Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: QuiltCon

Hmmm, what to inspire us this week?  How about a couple of modern quilts submitted to QuiltCon?  

Back in November I submitted three quilts in the hopes that at least one would make the cut.  Since it's a juried show, I knew it would be difficult to get in, and I was right.  Of the three quilts I submitted, only one made it.  

Wait, I really didn't say that quite right:   ONE OF MY QUILTS WAS ACCEPTED TO QUILTCON!!!!  

Now that's more like it.  At least that's closer to how I feel!  I'm very excited!  This is the first time EVER I've submitted to a major show, let alone an international one.  Ya-hoo!  {said in my Texan accent}

Okay, so here we are.  Three quilts.  The first is "Round Pegs, Square Holes."  It's a bit biographical since I'm one of those round pegs and life seems to be made of square holes.  I don't always fit.  And neither does this quilt.  Sorry darling, you will have to stay home, but you will be loving displayed in the studio until after February.

Also staying home is "Double Disappearing Nine Patch."  Such a pretty quilt with that colorful border.  And fun to make!  Until February, sweets, you'll get to hang on the large rod in the studio.

And here is "Reflections in Gray" a quilt that I made using my grandmother's pattern.  I will visit it in Austin in February as it will be displayed at QuiltCon!  

Yes, I'm excited, but more importantly, I hope that my quilt inspires you to try.  That's all I did, really.  I tried.  I tried making this quilt with very little to guide me.  I tried to draw out a pattern using limited resources and, when the first two or three patterns didn't work out like I'd hoped, I tried adjusting.  

I tried taking an old pattern and making it new and "modern" using colors and intuition and what I could only hope would work.  Then I tried something rather radical for me: I tried submitting quilts not knowing much about their chances of being accepted.  I tried.  You can try.  You can try just about anything.  Try once or twice, or over and over again.  Before you know it, you'll be shouting "Ya-hoo!!!!" or something more appropriate when you get the great news!

Happy Quilting,

Friday, December 28, 2012


Here's some good news!  I submitted two tips to The Quilt Pattern Magazine last summer and both were picked up for a bonus article on sewing room organization which was recently posted on their website.  Anyone who is a subscriber of TQPM has access to the article.   

I can't share the entire article since that would breach copyright laws, but I can tell you that the seven page article includes info on organizing small spaces, fabric storage, repurposing other objects, pegboard uses, storing fabric scraps, sewing process, and lighting and furniture.  I can also share my own tips:

Safety Tip

Here's my safety tip for those of you who store rarely-used items up high: I keep a small stepstool in my sewing room near the highest items.  I'm less tempted to reach or climb on anything that just happens to be nearby.  (I call it "monkey reach" because only a monkey could really pull it off."  I've probably saved my neck a few times.  Mary Marcotte

Don't forget to go low!  Under my work table there's a nice shelf, but under that, plastic bins of fabric!  Since my hubby built the table, we were able to measure to make sure the bins slide under the shelf.  It's a bit of a bother to get to them, so I store garment-making fabrics there.  I now quilt more frequently, but still make things for the grandchildren.  
Mary Marcotte

And more good news on the TQPM front: I have a four part pattern coming out in January.  I'm pretty excited to see it in print!  I am not supposed to share the actual picture until I'm told it's okay to do so, but I can tell you that the pattern is for a stained glass quilt with a beach motif.  There are lots and lots of photos to make sure the directions are easy to understand.  

Of course, TQPM made sure it was tested by a quilter who seemed to think that the directions are easy enough to follow.  Since my subscription to TQPM was going to end in January, I made sure to re-subscribe a few weeks ago so that I can get all four of the issues that include my pattern.  

If you're not a subscriber to The Quilt Pattern Magazine, you should consider subscribing now!  I'd be thrilled to tell you how--the website is

Finally, the photos on this post all come from TQPM's annual Kitty Photo Contest.  Check out the quilts under the kitties!

Happy Quilting,

Thursday, December 27, 2012

After Christmas Thanks

Sophie helping with the baking.
Thank you to the many followers who visited during the busiest time of year for most families.  I know it's not always easy to get everything done, so managing to visit a few blogs is especially appreciated.  

We like to keep things quiet and slow during the holidays.  I cook a huge meal, the kids all come over for gift-giving and fun, then it's quiet again for a little while.  We'll have the boys and their families over again before I go back to school after New Year's Day, but most of our holidays are spent trying to keep quiet.
Caki checking out the desserts.

My sister Laura and her two girls are visiting for a few days.  They live in TN and try to come home a couple of times each year.  

Now that mom and dad are gone, she generally stays at my house and we spend several days traipsing around the state so she can take photos and do some of her genealogy research.  I'm interested in both but quilting is my passion.  Besides, I'm a bad photographer and genealogy is detail oriented, and I don't like details.

