Saturday, February 28, 2009

Trunk Show Presentation

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 for showing interest in this project and offering to be my publisher, and to her capable staff of graphic artists, editors and proofreaders.
Everyone has been asking me “so when is this book going to be available??” The short answer is SOON – we are in the very final phase of editing and tweaking before going to press. So hold onto your hats and watch for the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT coming to a newsletter or blog near you.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

There's Still Time.... sign up for my newsletter, that is! Purple Moose Designs will be issuing the premiere issue of our newsletter "Moose Droppings" real soon. It will go out monthly and will have quilting tips and tid-bits, sales and coupons just for our readers, guest authors, recipes, spotlights on tools and notions and more. Best of all - it's FREE! So head on over to the website and enter your name and e-mail in the boxes at the bottom of the home page. Hurry, before it's too late. You'll want to be the first in your quilting bee to have "Moose Droppings"!!!

Terri Sontra
Purple Moose Designs

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's you know where your needles are?

On Monday of this week, President's Day, I attended a fabulous Open Sew with several quilting friends from my guild. There really is just nothing like spending nonstop hours sewing with no one asking you to do anything else, like find a particular Barbie shoe amid the rubble of plastic doll finery, or run pell-mell to throw a 2 year old on the potty before the dam bursts. Forgetting all other responsibilities and watching a little silver needle go up and down all day is really just pure bliss now and then.

So one of my quilting friends, Jill McCaffrey, brought these little cupcake pincushions as "favors" to the Open Sew. Apparently besides being an amazing and artistic quilter, Jill is also quite the little crafty chic, and whipped these up for everyone the night before the Open Sew. I just had to have this yellow and pale green one as it matches my studio perfectly - so perfectly, in fact, that the first photo I took of it on a shelf against the wall was unusable because it blended right in. Seriously, how cute is this thing?

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

The NEQDC Moose Challenge

In two weeks we will be embarking upon a Moose Challenge adventure, and you are invited to participate in the fun! What the heck is a "Moose Challenge", you ask?

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…….

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 :
Your name
E-mail address
Two colors
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!

~Kristi Parker
Chicken Soup Designs
Amherst, NH

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Free workshop full!

Thank you to everyone who expressed interest in my free workshop at Bunkhouse! I have plenty of participants now, so I am going to have to close "registration" at this time so that we don't have so many people that we are all falling over each other. I am thrilled with the response and hope that this will only be the first of many Round Robin in a Day classes that I teach!