Eight seconds…

Someone in the office is fond of saying that “this isn’t her first rodeo”.

The phrase has stuck with me the past couple of weeks because while this wasn’t my first Quilt Market, it often felt as though it was.  It was still Quilt Market and I knew what I would see there, but my role and responsibilities would be different.  Bigger, faster, more.

I mean these folks actually have a plan when they set-up the booth – a schematic?  Can you imagine?  Bigger.  Faster.  More.

BG-Mon-Ami-Crop

This little buckeroo was hanging out in the Basic Grey booth, he’s made with their new collection, Mon Ami.  (It was a big hit at Market… just saying.)  And yes, I’m in love with that pincushion too.

So Spring Quilt Market 2015 is done and let it suffice to say that I’ve been advised – for the sake of my health – not to mention anything about something similar happening any time soon.  It’s forbidden.  For at least the foreseeable future.

Everyone is back in the office and the crates have arrived, so there are quilts and Market-paraphernalia everywhere.  Most of the quilts are being gathered and organized for traveling, some won’t be back for months and months.  Folks are still a little tired and the office is quiet, in part because there’s plenty to catch-up on and partly because after the people-overload at Market, a little quiet and alone-time is much-appreciated.

JK-It's-a-Small-World

Jen Kingwell‘s quilt, It’s a Small World from the Spring 2015 Special Issue of Quiltmania.  It measures 33″ x 52″ and it’s glorious.

(If you’re wondering about the pictures, these are a few of my favorite things from Quilt Market.)

Like this – this is a postcard size business card from Kathy Cardiff of The Cottage at Cardiff Farms.  It would take too long to explain but basically, with what she’s provided on the back of the card, you could make all of these projects with the diagrams and a little creativity.  Kathy has a lot of that, she does beautiful quilts and wool projects.  And she’s nice!  Her booth is always one of my favorites – she’s got that knack.

Kathy-Cardiff

I also visited with Heather and Joel Petersen – Heather is the genius-designer-quilter behind Anka’s Treasure books and patterns.  They’re from Minnesota and Heather has skipped the last couple of Markets because she was busy with Carter and Max, their two adorable little boys.  I met Heather many years ago when we were invited to the offices of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine in Des Moines, Iowa to be on the committee to select shops for two issues of the Quilt Sampler.

Anka's-Quilts

This quilt and wall-hanging/tablerunner is from Heather’s new book, Angles With Ease 2, and it uses her terrific Triangler ruler.  The fabrics in the big quilt are from Fresh Cut by Basic Grey, and the fabrics in the small quilt are from Vintage Modern by Bonnie & Camille.

Anka's-Treasures

While the Triangler ruler is available now, the book will be in stores and at United Notions any day now.

I also caught up with Gudrun Erla of GE Quilt Designs – another one of my favorite people, I’ve known her for many years too.  Gudrun and I once sat next to each other on a flight leaving Market… only because I was willing to go to extreme measures to save a couple of seats for she and her assistant.  (Unless you think “accidentally” dumping out your purse a couple of times, faking coughing fits and removing your suitcase from the overhead bin and unpacking it on the seat sounds like normal behavior.)

This is Gudrun.  (She runs in those Ragnar relay races and is super-fit… but I like her anyway.)

Gudrun-Erla

That terrific quilt behind her is a pattern titled Strip Plus.  It’s made with 2 1/2″ strips – Jelly Rolls, anyone?  She cuts strips using her Stripology ruler.  It’s a terrific ruler for cutting and organizing everything from fat quarters and fat eighths to scraps.  With all those strips, you could make something from her two new books using 1 1/2″ strips.

Gudrun-Stripology-Books

Both books have six different designs in three different sizes… meaning there are 18 projects in each book.  (I used the calculator just to make sure.)

This is my favorite, it’s the 1 1/2″ version of the Strip Plus quilt above.

Gudrun-Small-Stripology

I think I’m going to need to make this quilt, except I want to make it bigger.  A bigger version of the smaller version… please tell me that makes sense.  (And if it doesn’t, little white lies would be much appreciated.)

There were a couple of “Miss Rosie” quilts in the booth – non-Frivols quilts.

Miss-rosie-At-Market

On the ladder on the left, that’s Otis on the top and Full Circle on the bottom.  Otis is made with For You by Zen Chic, and Full Circle is made with Alice’s Scrapbag by Barbara Brackman.  On the right is Viola, it’s made with Farmhouse by Fig Tree & Co.  (The gorgeous quilting is by my sweet friend in Phoenix, Diane Tricka.)

I’m already thinking ahead to “that thing I’m not supposed to mention” and I’d like to know what you’d like to see.  You saw the set-up and take-down, a little bit of the Moda Party and Sample Spree, and the finished Moda booth and the Designer Studio booths, but what else should I take pictures of?  What did I forget?

I confess to being the sort who tries to take pictures of quilts and pretty-stitchy-things and usually winds up forgetting to take pictures of familiar people standing in front of those things so if that’s what you’d prefer seeing, let me know.

That’s it for today.  I hope you have a lovely Memorial Day weekend; I’m going to sew and start working on some quilts and projects for the next catalog, that deadline is in less than a month.

