Friday, September 28, 2012

"Sping" Cleaning

I think I need to take a moment today and straighten up my sewing room. This is what my ironing board looks like right now:
Obviously not a lot going on there as far as quilting is concerned.

And my table isn't much better. Although it is full of patterns and orders being filled so it's not like I'm sitting around doing nothing.  :o)
I'm headed over to Dave's Bernina this afternoon to do a trunk show. I'm thinking I might make it a little fun and do a few giveaways.
Speaking of giveaways- it's time to pick a winner for the 'Springtime in the Rockies' book tour.
I loved reading all of your springtime traditions. So many of you talk about planting flowers. Maybe I can recruit a few to come plant some at my house- so not my thing.  :o)
I had the hus scroll through and stop on a random comment. He picked
Thanks for all that played along- I'm going to get cleaning but I'll see you again soon!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Howdy and welcome to my stop on the TRAVEL HANDMADE tour for Sewing Summit 2012!
If you're here for the first time- WELCOME!
This past summer my family was planning a big trip. In all the prep I decided that I needed some handwork. I don't normally do a lot of handwork because I'm usually not sitting still long enough. But with two separate 11 hour car rides and several hours in the air and in airports I knew some handwork would be nice. And so I decided to start a Grandma's Flower Garden quilt.
I know everyone has a different method for doing things and I'm here to show you mine.
This is my "Travel Kit". I know lots of people make the cutest little bags- way cute ones on the tour! I'm too lazy for that. :o) Instead I picked up this see-thru bag next to all the travel sized toiletries in the store. The fact that it's see-thru is the best - nothing gets lost in it!
This little bag (roughly 7" x 5 1/2" x 1") holds all I need to get this Grandma's Flower Garden started and it cost less than $2. But first there's a bit pf prep work before you leave the house.
I started with a jelly roll (2 1/2" strips). I like this width because with the 1" hexagons found HERE there's not a lot of waste and part of the cutting is already done.
[I have cut them from yardage and scraps before but this is still my preferred method- especially if there's a particular collection I want to use]
To prep I use a kids school glue stick. I put a tiny dab (tiny!) on the back of a paper piece and press onto the wrong side of the jelly roll. This keeps the paper from sliding later on but not enough to make removing the papers a hassle. Make sure you leave enough room between each paper to trim 1/4" around the sides.
Since I'm only making 1 ring flowers I only need 6 of each 'print' (my centers are a cream fabric).
[I think you can usually get 14-16 hexies of this size from a WOF strip]

This prep work happens while watching my favorite TV show. I like to do a whole bunch at one time.
Next I trim around the remaining sides (1/4"!) and I'm ready to go.
This is all the 'pre-trip' work that I do. Once I get to this point I stack a ton of them together and put them in my kit. Let's hit the road!
Now it's time to baste. This part you can do while traveling because it's super easy. But don't go threading that needle yet!
Just recently I found a Sewline Glue Pen in my craft room. Don't ask me when I got it- I didn't even know I had it! (If you gave it to me- Thank You!) Anyway, I decided to give it a try when "basting" my hexies and it has changed my life forever.  :o)

This is what I do- I hold down one edge of the fabric and place a tiny bit of glue in the corner like shown.
Then I press over the next side and hold for a couple seconds. Really, that's all it takes.
 [Sure you could use the kids glue stick too- but the Sewline pen is thinner and easier to control so you're not getting glue all over the place. I didn't use it for the paper pieces earlier because the kids one is so much cheaper.]

