Monday, October 17, 2016

Organizational Tips -- Who? Me?

My awesome assistant Monica is one of the most organized people in the world!  She has to be – she works with me!  And keeping me organized (at least the printed and electronic “faces” of me that the public sees) is just one of her many jobs; she also does website, blog, and social media posting for other companies as well as mine and has a husband and two adorable littles, one just starting school and the other still at home.  And she does this all while keeping an active extended family life and a neat home – I’ll bet her car is even neat and clean, unlike mine which my husband calls a giant purse with wheels!

A few weeks ago, Ms. Organization and I were on the phone and she said that during falltime, people like to get/keep organized and that we should write some blog posts about it.  It took me several minutes to stop laughing at the idea that I could possibly write anything like that or that anybody would believe me if I did!  But when we were talking a bit later, the topic came up again and I told her that she should write organizational posts on my blog for the benefit of our readers.  You guys will love her – she’s knowledgeable, fun and snarky, in a good way – and I can certainly learn a bunch from anything she has to share. 

Obviously, I could benefit from her tips and tricks!

Soon Monica will introduce herself to you and tell you about how she keeps all the balls in the air as she juggles her life, work, and play!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Another Quilty Box GIVEAWAY!!!!

Quilty Box doesn't number their shipments, so I'm not sure how many I have received. One thing that is interesting to me is that some of the shipments really have nothing to do with quilting, like this one.

It has all the materials to make a fabric and mesh bag, including the batting (so I guess you must quilt the fabric before you assemble the bag?) and a bright apple green zipper.

Here's the card explaining the contents; the collection was curated by Annie Unrein.

There were half yard cuts of fabric that I liked -- keeping that!

Here's the project -- a fold-over organizer!

Everything is included to make it...

And an inspirational card that I think is worth framing in any sewing room.

So, would you like to win this? Everything except the fabrics is up for grabs -- I am somewhat of a fabric hoarder!

Like us on Facebook, join our email list, and comment on this post... one entry for each!!

We'll draw a winner next week!

Good luck!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Last Projects from the Cindy Needham Retreat

Even though I haven’t taken in new customer work for quite a while, I still had a couple of things hanging around.  The first night of the retreat I did some minor quilting in a border of a pictorial quilt and the second day I did some pretty intricate feather work on another quilt.   After that, I got to play with some piecing.

The first one I grabbed was this fun Halloween quilt that I had purchased as a kit at a quilt show a few years ago:

I had done all of the snowball blocks and quite a bit of the piecing for the other blocks, so I got that all finished up.  Here it is on my bedroom floor ready to have the blocks put together.  Unfortunately, my bedroom floor is my biggest open space, so things tend to get laid out there.  It does give me incentive to get it done, though, as I watch Dan skirt around the quilt pieces so he won’t mess them up!

LOVE these fabrics!!!!


Once I got those blocks done, I started on the last project I had brought.  It was featured in the summer issue of BLOCK Magazine:

It’s a real easy layer cake quilt with sashing that makes friendship stars in each corner.  They did it in patriotic fabrics; I had a jelly roll that was 20 black strips and 20 white ones and a layer cake with a lot of black and white in it, so mine will be different, but still fun and easy.  I’ll have to get that one done fairly soon while I can still buy fabric for the border in one of the prints in the layer cake.  So it’s next up for the bedroom floor space!

Monday, October 3, 2016

More Cindy Needham Retreat Pics!

Here are some of the quilts that people were working on at Cindy’s Auburn retreat a couple of weeks ago:

The retreats are held at the Mercy Retreat Center where we have our own cozy rooms and good home cooking, plenty of space to spread out and sew, and the time to do it!  Cindy brings lights, irons, cutting mats and some rulers, although if you are using specialty type rulers, you should always bring your own.  Everything is set up to have a good time and get a lot done.

Oh – and Cindy’s favorite youngest daughter is a professional baker!

Different dessert every night!  This was the chocolate cake (I’m sure it has a much fancier name because it’s the best I’ve ever had) and her cheesecake would put everybody else out of business if she franchised, for sure!

My friend Linda met me up there this time – we actually tried to caravan, but just couldn’t seem to make our meeting up places work, so we went separately together!  She was getting ideas from Cindy on how to quilt this one:

She also spent quite a lot of time binding a quilt she had made for her son Nick who just graduated from college this year and is moving to Austin for a new job.  Here are two pics of that quilt:

I don’t think Linda and I signed up for the same retreat sessions next year, but we’ll both be back, definitely!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Meeting Kim at Cindy Needham’s Retreat!

