Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Where it all began....

This old, primitive picket fence, turned on end, is one of my favorite decorating "finds" and displayed on it are some of my favorite quilts!  As I was thinking of listing them all for you, I realized that most of my favorite designers are also represented! So, starting at the top is "Union Moon" by Cherie Ralston, "Friendship Garden" by Blackbird Designs, one of my own favorites, "Crazy Bears", "Serendipity Sampler" by Kim Diehl, at "Young at Heart" by Brannock & Patek.  On the rocker is "Hugs N Kisses" by Sherrie Saffiote-Payne.  Both "Union Moon" and "Young at Heart" were made back in the day when I was paper piecing.  I've never liked making and cutting out templates, so I usually opted to convert a pattern to paper piecing if I could.  And, for me, since I like to use lots of plaids in my quilts, and didn't always like having the plaids going every which way and bias on the outer edges of my blocks, paper piecing wasn't a perfect piecing method for me but, to my way of thinking, it was better than the alternative of templates!  
Young at Heart

So, after paper piecing all those hexagonal hearts and stars and setting in each and every seam as I stitched the zig-zagging vertical rows together for Young at Heart, I needed to let my mind rest!  I had lots of  left over fabric, which I can't stand to waste. So as Pam likes to to tell you at our trunk shows when asked just how we came up with our "Crazy" technique of piecing, I'd been paper piecing, had a bunch of leftover fabric and decided to sew my way out of my sewing room one Christmas break. 

Which is exactly what I did and "Buggy Barn Crazies" was born!  Recognize those fabrics? And 15 years later we are still going crazy!  I use to worry about what I was going to do next; I didn't think we'd be able to keep coming up with ideas but since I'm in the middle of designing & writing our 20th book, "Still Crazy" (hopefully due out in May), I've tried to let that worry go, since stress makes me stupid and then I can't hold two thoughts together!  However, I do like to ponder and think things over. 

One of the most important things I learned in college I learned from my Fluid Dynamics professor, Dr. Watts.  He always suggested we read through the entire test before starting, and then begin and solve those problems you absolutely knew how to answer, while your mind worked on solving the ones you aren't quite sure how to answer.  And he was right!  It really works!  I'd leave the "holy crap I don't know how to do that one" questions till the end, and lo and behold, by the time I worked my way to that question, the light bulb would turn on!  So whenever Pam gives me a suggestion for a crazy, that I think is going to be impossible to cut up, it usually takes several months of pondering before the light bulb finally turns on!  Last week was a good week: the light bulb finally came on and I was able to finish up this turkey she wanted, added some gourds, and now await the "Pumpkin Pie" fabric so we can get him made up!  Having the design done and instructions written are a major victory for me and "Yes!" I get to put an big old X in the done column!  However, my chart appears to still need quite a few more of those "X's"!!  So best I get back to work!  Happy Quilting!

p.s. my Pumpkin Pie strike offs just arrived!  Don't you think Mr. Tom will look so much better made out of these?


  1. I love it all! The picket fence quilt display makes me drool a little. All of those designers are favorites of mine too. :)
    And your Pumpkin Pie fabric looks gorgeous! Can't wait til it's at my favorite quilt shop here in Western New York - (Material Rewards, Dansville, NY). Thanks for sharing the eye candy! :)

  2. I love your fence ladder, what a neat idea.
    I had my husband make me one, now i need to fill it.
    Very good tip about reading your instructions before you make something, I am trying to get better with my pattern writing, not my favorite part.


  3. I love the turkey. You and Pam are truly a dynamic duo!

  4. That picket fence looks amazing with all those wonderful quilts on it, love all the plaids in them!
    Maybe one day I can combine a short holiday with one of your Crazy Camps :0))

  5. That turkey is going to be so cool in those new fabrics. You guys are amazing and I still can't figure out how you do it. And you know I've always "coveted" your fence. Keep designing for us.

  6. Love the picket fence idea! I have a quilt ladder but the fence is even bettter! And those strike-offs of Pumpkin Pie are beautiful! :0)

  7. Happy Birthday , when you blow out your candles may your wishes come true

  8. Thanks for all the comments! Glad you like Mr. Tom and the Pumpkin Pie fabric, which should be in stores in May. I'll get my larger samples to sew with hopefully in a few weeks. Gotta keep those wheels moving! Unless it comes to birthdays and then I'd like to slow things down! But birthday wishes are always a good thing! Thanks again!

  9. Love the picket fence!! by the way----HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

  10. I just took my first 'Buggy Barn' class and loved it. I am working on my quilt right now - still finishing it up. I love your fabrics!!! I live in NE Oregon. I go to Spokane occasionally, so I am planning a trip to see your shop. Can't wait. Are you going to Pasco in September to see 'Ricky Tims, Alex Alexander and Libby Lehman's 3 day lecture at Red Lion? I am already signed up. You don't have to bring a thing. It's all lectures. It's going to be wonderful!!! Your newest fan!!