Repeat for the remaining sides and your hex is basted. It takes less that a minute for each hex.
Here's why I like this method:
Aside from the tiny spot of glue on the back there's nothing holding the paper in- this makes it so easy when popping those papers out later on.
Also, it's so quick! No messing with the needle and thread. You don't have to force that needle through the paper and later on there's no clipping out the threads.
Lastly, it's water based. So once you run that quilt through the wash the glue is gone.
This is what I put in my little bag:

I carry a bobbin of thread. Less thread- less bulk.
There's a tiny fold of felt that holds 2 needles (you know, in case I loose one)
The rest is my trimmed, prepped, and finished hexies.
Less is more when traveling. At least I think so.
Some of you may be wondering how I cut my thread. During my trip I used my teeth. I know, I know- my orthodontist/dentist would kill me. I kept meaning to get a dental floss container to put the bobbin in and use the cutter but I forgot. I know there are flight approved scissors but I didn't have any. And since the airport and I don't have a good relationship already (see HERE), I didn't want to test my luck. :o)

I do have a smaller baggy that I put my prepped hexies in now. Somewhere along the way I picked this up and It's been serving me well. It's also see-thru so I always know where everything is.
I hand stitch the hexies together like everyone else. When I think of a quicker way for that- I'll be sure to tell you!

I was pretty productive on that trip. I wonder how many I can get done at SS12 ?  :o)

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you learned something that can make your travel projects easier and more productive.
See you soon!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


What the heck!? 
I can't believe I completely forgot to pick winners for the GFG Remix tour!

From looking at all the posts I think most of you want to make Helix first, with Oddball a clear second.

Thanks so much for following along and thank you again to those that participated and made quilts. I hope you love them as much as I do!

Do you want to share your Geared for Guys project!?  Don't forget that you can add a picture to my FLICKR page

Now that's enough talking- let's pick some winners!!!

Nancy Near Philadelphia
Don't forget that I have another contest going on right now for a copy of
Visit the post for more info.
And don't forget to comeback tomorrow for my

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Springtime in the Rockies blog tour

This book is super special to me. Konda asked me to be a part of it a long time ago and it's so fun to finally be able to share it with you.
I had developed this 'stack n whack' pattern and wasn't sure what I was going to do with it.
 You know how sometimes things just happen for a reason, right!?
Well Konda called me up and told me about this book idea and I knew I had just the pattern.
And now here it is, between the covers of this fabulous book, with several other amazingly fun patterns. What's extra cool for me is I know most of the other designers personally and they are some of the most talented ladies - and I get to call them FRIENDS!!!
Konda has organized a blog tour so you can get a peek at all the designers and their projects. Follow along for several chances to win a copy of your own!

Sept 19 - Kansas City Star -

Sept 20 - Amy Smart
Sherri McConnell

Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite Springtime tradition and I will pick a winner to recieve a copy of Springtime in the Rockies.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The heat is on!

 It's that time of year when the crunch time of market hits. I'm about a month ahead of schedule right now but I'm still feeling a panic. Why?  Because aside from the normal market stress I have several classes between now and then including SEWING SUMMIT!  I am super excited but worried I won't get everything done that I need to.

Here's a little peel at what I've been up to:


Flower Power!!!
This is a little peek at a project that has been on the table for over 7 years. Yes you read that right!  I am so excited to finally get to share it with all of you. Stay tuned :o)

A new pattern for market- #hashtag
I am LOVING this quilt. It's going to get minky on the back and quilted just for me.
Well, after market and trunk shows of course.  :o)
So....whatcha workin' on!?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Playing Safe

Comments on my posts are usually few. Not-so-nice comments are ever fewer. In fact, I can't really remember any specifically, which is a good thing because I choose not to dwell on that. However there was a comment on my Moda Bake Shop post that spiked some emotion from me.

There's been a lot of talk in the blogosphere this summer regarding copyright law. The comment on my tutorial was about this and I wanted to address it here in case anyone else was curious.Bascially the comment said that I had copied someone else's creation and that it might be a violation of her copyright. The comment also accused Moda of being in the wrong for allowing it to be posted.

This really upset and worried me because I try to be honest and work with intergrity in everything I do. We find inspiration all around us and it's hard to block that out of your mind when being creative. When I design a new quilt pattern or fabric collection I scan the internet for days searching for anything I can think of that might be similar to make sure that I am not copying anyone else's work. There are bound to be instances in which several people design things around the same time with the same basic idea- it happens, but I would never purposely put something out there and take credit for someone else's work.

