Quilt Market - More Eye Candy

And I was worried I didn't take enough photos!!!

Pat Sloniger is a fabric designer and I stopped dead in my tracks as I walked by her booth.

Because of this ...

Dude!  Pastel Houndstooth??!!  Love it!

There were plenty of people celebrating Halloween with costumes and booths were decked out with spooky stuff.  I thought this gal was particularly funny.

One day we had lunch under a maple tree. 

As a Canadian, I'm very partial to maple leaves.  Funny thing is, maple trees don't grow anywhere NEAR where I live.  I've always felt a little sorry for myself that I can't enjoy them daily.  And it struck me as funny that I was sitting under a beautiful maple tree all the way down in Texas!

Sue Daley is an incredible English Paper Piecing aficionado.  Her hand-piecing is to die for.  And the scale of her work makes me weep.  For example, see this gorgeous quilt?

Hexagons.  A bazillion of them.  All hand-pieced.

And these little ones here in the middle?  Wanna know how small they are?

(That's my camera lens cap.)  I KNOW!!!  Impossible. 

Here are a few more of her things that I want to make some day. 

She really has me obsessing over apple cores now!

And she has a book coming out soon.  I need to own it. :)

I think my absolute favorite booth was Rachel Ashwell's

I want my home to look like this.

I think one reason I love Shabby Chic so much is because of this ...

You don't have to IRON!!! tee hee

So pretty.

Love the softness of the colors in this quilt.

Ok.  I can't stall any longer.  Here's my quilt.  (And I forgot to find out who made the adorable skirt & applique top with this Flower Sugar fabric .. super cute!)

And me in front of it.

And my bag with it.

And the pattern is now available to download for free.

Not gonna lie, it was super cool to see this. 

And a surprising thing that made it even better was one of Yoko Saito's quilts

hanging just a few feet away in the other corner. 

See what I mean?


An absolute favorite fabric line from Lecien for me is Petit Fleur.  Soft, pretty & feminine colors with delicate little prints that will never grow tired or look dated.  Timeless.  I.Love.It!

Isn't this quilt adorable?  The pattern is a free download too.  Aren't those just the sweetest little yo-yos?

Ok, well I don't know about you guys, but I'm totally Marketed out!

Wait.  What?  You want to see what I brought home?  Oh.  Alright. ;)  Come back tomorrow, kay?  I might just have a little something for a few of you ...


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 24

Red, Pink, Green, Blue & White

OK!  Super colorful today. :)

#24 - Country Path

I followed the color value in the book this time and I'd say this block is a smashing success.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.

#104 - Wild Geese

It took me a while to decide on this block.  I needed one that could handle all 5 colors and again, using the suggested values in the book, this one also makes me smile. :)

Now is it just me or are all these geese playing chicken?  Look.  They're all running towards the middle of the block and they're gonna to crash into each other!


Mini-Series Monday #8

All In The Family

Omg this was fun to make.  (Oh who am I kidding, these are ALL fun!)

This one seemed to have particularly little pieces.

Of all the quiltlets, this one really felt like a doll quilt to me.  I did one pass of the cross-hatch and it wasn't enough.  So I did a second round and it is fabulously tiny.  It really accentuates the diminutive size of this quilt - 16" x 18.5".  The grid lines are just under 1/2" apart.  (I love little!)

It's going to be the perfect Christmas decoration this year.  My traditional Christmas colors are silver and white with bits of blue. 

I think that's why I went with the blue print for the border.  It's the same print as on the big one, just a different color.

I had a bit of wonky fun with the back again too.  I even included a block leftover from the big quilt. (Top left corner - it got chopped off a bit.)

Next week is the finale episode of Project Simplify - the Mini-Series. 

I know.  Me too.  :(


It's Finally Official ...

... I'm definitely a mom. 

My High School prom dress sash was used as a headscarf for a Halloween gypsy costume this year.

Yep ... nothin' else says parenthood quite like that!

Love it. :)


Quilt Market Eye Candy

Sensory overload.  The talent and creativity at Quilt Market is - to say the least - overwhelming.  So in no particular order, here are some things I liked and/or loved and/or died and went to crafty heaven over when I saw them. ;)

Lecien Cosmo Stitcheries

Super cute chair

Something about this "Dear Stella" pink & orange that caught my eye (picture doesn't do it justice)

Cabbages & Roses quilt

Moda Solids quilt

Cinderberry Stitches' longarmer stitched little toadstools into the quilt.  CUTE!  (Pattern is a free download)

Love Bunny Hill's seasonal applique designs

Brenda Riddle's Durham Quilt (another free download!)

Beautiful Better Homes & Gardens quilt display

Cool Floor!

And major flower power!

Of course, I love the pink in Lori Holt's "Daisy Cottage" fabric line

I mean come ON!  Any booth with a pink table is a favorite of mine. ;)

Loving this colorful chandelier in Don't Look Now's booth.  (I have a thing for chandeliers.)

A silk ballgown with yo-yos?

Totally works for me!

