Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pink Saturday: Falling for Fall!

Hello Bear Thread Designs friends and Pink Saturday guests! So glad you could join us! Things here are moving right along as we move closer and closer to the International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston. With Fall comes cooler weather, and nothing compliments cooler weather like quilts. Snuggling on the porch, curled up on the sofa or cuddling in bed, quilts make life better!

For our regualar visitors, you many remember a few weeks ago when I was telling you about  Veronica's Maple Leaf quilt adventures. Well, recently we were visiting her mother-in-law, who had finished her quilts, so we asked if we could post it today. What do you think?

It's looks amazing don't you think? Quilting is definitely a family affair! Veronica has finished her top and we'll post photos of that soon too, but did you get the free Maple Leaf pattern we posted as a freebie Friday? We are also still taking entries for the Sue Pritt's complete pattern set for Up North, which a wonderful front porch applique pattern. All you have to do is Like the Bear Thread Designs Facebook page.

If you read the story about Veronica's quilt adventures you also saw a photo of me and my pretty Maple Leaf quilt block Veronica gave me. I can't wait until she makes a quilt for me with it! I just love fall!

We hope everyone has a wonderful Pink Saturday! Thank you Beverly @ How Sweet the Sound for hosting this fun weekly adventure where we meet new friends!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pink Saturday: Quilting Pretty ... Quilting Scary!

Hi! I hope everyone is having a great October weekend, and a wonderful Pink Saturday! Things here are pretty crazy as we prepare for the International Quilt Festival in Houston and a few projects and programs between now and then!
While we were going through the Creative Room last week, Veronica found this adorable mini quilt!

Isn't it adorable!?! Veronica has been giving lectures on miniature quilts for years, and sometimes when we are going through them, we find something that we either have seen in a while, or are seeing with "new eyes". It's really a fun surprise!
Another "find" was when Michelle was going through some of our freebie patterns looking for a Maple Leaf pattern for a series we were working on and found this cute little jack-o-lantern.

O.k., so maybe "cute" isn't the description most p[eople would chose, but could you just imagine a quilt of oranges and blacks? It would be perfect for covering up and cuddling while watching scary Halloween movies!
Well, we hope everyone enjoys our little "treat"! We are excited to go blog-hopping and see what tricks and treats you may have!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Shop of the Month: Quilting Ponies!!

Jaggie here! Not everyone in Texas rides horses and if that what you’re looking for when you visit our October Shop of the Month, you may find horses, but not the ones you think!
This month, we profile a long-standing friend of Veronica and Michelle, the Painted Pony n’ Quilts in LaPorte, Texas. Veronica has been visiting Painted Pony n’ Quilts, fore more than 20 years, and Michelle has tagged along on many of those trips. In fact, it’s where she got fabric for her first quilt!
The 8500+ square feet shop houses a quilter's paradise of books, notions, patterns, quilt samples, gifts, and classroom, as well as Janome sewing machines and sergers, and selected quality sewing furniture and lighting.
There are more 10,000 bolts of fabric, and they can be found in every nook and cranny in the Happy Room, Rainbow Room, Plaid Room, and Sale Room. (I don't know about you, but I want to spend the night in the Rainbow Room!) There are a variety of programs and classes to choose from at Painted Pony n’ Quilts.
Painted Pony n’ Quilts supports a number of quilt-related groups  such as the "Charlie's Angels" quilting bee, a Baltimore Album bee, the Buck-A-Block program, 30's Circle of Friends, and Jo Morton's "Little Women" Club.
Although the Painted Pony n’ Quilts will not have a booth at this year’s International Quilt Festical, in Houston, you may run into staff and quilters who call the shop home!
Painted Pony n’ Quilts shop hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed Sunday.

Painted Pony 'n Quilts
1015 S. Broadway St., La Porte, Texas  77571
Telephone: 281-471-5735
Take some time to visit our friends at Painted Pony n' Quilts, and tell them we sent you!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pink Saturday: A Blog Take Over

Hello Everyone! It's Jaggie here! Veronica is out of town again and Michelle is taking over the blog decisions todayand through November really  ... which will be evident once you realize its all about her projects today on Pink Saturday.
Michelle is a "jack-of-all trades" when it comes to crafts, though quilting is one of her interests, its one that she has only been doing in recent years. Just like Veronica learned to sew at age 5, Michelle learned to cross stitch at age 5 and this is her first love ... well crafting-wise. As a military spouse who moved often, she found one way to keep the feel of "home" in each new house was to keep some simple touches the same. In the kitchen that meant a variety of stitched towels.
Now Michelle lives by the  philosophy that making something is only part of its journey. Each time she uses one of her stitch towels (or other craft items), she has the opportunity to create new memories while holding on to old ones. Some of those towels have quite a story to tell ... like the baby's first bites of solid food or the first dinner she hosted for her husband's commander and his wife!
These towels pictured were all made at various points at thier last duty station, mostly while her husband was deployed or "otherwise engaged" by the Army.

(Can you see why she needs more drawers in her kitchen!?! This is just the summer ones made in the last 2 years!) Stitching towels started with the first yearlong deployment, and has evolved to be a sort of tradition where she choses a theme and stitches various things with that theme during the deployment. This year is cupcakes ...

