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Friday, August 30, 2013

NEW AT THE ATTIC WINDOW QUILT SHOP

 Who wants to think about Santa and Christmas when it is hot and humid?  Well, really, now is the time to think about the upcoming holidays.  It takes time to make all those pretty holiday items and gifts.  If you don't want to start the actual sewing, now is at least the time to start thinking about what you want to make and draft a plan.  I found just the thing to help you with that planning.  This adorable pattern just arrived at the Attic Window Quilt Shop.  It is Jolly Old Saint Nick by Art To Heart.  You can make a 60” x 61” quilt, or make a pillow.  I thought three of these blocks would make a darling table runner, don’t you?
 Aren’t these frogs adorable?  I love frogs.  This is part of the Timeless Treasures Kidz line.  Look at all the coordinating fabrics.  Check these out at the shop.
 This is a close up of those cute little frogs.
 I think I’ve shown this fabric before, but I don’t think I saw these coordinating fabrics with it.  This line is Bugolicious from Blank Quilting.
 This is a close up of the bugs, but check out that stripe in the picture above.  I love that too!
I also saw a new must-have book.  Angles with Ease:  Simple Solutions to Kaleidoscope Quilts is by Heather Mulder Peterson for Anka’s Treasures.  I can’t wait to try some of these exciting patterns.

DON’T FORGET
  • The Shop will be closed on Monday, September 2nd, in observance of the Labor Day Holiday.
  • Teachers please get your upcoming classes on the calendar ASAP.  A reader said she’d like to learn how to hand sew. 
  • Mark your calendar now for the next Stitch-In which will be held September 20th and 21st.

ON ANOTHER NOTE: Remember the Jiffy Jelly Quilt that Barb made and I showed you yesterday?  I found the pattern at United Notions.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Thursday, August 29, 2013

THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT THOSE 30s FABRICS

I arrived early Tuesday at the Attic Window Quilt Shop in hopes of seeing what members of the Tuesday Bee were working on before they left for the day.  I was glad I did.  Above is this darling hexie quilt that Jan M. is making.  There is something about those 30s fabrics that make me smile and think of sweetness. 

Jan is so interesting to talk to.  I sat and watched her while she stitched and told me how she got interested in quilting.  She said when she was a child her father took her to visit one of his Aunts.  Jan said she was in awe of all the beautiful hand made items in the house.  She said to her father, “I want to do that when I get big.”  Jan said that her Father (that’s right) taught her how to use a sewing machine when she was five years old and that she has been sewing since.  All her early quilts were completely hand stitched, even the patchwork pieces.  She didn’t get a sewing machine until years later.  Jan said she still enjoys hand sewing.  You can tell that too.  Just look at this perfect block that will go into a full quilt!
Barb David showed us this darling quilt, also in 30s fabrics.  Barb said it is called the Jiffy Jelly Roll quilt.  I was surprised to see this large quilt was made by using only one Jelly Roll. 
Jelly Rolls of the 30s fabrics are in the shop.  I’ve searched for the pattern and have not been successful.  If you are interested please call the shop.

DON’T FORGET

  • The Shop will be closed on Monday, September 2nd, in observance of the Labor Day Holiday.
  • Teachers please get your upcoming classes on the calendar ASAP.  A reader said she’d like to learn how to hand sew. 
  • Mark your calendar now for the next Stitch-In which will be held September 20th and 21st.
ON ANOTHER NOTE:  Just Another Hang Up has a clever tutorial for a pocket pillowcase.  Check it out.

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

WHIMSICAL GARDEN BOM MEETS AT ATTIC WINDOW QUILT SHOP

The Whimsical Garden BOM group met Tuesday at the Attic Window Quilt Shop.  For those of you unable to attend or are just picking up your kit, above is the block we will be working on this month. 
I apologize for what I said previously about there being a few slackers in this group.  Today Martha came in with all her blocks completed.  Above she shows us one of those beauties.

