Thursday, November 13, 2014

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 10

It's that time again for another volume of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks.

This time, it's Volume 10!



To commemorate the 10th Volume of the series, Quiltmaker Magazine put together this cute video:





Yes, I'm in there!

The Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 10 Blog Tour starts next week, November 17th. Prizes, prizes, prizes!

http://www.quiltmaker.com/blogs/quiltypleasures/


Until next time,

Martha


Friday, November 7, 2014

Sentimental Stitches In Shops Now!

It's here! My new line of fabric with Henry Glass & Co., Sentimental Stitches has arrived!



The colors are wonderfully rich! And although not Christmas themed, the red and wine, olive green and gold prints would make a quilt or project that would fit in for the holidays, and beyond.

Here is the quilt I just finished binding, using Sentimental Stitches. This is the green version, and I have the red version done and ready to be quilted. You can find the free pattern download HERE.

Sentimental Stitches - Green Version

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween 1916

Last year my mother had a question for me. She had some costumes that my grandma had made when she was a school teacher, for her to dress up in to entertain her students. She asked me if I would be interested in taking them. One of the costumes was for Halloween.

My grandma was a schoolteacher in rural Kansas, who began teaching, as far as we can tell, as early as 1916. Below are two of the "school souvenirs" from 1916 and 1917, listing her as the teacher and the list of students in each grade.

1916 School Souvenir, Meter School, Republic Co., Kansas

1917 School Souvenir, Dry Lake School, Republic Co., Kansas

Here is the costume she made for Halloween. It has a lot of raw edges, but even so, it must have taken a lot of effort to make. It also has a black "Little Miss Muffet" type hat to go with it.



We think this may be a photo of one of her class of students:


I'm also lucky to have my Grandma's postcard album. The postcards are all from the early 1900's. One of my favorites, is a Halloween postcard featuring a witch, a black cat, and a pumpkin boy. I scanned the postcard, printed the scan onto cardstock, and decoupaged the print onto a black box, so that I can enjoy the image without light damaging the original postcard.



As you can see below, my cupboard is filled with all kinds of vintage inspired Halloween fun stuff! My friend, Ingrid, had a party for friends one year, where she planned crafts for us to make. It was so much fun! She had all of the supplies all ready to go for us.  The "Boo" banner, the little candy baskets and the pipe cleaner figures were all made that evening.




My "Boo" banner made its way into my "Party Girl" punchneedle, too.


When my youngest son was in first grade, I threw a Halloween party for him, with a variety of games for he and his friends to play, one of which was Bunco. For this Bunco game, I made Halloween themed dice, using purchased stickers with vintage Halloween images, and wooden blocks, which I painted in orange and black to contrast with the stickers.  The box was purchased years before at a gift shop and I love it!


Halloween Bunco

Like they said in 1916, Happy Hallowe'en!

Martha

Monday, September 22, 2014

New Quilt Patterns! Free Spirits and French Reel

My fabric line with Henry Glass Fabrics & Co., Sentimental Stitches, will be shipping to quilt shops next month, and I have two new quilt patterns which feature the line!

Free Spirits quilt pattern
Free Spirits features some of my favorite elements:  birds, flowers and berries. The big 24" appliqued block is surrounded by a dogtooth border and finished with prairie points. I've included a full size applique placement diagram, so placing your applique pieces will be a cinch!

http://www.wagonswestdesigns.com/shop/Patterns/p/French-Reel-x4392535.htm
French Reel quilt pattern
French Reel is another small quilt, which features the beautiful Sentimental Stitches striped border print.  The French Reel blocks are 6" square.


Here is one of the blocks in the process of being appliqued by machine.

 
Getting closer!  Do you remember my recent post about making my pressing station? I have really been enjoying it - it makes a huge difference. Above you can see some of my other pressing tools. An iron, of course. This is a Reliable iron, which is great for quiltmaking, as it has an auto shut-off override, and it steams really well, without spitting. Yes, I steam my seams! I use the scrub brush to brush off threads and lint from the fabric covered board. I was using a lint roller previously, but I was going through too many rolls of tape, so this brush works just as well. And finally, the strip stick, just barely visible in back, is wonderful for pressing seams open, without distorting other areas of the quilt. I like to press seams open when joining flying geese together for dogtooth borders to make them nice and flat, and also when joining two dogtooth borders to each other..

