Saturday, November 22, 2014

100 Blocks Blog Tour Magazine Winner!!

Such an exciting week this has been! I hope you've enjoyed visiting each of the blogs for Quiltmaker's 100 Block, Volume 10 block designers...I know I have :o) It's fun to learn the inspiration behind the design of a quilt block. Learning about how the block testers contribute to the process was interesting, too! Such patient and talented ladies they are!

For the magazine drawing I asked readers to tell me how long they've been quilting and how they got started. Wow did I enjoy reading the stories you shared with me! I have to admit that more than one of them brought tears to my eyes. It is so wonderful how quilting has brought together people from across the generations and given family and friends a vehicle to create bonds. 

I used the Random Number Generator to pick a winner for an issue of Volume 10 to be sent directly from Quiltmaker's. 

The winner is No. 149!! Hooray!! I've sent Verna an email to let her know she is the magazine winner from my drawing. 

Verna blogs over at The Quilting Loon...go check out a few of her quilts. I believe we can read about the pretty quilt she mentions in her comment here.

I'm so thankful for each person who took the time to visit my blog and leave a comment about Nested Bear Paw. Wishing a blessed and happy Thanksgiving to all :o)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 10 Blog Tour

My block made the front cover :o)

{Welcome Friends}

What a privilege it is to be part of the monumental tenth issue of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. This publication provides such a wonderful opportunity for both new and experienced designers to share their creative ideas. This is the second issue I've had a block in...the first was my Dashing Geese block in Volume 9.

I'm over-the-moon about finding my block, Nested Bear Paw, on the front cover! There may have been some dancing around the house when I learned of this :o)

Here's a larger picture of Nested Bear Paw (Block 982, p. 59) so you can get a better look at it:

Nested Bear Paw
Nested Bear Paw by Debbie Martin

Inspiration for the Nested Bear Paw quilt block came from a wool felt wall hanging I designed and made. Inside each large bear paw is a smaller set of paws.

Nested Bear Paws
Wool felt wall hanging designed & stitched by Debbie Martin

When making this design with wool felt it was pretty straight forward to get the layout to work; however, when it came to translating it into a quilt block I had to rethink the dimensions in order to get the small set of paws to fit inside the larger paw. It took me a while to get this figured out.

This is a block that lends itself to both modern and traditional quilts. When making my block for the magazine (picture above) I used Moda's Puzzle Pieces in Jacquard Black for the background and P&B Textiles Color Weave in Orange and Light Aqua for the paws. These fabrics tend to have a modern feel.

Showing that Nested Bear Paw is also a block friendly with more traditional quilts I used reproduction fabric when I put together a wall hanging to send in for the Designers Gallery (page 16.) 

Nested Bear Paw wall hanging by Debbie Martin

Fabrics for this mini quilt include Amity and Love Knots from the Ladies Album collection by Barbara Brackman, and Hope Chest by Laundry Basket Quilts - all from Moda Fabrics. Here's how Nested Bear Paw would look as a full size bed quilt:

I used photo editing software to create this

Quiltmaker's is generously giving one of my blog readers a free issue of 100 Blocks, Volume 10. To be entered into the drawing just leave me a comment telling me how long you've been quilting and how you got started. If you suspect you may be a "no reply" blogger please make sure to include your email address in your comment. I'll draw a random winner on Friday evening, November 21.

Thank you so much for stopping by Shadows of the Blue Ridge :o) If you'd like to follow my blog in the upper right side bar are options for BlogLovin', email, and Google Friends Connect. I hope you are enjoying this special week and visiting the blogs of many block designers, as well as sponsors to the blog tour!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Quiltmaker's Excitement is in the Air!

Can you feel it? There's a buzz in the air...Quiltmaker's 100 Block Volume 10 has arrived in stores! My local quilt shop, The Scrappy Apple, reports issues of Volume 10 are selling fast and furious. 

To celebrate reaching the 10 issue milestone Quiltmaker's put together a fun video. Click the video image to watch it.

Note: I am not in the video

Join me back here on Wednesday, November 19 to play along on Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks blog hop...I'll share a bit of background on my block and hold a drawing for a free issue of the magazine. See you on Wednesday!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ten, 10, X

Ten...that's how many issues of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks are now in print. That means 1,000 quilt blocks have been designed, submitted and published. Wow!! Now that's impressive :o) Even cause for a celebration!!

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volume 10

Admittedly, I am late to join in on the 100 Blocks fun with Dashing Geese in Volume 9 being my first submission and acceptance. To have a block included in the milestone tenth issue is, to me, quite an honor. 

