Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dancing Lavender

Spring is official when the little goldfinches (not sure, but I believe they are goldfinches) arrive. At work there is a courtyard full of lavender and these little birds vigorously pluck out seed with their beaks, making the lavender sway. I saw them every day last week, from about 7:30am to 9:30am they fed right outside our window.

Last Saturday I headed to work (on my day off) to take a snapshot of them. With their beautiful bright yellow feathers and the gorgeous purple and green of the lavender bushes I thought it would be a great opportunity for some quilty inspiration. I waited three and a half hours for them, and they didn't show up that day. So, instead I took pictures of...

lots of lavender...

a bee...

a hummingbird...

a butterfly...

and then...

I brought the camera to work again during the week to finally get a picture of the little guys!

Happy Spring!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Winners of St. Patrick's Day Giveaway

It has been lovely to read the comments on the ideal retreat. Seems most folks want to have lots of time to sew, and not have to cook or clean ~ hey, me too! So many commented about the mountains as an ideal location, I will have to look into hosting a retreat in the mountains for sure, it does sound lovely. Thank you for your comments.

Winner of the Foundation Pieced Nature Quilts book is...

Diane (posted on March 19 at 5:15pm)

Winner of the Garden Variety Pattern and needlekeep is...

(posted on March 19 at 12:10pm)

Congratulations to the winners!
I will contact you via email for your mailing address.
(Oops, it seems Bonnie58 is a no reply blogger, so I cannot contact her.
Bonnie, please contact me with your mailing address by March 30, thank you.)

Thank you all for entering to giveaway and for your thoughts on the ideal retreat! FYI -- The pattern is available from Paper Pieces and the book is available from several online sources, including (I have no affiliation with either business).

Welcome new followers!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Basket Blocks Progress

Just a quick hello and update on my version of the Temecula Quilt Company basket blocks. If you are following any block of the month series a friendly reminder to download the March block. There are so many gorgeous designs featured for 2012. See a small sampling of them in this post.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Giveaway and St. Patrick's Day Blog Hop

Welcome to the Inspired Quilter blog! Those who have been here before know I enjoy English paper piecing. The technique shares its name with 'foundation paper piecing' but they're not the same process. There are variations with each technique, but generally, with English paper piecing the sewist employs handwork techniques and bastes scraps of fabric to paper/cardstock to stablize it, then whip stitches the components together. Examples of quilts created with this technique include grandmother's flower garden (hexagons), clamshell, jewel, and many other patterns including those with y-seams like six-pointed stars.

Stars of Savannah includes three shapes: diamond, hexagon (center of star)
and jewel (star points). This example is still basted to the paper cardstock foundations
and shows the orange basting thread which will be removed later.

With foundation paper piecing, the sewist uses a marked foundation of muslin or paper and stitches fabric to it for precision piecing oftentimes not otherwise possible. Paper foundations are removed, muslin foundations usually remain in the quilt. Examples of foundation paper pieced patters are mariner's compass and other intricate works with small pieces such as this cardinal. See Carol Doak's website for additional examples.

You could win one of two gifts to celebrate the coming of Spring and to help you understand more about English paper piecing or foundation paper piecing. Foundation Pieced Nature Quilts Designer Edition teaches the basics of foundation paper piecing and includes 14 (gorgeous!) nature-inspired projects for all levels of experience.

Hummingbird Heaven pattern is in the book
Foundation Pieced Nature Quilts Designer Edition

Garden Variety is an English Paper Pieced pattern, along with a
Spring-green needle book. Apologies for the picture quality, skylights
are lovely but not helpful when you're taking photographs!

You may instead be the new owner of Garden Variety, a Paper Pieces pattern by Ann Kimble and Karen Winther using English paper piecing techniques. The pattern includes instructions and die cut pieces for this 45"x56" quilt (pattern is new/unused and the cover was slightly wrinkled in shipping due to die cut shapes unevenly distributed in packaging). A little addition to the pattern is a Spring green needle keep created by moi. The Garden Variety pattern will make great use of your batik or other colorful scraps.

NOTE: If you have a preference for one of the items (book or pattern and needle keep), you may note it in your comment (optional).

For a chance to win one of these items, comment on this post and describe your ideal quilt retreat. For another chance to win (optional), follow this blog and then leave a seperate comment that you are a follower. If you already follow, please leave a comment that you are a follower for your additional chance to win. Comment on this post by Friday, March 23, 2012 and I will select one winner for each item sometime Saturday, March 24. All entries are welcome and I will ship internationally, just remember to describe your ideal quilt retreat and you will be entered. If the winner does not reply to my 'congratulations' email by Friday, March 30, I will select another winner for that item.

Thank you for visiting the Inspired Quilter blog! Oh, and happy St. Patrick's Day and National Quilting Day on March 17!


To continue on the St. Patrick's Day Blog Hop, click on the below:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Basket Blocks

Temecula Quilt Company is hosting quilt along, Blessing Baskets. Here is my basket block in progress. The little enameled tray helps me take block components from the cutting mat to the sewing machine and then to the ironing board quickly and easily. My little helper, Bozley, is always nearby as well.

For those of us who make the change, Daylight Saving Time is upon us Sunday, March 11!