• 24Feb

    You know I love designing fabrics–or redesigning fabrics, as the case may be.

    Since I work with 1930′s prints, I often start with vintage swatches.  Sometimes–with the help of the graphic design staff at the fabric company I design for-I’ll take a vintage print use the main flower, change the background, make something larger or smaller or closer together.

    Sometimes, though, the pattern is just perfect the way it is!  That was the case about five years ago when I was designing my Wash Tub Bears line of fabric.  I always try to combine a dot or a circle in each fabric line.  Well, this piece filled the bill–it was dots inside circles!  It reminded me of speckled eggs, and I named it Speckled Dots!

    The original swatch I had was blue.  We also did it in red…

    …brown…

    …and lavender.

    When I first started designing fabric, I was lucky enough to have as a friend and mentor Darlene Zimmerman.  She had been designing Thirties prints for a long time.  She said to me, don’t be surprised someday if we both use the same fabric for a future line.  Yikes, I thought, I don’t want to do that!

    But I knew what she meant, because I had seen one particularly adorable duck-in-a-top-hat print produced by three different companies–AND I had an original piece of it in some of my grandma’s scraps.  This is it.

    Imagine my surprise when I was in Sisters Quilt Shop recently and spotted what I thought was a bolt of “my” fabric.

    I picked it up and discovered it was part of Sandy Klopp’s Punctuation line!

    And not only had she done it in red and blue, she had done it in green…

    …and black…

    …and ORANGE!!

    You can bet I bought some of that for my stash!  Thanks, Sandy, for the orange!

  • 23Feb

    Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking at the Comforter’s Quilt Guild in Puyallup, WA.  My talk was on making quilts from fat quarters.  It included lots of show-and-tell quilts that I brought.

    These are all the quilts from my first two books.  In Bundles of Fun, each quilt uses 12 fat quarters.  In Fat Quarter Fun, the quilts use from 3 to 30 fat quarters.

    I also gave them each a pattern for my Ditty Bag.

    It was a lot of fun, and I loved the feedback about my quilts, but I had just as much fun seeing what they were doing!

    This was part of their monthly block exchange.  Oh, how I wished I could enter my name in that drawing!

    They had lots of “good neighbor” quilts that they would be donating in their local area.  This one is made with Debbie Mumm fabrics from quite a few years back.  I think I still have some blocks made from these fabrics in my WIP’s basket!

    This is an interesting variation on a four-patch.

    Aren’t these colors sweet.  This quilt will surely make some little girl happy.

    A sweet cottage quilt.

    Isn’t this a pretty strippy quilt?  It’s almost like a variation of Court House Steps!

    This quilt is really visually interesting with the diagonal blocks!

    I thought this quilt was just gorgeous.

    Nice animal prints here.

    Here’s another quilts that’s great graphically.

    These bold colors will surely cheer someone up.

    What a great way to feature a novelty print!

    This reminds me of a stylized Bow Tie quilt.

    Great interlocking Pinwheels.

    I loved this modern quilt!

    This was the quilt back.

    Here’s a great patchwork.

    A cool Rail Fence variation.

    Same blocks as the quilt above, but set on point.  It sure changes the look, doesn’t it?

    This bright Sampler reminds me of a Mexican Fiesta!

    Imagine, all of the above quilts were to be given away.  What wonderful work.

    Then it was time for a little member show-and-tell, like this stunning star quilt.

    This is a really pretty color combination.

    A beautiful bed quilt.

    This T-Shirt quilt is for the maker’s granddaughter–a volleyball player.

    A very pretty table topper…

    …and a pretty table runner.

    Thank you, Comforters, for inviting me!

  • 15Feb

    The Peninsula Quilt Guild is my local guild.  I’m proud to say I’m a charter member of this guild.  Over the last 15 years, our membership has grown to 55 women.  Maybe that doesn’t sound like a lot by city standards, but I live in a very small community.  One of the guild projects is making baby quilts for at risk new moms in our county.  This is Bev.  She’s the driving force behind this project–and many others!

    Yesterday was another “bring your baby quilts” day.  Twenty-two quilts were donated, and I’d like to share them with you.  I don’t know who made them all, but I’ll give credit where I do know.  Please email me or leave a comment if you know who made any of the others, and I’ll add that information.

    Bev made this one.  I think it’s particularly nice because it’s all made with fabrics I’ve designed!  Of course, Bev could make a great looking quilt out of anything!

    Glennys made these three quilts.  She found this pattern in a magazine.  You buy three yards of fabric, do some quick rotary cutting and some stitching and, voila!, you have three baby quilts!

    Andi made this great monster quilt and machine quilted it on her new long arm.  The quilting outlining the monster looks great on the back!

    This is a pre-quilted panel that just needed a binding and it’s ready to comfort a new baby.

    I think Andi also made this quilt with a packed bears print.

    This quilt has cute monkey fabric in it and a print that says, “I love Mommy” and “I love Daddy.”  How perfect is that?

