Giveaway · Travels

Happy Days and Giveaway

If I unrolled a jelly roll and placed the strips end to end, would I make it from my house to my friend Sherri’s house? Um, nope. There’s more to this story, but first, some tourist photos:

A tiny cave on the left, and some petroglyphs on the right. The Valley of Fire State Park is not a huge place, but we arrived about an hour before sundown, and enjoyed all the glowing red rocks. Visiting here led to Sherri’s house, which led to her handing me a jelly roll of her newest line so I could do a giveaway of this bright and cheery line of fabric. See? I connected all the dots! And now some more tourist photos:

Okay, we ate right through the peaches we bought at a fruit stand in Santa Clara (recommended by Sherri’s husband), and then bought more of them when we were in Northern Utah. Happily the border checkpoint didn’t take them away when we came home with them. And now…more tourist photos:

We live in area that doesn’t get fall color. Around January some leaves on the liquid amber trees might change colors but the rest of the trees stay green, or might turn brown and drop their leaves. So if we want to see color, we have to go north, and we hit it just right this year. Above is the view from the Mt. Nebo Loop, Utah.

Apparently heading down into Payson, the cows are all over grazing, but there were only about three cars we saw the whole time. It was lovely. The last photo, of the yellow aspens and the green pines is from Millcreek Canyon, near Salt Lake City, where we stayed (visiting relatives).

We had such “happy days” driving through such beautiful country, and above are the fabrics in her line (photos courtesy of Sherri, from her terrific blog A Quilting Life). We also had happy days in being able to meet my daughter and her family at Orson Gygi, a giant cookware place:

On the left is Barbara‘s article about color in Orson Gygi’s fall publication, and on the right is the cookie cutter wall. We also saw my son and his family, all of us enjoying dinner together that night. All the wee grand-toddlers of long ago are grown into teenagers!

Sherri is also a fabulous designer, and all of the above quilts were designed for this fabric line; patterns available at Fat Quarter Shop, or on Sherri’s ETSY Shop (all photos used with permission).

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UPDATE: Giveaway is closed. Thank you to all who entered!

So, to enter the giveaway for a jelly roll of Happy Days from Sherri and Chelsi, please leave a comment telling me of a recent happy day. Or days! Giveaway is limited to those who live in the USA, but please do leave a comment even if you are far away. We love to hear about happy days.

And now I leave you with one last photo, a typical Utah flower of a hollyhock. They were everywhere when I was a child living there. I found these right downtown one evening so had to take a photo: such old and dusty and cherished memories.

Thank you very much, Sherri. Please leave a comment to enter to win!

UPDATE: Giveaway is closed. Thank you to all who entered!

Giveaway · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt

Last of Summer Daze • 2021

If you were a child in some parts of the county, you would recognize the significance of this week: it’s the last week before school starts. Of course, so many now start much earlier, but my internal clock is primed to think “school starts the day after Labor Day,” so I have no guilt stitching on my Summer Snowcone.

But first!

There were two winners of the tape, as you positively charmed me with all your descriptions of your first sewing machines. So many of you also wrote stories about how you got them, and the first winner, Nancy of Patchwork Breeze, was one of those:

The first machine that was truly mine was a Kenmore 1774 model (the last 2 numbers tell you the year). [To buy it] I worked 2 summers at the hardware store 3 miles away (many days walking to work) for the wage of $1.25 per hour. It still is a workhorse! I can clean it out all by myself (no technician is really needed). My daughters have sewn on it, the 12-year-old across the road has used it. It has CAMs that are placed in the top to sew decorative designs. It is still treasured by me.

Cathy M., our second winner, also mentioned how she came to hers:

My first sewing machine was a Kenmore from Sears that I bought for about $200 in 1974. I was 16 and had saved up my babysitting money to buy it. I still have it but mostly use the Bernina I bought about 20 years ago with a bonus from my adult job.

While I decided to give out the first roll of tape, Shelley of NanaKaboodle graciously matched my giveaway and is the sponsor of the second roll. I have always appreciated her quick service and clean and high quality fabrics. She’s one of my favorite shops on ETSY, if you should need anything.

