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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Block of the Month Challenge for November 2015

Block of the Month Challenge for November 2015: This is a very busy time of year, with major holidays coming up soon (I am going to be very PC and not name them so I can be sure not to leave anyone out). Regardless of when or how you celebrate, there will be lots to do, so I am only going to post one Block of the Month this time.  You can always make it after the holidays, if you wish.

Members of the Amoskeag Quilters Guild will start making charity quilts with these beautiful blocks in the spring and finish up in the fall.

This block is called"Hannah's Square and Star". It is a bit tricky to piece but makes up into a really pretty block.  I made mine in two colors but this could be made in more than one color, if you like. Let me know what you think.

I will post photos of blocks that I have received in the next week or two. (Did I say this is a very busy season?!)

With Thanksgiving so near, what are you thankful for?  I am very thankful for my husband (married more than 47 years!), my many friends and, of course, my family; I am grateful to be able to live my life as I wish, creating, designing, writing; and for so many other things - I have a very long list!

Best Wishes to each of you who visit here.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Block of the Month Challenge for October 2015

Here are two more blocks to challenge and hopefully entice you to make one or both of them.  Follow the general directions below and remember - if you want one or more of your blocks to be featured in my forthcoming book on the quilts that might have been made by a fictional 19th century quilting bee or a contemporary (modern) bee - please e-mail me for my mailing address.  somethingsewfine at comcast dot net. All blocks that you send will eventually be used in making charity quilts by members of  the Amoskeag Quilters' Guild, Manchester, New Hampshire (USA) If your block(s) appear in my book your name will be listed under credits and you will be entered into a drawing for a free copy of my book when it is available.  (Don't hold your breath - it will likely be at least a year before it will be ready to go to press.)
If you prefer not to send any actual blocks to me, I would love to see photographs of some of the blocks you make and/or quilts (or quilt projects) you complete using these blocks.
I can't wait to see what you choose to send me! I will begin posting photos of blocks that are either made by my fellow guild members or sent from the Internet via this blog.
I would also enjoy receiving any comments or questions you may have related to this Challenge.


Disclaimer: these block designs came from QuiltPro, which is the software I use to design my own original quilt patterns.  However, these designs are traditional and are, therefore, in the public domain.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

NEW: Block of the Month Challenge for 2015-2016

Aargh!  Somehow I managed to delete this post by accident.  I am reposting  it below.

I am in charge of Block of the Month for my quilt guild this year (Amoskeag Quilters Guild, Manchester, NH, USA). .  I thought it would be fun (and interesting) to open this BOM to any of my Facebook quilting friends who might be interested.

The goal is to make charity quilts with these blocks, both traditional and contemporary. We will “kit” the blocks and will have one or more group “Sew-A-Thons” to complete the quilt tops, either at a regular guild meeting or on a Saturday. Stay tuned for more on that. Our guild has given away literally hundreds of quilts over the years, to worthy organizations and individuals in need of comfort.

I have a second purpose for these blocks. I have written a novel about a 19th century quilter named Hannah, titled “After the Storm”. I am planning a companion book that will feature the quilts Hannah and the members of her quilting bee “might have made”. I want to include photos of sample blocks and completed quilt projects “of the period”, with written instructions for how to make them. I also want to take some of these traditional blocks and present them in contemporary or modern settings in bright colors to show how traditional quilting can be brought into the 21st century.  If one or more off your blocks are featured in my book you will receive recognition and credit for your work.

If this interests you, there are the instructions for how to participate at the end of this post.

General Instructions:

  1. There will be two blocks offered each month. You can choose to do one block or both. If you are feeling really ambitious, you could do both blocks in both color options (see below),
  2. There will be a choice of two color “styles”:
    1. Traditional/Reproduction fabrics. Think 19th century or Civil War era. NO 1930’s era, please.
    2. Contemporary/”Brights”. Think Modern, “kid pleasing”, "playful", "happy".
  3. Please use one very light background fabric for each block you make.
    1. For Traditional, use an off white or ecru print.
    2. For Contemporary, use a white on white or very light print with a white background.
    3. All other color choices are your own. 
4.      You are encouraged to make as many of these blocks as you wish to use in your own quilts. It might even be possible to get one of your quilts featured in my book!

5.       Each block must finish at 10” square (10.5" when you make it)

If you want to participate, please send me an e-mail to somethingsewfine at Comcast dot net. You can also message me through Facebook or contact me through my website 

There is no minimum number of blocks to make. You can make either type of block at any time, and you can start or stop whenever you want. NO PRESSURE! 

Join the fun!..

Monday, September 21, 2015

Block of the Month Instructions - September 2015

Here are the instructions for two BOM blocks.  Follow the instructions below for color choices. You may make as many (or as few) blocks as you wish. Don't forget to make some for yourself!

Please mail the block(s) you make to me each month or you may send several month's worth of blocks together.  I will post photos of some of the blocks that have been made in the coming months.  Keep in mind that ALL the blocks I receive will be used in charity quilts. I may also ask permission to include one or more of your blocks in my forthcoming book, a companion to my novel "After the Storm", due sometime in late 2016.

Please e-mail me and I will send you my mailing address:  somethingsewfine @ comcast dot com.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Something Sew Fine: Uh Oh - Catching Up!

.If you read through my earlier posts you will quickly discover I am not very good at keeping to a schedule on my blog! There are so many aspects of living the Creative Life That I am easily sidetracked. Oh well - I will try to catch up here and then on to some new and exciting things in my next post.

