Saturday, October 30, 2010

A little idea

Someone emailed to "check on" me since I have been quiet since Wednesday.  I am doing well.  I just haven't taken time to blog.

I did have an idea while lying in bed this morning prior to getting up.
I want to do a big star block and surround it with tumbler blocks.   I had to use EQ and Photoshop to get the idea going.  Here is my mockup.  I couldn't get the tumblers on the sides to look right just yet so I just threw in blank yellow area for now.

Not bad, but still not what I envisioned.  At least now I have made a "note" for myself and can come back to it later. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Whistlin' again

Here is a tune for you to enjoy if you like.
This is another of my compositions that I make up as I go.  I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

At It Again

Notebooks, that is.  I have been making more quilted notebook covers and even a couple of quilted photo albums.  Last year at the sale, a lady opened a couple of the notebooks, sighed and said "Grandma's need brag books!"  So I am accommodating the buying public.  I really hope she shows up this year!
Here is what the ones I have with me look like:


The two small ones on the lower right are photo books (they are kind of in a shadow.) This brings me to a total of 12 notebooks and two photo albums in the last week.

I also started quilting the "Pink Diamonds" quilt.  I am doing it all free motion, even though I did a lot of "straight lines"  (they are NOT very straight, they are "organic")


I have been pretty productive this week!  Now I think I will pack it in and enjoy this beautiful Saturday afternoon.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Commission Quilt 2 take Two - and a Flimsy finished

First of all let me say "HOORAY!"  The second commission quilt is all in one piece and only needs binding.  It goes "on hiatus" for a while and I get to do other sewing things.
Here it is -all in one piece.  The "skinny stripes" are the joining strips.
Commission Quilt-joined

Oh that felt gooood!

You may remember the "Pink diamonds" piece I did for a demonstration.  I decided to make it into a baby quilt or Lap quilt - the purchaser can decide on its final use.  So I added some borders.  Now you know that I didn't do "plain" as it is not my style. So here is what I did:

Baby or Lap Quilt - Pink Diamonds

Oh, please ignore the bits of the kitchen peeking around the edges. When I was sewing those top and bottom borders, I kept saying "blue, yellow, pink, blue, yellow, pink" so I could keep them in order.
This is so bright and happy, that I would love to keep it. But, well, I have to sell some of the things I make or I couldn't afford to keep making them.
I still have at work to do.  Gee, this has to be layered and quilted and bound.  Back to the sewing machine for me.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Commission Quilt 2 and Another Journal

Yesterday I did some more sewing on the second commission quilt and it is getting close to a finish. I have it in only two pieces now and I plan to join those today. Yaay! I used a Turning Twenty pattern for this quilt. The fabric is a fat quarter collection from Connecting Threads called "Bed and Breakfast." This is a rather traditional looking quilt for a person whose style is traditional. I think the new owner will be happy this Christmas. If you look close you may see my free motion quilting on this. I used a new (to me) design. I even threw in a couple of hearts and some flowers.


My other project yesterday was another journal cover. This one is made of some Asian inspired fabric scraps. Again I popped the scraps on the 1 1/2" strip cutter to make 'logs' before sewing and then did free piecing (no plan other than watching color values) This has a composition book inside that can be easily replaced when this book is full.

Asian Scrap Journal

Now, I have a few more journal covers to make and that quilt to sew on. I probably won't bind the quilt until after Thanksgiving. That way I can devote my sewing time to making items for the sale in November. It is quickly approaching!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Special Notice - and another completion

Hi folks, I can't believe that I didn't tell you this, but I can't find it on my blog.  So first some background:  Those of you who have been faithful readers know that I did Konda Luckau's Jelly Roll Quilt Along as a participant.  I loved it. I have a nice top that I need to do something with soon.  Ha ha. 

Back in September, Konda announced a Layer Cake Quilt Along.  She mentioned that she did not have all the designers lined up for it.  I couldn't resist so I emailed and offered to design a block for the Quilt Along.  She said "Yes"  --  oh wow - Oh NO, now I have to design something really cool and pretty easy.  YIKES.   Okay, breathe!!!!!  

