Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Bouquets for a New Day

The secret is out!

In late September, I was approached by The Quilt Show (Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson's online web community) to design a block-of-the-month quilt that they would feature during 2008. With such a short fuse, squeezing designing, making, and writing the pattern into my schedule was a challenge, but it was such a wonderful opportunity for me to share my love of quilting with others that... how could I say no?!! It also represented an opportunity for me to focus on a different venue: presenting patterns on-line, which opened a lot of new doors in "teaching" by allowing color photos to be incorporated into the pattern. As you can imagine, reproducing color photos is quite expensive in an "every day" pattern.

In Bouquets for a New Day, the patterns are all bouquets of flowers in baskets or vases, and a new one is to be posted on The Quilt Show website every month. The twelfth month will also include the setting instructions. To get the instructions for the patterns each month, you simply have to join The Quilt Show ( as a Star Member -- and on the first of each month, the pattern will be posted and ready for Star Members to print and make.

Below is a photo of the quilt - it is not quilted yet, but my good friend Denise will be taking care of that in the near future.

Bouquets for New Day (c)2007 Susan H. Garman

I hope the new year brings you great joy, terrific health, and much love.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Galveston's Tall Ship Elissa

Hi there --

I am so fortunate! Amidst all the craziness of having too much on my plate, I still enjoy every single day and believe that life is just great! The latest quilt that I have made is a medallion quilt. Here's a photo of it:

The Tall Ship Elissa
43 x 43"
(c)2007 Susan H. Garman

The ship in the center of the medallion is The Elissa -- an 1877 fully restored tall ship that docks nearby at Galveston's wharves. In February, I will be leading two all-day workshops in Galveston at the annual retreat sponsored by Quakertown Quilts (check here if you'd like more information: I particularly like teaching workshops down on the island because a) it's across the street from the beach and I love the beach, b) the gals who come are all a lot of fun, so I have a lot of fun, and c) I can sleep in my own bed, as my house is on the shore on the west end of the island. Even a seasoned road warrior like myself enjoys sleeping in her own bed once in a while! Think about signing up for the retreat -- it will be FUN!


Saturday, November 10, 2007

New Mother Goose Fabric Items!

Hi there!

Right after the International Quilting Association (IQA) quilt show, I made a trip up to Tyler, Texas, to give a lecture and conduct a workshop. What a FUN bunch of quilters live in and around Tyler! And it is no wonder that the quilters there are so nice; East Texas is beautiful country.

The drive home was long - almost five hours, and half of it was in bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic on the north and south sides of Houston. I'm glad I'm home, where I am now busy designing and sewing a new quilt. You will get a sneak peek at it sooner or later, but I resist posting half-finished items.
Here are some finished items, though: I used the Mother Goose & Friends fabric to make a tote bag (with a Mother Goose book in it, of course!)

And here is a hoodie and cargo pants. My friend Denise made the hoodie - it is so cute! The cargo pants are perfect with it -- as soon as I dig out the patterns, I will update this blog with the patternmaker's information.

and... surprise... Christmas stockings! I think that many of us unconsciously categorize fabrics and never think about using them in a different context. I intentionally wanted to use my Mother Goose fabrics in an uncommon context -- who would have thought about using a collection of pastel prints from a juvenile line of fabrics for a Christmas item? Once again, it just shows all of us that we can use fabric in amazing ways and places!

My P&B Textiles Mother Goose fabric will be in stores after the first of the year. It is a fun collection of fabrics to work with. When I designed it, I wanted it to be multi-functional -- that is, I wanted it to be useful for a variety of different purposes: all sorts of different quilts, wearables, home decoration, etc. One of the fabrics is a border print -- it has a "formal" border, along with a "folk art" border in the print. That makes it usable in many different types of quilts. Here are the two different borders in the border fabric; the border print also contains a set of labels that can be used to identify a finished quilt. I intend to cut out several of them and use them in sashings, though -- and friends of a mother-to-be are going to write their best advice on those labels. It is a wonderful way to personalize a baby quilt and share your love with a new mother.

I spent the week before Thanksgiving up in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore area with a group of quilters. We were so very fortunate: one of the gals in our group had arranged for some very old and fragile Baltimore Album Quilts to be taken out of storage so that we could see the quilts "up close and personal." I was so inspired and awed by the women who made those quilts long ago; they had special challenges that we do not face today, yet they managed to stitch together the most beautiful quilts of their era. One of my next quilts will definitely be a Baltimore-style album quilt -- I can hardly wait!