Most of this past year has been taken up with researching and writing my novel - After The Storm. This is a story of a courageous 19th century quilter who faces and overcomes many challenges in her life.  I have really enjoyed every aspect of working on this book until the last part where I have been  bogged done in the editing and finishing details.  Being a complete newbie at writing a novel I had no idea what to expect, but finishing and letting go of my manuscript has proven SO much harder than I anticipated! I flip flop back and forth between thinking it is a really interesting, well written story AND thinking it is a piece of you know what. By holding onto my manuscript and not allowing it to continue through the publication process, I guess I am holding off on the inevitable - finding out how my book is actually received once published and distributed.

Luckily I have discovered that almost every new author (and even some that are well established), feel exactly as I do before their books reach the public. Only those who are so self-confident as to to verge on arrogance do not shake in their shoes before their book is published. Knowing that makes me feel much better!

At any rate, I have been consumed for much of the year finishing writing and editing my novel. (How do you know when you have really finished writing?? Ideas keep coming, I add a new story-line or more details...) I do hope I can send it off to the publisher for the final steps soon.  Will keep you posted.

I am about to embark on a new project - actually two:  I am planning a companion book to my novel  which will include quilt projects and complete instructions related to the novel.  I am being deliberately vague, since this is still in the early stages of development. Related to this - I volunteered to be in charge of Block of the Month for my guild for 2015-2016 and I am opening up this same BOM to my Face Book friends.  It should be a lot of fun - Stay tuned for more details, coming SOON!

As if all of this was not enough, my DH and I are in the midst of planning a major renovation of our house (tearing down and moving walls, a totally new bathroom and upstairs laundry)  One result will be a much larger studio for me!  Hooray!

I am busting with creative energy - just have to learn to channel it better.

Have a lovely fall.  I will post again SOON.  I promise!.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Collecting Images on Pinterest

One of the things I have enjoyed most this past year is visiting Pinterest and collecting images of many kinds.  I also post images to share with others.  I have almost 2500 pins now and it is a fabulous collection of everything that interests me, inspires me, makes me feel good or just provides eye candy!  What is not to like about that?

My own quilts are posted of course, along with quilts that other people have made from my designs.  I also have lots of pins of quilts that other people  have made which I think are wonderful.  I have inspirations for updating my  home, garden and studio when I get the funds to do so, lots of images of fabulous places in the world I will most likely never visit, not to mention great recipes and food ideas!   I have also been collecting photos of antique quilts and 19th century clothing as research for my book.  And of course I have photos of my canine best friends and other animals who give and receive love as if they were human (oh, go ahead and laugh!  I am such a softy).

I guess my point is that inspiration and creative energy can be developed almost anywhere and it helps (at least for me) to have concrete reminders of what some of those inspirations are.  Please visit me at::
hyyp// to see what I have collected and posted.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Where has the Past Year Gone??

Golly - I am so embarrassed!  I knew it had been a long time since I last posted in my blog, but I recently discovered it has actually been almost a YEAR!!  So I have set a goal (I am not into resolutions - just too hard to keep) to post at least once a month to talk about my new designs and my creative process.

So here goes on January 2nd in a new year.

This past year was kind of strange for me.  I had a number of "dry spells" in which I felt blocked or stuck.  I know it happens to everybody sometimes but I felt like it was happening to me a lot, and it was discouraging at times.  I have learned, however, that at such times it helps to walk  away from whatever is immobilizing me and set off in a different direction for a while.  It usually works pretty well.  Here are some of the things I accomplished since I last wrote in between my dry spells.

During the waning months of last winter, I was going great guns on a quilt for my great nephew and was having a really good time working on it.  He had explicitly asked me for very bright colors - "bright red, bright orange, bright yellow and some blue", he announced when he was nine.  So I had  been collecting the brightest and most fun of all those colors and started working on the quilt while it was bitter cold and snowy outside.  His quilt kept me toasty warm with all that brightness!  When I presented the quilt to him last summer when he came with his family to our summer place in the White Mountains, he loved it!  That was the best part for me, though, to be honest, I really hated to give it up.  I just LOVED that quilt!  (See photo below.)

A few months ago, I began working on a novel that I have been thinking about off and on for years.  It is about a young woman growing up in rural NH in the 19th century.  She becomes an accomplished quilter and tells the story of her life to one of her grand daughters.  I have been interested for years in my own family's history and this story contains many elements from my own and my family's stories of the past.  I have been having fun researching life in the late 1800's in the small town near where my family has been summering since way before I was born.

I love the story and the characters I have created, and whether or not the book ever gets published is kind of beside the point right now.  It may take me years to finish, but meanwhile I am enjoying living with my characters and the process of creating their personalities and the events which help to shape them.  The writing part is a bit harder than I thought it would be, but I enjoy that part of the process also.

I did manage to design a new placemat pattern and get it published  in the spring, but I got stuck with most of my other ideas as the year progressed.  November and December were the hardest time for me.  I always get depressed around the holidays since my family is so scattered.  My DH and I decided to give gifts to several important charities this year instead of buying into the commercialism of Christmas and that made both of us feel more of the true meaning of the holidays.

Not too surprisingly, right after Christmas my creative energy came back in full force and I am hard at work designing and making several more quilting projects that should result in at least three new patterns in just a few weeks.

Watch for several photos next time and updates on my new projects.

Have a Happy, Healthy, Creative and Prosperous New Year!