    These two panels are flannel and oh-so-cuddly.

    Quilts From The Heart is another local group that makes charity quilts, and they donated several yesterday, including this one.

    This sweet quilt with its pink and plaid is just the right size for a receiving blanket.

    Ann S. has been in her log cabin period and made these two quilts.  One has a polka dot binding and the other an orange stripe binding.

    Here’s another comfy Quilts From The Heart quilt.

    This is a great, graphic design.  This one is quilted with a variegated thread, which looks so nice on this quilt.

    Nellie turned this Suzi’s Zoo panel into a baby quilt.  She said she’d had it in her stash since the Anna Lena store days!

    Quilts From The Heart made this sweet quilt with a packed teddy bear fabric.

    This strippy quilt made by Ann J. will keep some baby nice and warm.  It’s made with flannel.

    Lynda made this nice bright quilt with an even brighter back and binding!

    Isn’t this a great looking quilt with a very modern feel?  Renee made this one.  I love the colors!

    And the same with this rail fence.  Orange and aqua–what a great combination!  This quilt was made by Mary H.

    I think there will be some happy new moms and comfy babies, thanks to the work of the wonderful ladies of the Peninsula Quilt Guild.

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  • 13Feb

    Bob and I recently enjoyed a trip through the Panama Canal.  As our captain would say, “…onboard the beautiful and elegant STATENDAM!”

    We sailed out of San Diego.

    I thought perhaps this seagull was going to go all the way to Mexico with us.  He made himself at home on the deck railing with us.

    The sun began to set, and the sky was beautiful.   A hint of things to come.

    Our room was very comfortable–and the beds so comfortable.  I managed to nap almost everyday!

    We started out with two sea days, and I put them to good use, spending time in the spa!

    Here’s the Promenade deck–great for reading or taking a morning walk.

    We sailed past a lot of beautiful Mexican beaches.

    Ah, this is the life!

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  • 10Feb
    Categories: Everything! Comments: 8

    Our show-and-tell theme at Redwork this month was anything with hearts.

    Carol O. said this was one of the first classes she took at Anna Lena’s–many years ago!

    And for Cortne` this WAS her first class at Anna Lena’s.

    She made this quilt to live in her husband’s sports car.

    Mary made this gorgeous heart quilt.  She’s still working on hand quilting each of the hearts, but she’s well over half way finished.

    Mary was our goodie godmother today, and she brought these pillows to decorate the goodie table. Also note the little heart box with yo-yo’s on top and the yo-yo mat underneath.

    We used this for our table cloth today–a quilt Mary made from a Moda panel a few years back.

    It’s really cute!

    Mary also brought the vintage Valentine hanging here, and another heart wall hanging that she made.

    Loretta hand appliqued all of these cute little hearts.

    Eleanor went through her WIPs (Works in Progress) to find these heart blocks she won at quilt guild at least 7 years ago.  Now that they’re out, maybe she’ll put them together!

    Linda didn’t have anything for heart show-and-tell so a few nights ago she whipped this up!  And hand quilted it, of course!

    My mom really is the Queen of Hearts.  Since she no longer embroiders, she brought a lot of heart jewelry for show-and-tell–and a box of candies for each of us!  Thanks, Mom.

    Of course we never limit ourselves to one topic when it comes to show-and-tell.  Mary brought this purse that she recently made and felted!

    And she just started working on these adorable log cabin blocks with 1/2″ strips.

    Amazingly, Loretta just started the same blocks!  Great minds….

    Mary had this sweet, appliqued crib cover.  I’d never seen one on a striped background before.

    Loretta brought her basket quilt back. She’s working on hand quilting the blocks.

    Mary has the Halloween quilt top all put together.

    Didn’t she do a great job on the embroidery?

    And I LOVE the giant rick rack!

    In her digging, Eleanor found these blocks that we did in Redwork club in 2001!  I love that we did red on white and white on red that year.  Most of the designs came from a vintage Redwork quilt that I bought in New York.   We did 24 blocks that year.

    This one is especially cute.

    Ann had finished this charming boys quilt.

    She does such nice work.

    Cortne` brought her house blocks and wanted advice on how to finish them.  We all loved the yellow and black frames.  I think she’s going to frame every other one with the white-on-black print and the black-on-white print.

    I love how the yellow makes them pop.

    Robin had been practicing her machine stitching on some doll quilts that she gives away.  She’d done a really nice job.

    Nan brought me a two presents!  This vintage Grandmother’s Flower Garden quiltlette.

    Don’t you love the layout.

    And this embroidered days-of-the-week towel with a stitchin’ chicken!

    Thanks, Nan, and everybody who shared.

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  • 09Feb
    Categories: musings Comments: 8

    Look what I bought the other day when I was antique shopping with my daughters-in-law (we had left the kids with the dads and Papa!).  Bob’s mom had a whole set of this Samsonite luggage, which I now have, but she didn’t have this piece.  I just love the shape of it.

