Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Chaotic Shopping Season!

Thank you again for making our Holiday Kick-off Giveaway such a great success - our winners were announced here!  It has been so much fun for me to read about your favorite Cora's Quilts Patterns and the wonderful fabrics you envision for your future projects!

Hopefully, by now, your bellies are full, your dishes and kitchens are clean, you have enough leftovers to see you through the middle of December, and you're settling into a nice tryptophan-induced doze!

For those of you venturing out to the various black Friday sales, well ... you're brave!  I had had enough of the holiday shopping spirit by Tuesday evening ... when I {shopping-cart-less} was rammed into by not one, but two of my fellow over-zealous cart pushers at the grocery store. Seriously ... there was like 23,974 cans of yams on the shelf, so you weren't in any danger of not getting one ... and I was actually reaching for the sauerkraut!  I will be doing all of my shopping this weekend online, thank you very much!

But, enough of my little rant.  I'm actually here to tell you about our little post-holiday sale in our ETSY pattern shop.  

Original, huh! :)
Code is valid on .pdf patterns only through 11:59pm on 12/2/13.  Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


A huge thank you goes out to all of our Giving Thanks Pattern Giveaway participants.  I'm having so much hearing about your favorite Cora's Quilts Patterns and your fabric choices are inspiring!  I'm also really looking forward to spending some time visiting all of your blogs in return today while I do some cooking for tomorrow!

So, without further ado, here are our winners!

By Random Number Generator:

Blogger's Choice Winner(s)

That's right ... I know I said I'd choose only one, but I couldn't decided between these two.  Since I'm the boss, they both win! :)

Jessica - not only can I relate to being a new quilter in a sea of styles and fabric choices, I can totally relate to dragging the hubby over to look at quilting-related goodies online.  The visual of you doing the same just made me smile!

Jeanne - I'm a Cali girl born and bred, but my dad's parents spent their retirement in the tiny town in Southern MO too.  I'll never forget how worried we were when your area was hit by a series of terrible ice storms (maybe 6-7 years ago?), and my poor grandmother was stuck without heating or a fireplace for days!  I made a very special quilt for her the very next year, so your choosing "Granny's Quilt" just pulls at my heart strings!

I've emailed all the winners to verify their pattern choices, and will have the .pdf files sent out just as soon as you reply.

Thank you all again for participating!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Giving Thanks ... with a PATTERN GIVEAWAY

Giveaway is now closed - Winners have been announced here!

Apparently, my 200th post came and went without notice!  As my 250th post is too far off, let's kick off the spirit of giving this holiday season with a little giveaway right now!

Now I know that many of you will be hitting your favorite quilt shops for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday sales, so I'd like to fuel your inspiration with some free patterns!

Here are the details:

  • FIVE free patterns {winners choice!} are up for grabs, so we'll have five different winners.  You can choose from any pattern available in our shop!
  • The Giveaway will be open from 8:00AM on 11/21/13 through 11:59PM on 11/26/13, Pacific Standard Time
  • FOUR winners will be chosen at random and the FIFTH winner will be chosen based on the best or most creative comment - just for grins!
Winners will be announced, and .pdf patterns will be delivered on Wednesday, 11/27/13 -  giving you plenty of time to get your fabric orders ready for the big post-holiday sales.  Please note: patterns are in .pdf format, so you'll need a copy of Adobe Reader to open the file.
  • This Giveaway is open to all US and International entries.  I'll be contacting the winners by email, so if you're a "no-reply" blogger, make sure you leave me your name and email address in your comment.

There are FIVE ways to enter!

For each entry, leave me a separate comment below and ...

  1. Tell me which pattern is your favorite and which fabric line you'd use to make it.
  2. Sign up to follow my blog on bloglovin or tell me that you already do - I will be checking. :)
  3. Follow me on Facebook - if we can reach 100 followers by the end of the giveaway, I'll post a 15% off Patterns coupon code too!
  4. Follow me on Google+ - or tell me that you already do
  5. Follow me on Pinterest or tell me that you already do

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out some of the other great giveaways happening at the Quilting Gallery Blog Hop Party!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Weekly WIP updates

One misty, moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather,
I sat down with my quilt blocks, to sew them all together ...

