Monday, January 23, 2017

A Bump In The Road To Recovery

Dear Friends,

I was recently admitted into the hospital for emergency surgery.  Third surgery in 15 weeks.  Ugh!  Despite state-of-the-art conditions to guard against staff infection, I was the one in a thousand, rare case who developed a deep and serious infection in my just-replaced hip.   One week in the hospital and I'm now home for recovery......again!  Is this Groundhog Day?

While this event and surgery has really knocked me for a loop, I am grateful it wasn't worse,  that my surgeon and his wonderful nursing staff caught it so quickly, that we have such great hospitals here in Chicagoland, that all my doctors came together with a plan, and I received extraordinary care from the hospital nurses, who are the un-sung angels in health care.

So...here we go again, but a little different this time.  It's gonna take a little longer to snap back from this one, but I'm already doing fairly well.  My husband, son and daughter are taking very good care of me....my biggest blessing of all.

I didn't want you to think I forgot about you!  So...the reason for the short update.

As the old saying goes....this, too, shall pass.  


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Sew Some Wild Oaks

Huckleberry Hill by Lynn Wilder of Sew'n Wild Oaks Designs (c) 2017
When I design fabric, 80% of the time, I already have the quilt designed for the collection and therefore, a specific picture is cemented in my mind of what I'll do with it.  Usually, I do make several other things with the collection, but after that, I've moved on to the next new thing.  

So, I am just delighted when I receive photos of what another designer is inspired to create with some of my fabric,  and so goes the story of the photo above.  This absolutely stunning basket is the creation of a very talented quilt designer, Lynn Wilder of California.  I had the pleasure of meeting Lynn at Spring Market last year after becoming smitten with one of her quilts that was hanging in the Marcus Fabrics booth.  
(Lynn's quilt, Heritage, is the quilt furthest to the left in the photo.)

She wanted to share what she is doing with my Star Spangled Liberty fabric and sent me these two photos.  Isn't it clever to use Log Cabin blocks like this?  And the ribbon border for the basket weave at the top?  And the bow is to die for!


Huckelberry Hill by Lynn Wilder of Sew'n Wild Oaks Designs (c) 2017
Here's an upclose photo of the basket rim and applique details.  I see some prints in there from Old Green Calicos and the little leaves with the berries are from Conestoga Crossing as well.

The basket blocks you see are for Lynn's new upcoming pattern called Huckleberry Hill.  Lynn plans to make two red and two blue baskets for her quilt.  I can't wait to see it all finished.  She also writes a fun, informative and inspiring blog I think you'll enjoy.  Click here for her blog.  Her pattern company is called Sew'n Wild Oaks.

I've seen sneak peeks at several of Lynn's upcoming projects that she's making with on of my future fabric lines, and let me tell you......DIVINE!

Enjoy reading Lynn's blog and perusing her pattern selections.  She's a very sweet and friendly lady, too!  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Inspirations for the New Year

Can you believe the holidays are over and we're into a new year?  I'm working on completing some leftover projects from last year and ready to begin some new ones.  The New Year always brings that feeling of 'fresh start' to so many aspects of our lives.


I found this antique cheddar quilt on Pinterest over the weekend and I thought it was a good example of cheddar and taupe together.  I know these are likely brown fabrics, and some that might have faded to a taupe color, but you get my drift.  How do you like that splash of blue? Make-do?  Interesting color combo, interesting borders on the bottom and right, and quite pleasing.  Just wanted to share it with you and remind you of my upcoming Cheddar & Friends fabric collection due in your local quilt shop early in March.  


Speaking of your local quilt shop, have you noticed the alarming trend of so many of our fabulous local quilt shops closing? I know I have and it's ominous.  Last week, Barbara Brackman wrote about this very thing on her blog in sad detail.  Actually, she wrote two posts about it.  

If you love this industry.....if you love fabric.....and want to continue to be inspired by your favorite designers, please take a moment to read what she wrote.  Here are the links to both of Barbara's blog posts:

http://barbarabrackman.blogspot.com/2016/12/happy-new-year.html

http://barbarabrackman.blogspot.com/2016/12/more-about-quilt-bizz.html

It's simple economics.  Having less quilt shops means less sales of fabric bolts, patterns, books, and notions, not to mention jobs and inspiration!  When this many quilt shops close, it has a profound effect on the industry.  There have already been cut-backs in so many areas and some designers are going out of business.  Why?  Lots of reasons, but so much has to do with folks not patronizing brick and mortar shops.

