Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New Pattern! Star Strings Quilt & Pincushion!!

Star Strings quilt pattern by Heartspun Quilts
 You may remember my quilt, Star Strings,  which was originally published in one of my favorite quilt magazines, Primitive Quilts & Projects in 2013.  This is a great user-upper of fabric scraps!  (Technical term, don't ya know ;-)  It has paper pieced "strings" in the center of every block, which I think gives it a little star twinkle here and there.  For those of you who make the sign of the cross when the words "paper piece" are uttered, fear not!  Those centers are all strips and straight lines!  You can do that, right?  (You're supposed to nod your head up and down, not left to right!  You can do it......be brave!)  Quilt size is 25" x 30".  Fun stuff....I wanted to keep on going and going making these cutie pahtooty blocks.

So I did.......




 I went on to make pincushions and added scrappy paper pieced borders.  Notice the red and blue star pincushions, on the right toward the back, are just two color scrappy versions.  I made a multi-color star version in the front, and reversed the light and darks on the black version on the left giving it a light star.  I also made a blue pincushion of just the star, without the borders, front left.   Make oodles of them for yourself, your bestest quilty friend, or a guild pincushion exchange!!  All from leftover scraps!!


Both the quilt and the pincushion instructions are included in this pattern!!  

Click here to order the pattern!!



If you like getting the latest news from your favorite designers, here are two good tips that will land the news you crave right in your email inbox!

First up.......To get the latest news on all that great stuff happening at Marcus Fabrics, including the New York City staff, and all the fabric designers, click here to go to the Marcus blog called Marcus Mentions.  Sign up to receive the new blog posts via email by entering your email address in the "Follow by Email" icon found on the right hand sidebar.  

While you're visiting the Marcus Mentions blog, check out the latest posts from Marcus designers Gloria, Vicky and Heather, the design team of Olde Green Cupboard, and see photos of Paula Barnes' sewing studio.  

Secondly.....if you crave news from the Prim world, go to Primitive Quilts and Projects website.  You can sign up to received their bi-monthly newsletter via email as well.  Find the "Follow by Email" icon on the lower left corner of the home page, and simply enter your email address there as well.  


That's it!  New designs and inspirations will be coming your way!  

Monday, February 24, 2014

1800's Trivia Quiz ~ Answers

Family living near Broken Bow, NE 1888.  Used with permission: Nebraska Historical Society
1800's Trivia

So, how do you think you did?  I won't keep you in suspense any longer.  Here we go.....

1). By Hook and Crook  

Well, this is something we still say, but the meaning we use, which loosely means "doing whatever it takes" is not at all what was meant in the 1800's.  It was actually a legal term which forbade a tenant to chop or cut down a live tree anywhere on the property.  The tenant could, however, pull-down, or "hook" the dead limbs and use them for firewood.

2).  A Grike

I don't think I've ever heard of this word before.  It refers to a narrow opening in a stone or wooden fence, allowing people to get through, but not any of the farm animals.  Do we have any farmers or ranchers out there who have heard of this word?  I would love to know!

3).  Made by Cat and Clay

This is an interesting phrase that refers to a construction method which uses sticks and mud in the construction of a building.  I can't help but wonder exactly how that phrase came to be!  Was a feline involved somehow?  I suppose we'll never know!

4).  A Trunnel

A trunnel is a large wooden pin used in fastening the framework of buildings together.  They were also commonly known as "tree nails".  Hhmmm....wouldn't you love to see one of those?

5).  A Summer Cloth

Ok...this one really piqued my interest.  As a quilter and fabric lover, this could have had all sorts of domestic applications, right?  It was an all-purpose square of water-tight canvas that could be folded into knapsacks, a water bucket and many other uses.  What does the word "summer" have to do with that?  

Hope you enjoyed this little quiz.  I love this stuff!

P.S.  Mary M. left me a comment in my last post about the family in the photo above.  She remarked about all of the household stuff they had in the photo and asked if there was any significance to it.  Absolutely, YES!  Like now, for instance, we might have our photos taken in front of a new car.  Back then, they were equally as proud of their home, livestock, wagon, and for sure, treadle sewing machine.  It was a status symbol for them.  This photo was taken by famous photographer, Solomon Butcher, who traveled extensively throughout the prairie states taking photos of pioneer families and their precious belongings.  You can learn more about Mr. Butcher at your local library.



Saturday, February 22, 2014

1800's Trivia Quiz





Family living near Broken Bow, NE 1888.  Used with permission Nebraska Historical Society
Well, it's been a busy week working on new designs, filling orders, and the usual.  Not anything fun to blog about right now, but I always find some fun stuff from the nineteenth century to share with you.  How about a quiz?  

1800's Trivia

There were names and phrases pertaining to objects or activities used in everyday life in the 1700 & 1800's that are now obsolete.  I'm wondering if you'll know the answer to some of these questions.  It's interesting, if nothing else!   Ponder the meaning of the following words and I'll tell you what they really were in my next post.  No fair Googling the answers!!

In the nineteenth century, what was the meaning of.........