Luckily now that they are back home for a while, she has turned her crafting to other areas. (Really, she was running out of room in the kitchen!) This is one of the fall projects she did for their home (now that she can decorate without worrying about losing stuff in a move.)
What projects are you working on? Anything seasonally inspired? We'd love to hear what you've got on your craft table! Happy Pink Staurday!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Artist Investigation: A Flurry of Floral Fantasy

Jaggie here! It's time for our Artist Investigation and I had so much fun playing in the flowers with this month's artist. Carol Morrissey, of O'Carol Designs,  is crazy about quilts and crazy about designing quilt patterns! (Her words! We're not calling her crazy!)
Carol's quilt designs brings the beauty of nature inside so you can enjoy it year-round. Her floral designs are a collage of bright colors! Earlier this week, I got to sit down with Carol and talk about her art and inspirations.
Jaggie: Tell us, how you got started in quilting?
Carol: I started quilting out of necessity. In 1985 or so, my close friend was expecting her first grandchild and I needed a special gift but couldn't really afford anything fancy so I thought, "I'll make a baby quilt." After all, I'd been sewing clothes since I was eleven, so I thought I could surely make a quilt. Looking back, it was pretty dreadful--big rectangles of pastel pinks and blues with an eyelet ruffle around the edge! But my friend loved it and so did the baby. After that first one, I made two more baby quilts, each with over 700 half-square triangles, so I guess I was officially hooked on quilting.
Jaggie: How did you transition into the applique and fusible applique arts?
Carol: When I began designing patterns, I saw a need for some large scale, dramatic flower designs, and since I didn't have the time or the inclination to do handwork, fusible applique was the answer.
Jaggie: Who influenced you artistically from the start and is there anyone you learned about later who has impacted your creativity?
Carol: My mother, who is 84, has always been artistic and she still oil paints. I remember her drawing with inks, pastels, charcoal, and pencils, so there were lots of supplies around when I was growing up. My mother and my grandmothers made quilts and sewed clothes, too, so I was always exposed to lots of creative expression in various media. I've always painted and drawn and studied art. There are so many people who have impacted my creativity, both in the quilting world and not, that it would be impossible for me to list them all. I'd have to say that my husband, Mike, has been the biggest influence because he has always encouraged me and appreciated my efforts.
Jaggie: I see that you like to do florals, when did you start creating patterns and what inspires you? Have you always gravitated towards nature, or did you try other themes first? Have you tried others since or are you comfortable with where the nature takes you?
Carol: I started my pattern company in 2004, although I had been creating original quilt designs for a number of years before that. Nature is a big part of my life and always has been. As a child, I loved to go exploring in the woods, gathering feathers, flowers, nests, bugs, butterflies--well, just about anything that wouldn't bite me. While I appreciate and enjoy traditional patchwork, I always seem to return to nature themes.

Wildflower Bouquet
Jaggie: What do you do to relax?
Carol: I'm a gardener and if it's not too hot, as it often is in Texas, I enjoy working in the yard. I'm also a photographer, and I often go outside in the mornings to photograph whatever is blooming in the yard. Naturally, I enjoy sewing and also quilting on my longarm.
Jaggie: If you could sit down and teach one celebrity or historical figure to quilt, who would it be?
Carol: Now that's a question that really made me think! I could name a dozen, but I'll go with Andy Warhol just because I'd like to see what he'd do. Yeah, definitely Andy Warhol ... or Mick Jagger ... or Benjamin Franklin.
Jaggie: What is your favorite color(s) to quilt with?
Carol: I am drawn to warm colors ~ yellow, orange and red ~ but I am trying to embrace blues and greens, especially since blue is the complement of orange, and green is the complement of red. I am still trying to give purple a chance, but it's hard.

Georgetown Poppies
Jaggie: What is one project you've maybe wanted to try but haven't?
Carol: An elaborately longarm quilted, hand-dyed, whole cloth quilt.
Jaggie: How has the Appliqué Pressing Sheet influenced your quilting/designing? How have you seen the Appliqué Pressing Sheet impact the quilting industry?
Carol: When I teach fusible applique workshops, there are usually a couple of people who admit that they have never used their Applique Pressing Sheet. Well, that's kind of what happened to me when I got mine. 

I saw it being demonstrated somewhere so I had to have it, but then I didn't really "get it" for a while. When I started designing fusible applique patterns, and I started using it, I realized how it simplified the assembly, particularly if there were a lot of little pieces in the pattern. People get excited when see how much easier it is to assemble multiple layers of fusible applique. 

When I write my pattern directions, I am thinking about the layering sequence and assembling the design in groups of pieces, and the process is so easy if the quilter uses the Applique Pressing Sheet rather than trying to fuse directly to the background fabric. I also use it to protect surfaces from fabric inks and paints.

Prickly Pear in Bloom

 It was so fun to sit down with this artist and learn more about her process and inspirations. And really, who doesn't love these flowers!?! You can learn more about Carol at her website. And remember, if you are working on, or have completed an O'Carol Designs project, post pictures on our Facebook page. We'd love to see them!

(Editor's Note: Blogger is still acting sluggish and wouldn't allow this to be posted yesterday, on schedule. Please be patient as we wait for Blogger to fix these issues.)