Thursday, December 31, 2009

Branding for Quilters, Authors & Businesses

Branding has become a buzz word in the business world, a way to call recognition to your name or business name and thus acquire more sales. I've written a number of articles about branding and have been studying how it could help in my writing world.

One area an author can utilize branding is by writing a series of books with the same setting, same characters, same least some thread tying them all together as Jennifer Chiaverini has done with her Elm Creek Quilts novel series. I've written about this technique in the post, Branding - The Elm Creek Way.

Have you looked into developing a brand for your business or name?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Arts Bloggers' Round-up of Crafty Ideas

The Arts Bloggers have another series of crafty ideas:

Blisstree Arts Cyndi's done a round-up of all her image transfer tutorials.

Creating Memory Shadowboxes Mary Emma Allen explores some ways to create shadowboxes with memorabilia to preserve memories and special moments.

Gelly Roll Inspiration Visual journal inspiration from artists using Gelly Roll gel pens.

How to wind yarn with a nostepinne A nostepinne is a stick that you use to wind yarn into a flat ball that is center pull and easily stacked. So, they are a great way to organize your yarn stash!

Pretty Pot of Pens for Mom Add a little glam to Mom’s desk with this lovely and handy penholder filled with flower-topped pens.

Which of these ideas do you find intriguing?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Quilt Patterns Relating to Gardening

It's amazing how the theme of gardening is carried into art, whether it's painting, collage, mixed media, or quilting. As I was browsing through my quilt books, I noticed a number of patterns named for topics related to gardening...whether vegetables or flowers.

Flowers in a Pot
Forbidden Fruit
Hawaiian Grape Vine
Kansas Sunflower
Melon Patch
Rose Petal
Basket of Oranges
Basket of Tulips
English Poppy

Do you have any favorite fruit or vegetable quilt patterns, or others related to gardening?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irish Related Quilting Projects for St. Patrick's Day

Many of the quilting patterns pioneer ladies used reflected names of nationalities and the countries from which they might have immigrated. Here are some that might have a connection to the Irish and St. Patrick's Day.

  • Irish Puzzle
  • Irish Chain
  • Double Irish Chain
  • Triple Irish Chain
  • Shamrock
  • Anna's Irish Tulip

Do you have any special Irish or St. Patrick's Day designs that you make? Or that were handed down in your family?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Quilting and Patchwork Moves to BlissTree

My former blog, Quilting and Patchwork at b5media, has become incorporated into BlissTree, so you'll no longer find my individual quilting blog there. I'll be writing on quilting and other crafts. I'll try to let you know when I have new quilting posts up there, so you can find them without hunting around.

Here at Quilters' Potpourri, I shall be increasing the information I share, as I have time.

Also, visit my Tales of the Trails End Quilters blog about my quilting heritage. I'll be adding to it more regularly.

Happy quilting!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Quiltmaker's Gift & Related Books

When I discovered the children's story book, The Quiltmaker's Gift, I didn't realize there were related books with quilt patterns and suggestions. When a quilter asked where she might find fabric with similar designs on it, I sent out her request in a post, Fabric to Represent Story Books, Particularly The Quiltmaker's Gift.

Then I discovered there were books with quilt patterns to accompany the picture book and wrote about them in Follow-up Books for the Quiltmaker's Gift.

You may want to check out these books:

The Quiltmaker's Gift
Quilts From the Quiltmaker's Gift
More Quilts From the Quiltmaker's Gift

Monday, March 09, 2009

March Blizzard Memories

Snow in March, like today's storm after two glorious days of springlike weather, brings to mind stories from childhood, when my grandfather reminisced about the Blizzard of 1888. A snowy day like today also is a good one to contemplate quilting projects or work on some already underway.

Also, for some reading about the catastrophic Blizzards of 1888, first in the West and then on the east coast:

City of Snow: The Great Blizzard of 1888 by Linda Oatman High.
In All Its Fury: A History of the Blizzard of January 12, 1888 by W. H. O'Gara.
Blizzard! The 1888 Whiteout by Jacqueline A. Ball.
Blizzard!: The Storm That Changed America by Jim Murphy

More recent blizzards & storms:
One to Remember: The Relentless Blizzard of March 1966 by Douglas Ramsey
Northeast Snowstorms by Louis W. Uccellini

Lost in the Blinded Blizzard (Hank the Cowdog) by John R. Erickson

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Books About Daylight Saving Time & Spring

Discover facts and figures (the curious and the ordinary) about Spring and Daylight Saving Time

Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time by David Prerau
Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time by Michael Downing
Crafting Springtime Gifts: 25 Adorable Projects Featuring Bunnies, Chicks, Lambs & Other Springtime Favorites by Tone Finnanger
Time for Change: Setting Clocks Forward by One Hour Throughout the Year by Mayer Hillman
The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Books on Quilt and Fabric Dating and Preservation

Often quilters write me and ask, "How do I identify this quilt pattern? Do you know how to date a quilt? How can I find out the age of this fabric?"

