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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

HOW TO KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS



Do you have this problem? Another year has passed and your sewing room is in chaos after the Christmas rush of gift making. Over the past year, you’ve added umpteen new tops to the to-be-quilted pile, and you totally forget what resolutions you made last year. Here’s what you can do to make 2010 Resolutions stick.
  1. Be realistic. In other words, Aim Low. You cannot conquer the mountain over night.

  2. Talk about your resolutions. Make your friends and family sick of hearing what you intend to accomplish in 2010. It is only through this verbal commitment that your mind accepts the challenge ahead.

  3. Write your resolutions on paper and put that list where you can see it daily (DO NOT use it as a bookmark).

  4. Plan ahead. Planning is probably what got you in trouble in the first place. Quilters are master planners. The problem most likely is over planning. However, just planning isn’t enough. You must include enough detail. “I will finish this quilt by such and such a date (be specific) and by finish I mean sandwiched, quilted, and bound with a label on the back.”

  5. Reward yourself. Be sure and promise yourself a reward for your achievements. This makes it so much easier to stick to those promises.

After looking at my chaotic studio, I decided I needed to make some resolutions of my own. You, fellow quilters are my friends and family and hopefully will hold me to the gun.

  • I promise that I will dig through my box of finished quilt tops (finished but not sandwiched together) and sandwich, quilt, and bind one quilt from that box. The above picture is just one of those in that box.
  • I promise to dig through my boxes of unfinished projects and complete at least one. By complete I mean at least finish the top so that it is ready to be sandwiched and put on the quilting frame. Deciding which project will be the hardest thing I do. Mainly because there will always be a new project calling my name and saying, “Pick me. Pick me.”
  • I promise to make one quilt completely from my scrap bag and not purchase one piece of fabric for it! Straightening your stash does all kinds of funny things to you causing you to make rash promises, but I’m going to do that. I really am!
  • As my reward for completing the above three resolutions I will allow myself to purchase EQ software, and only make that purchase AFTER I have completed my three resolutions.

Don’t forget that our Annual New Year’s Day Sale at the Attic Window Quilt Shop is from 10-3 with a 25% to 75% discount. It’s that time to clean out some of our bolts, boxes and many hiding spots, along with samples and etc.

Our Year Long Quilter’s Journey starts Saturday, Jan. 2, here at the Attic Window. Join us and 11 other shops for only a $5 sign up fee, which can be done at any of the following shops: Quilter’s Stitch; Yards of Fabric; Around the Block; Marshall House; Hen House; Everlasting Stitches; Quilts Plus; Forever Fabrics; Quilt N Go; Wooden Spool; & Smith Owen.

Geta has a great tutorial for a shopping bag. Think green!

Hope everyone has a happy New Year!

Until next time,
Caroll

Thursday, December 24, 2009

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS THIS CHRISTMAS

I wish all my friends, followers and readers of this blog a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year. Thanks for visiting and for all your kind words. The Attic Window Quilt Shop will close December 24, at 2 p.m. The shop will be closed Dec. 25 & 26.

Until next time,
Caroll

Sunday, December 20, 2009

THERE ARE NONE SO BLESSED AS THOSE WHO GIVE

A special thank you to all the women who come to the Attic Window Quilt Shop and donate their time, money, fabric and batting to make these lovely quilts. The women of Quilt For Wheels and Cancer Kids donated over 90 quilts this year. The Michigan Veteran’s Administration and Mary Free Bed Hospital will receive these amazing quilts. Above is the quilt that Yvonne is making. Some wonderful person donated these beautiful batik fabrics.

This quilt will soon be ready for donation. Some wonderful person donated all these beautiful fabrics!


Look at the trunk of Barb David’s car! She will be distributing these quilts this week to some very lucky people. Anyone can join the group, either by coming to the monthly meeting (see calendar for dates and times) and sewing, or by donating fabrics, batting, or money. The back of each quilt bears a seal with the Quilt For Wheels or Quilts For Kids on it.

We have a new interactive calendar on the sidebar. Some people have said they cannot see everything. If you place your mouse over the calendar you can scroll down. I have a wireless mouse so I hope this works with any kind of mouse. When you see the “more details” link, click on that and you can get more information about that class. Please let me know how you like this calendar and if you have any problems. If there are no complaints or problems I will eliminate the other calendar next week.

The Lucky Ducks has a great way to use up those scraps.

Until next time,
Caroll

Thursday, December 17, 2009

YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO MAKE THESE GIFTS

I’ve been busy making things for Christmas and thought you might like to make some too. There is still time! This cute gingerbread man with a bite taken out of him is by Elsie Marley. I have him hanging on my tree but he’d be cute on a package too.

These aprons were fun and easy to make and the pattern can be found at Phyllis Dobbs.

Can’t have too many candy canes. These are easy to make. I didn’t dip them in Stiffy as suggested on Lavieen Rosie’s site, because I thought they were cute as is. They will look nice on the tree on tied to a package.


