And the Winner Is…..

Cindy!! She wins the Nature’s Gift panel from last week’s blog giveaway.

Cindy, since you’re a local reader, you can pick this up at the Studio. Thanks to everyone who shared their favorite bird stories with me!


A Backyard Visitor

Some of you may know that in a past life I studied wildlife biology. (What??? You mean you didn’t realize that was a required course of study for a longarm quilter/quilt shop owner/pattern designer?? But what else could I have studied…….gee, maybe home ec or textiles would have proven more useful in my current line of work <wink> – ya think??!!)

Although I no longer work in that field, I still enjoy spending time in nature, and I especially love bird watching. We have a variety of feeders and birdbaths on our property, and the change of seasons always brings new species to appreciate. The other day I spotted a bird, while not uncommon, I had never before seen in my yard in the eight years I’ve lived here – a male Northern cardinal.


A male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinali...

Image via Wikipedia


Where I grew up (on Long Island, NY), cardinals were frequent visitors to my neighborhood, and we even had them nesting in our yard. But since living in S. Dakota, I rarely see them. They’re such beautiful birds, especially against the whiteness of a snowy winter. I hope my new friend sticks around to strut his stuff if we get any snow this winter. (*If* we get snow??? Who am I kidding…..there is no IF about it…..this is S. Dakota…..there WILL be snow this winter, and usually there’s plenty of it! The good news is that it’s a perfect reason to stay indoors and quilt!)

Fabric designer Deb Strain must love cardinals too, as she featured them along with chickadees in her “Nature’s Gift” panel. I have these available as kits as you see pictured here, or separately as panels and yardage.

Do you have cardinals where you live? Which birds are your favorites? Post a comment by Weds. Oct. 26 and I’ll choose one person at random to win a Nature’s Gift panel!

Another Twinkle Quilt

Thanks to all who commented on my last post of “Does Size Matter?“! While this quilt is made up of only a few relatively simple pieces (Half-Square Triangles, Triangle Squares, Snowball blocks, squares and rectangles), there are various colorations of each unit. So it’s been one of my more challenging patterns to write in a manner that will keep everything easy and organized for the piecer.

I’ve decided to offer just two sizes – the lap (63″ x 81″) and a queen (99″ x 117”). It’s taking me long enough to do all the calculations for just these two – guess I should have paid better attention in math class all those years ago! LOL

Anyone want to test the larger size for me? I’m pretty careful about calculating and checking yardages and number of units, but the real test is in someone sewing it. That’s why I made two of the lap size – the first time I was playing with colors and layouts and I didn’t worry too much about yardage and number of units. Then I sewed a second sample and when I was done I found 14 extra rectangles on my cutting table – whoops! At least that was a minor error that was easily corrected.

So would you like to see the second sample I sewed? I used completely different fabrics, batiks from Moda’s ‘Believe’ and ‘Let It Snow Favorites’ lines. Here are both versions side by side……

The blue one is not yet quilted and is slightly in front of the bright one, so the blocks may appear larger, but both are the same size.

Which is your favorite?

Does Size Matter???

…..when it comes to a quilt you’re going to make? I’m working on a new pattern………well, to be honest, although the instructions are new, the quilt is not. I actually sewed the sample over a year ago…..started writing the instructions……and then along came some OTHER bright and shiny new project I just had to work on. And then another one, and well, here it is a year and a half later. You’ve never done that, have you?? I didn’t think so…….

Anyway, I’m wondering what size quilt people like to make. Do you prefer smaller projects such as lap throws, or do you want a bed-sized quilt such as a queen? Would you avoid purchasing a pattern because it was not the size you wanted, or would you figure out how to adapt it to your preferred size? And if you were purchasing a kit, which size would you rather have? Please leave me a comment so I can offer the size that you want.

Would you like a sneak peek of the quilt? I think I showed part of it once before, but I HAVE made progress as it is now quilted.

Of course I still haven’t done the binding…….sigh. But, the instructions are mostly written – I’m just trying to finalize the diagrams and layout. The size I have now is a large lap/small twin – about 63″ x 81″. I also thought of adding a larger size – would you prefer 81″ x 99″ or 99″ x 117″? Please share this post with your quilty friends and ask them to comment on as well.

I’m hoping to have the pattern ready for sale by the end of the month! If you’d like to be notified when it is, you can subscribe to my blog on the top left of this page, or sign up for my newsletter by clicking here and filling in the blanks on the lower left. Better yet, why not sign up for both!!

%d bloggers like this: