Supernova Contest: Deadline Extended to February 14, 2015!

We’re announcing a new deadline for the Supernova Swap Contest!

If you’re feeling bogged down by January and had given up on the idea of finishing your Supernova Quilt in time to enter the contest, think again!

The new deadline to enter is Saturday, February 14th, 2015.  On Friday, I will post specific instructions for uploading pictures to FlickR to those of you who are new to it. But keep reading for a few important details.

After talking to so many of the Supernova Swap participants, we realized many of you would appreciate another two weeks to finish things up.

As you can see from the picture below, I’m not quite done either.  I still owe Sandra from One Million Stitches a couple of blocks. We are using a line of 1920s inspired fabric by Bari J for Art Gallery, for some super scrappy, brightly colored blocks that I just love. But these things take time, right?  You cannot rush art (i.e., I hate deadlines). So…..

Even though I won’t be entering the contest myself, I do hope to have my quilt completed by the new deadline.  Sandra and I both were overwhelmed by the holidays, and much to our dismay, we knew we were falling behind (although Sandra has since finished all her blocks and is patiently waiting for me now).

Maybe this is the push you and your partner need to actually finish, and meet your goal!

You can do this!! We all can!

Here’s the link to the Supernova Friendship Block Swap FlickR group. Upload your photos here by midnight on February 14th, 2015.  Here are some guidelines for posting:

1) When you upload, please name your entry” Your Name: Finished Quilt Entry”  (i.e., Stephanie Palmer – Finished Quilt Entry).  Also please write the word, “Single” or “Pair” depending on whether you are entering alone (if your partner didn’t finish) or together.

2) In the description, please include your partner’s name, your fabric, and any other pertinent info you’d like Lee to be aware of when she judges.

3) You can enter more than one photo, if you want her to see the back, or a different angle.

4) Please upload a maximum of 3 photos, all labeled with your name, and the words, “Finished Quilt Entry”.

5) If your partner does not finish her quilt, you can still enter!!

6) If both you and your partner have finished your quilts, and your entry pair is selected, you will both win a prize package.  There may be some variations in the prize package due to availability, but they will both have approximately the same value.

7) If only 1 of you has completed your quilt, YOU CAN STILL ENTER!  You could still be chosen as the winner (but sadly, your partner can’t).

If you enter by the deadline of February 14th (midnight Eastern Standard time), you will be eligible for the following prize package:

  • Copy of the book Vintage Quilt Revival, by Katie Clark Blakesly, Lee Heinrich (Supernova block designer extraordinaire) and Faith Jones
  • Copy of the book Quilting Wide Open Spaces, by Judi Madsen
  • $50 Gift Certificate from Green Fairy Quilts (*If you live overseas, you will receive $50 gift certificate to a fabric store of your choice)
  • An assortment of fat quarters and fabulous notions

 

 

 

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The contest for the best overall quilt will be judged by Lee Heinrich, herself.  Pretty exciting, isn’t it?

Sandra, Lee and I will announce the winner on our blogs and Instagram (@latenightquilter) and the Late Night Quilters Club on Facebook.

Speaking of the Late Night Quilters’ Club… Can you believe we already have over 2000 members?  The group is only 9 months old!  And what’s even better, it is honestly the kindest, most supportive group of creative quilters I’ve ever been a part of.  Thank you to all of you who make it a rich, supportive, interesting community.

If you still haven’t ordered a Late Night Quilter’s Club button, you still have time.  Bust My Button, on Etsy, is making them to order in a 1″ button (perfect for trading and collecting at shows) and a larger 2.25″  button and also a 2.25″ magnet.

Late Night Quilters Club button

Hope to see some of you here in Austin at QuiltCon!  It’s just around the corner…

I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and Let’s Bee Social.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Sew Fresh Quilts

 

Stash Update – Japan Edition

I am a lucky girl this week. My husband returned home from a business trip to Japan, and he brought me gifts.

Of course he brought what every girl wants… a velvet bag of sparkling, loose diamonds? (no) delicate, iridescent Mikimoto pearls? (no). Better.

FABRIC!

Japanese fabric, to be exact.

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Here’s the little shop he visited, where he actually spent time perusing hundreds of fabrics to choose exactly the right ones.

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And here are more pictures of the beautiful bits he brought.

