Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Fun Time Had by All . . . Despite the Wind

Boy, did I have fun at the Hennig House Quilt Show on Saturday.  I could hardly believe how many people came!  It was wonderful to see so many folks and such beautiful quilts.  We are lucky to have so many many talented quilters in our area.  THANK YOU to everybody who let us hang your quilts.

Here's a picture of a brand new quilter, Kaylee Jo, and one of her quilts.  Kaylee was in my beginner class and I can't tell you how proud I am that she's already designing her own quilts.  Way to go Kaylee!

I had BUNCHES and BUNCHES of help in getting the show going.  Thank you to Barbara for rounding up so many quilts and helping me get them hung up.  And Gail, you and your cute granddaughter, Molly, were the life of the party--thanks for all the work and good cheer.  Huge thanks to Debbie and Shirley for manning (or womanning) the cutting tables--I know how hard y'all worked.  Thanks to Osie, Paula, Jennifer and Shannon for pitching in and helping things go smoothly.  And thanks to Ashley for coming at the break of dawn to help set up--your flowers are great--more to come on Ashley's business later.  Finally, thanks to the Linus Ladies and to Linda and Yvonne of the Taylor Quilt Guild for showing their beautiful raffle quilt--so sorry about all the wind. 

One more thanks . . . thanks to Monique for taking so many pictures.  I wish I had had a chance to take more, so I'm especially grateful that there were others out there shooting.  If you'd like to see some quilt show quilts, go here  Monique's Photobucket.

And there should be more to come.  I'll post a link to Jennifer's blog real soon.  I think there will even be some video of the show.  Woo hoo!

Monday, April 23, 2012

After-Party Time

We hope our friend Meghan is sitting down right now with her feet up enjoying a well deserved rest.  Some of you from Redwork/Embroidery Club may remember Meghan.  She came in last month for some background fabric for this fabulous quilt.  In the quilt Meghan paper-pieced blocks depicting all the houses her family has lived in.  How neat is that?

Anyway, Meghan was finally able to unveil this very special quilt on Saturday when she presented it to her very special mama, Alice, at her mama's birthday party  I don't think I've had the pleasure to meet Alice, but I have to assume that Alice worked real real hard for many many years in order to raise up such a fine young woman --one who would not only sew her mama a fabulous quilt, but would also organize out of town guests and a whole lot of food in order to celebrate their mama's birthday.   Meghan and Alice--you girls rock!

Some other cool things about this quilt . . .  Meghan was inspired by a cross stitch sampler her mama did years ago.  She re-did the sampler design in her center applique block.  There's mama and daddy, Meghan and her brother.  So sweet!

And . . . Meghan's friend designed this fabric and had it printed by Spoonflower.  In the fabric, the words from mama's cross stitch sampler are reproduced.  One day soon this will be the backing fabric for Alice's quilt.  No hurry Meghan--right now you just need to rest up.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Outdoor Quilts

Donna Munson, of Country Keepers, forwarded me a link to this story about an artist who dons a pair of snowshoes and creates these magnificent designs in the snow.  This one looks like an Orange Peel Quilt.  Click the photo to go to the story.  Thanks for the story Donna!

Thankfully, we have no snow here, only beautiful weather.  It was so nice last week the Redwork/Embroidery club met out on the porch.  I only wish I had had a hammock to laze about in while everybody else worked do diligently.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Peas & Potatoes

Woo Hoo!  We are now in full blown vegetable garden season.  After the shop closed, I picked the first little batch of peas that were ready.  There are so few we'll just shell them and eat 'em raw.  Then I couldn't help myself.  I just had to dig around the potatoes to see if we had any keepers --and voila!--we had some.  Time to boil the water!

I'm usually the last one expected to give a helpful kitchen tip, but here's a good one I picked up.  (It's on my mind as I also put some of the girl's eggs on to boil.)--  If you're making hard boiled eggs add plenty of salt to the water and the eggs will peel like a dream.  Now I don't mean just a pinch of salt.  Add like a tablespoon--go ahead, salt's cheap.  I don't know why it works, but it does.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bad Bo

I left the chair pulled out in front of my sewing machine while I was at work today.  When I got home Bo was under the coffee table, quite busy. 

It took me a little while to figure out what he was up to.  Turns out he likes a nice full spool of thread as much as I do.  Baaaaaadddd Bo!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Quality Time with the Bo

I hope all of y'all had as good a weekend as I did.  Mine involved lots of sewing--both on my own and with my sewing buddies.  And look at this--as soon as Bo hears my machine start up he insists on jumping in my lap.  He was snoozing until my hubby snapped this picture.  Maybe the sound is comforting?  Who knows?  Do any of y'all have a sewing companion like this?

