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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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Blast Off – Beth Helfter, EvaPaige Quilt Designs

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Today’s guest blog hopper is Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs. I have known Beth for many years and I could tell you all of her deep, dark secrets but we’ll save that for another post! Beth is a fabulous quilt designer and blogger extraordinaire. She is a frequent contributor to the Quiltmaker’s 100 blocks, has been featured in numerous publications and was a 2014 Quiltmaker Scrap Squad member. Her blog, Quilting Hottie Haven, is a must stop for any quilter who likes to laugh and learn a thing or two along the way. Underneath all that fabric, aren’t we all Quilting Hotties? Yes, we are! Here is one of Beth’s newest patterns Vinnie Loves Maude which is her scrappy mash-up of vintage and modern design.

Vinnie Loves Maude

Beth’s patterns are always well thought out, have great illustrations and clear instructions. There is still only so much information we can pack into a pattern though. Being the generous person she is, Beth is currently running a quilt-along for the above pattern so she can share all the extra tips and tricks that couldn’t fit into the pattern. The results of the participants will be no less than stunning! And we can’t forget to mention her group exchange every fall that raises money for her pet charity, Ovarian Cancer. I’ve participated several times and have met some awesome quilters. If you’re not too exhausted from all that Beth accomplishes you should know she also has two teenage daughters and one preteen daughter as well as Mr. Hottie to keep her on her toes. Sigh…I need a nap…

Here’s a little throw-back Thursday (on Tuesday…) for you. We (and the rest of our New England Quilt Designers Cooperative members) were featured in the April/May 2011 issue of The Quilter Magazine. I’m seated on the left and Beth is on the right. Clearly I was having a bad hair day (which is most days…) and “gasp!!!” am I wearing a skirt? I didn’t know I owned a skirt!

NEQDC 2011

Beth’s quilting motto is “Perfection is overrated” and she will be happy to come and visit your guild and tell you how to achieve “perfection light” in your quilting life too. No really, please call and schedule her today…she needs a break from those teens/preteens! You can visit Beth’s blog to see what she has going on and leave a comment for a chance at her giveaway today. You can also find her at these social media locations:

 

Facebook Community – www.facebook.com/EvaPaigeQuiltDesigns
Instagram – @evapaigequilts
Website – www.evapaigequilts.com

Grand Prize Comment:  Before you head over to Beth’s leave a comment here to be entered for a chance at the grand prize by answering this question…

In Beth’s lectures and workshops she aims to lessen your perfectionist nature and keep you as far away from your seam ripper as possible. So…spill it…are you a perfectionist or do you go with the flow?

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Blast Off – Elaine Perez, Summercrafter

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Today’s guest blog hopper is Elaine Perez of Summercrafter. Elaine is a former teacher and school librarian. She would spend her summers off doing all sorts of crafts (hence the name of her business!) Elaine hails from the sunny state of Florida which is evident in her patterns. She uses lots of beachy colors and there is often an ocean theme. I just love this seahorse one. I was lucky enough to have this actual quilt in my possession for a time last summer and it’s even nicer looking in person!

Watercolor Sea Horses-OUT OF STOCK

Elaine’s motto is “Craft. Quilt. Unwind. Because making something pretty is like a mini vacation.” You can’t argue with that logic! You can visit Elaine’s blog to see what she has going on and leave a comment for a chance at her giveaway today. You can also find her at these social media locations:

https://www.facebook.com/Elaine.Summercrafter/

https://www.instagram.com/elaine.summercrafter

https://twitter.com/summercrafter (Never ever on there only send from Instagram)

https://www.pinterest.com/summercrafter/

Grand Prize Comment:  Before you head over to Elaine’s leave a comment here to be entered for a chance at the grand prize by answering this question…

I am a die-hard country girl. I really enjoy visiting a large city but I’m always happiest here in my little corner of the woods. Elaine does her thing in the vibrant and cultured city of Miami. What about you? Are you a country or city person?

