Saturday, July 8, 2017

July Block of the Month Coming Soon - Sorry it's late

I have been ill the last two weeks and it has delayed the release of Block 7 of the Block of the Month series.  Sorry for the delay, the block should be out in the next day or two.  Finally starting to feel better and the room has quit spinning around so I can finally see.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

I Found the Tweezers!

Under most conditions this would not be an event to celebrate.  However, I needed these for my students at the Curved Piecing Without Pins class I was teaching this past weekend at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival.  And I thought I had packed them, but when I arrived at class they were not there.

I looked EVERYWHERE.  I spent 2 days looking for these dratted tweezers.   You need them to hold onto the ends of the curved pieces while they go under the needle.  Really makes it easy to get your ends to match!  And I didn't have them for my class on Friday morning and have been kicking myself ever since.

Today (after a well-deserved late rising) I went downstairs to my studio, and there they were, big as day, sitting on the bookshelf next to my cutting table.  That was the one place  I had not looked on Friday night and again Saturday morning when I was running around frantically looking at them to take back to have in my booth on Saturday.

Well, I promised my students they could get there tweezers and now they can.

Click here to go to my website and order a pair, and I will honor the student price of $5.00 for the next few days.  The regular price of $6.50 will return after next week when I get home from Reno.

The second of my super flubs of the festival was not having enough handouts for my Demo on 60 Degree Diamond Stars.  If you were at the demo and didn't get a handout, click here to download a copy.  Thanks for attending the demo.

A special thanks to my readers and subscribers who came to visit in the booth.  It is always a treat to put a face with a name and I loved hearing how you were using the patterns I have shared over the years.  It was a great show, and I hope you had a great time too.

Monday, June 5, 2017

June Free BOM Block now available

It is time to download your free BOM block for June.  Click on the 2017 BOM tab on my blog navigation bar to get the link.  Yup it is free for the whole month of June.  This is block 6 Swirly Star.

If you subscribe to my newsletter you can get the free bonus block.


The link to the bonus block is in the newsletter, which is sent to subscribers on the 1st and 15th of each month.

If you want to get it there is still time to subscribe and get the link in the June 15th newsletter.

Plus there are some 1/2 price patterns and a new deco garden block.

Bonus Block 54 Big Blue Rose

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Did I Mention it was Free? . . . . . . .

I love my Newsletter Subscribers.  They send me such lovely notes wishing me a speedy recovery on my recent surgery, showing their appreciation for the Free Block of the Month I offer every month, and for the bonus blocks I give to my subscribers just as a small thank you gift for hanging out with me. 

Occasionally I get a note from someone who had trouble getting the free blocks.  Over the years I have tried lots of ways to make this easier for my subscribers.  
  1. First I used (free) until it became very glitchy.  
  2. Then I got, ($$) which worked really well for most people but some people had trouble with it.  I pay $100/year to upgrade Dropbox to the Pro version to be sure that my free pattern files get priority access when requested by my subscribers.  I want you to have an easy and pleasant experience when you go to get your free block. Still I got a lot of complaints. At the same time I had a new website developed ($$$) for Word Press to upgrade my look and improve the reliability of my shopping cart.
  3. In January, I went to a whole new website Host and Software system ($$$$) to make my website easier to navigate, make my shopping cart more problem free, and to insure I had a trouble free file download service to make sure those free blocks got to you without any problems.  I thought I had finally found a goof proof delivery system after 8 years of supplying free BOM patterns. In an attempt at full disclosure, I pay A LOT more for this new website!  In addition to several thousands dollars set up fee I now also pay a monthly fee, nearly as much as Dropbox cost me for a year! (Ok, do I have you feeling all sympathetic and oooey goooey yet?)

Despite the trouble and cost involved, I occasionally get a subscriber who either can't get the block, or, as in the case below, can't open the block.  I have sent literally hundreds of emails to subscribers to help them troubleshoot the problem and get that FREE block delivered. 

The problem is, this takes time.  And I don't have much of that left after I design the BOM blocks, write patterns for each of them, upload the FREE block patterns to my website, and write out a newsletter which delivers links to those FREE block patterns twice each month to over 3,500 subscribers!  WOW  

Oddly, I spend the rest of my time writing patterns, designing, yes, and occasionally I get to sew!  So in an attempt at reducing my problem-solving time, and increasing my revenue-producing time,  I offer the following advice if you are having trouble getting the FREE block each month.  (Did I mention it was free?)
Since two people this week mentioned they could not open the pdf files, here is what I suggested they do.  I am sharing it with all of you and hope it helps.

