Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Alphabet Quilt Blog of the Month, Part 1

It's time to gather some notions to help you with this project. Here are some of my favorites!

Sewline Fabric Pencils--the best marking pencils I've ever used. The specially formulated ceramic lead gives a clear, easily marked fine line on fabrics. If needed, lines are easily removed from most fabrics with the special Sewline Eraser or by dabbing with a damp cloth or washing. Pencils are available with five different colors of lead--black, white, yellow, green, and pink. Lead refills are also available. For this project I am using the black and the yellow pencils.

The Applique Pressing Sheet--I have at least 3 of these sheets. It is a transparent reusable Non-stick Pressing Sheet, Craft Sheet, or Pressing Cloth. For this project it will allow you to fuse your designs together as one unit using your placement pattern as a guide! I love them and can't do without them!

Fiskars Curved Blade Scissor--these scissors help to keep your threads clipped as close to your work as possible without cutting your fabric. They also make cutting curves on your appliqué pieces a snap! Flip them over in your hand for inside and outside curves.

Clover Soft Touch Steel Crochet Hook or Soft Touch Thread Pick--this amazing little tiny hook will pull your threads to the back of your work as easy as pie so that you can tie your threads off! Self-Threading Needles will also work but sometimes I forget to leave a long enough thread to pop into the needle.

Clover Seam Ripper--my favorite seam ripper. Now don't tell but I, too, have to rip seams out now and again. Seam rippers do get dull--just like any blades. Treat yourself to a fresh, sharp blade with an easy to hold handle.

4-in-1 Essential Sewing Tool--this is a fairly new tool from Alex Anderson and C&T publishing. The tool includes a Bernina Seam Ripper, a Flat-ended presser, a Pointed End Cap, and an extra-long Stiletto.

Bendable Bright Light--I don't think that I could get along without this, anymore. Attach it to your sewing machine, adjust it so the bright light centers on your presser foot area to stitch and adjust it to center on your project to pull your threads to the back. I love it!

Mary Ellen's Best Press--the Clear Starch Alternative with Soil Guard and Wrinkle Remover--leaves no residue, acid-free, makes ironing easier, gives crisp seams to patchwork.

Mettler Thread--size 50, color 0618 Dark Brown--all of the applique is stitched with this thread.
Find all of these notions on our website, or call, or email me and I will help you find them.

Well, I'm off to gather my fabrics. We will be kitting a basic kit with the white-on-white fabric, the turquoise, and the red fabrics, as well as a kit for 4 skin tones. These should be ready in a few days. Fat quarters and scraps will work for most everything else.

I'll be back in a day or two to remind you of what else you need to gather so that we are ready to start January 1st.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Quilts for Afghanistan and the view from my office!

Our store's co-manager's son was deployed to Afghanistan a short time ago. One of his requests after he was there a few days, was a flannel quilt with a wool batting. It seems that most of us think that Afghanistan is hot, but Jason found out that the nights can be brutal. He asked for Kelly to get the word out that the troops and the Afghan people could use hats, gloves, and coats. She shipped a box to him a couple of weeks ago with those items.

We put the word out for quilts on our weekly e-mail a couple of weeks ago, and of course, our wonderful customers and employees brought quilts, and coats, blankets, and even money for postage. Here is a picture of Kelly and the pile of gifts. We will be packing them up and sending them in a few days to Jason. Thank you to all who participated! Jason is really excited to get the packages and to be able to bring a little warmth to his friends.

On a different subject (although it still has to do with sons) here is the view from my office this morning--a very content Kian in his jumper swing. He amused both Ashley and I for a good half an hour. Kian is Nancy's grandson and you might remember him from the blog Baby Boy Blue in a Box!

I'm off to work on my next blog which will be the notions to gather to start the "My Alphabet Quilt" Blog of the Month.

Happy Stitching,


Friday, November 19, 2010

Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Blog Tour winners! Hip Hip Hooray!

It's only 6 days until Thanksgiving!
Where did November go?
I feel so unprepared!
As does this guy ; ) !

