Finishing up a quilt project, New ideas, New Pattern Sample, New Quilt pattern sample, quilt as you go lap quilt

Tired of Singing La La…

I can only partly remember the story my grandma used to tell us, but the part that has lived on in my memory is “I’m tired of singing la, la.”

So the story goes…

She was rocking someone to sleep and to help lull them she was singing, “La, la. La, la.” over & over.

Apparently the little tyke she was singing to wasn’t tired enough to be lulled to sleep, but instead into annoyance, when they announced, “I’m tired of singing “la, la!””

Well, it’s a story that hit my grandma’s funny bone and she told it over and over.

Consequently, as I was growing up, when someone in my family was tired of doing something we would announce

“I’m tired of singing la, la!!!”

trees 4-13

Among other designs that I’ve been working on with my “Christmas Countdown” fabrics,

I’ve been making a whole forest of trees.

Big trees,

large trees 4-13

Little trees,

small trees 4-13

Pretty trees,

med trees 4-13

(special trees, Here comes Winter book…)

Don’t get me wrong, they’re quick & easy, but I made so many prototypes

asst trees 4-13

and then designed a few quilts to make with the blocks.

Now that I’m getting to make the finished blocks for the pattern sample

it feels a bit redundant…

stacked trees 4-13

..more & more trees, 44 trees…

(Dr. Seuss book…)

Pretty sure I could make trees in my sleep!

Perhaps is delirium? sorry…

The quilt will have 36 medium trees, 40 small trees and a bonus table runner will have large trees,

but that number has yet to be determined.

I’ll be putting these into one of my signature Quilt-as-you-go lap quilt patterns.

Now to start counting sashing strips.

What are you working on?

Until next time,

Susan

new fabric collection, New ideas

New Moda Christmas Fabrics, 2013 that is…

You might be thinking Christmas is o-v-e-r,

but for Suzn Quilts, Christmas it’s just starting!

Take a look at my new Christmas fabrics, thanks to the generous folks at Moda.

Christmas Countdown fabrics 2013

It’s the new “Christmas Countdown” by Deb Strain.

Looks pretty cute with my vintage-looking Christmas tin from my SIL Janet don’t you think?

The first project that I’m going to use these fabrics for is a sampler.

There is fusible applique & some pieced blocks as well.

My question to you is what do you think about samplers and block-of-the-month projects???

My new sample is easily broken down into 12 steps…

Since I have a lot of time to think while I’m cutting & sewing, I’m still contemplating the format of this pattern.

The body of the quilt is about 45″ x 50″, then I will probably add a border or two.

Any thoughts?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to think about your Christmas sewing projects yet.

This collection won’t even be available in shops until June!

Until next time,

Susan

Applique quilt projects, new fabric collection, New ideas, New Pattern Sample, Quilt Market, Suzn Quilts Patterns

Oh, how I LOVE color!

Is it just me…

or could you too, sit and sew with these all day long?

I love color(s)!

This is more of Julie Comstock’s new Odds and Ends fabric line by Moda.

I’ve given you a couple of glimpses of it recently,

but yesterday I received a bit more for a few projects that I’m working on for market next month.

Yikes, that’s way too soon!

I noticed as I moved our

latte bowls from Anthropologie

from this serving (not tray, not platter, not bowl) whatever it is,

that the colors of some of the bowls matched the fabrics perfectly.

Color!!!

This is our kitchen table centerpiece this summer.

My daughter Clare and I bought these at Anthropologie last winter, one of every color they had.

When we brought them home,

they landed on this cool platter with wire base…thing.

How perfect to set our useless adorable little latte bowls on.

They make me smile, kind of like a new box of 64 crayons.

It would seem Clare has a few of my genes, she talked me into buying them.

Back to the fabric…

You can see the whole collection at Moda.

I like to go here and look at “Future Groups” to see what’s coming out.

Odds and Ends is due out this month, so check you local quilt shops.

I need to get sewing.

I’ve got some quilts to name (hint, hint).  ;)

Until next time,

Susan

My Life, New ideas, New Pattern Sample, New quilt pattern

What am I doing now???