I did it.  I did a great (I think) job of writing it up.  If anything I went overboard on details.  Then, on October 19th, 7:22pm, right on Moose on the Porch Quilts blog , Konda listed the designers.  I am on that list.  Can you hear my heart beating a little faster?  Can you hear the extra lilt in my voice?  Well, maybe you can't but trust me on it.  I am very happy to be a part of this. 

One really cool thing is that along with the quilt along, there are some prizes! You have to make the block and post a picture to the Flickr pool to get a chance at the prizes, but you get a block made toward your quilt.  Of course this is a sampler quilt since each block is by a different designer.   I hope you join in the fun and make my block.  I think some of my close quilting buddies will be surprised! 

Now, about that completion: I took some nice scraps that I had in a zip lock bag and put them on my GO! 1 1/2" strip cutter and quickly sliced them. I had strips of different lengths but they were all 1 1/2" wide.   While I was watching some recorded television, I sat and pieced them.  I had my scissors close to trim lengths.   (yes I do still use scissors AND a rotary cutter on occasion!)  After I had some good sized pieces, I pieced them into the size for a journal cover.  I did the entire thing while catching up on recorded TV.   Here it is:

Asian Fabric Quilted Journal

I am showing both sides because I love the back as much as the front.  It could easily be used either way.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yesterday's Completions

For some reason I just couldn't get into the sewing swing yesterday.  I did manage to churn out five of these journals / notebooks with quilted covers. These have been good sellers in previous years.  I hope they sell well this year too.


I used some orphan blocks and test blocks but I also did some piecing for these too.I did more piecing to upsize the blocks than anything but that takes just as much work.  I think I could have made a lap quilt almost as easily as making these five.  However, I do love having a variety of things for my customers to choose from.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Dear Gene Letter

Dear Gene - a letter to myself,
You have lots to do today. Please get busy.  Yes I know that AccuQuilt makes some amazing dies for the GO! cutter.  Guess what?  That doesn't mean you can SEW them all.   You have never been good at precise curves. (I know, self.  I know!) So why, when you need to be busy getting things made for inventory for the Winter Sale, did you decide to try a Drunkard's Path project?
Look at this block:

Sure it looks "okay" - but it ain't right!  Your curve sewing needs work.  Yes, this will be a perfect project to work on it with. But not today, okay?
Now everyone else is looking at that block thinking "that lower right corner is turned the wrong way."  Yeah, it does look that way, self, but I had a plan.  See this:

In the right hand half, it is the upper right block (even though blogger show it oriented the wrong way) 
And then you cut out all these pieces in no time flat:

If you could sew them as quickly as you cut them, I would not be fussing at you.

You need to just put them with the block in a nice envelope or storage bag and wait till LATER to do this.  Maybe you will finally "get" the curved piecing to work well enough... for now, Gene, get to work on things that you are already skilled at doing! Okay?  Sheesh, you are one stubborn man quilter!

Okay self, okay!  I get the point.  I will work on the other stuff.  I am going back to work!
ps  There is a cool giveaway FABRIC at Jaybird Quilts

Saturday, October 16, 2010

We have a REAL Live WiNnEr of the GO!

It gives me great pleasure to announce the winner of the Accuquilt GO! cutter and three dies. Since I had such problems with adding a picture earlier, I lost the image from (((sigh)))
The winner of the GO! said :
I love the Circles, the feathers, and the 2 1/2 inch strips!!! So send the Go to Green, Ohio. It's a small town of only 35 square miles and we haven't even got our own post office. So, though I live in Green, my mailing address is Clinton, Ohio. But don't worry, there are plenty of stores near where I live and work so I will be able to purchase lots of fabric for cutting!!!

And happy birthday! Could you share with us the secret of aging in reverse, please!!?? 

