Wednesday, February 21, 2018

First Peek At Primitive Threads!

Primitive Threads quilt ~ Designed by Pam Buda for Heartspun Quilts
and Marcus Brothers fabrics.
Introducing my Primitive Threads quilt!  

Boy...this feels so good!!  I tell ya....working in secret is hard sometimes, so when it's finally time to share....I can hardly contain myself!

This quilt features the entire Primitive Threads fabric collection (for Marcus Fabrics) and uses a black print as the neutral background.  I designed two taupe fabrics that I used in the pieced border of the quilt and another I used in all of the blocks.  (I have plans for even more quilts using these taupe fabrics.  I'm so in a taupe mood these days!)

When choosing fabrics for a primitive collection, I knew I wanted darker, muted colors....prints that had a folk art feel to them, and absolutely had to have some stars!  What's primitive without stars??  I also wanted the prints to fit in nicely with other historic prints.  So....let's take a look at some of the Primitive Threads fabrics and the antique fabrics that inspired them.

Several years ago, I acquired parts of a potholder quilt.  Just holding it is so sweet and dear.
I have several long pieces with six blocks, a couple of twin blocks and some single blocks...all with the same red binding print.  I'm not sure how old they are.  I think the fabrics in the blocks may be older than the binding, but I'm not sure.  All I know is.... they're old!  
This brown print has been one of my favorites since I've owned these historic pieces, and I thought it fit into the folk art theme I was going for.  I just love the whimsical feel of the flowers.
It was the perfect choice for the main black background print of the quilt I designed because that print needs to read as a 'solid', and could not have any direction to the pattern.  Yet...I didn't want a true solid....I wanted something more fun and interesting.  It was perfect!  It turned out so great, we printed it in four colors.  For the black version, the actual floral print is in a soft brown so it will be seen just a bit, but doesn't change the overall color of the black fabric.  The red is actually a darker cranberry color, blue is a navy and the light is a soft warm beige.  The red, blue and beige are all tone on tone and are much prettier than this photo makes them to be.  (You know me and my hard to capture what the colors really are!!)  This print is called Folk Art Flower.  
I used another print in the potholder quilt that I am just wild over!!  It's so faded, but you hope you can see how sweet the little star flowers are.  It just screamed folky and primitive to me!
Here's how that sweet print turned out!  I LOVE IT!!!  Honestly....please see these fabrics at your local quilt shop.  My photos just don't do them justice.  This print is called Folk Art Garden.
I thought I'd add this photo of the back of the potholder pieces for those of you who like to study old quilts.  The blocks do not have any batting in them, and the quilting is just along the edges of the crazy piecing.  I think it's just precious.  

Any guesses how old the potholder quilt pieces are??

I'll show you more Primitive Threads fabrics and their antique fabric inspirations in my next post.  Hope you like what you see so far.

Primitive Threads fabrics should be arriving to your local quilt shop in sure to ask for them there.  It's so very important that we support our quilt shops!!  

Better get to work on the new things I'm dreaming up for your stitching pleasure.  Be well....

Friday, February 16, 2018

Introducing My Primitive Side

When, in my last post, I hinted that my next fabric collection was something kinda new for me, did you think primitive?

Yes!!  Primitive Threads is my next collection for Marcus Fabrics!!  

Actually, primitive is not out of character for me at all when you know from where the inspiration for the collection came.
Antiquing is one of my passions with emphasis toward nineteenth century antiques.  I have several antique shows I attend where all items for sale are from the eighteenth and nineteenth century.   I thoroughly enjoy admiring the hand-crafted workmanship of the antiques as most of them are handmade.  Our early American ancestors were big time "Makers".

The book above is a favorite of mine.  American Country is a series of books published in the 1990's by Time-Life publications.  (I've found the books at antique shows and shops, and on eBay.)  This one is all about American folk art and I just love browsing the pages.  The cover is a lovely collection of hand made and hand painted items of true Folk Art.  The colors are dark but soft and warm.  I'm smitten!
Among the many items showcased in the book are hooked rugs. The designs and the colors speak to me. own one of these beauties!!  I'll have to admire and not acquire!!
Of course quilts are a huge part of folk is the color black.  Black seems to be the perfect neutral to show off all other colors.  Even if you're not as fond of black as I am, a little black in a room really sets things off.  
Like the book's cover photo, this photo of shelves of folk art sums the look perfectly.  