1.     Download and save the file to your computer first.  Then open and print the file.

2.     The files are big (2 mg) and may take longer to download than you are giving them.

3.     Use a different browser.  Not all browsers like PDF files equally.

4.     If you are on a mobile device, wait until you have access to a computer and then try to download the files again.  (see items 1, 2, and 3 above).

5.     Monthly blocks can also be downloaded from my blog and my website.  The link is in the block description on my website, and on the 2017 BOM tab on my blog.  

Unfortunately the bonus blocks can only be accessed from the newsletter. That is how I keep those blocks exclusively for subscribers.

6.  Call your spouse, son, daughter, grandson, great granddaughter, neighbor, milk man, UPS driver, or other tech savvy individual to help you.
7.  Kick something.  It never helps but I usually feel better after 1-6 don’t work.

Before you give up and call or email me,  try 1-7 again. 

If you still have a problem please be aware that . . . .it is possible. . . not in your case of course,. . . . but for others. . . . . .that it could possibly be. . . . .dare I say it. . . . .USER ERROR?????  

When you can unconditionally rule that out. . . .then consider that you could always purchase the block and the bonus block on my website.  


I know, I know, you want to get it for free, you need to get it for free, you deserve to get it for free,  you count on getting it free every month, you got all the other ones for free so you should be able to get this one too!  Yes, and I also know that you are on a fixed income, receiving disability, under collections and chapter 11, just lost your dog and your best friend, your computer crashed and you lost all your free blocks, you are undergoing treatment for an unpronounceable disease and look forward to your free block as your only solace in an otherwise bleak world.
So if everything else fails and you decide to call me

or shoot me an email,  just remember,  I like chocolate. 😎

(and I might be in the tub.)


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May is Slip Slidin' Away. . . .

I missed the whole month of May!  And it is one of my most favorite months of the year.  I recall glimpses of things here and there, but for the most part it is gone, fogged by a groggy brain, turtle-like reflexes, and lots and lots of sharp pain emanating from the new titanium joint in my knee.  Yup I have been totally out of it.  Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for the pain medication that made it all possible, but I had not expected how much it would knock me out.  Can you spell dysfunctional?

After losing May I am more determined than ever that I am not going to lose June!  I am up and walking without assistance now -- both cane and walker have been shelved along with the commode, depends, and pillow-lined hall way.  I still have another knee to go so I am not getting rid of the sick room gear just yet.

Buster and Buffy have been my constant companions through the dark times.  They take turns sitting on my lap, drinking out of my water glass, and meowing at me if I attempt to sleep.  They have both learned to dodge the cane when it comes toward them.  They are more nimble than I am at this point so they have to get out of the way or get mowed over.  Max is very protective of me and is my constant shadow, tucking himself under my recliner whenever I sit there making it impossible to put the feet down without smashing the dog in the chair.

And Bruce has been my driver, nurse, cook, laundry dude, and all around go and fetch it for me guy.  He has been great through all of this craziness.  I am especially impressed by his cooking!  He is a fast food kind of guy, but he has been fixing me nice meals with veggies, homemade meat balls, and salads.  Not fancy, but tasty and filling.  If it can be made from hamburger, he can make it.  He has graduated to frozen chicken breasts, and is attempting the occasional soup.  What a guy.

Now 6 weeks post op I am finally coming out of the fog, working on patterns and quilts, preparing teaching notes for classes at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival June 14-17 in Overland Park, KS.  The following week I go to Reno, NV to teach 6 classes at the Sew and Quilt Expo.  I am putting together kits, class supplies and ordering replacements for everything I sold out of earlier this year.

It feels good to be working again, although at a much slower pace, after a month of indolence, incomprehension, and incontinence.

So  with all that as an introduction, check out this month's free block of the month on my 2017 BOM tab on my blog.  Yup, its free, and is available as a digital download only.  It is called Swirling Star and I just love the little applique swirls in the corners.

And this month's bonus block, free to my newsletter subscribers, is called Swish N Swirl. I think it is a beauty, and in a way sort of tells the story of me and the month of May.

Thanks for hanging out with me in June.  I missed you.

