Sizzling Summer Sale!

July 23rd, 2010

It’s sizzling hot and here in NC, we’re going to break 100 degrees this weekend! That means I’ll be hibernating inside and hopefully sewing in my cool sewing room. To heat up the summer even more, Patsy Thompson Designs, LTD, is offering a 20% sale off all retail sales of notions, threads, stencils, and patterns.

To take advantage of the 20% discount, just type in “summer,” (in small case letters and without the quotes), in the Discount Code box during the online checkout process. This will take off 20% from these items during checkout.

This summer sale starts immediately, and continues through 11:59 p.m. on July 30, 2010.

Click HERE to begin shopping and saving!

With a Little Help From My Friends

July 18th, 2010

This is the trapuntoed backside of a top I made many months ago.  I’m not a yellow person and that center was SO yellow that it really bothered me, so I ended up setting this wall hanging aside for a few months.  I finally hacked off large chunks of the background blue/green fabric, (which kind of killed me because I really liked THAT fabric, but the proportions of the wall hanging really called for it.)  Anyway, I quilted the center portion and then that yellow center really started getting under my skin again.  I couldn’t come up with any idea of how to salvage this piece, so I took it to my fiber arts mini-group.  All of our husbands refer to this group as something along the lines of “that fiber junkie renegade splinter group,”  or “that fiber freaks group,”(I’m not sure why all of them come up with these names, but we’re really just a group of women who love to play around with fiber.)  Anyway, they gave me really good advice.  First, Judy Simmons and Mary Stori told me that I should find a way to carry some of that yellow color into the quilting in the outer background fabric.  Then Mary thought about it some more and told me I should carry that yellow around the outer perimeter.  Wow, what golden advice!  I didn’t get to finishing it until a few months later, but I really like the effects:

Here’s a closeup of some of that outer border quilting.  It’s a plume-based background fill design I call “improvisational pluming” and I went back in and did some selective hyperquilting with a solid gold rayon thread.  These photos don’t quite capture the colors, but it’s really cool looking in person:

Adding the yellow around the edges was pure genius-Thank you, Mary!  I had only used that technique in children’s quilts to add another dimension for them to play with, (you can run your finger underneath that border edge),  but I just love how it came out on this quilt!  If you’ve never tried it, it’s pretty quick and easy.  You cut a 1-inch wide strip for each of the 4 sides, then press them in half lengthwise.  Next, stitch them to 2 parallel sides with the folded side facing toward the center of the quilt, as shown below:

Next, you stitch the strips to the remaining 2 sides as below:

…and then you add your binding, just as you normally would.  Here is a closeup of a corner once the binding was added and then pinned onto the backside:

A Big Thank you and Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative

July 9th, 2010

This is that top as it stands now…I’m sorry to say I have done next to no sewing in over a week, so not much progress beyond getting that border sewn on.  If all goes well, I’ll be able to get it into a quilt sandwich next week and then quilt it to my heart’s content-my favorite part of the process!  I’ve gotten so many requests for a pattern using those Texture Magic flowers that I’m hoping to get this all done so the patterns will be available in August for the Checker open house.  If you are a quilt shop owner who will be at the open house, please stop by to say hello!

This past week was exciting for me because my online quilting friend Sarah Ann Smith wrote a wonderful review of my “Feather Adventures” book!  Thank you, Sarah!  If you want to read it, go here to find Sarah’s blog, then scroll back to the July 3, 2010 post.  You’ll want to bookmark that blog for future reference as Sarah is an incredible free motion machine quilter!  If you missed my review of her book earlier this year, you’ll definitely want to buy yourself a copy now.  It’s called “Threadwork Unraveled” and it is one incredible book for anyone interested in learning the skills for all kinds of thread work.  There are some books that you read through once and they spend most of the rest of their lives on your bookshelf.  Not so for Sarah’s book!  This is an incredible reference book, one that you’ll go back to again and again, really more like a “thread authority” kind of book-no joke!  If you’re not near a local quilt shop to flip through one, here is the link to her book on the AQS site.  And don’t be fooled into thinking this book is just about thread for machine quilting-she touches on much more than free motion machine quilting!

Now what is this, you may ask:

It’s a small quilt being readied to ship to the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative!  When I was at Spring Quilt Market, I had the honor of meeting Ami Simms, who is responsible for the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative.  Thanks to her diligence, she has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Alzheimer’s research, all through people voluntarily making quilts and donating them for auction.  Mostly, these are small quilts, like the 9 x 12 in quilt above.  These don’t need to be works of art, just small quilts!  What I realized was this could be a good way to work out design issues ona  tiny scale (so you wouldn’t sacrifice a whole quilt to learn that something really wouldn’t work) AND you could be making a donation to a good cause all at the same time.  In my case, I was trying to see if an idea I had for a bird would work:

In my case, I don’t like the way my bird came out, but I’m not viewing this as a waste of my time since I found this out without ruining the large quilt I wanted to use it in.  Even more, I can send this baby off to do some good somewhere else!  On top of that, I learned a new way to hang small quilts-check out the backside of this thing:

All you have to do is place a small hanging rod between those upper corner triangles and you’re done!  You can also put triangles on the bottom if you want a way to make your quilt hang super-straight!  If you’re interested in learning more about making a donation to this worthy cause, go here.