That's right!  In spite of some really bad poetry - thank you son #1 for getting this nursery rhyme stuck in my head! - Flurry is finally starting to come together, despite a few hiccups in the construction process ... and in all honesty, a few little "block surgeries" because I was rushing things and kept clipping my fabric while chain-piecing, instead of my threads!

It's so funny - I was just having a conversation with a very technically-minded friend a few weeks ago about why I couldn't just program computer software to do all the quilting math and designing for me so that I didn't have to actually make the quilt in order to publish the pattern.  His argument was that it would be much more time-effective and infinitely cheaper to just design it on the computer, write the pattern, and be done!  Plus, with all the time I would save by not having to actually construct the quilt itself, I could get so many more patterns published!

I had tried to explain that while there is some really great software out there that does just that {and I do use it as a starting place for all of my designs), digitizing the whole process would really take the humanity and sense of craftsmanship out of the picture!

I quilt for enjoyment first and foremost - the resulting designs and patterns are just a bonus!  There is something almost magical about taking a design in from my head, getting onto paper and doing ridiculous amounts of geometry, then cutting out hundreds of tiny pieces of fabric, putting them together, and watching this creation grow into something tangible that is infinitely better than it was in my head or on the computer screen.

The whole process is like a journey!  With every quilt I've made, I can tell you which movie, TV series or audio book was playing {usually over and over} while I sewed, which album I was listening to while I wrote the pattern, how I was feeling at the time, and what was going on our lives in between!

But, even if you took all the emotional connections of the quilting process away, there is just some things that can't be programmed into or anticipated by a computer!

Flurry is turning out to be a prime example of this!  My original design was loosely based on a combination of two classic quilt blocks:

... and Three Cheers

I probably played around with four or five different block designs for about a week to come up with the simplest way to combine the blocks.  I wrote the pattern, cut all the blocks, and assembled the quilt top, only to find that the way I assembled the blocks, while simple in construction, made for really thick seam intersections when I put them together with the sashing blocks.  I needed a better way to construct - even if it meant more pieces!

There's just no way that a computer program could anticipate that!  It could have told me the simplest, most cost-effective and time-efficient way to put the blocks together, but never would've been able to communicate that some changes and adjustments needed to be made for better construction!

So, once this baby is finished and off to the long-arm quilter, I'm heading back to the drawing board to make a few adjustments and updates to the pattern, which will hopefully be available right in time for Christmas.  And, after this incredibly long tangent, I'm heading back to the sewing machine before morning nap is over! 

Be sure to stop by these great sites for more WIPs in blogland!
PS - be sure to stop by again on Thursday, 11/21, for details on the Cora's Quilts Holiday Giveaway!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pioneer Quilt Guild Show - 11/10/13

Over the weekend, Mom and I had the chance to attend the Pioneer Quilt Guild's Annual Quilt show.  It was our first time attending, and we had a great time checking out all the lovely quilts.  I managed to snap a few photos of my favorites, but unfortunately the overhead lighting (the show was held in a gymnasium) left an unsightly glare at the top of some of the pictures.  Boo!

This quilt, called "Cabins in the Northwoods" was made by Martha Overman and Quilted by Sheila Meehan.  It features adorable woodsy applique over a traditional flannel Log Cabin pattern - I can just imagine snuggling up with it in front of a roaring fire in a Tahoe cabin, with the snow falling outside!

I love Christmas quilts featuring Redwork embroidery, so this quilt by Diana Meier caught my eye right away!  She adapted the blocks from machine embroidery patterns and had the quilt hand-quilted by Amish Quilting Service. Check out those little Christmas trees quilted in the borders - love it!!

"Garden of Lilies" was also pieced by Diana Meier and was quilted by Margo Wilson.  I loved seeing some of my favorite Fig Tree & Co prints thrown in, and the little bits of appliqued stems and leaves were so beautiful and delicate!

This "In From The Cold" quilt {made with my favorite 2013 holiday line!} bu Halli Tucker was so festive and fun.  It's really hard to tell in my picture, but the quilting (also done by Halli) is this adorable little snowflake pattern.  Love!

