Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nancy's Quilt Shop and Ginny King

I made a fun trip to Winter Garden, Florida earlier this week (on a break from my tradeshow work).  I found Nancy's Quilt Shop.  It's chock full of fabric, samples, jelly rolls, a classroom, and helpful staff.

I splurged on a Robert Kaufman bundle of greys, browns, and whites.  Not my usual palette!  Let's just say the Modern Quilting bug may have bit me.  (What fiber bug DOESN'T bite me? LOL)

Here I am with Ginny King.  She used to operate a quilt store in Kissimmee, Florida.  Now she enjoys working at Nancy's and making purple quilts for her grandchildren!  She helped me pick out fabrics for my next "Modern" House quilt. (More about that project and up-close pictures of the fabric in a future BLOG.)

Nancy's Quilt Store is on a quaint brick-lined street in Winter Garden, Florida.  Bicycles, outdoor cafes, and water fountains adorn the street.

One water fountain had mosaic tiles.  

Very quilt-like, don't you think?

What're you working on this week? 

Are you ready for tomorrow's Simply Colorful Fiber Cast?  I'll post the URL tomorrow ... and look forward to visiting with you LIVE from somewhere in Central Florida, starting at 8PM EST. 

Sew on,

Google Page: Simply Colorful
YouTube Channel: Simply Colorful

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Day I Decided to Make a Hitty Doll

It was a rainy Fall day in 2013.  I went to my friend Sarah's new fiber studio in the next town over.  In awe of her new space and time, I looked around.  My eyes couldn't take in all the colors and designs fast enough.  I saw quilts, beads, color charts, a retro yellow chair ... and ... wow ... wait - just - a - minute ... What's that I see over there?

Dolls!  Lots of them. Whimsical fabric dolls, a magician, a mermaid in process, antique replicas, miniature furniture, even a doll with her own little doll in tow were all there for me to ogle.

I just had to see and learn more.    

Sarah, in her never-ending generosity, offered to teach me how to make a doll.

She introduced me to Gail Wilson's Hitty doll kits.  I joined Gail's kit of the month club.  First up was to make my own Hitty.  Here she is.  She's on a chair that I made (with mini rushing) a month later.

My Hitty is just 6.5" tall, just like the original Hitty now housed in the Stockbridge, MA library.  My Hitty's head, arms. and legs are made of paper mache clay.  Her body is made of fabric and stuffed with merino wool.  Her undergarments are made of batiste and mini lace which I hand "dyed"  (Gail actually has us use diluted acrylic paint).  Her dress is made of tiny print cotton fabric.  He necklace is made from real (tiny) coral beads.

And Hitty comes with a delightful little story.  Here's an excerpt from Gail Wilson's website:

Hitty is a small wooden doll, about 6-1/2", who presently lives in the Stockbridge Library, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She is believed to have been about 100 years old when she was found in an antique shop by Rachel Field and Dorothy Lathrop in about 1929. Rachel and Dorothy wrote and illustrated (respectively) such a charming story of the way they imagined Hitty's life, that not only did the book,Hitty ~ Her First Hundred Years, win the Newbery Medal for children's literature (1929), but Hitty became beloved by all from that time to this. The book has been republished many times (it is still available and I highly recommend it) and there has developed an enormous following for Hitty and all of her things. Many people make Hittys, most of wood, some of cloth, some porcelain. I chose papier mache to be in keeping with her sculpted look (especially her hair), but I wanted to make a kit of Hitty, so it seemed ideal to draw upon my many years of mold making, and make a doll that not only was myHitty, but one that others could make too and still be recognized for who she is.

Click here to order the soft-cover book thru Gail's site. [$6.99 plus tax & shipping]   

I especially like the part of the book when she ends up in a crow's nest.  Read the book to learn about her authentic coral beads.

Anyway, I had such fun making my first Hitty.  I will keep her for myself forever.  I made 3 more "from scratch" before Christmas.  I gave the green-dressed Hitty to my sister and the red-dressed Hitty to my Aunt Nancy.  I've kept the blue dress Hitty because her expression doesn't look childlike enough...

Where is blue-dress Hitty's mouth???? LOL

I enjoyed making these dolls and I will make more.  Stay tuned.

And until next time - keep on creating!


P.S. Don't forget next Friday's Simply Colorful Fiber Cast will be LIVE from Orlando somewhere.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

House Quilt Construction Continues


Winter House Quilt construction continues here at the Simply Colorful fiber studio.

I've been played with house placement on the top and edges. 

This quilt's going to be unusual -- a one of a kind for sure!  Don't do this at home - I'm not sure all this overlay, after-the-fact placement and piecing is worth all the extra effort of Y seams and unsewing.

I need about 30 houses for the perimeter. 15 are done. 15 more to go.  I'd like to have them done in time for Fiber Cast this Friday so we can go back to the strip piecing.  

And true to form, I made a miscalculation on one of the roof lines, leaving raw edges exposed.  It was easily fixed with an appliqued bird. 

