Monday, March 21, 2016

Betsy's Scrapbag Giveaway Winner!

Betsy's Scrapbag

Congratulations to Tay Satterfield, the winner of the
Betsy's Scrapbag giveaway!

Thank you to all who entered, and left your comments either here or on my Facebook page, and thank you for your patience with the comment section not working on the Rafflecopter widget. I will be having another giveaway one of these days to see if we can get that section to work next time!

Until next time,

Martha

Monday, March 14, 2016

Betsy's Scrapbag

Today is the first official release day of my new book, Betsy's Scrapbag! It's now on our website, and we have a lot of work to do to get it out and about to your favorite quilt shops.

The first of my Scrapbag Girl TM series began with Annie's Scrapbag, a pattern book of quilts and projects inspired by my fictional seamstress, Annie, a girl living in the early homesteading days of the American frontier.

Annie's Scrapbag
Book 2, Betsy's Scrapbag, follows with quilts and projects inspired by the American Revolution, and Betsy's story of her family's role in the fight for American independence.  And just as in Annie's Scrapbag, Betsy's Scrapbag includes FULL size applique placement diagrams for all of the projects, including the wool applique projects. No drafting on your part needed - whew!

Betsy's Scrapbag

Just like in Annie's Scrapbag, Betsy's Scrapbag includes patterns for quilts, wool applique, and this time a punch needle project, Lady Liberty, one of my favorites! Lady Liberty is made primarily with Valdani 3-ply floss, with the addition of DMC embroidery floss. I also have instructions for my easy method for finishing punchneedle, that "stiffens" it for hanging or applying to a platform, such as a box, or basket, but it's archival, meaning no glues are used.

Lady Liberty

Autumn Stars is one of the five quilts in the book, and is the largest quilt, - a queen size 89" x 89". 

Autumn Stars

There are 10 projects in all, with four wool applique projects, one of which is the Liberty pillow, appliqued using my favorite Aurifil Lana wool threads, which you can also find on our website:


Liberty pillow

To celebrate it's release, I'm having a giveaway for one copy of Betsy's Scrapbag! Just follow the directions in the Rafflecopter box below.






a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, and I hope you find Betsy's Scrapbag soon at a quilt shop near you! I will announce the winner of the giveaway on Monday, March 21st!

Until then,

Martha 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Prairie Journal fabric collection, Part Two - The Strippy Vine Print

Applique for Beginners and Beyond

 One morning while I was working on my A Prairie Journal line for Henry Glass & Co., I was thinking about applique. I designed the main panel of the line for those quilters who want instant gratification - and maybe those who will never try their hand at applique. With the Prairie Journal panel they can make a small quilt that will give them that look. Here is my free quilt pattern that incorporates the panel pieces and easy piecing ... a cute little 40" x 40" quilt! (If you click on the image, it will take you straight to the free pattern download).

A Prairie Journal quilt
That morning I was thinking about the quilters who DO want to try applique, but are just afraid to get started. And in particular, I was thinking about vines... beautiful vines in the border of a quilt are so striking. But the marking of the vine border can be intimidating, and patterns don't always provide full scale diagrams. So, I'm sure some quilters look at the instructions and say "Maybe not".

I remember that fear well. In 1999 I designed a border to surround a pieced quilt center. I had never before appliqued a vine border at the time. It was a fairly involved design, and it took me awhile to overcome the fear and take the plunge. Below is a portion of my first appliqued border with vine.

Detail, "Summer Cottages" 2000

But I wanted there to be an easier way for the beginner. So I designed this print as a part of the A Prairie Journal line. I call it The Strippy Vine Print:

A Prairie Journal 9919-44
I designed the print as a kind of blank canvas for the applique beginner or student. The printed vine is your template to add shapes such as flowers, leaves, berries, birds, etc.

Here is the paper version of the Strippy Vine Print that I used at my Quilt Market Schoolhouse to illustrate the "Before" and "After" of adding appliques to the yardage:



The printed vine is also meant to be the placement guide for applying the bias vine after your shapes are added. There are several methods you can use to make bias vines. The printed vine on The Strippy Vine print is 3/8" wide. In a previous blog post I explain how to make bias vines using pressing bars. If you are using the pressing bar method, cut your bias strips 1 1/4" wide x the length you will need to cover your vine. To review my pressing bar tutorial CLICK HERE.

Another way to make bias vines is to use a bias tape maker.  Cut your strips 3/4" wide when using this method. Below I am using a Clover 3/8" bias tape maker to press under the edges of the strip:


If you don't have a bias tape maker handy, you can make one yourself. Cut a 3/8" slit in a piece of thin cardboard or chipboard. Finger press the edges of one end of your 3/4" wide fabric strip to get started, so that the raw edges meet in the center.Insert through the slit and begin pulling the strip through the slit, pressing the edges as you go:




Add your appliques and stems first to the vine, using any applique method you like:




Then place your vine over the printed vine to cover your stems:



I have designed four free to use patterns using The Strippy Vine Print that you can find on the Henry Glass & Co. website. Click on the picture below to take you to the page.
http://www.henryglassfabrics.com/project/prairie-journal-quilt-2/
The Strippy Vine Print can also be used for a horizontal strip quilt. Here is another of the patterns I designed for use with the print that is a free download on the Henry Glass website. 