I've researched some books you may find useful:

Clues in the Calico: A Guide to Indentifying and Dating Antique Quilts by Barbara Brackman
Vintage Quilts: Identifying, Collecting, Dating, Preserving and Valuing by Bobbie Aug, Sharon Newman, and Gerald E. Roy
Fabric Dating Kit: A Pocket Guide to Identifying Quilts & Other Textiles by Color, Fabric & Style by Cindy Brick
Dating Fabrics: A Color Guide 1800-1960 by Eileen Trestain
Dating Fabrics 2: A Color Guide 1950-2000 by Eileen Jahnke Trestain
Making History: Quilts and Fabric from 1890-1970 by Barbara Brackman
Vintage Fabrics Identification & Value Guide by Judith Gridley, Joan Reed Kiplinger, Jessie Gridley McClure

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quilters' Potpourri Blogger Featured in Anthology

Quilters' Potpourri blogger, Mary Emma Allen has stories featured in the new release, Eternally Yours, an anthology of poetry, light essays, devotions and meditations, edited by Mary Ellen Grisham and published by Xulon Press.

Featuring some of the best Christian writers on the Internet, this book represents work that has appeared in the Eternal Ink E-zine since it’s inception in 1999.

In addition, Mary gives presentations and teaches workshops at schools, libraries, writers’ conferences, and for other groups. Some of her talks include topics such as Alzheimer's and caregiving, quilt history and quiltmaking, New Hampshire history, and writing.

I was pleased when Ms. Grisham selected some of my stories for inclusion in this anthology. It's exciting to encourage and inspire others with my writing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Quilting Bee Snack Ideas from the Food Bloggers

The Food Bloggers are a group of us who write about food, recipes and related topics. I hope you enjoy our selection this week. You'll find some of these ideas handy for family meals and others great for treats when your quilting group gets together.

A Homemade Fruit and Yogurt Parfait Use fresh or frozen fruit to make a midwinter healthy treat.

Busy Family Meals The best chocolate cookies Cyndi has ever had. Ever!

Butterfinger Buzz A review of Nestle's new caffeinated candy bar -- a twist on an old favorite!

Cooking Gadgets Cyndi has two Smith's Edge knife sharpeners to give away this weekend!

Mardi Gras Cocktail Recipe A delicious recipe for your Mardi Gras celebration

Quilled Pastry Hearts with Key Lime Curd You can make quilled hearts out of paper or get really creative and make them from frozen puff pastry.

School Lunch Variations Mary Emma at Country Kitchen chats about school lunches past and present and gives you a recipe for Mayonnaise Cake.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Time Saving Tips for the Quilter

I often write about home businesses, since freelance writing often is considered one. I've also operated other businesses from our home, such as making quilts and related items.

So when Susan Gunelius invited me to write a guest post at her Women on Business blog gives, I provided 10 Tips On Finding Time for Your Home Business.
Hopefully these tips will be particularly helpful if you're balancing family and business.

Incidentally, writing guest posts is an enjoyable way for an author or quiltmaker to visit other blogs and web sites and make their presence known.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day from Quilter's Potpourri

Happy Valentine's Day!

May this be a special day for you.

We have been enjoying Valentine's Day flowers, cards and candy. This was a fun day at school yesterday with the Valentine parties.

Today the children in our household are enjoying it, too.

I've been drinking Assam tea today while chatting with a friend about quilts and quiltmaking.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Quilters & Families Celebrate Valentine's Day

Do you and your family participate in Valentine's Day festivities?

This was a fun family day when I was a youngster because Mother made it so. She had been a school teacher and held parties for her students. Thus, she incorporated some of these ideas into festivities for my sister, two brothers and me, even though she was a busy farm wife.

  • *Mother often decorated a cake with white frosting and red hearts. When we were old enough, sister and I did this for her.
  • *She helped us children decorate a mail box for our cards. We had a family fun time making and addressing valentines for family members. When we were in school we had exchanges there, too.
  • *Mother planned a special night meal for Valentine's Day, with the cake and fruit for dessert. There was only our family...four children, Mother, Father and the hired man...but we had a joyous time.
  • *We made decorations to hang around the kitchen (the warmest room in our farmhouse during winter), and name cards for each place setting.


The Night Before Valentine's Day (picture book)

Where Is Baby's Valentine (lift-a-flap book)

My Fuzzy Valentine (Sesame Street Board Book)

Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (DVD)

Disney Valentine Assortment

What do you do for Valentine's Day at your house?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Will Obama Limit What You Can Earn in Your Quilt Related Business?

