Lighthouse Quilt – Finished

I finally finished the Lighthouse quilt. I am so excited, and can’t wait to wrap it up and send it to Chicago. My cousin had a baby boy on March 12, 2014, and that is who is going to have sweet dreams under this 100% cotton quilt. It will certainly keep him toasty during those cold months in the Windy City. It’s important to me that the quilts I make will stand up to a washer and dryer.

This quilt was designed by Faith Jones, who sponsored a quilt-a-long of Fresh Lemon Quilts http://www.freshlemonsquilts.com/?p=3099 


















I changed it a bit to make it my own, and customized it for my cousin’s family and the baby. I decided to make the middle block a yellow lighthouse with the brightest light as the beacon on Lake Michigan. One of Faith’s beautiful samples was in a rainbow color order, but this one isn’t. And my colors are not all solid, and some have a pattern in the fabric.

I machine quilted this, by first sewing in the ditch. In the light spaces, I stippled using free-motion quilting. We couldn’t get a good photo of the stippling from the front, but you can see it quite well on the back.




















When I thought about the backing, I wanted to try something I had never done before.  I decided to split the fabric into 1/3 and 2/3rds. Then I stacked random fabrics to bring the two pieces of the back together.

Some of the choices in the stack were intentional. The fabric with the music notes represents the family’s love of music. The paw prints fabric is for their large poodle, Dixie.
 

My cousin is from Texas, which is why I picked the western cowboy fabric to use for the inscription, date of birth, date of completion and where it was made. 

My cousin’s husband is from England. So adding a patch with Paddington Bear was essential.

 

I enjoyed making this quilt, and can’t wait for it to be delivered to a new, sweet boy who is part of our family. I wish for him healthy and happy life.


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Quilting, Blogging and Taxes

Since my last post, I’ve been consumed with prepping three sets of taxes for three different accountants, (one is for my mom), working on my goal of finishing my Lighthouse quilt,http://www.freshlemonsquilts.com/?s=light+house and blogging at least twice a week. Quilting and blogging are very near and dear to me.  So let’s start with my WIP.

I finished the back.


The back is a small, checkered fabric in green and white. I split the back into 2 pieces; 1/3rd and 2/3rd’s. I pieced four inch pieces of fabric that were used in the front, and a few others that would have some meaning to the receiver, and inserted in between the two back pieces, similar to a bridge. 

Who will that be?  Our new unborn cousin who is due any minute. This part of my family lives in Chicago. The mother is from Texas, and the father is from the UK. Music is very big in our family, and so are our pets. The have a big poodle named Dixie.

So there are some fabrics with music notes, paw prints, and some that use those dessert colors for Texas. To represent the UK, I have ordered some Paddington Bear fabric, and fabric with Paddington’s yellow boots. The will be appliqued in on the back.

The book that inspired me to do this back this way is The Modern Quilting Bee Block Party by Alissa Haight Carlton & Kristen Lejnieks.

There will be at least one more post this week, maybe another. I will be basting this lovely quilt on Friday. Very excited. Then off to machine quilting.

So about those taxes. I knew about some of these deductions, but not all of them. I am sharing them with you below.  

Did you know….

1. As an Inc., such as Hudson Valley Quilts, Inc., you have to file the yearly income tax by March 14th?  REASON WHY – Other than that’s the law, the accountant who prepares your personal income taxes, needs the profit or loss number. I actually did know half of this.  What I didn’t know, was that it was due Friday.

2. For your personal income taxes, you can deduct medical expenses, charitable donations, continuing education and association fees in your profession. And all your mileage to and from a medical appointment is deductible, as well as those to a charity event or board meetings. If you work for someone else and they don’t reimburse you for continuing education, and travel miles between a conference and home, it’s tax deductible.

Number two, has taken me hours and hours of calculations with mapquest.
Not to mention calculating all the co-pays, and price of those doctor visits, e-rays, and tests, such as mamograms. Also, all RX fees that you pay to the pharmacy that aren’t covered from your insurance plan are tax deductible.
Fortunately, the pharmacy will calculate that for you.

Even though I began working on all this on February 10, I still had so much to do. I finished all the work on two out of the three sets of taxes on Saturday night. So quilting and blogging took a backseat.  Actually quilting, not so much, because I have challenged myself to finish the Lighthouse Quilt by the end of the month, and I am making lots of progress.

Have a great week!!

What a Difference a Snow Day Makes

Yesterday we had the wintry mix storm, which is the one I stay home and inside for sure. Within a second, you could find yourself on black ice. I don’t love staying home all day, but I finished all twenty-five of my Lighthouse Quilt blocks, and am very excited about that.