Something I appreciate about this publication is the opportunity it provides for anyone to experiment with designing. For quite a while I would mull over how I could follow patterns created by others and come out with a beautiful product, but wonder if I had any capacity to design. I so appreciate the vision that designers have...looking at things in ways not previously thought of. How fun to know, that even on a small scale, I can design an original quilt block.

I hope you'll join in November 17 - 21 for the blog hop tour! Stop by my blog on Wednesday, November 19 for details on my block and fun give-aways :o)

p.s. My block made the front cover of the magazine!! Wow, how fun it was to discover that...I may have squealed and danced around a bit :o) Can you guess which one it is? I won't tell until the blog hop...hope to see you then!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Just in Time

{Way} back when I was in college I majored in business administration. This major required classes in economics, and I have to say they were probably my least favorite classes. It has surprised me, in my adult life, how much economics really does apply...and not just to money, but to many different aspects of life. 

One economic principle is that of "Just in Time." In college we were applying that to inventory and the laws of supply and demand...not stock piling inventory, but purchasing it just in time to be used. Boring to a young college co-ed, but important to the cash flow of a company. 

I find that as I live and work "just in time" is happening all the time. At school we train our teachers "just in time" for the technology they will be using with students. At home I cook dinner "just in time" for family to arrive home and eat it. Cleaning the house happens "just in time" for a guest to arrive {bad, I know!} Even crafting pursuits happen "just in time" for a gift that needs to be given. Sometimes all of this "just in time" drives me crazy. 

If I am honest with myself I can see how I cause a lot of my own "just in time" issues by how I choose to spend my time. At some point earlier in the year I made the decision that my sewing was getting a bit out of hand. In an attempt to keep up with the ebb and flow of the online quilting community I was starting to loose meaning in the things I was spending my time working on. Many projects were being started, but few were actually getting finished. Each new start made past unfinished projects a bit less precious and desirable to finish. 

With this knowledge under my belt I resolve to be more intentional about what I work on and not get drawn into beginning projects that have little real purpose to me personally. I'm finding joy in cheering other on from the sidelines, but not feeling compelled to always join in. Now I will say that occasionally a bit of impulse is a good thing, because it does help to keep creativity flowing ~ at least for me.

Wow! If you're still reading at this point thank you for listening :o)

I will share my latest "just in time" finish...but, I'm happy to say that I started these socks back in June in order to enjoy every step of the process while crocheting them. I did just get them finished this morning "just in time" for a delightfully cool autumn day :o)


I realize these are just plain, utilitarian socks, but I am oh-so-happy to have them finished! They turned out exactly as I hoped they would: cozy and soft :o)

The yarn is Patons Kroy Socks FX in Cascade Colors. The design is a hodgepodge of patterns: 
  • the toe area comes from Patons Women's Twisting Lace Socks
  • the heel & cuff areas comes from Patons Kroy Toe Up Socks
  • the foot and ankle are my design (just simple half/double crochet stitch)
I've wanted to make myself a pair of these ever since I made socks for my brother-in-law last year. My yarn is a bit more chunky than what I used for his, but I'm liking them :o)

How about you? Do you live a whole lot of life "just in time," or have you learned to master your schedule and live a bit more intentionally?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Leave no blocks behind - In pursuit of a quilt back

Back in March I was the quilt designer for the Faith Circle quilt. For this quilt I asked the Faith Circle ladies to make wonky disappearing 4-patch blocks using a palette of soft colors. You can read more about the quilt design and find the block tutorial here. In my mind I had visions of a plaid center section surrounded by applique borders of whimsical flowers. 


After a few more months than I intended the finished quilt top finally emerged :o) These happy little flowers took longer than I expected to complete, but I am oh-so-happy with the finished turned out exactly as I pictured it.

As often happens with our Faith Circle quilts there were a couple of blocks left over after the quilt top was assembled.


I try to go by the motto, "Leave no blocks behind." In other words, when a quilt is completely finished (quilted and bound) I really don't want any orphan blocks left over. A good way to accomplish this is to use the extra blocks when making the quilt back. I have collected a few larger cuts of fabric to put together with the two blocks in a pieced back. I want the back to use the same soft colors as the quilt top.


In my quilt notebook I've started to sketch out an idea...we'll see if it works out with the blocks and fabrics I've pulled. I hope to get the back pieced this weekend, and maybe get the quilt basted, too. 


I'm excited to see this quilt progressing!