Monday, September 28, 2015

New Beginnings

A door closed the last Saturday of September.  A door I have passed through for 20 years, the quilt shop where I have worked and taught, owned for while, laughed and cried, and built some of the most cherished relationships of my life. It began as Nostalgia in 1993. Then a new owner changed the name to Abram House Quilt Shop in 1997. I bought it in 2002, and for health reasons, sold the shop after 9 short months and it became Lone Star House of Quilts. The shop, its customers and its place in my life will be missed. Many years of Memories remain. 
As I look for a place to teach my club, I'm certainly not lacking things to do! Quilt Market in Houston is a few short weeks away. I'm busy with market samples for the next line, Lizzie's Legacy for Moda. Named after and inspired by the rich quilting history  my great great grandmother Lizzie Carpenter wrote of in her journals. Once again, an antique quilt from my collection, provided the prints for reproduction. 
Patterns to write for market quilts.  Quilts to design, and make for upcoming books  

I recently gave a program for the Edmond Quilt Guild on Just Treats, No Tricks. What fun! And a fun group of ladies. Did you see my post on Instagram or Facebook? Here it is in case you missed it. You do follow me there right?

Perfect time to 'talk' Halloween! Time to decorate here! 
But for now, back to sewing!

Have you found the Quiltmania issue? They are available now. Will post about Eliza's Indigo next post. 

Ok, now you can't find me at Lone Star any more...but you can here, Instagram and on Facebook. 
I'm looking forward to opening another door, to continue my club and teaching. But until then, Sew many ideas, sew much to do! 
Until next time,

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Just One More Thing, an Update, long overdue

It's a crazy world we live in. I'm not telling you anything new, but sometimes, it's just crazier! Always busy, you are too. So how is it, just one more thing, works its way into an already full lineup??? Does it put you over the edge? Or do you roll with the punches? Freak out, or go with the flow?
Being the contradictory person that I am, I can swing either way. So tonight it's blogging...that one more thing that I work in, often freaking out because I promise to blog more, but don't. My apologies. I can have time to post on Instagram, which does Facebook at the same time, a twofer! Lol but those are short and sweet posts. I need time to talk , compose my thoughts for the blog, so I do that in the shower then forget what I decided to blog about. Lol. 

Here's what's new...that I can remember!

Look for me in Quiltmania Issue 109. I'm featured in the Enchanted Quilts and Home section, well my quilts, my home, and Molly. That cat's ego! She'll be impossible to live with! Im pretty excited, anxiously awaiting arrival of my copy.

Molly.  Relaxing before the  cataratzi appear at the door. 

So those 'one more thing' things that happen are sometimes really good! Photos were taken last October. At Spring Market, I asked Carol Veillon, publisher of Quiltmania, if she would like a quilt for the issue from Eliza's Indigo...'sure', she said, 'something small'. So I Race home from Spring Market to make a small quilt for the problem , it is small. Right?! No problem. Didn't do laundry, hardly cooked, Got it made, shipped to France, and on time! One more good thing!
Can't wait to see the article myself, Molly can wait. You have to wait too...

Another 'one more thing' thing... I do it to myself, sometimes a great idea, great plan, get it done, works! Unfortunately there are times It's a 'what was I thinking' thing. Oh well...that is me. 

Me in my booth at Moda's Open house...this was planned, a very good thing. On the table, pretty much covered up, is the 'one more thing' I thought to make 2 days before the event. A 'what was I thinking' moment, that worked out, thanks to assistants Molly and Hudson. 

Hudson questions placement. 

A quick Jellyroll project from Eliza's Indigo. Fabric will be in the shops in October. If I can figure this out, before fabric ships, I want to have this pattern on the blog for you as as a download? Ok, stop laughing, stranger things have happened. I am going to try...'nuf' said. 

Hmmm I'm thinking I should change the 'just one more thing' to 'another spontaneous event'...and some days the phrase will be 'spontaneous combustion'. 
Fall Quilt Market crazy sewing frenzy starts soon....what spontaneous events await???

A very good spontaneous event ... Miss Madison arrives to spend the day. A wonderful treat, a good thing... a 'just one more thing' to do, and I loved every minute! 

Until next time,
~ Betsy

Friday, June 12, 2015

HST mania

Half square triangles, love them or hate them? I love them. Today's sewing plan is the same as yesterday's and the same for  tomorrow. HSTs in various sizes for various projects, most results you won't see for a long time. 
One project requires somewhere close to a 1000 HSTs. I've tried really hard not to count, but soon will do the math as the publisher needs to know. 
Another project will need 750 of those babies and the 3rd set by the machine, only 180, unless I change my mind. 
Thank heavens for triangle paper!!! Big sheets by Quiltime are favored for large amounts of the same fabric combination, while smaller squares of Spinning Star Designs' Star Singles work great for scrappy projects. 

Triangles add interest to our quilts. Thumb through any quilting magazine or book and count the projects that do not involve triangles. Hmmm bet you don't count many. Triangles in blocks, triangles on borders, triangles in sashing, and even triangles as the main body of a quilt as you see here. 

The project quilt for my line with Moda called Eliza's Indigo. The quilt and line are based on one of my antique quilts. 
The line will be in shops in October. 

Here is a portion of the antique quilt.
Large HSTs in the early 1800s, lots of them. :-)
The really nice thing about sewing triangle units, is sewing a few at a time, mixed in with other projects or sew a few while waiting on hubby to bring home dinner. :-)  Before you know, you got the job done. 

Here is one of my tips for cutting units apart...
I cut the sheet apart into squares, then cut squares in half with scissors as shown...when you cut out the tiny squares, you have cut the dog ears off in advance. 
Try it and see if you like it. I cut apart, and tear off papers, while watching a TV program, a nice time to put my feet up and relax. Press later, or as needed.

Pressing in the direction you have pressed the individual triangles, all to the left in this case. Last thing for today...I press on an old towel. You have those towels, the ones that over time ruffle! I hate them. But being the frugal person I am, I rip off the ruffle and place the remaining bath towel on the big board. Great for pressing appliqu├ęs, and HSTs! I have several of these 'ripped' towels and toss in the wash whenever they get messed up...iron goes bad...starch builds up...or accidentally drooling the yummy chocolate I snitched when no one was looking, at least it didn't go on the triangles!  :-)

Have a great day sewing!

Until next time, 
~ Betsy

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Storage Problem

#quilts  Need I say more??? 
I make quilts. I collect antique quilts. 
Ok, now I need not say more. 

You get what I'm understand where this post is going...I've run out of room. Need more cupboards. I collect cupboards. Need more wall space to place more cupboards. Sounds like a move...wishful thinking. (Sounds like a post I did a while back)

Fresh, and a little creative, folding of quilts after unpacking from quilt study necessitated the refolding of all...antique quilts in the bookcase and a few on top, the rest I've made. A wicker changing table on the left works well but I don't really like the two together. Had to make do...another reason to find a new cupboard!

Cupboard in sewing room, also re folded after quilt study at Lone Star House of Quilts. Very tidy, I'm pleased to say..until the next meeting. 

Here's a shot from this month's quilt study...

Just look at those fabric detectives! Do I see drool??? Hmm. 

I have more stacks. Re folding for another day. Bookcases of small quilts. Benches piled high with 1930's quilts. Quilts on walls, draped over chairs, on tables, draped over cupboard doors, and 3 on a quilt rack. I'm not even mentioning the stacks of quilt tops. You've got the idea. 

Happy problem? Yes. Sounds worse than it is. 
I do love my quilts.  Floor to ceiling shelves would be fantastic! Hint hint. I like to see them and change them out with the seasons.

Speaking of seasons...
How do you decorate for rain??? We have had more than our share in Texas. 35 trillion gallons of rain have fallen on Texas in May. Enough to cover the state with 8" of water. Do you know how big Texas is? Goodness! It is a LOT of rain. The sun is out right now and I'm thrilled. Maybe that helped generate the good mood for refolding quilts! Rain is nice for sewing time, or TV cuddle on the couch time with snacks, a kitty or two and a soft quilt. 