Did you know Ty Pennington designs fabric?  He started messing around with carving images out of wood and making them into stamps for fabric.

Love the sense of humor to have a display of ties in Ty's booth. :)

I popped into this Antique Quilt booth.

This quilt caught my eye.

The first quilt I ever made was a Grandmother's Flower Garden (in country blue, country red & ivory polyester broadcloth.  Dude, it was the mid 80's ... it totally wasn't my fault.) 

I will always have a deep and abiding love for hexagons.


I loved the beautiful stack of one color + white quilts.  I want to make one for myself ... one in each color, that is!

I suppose you can guess why I loved this quilt. ;)

Ok, that's enough for today, right?  More next week.  Promise.


Daisychain Sampler "A" Part II

Ok, ok.  Satin stitch, here I come.  And I'm going to do it right.  The sampler is coming along so nicely I don't want to spoil it with a sloppy satin stitch so here's my plan.

I learned this trick a long time ago.  If you outline the object that is to be "satined" with a backstitch (some people recommend a split stitch) first, and then satin OVER the outline to hide it, the edges where your needle goes in and out will look much smoother. 

I hate doing is extra step because it's work NO one will EVER see.  It almost feels like a waste of time. 

Until you actually DO it and then see how nicely your stitches turn out.

All right, all right.  I'll stop complaining now.

Time to get knotty ... Colonial Knot-ty, that is.  ;)

Ok.  Totally worth the extra work.  :)


Quilt Market People

To summarize, I had a GREAT time.  I met so many lovely people, saw so many creative, inspiring & beautiful things and maybe managed to squeeze a few bundles of fabric into my suitcase. ;)

Today, I'm going to share some of my favorite people stories.

So.  Have you ever read about someone in a book, and then followed their blog and then chatted with them via email and then met them in real life?  During breakfast in your hotel?  I have.  She's PamKittyMorning.  (I totally can't even call her just Pam.  It's impossible.  She's PamKittyMorning.  All together.  One word.)  And she is hilarious, too.  What a sense of humor on this girl!  We laughed all through breakfast. 

Oh.  And she just so happens to be the talent behind THIS gorgeous fabric line. 

My idol.  Well, one of them.  The matriarch of Shabby Chic herself.  Rachel Ashwell.  You may remember that I met her in Salt Lake City too.  But if you had the chance to meet Sandra Bullock or Jennifer Aniston twice, you would, right?  She was just as friendly and sweet as ever.  Sadly, I think her talent isn't contagious.

And just to prove that my best friend in the whole wide world isn't imaginary, that's her on the right.  She's awesome.  I'm lucky. 

One of the most genuinely talented and warm people I've EVER met is this lovely lady - Verna Mosquera of The Vintage Spool.  I met her for the first time in Salt Lake and couldn't wait to say hi to her again.  I went to a seminar where she talked about her new fabric line "October Skies".  Yes, she somehow managed to do what I thought was impossible - create a Fall color palette with pink!  (That's one of her stunning new quilts on the right.)

Now lemme 'splain this photo.  No, I'm not in labour or imitating a barnyard animal.  And I didn't actually pee my pants laughing, despite my appearance.  But do you have a body part - or possibly two in particular - that you're sort of self-concious about?  I do.  Just before this picture was taken I asked for a quick second to cover the boobenzes (like draping a white sweater over them is going to somehow make them invisible!).  Somebody said something else, I started laughing and the camera went "Click!" 

Dude!  What happened to "Take Two"?

Since I happened to walk by the Lecien booth once or twice or like a bazillion times to catch a glimpse of my quilt (kidding ... maybe) I got to meet the talented Lecien fabric designers who were at Market.

Natalie Lymer

She's the face behind Cinderberry Stitches and I've admired her talent for a few years now.  She is just the sweetest little Aussie.  Her little 'shrooms are impossibly cute, her fabric is super cute and she's just so ... cute! 

(I think I look like I'm about to abduct her into a dark mini-van that's parked just outside of the camera frame ... )

Sarah Fielke

I didn't get a chance to chat very much with her, but it was super cool to get to meet this very well-known modern girl.  Anyone who thinks of naming the colors of her fabric after favorite slushy flavors from her childhood is someone I can admire. ;)

Lynette Anderson

Another amazingly talented lady.  She's got that incredible energy about her that is very contagious and inspiring.  And she always looks like there's a light shining from her smiling eyes.  I asked her to pose in front of this quilt because I made it a few years ago in a club.  Loved every stitch.

Brenda Riddle

O.M.G.  I didn't get a picture of her.  Aaaagh!!!  But I did have a lovely chat with her.  When I saw her latest Duram collection, I almost died.   She and I are kindred spirits in the shabby fabric world.   :)

Those are the Lecien gals.  Actually, there's one more ... but I'm saving her for last.


Aneela Hoey

I didn't get to meet her at the last Market but I'm so glad I got to chat with her this time!  Her new line for Moda, "A Walk in the Woods" is a-DOR-able.   And you'd be hard pressed to find a kinder, gentler or more talented girl.