    I just had to have it–and it wasn’t very expensive.  And, after an afternoon of shopping, it was the only thing in the back of the car.  Bob was so pleased to see that I hadn’t bought a lot of “stuff.”

    Of course, what he didn’t know is that as we shopped, I stuffed my stuff into my new trunk!  And boy am I a good stuffer.  Here’s what it looked like when we got home and I took it into the guest room to open it.  Of course as we unloaded the car, and Bob started to pick up my new suitcase, I quickly reached in front of him and said, “Oh no, I’ve got this,” just in case the weight gave it away!  So, what did I manage to get in there?  One very lumpy (but cheap) quilt…

    …some adorable building blocks with letters and images…

    …and sweet clothes pin holder…

    …a wonderfully illustrated children’s book called Merry Murphy that stars a potato.  The end papers were beautiful.

    It was a rebus book!  Some of the words were replaced by pictures.

    I also bought this apron…

    …and this apron…

    …and this Hey Diddle Diddle crib cover.

    Lastly, there was this rolling cookie cutter that I couldn’t resist–and I still had a little room for another treasure in my trunk!

    Good thing Bob doesn’t read my blog!

  • 06Feb

    Just got back from a two week Panama Canal cruise.  Sunny skies everyday–and several ports to shop in.  Here are my treasures.

    At the top you can see that we bought the obligatory cruise photos from the formal nights–and a straw hat to keep off the tropical sun.

    In Mexico I bought vanilla and chocolate.

    I think the photo on the box looks suspiciously like Alex Trebek.

    When we arrived in port in Guatemala, we were given these darling necklaces.

    I love the Guatemalan textiles.  I bought a beautiful table runner with the quetzal, the national bird, woven into it.

    And I bought woven bookmarks for the members of a club I belong to.

    And these adorable pouches for my MG friends–shhh, don’t tell them.  I haven’t seen them since I got back.

    I bought myself a journal from locally made paper.

    And two of these adorable necklaces.

    In Panama I had to buy a mola.  I think these are turtles–and the colors are perfect for displaying in my studio!

    We took a bus tour un Cartagena, Columbia.  In the old town, where there were fabulous handcraft stalls, they only gave us 15 minutes to shop.  Argh!

    I did manage to buy a few things, like this lovely watercolor.

    I also bought this understated T-shirt for myself.

    And don’t feel bad for Bob, he got three new T-shirts–one from Panama and two from Antigua.

    I also got him two ties in Panama.  The one on the left is a graphic of the Bridge of the Americas and the one on the right is the locks in the canal.  I think they’re really cool, and since he wears a tie about twice a year, he’s set for all of 2011!

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  • 04Feb

    It’s taken me a whole year to get this post posted. I know some of you are very familiar with camo, but if you’re not, here’s your introduction!

    The whole Hamilton family visited Cabella’s in Olympia.

    Cabella’s is an outdoorsman’s paradise.

    And home of everything camo.  Do you see our grandson, Carson, in the photo below?  No, not the boy in purple, that’s Cole.  If you can’t find Carson, that’s the camo, aka camouflage, doing its job!

    If Justin didn’t have that great smile, you might not see him in the photo below.  He already has quite the camo wardrobe.

    Bill’s looking stylin’ in his camo pants and backpack.

    He probably should have these boots, too.

    You didn’t think they only came in one style, did you?

    Oh, you don’t need rubber boots?  How about work boots?

    If you don’t want anyone to see your hands–and you want to keep them warm at the same tie–you’ll need these gloves!

    Justin had some money to spend, but it was a hard decision what to spend it on.  Hmmm, maybe  this camo wallet???

    Perhaps we’re spending too much time shopping. Time for a wresting break.

    Wow! Not only can you be entirely clad in camo, you can get a camo ATV, too!

    JJ found one that’s just the right size.

    But, seriously, how about home decor?  Surely if we can outfit our bodies in camo, we can do our homes, too.

    Clock, anyone?

    Or a camo game table for just $99.00?

    Of course, you’ll need somewhere to relax.

    Pink and blue bean bags?  Is that pink for girls and blue for boys?

    Ooh, here’s a comfy TV chair.

    And McKenna modeling the latest in camo coffee mugs.

    Now that we’ve furnished the living room in camo, how about the bedrooms?

    Not only can you get the perfect comforter, you can get camo valances.

    Don’t think this is just for the boys.  There’s pink camo bedding for the girly girls in the family.

    Oh! Oh!  Bathroom accessories, too!

    Aw, even dolls dressed in camo.

    There were even kid sized chairs, as McKenna discovered.

    Justin and JJ found them a good fit, too.

    Carson had to give them a try.  Note the mini loves seat, too!

    The top half of Justin just about disappears in this chair.

    Is it Justin or a bear???

    Justin or a deer???

    I’m speechless!  All in all, it was a great camo day.

    There’s got to be a rhyme in here somewhere.  That family that wears camo together…….  Well, you’l have to finish it.

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