When there are new fabrics coming that you love and want to purchase, I encourage you to please ask for it at your local quilt shop.  If they know you want it and there's a customer base for it, they would be more likely to order it.  In my case, I do offer my own fabric via my website for those who can't find it at their local shop, but I always encourage you to check there first!!

Anyway....I'll get off my soapbox now.  Thanks for listening to an issue very near and dear to all of us who love quilting and want to keep it going.  

There are many new things for your quilting pleasure already in the works.  I presently have four new fabric lines in production with lots of new quilt designs coming your way.  And....a very fun Marcus Fabrics designers (aka Marcus Makers) campaign to be announced very soon. 

Clean your machine, buy a new pack of needles and stock up on thread...and while you're at the quilt shop, thank the shop owner by buying some yummy fabrics.  It's a good thing all the way around.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays To All!

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and sincere hopes for the 
very best in the New Year!  

My heartfelt thanks to all of you for your kind words, support and patronage which allow me to continue working and creating in this 
quilting world we all love.  

May our needles be happy 
and  be merrily working 
all through the year! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cheddar Lovers, Rejoice!!

Cheddar Lovers ~ Your voices were heard!  

Wow ~ as usual, you all blew me away with your comments!!  Love, love reading each one of them.  I am obviously in the minority with cheddar color fabrics and am so glad that you let me know how many of you would like to have them.   It means Marcus Fabrics and I are going in the right direction giving you just the lovely fabrics you'd like to play with.

So...after reading your comments I promptly placed an order for the entire collection!  Yay!

Therefore, in early February, I'll offer bundles for PRE-ORDER.  It's good to know (from your comments) that all of you don't necessarily want the cheddar but love the taupe, so I'll offer split color bundles of just cheddar, and just taupe, as well as the entire collection so you can be sure to get the fabrics you want and not the ones you don't.  

I'm afraid I didn't make myself clear in my last post with my offer to give-away a few Fat Eighths.  Because I only have a little bit of sample yardage right now, I don't have entire bundles to give.  I just have two cheddars and one taupe print (6 pieces in all) to share at the moment, but many more free patterns to offer.  Sorry for any misunderstanding.

Here are the winning comments.....

Amanda Best - I like cheddar in small amounts in reproduction style quilts, but too much is overwhelming to me.  Your cheddars and taupes are gorgeous!

Siam Kitty - LOVE your new Cheddars, and look forward to adding them to my stash! I am making a series of Charm Quilts, and Cheddars will really add zing to them! 

Lynne Stucke - You did an awesome job with the cheddars . . . yummy enough to get those crackers out and dig right in! (are the taupes representative of crackers???) YUM!

Laura V - Oh, I hope you offer fat quarter bundles, I'm not sure the shops near me will have these! You did a fantastic job and I'm not a cheddar fan all that much, but these are so warm and beautiful! And I agree taupe is so hard to find and it is great in quilts. Awesome!

Pamela T - You are right! up until now there were very few cheddar's but now yours are delicious! and the taupe oh yes. I would put some blues with those and I would have so much fun. Thank you for the opportunity to win ! 

Nel - Love, love, love the cheddars!!! I've used them in many quilts, and they add a great sparkle! Thanks for a chance to win! 

Melody in WI - Gorgeous shades. The cheddar color range is what will make a quilt sparkle. I'm typically not drawn to this color except when I quilt, My quilt needs to have a little yellow or orange in it. Now off to have a grilled cheese :)), with all of this cheddar talk it's made me hungry. 

Judy Zoll - I am not a big cheddar fan but do use the color sparingly sometimes. My friend loves cheddar, should I be lucky enough to win she will be gifted! The taupes would be mine! Your fabrics are beautiful. 

Marge - I, too, am a recent convert to cheddar (fabric that is, always have been with cheese. Have you ever had Cotswald - an orange colored cheddar with chives? Yum...I digress). I'll be looking for this collection in March because I would like to use cheddar as a main fabric in a scrap quilt. As for taupe - Yes! - Bring it on! Greys are one of my neutrals, and there aren't a lot of them. My favorite neutral is red because I took a workshop with Freddy Moran years ago. (I'm digressing again!) Thank you! 

