Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Wishes

On this blessed Christmas week, may you and your family celebrate the most treasured of moments. Enjoy the last minute preparations, the gathering of family, praying together as you join hands in worship, the laughter, the excitement and abundant love of this holiday season.

Friday, December 18, 2009

More Grandchildren Quilts

I've been so busy working on Christmas gifts I haven't taken the time to add to my blog. Here is another of our Grandmother/Great Grandmother creations (the quilt, not the little darling in front -- although, I guess we had a part in that too!). My talented mother embroidered the squares and I put them together in the quilt. It's so much fun to work on projects together. And, it's so nice to make something that can be cherished in the future.

Always remember to add labels to your quilts. We forget details so quickly and as quilts are passed on, the stories are lost.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Quilts for the grandchildren

My mother embroiders but doesn't quilt. We decided to put our varied skills to work and make quilts for our Grandchildren/Great Grandchildren. The blue centers of the freedom log cabin blocks in this quilt were embroidered by my mom. They certainly added interest to this project which will become an heirloom treasure for little Nicholas.

Not all Christmas gifts are made of Christmas fabrics (as much as we love that wonderful red and green).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas gifts

I can't really show this year's Christmas gifts. There may be one for you. These are baskets and purses I made for gifts last year. It was fun to depart from quiltmaking to try a different technique. The instructions for making these smart looking items came from Susan Brier's book "It's a Wrap", published by That Patchwork Place.

The baskets were made from Christmas scrap fabric, 1/2" - 3/4" strips. What a great way to use up fabric scraps! And what is too small to save?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tis the Season

It's a wonderful season and what would Christmas be without plenty of cookies. Cherries winking in the pan are brightening up our house. Time for cooking, time for decorating, time for finishing up those sewing projects, all before the house fills up and we share the magical moments of Christmas.

What is your favorite Christmas food?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Melodies

If your favorite colors are red and green, you love the bright combinations used in Christmas quilts. Since these are my favorites, I could easily decorate with the colors of Christmas all year long. In fact, I do have quite a collection of red and green quilts.

Add to that a favorite log cabin block, and it couldn't be sweeter. It could be a whole quilt, an eye-catching center or a fabulous border.

After shoveling snow all day, its time for thinking of my loved ones as I sew Christmas gifts. Enjoy the beauty of the day.

p.s. Don't forget to add your Christmas comments to be entered for the Holiday Melodies Pattern Give-away.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

T-shirt quilts

With a winter storm approaching, its a good time to spend the day working on Christmas gifts. I am busy with my first attempt at making a t-shirt quilt. I have the top of this one done and plan to quilt it to a fleece backing. Has anyone else tried this?

It seemed to work on a small sample, so I will soon find out.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Pattern Give-away

In the spirit of the season, I thought another give-away would be fun. This is my pattern "Holiday Melodies" and measures 55" x 67". It features a unique combination of blocks and a pieced border. Several neutral fabrics make the background sparkle, while rotary cutting make quick work of cutting. Over-sized pieces make it easy to trim blocks to the correct size. (You can click on the photo for a larger view.)

You may not have time to make it this year, but it's never to early to start on next year. To be entered in the give-away, please post a comment about your favorite Christmas idea between now and December 20.

If you would like to purchase this pattern, you may do so through my website for a Christmas special price of $5.00 Just say you saw it on my blog. (If you would happen to be the winner and already purchased the Holiday Melodies pattern, you could choose another of my patterns for your prize.)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Snail's Trail

After completing my Christmas Snail's Trail quilt top, I used the remaining Christmas fabrics for a colorful scrap backing. After all, there will be wonderful new fabrics available next year, and I will have new favorites to purchase and use for 2010 Christmas projects.

Half of the fun of making new quilts is sharing them with others. We are all inspired by new ideas. Check out Christmas favorites at a Virtual Christmas Quilt Show

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Snail's Trail

Scrap quilts must be my passion, as I see my use of multiple fabrics has spread into my Christmas quilts was well.

The snail's trail pattern is an easy design to try. It looks festive when we combine several Christmas prints on a white background. As you can see on the detail, it is composed of four recognizable parts, a four patch surrounded by triangles, two larger half square triangle blocks and a solid block.

Enjoy getting into the Christmas spirit as you work on holiday projects.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Trail

With Thanksgiving past and our tummies full of turkey, we turn our thoughts to the next big holiday. Certainly, you must have been hiding under a rock not to have been surrounded by Christmas advertising. Isn't it magnificent that we, as quilters, can see beyond the common, commercial offerings. We want to invest our time and talents into making a gift that truly comes from our heart.