A nap.  I think I should plan on taking a few of those this weekend.

Long ones as that bull done wore me out.  But it was sure fun.

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A nip here and a tuck there…

I’m getting a face-lift!

Well, not me personally, as in “not on my person”, my physical self.  Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co. is the beneficiary of this enhancement – the patterns.

I – we – need it.  And I’m pretty excited about it.

Cutting-Table---New-Patterns

Aren’t they pretty?

Okay, they’re not done.  That’s not even one of them.  Think of this as a sneak-peek into the operating room.

Wee Hours?  It’s a new pattern but that’s not it on the cover, that’s the Collection for a CauseFriendship quilt from a few years ago that was used for context and to help with the visual.  Full Circle?  That’s it on the cover – made with Alice’s Scrapbag, the beautiful new collection by Barbara Brackman.  Susan is working on the layout and diagram now.  She’s the perfect person to work with me as she used to teach third-graders.  The one in back is Viola… more on her soon.

I wrote a little while back that the biggest challenge has been working backwards – at least it’s backwards for me.

Back in the day – it does occasionally feel like forever-ago – I would see fabric I liked and let it noodle-around in my head until I got an idea for what to make.  Then I would think about different sizes of blocks, how big each would make the quilt, “about” how much fabric would I need and so on.  That part is still the same, the difference now is that I used to make the quilt before I wrote the pattern.  Now I calculate the yardage, write the pattern, make some chicken-scratch diagrams and then pass it along to the computer wizards.  Sounds good, right?

Cutting-Table---Otis

It is. But it isn’t without a hiccup on two.  This is Otis – more on “him” soon too.

The problem – problems? – arise when something doesn’t work as planned.  One of the new quilts had yardage calculated based on getting six squares per strip.  Cut to size, it would add up to 20 1/4″.  It was a very tight fit… maybe 1/4″ to spare.  But many of us – including me – would cut those squares a little bit larger to allow for trimming – they’re for half-triangle squares.  I cut them at 3 1/2″ instead of 3 3/8″ and while it adds up to 21″ and “should” still fit, it didn’t.  I could only get 5 squares per strip.  So that pattern will need a little work, a revision or four.

Where I have to get better is keeping the drafts and revisions on the computer updated or, more importantly, making sure that whomever is working on that pattern knows that it’s been updated.  Learning to work with other people is really hard!

As we find a format and style that works for the new patterns, some of the “old” patterns will be updated, re-colored and perhaps even re-made.  As we go through this process, I’d like to ask for your help on two fronts.

First, are there any “old” Miss Rosie’s patterns that you think should be on the list for a makeover?

And second, if you were making a list of what absolutely, positively should be in a pattern for it to be good, what would you include?  E.g., pressing, little tips, why I’m doing it the way I’m doing it, etc.

I’m off to cut some fabric so I can finish Viola.

Then I’m writing the pattern.  Pray for Susan.

 

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Going Modern…

Not me – I’m already modern!

But someone else is “going modern” – Leigh Knox to be specific.  First, the girl went to QuiltCon – and didn’t come say Hi – but the randomizer picked her name from the list and so I’m sending her a copy of Jo Kramer and Kelli Hanken’s Country Girl Modern.

Country-Girl-Modern

Leigh – if you’ll check your e-mail box, I sent you a request for your address.

Thank you to everyone who participated, I wish I had enough books to send to everyone.  The good news is that you’ll find it at your local quilt shop – it’s a Kansas City Star publication so if they don’t have it, they’ll know who to call to get you a copy.  You’ll love it – it’s terrific.

Thank you to Jo and Kelli for asking us to hop-along with them.

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Modern Country Girl…

Make that Country Girl Modern.

Country-Girl-Modern

This book – 11 Modern-Traditional Quilts from the Junction.  Petticoat Junction?  Nope.  Iowa.  Jo’s Country Junction – Jo Kramer.  Jo and her daughter Kelli – Kelli Hanken – have been making and designing quilts for ages, and they’ve finally published a book of quilts “inspired by country air, traditional roots, and modern fun.”

We – meaning more than just me, the Carrie typing this – have known Jo and Kelli for awhile and when she asked us if we’d join the blog hop and review their book, how could we resist?  There’s a quilt in the book named “Modalicious”!

CGM---Modalicious

How much fun is that!

So here’s the review.  The quilts.  They’re terrific – a few are such that a quilting-newbie will have great success, and a couple have enough pieces that even a long-time quilt-maven will be kept busy.  Some of the quilts need yardage or fat quarters, and others will put a big dent in your scrap basket.

CGM---Bohemian-Rhapsody

This is Bohemian Rhapsody – it’s my favorite and the one that I’m itching to make with something… anything.  While it’s made with 1/2 yard cuts, I think this is one that would be great for scrap-busting.

The instructions.  They’re clear, concise and I love the “Quick Reference Chart” – that’s a genius idea.  It’s a “cheat sheet” of how many pieces / units you need to make the quilt.

CGM---Cheat-Sheet

Seriously.  This is a great idea.  (In pattern-writer-speak, that means it’s an idea absolutely worth “borrowing”.)