Carol - I love cheddars and taupes. What's not to love - such richness is inspirational. Never mind the fat eighth and fat quarter bundles. Just go for the half yards and full yards. Don't mess around. 

Deborah from Valpo - I love cheddar.....and I always wondered why there wasn't more cheddar to pick from. I'm always nervous about using what is in my stash because I'm afraid I'll need it later and won't be able to find it! Beautiful collection of both cheddar and taupe! Thanks so much for designing it and the opportunity to win!

Candace - Oh....you've certainly disturbed MY force, in a very good way, I was late to the cheddar bandwagon so being able to add to my miniscule stash along with much needed taupes (yes, the quilt world is lacking), would rock my ship for sure! Thanks for taking the plunge, Pam! You are a force to be reckoned with!
Cheers! 

Gwynette from Arkansas - LOVE the cheddar and the taupes are going to a great addition to use with your blue, red, and plum fabric, also. So glad you stepped out of your box!!
All of the winners will receive a free pattern.  Since I have chosen more than 6 winners, the fabric will be inserted randomly into envelopes so we won't know who is getting it until it arrives at your door!  

Please email your mailing address to me at Pam@HeartspunQuilts.com and I'll get those envelopes in the mail.

Thank you all again for your wonderful and very funny comments.  Just when I think I'm "talking" to empty cyber space, you let me know you're there.  Makes me smile for sure!

Just a few days until Santa arrives....enjoy your holiday!  Pam











Thursday, December 15, 2016

Never Say Never!

In previous posts, I proclaimed a "disturbance in the Force", a phenomenon known to all Star Wars fans, and a phrase I borrowed to describe a bend if you will, within me regarding a very long standing choice.  

A change in a long standing choice.....of what?

Well....this stuff I LOVE!  Say the word cheddar and I'm there, cracker in hand.  Say the word cheddar regarding fabric......well.......not so much.  

I'm on record for many years and in several publications that "I don't do cheddar" fabrics.  I know they were popular in the 1800's, and I maintain that I wouldn't have liked them then either.  It's just a personal thing and I know I'm in the minority here.

About the change.....so have I changed my mind?  No....not really.  Confused?  

The good folks at Marcus Fabrics called a few months ago to ask me if I would design a few cheddar prints for them.  Not one to shy away from a challenge, after a few minutes of thinking about it, and reminding them that cheddar is not in my wheelhouse, I accepted the challenge for several reasons.  Designing cheddar fabrics is much easier than designing a quilt using them, and......I think it's good to step out of your comfort zone now and then to stretch your imagination and skills.  
This new collection, called Cheddar & Friends has just 12 sweet prints.  

These are the six new Cheddar prints.  They range from a warm autumnal orange to the very bright classic cheddar orange.  There are prints suitable for small blocks and others for large pieces such as setting squares, border and sashings.  

The trouble is, for those quilters who really enjoy using Cheddar prints, they're not often available, so this little group will help them feed their stash!

 Cheddar make up six of the new 12 prints.  What about the other six?

During my conversation about the cheddar collection, I mentioned my love of taupe color fabric and how that color was another that is also missing on the quilt shop shelves.  I notice a definite trend for using more and more taupe fabrics in CW Reproduction style quilts.  I don't think it was an authentic color of the time period... I think what it does is give an aged look to quilts made with it.  We've all seen antique quilts where the muslin or light print looks brown and dirty and that is the color the taupe can show.  It's a warm color that I adore.  A true taupe is hard to find.....or shall I say WAS hard to find!

The "friends" in Cheddar & Friends are the six taupe fabrics included in the collection.

  The darkest print is a chocolate brown with taupe and burnt orange.  It mixes the two fabrics beautifully and would be gorgeous as a border or sashing with the cheddar and taupes.  I can hardly wait to begin playing and designing with them!

Click here to see the entire Cheddar & Friends collection.  The fabrics will be delivered to your local quilt shop in March, so if you like them, ask your favorite shop to order them!