Do you think the cats on the roof will catch the bird? 

Speaking of adding whimsy into the houses ...
We now have football players in the garage.  (No Pats jokes, please...Congratulations Broncos!)

Cute cowboys playing in a Christmas house.
Betty doing laundry. (Who's she?)

And my favorite, the school bus in the garage.

How are your projects coming this week?  
Want to join me on Friday night for a bit of sewing?  

Next Simply Colorful Fiber Cast is 8PM EST on January 24, 2014.
I'll post the URL on the Simply Colorful Facebook, Twitter, and Google feeds a few minutes before "show time."  As always, the recorded replay will be available afterward if you miss the LIVE event.

Come see our slightly new studio look (thanks to viewer feedback) and sew with me!


Simply Colorful Fiber Cams Archives:

Saturday, January 18, 2014

What happened to 1/2 inch?

Of snow that is!
The weather forecast called for just a dusting.  I think we already have two inches, and it's still coming down.  
Big, fluffy flakes, sticking to the trees.  
Perfect weather for quilting!
I have my "faux" fire burning beside me here in the studio today.  

So cozy!  And clean too!  (let's not think about the electric bill though.)

Thank you to all who joined last night's Simply Colorful Fiber Cast. We had fun making Winter House Blocks.  Several of you were knitting along with me, while others finished bindings, or worked on Round Robin Quilts.  My sister Karen was getting a jump on Valentine's day with a Carol Doak pattern, seen below.
Isn't it pretty?

Over the past few days, a few of you have expressed interest in learning more about making scrappy quilts. Bonnie Hunter of has the biggest collection of scrappy quilt books and patterns that I know of.  She is tireless.  She travels the country teaching her scrap saver methods, design, and construction techniques.  Remember the Celtic Solstice Quilt from a few weeks ago? That's a Bonnie Hunter pattern.

I also found this 7+ min video from Diane Harris, editor of Quiltmaker magazine. She gives some high-level tips (and visual examples) for selecting from your scrap pile. When making this Midnight Flight block, for example, think about color families, values, and size of pattern motif.  I think like when planting a country garden, the more variety and types of fabric, the better!
Fun, fun, fun.  Jump right in, the water is fine in scrappy quilt making world!

That's it from here.  I'm about to dive back into my Winter House Block scrap pile.

Sew on,

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ever Shop for Quilting Supplies in the Hardware Store?

I admit it.  I enjoy American Idol. I like Iron Chef, Top Model, and Project Runway too. 

It's fun to watch creative people doing what they love to do...That's why I was similarly interested to hear my own Guild, Marathon Quilters, is holding its own America's Next Top Quilter!

It's a year-long program. (Unfortunately my schedule precludes me from particpating.)

The first challenge was to incorporate something from the hardware store.

Seven people showed their creations to the Judges Tuesday night (1/14/14).  I understand points are earned throughout the year, over several challenges with a winner named in June.  Stay tuned.  I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Check out the unconventional materials. (nails, springs, bolts, keys, screen, sandpaper, paint chips)


All 7 "quilts" are on display at the Franklin Mill Store.  They're all smaller than I'd imagined.  All fit on a 4' x 8' board! 

Fiber Cast tomorrow night at 8PM EST. I'll post the URL on right before we go live! 

Sew on,

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Time to Jump In

It's been 14 days since I hosted my first Simply Colorful Fiber CAST.

Today I write my first Simply Colorful Fiber BLOG!

I've started this venture because I believe we can all make better and more fiber art by doing it together.

Shall I start at the beginning?

I was born and wrapped in a fiber blanket....

That was 50 years ago!  Who, besides me and possibly Mother, is interested in that?  

Let's jump ahead to my first quilt.  I was 13. I gave it to my grandmother.  Her decedents gave it back to me a few years ago.  Here's a picture.

Oh how proud I was of this "masterpiece."  Can you see the appliqued squares with "trapunto'd" treatment?  Isn't it colorful?

Speaking of colorful, look at the patch I just found in my new Celtic Solstice quilt. Prophetic or what?

Quickly moving on ...

Like many of us, I made Barbie doll clothes and home-ec skirts.  I knitted and crocheted with Grammy.  I made quilts for summer bunk beds, college, first homes, and for friends, family, and raffles.  I dabbled in other hobbies and crafts along the way.  (I still do.)

I never outgrew my love of quilting.

So let's skip ahead and jump right into modern day.

Here's what I'm working on this week.  Another fantasy house quilt.

It's spread out in my studio/office, so whenever I walk by it I can look and think about how to adorn it.

I want to make it bigger using the blue strip pieces we made together last Friday.

Stay tuned.  Hope I have a bit more done for this Friday's Fiber Cast.  We'll start at 8PM EST.  I'll send out the link on Friday.  Go to and "Like" or follow @SimplyColorful on Twitter so you'll be sure to receive the URL just before we go live.

Til then, happy sewing,