Anne Sutton

(And finally a half decent photo of me!) 

I've been a fan of Anne's work for a number of years now.  A few weeks ago I emailed her to ask if I could post a picture of one of her quilts I'd made.  She kindly gave me permission, but also complimented my blog.  (Ok, WHOA!)  So I introduced myself as Pretty by Hand, we squealed in unison and hugged.  We are now friends for life.  I have a feeling many happy people in the world can say that about her. :) 

(And I think it's possible that a few little somethings accidentally made their way into my suitcase as giveaways for one or several of you next week that I may have acquired from a certain someone who likes bunnies ... just sayin'.)

Ok.  I can't beLIEVE I didn't get any pictures with this next person.  I remember posing, but the camera (or the operator) may have malfunctioned.  Grrr.  I am so choked about it. 

Never mind. 

Anyhow. I had a close encounter with a Fig.  Or should I say THE Fig.  Can you guess who?  Yep.  Joanna of Fig Tree fame was so lovely.  She came up to me - because she recognized my bag - and introduced herself.  So how do you think I repay such a courtesy?  All I could think to say while desperately trying to keep my eyes from rolling back into my head and falling over like a fainting oppossum was, "I am SO blogging about this!"  Yes I said that out loud.  Like a threat.  I think I even pointed at her!  Anyhow, she was very gracious and lovely and we laughed. 

And then I spent the next 1/2 hour seriously thinking about having my mouth sewn shut.  (You have NO idea how much action the backspace & delete keys get on my keyboard!)

You know, I wish I could be classy and elegant and refined.  I am none of those things.  I'm the opposite of Audry Hepburn and Grace Kelly.  And just to prove it to you, I'll share one more story with you.  (Like I haven't already convinced you!)

Ok.  First, imagine your ultimate creative hero.  Are they an artist?  A pattern designer?  A fabric designer?  A teacher?  A shop owner?  An author?  My idol is all of the above and then some.

Do they piece?  Hand applique?  Embroider?  Make quilts?  Bags?  Soft toys?  Home decor objects?  My idol does all these things and more.

She is Yoko Saito.  I don't think I can compare her to anyone.  To me, her creations look like they were made with magic.  Her eye for detail is exquisite.  Her skills are impeccable.  Her sense of color, texture, scale, all these things are breathtakingly stunning.  I own a few of her books and I never tire of looking at them.  Even after years of owning them I still find new things every time I leaf through them.

So I was just in the process of buying another one of her books when she happened to walk by.  In true me fashion, I ran over to her and practically tackled her.  Never mind hand shakes, I obnoxiously requested a hug (with sign language of course because I wasn't sure if she would understand my English) and then pretended to be polite by asking if she had a moment to sign my book while frantically tearing off the plastic wrapper before I'd even paid for it. 

Even though I probably broke every rule of appropriate Japanese conduct, she graciously obliged.

She is elegant, sophisticated, dignified, talented, personable, friendly ...  Oh how I wish I could speak Japanese.  My dream would be to some day go to Japan and be her student for at least a month!  But I'd settle for an hour. ;)

I even turned into a paparrazzo while she signed my book.

Hopefully I haven't made her think she needs to hire a bodyguard or get a restraining order.  (Although I wouldn't blame her!)  I was just so excited.

So there you have it.  Some of the highlights of my close encounters with the people that I admire, respect, and who help feed my crafty soul. 

I still have a lot more to show you but my time is a little limited for the next few days.  So tomorrow will be another Daisychain Sampler day and then I will have more Market stuff for Friday or next week.


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 23

Yellow, Green & White

#46 - Hill & Valley

Does this block - of hills - remind anyone else of Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Lala & Po?

Someone, please say yes.

Are they even still on TV?


#22 - Corn  & Beans

I've been avoiding this block for a while.  I dunno ... I think it was the name.  I just kept picturing some old guy wandering around with bits of corn stuck in his overgrown gray beard and farting into his dusty overalls. 

Sorry if I ruined this block for you, but I just didn't think it was fair to keep that visual all to myself.

You're welcome for not adding the bit about how he's also a little itchy in certain places.




Mini-Series Monday #7

Happy Halloween everyone!

My original plan for today's quiltlet - Happy-Go-Lucky - was to copy the same fabrics as the big one.

But when I realized this episode was going to "air" on Halloween, of course I had to make it in Halloween colors, right?  I mean, what self-respecting quilt blogger would pass up the opportunity to have some holiday fun with a color palette?  Not me!

Now I'm not an over-the-top-crazy-in-love-with-Halloween type of person.  Prob'ly 'cause there's no pink in traditional Fall colors.  Too bad.  ;)  (Unless you've just been to Quilt Market and saw Verna Mosquera's breathtakingly beautiful new pattern made with her new line called "October Skies"!)  But, not to worry.  I have a perfectly fantastic selection of earth tone Japanese fabrics.  So I put together what I think is a nice little grouping of greens, grays & creams with a little smattering of yellows & a kiss of orange.