Whether you choose the most beautiful reds and greens or match a home's decor, your gift will be filled with the true Christmas spirit.

In the next few weeks, I will be blogging about gifts that I am making or have made for my loved ones. May they charge your creativity!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Winner of Pattern GiveAway

I hope you have been busy with Thanksgiving and perhaps some Christmas shopping. Or did you spend the weekend cutting and stitching hand-made gifts?

I looked through all the past blogs and found all your comments for the Pattern Give-Away. I put your names in a hat and asked my husband to pick out one. "What am I doing and why am I doing this?"

And the winner is Laura K from WI (I will email you for your address.) Thank all of you for your comments, I enjoyed all of them. Continue stitching and checking my blog for further give-aways.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

As you work on your Thanksgiving pies today, give thanks for your family and friends. We have lives filled with golden opportunities, may we all make the best of them.

Reflect and enjoy the day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oil Up Your Serger

As you are reading this, are you searching through your memory trying to remember where it was that you last saw your serger?

Because I want to make more use of mine, I decided to see all the capabilities that it had for quilting. I found that my serger loved the decorative threads that my sewing machine would rather not know existed. In this small project "Spinning Pinwheels", two decorative threads are used to make the three dimensional pinwheels. Because the stitching is done with the most basic serger stitch, the overlock stitch, this couldn't be easier.

Unearth your serger, oil it up and give it a go to make a fabulous serged quilt.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Review of Serge and Merge Quilts

After writing a new book, it's always exciting and nerve-wracking to see how it is received by others. My newest book, Serge and Merge Quilts, came out this past summer. It was fun to read the review of my book in Mark Lipinski's magazine "Quilter's Home", January 2010 issue.

Yes, Mark, I agree that if you don't have a serger this book is not for you. So many of quilters have spent the money and own sergers, I wanted to show them a few of the exciting possibilities of using their serger to create quilts.

Are you a quilter who owns a serger? Have you tried using your serger as a complement to your sewing machine as you quilt on your merry way?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pattern Give-away

This is the last week for the pattern give-away. Just post a comment about scrap quilting to be entered in the give-away. I'll be waiting to hear from you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What is your plan for the day? Today will be another multi-quilting day for me. I am beading on an art quilt, hand quilting a wall hanging and assembling a quilted bag. (I can't show pictures, one might be for you!) I love having several projects going at the same time. When I stumble on one, or my eyes give out, I can switch to another with renewed enthusiasm.

Are you a multi-quilter or do you stick with one plan until you're done? Bravo to you, if you can go start to finish without looking at another project!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Collaboration Quilts

Off the subject of scrap quilts -- or is it??

Have you ever worked on a quilt with another quilt artist? My good friend, quilting teacher Chris Lynn Kirsch, and I have worked on several quilts together. We've found it to be a very rewarding experience and pushed us past what we could have accomplished alone. This quilt "Goyne Round in Circles" is now traveling with the New Quilts from an Old Favorite contest sponsored by the National Quilt Museum (AQS) in Paducah, KY.

Because we live several hours apart, Chris and I sent the quilt back and forth as it progressed. Chris created the center based on the traditional block - Burgoyne Surrounded. I loved the use of circles and the fabulous hand-dyed background. I added the border using multiple fabrics in blue and yellow/orange. Mmmm, this brings to mind 'scraps', doesn't it? Just can't get away from them and the punch they bring to a quilt.

We both shared in the machine quilting and were so pleased with the results. If you have not tried working with another quilter, I definitely recommend it. Not only will you be stretched to try new ideas but you will be blessed with a wonderful friendship.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What a glorious morning! With the sun streaming into my house, I walk into the room and see, oh no, how terribly spotty my windows are. How could they be? I just washed them. I understand the line of doggy nose prints at the bottom, obviously Shadow can only keep track of my every move by pressing his nose tightly against the glass. But where did all the rest of those speckles and streaks come from? UGH!!

Will I be strong enough? Will I have the courage? Will I be able to break the hold? Will I make it to my studio before the guilt takes over and I am forced to clean before I sew? I scratch and claw and make it. Now if I stay here all morning, the sun will no longer be highlighting my east windows and I will be safe for another day.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More uses for scraps

Do you still have a few fabrics in your scrap bag? Pieces as small as 4" squares are ideal for making half square triangles for use in quilts such as "Swallow Finale".