Back to Summer Snowcone: As is my usual, I print out dimmed copies of my quilt and then start doodling. I keep a file on my IG of samples I’ve liked, and start scrolling through them for ideas. For this quilt, I wanted it loose, not heavily quilted with lines and angles, as I envision it as a quilt to throw in the car for picnics and outings. The last thing I doodled–those kind of cloud shapes on the lower right — I decided looked like the top of a snow cone, so I went with it. This is one version of my pattern Sun and Sea, and I’m quite partial to the RWB fabrics in this, as you can see below:

A rare photo of me in Regular-not-Posed Life: closet door open, bins of thread on the guest room bed (where I keep the Sweet Sixteen quilting machine), and yes, me in my dorky gloves. I go back and forth between those and that stuff secretaries use on their hands–that pink sticky stuff. My husband took it because I matched my quilt. One should always dress to match their quilting, right?

Here’s a bit. It’s loopy, and I mean that in both definitions of the word.

Marcia C. has been sending me such happy pieces of mail, all containing her versions of my free SHINE blocks (found here). I’m quite in love with the one at the upper right with the fussy cut girls and the striped outer edges. If you make one of my patterns, either free on this blog, or from my pattern shop, please do send me an email with a photo. It brings a big smile to my face!

Lastly, here’s your end-of-summer tip off: This week, if you show your vaccination card, you get TWO Krispy Kreme doughnuts: one a heart-shape and one a circle. We had to do some driving to find one, as there’s not one near us. They were delicious and yes, we sweetened their coffers by purchasing a couple more; they made us remember the fascination that Dublin, Ireland has with donuts.

from here

Truly last thing: Superior Threads is having a sale on my favorite FMQuilting thread. It makes me look good in my quilting. Thought you’d want to know.

Happy Summer, Happy Quilting and most of all: Happy Donut-ing!

300 Quilts · Giveaway · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt · Quilt Finish

SeaDepths • Quilt Finish

SeaDepths
Quilt #254
33″ square
Made from Azulejos Pattern

Naturally, patterns emerge through repetition, and repetition yields up a type of discovery that reveals everything about itself, especially its sorry limits. (Jan Peacock)

I love this variation of my Azulejos pattern. I love the blues, aquas, the glints of yellow. I like where I made a mistake and put the wrong color in the triangle (you’ll never see it, but I like it).

But, I think I hit up upon my sorry limits, as Peacock says, in quilting this. It is the Month of the Broken Ankle, and something always seems to break in my mind when the body is goofy, and perhaps that’s why I just dove into quilting this without doing my usual due diligence of printing out the quilt, drawing all over it, like this (from another quilt):

A plan! Instead, I just went for it, wanting to get it ticked off the list and out of the To Be Quilted Pile, and yes Haste Makes Waste and all that, but I do still like SeaDepths. I just think that this time it hit its sorry limits with the quilter, that’s all.

In other news, Summer Snowcone has been pin-basted, and aren’t you impressed with that matching seam on the backing?

I purchased this fabric just because I am totally over the moon about it, but then…you know I love Sawtooth Blocks.

We grilled lettuce. It was good. That is all. (recipe) (Does this mean we are losing it? Hope not.)

I’m doing another Summer Book Giveaway, and these are the books:
1) Southern Quilts and Twisted (Kerr) (they go as one)
2) The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting (Walkers and Watson) (autographed)
3) The Quilt Design Coloring Workbook (Knauer)
4) Quilt with Tula and Angela (Pink and Walters) (autographed)

Since summer’s almost over, they’ll go in one big splat. Enter the name of the one you want, and slip it into the comments below, along with telling me the hottest summer day you ever had. I don’t care if you want two different ones; enter twice, and we’ll see what the Random Husband Winner Generator comes up with.

As far as hottest summer day, I have two: The first one was when I was pregnant with child #3, and we moved from California to upstate New York and the new house had no air conditioning, and it was during a heat wave. We finally bought one window unit and put it in the dining room (that has to be one of the reasons why we divorced later on) so the kids and I would gather there all afternoon and into the evening, mounds of toys and books and snacks under the dining room table while I lay there, so very pregnant and so very hot, so very sticky, humid, and miserable. (She was born mid-August.)

The second one was a July day spent in Montreal, Canada with the temperature climbing well above triple digits. That’s not necessarily the worst heat I’ve ever been in, but we were tourists and kept trying to go out and explore the city and see the sights while everyone else was in their right minds, and stayed in. About the third day, we gave up–going out only in the morning, coming home for the afternoon to the air-conditioned hotel, and heading back out at night, catching the bagpipers in the evening Mardi Gras Parade.

UPDATE: GIVEAWAY CLOSED. THANKS FOR ENTERING!
Leave your Hot Summer Day comment below!

Books · Giveaway

Book Reviews & Giveaway

The linking went like this: teaching at Surfside Guild –> looking at their website to get to know them –> finding their Block of the Month page –> jumping up and down because now I could make a Freddy Moran quilter lady block –> to making one –> hunting down a couple of Freddy Moran books (one in the bookcase in the family room, and the other one online).

