Monday, September 28, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
There is so much to tell about those five jam packed days that I will only mention a few of the highlights. My purpose, in addition to promoting my book, was to network, and network I did! I took a workshop with Jennifer Chiaverini, the authour of so many wonderful Elm Creek Quilt novels, met Mark Lipinski (who gave me a big hug), fabric designer Amy Butler, the president of Kona Bay fabrics Douglas Eagleson, Vicki Dar, editor of Asian Fabrics magazine (a division of Kona Bay and Seattle Bay), The editor of McCalls Quilting magazines, and dozens of designers, distributors, fabric company representatives - the list goes on. The show was so enormous it began to feel pretty overwhelming at times., but the connections I made were wonderful and I could never have made them without being invited to take part in this biannual Market.
Two fabric companies have asked me to make projects for them and have each given me very generous amounts of fabric in return (Kona Bay for Asian Fabrics Magazine and In The Beginning fabrics, using a brand new line: Folklorica); I have an "in" at McCalls and possibly Quilters' Home for submitting future articles or designs; made a number of new friends AND, best of all, my book "Moon Dance" is selling very nicely!
As you can imagine, it was a pretty intense few days but SO worth it! And it was fun to go out after Market closed in the evenings to try out different restaurants with Nancy Dill and her staff and designers. What a great group of women. In spite of being totally exhausted every night I have not giggled like I did with them in a long time. I took a lot of photos at the show and around downtown Pittsburgh and will post some of them soon.
Cary Flanagan, Designer
Something Sew Fine Quilt Design
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
And just to tease you - I have seen the quilt that you will be getting the instructions for and it's beautiful! Quilt Block Dash is a lot of fun, I hope you'll join in.
Purple Moose Designs
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Everyone arrived at the class with a 8.5" block that was to be used for the center of the round robin. Most people had pieced a block in various levels of difficulty, but a few had opted to just cut an 8.5" block out of a pretty fabric. Either way worked perfectly.
My concept had been that I would pull a technique or element to be incorporated into each round out of a hat just prior to that round. My concept also included the idea of each round taking 1.5 hours. Both concepts were tweaked a bit as the day went on, but at least we started out that way. Best laid plans and all that.
The first technique pulled from the hat was "flying geese". Imagine my shock when my group of intermediate level and up quilters contained people who had no idea what a flying goose was. Thankfully a participant or two had brought along some books on borders, and we were able to show what a flying goose was. The entire border didn't have to be flying off to Canada in a gaggle, but there had to be a goose somewhere in there. The second round had to contain a triangle, and the third we opted to do as quilter's choice.
I got a rather interesting perspective on this class as I was not only leading it, but participating as well. I can definitely report that the timed requirement was as stressful for me as it was for everyone else, but unfortunately that can't be helped in a class like this. It was definitely a unique experience to see one of my classes from a student's point of view. I'm happy to say I think held my own against many other more famous teachers that I have had. If your shop or guild might be looking for a fresh new workshop idea, I'd be glad to help out!
Thank you to Joanna Martinez who took these photos and allowed me to steal them from her own blog. You might want to check it out for her perspective on the class as well! http://appliquetoday.blogspot.com/ Thanks also to Wanda Makela, owner of Bunkhouse Quilt Shop, for always encouraging me and allowing me to hold this class in her shop, and for arranging such a yummy lunch.
Because I was more than ready to throw my sewing machine across the room the entire time I was leading this workshop, I came home and finally began shopping for a new one. "It is about time", I know you are all thinking. "How long has she been complaining about the one she had? It seems like forever." It has actually been approximately 17 months and 20 days, about one week less than I have owned the thing. But it is all in the past now, as I am the proud mommy of a brand new Janome 6125 QC, which after 2 weeks is still on my nice list. It's a new record! My guild retreat/coming out party for my machine is next weekend, and I figure if I make it through then without incident, I will be able to fully open my heart to it and love it forever. Right now I am understandably relectant to fall completely in love with it after my last machine.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Here is my miniature version of the antique quilt pictured in my posting below. It was a fun project to work on during my snow day. Because I wanted to rotary cut it, rather than using templates, I fudged the dimensions a bit to simplify measuring and cutting. So- the patches are not true golden rectangles, but they are close.
This sad quilt, dating from the late 1800's, is my most recent addition to my quilt collection. The main portion is machine pieced from two very similar double pink prints and a nearly identical double purple that has faded to a muddy grey. Apparently it was not large enough, as at some point a haphazardly stitched hand-pieced border was added (obviously NOT designed to complement the rest of the quilt, but click on the picture and see if you locate the antique bit of cheater cloth on the border). Okay, I'll admit it, the quilt is homely, but it was so cheap!
Sunday, March 1, 2009
All of the ideas were put into a hat and the following design elements were pulled out....
Colors: fushia and green
Thing: a key
Quilt block: Shoo-Fly
So now the fun begins! Design and make a quilt, no larger than 24" x 24", incorporating the above design elements by July 31st, 2009. There are no other "rules" ....just let your creative juices flow! Any kind of technique or embellishment is allowed. Once your quilt is finished, please send a photo to me (Kristi) at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll post the photos so that we can have our blog readers vote for their favorite quilt in August. The viewer's choice winner will receive a goodie bag of quilter's treasures!