I am fortunate to own a few true handmade pieces of American folk art....treasures to be sure.  I am smitten with the makers desire to create beautiful things from ordinary everyday items.  They dipped brushes in paint, carved wood, cut paper and put needle and thread to work to make a truly unique class of art, although I don't believe they thought of it as art the same we do now. 

Items such as nineteenth century game boards, whirlygigs, Tole and Fraktur painting, wood carved and painted toys and banks, Sgraffito pottery, painted furniture, samplers, homemade dolls and pieced and pictorial quilts all serve as inspiration for this new primitive collection.

In my next post, I'll show you the fabrics in the collection and some of the original nineteenth century antique fabric prints that I chose to replicate.  I'll also share the quilt I designed featuring the entire collection.  I'm so jazzed for you to see it!!

In the mean time, you can click here to visit the Marcus Fabrics website for a sneak peek at the fabrics!!  

I am very happy to honor our American Folk Art heritage with the Primitive Threads collection!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day

Quilts from Tokens of the Past: Gathering In Red pattern
Wishing you all a love filled and 
Happy Valentine's Day
 Have you been able to piece your little Valentine quilt?  Time has passed so quickly!  Wasn't it just New Years??  Ugh!  

So many little time.

While we're still on the subject of working with tiny pieces, I thought you might like to read a blog post from a fellow quilter who received the little Valentine kit above and had never worked with such small pieces.  I found it very inspiring!  Click here to read.

Enjoy this day with those you love!

Monday, February 12, 2018

How Tiny Is Tiny??

It was such fun reading all of your comments  telling of the many rewards and perils of piecing tiny blocks.  

Tiny...being subjective, of course!

The poll was very telling as well.  186 of you voted giving your answer to this question:

What is the smallest size Four Patch you are willing to make?

Here's the results:

47% said 1 inch
19% said 1.5 inches
24% said 2 inches
2% said 2.5 inches
5% said 3 inches

Amazing isn't it?!!  Seems those of us who love tiny are in the majority! was the majority of tiny piece quiltmakers who took part in the poll.  Anyway...we're in good company!

If you have a chance, grab a cup of coffee and read the comments to my last post.  You are all so funny, gracious and generous to share your experiences.  You really make my day!  I am also awed and inspired at how many of you are comfortable piecing units and blocks finishing less than 1 inch!!!  WOWSERS!!!  I must try that as well...even if I only make a bunch of Four Patches.  

I'd like to thank all of you for taking the time to leave a comment.   I appreciate it so very much.  I chose three winners who will receive a copy of my Tokens of the Past: Two Color Classics pattern, featuring three quilts with small blocks finishing to 2, 2.5 and 3 inches.  

The winners are.....

Material Girl

I am working on way too many projects- quilts,bags, wallets......Need I say more? I love,love,love scrappy projects but the smallest 4 patch that I am willing to make is 1". The smallest hst that I will make is 1/2". I don't enjoy paper piecing at all but if you make blocks smaller than 1/2", the seam allowance is just ridiculous to deal with.

Karen in Ohio

My favorite sewing projects are small quilts. I piece on the Featherweight and then hand quilt them. I make for the holidays and for gifts for friends and family. I am always looking for the next project(s) as usually I have more than 1 going at the same time. I will use one inch pieces. I love your quilts, fabrics and patterns. Thanks!


Love your mini 9-patch quilt and I'm looking forward to the reveal of your super secret scrappy project when it's time! I've never made anything as small as your 1.5" finished blocks, but it would be fun to try a 2" finished block. I do better when I can focus on one project at a time (otherwise nothing gets finished!). I admire you multi-taskers! Thanks for a chance to win one of your patterns.

Please email me with your mailing address -

Speaking of piecing very tiny  blocks and making very small quilts, you may really enjoy reading my friend Janet's blog.  She is very experienced and talented at working with tiny pieces and very recently wrote an excellent blog post all about how to bind a small quilt with single fold binding.  Very informative and helpful!

Click here to read Janet's blog.  While you're there, scroll through past blog posts for loads of photos and inspiration of the many, many small quilts Janet has made.  You'll find a lot of her work on Pinterest.

Later this week....I'll be sharing news and photos of my next fabric line.  It's a bit different and something new from me!  I can hardly wait to share!!  

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tiny Nine Patch Quilt Finished!

A few weeks ago, I posted a photo of this little Nine Patch quilt when I completed the top.  Now that it's back from being quilted, I wanted to share a photo of the finished quilt.  I love it!!  