 

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Blast Off – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis

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Today’s guest blog hopper is Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis. Tammy is a southern gal with the charm and spunk that goes with that…and the cute accent. I always feel self conscious when I talk with Tammy in person. When I was a small child we lived in Alabama and I had a very heavy southern accent. It’s all gone now until I’m with someone who has one and then it starts to sneak back in. I always think southerners must wonder if I’m making fun of them. It’s just my past coming back to haunt me! Anyhoo…Tammy is an ambassador for Island Batiks, Craftsy instructor and a quilt designer extraordinaire. Here is one of her patterns that is my favorite!

Winter Woods

As you can see, Tammy tends to be bold and modern but this quilt doesn’t show her colorful side. She’s big on color. Tammy has a regular 9-5 job but that doesn’t stop her from designing, teaching and finding new ways to get her colorful message out to quilters everywhere. You can visit Tammy’s blog to see what she has going on and leave a comment for a shot at her giveaway today. You can also find her at these social media locations:

website – http://www.tamarinis.com/

Facebook – www.facebook.com/tamarinis

IG- tamarinis

Pinterest- tamarinis

Twitter- @tamarinis

Grand Prize Comment:  Before you head over to Tammy’s leave a comment here to be entered for a chance at the grand prize by answering this question…

I am very jealous of Tammy’s hair…not that I’ve ever dreamed of knocking her down, cutting it all off and making a wig for myself kind of jealous…ahem…no really, I haven’t…but hers is long, thick and a beautiful blond…everything mine is not or ever will be. What do you love/hate about your hair?

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Blast Off – Susan Emory, Swirly Girls Design

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Today’s guest blog hopper is Susan Emory of Swirly Girls Design. Susan is a licensed designer for Michael Miller Fabrics as well as a quilt designer, quilter, artist, teacher and all-around crafter. She is often teaching on cruises and galavanting around the globe. Her newest fabric line is called Summer Lovin’ and was just introduced to quilt shops at the recent Spring Quilt Market (where all the shops go shopping!) so you should see it in a shop near you sometime this summer. I was lucky enough to score some fat quarters so I can pet it all I want until it hits the shops and I can get more…

Summer Lovin

Big, bright and so much fun! Susan also has an Aurifil thread collection that would be perfect with this fabric line. Head on over to Susan’s blog to see what she’s up to and leave a comment for her prize. You can also reach her at these other social media sites:

www.swirlygirlsdesign.com

www.facebook.com/swirlygirls

www.pinterest.com/eatsleepquilt

IG: swirlygirlsdesign

Ello: @SusanEmory

Twitter: @Swirly_World

Periscope: @SusanEmory

Grand Prize Comment:  Before you head over to Susan’s leave a comment here to be entered for a chance at the grand prize by answering this question…

It is 2016. We have put a man on the moon. Why can’t they ….. (fill in the blank)

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10…9…8…7…

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It’s almost time for Blast Off!

Moose Droppings

Tomorrow begins the blog hop to send our new game for quilters into the stratosphere. If you’ve never done a blog hop here’s how it goes… Every day visit my blog to see who the guest blogger is for the day then head over to their blog to see what they’re up to. Don’t forget to leave a comment on my blog before you leave! Each guest will ask you to leave a comment on their blog too. They will be giving away a FREE game each day to one lucky commenter. That’s one winner every day! At the end of the Blast Off I will choose a winner from the weeks comments on my blog for a grand prize. Here’s what the grand prize winner will get…

blast off prize

Everything you need to have a great game night. Our new game, Quilter’s Block Party, a regular deck of cards in case you want to switch it up, a rustic cheese tray (perfect for members of my Moose Herd!), popcorn service, “fancy” plastic glasses with krazy straws, napkins (purple, of course), some mini trophies for your winners and a cute purple tote to hold it all together.

Quilters Block Party - Purple Set

We wanted to officially launch our game in a fun way and I’m so thankful that some of my quilty friends want to join in the fun. Please see our previous post to learn all about our game.

OK, I can’t stand it…here’s the schedule of who you’ll get to visit…

Friday 6/3 Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs – Overview
Saturday 6/4 Susan Emory Swirly Girls Design
Sunday 6/5 Tammy Silver, Tamarinis
Monday 6/6 Elaine Perez, Summercrafter
Tuesday 6/7 Beth Helfter, EvaPaige Quilt Designs
Wednesday 6/8 Sandi Blackwell, Stitched Buy
Thursday 6/9 Sue & Elizabeth, PG Fiber2Art
Friday 6/10 Penni Domikis, Cabin In The Woods
Saturday 6/11 Joanne Hillestad, Fat Quarter Gypsy
Sunday 6/12 Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs – Wrap-up, grand prize winner selected

 

You’ll get to meet some amazing quilters and see what they’re up to. I know two of them are currently doing a quilt-along and the rest have fun things to share too.  I have the best friends EVER! So…come on back each day for your shot at prizes and a visit with someone really awesome. It’s so much fun to hang out with the cool quilters!

 

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Spring Quilt Market

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I have just returned from Salt Lake City Utah where this year’s spring market was held. For those of you who don’t know…market is where quilt shops go to purchase the fabrics, notions and patterns that we sell to you. It is only open to people in the trade, not the general public. All the large fabric companies are showing off their new lines, pattern designers are displaying their newest creations and there are demos galore for us to learn how to use the latest gadget so we can, in turn, teach you. There is also a full day of classes before the show floor opens. The classes are everything from how to handle social media, how to make kits, the wonders of new patterns and gadgets…everything to run a quilt shop. The classes are 15 or 30 minutes in length, go from 10am to 6pm and there are at least 20 classes held in each time slot. You get the class schedule about 9:30am so it’s a daunting task to figure out which classes you want to attend!

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The show floor is open for three days and most shops take 2-3 days to see everything. I did it in one day. Needless to say I probably missed a lot but that’s ok. I still managed to find some great items, some of which I brought home but most of which will be shipped out and arriving soon. here are some highlights:

The two hour tulip purse by Anything But Boring. Pattern includes instruction for 4 sizes. I was able to bring this one home. You can see it here, Two Hour Tulip Purse. I think I’ve already pulled enough fabric to make 6 of these. Fast and quick – gotta love it!

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Isn’t this a cute loon family? It’s a pre-cut, pre-fused little number from Laura’s Sage Country Quilts. We’ll have both the applique as well as kits. Can’t wait until they get here.

These needle cases from Puffin Company come in two sizes and have various decorations on them. They should be here in about a week or two. So cute! The artist also makes needle threaders and needles minders. I ordered several and they will be here soon.

I ordered two new patterns from Happy Hollow Designs and they will be here soon. Topsy Turvy Moose and a cute Halloween runner/wall hanging.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN RUNNER

Of course with all this quilty stuff around and long days of working hard…there’s bound to be trouble with your friends…

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Ebony Love has found a new use for the new Fat Quarter Gypsy Pop-up basket!

My hotel was across from this beautiful architecture. The light rail stops had these cute birds on top. Not sure if they deterred real birds or attracted them…

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Salt Lake City welcomed the quilters with open arms. Many businesses in the area had signs inviting us in. Color was everywhere, even restaurants!

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So now it’s back to the business at hand all while dreaming about fall Quilt Market in Houston…should I go? hmm…

 

 

 

 

 

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Quilter’s Block Party

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I am very excited to finally announce the release of my game for people of the quilting persuasion, Quilter’s Block Party. Many years ago when I first joined my local guild I was roped into asked to be in charge of programs. Oh, and did we mention that there is NO budget, two meetings a month and nothing on the schedule for upcoming meetings? OK, great…see you in two weeks! I hastily put together a game to play at the next meeting and everyone enjoyed playing. Over the years we played several times and perfected the rules. A few months ago the current programs person said she couldn’t find the deck of cards (hand written index cards, very fancy!) and could I make another one…well, of course I could. Then it dawned on me… maybe there were other quilters out there who needed a fun game to play. I did a little research and found there was nothing like it on the market, looked into how to get a deck of custom cards printed, learned all about trademarks and started the long process, had the first prototypes made, hired a graphic artist (best money ever spent!), tweaked everything and we were off and running. A quilter’s game was officially born.