Sadly, I don't have the secret to aging in reverse.  I do try to stay young at heart and in my thinking. 

So Without Further Ado-- Give a big round of congratulations to 
Melissa at Ardea's Nest  She is the winner of the GO! and three dies.  She is now trying to make her final decision on the dies. I told her she didn't have to GO! with her original choices.  I believe everyone has a right to change his/her mind! 

Three cheers for Melissa!!!

I love that when I contacted her, she was almost unbelieving that she had won.  I remember that lovely and stunning feeling.  

Now for the rest of you who are happy for Melissa, but sad for yourselves, take heart!  There is another Go! being given away over at Quilt Taffy   So hop on over there and enter AFTER you congratulate Melissa. 


AccuQuilt GO! Winner

UPDATE Go to this post.

I have gone to and chosen a winner!  I am waiting for a return email from that lovely person. The only clue is that I checked and the winner has a blog.  I can't wait to here from _______!  So I can get ______! all set up with a GO! and three dies.

Blogger is acting weird on me today so I don't have a picture in this post.
unless this works:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Tabs

Hi folks this is a very short post.  I just wanted to let you know that I have added a couple of new tabs at the top here.  There is now a tab for my Quilting Videos. There is also another tab that has videos of me playing penny whistle and occasionally something else. (A side note to the Twinkle Star Duo:  I did not put your video on here. So don't go into a panic!)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

From Idea to Reality!

The "idea" that I posted this morning is now a reality. I have made a version of the table runner.

I have also posted a video of the technique, that I call the Split Tumbler, on YouTube.  Here it is for your education and amusement.  I confess that we did at least three takes.  Somehow my tongue didn't want to say the right words. 

Also, I got permission to show the commission quilt. So here it is:

I have an Idea!

A couple of mornings ago, as I was lying in bed not wanting to get up, I had an idea.  What if I did something creative with a Go! die cut.  Hmmm..... 
I came up with this layout idea. What do you think?  This is the table runner version. 

But how about this little Christmas Quilt?

 I am planning to try the table runner today.  With any luck there will be a video!!! Yaay!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Another *little* Finish

Some of you will remember my tumbler quilt top. I finished it quite a while back.

So finally I backed it and quilted it last weekend.  Tonight I put on a binding made from the same fabric as the green tumbler blocks.
Yaay for another finish!!!   Here is a picture that shows the pieced backing also.

Sorry for the glare from the flash. I don't have a place with good lighting to take my photos.

Monday, October 04, 2010

A Finish -commission quilt

Short and to the point  - I finished one of my two commission quilts.  These have really thick batting by request of the person who commissioned me.  I don't plan to use that stuff ever again ---well once I finish the SECOND one to fulfill the commission.
Here is a tiny peek at the quilt.  Sorry I can't show the whole thing.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Winner - Dance of the Japanese Lanterns Pattern

Back on Sept 18th I had a giveaway.  I promised a winner this weekend. (yes I almost forgot due to my GO! giveaway)
The prize is a PDF version of my Pattern, Dance of the Japanese Lanterns (seen in the right sidebar)

Using the scientific method -i.e. - the winner of a pattern is:

Just JaiCi's Crafts said...

I would love to win this Japanese Lantern pattern to add some LIGHT to my house :)
JaiCi, your pattern will arrive by email today. Yaay!!!!
Sue, comment #1 wins for best answer -because she wrote a limerick. And for those of you who don't know or remember, I won my GO! by writing a limerick!

Sue said...

There was a young man named Gene,
to create he really was keen
He uses his "Go"
Quick like a pro'
and his quilts are a must to be seen.

And - What?  He is giving a third one????   Yep.  I let my houseguest choose a third winner.  Greg, buddy, yours is in the email - but you have to start refilling the ice cube trays, okay? (inside joke folks- sorry) 
Greg said...

I'd really like this pattern.. Why? Because I have had the chisel die at least 2 weeks before I win my GO! cutter.. and besides you are THE Gene Black, you create really cool art in a variety of forms. And who wouldn't like to win?