Here are more of Martha’s blocks.  I find it hard to believe that this is her first attempt at appliqué.  Doesn’t she do a beautiful job!
Barb had all her blocks completed too.  Above are just some of her blocks.  Cathy and Sandy also had their blocks all completed, however, I must have missed taking pictures of them.
I did get this picture of Barb with her latest pineapple block.  Barb is the owner of the Garden Path Quilts blog.  She will have a tutorial for this block on her blog soon. She also has a Mystery BOM going now and you can still join in on the fun.   While there take a look at her binding tool demo.  I know some people have questions about the tool and this excellent demo might take care of those questions.
While visiting Barb’s blog be sure to check out all her quilting tips.  She has some great ideas.   For instance, she showed us this bobbin holder.  She purchased it with the bobbins filled with all these beautiful threads.  She said she takes it with her when she does appliqué.  She can easily find the thread she needs and doesn’t have to worry about losing a bobbin because they stay snuggly in their round container.   Wow, this will help me get rid of the big bag of large spools of thread that I always carry with me when I’m doing appliqué on the go.
Barb shows us this project bag that she recently made.  I love its larger size.   
This is the back of her project bag.   You can find this adorable fabric at the Attic Window Quilt Shop.

DON’T FORGET

  • The Shop will be closed on Monday, September 2nd, in observance of the Labor Day Holiday.
  • Teachers please get your upcoming classes on the calendar ASAP.  A reader said she’d like to learn how to hand sew. 
  • Mark your calendar now for the next Stitch-In which will be held September 20th and 21st.

ON ANOTHER NOTE
Sew Mama Sew has a tutorial for a darling Christmas Tree Table Runner.

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME TO DO MORE APPLIQUE

Just a quick note to say hi and tell you that this is what I’ve been working on today.  More appliqué prep work.  That prep work does take a lot of time, but it’s worth it to me.  Once the appliqué block is prepped I can pick it up and go sew anywhere without worrying about my thread getting tangled around the pins or about losing an appliqué piece, and I know exactly what my block will look like once the appliqué is finished.  Above is just one block in another (different) table runner.  I’ll tell you more about it as I get further along.  If you are interested in how I do applique you can click on the witch's feet on the sidebar and in that tutorial is a link for the applique directions.

DON’T FORGET:  
  •  The Shop will be closed on Monday, September 2nd, in observance of the Labor Day Holiday.
  • Teachers please get your upcoming classes on the calendar ASAP.  
  • Mark your calendar now for the next Stitch-In which will be held September 20th and 21st.
ON ANOTHER NOTESwim Bike Quilt has a free pattern for a Star Bright Quilt.

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Monday, August 26, 2013

WHAT'S ON THE DESIGN WALL?

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a beautiful weekend no matter where you are.  For us here in the USA, the Labor Day holiday is coming up, which signifies the end of summer.  It's hard to believe.  Where did the summer go?  The weatherman here in Grand Rapids predicts more hot weather ahead.  I heard that temperatures are expected to be in the upper 90s the week following the holiday.  And the city pools are closed!  Yikes.  I’m thinking that will be a good time to stay in my sewing room.  I’m getting prepared.  Above are five appliqué blocks that I’ve prepped for sewing.  It is for a table runner and I’ll tell you more about it when I’m further along.  Have you noticed I seem to have a problem?  My eye and hand automatically goes to orange and red! Do you have a favorite color(s)? 

DON’T FORGET
  • The Shop will be closed on Monday, September 2nd, in observance of the Labor Day Holiday.
  • Whimsical Gardens BOM meets this Tuesday at the shop.  Do you have your blocks completed?
  • Teachers please get your upcoming classes on the calendar ASAP.  Recently a reader said she’d like to learn how to hand sew.  Anyone interested in getting together at the Attic Window Quilt Shop to do that?  Watch the calendar on the sidebar for new and upcoming classes.
  • Mark your calendar now for the next Stitch-In which will be held September 20th and 21st.
  • The West Michigan Modern Quilt Guild is having an on-line activity.  I’d love to try this block.  Want to participate?  Check it out here

ON ANOTHER NOTELove Laugh Quilt has a how-to for an interesting block.
            
Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Thursday, August 22, 2013

AFTER ALL THIS TIME, FINALLY FINISHED!

Remember this square?  I must have posted about it a year or two ago.  I don’t have the time to go back and hunt for that post.  At the time, I was trying some hand quilting and maybe something else.  I forget.  I’m like Dora in Finding Nemo:  I saw something shiny and dropped what I was doing and went on to something else.   Anyway, at the recent AQS show in Grand Rapids, MI, I purchased a new binding tool.  I was anxious to try it, but had nothing ready for binding.  So I picked up this little piece, finished the quilting, and bound it with my new tool.  I think I’ll use it as a table mat.