Quilters Block Party - Purple Set

So, what’s the game all about? The deck consists of 54 cards each with a quilt block name and a drawing of the actual block. The folks are divided up into two teams. One person from the first team chooses a card and draws pictures to try and get their teammates to guess the quilt block name. They are not allowed to use letters, numbers or draw the actual block. For instance, if you chose Log Cabin you cannot draw a log cabin block but you can draw a house made of logs. If your team guesses in one minute you earn a point. If not, the opposing team gets a shot at stealing your point. Then it’s their turn. You continue on until the desired point level is reached or you run out of time. Drawing skills are not required. I have found that the stick figure drawing crowd actually does better. An extensive knowledge of quilt block names is also not required although it can be helpful to have that person on your team. Simple rules, easy to understand and lots of fun.

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So what does the future of the game look like? There is already a second deck in the works that will have all different blocks on the cards. Each deck can be used independently of each other or combined for larger groups. We also have a book in the works. While someone could look at the block drawings on the card and draft out a pattern to make a quilt there are lots of folks who don’t like to do that, don’t know how or have no interest in that part of the process. We will make it easy and do the work for you. I’ve never written a quilting book before and I’m not sure how long that process will take but we’ll keep ya posted on the progress!

 

I am happy to say that the initial marketing tests have been extremely positive. Just today I had my first wholesale re-order. The shop sold out in one week and doubled their re-order. Big time happy dance here in Moose Country!!!

 

We will be having an official launch party in early June. We’ll have a blog-hop with some of my quilty cohorts complete with prizes and lots of fun. If you can’t wait until then you can always order a deck of your very own. They are on our website and we have cases of decks waiting to ship out. You can find them here.

 

So, check back and we’ll let you know all about the blog hop as we get closer. In the mean time…I have a book to write…and take better pictures…finish the next deck…and…sigh…so much to do…and happy dance!

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I Made A Little Lovely!

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I am so excited to be a guest designer this month for Susan Emory of  Swirly Girl Design. Each month Susan asks someone to create a block for her Little Lovely project. This month it’s me (squeal!) and here’s my block…

Little Lovely Louise

I named it Louise after my grandmother. It’s not all that difficult to construct, it’s just half square triangles. If you are afraid of them, not to worry. I walk you through the easy method of sew-big-and-trim-to-size.  I find this method is easiest for me because the units will all come out the perfect size.  No stretching of the bias edges or cutting odd 7/8″measurements.

 

After creating the block I discovered a cool secondary design. I am currently writing this from a hotel room with sketchy wifi and without my big computer, I really wish I could show you that here today…sigh…its first on my to-do list when I get home on Sunday. It’s a sad state of affairs when I can’t do what I want in the hotel…or should have done before I left home…

UPDATE:

I’m back home and can now properly finish this post!!!

When I put several of the blocks together I saw some secondary designs. Here is what several blocks look like together:

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Can you see the extra pinwheels? Here they are in orange:


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There are some diamonds in there too. Here they are in yellow:

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And if I change the half pinwheels on the edge to orange too…

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We have now eliminated all the background color and added some yellow and orange. Isn’t it cool how some color changes make it a completely different quilt? Here is the block with all the background eliminated:

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Head on over to Susan’s website so you can get the full instructions for the block. I will also be offering up a gift to a lucky quilter so when you’re over at Susan’s leave a comment and get your name in the running for the prize of a 6.5″ ruler, a seam guide and a couple of fun pins. You can also check out the other Little Lovelies too, there’s some great patterns!

