Category Archives: Etsy

Retail Therapy Anyone?

Just popping in this morning to share with you a bit. This has been a crazy election season and most of us have been holding our breath for days now. Not unexpectedly it looks like we will be holding our breath for a few more days. Regardless of our political leanings, disappointments or satisfaction, we live in an amazing country where we have the opportunity to vote and make our opinions known. Not all of the world enjoys these liberties. (And try not to hold your breath and grit your teeth – it isn’t healthy – relax your shoulders, inhale deeply and relax.)

Easier said than done though, right? It is very hard for me not to keep refreshing the screen on my election update page. So, I decided to create a sale for my customers. It will provide distraction and fabric bargains for you and give me distraction as I cut and ship your orders. How does that sound?

Today and tomorrow only, yardage is marked down 25% in the shop. (Sale does not apply to notions, patterns, books, sale items or precuts.) Head over and see what appeals to you! Do a little shopping and a lot of sewing – take some deep breaths – try to let it go until all of the mail-in ballots are counted. At this point, we have voted and now we wait, and we sew.

Hang in there all of you!! Just a couple more days and we will know what the next four years will bring.

OOPS!!

UPDATE – I forgot to tell you all! I pulled the winner for the holiday apron and hot mitt kit. Winner is Kathy H from Pennsylvania! Hurray for Kathy. 🙂

Holiday Project, A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Just popping in with a quick update. I have something new in the shop and I am really loving it. Recently I opened an account and started carrying Northcott Fabrics. In case you were not aware, they make tons of fun panels. I don’t use a whole lot of panels but my customers have shown me the light. Some of them are really cute and make for a fun, quick finish.

Thinking of holiday gifts, I thought this would be a great one to have in the shop. With the panel, a bit of lining and some Insul Bright, you get to make an apron, two oven mitts and four coasters. Instructions for most of it are on the panel. The coasters were my creation. They have the four squares at the top of the panel which are a bit of a bonus. I thought they were really cute so I made them into holiday coasters.

The apron is adorable. I lined it with a bias check fabric ( available in the shop) which gives a nice weight to the apron and also makes it reversible for use during the rest of the year.

The lined side for you to take a peek at.

The oven mitts are a little tricky. I did a double layer of Insul Bright in them because I think they are more insulated this way. But it makes for a thick batch of fabric to sew. That part wasn’t a huge deal but binding the edge at the top was. My machine doesn’t have a free arm to sew a smaller, circular seam with. I was able to do it but it just took a bit of fiddling as I went around the circle.

Once the binding was stitched on, I folded it to the inside and pressed with steam. Then I hand stitched it down.

The coasters are a breeze. I used batting scraps and scraps from the lining of the apron to make these. I think I might give them a little top stitching around the perimeter now that I have looked at them for a bit. It will give a more finished look to them.

What do you think? I really like the resulting set. It makes a wonderful gift for someone or to give to yourself! Considering how long it has been since I have done a giveaway, I think it is time! I made a kit with everything you need – the Insul Bright for the mitts, the panel and the lining. You only need to supply the batting scraps for the coasters. I am certain each of us has plenty of scraps to use!

To enter the giveaway, you must follow Needle & Foot in some way. Please let me know how you follow. If you want links, follow me here on the blog or at any, or all, of these: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or my newsletter (which is sent out all too infrequently but I do try!) Leave a comment and tell me if you are a fan of panels like these or if you usually do not choose to use them. I want to hear what your thoughts are. Giveaway open to US residents only (sorry – the cost of postage is prohibitive). Winner will be drawn on Sunday, November 1st at the end of the day. Good luck!!

Linking to: Brag About Your Beauties, Whoop Whoop, and TGIFF

Working with Cooking Up Quilts!

Hello everyone! Just popping in this morning to share a project that Beth Sellers and I ‘cooked up’. As you know, I love to support many of the talented quilt designers in our community by selling their patterns in the shop. My preference is to purchase directly from them whenever I can, as opposed to through a distributor. It helps the designer a tiny bit financially and allows me to get to know the person too. A total win-win.