1).  By hook and crook

2).  A Grike

3).  Made by Cat and Clay

4).  A Trunnel

5).  A Summer Cloth

Fun stuff!  Answers in my next post.  Enjoy your weekend!






Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New Sew~Along.....Coming Soon!

Did you think I forgot?  Absolutely not!  

I just L*O*V*E my sew-alongs with you!!  

Yes....another freebie Pocket Patchwork sew-along is coming soon, called.....


Market Day!

Look for yardage news in March, with the sew-along beginning in April.  When, exactly?  You'll just have to keep watching.  Good sewing times are coming!!



More good stuff.....hop on over to Marcus Fabrics blog, called Marcus Mentions.  All of the designers, and the Marcus New York City staff, will be posting all kinds of cool news.  This is a great way to learn more about what's happening with current fabric collections, new stuff coming soon, and behind-the-scenes goodies, too!  You'll hear from Judie Rothermel, Paula Barnes, Nancy Rink, Vicki BellinoGloria Parsons & Vicky Ianucci, and me.  And, we hope that you'll get to know the many other very talented and creative people at Marcus.  

I've posted a little something today, so check it out.  Be sure to visit the Marcus Mentions blog regularly to see what's coming from your favorite Marcus designers!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Vintage Tin Pinkeeps


I love working vintage items into cute sewing needfuls, and this is my latest creation.  It's called the Tin Pinkeep pincushion.  I'm offering it in my retreat classes this year, and so far, the ladies have really enjoyed making them.  The vintage Jell-O tins are kinda hard to come by, but last month, I was able to purchase an extra bunch of them.  So.....what that means is that I have a limited quantity to sell!  

Click here if you'd like to buy one.  The kit comes with the pattern instructions, the paper pieces needed to make the cute fabric ball, and the vintage Jell-O tin!  

After making the little fabric ball for the Tin Pinkeep pincushion, I had to make more!  They're quite addicting!!  I made the black one using pentagon papers that were 1/4 of an inch larger.  I want to make one in all my favorite colors!  My goal is to fill a glass cloche with them.  How cute would that be?!!

If you're interested in just making the fabric balls, the pattern is sold separately here.  

You can buy individual packages of pentagon paper pieces here.

Have a ball!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Must Have!!


My good pal, Tara Lynn Darr of Sew Unique Creations' latest book cover was just released this week and I have to share the good news with all of you!!  This dreamy book is a sequel to her top-of-the-charts book that everyone loves, Simply Charming.  I've been waiting ever so patiently with the rest of you for this next book to be published, and we don't have much longer to wait!

The two quilts shown on the cover are spectacular...trust me!  The last time Tara and I ran away from home to retreat for a week of sewing, she was working on several of the quilts for this book. Lucky me.....I've seen them all.....oh boy...you're gonna love them!!  

So, make a note to pick up this book at your local quilt shop in April.  It really is a must have!! 


Monday, February 10, 2014

What's In A Name?

It's been too long since my last blog post.  I've been thinking about all of you, and wanted to post, but I was in serious design mode for the last ten days or so, working on new fabric collections, and quilt designs.  My next collection is already well under way, and I submitted a new one last Friday.  All that new stuff is something I can't yet share with you, so that meant not as many blog posts while I was working on it all....But...it also means new fun stuff to look forward to!

Now that the bulk of that design work is over, I will be working to wrap up a few things that have been works-in-progress, and those I can share with you later this week.  

For now, however, I have some fun trivia to share.  When I'm reading about life in the 1800's for the Prairie Women's Sewing Circle club, I often come across great information that isn't really suited to the club, but is rather fascinating, to me anyway, and I thought perhaps you'd enjoy it, too.

1800's Trivia
What's in a name?  Back in the day, your last name could say a whole lot about what you did for a living.  With a last name of Miller, Potter, Wheeler, Carpenter, Weaver, Baker or Taylor, you knew his profession.  But...what if your last name was Cooper?

A cooper was a tradesman skilled in the art of making a wide variety of wooden, leak-proof (both wet and dry) containers.  His craft provided items that were very necessary to early American living, such as buckets and pails, firkins, butter churns, and barrels.  The earliest settlers brought coopered items with them as storage containers for any number of things.  

Barrels large and small held liquids, and of course, are still used today for wine and other spirits. Butter churns, like mine, may still be used today, but not so much!  Thank goodness!  

Quilt design is Fritzie's Closet pattern by Heartspun Quilts
Among the most collected items are firkins and buckets.  Basically, a firkin (Dutch origin) is a bucket with a cover.  The term, firkin, originally meant one-fourth of a barrel, but later in the nineteenth century after firkins were made in numerous sizes, just simply meant a covered bucket.

All of these items are highly collectible by those of us who love colonial living.  Having a grand stack of firkins in graduated sizes is a prize collection.  For me, firkins (and any treenware) with original paint is a real prize!  Especially those with a lovely patina of wear showing it's years of service.

Hope you enjoyed reading about a little known profession that has deep roots in early American living.  I think these hand-made items are a true American treasure!  Stay warm and cozy....it's cold out there!