Can you tell I'm getting into the Christmas spirit a little early?
We had our second session of our beginner class at Hennig House on Saturday.  I am having so much fun getting to know these creative sewists.  Here are the Nelson gal's  'homework' projects from the first class.  What do you think?  I give them a big A+ !   (I also wish I had a picture of Debra's quilt from the Bonnie & Camille line of fabrics.  It was darling!)  I'm so looking forward to seeing what everybody has to show for next week.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

In Bloom

The roses in front of the shop burst into bloom this week, just in time to pose for a pic with a new line of fabric from Moda.
Whew!  I've had a full week at the shop.  We had our first 'beginning quilting' class last Saturday and I had a blast.   I can't wait for today's class.  We're doing 'triangles'.  Woo hoo!

I've also been busy working on quilts for the new patterns that will debut at the May Quilt Market.  Many, many, many thanks go out to Connie and Shirley for all their help this week getting me closer to being 'on schedule' with my market sewing. 

And take a look at this FABULOUS redwork quilt Clydene brought into the store this week.  Her embroidery was spectacular and we love her color choices.  She even tea dyed the top to antique it.  (I'm a long time friend to 'tea dying' and Clydene is a girl after my own heart.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Back from the Big D

As usual, I had a great time at the Dallas Quilt Show this past weekend. The quilt guild up there puts on a great show that's always a pleasure to attend either as a viewer/shopper or a vendor. And I CAN'T BELIEVE I didn't take even one picture! I saw so many lovely quilts and booths. What was I thinking? I must have been more sleep deprived than I thought.

So instead of showing some inspiring quilt show pics, here's a couple of cute things that have come through Hennig House lately that might give you some ideas.

This is a sticker bur (I hope I have this right). It's made by covering cardboard diamonds with cloth and sewing them together much like in English Paper Piecing. Isn't it adorable! This one was made using genuine antique flour sacks. The quilter who made this (name coming soon) even put old buttons over the center points.

And here's a great bag that Maxine brought to Redwork/Embroidery Club yesterday. She said the design was a kind of 'group effort'. Great things happen when sewists put their heads together.

Speaking of Embroidery Club--while chatting in club and I found out that not everybody knows about Spoonflower, so here's a link to them. Spoonflower's a website where you can design your own fabric. You can upload artwork or pictures and use their software to create a pattern then order yardage of your design. Here is its: http://www.spoonflower.com/welcome

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Staff & Cute Dog Pic

We've got a new friend staying with us for a little while at Hennig House and he's a real sweetie. He had been a High School student's show pig, but didn't make it to the last show of the season. (He wants to tell you it was only because of a paperwork problem--he's a fine pig). Right now he's desperate for company. Pig-pig had plenty of stall mates at the school's ag barn and now all he has is our two calves and a couple of rude goats to socialize with.

Bo feels a little left out with all the pig-talk, so here's a funny dog pic of him. As you can see, Bo feels about his dog food bag like I do about the bottom of an empty peanut butter jar.

And one more thing--this time sewing related--I've got a new rack of Valdani floss at Hennig House. I can't wait to use some of this floss. I just have to decide -- wool applique . . . punch needle . . . embroidery . . . what project to do?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Turtles & Trucks

The best thing about running Hennig House is getting to meet the quilters and crafters who drop by the shop. I ESPECIALLY like it when they bring projects they're working on!

A couple of weeks ago Shelly brought this adorable quilt top. Shelly's like me--she likes to applique. Can you tell? (BTW, Connie is starting a fabulous applique club at Hennig House. We'll meet the first Thursday morning of each month beginning in March. See the website or come by the shop for more info.)

Then yesterday she brought in this turtle quilt. I was so flattered . . . because it's from my new book! Thanks, Shelly. You made my day.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ready to Sew?

While I'm really looking forward to using this quilt, the process of actually piecing it is killing me! It was fun for the first couple of hours, but after a weekend full of strip piecing, it's a lot like work. Luckily it's pretty mindless work so I can listen to a book on tape (or ipod) and sew away deep into the night.

33 blocks down only 23 more to go! Could someone remind me WHY I wanted to make a queen size checker board quilt? . . . If only I could teach Bo to run the machine.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hot off the Press

Woo Hoo! Look what UPS delivered yesterday afternoon. My book! This is a real dream-come-true for me and I can't tell you how grateful I am for the opportunity to try my hand at an honest to goodness book.

Of course I CAN tell you that my work on this book was only one small part of the project as a whole. The book looks as good as it does only because of my wonderful editor, Judy Pearlstein, a photographer, a technical editor, a book designer and many other wonderful folks at Kansas City Star Publishing. Thanks to all!

I've got the book up at buttonsandbees.com and it's in stock at the Hennig House Quilt Shop. Hopefully it will also be at your local quilt shop soon--please ask for it!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kudos to Connie

Connie made this wonderful quilt as a sample for Hennig House. I had regretted my purchase of the Fig Tree brown--I bought only one bolt of FT brown and, although it was lovely, it didn't seem to go with the rest of the Hennig House's Fig Tree collection. But in Connie's hands that lonely brown made this little quilt sing.