Henry Glass Fabrics is having a great giveaway on their blog every week, and this week, starting today, you can enter to win my French Reel quilt pattern, along with a bundle of Kim Diehl fabric! Follow this link to enter!

http://henryglassfabrics.blogspot.com/2014/09/happy-fall.html

Good luck and until next time,

Martha

Friday, September 19, 2014

Quilts From Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Fall 2014

My quilt, "Tuscany", is featured in this newest edition of Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Fall 2014.

"Tuscany"

I used fabrics from my fabric line, Elementary for Studio e Fabrics.  The block I used for "Tuscany" is the block I designed for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volume 8, "Martha's Basket". I machine appliqued the handle elements, which made this twin size quilt assemble very quickly.

"Martha's Basket"

The Fall 2014 Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks is on newsstands now!



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Shopping in Missouri

I just recently returned from a nice ten day visit with my mother in Kansas City. Oh, how I miss my mom! She was kind enough to indulge my need to go to my favorite antiquing town, Greenwood, Missouri, so I could shop for things I don't need...hee hee. I brought an empty suitcase, just in case I found a few small treasures to bring home with me. 

It was just the right time of year to visit, as one of the shops, Greenwood Mercantile, was all decked out with Halloween displays.





If this white cabinet could have fit in my suitcase, I would have taken it home with me!






There is also a wonderful area in Greenwood Mercantile that has bountiful stacks of beautiful hand dyed wool.  Heaven!


Here is one of the little goodies I did bring home with me, this wonderful heart shaped make-do, found in the wool area above. I love hand crafted art!


I also paid a visit to a few quilt shops in Missouri. Our first stop was Quilter's Station in Lee's Summit. Here I am in front:

Quilter's Station, Lee's Summit, Missouri




 And here I am inside with Rita, owner of Quilter's Station. They have the BEST selection that I've found of woven plaids and stripes, and if I remember right, she said they have 16,000 bolts of fabric to choose from. Again, heaven!


Quilter's Station also has kits for two of my patterns, Broomstick Hollow and Pumpkin Party:


Broomstick Hollow at Quilter's Station
Pumpkin Party at Quilter's Station

Our next stop was Missouri Star Quilt Company, which, I learned, is actually a series of 4 or 5 different shops, each with a different theme, in the town of Hamilton, Missouri. It was a beautiful day, with fluffy white clouds - here is picture of main street, which is lined with all things Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Main Street Hamilton, Missouri

One of the Missouri Star Quilt Shops is devoted to reproduction fabrics, and with permission, I was allowed to photograph this wonderful redwork quilt, which hangs in the shop.

Caldwell County Subscription Quilt c. 1890



 
I think the design of this quilt is just so wonderful - the way the lines of embroidered names are oriented, and interspersed with botanical images.

Until next time,

Martha


Monday, August 18, 2014

Scaredy Cats and String Stars

Writing new patterns kept me busy for the better part of July and early August, but, Yay!, they're finished!  I had so many requests to publish my pattern, "Scaredy Cats", that I finally got it done!

Scaredy Cats quilt pattern
It's now up on the website!

I have always had a fascination with string piecing, and have done quite a bit of it. One thing I had been wanting to try for many years, was to make a giant size string star. I was also thinking it might help to make a dent in my fabric stash. I finally drafted and cut out the foundation diamonds last Fall.

As I was moving back and forth in my studio writing my patterns, those foundation papers kept getting in my way. I finally decided to just take a break, and make the big string star, just to get those papers out of my way, at least!

It went very quickly, and I was so happy that my math was correct. The setting squares and triangles fit just perfectly! I'm really happy with how it turned out. I can report, however, that it did very little to reduce my fabric stash, although the background squares and triangles did take almost 2 yards.  I'm hoping to teach how to make the giant string star to fellow string star lovers in the future!

String Star
 
With the 4 1/2" borders added, the quilt top is approximately 73" square.

I'll have more new patterns to post soon!

Until next time,

Martha