My daughter special ordered 6 loaves of Stuffin' Bread at our local King Soopers. Do you realize how much stuffing that will make? (Stuffin' bread is basically a white bread that is enhanced with herbs and spices that you usually put in stuffing--it smells and tastes delicious.) Stuffing is Kim's favorite Thanksgiving dish and she will eat it for a week--morning, noon, and night. I'll cut the loaves up tonight and start the drying process. I think I will only use 4 loaves and save the other two for Christmas--unless she has another special order in. ; ) I've watched a few of the Food Network specials on Thanksgiving dishes lately and have to laugh when they cut up 3 stalks of celery, 1/2 onion etc. I'll be cutting up 3 bunches of celery and at least 2 onions. Maybe this year I will be more attentive to the ingredients so that I can give her a recipe to make it herself.

Now, to announce our winners of the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Blog Tour! First of all I would like to thank all of you who commented on the blog. I'm so happy that you liked the free Table Runner pattern. I hope that you can see the Possibilities if you just replace the applique block with a different applique block or even a pieced block. If you do, please send me a picture. You've all inspired me to design more Table Runners--Thanks!

The 3 winners (chosen by a random number generator) are Mary from Illinois, Becky from Georgia, and Nancy from Maine. Mary wins the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks magazine from Quiltmaker. Becky wins a copy of the magazine from Possibilities. Nancy wins the prize pack from Possibilities. You should have received an email from us asking for your addresses, if not, contact Ashley and we will get your prizes to you ASAP!

Enjoy a very peaceful, yummy, and Thankful Thanksgiving!
Here's to a little stitching in between holiday activities!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Baby Boy Blue in a Box and My First Favorite Notion

I'm going to share with you two of my favorite things--my favorite baby and my favorite notion. Here is my favorite baby! His grandma, Nancy, popped him in this cardboard box lined with a quilt that matched his outfit! He was very content (as long as grandma kept moving) while grandma carried him through the store to say a big hello to everyone. Kian is Nancy's youngest daughter, Laura's newest boy. He has two big brothers who absolutely adore him. It's a treat for us all when Laura stops in to visit or to work. Thanks, Kian, for letting me get a quick photo!

Now, on to my favorite notions. One of my very favorite's (could not live without) is an Applique Pressing Sheet. This double-sided sheet is made from an ultra high temperature fabric that is coated with non-stick Polylon. We carry it in two sizes--13 x 17" and 18 x 20". The sheet has many uses. It can be used as a craft and painting surface. Paint and glue peel off easily when dry. It can also be used in the oven to bake shrink-art, clay, and salt dough projects. MY FAVORITE USE, though, is for fusing applique pieces together. The transparent construction allows me to see my pattern through the sheet to use as a placement guide while I fuse overlapping pieces together into one unit. Fused fabrics peel right off the sheet. I also use it to protect my ironing board cover when I am fusing fabric. I have both sizes and I've also cut a second large one into two smaller pieces.

Call the store, or check our website for pricing and availability. If we don't have them in stock, leave a request because we order both sizes often.

If there is a notion you would like to recommend or to learn about, please leave me a comment. All of the notions that I will be showing you will be great to have if you join me for the Alphabet Quilt Blog of the Month.

Happy Stitching,


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Quiltmaker's 100 Block Blog Tour part 2

Welcome to the Great American Quilt Factory/Possibilities Blog! We are so honored to have been selected to design a block for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks from today's top designers, volume 2.

We are giving you a Sneak Peek at this incredible Collector's Edition. Each day this week, you have an opportunity to go to about 12 different designer's blogs to learn a little about what inspired them and/or get free patterns. The Blog Tour started Monday and continues through Friday, Nov 12th. Make sure that you visit all of the sites for prizes and free patterns, including ours!

We have designed a beautiful table runner that incorporates two of our Spring Flowers Blocks, #111 on page 27. The table runner is approx. 18 x 54". This is a free download for you to enjoy--click here.

Please leave a comment on our blog for a chance to win one of 3 prizes. We have two copies of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks to give away, as well as a special prize--a variety of Possibilities books and patterns. Make sure you leave a way for us to contact you, should you win. Winners will be chosen at random.

Be sure to check out Quiltmaker's website for the schedule of daily bloggers and to enter to win the Grand Prize!

Best of luck to you and thank you again for visiting!

Happy stitching,

Lynda and Nancy

P.S. We are going to be listing our favorite notions on our blog in the next few days. You can suscribe by clicking on the RSS feed on the sidebar and we would love to know what notion is your favorite, too!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Tour

Tomorrow starts the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Tour Sneak Peek. Every day through Nov. 12th, you can check in with approximately a dozen designers to hear their thoughts about the design process and/or to get a free pattern that uses their original block. AND lots of prizes will be given away by the folks at Quiltmaker as well as by the block designers.