Recently I placed an order with Cooking Up Quilts to restock some patterns that had sold out in the shop. Her patterns are lots of fun, not terribly complicated and her directions are so clear and easy to follow; making them popular items in my shop.

When the last order arrived and I was able to take an even closer look at Summer Rain, I thought it would look great with a set of layer cakes I have in the shop called Spring Blue. Summer Rain is designed to be used with a layer cake. Spring Blue features blue and white tones with soft florals, birds and butterflies. The bundle is so pretty and with a light background and dark blue corner stones, it just works perfectly! I contacted Beth at Cooking Up Quilts to get her opinion and she agreed.

Beth quickly did a rendering of what the quilt might look like with the fabrics in the bundle. Isn’t it lovely? After seeing the rendering, I decided to add the kit to the shop.

The dark blue used for the cornerstones and binding is very saturated. I think it best to prewash it to prevent any dye issues since it will be placed directly next to the white background. Both the white and blue fabrics are subtle tone-on-tones from the Urban Legend line by Blank Quilt Co.

Here is another rendering Beth provided. This one has a more organized layout. Are you into the random look of the first photo or this structured look? (I love them both!)

Many thanks to Beth for working with me on this kit and for the wonderful patterns she creates! Hope you will take a look at the kit and let me know what you think. Thank you so much, Beth, for your help with this project!!

Another Project, Squirrel!

After finishing my last quilt, I made a plan to make a bunting with the name of my second grand daughter on it. Her father made mention (not so subtly) that I made one right away for the first grand daughter but have not made one for the second who is now six months old. (I am fairly certain the baby hasn’t yet noticed this injustice but still.) Well, it still hasn’t happened.

I had ordered some fall fabrics from Clothworks and they arrived last week. One of the bolts has a panel for making placemats and I really like the colors of the fabric. The line is called Autumn Air and was designed by Jim Ishikawa. They are just perfect for my dining room.

The panel includes four placemats as well as some extra floral print. I cut off the floral print and set it aside for a future project. After looking at the solids I had on hand, I decided to go with green. Adding some borders was quick and then I cut a tone on tone cream color fabric for the backing.

For quilting, I did diagonal lines, 1.5 inches apart on the floral section. I left the borders unquilted. With the borders, the mat finishes at 13″ x 17″. I think these are super and will be perfect to use each fall.

This quick make was quite satisfying. I am so over summertime and hot weather (it is 86 degrees and still smokey outside as I type this.) Using fall fabrics allowed me to pretend it was cool and crisp outside (as long as I didn’t look out the window anyway.)

My sweet girl and her new toys.

I will leave you with this to make you smile. My grand daughter’s little friend has a really cool older brother. You know how cool a six year old can be! He wanted some new Matchbox cars and his mother said he could sell some of his current toys at a garage sale to make money for what he wanted. My grand daughter went ‘shopping’ there and snagged these new toys. She was thrilled. Most of her things are still in storage until they move into their new house and I am sure she was bored of the same toys she has been playing with in the rental.

We are going to head up there soon to help watch the kids while they move to the new house. My husband is going to help out with a few electrical projects before they move in. Hurray for another visit with my favorite girls! (I know, I know…. I had better go work on that bunting. I don’t want the baby to learn to spell before her name is up on the wall.)

Beneath Missouri Stars, from a Quilting Cozy Series

UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed. I have emailed the winner, Darlene H, to let her know. Thanks everyone for entering. I hope you will encourage your library to carry Carol’s books and/or head over to Amazon and get one for yourself!

I am not sure you remember but about two years ago, I reviewed a book called Tie Died which is the first book in a large series authored by Carol Dean Jones. At that time, it was my first experience with these cozy mysteries. I had a lot of fun participating in the blog hop promoting these books for Carol and CT Pubs. Even better, because of the event, Carol and I became acquainted and now enjoy a nice friendship.

