Thursday, April 27, 2017

Baby Blocks

Hello Everyone,
In keeping with my half-square triangle theme from yesterday, I made a block using only HST, but this one is 6". I'll be using this block when I teach my Finessing the Figures class.
I made all of my HST according to the tutorial on The Quilt Show HERE.  To make 8 HST at a time, I began with 4" squares.  You can also see my tutorial at the top of the page located in the Virtual Classroom.  Each HST is trimmed to 1-1/2", so when it is sewn into the block, it finishes at 1".  You are probably saying, "Holy cow! I can't do that!"  Well, I'm here to tell you that you CAN.  Take your time. Cut accurately, trim accurately, use a perfect 1/4" seam, and press in the direction that I'm showing.
THE FORMULA:  Remember, always, ALWAYS begin with the finished size!
Finished size times 2", then add 2"
(1" x 2" = 2")  then add 2" = 4"

First, I sewed the HST together that make the center star.  Yes, I could have made flying geese for the center star, but I wanted this blocks to contain only HST's.

In order to get them to "nest" together, I pressed one HST toward the darker color and one HST toward the lighter color.  The I pressed my seams open.

Front of the section.

Back of the section.  Notice the pressing on the back.  The HST opposite each other diagonally, are pressed in the same direction.  This helps sewing these little guys together.  Then I pressed the seams open to reduce the bulk.

I did the same process for the corners.

You end up with a reasonably lined up block that the quilt police will overlook any minor indiscretions and let slide right in to the quilt.

What's that phrase about looking at a quilt from the distance of 20' from a galloping horse?  Let's hop on our horses (or stick ponies), and start galloping over to your sewing machine today and perfect those little HST's.



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Half Square Triangle Tutorial is Featured on TQS today

Hello Everyone,
Today, TQS (The Quilt Show) is featuring the way I make half-square triangles.  This entire block is made using only HST.  Now I could have thrown some flying geese in there too, but I want to prove a point on the versatility of the HST.

It all begins by making this many 1-1/2" HST for this 9" block.

They can be arranged and rearranged in many different combinations to create very complex designs.

To watch the HST tutorial on TQS click HERE.  The video contains the formula so you will learn to make HST 8 at a time.  This really is a speedy, and accurate method.  The video is only about 7 minutes so you really won't have time to make popcorn during the show.  Make sure you have a paper and pen ready so you can take notes.

A download for the cutting directions to make a 9" block  full of half-square triangle is located HERE. The Patchwork Math book is available HERE at a discounted price.

Remember, my Patchwork Math videos are always available for free on TQS.  So when you are working on something at 2am, and you need a refresher coarse......well there you go.  The tutorials are just a click away.  I also have a tutorial on HST in the Virtual Classroom section at the top of my blog HERE.

I'll be making more of HST today for a project that I'm working on, and I'll post my result tomorrow.

Have fun making your triangles! 


Monday, April 24, 2017

Amador Valley Quilt Show Pics

Hello Everyone,
Here are just a few pictures from the quilt show this past weekend.  After seeing so many beautiful and inspirational quilts at the show, I wanted to run home to my sewing machine and start creating!
The first quilt is my Country Charmer pattern made by my friend Jean. I love the French Country border fabric she used.  The tiny blue strip really sets this off nicely.  I absolutely love the fact that Jean changed up the pattern and made it Jean's style.  Well done!

My friend Laurie faithfully kept up with my Emilie Elizabeth BOM at In Between Stitches. You have know idea how heartwarming it is for me to see quilters make my designs, create heirloom quilts, and know they will live on, and be appreciated for generations.

Speaking of heirlooms......this is it!  Laurie also entered this quilt in the show.  Oh by the way, it is hand-quilted!  Such attention to detail throughout.  Another quilt well done.

My friend Kia made and quilted this Baltimore Autumn quilt.  My booth was right across from this quilt, so we admired it throughout the entire show.

My friend Mary made and hand-quilted this beauty.  Attention to detail and fussy cutting to the max on this beauty.  Also hand-quilted! 

We don't have a great deal of time to view the show, so I have just a few random pictures to show you. 

All plaids!  You know this one made me smile!