Our blog day is Thursday the 11th and ... did I mention that lots of prizes will be given away? I am designing a tablerunner pattern that you can download for free that uses our Spring Flowers applique block.

These magazines are truly Collector's Editions and feature today's top designers as well as up and coming newbies. Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks will be on the newstand November 16th, but until then enjoy the sneak peeks.

Back to designing,

My Alphabet Quilt Blog of the Month

We returned from International Quilt Market on Sunday. We had a wonderful time, but I was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to attend, because I had re-injured my left foot and knew that I absolutely couldn't walk the entire market. Then I checked in to renting an electric scooter and found out that I could take it back to my room and virtually anywhere downtown that I would want to go. Hooray!!!!! I would have been so disappointed since I have attended every Quilt Market except for 1981 when my daughter was born. The scooter was wonderful and I only came close to demolishing one jewelry booth--no empathy shown by that woman at all. : (

One product that we got really excited about is Amy Bradley's My Alphabet Quilt pattern and book.
Amy's daughter Ashley Heryer, wrote the story for her daughter, and Amy illustrated it with quilt blocks. I am going to present it as a Blog of the Month like I did with Amy's Happy Halloween pattern. It will be an 8 month program. Each month, for seven months I will present 4 blocks and give you hints, techniques, and notions that will help you complete the alphabet blocks and then month 8 will be set aside for borders, quilting, and binding. To get a general idea of how it works, click on the Happy Halloween icon on the sidebar. Below is a close-up of block B.

I'm still working out the details but will let you know ASAP! I'd love for you to join me!

Happy Stitching,


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Judy's birthday flowers and a favorite little Autumn quilt!

Well, we have finally had a little bit of Autumn here in the Denver area. It was cool and rainy for a few days last week. The trees are still turning and have plenty of leaves still on them. We might have our first snowfall on Tuesday--so my agenda tomorrow is to get the patio furniture put away, the planters cleaned out, and locate my snowbrush to put back in the car.

Judy's birthday is October 17th and her son in Atlanta always sends a bouquet to her at the store, so we get to enjoy it also. It comes from my favorite florist-Happy Canyon Flowers. Every year we think that they can't beat last years, but they always do. Maybe it's because I love fall colors and fall flowers (achoo, achoo). Here are two pictures of this years bouquet. I think you will agree that it is absolutely goooorgeous!

I took this picture from overhead so that you could see the variety of flowers. I think my fav might be that green spider mum. Hmmm-I think I might make this my new desktop pic.
And now, onto a little quilting. This is one of my favorite little Autumn quilts. It isn't very big but it certainly depicts the season. We used it for inspiration to make our current Saturday Sampler wallhanging. The pattern for this quilt is in our book Home for the Harvest.

I hope you all have a beautiful Autumn weekend. I'm off to finish making Judy's present--a CD of all of her favorite Glee songs. Thank you Judy for sharing your beautiful flowers with all of us!
Happy Stitching,

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Halloween and Home For the Harvest

One of my favorite books that we have published is Home For the Harvest! It is filled with wonderful Autumn and Halloween projects. This is one of my favorites with Dracula, a blue-faced Witch, Frankenstein, and a Princess. We show this in the book as a long, narrow wallhanging and also as separate placemats. What fun!

I sent my son an advertisement for an iPhone app from Pottery Barn Kids. You take a photo of your child (in his case, 5 year old twins) and then try on different Halloween costumes and send them out for friends and relatives to see. Hello Patrick and Lori--we are waiting for the pics!

The weather is absolutely gorgeous here. If you have been reading our blog for awhile, you might remember my post of I Love Orange. We have a bush in our backyard that starts out kind of red in the Spring and then turns to green for the Summer and then totally shines in orange for Fall. I am going to try to take pics of it everyday for the next couple of weeks to show you just how beautiful it becomes.

Today has been my day at the computer. I started out with my Quilt University homework for EQ6, worked on my EQ7 Bee homework, did a little blog hopping, tweeted a bit, and am now blogging. Be sure to check out our website for a Halloween Scavenger Hunt--some really great prizes will be awarded.

Busy, busy weekend, but I hope to actually sew some tomorrow. Until next time,
Happy stitching!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another Patchwork Lottery Winner

Ginny Grimes, from Morrison, CO, won the Patchwork Lottery blocks in January this year. The block was a split 9-patch and one side was to be light and medium light blues and the other side, darks and medium dark blues. Ginny put it together in a Barn Raising setting.