You will need one background 4" square and one colored 4" square. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of the background square. With right sides together, match the background square with the colored square. Stitch two 1/4" seams, one of each side of the drawn line. Cut on the line and open to reveal your two half square triangle blocks. Press seam allowance toward the darker fabric. Trim to 3-1/2" x 3-1/2".

You can order your own "Swallow Finale" pattern for $5.00. Just say, you saw it on my blog. (Info for ordering patterns on my website --

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

More ideas for using scraps

I have found that I use scraps if I go through and trim them to more usable sizes.

When I was looking for a backing for my "G.P.S." wall hanging, I gathered all my red and green scraps left over from this project as well as others. I cut and stitched them into four patches. I combined small four patches into 16 patches, and joined them with larger four patches and solid blocks for my quilt back.

Four patches are very usable because they are easy to make. If you find the size needs adjusting for a project, they can be easily trimmed to the required size by trimming equally off all four sides.

Now I've found that I like the back of my quilt as much as the front.
And I've used a multitude of my scraps.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Free Patttern Giveaway

Log cabin "freedom" blocks can be combined with other blocks as we see in this quilt called "Izburndaurite, Goddess of Too Much Fun in the Sun". It's an easy fit because your blocks can be cut to any size. Measure your surrounding blocks and trim your log cabin blocks to the perfect measurement. No more stretching or easing to make them match.

Post a 'log cabin scrap quilt' comment before the end of November and you may be selected to win a free "Izburndaurite" pattern.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Freedom Quilt using scrap strips

The Freedom Quilt is made log cabin blocks busy tilting and turning all over the surface.
What a glorious way to use up those extra fabric strips leaving you free of the guilt of not using your fabric to the max. This quilt and others using "freedom" log cabin blocks can be found in my book "Log Cabin Quilts with Attitude". (Available on my website

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Nicholas' Quilt

Here is a quilt that I made for my grandson. The animals were embroidered by my mother and made exciting centers for the log cabin blocks. Tilting the blocks give them the freedom to add fun to an otherwise common quilt layout.

It was a joy to combine talents with my mother to pass on a memory quilt that "Grandma and Great-Grandma" hope will be treasured for many years to come.

Yes, another fabulous way to use our scraps. And just in time, there is a fabric sale going on.....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Assemble blocks

Now you are ready to assemble a quilt top with your tilting log cabin blocks. Lay out rows alternating a marked block and an unmarked block. The first block will tilt one way, the second block will tilt the other way, etc. (If all the blocks tilt the same way, your quilt will look like it is falling over.)

Seam the blocks into rows. I like to seam my rows vertically as it seems to provide more design options. Seam the rows together into a zany, fun loving quilt top. This is a wonderful way to make good use of your extra strips. A multitude of pattern options using these scrap-eating blocks can be found in my book, "Log Cabin Quilts with Attitude".

This design option makes a lovely scrap quilt, but come back to see the possibilities.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Trimming your scrappy Log Cabins

Today you will take the log cabin blocks that you made and trim them to a consistent size so they can be combined in a quilt top. For a bed size quilt, a 9" block works well so you will trim the blocks to 9-1/2". Here is where the fun truly begins.

Use a 9-1/2" square ruler or mark a larger ruler to that size. Lay the ruler on your first log cabin block, tilting it as much as possible but still keeping it entirely on the block. Trim off the edges on all four sides. Trim half of your blocks with the ruler tilted in this direction. (Because some of your blocks are larger than others, you will be able to tilt the ruler more. This is good because your blocks will have more attitude.)

Using the second half of your blocks, tilt the ruler in the opposite direction and trim. Again, on some of the blocks you will be able to tilt your rule at more of an angle than others. That's great because each block then adds its own special interest. Mark each blocks in this pile with a pin or a piece of tape so you can easily and quickly tell them from the blocks in your first pile.

Don't your blocks look so much more fun now that they are trimmed?

Come back soon to see how to put your blocks together into a quilt top.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Scrap Strips

Today, we'll delve into the pile of scraps that is overwhelming you.

We'll start with the strips that were left over from another projects. Pick out your strips and put them in a paper bag or box. See that pile of scraps getting smaller.

Wasn't it fun to remember what you made out of those fabrics? Wouldn't it be fun to use those scrap strips? But who wants the bother of resizing them for a new project, I sure didn't.

