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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New template and free pattern

As I sit looking out the sunroom window at the snow still on the ground, I think about what I like about winter. Many of you think I am probably crazy, but I do like the cold weather for a couple of reasons. One is, I love wearing my sweaters! They are so soft and snuggley and feel wonderful against my skin. I can't say that about my summer clothing. As I get older my skin has become more sensitive and I feel very uncomfortable when something irritates or itches my skin. I love the new microfibers and bought some new sheets with them which feel so nice when I get into bed.

The other thing I like about winter is I do like to cook and the cold weather gives me lots of reasons to make fresh soups and breads. My husband also likes to cook his chili when it gets cold and over the years of making it, has finally come up with a recipe that I like. His first attempt had no tomatoes or tomato sauce in it. Actually I'm not sure what it had in it! Not wanting him to give up cooking, I had to eat it. I have learned that when he cooks something new, I don't tell him I don't like it when I eat it, but wait until the next day to make some simple suggestions. Men's egos are so fragile! He doesn't hesitate to tell me when he doesn't like something I made and I don't stop cooking if he does. 

I made a wonderful cream of potato soup last week that had no cream or milk in it. I changed it a little from the original recipe and it came out really good. I found it on Pinterest and posted it in one of my pins. Here is the original recipe. 

I changed it by eliminating the beans, increasing the potatoes and cauliflower and used 6 cups of chicken stock and no water. I didn't blend the whole soup, just about 1/3 of it. I like a soup with a little substance. It has a great flavor and really hits the spot on these cold days.

Back to quilting. The free web pattern today is the Eden Quilt pattern

It features a beautiful fabric collection called Eden by Chong a Hwang with Timeless Treasures. I have the fabrics on my website along with an Eden quilt kit that includes everything to make the top and binding. It is currently on sale at 20% off the original price.

I really like using two blocks to create an interesting effect on a quilt. This quilt looks like the blocks are set on point, but they are not. The Diamond in a Square block blends in with the LeMoyne Star block which gives that effect. The fabrics are stunning!



I have also found out that I will be teaching at the NQA show (National Quilting Association) in Columbus, Ohio in April. I will let you know which classes and when the schedule will be posted on their website. 

Well, back to writing my pattern. 'Til next time. As always, do what you love and love what you do. Toby

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year and new year's resolutions

Here's wishing everyone a Happy 2014. It certainly has come in with a bang where I live! We got 9-12 inches of snow and the temperature today is -4 degrees! I think the last time we had weather like this was in 1985 when we moved back to St. Louis. We were moving from North Carolina and the movers did not anticipate the cold weather. They had on light jackets and the chill factor that day was -10 (or more, I can't remember exactly how much, I just know that it was cold!) It sure looks pretty, but I'm glad I don't have to go out in it. Luckily my husband, Mike likes the cold weather and doesn't mind going out to feed our outside kitties that live in the garage!

I usually do not make new year's resolutions, but this year I decided that I need to to help make my business and website grow. I started by writing a newsletter and I sent out my first one a couple days ago. If you would like to receive it you can sign up on my Gateway Quilts Facebook page by clicking on the envelope. I will not be bombarding you with a lot of postings. Maybe a couple a month and when I have a special sale or merchandise come in. My second resolution is to post on my blog more often. (More than once a year!) I have to make a concerted effort to sit down and write at least once a week on things I am working on and any news that I would like to share.

I thought I would start this year with a compilation of all of the projects that I did last year. One of my first projects that I worked on was a quilt I designed for RJR fabrics. The fabric collection was called Dawn. It was a very nice collection of different types of textures and I wanted to make a quilt that showed off the textures. I designed this quilt pattern that I call Shattered because it reminded me of a shattered glass. These are two of the colorways. It was different from most of my quilt designs which were based on traditional quilt blocks. This certainly wasn't traditional!

It was designed with one simple block that was strip pieced, over sized and cut down to size. To create the design I had to move the fabrics around on the block and create three different versions of it to get the effect I wanted.

 I was asked, more recently, to make the quilt with another fabric collection from Kaufmann fabrics and it looks like this.

I have found that it looks neat in a variety of colors and textures, even Christmas. I would love to hear your opinions of it and what colorways you would like to see it in. You can find the pattern here: Shattered pattern.

I do have some wonderful news to share. I have been asked to teach at the AQS Show in Paducah, Kentucky this April. It is a dream come true for me! It is my favorite quilt show that I do not miss going to every year and I have been wanting to teach there ever since I started teaching nationally. I will be teaching my North Star, Yin and Yang, and Millefiori classes and lecturing on Using Mirrors to Create Unique and One-of-a-Kind quilts. If you want to know what those classes are, information is on my website about each one with images of the projects. I hope that some of you will be able to come to Paducah and take one of my classes or attend my lecture. As soon as the schedule is posted on AQS's website, I will post it.

Well, time to work on writing a pattern for one of my new designs (not my favorite activity, I'd rather be quilting). I hope this will be a good year for all of you. And as always, love what you do and do what you love. Toby