There's something just so wonderful about scrappy quilts.  I love the process of digging through my scraps to find just the right fabrics to pair together.  We all have those prints that are our favorites and I'm no exception.  Seems those favorite fabrics make it into every scrap quilt I make!  Do you find you do that, too?  That's our love, if not obsession, with fabric, and why we  never have too much of it!  

Presently, along with working on my super secret scrappy project early every morning, I'm also cutting and sometimes piecing the parts of five other scrap quilts at the same time.  Because scrappy is so labor intensive, I am making the most of the opportunity when I choose, starch and cut each piece.  Why dig through your scraps and stash again and again?  So, with that in mind, I have a little list of what to cut for each quilt.  I must be organized and make the best use of my precious sewing time.  More on this subject when the super scrappy secret project is revealed later this year.

The Nine Patch blocks in the quilt above finish to 1.5 inches.  My next teeny, tiny quilt will be a simple Four Patch, with blocks finishing to 1 inch!!  

That has me wondering....what is the smallest Four Patch block you are willing to make?  

Notice I didn't say "comfortable" making....I know bigger is more comfy.  So, I want to know if you set out to make a little scrappy Four Patch quilt, what is the smallest size finished Four Patch you will make?

I have a poll on the side bar of my blog where you can cast your vote....and please do!  It will be fun to see the stats.  Click here to see the poll.

And....if you leave me a comment about the smallest size and/or how many scrappy quilts you might work on simultaneously, I will choose a few people to receive my newest.....

Tokens of the Past: Two Color Classics 

pattern, which features small blocks from 2 inches to 3 inches finished, FREE!

Friends reading this post living outside of the US are welcome to comment as well.

I'll choose a winner or two over the weekend.  

Off to dive into more scraps!  

Monday, January 29, 2018

Happy 25th Anniversary American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine!!!

American Patchwork & Quilting magazine marks quite a milestone in April, celebrating their 25th anniversary!!  WOW!!  You may have noticed the celebration already began with the February issue and will continue all through out the year.

The April issue is the anniversary issue, and I am so excited to be a part of it!  The magazine editors did some research to find the top ten readers' favorite covers in the entire 25 year history of the magazine, and one of my quilts made it in the top ten!!  Holy Cow!

Scattered Leaves quilt originally published in American Patchwork & Quilting October, 2009 issue
My Scattered Leaves quilt is a reader favorite.  My goodness...I am so jazzed and humbled by this.  

The quilt remains one of my all-time favorites as well.  

To have been chosen by my fellow quilters means so very much to me.  

And...I am also very, very honored to be in the company of....

Lissa Alexander
Terry Atkinson
Cindy Blackberg
Kim Diehl
Marti Michell
Mabeth Oxenreider
Bonnie Sullivan
and Amy Walsh

All designers who's work I greatly admire.  

In this special anniversary issue, you'll find the patterns for all ten of the top selling quilt cover designs as well as a Q&A from all the designers.  There's some very fun nostalgia from the first years of the magazine, and all the regular columns you love.  

I have been a subscriber to APQ since I first learned to piece back in 1997.  I have many, many issues I've saved over the years of favorite quilts and educational articles.  Not to mention I have every Quilt Sampler magazine except for the very first one!!  The magazine always strives to bring its readers a beautiful array of quilt designs for every taste, fun columns with new gadgets and notions, quilting tips from readers, and the latest books, patterns and fabrics.  There are plenty of educational how-to articles as well.  

On a personal note....I have been very fortunate to work with the staff at APQ for over a decade now.  Heidi Kaisand gave me my first break for which I owe her a great debt (and she'll hear nothing of it!), and I've been invited to the corporate offices of the magazine in Des Moines, IA several times which allowed me to meet nearly everyone who works at APQ.  You might say I am biased, but everyone will honestly agree that they are truly a great group of women...creative and talented...YES!  But also the nicest people ever!!  From the first moment you begin to work with them, that make you feel that you're a part of the APQ family.  

So.....please join me in wishing American Patchwork & Quilting magazine a very 

Happy 25th Anniversary!!

The April anniversary issue is coming in your mailbox, to your local quilt shop and newsstand very soon!  Please...make sure you get a copy of this very special issue.  You'll really enjoy it!!  


Friday, January 26, 2018

Valentine Winning Comment

Tokens of the Past: Gathering In Red pattern
My little Valentine quilt sure has motivated me to display a few red & light quilts to decorate the house.  
A few vignettes here and there are plenty to make a cheerful Valentine display.  Red and light quilts are so versatile!  They are perfect for so many holidays: Valentine's Day, Memorial Day through July 4th, and are so gorgeous with Christmas displays.  