But then how do I put all these together for this quilt design?  I've made enough mistakes to know that an ounce of prevention ...  And my type of prevention simply involves a little fun with a few sheets of graph paper and a handful of pencil crayons.  :)

Here's my first idea, with all the darks as the main blocks and the yellows & oranges as the block middles.

Hmm, not sure.  Not exactly what I had in mind.  I was going for a "twinkly" effect but this looks surprisingly modern to me.  Let's try something different - more scrappy.

I didn't have to finish coloring this one to know it made my heart happy.

And here's how it turned out.

Perfect.  Halloweeny?  For sure.  But not I'M-ALL-UP-IN-YOUR-FACE-WITH-VAMPIRES-AND-COBWEBS-AND-WITCHES Halloweeny.  (Not that there's anything WRONG with that ... I've made some absolutely gorgeous Halloween quilts that are just that!)  But I can see me enjoying this quiltlet as a nice home decor accent on a wall in my house for a month or so, even though I have an undiagnosed allergy to burnt orange and dark green. ;)

The inner border gave me pause.  At first I thought it would be very dark - maybe even black.  But as I played around with my darks, it just seemed too ... AAAGH, you know?  So I did a 180 and went so quiet and neutral that the fabric all but disappears.  As soon as I laid out the quilt with this print, I knew it was perfect.

And then there was the whole FMQing business.  Sigh.  I really should do rocks.  I'm awesome at rocks.  And rocks are sorta Halloweeny, aren't they?  But I don't FEEL like doing rocks!  It's gonna take forEVER.  "Oh, stop your whining, you Smokin' Hot Quilter Chick and just get on with it."  ;)

So I did. 

And I'm so very happy I took the 2-1/2 hours to do it.

I omitted the outer border AGAIN, like I did on the big one

This quiltlet had already grown to 15" x 17" and I just didn't want it to be any bigger.

All right, the second last episode is up for next week.

We're going straight from Halloween to Christmas!


Daisychain Sampler G

Ok.  I'm about to say something that might shock you if you embroider ... the french knot & I are sworn enemies.  I am SO not even joking about this, you guys.  I mean enemies as in:

But seriously.  I will never reconcile with the french knot.  And there isn't a single one in this letter - or in my entire sampler, for that matter.  I swore off french knots a few years ago and haven't made one since.


Nope.  Not a single one.  So what knot DID I use for this letter?

Brace yourself.  I'm about to rock your embroidery world ...

The Colonial Knot

When you are making it, it doesn't misbehave like a french knot can (and often does for me!  Grrr).  And it lays on the fabric all nice and flat like a donut. 

Yes, go ahead all you lovely Americans and make fun of this stereotypical Canadian who somehow found a way to compare embroidery to donuts.  tee hee ;) 

I have yet to find a situation where the french knot CAN'T be substituted with a colonial knot.  Give it a try.  It's worth the time to learn.  Trust me.  If I can teach my 10 year old dyslexic daughter how to do it, you can do it. 

Here's how my sampler looks so far ...

Ugh.  But now H is more satin stitch (I'm typing this in my very best whiny voice ... can you hear it?)  Guess I better just suck it up and go back to A before my sampler ends up looking like Swiss Cheese on account of all the holes left where satin-stitched letters should be!


Daisychain Sampler F

Yes, I'm skipping E.

More satin stitch ... still not ready.  So I'm movin' on to F.

I started with a pale green.  But I just wasn't feelin' the love.

So I took it out and went for a pale blue version of "C".

SO much better!

Sigh. :)


Daisychain Sampler D

Just a quiet monochromatic letter today.

Mostly in stem stitch - my favorite stitch of all time.  I love its twisty, rope texture.  And it doesn't betray uneven stitches like the backstitch.  (That backstitch is SUCH a tattletale ... gets me EVERY time!)  

Another new thing for me - making a lazy daisy stitch curved by tacking it down. 

Very clever, Miss Alicia!  Thanks for teaching me something new.  I'm more smarterer than I was yesterday. ;)


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 22

Gray and White

Oh it feels so good to finally start talking about the incredibly beautiful new Flower Sugar line by Lecien.  'Cause that means I can ALSO start adding all their yumminess to my FW blocks!  :) 

Actually I've been sneaking a few bits in here and there.  Someone even busted me on Flickr a few weeks ago!

I'm dying over this new soft gray color and how nicely it plays with all the blocks I've made so far. 

#11 - Broken Dishes

I picked this adorable - and I mean ADORABLE - print with tiny flower posies because I knew it would make this "Broken Dishes" block look just like shards of a formerly pretty little piece of china that had a tragic accident - probably due to a clumsy husband or child.

# 25 - Cups & Saucers (sort of)

When I was looking for a companion block for this week, I was struck by "Cups & Saucers" and thought it would go nicely with "Broken Dishes" - theme-wise.   And then when I looked at this print with a lovely & delicate doily design, I got it into my head that I wanted my cup and saucer to sit on a doily.   (Am I the only one who thinks like this?)

So I proceeded to fussy cut my BUTT off (correction, it's still there ... too bad) my BRAINS out (more accurate) and came up with this little cutie.

