On a Foggy Morning

On a Foggy Morning

We’re enjoying a rain-free, kinda sunny morning.  Any sunshine in late fall or winter is a big deal here.  I took this picture this morning outside my studio.

It was really foggy earlier, leaving little droplets everywhere.  We haven’t had many spiders this year so this web was a beautiful surprise.

In other news, we’ve restarted our monthly newsletter.  It will include reviews of quilting books that we’ve found inspirational and educational.  We’ll also include some practical information and photos for quilting on your home machine.  It’s actually really easy to sign up for the newsletter.  Just look to the right of this post for spaces for your name and email address.  If you have questions, just let us know at  motheronabroomstick@gmail.com

This week I’ll be putting out and hanging up my Christmas quilts.  The newest addition to the Christmas collection is “Snapshots: Christmas.”  How quickly it gets quilted is dependent upon how much wall replacement happens in my studio.  Barb’s studio space will definitely be affected.  The guys who are working on it are great.  It’s the noise that I find really distracting and headache inducing.  There is one really loud and whiny power tool that has led me to understand where head bangers come from.

Are you making gifts this year?  If so, we’d love to see pictures and hear about  your projects.  You can email us or post on our Facebook page.  If you decorate with quilts, we love to see those, too.

This little wool project was from a pattern I bought some years ago at the Northwest Quilting Expo.  I just love it and it’s so me, especially when I’ve bought a bunch of fabric.  This is the perfect time of year to cozy up to the fire and do some relaxing handwork.

With winter fast approaching, I always think we need some color to offset the brown of sleeping trees and the grays of fog and storm clouds.  With that in mind, our next pattern will look very much like this:

I like it for a wall hanging or maybe a winter baby.  This pattern will be ready by mid-December so you can add some sparkle to your January.

Have a great week.  Give yourself a break and quilt for fun!

Candy

 

Life and Quilts

Life and Quilts

As the clouds roll in and the nights get chilly, winter can’t be far away.  While winter is officially about six weeks out, sweaters and boots are already in the rotation.  Right now, some trees are still full of yellowing leaves, some are looking sparse and others are already bare.  It’s that weird in-between time when sun, rain, warmer temps and a cold wind can all happen on the same day.  So layer up kids, ’cause anything could happen.

I’m facing an interesting challenge right at the moment.  It seems that one wall of the house needs serious work due to some leakage and that includes one wall of the studio.  In order to get that done, everything in the studio had to be 4-5 feet from that wall.

What this means is that I’m now sewing in a seriously confined space.  It forces me to be tidier and (somewhat) cool with a less efficient set-up.

If the above picture makes you cringe, you’re in good company.

It also means that things must be folded and put away as I go, which is not my usual MO.  I tend to just toss things on a chair or the floor until a project is finished.  That habit is a no-go in the current situation.  It also is making me rethink how I want to change things up as I get the rest of my space back in three or four weeks.  There is also lots of pounding and sawing going on right outside my window.  Luckily, this doesn’t really bother me.  It’s just life happening.

I’m making a quilt for a dear friend who I worked with for 15 years.  I decided to go through my files of saved pictures and patterns from quilting magazines and found the perfect thing right away.  I already had some of the perfect fabrics and had to fill in a few colors.  I cut the pieces as noted in the directions and as I’m sewing the pieces together, I realize that the 34 cut pieces of blue really need to be 68 cut pieces of blue.  Luckily, I always buy a little more fabric than the pattern calls for so it’ll be okay.  The truth is that whatever magazine this came from probably published a correction the following month.  The other truth is that I tear stuff out and file it and maybe come back to it years later (in this case 12 years later).  So here’s the lesson:  Read through the pattern and cutting directions.  If the numbers or fabric amounts don’t seem right, refigure.  Also, a little extra fabric is cheaper than going back to the store or hunting down more online.  I understand that magazines are on deadlines and mistakes can slip through the cracks.  Our challenge is to figure out a way around the issues.

 

If I make 17 of these blocks, I need 68 blue pieces.  Got lucky this time.  Next time I’ll look closer at the numbers in the pattern.  The doggies in the center are from a Laurel Burch collection from some years ago.  I have learned over the years that if I find some really special fabric that I totally love but don’t know how I’ll use, buy a bunch!

Feeling a time crunch coming on before the holidays?  Try something smaller and non-anxiety inducing.  These patterns are on special this month for 20% off.

