|Last Updated: 05/03/03||
Happy New Year!!!
My New Year's Resolution: To finish this wall hanging this year!! There! I'm now committed to do so. You are my witnesses.
Seriously, I enjoyed making this wall hanging from a free block of the month pattern by Dana Jones posted on the Quilt Index. Com website this past year. I used Christmas reds/greens/blues/golds and am now in the process of doing the hand quilting myself. When all the quilting is done, I'm going to "BEAD IT TO DEATH". Wherever I feel the urge, I'll put a bead, or sequin, or button there. Got inspired after seeing Nancy Eha on a quilting show. I've done a little beadwork some time ago, and thought this would be a good one to get it out of my system on. Heaven knows I've got an enormous stash of supplies for it. It will probably weigh a ton when finished. You can see Nancy's work on her website at http://www.beadcreative.com. Click on her gallery and be patient while the pictures load.
Speaking of websites, I've come across some REALLY NEAT sites recently. I hope they keep it online a while, but the Whitehouse has a holiday 360° room tour that will knock your socks off. Kinda' eerie though, kept expecting someone to sneak up behind me. Ami Simms mentioned this one in her newsletter as well. Go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/holiday and click on the 360° tour. Select a room (I especially enjoyed the Center Halls) and after it loads, click on the little round arrow buttons in the center of the picture and you can move around the room and up & down and in & out, don't get dizzy!
Another useful page I've found is on Terry Crawford's Quilting with a Passion site. Her page with the calculators is great for design work. You can get the length of any diagonal on any square block, yardage calculators, etc., just by typing in your measurements. Click on the link above. She also has a treasure trove of other "quilty" pages.
Another favorite place to spend time online is at Webshots. They have thousands of photos to use as wallpaper on your desktop. I have about 20 or 30 set on my desktop to change each day, and set as a screensaver that changes quilt pictures every minute at random. Just go to their site and search for quilts (or any other subject you enjoy) and you won't be disappointed.
Anytime you need inspiration, spend some time at the Smithsonian site. I love to browse through the historical quilts. Here's the link: http://americanhistory.si.edu/quilts/
For a really "quaint" excursion, try the Lancaster General Store at: http://www.lancogen.com/ . They have quite a variety of interesting "old order" (and new) items reasonably priced, from quilts to homemade doggy treats. This definitely is a "no frills" site, but I think you'll find it enjoyable.
Interesting note: Did you know you will get 674,000 results if you search on Google for "quilts"; 474,000 if you search for "quilting"; and 75,000 for "quilting patterns"? This is definitely a "quilt-eat-quilt" business to be in online. This is great news for you, the consumer, though. What a variety of sources on the net! It also makes it that much harder for your local quilt shop to sustain itself with so much available online. Nothing can replace the personal touch of your favorite local shop. It is a real struggle for them to keep alive, unless they have a "sugar daddy" sponsor to help them financially. Most of them have to rely on their classes to bring in the majority of income. Fabric & books alone won't cut it. (Pardon the pun). Anytime I visit any quilt shop, anywhere, I won't leave without buying at least 2 items. A lot of people go in just to look around and will spend an hour looking at pattern books and fabric, then walk out without buying so much as a thimble. And also, in the same way, a LOT of people go to our site only for the free patterns. So maybe I made you feel guilty, huh? Just stating facts.
Anytime you need to "sort" through all the quilting sites, go to those who already have done that for you. There are some good quilt indexes online. I personally recommend Quilt Index. Com and Quilts Quilts Quilts. Com. They have listings by category or locale or by whatever topic you need. That's their job.
This month, January, is the Quilter's Mall Crawl at Quilt Index. Com. This is gonna' be fun! You should check out all the prizes on this one! It's a good way to get acquainted with all the quilty sites on the web. The idea is to check out a site on the list, find the location of a certain block (kinda' like a scavenger hunt for quilt blocks). Find the blocks on the web and you get a chance at all sorts of great prizes, like sewing machines, gift certificates, on & on. We personally are contributing a prize of a wall hanging quilt top (Easy Eights) already made and ready to quilt. You have to be registered, though. So check it out!!
