Friday, September 17, 2010

Quick Pattern Update

We are getting ready to print 2 new patterns. Waiting for the Harvest just spooky enough for the season! Barb gave me the projects late last night. We did a "open the car door and exchange things" in Panera's parking lot. (We really meet in a lot of great places. Barb says it looks like we are doing drug deals....but we would never do that....just cross stitch and quilting deals.) She just finished the last stitches....and I had just left a mystery book club meeting so a late night meeting was perfect. (Will have to write more about my new ventures in attending a book club later....)


The second pattern is Flowers of the Field. Both the small sewing bag and pincushion are in this pattern. I love the soft faded colors of this one. I'm still working on the covers...so there might be some small changes in the patterns...but they will be ready to go to the printer early Monday morning. Look for them in your local shops in about 2-3 weeks!


Hope you all have a great weekend!

Until later,

Alma

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Color Me Surprised!

Barb and I discussed some ideas for our next class over lunch on Saturday. She thought we could show a sewing exercise book we purchased several years ago. The book was a class project for girls at the Kildard Place School in Ireland. These schools were established throughout the country to educate the poor. The idea was that every individual should have an opportunity to read, write and do arithmetic. Just because you were poor didn't mean you had to be illiterate too. The young girls also had classes to develop their sewing skills.

We know this sewing exercise book was considered important to the young woman as it was not left behind when she immigrated to Australia. I don't imagine she was able to take many things with her on the ship....but she made room for this item. It then traveled from Australia to Kansas where it is at home for now.


The sampler has suffered a bit through the years and I thought I should sew it to another piece of linen to prepare it for another trip.

Then I noticed the pin. I thought, "What the heck!" How had I not seen this before?

The pin that held the sampler in place on the book page is rusted to the linen!



This reminded me of a quilter that came into the shop where I worked years ago. She held up her quilt block and showed me a couple of her pins that had rusted to her quilt fabric. (She hadn't worked on her project for quite a while!) She asked me what she should do.....now I'm in the same mess. What to do?

I think I'm just going to leave it for now.

Back to the sewing machine!

Until later,

Alma

Monday, September 13, 2010

Then You Must Start

Barb and I spent Saturday morning together. We walked through the John Knox Village antique show quickly....well kind of quickly. We had lunch to talk about some designs and ideas....and then we both had to rush home. We are in our "crazy" mode. Trying to get everything done to meet our deadlines.

I won't be able to post much here for a month....I'm just "hanging in there" until November. Then the only thing on my mind will be what to serve with turkey.


Jeanne Horton from Country Sampler sent a kit for me to use for our class there. Saturday and Sunday were spent in cutting paper and fabric then my "bonding" time with the glue stick . Wish I had time to do this by hand. Hand applique is so peaceful! But this will have to be done using the invisible machine applique method.

Now for the sewing!




I haven't had time to respond to questions in the comments section and I appreciate you helping out with the answers! (This means you Nancy in WI!!!)

I will do a demo painting and waxing a sewing box....look for it on the blog in November. For those of you who are wanting to jump in and try it on your own....here goes the short version. We use acrylic paint. Pick your favorite color. Paint the box and allow it to dry. Sand to distress and then wax with light or dark brown Briwax. If you "google" Briwax you can find their website and it gives locations to purchase this product. I find it at antique shops and my local Truevalue hardware store.

Until later dear friends!

Alma

Monday, September 6, 2010

We have a winner!


The random number generator came up with the number 361.

And Vicki you are the winner. E-mail your address to me at ....alma@blackbird-designs.com and I will send the emery box right out to you.

Blogger Vicki said...

Morning Alma! I would love to have my name included in the basket. I think you have a 'keeper'. Have a happy holiday weekend!


Very sorry we didn't have more of these. Maybe I can get the Dave guy back working soon.

Our last 3 teaching engagements for the year are:

The first is Shepherd's Bush in September. You can check their web-site for details. I think there is a waiting list for this event.