ANYONE can participate, even if you didn't send in design suggestions earlier. Tell your friends, and start digging through your stash for that fushia fabric!
I can't wait to see your masterpieces!
Chicken Soup Designs
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Recently I did a Trunk Show for the Souhegan Valley Quilt Guild in Milford, NH What a fabulous time we had! I have discovered that I absolutely love presenting trunk shows of my designs and everyone there was really appreciative and welcoming. The only down side to this presentation was that I had to drive home in a blizzard with visibility so bad I almost went off the road a couple of times. The joys of living in northern New England!
Anyhow, I brought some of my earliest quilts just for fun (to show everyone how far I have come since I began designing and making quilts). I also brought ALL 28 quilts which will be featured in my new book, “Moon Dance”. We were lucky enough to be able to hang most of the quilts on the walls and on a couple of large quilt hangers and the rest we held up to show around the room.
It was a really impressive to be able to see all of the quilts together in one room, most likely the last time they will be all in one place (except as photos in the book), since some of them had to “go home” to their owners. However, the wonderful group of quilters who made so many of the quilts (in addition to my own) have been kind enough to offer to loan them to me whenever I need them for future trunk shows and to take to Pittsburgh in mid-May, when I present the book to one of the two major wholesale quilt shows in the country.
I want to publicly thank Lise Belanger, Nicole Boucher, Teejay Christopher, Trudi Costa, Eleanor Flanagan, Regina Frederickson, Anne Hatin, Denise McKinnon, Lillian Oczykowski, Peggy Rogers, Shirley Stockmeyer and Sue Ann Walker, members of my Guild, Amoskeag Quilters Guild (Manchester, NH).
A huge thank you also goes out to several very competent testers Diane Reichle, Kari Lippert, Debbie Shepard and Patti Oakley (of Batiks by Design ), for your thoughtful and constructive feedback on my original “Moon Glow” pattern as well as for the beautiful quilts you made for my book.
I also want to thank the Quilt Pattern Testers Yahoo Group for being a wonderful resource to quilt designers everywhere. I needed only to post my request for testers and was flooded with responses from all over the country!
And special thanks to Nancy Dill, of QuiltWoman.com for showing interest in this project and offering to be my publisher, and to her capable staff of graphic artists, editors and proofreaders.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Purple Moose Designs
Thursday, February 19, 2009
So, being as thrilled as I was with my new cupcake pincushion, and also being the proud owner of one of those ubiquitous tomato pincushions that was probably given to me by Santa about 25 years ago and was completely falling apart, I couldn't wait to move right into the cupcake! After I had transferred all the pins, I started in on a few needles.
But here's where it got freaky. As I gently squeezed the tomato (something they frown upon at Hannaford), more and more needles started showing up, poking right through the fabric. After I pulled the first ten or so out, with no end in sight, I decided I had to start counting. Then I decided I needed to take my rotary cutter to the tomato and perform a complete needle-ectomy. By the time I was done, my tomato was beyond splattered:
and I had found a total of 49(!!!!) needles of all sizes inside. Now, I knew I had been losing needles now and then, but 49? I almost hesitated to even admit I could be so disorganized as to misplace 49 needles and not even really notice.
So the moral of the story? If you are missing needles, take a rotary cutter to your pincushion. And be careful when you squeeze the tomatos.
Beth Helfter, EvaPaige Quilt Designs
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Well, those of us from New England know that a moose is a rather gangly, awkward looking creature that looks like it was fashioned by God with a bunch of leftover parts all stuck together...so…….
A Moose Challenge is when seemingly unrelated elements are combined in a quilt project. Here is how it goes....everyone who wants to participate writes down (we will do this via e-mail) two different colors, a geometric shape, a "thing" (it can be just about anything), and a traditional quilt block. I will then write the ideas on slips of paper and place them into small bags. One design element will be drawn out of each bag, at random, from the submitted entries. Design elements will be posted here on the NEQDC blog on March 2, 2009.
The challenge is to come up with a design that incorporates all of those elements, somewhere in the quilt. The elements can be part of the design itself, fabric choice, quilting, surface embellishment- whatever you can think of! The challenge quilt will be limited to 24”x24” or smaller. There are no other specific rules. Anything goes!!!!
I did this exercise with some quilting friends many years ago and was amazed to see what people came up with. It really got my creative juices flowing!
One lady just couldn't figure out how to work the traditional block design into her quilt, so she made one and used it as a label on the back!!
Photos of the completed The Moose Challenge entries should be sent to Kristi Parker (address below) by June 30th, 2009. Blog readers will vote for their favorite entry, and the people’s choice winner will receive a quilter’s goodie basket prize!