Oops, found a few I forgot to put away. And Mr. Betsy grabbed one while watching NCIS for the hundredth time! Hmm.

Now, back to folding...

Until next time ~

Sunday, May 24, 2015

What do you do when you have nothing to do???

Take the day off!

I started a Mother's Day post before Market, then had to put out fires so to speak, and it never got posted. See more of that post at the end...

Quilt Market was great! First time for me on Moda's designer row. Very interesting being on the designer side, normally I'm the buyer. Hey, wait I'm still the buyer at my local shop, but had some help this market. Many thanks to my friend Annette who walked the floor and picked ideas to take back home. She helped me set up my booth too. Awesome asset to team Betsy!

We had a good time. Saw friends. Caught up. Was all good.

Hard to believe we were just on the plane for home one week ago. Bye bye Minneapolis, back to unending rain in Texas. Ugh. At least no water restrictions this summer!

Today, Sunday, I declared it  to be a do nothing day. No housework (any excuse will do). No sewing for work, did that earlier this week. Went Antiquing with Mr. Betsy. Had a great lunch, awesome margarita, by the way. More antiquing. Then home. There is No place like home. Messy as it is, still in Market panic, don't forget anything, so leave it all out zone of a really hot's home. A little stitching on a 19th C Patchwork Diva project and TV tonight. ..will complete a really nice day. 
How often do I have a REALLY NICE STRESS FREE DAY??? They don't come around very often. Hello! Grabbing while I can!  

At the antique mall...

Aaah Memorial Day is tomorrow... Reflecting. Remembering those passed. Lost Daddy May 10, 2012. Lost Mom May 31, 2013. Has it been that long??? Sad month/good month. They are so much a part of what I do everyday, and who I am. Good stuff? I think so. 

Mother's Day thoughts...
Hi mom...don't think she knew who I was when I took the photo. 

I had time to think while binding the quilts for Quilt Market, a quiet time when I'm sitting still for a change. So Im thinking about Mom. And grandmothers and aunts and all the great-greats and so on that I never knew. Their last names changed and they bore children. They lived interesting lives, saw so many changes in their lifetimes. And us, mothers and grandmothers, how  interesting will generations to come think of us? See, that quiet time gets me to thinking. Pay attention Madison. Mimi has lots to teach you.
My Mother's Day was an absolutely lovely day with daughter Rachel and son Matthew, a movie, bucket of buttered popcorn., my kids on each side of me...perfect...a slice of heaven (or a kernel in the bucket, if you wish, lol), then Rachel's husband Craig and Steve, aka Mr Betsy, cooked dinner...with Miss Madison's help, I'm sure.

Thanks Mom, grandmothers and aunts for being my teachers, my inspirations, my role models. Great steps in which to follow. 

Saw this on PBS...interesting, don't you think so? Was at the end of The Roosevelts. 

There you are...great stopping place for today's post. Cutest couple ever. Love you and miss you both every day. Thanks for all you taught me. 

Cherish your loved ones, dear friends.

~Until next time, my best, 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Stuff Happens

Last week was a busy week, for me and for my cats. While Molly struggled with the blog take-over post, I was teaching on a quilting cruise. Internet is nice when it is available and works, and when it doesn't, well you get the idea, it's not good. Are we spoiled by or dependent on technology??? Love it and hate it. I felt really cut off from the world. 

A good friend checked on the kitties. A certain associate was not so interested in kitty daycare and didn't behave.
Hudson, The Slasher. what a guilty expression!
See photo below. He does not like to be held.
...For Hudson's former friend. BAD kitty.  Note to self: buy more band-aids before next trip.

Classes were held on the days at sea. In Falmouth, Jamaica we toured a mid 1700's sugar plantation high a top a really big hill, or small mountain. I was surprised how hilly Jamaica was. This was the great house at Good Hope Plantation.

A beautiful view form a side porch.