Getting to go to Cindy’s retreats are a balm to my soul; a time to get together with other like minded sewing maniacs with Cindy’s advice along the way, seeing what other people are working on and getting some progress made on my own quilts.  This time I brought somebody else’s to work on, but more on that later.  I think the recipient may be on Facebook now and then and I don’t want to spoil the surprise.  I brought one quilting project and two piecing projects.  I got to a stopping point on everything and left a little earlier than planned – I broke my own retreat rule, which is ALWAYS BRING ONE MORE PROJECT THAN YOU THINK YOU WILL HAVE TIME FOR! 

For piecing projects, I’ll bring cutting to be done and sewing up to block placement.  I can never make up my mind fast enough to be able to put things up on a design wall and get them all sewn together by the end of the retreat, so spend my piecing time making what I call components.  Then when I get home I can lay them out, mess around with them until I get them where I want them (black and white filter on my phone camera is priceless for this step!) and then sew it together.

The retreats generally have a mix of people that I’ve met before and new ones, most of them intermediate or advanced level quilters, but this time I was charmed by Kim Cameron-Smith.  Kim is a first time quilter who purchased a Start Quilting book by Alex Anderson, talked to her quilter mom about going to the retreat and jumped in head first! 

I took a picture of Kim, Cindy and that very first quilt which, you’ll notice, she even got bound during the retreat!  I sent that picture to Alex who commented back, “This makes my heart super happy!”  I forwarded Alex’s response to Kim and she emailed back to me:

Hello Paula,

Thank you so much for lovely email! Attached is a photo of my 6 year old daughter Lydia with the quilt. She has been carrying it around ever since I gave it to her.

Thank you for forwarding me Alex's reply. I'm still loving her book! I've cut my fabric for my second quilt already. That book and the accompanying DVD are so clear and easy to understand. Definitely got me off to a good start.

I'm planning on another retreat and I've joined my local quilter's guild. I'm officially obsessed. Hope to see you at another of Cindy's retreats!


And here’s a picture of Lydia with the quilt!

I think another quilter is on board – don’t you?  And it’s so cool that she has something new to do with her Mom!

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Road Home Row Along

Thanks so much to Marian @ Seams to be Sew and Amy @ Sew Incredibly Crazy for organizing this hop and for the many many hours spent making it so fabulous!!  Over 40 designers from all over the world really make this a special hop and I'm so happy to be a part of it!

I joined this Blog Hop earlier this year but due to a crazy summer, I was unable to complete the pattern.  At the last minute, I teamed up with Marian @ Seams to be Sew and she was absolutely amazing at coming up with the pattern... I provided the design and she rocked the rest of it!

I live in Palmdale and get the opportunity to drive past the LA Skyline and the Hollywood sign quite often.  They both hold a special place in my heart.

Another (less popular but equally beautiful) view from my home (literally my home... this pic was taken in my back yard)...

 It's so beautiful here and I'm so thankful that I get to call LA home.

And now for the Row!!!  Isn't it amazing!!!  Marian did an incredible job!!

There are wonderful giveaways (including one from me!!) each and every day of this hop so check the schedule below and be sure to visit each blog each day of the hop!

For today's giveaway, and the row, click HERE to pop over to Marian's blog. 

Thanks for stopping by!!

The Road Home Designers:

September 6
Allie-Oops Sweet Happy Life 
Harrisville, MI Sunrise Coast
Cynthia’s Creating Ark
Adelaide South Australia
Kissed Quilts
Grand Coulee, Washington
Renee's Quilting Addiction
Alberta, Canada

September 8
Just Let Me Quilt
Las Vegas, Nevada
Quilt in Piece
Amanzimtoti, South Africa

September 13
Tweety Loves Quilting
Edinburgh, UK
Heber City/ SLC
Seams To Be Sew
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Pine Valley
New Zealand

September 15
bdieges designs
Road to Tehachapi (CA)
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Worcester County in Central Massachusetts
Patti’s Patchwork
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Seacoast Quilter
New Milford, Connecticut

September 20

September 22
Words & Stitches
Beaches of California
Quilt Art
Any Pattern
Port Angeles, Washington
Patchwork Breeze
West Michigan Shoreline

September 27
Creatin’ in the Sticks
Dodge City, Kansas
Sue Griffiths Featured At Just Let Me Quilt
Northern Rivers Region, NSW, Australia
Seams To Be Sew &  Batts In The Attic
I Can Quilt 2
Baltimore, MD

September 29
Quilted Fabric Art
Burlington Vermont
Westend Quilter
Manitoulin Island, Canada
Pamela Quilts
Quilt Fabrication
Silicon Valley, CA

October 04

October 06

October 11
Show & Tell Day!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Presents Quilt. Just in time for... anything!!