Pattern design from www.freshlemonsquilts.com/‎  QAL.

Tomorrow I go to a weekly open quilt studio at Pins and Needles in Mt. Kisco, when I am not scheduled to be at work at the library. I am planning on squaring them all off, and will hopefully begin to sew the rows together. For the back of the quilt, I am planning something modern and fun.
Also something I’ve never done before and will share soon.


 Our sweet boy cat, Biscuit fell asleep and used the stack of blocks for a pillow shortly after I finished them.  He loves to hang out near the sewing machine, even when I’m not using it. I started a tradition about ten years ago. I always make a single-sized bed quilt, and dedicate it to one of our cats.  Biscuit is sitting on his below.

When I finish Emma’s I will post it. She is the cat in the masthead sitting on my sewing box. I still have a long way to go on that one.

Next week I hope to show a lot more WIP, and I will be posting a book review of a sewing book, which no quilter or sewist should be without.

And, I believe I have an addition to make. In an earlier post, I mentioned that these were the spring, 2014 colors home dec colors,
http://www.hudsonvalleyquilts.com/2014/01/pantone-home-dec-colors-for-spring-2014.html Today I received an e-mail from Panetone pantone@web.pantone.com Fashion Color Report Fall 2014, because it is fashion week, and the colors are somewhat similar.

Have a great weekend.  

Enjoy the Olympics. 

Go USA!! 

The Winter Olympics are my favorite. I would have a tough time choosing my favorite event, I really enjoy so many. I would love to hear what your favorite is, so please let me know in the comment box. I think if I had to pick one, it would be the figure skating events.

Happy Quilting.

Work In Progress – Quilt 2

Another quilt I’ve been working on comes from a QAL I participated in with Fresh Lemon Quilts, http://www.freshlemonsquilts.com/?p=3149.

I chose to do this QAL, because paper piecing is not my strength, and this one is much easier, than my first paper piecing project. It still is a great challenge for me. There are only two pieces to sew per quarter block, as opposed to several,which was my first introduction to paper piecing a few years ago. 

I highly recommend if you are new to paper piecing, plan a paper piecing project with a small amount of paper pieces first, such as this one. 
Then challenge yourself with more intricate paper piecing projects.

I rearranged the given color pattern from the QAL to this one:



 

My points on my blocks, (see below), came out really well, and I am very happy about that. The photos are not giving the light colored fabric justice.   It is a very light beige, with a tiny pattern in it. In one of the lower purple blocks, (see above), I plan to add a little unexpected surprise. I can’t wait to see how the quilt top comes out. I am hoping it will be finished by the weekend of February 15. Stay tuned….

Happy Quilting!! In Ossining so far we have at least 10″ of snow, and it’s still coming. For those of you who are having a big snowstorm today. Stay safe.

Happy and Healthy New Year!!

Welcome back!! I am glad I took a little break to be with family, friends, enjoy the holidays, and re-charge my batteries. During the downtime, I had some time to think about my personal and professional goals, especially those related to quilting and my blog.

When I started my blog this summer, I didn’t know any other quilt bloggers, or any bloggers for that matter. I read over 200 blogs before I officially launched Hudson Valley Quilts in late August, with the masthead and background you see now. I set up almost everything, technology-wise, except for those elements. I needed someone who really knew code. Thank you, Courtney. I am very grateful and happy because you made my vision a reality. You did such a beautiful job. 

I met some other quilt bloggers from all over the U.S. and Canada. Everyone was kind, helpful, and most of all friendly. Thank you for your help and suggestions. I hope to get to a few quilts shows this year, (hoping to meet some of you in person). I am especially excited to attend Fall Market in Houston this year, which I had to cancel out of a few days before, due to a fractured sacrum.

Although I’ve been quilting for 20 years, I participated in my first QAL this past fall with Fresh Lemons Quilts, and blogger/instructor Faith Jones. My quilt top is almost finished. I can wait to show it, because I added a few little surprises to make it my own, with the thought that it will go to my cousin’s newborn, due in March.

In 2014, I will be doing lots of interviews, including; fabric designers, authors of quilt books, and other bloggers. There will be quilt book reviews, similar to the one I did about Color Essentials, and some tours of manufacturers in our industry. 

Early this month, look for a post which includes an interview of Tom Collingham, who gave me a tour of the Colonial Needle headquarters in White Plains, New York. It was really fascinating and fun. A member of his staff also gave me an incredible basket of sewing threads, needles, and other notions for a give-a-way.

Other projects that I’ve been planning and prepping for are 2 kings sized quilts, using very cute and fun 1930’s fabrics. Also a very scrappy quilt using charm packs and some of my favorite scraps. 