The quilts above are two of the three quilts included in my Tokens of the Past: Gathering In Red pattern.  And...I have just a few kits left with all original fabrics to make all three's on SALE!  

Click here for more details.

Now, on to the important stuff.....

Loris is the winner of a Valentine kit!  

She commented: Morning is my go to time for sewing as well although I have recently found some time after the afternoon dog walk before dinner! That early morning before the world gets up is the best time of day though!
This is such a sweet Valentine quilt. Thank you for sharing :-)

Congratulations, Loris!  

I had such fun reading your comments.  I'd say about half of you said you are able to make time for some sewing nearly everyday.  The other half have many things that take up your those pesty but necessary jobs, or caring for children or elderly parents, or a myriad of other things that fall under the label of "Life gets in the way."  We all know that feeling!  

No matter what the situation, we all have things in common.  That is the thread that binds us!  
(Pun intended!)

Thank you all so very much for taking the time to not only read my blog, but to comment.  Means so much to me.  

Enjoy your weekend and hope you find some time for some soul know...the kind that feed your soul and make you happy!  

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Many Thanks!

Many, many thanks to all of you who placed an order over the weekend.  
My little Valentine quilt kit was a big hit and I'm so jazzed that you like it!!  We're working hard to process all the orders and get them out to you.  Please give us a few days to get through them all.  I assure you, they will all be going out this week.  

Snow fell again here last night after a couple of days of warm weather.  It was a nice break from the bitter cold.  But....Mother Nature is reminding us that winter has a long way to go yet!

For the last few months, I've been getting up very early to sew an hour every morning on a very big secret project.  Trying to squeeze it in each day while I work on all the other goodies in production.  It is a great way to start my day and I am amazed how much I get done in just one hour.  Because it's so early, the house is quiet, no phones, no interruptions.  It makes me feel so good starting the day with sewing time that I don't know why I haven't been doing this all along!  I've got a feeling I'll always make time for at least an hour of sewing each day from now on.  

Do you dedicate time each day to sew at least a little something?  

Leave me a comment on my blog by Friday night to win a Valentine kit!!   

(I'm sorry, but I am unable to ship outside of the US.)

A little "Me" time sewing each day.....It's a very good thing!  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Something Sweet and FREE!!

Valentine quilt ~ FREE with qualifying purchase!
Remember the poll I had on my blog about a month ago?  Valentine quilts were at the bottom of the list, so.....I thought I would design one.  Your candy dish needs a little quilt to make a cute vignette!  

This sweet little Valentine quilt pattern/kit may just be coming to your home absolutely FREE!!  
Valentine quilt size approx 9" x 14"
* Place an on-line order for at least $15 to receive the pattern FREE!

* Place an on-line order for at least $35 or more and receive the pattern AND fabric kit FREE!!

(NOTE: Qualifying total does not include shipping.)
(Sorry....candy not included.  My son ate it all!)

Here's how this will work....

 ~ Qualifying orders placed Friday, January 19th through Sunday, January 21st are eligible.  

~ Your freebie will be added to your order when we package it up.   The Valentine quilt is not found on my website so don't worry about having to place it in the shopping cart.  

~ Similar fabrics may be substituted.  

~ One offer per person.   

~ The total of items purchased determines your free gift.  Shipping charges are not included.

There are lots of new things on my website to order!!  

My brand new fabric collection....Tall now on the website.   Fat Quarter bundles are ready to go!!

I have re-stocked kits for all three of the Tokens of the Past: Two Color Classics quilts!

There are loads of patterns, fabric bundles and fabric by the yard.

Check out the notions section, too.  

Bloc-Loc rulers are in stock along with many more very useful items!

You can piece this little quilt and have it ready to enjoy on Valentine's Day!

Thank you for your continued support of my quilt designs, patterns and fabrics.  You make it possible for me to continue doing what I love and I appreciate it more than you know.

Click here to browse Heartspun Quilts!

