Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New Project -- Jams and Jellies

I have been working on a new project that uses my basics collection, Jams and Jellies from Henry Glass  Fabrics.
 This collection is great to use with other pieces in my various other lines.  They blend together and use my favorite colors, giving me lots of options for appliqué and pieced design.

This time, I didn't really know where this was going, I just started with some blocks.

 Then I goofed around with various settings.

 Prepped a few appliqué pieces,

 and started stitching.

There is still  a lot of appliqué to go, but I do so enjoy this part!  It is just fun to sit and stitch.  I am going to add some dots and swirls, and then some borders.  I think.  Sometimes it turns out different from what I had planned!  Sometimes I don't really plan.

I can't wait to see what it ends up like!

(You can order Jams and Jellies on my website, or ask for it at your local quilt shop!)

Be sure to come back on Friday--that is my day on the HG blog hop with prizes and books and info and ideas!!  I will be having a give away, too.  See you then.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hey there,  don't forget about the Henry Glass Blog tour that is going on!  Have you entered to win?  Today you visit  my good friend, Linda Lum DeBono.  Here is the rest of the weeks schedule:

Monday, November 24: Linda Lum DeBono
Tuesday, November 25: Anni Downs 
Wednesday, November 26: Kim Diehl 
Thursday, November 27:  HAPPY THANKSGIVING
Friday, November 28:  Jill Finley--right here!

Just visit each blog and leave a comment.  There are prizes to be won, and lots of fun quilting advice.

OK.  I want to keep this part of my blog about quilting.   (There is a separate page about my cancer journey.)  But today, I just had to show you some photos of my haircut.  They DO involve quilt blocks, eventually, so that is why I need to show you!

My hair has been falling out by the handfuls.  So it was time to cut it--it will all be gone within a few days, so we thought we'd have some fun!

Here's the edgy, artist look.  I AM a designer, after all!

 We had quite a crew working on this important project!

 Good thing Andrea thought to bring some hair chalk!

Then we moved into the super short pixie mode.  Reminded me of my younger, competitive swimming days!
 Everyone took a space to carve a quilt block.   We have an hour-glass block, a windmill, an appliquéd heart and ribbon,

And even an Ohio Star.

 A pinwheel, and the ever important "Y".  Everyone agreed that it is easier to actually sew quilt blocks than to carve them into a head!

In the end I look like something between a rock star and a prisoner of war.  But it's all good.  It will soon be gone and just a memory!

I'm off to buy a wig.  Hope I don't scare anyone.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Flair for Fabric --BLOG HOP!

As you know, the Henry Glass designers have published a new book that was just released.  So we are all doing a blog hop to celebrate!  That is good news for you because we have tons of prizes, and lots of fun ideas coming your way.

Visit each designer on the day listed below, and you can enter to win each day.   Here is the schedule:

Tuesday, November 18: Launch at Martingale’s Stitch This! blog 
Wednesday, November 19: Dana Brooks 
Thursday, November 20: Leanne Anderson 
Friday, November 21: 
Saturday, November 22: Janet Nesbitt 
Monday, November 24: Linda Lum DeBono
Tuesday, November 25: Anni Downs 
Wednesday, November 26: Kim Diehl 
Friday, November 28: Jill Finley (
Saturday, November 29: Amy Hamberlin 
Monday, December 1: Margo Languedoc 
Tuesday, December 2: Little Quilts 
Wednesday, December 3: Lizzie B Cre8ive 
Thursday, December 4: Heather Mulder Peterson 
Friday, December 5: Jacquelynne Steves 

Saturday, December 6: Wrap up at the Henry Glass blog 

Today, get on over to visit my friend Dana.  Leave her a comment on her blog, and you will be entered to win a fabric bundle!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

BERNINA foot # 97D

I recently bought a new foot for my BERNINA 750.  This is awesome, and I can't wait to tell you all about it.

Foot # 97D is a Patchwork Foot, similar to the traditional 1/4" foot, #37.  Except for a few important differences.  The old 1/4" foot makes it easy to guide your fabric 1/4" (or 1/8" on the inside guide)  away from the edge by following the edge of the sole.  Both sides of the needle have a sole guide that is 1/4" away from the needle.  But you will notice that the foot does not cover the feed dog completely with this skinny seam allowance and may feed a little unevenly.  (especially if you have an extra wide 9mm feed dog system.)