Setting an Autum Table

Setting an Autumn Table

 

 

 

Santa Says Hi

 

We’re bringing the newsletter back after a long vacation.  Sign up on our Home page to get more quilting information, book reviews and tips.  Also, we’d love to hear from you, so email us at  motheronabroomstick@gmail.com

Quilt for FUN!

Candy

 

 

Halloweening in the Studio

Halloweening in the Studio

Here in the Northwest, fall is at its most colorful.  The reds and oranges seem especially bright this year.  Or maybe it’s my imagination as I try to take it all in before all the leaves fall and we head into the gray and dark green months of winter.

Brightly colored trees were the only colorful thing on this dark and rainy day.

 

Maybe that’s why many of my quilts are made with the bold colors of fall.  Think deep and rich colors.

                  

 

 

Harrys Halloween

Mother’s Halloween

 

There’s still time to make a quilt in fall hues.

A friend brought me this panel, knowing I would get a kick out of it.  I’m not Mother on a Broomstick for nothing.  It’s called The Queen of ‘Ween and is right up my alley.

 Not only is it very cute, but it gives me an opportunity to practice my free motion quilting.  Since the panel design doesn’t need any additional activity, I’m using matching thread and following lines that are already printed.

I have several tops waiting to be quilted and this is the perfect way to get in the rhythm after a couple of months of piecing (also some traveling, and Halloweening and generally goofing around).  Although it’s hard to show it in a picture, this kind of quilting mostly adds depth to the printed picture.

Come visit our Shop page.  We have lots of fun designs to choose from.

Enjoy the beauty of fall and we’ll try not to mildew.  Seriously, we may have 4 inches of rain today!

Quilt for Fun

Candy

 

Coming Home

Coming Home

Sweet Husband and I just got home from a two-week trip to Eastern Europe.  We had a marvelous time and saw some sights I couldn’t have imagined.  Walked on a lot of cobblestones and took lots of pictures.  Yesterday was a 24 hour trip home.  If nothing I write this morning makes sense, you’ll know why.

We learned lots of history and have a new appreciation for those who’ve had a really hard time over the centuries and realize how fortunate we are to live where and when we do.

Fall really happened while we were gone.  The veggies are about done and I have some catch-up work to do.  We’ll be eating some fried green tomatoes.  Also, grocery shopping.  Am I beginning to wander?

I can hardly wait to get back to the sewing machine.  I get a little scary when I don’t get enough time with my fabric!

AUTUMN LEAVES

Remember this one?  It’s fun in both fall and Halloween fabrics.  Look for it on our Shopping page.

I’ll check back in when my brain is functioning in this time zone.

Keep quilting!

Candy

 

 

Thinking Ahead

Thinking Ahead

After some cool and rainy weather, our usual fall is back.  We still have leaves on the trees (at least for a while) and the mums are about to bloom.  The tomatoes didn’t come up to expectations, but we’ll have some green ones to fry up.  If you’ve heard the old phrase about looking like (or feeling like) the last rose of summer, you likely have a good idea what my once lovely potted flowers look like.  In a couple of weeks, decorating for Halloween will be in full swing.  I have something new for the front yard that I’m dying to try out.

Toby and Ella are not really ready for cooler weather.  The problem is not the temperature outside on these chilly mornings, but having the door  closed so they can’t be both inside and out.  Here they are with cousin Finn, a young labradoodle,  who came for a visit with my son and daughter-in-law.  He’s such a cute little guy and everyone gets along.

Somebody mentioned on Facebook that there were only 92 days until Christmas.  And we wonder why people get stressed.  Barb tells me there are some Christmas trees up in the mall.  Seriously?  Internet gift shopping, here I come. So this is my one and only very early reminder.  Here are some pictures of our patterns that were designed with Christmas in mind.

“Santa Says Hi”

 

This is “Starshine Runner” in a different color combo than the one on the Shopping Page.  Just add or subtract blocks to fit your table. If you’re looking for a larger quilt, make the blocks bigger and go for a bigger project with same blocks.

Now, let’s get those imaginations in gear.  This is “Snapshots” suing some leftover Laurel Burch prints.  I’ll post again when it’s quilted .

And for a quick one, how about “Falling for Halloween” in Christmas fabrics.

Fall Into Halloween

This one would be REALLY easy if you have a Christmas or winter stripe.

 

Mother Goes Mod

How about “Mother Goes Mod” with a Holiday layer cake?

 

I just bet you have some Christmas, Holiday, or Winter fabrics that would work in these or other patterns.  Make them larger or smaller or out of snuggly flannel for the little ones.  We (especially Barb) often use patterns as just a jumping off place.  And don’t forget, we’d love to see what you make out of our patterns.

