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Monday, August 29, 2011

Words to Live By

Several times, I've posted about my wish for more hours in a day, more time to do the things I need to do, and more to the point, want to do.  I know I share this wish with many of you.  We all have busy lives. 

When we think of the people who lived in the nineteenth century, we think they had simple lives, and perhaps they did, but I'm certain they were busy, too!  From sun up to sun down they worked farming, caring for live stock, growing and preserving food, making bread, hauling water, washing clothes, keeping house, and caring for one another.  I suppose that list is a simpler one than the one we have.

Our modern conveniences have allowed us to turn a faucet for water, load the dishwasher, push a button to dry our clothes and ride a lawn mower, not to mention walking into a grocery store to choose from the food not only in and out of our own season, but from the world over.  Those tasks are much simpler that our ancestors....and yet, we are decidedly as busy.  There just never seems to enough time to do all of the things we want and need to do.

I subscribe to a wonderful magazine called A Simple Life , which focuses on American life in the nineteenth century.  You know how I love reading about this time period!  I was struck by the note inside, written by publisher/editor Jill Peterson,  about her busy life publishing a magazine, always looking to the future for content in upcoming issues.  Jill writes "often times if we are thinking of the next task, the next event in our lives, we rush through our days thinking....when that is done, or this is over, I will......  Suddenly that event is over and we are immediately looking at the next trial.  One day we look up and we are another year older and time just passed us by." 

Sound familiar?

Jill goes on to write " we must try not to let our days become so busy and full that we forget how precious and fragile our days are, and how one day they will all be gone.  Don't allow yourself a missed opportunity that each day has to offer by rushing through time trying to accomplish the next task on your list.  Each day may bring about an opportunity that only comes around once and then is irreplaceable."

I'm gonna try to keep Jill's words in my heart.  I'm happy to have the opportunities I have coming my way, lucky to have work I love, a full life with my family and friends, and yes, lucky for a busy life.  I haven't been bored since 1985 and grateful for it!  Still...we all need to take time to smell the roses.

 Look for copies of A Simple Life at your local quilt shop and book seller!

Thank you for taking a few moments in your busy life to visit with me!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Little Time to Play

A few weeks ago, I took a bit time for myself to play with this little quilting sensation called the Lil' Twister.  The template was designed by Marcia Bergren and there's been a bevy of fun quilts made in a variety of arrangements.  While I admired the quilts I saw, I wasn't moved to make one until I saw this little cutie!

Primitive Pinwheels made by Susan Laity Price
This 1930's quilt was made by Susan in my Prairie Women's Sewing Circle club.  She brought it for show-n-tell and I was instantly smitten.  The pinwheels are 2 1/2 inches.  Love those tiny blocks.
It's not only the size of the pinwheel....the layout really got me!

So, I set about making two identical quilts.... one for myself and one for a friend. 

Here's how the first stage looks......

....and here's the finished quilt.

Same quilt, different fabrics.  Oh, and it can be made smaller, too!  The Lil' Twister templates and patterns are available all over the place.  To make this quilt, you will need Susan's instructions, which are included free with the purchase of the Primitive Pinwheels pattern by Primitive Gatherings.  Susan's instructions are available free, but only from The Quilt Merchant, in Winfield, IL with the purchase of the pattern.  Click here to go to The Quilt Merchant's website.

It was loads of fun to make!  Have you made a quilt using the Lil' Twister?

Thank you for dropping by!  Pam

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Kentucky Quilt Project Documentary

Celine Perkins, of Perkins Dry Goods, recently blogged about a wonderful new documentary, created by Shelly Zegart, called Why Quilts Matter; History, Art & Politics.  I watched the trailer for the documentary and was nearly moved to tears.  It promises to be a very meaningful film, telling a national audience what quilting means to us all, the many reasons why we make quilts, and their intrinsic value to our communities and country far beyond keeping our families warm at night.   

Click here to see the trailer and learn more about the Why Quilts Matter documentary, and when it will air on PBS.

Just had to share this with all of you.  It's a good thing!  And remember.....to assure this truly American art form lives on.....each one must teach one!


