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Reverse Tweezers

One of my favorite “unsung hero tools” are the reverse tweezers. What are they you ask??? Well, regular tweezers you squeeze to close them. Reverse tweezers you squeeze to open them so they are closed when resting. So when does this come in handy? Just about anytime you need an extra hand or finger. Today […]

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Quilt Block Mania – June 2023

The theme for this months blocks is “Places”. What better place than our blue pearl floating along in the universe? I immediately thought of a family of aliens coming to visit Earth. The kids were whining “Are we there yet?” to which Mom excitedly responds “Only 2.5 million miles to go…almost there!” Ha! Pattern includes […]

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Quilt Block Mania – April 2023

I’m excited to be participating in Quilt Block Mania. The theme this month is “Neighborhood”. When I first saw this I thought of a street sign. I know, I’m just a little odd… It could be the sign for your street or perhaps a dream vacation spot or maybe a memory of a fun time […]

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Spicy Spiral class

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So, how did I spend my Friday? Well, it all started Thursday evening with a phone call from a friend, Starr. She was supposed to teach a class on Friday but was under the weather and wanted to  know if I could cover for her. Of course! A quick run through with Starr on the particulars of the class (number of students, what handouts they already had, etc…), a frantic search for my sample of the table runner so I would have it in class. It was at the bottom of the last bin that holds all my samples…of course. Grab the rulers and patterns because I didn’t know what the shop, Sew Orchid Design in Norway ME, had on hand, set the alarm for O-Dark-Thirty (ugh…) and we’re all set.

I was very pleasantly surprised to find that two of the students have been guests at my retreat so it was like old home week. We were a small but mighty group and almost everyone completed their tops. One of the ladies had to leave early and I failed to take her photo with what she had done. My apologies Georgia.

Here is what Edna completed…

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Here is what Karla completed…

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Here is what Heidi completed…

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Great job ladies and I look forward to teaching you again in the future…hopefully not because of illness though. Get better Starr!

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Block Stock is almost here!!

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Have ya heard about Block Stock yet? It’s gonna be all the rage pretty soon…

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The premise is simple. Make a purchase at any participating retailer and get free instructions for a 12″ finished quilt block. You also get entered for a chance at their prize valued at least $75.00. Each retailer chooses their own block according to the current theme. This year the theme is “Let me introduce you…” We were supposed to create a 12″ finished block introducing ourselves to the quilting world. Here’s my block…

yankee moose

I started with the Yankee Puzzle block and gave it a Purple Moose twist using the colors of our logo. Since we are smack dab in the center of New England, I’m calling it Yankee Moose. Since all the retailers are making 12″ blocks you can mix and match them for sampler quilts or use just one repeated for a quilt.

 

For our prize I put together a very useful tool caddy filled with gadgets & gizmos or $75.00 off one of our retreats in 2016 or 2017, winner’s choice!

blockstock prize

Who: Block Stock is open to quilt shops (online and brick & mortar), designers and other quilting professionals…make a purchase from any/all of us for free blocks. Register with any/all of us for prizes.

When: February 1 to April 30, 2016

Where: All across the U.S. and Canada

Why: Free block instructions with purchase and/or a chance at each participant’s prize valued at least $75.00. No purchase is necessary for a chance at the prizes. You simply download a form from the Block Stock prize page (after 2/1), fill it out and hand it or mail it to any participating retailer and you’re in. You may enter at as many retailers as you like.

What Now?: Go to the Block Stock website to check out all the retailers, the blocks and the prizes. Starting February 1st you can get block instructions and enter the drawings. Then tell all your quilty friends so they can join in on the fun too. Once the campaign gets started then you can send in photos of the blocks and/or quilts you make using the blocks. Nothing wrong with a little eye candy to get your creative juices flowing!

 

Happy Blocking!

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Soo-Nipi Quilter’s Guild

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Over the years I have done my guild presentations in places I never would have thought probable…on a church altar (mind your p’s & q’s!), an auto body repair shop, outside…and yesterday…in a bank. Actually it was the community room run by the bank but I’m just shortening to “the bank” because that sounds way cooler. This just proves that we quilters are a resourceful bunch and will find just about anywhere available to gather ourselves together.

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Thank you so much to the Soo-Nipi Quilters Guild in Newport NH for a warm and welcome morning/afternoon. Your show & tell was such a delight. I’ll come back anytime!