ON ANOTHER NOTEThe Girl Who Quilts has an interesting tutorial for a new block.              

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A VISIT FROM THE NETHERLANDS

I recently received an email from Evi from the Netherlands.  Remember her?  I blogged about her here and had asked her to send me pictures of her finished project.  This is her email to us:

"Dear Caroll and ladies from the Tuesday quilting bee, Greetings from the Netherlands.
 

My time in Michigan seemed to just fly by. We had an enjoyable camping trip to the Lake Michigan Recreation Area north of Ludington. We hiked a mile along the dune trail until we found a good spot to pitch our tents. We were right at a beautiful beach which we had practically to ourselves and the kids had lots of fun.
 

By now, I am back home in the Netherlands. I have signed up for the blog and have very much enjoyed Caroll's emails. It's nice to get the pictures and see what you all are working on. It gives me all kinds of ideas... Judy's Fractured Nine Patch quilt has me thinking and I want to try this block in one of my next projects.
 

I have finished the table runner that I was working on during the quilting bee. I'm sending along some pictures of me with the table runner in front of our house in Escharen, the Netherlands and some close-ups of the table runner. It's hand-pieced and hand-quilted.
 

I hope you had a good time at the AQS. I wish I could have been there.
 

Take care,  Love,  Evi McGrath"

"
Isn’t that a wonderful email!  I love blogging and quilting and meeting and talking to people all over the world.  Above is a close up of one of the blocks in Evi’s table runner. Look at all that beautiful hand quilting!
This is a picture of the entire table runner.  Thank you Evi for sharing your talents with us.  I love the pictures and the table runner is stunning.  Please keep in touch and send us more pictures of you and your work.

ON ANOTHER NOTEFabric Engineer has a tutorial for a Simply Solids block.               

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A TEST FOR IPATCH

I’m a follower of a wonderful blog named ipatch.  Beneath the ipatch title are the words “Made with bits of love.”  That drew me in as it’s how I feel about my fabric and quilting.  Blog owner Esther is an art teacher in the Netherlands.  She says she loves designing quilts and hoarding fabric.  That hoarding part sounded familiar and I started following her blog and admiring all the beautiful designs she creates.  One day I read that she needed pattern testers. 

She wrote:  “This pattern is more difficult than my other patterns. There are 16 points gathering in the centre! Please only respond if you are experienced (or geekishly fantastic) at foundation piecing. (It is possible that some of these points will not match up perfectly. Be prepared to add applique, a button or some embroidery to this centre to hide the little imperfections. )”  She also added: “The pattern took me about 3.5 hours to complete! Please be aware that is a big job!”

Unafraid, I quickly wrote and asked if I could help.  Esther kindly said she had enough testers but could use another one and sent me the pattern for Blooming Hot, a new foundation pieced pattern from her flower collection that should unfinish at 10 ½” square.

I was thrilled as I’ve never before been a pattern tester.  I printed out the PDF and eagerly read it over.  "I can do this," I kept repeating to myself.

First of all I need to tell you that it took me much longer than five hours to complete.  But I’m slow and worked carefully to make sure everything matched up as I wanted.  Esther’s directions are fantastic.  What I particularly liked is that she first gives you several drawings that you can color to make the design to your liking.  You can go here to see the various color ways that Ester used to make this pattern.  Being new at this, and struggling with a previous block that I had made with 16 seams meeting in the center, I thought it best to make all those 16 meeting seams be of one color so, just in case, the mistakes wouldn’t be so obvious.
Another thing that I did to keep things from being mixed up was color in the squares on the pattern pieces so I’d know which color went where.
I followed Esther’s directions for getting those points to meet and as you can see above, her wonderful directions worked like a charm.
This is the finished block.  Check out how all those points meet in the center.  They may not be perfect, and I think using one color of fabric in that area helped, but I like how it turned out.  Thank you Esther for letting me be a pattern tester and for writing such clear instructions.  While visiting Esther’s blog check out her Tutorials tab.  I think I had a link before to the Cloud Nine tutorial, one I’d like to make.  Also, click on the This Is Me tab.  It’s so nice to put a friendly face to the person who writes the blog.  Thanks again Esther.  You are a great designer and artist!