I’m also seeing some Thanksgiving themed fabrics.  There’s time for a runner or some placemats.

Don’t think that I’m giving Halloween short shrift this year.  It’s me, remember?  Those fabrics are about to go on sale!

For those of you in the Portland, OR area (sorry Portland, ME), the Quilting Expo is coming up this weekend and in a moment of shameless self-promotion, let me ask you to check out the quilts of Friends on the Edge.  It’s a collaboration between two small quilt groups and we had so much fun making our quilts.  I’m a huge fan of small quilt groups as we not only challenge each other and improve our skills and test our imaginations, but build the sweetest friendships.  The show is at the Portland Expo Center on September 28,29, and 30.  There will be lots of quilts and vendors.  Wear sensible shoes.

And don’t forget to quilt for fun!

Candy

 

And Then It Was Fall

And Then It Was Fall

Somehow it got to be mid September.  Apparently I wasn’t looking when that happened.  We’re looking at the first serious rain since about the end of June and I’m actually happy about it.  (Actually it rained a bit last Saturday when we went to the OSU football game, which was unexpected since it was 80 and sunny when we left the house.)  Usually I whine through the rainy season and dance through the sunny parts.  This year we’ve had lots of big and scary wildfires in Oregon and a good dump of rain would be marvelous.  Yesterday was one of the smokiest we’ve had and this whole smoke thing gets old pretty fast.  My son and daughter-in-law visited for about 10 days and we wanted to show off the beautiful view from  Mt. Hood.  The picture below was not what we had in mind.  Maybe next time.

Did get this the next day, in Central Oregon.  Now that’s more of what we had in mind.

 

I was gifted a bowl of tomatoes from a friend’s yard and since my peppers did really well this year, I got some salsa canned.

My tomatoes (except for the little ones) are just ripening now.  Not my best year.  For once, I actually wrote down what kind of tomatoes I planted where and will use that information to avoid the breed that produced 5 tomatoes.  That one’s so off the list for next  year.

I’m going to do a little research this week to find out how to help fellow quilters in Southern Texas and Florida.  I can only imagine how lost they must be feeling.  My studio is my happy place when life dumps some lemons on me.  If you know of something geared toward helping quilters, please let me know so I can pass it on.  The other issue that hasn’t gotten much press is the wildfires in Montana.  Again, looking for a way to help.

I also actually sat at the sewing machine here and there in the last couple of weeks.  My usually reliable machine spent some time in the shop but is back and sounding better than ever.  I made a few inroads into the Jaqueline DeJonge quilt which is getting put aside for a bit while I work on a block for my small quilt group round robin.

 

I’ll post pictures when we finish next spring.  The quilts stay a secret from the person who started it until the whole process is finished.  Then each person gets the center they made with added borders from each person in the group.  We did this the year we formed the group and decided to revisit it because it was so much fun.

I also put the finishing touches on this and hung it up even though it’s a bit early.

I wish I could tell you that this was original, but it was a pattern from a book I bought online.  I started doing decorative painting in 1975.  It’s been kind of an on and off thing.  I learned with oil paint and it got shelved when the kids were little.  I will tell you, however, that some of my favorite laughing times were in tole painting classes.  One was taught evenings in the front of a craft and floral shop.  The raucous laughter got us moved to the back of the store.  Good times!

So basically, I’ve been running around doing a bit of this and a bit of that.  Writing this down makes realize how scattered I’ve been.

I’m putting up fall decor and it reminds me, and now you, that it’s time to get on those fall and Halloween projects.  Actually it’s probably time to start Christmas.  These Halloween quilt patterns will be on special until October 10.

 

                                                                                                                  Snapshot

Starshine Runner                                                                                                                                        

 

Harrys Halloween

                  Harrys Halloween

Colors of Fall

Go to our shopping page to order these and other Fall and Halloween inspired patterns.

As always, Quilt for Fun and enjoy the season.

Candy

When Life Gets in the Way

When Life Gets in the Way

The saying goes, “The best laid plans of mice and men . . .”  This is especially true when I think I have a few days in a row to quilt.  Then my sewing machine goes back to the shop.  Third time’s a charm.  (I’ve borrowed Barb’s machine, which is identical to mine, but it’s just not the same.)  Or when the pharmacy didn’t get the message and I have to go back.  There’s almost always a load to go in the washer or I forgot something at the grocery store or the dust is becoming measurable and I have to do something about it.  We spent a few days at my mom’s last week, taking care of old-house issues.  It’s the little things that throw our plans out of whack.

