Tuesday, August 26

Doing the Happy Dance!

I have some happy and exciting news to share!  The American Quilter’s Society is going to publish a book I have been working on!  Yes, I know:  Aaaacckkk!   Hee hee.  The book is about a new way to do machine sewn, raw edge applique.  For now, the working title is “Pleasin’ Easy Applique – A New Way to Applique”.

Last summer I made a small quilt for my friend Lynn and to get the effect I wanted, I came up with a new technique. I can’t tell you what it is of course, but I will say that it is really amazing and opens up a lot of new possibilities for quilters and fiber artists alike.  

I am like a lot of you, in that I don’t always follow the rules or stick with patterns and directions, but like to fool around and have fun experimenting.  That’s how I discovered my new method – while goofing around and making a big mess.

So of course I started coming up with fun projects that used my new technique.  Before I knew it, I was well on my way to writing a book.  It’s been almost a year of slow but steady work.  

In July, I sent my book proposal and two projects to the American Quilter's Society.  I hoped they would like the projects and my idea... and they did!  Elaine Brelsford, the AQS’ Executive Book Editor called and spoke with my husband Jim to give us the thrilling news.  (Jim was pretty happy to be my "ears": he helps me with phone conversations, since I am hearing impaired.) Elaine said that she saved my proposal for last in the editorial meeting because she knew they would “Love, Love, Love” it!  Wow – I was on cloud nine when he told me that part.

So here we are!  My book completion deadline is November 15th, so please wish me luck!  I am, by turns, giddy and freaked out. These two gifs sum up how I feel very well:

Sunday, August 17

The Littlest Lone Star Blocks

This is a very tiny Lone Star, or Prairie Star, block.  The finished block is only five inches square.

Little Lone Star - Please don't mind the dog fur.  ;)
It is paper pieced!  Can you believe that?  You could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw the tiny Lone Stars in this book:  
"Little Lone Star Quilts": Sew Perfect Points Every Time, Exciting New Paper-Piecing Techniques by Lorraine Olsen  She came up with a brilliant way to piece the smallest Lone Stars you've probably ever seen.  The stars are really fun to do and they are like cookies: you can't make just one.   I've made six so far!  When I get time, I'd like to try one in feminine florals...and then one in 30's fabrics...and then one in...  hee hee.  

I made this star into a pillow for my son's best friend when he joined the Marine Corps.  It was a very emotional time to see him go.  He is doing great though!  

My friend Dawn, sewnsewer2 on The Quilting Board, embroidered the words for me.  To give you an idea of how small the star is: that is pea gravel that the pillow cover is resting on in the photo below.  

I have to add this to my post: There is a common thread of "I couldn't do something like this." running through your wonderful comments.  But here is the really exciting part about it... it is Lorraine Olsen's amazing paper piecing and folding technique technique that makes this possible.  Anyone who can sew along a printed line and manage the inset corners and sides can do this!  The inset part worried me the most, but the author's directions were wonderful.  So can you do this?  Yes, you can!

Also, some of you have said you would love to see the other Lone Stars.  Four of them help make up a very special quilt that I am saving to post about when we get closer to Veterans' Day.

Patriotic Prairie Star Pillow
Do you have a fascination for miniature quilting?  I just love seeing what people can do in miniature!     

Gina, The Occasional Quilter made her second mini lone star and it is a Beauty, so go take a peek!

Friday, August 8

Olive's Garden

This is Olive, bundled up in Kaitie's Kaffe quilt.  She looks very comfortable and deep in thought, in her own little Zen garden, doesn't she?  Olive is my daughter Kaitie's dog, adopted as a rescue four years ago.  She is the smartest and most loyal and wonderful dog anyone could wish for, but was deserted by two of her families and left to live in a chicken wire cage for somewhere around a year. For Kaitie and Olive, it was quite literally Love at First Sight.  Now, wherever Olive goes, children pet her and adults ooh and ahh.  She is friendly and polite to everyone and a true canine sweetheart!  She is also our granddog, so I like to brag.     

You can see Kaitie's quilt, sans doggie here:  
Definitely Not De-Kaffe!

Kaitie & Olive
Olive, having a frolic in the leaves

So... why a post with our beautiful Olive in a quilt?  Well... There is a great Link Party running over at Jacque's Lily Pad Quilting called the Pets on Quilts Show. You can enter your own photo of a pet on, or in, a quilt.  There are also categories for pet themed quilts.  Prizes are being awarded too!  There are a lot of wonderful pictures - it's fun to see what people are sharing -  so click on the link below, go take a peek, and leave some comment love!

And while you're here, Olive would like to get a Woof! Woof! Too...
Thanks for Visiting!  - Lara