We still have a little more work to finish the sewing room, but I am in there sewing and finally out of the dining room area. And I promised myself the fabric that isn’t put away will be, by the end of January.

My other immediate goal, besides finishing the quilt room, is to understand the amazing amount of new options and technology in my new Bernina 750. Be prepared for lots of show and tell!!

I think 2014 will be the year of new discoveries, and I can’t wait to share them with you!! Wishing everyone a healthy, and Happy New Year.

Sources for Out of Print Fabrics – Tomorrow Announcement of Winner of Faith Jones Patterns Give-a-Way

If you still haven’t entered the chance for tomorrow’s give-a-way, there’s still time. Please leave a comment in the comment box and answer one of the following questions; What is your favorite pattern designed by Faith Jones? Or what is a new skill or technique you would like to learn? 

I interviewed Faith last week. This is the link to the interview and give-a-way chance. http://www.hudsonvalleyquilts.com/2013/10/interview-with-faith-jones-of-modern.html Good luck!! 

Looking for a little more of an out-of-print fabric, when you need it is a frustration quilters all share. So I created this go-to post. I will update it every six months with additional sources. So please send me an e-mail at acbeier71@gmail.com if you have one you have had success with.  

1. As I mentioned part 1 of this series, I will call customer service at the fabric manufacturer with the information. They are often a wealth of information, and have provided me with some brick and mortar stores names and web sites they think still have the fabric I am looking for in stock. (More about brick and mortar stores and oop fabrics below). For example, if you were looking for a Moda Fabric – Snowman Gathering. It has a code number 1080 11. You would google 1080 11 Moda Snowman Gathering, and your results would bring you to many shops. 

2. Of course a google search is the fastest and easiest way to begin your search. Use all combinations of color code and manufacturer to search. See above. (I’m a part-time public reference librarian, and I can’t stress the importance of this enough). And different search engines do yield different results, so don’t discount google chrome, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, or any other one which is not your default browser. 

3. Amazon and Ebay are other great resources. One of my quilt group members found real vintage 1930’s fabric she was looking for on eBay. I am collecting 1930’s reproduction fabric for two projects, and just couldn’t afford the real thing. That said, I found enough for one of the quilts on Amazon, and another led me to an incredible brick and mortar story in Nebraska called Calico Annies. Annie had over 200 1930’s reproduction fabrics. I called her and told her what I was looking for and what I wasn’t, and I was pretty sure she nailed it. She said I could return them if they weren’t what I needed, as long as I didn’t take the packaging of the jelly rolls apart. GREAT. Again, thank you Annie. 

4. My local brick and mortar stores are very helpful too. They have often recommended online fabric stores such as fabric.com. I was looking through a recent copy of Quilty Magazine, and found Fabric Shack in Ohio, which sells online and is a brick and mortar store. A quick call was all that was needed to find the last 13 yards of a Kona solid, Hyacinth. 

5. One more word about brick and mortar stores before I plug online stores. Throughout the years, I have come across some great shops in the U.S., such as Little Quilts in Marietta, GA. I found them via a google search for a hand quilting template pattern I couldn’t find anywhere, but there. I was so impressed with their customer service and web site, that I subscribe to their newsletter which is full of great information and ideas. 

6. http://www.quiltshops.com and http://www.findmyfabric.com are two online fabric shops I haven’t mentioned that have served me well on my quest to find out of print fabrics. Others can be found by googling online fabric stores + out of print fabrics. 

7. A few of my quilting friends have had success at Esty. 

8. http://www.hancocks-paducah.com/ is another great web site and brick and mortar store. If you happen to be in Paducah, KY, you can also visit The National Quilt Museum. See http://www.quiltmuseum.org/ 

9. If you belong to a guild, send out an e-mail and attach a photograph of the out-of-print fabric. You never know who might have a suggestion. 

10. And we can’t forget the power of social media. If you belong to Flickr, Instagram, yahoo or google groups, by all means post what you are looking for. If you have a pinterest board, start a board, of Out of Print Fabrics that you are interested in. If you tweet or blog you can always upload a photo of the fabric. And of course, there is always Facebook.

Give-A-Way – Faith Jones Patterns

Our give-a-way from Faith Jones of Modern Quilts by Fresh Lemons, is three patterns from her online shop, has been extended until midnight on Wednesday, October 23. The winner will be announced on the morning of Thursday, October 24. In order to enter, please leave a comment in the box below, telling us what your favorite pattern is by Faith Jones, or a new quilting skill or technique, you would like to learn. 

Good Luck!!