Posts Tagged ‘Swirly Girls Design’

Fiesta de Azucar – Block 1, The Painted Lady

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

Well, it’s finally here…the start of Fiesta de Azucar. Are you guys ready? Woo Hoo, let’s get this party started!

Dia De Los Muertos is a South American tradition to honor our loved ones who have passed on. As a kid I lived in Mexico for a while and I remember the holiday fondly. We would go to the cemetery for a picnic and tell stories of those that had passed. There would be games to play, brightly colored decorations and lots of sweets. I remember these little cookies with skulls painted on them that were very tasty. The holiday usually falls about the same time as the American Halloween festivities. I think this is why Dia De Los Muertos is so misunderstood in America…skulls around Halloween just seems somewhat sinister to folks who don’t understand. It is anything but sinister. It’s a family affair and couldn’t be more wholesome. Families would decorate skulls in honor of their relatives. The skulls have symbolism that is relevant to that person and they would often have the person’s initials on the forehead.

My skull for this project is to honor my mother-in-law, Marge Sontra, I called her Mom. She was a painter who specialized in line art on porcelain. She would work with brushes that had just a couple of hairs. Way more patience than I have! Here are a few pieces she did that live in my house.

    

She was also an avid (as in DOZENS and DOZENS and DOZENS) collector of tea cups. Tea cups are not really my thing so I don’t have any of hers around. She preferred dainty cups festooned with flowers and greenery. Her favorite colors were lavender, robins egg blue and pink. Being of good English stock she liked her meat cooked to shoe leather and her veggies cooked to a nice uniform gray. She made the best potato salad EVER!

Mom died of breast cancer in 1999.  The doctors said she wouldn’t make it to the birth of my baby but she managed to hang on almost to Moosette’s 1st birthday. In turn Moosette did everything early – walking, talking, potty training…just so Grandma Marge could see her do it. Those two were a treasure to each other. I remember once when we popped in for a visit. Mom was getting ready to go somewhere and had put on a wig for the occasion. Moosette wanted nothing to do with her. Once Mom took the wig off then Moosette was ever so grateful for the rescue from that “stranger” who had tried to hug and kiss her. Her Grandma was bald and that woman was not – therefore she must be an impostor. One can never be too careful around strangers! The picture at the top is this moment. Moosette looks like she’s really nervous. She started bawling right after the photo.

It seemed fitting that Moosette and I would design our skull together. Our Marge skull has palette eyes, paintbrush eyebrows, pretty flowers (the Aster on the forehead was Mom’s birth month flower) and, of course, little tea cups on the chin. There is a heart for love as well as swirls and flowers that were often on her tea cups. And I’m sure you noticed that she’s bald…we wouldn’t have it any other way!

You can find full instructions and templates on my Craftsy page. All this awesomeness for a mere $3…can you even buy coffee for that anymore? Check out the next stops in the blog hop for more blocks. We’ll also have two different border options at the end. Make any project with at least one of our skull blocks, post a photo on our FaceBook group page and you get a shot at some great prizes. It’s really just that simple…

Timeline:

Beginning on July 1st through August 26th 2017 each designer will release their skull design. On September 2nd and September 9th there will be two border designs released. Here’s the schedule along with the participants and their blogs.

July 1st – Block 1 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs

July 8th – Block 2 – Joanne Hillestad, Fat Quarter Gypsy

July 15th – Block 3 – Vicki Hansen, Cranberry Pie Designs

July 22nd – Block 4 – Cheryl Sleboda, Muppin

July 29th – Block 5 – Penni Domikis, Cabin In The Woods Quilters

August 5th – Block 6 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis

August 12th – Block 7 – Kate Colleran, Seams Like A Dream Quilt Designs

August 19th – Block 8 – Susan Emory, Swirly Girls Design

August 26th – Block 9 – Trish Frankland, Persimon Dreams

September 2nd – Border Option #1 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis

September 9th – Border Option #2 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs

October 30th – Prize winner announcements

 

Spring Quilt Market 2017 – Part 2

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Here’s the second installment of my trip to Spring Quilt Market in St. Louis. The actual Market is three days. Shop owners get to peruse the booths of fabric companies, notions vendors, pattern designers and a few vendors who sell other items that may interest them. Since I was pretty much by myself in my booth I had a short leash and couldn’t roam around while the show floor was open.

I did see a lot of butterflies in several booths. You’ll be seeing those in your local shops soon no doubt!

The larger companies really go all out with decorations for their booths. Aren’t those cute spool stools?

I loved this chair! In the close up of the seat you can see it’s rolled up wool.

This was my neighbor Amy Walsh of Blue Underground Studios (best neighbor EVER!) and Jackie Kunkel of Canton Village Quiltworks booth. I ran into Jackie every 20 minutes just about every day!

Had a little fun in the Swirly Girls booth with some of Susan Emory’s new fabric line, Hello! Can’t wait to get my hands on some of that!

Market also has a small display of spectacular quilts. This was one of my favorites, Old Denim Square by Noriko Nozawa of Chiba City Japan. I’m sure it weighed a ton!