The quilt is beautiful and Ginny got to pick the Possibilities book of her choice for bringing it in and sharing it with us and she chose Home for the Harvest.

Thanks Ginny!

Lynda and Nancy

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Patchwork Lottery

Here at the store we do a Patchwork Lottery every month. We post a pattern on our website (or you can pick up a free pattern in the store). Anyone who wants to participate makes at least one block and returns it to us. For each block you make you get an entry to win all of the blocks. On the last day of the month a winner is chosen.

Bess Lantz from Beatrice, NB won 29 blocks in the May Patchwork Lottery. She made one extra block and set the quilt together with yellow sashing and a dark blue border. The block is named Prairie Queen. We think the quilt is lovely and we thank her for sharing the picture with us. And, by the way, if you do make a quilt and send us the picture you get your choice of an autographed Possibilities book--nice prize!

If you are interested in participating in our Patchwork Lottery click here to go to the link on our homepage. September's block is a pretty red apple with blue sashing and we have already received several blocks.

Thank you Bess for sharing your quilt!
Happy stitching,
Lynda and Nancym

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Projects our customers shared!

It is always fun when our customers share their projects with us. This week I will share two of their projects with you. Debbie Due, from Centennial, CO, was in the store last Saturday during the Rocky Mountain Quilt Fever Shop Hop and was lucky enough to win a door prize--a charm pack from Moda fabrics. Well, Tuesday she brought in this wonderful little quilt top. We thought it was so cute and loved the pattern. I love the tiny sashing. The pattern is from an Art to Heart book and we are researching which book it is from. It is a great pattern for a quick present or for a charity quilt. Thanks Debbie for sharing your quilt with us.

The other quilt we have to share was made by Carolyn Green's 8-year old grandaughter Emily. Emily made this charming Halloween quilt all by herself and won 2nd place at the Firehouse Quilt Show in July. She even free motioned some original Halloween motifs in the border. Very nice, and congratulations Emily! Thank you, too, for sharing.

Thank you both for sharing your creative endeavors!

Lynda and Nancy

Monday, August 9, 2010

Good listens or reads!

It's been awhile since I listed the books that I've been listening to on my way to and from work. It seems like I got into a more serious reading mood as you will see.

House Rules is by Jodi Picoult. I enjoy Jodi' books and they always seem to have a surprise ending and this one is no exception. House Rules is about a boy named Jacob, his mother, and brother. Jacob has a high functioning form of autism called Asperger's syndrome. I did not know anything about Asperger's--how it affects the person who has it as well as the family, and found it to be very interesting. Jacob is a forensic science wizard which gets him in trouble with the law. He has trouble communicating with the lawyers and the judge showing how our legal system does not always work well for people who can't communicate 'normally'. It is narrated by several people and is about 20 hours.
My next listen was My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor. Jill is a neuroscientist who had a stroke at age 37. She articulates the actual shutdown of her brain. The book is divided into sections. The first part gives a greater understanding of how the brain functions. In the second part, Jill articulates having the stroke, defining to herself that it really is a stroke, and then describing the actual shutting down of her brain. In the third part, Jill describes the methods and therapies that she used to get her brain functioning normally again, a process of about 8 years. For the most part, I enjoyed it. It got a little tedious at some points, but I highly recommend it to someone who has had a stroke and/or to their caregivers. It has some very valuable information about how to work with a stroke victim to help them regain their skills. The book is narrated by the author.

And then I got an iPad and actually read a book. : ) Still Alice was recommended to my by my friend Judy. It is a fictional story about a 50 year old Linguistics Professor at Harvard who develops early onset Alzheimer's. I found it to be very insightful and helped me understand a little more about such a horrible disease, and how it affects the victim as well as the family. I thought at first that it might be very depressing, and it was a little, but it was also a tender love story.
OK! Now for a recommendation on a happy and fun book. Finger Lickin Fifteen is another novel in the Stephanie Plum series. I find these books to be delightful getaways. I haven't listened to them all, so I'm not tired of the series nor the characters as some other reviewers have said. The first time my daughter listened to one of them with me she just rolled her eyes and complained. A couple of months later I found her reading the next one and she has already read Sizzling Sixteen and I didn't even know it was out. If you start reading this series, be ready to fall in love with Joe Morelli or Ranger or better yet, both.