Well, can you guess from this photo?

No, I’m not making a kite’s tail, although today would have beena great day to fly one!

Here they are trimmed apart.

Next, I added another line of rick rack.

and once again, trimmed them apart.

Still not clear what I’m doing?

Know what?  I’ll bet you can’t guess unless you have been testing one of my soon-to-be-patterns.

Soon enough…(not soon enough for me, I’m so far behind where I’d like to be)

Until next time,

Susan

Applique quilt projects, new fabric collection, New ideas, New Pattern Sample, Suzn Quilts Patterns

For Everything there is a Season

Who knows what season it is outside this week?

It is Winter

It looks like Spring.

It feels like Summer!

Just the middle of March, and the extended 7 day forecast here in the lower half of Illinois is 80+ degrees EVERY DAY!

My flowers are blooming!

Inside it’s Spring Quilt Market Prep Season!

I’ve been picking and pruning my “Salt Air” and adding a few others that are acting like fertilizer, making the pretty stuff prettier!

It’s fun to FINALLY cut into this stuff.  When it’s early in the season, with a limited supply of the good stuff, I can’t bear to cut until I know for sure the design is just right!

And this is what I’m working on today.

How about you?  Are you doing your spring gardening yet?

Until next time,

Susan

My Life, New ideas, New Pattern Sample, New quilt pattern, Quick Little Projects

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope you had a nice day with a bit of love included too!

Along with the day-to-day business stuff I made cookies for my valentines.

I love this recipe for two reasons; they taste great and you roll them into a ball then roll the ball in sugar, not the roll out and cut sugar cookie.

Sugar Cookies

From Suzette Krummel Quilt Retreat 1999

1 cup Butter

3/4 cup Vegetable Oil

1 cup Granulated Sugar

1 cup Powdered Sugar

1 tsp. Baking Soda

4 cups Flour

1 tsp. Cream of Tartar

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Vanilla

2 eggs

Decorative sugars or nonpareils

Cream butter, oil and both sugars; add eggs & vanilla.  Sift dry ingredients, stir in and blend.  Chill dough for 1 hour.

Roll a teaspoon of dough into a ball.  Roll in decorative sugar.

Bake at 375˚ for 12 minutes.  Remove to cooling rack.

Yields approx. 8 dozen cookies.

I then quilted my “Heartfelt Table Runner” a mystery I designed for my guild, but soon to be a new pattern.

I also made Valentines for my sweethearts from here.

I just printed out 4 per page onto cardstock, punched a hole and added ribbon and a message then tied them to my gifts.  Isn’t she adorable?

I hope you had a lovely day too!

Until next time,

Susan

My Life, new fabric collection, New ideas, New Pattern Sample, Quilt Retreats

Retreat means sew, sew, sew

Last weekend I was once again fortunate to attend our annual reatreat at Rosemary’s Quilt Shop in Highland Illinois.

The first floor & basement are the quilt shop floors.  Rosemary lives on the second and third floors.  It’s a beautiful older home and the owner/occupant is a wonderful host!  On the days that she has retreats, she reatreats to the third floor leaving enough sleeping rooms for 6 quilters on the second floor.

For the past 8(?) years a group of us have met for a weekend each winter and sewed, sewed, sewed.  The basement is set up to sew and snack 24 hrs. a day if you want.  Within two blocks there are authentic Mexican, Italian and Chinese restaurants. No need to pack any food!  Of course there are lots of other restautants around town too as well as Walmart, Walgreens, etc.

Another great perk to sewing here is that Rosemary has everything you might need at any time, day or night; fabric of course, basting spray, batting, you get the picture!

This year I decided to take along a project that I started at our quilt designer retreat in November.

I made 7 of the blocks in Minnesota where I bought the book & kit. I pieced all day Thursday (un-pieced half the day on Friday) and finished the top Friday evening.

It’s “Peony Patch” from the book Summer Gatherings by Lisa Bongean & Carole Charles.  The finished size is 20″ x 24″.  It was designed with little leaves on every block, but after I got those appliqued on I didn’t like them!  It took me about 6 hours to remove them and re-sew the stem…  I love it now.  I’m trying to decide how to quilt it.  I’d like to give it to a professional, but it’s so small I’m embarrassed to send it out!