To preserve the edges of the doily, I decided to not add the corner triangles (hence the "sort of").

I dunno.  The jury is out on whether my doily idea was a success.  I still like the concept, but the roses aren't totally symmetrical and they make the block look a little wonky.  What do you think ... keep or toss?

Ok everyone.  I leave for Quilt Market tomorrow (eeep!), but I've written a few posts to keep you company while I'm gone so it'll be like I'm still here at Pretty by Hand, kay?  ;)

And if you happen to overhear a dad saying to his two daughters "Don't tell mom ... " they probably belong to me.  Apparently a lot of fun is had when I'm not around. ;)


Mini-Series Monday #6

Sugar Rush.  YUM! 

And may I just say what a lovely coincidence it is that this post follows my Sugar Sugar Market Bag post!  One might even accuse me of planning it that way. ;)  (Actually, it really was a coincidence.)

Ok.  Truth?  I pieced this 14" x 19-1/2" quiltlet top together ...

BEFORE I made this bag

In fact, it was the quiltlet that gave me the IDEA for the bag.

These stripes are 5/8" wide, finished.

But I waited until I could do some seriously cute flower FMQing to finish it.  I kinda felt like I was making eyelet with those tiny little flower!  Love them.

However, life wasn't all sweet with this quiltlet.  While working on my newly acquired FMQing I decided to use a "washable" - in quotation marks - fabric pen to help me sew a nicely proportioned flower.  Well, that disappearing ink pen did NOT live up to it's end of the bargain.  It left a blue mark right in the middle of the flower.  (It looks worse in real life.)

No worries, though.  I just cut out another flower center and appliqued it right on top!  You can't keep this quilter down for long. ;)

The back was almost as fun as the front - albeit a little bit wonky-doodley.

Next Monday is Halloween so I have a "Holiday Special" of sorts planned for you.



"Sugar Sugar" Market Bag

Once again, I am left feeling totally awed and so deeply grateful for all your lovely comments and overwhelming support yesterday. 

(Where WERE you guys when I was in Grade 3 and Linda would pour sand in my hair at recess?  Or in Grade 5 when Kathy would threaten to beat me up after school?  Or in high school when the "sorority" girls would make fun of my clothes?)


I would have replied to each and every one of you, but on account of the snot factory still working overtime in my head, my husband being out of town all week, a last minute trip to the Doctors yesterday (for my daughter - nothing serious) and helping someone study for a test last night, I just didn't have it in me.  PLEASE accept this one-size-fits-all hug and great big deep-from-the-bottom-of-my-heart thank you from me.  Kay?

Something else unexpected happened yesterday too.  I got a photo (professional and EVERYTHING) of my Sugar Sugar quilt from the lovely Lecien people.  So I get to show it to you after all!  (gulp) 

(I even FMQed it all by myself with my newly acquired fancy schmancy flowers!)

I was surprised by a few comments yesterday suggesting a Sugar Sugar quilt-a-long for the new year.  (Thanks Bonnie & Ina!)  I would absolutely LOVE to host one.  If you would be so kind to let me know via a comment if you'd be interested, I'll look into it and let you know. :)  The pattern is free and will be downloadable from the Lecien website in a few weeks, I think.  I'll keep you posted.

Ok. Now on to today's business. :)

I know, I know.  There are like a bazillion patterns out there called "Market Bag".  And they usually mean SUPER market or FLEA market or FARMER's market.

But not this one.  Nope.  This bag was designed BY me FOR me for QUILT Market!  (5 more sleeps!!!)

I had so much fun making my last Quilt Market bag based on a quilt designed by Camille that ... well, I decided to do the same thing based on my own quilt design this time.

The white background fabric (with PINK polkadots) is from Lecien's basics line.  Same goes for the green dot I used for the handles & bottom and the tiny yellow & green gingham flower centers.

I even fussy cut a little flower and made it into a "designer" tag.  Just because. ;)

And I don't know WHAT it is about this polkadot / floral print, but I LOVE it.  If I were brave - and about 20 years younger - I'd make myself a dress out of this print.  Seriously.  Like a cute little sundress with a sweetheart neckline, cap sleeves, fitted bodice & a big twirly skirt, possibly tiered.  Or maybe more of a pencil skirt with a slit up the back. 

I couldn't use it for the pieced strips or appliqued flowers because the white background would just melt into the white panels.  But I pieced together almost every last bit I had to make this lining.

So I'll be lugging this "Market" bag around Houston like a great big walking, talking "Flower Sugar" advertisement.  Hopefully people will see it, fall in love with Flower Sugar the way I have and ask me where to get it.  I will send them STRAIGHT to Lecien!   :)


OK. Did This Really Happen?

Hello friends! 

Today I have some exciting/terrifying news, depending on what frame of mind I'm in at any given moment.  I'm super proud of this news and I've been wanting to share it with you for a while, but I'm also kinda sorta shy & nervous about it too.

Deep breath.  Here goes.