I made scads of pillowcases for the young kids. You can find this easy and fast way of sewing them at The Quilting Season. You’ll have them done in no time.
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All quilters and lovers of fabric should stop over at Quilt Hollow and read her letter to Santa. I sure could relate!

Until next time,
Caroll


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

WHO ELSE WANTS TO BE A BETTER QUILTER IN 2010?

FOUND AT THE ATTIC WINDOW QUILT SHOP - TOOLS TO MAKE YOU A BETTER QUILTER in 2010. Accurately cut pieces are the basis of a good quilt. Quilt Ruler Additions are just what you need for accurate piecing. No guesswork involved. No math. No fractions. Just lock the tool to your ruler, then slide the tool against the edge of your fabric and cut. “Consistently accurate alignment is guaranteed.” This prep tool has several other functions as well. It helps you sew that scant quarter inch. It is a point trimmer. It makes tumbling blocks or other blocks with Y seams a breeze. The secret to sewing those set in seams is sewing exactly where the seam lines cross. This prep tool helps you to mark those seams accurately. This is a must-have tool on your list.

The Quilter’s Creative Station is a great all-in-one tool. It combines a cutting mat and a pressing surface along side each other. There are several different versions and sizes. The smaller style has the mat on one side and the pressing surface on the flip side. Both have handles that make for ease in carrying to class. One of these would also be nice to have by your sewing machine at home to eliminate that need to always jump up and run to the ironing board or the cutting mat.

These new books by Whimsicals arrived at the shop when I was there today and I’m having a difficult time because I want them all. These books are a must-see and a must-add to your list. Each includes applique patterns as well as traditional patterns. I could see the patterns in the 30's prints or the brights. Glenys saw them in Civil war or the wools. You choose. Your husband, child, friend, or whoever you give your list to, will not go wrong by getting you any one of these books (or all of them if you’ve been a very good girl this year!).

The Olfa Self Healing Mat with grid lines and measurements and Olfa rotary cutter are great items for your list. Can you ever have too many of these? Some of us have had these mats for years. Ever wonder about cleaning yours? Sew Fantastic has a great instruction for caring for your self healing mat. It will be all nice and clean when you get your new one and you pass this old one down to that child or grandchild just learning to rotary cut.
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Still looking for a clever gift item to make? Check out Cluck Cluck Sew and see what she suggests you do with buttons. It’s very classy looking.

Until next time,
Caroll

Sunday, December 13, 2009

IT'S SNOWING BUTTONS

Sew Cal Gal is hosting a Virtual Christmas Quilt show. People are to enter their quilt and tell about it. Above is the quilt I have entered. I made three of these wall hangings years ago, when I first decided to become a quilter, but really did not know too much about what I was doing. With exuberant enthusiasm (I know that is redundant) for my new hobby I decided to make my daughter and two daughters-in-law each a wall hanging. Little did I realize the difficulty involved. Actually, I think the worst and most unforgettable part was putting 200 buttons on each wall hanging. As I recall the directions said to take a hand full of buttons and toss them onto the wall hanging and then sew them down where they land, after all, these buttons were supposed to be snowflakes. Gads, do you realize how difficult and back breaking that was to do? Trust me, I think twice before I let my enthusiasm take hold today. Still, I kind of like these guys, don’t you? Click on over here (scroll down) and see all the other fantastic quilts in the show. And do it now as the show ends Dece. 25th. You’re sure to enjoy the view.

Fab Talk has a link to a cute tote.

Until next time,
Caroll

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

ADD TO CHRISTMAS LIST


Don’t you just love this Alphabet Snowman quilt? Barb made this sample for the Attic Window Quilt Shop. Can’t you just see it in your home during the holidays next year? This is a wonderful project to work on after the holidays and during those long dull winter months. Stop by the shop and pick up your pattern, or you can call and have one set aside for you.

Here are some close up shots of the individual blocks.

C is for Candy Cane....

D is for Drummer Boy...
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Quilt Patterns From Seattle has a free pattern for a Hugs & Kisses quilt. It is a must see.


Until next time,
Caroll

Monday, December 7, 2009

FREE STRIPPING INSTRUCTIONS

Jerry made this beautiful quilt and you won’t believe how easy she says it is. She said she has baskets of scraps and made this quilt entirely out of those scraps. She said that she just sewed varying widths of scraps together, adding strips until she could cut a 14-inch block. Once she cut the block, she then cut it crosswise from corner to corner and then cut it again from corner to corner. In other words, she made a big X cut across the 14-inch block. Then using two pieces where the strips opposed each other, she sewed the block together. She then put a narrow frame around each block. I forgot to ask, but it looks like she cut the frame strips at 1 or 1 ½ ”. Then she added sashing and a border to make this lovely quilt complete. What a wonderful way to use up those scraps!
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The Attic Window Newsletter is now out. If you have not received it in the mail, or via e-mail, you may download it from the sidebar. It has many new classes, new Bee’s, and additional UFO nights and days. There is also a new Make It & Take It each month that you won’t want to miss.
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Don’t forget the annual New Year’s Day Sale from 10-3. Discounts are between 15% and 75%, so mark this on your calendar now.
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Do you have EQ? Or maybe you’ve asked for the EQ softward for Christmas. I was reading Sew Cal Gal’s blog the other day and learned that Quilts at Jan T’s Utopia has lots of free EQ lessons. Check it out!