PS.  The knee surgery went well, it is healing fine, and I am back on my feet.  Thanks for all the good thoughts, wishes and prayers.  It really helped.  HUGS

Friday, May 5, 2017

Block 5 Snowy Window Fair Isle Winter BOM

The free pattern for Block 5 is now available.
Click on the 2017 BOM Tab at the top to download the free pattern.

Comfortably Numb

Yes, I had to explain to my son that there was a time in my life when I listened to Pink Floyd. And this explanation was required because he asked me how I was feeling after my knee replacement surgery.  My response, "Comfortably numb" a multilayered response to both the pain meds I am taking and the complete loss of time I am experiencing as I recover at home.

Yea, he didn't get it either.

So is it any wonder the May Fair Isle BOM is late this  month?  Nope, didn't think so.

But as I scrape through the fog I discovered the May BOM could not remain concealed for long.  It is now available on the 2017 BOM Page.

Knee Update:  quit reading now if these sort of things makes you want to hurl.   My knee is healing nicely.  Staples are out, I am now permitted to shower for real, and I am doing physical therapy, as required by my Physical Therapist, Debbie the Good.  Entering week 3 post op and still lots of pain, but I am now doing stairs, and using a cane instead of a walker most of the time.  I now have an official ADA toilet in my bathroom, and can get in and out of bed unaided.  Now when I can get the bolts out of my neck and retire the Frankenstein shirt I will feel a lot better.  :-)

Monday, March 27, 2017

April BOM block will be here soon.

I have had a blast traveling and teaching for the month of March.

First, the April BOM block will be posted on the 1st of April, no fooling!  It is called Sparkling Stars and, like the other Fair Isle Winter blocks, is paper pieced.

The new Bonus Block is coming also, and I have to tell you, it is one of my personal favorites.  It's like your kids: you try not to have a favorite, but secretly, you do!  hahahaha

I just got back from the Lake Area Guild Network at the Lake of the Ozarks in MO.  What incredible and talented quilters!  I got  to see some of their wonderful quilts and taught my Seminole Sampler Workshop to two different groups on two days.  Whew!  They did great work, and here are a few of their "in progress" Seminole Bands.

The week before I was in Omaha, NE with the Cottonwood Quilters Guild.  What a terrific group of ladies.  I taught a Deco Garden machine applique class and we made Iris Blocks.

The week before that I was in Bartlesville, OK and did a lecture on the One Patch Renaissance and taught the Seminole Sampler Workshop and 4 Hour Bag workshop.  My thanks to the great ladies who hosted my visit, wined and dined me, and had fun learning a new technique in my workshops.

I posted 2 new Deco Garden Blocks -  Shamrock (50), and Begonia (51).

Now I am taking a week off just for me and going to a quilt retreat!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

March BOM blocks and New Deco Garden Blocks

This was a busy week!

First, my week began with my cat running off when a neighbor's dog attacked my dog Max -- IN MY YARD!  I know, some nerve, eh?  Max recovered with a few bites to his neck which healed quickly.

 But Buster, my long-haired Siamese got freaked and ran off.  He came home 2 days later, like nothing ever happened.  I was so worried, thinking that dog would have turned Buster into a light snack.

So now Buster is grounded for a month and not allowed outside.  He is none too pleased with this turn of events.  He is a pretty independent cat, and I worry that dog could be back!

Along with all the critter drama, I have been shipping patterns and writing more patterns, working on my 2017 BOM and trying to overcome 2 weeks with bronchitis!  I am drained!

But here is the good news.  Two new deco blocks are available.  #48 is Rosey Posey and #49 is Cyclamen.  I am so close to having 50 of these done, which was my initial goal.  Now I am not sure if I should keep going or just say enough!

They are available for sale on my website:

This week I also released another free block:  The crossing block for the Fair Isles BOM.  You can pick up this block for free on the 2017 BOM Tab on my Blog.  You can also still get the February block for free for a few more days.

The Crossing Block is used between each of the monthly blocks.  There are 13 of these in the setting I am showing on my BOM page.

This block will be available for free for a few months so everyone who wants to do this setting will have access to this block.  Remember, these blocks are all paper pieced this year.

I am almost ready to post the March Fair Isles blocks also.  If you are a subscriber you will get links to both of these blocks in my newsletter that comes out March 1.

Here is Block 3: Breath of Spring

And here is the Bonus Block for March (available only to subscribers)

Bonus Block 3

I couldn't decide which way I liked it better.  I drew it with the white background and the dark blue corner leaves.  But the reverse is kinda growing on me.  Which way do you like best?