So here's the plan. Sew those strips into log cabin blocks. Use any widths, use any colors. Start with squares, rectangles or pieced bits such as half square triangles. Have fun pulling strips out of your bag and stitching them on. Since we are headed for a bed size scrap quilt, continue adding strips until your log cabin blocks are approximately 10-1/2" to 12" in size. Your blocks probably won't be the same size or shape, after all your strips are all different widths. That's o.k.

Come back tomorrow to see how to transform these mundane blocks into their jazzy, fun-loving counterparts.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Overwhelmed with scraps?

Have your scraps taken over your world? Are they crawling out from the corners? Are they tangling around your ankles as you try to move? Are they poised on the upper shelf ready to attack you when you least expect it?

No, this isn't a leftover Halloween horror story. But this may be the reality of your quilting world. In the next few days, I will be giving you suggestions for taming your scrap overload and getting control over your quilting studio.

Come back soon.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Yes, I finally finished my sunflower quilt. Here is a detail of a hand pieced sunflower. I think I used more different techniques in this quilt than any other quilt I've made. I hand pieced blocks, machine pieced blocks, paper pieced blocks, hand appliqued blocks and machine appliqued blocks unto the quilt.

Is this creativity or lack of focus?

I did enjoy each technique and making the quilt, even though at times I felt I would never get done. Did you ever have a quilt that seemed to take over your life?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Joy of Quilting Friendships

Maybe its the dark days or the rainy weather, but I've been stalling out on quilting lately. I have a project near completion but it just wasn't getting done. Yesterday, our small quilting group got together and worked on quilts to donate. During our time together, we not only create lovely quilts to share with others but we share our lives. I always come away with renewed enthusiasm and can't wait until our next meeting.

Quilting is not about creating perfect stitches, its about creating perfect friendships.

Now I'm off to complete my project. Life is fine today.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Machine Quilting a large Quilt

Yesterday, I was talking to another quilter who was having trouble handling a large quilt on her home machine. She mentioned that anything over 60" wide was too hard to quilt on her machine. Perhaps you may also have had the same problem so I thought I would mention a method I've used.

Lay out your quilt for basting -- the backing, the batting and the quilt top. Pin baste the center section from top to bottom of the quilt. On a 90" wide quilt, this would be the center 30". Fold back the side of the quilt top over the basted section, exposing the batting. Without cutting the backing, cut out the batting (you will replace it after quilting the center section). Repeat for the other side of the quilt. Now you have batting only in the center of the quilt, making it much easier to handle under your machine.

After machine quilting the center section, lay out the quilt again. Reinsert the side batting, butt the edges of the batting and hand stitch together. Pin baste and quilt the side of the quilt. Repeat on the second side. Because you are quilting closer to the edge of the quilt, you will be able to handle the additional weight and thickness of the batting.

This does require you to lay out your quilt a second time, but the ease of quilting may be worth the effort. What do you think?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hexagon in Allottastrata

Did you see the hexagons in my quilt?

Here is a close-up of one hexagon shape made from two mirror image half hexagons. This is a fun and easy way to piece hexagon shapes because you can piece the half hexagons in vertical rows. (You will be alternating a left half hex and a right half hex down the row.) Piece the matching half hexagons in the next row and your piece is complete.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Here is another quilt made entirely of hexagons. Can you pick them out?

I started with strata (striped fabric made of strips of several fabrics stitched together) that I had left from another project. I cut it into half hexs and stitched them together to make this unique pattern.

I have the most fun creating something out of the remnants of another project. Waste not, want not, so they say. (Hint: Click on the photo for a closer view.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fallen Apple

As with the previous quilt, I have again used hexagons in my project. This time the background is complete composed of machine stitched hexagons. The apples are hand painted in Velda Newman style and hand appliqued on.

As you can see, I have continued to reach out and try new ideas. What have you tried today?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Uninhibited Growth

Had I not stretched myself beyond the accepted color palette in my ugly "Worst of the Worst" quilt, I may still be letting others choose my pattern and color choices. I am so happy I made that quilt and that I moved on to make other independent choices because each one help me grow as a quilter.

Now I am not afraid to try many options. "Uninhibited Growth" reflects my growth as an artist. It combines machine piecing, hand applique, fusing and machine quilting. (It, too, can go to the highest bidder.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Worst of the Worst

Last night, we had a fun time at our guild meeting competing for the title of "Worst Quilt". We each brought in an offering and carefully slipped it into the pile. (Who would want to admit they made such an "ugly"?) After displaying and voting on the offensive quilts, we had a lot of laughs as the owners told their stories.