For this reason I wanted to give credit on my blog to Avril Loreti for her placemat design. It was also this reason that I was worried that I hadn't done enough when the commenter made mention of it.

So I wanted you to know that I wrote Avril Loreti and email yesterday and I wanted to share it and her replay with you here.

Hi Avril. My name is Emily Herrick and I own a quilt company called Crazy Old Ladies.
 I design quilt patterns and quilting fabric for Michael Miller Fabrics.

I am writing you to because I recently wrote a couple of blog posts and I
wanted you to take a look. The first is on my blog
and the second one links from there onto Moda Bake Shop.

The reason why I want you to take a look is because I used your placemat as
inspiration for a quilted project. I try to respect other people and their designs in
all of my work which is why I credited you with the inspiration. However, maybe I
 should have contacted you before it was posted. I honestly didn't think it was a big
deal until people started commenting that I wasn't being respectful your copyright.
I hope that I haven't infringed on your creativity. If I have, it wasn't my intention.
Please let me know how you would like me to proceed. I would be happy to post
an apology and ask Moda Bake Shop to remove the tutorial.

I want you to know that I love your work and in no way was I trying to 'rip-off' your style.
 I am a big fan of color and paint swatches. Your style and color choices are superb.
I hope you continue to design wonderful things and acheive much success.

Thank you for your time.
Emily Herrick

This morning I woke to a reply from Avril in my inbox.

Hi Emily,

Thanks for getting in touch with me about this. I'm always happy to hear when my
designs have inspired creative exploration in others and It's nice to see that you've
made yourself a similar product in your own style and that you'll be making some for
your family for the holidays. This is totally reasonable. If you were going to start
selling them I think that would be a different story and infringement would be an issue.

I feel a bit uncomfortable that there was no inspiration credit in the tutorial post on
Moda Bake Shop. I work very hard to come up with original pieces that are intelligent,
interesting, and new to the marketplace. Before i launched my line of paint chip table
linens i made sure that there was nothing like it online and that it was truly original.

I appreciate that you have a credit on your site and i believe you did the right thing by
starting off with a credit. No need to take down the post! But Moda Fabrics is a large
company that should have also done their due diligence. They profit from the traffic
that goes on their blog, from the work that you put into your tutorial, and from my
paintchip placemat idea. Is there any way for them to update that post to include
the inspiration credit?

Thanks so much for being up front about this all.


ps. I just saw your reusable cup technique on your blog and will definitely be
trying that out this week. pure genius!

Is she not the sweetest lady EVER!?

I do want to clarify though that when posting a tutorial on Moda Bake Shop it is all up to the designer to write the entire post- not Moda. I wrote the whole post and therefore was responsible for the appropriate credit. I should have done it originally but added it this morning in my better-late-than-never style.  :o)

I guess that's all I have to say about the subject. People will be people and think what they want but I can still go on with life feeling good about myself because I know I did the right thing.

Now I'm going to go sew and I hope you do too. HAPPY SEWING!  :o)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hey good lookin'! Whatcha' got cookin'?

I've got a recipe in the oven over at Moda Bake Shop!
They're called Paintchip Placemats and I am in love with them!
It all started months ago when I was flipping through the pages of an issue of House and Home and came across these cute placemats by Avril Loreti.
A few weeks later I got a peek at Vanessa's new collection Simply Color.
This picture doesn't do any justice- but when I saw those Ombre solids my heart skipped a beat.
You know how our brains work. It wasn't an instant match. A few days later while my mind continued to circulate all the crap inside I had a lightbulb moment. (Oprah calls it an 'Ah Ha!' moment)
"What if I used Vanessa's Ombre to make some quilted paintchip placemats!?"
I loved the idea so much that I couldn't just keep it to myself. Besides, the fabric wasn't even out in stores yet and I did not want to wait. So I contacted the fine folks at Moda and they sent me a few pieces to make my lovely placemats.
The hardest part has been waiting to share it with all of you!
Now that I have one of each color- yes, I have a grey one too! (it didn't fit on the table  ;o) - I want to go back and make sets of each color. 6 Green, 6 Blue, 6 Orange... you get the idea. They'll make the BEST Christmas gifts!
Now that I've reached my days quota of exclamation points I'm going to let you skip on over to the Bake Shop and get started on your placemats.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Do you ever feel like you're spinning out of control!?
I'm trying to think of the name of one of those carnival rides that I refuse to ride. You know what I'm talking about, right!? (this is one of the more mild ones)