I also have registered myself for the FabShopHop crawl, too. I'm hoping to win something, anything. I sure could use a new sewing machine. I'm prepared to do a lot of surfing in my pajamas this month. I could spend the whole month in my jammies! I could quilt in the morning, take a nap in the afternoon, surf the web at night. Now if I can find something similar to occupy my husband.......hmmmmmm......
APPLIQUÉ PATTERNS: Finally figured out the logistics for online free block of the month patterns using applique method. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but believe me, it is. Accuracy of size is a huge problem online, unless you utilize Adobe Acrobat or some other downloading gizmo. I try to avoid this at all costs because, simply, it annoys me to have to tell people to go somewhere and get the program. Even if it is easy & free, I just want to see something, and print it. I'm part of this "instant" generation, I guess. Anyway, I have figured this out on my own, as long as it's no larger than a 6" or 7" block, I can get the design gif to print out accurately, I hope. This system requires that your resolution setting be at 800 x 600 to print properly, don't forget. If you are a Windows, MS Word user, or any word processing program that has ruled margin guides, it's a cinch to print a pattern to accurate size. All you have to do is find the pattern picture you want (girls, be careful of copyright rules here; don't be copying patterns that are someone's design property without permission--I mean it!), then do a right click "save picture as" and don't forget where you saved it. Then insert it in your word program and adjust the picture to fit the ruled guide, of course not exceeding 8" the size of the paper width, and simply print. If you have any problems with my calendar blocks, perhaps you can utilize this method to get accuracy.
Anyway-----Calendar Blocks is this month's free block-of-the-month project, since this is the start of a new year. You'll find January's block this month is, appropriately, a snowman. And, of course, you can buy the entire set on the pattern page now, if you wish. You can use any appliqué method you choose to make the block.
My thoughts are to make a potholder for each month of the year. It's always a good idea to remember to wash your potholders at least once a month anyway. Why not make a new one for each month and throw the old one in the washer for next year. You could use washable wool, felt, or cotton. Maybe use a buttonhole stitch on the edges. Just fuse down. I thought the other day, what about using store-bought potholders and appliqué the figure on them with fusible web and use the buttonhole stitch? Add some details with markers or paint. What could be quicker or easier?
And, back by popular demand, Granny has a new tip of the month for you. Don't miss it!
By the way, we have had so many requests for automatic subscribing to this newsletter and the tip of the month, that I thought I should explain our policy. We decided at the outset not to send out automatic mailings because we feel our customers would not visit our site as often, and we don't want to get tied down to keeping track of subscribers and unsubscribers, etc. We're basically lazy. There, at least I'm honest about it, huh? I know when I get my newsletters that I subscribe to, I put off visiting the site until I have time to browse, and eventually forget to do that. Therefore, we feel it would be best marketing policy not to make it too easy for you. Crass commercialism. All you have to do is visit our site on the 1st of each month, ALWAYS on the 1st of each month, for the updated newsletter and tip of the month. And if there's anything in the newsletter you find you want to click to, you're already there. As far as Granny's advice is concerned, her advice occurs whenever she gets a question to answer. So, just add us to your favorites list, and check us out on the 1st, ok?
May you always have a quilt in the hoop, I try to.
December 31, 2001
August, 2001- Premiere Issue: Explanation of Website Categories, Picture of Author
September, 200l - Eden Mennonite Sewing Society, Oklahoma MCC Relief Sale Link, New House Hunting Pattern, New Ozark Mountain Night Pattern, Call for Guest Gallery
October, 2001 - Plett's Plot, Sewing Society Follow Up, New Quilter's Alphabet Pattern, New My Stars & Bars Pattern, Free Block of the Month Project - House Hunting
November, 2001 - HenryCat, My Stars & Bars Free Block of the Month, New Easy Eights Pattern, Granny's Tip of the Month
December, 2001 - MCC Relief Sale, Enid, Oklahoma; Quilter's Corner, Auction Bay, Featured Quilt, Other Quilts, 10,000 Villages, Twilling, Finished Simply Amish Quilt, Free Block of the Month - Easy 8's, New Heart Trio Pattern - Appliqué
(Copyright © 2001, 2002 Claudia E. Plett, all rights reserved)
BOM.......tip of the month.........patterns........misc
long arm patterns........links........order form........ask granny........gallery