I would have to say my number one place for inspiration is
nature. A quilt doesn’t seem finished to me if there aren’t flowers appliquéd on
it. Sometimes I get ideas from my own pictures…like these.
Some of my other favorite inspirations are fabric and folk
Where do you get inspiration from?
I have piles of pictures and business cards and greeting
cards that inspire me. Remember those paint chips from the hardware store?
Those are in the pile too. In a few weeks I have a project that will help you
create a beautiful way to store up all that inspiration.
I must admit it, I’m very partial to sets of gradation
fabrics. You can see it in the Miss Hannah quilt above. My new favorite place
to buy these sets is from Janet A. Smith at textileart.com. These fabrics hold
up to starch and press appliqué beautifully. The fabric is very easy to sew
through and the colors are great.
Here is an up close of the pinks.
Here are some fall colors I picked up for a new fall
Ok...it’s summer…the kids and I are a little bored so we
decided to kidnap Walter…digitally.
Let me explain. My kids pet sit during the summer to earn a
little money. One of our favorite animals to take care of is Walter. He’s a
tortoise. Miss Werlin the Kindergarten teacher’s tortoise to be exact.
Here she is with Max on his first day of Kindergarten eleven
Miss Werlin is very attached to Walter and brings him
everywhere. Here she is at the pumpkin patch hauling Walter around.
So, while she was away we decided Walter needed some
adventure. Can you guess where my daughter took him?
Here’s another hint.
Yep that’s Venice. See Walter hanging out on the top of the
water taxi? I’m seriously jealous right now. We are headed out on vacation
soon, unfortunately it won’t be Venice, but I’m not complaining.
As you may have noticed, Block 7 has pointy flowers and
leaves. Since I’m trying to add video to the blog I made a small video about appliquéing
points at which point I fell into a technical abyss only to emerge 12 hours
later. It turns out that I couldn’t find a way to upload the video no matter
what I tried. I finally asked my kids and when they found out I was trying to
load a 555 megabyte video they both clutched their sides and fell over
laughing. Long story short, I learned about compression and discovered how easy
it is to use youtube. I keep telling them that when I was in college we still
had to program computers using punch cards. They have no pity, this makes them
laugh even harder. Yeesh.
While I was figuring out the whole compression thing I
decided to do some pictures of how I do my points in case I never figured out
how to get another video on the web.
Here we go:
Here’s a picture of my general approach.
Once I’ve appliquéd up to the point where the fabric is
peaking out I park my needle. I then pinch the point with my left thumb and
tuck the fabric in like this.
When I get to the point I take a slightly longer stitch
(this gives the illusion of sharpness) and come right back up from where I
started the stitch.
After securing the point in this way I continue down the
Now if you are ready for ANOTHER very amateur video here I
am doing this real time. I’m still working on the video editing thing so bear
I can’t believe that we are already on Block 7. Thanks for hanging in there. Last month’s block had LOTS of petals. There aren’t so many this time but they are pointy. I’m going to use my new found video skills to show you how I do points later this week. Now I just have to track down that pesky cameraman (AKA my teenage son). For now enjoy the new block!
The pattern has two formats. The first is a full size pattern (12” square you can download here) that you can save to a USB drive and take to a copy place to have printed. The other is a ¼ size drawing (download here) that should print on a regular printer. You can make 4 copies of this one and tape it together for a full size pattern.
For all you who like to share pictures you can join our FLICKR group at
Hello blog friends. It turns out you guys are very
interested in learning to use Adobe Photoshop Elements (PSE) to help you design
quilts…SO, here are the beginnings of my attempts to do this.
I’ve been using PSE 6.0 for the last year. Since this is not
the currently sold version I have recently bought version 8.0 so I can see if
all my techniques are compatible. I think you can still find copies of version
6.0 for a very good price. Last I checked they had some at Amazon but they were
used. I’ve seen the current version for about $ 80 at Amazon which is a good
deal and will allow you to have some fun with your digital pictures as well. Except
for today’s test video I will use PSE 8.0 for my tutorials.
Disclaimer: I’m learning how to do all this “screen casting”
and video editing as I speak and I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing so
some of the videos might be a bit rough as I learn. Feedback would be
wonderful. My “screen casting” software is a web freebie and I’m still working
out sound quality. Once I get this going I plan to have all my appliqué tutorials
in video as well. I think it’s really helpful to see someone doing a thing when
I’m trying to learn instead of reading about it. Look for these in the coming
That being said here is a quick little test video.(HINT: click on the arrows next to "vimeo" on the bottom of the video player to enlarge screen)
Continuing my mission of cooking as little as possible
during the hot months of summer, I bring you the latest addition of Quilt Lady
Cooking. This Cous Cous salad is a mainstay at our house during the summer. The
great part about it is that the only thing to cook is the cous cous which takes
about 5 minutes. It’s also low calories as well…just in case you were wondering…or
had been having a “little” too much ice cream.
Here we go,
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup plain cous cous
1 cup red seedless grapes, cut in half
1/3 cup currants
1 small red onion chopped
10 dates, pitted and chopped
3 Tbsp parsley
¼ cup pine nuts (these are REALLY, REALLY expensive this
year so omit if needed)
3 Tbsp orange juice
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp honey Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ lb. smoked turkey, cut into ½” cubes
Bring chicken broth to a boil, remove from heat and stir in
cous cous. Cover and allow to cool.
Combine dates, grapes, currants, onion, turkey, cous cous
and pine nuts in a bowl.
Whisk together orange juice, vinegar, olive oil, mustard,
salt and ground cumin.
Pour over cous cous mix.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve with salad greens.
For a printable version of this recipe click here. Enjoy!
I designed this festive little project to show you how
versatile Florabunda Blocks are for other projects. The Florabunda blocks are
sized at 12 inches. Here I re-sized the blocks to 9 inches. Whenever I re-size
something to a smaller size I reduce the complexity a bit so it will still be
fun to appliqué. In this table runner I simplified the flower and the calyx. You
can download the directions here. The re-sized design and border appliqués can
be found here.