It's pretty crazy around here right now. I have so many things coming up in the next couple of months it's hard to keep them all straight.
I got a note from the kids' school saying I signed up for a field trip in October. I just about had a panic attack. I have so many things going on in October the thought of adding one more almost sent me flying out of my seat (see picture above).

You know how it goes. Lots of work for me and not a whole lot I can share with you....Yet. Sorry. But believe me- it'll be worth it when you finally get to see. Here's an example. :o)

I've been working on a project for a while. Months actually. I am so excited about this project I can hardly stand it. Well, tomorrow is the day i finally get to share it with you. Woot Woot!  I think you'll agree it's been worth the wait. I'm not going to say much more about it right now but if you want a HUGE clue you can click HERE.  But don't foget to go back tomorrow to see my fun surprise. 

I thought I might add that in the 'events' page I have listed classes that I'll be teaching. Many of them coming up still have room if you're interested in attending. We have lots of fun and I'd love to meet you.

Ok- time to get back on the ride. See you soon!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The End!

I hope you've been following along with me and enjoyed every bit of it like I did. Can you believe those quilts?  GORGEOUS!!!
The whole point of this tour was to give you even more inspiration. Sometimes it's hard to envision a quilt in different fabrics- now you have lots of ideas.
So what was your favorite!?


I'm having a hard time deciding. I'd like ALL OF THEM!  :o)
To thank you for following along I'm going to give away a few copies of the book

Where all of the patterns for these quilts came from.
To enter all you need to do is
1.) make sure you're a follower  :o)
2.)  tell me which quilt from the tour was your favorite
3.) tell me which quilt you would make first if you won the book.
I'll pick the winners on FRIDAY!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Keepin' it real

I'm surrounded by messes!

And I don't want to do anything about it today.
Just Sayin'.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Making Do

Several months ago when I was prepping for my Canada trip the store owner asked me if I had any favorite 'gadgets' to promote. She wanted to make sure they were in stock in case any of the students wanted to buy them. I thought about it for a while and realized that I don't use many gadgets. No, really. Bring your machine and what you use to sew with and we'll make a quilt.

Then the other day I went into a shop nearby to drop off a sample. I hadn't met the gal that greeted me before but she looked at the quilt I brought in and complimented me on it. Then she asked who did my quilting. I told her that I did my own. She asked what machine I used (this particular store carries a very popular brand of machine) and I hesitated to tell her about mine. (read here for more info. "Kenny")

Lastly, just this weekend I was getting ready to quilt a small project when I realized that the only white thread I had was a large cone. I'd used it before but it was kind of a hassle since my machine isn't built to hold cones. I thought about checking my LQS for one of those nifty stands but honestly I didn't have a cent to spend on it. So I got thinking and came up with a solution that is FABULOUS!

Last year a friend gave me one of those cool reuseable cups. My daughter quickly took it to her room where it was lost for several weeks. It's been recovered for a while now but the straw is missing. As a cup it still works great but there was no use for the lid without the straw. Until now! I put the cone in upside down and threaded it through the lid. I wound it into my machine and I didn't have one snag while quilting. And it doesn't take up any more room than a fancy stand.
When it comes to gadgets I say- do what works for YOU! I use scissors that are sharp. When they get dull they go in the drawer for paper and I use a coupon to get another pair. I've used fancy scissors that belong to a friend. Did they cut? Yep! But in my opinion, since mine cut too I don't need the fancy ones. My thread snips were a goody bag gift that fit perfectly in my machine compartment so that's what I use. I'm sure they were pretty inexpensive. If I ever loose them or they break I'll get another cheap pair. It's just to snip threads. My rotary cutter I bought because it was pink- not because of the brand. When it's dull I buy the same replacement blades as everyone else. And I have 2 rulers that I use daily: A big one and a not-so-big one. I have a couple more specialty ones in a drawer for very specific patterns. But what I've realized, as compared to a quilter with a gadget and gizmo for everything, is that I'm not missing out. I can do mostly the same things....including machine quilting.
Why was I embarassed to talk about my machine at that store? They service my machine there and everytime the guy is so nice but kindly tells me that "these machines are only made for about 150 hours of use. After that they're junk. Our machines will last forever." Oh I'm sure their brand name machines are fabulous- but I don't NEED one. For my machine to have given me years of use - way beyond the 150 hours - I feel I'm doing just fine.

