Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Winner

#245 is the winner....

Blogger Vintage Sandy said...

Looks like alot of fun and the cookies are beautiful would love to be the lucky winner of one of your cookie molds to try my hand at it next year or sooner!


Sandy, you will be baking beautiful cookies soon! Send you address to alma@blackbird-designs.com and I will mail your heart cookie mold to you.

Here are a couple more patterns to view....we have 7 new Reward of Merit patterns. I've been folding patterns for the past two days. I think we might have to revisit this format!!!




The car is packed finally. We are taking more books than usual. I'm hitting the sack early tonight! Have to get up early tomorrow morning. Nashville is a long drive from Kansas City. We should be there by tomorrow night.

Until later dear friends!

Alma

Monday, February 14, 2011

Be Mine!



Happy Valentines Day!


We're baking up some fun for you today! Yesterday my friends and I got together to make molded cookies for Valentine's Day. We used some of the heart shaped molds I've collected from House on the Hill.

Everyone brought a couple of cookie sheets to the baking party. I made up two batches of chocolate Springerle dough, enough for lots of cookies. There is something addictive about pressing beautiful shapes into the dough.

Flona made my favorite discovery of the day. She used one of my vintage biscuit cutters on a couple of the small round cookies. The trim plus the fluted edge on the cookie was just too sweet! Martha Steward has cookie cutters with fluted edges. They come in many sizes too. I couldn't find them on-line, but click here for another link.

Linda made this one for her husband....as they sail through life together.

Wish you could have been here too! But since my kitchen is very small...I'm sending a part of the party to one lucky winner.

I have an extra mold and would like to give it away.
Leave a comment and I will spin the random number generator. Contest ends Wednesday, Feb. 16th. I will try and send out the prize before leaving for cross stitch market.

Don't forget the Moda Pillow Talk is going on this month. I've been bad about posting visits! But it's never too late to visit any of these gals! The welcome mat is always out.

February 8th … Kate Spain
February 9th … Kathy Schmitz Studios
February 10th … Thimbleblossoms
February 11th … Me and My Sister Designs
February 12th … Minick & Simpson
February 13th … Oliver + S
February 14th … Pieces From My Heart
February 15th … Laurie & Jessi Jung
February 16th … Sweetwater
February 17th...Barbara Brackman
February 18th … Deb Strain
February 19th … American Jane
February 20th … Primitive Gatherings

Wishing you all a very sweet day!

Alma

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Stiltcher's Journey

A Stitcher's Journey is our newest book. Thought you might like to see the cover. I've been working on cover designs for the past two days and this is the one we have chosen. This book is a collection of the projects we taught in classes and retreats this past year.

Barb and I enjoyed traveling and meeting fun and creative women from all over the country.

We included an extra in this book. We were inspired by an exercise book from the Kildare Place Model School. Inside the book, we found a sampler and other examples of stitching. We believe the young woman who stitched the sampler and attended the school was in training to become a teacher/governess. We think she immigrated from Ireland to Australia, as we found her book in Australia. She wasn't able to take many belongings with her as she traveled, but she saved space in her trunk for her exercise book. The exercise book is filled with pieces she meticulously stitched. Each is an example of what she might teach her future pupils. Pictures of her work and the pattern for her sampler are included in this book too. Her journey is the one celebrated in this book.

I should be taking the book to the publisher tomorrow....we like the ink dry by the time market begins. The book is 52 pages packed with fun ideas and projects just for you! It will be released at Market, Feb. 19 - 20.


I'm still making bread. I just pulled these two babies out of the oven. I told Dave, "Guess what we are having for dinner? One for you and one for me!" These are pain de campagne, which in French means country bread. It's one of my new favorites: a bit of rye flour, unbleached flour, water, salt and yeast. Really so easy.... bread is the dessert of life.

Don't forget Pillow Talk. Yesterday was Connie from Cotton Way. Today is Joanna from Fig Tree and tomorrow is Lynn from Kansas Troubles.

Visit them all and tell them hello from me!

Until later dear friends.

Alma

Friday, February 4, 2011

Winners!


A little bird told me you were wishing for a bit of spring! Me too!!!! Every morning I put my boots on and go out to feed the birds. Don't forget them. Their food is hidden by tons of snow here.

On the morning news it looked like everyone in Houston was ice skating on the highways with their cars. Way to much fun for me! I'll take snow over ice any day of the week.

Here is the prize and here are the winners:

#606 Laurie in Iowa said...

Woo hoo... both quilts look fabulous.


#228 Sampler Lover said...

Thank you for the pattern. This is the perfect quilt to make for one of my children - Sandra.

February 2, 2011 3:25 PM


Ladies send your address to me at: alma@blackbird-designs.com

Today take a trip to Bunny Hill Lane for a bit of pillow talk with Anne. She's giving away something to press out all of your troubles.


Until later dear friends!