ON ANOTHER NOTERetired to Quilt  has a tutorial for a modification of a rolling stone block.

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Monday, August 19, 2013

CAN YOU DO APPLIQUE LIKE THIS?

Last Thursday, several of us attended the AQS show which was being held here in Grand Rapids.  I was exhausted the next day and didn’t feel much like doing anything so, when I remembered Rosa said she was going to be at the Attic Window Quilt Shop on Friday, I decided to join her.  It was a nice relaxing afternoon, sewing with Yvonne and Rosa, and Marilyn and Jill.  Lisa stopped by and showed us her latest project (above).  Isn’t this applique wonderful! You can click on the picture to get a larger view.
This is another patriotic project that Lisa is working on.  Both of these patterns are by Rita Verroca.  Lisa said that she does needle-turn applique.  She amazes me!  I hope we get to see them when they are completed.

Yvonne worked on a small duffel bag and it was only when I loaded the pictures onto my computer that I realized I hadn't taken a picture of it!  Gads, I don’t know about me sometimes.  I must really have been tired from all that walking the day before. 

A SHORT STORY:  Last Thursday I attended a picnic for residents and family members of my mother’s assisted living home.  After walking around and viewing the many activities provided for all to enjoy, Mom and I sat at one end of a picnic table.  The sun was shining and music was playing in the background.  I was thinking, what a perfect evening.  A resident (we’ll call her Betty) and her daughter came to join us.  Previously I had noticed Betty and Mom talking when I was there for a visit.  I was looking forward to getting to know Betty better.  Betty smiled at me as her eyes roamed over my face.  After a few minutes of this I became uncomfortable and wondered if I had a hair on my nose or something.  Finally, Betty looked right at me as she nodded her head toward my 95-year-old Mom and said, “Are you her mother?”
And you wonder why I drink!

ON ANOTHER NOTEToronto Mama has a tutorial for a waterproof picnic blanket.

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Thursday, August 15, 2013

CAT FIGHT AT THE ATTIC WINDOW QUILT SHOP?

Now ladies, no fighting please!!!!  Just kidding. This is all in good fun.  The Happy Scrappers met Wednesday at the Attic Window Quilt Shop.  Cathy M. stopped by to drop off this pile of scraps.  Naturally, we all started picking through it.  Above, Rosa (left) and Judi A. are having a tug of war with a long, much desired piece.  What a hoot!   Thank you Cathy.  That was so thoughtful of you and I’m sure we will put those scraps to good use!
I knew I could count on Judi to have something for show and tell.  Isn’t this little zipper coin purse adorable?  There are two in this picture.  The pink one is all zipped up.  The blue strip of zipper around it is to show you how this comes apart and then can easily be zipped back together again.
See, you just use a zipper and some ribbon to make it.  Can you believe this…Judi said she sewed this all by hand!
Above, Judi shows you the other side and how the top curls around on itself.  She said she found free instructions on the net, and I’ll put up the link as soon as I get it.  Update:  I think you can use this link here.
After learning so much about paper piecing from Chris during our last meeting, I put the pedal to the floor and now have 70 blocks completed.  That means I’m about a fourth done, but I thought I’d lay them out on the floor just to see how things were looking.  Obviously this is not how they will be placed in the final piece, but it gives me an idea of some changes that need to be made.
Lee Ann was busy working on her Popsicle quilt.  I love the batiks she is using in this quilt.
Joyce shows us her Storm At Sea quilt.  Great colors!
That Yvonne is such a rascal!  That’s her behind this cute little Mickey paper pieced square.
Yvonne also wants to show you how organized she is.  All her strips are placed neatly in this tray.  Wonder if she hires out?
Val also worked on her paper pieced squares.  Isn’t that one on top with the doctor bear in the center adorable!

A SHORT STORY:  Several customers stopped in at the shop today while we were there.  One woman drug her husband into our class room area, told him to sit at the table while she shopped.  Well we did what any red blooded American woman would do when a handsome man comes into the room, we fed him some freshly baked apple bread.  He smiled, ate, and listened to us gossip.  I think we made his day!  I hope so.  We later learned they were here from Wisconsin.  I didn’t ask, but I bet they came to go to the AQS show.  More men should come to the Attic Window Quilt Shop with their wives.  They have no idea the attention they can get just by sitting and not saying a word.