You can be in a whole room of quilters making the very same quilt. What works for one quilter may not work for another but in the end we've all made the same pattern.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's ok to not have the latest and greatest piece of equipment. Sometimes people choose to be frugal, others are in situations that are out of their control. But whatever the reason I'm doing great with what I have and it's time that I own it. There's no shame in 'making do' with that you have. In fact, sometimes it makes life fun!
Besides, I'd rather buy fabric.  :o)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Show and Tell

Are you enjoying the blog tour? I AM!  Most of these quilts I haven't even seen yet so it's so fun for me to follow along and see them too.
Today I have another show-and-tell for you. Melissa from Happy Quilting shared a quilt she made thats being published in Quiltmaker's Quilts from 100 Blocks!

She used several fabrics from my collection Hall of Fame.
I love how this quilt goes together. If you want to see more about her quilt,
including construction notes, visit her blog

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Color me happy

Where do you find your quilty inspiration?  I love searching the web for color inspiration to put into my quilts. Today I searched 'Fall color combinations'. Two sites came up that sparked my interest and I just had to share what I've found.  :o)
A year or two ago 'Turquoise' was named the Pantone color of the year. Well it's still a favorite of mine. What do you think?
 I love the neutral palette in this room accented with a pop or turquoise. It reminds me of
 This one has more contrast and pop!  I'm loving the Fuschia and Mermaid colors together
balanced with a creamy white. Yum!
 This one is a bit softer but still gorgeous. Move over red, this aqua is paired with a buttery tan (yellow!?) There's a new collection out that showcases this combinations perfectly. Unfortunately I can't remember who makes it and my searches aren't finding anything. :(

 Let's take the pop from one of the earlier pictures and soften it a bit. It's so gorgeous and adds a bit of sophistication. Maybe a bit of Peony and Luna. Perfect!
As of late I have found myself attracted to the bright brights and high contrast. I am loving the little clip in the middle with the bright yellow that sets everything off. Yes, I think this combo will find it's way into a quilt in my future.
Want to see even more quilty inspiration?
Check out the Geared for Guys REMIX tour. Yesterday Erika shared her quilt and it fits perfectly into this palette too!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Geared for Guys REMIX blog tour

I've been having so much fun with these patterns and judging from the emails I've been getting- so have you! That's why I thought it would be fun to do another blog tour about my book, but this time with pictures of quilts that other quilters have made using the patterns. Sometimes it's hard to envison a project in anything other that what's on the pattern. Well this is going to give you TONS of inspiration. I have 12 bloggers that are ready to show their version of one of the patterns in Geared for Guys and I'm hear to tell you- you're going to want to see these quilts!

So come along and join us!

Sept 4: Erika from High Voltage

Sept 5: Lisa from Helix

Sept 6: April M. from - OddBall

Sept 7: Vickie from Caution

Sept 8: Sinta from Ivy League

Sept 9: Marion from Gamer

Sept 10: Sherri from Urban Decay

Sept 11: April R. from - Switchback

Sept 12: Tricia from Caution

Sept 13: Shannon from Urban Decay

Sept 14: Shari from Ivy League

Sept 15: Michael from Helix

Sept 16: back to ME for the giveaway!

On the last day (Sept. 16) I'm going to have a FABULOUS giveaway on my blog. So make sure you follow along and join us back here! See you soon  :o)