Wednesday, September 6, 2017

September BOM and Discount Patterns

The September free block of the month is ready and available to download from the 2017 BOM tab on my blog. It is an easy paper pieced block this month.  I would love to see pictures of your progress on these blocks.

Join my Facebook Fair Isle Winter Group to post pictures and get inspired by others.

The Free September block is Urban Star.

September Free Block of the Month

Here is the sample block made by my intrepid pattern tester Sue Fyfe.  She does an amazing job each month interpreting the block in her own fabric choices.

Sample block by Sue Fyfe
The Bonus Block this month is super easy also.  Just two templates and three fabrics (if you count the background fabric).  It looks so fussy but it is really very easy to make.  You can purchase it on my website or get it free by subscribing to my newsletter.

I can never decide if I prefer the blue on a white background. . . . .

or the white on a blue background.  Both would go great as alternate blocks in a 4-block or 9-block quilt.  Maybe like this?

Does this quilt look skewed to you?  Its a funky optical illusion based on the directional properties of the blocks. . . .or something!  Or is it just me?

One of my favorite quilt patterns is on sale for half price this month.  September's flower(s) of the month is Morning Glories and Asters.  I try not to have favorites, because I don't want my quilty children to know I love one more than the others, but I kinda LOVE this table runner.

Two other favorite patterns are half price this month as well.  Black and Gray Reflections is a great man-quilt, and so is the bold colors of Twisted Argyle.  These would make great man quilt Christmas gifts and you could get either of these done easily by December.

Black and Gray Reflections

Buster really liked this quilt.  He thinks I made it just for him and was laying on it to try and blend in.  Anything that big and furry is not going to "blend in" no matter what!!!!

Twisted Argyle
You can shop all these half price patterns on my website at Morning Glory Designs

A few newsy notes:

Tomorrow the grandkids are coming for a week.  I love those babies like crazy.  How I wish I was 35 again and could keep up with them.  Even if I can't go back in time, they make me feel young just being around them.

Next weekend I start a marathon of vending at local quilt shows.  If you are in the area I hope you stop by to see my booth and say hello.

September 15-16 I will be at the North Kansas City Quilt Guild show at the Salvation Army in North KC.  This is always a great show with fabulous quilts and LOTS of vendors.

September 22-23 I will be vending at the Town & Country Quilters Guild show in Joplin, MO.  This is a new venue for me and I am looking forward to meeting a lot of new people down in the Joplin area in south-western Missouri and south-eastern Kansas.

September 30-October 1 I will be at the Quilt Show in Marshall, MO.  Another new venue for me I am excited to see some old friends and meet new ones out in north-central Missouri.

Stop in and see me to pick up a pattern or two, or just to say hi!  If I am still alive by October send a get well card.

Friday, August 11, 2017

It's a Problem

I have been inundated with emails and calls this week from subscribers who could not open their free block of the month in the August Newsletter.

Let me just say for the record, I feel your pain.  Now, go read this post.

Yup, there are those who come back and say, "it's still not working, what should I do?"

I gotta tell you this really gets me frustrated (RANT BEGINS HERE) because I take each of these calls and letter seriously and try to help them troubleshoot the problem.  Sometime I even revert to sending the file cuz I am so tired of typing the same thing over and over.  But that has burned me to, because i get countless requests to send files and I don't have the time to do that.  Plus, My work is copyright protected and it gets passed around from friend to friend when it is free and easy to get.

 I get ripped off every day by otherwise good people who ignore my copyright and share my patterns with friends, or shops that copy a pattern and sell it without paying me for it. Good hearted people just like you.  Of course YOU don't ever share my patterns with others.  You tell friends to go and download their own free copy!

But I am not a computer geek and I cannot troubleshoot your computer.  I am a pattern designer that provides a free service for my subscribers.  I am constantly on the phone with my web site tech people trying to find out why things go wrong at times and beg them to fix it fast.

