Primitive Quilts and Projects

Primitive Quilts and Projects Magazine

A premium publication dedicated to the primitive quilter, rug hooker, stitcher and more! Each issue features at least 15 projects from some of the most admired designers in the primitive fiber arts world.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Happiness is Good Music, a Warm Quilt, and …. A Football?

Here in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, we had a cuh-cuh-cuh-cold weekend!

Snow Clouds in the WV Mountains

My husband (Dave) and I spent the weekend at our little mountain cabin, and it was super cold and super windy.  We even had some snow.  And I loved it all because I’m still a child at heart…I relish playing in the snow, drinking hot chocolate, and snuggling up in a warm quilt.

I spent most of the weekend snuggled in the “Somerset” quilt I made last year while working on blocks for “Floral Abundance.”  16 Blocks of 32 are complete, and 2 more are in process.  Dave entertained me by playing groovy music from our youth:  Gene Parsons (of The Byrds), Joni Mitchell, Little Feat, Linda Ronstadt…before you know it, we were online ordering more CDs:  Pure Prairie League, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Atlanta Rhythm Section, and Yes.  Based on that information, can you guess my age?

This picture shows 1) my blocks for “Floral Abundance,” and 2) a quilt Mom gave me a few weeks ago.  She made several quilts over the years, and recently decided to give them to her five “kids.”  Look how pretty this quilt is, and how perfectly it matches my décor.  Do you recognize the scene?  This was the photo shoot location for our "Antique Garden" Moda quilt as seen in the Summer 2015 issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects.

Blocks for Floral Abundance and Quilt that Mom Made
Back to the subject of snuggling in a warm quilt, here is my grandson, Julian, snuggling with quilts I made for him, and with his new football.  Sweet dreams, little fella.  He warms my heart like crazy!

Good Night, Football

On Thursday Jeni, Gretchen, and I will fly to Houston for International Quilt Market and Festival.  If you go, please stop by our booth, #2136.  We launched a “Primitive Folk-Art Quilt Exhibit” at the show, and are extremely excited to see it in person!  It showcases 23 amazing quilts, featuring all styles and techniques from hand-pieced to machine-created. Our goal with the exhibit is to spread awareness of the primitive design and give recognition to the many gifted artisans in the quilting world. Pictures of the quilts are in the image gallery of our website; we’ll post pictures of the Quilt Festival exhibit in the next week or two.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Family DIY fun...I think

Like Gretchen before me, I’ve never blogged before, so this should be interesting!

My family and I just moved into an awesome house, with a giant deck! Needless to say, there are a ton of DIY projects running through my mind at any given minute. My favorite type of DIY project, is the kind that costs little to no money. Lucky for me, I have been obsessed with pallets, and the cool projects on Pinterest that you can do with them!

I found several ideas on how to make pallet sectionals for your deck, and just HAD to do it! Here is the link to the pallet sofa that inspired me.

I started this adventure by sweet talking my wonderful fiancé, Neal, and his 13 year old son, Kameron, into helping with the heavy lifting. (Neal’s 15 year old son lucked out and didn’t have to help with this part.) We found 8 foot pallets behind a local store, asked if we could have them, and voila! Here is a picture of Neal and Kameron getting ready to unload them from my dad’s truck. (Sshhh don’t tell him we used the trucky for this, haha!)

We got 3 large pallets (2 for the seats, and one to chop up to use for legs), and 2 smaller pallets to rip apart and fill in the gaps on the seats. Man those things are heavy!

Henley helped pick the pallets out. Here is a photo of her all tuckered out before we even unloaded! Picking pallets is hard work for a 4 and a half month old baby girl. Just look at that sweet smooshy face!

After unloading the pallets, we had to gather the tools needed, with plenty of help from the dogs. Here is Nala, sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong...

And I got both, Sampson and Nala, to sit down for a picture for once! They needed a break from all the help, or should I say running around, they were doing.

We laid the pallets out, and did some measuring. We are chopping one of the pallets up to make legs that are about 15 inches tall. By we, I mean Neal, don’t trust me with power tools, haha! I'm just the mastermind.

So far, we have 1 of the benches made, with the exception of a little trimming and hole filling here and there.

Hopefully we will get it finished up next weekend. Poor Neal sprained his ankle at work one day, and I'm clumsy and kicked one of the pallets and hurt my toe. We’re falling apart! Clearly we shouldn't be doing DIY projects, haha!