Another favorite quilt was After The Storm by Ruth Powers. I loved the touch of metallic thread for the lightning!

I sampled some great food too. Tried the Gooey Butter Cake which is a St. Louis specialty. Super sugary, perfect for that afternoon pick-me-up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did get to do some roaming around the city a little in the evenings. I saw some great architecture. Some of the details would make neat quilting ideas.

I saw cool plants and more quilting ideas.

I had great dinner companions, saw the arch at night and more quilting ideas (do you see the boo-boo in the floor tile?)

And yes, even got to see the arch during the day. It was under construction and this is as close as we could get… Also saw horses!

I saw these all around the city…not sure what they recycle cigarette butts into…

Loved this photo in my hotel. The close-up shows it’s a book!

My flight home got delayed so I had a chance to roam around the airport. Found a bathroom for service dogs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a final look at the arch before heading home…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh yeah…I sold some stuff too…

Retreats are…

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Have you ever been on a retreat? Ever wonder what really goes on at one? I have run retreats and/or been entertainment at them for years now but had only been a complete guest once before (no business obligations at all)…and it was a very long time ago. I recently had the pleasure of being a complete guest and it was such a wonderful time. Can’t wait to do it all again!

 

Retreats come in all shapes and sizes. They can have guest teachers or just do-your-own-thing, guests can know each other previously or not, there can be lots of people or just a few, catered food or cook your own…you get the idea. There is bound to be a retreat out there that fits the bill for what you want. If not, make up your own rules and host one! Our retreat was held at Sew-clusion Retreats in Sebago Maine with our Hostess Patty Sawyer. If you need a place to have a retreat I highly recommend Patty’s place. It’s right on a lake, beautiful scenery, shopping nearby (quilty and otherwise), our rooms were well appointed (I had the purple room!) and everything was comfy cozy. The photos above are the views in the summertime and winter. Below is a view looking back from the beach during the summertime.

Why so few pictures from my visit? Well, ya know…ya get to relaxing and forget to take pictures… My fellow retreaters were equally relaxed. They snapped a couple of photos on their way there and then that was that. Here they are picking up some quilting wine at the store.

 

That would be, from left to right, Kris Poor of Poorhouse Quilt Designs, Penni Domikis of Cabin In The Woods Quilters, Susan Emory of Swirly Girls Design and Joanne Hillestad of The Fat Quarter Gypsy. Our hostess Patty is from Maine (obviously), Kris and I are both from New Hampshire and the other three flew in from their corners of the country. Kris had chauffeur duty to and from the airport. Ask a group of quilters to pack a car while leaving room for 4 people and they will get it done!

Our retreat was a cook-your-own-meals arrangement and we had all worked out ahead of time what we were going to fix, making sure our fly-ins didn’t have to fill their suitcases with food. So how much food does it take to feed 6 ladies for a long weekend? Apparently a lot!

 And this didn’t include what I brought. We did have a well stocked bar too…not that any of us drank any of it… no really, quilters don’t drink! That’s the rumor at least…I never listen to rumors…

  

So what did we all work on? Well, I can’t give you specifics or show you pictures (whew…’cause I didn’t take any!) but we all worked on new patterns coming out later this year, did some marketing strategy, shared insights and generally had a great time. We stayed up late, got up early, ate meals at odd times…there’s something to be said for spending time with people who understand the ins and outs of your particular business. More so since we all tend to work alone the majority of the time. A sounding board is a wonderful thing.

It wasn’t all business though. I did have the pleasure of escorting Penni out onto the ice. She had never been on a frozen lake before. Penni walked on water! We got a ways out and the lake made a gurgle…then there were lots of gurgles…did I mention we were standing near a fishing hole cut into the ice? That was followed by words not fit for print and some name calling directed towards lil ‘ol me. She still loves me though…I think…

 

I think everyone should have the retreat experience. Look around for one that looks good to you. You can start right here and check out the retreats I offer! Not to brag but I hear that I put on a pretty fun time at my retreats…

 

Blast Off – Last Chance…

Sunday, June 12th, 2016

Today is the last chance to get some free stuff. Check back on my previous posts and add a comment to any that you missed. Check out my fellow blog hoppers and leave comments on their posts too. Not all of them have chosen their winners yet! I’ll be choosing the grand prize winner sometime this evening. Why the vague timeframe? We have a new graduate in the house and it’s party time today!

Graduation was yesterday followed by an all night Grad Night. They all went to Massachusetts to a water park, then a roller rink/bowling alley and finally Dunkin Donuts for breakfast and returned in a zombie state to school at 6:30 this morning. Just enough time for a power nap before the afternoon parties start! So, sometime this evening when I get home I’ll be picking a winner.

 

Here is a list with links to the blog hoppers…

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

Blast Off – Susan Emory, Swirly Girls Design

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

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)

10…9…8…7…

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

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!

 

I Made A Little Lovely!

Thursday, March 31st, 2016


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:

louise-2

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


louise-3

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

louise-4

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

louise-1

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:

louise-6

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!

image

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…