Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Meeting Kim at Cindy Needham’s Retreat!

Getting to go to Cindy’s retreats are a balm to my soul; a time to get together with other like minded sewing maniacs with Cindy’s advice along the way, seeing what other people are working on and getting some progress made on my own quilts.  This time I brought somebody else’s to work on, but more on that later.  I think the recipient may be on Facebook now and then and I don’t want to spoil the surprise.  I brought one quilting project and two piecing projects.  I got to a stopping point on everything and left a little earlier than planned – I broke my own retreat rule, which is ALWAYS BRING ONE MORE PROJECT THAN YOU THINK YOU WILL HAVE TIME FOR! 

For piecing projects, I’ll bring cutting to be done and sewing up to block placement.  I can never make up my mind fast enough to be able to put things up on a design wall and get them all sewn together by the end of the retreat, so spend my piecing time making what I call components.  Then when I get home I can lay them out, mess around with them until I get them where I want them (black and white filter on my phone camera is priceless for this step!) and then sew it together.

The retreats generally have a mix of people that I’ve met before and new ones, most of them intermediate or advanced level quilters, but this time I was charmed by Kim Cameron-Smith.  Kim is a first time quilter who purchased a Start Quilting book by Alex Anderson, talked to her quilter mom about going to the retreat and jumped in head first! 

I took a picture of Kim, Cindy and that very first quilt which, you’ll notice, she even got bound during the retreat!  I sent that picture to Alex who commented back, “This makes my heart super happy!”  I forwarded Alex’s response to Kim and she emailed back to me:

Hello Paula,

Thank you so much for lovely email! Attached is a photo of my 6 year old daughter Lydia with the quilt. She has been carrying it around ever since I gave it to her.

Thank you for forwarding me Alex's reply. I'm still loving her book! I've cut my fabric for my second quilt already. That book and the accompanying DVD are so clear and easy to understand. Definitely got me off to a good start.

I'm planning on another retreat and I've joined my local quilter's guild. I'm officially obsessed. Hope to see you at another of Cindy's retreats!


And here’s a picture of Lydia with the quilt!

I think another quilter is on board – don’t you?  And it’s so cool that she has something new to do with her Mom!

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Road Home Row Along

Thanks so much to Marian @ Seams to be Sew and Amy @ Sew Incredibly Crazy for organizing this hop and for the many many hours spent making it so fabulous!!  Over 40 designers from all over the world really make this a special hop and I'm so happy to be a part of it!

I joined this Blog Hop earlier this year but due to a crazy summer, I was unable to complete the pattern.  At the last minute, I teamed up with Marian @ Seams to be Sew and she was absolutely amazing at coming up with the pattern... I provided the design and she rocked the rest of it!

I live in Palmdale and get the opportunity to drive past the LA Skyline and the Hollywood sign quite often.  They both hold a special place in my heart.

Another (less popular but equally beautiful) view from my home (literally my home... this pic was taken in my back yard)...

 It's so beautiful here and I'm so thankful that I get to call LA home.

And now for the Row!!!  Isn't it amazing!!!  Marian did an incredible job!!

There are wonderful giveaways (including one from me!!) each and every day of this hop so check the schedule below and be sure to visit each blog each day of the hop!

For today's giveaway, and the row, click HERE to pop over to Marian's blog. 

Thanks for stopping by!!

The Road Home Designers:

September 6
Allie-Oops Sweet Happy Life 
Harrisville, MI Sunrise Coast
Cynthia’s Creating Ark
Adelaide South Australia
Kissed Quilts
Grand Coulee, Washington
Renee's Quilting Addiction
Alberta, Canada

September 8
Just Let Me Quilt
Las Vegas, Nevada
Quilt in Piece
Amanzimtoti, South Africa

September 13
Tweety Loves Quilting
Edinburgh, UK
Heber City/ SLC
Seams To Be Sew
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Pine Valley
New Zealand

September 15
bdieges designs
Road to Tehachapi (CA)
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Worcester County in Central Massachusetts
Patti’s Patchwork
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Seacoast Quilter
New Milford, Connecticut

September 20

September 22
Words & Stitches
Beaches of California
Quilt Art
Any Pattern
Port Angeles, Washington
Patchwork Breeze
West Michigan Shoreline

September 27
Creatin’ in the Sticks
Dodge City, Kansas
Sue Griffiths Featured At Just Let Me Quilt
Northern Rivers Region, NSW, Australia
Seams To Be Sew &  Batts In The Attic
I Can Quilt 2
Baltimore, MD

September 29
Quilted Fabric Art
Burlington Vermont
Westend Quilter
Manitoulin Island, Canada
Pamela Quilts
Quilt Fabrication
Silicon Valley, CA

October 04

October 06

October 11
Show & Tell Day!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Presents Quilt. Just in time for... anything!!