ON ANOTHER NOTEQuilting In Amsterdam has a tutorial for mug rugs/place mats with a hyperquilted flower.  I’d like to learn how to do this.

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

WILL YOU HELP OUT?

Just a note to ask you to head over to Bejeweled Quilts today.  She has a special request for a very worthy cause.  Barb (of Bejeweled Quilts) is donating all the money she makes from a pattern to Green Fairy Quilts Charity For Romania.  Love you Barb and love your generosity.

 Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

 

Monday, August 12, 2013

HAPPY SCRAPPERS MEET AND HAVE TWO TUTORIALS

The Happy Scrappers met Saturday at the Attic Window Quilt Shop.  It was a fantastic, fun-filled and educational day.  I’ll show you some pictures.  Above Rosa shows us her new Quilting Buddy.  She said he sits on her computer and stares at her (like it's saying “get to work.”)  He will kiss her (we all need that now and then), and he helps her deal with her frustration because when she gets frustrated she can just scream and throw him across the room.  Now I ask you, what woman doesn’t need a quilting buddy like that?
We had a “Future Quilter Of America” with us Saturday.  This is Makayla.  She is only 4 ½ years old and loves to quilt.  She showed me some squares that she had made with her proud grandma Yvonne, the woman on the left smiling from ear to ear.  I’m so glad Makayla joined us.  I love to see this kind of addiction being passed on to future generations.
Nancy shows us her newest project.  I love the fabrics she is using.  She is using the storm at sea pattern.
Chris (shop owner) gave us a wonderful short class and demonstration on paper piecing.  Above she had lots of samples to show us as well as tools and handwritten instructions.  How wonderful of her to do this.  I imagine over the past months she has watched us struggle with paper piecing and wonder if she thought: I need to give them some instructions and techniques and tools to make things easier.  And she sure did!
She told us about Wash Away, a product she uses when she paper pieces.  You never have to tear away the paper, as you just wash it away!
She also uses these various rulers.
This small ruler has a 3/8” mark and she uses it to draw her pattern.
And she uses this same ruler to mark the 3/8” space around the pattern.  I have aways used a quarter inch but Chris says that making the wider border around each piece gives you lots of room for error.  Trust me, I tried it and it really works!
Above, Chris shows us a pile of patterns made out of freezer paper and ironed onto the fabric, trimmed and ready to sew.
Chris also used the Add A Quarter ruler to trim the pieces once sewn.  She also showed us a “creasing” technique that helps place the piece to be attached correctly.  I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of that and find it difficult to explain.  If you are really interested you could take a Paper Piecing Class from Chris.  Just call the shop to find out when the next one is.
Above Chris shows us her cutting technique and the “creasing” technique.
Here she shows us how to stitch the pieces together and also tells us about basting the completed square around the edges.  All in all it was a wonderful and informative demo and I can’t thank her enough.  I came home and that evening made so many more pieces completed by using Chris’s techniques.
Above, Janalee shows us her very first paper pieced block.  Looking good!  I bet she’ll have lots of fun with her new project now that she knows the ins and outs of paper piecing.
Here is just half of Marcie’s stack of paper pieced blocks on the ironing board waiting to be ironed.
Then, when Judy F. wondered if anyone remembered how last month Stephanie sewed that zipper on her bag, Paula said she did and gave us a quick demo.  Aren't quilters the best, so willing to share their talents!
Paula said you just take any width of fabric you want to use and fold it in half and sew it to each side of the zipper.
Above, Paula shows us how her bag is shaping up.  Paula you are so nice to share your skills with us.  Thank you so much!

It was a wonderful day and I hope everyone will come to Happy Scrappers on Wednesday.  I know a good many of you will be at AQS but if you  get bored with the show, stop by the shop and sew with us.

DON’T FORGET:
  • Happy Scrappers meets Wednesday at the Attic Window Quilt Shop
  • AQS Quilt Week is the week of August 14-17 at DeVos Place Convention Center.  The Attic Window will have a vendor booth, so be sure and stop by.
ON ANOTHER NOTE:  I’m not ready to think about it, so I’ll close my eyes when I tell you that Christmas is just around the corner.  Ivory Spring has a cute free Tied With a Bow pattern that will be perfect for that time of year.

Until next time,

Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
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.