I have been working on a Be Colourful quilt, which as I surely have mentioned before, is going to take a while.  I’m all the way up to part B.

This project is taking some organizing tools I don’t generally use.  There are 24 bright batiks in the kit, so keeping them in order is actually a thing,

Look at the baskets, not the crazy in the background!  I’ve found that I can use a sharpie to put numbers on flower-head pins which helps me quite a lot.  And any help is good help.

I have a non-quilting question that I hope someone can answer.  My salsa garden is not as coordinated as one would hope.  The tomatoes aren’t ready yet, but the Anaheim Peppers, Banana Peppers and Jalapeños are going crazy.  What does one do with way more peppers than one needs?  I’ve chopped and frozen some, but they just keep coming!  Any help would be SO appreciated.

And speaking of crazy, the bumblebees are crazy about my California poppies.  They’re too busy to bother us and they’re fun to watch. If I could harness that energy . . .

We blew off Monday morning watching the eclipse.  We had only 98% totality.  Barb drove south a few miles to get the whole experience.  I must say that an eclipse is a little creepy, but very cool.  Apparently the worst part was the traffic afterwards that took on nightmare proportions.  Three hours for a drive that normally takes 20 minutes is more than frustrating.

I’m finding it hard to deal with the fact that summer is almost over.  Feels like it just started.  Although it’s cool and cloudy today, it’s supposed to by 98 by Monday, so naturally, school starts on Tuesday.  I remember the feeling so well.  Who would my teacher be and who would be in my room.  My grade school class was fairly large and we were divided into two classrooms.  We didn’t find out until we got there on the first day of school who our teacher was.  It was a bit stressful.  By high school, I looked forward to all the activities and worried less about the teachers and more about what to wear and how much fun the football games would be.  Somehow, I survived it all.

The “Autumn Sunset” quilt pattern is on sale for a few more days.  The background block is easy so you can concentrate on the changing colors.  It was fun to do and we hope you’ll enjoy it, too.  You can get the pattern by going to our Shopping page.

Have you started your fall projects yet? Thinking of Christmas and other Holiday projects?  No pressure.

Here’s wishing you a happy and safe end-of-summer.

Quilt for fun!

Candy

 

 

Is It Dog Days Yet?

Is It Dog Days Yet?

It’s hard to believe that it’s already August.  Now that we’ve survived the great Northwest Heatwave, we are enjoying low 90’s and smoky  weather – warmer than average and cooler than last week   I’m not complaining, mostly because I whined all winter about how cold and snowy and rainy it was.  The only upside of the smoke is the colorful sunrises and sunsets it makes.

I’ve been dividing my hot afternoons between quilting “Snapshots,” piecing a Jacqueline de Jonge kit called “Enchanting Stars,” and painting a decoration for Halloween.

“Snapshots” won’t have fancy quilting as it would just disappear.  It just got kind of big so will take a bit of time to quilt.

I bought the “Enchanting Stars” kit when I went to the Quilt Show in Houston a couple (or was it three?) years ago.  When I got home and opened the kit and got a look at the instruction book, I kind of panicked and put it away.  Now that my calmer self is in charge (for the moment) I’m starting to cut and piece.  The trick is not to try to take it all in at once, but to go step by step and not hurry.  This is what I’ve done so far.

This is going to take a while, and I’m enjoying it.

Finally, I’ve spent time in my cool, cool basement working on this project.  It’s not quite finished, but you get the idea.

I’ve been doing decorative painting activities off and on for about 40 years and while I haven’t done original designs, I find it calming to work on projects like this.

Since the begonias live in the shade, they did pretty well in the heat.  One of them makes flowers that look like this.

I’d love to figure out how to piece a thing like this.  Maybe painting it on fabric would be the way to go.

The summer squashes, cucumbers and peppers are doing great.  The tomatoes are taking their sweet time.  Looks like the “farmette” will be active well into fall.  Naturally, the salsa garden ingredients ripen at different times.  The peppers will have to be chopped and frozen since I already have a bunch.

We’re only about ten days away from the solar eclipse.  Oregon is getting ready for a pretty big influx of sky watchers.  The total eclipse will be visible about 40 miles south of here for about two minutes.  Sweet Husband and I are probably going to sit on our front porch and make do with a not-quite-total eclipse.  I’ve only seen one before and it was a bit eerie and very cool.

I’m re-dedicating myself to a regular newsletter.  Among the things we’ll be talking about are tools ( I love gadgets and sometimes I actually use ’em), and the books, magazines, and techniques that I’m finding inspiring or helpful. Because the newsletter is emailed, you have to sign up for it.  Nobody wants unasked for email less than I.  It’s easy and free to sign up at the top right corner of this blog.