It was a wonderful, and inspiring show.  There were two huge room full of quilts and vendors.  We were so busy at our booth, chatting with friends, demonstrating Patchwork Math, and chatting with friends some more, that I didn't take too many pictures.  I also made some wonderful new contacts with other guilds for future shows and lectures.  The Sew'n Wild Oaks circle keeps growing.

Another one of my friends came by and took a picture of the three of us working the booth.  My sister Gail, granddaughter Emily and me.  Thank you or sending this to me Kathy.

Thank you Amador Valley Quilters for making this possible. 

Also many thanks to Madeleine, her cousin Carol, Evelynne and her husband Herman, our daughter Caren, and granddaughters Emilie and Kinsey for helping us so much over the past three days.  An extra big thanks to my sister and accountant Gail.  She works tirelessly tracking every penny, and is a gracious hostess to everyone who stops by the booth.  Of course many thanks to Mr. Joe who puts in many hours before, during and after shows, stuffing patterns, boxing note cards, schlepping product and props around, cooking when I'm too busy, and walks Mazey when I'm not around.  It takes a village to maintain a booth and keep the business running.  I couldn't do all of this without you.

Today I will count product, do the finally accounting and put it all away until the next show.  We will take this show on the road to Grass Valley in two weeks.....YIKES!



Sunday, April 23, 2017

Amador Valley Quilt Show

Hello Everyone,
Here are a few pictures of my booth at the quilt show.  We had a great time yesterday seeing so many friends.

Since it is a local show, we had the opportunity to visit with many customers and friends from In Between Stitches.  We talked and gave out hugs all day long.  It is such a tough job!

I have my note cards displayed on an old-fashioned writing desk. How many of you remember The Palmer Method of handwriting?  The boxes of cards are selling well for me, so they will become a permanent fixture in my booth.

The Christmas table runner pattern, Homemade Holiday is also selling well.  I guess quilters are in the planning mode for Christmas.

A thirty foot booth gives me so much space for display, and lots of room for shoppers.

My granddaughter Kinsey helped us yesterday.  My other granddaughter Emily will be helping today.  I think it is excellent experience for the girls to be introduced to the world of business at an early age.  It is fun for them to see the patterns sell that they packaged. Yesterday we got so busy I forgot to take a picture of Kinsey and Gail working the register together.

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of the quilts on display at the show.  There are many amazing works of art.  The show runs until 4 this afternoon at the Robert Livermore Community Center.  If you come by, you'll get a hug!


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Quilt Show Preparations

Hello Everyone,
Today I will work on all final preparations for my booth at the quilt show this weekend here in town. I have boxes of my note cards packaged and ready to go.  They look so cute in their little tool box.

We start setting up our 30' booth tomorrow at 1pm sharp. It takes hours to pull it all together. It's a lot of work, on the other hand, it's a lot of fun turning an empty space into a cozy, inviting booth.  Here's a picture of my booth at the Folsom show in February.  This is will be my blueprint for set-up tomorrow.
Hope to see you at the show.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Featured on The Quilt Show Blog

Top of the Morning to Everyone,
So where do I begin?  So much is going on at Sew'n Wild Oaks that my head is spinning more than it usually does.  Yesterday, I got an email from Rose at The Quilt Show.  She told me my Patchwork Math classes were going to be featured today on The Quilt Show's Daily Blog!  Click HERE and it will take you right to my classes.  If you click there, don't forget to come back because there's a lot more to read.

Timing could not have been better as I just taught Patchwork Math, or as I now call it Finessing the Figures, at Cloth and Quilts in Turlock to a delightful group of women on Monday.  Here are a few photos of their practical application of the class.


Here are my favorite Y-squares combined together to make a lattice border.  It is so easy to make this dramatic border.  The class learned how to make this any size they need.

I get so busy teaching, that I forget to take pictures of all the creations.  My apologies to those who weren't included.

Nancy doesn't let anything go to waste.  Here are the itty bitty little pieces cut away from the double flying geese unit.

Like I said at the beginning of the post, timing for the show couldn't have been better......drum roll.....because.......everything is now finalized for the quilting cruise to Alaska July 5th - 15th, 2018, where I will be teaching Finessing the Figures on The Grand Princess out of San Francisco!

