Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blogging and Book Club

I have been reading articles on blogging to help me, well blog.  I know how important it is in this age of technology to connect with your potential customers.  It is ironic that the very technology that took away the need for face to face interaction has fostered this much more personal form of communication.  The blogging articles tell you to find your voice, be genuine and stick to it.  So here is my plan:  a little bit about me, a little bit of promotion, a little bit about my family, a little bit about my designs, a little bit about quilting in general...hopefully you will enjoy it.  So here it goes....

Do you belong to a book club? I have been in the same book club for over 13 years now. I can't believe it has been that long. It was one of the best decisions that I made because it forced me to read books I would not have chosen myself and it forced me to get out with adult friends which is not always easy when you have kids. Case in point: between music and soccer this fall, we have kids activities every day of the week!

We meet once a month and the location of the meeting rotates among the members.  You all now will be virtual members of our club!

You must first meet the non-virtual members of our club:
Me, Wendi, Colleen, Jodi, Marcie, Jeanne, Trish, Debbie, Lorna, Yolanda, Miriam and Mary-Ann.  I planning on taking photos next meeting whether they like it or not!

We just finished reading Product Details "The Dovekeepers" by Alice Hoffman.  It takes place over 2000 years ago and is the story of 4 Jewish women who end up in Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert.  Masada was one of the last hold outs agains the Romans and the four women's lives intersect as they care for the doves in the mountain stronghold.  Although the story is fictional, it is based on historical research.

As a group we would recommend this book as it was very well written but the general criticism was that it was too long.  The character development was excellent.  I will provide you with much more interesting commentary next time.  I was the host of this meeting and I was little pre-occupied with filling up coffee cups and serving desert...

Our next read is "The Shoemaker's Wife" by Adriana Trigiani and those of us who have already started it say it is excellent.  I'll let you know what the group thinks after our meeting next month.

Product DetailsNow I must go and try and write some patterns....Maybe I should have another cup of coffee first.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Magazine Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Mary Arline of Iowa who won a copy of Quilts from 100 Blocks! Thank you to all the contest entrants.  I will be participating in the Blog Hop in November for the release of vol. 6 of 100 Quilt Blocks.  Hope to see you back then. 

I just finished making this quilt which is called "Birds in the Garden".  It measures 55" x 61" and features the upcoming fabric line "Noteworthy" by Sweetwater for Moda.  The pattern will retail for $10 and it will be available at the end of September. 

It turned out really well and I love the spring colors.  This fabric line is just being shown to quilt shops now so if you like it, let your local quilt shop know!  The fabric will be in stores in January.

I was playing with it to see how it would look in completely different colors and this is what I came up with.

It is amazing to see how different fabrics can change the look of a quilt.

Thanks for stopping by..... Barb

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks

I am so excited that my quilt design was chosen for the Fall '12 edition of Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks.  It even made it onto the cover!  Mine is the one in the center.

My quilt designs features 2 main blocks.  The first block was included in vol. 5 of 100 Quilt Blocks and the second block will appear in vol. 6.  Both the blocks and my quilt feature fabric designed by Kathy Schmitz of Moda Fabrics.

I have been involved in the quilting industry for 10 years now.  I started with an online store and then opened a small shop which was only open a few days a week.  My kids were really young and it was a great way for me to get out and have some adult time with other women that shared my passion for fabric.  My fabric inventory was not large but when I saw Kathy's fabrics I knew I had to have them.  I met Kathy at Quilt Market in Portland and I was so thrilled to meet one of my favorite fabric designers.  I became even more committed to her designs and they have become like a comfort food to me - sort of like having a cinnamon bun and coffee while listening to James Taylor by the fire on a rainy night.

Years later when I sold my stores, my very first commercial patterns were designed with Kathy's fabrics.  Her support and encouragement allowed me to open the door to my new career as a pattern designer.   Hence the reason I jumped at the chance to work with her fabrics.  Visit her at:, and/or

I decided to use flowers in my block designs because they look great in all kinds of fabrics.  The flowers for both blocks are a folksy take on coneflowers and lend themselves to both small and large prints.  I have shown my vol. 5 blocks in alternate color ways.  Look for the vol. 6 blog tour in November to see alternate color ways for my vol. 6 block.

My quilt design uses only 4 colors: black, red, tan and green.  I love how the stark contrast between the black and the red is warmed by the tan background.  The green adds a punch of color to brighten up the darker colors. 


I am giving away a copy of the Fall '12 edition of Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks.  Click on this link and send me an email with your name and address by the end of the day on September 5 and I will randomly select a winner.  Quiltmaker is also giving away 20 more copies.  Click on this link for more chances to win:

Thanks for visiting my site and I hope you visit often.  Barb


Monday, September 3, 2012

New Beginnings & Seascapes by Deb Strain

Today was bittersweet for me and my husband as we sent our oldest son off to university.  We are very proud that he was accepted into the Forestry program at the University of British Columbia where he will be living in residence.  We are going to miss him (and his driver's license as soccer season starts up tomorrow for our other 3 kids!)  Fortunately UBC is only an hour and a half away....

Of course I had to make him a quilt so here is a picture of my husband and me, our son and our oldest daughter in our son's teeny tiny dorm room.  His quilt is displayed on his bed.

His requirements were warm and cuddly so I used Maywood Studios Woolies Flannel designed by Bonnie Sullivan on the front and Moda's Fireside on the back.
"Seascapes" by Deb Strain for Moda Fabrics is coming to stores this December.  I have designed 3 patterns featuring this fabric line.  The first is called Waves which measures 62" x 80".  The pattern retails for $10 and will be available for purchase on my website by the end of the week.
Here are some close ups of some of the beautiful fabrics designed by Deb in this line:


Stay tuned to the see my other 2 new patterns using this line.......