Some months ago, I found out Carol would be publishing book 11 in her series this spring. Titled Beneath Missouri Stars, I hoped to review it. I contacted C&T and they agreed to provide me with a review copy of the book.

The book is really fun. If you aren’t familiar with cozy mystery novels, click here and read my first review where I explain what cozy mysteries are all about. There is some order to the Quilting Cozy series of books but I didn’t really have any problem reading number one and then jumping to number eleven. Lots had happened to the main characters (Sarah and Sophie) in between but the author does a wonderful job of telling you just enough so the reader can fill in the blanks.

In Beneath Missouri Stars, Sarah and Sophie are trying to solve a mystery (typical for these two best friends) which revolves around the murder of a young girl. The crime occurs when a popular country western singer is in town to perform. As Sarah and Sophie work to solve the mystery there is (as always) a sub plot involving a quilt or two. I love how the author (who is also a talented quilter) weaves the quilting tales into these books. There are quilt shops, club meetings at the local quilt shop, community service projects and more. Drawing on her career in geriatric social work, the author also touches on various issues that often arise with older people. This is done with sensitivity and sometimes a bit of humor. The book is well written with several twists and turns to keep the reader engaged.

When Sarah, the protagonist, decides to make a quilt emulating the night skies of Missouri, she ends up with the beautiful dark blue quilt featured on the cover of the book. Of course, behind the scenes, Carol (the author) actually designed and made the featured quilt using the traditional Missouri Star block. Looking at this quilt and the pattern for it (which is included in the book) I was quite taken with it. Two tone quilts (blue and white in this example) are a favorite of mine.

After reading the book, I emailed Carol and suggested we work on a kit for this quilt. The look of lap size (54″ x 72″ finished) quilt is dramatic, just like a starlit night sky. She agreed it would be fun so the two of us got to work. When Carol made her original version, she used squares from two layer cakes as well as a bit of extra yardage. I tried to emulate this and thought it might be nice to offer layer cakes in the kit. But it would have required two full layer cakes to have enough fabric which would have made the kit quite expensive.

Deciding against using layer cakes, we chose beautiful yardage from a PB Textiles line called Spring Blue and a very dark blue background from Terra by Norm Wyatt. It works so well together and while the quilt isn’t scrappy, the effect is much the same.

Included in the kit are three fabrics from Spring Blue, a light, medium and dark print. These work to make up the blocks and the setting triangles used to put the blocks on point. The medium blue print is also used as the binding.

Included with the fabric in the kit is a copy of the book which has been signed by the author. The Quilting Cozy books are a great deal considering you get a novel and a pattern for just a bit more than the price of many quilt patterns. The number of kits is limited so most likely they will not last long. If you want to see the details of the kit, you will find it here.

To celebrate the release of Carol’s 11th book in the series, I have a signed copy to offer as a giveaway prize!! I am excited to share this book with all of you and to send a copy to one lucky winner. Carol’s series is entertaining with fun characters and lots of quilting fun. How can you go wrong with that??

To enter to win the autographed copy of the book, please leave a comment and tell me if you have made a ‘two color’ quilt before. If so, what colors did you use? If not, what colors would you choose to make one with. I love blue and yellow, red and white and also blue and white. I think limiting the colors of a quilt creates a very dramatic look. The giveaway is open until Friday of this week. I will select a winner and notify the person by email. Make sure you are not a no-reply commenter.

Congratulations to Carol on the success of this fun series of cozy mysteries. I hope we haven’t heard the last about Sarah and Sophie!!

February Means a New Goal

It is February!! A. new month means another goal to set for what I will accomplish in the sewing room. This month I plan to finish assembling the quilt top I am making with the Mosaic Mystery QAL hosted by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs.

The fabric pull for my Mosaic Mystery Quilt.

I have really enjoyed making this quilt and it is exciting to be this close to finishing up the top. Cheryl did such a great job with the drafting of this pattern. Her instructions were great. One would think this would make it easy for me to avoid errors. Well, what can I say? I haven’t had to rip many seams – I think just a few little ones. Where I made mistakes was not piecing all of the blocks she instructed us to. I think I get going too fast and then don’t read everything thoroughly. As I assembled the top, I found out I had totally skipped making a set of flying geese blocks. I should have been clued in by the extra unused pieces sitting in the project tub but I didn’t really notice. Anyway, I have caught up and made the rest of the missing bits.