Pull us, we're ready to go!
The photos here are from Christmas night in the Marcotte house.  As you can see, there are quite a few grandchildren.  We're up to seven: Dusti, Alayna, Lane, Jolie, Marley, Caki, and Sophie.  

Not all of the kids are in the pics, however.  Alayna got a new Kindle reader and pulling her away was pretty difficult if not impossible.  I did get a photo of Lane playing and being silly.  He is the sweetest kid ever but a bit of a nut sometimes.

Jolie was pretty excited to get her popcorn machine.  She made a couple of batches of popcorn for us and had a blast doing so.  And the last pic is of Dusti.  

I could say she's just beautiful, but I'm her Grammay and you know grandmothers don't brag!

I hope your Christmas was a wonderful and blessed as ours was.  How awesome to have God's blessing of a beautiful, loving family and to be able to have everyone together in faith, hope and love.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pin It Wednesday #6

Wow, Wednesdays seem to roll around pretty quickly!  I was just sitting here minding my own business--blogging, recovering from the Christmas chaos, deciding where to turn next--and it occurred to me that it's already Wednesday. 

Ah, a good pin it session is in order.   Now there's a way to relax!  So here we are.....let's start with a couple of quilting motifs from my board titled "quilt, printables." 

There are many more quilting motifs on this board, over 60. And you can find thousands on Pinterest.  I do not pin every photo I run across, though.  I'd never be able to muddle through them.

Moving away from quilts for a while, here are some barns.  Several years ago I visited the Smithsonian on a teacher inservice trip.  We were quite lucky in that we were able to go behind the scenes and talk with the people who curate and study some of the Smithsonian Institute projects.  At the time they were working on documenting barns across the American landscape.  

Someone had realized that we are slowly losing this American icon: barns are rarely built today and barns of yesterday are slowly disappearing.  

Imagine how thrilled I was to realize that there are people all over America who are helping to document this heritage through pictures and stories. The majority of photos I pin include the town name where the barn is located but, as always, I can not guarantee that the information is accurate.
My fascination with old barns began as a child when I'd climb in the loft of our barn to read and pretend.  

Several years later our family took a vacation to the Midwest.  The boys were bored silly in the back seat, but I kept a steady lookout for the barns that had piqued my interest.  I begged Richard to move!  I wanted to buy a barn for us to fix up and live in.  

He thought I was crazy, but I've since read several stories of families doing exactly that.  Why did I want the barn and not the farmhouse?  I'm a little unconventional, for one.  But I also loved the huge size of the barns.  Who wouldn't want this kind of space? I also appreciated the history of the massive spaces and have always wanted to preserve old places.

Of course, we never did seriously consider moving, but Richard enjoyed teasing me about it.  

Asking one of my sons if he lives in a barn when a door is left open was sure to get different response than most.  A few times I  even heard "my momma would live in barn."
And indeed, she would!

Living in a barn surrounded by cows, sheep, goats, chickens and all manner of livestock would be a perfect life.  Of course, it helps that there's an agreement in my family: Richard feeds the outside animals, and I feed the inside ones.  

Hmm, maybe it's the romance of the quiet and the beauty of the landscape, or the quaintness of the scene, but I do think a barn would make a perfect home.  Maybe it has something to do with the Christ child swaddled in a manger.  My favorite Christmas song has always been "Away in a Manger."   

I haven't really considered the cold wind, the snow or the ice of the Midwest.  Maybe those would whisk me back to my Louisiana home!

Enjoy your pinning!
Happy Quilting,

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Quilt Inspiration

I spent a little time pinning this afternoon.  Not much.  Only an hour or so.  It was for tonight's post, after all.  

I found a couple of interesting boards that you may want to visit.  One is the Philadelphia Modern Quilt Guild, which has a great quilt inspiration board and one on quilting humor (see above).  The following photos are from the inspiration board and can also be found on my "modern, quilts" board. 

I've been pinning ribbon embroidery for some time now and have accumulated 130 or so photos on my "embroidered, ribbonry" board.  If you enjoy gardening and flowers, you'll be amazed at the detail in some of these photos.

Ribbonwork on a few antique pieces.  I pinned these photos when I first began pinning and still love to go back and enjoy them.

Before closing, let's take a look at a few beautiful, vintage buttons from my board "magic, button."  

I loved this idea for the vintage buttons but couldn't figure out  what the pink base is, so I visited Betsy's blog, My Salvaged Treasures, and discovered that it's a vintage belt buckle.  What a creative idea!  Visit her blog to see some of the other creative ideas she's had for re-purposing buttons and other small vintage treasures.

Another smart idea for using old buttons.  One reason I like it so much is that the buttons can be removed and reused when the pillow gets old or stained.  

Here's hoping that you are inspired and also that you have a wonderful, happy Christmas season.  
Happy Quilting,