So on this new 97D foot, you can see above that the left sole guide is wider, and will perfectly fit over the feeding system for accurate piecing and patchwork.  The right guide is still an exact 1/4" on the outside and 1/8" on the inside so you use it just the same way as before.  This system takes advantage of the wider feed dog, and now it has pressure on it from above to feed fabrics evenly and straight.  

I should also mention that when doing piecing, I like to use the Straight Stitch Plate (See above) with just a single hole for the needle instead of the wider slot.  That way the start of your pieces can't get pushed down inside and jam things up.

This foot also is designed to work with BERNINA machines that have the Dual Feed feature.  Just engage the dual feed mechanism from the back for even, perfect feeding of your quilt blocks.

The Dual Feed arm moves along with the up and down movement of your feed dogs, grabbing the top fabric in the same way the bottom fabric is grabbed by the feed dogs.  Does that make sense?

I love this machine.  One of my favorite things about it is that it is so quiet.  Even with all these bells and whistles and improvements, it is quiet.  And quiet is nice.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Decisions, Decisions

I am working on a few new projects.  I want to use my new fabric collections, "Park Drive" and "Jams and Jellies."  These two collections got a bit ignored in the timing of things, and it is time to roll out some new patterns.

So here are a few blocks I have made using Jams and Jellies.

I can't decide how to arrange them.  Maybe with a large sashing so I can add some appliqué??

But that is a lot of black..  I would have to have a bunch of appliqué to tone it down a bit.  Maybe too busy?  I do want to do a bunch of appliqué somewhere.  Humm.

How about a straight set?  I would need more blocks, I think.  Hey, an on point set might be fun, too.

And I think I would use my dots in a border somehow.

Since the dots are also in the blocks.

I had several people ask me about the script print I have used in the background of the blocks.  It is one of the basics in my Jams and Jellies, too.  It comes in three colors: green, red and white with black.  This is one of my all time favorite fabrics!  You may remember that I used this fabric several years ago in my "Elizabeth's Letters" collection.

It was in pink, blue and cream.  So I added some colors to bring it back since it was so special.  I so love the story behind it!

The script is actually a copy of a letter written by my Great Grandmother (Elizabeth) to my Grandmother.  It was a farewell letter to her daughters as they left Switzerland to come to America in 1898.   They did not have enough money for the whole family to immigrate, so they sent the girls, age 18, 15 and 13 to come to America and work as cooks.  My Great Grandparents and the sons stayed in Switzerland to work on the farm and try to save enough to join the daughters.  They did not know how long it would be, if ever, when they saw each other again.

The letter is written in Swiss high German, so I can't actually read it, but I do have a translation, and it is very sweet.  I starts out with "My Beloved Daughter,"  and ends with "from your Never-forgetting Mother."

You can't beat that!  What a great story.  By the way, they did all eventually get back together many years later.

It will be a pretty cheerful quilt, don't you think?    I always have a hard time deciding which way to go.  So many options!   Maybe I will use the dots in the sashing. . . . . .

Any ideas?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Quilt Market From Afar

Ok folks, on with the fun stuff!  As you know,  I am missing Market this fall.  I cancelled the Jillily Studio booths, but I was still in charge of designing and preparing the Henry Glass booth.  I had been working on it since May, and it was mostly done when I found out that I would not be going.  So I finished everything up and sent it off in a crate and some boxes.  The good folks at Henry Glass put the whole thing together.

I did send them some instructions, that started out like this:

Ha ha ha.  You have to keep your sense of humor!  I usually set up the booth, with help from the HG gals, but they are not exactly proficient with power tools.  So this time I had it all built and ready to just pop up into place!  (theoretically)  

I'm sure they had to make a few adjustments here and there, and then they did all the "fluffy" stuff, putting quilts and fabric and props around to make it cute!  They did a fabulous job, and turned out even better than I imagined.  Here are a few pics of the set up and finished product.

Aren't those corrugated metal walls awesome?  My son-in-law, Riley built them for me.  I drew them up and went shopping for supplies with Riley and Talia, and this is how it turned out!