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Apparently, he has an eye for color, given that he expertly curated the most perfect collection.Japanese blues resized 50 percent

This last one is so cute, I know I’ll never use it. It’s destined to sit on the shelf forever, begging to be cut into tiny pieces, but saved so I can enjoy the memory of the trip to Japan I never took.

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I begged him to take pictures this time of all the interesting things he saw. And here are a few of my favorite curiosities.

Japanese youth dressed as anime characters, loitering on a heavily grafittied street corner…

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The world’s smallest garbage truck (seriously, it’s half as big as my trusty, rusty mini-van).

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And hordes of uniformed Japanese adolescents lining up for processed pastries from polished pink machines that Barbie would give her bedazzled boots for.

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I know, we should be talking about the history of the Geisha, or the bravery of the Samurai. But come on, tiny garbage trucks? That’s the interesting stuff we tacky Americans really want to know about.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief foray into Japanese fabric and culture.

I’m linking up to Molly Sparkles Sunday Stash.

Talk to you soon!

Molli Sparkles

High Tide Pillow – My free pattern featured by Camelot Fabrics

Meet Hamlet the pig at Revival, Texas

Meet Hamlet the pig at Revival, Texas

I’m excited to release a free pattern for you today for this pretty little High Tide Patchwork Pillow with an envelope-style back (pig not included).

The pattern is called the High Tide Pillow (20 x 20″) and is featured in the Free Project section at Camelot Fabrics website. You can click here to print out the High Tide Pillow PDF. And here are the Accompanying Templates.

I was at a beautiful little beach on the Long Island Sound in Connecticut when I designed it. The highlight of our afternoons was combing the beach for sea glass before the high tide came to wash everything away. So the name seemed perfect.

The pillow is made up of simple scrappy patchwork stripes. But there’s a unique aspect to the construction. You use the accompanying two templates to cut parallelograms and triangles from 2 1/2″ WOF strips.

High Tide Pillow 1 watermark

I rarely use templates for piecing quilts and pillows, but I thought it might be fun to give it a try. And you know what, I loved it!

Just print out the templates on paper, cut them out, and either lay them directly on top of your fabric, and cut around them. Or you can print out the templates on paper, cut them out, and make more durable versions from template plastic (available on Amazon, craft stores and quilt shops). Either way, if you stack up your layers of fabric, it’s a quick way to cut odd shaped pieces (like parallelograms and triangles!) for your blocks.

I originally designed the pillow to be made out of Camelot Fabric’s Mint Condition, by Jack!e…. but I gave away my little stack of it as a prize.  I just picked up another stack of it at my LQS, and I’m working on another pillow right now for my bedroom.  Isn’t this fabric pretty?  I always gravitate toward mint, so it was an obvious choice for me when I was choosing which Camelot Fabric line to use for my pattern.DSC_0181-2

So I made a version out of Camelot’s fairy, gnomes and woodland themed line by Heather Rosas. It makes an adorable pillow for my daughter’s bed.
High Tide Pillow 2

And I made another one for myself out of some classic Scrumptious, by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.
High Tide Pillow Scrumptious with watermark

And just in case you need to see one more picture of Emerson, and the pillow… here you go! You can never have too many pictures of babies, or Scrumptious fabric!

 

 

 

 

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I’m linking up to WIP Wednesday @Freshly Pieced, Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts, Finish it Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts and An I Get a Whoop Whoop @ Confessions of A Fabric Addict

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

 

 

 

 

Sew Fresh Quilts

 

Catch Up on Quilts

Yes, it’s true.  I have neglected my poor blog. But I’m back after the long holiday break (and the flu) and I thought I would post some pictures of some lovely quilts I’ve had the pleasure of working on over the pasts couple of months.

Ready to check out lots of photos of gorgeous quilts?

This free-form hexagon quilt by my friend Judy was so much fun because it let me play with lots of free-motion swirls in negative space.

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Here’s an awesome Christmas sampler, pieced by Rachel as a gift for her lucky mom.  I loved quilting the snowflakes all over it!

Next, we have a t-shirt quilt, pieced by my business partner Michelle for a customer.  You can never go wrong with a classic overall meander. Every time I quilt one of these I’m amazed at how heavy they are!