I was browsing other people’s blogs this last week and noticed that quite a few of them were doing WIP Wednesdays… I always have a million projects going at the same time, but once in a while pick a partially completed one to work on.  Unfortunately, I also have a really bad predilection to start something new instead!  While looking for the scraps for one quilt to start piecing the backing, I stumbled over a layer cake that I had purchased earlier this year – all of the fabrics are chocolate themed!  I also recalled a video from Missouri Star Quilt Company that called for a layer cake or four charm square packs to make a quilt where each block looked like a wrapped present with a bow on top – how cool that would be with these chocolate fabrics!  Jenny made hers with Christmas fabric and it’s really pretty, too!

Here’s the pic of the fabrics I will most likely use, the layer cake and a treasure chest of pink fabrics that some awesome Alex Anderson retreaters gave me for my birthday a few years ago.  I’ve been taking little bits of this and that out of the chest for a long time and this may be another foray into the goodies inside!  I also have some pink sparkly fabric – of course I do! – and that may work its way in there as well.  The directions call for 4 half yard cuts for the ribbons and bows and 2-1/2 yards sashing, which looks like it is mainly 2-1/2” wide, so perfect for a precut bundle.  I have one called “White Out” from Wilmington Prints that I purchased at Nuttall's Sewing Centers in Riverton, Utah when I was teaching there last May, but – darn it! – there are only 24 strips, so I need a second one.  And then to pick the pinks… where the heck is that pink glittery fabric?  I know it’s here somewhere!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Am I Coming To A City Near You?

A lot of quilt teachers book two or three years out, but I tend to book a season at a time.  The last puzzle piece just fell into my October-December 2016 schedule, so I’m totally full and am now starting to book January-June (and even a little September!!) 2017.  The classes are a good mix of topics, but since I’ve started teaching the Westalee/Sew Steady ruler work, that has really become a big player in my schedule.  I’ve already taught several ruler classes this year and have eight more days to go, mostly my basic class, but a couple of Ruler Play 2 days are in the mix.  These are really fun classes and I think of something new to demonstrate with the rulers every time I teach them.  One class I did in July seemed so inspirational; some of the students were coming up with new designs and I’d come up with one and then run to the machine to stitch it out – basically, doing impromptu demos as well as the planned ones.  One of the ladies said in her evaluation that I “didn’t seem well prepared.  She sure winged it a lot!”.  It was trying all the new things that made the class a hit for everybody else, furthering their knowledge of various uses for the rulers, not just the ones pictured in the leaflet or demonstrated by me.

Here is a pic of my sample for Ruler Play:

And here’s Ruler Play 2 (I really need to get around to binding this….):

Here’s a link to my busy busy schedule – hope I’ll be seeing you somewhere in my travels!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Summer issue of Gen Q!

Always happy to get new issues of Generation Q Magazine! This summer's issue has some great articles -- I especially enjoyed the one that reviewed all the cool subscription boxes available for quilters! I'm a sucker for programs that send me new gadgets fabric every month. What about you? Have you tried one of these services? What did you think?

Another timely and excellent article takes us through the steps of routine maintenance and caring for our most precious (and costly!) tool, our sewing machines.

And of course it wouldn't be GenQ without projects!

I liked this one so much! I remembered the Pie Making Day fat quarter bundle included in my May Quilty Box (yes, I do get one of those subscription boxes and I love it!). This pattern calls for a half yard of each of 9 fabrics, so I hopped on to the Quilty Box website and ordered another bundle. I always have tons of white fabric around here, but if I don't have just the perfect white, I can drive over to Bolts in the Bathtub in neighboring Lancaster CA and bug Dawna into helping me find it!


I have a few copies of this summer's magazine -- leave a comment, like us on Facebook, or join our email list and we'll give some away!  We happen to have a few copies of another issue too... would you like both??

Monday, September 12, 2016

Winners Announced!!

A few weeks ago we did a blog post announcing that we had reached 10,000 students enrolled in Paula's Craftsy Class.  We are so excited to hit such a big number!!

We drew the winners and are so excited to be giving away Paula's Craftsy Class to all three!  Congrats to JANET, SARIE, & ALESSANDRA on winning and we hope you love the class! We'll send you the instructions on how to download your class via Facebook message.  Be sure to send us pics of what you create!!!

We wish we could have picked more winners but for those of you that didn't win, HERE'S A LINK to get Paula's class at 50% off.  :) 

Thanks to everyone for participating in the giveaway!!