Friday, August 19, 2011

The Sewing Gathering

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of getting together at The Quilt Merchant for a day of sewing with the ladies from my own Prairie Women's Sewing Circle group.  It wasn't a work day for me (not that any of them feel like 'work') but a day to sew and enjoy their company.  We are in between Journey Two and Three and thought it would be a fine idea to get together to catch up on our projects!

We worked on Journey projects as well as other UFOs.

Did some hand stitching.....

....and some by machine!  Gotta love those Featherweights!

Sharon J (left) and Sharon C (right) with Heartland Crossing.
This group of ladies are a very talented bunch!  The quilt in the photo above is Sharon C's version of the Heartland Crossing quilt (Journey One).  Sharon chose to make her quilt
smaller and added a different pieced border.  We all loved her interpretation!

Prairie Huswyfe ~ Journey Two

Some of the ladies wowed me with a bevy of show-n-tells.  They have been hard at work.
I asked them for permission to take photos to share with you.

Scraps from Home ~ Journey One

Mill Girls ~ Journey Two

Seneca Falls ~ Journey One
Sewing with quilting friends is one of my favorite things to do.  When you have time
to spend together doing what you love, something wonderful always happens!
We shared all kinds of ideas, of new-found things in the quilting world,
gave encouragement and inspired one another.  What could be better?

I hope you have a chance to gather together, just as the Prairie women did,
and share the unique bond we have with other quilters.
It does such good for the soul!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Iowa Fun

Last Sunday, I traveled to Des Moines, IA for a bit of R&R time with my pal, Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles.  As you know, Lynne lives in Kansas, and I live in Illinois, and Des Moines is the half way point between us.  As often as time allows, we try to meet for that oh-so-valuable girlfriend time.

One of our favorite things to do is to go antiquing.  We spent a few hours scouring thru booths to see what treasures awaited. 

We were successful, both finding antique quilts for design inspiration, and along the way,  we also came upon two really neat sewing related antiques I thought you'd enjoy as well.

This spool cabinet was a merchant display for Corticelli threads, a brand I'd never heard
of before.  It was in wonderful shape!

The front threads stood vertically making for a very attractive display behind the glass while the thread inventory lay horizontally in all those little divots.  So cool!!

Neither of us had ever seen a Clarks spool cabinet like this one!  How awesome is this?

The threads were inserted in the top of the display and rolled down those channels, much like a soda vending machine.

At the bottom, you slide the little roll-top-style doors upward to choose your thread.  How great is that?!!  The workmanship on these spool cabinets is unbelieveable!!  We thought both of these spool cabinets would make the best end tables......and we were very tempted......until we saw the price tags.  $2,195 each.  OK....we can admire them and be happy!

Antiquing isn't the only thing we did while visiting Iowa.  Besides staying up late gabbing, and enjoying great food, we did log some serious sewing time.  I worked on a magazine submission project, and Lynne literally whipped up a lap-sized quilt in less than a day.  Really!  I was a first-hand witness to this marvel.  She made it from her new Flannel Days collection. 

This flannel is oh-so-soft and wonderful!  If only the photo could convey just how luscious this feels!
Well, you'll have to take my word for it.  Anyway......

Lynne cut and pieced this quilt, called Puzzled, in just a few hours!  If you need a quick quilt for any reason, this is just what you're looking for!  And here's the best part.....for a very limited time, the pattern is free with the purchase of a kit ($50)!  To find out all of the details, click here.

I returned home full of creative inspiration, renewed energy, and a deep sense of well being in large part because of Lynne.  She is an awesome friend.... a kindred spirit - which is so rare.  I am blessed with a wonderful family.  Twice blessed with the best friends a girl could ask for!  We're already working to make plans to get together again soon.  

Hope you have the chance to spend time with the great people in your life, too!  Pam 

Monday, August 15, 2011

WANTED: 6 More Hours A Day!

Please excuse my very long absence, Dear Reader!  I hesitate to give you the reason for not posting regularly of late because I'll sound like a broken record.....but it's the truth none the less......TIME!  "Life" kept getting in the way of a lot of things.  Oh how I wish for more time in a day, a week, a lifetime.  Hoping you'll forgive me as I'm almost certain you can empathize!