A sneak peek of the quilt top as it comes together.

Let me ask you… when you are piecing a top, do you sew each row (eg all of Row A, all of Row B and so on). I don’t. I am impatient and want to see the whole thing all laid out. So I have been assembling the rows on the bed and then lifting them and stitching each row together. I love seeing it take shape like this. The design is wonderful with the rusty textured solid creating a bold chain pattern across the top. The dark floral will be used as the border.

So, it should be very attainable because I have over half of the top assembled. Just need to do the rest of the rows and get the borders cut and stitched on. Who knows? Maybe I will even get it basted?

Even though I live just a couple of hours from San Francisco, I can’t get too excited about watching the 49’ers play in the Super Bowl. Instead, I will be working on my Mosaic project. How about you? If you aren’t overly excited about the game, hop over to the shop and take advantage of the Super Bowl Sunday sale!! 20% off of all yardage, pre-cuts, kits and clearance/remnants. So many pretty fabrics to choose from!

Linking up with Patty at Elm Street Quilts, host of the 2020 One Monthly Goal.

It’s the Weekend!

My husband retired in July of 2019. It has been such a fun adjustment for both of us. He is just getting to the point where he doesn’t automatically think he will be going back to work on Monday. We often have to think twice to remember what day of the week it is. Mostly, it is like life is all one long weekend, which is awesome!

Snowing lightly right up the road.

This weekend we decided to spend a few days up the mountain at our little bungalow in Downieville. We haven’t been here in a couple of months what with the holidays and general busyness. We had hoped for a snowy weekend but it doesn’t seem like that is going to happen. There is a dusting of snow just a bit higher than us. Maybe it will get cold enough to snow a bit lower. I hope so!

This morning we took a nice long walk between rain showers. Because we are on the river up here, winters are very damp and chilly. All the moisture in the air creates the perfect environment for all sorts of moss and lichen to thrive here. The oak tree trunks and lower branches are covered right now. It dries out quite a bit when the weather is warm and then greens up in the cool of winter.

My little office away from home. 🙂

I love being up here. It is so quiet and really relaxing. This afternoon I will sit in my cozy little kitchen and list a stack of patterns in the pattern shop I have. It has been a while since I worked on that shop and I have hundreds (truly – hundreds!) of patterns to list.

Later today I have a date with a good book and a sweet quilt. I am currently reading Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. This has been in my stack of books to read for a long while now and it is really good. This quilt is one we keep up here and I love it. This was the first time I did a block of the month and it was hosted by Aurifil some years back. The bright colors are unusual for me and it makes me happy!

This town is tiny and I could smell someone baking something yummy this morning. Of course this makes me crave something home baked. We don’t keep very much in the way of a pantry up here but I do have flour and sugar. I think I will make beer bread this afternoon. We brought elk chili (from the freezer at home) up for dinner. Don’t you think beer bread will go great with that?

Anyway, that sums up the weekend for us! Last week I did quite a bit of quilting on my Squared Away quilt. I would estimate I am about 1/2 way to finishing. So that is the goal for this week. Finish the quilting and then move on to binding it for the first finish of the year. Hope you are all enjoying your weekend!

Quilt Shows and Quilt Alongs

Good morning all. I am enjoying a lovely, quiet morning here with coffee and some blog reading and I thought it a good time to catch up. It has been a while right?

Last weekend I spent a couple of days as a vendor at a fun show in the small town of Brownsville. I can’t say how much I enjoyed this little show. It was so relaxed and the people, quilters and wanderers both, were incredibly friendly. This guild has a membership of about 30 people with roughly half being very active. The town has a population of approximately 1300 people. It was quite nostalgic for me as my first husband’s grandparents lived in Brownsville and we spent many Thanksgiving weekends with them in their very tiny house. Grandma Ada cooked on a woodturning stove and was into quilting, crochet, and stamp collecting. I have one quilt of hers, all hand stitched hexies. It is in need of repairs, being made in the 1940’s and hopefully one day I will get around to it.

