Countryside Wreath and Prairie Pines are two of the first four single patterns that started the Thimbleberries pattern collection some 27 years ago. They remained in the collection until the Thimbleberries Studio closed a few years ago. Many of you may have made one of these (or both) quilts. The original Prairie Pines quilt was larger and made to look like a scrap quilt. Check out the Reminiscing section for more Thimbleberries memories. Both patterns are still available in my book, In Celebration of Quilting from Landauer Publishing.
FREE PATTERNS from the past . . . Just keep scrolling!
BLOCK CITY flannel quilt
Sewing with Flannel
Yo-Yo Heart pillow
Reversible Festive Placemats
West Wind Throw… this is a great pattern for scraps you have in your stash. Combine with other quilts in your collection for a fresh look throughout the year. From my book Easy Living Quilts.
Tomato Pincushions… you know, the iconic tomato pincushion we all remember from our childhood. They’re a perfect gift that can be given to friends for a small Christmas favor.
Pine Sachet Bundles are a perfect scrap project. I use dried balsam needles in these bundles and put them in my mitten and scarf drawers, and also our coat closet.
Bar Code Runner can be made in just minutes! Make it in many combinations to use throughout the year. It is also perfect for a lovely housewarming gift. Combine with a bottle of wine or candles for an impressive gift.
Pumpkin Patchwork Napkins from the book Cottage Comfort by Lynette Jensen for Laudauer Publishing.
Bubble Woolie, from the book Thimbleberries Scrap Quilts by Lynette Jensen for Landauer Publishing.
Table Treat Runner
Apple Stand Runner
Raspberry White Choc Mocha baskets
Girly Girl Quilt
August 31, 2015
Looking Back . . .
Growing a business is a lot like planting a garden. It all starts with a few tools and a handful of tiny seeds planted in the proper soil that offer the promise of big, beautiful blooms. If given the right amount of loving care along the way, a carefully cultivated garden can be a work of art and afford lasting pleasure. So it is with a business that begins as a mere vision and with great attention to detail, blossoms into an established brand.
For me, inspirations for designs have come from collecting everything from the unique to the ordinary. My antique quilt collection has played a key role in my business. I quickly transition beyond collecting quilts to quilt making and teaching others and in doing so, discovered I loved the world of designing quilt projects and quilting fabric.
I’ve had a good amount of time recently to reflect on my career and realize how lucky I have been to be able to turn a love of a craft into a successful career that lasted over 25 years. And now, I have the opportunity to step back in and work with people that I respect with which I have so much in common.
Generally, every one of my collections started with a family piece or a family memory.
The variety of textures, colors, shapes and added benefit of being quite utilitarian have given pottery an important place in my home and heart. When I see the pretty bowls and brown pottery jars I’m fondly reminded of my grandmother’s special one that always held apple butter. Vintage tin food containers and picnic baskets are constant reminders of a time when society was not based on everything being disposable.
Even rusty tin picnic baskets artfully spend their final years serving as planters in my garden.
One of the challenges when collecting is finding new uses for old things or a new way to display them so the collection makes an artful statement. Gathering many of the same items together will make them look special.
Photos from In Celebration of Quilting – 20 Years of My Best by Lynette Jensen for Laudauer Publishing.
July 30, 2015
Looking back to my first fabric collection, Buttermilk Prints, to the present designs I am working on now, it is interesting to see the huge variety of collections that have come and gone. There have been spring and fall collections, Halloween and Christmas collections, children’s groups, flannels, woven plaids, novelties and panel prints. The challenge was always to design something different yet, maintain the Thimbleberries style. Many of you have stashes of Thimbleberries fabrics much larger than mine. In general, I kept very little fabric, but I did keep favorite quilts that showcased the various collections.
I am often asked what have I done with all the quilts that were made for book and pattern publications. Once my staff and I tried to calculate the number of quilts made at the studio and we are certain well over a thousand samples were produced over the 25 plus years. Obviously, I have not kept them all. There have been a few charitable events that benefited from my collection. Three in particular stand out. Years back, I became involved with Habitat for Humanity. The governors wives from each state in the US sponsored a “build”. I sent off quilts to all fifty states. The quilts were to be presented to the new home owner by the first lady of state. All were distributed and those who organized this effort put together a scrapbook of all the heart warming letters and pictures of the families that received the quilts. Quilts have also been given to local Habitat for Humanity homes as well. I always feel that every home should have a quilt to love.
Our local Historical Society is renovating the first home built in our town and the committee is always looking for fundraising possibilities. I donated quilts for an auction that raised $10,000 for their efforts going forward. On a brisk October day, the quilts were hung on clotheslines stretched from tree to tree on the property of the historic house for people to view before the auction. It was quite a glorious sight.
Along with these two groups, Faith’s Lodge was the recipient of countless quilts to fill the Thimbleberries Quilt Cupboard. Faith’s Lodge Is a retreat home in upper Wisconsin that is available for families to grieve and heal from unexpected birth outcomes. Each family was given a new quilt to take home as a reminder that others cared about their loss during this time of healing. Many Thimbleberries fans from all over the country also made quilts to send off to Faith’s Lodge.
Pictured below are some of my favorite quilts from the book New Collection of Classic Quilts by Lynette Jensen for Landauer Corporation. Up North, page 94, Goldenrod Patch, page 178, Block Party, page 172, Winter Bright Throw, page 160. These are among the quilts that have been donated to charities over the years.