Friday, October 01, 2010

A bundle of pure JOY has arrived.

If you are looking for the giveaway - go here- GIVEAWAY

Dr Getago, (it rhymes with Zhivago)  the attending physician,  has announced the birth of the AccuQuilt BABY.

Oh isn't it a cutie pie.

Mom and baby are doing just fine.
Here is the official birth announcement:

AccuQuilt’s Baby is Here! or Say Hello to GO! Baby™

AccuQuilt’s new arrival brings you a NEW way to GO! The AccuQuilt GO! Baby™ Fabric Cutter is an extension of the GO!® family of products and is an ultra-portable, affordable and adorable fabric cutter for quilters and fabric crafters. The GO! Baby Fabric Cutter has the same cutting performance as the original GO! Fabric Cutter and is just as safe, accurate and fast. At only $139, and with a more compact design, the GO! Baby is perfect for the beginner and occasional quilter. The GO! Baby is compatible with all GO! dies except for 10" x 10" and 10" x 24" dies.

Key features and benefits:
- Consistent, accurate cuts—up to 6 layers at a time
- 90% faster than traditional cutting
- Lightweight—only 8 pounds
- Create perfect appliqué in the turn of a handle
- Reduce fabric waste
- No cut fingers or sore backs
- Create endless design options
- Minimal space needed for storage
- Portable—no electricity or batteries needed

10 New GO! Dies
GO! Baby™ is bringing with it ten new die designs featuring many of our most requested dies such as a smaller tumbler, a cat and a dog. Also available are multiple appliqué flowers and three sizes of equilateral triangles that correspond with the current hexagon die. In addition, a new 2 1/2" strip cutter, has been designed to fit the GO! Baby's smaller size. All dies are compatible with both the GO!® and GO! Baby™ fabric cutters.

Good news for all current GO! owners:  The new dies that are being released will work with both GO! and GO! Baby. 
I don't have a picture but I will be wanting the smaller tumbler die. 
You applique aficionados will want the dog and cat dies and the new daisy.

All of these are currently on pre-order.  BUT you should get them in time for Christmas. Everyone wants a Baby for Christmas, don't they.  
If you have a child that loves to help with the quilting process - or even quilts on their own, this would be a wonderful Christmas present. Of course it is PERFECT for adults too.  It is even more portable than the GO! especially for those of us who tend to overpack for a trip. 
Don't forget to order dies and mats to make it a perfect gift. 

Let's Celebrate!!!! (((CLOSED)))

Wonderful News!!!  The AccuQuilt secret will be revealed today.   I will be adding the announcement later today.

But wait!  How about something to really celebrate?  Yesterday was my birthday and lots of great folks stopped by to wish me well. It made my day wonderful.   I got lots of emails.

One of those emails may make YOU happy too. This was the email saying that AccuQuilt is allowing me to give away an AccuQuilt GO! cutter.  

I love my AccuQuilt Go! 

I want YOU to have one too. 

Should I make this difficult for you?  No, I think not.  I will make it simple.  Go to and pick out the three GO! dies you would like to have if you win.  Come back here and tell me  your list. I would also love to know where you live. If you have a fun fact about where you live, please share it.  One comment is all I want.  Sorry, but if you already have a GO! you are not eligible for this giveaway. 

Feel free to tell all your friends about this giveaway.  If you post a link, be sure it is to this post, not to my blog in general.  Only comments on this post will be eligible.  I must be able to contact you if you win.  Otherwise, I will have to disqualify your entry. ****I have gotten several "no-reply" comments.  Sorry I can't enter you. 

Okay, let the entries begin.
This will run through midnight October 15th.  Then a winner will be chosen by  I will announce the winner after they respond to my email.

GO! Team GO!  

(ps I will NOT be replying to the comments on this post. I need to keep my sanity.) (note, I edited to add some info and asked  the "where you live" part to make reading the comments more interesting.)