This past summer, Lecien got wind of my deep and abiding love for their Flower Sugar line.  (See evidence of this love affair here, here and here.)  If you've been reading my blog - even for just a little while - this romance is no secret.

Well, Lecien asked me - ME for heaven's sake! - if I would design a quilt using their NEW Floral Collection Flower Sugar fabric line and make it for their Houston Quilt Market booth to promote the line launch. 

Oh and could I also write up a FREE pattern for it to be posted on their website so absolutely ANYONE in the whole entire WORLD could make it if they wanted? 

Would I? 

Oh WOULD I!!!!!!

First, I squealed (be careful what you wish for). 

Then I freaked out 'cause - more often than not - I'm totally silly and forget to act like an adult. 

And then reality hit and I had a small panic attack - omg, I am SO not qualified to do this!

I'm not an artist.  I'm not a designer.  I've never even taken an art class!  (Well I started Art 10 in high school, but only because I heard they were teaching Ukranian Easter Egg making ... so I made an egg - white, pink & purple instead of the traditional black, red & orange - and then I dropped out.) 

Where was I?  Oh yes, spewing my insecurities.  I'm just a stay-at-home mom who's been quilting for ... 25 years? and has made over ... 200 quilts? ...   and has a deeply rooted passion for fabric and color and quilts of all kinds ...   ...   ...  ok, well, maybe I do have enough skills & experience to pull this off. 


But what if no one likes it?  What if everyone hates it?  This quilt isn't just for me and my little home, it's for the world to see and judge.

"Listen you ... (what's my new self-talk name? Oh yeah ...) you Smokin' Hot Quilter Chick, you can do this.  You've made how many quilts?  And you've taught how many classes?  And you have a very strong sense of what YOU love, right?"

So then I took a deep breath, grabbed a pencil and started doing what I have loved doing for decades - playing with beautiful fabric for the pure joy of making something pretty that makes my heart happy.  All I can do is my best, right?  So that's what I did.

Oh, and there's also the thing about the Marketing Director of Lecien.  She is highly regarded and I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have asked if she didn't have confidence in me.  I had to trust that.  (Thank you, Nireko!)

Well, I made the quilt in August and shipped it off early September.  I'd show you pictures of it now, but I was a TOTAL MAJOR DOOFUS NIMROD and forgot to take pix.  I know.  I hang my blogging head in great shame over that boneheaded move. 

But I CAN tell you it's called "Sugar Sugar".   Here are a few of my preliminary sketches (and leftover flowers).  In the end, I ditched the vines - they made the design too busy.

And here are the fabrics I used for the quilt.  At least I can show you these. :)

See, I decided to take a very analytical approach to the design.  The purpose of this quilt is to show off the fabric collection.  For me, that means using all the colors and as many of the 27 prints as possible (I managed 25).

The pattern also had to fit on one page so the design needed to be simple for easy and short instructions. 

Then I got it in my head that I wanted the subject of the quilt to reflect the fabric collection somehow ... you know, so people could associate the quilt design with "Flower Sugar".  Easy.  Appliqued flowers ... dozens of them!!

I also played around with the idea of adding "sugar" as a design element, but I quickly abandoned unsatisfactory attempts to depict sugar cubes and/or heaping teaspoons and settled on the idea of flowers scattered on fields of white ... sugar. ;)

Isn't this collection just delicious?

Oh, and I can also show you the trimmings from all 75 appliqued flowers. :)

When I get the quilt back (that may be a while, I just found out it's going on a little Trans-Pacific tour to Japan and then China for a few more trade shows!) I'll be able to show you pictures of it then ... and I'm sure I'll be subjecting you to a few more photos of it hanging in the Lecien booth with me standing in front of it - you know, for my mom.  ;)

Tomorrow I'll show you something else I made with this fabric.  You can probably already guess what it is if you've been following my blog for a while.  You know ... with all the BAGS I've made?  And the LITTLE things I've made? 

Come on you guys, I simply canNOT put these dots any closer together for you! ;)


Drastic Measures Were Needed

... to get all my FWQAL fabrics under control.  Well, maybe "drastic" is a bit melodramatic, but measures of some kind were needed for sure!

See, I'm using about 50 fabrics for my blocks - each one accumulating scrap bits as the weeks go by - and keeping them all organized without actually organizing them was becoming impossible. 


I know, I should know better by now, but sometimes I still think wishing alone will make something happen ...

I had FW fabrics all over my sewing room ...

  • on the cutting/sewing table
  • on the chair(s)
  • on the ironing board
  • on the shelf under the ironing board
  • on the floor under the ironing board

... you get the picture.

I'd organize the fabrics a bit, but as soon as two more blocks were made I had a discombobulated mess on my hands again.  AAAGH!


After a nice hot cup of tea and a generous serving of something very bad for my arteries, I calmed down and got into organizing mode.  This is what I came up with ...

I have some clear plastic shoebox sized containers that are so full of fabric and other crafting stuff the lids won't fit on them.  (Let you whose house ALWAYS looks EXACTLY like a Martha Stewart magazine photo throw the first stone ...)  ;)

So I thought to myself, "Self, why don't you use those lids as trays?"  I answered, "Good idea, Self!" 