This has a lot of Freddy’s style in it, from bright intense color to more bright intense color and how to play in that paintbox. I really enjoyed it.

I’m not finished reading this, but right off the bat, I have to tell you it’s like getting two books for the price of one, because it has both Freddy Moran’s and Gwen Marston’s philosophies, which make you wish you’d could have been a part of the conversation they are having in this collaboration book. I had to hunt for this online, but am so glad I did.

Seeing these guidelines was worth the price of the book. It answered for me that question I always had when I see a perfectly produced and designed quilt in a quilt show, but for some reason I just walk on to the one that is less perfect, but way more interesting (see #3, above).

I used to have this book, but I lent it out somewhere. I watched her lecture at QuiltConTogether and once again recognized what a genius she was in her designs and vision for our humble walking foot. So I bought another one.

And I purchased this one, which I hadn’t had before. The review on both of these books: a good idea to have in your bookcase. I have probably purchased way too many books over the years, but I tend to like books that can spark new ideas for me, or give me a new technique or vision on using tools or fabrics that I already have. So yes-absolutely to the collaborative Gwen/Freddy book. And yes-absolutely to both to Jacquie Gering’s books.

I like my books unsigned (it’s a Creative Writing thing–you don’t want to know) but one of my books arrived signed. I contacted Jacquie and she immediately sent out a new one, and said I could do a giveaway on this signed book. So….if you don’t mind having an “Elizabeth” in the front of your book, and you’d really like to have a Walk book (her first one), I’ll use the Random Husband Number Generator to choose someone.

Leave a comment telling me what your favorite part of Spring is: the flowers? the rain? the weather warming up? the promise of summer? the mud? the shifting to daylight savings time? (If you say this, I won’t pick you because I hate Daylight Savings Time: you’ve been warned.) Easter candy? Eating chocolate bunny ears? Easter? Easter dresses? (I think I’m in a rut here.) Mother’s Day? Your birthday?

[For those who need a definition: Spring begins sometime after Valentine’s Day, and ends when the hot days of summer blow in and school gets out.]

Okay, that’s enough blathering–time to go. Or, as Jacquie says, “Walk on!”

Leave a comment!

UPDATE: Comments closed now. The next post will update you on the giveaway.

300 Quilts · Giveaway · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt · Quilt Finish · Quilt Patterns

Pomegranates • Giveaway

Where does inspiration begin?

Does it start here? How about both places? Today is a pattern announcement, a quilt top done announcement and the best part: a giveaway!

My friend, Kenna Ogg of Madison Cottage Design, is launching her line of batiks from Banyan Batiks (made by Northcott) and asked me to help her share the pictures and flavors of her line of fabrics. And at the end of the post, be sure to enter to win a fat quarter stack of these beautiful fabrics, rich in the tones of fall and winter.

So when she sent them to me to dream up a quilt, I kept thinking about my friend Karen’s pomegranate tree, and how she was always so generous with the fruit:

Pomegranates come on in the fall and into winter, so the two ideas merged into one.

(Posed under a citrus bush)

I arranged the fabrics, trying to get a feel for the richness of the color, then one night drew up the quilt idea in my Affinity software, and a quilt pattern was on its way!

I drew up a pomegranate shape, adding the bit at the top (the calyx), then traced it onto fusing material, cutting out the center of the circle so the quilt wouldn’t be too stiff. I then cut around the outside and fused it down to a four-patch.

All are on! Now the borders.

It’s a fun way to show off the luscious tones of this line of batiks. I had a hard time photographing them in the night when I was working, so here’s a photo from Kenna:

This is what she’ll send the winner of the giveaway: Twenty Fat Quarters. Yes, you can make the Pomegranates quilt from that. But now you can also score a discount on the pattern, as I’m launching it at the same time. Head over to my pattern shop on PayHip, navigate to the pattern and for a 30% discount on this pattern enter the following code at checkout:

PomegranatesOPQuilt30

There are three places you can enter the giveaway:

The giveaway is now closed.
Congratulations to Esther, who wrote:
“Love the fabric and the pattern! Pomegranates and the pomegranate tree are beautiful. The tree and fruit provide habitat for birds. Maybe this will be the year I plant a tree or two, there are a number of varieties, some with pink arils and lighter rind that I think would make a nice combo with the standards. I think there are many references in the bible and poetry as to their beauty and symbolism, though right now I can’t pull one out of my memory. As far as harvesting the arils, I just “go for it” since I’m only cleaning one at a time. If I was ambitious, I’d make pomegranate jelly. I like to use the arils in a salad of winter greens, with slices of bosc pear and fuyu persimmon and a vinagrette.”

