Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Leah Day's free-motion quilting tutorials

Wiggly Woven Lines is one of many Free Motion Quilting videos offered by Leah Day on YouTube. I am SERIOUSLY considering ding the  365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Designs Project. Even if I take time off to attend genealogy conferences and the week-long studies at Samford this year, I'd certainly know a lot more about free motion quilting when I got done.

Although Leah has a website, the Free Motion Quilting Project was so big, she devoted an entire blog on the topic.  http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com. There's advice about maintaining consistent lines and improving your sewing machine setup.

This girl is rockin'

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fons and Porter: free pattern book with e-newsletter sign-up

Here's the offer I spotted on Facebook:Sign up for the Fons & Porter quilting newsletter and get Block Buster for FREE!
To sign up for the FonsandPorter.com newsletter and product announcements
PLUS! the FREE Block Buster booklet, just enter your email address
and press the "Subscribe" button at http://www.fonsandporter.com/newsletter/fp_news_optin.html
That's it!

Here's what they said about their booklet:

"This information-packed booklet is full of SUPER block ideas you can stitch up in no time! The quilting experts at Keepsake Quilting with Marianne Fons and Liz Porter share with you some of their favorite ideas for quick-cut quilt blocks and a Revolutionary new technique for cutting triangles! Color photos of each block provide inspiration, cutting instructions for three block sizes let you be your own designer, and piecing diagrams guide you through block assembly. You'll get 34 different blocks in 3 sizes —
THAT'S OVER 100 PATTERNS! The best part? This booklet is FREE when you sign up for our newsletter!"

So I checked out the offer. They simply want your email addres. No credit card. And in exchange, you immediately receive access to a darling 16-page booklet with patterns in 6, 9 and 12 inches. Then the newsletter will arive periodifically. (Those I have yet to evaluate.)  But hey, a free booklet of patterns is certainly worth a try, especially when it is from our friends at Fons and Porter. There are some great color selections and a few rotary cutting ideas.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jo Arnspiger's Confederate – Mississippi Flag pattern

GREAT! Another block for the  Genea-Quilters 2011 Block Challenge, this one from Jo Arnspiger. Harking back to her Confederate ancestry with this beautifully executed Mississippi Flag pattern (a blue background with white star) Jo writes:

My father’s family were almost all from Mississippi and Alabama. I choose the dark blue background and white star block pattern which represents the first flag flown by Mississippi in 1861 when they seceded from the United States. This flag was never officially adopted but was raised over the capital building and inspired the song “The Bonnie Blue Flag”.  See: Free Union and Confederate Quilt Patterns, ( by Judy Anne Breneman.
My great great grandfather Henry Stephen Archer Sr. served in the 32nd Mississippi Regiment from Mar 1861 through 1864. Sometime in 1864 he was reassigned as Chaplain for the 41st Mississippi Regiment. Copies of some of his military papers indicate President Davis was instrumental in approving his reassignment to the 41st Regiment as Chaplain. 

I have recently discovered the existence of the personal diary of Henry S. Archer for the years of his service in the Confederate Army. A microfilmed copy of the diary has been ordered through  Interlibrary Loan. Can’t wait to get my hands on that.

John Samuel Smith, a brother of my great great grandmother, Elizabeth Hurt Smith, also served in the 32nd Mississippi Infantry and died in battle 15 May 1864 in  Georgia. My great great grandfather, Joshua Atwood Tilton, enlisted in Co. D, 8th Regiment Alabama Infantry 10 May 1861. He was discharged 23 Oct 1862, having suffered a severe gunshot wound to the arm, leaving him with little or no use of the arm. He was a railroad engineer before the war and apparently continued that occupation after his discharge.

THANK-YOU Jo, for sharing your quilting talents, and for the stories about the service of two second great-grandfathers, and your second great-grand uncle. How very special to find the diary of one of these soldiers. Perhaps you can transcribe it for a series of blog postings? Just thinking...  ;)

So, DearGenea-Quilters, remember the  Genea-Quilters 2011 Block Challenge runs through 15 April 2011. We're going to raffle the resulting quilt at the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree on Saturday, 11 June 2011 at the Marriott Burbank Conference Center. Proceeds will be donated to the Society's scholarship fund for the 2012 Jamboree.

Free Motion Quilting Suggestions from Cracy Mom Quilts

A few weeks ago, I discovered the Crazy Mom Quilts blog. Her color work continues to inspire me.

But useful to perhaps many of you will be Crazy Mom's ideas for Free Motion Quilting. I've tried this, and have several practice squares, which in and of themselves would make a kewl quilt.

AmandaJean's post includes a video, and lots of practical advice.

Have you done any free motion quilting? Just curious how you overcome that "bending" needle issue.

Friday, March 18, 2011

National Quilting Day, Saturday 19 March 2011

It took a non-quilter genealogist to bring "National Quilting Day" to this gal's attention. Thanks to our friend Thomas MacEntee who keeps tabs on all sorts of things including Geneabloggers and GeneaPress. Somehow, he manages to find out about doings over at the website for The National Quilting Association, Inc. as well. KUDOS!