Last, but not least, I re-listened to The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo on a trip to Aspen a few weeks ago. My husband was interested in it and I wanted to hear it again before I watched the movie--especially since it is in Swedish with sub-titles. Loved it all over again!

Well, that's all for now. If you've read anything that you would like to recommend, please comment. Until next time,
Happy listening and/or reading,
PS My next listen might be Eat, Pray, Love again before I go to see the movie>

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's finally here, Rocky Mountain Shop Hop 2010!!!!!!!!!!

We have 7 shops in our Rocky Mountain Quilt Fever Shop Hop. The Hop lasts for 3 days-- Friday, August 6th through Sunday, August 8th, 2010.

This year each shop chose a patchwork block and made two of them. We also chose two reproduction fabrics in the same colorway--one medium and one dark. In our case we colored our block in two different ways. One of our blocks is in the upper right hand corner. See if you can find it's match. We were then free to design an exclusive setting for our quilt. As you can see from the picture, we have more than 14 blocks. We chose one of the blocks and made 3 more for the setting blocks in the corners. All of the light fabric in the blocks and border of our quilt is the light combination of the exclusive toile fabric. It made for a very nice background for the patchwork as well as the applique.

Hoppers go to each store, buy a kit to make two blocks (or get the pattern for free) and choose their favorite quilt setting. I've seen most of the settings and they are all unique, but guess which one I feel is the prettiest?

We will have some great demos going on and lots of new product. Nancy is especially excited about a new ruler called Leaves Galore. She has put together a wonderful storyboard showing some of the great things this ruler can do. Several of us want the set of 3, but we will wait until Shop Hop is over to see if there are any left.

We hope to see many of you during the next few days and if you can't come, check back here and we will let you know how it turned out.

Happy Hopping,


P.S. Check the blog below for close-up pictures of the exclusive Toile fabric from RJR and our website for close-ups of the blocks.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rocky Mountain Quilt Fever, Shop Hop 2010, part 1

Yay! Shop Hop 2010 is finally here!!!! All of the shops work all year (and I'm not kidding-our first meeting for 2011 is the Wednesday after the shop hop) to make a unique and wonderful experience for our faithful and wonderful customers for next year.

Last year and this year, the Rocky Mountain Shop Hop shops, designed a special fabric exclusive to the shops in the hop. This year it's an incredible toile that we helped design with RJR Fabrics. It features Colorado landmarks and symbols. We think it is absolutely fabulous and anyone with a tie to Colorado should have at least a yard to keep for prosperity. Many of you are buying 6 yards for a very special backing, as I will be, plus a yard for fussy cutting. (See some of the images on the blogpost below) We have already placed a reorder because of the feedback we have received from posting the fabric online and in the shop, but, it will most likely not be reordered again. So, call us and place your order early--we will take phone orders and online orders starting Friday, August 6th at 9:00am. First come, first served. Ask to speak to Ashley or Lynda to place your order.

Happy hopping!!!!
Lynda and Nancy

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rocky Mountain Quilt Fever Shop Hop 2010

It's almost time for the Rocky Mountain Quilt Fever, Colorado Memories Shop Hop. It's August 6, 7, and 8th. Yikes, it's almost August--where has the summer gone?

Last year for the Shop Hop we designed a beautiful batik. This year, we designed a beautiful toile fabric with RJR. The toile showcases many Colorado landmarks and symbols, including Grand Mesa, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, the "Sleeper House", the State Capital, the and many others. If you have ever lived in Colorado, visited Colorado, or want to make a quilt for someone that has lived in Colorado, then you need at least a yard of this exclusive fabric. Six yards would make a beautiful backing for any quilt that has a Colorado connection. Here are a few of the images on the fabric.

All of the shops have designed an exclusive quilt that showcases the main fabric or the secondary fabric (the same design, but not as much of a contrast). We expect that this exclusive fabric will sell fast, so order ASAP!!

Happy Hopping!

Lynda and Nancy

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Christmas in July

Merry Christmas everyone! Christmas in July at Great American Quilt Factory, starts this Sunday, July 18th and goes through Saturday, July 24th. Customers in the store and online will enjoy 20% savings off of anything Christmas. What a great time to start your Christmas sewing.

Just in time for Christmas in July is our newest pattern No Peeking. This delightful wallhanging/banner is approx. 14 x 40".

No Peeking's bright colors and simple patchwork and applique make this a perfect gift.