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This is a sleek, modern top pieced by Jessie.  I love this pattern, and Jessie’s version of it made me fall in love with purple.  She used just the right amount of the perfect shade of purple.

Jessie's quilt

This is a sweet, modern hourglass quilt pieced by Ashley.  I crosshatched the border and did my favorite swirls in the hourglasses.

This next quilt is a beautiful ode to triangles.  It’s pieced by Andrea O., and the pattern is Dancing Quill by Valerie Wells her in Quill fabric line.  Andrea chose a romantic, swirly feather overall quilting pattern that compliments the angles of the triangles perfectly.

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Here’s how I wrap up my quilts when I’m mailing them back to a customer.  I love taking extra time to get the bow just right so they feel like they’re opening up a very special gift.

This is another quilt pieced by Jessie.  It’s an easy, quick star pattern in deep, lovely shades of blue. It’s all made from 6.5 inch half-square triangles and squares. I loved it so much that I made one for myself in just a few hours (I’ll show you pictures of mine when I eventually quilt it!) Here’s the link to the pattern if you’d like to make one of your own.  The 4 Hour Carpenter Star

Here’s a really fun quilt in all your favorite Cotton & Steel and Far Far Away fabrics!  Can you ever have too many whimsical animals in a quilt?  Ummmm, no.

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And this last one is mine.  I pieced this about a year ago for my son, and it has been sitting on a shelf just waiting to be quilted for way too long.  I let Jake (my 7 year old) choose the overall quilting theme, and he went with classic clam shells.  I gave each star a different filler in the borders, and used my favorite Glide thread in Sand for a gold shimmer.

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I also wanted a little extra puff, so I used two layers of batting, one cotton and one wool. Have you ever used two layers of batting before?  I LOVE it!!

A New Elf on the Shelf Plan for 2014

Elf on the Shelf

Do you ever feel like you need to mix it up a little?  Like it’s time to do something different?

As I jumped out of bed to pose our two elves last night, (yes, we have two, a girl and a boy, to encourage gender equality) I thought, “I’ve got to find a way to harness the power of the elves a little more”.

We are so lucky that the Elf on a Shelf trend hands us this opportunity, wrapped in a package of fun and magic.  I can’t believe I haven’t been taking advantage of it before now.

As a psychologist, I can tell you that it doesn’t work to just tell kids to “Be Good”.  Even if you spell it out with M & Ms.  And believe me, I have shamelessly tried this tactic on multiple occasions.

But what if I give my children a specific daily challenge?  Something small and powerful they have to accomplish each day. We all want our children to be positive, loving, caring, altruistic people.  Our elves give us one more creative way to teach these lessons.

Part of this idea came from my good friend Kevin Hoffarth, a wonderful physician who inspires people every day to be kind and loving humans. He posts challenges on facebook for his friends and families to take part in each day, to focus their attention on what it truly means to be a good person.

So following Kevin’s lead, I will do the same thing for my children.

Each night, I will still pose our little elves in ridiculous positions (using a plethora of candy, toys and stuffed animals to actually catch their attention).  But I will also leave my elves with a simple note with a daily challenge.

Here’s my list so far.  I need your help coming up with some other ideas to add to it.

1) Do a secret act of kindness, and don’t tell the person you did it.

2) Help a friend at school.

3) Do one of your brother’s or sisters’ chores (and don’t complain about it).

4) Clean up trash somewhere outside that wasn’t yours.

5) Smile at a child at school that you don’t know.

6) Invite someone new at school to play with you and your friends.

7) Help someone younger than you do something that is hard for them.

8) Choose a charity to give some of your savings to.

9) Put together bags of goodies and toiletries and have your parents give them to the homeless.

10) Make a picture for your teacher telling her that you appreciate her.

I think it will be fun at the end of the day to talk about how the children fulfilled their challenge and how they felt when they did it (sorry, I can’t resist.  Too many years in a therapist’s chair).

Please leave me comments with some other ideas. I need all the help I can get!

 I’ll let you know how it goes…..

 

Inspired By Fabric Blog Hop – 12 Days of Christmas – Better Start Your Holiday Projects Soon!

