Wednesday, October 22, 2008

and so it continues...

For those of you who read my previous post "and so it begins" about the fall foliage here in New England I thought you would like an update. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law recently visited for their first "fall foliage" trip. They have visited before but never in the fall. The trip was planned months in advance but they could not have timed it better if they had tried. The weather was perfect (only 1 rainy day, otherwise in the 70's) and the colors were at their peak. I think my sister-in-law broke the record for saying ooh and aah. Even mundane traveling was a delight for the eyes. I don't know who had more fun - the first time viewers or my family showing off all the area has to offer.
Now the weather has turned cooler, the visitors have left and the leaves are falling. This creates carpets of vibrant colors in all the yards and open areas. It's time to start getting our property ready for the next season. It's also time to look at all the photos I took this fall to inspire me in my next projects. According to The Farmer's Almanac there will plenty of indoor time this winter to get some sewing done!

Until next time,
Terri Sontra
Purple Moose Designs

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Book is on Its Way!

I am so excited! My book, "Moon Dance" is finally off to my editor, Nancy Dill of I am still working on some of the diagrams and there is still a lot of fine tuning to do before we can get it off to the publisher in February, but at least I am one step closer. We will be introducing it to the public at Spring Market in Pittsburgh in early May.

This has been such an amazing experience. I have always loved writing and I am good at it. I also love designing quilt patterns and sharing them both retail and wholesale through quilt shows and quilt shops all over the country. But it never occurred to me until a member of one of my quilt guilds suggested it last winter, that I could actually write a book of quilt patterns!

The book is based on my best selling pattern "Moon Glow". (Please click on the June entries at right to see a sample of that design made by Patty Oakley of Batiks By Design.) Once I discovered how popular that pattern had become, I began experimenting with other designs that evolved out of the concept of using a center panel as the focus of a quilt. I thought about publishing a series of individual patterns, then decided on writing a book. Suddenly my design ideas just took off - multiplying like rabbits until I actually had to make myself stop or I would have so many designs no one would be able to even lift the book! (Maybe I will just have to write another one next year!)

With the help of many of my quilting buddies, we have been hard at work making sample quilts - we have more than twenty quilts already! Next step is professional photographs of each one. I can't wait to see them all in print! (And my quilting friends are all just as excited as I am.)

This leads me to a question: When you are consideriing purchasing a quilt book, what features are most important to you (assuming you have found a book with a subject that interests you)? What makes you choose one book over another?

Lots of color photographs? Detailed diagrams? Clear and well written instructions? Tone (is the book informal and friendly or more serious and focused?) Price?

What other features do you value or require when deciding whether or not to purchase a particular quilt related book? I would love some feedback from you. I want to make my book the book you choose!

Stay tuned for more information about this book and other new pattern designs as they come closer to completion.

Cary Flanagan
Something Sew Fine Quilt Design

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Syncopated Ribbons Group Quilt Project

It happened! I got motivated!

Group Quilt Project Announcement

With the success of “Perfection is Overrated” and my love of bringing my message of fuss free quilting to the masses, I have made the decision to add a second trunk show to my repertoire, hopefully by mid 2009. While I was contemplating new ideas for a second trunk show presentation, the title came to me first: “Plays Well With Others”, and what I was going to do about that title became my newest dilemma. Going through my creations led me to the conclusion that I could probably do a trunk show based on group quilts, but it would be pretty short currently. That is where this project comes in.

My Syncopated Ribbons pattern, one of my favorites, screamed to me (like my daughters, it doesn’t seem to have an indoor voice) “ME ME ME! Use ME!” So I am going to. If you would like to participate in helping to bulk up my group quilts so that I can be more prepared to give a new and equally fantastic trunk show as soon as mid 2009, here’s what you have to do:

1. Email me ( to let me know you want to participate, both to get the directions and to assure me that my project is not about to bomb due to lack of interest.
2. Start gathering lime greens, purples, and teals from your stash. Scraps are fine as long as they are at least 2” wide and 10” long. You will need about ½ yard total of fabrics and scraps, the more fabrics the merrier, to complete your part of the group quilt, which will consist of portions for four blocks and a 20” portion of the border strip.

Everyone who participates will receive their choice of a free pattern from my line, as well as a 5 x 7 of the completed group quilt. I am hoping to be able to make one twin size quilt, but will adjust those expectations as necessary. Quilt shop owners, if you wish to advertise this project, you are welcome to request an emailable (is that a word?) flyer that you can print for your shop.

Thank you for considering your participation! I think it will be a lot of fun and I am sure it will turn out just as gorgeous as all the other quilts I’ve seen made from this pattern.

I'll be vending for NEQDC at Tewksbury Piecemakers Quilt Show this weekend in Tewksbury MA. Hope to see you there! Like Terri said, we love meeting our blog readers, so don't be shy!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Overwhelmed and Undermotivated

I'm here to come out of the stash, as it were, to admit that for an entire month now, the month that I saw in my mind as the beginning of my new life as my older daughters went off to Kindergarten and freed me up to quilt and design, I have been seriously undermotivated. There. I said it. I have officially validated the current UFO pile at least.

The problem begins and ends with what I like to refer to as The (insert minor expletive here) List. Having seen the closest thing to freedom that I had experienced in 5.5 years looming on the horizon, during the summer I set about creating a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish now that I would have more time to do so, including long neglected household chores like repainting the kitchen to finally finishing the new quilt for my bed as well as starting in on writing a second trunk show to add to my repetoire and getting pattern #13 out the door. The problem continues as I look at that list, freak out about how there are so few "little" jobs on it that I can easily check off, and decide to go read a book or update my Facebook page instead. Oh, the confessions are tumbling out now! I must stop myself before I share too much about the antics of Spring Break 1992...But today is a new day, and I promised myself that I would blog a very overdue blog before allowing myself lunch. If withholding food is what I need to do, maybe my list will start having more checkmarks! Worth a shot, anyway.

Last night while I was at my own guild meeting I got a call from a woman at Tewksbury Piecemakers Quilt Guild, where I will be vending for NEQDC October 18-19. The message she left indicated that they would like me to be a judge for their challenge quilts, and in turn they will buy a gift certificate from our booth for the winner of the challenge to use. Fantastic idea. I am thrilled to do it, but very concerned about insulting someone or somehow picking the wrong quilt...oh the pressure! Thankfully I do believe they know what they are getting into by asking for my judging (lack of) expertise; I did my Perfection is Overrated trunk show for their guild in the spring and if they didn't figure out that I stand for all that is imperfect and still fabulous regardless, then they just weren't listening and I will not be held responsible for their choice of me as a judge.

Hmmm....I think I hear a roast beef sandwich calling my name. CHECK!

Beth Helfter
EvaPaige Quilt Designs