We have a ton of Christmas fabric and Nancy and the design team have stitched up lots and lots of stitching friendly panel quilts. See some of them on the website

Also on display in the store are several of the models from our newest C&T book Christmas with Possibilities.
Christmas with Possibilities is truly a lovely book filled with 16 holiday projects--some old fav's from out of print books and some wonderful new projects! If you can make it into the store, I'm sure you will enjoy seeing the actual quilts and projects.

Last, but not least, become a fan of Great American Quilt Factory on Facebook for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate. We have already given away 2 and are giving away at least one more when we reach our 1000th fan. Go to Great American Quilt Factory and click on "Like" at the top of the page next to our name. Good Luck!

Happy stitching,


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July friends,

It is a beauty of a holiday weekend here in Denver--a little barbequing, a little partying, and lots of friends. The quilt above is 1776 from our Seasonal Delights book. I thought it was very appropiate for this weekend.

We have a very special tradition in our neighborhood. For a reasonable price a couple of boy scouts put up a large flag on everyone's lawn for all patriotic days. The street looks lovely with all the flags flying. They put them up at dawn and take them down just before dusk. I can't wait to see them tomorrow.

Have a wonderful weekend and maybe get in a little stitching.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

More books for you to enjoy...............

Well, I've finished listening to a couple more books that I think you might enjoy. The first is The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, which was recommended to me by a blog reader. I have never been much into history, but the last several books I have read are piqueing my interest. This book takes place in Seattle in 1986 with flashbacks back to the 1940's. It is about a Chinese-American boy named Henry and his friendship with a Japanese-American girl named Keiko. Keiko's family is interned into a camp during WWII. It is a somewhat bittersweet story but I really enjoyed it. Today I finished listening to Breaking Dawn--the final book in the Twilight Saga. I enjoyed the series, but found that I was more than ready for it to be over. I am looking forward to seeing the new movie Eclipse based on the third book.

My next audio book listen is also from a series. I'll start listening to it on my trip to the store and back for inventory, tonight. Fun, fun! It is the third book in a trilogy--The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, by Stieg Larsson. He is a Swedish author and I enjoyed knowing a little about Sweden, having been there on two vacations. His books are full of intrigue and his first book, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will be out as a movie, soon.

I am also actually reading Shift by Peter Arnell. I saw him interviewed on the Today show a few days ago and found him fascinating. The subtitle for his book is "How to reinvent your business, your career, and your personal brand". He has worked with many of the top companies in the world with his branding and design expertise and he himself lost over 256 pounds. It's a very fascinating story!

Please send me your favorite books and I will check them out and possibly put them on my "wish list".

Happy listening or reading,


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Have you ever....?

Have you ever been cleaning out your stash and come across something that has you saying to yourself "What was I thinking?" This is what made me say it--a pattern for troll doll clothes--what WAS I thinking? And yet, it's so funny that I can't bear to part with it. Leave a comment to let me know about one of your "What was I thinking?" moments. : )

Still sorting and cleaning,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Kathie Savickas' Christmas Quilt

We were treated on Monday to a special visit by Kathie Savickas, who lives in California. Her daughter lives in the Denver area, so she visits the store whenever she's in Denver. Awhile back, she decided she wanted to make a Christmas quilt. One of our ladies led her to our Seasonal Delights book that has a Christmas Sampler with a Santa Claus. The book also contains two other samplers--one with Uncle Sam, and one with a witch. Kathie creatively decided that the witch could turn into Mrs. Santa and enlarged the quilt to include her, also.

Here is her finished quilt. She repeated some blocks and created new ones, too. We think you will agree that Mrs. Santa is very charming. To see the original witch before she was transformed and other projects in Seasonal Delights, click here.

What inspiration you gave us, Kathie! Thank you for sharing your quilt and it's bittersweet story with all of us and some other lucky customers who happened to be in the store at the same time.

Keep inspiring others with your wonderful projects!

Happy stitching,
Lynda and Nancy

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dino Buddies--and more new stuff to come!

This is one of the three new patterns we debuted at Quilt Market last month in Minneapolis. Writing the directions is my homework for today and tomorrow. These friendly dinosaurs (Tyrone and Bruno) are appliqued to a pieced background and are just perfect for a child's bedroom or playroom. The banners are 12 x 29" and the patterns will be ready to ship soon--if I get my act together and start working on them.

I'll have a couple more things to show you in the coming days, including the beautiful Pineapple Garden quilt that we made for the July/August 2010, McCall's Quilting magazine. For a preview, click here. This pattern uses our Pineapple Rule and we will have kits ready soon.