Moral of the event: Don't lament about your mistakes and take quilting too seriously. Yes, we strive to make beautiful quilts but we couldn't do it without a few "uglies" along the way.

By the way, I won the "Worst of the Worst" with this lovely creation. (Available to the highest bidder!!) You know..... I do believe....... as they say, cameras just don't do it justice, it's so much better in person.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Basting for Quilting

Today I will be busy machine quilting. Yesterday, I spent time crawling around on the floor, busy getting my quilt ready. I like to tape the backing to my hardwood floor keeping it straight with the floor boards. Then I smooth the batting and finally the quilt top over the backing. Because I want the edges of my quilt to be straight, I spend time measuring and squaring up the outside edges of the quilt. If there is excess fabric, this will have to be eased into the center when I quilt. I hand baste approximately 1/4" from the outside edges and pin baste the rest of the quilt.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bittersweet Corners

When I finished Forest Floor, I had excess fabric cut from my mitered corners. With a "waste not, want not" attitude, I always see these scraps as a creativity challenge. I pieced two mitered border ends together and added a background block (the same technique as you would make an attic window block). By adding bittersweet vines and three dimensional berries, this became a small art quilt to coordinate with my Forest Floor wall quilt.

Further instructions for this project and Forest Floor can be found in my book "Log Cabin Quilts with Attitude".

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The orange berries of the bittersweet caught my attention.

I chose to add them to a colorful fall wallhanging.

This is Forest Floor from my book Log Cabin Quilts with Attitude.

Monday, October 5, 2009

English Flower Basket

The reds and browns of English Flower Basket combine with a leaf print in the background making this a wonderful quilt to display in the autumn. Unique borders make this quilt something special.

Often in our quiltmaking, we are so involved in the center of the quilt that when it comes to the borders we have lost our enthusiasm and go for an easy solution. Yet, dramatic borders can add so much to the quilt.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I hope you are enjoying the autumn splendor. As I drove down my driveway, I felt as if I were driving into a crayon box. This is my time of year. I enjoy rustling through the leaves, coming inside to warm drinks and I can't wait to turn on my sewing machine and delve into new projects.

This is a perfect time to join a quilt guild to enjoy the camaraderie of other quilters. You will be inspired and encouraged. There are numerous quilting events to consider. There are quilts shows to attend and ideas to bring back that fire our interest. There are quilt shops to visit as you travel to view fall colors. Or is it, there are autumn leaves to view as we travel to new quilt shops?

Thursday, October 1, 2009


This previously completed G.P.S. quilt is machine quilted completely different. I used swirls in the center and crosshatched the outer border. This quilting design given you a chance to practice both your machine guided and free motion quilting. Embrace the possibilities of trying a multitude of different ideas in your quilting.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

As I said last week, I need to work on more than one project at a time. When one project is stalled, leaving it to work on a second, gives me time to reconsider, ponder, and look back at the first project with new eyes and new enthusiasm. For the past few days, I have switched to quilting on my G.P.S. wall quilt (one of the bySher patterns available on my website).

Choosing designs for machine quilting is a fun challenge. I feel that each quilt deserves a fresh design, so even if I have made the quilt several times, I try to quilt it differently each time. Not only does this make each quilt individual, but it gives me opportunity to continually reach out in new directions.

By the way, my first project is coming together nicely. And I've even dug out another quilt top (after an hour search) and basted it for hand quilting. Multi-quilting always works!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The wind is blowing, it's rainy and cold. What a glorious day! I love walking into my studio filled with bright fabrics and know I can enjoy sewing without the thought of other things pulling me away. "Sorry, can't do that today, the weather outside is frightful." So I can hide away in my studio, play loud music, dream up new projects and stitch away.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tall Pines

As the seasons change, new colors brighten our landscape. In this art quilt, I experimented with the use of basic squares and rectangles to create an abstracted pictorial image of my world. The tall pines stretch out above the lowly, but colorful, undergrowth.

Enjoy the process of discovery as you reach in new directions in your work. May you find joy in your life today.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yesterday I spent the day with a special group of quilting friends. For over ten years, we have been making and donating quilts to help others in need. During this time, we have developed a wonderful friendship, feasted on fabulous lunches, enjoyed high moments, and supported each other during low moments in our lives. Just like the quilting bees of old, we have bonded because of our love of fabric and the thought of warming someone's life with a quilt.