This quilt is one I just love for fall.  It’s actually easy to put together.  It’s on sale for the rest of August, so check it out on the shopping page.

And the dog days?  Apparently it has less to do with an actual dog, like Ella, peeking around the corner, below, than it does with the constellation Canis Major and the star Sirius, which marks his nose.  For our canines, late summer is more about laying around in air conditioning.  Also participating in the neighborhood twilight bark.  The dog friends are actually kind of a gossipy bunch.

 

Stay cool and keep quilting for fun!

Candy

 

Deeply Into Summer

Deeply Into Summer

I walked into one of my favorite fabric stores today and right up front and center, what should I see?  Christmas Fabric.  And lots of it.  I’m not ready!  I get it.  If one is going to create some fabulous projects for Christmas (and I mean for 2017), one should probably start now.  I know that Christmas in July is a thing; it’s just not mine.  It kind of reminds me of back-to-school supplies on July 6 in the variety stores.  It’s just too soon.  There’s a fine line between WAY too early and a day late and a dollar short.

It did remind me, however, that it’s time to start Fall and Halloween projects.  The new fabric’s been out for weeks and I still have about a million yards from years gone by.  As I’ve said before, (at least I think so; okay, I’m pretty sure) the biggest problem with Fall and Halloween fabrics is that the prints are so cute, one (me) doesn’t want to cut them up into tiny pieces.  I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.  So, how about this?

The picture blocks finish at 5 X 7 inches, so it’s possible to use up some  smallish scraps of fun fabric.  It’s also layer cake friendly.  I’ve done some repeats on the quilt above, but if you stay in a somewhat limited palette, you could make all the pictures different.

And yes, it would be great with Christmas prints for the make-way-ahead crowd.

The plan is to have the pattern posted by Tuesday, August 1.

Today, I’ll pick my first tomatoes of the year.  The Sweet Million plant is really going to town.  There’s nothing like meaty, sweet tomatoes from your own yard.  Or Farmer’s Market tomatoes, fresh from someone else’s farm.

 

This is one of the top reasons I love summer.  Also, warm evenings, bare legs, the smell of newly cut hay, and fresh fruit.

So what’s on your quilting list for the week or the month?  Comment on the post, send us an email, include a picture.  We’d love to know what others are working on.  Share us with your quilting friends.  And, of course, keep quilting for fun.

Candy

 

Summer Quilting

Summer Quilting

Sunny days and warm evenings; what more could one want?  Add some quilting time and it sounds pretty perfect.  I can be in the studio during the heat of the day and enjoy relaxing time when it cools down in the evening.  I got a good mix of lobelia and nasturtiums  in the window boxes and so far the pots on the deck are holding up.  I even have a few tomatoes (still green) on the vines.  So, yes, it’s summer and I love it.

Our week in Sisters was both colorful and fun.  I took a one-day class with Laura Wasilowski.  We used Laura’s hand-dyed fabric and fused scraps and I came up with this:

 

The idea was to have no pattern, just an idea, some fused fabric and a pair of sharp scissors.  I’ve added a bit of embroidery for flower centers and leaf vein and will stitch a bit on the vase.  The oval was fused and then I used a decorative stitch around it with my machine.  My Pfaff has a whole bunch of stitches I haven’t used and I’m working on trying some out. This provided a nice finish to a really imperfect oval.  I’ll show it again when I’m finished with it.

I spent another two days with June Jaeger learning to paint on fabric with ink.  June is a wonderful artist and I enjoyed myself thoroughly.  I started with this photo I took about five years ago of a peach-colored pansy.



And here’s the one I painted.

The plan is to appliqué it to some dark blue/purple fabric.  I can’t wait to try this on some other subjects.

Barb spent two days dyeing and a day making tote bags.  When she comes up for air after catching up at work, I’ll have her post pictures.

I just had a fun idea for a Halloween project.  As soon as I work it out, I’ll post it and get right on a pattern.

I’m close to finishing the top of a quilt that’s been “in progress” for five or six years.  It’s not a typo.  YEARS!  There was a lot of embroidery and a whole lot of distractions.  Now that I’m motivated to finish, I’m going for it.  Because the top has a lot going on and I don’t want to detract from that, the quilting will be simple.  Well, as simple as quilting a big project ever is.

 

Enjoy the summer and don’t forget to Quilt For Fun!

Also, share us with your quilting friends.

Candy