Alma




Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Quilt Pattern ..Antique Fair Baskets

Ready for more pillow talk? For a picture of my pillow and answers to many personal questions visit yesterday's post.



Today it's all about Barb's quilt. Her basket quilt took a layer cake and a bit more from our Antique Fair line with Moda Fabrics. Check the pattern for details.



Here's a picture of the full quilt. Sorry for the terrible shot....but we have snow issues here. We had to get the drive shoveled this morning.

The picture above shows a closer view. There are 7 rows of blocks. There are 25 basket blocks and 24 red print blocks. Click here for the pattern.

And to help you make your own, we have two layer cakes to give away. Leave a comment and I will choose 2 winners. One layer cake for each. Wish we had more layer cakes to give...but Barb cut hers up for the quilt. Don't forget to visit Jan Patek tomorrow! She has some pillow talk to share with you too!

This is my daughter's bed. After photographing the basket quilt, I thought I would take these to show too.


The shams pictured above were made by Jeanne Zyck our quilter. She used one of my favorite prints from Wild Rose. The smaller pillow was made from some left over half-square triangles. The sampler hanging on the wall is the bonus piece from our Loose Feather series. (It's no longer available.) The quilt pattern is in the book, When The Cold Wind Blows published by the Kansas City Star. We had some cold wind blowing here yesterday!


Thank you for coming by today! Your visit is always appreciated. Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win one of the layer cakes. Drawing ends on Thursday. Will announce the winners Friday morning.

Until later,

Alma



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pillow Talk

I'm going to do the Moda Pillow Talk blog hop in two postings. I know it isn't my day....my day for the blog hop is tomorrow, Feb. 2nd....but with the quilt info. I want to post, I need to get part of this done now. I'm never able to follow the rules correctly. I accept my personality disorder and hope you will too.

The mission was to make a pillow that reflected us. The above pillow was the one I made. It was made from a block I discarded while making the theme quilt for the book Garden Club. (The pattern for this block is in the book. I just changed my mind about background fabrics for the quilt.) So, I began this task by cheating.

I used the block because it was already done. I just didn't want to discard the block. Think of it like giving a UFO another life.

I made up for using this block by adding layers of texture that were interesting to me.

I thought it would be fun to quilt the piece with embroidery stitches. Using a cream pearl cotton I stitched the chain stitch and herringbone stitch around all of the shapes. I hand quilted a running stitch along the printed stripe with the same fiber.

Instead of using poly-fil to stuff the pillow, I decided to use feathers. I love the drape of a feather pillow. They look natural instead of stiff. (If you do this, please make sure you line the pillow! My feathers are still popping out of the back as I didn't line it.)


A small ruffle finished this. Just enough to add a bit of color to frame the applique. This really went pretty fast. I didn't go for perfect stitches. I went for speed! I did note after stitching a couple of stems, my technique got better.

Here are the questions we were to answer.....you can skip this part if you want to!

What is a little known fact about yourself?
I enjoy playing the piano. I’m not very good, but I'm ok with that. As I learn a piece of music I feel a sense of accomplishment though. I'm thinking about learning how to play the accordion or squeezebox. I almost purchased one recently in an antique shop. It just looks like a joyful musical instrument to play.

How do you relax?
Reading is always relaxing for me. My favorite genre has always been science fiction. The stories literally transport me out of this world. Now I’m reading mysteries. People are always seem to be killing each other or loosing things! (Maybe I should go back to science fiction!)

What do you sleep in - PJ’s or Nightgown?
I’m a t-shirt and shorts kind of gal. I don’t like nightgowns. You get all tangled up when tossing and turning in bed.

What kind of pillow do you like, Hard or soft, foam or feather? And why?
I really like a couple of feather pillows. But really, it doesn’t matter what kind of pillow. When my head hits the pillow, I’m gone.

When you were young did you sleep with a stuffed animal? If so what?
I don’t remember sleeping with a stuffed animal. My second son had a polar bear called “Huggy Baby” and it was a crisis if we couldn’t find him at bedtime. Maybe that’s why my parents didn’t encourage me to have one.

Do you sew in bed? Read? Watch TV? eat?
I read in bed and drink a cup of tea.

How many nights have you or your spouse spent on the couch?
None...we did have a young man wander into our house one Thanksgiving and spent the night on our sofa. We were very surprised to find him there the next day! We had to call the police and have him removed. After that, no one wanted to sleep on the sofa.

Nighttime toddy?
Just hot tea.

Early to bed or all-nighter?
Early to bed and early to rise......

Who would you most like to have a pillow fight with?
Heath Ledger....although he’s gone and was much, much, much too young for me. I loved watching him on-screen. Just wish he were still around to act in movies. If he were smacked by a pillow, I imagine he would have a very cute grin.

Tomorrow a contest and quilt instructions. My friend Jan Patek is up for Feb. 3. Click on her name to go to her site.

Until tomorrow dear friends! It's snowing up a storm here. Hope you are all warm and cosy!

Alma