Normally, I offer Fat Quarter and Fat Eighth bundles of every collection I desing but hesitate to do so with the collection.  I'm sure interested in hearing what you think about the Cheddars and the Taupes.  

If you have time, please leave me a comment about what you think and I'll choose a bunch of winners for free patterns AND a few people will get a Fat Eighth of these new fabrics.  

As any loyal Star Wars fan would say.....may the Force be with you!  Especially this weekend with the release of Rouge One!  Teehee!




Monday, December 12, 2016

R & R Stitching Time

A few weeks ago, in an update post about trying to get in some personal sewing time (aka Scraps of Time, Scraps of Fabric), I mentioned I was trying to finish a little Nine Patch quilt as a gift for Christmas.  Happy to report that while I have been doing a lot of sitting, recovering from surgery, it is indeed pieced, quilted and bound!  
My friend Ronda did such a great job quilting this little piece (12 x 15 inches) and I know my step-mom will love it.

I'm two weeks past my second hip replacement surgery and about to go full into PT which is so important and not fun at all!  Oh well....such is life!  

Christmas prep is in full swing and we're checking our cookie baking list twice.  We have less than 2 weeks to go!  AAHHH!!!


Do you remember a post of a few months ago of me saying that there has been a disturbance in the force?

Watch my next post for an explanation!  

Friday, December 2, 2016

In For More Body Work!

Dear Friends, 

Once again I'll be away from my sewing machine, desk and computer for a couple of weeks.  I'm going in for another tune-up for my second hip replacement.  That means I'll be recovering awhile at home.  (Yes....apparently I'm working on becoming bionic as this is my third joint replacement.  If only - hahahahaha)

My co-worker Deb will keep orders going while I'm on R&R, and my wonderful family will take good care of me.  I expect to bounce back with this one as quickly as I did with the other one just 7 weeks ago.  I'd better because I have lots of good stuff in the works and want to get started!  

I'm looking forward to some hand stitching time and lots of Christmas movies.  Oh, and I think I have a great excuse to get out of having to do all that Christmas wrapping.  

Be back soon......Pam

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Conestoga Crossing Bundle Pre-Order Offer!!

In just a week or so, my newest fabric collection, Conestoga Crossing, will be delivered to quilt shops everywhere!  I'm so jazzed it is finally coming!  I love this collection as it's in so many colors and prints.  A 30 piece collection in all.  



Conestoga Crossing was designed along with this quilt as a brand new Block of the Month program.  The program will begin in most shops in January.  The quilt pattern and fabrics are available only through participating quilt shops.  (You know Marcus Fabrics brings you only the best BOM programs ever!!)

Click here if you'd like to join the fun and find a participating quilt shop. 





 I will have Fat Quarter and Fat Eighth bundles of the entire Conestoga Crossing collection.  And, guess what?!  

They're on sale for 15% off!!  

Click here to order yours today while supplies last!  


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Wishing You Many Blessings


On this special day of thanks I am filled with gratitude for my many blessings.   
Happy to be with family sharing a special meal.  

Thank you for visiting my blog, for your many kind and caring comments and emails, and of course for your business which makes it possible for me to continue to create wonderful fabrics and new quilt designs.  

I truly feel blessed.  

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!!


Monday, November 21, 2016

Plum Bundles & Scraps Of Time Update

It's been awhile since I posted anything about finding time to sew for myself.  I've been tracing lots of fabrics to prep for hand piecing while I recover from my next surgery (yeah - another one), and I've been waking up a little early now and then to finish making 1.5 inch Nine Patches for a Christmas present. 
This little quilt (12 x 15) will be given to my step-mom with whom I share this love of nineteenth century living.  There is nothing she would want more, which as you know, makes giving a gift like this so worth the effort.  I'm so excited to have it finished and it's off to be quilted.  Cross that off the Christmas To-Do list!!

I've been hand stitching some wool, working on Hexies, and tracing fabrics in the evening while watching TV.  Nothing fun to share in a photo, but progress nonetheless.
This assortment of pretty plums and purples are now available in Fat Quarter and Fat Eighth bundles.  All are prints from a variety of my fabric collections for Marcus Fabrics.

Here's the link to order.

Hope you find some time to stitch to your hearts content this week.  