Next I made more of these; mini Dresden plates with my template.

I love using my Clover Mini Iron.

It gets super hot and presses the little petals very flat, plus it’s light-weight and doesn’t heat up the whole room while I’m pressing a million of these things.

Since these seams are pressed open, the mini iron tip can get right in there and press those flat too.

These are looking great with my Salt Air fabrics.

Love, love love them!

Can’t wait to show you how these are going together, but no photos ’til they’re done!

I’ve also got a new lap quilt just for little boys about finished…Nothing like a quilt retreat with all sewing, all the time to get my creative juices flowing!

Until next time,

Susan

New ideas, New Pattern Sample, Quick Little Projects

And on that trip I took this bag

It’s my “Pack Rat Sack” and I made it the day before we left on our trip.

There is a drawstring to close up the top,

and then a cute clasp,

an inside zipper for small items,

and best of all it folds up super small for travel.

I like this kind of bag to take to the beach (wish I were back there now…) and for shopping while we’re out and about; large capacity, but light-weight.

I see a pattern in its future.

Until next time,

Susan

My Life, New ideas, Quick Little Projects

A word for the year? How about two?

I have way too much to say and do to narrow my year down to one word!

I like to start the year off with a clean slate:

Since we put Christmas away over the weekend, I’ve been looking at this bare wall in our kitchen.  I’ve been in no hurry to decide what to put up.  The blank shelf has been relaxing in the sunshine we’ve been having here this week…you’d think it was spring here!

Then, little by little…

I added the pretty basket vase I picked up today, then the spools I picked up last week.

Then the non-seasonal quilt that I made testing a pattern of a friend…

Then some tweaking

I’ll do some more tweaking…rearranging of my clean slate and  before you know it, it will be 2013!

Does time seem to fly by as we get older, or is it just me?

Until next time,

Susan

Hot Tips, New ideas

Hot Tip Tuesday #25, reinstated, at least for now!

It has indeed been a while since I posted a hot tip for Tuesday hasn’t it?

It’s not that I don’t have any more hot tips, it’s just that I got busy with market, then I just plain had no time to think about it much less work at it, so my apologies and I hope you can appreciate this hot tip.

While getting ready for my post for the new Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Vol. 4 blog hop I realized I’ve never shown you how I cut multiple applique pieces at once.  I’m sure many of you already do this, but I’m always amazed at those that it has never occurred to, so…

When I have an applique piece that is used several times in a project and the pattern says to cut 4, I NEVER trace that piece 4 times then cut it out 4 times, no, no,no!  I’m much too lazy for that!

Look at the repeated flowers.

I don’t want to trace that same pink flower 4 times…

I determine how big the item is,

I trace the item 1 time,

calculate how big 4 would be,

fuse that much fabric,

trim fabric

peel off the paper backing,

cut the rectangles,

stack them up***********  VERY IMPORTANT:  Layer fabric to fusible web.  If you layer fusible web to fusible web and cut out, you will fuse the two layers together and you will NEVER get them apart. (Ask me how I know! You won’t make that mistake twice!)

Also make sure you pin the pattern right side to your fabric so you don’t accidentally reverse it.  With these flowers it will not matter, but with some designs it’s important.

pin together with template,

cut ONCE!

Voila!!!

4 pink flowers with cutting once!

I can usually cut 4-6 applique pieces if the design isn’t too intricate.  If I needed 8 of these same flowers I would have fused twice as much fabric, cut 4 more rectangles and cut out another flower (x4).

Even if each peice is not cut from the same fabric I use this technique.  Trace once, cut once, have 4-6 applique shapes.

If you need a shape and the reverse of the shape, like the bunny on this pattern, layer fabric to fabric then cut out. If you need 4 bunnies, do that twice since you can’t lay fusible web to fusible web.  It’s still cutting your time in half!

Now if you decide to make my table runner from the 100 Blocks magazine coming up next, you’ll have a way to cut your cutting time in half!

Until next time,

Susan