In the evening, I finished a few bindings for Quilt Market.

Great students and a great time in the Caribbean.

Still lots to do before Market later next week. Trying to stay calm and focused...

Until next time~
my best,

Friday, May 1, 2015

Operator Error---- Molly Takes Over

Got to help poor Molly, who took over for me last week, and apologize to my fellow Moda designers, for this not going out as scheduled May 1st and confess to operator error. On the settings, the post day and time was set but for some reason it didn't post, still sitting in the dock. (sad face here)

The Moda designers have been hosting a 'blog takeover' last week, Friday WAS my turn...Molly really did take over....check out the next post to see why Molly was left without tech support.

"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood," said Mr Rogers. Wrong, say I, Molly, head cat in charge of everything in this establishment. My neighborhood, is a mess. MOM, aka BETSY, has lost it. Yes she loses stuff, but that is another blog post entirely. She is frantically working on projects for Spring Quilt Market and IGNORING ME! Me Molly! I'm trying to help her out and keep her calm, petting a favorite cat usually works, you know. HINT HINT!

The only reason the sewing chair is empty is she is working in the kitchen, the current sewing annex. Ha Ha no cooking being done in there. Thank goodness my associates and I have continuous food and water containers or we would STARVE this week. I thought the Kitchen Aid was going the other day, but it was the second sewing machine humming. A few very nice ladies, though they mostly ignored me, were cutting, sewing and pressing. Hmmm. Wonder if Mom patted their heads or tummys?

So what is the big deal with all this sewing? Special fabrics too. Mom is always sewing. Oh yes, it is her first market with Moda. OK, OK. Eliza's Indigo. She is really excited. But She is always sewing and making quilts. And deadlines are nothing new, but she is really cranky, similar to when there are book deadlines, Yikes, I get it now! Stay out of her way! Here, she just finished trimming a quilt and cutting the binding. And, much to my surprise, cleared the island, sort of.   #designersirl (designers in real life) Clean work space or creatively messy??? NOT showing the rest of the kitchen!
My associates and I noticed our napping places were being replaced by boxes a few weeks ago, boxes of fabric Eliza's Indigo to be exact, the 'special' fabric. They needed unpacking,and to be put away but where?

Who us? Help unpack? Worthless.

Snarky cat Winston is still not willing to help even with Hudson's nagging. Poor Dad, aka Steve, had to move the fabric, under my supervision of course. 

Reconsidering his position as elder kitty of the house...just look at Winston now! Kiss up. Watch it buddy, that paw is pretty close to that false move and I know where the foot pedal is!

You should see the fabric line...blues in shades of dark indigo, to soft blue,  rich chocolate browns, creamy biscuit and cafe au lait shades, and soft golds like jessimine and honeysuckle. 

Madison says enough already!!!  All you people talk about is FABRIC!
Madison is dying to get in her Mimi's sewing room and I won't let her, we might not ever find her.

Mom saved snippets of the selvages. She saved the piles of trimmings too...hack hack, good for nothing but to get lint up my nose and sneeze like crazy. They are not any fun to play with. I do like the clusters of flowers on the selvage, though.

I sent Winston to his box. This establishment needs some structure and discipline, Household chores are being neglected. His assignment was to alert Mom when the washer and dryer stopped. He took his assignment seriously, right? That left me to answer the phone, sort the mail, reply to emails, (must admit, computer detail is slick, a little surfing time...that Grumpy Cat cracks me up! Shhh, don't tell Mom.)  Hudson had trash detail, but he is sounreliable. Guess Dad will handle it. 

I caught Hudson on the only available spot without fabric on it, darn him. Mom told us she better not find cat hair on the 'special' fabric. hmmm.Look, machine is off, she must be asleep. she will finish binding tomorrow.

Aaah. My work is done for today. Not much longer until quilt market. I'll make it. A tummy rub would be very nice. Remember Me MOM???? Your favorite kitty? Sure would like a nap, a pat, and a quilt.

Until next time~
 I enjoyed the blog takeover!  
MOLLY, head cat in charge