Hmmm, it's just occurred to me that I need a better self-talk name, like ... oh, I don't know ... how 'bout "Smokin' Hot Quilter Chick"?  tee hee

If we ever meet in person and you actually call me that, I just might kiss you on the mouth. 



Ok, I am kidding.  I won't even share straws with my family.  (I have a germ thing ... )

But I WILL blush and giggle like a school girl!

Now where was I?  This Smokin' Hot Quilter Chick just got all flustered.

Oh yes, lids.  How perfect is THAT to have 3 lids - 2 colors for each? 

Oops.  Right.  I forgot about my beloved stack of white on whites. 

They just sort of float as needed.

So now I can make a few (or several) blocks, quickly tidy up and shove my little stack of lids somewhere ... wherever they will stay put. 

Usually on the floor ... underneath something ... like a chair or table or ironing board ... because the boxes that go with these lids are already hogging all the space in the cupboards.



Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 21

Red, Pink, Green & White

#23 - Country Farm

This block should be renamed "Goldilocks" and it nearly did me in.  Here's the first version.

Too wishy-washy.  I didn't like how the yellow points just melted into the background and really all you see is a bright red hourglass.  But it wasn't a total waste of time, I guess.  It helped me decide on red star points for sure.

Here's the second version.

Too bright.  This time I was smart enough to not assemble the entire thing.  Good thing, too.  I just wasn't feelin' the love for the pink/yellow hourglass. 

Third version.

Aah.  Juuuuuuuust right. :)

#28 - Four Winds

I was a little nervous about this one - with 64 pieces (the largest being 3/4" finished) I didn't want to have to remake it because just because I didn't like the colors.  But I knew right away that the pinwheel in the middle needed to be red and the background would be white.  So I just gambled on the pink & green and ... voila!

I'm really happy with this one too. 

Ok, I've had quite a few requests lately to see a "group shot" of my blocks so here you go. :)

What does it all measure up to? 

According to my ruler, 2 and 3/4" of pure Farmer's Wifey, Flower Sugary goodness! ;)


Mini-Series Monday #5

Gee you guys, thanks so very much for all the tutorial love!   I'm so thrilled you like it and that it may have inspired some of you to give it a try ... dreaded zipper and all! :) 

I'm sorry I didn't get to replying to you all these past few days ... I've been laid up with a nasty head cold.  For the first time in 15 years of marriage, my husband and I have been sick at the same time.  We usually "tag" each other with our germs.  Haha!  Actually, more like hack hack, snork snork, please pass the Kleenex & Tylenol and "Honey, I'll pay you a million dollars to fix dinner for the children" ... he did it for free. ;)

                         *          *          *          *          *          *

Ok.  I'm fairly certain that if you don't already think I'm a special kind of crazy in the quilting department, this post will convince you FOR SURE.

Original "Spot-On" ...

Mini "Spot On" ...

Love it.

I'm particularly proud of the scalloped top-stitching around the border.

But at 19" square - and finished blocks at 3" - I just kept thinking, "Not small enough."


I kinda sorta accidentally went and made another one.


Itty-Bitty "Spot On" ...

I know! Even CUTER, right?!  She's only 14" x 17-1/2".

And the blocks are 2" (finished).

I decided to omit top-stitching altogether for this one.  (Except for around the inner border, just to keep everything together.)

Omg I can hardly STAND the cuteness of it all. 

(Is it ok for me to say that about my own stuff?  Does it sound obnoxious?)

Hope you enjoyed today's double-feature. ;)

Up next week?

Gimme some sugar ... lots and lots of sugar!  :)


Across the Pond Pouch Tutorial


Here is my tutorial on how to make a cute zippered pouch from this free Moda pattern called "Across the Pond Pouch" by Cabbages & Roses.

You will need to download & print the pattern first (for the template).  


  • 36 squares, 2-1/2" x 2-1/2"
  • 1 FQ (or 2 rectangles, at least 6" x 11")
  • 1 zipper, 9" (dress weight, nonseparable)

  • **2 squares, 2" x 2" (for zipper tabs)
  • **2 batting scraps, at least 6-1/2" x 12-12"

**These items are not part of the original pattern, but I used them for my pouch and this tutorial shows you how to add them.

36 Squares

Since Christmas is fast approaching, I thought I'd do a little multi-tasking here - write a tutorial AND get some Christmas sewing done.  You don't mind, do you?  So I dug into my "Roman Holiday" (3 Sisters Moda) leftovers and cut my 36 squares.

To make the cutting go faster, I selected 18 prints and cut 2 squares from each print.  But you could just as easily cut all 36 squares from only 2 prints to make a true checkerboard or dive into your scrap bin and go crazy!

Fat Quarter

The pattern calls for a FQ for the lining, but you really only need 2 rectangles that are at least 6" x 11".  They don't even have to match.  I often 'scrap up' the inside of bags and cases.