I was browsing other people’s blogs this last week and noticed that quite a few of them were doing WIP Wednesdays… I always have a million projects going at the same time, but once in a while pick a partially completed one to work on.  Unfortunately, I also have a really bad predilection to start something new instead!  While looking for the scraps for one quilt to start piecing the backing, I stumbled over a layer cake that I had purchased earlier this year – all of the fabrics are chocolate themed!  I also recalled a video from Missouri Star Quilt Company that called for a layer cake or four charm square packs to make a quilt where each block looked like a wrapped present with a bow on top – how cool that would be with these chocolate fabrics!  Jenny made hers with Christmas fabric and it’s really pretty, too!

Here’s the pic of the fabrics I will most likely use, the layer cake and a treasure chest of pink fabrics that some awesome Alex Anderson retreaters gave me for my birthday a few years ago.  I’ve been taking little bits of this and that out of the chest for a long time and this may be another foray into the goodies inside!  I also have some pink sparkly fabric – of course I do! – and that may work its way in there as well.  The directions call for 4 half yard cuts for the ribbons and bows and 2-1/2 yards sashing, which looks like it is mainly 2-1/2” wide, so perfect for a precut bundle.  I have one called “White Out” from Wilmington Prints that I purchased at Nuttall's Sewing Centers in Riverton, Utah when I was teaching there last May, but – darn it! – there are only 24 strips, so I need a second one.  And then to pick the pinks… where the heck is that pink glittery fabric?  I know it’s here somewhere!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Am I Coming To A City Near You?

A lot of quilt teachers book two or three years out, but I tend to book a season at a time.  The last puzzle piece just fell into my October-December 2016 schedule, so I’m totally full and am now starting to book January-June (and even a little September!!) 2017.  The classes are a good mix of topics, but since I’ve started teaching the Westalee/Sew Steady ruler work, that has really become a big player in my schedule.  I’ve already taught several ruler classes this year and have eight more days to go, mostly my basic class, but a couple of Ruler Play 2 days are in the mix.  These are really fun classes and I think of something new to demonstrate with the rulers every time I teach them.  One class I did in July seemed so inspirational; some of the students were coming up with new designs and I’d come up with one and then run to the machine to stitch it out – basically, doing impromptu demos as well as the planned ones.  One of the ladies said in her evaluation that I “didn’t seem well prepared.  She sure winged it a lot!”.  It was trying all the new things that made the class a hit for everybody else, furthering their knowledge of various uses for the rulers, not just the ones pictured in the leaflet or demonstrated by me.

Here is a pic of my sample for Ruler Play:

And here’s Ruler Play 2 (I really need to get around to binding this….):

Here’s a link to my busy busy schedule – hope I’ll be seeing you somewhere in my travels!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Summer issue of Gen Q!

Always happy to get new issues of Generation Q Magazine! This summer's issue has some great articles -- I especially enjoyed the one that reviewed all the cool subscription boxes available for quilters! I'm a sucker for programs that send me new gadgets fabric every month. What about you? Have you tried one of these services? What did you think?

Another timely and excellent article takes us through the steps of routine maintenance and caring for our most precious (and costly!) tool, our sewing machines.

And of course it wouldn't be GenQ without projects!

I liked this one so much! I remembered the Pie Making Day fat quarter bundle included in my May Quilty Box (yes, I do get one of those subscription boxes and I love it!). This pattern calls for a half yard of each of 9 fabrics, so I hopped on to the Quilty Box website and ordered another bundle. I always have tons of white fabric around here, but if I don't have just the perfect white, I can drive over to Bolts in the Bathtub in neighboring Lancaster CA and bug Dawna into helping me find it!


I have a few copies of this summer's magazine -- leave a comment, like us on Facebook, or join our email list and we'll give some away!  We happen to have a few copies of another issue too... would you like both??

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