Folk Art Strippy
You can even cut apart the borders from The Strippy Vine Print to add a touch of applique to any project. There are thirteen coordinates in the A Prairie Journal line and here are a few of the coordinates that look particularly good with The Strippy Vine Print:
http://www.henryglassfabrics.com/collection/prairie-journal/

I can't wait to get the full yardage in June and begin playing with The Strippy Vine Print!

Until next time!

Martha

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Prairie Journal - My first strike-offs arrive!

My first set of strike-offs for my upcoming new fabric line for Henry Glass & Co., "A Prairie Journal", arrived just a few hours ago! Take a look!

A Prairie Journal strike-offs

They are looking good! Be sure to ask your local quilt shop to carry the line, which ships this summer, June 2016. The small mock applique square is just a small portion of the panel which will look like this:

A Prairie Journal main panel

It was just about a year ago that I was painting the panel - the artists at Henry Glass did an amazing job of translating my original artwork for the fabric!

painting in progress for the A Prairie Journal main panel
Below are pictured most of the prints in the line, and the image in the upper right hand corner is a quilt I designed for use with the panel. The pattern for the quilt and two more free to use patterns can be found on the Henry Glass & Co. website. Just click on the image and it will take you there!

http://www.henryglassfabrics.com/collection/prairie-journal/
A Prairie Journal

I just love the rich brick reds and teal blues, and I couldn't be happier to have included a really great cheddar orange - a color that can be hard time to find and can be oh-so versatile in quilt making. The deep brown is another must have.

I have more to share about the A Prairie Journal line, but I'll save that for another day!

Until next time!

Martha

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

The past few months have found me doing more writing than sewing. I've been diligently working on writing instructions and making diagrams for my upcoming book, and writing class plans and supply lists for classes. 

Of course, there's Christmas, and I love to decorate, especially with trees! Enjoy the photos!



Wishing you a Merry Christmas and see you back here in 2016!

Until next time,

Martha

Friday, October 30, 2015

International Quilt Market 2015 Houston

I'm back from International Quilt Market in Houston, and finally catching my breath a bit from travel, filling orders, and just plain doing laundry!

Despite all of the media alarmists, the hurricane did not wreak havoc on Houston, but it did bring a lot of rain. Not something I am used to at all, but it only affected our going to and leaving the convention center. In fact, I didn't even know there WAS a hurricane, until there was some mention of it from fellow vendors.

The attendance was low at Quilt Market, so I'm counting on quilters everywhere to let their local quilt shops know about my new fabric line with Henry Glass, "A Prairie Journal". I'm so excited about this line, which was released at Fall Quilt Market in Houston.  It will ship in the summer of 2016, so please let your local quilt shops know you would like to see it in their shop! If you click on the image below, you can see the entire line, and the quilts I designed as free pattern downloads.

http://www.henryglassfabrics.com/collection/prairie-journal/
A PRAIRIE JOURNAL

In my market booth I was also displaying some of the projects that will be included in my new book that will be released in January, 2016, "Betsy's Scrapbag".

BETSY'S SCRAPBAG

I will be working like crazy the rest of the year to finalize the book.

The Quilts, Inc. organizers keep the Special Exhibit portion of the show open for an extra hour so that the vendors can enjoy the exhibits after hours, and not leave their booths unmanned.

An hour won't cover it all, so we had to edit what we could see, and my pick was the antique quilt exhibits. Only one of the exhibits allowed photography, so I'll share some of the photos here. These photos are from the Moda antique quilt exhibit:







The "quilt" above is made from paper postcards, very unique. 
 


We were on our way out, when this beautiful quilt caught my eye. It's newly made and one of the quilts juried into the Quilt Festival.


The quilt titled "Lady Indigo" was made by Carol Coffey Taylor and Martha Vincent of Beaumont, Texas, and is truly a beauty. The photo doesn't do it justice.

Of course, I had to go visit my quilt displayed in the Primitive and Folk Art Special Exhibit!

Annie's Scrapbook

I hope you've enjoyed the photos!

Until next time,

Martha

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Primitive Quilt and Folk Art Exhibit at International Quilt Festival Houston Fall 2015

I had a wonderful surprise in my mailbox this week.



Primitive Quilts and Projects Magazine (AKA Homespun Media) are the organizers of a new exhibit to be held next month at International Quilt Festival in Houston - Primitive Quilt and Folk Art Exhibit. They sent me this very thoughtful certificate and pin as a thank you for exhibiting my quilt, Annie's Scrapbook, in the upcoming show. And I LOVE the pin!


I can't wait to see all of the quilts and I will definitely be wearing my pin!

The letter that accompanied the certificate and pin says it all about the beauty and artistic merit of the Primitive and Folk Art style......


My prize for winning 3rd place in the exhibit was a whole roll of Warm Company batting 80/20.  I have already used it in my most recent quilt and I LOVE the way it looks! Thank you again, Warm Company and Primitive Quilts and Projects Magazine!


Until next time!

Martha