As Obama proposes to limit the amount of money corporate executives can make, don't jump up and down with glee and cheer. This is only the first step to wage control, class envy and socialism in our country. It smacks of Hitlerism, Leninism, Stalinism, Castroism and other economic controls that dictators impose.

You think this may be good. Those big, bad executives are making more than I do, you think with jealousy. They're making too much money and receive too many perks, you say, for operating corporations that furnish jobs, products, and incentives to maintain the United States as a democracy, not a dictatorship.

What happens when there are wage and profit limits put on your quilting business? What happens when someone like Patricia Bolton, who founded the Quilting Arts business in her barn, reaches the level she has achieved through hard work, creativity and risk? Will she be penalized and told she can only achieve a certain level in income and profits? Will she be told that if she makes over a specific amount with her business, she'll have to give it to those who aren't willing to work but want to live on the dole?

Our country and economy will become a very unsuccessful one if incentives and opportunity for achievement and success are taken away from it's citizens.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Treats & Tips from the Food Bloggers

The Food Bloggers are a group of bloggers who enjoy sharing their recipes or write blogs related to recipes, foods, health and nutrition, and cooking. They have some up with some more recipes that may help you create interesting meals.

Alphabet Cake Pan Personalize your birthday cake with an alphabet cake pan. Make their initials, or their age in cake!
Busy Family Meals Vindaloo sauce can be used to flavor meats, but we like it best as a vegetarian delight!
Chocolate Covered Buttercrunch Bars Chocolate and buttercrunch treats made with a surprise ingredient. Cooking Gadgets Space saving genius: collapsible colanders!
Horehound Drops A herbal home remedy for a sore throat or cough.
Old Woodenware Stirs Memories Mary Emma, at Country Kitchen, finds that old kitchen woodenware brings back memories of cooking in the farmhouse kitchen of childhood. Super Bowl Snack: Edamame "Hummus" A delicious thick dip made with edamame, tofu and avocado The Experts' Suggestions to Curb Nighttime Noshing Most of the registered dieticians and diet websites Jean found as she tries to curb her nightly noshing habit have pretty specific suggestions to help.

Have fun as you try these. Let me know if there is something you particularly enjoy.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Barbara Brackman's Fabrics with Obama Designs

With Obama now President, quilters have been going all out to make quilts and fabric art that reflect his term in office. Quilter, fabric designer and author, Barbara Brackman, has created fabric with his photo on it. Check out my post at Quilting and Patchwork for more details about these designs you can print onto fabric.

You'll also find a photo at Black Threads, from the Washington Post, of a lady attending an Open House and greeted by the the Obamas. She's wearing a shawl of Obama fabric.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

More About Obama, Presidential & Patriotic Quilts

Check out another post at Quilting and Patchwork about Presidential and Patriotic Quilts brought about by the flurry of those made by quilters in recognition of the Obama Presidency and Inauguration.

Although a great deal is being made of this occasion, with special displays in Washington, DC and elsewhere, you will find that in days ago, there were quilts made in recognition of United States Presidents and patriotic occasions. The list of names is interesting, as evidenced by the post linked above.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Quiltmaker's Gift and More

I'd read The Quiltmaker's Gift to children when I was subsitute teaching and mentioned it on my Quilting and Patchwork blog. A reader inquired where she might find fabric with the Quilter's Gift as a theme.

As I was researching her query (and I haven't found any fabric yet, but asked for other quilters' input), I discovered some books with quilt patterns that accompany the story book, called Quilts from the Quiltmaker's Gift and More Quilts from the Quiltmaker's Gift.

Another quilter read my post at Quilting and Patchwork today and said she checked out these quilt pattern books and discovered they are "must haves." She's going to get one as a gift for a friend, too.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Quilting with an Obama Slant

Obama Quilts

Ever since the Obama campaign began, quilters have been making quilts and fabric art to commemorate the man to become President.

I've written more about this at my Quilting and Patchwork blog, Obama Quilts and Quilters All the Rage. You might like to stop by and check it out, along with the links to quilts to appear at displays commemorating the Inauguration.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Graveyard Quilts

The Uncommon Quilter by Jeanne Williamson, a book my daughter received for Christmas, contains some fascinating projects for adults and children. These little quilts employ a variety of techniques.

One I found of interest...and must try once the deep snow is melted here in New Hampshire...involves gravestone rubbings. I've written about it at Quilting and Patchwork in the post, Gravestone Rubbings for Fabric Art. As I explain here, you could experiment with many family history projects using some of Jeanne's techniques.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year's from Quilters' Potpourri

May 2009 be a wonderful year for you.

It's cold (3 degrees F.) and windy here where I live.

But we're looking forward to a grand 2009.

What are your quilting expectations for the coming year?