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Sassy Scarf

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Check out our newest item…Sassy Ribbon by Red Heart

Sassy Ribbon

OK, the package says Sassy Fabric but it’s really a ribbon. What can you do with it you ask? Make a scarf!

Sassy Ribbon

It could not be any easier. You can even do it while watching tv! Each skein of ribbon has 30 yards and works up to a scarf about 7′ long. Don’t want one that long? Then you don’t have to use the whole thing. All you need is a crochet hook, size J…or something close (size is not critical) and about an hour of your time.

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The ribbon is about 2.5″ wide and is scalloped on one side and has evenly spaced holes on the other side.

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Slide your hook from back to front through the first hole, back to front through the second hole, then third, fourth and fifth hole – back to front each time. Pick up the sixth hole and draw it through the first five holes on the hook.

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You are now left with a single hole on the hook. Continue on, adding five holes back to front and sliding the sixth hole through until you reach the end or the desired length. When you reach the end use the last few holes to go back and tie off on the portion already hooked together to secure the end. That’s it, you’re all done. The scarf will twist and turn on it’s own as you go. Wasn’t that simple? It comes in a variety of colors and we only have a limited quantity so hurry on in to get yours! Sassy Ribbon

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New Year…New Beginnings!

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Welcome 2016, can’t wait to get to know you!

In Shape

Are you a resolution maker? I am not. I see no point in making a promise that I know perfectly well will be broken by the end of January. For the past several years I have chosen a word to represent what I want to accomplish during the coming year. This year no special word was singing to me. I tried one of those silly facebook quizzes to pick a word for me. Ya know the ones, you answer questions like “what’s your favorite color” or “would you prefer mild, medium or hot salsa” and they can magically determine some important trait you have or help you make an important decision…like a special word for the year. For me they came up with INNOVATION…hmm…well, I am working on two different projects that are a little innovative…but they were started in 2015 so that doesn’t count. Still no special word for 2016. I was about to give up hope. Then my friend Beth Helfter happened. I can always count on Beth to do something out of the ordinary and quirky (which is precisely why I love her!) Beth didn’t choose a word for 2016, she chose a number. A number…why didn’t I think of that? You can read all about Beth’s reasoning for doing so (and be thoroughly entertained in the process) on her blog Quilting Hottie Haven.  Now I just need to decide on a number…oh, and do something nice for Beth for stealing her idea…

 

I have decided that I need to work on my long-term to-do list. While that may sound like a resolution, it really isn’t. We all have that to-do list for everyday stuff (pay the bills, laundry, weed the garden) and some even have a medium range to-do list (plan the summer family reunion, buy a new car) I also have a long-term to-do list. Not that the items on it need to be done in the far future but more like it will take me that long to find/make the time to do them. I guess it’s more of a bucket list kind of thing. So this year I am setting the goal of removing at least one item from the list every quarter of the year. Each one should be stretching myself out of my comfort zone or trying something completely new that I’ve been putting off. So that would be 4 new things in 2016…or 1 each 1/4…or 1 fourth of the year…which number to choose…it’s all so difficult…

 

ok, got it. My number for 2016 is 1:4 which will equal to some FUN by next December…I hope…

 

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Christmas Traditions

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The other night Moosette and I went to see a performance of the Nutcracker. We have done this every Christmas season of her entire life. Well, there was one year that I was really sick and we couldn’t go but we won’t talk about that…

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It all started when she was four months old. All the women in the family went to a Nutcracker performance and had a nice lunch. I sat on the end of the row, ready for a quick exit, because I just knew a four month old could never last through an entire ballet with loud music. I was wrong. Moosette was entranced through the entire performance. My sister-in-law was so impressed that she exclaimed “well, there’s your new tradition” and that was that. Over the years we have seen large production numbers, small town ballet schools (that was this year!), modern dance version and even a comedy. Each year through the teen years I would always hesitantly ask if she wanted to go again and each year she has enthusiastically said yes. WooHoo! Score one for Mommy/daughter time. What holiday traditions does your family have?

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We have a winner!

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We have a winner for our book give-away. We shook the magic number generator and…ta da…Charlotte Dunn, your number came up. I asked everyone to comment with what your favorite color(s) are to work with. It was very entertaining reading if you want to go back and take a peak. The answers were all over the place. Quilt shops do not need to go heavy on any one color way anytime soon! Here is what Charlotte had to say…

“I love adding mustard to all quilts. I made the cutest green moose quilt. I kept working and working and it was so not coming together. So, low and. Behold I added mustard!!! WOW, IT WAS WHAT IT NEEDED. It’s one of my favorites now. I’d be honored to win your book. The purple moose is the emails I always look for. Everything needs a moose attached. Merry Merry Christmas. Thank you for a great year.”