Here, on this blog (I’ll pick a winner on Thursday evening, and email the winner). OR, on my Instagram account. OR on Kenna’s Instagram account. And of course, you’ve figured out by now that if you enter all three places, that’s three times the chances. I will mail your name and address to Kenna and she’ll send them out. Good luck.

Leave me a comment below, telling me what you think is the easiest method to get the arils (the seeds) out of the pomemgranate: get on an old shirt and head out to the picnic table and just go for it, or submerge the fruit in a water bath, letting the arils sink to the bottom while the pith floats to the top. And of course, since I love your stories, any pomegranate story or memory you want to leave me will make me smile.

A red-stained juicy pomegranate smile!

Giveaway · Publications

Giveaway! Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns

The new edition of this classic — which every quilter should have on their desk — is a quilter’s dream come true.  It has clean illustrations of the blocks, as well as a depiction of the same blocks in full color.  I reach for my original version almost daily as I try to puzzle out a block, or dream up new combinations in making my quilts.  While I didn’t think Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns could be improved, I was wrong. This new version will make it easier to find interesting blocks to make, to research the history of our work, as well as to link us to our rich heritage of quilting. 

That blurb at the top is what I wrote for Electric Quilt, the publishers, when they contacted me earlier this fall. As long-time readers know, I’m an enthusiatic user of this book (my edition was published in 1993). When I need an idea for a baby quilt, I turn to the Nine-Patch section. When I am creating quilts for my classes, I peruse the more complicated sections, as well as the traditional Four-Patch. She has Wheels! She has Fans! She has uneven Nine-Patches! And the best part is that now it comes in color, AND in black and white, as you can see by the sample illustrations. That way the coloring can be suggested, or you can go hog-wild, coloring up your own blocks.

But the absolute best part (if there can be only one best part) is that now we can connect our blocks to those of those early quilters. We can identify them, linking all of us together with those women who drew their blocks out on paper, working their quilting in among their gardening, their laundry, the raising of their families, their teaching, their mending. Now you can use Barbara Brackman’s careful research to make your quilts, coupled with the updated and colorful version of this book. I am so excited!!

Here’s my True Story: while the bulk of my blocks in SHINE: The Circles Quilt come from a church in Slovenia, when I was just getting started on this idea, I turned to my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and found Feathered Star, block #3389. I made it, and when I visited that church, I was able to show the guard in the kiosk a photo of this block — “my art” is what I said — and he gave me permission to take more photos of the glorious art in that Serbian Orthodox Church. That quilt, which is still cooking along, had its genesis from this book, a block from around 1933, according to Brackman’s notes on its provenance. And one of you can win this book. Keep reading.

  • Electric Quilt, the publisher, is currently offering 30% off the book if customers “pre-order” it on their website by November 24 . I’m just telling you this, so that in case you are not the lucky winner, you can still have the opportunity to take advantage of the 30% pre-order discount. Details here:  https://electricquilt.com/pre-order-and-save/
  • EQ expects to start shipping the book December 1, 2020. Perfect for holiday giving. (And yes, I plan to have a Christmas holiday this year, and although more kilos may join the Covid kilos, it will still be worth it.)
  • If you want any other information about the book, they have general info at their website, such as FAQs, a blog post, and reviews (maybe you’ll see mine there?) Click to head there: https://electricquilt.com/online-shop/encyclopedia-of-pieced-quilt-patterns/

Here’s the official details:

  • Enter to win a copy here, or pre-order the book through November 24th at ElectricQuilt.com.
  • Giveaway winner will receive one copy of the book shipped in December, 2020.
  • The Electric Quilt Company will ship to U.S. addresses for free, others will have the option to pay for shipping costs, so yes, international readers you can enter (but you’ll just have to pay for shipping–they will contact you).
  • The book will be shipped directly from Electric Quilt. I’ll forward them your info after contacting the winner by email.
  • You can also enter on my Instagram Account @occasionalpiecequilt It’s a slightly different set of guidelines; pay attention, so you’ll be in the running.

Okay, gushing over! Get ready, get set, go! I’ll choose the winner on All Saints Day (November 1st) because I know you’ll be too busy on Halloween to pay attention.

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED!

Leave me a comment below telling me what you want for Christmas. Get creative, get close to the heart, get wild, or shoot for the stars.