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Thank you for letting me guest design for you Susan. If I ever get the chance to collaborate with you again I promise to follow the rules and not be so lame…

 

 

 

 

 

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Drop And Give Me Twenty

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For several years now my friend Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs has run a little program during the month of February called Drop And Give Me Twenty. You pledge to quilt for a mere 20 minutes per day during February in an effort to reduce your UFO pile. Each participant posts pictures of their accomplishments, winners are chosen and prizes are given. This year I sponsored the Best Use Of Purple category. This morning I had the pleasure (or agony…) of choosing said winner. Alas, I couldn’t do it. I enlisted the help of Moosette and we narrowed it down to two. Neither of us could choose between them…what’s a poor judge to do….wait a minute…I’m the Head Moose. Who’s going to say I can’t let them both be winners? Ha! The royal decree has been declared! Here they are in no particular order…

The lovely was made by Carleen Daly

This beauty was made by Tina Van Roggen

 

Each of these ladies will receive a $20.00 Purple Moose gift certificate. Thanks to all the participants this past month. While I did not participate myself this year I enjoyed watching all that you guys accomplished…and felt totally inadequate while doing it. I highly recommend this program (and have for several years now…) to everyone. It’s really amazing what you can accomplish in a mere 20 minutes per day. If you want to join in the hoopla next year look for Drop And Give Me Twenty on Facebook. Beth will welcome you in the club!

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A Quilter’s Dream Come True…

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Last month in my newsletter I mentioned the upcoming Fabric Extravaganza event. I received several inquiries…apparently I didn’t explain it well enough so here goes…

 

For those of you who have been in New England for awhile – remember Filene’s Basement in Boston? It’s kinda like that except it’s for quilters.

 

 

and so it begins...
and so it begins…

For everyone else – imagine 8 quilting vendors in a ballroom at the Holiday Inn in Nashua NH. There are no fancy displays, no stylized pretty quilts being showcased, we get to wear jeans (ok, so I’m probably more excited about that one…), nothing is full price and everything is ready to go home with you.  It costs NOTHING to get in so you are free to come check it out and leave anytime you want. You can even come every day if you want to and not buy a thing…go ahead, I dare ya!

 

Now, let’s answer some of the specific questions I received…

**Why do we do this? Well, it’s winter…there are few quilt shows to vend at and we like to eat and heat our homes. It also gives us an opportunity to clear out items to make way for all the new stuff coming in the spring. We also like to make sure the cardboard recycler keeps his/her job.

dead bolts...
dead bolts…

**Is everything “broken”? Absolutely not! The fabrics are everything that we currently carry. For me that means all the good quality batiks and landscape fabrics will be there. There will be a few notion items that have a scratch-and-dent issue from being carted around but nothing that makes it “broken”. I have a few items that I have too many of and will be offering those at a discount. Or it may be an item that I will no longer be carrying, for whatever reason, and need it to move along.

**Is it just fabric? Not at all. I will have notions, thread, patterns, retired samples and whatever else turns up while I’m packing up. So do the other vendors.

**Is everything gone the first day? Not even close. Yes, there is more selection at the beginning but there is still lots to choose from at the end too. We often can’t fit everything in at the beginning and will add things as space frees up. Some vendors will also give a deeper discount towards the end so we don’t have to haul it back home.

the crowd

**Is it crowded? At times, yes, but not always. Besides…while you’re waiting in line to get your fabric cut there will be plenty of quilters to meet, get help from on choosing fabric or how much to buy, trade quilting secrets… Everyone is very friendly. I have never seen a fist fight break out over a bolt…yet…

 

Well, I think that about covers it… Grab your shopping totes, make a list of all those quilt backs you need and bring a friend. The hotel has a cafe where you can get a yummy lunch too! You can make a day of it. Hope to see ya there.

Fabric Extravaganza

Holiday Inn, 9 Northeastern Blvd. Nashua NH – right off Hwy 3, exit 4. Easy off, easy on.

Hours 2/11-12/16 10am to 6pm, 2/13/16 10-3

Purple Moose Designs, Vintage & Vogue, Fabritique, Maplewood Quilts, The Christmas Shoppe, Bits n Pieces, The Quilted Acorn and Nashua Sew & Vac.

 

 

 

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