The toddler books and the sweet tape measures were a popular item during the show.

Back to the show! Because it was a very small show, I didn’t bring as much inventory as I normally do. There was a corner of one table with fun notions and projects. The toddler fabric books were a fun find for customers – I had a sample of each one available.

I pre-cut quite a bit of fabric into one yard cuts so I would have enough selection without having to pack and unpack all of those bolts. Not shown in the picture is another table which displayed a number of bolts as well as the pre-cuts.

Everyone wanted to pet Jack, an emotional therapy dog used by the Sherrif’s department.

Other than the friendly quilters, one thing I was really taken with was the presentation done on Sunday afternoon at the end of the show. This small group of quilters makes an impressive number of community service quilts each year. They get together every Wednesday to work on their CS quilts. The stack they had on display was just amazing. On Sunday afternoon, the representatives of the groups to which the quilts are donated are introduced and presented with their quilts. There was a representative from the Fire Department, Hospice, local Domestic Violence as well as the Sheriff’s Department. Most of the representatives told a heartwarming story of how the quilts are used before thanking the group and loading up with quilts for the year. There was an emotional support dog who came along with the sheriff that works with children who have been removed from scary situations. The idea of presenting the quilts in this way was really touching. Do any of you do this with your community service quilts? I think it provided a meaningful opportunity for the quilters who make all of these gifts to see how valued and appreciated their work is.

October piecing for the Mosaic Mystery QAL

Last week I finished up the October blocks for the Mosaic Mystery QAL. These were simple (as you can see) but I think this is truly the only sewing I did all week! At least I am caught up and can begin the November piecing now.

The Truckee River in November

My husband and I spent a couple of days away earlier in the week. We had to go up and check on our house in Downieville since we had not been up there for so long. Because of the power outages we had to toss everything in the fridge and freezer which was quite annoying. We also spent a day with my in-laws which was lovely. We took a long walk along the river and got a lot of visiting in.

Coming soon!

Finally, just in case you haven’t seen this yet – there is another great quilt along coming up. The Push-Pull Quilt Along begins next week. The schedule is very relaxed with prompts announced every three weeks. Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl is the host and as with the last QAL, it is a transparency quilt. This technique is so unusual and the results are always striking. Needle and Foot will be sponsoring some of the prizes for the link ups. Quilt fabric kits will also be available in the shop for those who want to choose a ready-made collection of solids. The kits were curated by Yvonne so you know they will be a stunning set of color. Photos of these will be shared in a couple of weeks.

This is a three day weekend for many in the US (honoring the veterans in our country). For me, it means Julia had time to come home from school. She is here until Tuesday early morning, when I will take her back down to school. She sent a list of foods she has been missing so lots of cooking is going on. This is what all of my kids seemed to do when they were home during college. “Mom, will you make XXX for dinner?” So spaghetti and meatballs, bbq pulled pork with slaw, and Baked Potato Soup are on the menu this weekend. Ah, a light and low fat menu to be sure!! I love feeding my kiddos. Hope you are enjoying the long weekend if you are in the US. Many thanks to all of those in Service who support our country now or did so in the past!

Sweetest Skirt with Trixie & Thomas

Another distraction popped up the other day. I have been wanting to make something for my grand daughter with the new Trixie fabric. This piece was designed by Heather Ross and it features two little mice, Trixie and her friend Thomas. I really love it! By the time I ordered it, a few key pieces were already sold out. However, I do have these two sweet bolts in the store.

I am fully aware the fabric in the shop is supposed to be sold. That is the goal. However, it is really difficult not to cut into certain bolts and this is one of those. These little mice are too cute. In real life, I have a huge issue with rodents, mice, etc. Ugh! But these, I can handle these little critters!