As I look back to my last post, we enjoyed some of the new fabrics coming soon from Marcus Brothers.  Today, I want to finish up with two new collections coming from Windham. 

Indigo by Windham

First, take a look at Indigo.  These lovely prints in blues and neutrals will be a wonderful addition to your collection.  I so love making two-color quilts and there's some real winners here, don't ya think?
To see the full collection click here!

General's Wives by Nancy Gere for Windham
These are the fabrics from the General's Wives collection designed by Nancy Gere.  I have been a fan of Nancy's collections for a long time and she has done it again!  They sure do have that classic vintage look, don't they?

Truth be told, there are a couple of prints missing from the photos as I've already used them in a two of new Prairie Women's Sewing Circle club ~ Journey Three quilts.  They were so perfect for what I needed!  I want to buy yardage of quite a few of them, and anxiously await their arrival at my local quilt shop.  Perhaps you'll see a few you can't live without, too!  To see the entire line of the General's Wives click here

Last week, I met my dear pal, Lynne Hagmeier (Kansas Troubles Quilters), in Iowa to sew a bit and spend some good girlfriend time together eating, antiquing, and catching up.  I took some fun pictures and I'll share them with you in my next post.  I promise it won't take me as long to post again!

Thank you for visiting with me (and for not giving up on me!) ......Pam

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Collections from Marcus Fabrics!

It never ceases to amaze me how many new and wonderful fabrics
are created in a year's time.  If we only had money to buy them all
and a space big enough to give them all a home!
A girl sure can wish!

I recently received fabric samples of some of the new upcoming lines and wanted to share
these collections with you.  Perhaps some of these fabrics will make their way into your stash!

First up are the fabrics from a new collection by Judie Rothermel called
Civil War Journals.  I super sized the photos so you can get a good look
at these lovely prints.

Sorry that the pictures aren't all the same size.  I just wanted them to be as big as they could be so you could really see the prints.

Civil War Journals will also be offered as a Block of the Month created by the talented ladies
of Homestead Hearth.  To see the BOM click here.  The fabrics will be available
in November.

Next up are the fabrics from Judie's new collection, Nineteenth Century Backgrounds.

These fabrics are in stores now.  If you love shirtings, don't miss this collection!


These luscious fabrics were designed by Paula Barnes for her new collection
called Country Manor.

  I don't know about you, but I'm lovin' some of these prints - big time!! 
Country Manor is due out in October. 


Admittedly, I saved my favorite collection for last.....Paula Barnes' Cotton Club.

Why is it my favorite??  It has R-E-D in the collection!!
Red and lovely browns, too.
Mary Ellen Robison & Paula Barnes of Bonnie Blue Quilts

You may remember that I raved about the Cotton Club quilt in May when we were at Quilt Market.  This quilt is so gorgeous, so unbelievable in person,
you can't help but have to have it!  I love Blocks of the Month, and like you, am too
busy to make them all, so I've tried to resist.  But sometimes.....
a quilt just grabs you.....ya know?  This quilt grabbed me, alright! 
And I'm smiling all the way! 

Here's a super-sized look at the wonderful fabrics of the Cotton Club collection.

Click here to see the Cotton Club BOM......or better yet, ask for it at your favorite quilt shop!
The collection is due out in September.

You really must see all of these collections and prints in person.  Even super-sized,
photos just don't do them justice.  There are plenty of fabrics from these
collections that I will be wanting to buy lots more of.....and the creative wheels are
working overtime inspiring me to make new quilts.  The wide variety of prints among
the collections will undoubtedly create gorgeous quilts and I can hardly wait
to begin piecing with them!

A big, giant THANK YOU to the folks at
Marcus Fabrics for their generosity. 

I hope these fabrics will inspire the creativity in you as well.
Thanks for visiting with me today!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fabric Interruptus

I know I promised everyone that I'd be posting photos of the new, yummy fabrics I received from Windham and Marcus Brothers, but have had a few things derail my day today and won't be able to post the photos as I had planned.  I'm sooooo sorry!!!  I will post them the very first chance I have.

Stay tuned....sorry for any inconvenience!!  Pam