Happy Quilting,
Caroll

Friday, December 4, 2009

FIVE THINGS I'VE LEARNED IN 2009

I am participating in a group writing project put on by Daily Blogging Tips and since I have been blogging only a year, I want to share with you the five things I learned during 2009 about Quilting Bloggers.
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  1. Bloggers make the world smaller. I have learned as I have blogged and read multiple quilting blogs over the past year, that quilting bloggers all around the world are similar. We not only have a love for quilting, but also as I look at their pictures I see we are all related, trying to make our homes prettier, make our lives softer, make something for those we love. Our homes reflect our love of quilting and our desire to create.
  2. Bloggers make the world better. No matter where you are around the world, when a wild fire strikes, a hurricane or earthquake hits, when a beloved family member is injured or there is another family tragedy, Bloggers are there to help. They want to know what they can do. They are there to try to make things better for you with their hands, their hearts, and their prayers.
  3. Bloggers make the world nicer. Giving away prizes on blogs, sharing recipes and patterns, are just a few ways Bloggers make the world nicer. They also like to share how-to tips and take the time and effort to create helpful tutorials.
  4. Bloggers make the world calm. Bloggers have helped me not to be so anxious. When I started reading other blogs and seeing pictures of their sewing rooms, I realized it is okay to be messy. It’s part of the creative process. It’s okay to let the world see. It’s okay to be me. Quilting bloggers also like to share funny things that have happened to them during their creative process and this helps me to feel not so stupid or so alone.
  5. Bloggers make the world fun. It takes creativity and dedication to come up with ideas for Make It Monday, Tool Time Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, Thrifty Thursday, and Fabric Friday. Think about it. You are committed to having a new post on your chosen subject every week. That takes a lot of work and dedication. However, it sure is fun for those of us who read the blogs and eagerly look forward to the next post. Maybe I will write about Silly Saturday, or Something Sunday, or …..Oh, well, I will have to think about that.

I want to thank all my blogging friends for making this a fun and fabulous year.

The new Attic Window Newsletter is out. You can download it on the sidebar.

The Painted Quilt has a First Friday Freebie. This month she has the cutest Christmas Eve stocking done in redwork. Check it out.

Happy Quilting,
Caroll

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

KNOTTY GIRLS ARE AT IT AGAIN

I went to the Knotty Girls Bee Tuesday evening at the Attic Window Quilt Shop and look at what I found. Above is the Sue Spargo wall hanging that Sherri is working on. I love the way she is embellishing it with beads.

Sue is working on this lovely wall hanging. She told me she still had a lot to do. Wonder if she will be embellishing it with beads too? These girls really have the patience I don’t have to do this intricate work. Their projects turn out beautiful.
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Sheri Howard of Sheri Howard Designs left me these hints to help with my piecing. They are so fantastic that I wanted to share them with you:
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Well I will add my "what it's worth department" comment on piecing in general.
...1. You must be 100% sure your seams are a true 1/4" Some of us think it is, but it also includes the sewing thread. So (ha ha) sew a 1/4" seam, press and measure with an accurate device and if you are off even a 1/16th or 1/32, your piecing will not be on and it get worse as you try to add pieces. Believe me, I have found this to be true the hard way.
...2. When pressing, press the piece flat on top of the sewing before you press the seams in one direction, and press after every row, or every triangle...pressing means just that...press, don't iron back and forth. When you press the sewn stitching, it helps heat set the thread and makes a more accurate pressed seam later.
...3. Use PINS! I know we all want to hold it as we go, but it is too difficult to keep the seams tight up against each other if not! It takes a lot of time, but is so worth it if you have a lot of little pieces.
...4. Finally, square up each round of the block as you go, making sure it is the correct size before adding the borders, etc.
Thanks Sheri. I will take these things into account this afternoon when I start another project.
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I just read that Kellie of Don’t Look Now can’t sew or cut a straight seam, so I guess I’m in good company. You can read about her and see her beautiful new quilt here.

The Bronze Wombat has a fantastic folded star. You must see this to see how clever it is.

Happy Quilting,
Caroll

Quilting Teachers at the shop.

Quilting Teachers at the shop.
Chris, Marilyn, Jill, Lee Anne, Sue, Vickie

Quilts For Wheels

Quilts For Wheels
Many thanks and much appreciation goes to the women who work diligently each month to make quilts for those in wheel chairs. Kudos go to: Yvonne, Mary T., Fran, Joan, Mary Ellen, Barb, Lee Ann, Nancy, Mary.

Quilting for Kids With Cancer

Quilting for Kids With Cancer
Generosity has no bounds. Above are the women in the Quilts For Kids group at the Attic Window Quilt Shop. Left to right, Henrietta, Phyllis, Nancy, Carol, Karen. These women donate their time, fabric, money once a month to make quilts for kids who have cancer.