That's all for now - I have miles of stitching to do before the day is done!

Friday, November 2, 2007

After the Houston Quilt Show...

The Stars of Mother Goose
(c)2007 Susan H. Garman
The great Houston Quilt Market is over, the great Quilt Show is nearly over, and I am exhausted! If you have never been to Houston during "Festival" (as it is known locally), plan to make the trip someday. There is so much to see - from fabrics and quilts to gadgets and gizmos, to people and classes. And that's without ever leaving the convention center!

At Quilt Market, my Mother Goose fabric was introduced by P&B Textiles. I had two quilts showcasing the fabric on display in the P&B booth, including the one above. Denise Green quilted this quilt, along with the other Mother Goose quilt; her work is absolutely incredible.

I will be making more quilts - as well as other non-quilt items - using the Mother Goose fabric. It is a multi-dimensional fabric, with the ability to move outside of the juvenile genre. Stay tuned - you might be surprised at what shows up on this blog!

Happy stitching!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mother Goose & Friends

Yippee! My new quilts, using the fabric I designed for P&B Textiles, will debut tomorrow as Quilt Market kicks off! I had so much fun making quilts using the Mother Goose & Friends fabric. Probably the first thing that hit me when I got the fabric was... "Yikes! You mean I have to CUT this?!!!" I hated to do it... but I also loved being able to create quilts with the fabric. Above is the quilt that P&B is using to market the fabric line; the fabric has 26 different pieces in it, ranging from scatter prints to graceful border prints to tone-on-tones to a pre-printed panel with eight nursery rhymes illustrated on it. Although this is billed as a juvenile print line, most of the fabrics in it are multi-dimensional and can be used in a variety of settings. You'll be seeing more of those ideas in the future -- which is what is so great about a blog: it's a fast way to post photos, ideas, tips, etc. Life is great, isn't it?!

Ladies of the Sea

(c)2007 Susan H. Garman
The newest block-of-the-month that I created is called "Ladies of the Sea." It celebrates some of the greatest ships that have sailed the oceans of the world. There are 16 blocks with ships appliqued on them - and each ship is surrounded by a wreath of vines, branches, or flowers from the ship's native land. The four borders incorporate all of the flowers and leaves that are in the wreaths -- and each corner of the quilt has a mariner's compass on it. This was a wonderful quilt for me to research -- the patterns each contain the history of the ship and describe the flowers, as well as an "icon" that connects the two halves of the wreaths. The icons again reflect something about the ship or the native land of the ship - for example, The Hannah is one of the ship blocks; it was the first ship in George Washington's navy. Washington chartered the schooner to raid the British ships in order to obtain food and supplies for his struggling army of men. The Hannah is surrounded by cherry branches, representing the famed story of Washington's claim that he never told a lie when his father asked him if he had chopped down a cherry tree. The icon joining the two cherry branches is a circle with a green pine tree on it. The pine tree was on the Hannah's flag, along with the words, "An Appeal to Heaven," a phrase taken a famous address to the British that closed with the words, "Appealing to heaven for the justice of our cause."

I'm particularly pleased with this block-of-the-month -- partly because we haven't seen many new Baltimore album style quilt patterns in a while, but also because I spent a considerable amount of time writing and illustrating the instructions so that even a less experienced quilter could make this quilt. Each month's pattern includes a section called "Smooth Sailing" that provides options for simplifying the pattern. I want quilters to believe that every quilt is "do-able" even if they don't yet have a wealth of experience under their belts.

Check your local quilt shop if you are interested in doing this new block-of-the-month, or you can always get it from Quakertown Quilts ( if you want to order it from the shop that manages the distribution of my patterns.

Happy sailing!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sue Garman Quilts

The great "Houston Quilt Market" opens in two days! I am excited about seeing what is new this year, and my own Mother Goose and Friends collection of fabrics by P and B Textiles will debut at Quilt Market. Wheee!!!! P and B is a great company to work with because they maintain and support their fabric lines over time -- that's great for store owners and customers who wish to re-order bolts.

Blogging is new to me -- I have so much I want to do with this blog, though: sharing new ideas, new patterns, inspiration, and the joy of quilting. I guess I had better get to work so I can do that!