Happy crafting!

Friday, September 9, 2016

When It's Super Hot Outside, How Do You Cope?

Living in the high desert of Southern California means that we have beautiful weather seven to eight months of the year and miserably hot weather the rest.  This year was a little different – I’m usually totally over summer by the end of May, but this year we had a real spring!  It stayed cool until around mid-June, so I wasn’t sick of summer until the end of June.  Doesn’t take me long.

We’ve had a couple of 100+ heat waves and now it’s settled back into the low to mid 90s for a couple of weeks, a welcome respite.  But I am ready for cooler weather and ready to think cool thoughts, so what did I decide to do to beat the heat?  Make a Christmas quilt and focus my thoughts on winter!

I ordered the “Christmas Cheer” kit from Craftsy; the pattern and fabric are from Robert Kaufman.  I just ordered it a couple of weeks ago; it was on sale and might be still available.  One comment I have to make about the pattern, though, is that it advises the quilter to sew on the various strips of border fabrics without measuring -- for instance, “Sew a Fabric C strip to either side of the quilt top & trim the excess.”  That’s not the way I roll!  I measure through the center, cut the borders to that exact length and then pin them to the quilt top, easing any fullness in as I go.  This is the method I teach in my Borders & Bindings classes and on my video of the same name and it ensures I get a flat professional looking quilt.  That particular directions problem aside, I liked the pattern and the fabrics and found it really easy to piece.  Started it the day before yesterday and will finish today; I would like to add it to the quilts I take everywhere with me and use it as an example of a medallion style quilt, meaning that when I do the machine quilting I will quilt it from the center out.

Here’s a picture of the pattern in the red/silver colorway that I purchased:

I happily put on border after border – there are 6 borders before you get to the final one – measuring, cutting, pinning and sewing away and everything is fitting perfectly and life is good.  Except – I’m not really crazy about those light colored cornerstones in the corners of the very last borders.  First of all, it’s my least favorite fabric of the group and there wasn’t enough there to fussy cut those cornerstones so that a pretty snowflake would end up there.  Second, I just thought it was too light and attention grabbing out there in that last border.  If it’s going to draw that much notice, it should be prettier.  So I sewed up the final borders for the sides and attached them on the quilt, then found a vacant space of floor and auditioned some other options.

Here’s what the quilt would look like with the cornerstones in the fabric that the kit directions indicated:

Then I grabbed some leftover four patches and striped squares from the pieced border, border 3:

Then I paired the same four patches with a different background fabric:

Next, the fourpatches are rotated – I think they look like little bows! – with those same striped squares:

Lastly, I put the print fabric from the second picture back in and arranged the four patches on top of it.  That’s what I decided to go with; the four patches reduced the brightness of the print and I like that.  Now to go make a few more four patches and cut some squares.  Next decision:  If you look carefully at the corners of that pieced border, you’ll see that they are rotated differently.  Top left and right have the red squares at the top left of the four patch while the bottom corners have the red in the top right position.  So I rotate the four patches to reflect that in the final border?  Or make them all look like bows? 

Hmmmm……I’ll let you know when I complete it and post the pic later!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

16,000 is a Very Big Number!

Congrats to Maddie Kertay and the BadAss Quilters Society on achieving a goal of 16,000 followers – and counting (quickly!!).  Maddie works very hard at her blog and her Facebook page to voice her thoughts about quilting, quilt shop ownership and life in general.  Love her thought provoking posts on the diversity of quiltmakers and how men are often dissed when they walk into a quilt store.  She had a hilarious post a few weeks ago about how some customers behave while fabric/pattern/notions shopping – I know some of you believe this stuff never happens, but it really does!  From a quilt shop owner’s point of view, she has gone into some finer points of how to serve quilters better and attract more business to the store.  Her ability to shoot from the hip and say things exactly as they are can be funny, but is always truthful – this is life at its BadAss Best!

So – are you BadAss?  To go to the Facebook page and see if this is something you would like to follow, click here!

Friday, September 2, 2016

What will you Craftsy?

Craftsy is having another great sale.  In fact this is the second biggest sale of the year.  EVERY SINGLE CLASS is 50% off.  So if there's a class you've had on your wish list... now is the time!  It doesn't get any cheaper than this!

We always promote everything quilting because that's what we love most but there are so many more fun classes out there so today is all about everything BUT quilting!

These are just a few examples from Craftsy's HUGE list of classes.  All classes are 50% off now through Monday.  Click HERE for the sale!

Happy Craftsy-ing!!  ;)

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