Even after all these years of sewing, I'm amazed at how something that doesn't seem to 'go with' the rest of the group will be the one fabric that will turn a so-so quilt into a fabulous quilt. I imagine there's a 'life lesson' in there somewhere.

The pattern is called Crazy Eighths and it's an easy sew, but sure looks good. We should have the pattern (and some kits) at Hennig House by Friday.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ready for Spring

Aaahhh Springtime! I can't wait for Spring to get here. Lately the weather around here feels like Spring, but really Spring's still a ways away. -- Central Texas can be kind of tricky like that.-- Here's a FABULOUS quilt that Barbara Williams brought into the store last week. I love the Springtime color combination she used--and the fabrics go so well with the pattern design. Beautiful!

Anybody gardening yet? Mark got our potatoes in on President's Day and planted our
English Peas plus some extra beets and spinach. The real Spring gardening season is still a little over a month away, but it's nice to get the 'early stuff' started. The highlight of our weekend was borrowing my father in law's dump trailer and hauling some composted horse manure to our place. Only four more trips to make.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another Great One from the Victorian Ladies Group

I love it when someone brings a project into the Hennig House. There's nothing better than a little show and tell to get the creative juices flowing.

Here's another great crazy quilt project from the Victorian Ladies Quilting Bee--this time from Sharon Kunkel. I wish all the detail showed up in this picture. I should have taken a close up so you could see all the wonderful lace, embroidery and sweet charms that adorn this quilt. It's amazing how much goes on in a crazy quilt. Great job Sharon!

The colors of this quilt really fit my mood too. I'm ready for a Springtime sewing project!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Finally Finished (almost)

I finished the little table topper I was working on--well almost--at least I finished the top of the topper. I still need to quilt and bind the thing. Maybe I'll even do a little bit of over-dying if I'm feeling ambitious.

The fabrics I chose are from a Jo Morton line called Crimson Bouquet and I've had so much fun working with them because although the palette is a little 'out of the box' for me, I'm crazy about how it looks. There are also some yellows, blues and a wonderful cheddar color in the fabric line that I'm looking for just the right pattern to use them all in. For the next quilt, I think I'll try for something without applique.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Winter Reading

I don't think I'd get half as much sewing done as I do if it weren't for audiobooks. Mysteries are my 'go to' genre when stitching--I can sew well into the night if I'm on an exciting investigation--but over winter break I enjoyed listening to a couple of memoirs.

Who could resist a book called The Bucolic Plague? I couldn't. It's about two city guys (one the former resident 'guest physician' on the Martha Stewart show, the other an advertising exec) who buy a mansion in upstate New York and practically kill themselves trying to create a 'show' farm and goat milk soap business, all while maintaining their busy city life. It was an entertaining story but their quest to create the perfect-looking, photo shoot ready sort of mansion/farm made me feel kinda sorry for them--so much work to sell a dressed up of image that is only 'kind of' real.

The other book I listened to is about another move from the city to the farm. In The Dirty Life Kristen Kimbell writes about leaving her Manhattan life to join her fiance in Lake Champlain where they start a CSA. Ambitious and young, they set out to provide not only seasonal vegetables to their members, but also milk, eggs, chicken, pork and beef--and instead of tractors, they decide to use draft horses. Her's is a messy, working, living farm and it made me tired just listening to it. But I gotta say, any gal that can hitch a team of draft horses, plant til after dark, can tomatoes, butcher a chicken, and weed 5 acres, is my kind of gal.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Back Basting Applique

While the kids were home for winter break it seemed a shame to spend so much time alone in my sewing room, so I thought I'd start a hand applique project I could work on anywhere--even on the couch with the kids. I'd been wanting to sew a store sample from Jo Morton's new Crimson Bouquet line so I picked out some fabrics and picked an applique pattern from her book, Coming Home. I even decided to try a new-for-me applique technique called Back Basting.

Here's how you do it:

Trace the applique design onto the back of your background fabric. Lay the applique fabric on top of the background fabric (wrong side of applique fabric to right side of background fabric) and baste stitch with smallish stitches on the marked line using a larger needle (No. 9) and quilting thread. You use a large needle and thicker thread because you're trying to perforate the fabric so it will turn easily where you stitched. After you've completed the basting stitches, leave the project alone for a day to set the stitching holes.

Cut away the excess applique fabric, leaving a little more than 1/8th inch seam allowance.

Using applique thread that matches the applique fabric and your applique needle of choice, needle turn the raw edge under and whip stitch down. Use a pair of small sharp scissors to cut the basting thread in front of your stitching. You can use your needle to 'pull out' the little bits of basting thread. (Eww . . . don't look too closely at the stitching below. This was done while watching a rerun of 30 Rock around 11:30pm. I think I need to start going to bed earlier.)

After stitching a few blocks, I can tell you that although this isn't my way to applique, it's the perfect technique for doing this type of block--one with the tiny stems that meet in the middle. I don't think I could have gotten the center 'cross' to line up very well had I been using my regular needle turn method.