9" Zipper

I favor dressweight zippers for a few reasons:

  • teeth can be stitched over without breaking a needle
  • easily cut/trimmed with scissors
  • best variety of colors for matching to your fabric

I also suggest a non-separable zipper (doesn't open at the bottom).

**2 Squares, 2" x 2"

Here's a look at a zipper tab on my pouch - the little blue triangle patch of fabric. 

**2 Batting Scraps, 6-1/2" x 12-1/2"

I wanted my pouch to have a more quilted look so I added batting.  This is a great way to use up some of those trimmings from a quilt.


After you've cut your squares, lay 18 squares into 3 rows of 6 squares each. 

If you have any favorite prints, put them in the middle 4 spots of the top row (will be along the zipper) and the middle 4 spots of the middle the row.  The corner squares will all but disappear when the pouch is assembled.

Once you have the squares arranged, sew them together into 6 columns of 3 squares each.  I chain-pieced mine.

Press these seams in opposite directions to get nice nesting joints.

Now sew the 6 columns together.

Press the seams to one side.

Repeat to make another patchwork panel.  Your panels should measure 6-1/2" x 12-1/2" each.


If you want to quilt your patchwork, now is the time to do it.  Simply lay one patchwork panel on a batting piece, pin in place and quilt as desired.  Repeat for the second panel.

I did a cross-hatch - simple and effective.  But really anything goes.


Trace the template onto a sheet of paper and cut it out.  Lay it on a patchwork panel - centered - and pin in place. 

Cut it out and repeat for the other patchwork panel.  The more accurate you are with centering the template, the easier it will be to line up your seams from one side of the pouch to the other.

And see what I mean about the corner squares almost disappearing?

Cut out 2 lining pieces with the template.  I layered mine and cut them both out at the same time.

I used a rotary cutter, but you can use scissors, if you prefer.


If you've never sewn a dart, don't panic - they're super easy.  Trust me. ;)

Here's a dart cutout.

Take one patchwork piece and fold it - right sides together - so the two dart edges line up.  Pin.

Starting at the outside edge, sew a 1/4" seam - keep sewing a straight line past the cut point of the dart until you get to the folded edge. 

Press your dart seams towards the middle of the pouch.

Repeat for the other patchwork piece.

And both lining pieces.


This next bit here is not in the pattern.  If you want to skip it, just scroll down to the ZIPPER INSTALLATION section.  It's ok.  We can still be friends. ;)

You need the 2 extra 2" squares.

Fold the squares in half and press.  Fold in half again and press.  This second fold is referred to as the "second folded edge".  Brought to you by the Queen of the Obvious. ;)

Lay the second folded edge to the inside of the metal tab on the bottom end of the zipper. (Right-side view)

Open the second folded edge and pin the fabric in place.  (Right-side view)

(Wrong-side view)

Sew along the fold mark.  (Right-side view)


Refold the tab. 

Baste the raw edges.

To position the second tab, measure 7-1/2" from the fold of the first tab and mark that spot with a pin.  This is where the fold of the second tab will be located.

FIRST OPEN THE ZIPPER HALFWAY!  And keep it open.  Kay?

Attach the second tab the same way as the first.

Trim away the excess zipper.



All right.  Still with me?  Ok.  :)

First, attach your zipper foot to your sewing machine.

Fold the zipper in half and mark the center point with a pin.  With right sides together, lay the zipper along the top edge of one body piece - matching the center points - and pin in place. 

Pin the rest of the zipper to the body.

Sew the zipper to the body.

With right sides of the body (with the zipper) and lining together, center one lining piece and pin along the top edge. 

The zipper should be sandwiched between the patchwork and the lining.

Do not sew directly on top of your previous seam (red thread shown below).  Rather sew just a tiny bit towards the top edge (blue thread shown below).

You should have something that looks like this ...

Repeat the above to add the second body and lining pieces to the other side of the zipper.

Center the second body piece onto the zipper - right sides together - and pin in place.

Sew the second body to the zipper.

Next, center the second lining piece to the zipper - right sides together, and pin in place.

Sew the second lining to the zipper.

Now you should have something that looks like this ...

and this.

Press the body pieces and the lining pieces away from the zipper.


Home stretch. :)

Now you're going to place the patchwork pieces right sides together,

and the lining pieces right sides together. 

Pin all the way around, doing your best to line up the darts and patchwork seams. 

The zipper will be a little weird so try to make the teeth go towards the patchwork side and the seam allowances towards the lining side.

Leaving a 4" opening along the bottom of the lining, sew all the way around the entire pouch, lining and patchwork.

When you get to the zipper teeth, stop with your needle down and do a little pivot to make a "V". 

Trim the "V" point seam allowances.

Turn the entire pouch right side out through the 4" opening.

Stitch the opening closed, either by hand or machine.  (I'm lazy.)

Turn the lining into the pouch.

Add a little scrap of fabric or a ribbon to the zipper pull.


Now go make a few dozen.

You will be fully stocked with lovely hostess/teacher/friend/neighbor/mother/daughter gifts for the entire Christmas season!