 

No-sew Christmas Decorations using your favorite fabrics

No-sew Christmas Decorations using your favorite fabrics

As the holidays speed toward us full-throttle, I’ve been thinking about new craft projects to make with my 4 kids.  We’ve tried all the standards…. popcorn garland, oranges stuffed with cloves, triangle buntings and handprint paper wreaths.

When Fabri-Quilt contacted me last month and asked if I would take a look at some of their new lines of holiday fabric to develop a new tutorial, it made me think it was the perfect opportunity to try a new no-sew craft with the kids.

You don’t have to be a child-psychologist to know that children love projects that are colorful, tactile, forgiving, and quick.  This craft hits the mark on all four counts.

If you’d like to see the tutorial for the no-sew Christmas decorations shown above, click over to the Inspired by Fabric blog (a site dedicated to projects to go along with Fabri-Quilt collections).

Fabri-Quilt sent me the pre-released fabric I was most inspired by, and I tried out the simple new project last week to see how it would go with little ones.

I had so much fun perusing all of their fun Christmas fabrics. 

My favorite holiday line, hands down, is the Season’s Greetings collection at Fabri-Quilt.  The have gorgeous bright whites, with glimmers of silver.

My favorite holiday fabrics at FabriQuilt

My favorite holiday fabrics at FabriQuilt

And they have the most beautiful red with gold snowflakes.

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These are classic designs that would be perfect for table runners, wall hangings, stockings and tree skirts.

I also adore the white and blue fabrics together.  Blues, whites and silvers are close to my heart during the holiday season. My husband is Jewish and I am Catholic, so we have a joyful mix of cultures and colors in our home during the holidays.

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Whites and Blue

If you would like to enter to win a bundle of the Season’s Greetings collection, courtesy of Fabri-Quilt, please visit their blog, Inspired By Fabric, and sign up to follow them, or like them on Facebook.  Leave a comment here on my blog saying you’ve done so.  You can enter through Friday, October 17th, 2014 at 10 pm.

12 Days of Christmas

 

 

 

An Unexpected Friendship, and the Last Supernova Question

Supernova quilt, by Carlie Lincoln, including blocks made by both Carlie Lincoln and Susan Horvath during the 2014 Supernova Swap

Supernova quilt, by Carlie Lincoln, including blocks made by both Carlie Lincoln and Susan Horvath during the 2014 Supernova Swap

I have a new friendship to tell you about– one that I never saw coming.  Isn’t it funny when new a friend sneaks into your life, without you even realizing that it was happening?

About 6 months ago, my home phone rang.  I don’t know about you, but we rarely even use our home phone anymore… always the cells. Sometimes I don’t even answer the home phone to avoid telemarketers.

However that day, I noticed that the last name on the caller ID was the same as mine.  So of course, I answered it, a bit intrigued.

The woman who called is probably in her 70s or 80s; we’ll call her Max (it wouldn’t be fair to share her real name).  She was looking for her grandson, Sam (yes, another pseudonym).   I explained that she had the wrong number. She apologized profusely, and said that she had called Information and they had given her my number.  We exchanged niceties, and hung up.  I thought nothing of it.

After that phonecall, Max called five more times that day. I answered the second time, but ignored the ringing after that, feeling somewhat disconcerted that she didn’t seem to remember calling the first time.

The next day began with the ring of the phone.  I tried to ignore it, but I couldn’t.  So instead, I started answering Max’s calls.

Six months have now gone by, and I have spoken to Max almost every day, except for the month that I was travelling over the summer with my family.

For the first few months of our daily conversations, she never remembered me at all, or that she had accidentally called me the day before.

We had the same conversation over and over…

“Hi Mrs. Palmer.  How are you today?  Oh, good.  My name is Stephanie Palmer.  No, your grandson Sam isn’t here at this number.  There seems to be some confusion about which number you should call to reach him.”

I wonder if it’s Alzheimer’s, or perhaps a vascular dementia, or multiple TIAs.  I’m not sure.

I can hardly believe it, but an amazing thing has happened.  Mrs. Palmer sort of remembers me now.  Each time she calls, she is confused by the situation at first.  She never knows that she’s dialing me each time. She truly expects to hear her grandson Sam’s voice on the other end of the call.