The pattern was a freebie from SewCanShe.com. This little skirt is so simple to make. The length of the skirt seemed quite short so I added a bit more length by adding on the second ruffle with the green floral.

I was also able to add some length by stitching a band of the floral around the top of the skirt. I used that to create the casing for the elastic. This added about one inch to the overall length. I love the way that pop of green looks at the top too!

I packaged up the skirt this morning and will mail it off to Vermont tomorrow morning. The elastic is not yet stitched together. I really wasn’t sure if I was making the waist the correct size so I am hoping my daughter in law can check the fit and then stitch it together. I know H will love these little mice with the bicycles.

Heather Ross creates such whimsical designs. Trixie is no exception. For those of you who are really into fussy cutting, the design lends itself perfectly! Hopefully it will fit H and I can share a picture of her wearing it soon.

Mosaic Mystery Quilt Kits

It is the first week of July, so you know what that means, right? The annual Meadow Mist Mystery Quilt kicks off! Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs is back with her 5th annual mystery quilt, called the Mosaic Mystery, beginning on Thursday, July 4th.  This confident beginner level quilt along is completely free to join and has a relaxed pace with monthly instructions posted on the first Thursday of each month.  All quilt instructions will be posted on the Meadow Mist Designs blog and you can find all information about the quilt along on the Mosaic Mystery page.  Join over 3,700 other quilters in the friendly and quite active Meadow Mist Designs Facebook Group .  Cheryl is also offering a non-mystery option for those that want to join in, but would rather see the design ahead of time.  You can sign up for the non-mystery option here

This year I am involved on a couple of levels. Needle and Foot is sponsoring two different prizes during the event, one in August and another at the final reveal when the QAL wraps up. Additionally, Needle and Foot has two kits curated specifically for the Mosaic Mystery Quilt. This is really exciting! Cheryl and I worked together to create two kits, each with very different vibes.

For some quilters, a Mystery Quilt can be somewhat daunting. It might feel a bit nerve wracking to pick fabrics without knowing what the pattern looks like. To this end, Cheryl and I thought it would be nice to have kits available for you to choose from. Both collections contain a selection of fabrics from Art Gallery Fabric, with a solid as the background and three prints used in the quilt and as the binding.

One of my kits contain three prints from the Sun Kissed line. Designed by Maureen Cracknell, these fabrics are summery and so cheerful. The Sun Kissed kit is available here.

Going clockwise, there is Linen for the background, Summer Dress Dreams, Hazy Daisies in Scarlet, and Bandana in Grapefruit.

The prints include large and medium scales which just happen to work well with the design of the Mystery Quilt.

Above are the details on the Sun Kissed kit for your review.

This stunning kit contains print fabrics from Pat Bravo’s Matchmade line. Created by Pat as a line of blenders, the range of color used for the Matchmade fabrics is bold and saturated. To see more details, click here.

The background is a solid black called Caviar. The prints starting in the top left and going clockwise; Indication Midnight, Positivity Berry, and Positivity Midnight.

This kit is very modern with strong contrast. The prints are small scale and not the primary focus of the kit. The color is the focus – shades of teal and berry with a dramatic black background. Gorgeous!

Here are some details on the Matchmade kit for you to review.

I have had such a great experience working with Cheryl creating these two kits for you. If you are someone who is intimidated by the prospect of selecting fabrics for a mystery quilt pattern, be sure to take a look at the kits. Cheryl and I tried to create two very different kits, both modern with bold colors and yet each with a very different feel to them. Using strictly Art Gallery Fabrics in the kits means they are of the highest quality. Kits do not include the backing fabric or batting. However, I do have fabrics in stock that work really well for the backings for both kits. You can see backing suggestions when you click through to the kit links.

There are a number of each kit available in the shop. Come take a look! If you have any questions about the QAL – hop over to Cheryl’s so she can assist. Questions about the kits? Leave them in the comments or shoot me an email. And…. just to have some fun, let’s take a vote. Which kit is your favorite? Let me know in the comments. I am so curious.