Happy Shopping!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Pieceful Pines Quilted

It's a snowy day here in suburban Chicago and the clouds make for a good day to photograph the quilting of my Pieceful Pines quilt.  
While the dim lighting is great for capturing the quilting details, keep in mind it makes the fabrics look much darker than they are.  
Pieceful Pines is not your usual Christmas quilt in that I chose and designed fabrics that still look historic, not full of Christmas-y motifs.  So, when my quilter and dear friend, Ronda and I were searching for quilting designs, I didn't want a lot of Christmas quilting designs either.
Ronda found lots of really cool designs.  I love feathers which look awesome in the red part of the Log Cabin blocks, and really love the spray design she chose for the other half.  I think the straight lines give nice juxtaposition to the soft rounds of the feathers....and it kinda reminds me of gingerbread molding.

This little design reminded me of two things....a snowflake and the Spirograph I used to play with as a kid!  It isn't overly Christmas-y and fits in nicely....I think.
The center wreath and star blocks have some other gorgeous designs.  I love this center.  It would make an awesome table topper centerpiece all by itself.  
I hope sharing our quilting designs will help you with ideas when your Pieceful Pines BOM is completed.  

Pieceful Pines begins in April and will end in November, just in time for next Christmas!!

Please ask for Pieceful Pines at your local quilt shop!  

A little birdy told me to say you really might like to check my blog on Friday morning.   Something special may be coming your way!

Just sayin.....

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Winter Means Soup's On!

I seem to be deep into 'design mode' these days and that means I don't have a lot to show you right now.  Bummer!  But...that means there will be lots to share in the coming months.

We've been in the deep freeze here these last few weeks, and with my family, it means warming up over a hearty bowl of soup on those cold wintry days.  If you're like me, you enjoy the way the house smells with a cozy pot of soup on the stove.  

So...I thought I'd share one of my favorite soup concoctions ~ Minestrone!
The thing that puts this soup over the edge are tiny meatballs.  Oh...they are so yummy!!  

Making the meatballs are the only real work in this soup.  One pot is all that is needed for this soup so there aren't a lot of dishes to clean up either.  Win, Win!!

I made my meatballs a bit larger than a marble. They will shrink some when cooked and I just want them to fit on the spoon.  

The rest of the soup ingredients are dumped into the pot.  Even the pasta is uncooked when added and cooks in the broth!  Sweet!!
Garnish the Minestrone with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Better yet is the shredded Five Italian Cheese blend from Kraft.  That cheese blend is truly awesome!!  

Hope that warms your tummy!  Enjoy.

Click here for the recipe.  

I have my Pieceful Pines quilt back from my quilter friend Ronda now,  Oh, the quilting!!  I'll  have photos of the quilting to share with you next time.  

Until a friend to your needle and thread.  

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Enjoying A Slower Pace

Now that the holidays are over (which I enjoyed immensely!) we can begin to enjoy life at a slower pace.  I don't mind the winter months for just that reason.   Well...and I enjoy all four seasons, which helps a lot, especially since we're living in a Polar Vortex here in the Midwest.  But...I digress....

That slower pace also opens up some free time which I took advantage of this past week or so.  The little Nine Patch quilt you see has been a work-in-progress (Yes, UFO!) for more than a year.  Sad to say but I only needed five more little Nine Patches to complete the quilt as of Christmas 2016!!  Sorry to admit that it took a year to make five Nine Patch blocks and choose the setting fabrics and border.  I'm betting you have a project or two that is very close to being done, just waiting its turn.  New Years Day was quiet here, so I finished this little quilt and I'm so jazzed about it!!  I'm thinking a couple of the blocks are too dark now that I can look at it all done, but it's done, so it's staying that way!! 

In between the preparing for and enjoying the holidays, I have been very busy working on my 2019 block-of-the-month program.  It really does take more than a year to design the quilt, all the fabrics, break it down into monthly segments and several fabric shipments, write and test the directions, make the quilt and print and stuff all the patterns for the program.  I completed the fabric designing yesterday, so all my notes and samples will ship to my art director at Marcus next week.  It sure feels good to have that portion done!!  (Happy Dance)

That means several other projects waiting their turn have now made it to the top of the To-Do list.  Always fun to begin something new, and I'm happy to report that exciting things are coming.  (Watch for a new promotion from me around the 20th of January...just for you! )

In the meantime, I hope life has slowed down a bit for you as relax, enjoy and take it all in.  I'm going to prepare a few hand-stitching projects that I can work on in the evenings.  And, maybe I'll be able to complete another UFO tomorrow.  Now that would be wonderful.  I know just the project, too!  Another Nine Patch quilt that only need just one applique block and will  be ready to complete.  Hhmmm.....tempting...very tempting. 

Hope you find time to do what makes your heart sing!