I was on Lisa Sipes’ blog (www.thatcrazyquiltygirl.blogspot.com) the other day, and had to laugh at one of her posts, where she commented at the start of one particular post that she didn’t intend to leave her readers hanging for 2 months between posts, but that life just seems to get in the way. I can SO relate! When I was contemplating entering the blogosphere, Aaron, Northcott’s resident expert on all things web-based, said that most blogs fizzle and die because bloggers run out of things to blog about. That will NEVER happen with me. I have so many things I want to share with you that, by the time I get around to writing a blog, the list is so long that it is overwhelming. Northcott staffer Hania keeps reminding me on days like this that the best way to eat an elephant (my overwhelming list) is one bite at a time, so…here are my bits and bites.
Thanks to all of you who left comments on the new Stonehenge Strip packs. If your comments reflect the success of these packs, there will be a lot of Stone Strip quilts being made in the next few years. I tabulated the results of your comments, and determined that many of you need a vacation or are tired of winter, because the most popular pack was Iris (purple/green), followed closely by Sand & Surf, then Singapore Sling. I found this quite interesting, because the most popular Stonehenge colors are the neutral ones (browns & greys). A shout-out to Linda Franz’ Ink Lingo blog followers (www.lindafranz.com/blog/). I have randomly chosen 6 winners of the packs, and they are:
Autumn – Becky Weimer
Lakeside –Laura Manning
Singapore –Denise Gross
Festive – Joanne Perry
Spring – Sheila McMillan
Winter – Karen Nussbaum
I used the Stonehenge Woodland winter collection in my Misty Pines quilt featured in the February 2013 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine.
I really wanted to call my quilt Fifty Shades of Grey, because it is, but somehow felt that editor Beth Hayes would not go for it. This quilt is a real departure from my usual style, in that it has no borders. In fact, I chose to use a faced binding (all of it is turned to the back, so that none of it shows on the front). I had a lot of positive comments from McCall’s readers. This quilt is about as artsy as I get, and I will hang this quilt on a taupe wall at our ski cabin when it is done travelling.
Speaking of skiing, despite the date, it is still wintery here in southern Ontario, and last Sunday I had absolutely the best day of snowboarding ever. We awoke Sunday morning to about 8” of fresh powder, a snowboarder’s dream. I was on the hills seeking out untouched patches of powder for 7 euphoric hours until the lifts closed. Tim, my boarding instructor, describes powder as a bad drug, and I was on a blissful high all day, floating weightlessly from patch to patch, with an ear-to-ear grin plastered on my face. Days like this in Ontario are rare, and it was such a treat! We likely have only 2 more weekends of skiing before I need to hang up my board, and I plan to take full advantage of them.
I had a delightful taste of summer March 4-8 as I did a whirlwind trip through central Florida, doing presentations at 11 shops and guilds. I was warmly welcomed by the Manatee Patchworkers guild in Bradenton, the Memory Makers Quilt Guild in Bunnell, the Alachua County day guild in Gainesville, the Coastal Quilters in Jacksonville, and the Rocket Quilt Guild in Cocoa.
Karen Grof and the staff at Happy Apple Quilts in Palm Harbor brought in a room full of quilters for my trunk show on March 4. Karen’s shop is bright and cheerful.
Donna and Carol at Quilts on Plum Lane in Dade City squeezed in a packed room of enthusiastic quilters for my trunk show Tuesday morning. Donna has the largest selection of flannel that I have ever seen in a shop, bar none! And she’s in Florida!! Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me.
Next stop was Tomorrow’s Treasures in Crystal River. Owner Susan Rass has a lovely shop with a large bright classroom. She even found an extra panel of Northcott’s Stonehenge Christmas Traditions for me to show with my quilt from this collection (see the quilt in my August 2012 post). Hint: If this quilt is on your to-do list, call Susan and order the 6 panels required for the quilt.
My final stop on Tuesday was Kathy Boos’ Sew & Quilt Shop in Bunnell, and another packed room of eager quilters. Kathy’s shop is a happening place, quite large and very lovely. She even had a sample of one of my newest patterns from Northcott’s By the Sea collection! How fun to see it made up!
On Wednesday I headed over to Stephanie Metts’ Suwannee Valley Quilt Shop in Trenton. OMG! This shop is to die for! It is a destination shop, as there is not much else in Trenton, but I strongly encourage every quilter to put it on their list. I told Hubby that it’s a good thing we don’t live closer, or I’d be poor. There are entire rooms for Christmas, Harvest/Halloween, Asian, Children’s, basics, books, etc. all in an old Coca-cola bottling plant.
My last shop visit was to Theresa Bringardner’s The Quilt Place in Rockledge. Holy cow! If you can’t find it here, it doesn’t exist. Theresa has 12000 bolts of fabric, including entire shelves of Florida-themed fabrics, novelties of all types, and walls of batiks. The store was hopping! I even met some quilters from my own quilt guild while I was there.
Thinking of Florida makes me think of the quilt that Susanne and I are working on for the next issue of Quilt Trends magazine, on newsstands June 11, featuring Stonehenge Undersea Adventures. It is a fun toddler-size quilt that uses the panel from the collection. I also did another toddler quilt for this group that will be appearing in the Fall issue of Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts, on newsstands July 2. Which one is your favorite? Moms and Grandmas of twin boys could make both!
I am the proud owner of 2 new quilting books. Northcott pattern designer Linda Hahn’s newest New York Beauty book is hot off the press. New York Beauty Diversified is full of scrumptious quilts that feature New York Beauty blocks in innovative settings. Normally “do-able” and “New York Beauty” do not belong in the same sentence, but these quilts look do-able. I think my fave is Hues of the Hudson.
The other book that I am dying to try is Simply Successful Applique by the incredibly talented Jeanne Sullivan. Jeanne won first place in the appliqué category each of the 3 years that Northcott ran the Quest for a Cure block challenge. Her workmanship is beyond words. Her book (her first!) has spectacular how-to photos that even an amateur appliquer like me can follow successfully. I am so proud of Jeanne and what she has accomplished with her book.
That’s all for now – gotta run. Talk to you soon!