Anyone who is interested may participate in the challenge. (You do not have to be from New England!) If you choose to participate, please send the following to Kristi Parker at email@example.com :
A geometric shape
A “thing” (it can be your favorite thing, or something totally random)
A traditional quilt block
Remember to check back here on March 2nd for the chosen design elements, so you can get started on your Moose Challenge!
I look forward to hearing from you!
Chicken Soup Designs
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
To go along with my group quilting trunk show, I am currently also developing a workshop to focus on group quilting. Wanda Makela, owner of Bunkhouse Quilt Shop in Lyndeboro NH, has graciously allowed me to hold an experimental class in her classroom space as I hone this workshop on March 7, 2009, beginning at 10am. This is type of workshop is something new for me, so I am offering the chance to several quilters (first come, first served, reservations required) to come join us and basically take a workshop for free in Wanda’s fabulous classroom space while we work out the kinks. I of course hope the kinks will be few, but a trial class should bring most of the biggies to light. If it is a total bust, at least Bunkhouse is an awesome place to sew and shop, and you really can never go wrong with a day of sewing and shopping! Or so I am hoping.
The workshop will be a Round Robin in a Day, wherein quilters will work together to create a 22” wall hanging for each workshop participant. Each person participating will start with their own block (why not use a UFO block of appropriate size?), but will surrender that block to the whims of three other participants in the workshop, who will each add borders to the center block. The spin I am putting on the round robin idea is that the techniques and/or elements of each border round will be determined just prior to each round by that age old decision-making method, drawing from a hat. At the end of the workshop, each participant should have a completed 22” square quilt that reflects not only themselves but the unique ideas and approaches to quilt-making of his/her fellow workshop participants. A willingness to allow others to dictate the direction of a piece you started and the abilities to work well in a time-sensitive environment and to move from one task to another easily are requisite to this class, as well as the completion of the center block prior to class.
If you think you might like to participate, please let me know as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will send you a list of supplies so you can start gathering things together.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Presenting the "Syncopated Ribbons Group Quilt", by Julie Davis, Laura Davis, Barbara Fischer, Sue Fors!, Jennifer Gierke, Beth Helfter, Deb Koczela, Martha Lorshbaugh, Emily Peach, Nancy Peach, Terri Sontra, Mary Beth Stevenson, Eddie Tarabey, Steven Tarabey and Vanessa Tarabey.
I am so thrilled with how it turned out. Fifteen quilters took me up on the idea of making 8 “half-blocks” plus a border portion each, so we ended up with a gorgeous lime, purple, and aqua quilt that is somewhere between a full and queen size. It is amazing to me when I look at it that no two quilters seem to have used the same fabrics; I could never count the actual number of fabrics contained in it, but there have to be over 150 at least. The project is both multi-generational with the ages of the participants ranging from 10-68 and multi-genderational with two young boy quilters participating. Once quilted, the quilt will become part of my new trunk show, “Plays Well With Others”, which I plan to have ready for debut by the 2009-10 guild season.
Two year old waking up from her nap, so I'll be back tomorrow to post details of a free workshop I hope some of you might be interested in!
Monday, January 12, 2009
Remember how, as a child, you used to wish for a snow day? I still do. I'm one of those crazies who actually LIKE shoveling snow (although cleaning off the car is another story altogether), and since I don't have human children, a snow day off from work is a Very Good Thing. Especially when I have a quilt project in progress.
Yesterday was a snow day for me, and I put it to good use machine quilting a two-color version of Grandma's Scrap Bag. I want to show quilters that my patterns do not have to look just like the cover picture (made from late 19th century reproduction fabrics). I had long wanted to do this in two ocean color batiks. I quilted it in the allover pattern known as (depending on which machine quilting book you read- I've got a bunch of them) teardrops, paisleys, petals, or clamshells. I prefer to think of it as oyster shells, as I'm considering eventually embellishing it with some pearls!
How do you spend your snow days?
Six Gables Designs
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
This is the time of year when most people look back over the past year’s accomplishments and forward to the New Year, with new goals and new hope and, hopefully, with renewed enthusiasm.
I have to say I am pretty happy that 2008 is finally over. What a challenging year! But I am happy with what I have accomplished in the past year and I am optimistic about the future.
Looking forward to next year, I will be going to
I want to go to both the International Quilt Market and Quilt Festival in
I am looking forward to more teaching opportunities; I have two trunk shows scheduled and would love to do more; I am currently working on a commission to be completed in January and hope for several more; and finally – I am contemplating writing another book in the next year or two. No rush deadlines this time, especially not right before Christmas like I had this year! And, of course. I want to get some new individual quilt patterns finished and on the market.
I want to continue growing my design business while also still enjoying my life. I want to continue to expand my skills and try branching out in new directions in my designs, my writing and my quilt making.
So what are your goals and aspirations for the coming year? Are you optimistic about the future or do you have your doubts?
I am a true believer that if you really want something and focus completely on that goal, visualizing it as if it has already been achieved, you can have anything you want or reach any goal. It is called the Law of Attraction and much has been written about it in recent years. Trust me, it works!
I wish you all the very best in the coming year! Keep those creative juices flowing!
Something Sew Fine Quilt Design