We also have a beautiful fabric line coming this month from Quilting Treasures. The line is called Autumn Harvest. Click here for a preview of the rest of the line, click here.

See you soon with more new patterns.
Until then,
Happy Stitching,

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Great American Quilt Factory a McCall's Hometown Favorite

We are so honored to be one of McCall's Hometown Favorites featured quilt shops! We love working with the great women at McCall's Quilting and Quick Quilts and in fact we write a column each month for these magazines.

This new magazine features 16 quilt shops around the country and each shop has designed a quilt and kitted it. This special magazine America Quilts Hometown Favorites will be on the newsstand on May 18th. Starting Monday, May 10th, 3-4 shops will be featured each day in an online Shop Hop. Register to win the featured quilt kit from each shop and other prizes, including a delicious Moda fat quarter tower. Don't forget to enter each day. Just go to the Great American Quilt Factory website for the Online Shop Hop link.

Here is a picture of our quilt, Into the Woods. I must say that it is absolutely gorgeous and would be beautiful on a wall in my family room. Hmmmm--there is the finished sample. : )

Enjoy reading about the featured shops and deciding which is your favorite quilt. Register at the 3-4 featured shops each day and remember that if you don't win a kit there will be kits available for purchase.

Good luck and happy shopping,

Denver National Quilt Festival

We vended at the Denver National Quilt Festival last week. It was a great show and the competition quilts were remarkable--you can see the winners online here.

We had a display of 34 Possibilities quilts--the most Possibilities quilts displayed at the same time. It was so fun to see them in all of their glory. The quilts are from current books and patterns. I have put together a short slideshow so that you can see them, too. If you want more information on any of them, please comment, email us, or call the store. I hope you enjoy them!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Denver Quilt Show
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Another slideshow design by Smilebox

Monday, May 3, 2010

Christmas with Possibilities Surprise

Nancy and I got a package in the mail today and a special delivery for each of us at the store!

Here is what was in the package--our newest book Christmas with Possibilities published by C&T. It is truly a lovely book filled with 16 holiday projects--some old fav's from out of print books and some new wonderful projects! I'm ready to jump right in since it is May and we are already receiving Christmas 2010 fabrics.
A little bit later, we each got one of these...................

.................a beautiful basket filled with flowers!

Thank you to all at C&T who helped bring this book to print. We always enjoy working with all of you and you truly bring out topnotch products!

Thank you for a wonderful surprise!

Lynda and Nancy

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sarah's Key and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

In the last couple of weeks I have listened to two wonderful books that I think you will enjoy. It is interesting that the last two books I reviewed were about women from the South and these next two books have ties to WWII.

The first one I'll tell you about is Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. This is what Publishers Weekly has to say: "De Rosnay's U.S. debut fictionalizes the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Vélodrome d'Hiver outside the city, then transported to Auschwitz. Forty-five-year-old Julia Jarmond, American by birth, moved to Paris when she was 20 and is married to the arrogant, unfaithful Bertrand Tézac, with whom she has an 11-year-old daughter. Julia writes for an American magazine and her editor assigns her to cover the 60th anniversary of the Vél' d'Hiv' roundups. Julia soon learns that the apartment she and Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand's family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers—especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive—the more she uncovers about Bertrand's family, about France and, finally, herself. Already translated into 15 languages, the novel is De Rosnay's 10th (but her first written in English, her first language). It beautifully conveys Julia's conflicting loyalties, and makes Sarah's trials so riveting, her innocence so absorbing, that the book is hard to put down. "
I really enjoyed this book and yes, it was very moving and I had to sit in the car after I got to my destination several times to finish a part--always a good recommendation--and it was beautifully read!

I had a hard time getting into the 2nd book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society until I reread the description on and realized that it was a series of letters--and then, I really enjoyed it. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is read by 20 different people and that is one of the reasons that makes it so special. From Publishers Weekly: "The letters comprising this small charming novel begin in 1946, when single, 30-something author Juliet Ashton (nom de plume Izzy Bickerstaff) writes to her publisher to say she is tired of covering the sunny side of war and its aftermath. When Guernsey farmer Dawsey Adams finds Juliet's name in a used book and invites articulate—and not-so-articulate—neighbors to write Juliet with their stories, the book's epistolary circle widens, putting Juliet back in the path of war stories. The occasionally contrived letters jump from incident to incident—including the formation of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society while Guernsey was under German occupation—and person to person in a manner that feels disjointed. But Juliet's quips are so clever, the Guernsey inhabitants so enchanting and the small acts of heroism so vivid and moving that one forgives the authors (Shaffer died earlier this year) for not being able to settle on a single person or plot. Juliet finds in the letters not just inspiration for her next work, but also for her life—as will readers."