Last up is "Autumn Rose," pieced and quilted by Denise Long.  The beautiful fall prints in the borders do such a fantastic job of drawing your eye to the center medallion.

While the Pioneer Quilt Guild show is over for 2013, there's still plenty of quilty action in Sacramento this coming weekend with the  River City Quilt Guild Show at the Scottish Rite Temple - more information is available here.  See you there!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Bibliophile - "An Assembly Such as This" by Pamela Aidan

I have always been an avid reader.  As a kid, I would often devour my library books from our weekly trip in a day or two.  In college, and in our DINK {Dual Income No Kids} days, I could usually finish a book a week or more.

Now that I have two little ones, finding time to read is difficult.  I spend the majority of my free moments at the sewing machine or on the computer, and by the time I manage to sit down with a book in the evenings, I can only manage a couple of pages before drifting off to sleep.

Over the years, I've had memberships with a number of audio book companies and I'm finding that I finally have time now to start catching up on all of the titles I've purchased but haven't had time to "read."  My current favorite place for audio books is my local library - although waiting lists for the more popular books can be a bit lengthy but you can't beat the price - and

Get 50% off your first 3 months at!

Since I feel like I've been having a really hard time finding decent books lately,  I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite books here, just in case you're on the lookout for a great read - or want to know some to avoid like the plague!  I'm always on the lookout for new authors and great books, so I'd love it if you'd like to share your recommendations with me as well!

So, here's today's review!

I'm an avid Jane Austen fan and Pride & Prejudice is my all-time favorite book.  I've read a number of "continuations" and spinoffs, but aside from Linda Berdoll's rather racy version of married life at Pemberly, I haven't found a book that I could really tolerate until this book.

An Assembly Such As This essentially tells Pride & Prejudice from Mr. Darcy's point of view. Most books I've come across that attempt to do the same do nothing more than blatantly plagiarizer the original work, while peppering in a small amount of poorly written dialogue and bits of original narrative, usually in an awkward diary-sort of format.

Luckily, this book does none of the above.  The dialogue and writing are sophisticated enough to not distract from the work, and the author does a great job marrying occurrences from the original plot with a great deal of new material, side story-lines and even a few new characters {gasp!}. 

All-in-all, I'm enjoying my listen, and I've already purchased the next two books in the series.  My one complaint is that the narrator, while good, doesn't quite fit into my idea of the ideal "Mr. Darcy" voice - he's no Colin Firth or Matthew Macfayden.  I have found, though, that in the long run, he doesn't detract from the story as much as I expected him to after my first few minutes of listening.

So ... there's my two sense!  Have you read this book or is it on your list to read?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and any recommendations you might have on similar books in this genre!

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Friday Finish!

Well, despite having a household infected by the nasty cold bug that seems to be making its way around, I managed to fix the sashing on my Out to Sea quilt, and add the two outer borders.

I can't tell you how much I'm in love with this quilt!  It's perfect for the family's newest little princess and her under-sea nursery!  {I just wish the sun would come out a bit more, so that I can get a better picture!}

I'm using the large scale map print for the backing ...

... and can get started on the quilting just as soon as my new quilt labels arrive - more on them next week.  But for now, I'm off to snuggle with two snotty boys on the couch for a Curious George marathon ... and hopefully some naps ...

Luckily, I just purchased Pride & Prejudice via Amazon Instant Video, so I can indulge on the iPad once they're asleep.

Head on over to Crazy Mom Quilts to see some more fun Friday finishes.  Happy sewing!

Monday, November 4, 2013

ID - 10 - T error!

Well, I was hoping to have a little more progress to share on my Out to Sea quilt .. but I was stalled by an "ID-ten-T" or ID10T error!

I've spent the better part of my morning trying to figure out why two {opposite} corners just wouldn't square up with the rest of the quilt!

Two nap-times later, I finally figured out that two of my border strips are 1/4" smaller than they're supposed to be!

Luckily, it should be a relatively quick {but irritating} fix!  Hopefully, I'll have more exciting pictures to share later tonight.  Until then, check out these great projects in blogland!