Stay tuned, so you can see how the end product turns out, and find out what crazy new DIY project I suck my family into next! I’m thinking haunted maze for trick or treat, what do you think?! 

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

UFO's...Make them YOUR good story!

Hi, everyone!  This is Gretchen…my first blog post EVER!  I’ve been thinking about this for a few days….seems that a lot of people stress out about unfinished projects.  If that’s the case in YOUR sewing life, let me just take this opportunity to maybe help you think about these UFO’s a little differently.

In 2004, when I moved back to my hometown from San Antonio to open The Woolen Willow with sister Jeni, I had to go on a massive furniture store shopping extravaganza to find JUST the right couch for my basement family room.  My house was not really built with finishing off the basement in mind, so the stairwell was just wide enough to walk down, with shallow/steep steps.  You know, the kind that you pretty much injure yourself on each and every time you go up and down holding the laundry basket full of clothes!   Oh, and at the bottom anyone over 5’2” had to bend their body sideways to avoid smacking their forehead on the ceiling.  Got the picture?   Now…go find a couch that can be moved down there.  You see my dilemma.

Armed with exact measurements, Jeni and I traveled from store to store not looking at the actual styles of couches, but rather whipping out the tape measure to see how tall everything was.  Store after store, couch after couch, pushy salesperson after pushy salesperson (I’m telling ya, buddy…it just won’t fit down my stairs no matter what kind of discount you give me!) and we finally landed on one that would work…if you took the legs off!

The couch was perfect!  Slid right down that stairwell (Whew!  Because don’t we all secretly have a little doubt about these things when the day actually comes to rely on said measurements??)   It was a really great RED couch with tan piping on the edges.  And, a matching big, oversized chair, too!  Happy, happy!!  

A couple weeks after getting my pretty red couch, we received a big box of patterns and books from our distributor and there it was!  A book called “My Red Sofa” by Atkinson Designs.  It was meant to be!!  My first quilt would come from this book!!  A simple pinwheel design “Tilt-a-Whirl” caught my eye and I jumped right into the project.  We had lots of pretty homespun fabric in the store and so I got busy selecting and cutting what I needed.  I then paired up what I wanted to use in each block, made little planning piles and got all organized.  I cut all the little pieces and stacked and set aside everything and was all ready to sew!   Woohoo!!!  

Well, then something sort of distracted me…something like owning a quilt shop, having two young boys in school and sports, running the Sunday School program at church...

Now, this isn’t to say that I didn’t make OTHER quilts.  My first pieced quilt turned out to be a beautiful pastel number that we were selling at the shop – we needed a sample and so I whipped that up!  This quilt, too, has its creation story complete with me laying out all the individual blocks on the floor in the living room without closing the windows first.   Every quilt has a story, right?  

Now, jump ahead in time to the 2nd time I moved back to my hometown (spent a year in Minnesota) in 2007.  I actually ran into the plastic pouch of nicely folded fabrics while unpacking!  I sat down and started sewing my blocks – weee!!   Wait a minute…this piece is too small!!  What??!!  Too small?  This can’t be happening!  Aaaahhh!  I put the fabric away and moped around about it for a couple more years.  Ha!

So, I’m aware that this blog is getting long (remember, I’m a newby), so let me wind down by saying:  this is Oct of 2015 and somewhere in between 2007 and now I actually got the fabric out to assess the damage, and figured out that it wasn’t that bad and with a little fudging on my part, I successfully put together 9 blocks! I can’t remember “when” that happened, but obviously I had to put the project away again and just dug it out of my sewing storage area this morning in order to tell this tale. 

Needless to say, the red couch is long gone – gave it away when I remarried in 2013 and moved into my husband’s house (my sweet, new hubby’s name is Mike).  But, I WILL FINISH THIS QUILT!  I WILL!  I don’t know when, but that’s beside the point now.  

Each time I run into my little plastic pouch of ready-to-assemble pieces it makes me smile instead of cringe.  I smile at the memories of how this project came to be started.  I smile remembering the excitement of moving home, purchasing a beautiful old house for our shop, all the home renovations, the thrill of my younger son having MY 2nd grade teacher as his for Kindergarten, etc.   

This quilt represents a really fantastic journey in my life, and I’m actually glad that I still have the unassembled pieces to give me a constant reminder of it.  Maybe when Mike and I build our new home together in the next few years, I will get it finished and buy a pretty new red couch.  Now, that makes me smile, too.