My good excuse is that I've been busy working my quilt blocks up for the Genea-Quilters 2011 Block Challenge to benefit the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree scholarship fund.

The National Quilting Association's website encourages us to "Build Your Own Log Cabin for National Quilting Day 2011" Download the free pattern here, and check out other free patterns while you are visiting the site.

JUST what I needed was a national holiday to celebrate quilting! Now I am sure Mr. Myrt won't mind my observing this special day by diligently quilting away, while he take his woodworking class.

April Layher's Pride of Ohio Block

WOW! April Layher is the second Genea-Quilter to submit her entry for the Genea-Quilters 2011 Block Challenge to benefit the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree scholarship fund. April has also graciously volunteered to piece all our blocks together and prepare the quilt for tying during Jamboree 2011 in June.

Here's what April has to say about her "Pride of Ohio" block:
"I chose this quilt block because it represents generations of my family. Although I am not the historian that my sister is, I do know that our family helped to settle Ohio and has been in Northeastern Ohio for many generations. My favorite place in the world was my Grandfather’s dairy farm in West Farmington, Ohio.  

My Aunt Polly and Uncle Elton Bland owned a grocery and dry goods store with plank flooring and hitching posts in West Farmington. They were the dearest people in the world to me. Many cousins still live there, their homes sandwiched in between Amish houses. I fondly remember waking up in the upstairs bedroom of the farmhouse to the clattering of hooves and buggies driving past.

The little cemetery in town, Hillside Cemetery, features the names and dates of my ancestors, going back over 200 years, and some of the stones are so worn now, that only a rubbing will clearly discern the names. Osmer, Hosmer, Curtis, Hatch, Christy – so many familiar names in one graveyard that make me feel a part of this little town in Ohio, even though I have never lived there."
 Here are some of April (and Tami's) Ohio ancestor photos:

 My grandfather Addison Osmer as a young man.

 My Dad at 17 in his town baseball  uniform.

My Mom, Marcelle Burge Osmer and her little brother Bruce Burge.

"For all these reasons, I chose the Pride of Ohio block because my family, though simple, working people, formed the backbone of Ohio and, indeed, of our country. I am grateful and proud to have such ancestry."

2011 NGS Charleston Genea-Quilters Field Trip

How would you like to visit a shop Better Homes & Gardens magazine Quilt Sampler listed as one of the top ten quilt shops in North America for the year 2000?

We're planning a Genea-Quilter's fiend trip to People, Places and Quilts, just a few blocks from Charleston, South Carolina's French Quarter the day before the 2011 National Genealogical Society Family History Conference. The shop has no evening hours during NGS, (Mon-Sat 10am to 5pm), so keep that in mind. Here's the scoop about our field trip:

  • The NGS 2011 Family History Conference will be held at the North Charleston Convention Center in Charleston, SC, Wednesday through Saturday, 11–14 May 2011.
  • Meet at the Convention Center on Tuesday at 1:30 pm. You may have already checked in at registration, which runs on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 from 12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. For your convenience, here is the link to the other NGS pre-conference events. We know you have a lot of choices, and quilting is just one of them. I'll be driving Gordon's maroon Ford Van where there is room for 6 additional people, plus NGS registration packets and quilting treasures.
  • We'll drive downtown to the shop and have a blast.
  • After the shop closes at 5pm, we'll return to the Convention Center for NGS check-in that concludes at 7pm.
  • For those of you who will be sightseeing but wish to meet us downtown, the People, Places and Quilts shop is located in downtown Charleston in an old, neighborhood grocery store at 1 Henrietta St. Take I-26 exit at Meeting St./Visitor info exit… drive along Meeting St. several blocks, turn left onto Henrietta St. (after Charlotte, before Calhoun). The shop is at the end of the block with a small parking lot is next to shop. The address is 1 Henrietta Street, Charleston, SC 29403. (843) 937-9333 Click here for online map

When you RSVP, I'll send you my cell phone number to facilitate communications in Charleston.

Another Casserole Kimono

So I went exploring today, and discovered the photo of Linda Woodward Geiger's Kimono Casserole Cozy on one of her blogs. Yesterday, we saw Linda's fine quiltmanship with the posting of her 2011 Quilt Block Challenge for SoCal's Jamboree. With today's spotlight, we get an expanded sense of her eye for color.

If you'd like to make one of these darlings its the Casserole Kimono pattern from www.MakingALegacy.com.

You know, when Linda and I made our casserole kimonos, we never could have imagined how our friends in Japan would be experiencing such devastation with the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster during the bitter cold and snowy days of March. How I wish we could stitch up some really warm kimonos to let them know we care.

Quilts have warmed and comforted families for centuries. So have heartfelt prayers.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Jamboree Quilt: Linda Woodward Geiger sends these gems

Today is a GREAT day! Linda Woodward Geiger just sent these pics of her quilt blocks. The story behind them is very precious. Linda writes:
I’ve sent off three quit blocks to Gena Ortega. Now that I’m looking at your Genea-Quilters 2011 Block Challenge instructions, I regret that I do not have a photo of me with the blocks.

I’m attaching images (low resolution, but have high resolution copies if you need them) of the three blocks inspired by my maternal grandmother Alice (Brown) Perkins whom we called Nana Perkins, and my father’s sister, Virginia (Woodward) Smith. 

I grew up in rural New Hampshire where I never knew anyone to produce a quilt that was not made from scraps left over from clothing. The backing was generally a sheet and instead of batting, the innards were generally two sheets that had been patched and/or very worn. It wasn’t until I left rural New Hampshire that I learned there were delightful block patterns and that some folks actually purchased fabric just for quilt making and that cotton (and later polyester) batting was available for loft and warmth. Nana Perkins started me off quilting, but we never used a particular pattern or “block design.”

We did pre-determine the size of the squares and the width of piecing strips and the number of square we’d need for a particular project. Our blocks were built from non-descript strips and sometimes with embroidered elements (generally inspired by Aunt Virginia who did lots of hand embroidery and crewel work).  The squares I’ve submitted reflect the teachings of the two special women in my life, Nana Perkins and Aunt Virginia.

The first full size quilt I made for my son was a combination of embroidered and appliqu├ęd squares of our favorite things. As I had been taught the back was a sheet and the interior layer was a couple of worn sheet.
So a GREAT BIG THANKS goes out to Linda for contributing these squares for the quilt to to be tied at the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree. One lucky person will receive the quilt which will be raffled off at the June 2011 Jamboree. Funds collected will be used for scholarships to future Jamborees.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

McCalls: 10 tips to improve your machine quilting

McCalls 10 tips...

This just in from our friends at McCalls:

Ready for some machine quilting fun of your own? Check out Jennifer Gigas' 10 Tips to Improve Your Machine Quilting on our website, and join in our quilter March Madness! 

For me, the number one thing is to change the needle often. I tend to use #14 sharp for machine quilting.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

April Wall Quilt Project

Thanks to Kim Schaefer's Calendar Quilts: 12 Months of Fun, Fusible Projects for providing the pattern and inspiration. April's little umbrella and bright shiny yellow rubber boots is right on the money.

If you upload a pic of your final project to Facebook, be sure and link it to the Genea-Quilter's Group page there. We're dying to see what you've done.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Design Board at E-Quilter

One thing I LOVE about eQuilter.com is the drag-n-drop design board. You go through the site picking out various fabrics and adding them to your wish list. Then you click to view your wish list in "design board" mode. You'll find all your fabric swatches in the upper left corner. Drag and drop them where you wish on the white board.

This way you can determine if you like the fabrics together before you purchase them. This is particularly useful when you find fabrics that are not part of a set of companion fabrics.

I am considering remaking my DearMYRTLE quilt banner, though a bit smaller than the 8x2 foot one I use in my design studio. Right now I've decided to eliminate the pink fabric in the upper right, because I I just don't like the tone.

I also ran across the cute multi-colored random dots fabric in the lower right, which looks a lot more interesting for a border sash than the usual pindot in the upper left of my design board.

What do you think about the eQuilter online design board?

Monday, March 7, 2011

March Wall Quilt Project

This month is a week old today, and I'm just now uploading the sample quilt hanging for the 2011 Monthly Wall Quilt Project Challenge.

No shamrocks? 

I'd add in a few.  ::giggle::

What are your fabric choices? I'm working on mine and will let you know. If you upload yours to Facebook, be sure and link it to the Genea-Quilter's Group page there.

Sunbonnet Sue

You'd think it would be a simple thing to find a Sunbonnet Sue pattern for two of my additions to the 2011 Southern California Jamboree Quilt Block Challenge. I've seen everything from Holly Hobbie-type Sues, to Southern Sues and everything in between.

Finally I located this snapshot from a quilt made by Paula Bundick's grandmother, Alta P. Meador Probasco of Floydada, TX, shown above.  "Alta lived to be 93 and 3/4 years old." I guess I like this pattern because of the traditional white background, and the use of yellow sashes between the blocks. I remember the ladies in our Seattle First Ward Relief Society quilting two twin-sized quilts for my room in a similar pattern with the yellow sashes. I couldn't have been more than 5 years of age, so that would put it at about 1955-56.

So I printed the picture, reduced it 50%, then used my lightbox to trace the essential elements. I've printed the resulting pattern on some "June Taylor Ink Jet Printable Freezer Paper" which I purchased at JoAnn's to compare with making my own sheets with real freezer paper. Right now, I'd say the June Taylor paper is very thin, compared to your normal freezer paper

Here are some contenders, if you are also in the hunt and would like to see some of the alternatives I liked:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Crazy Mom Quilts Blog

Surfing the web for new (to me) quilting blogs is almost as good a shop hopping, and it is a lot less expensive!

Tonight, I discovered Crazy Mom Quilts and her post "Moving on Up." What I like is AmandaJean's admission that what she thought she'd do with her quilt initially was completly different from how it shaped up at the end. The use of the white and various chartruse fabric choices sure blew my mind. I tend to think of traditional colors like Williamsburg blue to go with something like the burgundy and deep rose colored fabrics also in this quilt.

How inspiring!