For example I just found out yesterday that when people write to me from the CONTACT REEZE page on my website that the emails do not come to me!!!!  I get angry customers on the phone who ask why I did not respond to their email, and I dumbly respond, "What email?"  Sheesh, I finally went on the website and found out how to locate those email in the site archive and there 156 of them!!!!  LET ME REPEAT. . . .156 emails to me with questions and problems, and even some store orders that I never got!  I was sick. As in wanna puke sick because that was 156 people I have let down.

I was on the phone with my website faster than you can say WTF, and asked them to fix it ASAP.  In the meantime I tried to trouble shoot the form myself and it all looked good and was pointing to the right email!!!

So if you have written me from my contact form on my website, and I have not responded, I am sorry.  I did not blow you off.  I just never got your email.  All 156 of them.   &%($%#*&^&)*&^.


Now, I know it is NOT YOUR fault and I should not vent my frustration on you, my faithful and loyal subscriber.  So if I have managed to not piss you off yet, I want to tell you what I have done to try and fix at least one of the problems you are experiencing.

I set up a page on my site with a "secret link" for subscribers only to click on and download my free blocks.  How do I get the "secret link" you ask???

I will put it in every newsletter rather than the current blue buttons which go through my email service.  It is nice to get the stats showing how many people clicked on each button but it is nicer to have happy customers!



Friday, August 4, 2017

New Patterns for August

I have been designing patterns for Northcott Fabrics for the past 2 years and love getting to see the new fabric lines as they come out.  This month I have completed three new patterns for their beautiful new line of Poppy themed fabric called In Full Bloom by Deborah Edwards.

The first pattern uses running yardage of poppy flower blocks surrounded by a funky border.  I call it Poppy Picture Window.

This is a smaller throw or lap size quilt, 38" x 44". It is an easy pattern for a confident beginner since the only pieced part is the border. You could put any panel or large scale print inside the border.  The In Full Bloom fabric will be shipping to your local quilt shop this fall.  Ask for the fabric and pattern at your LQS, or buy the pattern on my website.

Starlight Poppies is a larger lap quilt, 52" x 52" which is appropriate for an intermediate quilter, although I think a confident beginner could do it if they can do set-in seams.

Yup, there a few set-in seams in this pattern, so you may want to brush up on that technique before you tackle this one.  But the vivid colors and poppy prints make it worth the effort.

The last one is called Amazing Poppies and is an intermediate level pattern, although it is all just squares and rectangles with quick corners. The challenge is making sure you have the fabric oriented with the stripe in the correct direction.  The pattern provides complete instructions and illustrations for assembling the quilt.

This pattern uses just two fabrics in the quilt center.  A poppy flower strip and solid white.  It was fun to design and make.  At 48" x 56" it is a bit too big for a wall quilt but great for a throw or sofa.  All three patterns are on my website, or ask for them at your local quilt shop.

Thanks for taking a look!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

August Block of the Month

The August BOM block is going up on the website today.

I have been traveling and got home Tuesday, August 1.  Wednesday was Bruce's birthday, but today Thursday, after a morning of physical therapy and Dr. appointments, I am determined to get my block up on my blog and website. PHEW!  Mission accomplished.

I love being retired.  I come, I go, and I enjoy the slower pace of doing things at my own speed.  Most of all I love having time to design and quilt. And spending time with my grandchildren.  It is a dream come true for me.  My knee is getting stronger every day and I will be done with physical therapy very soon.  I am so thankful to the patient and skillful physical therapists who have been helping me work through this amazing time.

Amidst all this craziness, I got the August Block pattern written and here it is.

It is Block #8, checkered star, and it is free for the month of August (or until I get the September block posted.)  You can download it for free by clicking on the 2017 BOM tab on my blog, or on my Website.

If you haven't joined my BOM Facebook Group come on over and join.  It is free, of course, and you will get to see some amazing pictures of completed blocks.  It will please, delight, and hopefully motivate you to work on your own set of blocks.

The bonus block for August is a fun one to make.  If you want it for free it will come in my newsletter which will go out Friday August 4 and again on August 15.

Click here to subscribe to my newsletter if you want to get the bonus block for free.

Thanks for stopping by to visit. I would love the hear from you, and see pictures of what you are working on.  And as always, I love to hear your suggestions for the next Block of the Month for 2018.


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.)