Here is the outside of the wall sections during set up.   This area was to display the projects from the new HG book,  "A Flair for Fabric."   
That's a lot of projects!  And some of them are not even there.  What a fun book!  It comes out in November, so be sure to get your copy at your local quilt shop.

The other corner of the booth was decked out in cowboy gear.  We had some bales of straw that are topped with a saddle and a few cowboy hats.  A few quilts add some color.  

Next are a few photos of the general Quilt Market.
The next photo is over at the Aurifil booth.  Here is my new Sunday Best runner and Sunday Best thread collection.  I chose these thread colors because they are the ones I use mostly on my machine for piecing.  Some basic neutrals like tan, cream, gray and taupe.  And then of course, black and white.  And to round it off, I added navy blue, dark red and greens. 

These colors will also go perfectly with my new winter fabric collection that is coming out next year.  I'll show you more about that later.

Here is one photo that I asked a friend to send to me.  At Quilt Market every year, there is an IQA judged quilt show.  It is always so inspiring to walk through and see these beautiful show quilts.  This year I was looking forward to it even more than usual--since I was a juror for the show.  Back in June we met together and juried the quilts into the show.  There were so many fabulous entries!!

I couldn't wait to see them all hung together, and see the winners in each category.   (Things don't always go as planned.)   If you went to the show, I would love to hear all about it!

Well, that's all I know about Quilt Market.  I have some new projects to show you next week.

Bye for now.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Good Things and Bad Things

Life is full of good things.  This time of year is always very busy for me.  And I should say, very good.  Getting ready for Market and planning new ways to present my designs is just as much fun for me as designing the fabric or quilts.

So you can imagine how disappointing it has been, when after being at 15 Markets in a row, I will have to miss this year's Fall Market.  This is a bad thing.  I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  My treatments start right away, so the timing was not exactly optimum for attending Market.  Medical issues tend to not be very convenient!

Of course, my business is not that important, and the very most important things in my life are my family, friends, and my faith.  But it is a big part of who I am and how I find joy and use my talents.

So I will continue to create.  I just won't have any deadlines.  Real or imposed.  I plan to quilt when I feel like it, and design at my pace until I get this thing whipped! (A Good Thing)

Jillily Studio will remain open and vibrant--with new fabrics, kits, orders and all the regular happenings.  I will just be a bit more slow for a while, and maybe in the background when I need to be.  I may have to pass the buck to my helpful workers as needed.  (It is a blessing to have a large family--another Good Thing.)

This year I had a whole lot of stuff planned for Market--we have a new book release, a new thread collection with Aurifil, new winter collection of fabric, and new patterns.  It will have to go on without me this time so that I can be back for Spring Market!

I want my customers to stop by the Henry Glass booth in #608 and check out my new stuff.  Say hello to my wonderful HG family.  They are all so awesome.

I have been designing the HG booth as usual and I sent it all off today in a crate.   I won't get to see it, so you will have to let me know how it turned out!!  I am counting on you!  Make sure you get your "cowboy on" and take some pics to share.  Yee Haw!  (Good Thing)

Here is a pic of our new book.  The HG designers will be doing a book signing at Market, so stop by and get your copy.  I am so proud of this project.  It is a big job to get this whole herd of designers doing something together, so thank you, Linda Lum DeBono!  Good job!  (Good Thing)

My project from the book: ( More about this later.  We are planning a blog hop with prizes, so stay tuned.)

And this is my new thread collection for Aurifil.  I am really excited about this one!  The "Sunday Best" colors are perfect shades to use in piecing and quilting.  Together with my "Everyday Colors" these two collections will give any quilter a great selection of colors for piecing, appliqué, quilting, and binding.

Sunday Best features white, creams, grays, taupes, tans and basic black, red, green and blue. (Good Thing)

OK.  So that's the Market run down.  Quite a bit earlier than usual, so that's one good thing.

Speaking of good things. . .  I tend to be a positive person, so I will be watching and noticing all the good things that come my way.  I am a person of faith, and I believe in the power of prayer.  I know that God has a plan for me, and that He loves me.  I am grateful for this challenge, because I am certain that it will bring me and my family closer to Him.

I wish you all the best in your life, too.  Now go look for some more Good Things!