Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Never too young to sew!

What does a new mother do when she starts getting her energy back and a little free time? She sews! This is my niece Jessica sewing a dress (black polka dots and yellow/white chevron stripes) for her 3 year old daughter. Notice the little baby face in the blue cap tucked up under Jessica's chin? That is new baby Charlotte Mae who was born April 5, weighing just 3 lbs 6 oz. She is growing like a little daisy and starting to give mom some free time to indulge in sewing as long as she is snuggled in tight against Mom's heart.

It wouldn't be fair to show you Olivia's new dress without showing you Olivia. She is a darling girl and we look forward to spending a week with her this summer at Kanuga, the Episcopal Center in Hendersonville, NC. We always have a family reunion week there during guest period. 

Jessica didn't sew much as a teenager, now Jessica loves to sew and is very good at it. Olivia's dress last summer had so much detail sewn into it that we were all surprised when Jessica said she made it herself. In our family the apples don't fall far from the tree. 

Olivia's Nana is making sure that Olivia learns how to sew. She has her stitching little squares together on the sewing machine. This is Olivia's first quilt. It looks like a little pile of scraps but it is somewhat sewn together. Olivia gave it to the dog, so it is presently residing in the dog bed. Way to go Olivia! Everyone has to start somewhere.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Upcountry Quilting Workshop

If you live in the southeast you probably know where "upcountry" is located. For those of you wonder what in the world is "upcountry", it is the northwestern counties in South Carolina...those counts that are in the mountains. I got to travel From Marietta to Marietta for this weekend event.The upcounty quilters mostly live in Westminster, SC but they held their annual retreat at a lovely retreat center near Marietta, SC. The best thing about the retreat center is they cook your meals and wash the dishes. Our workshop was large and well lighted, an excellent work space with plenty of room for everyone.

I taught two workshops. The first day we did free motion rotary cutting quarter circle blocks to make Frisbee Fling table runners. Sewing these blocks is kind of like making Drunkard's Path blocks without the controls. Here are two glimpses of the Frisbee Fling table runner workshop.
Gail Eastman is carefully constructing her quarter round blocks.
Rebecca Platts really isn't tearing her hair out while trying to stitch curved seams. Or is she?

On the second day of the retreat we made the Pineapple Table Runner 
"Eat Your Veggies" a pattern that I designed to go with my Creative Grids Pineapple Trim Tool.
The pattern and tool are available on my website: www.jeanannquilts.com
Evelyn Kellog has finished her first 10" pineapple block.
Gail Duncan has carefully organized the strips for her pineapple blocks.

And a good time was had by all!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Who taught you to sew?

Do you remember who taught you to sew? My mother started teaching me to sew when I was just 3 years old. I have 3 sisters and all 4 of us learned to sew at an early age. By the time I was 10 I was making my own clothes. It takes a lot of work for a mother to sew clothing for 4 daughters so teaching us to sew was a necessity!

Here is my favorite mother's day picture. It was take in 1998 at St. James Episcopal Church in Marietta, GA. It is the day my mother was baptized. She was 84. She never attended church but sent us girls every Sunday morning. I think it must have been her peaceful hour at home each week.

When Mom moved to assisted living her card playing friends encouraged her to attend the Methodist Sunday School with them. They had all been in the same class for years and years but they welcomed Mom, a newcomer. When they learned she wasn't baptized they were mortified. So Mom asked me, an Episcopal Deacon to baptize her; and so I did on Mother's Day. I am in the photo with Mom, my two oldest daughters Elaine and Ellen, and their six children. I really, really love this picture, especially on Mother's day when we were all together for such a special event.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Just Released!

At last, it is time for the big reveal. This is my new ruler, the 8" Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool. You can see that the strips on two adjacent sides are narrow and the other two sides are wide so you can create the visual illusion of a circle or a diamond. Creative Grids will be introducing the 8" Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool next week at the Quilt Market in Pittsburgh. The Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool and five patterns are available on my website www.jeanannquilts.com or ask for them at your local quilt shop.

I have designed 5 projects to go with the new Curvy Log Cabin. They are available as Cut Loose Patterns on my website or at your local quilt shop. The Hopscotch pattern shows how sets of four blocks sewn together can make a circle or a diamond. The quilt has a total of 24 blocks and took a week to make from start to finish.

Here is the most popular of the patterns alternating light and dark diamond shapes. It is called Carousel.

Two more patterns..... I Love America and Texas Two Step. The heart quilt uses 12 of the 8" Curvy Log Cabin blocks to make the big red heart. The original 8" Log Cabin Trim Toll was used to make the blue and white borders at the top and bottom of the quilt for a finished quilt measurinf 32" x 40". The modern Texas Two Step quilt was made using Courthouse Step blocks in two color groupings and then turned the blocks on end and sidewise to make the quilt design. This one took 2 days to make. The quilt measures 40" x 48". I took the photo at a funky little park in Marietta that has a 10' high plaster boot trimmed out with Texas motifs giving the quilt its name.

And for your table, the Zen Table Runners.....you make 12 blocks, sew them together in sets of four and then arrange them in circles or diamonds.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

FTU patterns

What are FTU patterns? They are "free to use" patterns posted on the internet by the major fabric manufacturers. The patterns are meant to tempt quilters to use their latest fabric collections. Here is a FTU pattern I designed for Benartex. The fabric collection is "Palm Springs" and it is a very "girly", and modern collection. http://www.benartex.com/?page=gallery-detail&collection=752

Barb Neiwert of Mountain Quiltworks used the pattern to make a quilt for her brother using jungle prints. Here is Barb's email to me....

Hi, Jean Ann - I thought I'd let you know that I made up a quilt using a pattern I found online, and much to my delight it was one of yours!  (We met in Hailey when I was a fresh quilter and did a couple of quilts for Janet for your last book.)

You can see photos of it on my blog here: http://mountainquiltworks.blogspot.com/2014/05/cozy-threads-of-love.html

To see the complete blog and all of Barb's great photos you will need to click on the link above and visit Barb's blog. She has several pictures of the quilt including details of the longarm quilting that she used to finish the quilt. It is well worth visiting Barb's blog to see the detailed photos.