So ship ahoy, shiver me timbers, and get on board the Finessing the Figures floating class.  During the week of  May 1 - May 8th, only a $100 deposit is needed to secure your reservation.  After that date the deposit will be 20% of the cruise price.  You can contact for more information.  Or you can contact me, and I will email you the flyer and booking information. 

There will be four quilt teachers on board and we all have something different to offer.  You can stick with me for the entire four days of quilting instruction, or you can check out three other teachers.  If you stick with me, I'll be your BFF! 

Seriously, what could be more fun than sewing for four days on the open ocean, stops along the way at different ports of call, excursions on our private quilting bus, whale watching, and did I forget to mention eating???? Non-quilters are also welcome.  Bring those spouses along to spend quality time with Mr. Joe.  My sister Gail is going, and our cousin Melody.  We can be quite funny when we are all together. Warning: Spontaneous bursts of laughter have been known to erupt when we are together.

I'll be teaching Finessing the Figures during the two day trip to Alaska. On the return trip I'll be teaching Snow Diamonds.  This quilt will be a combination of several different techniques, and will be a wonderful remembrance of your Alaskan vacation. (I'd better get busy and design this one!)

Your assignment today, should you choose to accept it, is to watch the Patchwork Math segments and get an idea of my teaching style, and a sample of what you will be learning on the cruise.  If you can't join me on the cruise, have fun watching the short videos and apply the formulas and my techniques to your everyday quilting.

A little side note inserted here.  About three days after the filming of my segments, the editor emailed them to me for my review.  My grandson Jess, who was 7 at the time, was with me for the afternoon.  I asked him if he wanted to watch Grammy's videos.  We sat down together and he watched every single one of them.  When they were over, I asked him his thoughts.

         He said, "Grammy, you have a beard."  I was horrified. 
         I said, "Can you see my chin hairs on the computer?" 
         He said, "No Grammy, I'm sitting right next to you and I can see them."

Let me know if you see them.



Friday, April 14, 2017

Almost Showtime Again

Hello Everyone,

No quilting has been happening under the oaks at Sew'n Wild Oaks over the past week.  It's been prep time for two quilt shows.  Amador Valley Quilt Show is April 22nd and 23rd.  Then I head to the show in Grass Valley the first weekend in May.

For years I've been thinking about making note cards using pictures of my quilts.  We go on many photo shoots, and I have lots of material to work with.  (Pun intended!)

Yesterday was the day to begin, and my office became a print shop.
Shameless self promotion and advertising is on the back of each card.

My granddaughter Emily, is going to come over tomorrow and we are going to package up the note cards in groups of 10 in clear, plastic boxes, with a gold, stretchy bow.  As I get more sophisticated with my production, I plan on having seasonal assortments.  I'll see how they sell at the first two shows before going into massive, professional production. 

I know I send out a ton of handwritten notes......but does anyone else?  I'll find out soon.  I'm still refining my final price point.  As I've been vending at shows for the past several years, I'm finding shoppers are looking for lower price points. 

At one point in time yesterday I felt like a real geek in my office.  I had three printers working at the same time!  I was printing out materials for my Patchwork Math class next Monday on my big printer.  The laser was printing patterns, and my small, photo quality printer was printing note cards.  It was a 3-ring circus!  I did feel highly productive for hours. 

Today I have Easter preparations to attend to as the entire 'gang' will be here for brunch.  Our annual, Wilder softball game may be a rain out this year.  I don't know how this tradition got started, but we only play softball on Easter.  The little boys are always the captains, and they always pick their dad as the first member of their team.  Grammy and Poppy are falling farther and farther behind during team selection, no matter how pleadingly we look at the little boys.  Maybe I should put some black paint under my eyes, chew, spit, scratch, and really play the role of a baseball player to be selected early in the process.  I'll let you know if that works for me.  They would probably think me stark raving mad, and know that I've finally lost all of my marbles.

At Little League the other night, Jess hit a triple, a single, and was Superman out in the field.  All of his heroics landed him the game ball.  Since his Dad, our son, is the coach, Jess has to work really hard to be deserving of the game ball.  Our son doesn't want to play favorites.  Jess' smile says it all.
So let's all knock it out of the park today and have a great day and weekend.