Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Challenge

I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a quilt designer! I especially like the challenge it represents. Here's one recent example: On Friday, a package of fabric from Benartex arrived even before I knew what I was doing with it! The editor of Quilter's World called and left a message that they wanted some changes to some designs that I had submitted for a new House of White Birches book. It always makes me happy when my designs are accepted, of course. So I checked my email to find out which designs were accepted and what the changes were. Boy was I surprised to see that tehy wanted a design that was originally throw sized to be queen sized. That's what the Benartex fabric was for. WHEW -- the deadline for the piece is about four weeks away. So I had to redesign the piece to make it queen sized as well as work within the amounts of fabric that were sent to me. This created a challenge because there were only three yards of white background fabric. OH NO! So I had to keep tweeking the design until it worked with the amount of fabric that I had. On top of that, I had to line up a machine quilter FAST who could put a rush on this quilt. CHECK! Last night I pieced all of the blocks and sewed them together. Today, I'm going to tackle the three borders, including a pieced middle border. If I can have it done in the next few days, Karen, the long arm quilter, can quilt it on Friday. Totally insane right????? Oh, almost forgot to mention that there's another quilt to be made for the same deadline, but the Balis won't arrive until May 8th or 10th (right off the rollers, they're so new!). Luckily, that piece will go together quickly. I love being a quilt designer -- it's never boring, it's challenging, AND I GET TO PLAY WITH FABRIC ALL OF THE TIME!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Guild

Last night was our Anniversary Guild Meeting for my guild, Free Spirit Quilters. I must say that our president, Kim, really went all out! It was an Oriental-themed party complete with fans and chopsticks. Have you ever eaten birthday cake with chopsticks???? It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be -- the icing helped a lot. We had a discussion on different types of silk (with examples) as well as a selection of kimonos on display. Two members even gave a demo on tying scarves, which was very interesting.

We also had sew and tell, mostly oriental pieces. I even took a pice of sashiko and wouldn't you know it, but another member had the same preprinted panel too! Great minds think alike, I think.

Probably the most memorable event of the evening was when our president, Kim, came out of the restroom dressed in a blow up sumo costume, complete with the appropriate wig. OH MY!!!!!!!!! If I can scare up a photo of it, I'll post it on my blog. It was a real hoot.

Great meeting -- I don't know when I'd seen so many of the members come at the same time. It was nice to see.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


A few blogs ago, I mentioned an upcoming jelly roll quilt race......Well, race day finally arrived --- yesterday!

Our group, "Pennsylvania" against the "Chicago" group.

The contestants:

The Pennsylvania group consisted of ten sewers: Mary Lee, Leslie, Lynn, Sherri, Jill, Shirley, Evie, Gaynel, Debbie, and me (Tricia).

The Chicago group consisted of eight sewers: Phyllis (sister of Mary Lee), Vera, Erusha, Babe, Maureen, Kathy, Pat and Gwen.

We began the race at 10 AM our time (9 AM Chicago time).

Gwen of the Chicago group was the first to finish at a little over 1/2 hour! WOW -- she stitched like greased lightning! Congratulations Gwen -- you are the Queen of Fast!

The second overall finisher was Vera, also from the Chicago group. Vera was visiting her daughter (married to Phyllis's son) and new grandbaby and is from Tula, Russia! Так держать, Vera!

The third finisher was none other than our very own Jill from the PA Team! WAHOO, JILL!

Here are the rest of the quilts!

Debbie's quilt (PA):

Pat's quilt (Chicago):

Shirley's quilt (PA):

Kathy's quilt (Chicago):

Gaynel's quilt (PA):

Babe's quilt (Chicago):

Evie's quilt (PA):

Lynn's quilt (PA):

My quilt (Tricia -- PA):

Phyllis's quilt (Chicago):

Mary Lee's quilt (PA):

Sherry's quilt (PA):

Leslie's quilt (PA):

Maureen's quilt (Chicago):

Here's a photo of the whole Chicago group with their quilts:

We didn't take a group photo of the PA group. :(

Sadly, Erusha of the Chicago team had some machine issues and wasn't able to finish her quilt until she went home in the evening. Sorry Erusha....we're glad you finished your top though!

I have to give a special high five to Debbie of the PA team -- she is a brand new quilter and this was her first quilt project. Talk about trial by fire! Well done, Debbie -- welcome aboard!


Gwen of Chicago was the fastest individual, but PA won the award for fastest group finish.

Congrats to all of the racers......may all your dreams be quilted!!!

Monday, April 9, 2012


Okay, okay I've been really remiss about blogging for a while. It's just there's been so much going on. Some good, and some not so good. So here's the dish:

I've been working a bit on projects for my upcoming book. I have three tops done already -- two are already sandwiched and ready to quilt, I just have to do it. And I've got the fabrics for another seven projects, thanks to a trip to Heirloom Quilting and Antiques in Brookville PA recently. (Heirloom is a great shop -- around 8000 bolts including batiks, 1800's reproductions, 1930's reproductions, basics, contemporary, wovens, novelty, kids/baby). Their prices are reasonable too. So, if you get to Brookville, PA, stop by and check them out!

I've just finished a couple of projects for Quilter's World magazine and am working on two new pieces -- a bag and a baby quilt. Riley Blake sent me the fabric for the baby quilt, a new collection called Vintage Baby -- very sweet in pink, yellow, blue, and green with some red accents, too. I'm looking forward to working with this collection! I just finished the bag prototype and now I'm ready to work with the actual fabrics -- blue batiks! These projects are for the December 2012...... I'm also working on some new designs for an upcoming House of White Birches book, too.

I did have some very disheartening news a few weeks ago, though. Northcott dropped my Cocktails at Eight fabric collection, but I'm shopping around for another fabric company, so stay tuned on this topic. It was a big let down after waiting for all of this time, but fabric companies are hurting right now due to the economy and the high price of cotton.

In the meantime, I finished my taxes AND have had three sick cats...... It's certainly not been boring around here.