The next is Country Sampler in Spring Green, Wisconsin. It will soon be Boxwood and Berry time! They will have 2 events, back to back to accommodate everyone. Check their web-site for details. We will be teaching at both events. We will have a wonderful quilt and cross stitch project.

Our last event for the year will be in Spring, TX. We will teach at 3 Stitches October 26, 2010. Our class is Tuesday evening and then we will continue our travel to Houston for quilt market.

We will not be teaching next year. There are a couple of things I'm going to devote the summer to....they are on my "bucket" list and I want to do them before I can't.

Hope you are having a great Labor Day. Thank you everyone for participating in the contest!

Until later dear friends,

Alma

Friday, September 3, 2010

Labor of Love

While antiquing a couple of years ago, I found this small round box. It looked interesting and I opened it up. Really, I was taught better....not to touch everything, but I just couldn't help myself.

Inside nestled were three strawberry emerys. I knew right then that the price didn't matter. I had to purchase this small emery box. Luckily it didn't cost an arm and a leg.

My husband Dave has been working on a lathe in the garage for the past year making the wooden cupcake bases. I asked him if he thought he could make the emery box too. He made a couple practice ones. He had to stop because we ran out of wood and had to wait for some lumber to dry at the mill.

His practice ones have been sitting in my cabinet for a couple of months. This morning I painted and waxed one of them. "Holy Cow!" I love how it turned out. (I might move Dave's bed out into the garage. It's definitely where he needs to be.)

I made this small acorn emery for the box....perfect for autumn. Our oak trees have the best acorn tops!

So to celebrate labors of love....and Labor Day....here's the deal.

Leave a comment and I will choose one using the random number generator. I only have one to give away....wish there were more! I will have to see if I can get him back out in the garage!
Please enter only once.

Contest ends on Labor Day! Good luck to you all.

Until later

Alma

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Clara Ellen

My grandfather lost his mother when he was 3 years old. His older sister Clara cared for him and he thought of her as a mother. In 1918, the influenza pandemic infected 1/3 of the world's population and Clara was one of the casualties. She became ill in December. My grandfather remembered watching over his older sister as his brother hitched up the horses to the sled. The snow was blowing as his brother flew down the road to get the doctor. Clara was so ill and there was no time to loose. The doctor and brother arrived back at the farm, only to find they had arrived too late.

My grandfather told me the story over and over. The grief of this event seemed always fresh as he shared his story with me. This new "Anniversaries of the Heart" sampler remembers Clara Ellen.

During my last visit to Polk, Nebraska, I cleaned around my grandparents marker at the cemetery and I noticed Clara's gravesite. As I looked at her marker, I realized I hadn't known her middle name was Ellen. While rubbing the grass away from her stone, I knew she was the one I wanted to remember on my next sampler. She was only17 when she died...and I didn't want her memory forgotten. My grandfather is buried next to his wife and sister in a small prairie cemetery in Nebraska. The tall grass waves in the wind over them as they remain close together.

I'm taking this pattern to the printer today. It should be in your local shop in about 2 1/2 weeks.

I'm back to the sewing machine! Have to finish my quilt.

Take a moment and visit this site. What a group this is!

Until later!

Alma

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rainy Day




It's been raining all morning. The weather is cool and it makes me feel like doing a bit of applique. The heat from this summer removed any desire I had for working with fabric. A cool rainy day is all I need to begin to feel the desire to pull out the rotary cutter and get to work.

Large shapes always seem more relaxing to me than very small detailed ones. Easy to cut and easy to sew.

I'm using the new line of fabric from "Wild Rose." The yellows and browns in this fabric line make me think of faded pressed flowers. (Will be in quilt shops in November. This quilt will be in our next book, Garden Club.) Barb is making one too...but she hasn't quite decided on her color palette. She likes to have all the blocks planned before she begins to cut out the shapes and put them on the fabric. I just cut away....and plan one block at a time. (For you gals from the Buggy Barn...yes, I'm doing whimsical placement! You ladies were just too funny.) I sleep just fine at night even if the placement of my pieces don't quite match the pattern exactly.

Hope your summer heat is beginning to relent and your thoughts are returning to quilting!

Until later,

Alma