Like Anne of Green Gables this book made me want to travel to the destination. I love to read books, but because I drive at least 1-2 hours a day to get to and from work, audiobooks are my salvation. I highly recommend them, not just for listening to while driving but for anytime you can't be turning the pages of a book.

If you have any suggestions for what I should read next, please comment.

Happy stitching, reading, or listening,

Joy to the World Winners

Oh, I'm so sorry. I chose the winners for the blog contest and then forgot to blog them. The three winners were chosen at random by a random number generator and here are the winner's names and comments.

paula, the quilter said:
"I am a 'totally prepared' gal myself. Starch on the edges around either a freezer paper or templar template, iron and then glue. I 'do' remove the template if it is freezer paper."

stitchinRN said:
"my favorite is using freezer paper, but i spray starch my pieces after basting to the freezer paper template. i remove the freezer paper before i stitch it in place, no removing later, easy to peel off. it looks like needle turn, but easier."

Lori H said:
"During a recent class, our teacher showed us needleturn applique. While my sister 'hated that day', I loved it. I look forward to many new projects."

I will send each of you an autographed copy of Joy to the World as soon as I receive your snail mail addresses.

Thank you to all who left comments! There are so many methods of applique out there and I think that I just might design an applique sampler.

Happy stitching,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hometown Favorites Online Shop Hop with prizes

McCall's Quilting Magazine is introducing a very special, newsstand only issue titled America Quilts, Hometown Favorites available on newstands, May 18. There will be 16 featured shops that have each designed an exclusive quilt and we were lucky enough to be one of them. Our quilt is absolutely stunning--the only thing I can tell you is that we've named it Into the Woods, it's made in creams, rusty reds, browns, and blacks, and it's a variation of one of our favorite traditional patterns.

McCalls will also be hosting an online shop hop, May 10-14, where you will be able to read interviews with the selected shop owners and purchase a kit for their quilt. And...........prizes--each shop will be giving away a kit for their quilt and Moda will be giving away a tower of 40 fat quarters (and we all need more fat quarters)!!!!

Visit McCall's Quilting to get the full list of shops along with contest details. Bookmark this site and don't forget to check in on May 10th to start the hop. We're excited!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy Birthday to us and a blog contest for you!

It's April and Great American Quilt Factory's 29th birthday, which means that we are going into our 30th year in business.! Hip, Hip, Hooray! I can still vividly remember sitting on the cement floor in a brand new vacant space, drinking a glass of wine and wondering how we were ever going to make it to the end of our first 5 year lease and here we are, many leases later.

Now the store is in it's 30th year which means I have been quilting for over 40 (I started at a very, very young age). Recently I have been researching different hand and machine applique techniques. I do quite a bit of machine applique but haven't done applique by hand for many, many years--my how it has changed! My method back then was to baste all the seam allowances under, baste the pieces into position, and then applique. Several years ago I tried a little bit of needle-turn and decided it wasn't my cup of tea. Just recently I took a class on the freezer paper method by Pearl Pereira-P3 Designs. I really enjoyed it, especially because after the applique was glued into place, it was totally portable. Next I'll be checking out the back-basting technique for hand applique and revisiting Beth Ferrier's machine technique.

Now, I'm asking for your advice. Please leave a comment telling me what your favorite method of applique is and why and/or your favorite applique tool. You will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of 3 autographed copies of our out-of-print book, Joy to the World--a collector's item and very difficult to find in perfect condition. You will have until Sunday, April 18th to comment and the 3 winners will be chosen at random on the 19th. Please make sure that you leave an e-mail so that you can be contacted.
For a quiltylicious way to celebrate your birthday or special occasion, this little quilt from the pattern Ode to a Cupcake, might be the perfect choice. In fact, I might use this pattern to experiment with my applique techniques making an applique sampler.

Quilting has changed so much in the last 40 years and I am so glad that it is still my passion! Next I'll be checking out hand piecing techniques and perhaps we'll hold another contest.

Best of luck to each of you and happy stitching,