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Christmas Red & Green Colonial Star Quilt

This little quilt, named Colonial Star, is a Limited Edition pattern release that I introduced a little while ago.  I love it so much that I just had to make it again.  This time, I chose green and red for the upcoming Christmas season.

This adorable star quilt is easy to piece and is a pretty quick stitch.  It would be a great addition to your holiday decorating and would also be a wonderful gift!

There's a very limited amount of kits available in this colorway, so if you're interested, order today!  Colonial Star quilt size is 18" x 20".  Kit includes the pattern and exact fabrics I used for the quilt top, binding and backing.  Kit price is $42 plus shipping!  

Because this is a Limited Edition, the pattern is not sold separately.  

 Click here to see the red & green fabrics and read all the details.  





I originally made it in traditional blue and white.

(Only 3 kits remain if you're interested!)
Click here to see the details. 

While you're browsing, check out the complete fabric collection Fat Quarter and Fat Eighth bundles that are on sale!










Tuesday, November 8, 2016

A Special Itty Bitty Mini

A little more than a week ago, these quilts were on display during Fall Market in Houston in the Marcus Fabrics booth.  Well, actually, it was a special booth all its own called the Marcus Makers booth.  

All of the Marcus designers, i.e., Marcus Makers, were asked to create a special 24 inch quilt that would represent their style, fabrics and designs. 

 What a wonderful array of quilts, don't you think?  What a nice representation of traditional and modern.

Can you guess which one is mine?  
Conestoga Stitches is the quilt I made for the Marcus Makers booth.  Those Nine Patch blocks are 1.5 inches finished and the Flying Geese are .75 x 1.5 finished.  Yup....I went itty, bitty.  Are you surprised?  

The fabrics are new from my upcoming Conestoga Crossing collection coming to your local quilt shop in December.
Tiny blocks are a challenge for me, so that's one reason I chose to do that.  And, those Flying Geese with the HST in the center were especially challenging as the HST's finished to 11/16ths!!
I would be remiss to not mention that my friend, Ronda, quilted Conestoga Stitches for me.  It was a challenge for her as well as sometimes it's hard to find quilting designs that work in 1/2 inch spaces!  She always does an awesome job.

I do not have plans to make a pattern for Conestoga Stitches because I honestly don't think many quilters would want to make those 11/16th HSTs.....right?  But...never say never.

Don't forget that shops all over the U.S. are getting ready to offer you my new Conestoga Crossing Block of the Month.    Ask for it at your favorite quilt shop!


I wanted to talk a bit about my Pocket Patchwork Sew-Alongs.  I love them, and had every intention of offering one this year, but family commitments, heath issues, surgeries (my husband had his knee replaced too), and a very busy work schedule caused my good intentions to offer a Sew-Along to be constantly postponed.  

I just wanted you to know that I have not abandoned nor forgotten about it.  This year, life has gotten in the way of a lot of plans, and it just happens to us all.  I actually have the next Sew-along designed but have no idea when I can make it happen.  I'm thinking about a new approach because TIME is always an issue for us all.  (We've talked about this before!)  So, I'll be thinking of a new way to fit it in.  It's important to me to continue, and I do so enjoy them as it really is a fun way to interact with all of you...and I miss it!!

Just wanted you to know.......

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Starry, Starry Nines ~ An All Time Favorite!!

 As a designer, I love all of the quilts I design.  Now and again, you have some that become your favorite, and Starry, Starry Nines is sure a favorite for me!

It has lots of Nine Patches, Ohio Stars and a fun border that looks like Flying Geese but isn't and is great to piece together.  Add the scrappy fabrics and I ask you.....what is not to L*O*V*E?
We have made a few kits of this yummy quilt in the small, wallhanging size, all in an assortment of my fabrics.  The quilt size is 23" x 29".  

Starry, Starry Nines in just one of three quilts featured in the pattern Tokens of the Past: Nine Patch Reverie!  The pattern includes directions for all three quilts with alternate sizes or versions.

You can order the kit with fabric alone, kit with pattern, or kit with pattern and backing fabric.  

Click here to read all details and order info.

Hope you find some time to stitch today.  

I'll be stitching while cheering on our Cubbies in the World Series.  (To know me is to know I NEVER watch sports, but this is a very special occasion, and as a life-long Chicagoan, a duty!)