The quilting world is full of caring and gracious people who are giving of their time and generous in sharing their knowledge. Aren't we lucky to be a part of it?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


How do you work? Do you continue - start to finish - on one project before you go on to others?

I found I have been "stalling out" on my latest sunflower project. I do want to finish it, but can't seem to constantly continue. I feel that I must jump ship and work on another unfinished project. Actually, this means both projects will soon be finished, for it seems I work best when I am "multi-quilting".

Are you a "multi-quilter"? Do you switch from project to project? Does your brain need time to think and plan project 1 while you are working on project 2?

Monday, September 21, 2009

More sunflowers

I'm definitely in a sunflower mood. I found this traditional sunflower design and decided to hand piece it. I've never done much hand piecing, always in a hurry.

With the short curved pieces, I thought it would piece as quickly by hand as it would on the machine (and I think it did).

I found the process of hand piecing very relaxing and certainly more portable. Maybe I'll try more. How about you?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I, like so many of you, like to decorate for the season. Enchanted by the many sunflowers with heads heavy with seeds, I added their bright colors and interesting textures to my home. Pillows are a fast and easy way to change my decor so I have them piled high. What is your favorite seasonal decorating touch?

These pillows and other seasonal ideas can be found in my book "Quilting Through the Seasons".

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My neighbor, Kathy and I had a fun time exchanging stories and ideas with Cheryl Weiderspahn (center) at the Quilting Expo in Madison, WI. Cheryl is the owner of Homestead Specialties Patterns ( She is one of the most creative people I know when it comes to making the most of the things we have. Her book "Low Sew Boutique" is full of ideas for re-purposing ready-mades into designer accessories.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Congratulations to my friend and fellow quilter Mary S. who was a prize winner at the Madison Quilt Expo. The Quilt Show was diverse and filled with outstanding quilts from all parts of the United States. What a source of inspiration for us all!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Madison Quilt Expo was exciting and invigorating. I had a chance to present both lectures and classes and through these met so many wonderful quilters. Students in my classes traveled from down the street in Madison to as far away as Hawaii. What an inspiring exchange of ideas and view points!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It was nice to speak to many of you after my Stage Presentation "Serge and Merge Quilts". I will be in Booth 411 Friday and Saturday morning. Stop and say "hi". I would be happy to answer any of your quilting questions.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My, this is such a busy time of year. I feel I have not had any amount of time to sit at my sewing machine. Perhaps that is why I look forward to cooler temperatures and relaxed moments to sit in the midst of piles of fabric and enjoy the view!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Our grandson Nicholas enjoys sleeping under this twin size version of Lily Pad Bay.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lily Pad Bay

Use your new-found skills at curved piecing for making this fun picnic quilt called Lily Pad Bay. I am writing the instructions and you can be the first to order it. Contact me for details.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Piecing Curves

Do you avoid patterns with pieced curve designs? Are feeling unsure about your ability? Join me in Madison at the Quilt Expo where I will be teaching a fun tablerunner called Curvaceous Bodacious Blooms. You will gain confidence while conquering curves and making eye-catching blooms.

See you there. Stop and say "Hi".

Thursday, August 27, 2009


The fun part of quilting is the creative moment when we let our imaginations fly. I love making quilts that let the viewer determine what is seen. In Java, viewers have envisioned both flowers and an underwater scene. A treasured moment was when small girl came up to me and said "I really like the dinosaur".

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

To kit or not to kit

What are your thoughts on kits for class projects? Do you like them?

As I am preparing kits for an upcoming class, I am pondering the question "How many students find them helpful?".

Usually, I like to let students make their own fabric choices so they can be assured of colors and patterns they enjoy. In class, I suggest ways the students can alter the arrangement of the blocks or change the pattern in some way to make it their own. Perhaps, it is the length of the class time that controls our creativity -- the shorter the class the more controlled we must be.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tip for Perfect Seams

Do you have trouble maintaining that perfect 1/4" even though you are using your 1/4" foot? With just a small foot to guide you, it may be hard to keep focused.

Try adding a piece of tape to your machine in front of the foot to help guide you. (I like the blue painter's masking tape that is so easy to see and removes without leaving a sticky residue on my machine.) Place the tape in line with the edge of the 1/4" foot. Use the tape as a guide to align your fabric in advance of your needle and you will have no more wobbles in your stitching.
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