palette. In this case, the black and tan border blocks (traditional jewel box block) remind me of the black and yellow of the iconic honeybee. This quilt uses paper piecing for the honeycomb hexagon blocks. It also includes embroidered honeybees buzzing around the hive and a simple running embroidery stitch to highlight the beehive.

This quilt was made completely from my stash except for the backing. I'd had the border fabric for more than ten years. I think it's from a Carol Endres fabric collection called Apple and Bee Orchard. There are little beehives scattered among trees and cabins. It was just perfect. I don't know how many times I had pulled that fabric out of my cupboard and contemplated using it in a quilt.  I'm glad I waited!

I submitted this design to Primitive Quilts magazine in hopes that they would want to include it. But alas, they sent back my submission because isn't primitive enough. Oh well.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving week.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Winterfest 2013

Each of the past three years I've attended a great retreat, called Winterfest, at the end of January. It's at a great winter lodge up in the mountains east of Salt Lake called Daniel's Summit.  Check out my cozy room from a past Winterfest.

While attending Winterfest I've been able to take classes from well-known teachers such as Kim Diehl, Carrie Nelson, and Joanna Figueroa. I'll be able to take classes from Paula Barnes at the next Winterfest. Her company is now called Red Crinoline Quilts (although it used to be Bonnie Blue Quilts).  You're probably familiar with her lovely traditional Civil War-style quilts.

I'm privileged to also be teaching at 2013 Winterfest. I will be teaching a quilt called "Days of '47", based on the traditional (but not well known) Salt Lake City block. 

I have made three versions of this quilt, two of which are shown on the Winterfest website.

This version uses scraps.
This version (with a different border option) uses fabrics from the Circa 1934 fabric line by Cosmo Cricket for Moda.
Any Utah gals out there planning to go to Winterfest? It's a fun getaway in the middle of winter!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Definitely Time For an Update.

Yippee! My book with Martingale / That Patchwork Place is moving along. Over the last several weeks I was able to review the page proofs that show what the book will actually look like. The photos, the illustrations, the instructions. Pretty exciting. Still waiting to see the cover design -- which will make it seem even more real. The release date is still early May, just before Spring Quilt Market in Portland, OR.

On the job front, I went back to work almost two months ago. It was time. Although I put my 17-month hiatus from full-time work to good use (30+ quilts, the book, a month vacation in Asia, surgery and recovery), my Cobra insurance coverage was going to run out. Yes, it was time to look for a job.

Back in February I was invited to be a beta tester for Handi Quilter's new TruStitch stitch regulator for their sit-down mid-arm machine, the HQ Sweet Sixteen. I spent a day in their offices, met some of the marketing team, and some of the engineers. As I looked around, I thought "Hmmm, this would be a nice place to work." (Especially since it's less than 15 minutes from my home.)

As soon as I got home that afternoon, I sent my resume to the director of marketing to let her know that I had a background in technology product marketing (and of course quilting), and that I would love to do some free-lance work for them if they ever needed help. Well, it wasn't but a couple weeks before I had my first editing project from them. And so it continued over the next five months -- a project here and there.

When I knew I had to start looking for a job, I spoke with the marketing director at Handi Quilter and let her know that once I found a full-time job, I wouldn't be available to do free-lance work anymore. The prospect of not being able to offload some of her work to me must have created some fear and trepidation, because a month later I started work for Handi Quilter full time as the marketing communications manager.

And it's been great. I was able to hit the ground running because I already understand the quilting industry, I was somewhat familiar with their products from the previous work I'd done, and I already had the marketing know-how. I've been very happy with my decision. Good company. Good people. Great products. And quilts decorating the walls throughout the building!

And, a nice little perk that I didn't know about when I joined Handi Quilter. After three months of employment, employees can (if they want) take home a slightly used HQ18 Avanté longarm machine and after four years of employment, it's theirs to keep. So I'm counting the weeks until I can take a machine home (hopefully one will be available when it's my turn!)


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