So have I convinced you that this is a great book and you should have one?  As your luck would have it, we can help with that last part too.  If you leave a comment here by Midnight on Sunday, March 15, you just might win a copy of Country Girl Modern.  Be sure to leave your e-mail address with your comment – and no, don’t put the e-mail in the comment, simply include it where and when the comment form asks for it.

Thank you to Jo and Kelli for asking us to hop with the Country Girls.  And Thanks to YOU for hopping too.

CGM---Thanks-to-You

Really.  Thanks to YOU.  (That’s the name of this quilt.)

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Snow day…

As you read this, I may or may not be in the office.

Snow-Day

While it was sunny and beautiful outside Thursday morning, there was a thin layer of ice under that snow so the roads are still a mess and probably won’t be clear until late Friday morning.  The good news is that this kind of day let’s me catch up on a few things – like my mail.

This book arrived last week and I finally had a chance to linger over every single beautiful page.

Quilt-Lovely

If you like scrap quilts, you’ll love this book.  It’s simple – the book is that good.

I can also get to some of your questions from the Tip Jar.

After I shared the tip about using fusible thread for bindings, a friend asked me if I was really going to do that for all my bindings.  No.  I think it’s a cool trick, and I know there will be times – like right before Market – when I will need a binding to look “finished” so it can be hung.  The fusible thread is perfect for that – as is glue-basting, another trick I like and use.  So I’ll still use my beloved binding clips, but I’m happy to know about this method.  It’s a great tool for my “toolbox”.

To answer two questions – no, the fusible thread doesn’t leave a hard edge on the binding.  The folded edge that you’ll be stitching down isn’t adhered to anything.  Only the underside of the fabric directly over the seam allowance is fused.  In that respect, I prefer the fusible thread method to glue-basting as that can sometimes leave the edge hard, especially if you I’ve had a heavy-hand with the glue.

And the method will work with bindings made with strips cut at 2 1/2″.  There will be a little more of the binding that isn’t fused but the thread is only there to hold the binding in place for stitching.

Cleaning your rulers – yes, you should be doing that.  Think about anything you handle all the time… like maybe your cellphone.  How often do you wipe off the fingerprints, grime and oil?  While you don’t see it on your ruler, it’s still there.  There will also be build-up on the underside from your hands, as well as any sizing or starch, soap residue for the pre-washers, and whatever is used to finish fabrics at the mill.  So every three or four months, I use glass cleaner to clean both sides of all the rulers I use regularly.  I also remove and replace any tape, sticky dots or whatever on the underside.  (Just so you know, I don’t do windows.)

Rulers

I think you’ll be surprised that you will start seeing a difference – seeing being an operative word.  It’s like changing the needle on your sewing machine, it doesn’t take long before you notice the difference.

You are changing your sewing machine needles regularly, right?

Do I use the lines on my cutting mat to align my fabric?  Nope.  I know a lot of people who do with great success but I got better results using just the ruler, maybe because that’s how I learned… back in the olden-days before rotary mats had lines.  Old dog, old tricks.  (And the lines aren’t showing on my mat because I’m using the “wrong side” until it’s used-enough to need replacement.)

While on the subject of cutting mats, yes, you should soak your mat every so often to keep it moisturized – flexible.  Full disclosure – I’m not good about doing this.  Meaning, I think I’ve done tried it twice in twenty years.  I didn’t have a bathtub big enough and I didn’t have much success trying to use a kids’ wading pool.  As soon as I started filling the pool, Rosie climbed in because surely it was being done for her enjoyment.  The best information I’ve found on caring for your rotary cutting mat can be found here.

Tearing fabric?  Absolutely!  In fact, we’re working on the pattern for a quilt kit coming later this year that will require the border strips to be torn.  It’s simple – a good quality quilting fabric will tear well without much loss on the edges.  The higher the thread count, the better it tears.  I know it bothers some quilters to do it but I’ve never had any problems.  So I let her rip!

Snow day / sew day?  Maybe just a tiny bit.  I worked on some log cabin blocks last night – they’re for a Log Cabin book I’m contributing to that comes out next year – and I have plans to sew this weekend.  After I finish that quilt top, I’ll get back to these…

Progress-Collage

No. 1.  I only need a few more of the triangles for my pink and yellow strip project so these will probably be first.

No. 2.  I haven’t made any progress with my Repro Stars but I did get enough pieces cut for another 20 blocks.  I’m now officially behind – big surprise – so I’ll try to get caught up this week.

No. 3 and No. 4… I started a new project using Gardenvale and Bella Solids in Fog and Maize.  If you’re wondering why the Gardenvale squares are hanging, I decided to try something Lisa Bongean showed on her blog.  Instead of spraying the fabric with sizing/starch and pressing it dry, the fabric is sprayed and then left to dry.  Then it’s pressed flat with steam.  Genius.

I had the clippy-things from years ago and while they’re working well, I’m going to try using a couple of Command hooks to hang a clothesline over the bathtub so I can do more than one Layer Cake at a time.  I’ll let you know how that works.  I’m also going to need more starch.

Are the roads clear yet?

(Have a good, safe weekend wherever you are!)

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