But now, when I explain that it’s me, and that she accidentally got my number from 411, she laughs and seems to remember a bit.  She calls me “darling” and tells me how sweet I am.  She promises to cross out the number in her phone book, and swears that she won’t make the mistake again. I ask her about her dogs, and her the housekeeper who takes care of her (she’s been through a couple now), and what she did during the day, and whether she’s seen Sam lately.

She tells me how sad she is, because her husband, son and daughter have all passed away, and her grandson Sam is her only connection to the world now. But she says she is well taken care of, and that our conversations brighten her day.

Sometimes my conversation with Max bring me to tears.  Sometimes I hang up, laughing, after the funny things she’s said.

Regardless, I know I look forward to her calls each day.  Her friendship is an unexpected blessing.

And the thought of her not calling anymore…. well, that’s just too terrible to think about.

When she called yesterday, I asked for her address.  I am going to send her a quilt.  What should it be, I wonder? I wish I could do more for her, but a least the warm, soft quilt will deliver the hug I would like to send.

Carlie's beautiful binding... Carlie and Susan have said that they have developed a deep friendship during this swap. And nothing makes me happier.

Carlie’s beautiful quilting and binding… Carlie and Susan have said that they have developed a deep friendship during this swap. And nothing makes me happier!

My friendship with Mrs. Palmer helped bring to mind the question I would like to ask of you….

If you are participating in the Supernova block swap, I invite you to share the answer with your partners for the last month of our swap.

What unexpected blessings do you have in your life?

 

 

 

 

The Travelling Chalkboard – Farmer’s Wife Blocks

My friend Chelsea over at Patch the Giraffe had an idea to share her cute little chalkboard with some of her blogging friends so they can show off the quilt blocks they’re working on in the unique way that she does on her blog.

If you’re a blogger and want to be the next stop for the Travelling Chalkboard, leave me a comment, and we’ll send it along to you too!

For my turn with the chalkboard, I thought I’d share my Farmer’s Wife blocks.  I’m working on them a little bit at a time, enjoying being a link in the long historical chain of quilters who have each put their own touch on these classic blocks over the centuries.  These represent my first foray into paper piecing.  They are imperfect, sweet reminders of how much I have to learn about the art of quilting.

 

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Thanks to my photographer friend Kristin for helping me with the chalkboard photos.  We took these pictures a couple of weeks ago, in the 103 degree Texas heat, at our favorite place to get inspired and take a few quilt photos– Revival, in Austin, Texas. If you live in the Austin area and haven’t been to Revival, it’s worth the trip.  Revival supports local artisans and specializes in reclaimed home decor that is quirky, elegant and fun all at the same time. Here are a few pictures of what you can expect to see on your next trip there…

Hamlet the pig, roams the grounds making friends

Hamlet the pig, roams the grounds making friends

Chickens abound

Chickens abound

Bring your own funky containers or find something new to plant some gorgeous succulents

Bring your own funky containers or find something new to plant some gorgeous succulents

A playground from the past that my kids can't get enough of

A playground from the past that my kids can’t get enough of

So now you know where I like to hang out…. it provides endless numbers of funky backdrops for my quilt projects, inspiration for my home, and hours of entertainment for my kids.  Hope to see you around there sometime!

 

How to Apply Perfectly Square Quilt Borders – Without Waves or Puckers!

Today I want to share a video tutorial that Michelle and I filmed this week about our favorite method of adding borders to a quilt.

Click the image below to check it out. With a little simple math, you can accurately put on borders and avoid getting wrinkles and puckers in your quilt.

 

Before I started longarm quilting, I had no idea that there was a special way put on borders.  I just pieced the quilt top, meaured the sides of the quilt, cut the borders and slapped them on. Lo and behold, many of the quilts I made ended up with gentle, undulating waves throughout those spontaneously stitched borders.

Gentle waves are lovely in the ocean, but not so lovely on a quilt top.

When they appear, they do not bode well for your final stage of quilting, whether on your DSM or longarm.

If your quilt is being finished by a longarmer, there are basically three painful options:

1) The longarmer can take the borders off and reapply them at their hourly rate (yikes).

2) The client can take the quilt back and reapply the borders (double yikes).

3) The longarmer can quilt pleats into the borders to mask the extra fullness (triple yikes, for some, not such a big deal for others, depending on your level of perfectionism).

We hope you find this tutorial helpful. Let us know if you have any questions!

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