And just to be clear…this was a totally random above board choice of the winner. The fact that Charlotte sucked up to me only strokes my ego…nothing to do with her winning! Congratulations Charlotte, can’t wait to see what you do with Sandi’s designs.

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The Office Party

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At this time of year I hear friends speak of their holiday office parties and I get envious. It’s hard to have an epic office party when you’re a one man band…sniff…don’t ya feel sorry for me? At least I know I’m not alone, most quilt professionals are one man bands or a trio or quartet at most. My friend Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs was kind enough to open her home to several of us the other day and we became a full orchestra of holiday festivities.

Beth set out a perfect table complete with the good service and crystal glasses. We had an array of appetizers, yummy salad and (of course)…

lots of desserts! Here’s the whole happy bunch…

Going around the table clockwise: Sue Pelland, Judy Damon, Kris Poor, Kathie Beltz, Renae Mathe, Michelle Banton, Beth Helfter, Jen Watchhorn, Cary Flanagan, Angie Callbeck and myself. Not really trying to imitate Cheryl Sleboda with my partial head…a selfie stick only helps so much for those of us with short arms.

Thank you Beth for allowing us to invade your home. Can’t wait until the next office party!

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Blog Challenge update

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31 day blog challenge (1)

I’ve done pretty good with the 31 day blog challenge. I’ve only missed one day due to the website being poofed from existence and one day due to me being me. We’re just about 1/2 way done and I’m pretty happy with those numbers. I thought I would check around the other bloggers taking the challenge and see how their doing. There were some pretty awesome blogs in the group.

 

I thought you might like to check some of them out too. Simply go to Cheryl Sleboda’s blog (our instigator/blog mentor) and scroll to the bottom. You’ll see all the different folks doing the challenge. Check ’em out. Fun little afternoon/late evening time passer!

Enjoy.

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Book Review & Giveaway

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One of the perks of knowing so many talented quilt artists is that they will occasionally ask me to review their book. It’s always a treat – and sometimes I get to see the book before the rest of the world! I feel so special. (Send in my hand maidens with fans, I’m feeling flushed.) Today that honor comes from my friend Sandi Blackwell.

 

Sandi has made a name for herself by coming up with a technique to create quilts with on-point blocks without all that messy math to figure out the setting triangles. She calls this technique Square-agonals. This is her fourth (yes, 4th!) book using this technique. There is a little blurb in the book that explains the precise math involved to make this technique work but I skipped it. It’s not for the faint of heart to read and is ABSOLUTELY not required to know in order to make these designs. That’s the beauty of Sandi’s methods. I luv people like her!

Basically, you sew some squares and pieced blocks together, do a little slice and dice, give ’em a spin and sew the pieces back together. Then…viola…you have blocks on point. It’s magic. Depending on exactly where you put your initial blocks creates different finished projects. Sandi expertly explains (in both wording and pictures) where to place those blocks, how to make those slices and what the final outcome will be. This book has 6 different projects and each has 3 different design options. That’s 18 different possibilities in one book. There are 2 runners and 4 quilts (lap to queen size). I’m torn between the Babbaloo Quilt which has a modern flair and is in one of my favorite color combos teal/lime green or the Lightning Quilt which is pictured on the cover…or maybe I’ll start with the Legacy For Patti Runner which would be stunning in fall colors, oh but there’s one with stars too…sigh…guess I have to make them all…

You can check out Sandi’s website Stitched Buy to get more info. She also has a couple of free patterns there so you can try the technique and see how easy it is.  How cool is that, you can try before you buy! You can also check out Sandi’s Craftsy classes, hear her podcast with Pat Sloan and more.

Sandi will also be a guest teacher at our April 2017 retreat. We don’t have details yet (it’s over a year away!) but we are taking pre-registration names if you want to be the first to know. Just drop us an email and let us know you want on the list. Retreat Info

You can also get the book for FREE right here. Yup, I’m giving one away! Simply leave a comment here on the blog telling me what your favorite color combo is for quilting. I will randomly pick one on Thursday December 17th at midnight. OK, ok…so I probably won’t pick it at midnight…more like first thing Friday morning but you know what I mean!

Ready, set….comment!

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