Friday, May 22, 2015

Woven Braid - Original Design Entry in Amy's CS Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival

Excited to share complete photos of this original design - Woven Braid as part of Amy's Creative Side and the 2015 Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival.
It was recently hanging at Spring Market in the Island Batik booth. Local shops can order these fabrics and the pattern through Island Batik. If you're interested in the pattern, you can purchase it from me directly--just let me know in the comments so I can reply to you with details.
This is using the new "Meadow" collection from Island Batik--I've heard that the fabrics will ship in August to local shops that have ordered it. In July I'll be participating in a blog hop and will be giving away some fabrics from the Spring collections. So, I hope you'll follow my blog so you won't miss it! I do intend to have this as a complete kit in August, you can get on the pre-order list if you let me know in the comments.

I had a lot of fun creating and quilting this one ...learned several things as I tend to do on every quilt that I work on. These fabrics were absolutely wonderful to work with!

First and last two photos, courtesy of Island Batik.

Consider voting for it in the Original Design Category at Amy's Creative Side Spring 2015 Blogger's Quilt Festival.  Thanks!

Viewer's Choice Vote here.

Thanks for stopping by! Happying Sewing!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

You Can Quilt!

A long anticipated wait coming close to the end.

Our book, You Can Quilt! -- Building Skills for Beginners, is in the mail!

For those of you who followed my journey of making 'Rosie's BOMb' as part of the Skill Builder Sampler a few years ago....this is the next step in the journey. Leila hosted the SBS and mid way through I joined in. I got to collaborate with her on the last two blocks in that series and in 2013 we met in person and decided to pursue getting a book published using this concept of learning.

I got notice earlier this week that the 'Author Copies' were being sent via Media I'm on the slow wait from Paducah for media mail to arrive and expect copies that I can sell to follow shortly. I did get a tracking # and have been watching it daily coming across the country.

Leila is in Iowa so she got hers today! WOW!! It really did get printed!

I've set up a preorder purchase point on my website at: There are several options -- a sticker autographed by both of us; just autographed by me; or no autograph but would like to purchase it directly from me anyway.

While you're there, use the Email Signup link on the right if you'd like to get my monthly newsletter. I've got some new patterns coming out this year, so you'll want to stay tuned.

DON'T use the Amazon link if you want it autographed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Jinny Beyer Border Placemats Yardage and Cutting Tip

Love using Jinny Beyer Border prints to make stunning mitered borders. This can also be done to make a placemat or table runner.

Jinny has a free pattern at her website for making the placemat or table runner.

Since I am teaching this as a class on Tues. April 28 --I made some with the Milan border -red (this also would be a fresh border for my Mi Amore pattern!). So excited with the results. There are two centerlines, so thought with 1 yard I could get two placemats. Each is beautiful and I came out with some stunning results. But the pattern's suggested approximate1/2 yard didn't yield me a placemat, 1 yard didn't yield me 2.

So, here are a few tips when selecting your fabric to know how much you need.

There are 6 pieces to each placemat. You basically need 6 center points. The Milan fabric only has 4 strip sets on the width of fabric, so one repeat isn't going to be enough. you need two--3 repeats plus appropriate clearances should yield you 2 placemats!

Clearance requirements: Make sure you have at least 6 1/2" clearance from the edge of the fabric to your chosen center line, and you need two repeated center lines with that same clearance on the other side to be safe. In the case of Milan, the center line repeat is 24", so at least 1 yard + 1" if the 'cut edge off the bolt' was placed appropriately would be necessary for me to get 1 placemat and be safe. With 1 yard I almost got two placemats using different centerlines (there were two symmetrical center lines in the design), but needed a few more inches in order to get the required pieces for either.

This is what I was able to get with the randomly cut yard.

After cutting another 43" from the bolt so that I had the right additional elements. I yielded these:

An important test is to use chalk (taylor's or chaco wheel) to mark off your templates on the uncut yardage to insure you've got enough or can maximize what you have based on the center lines available.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Island Batik Ambassador 2015

It has been too long since I posted something on this blog, but I've been really busy with lots of new exciting projects coming into view.

One of the big announcements is that I have been selected as an Island Batik Ambassador for 2015. 
Along with this honor comes freebies of fabric that I get to design with and/or giveaway! So, this year you'll see me participating in several blog hops that will include giveaways with beautiful new Island Batik fabric.

Here is a sneak peek at the first batch of fabrics that I got! The two larger (1 yard each piece) bundles are fabric groupings called "Haystack" and "Chickencoop". How is that for inspiration?

The smaller bundles are approximately 3" x 10" of each piece --just enough to really see what the motif is. Thinking something very scrappy but the colors will all coordinate beautifully.

Any ideas on what you'd make with these? These are all fabrics being released at Spring Market in May. I've got a few ideas already and will be participating in a blog hop this July featuring something from this group and giving away some fabric!

Many of last year's Ambassadors are participating in a bloghop called "Little Gems" that starts tomorrow. Check it out at Kauffman Designs.

I've also got a new quilt with pattern being released at Spring Market in the Island Batik booth -- "Woven Braid". I'll have a full post about this next month.
Looking forward to hearing from you out there in blog land.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

WIP 2014 final tally

Finishes from Original List
#1 - Sunflower Table Runner (Christmas #1) Class Sample gifted to my mom
#11 - Our Honeymoon Quilt for me and my husband
#12 - Fall Table Runner -"In Your Time" (Christmas #2) Class Sample gifted to my sister

Additional Finishes

#2 - Zig Zag Love - Class Sample; Red and White Challenges
#3-Airborne (not shown here be revealed in the upcoming book "You Can Quilt" due out Feb. 2015
#4 - Race On! - commission
#5 - Red Starry Night - Piece 'n Pals Contest
#6 - Sunshine Makes the Flowers Grow - Piece 'n Pals Contest
#7 - Be Your Own You - commission
#8 - Harvest Time - from my stash for my kitchen, motivated by a Walla Walla Valley Quilt Festival Theme "A Wrinkle in Time" Contest
#9 - Tesseract Prism - Walla Walla Valley Quilt Festival Theme "A Wrinkle In Time" Contest
#10 - Scottish Plaid - INMQ Contest
#13 - Hugs and Kisses scrappy version from 2011 Shop Hop the Blues 2.5" strips - Class Sample gifted to Kelli
#14 - Dirt Racing T-shirt (KF#2 - commission)
#15 - The Artist - Sample gifted to Diane
#16 - One Block Wonder Table Runner - Christmas edition - Class Sample
Was able to wrap this up on New Year's Eve. Used Thermore batting and Omni black thread on the top; A&E Dyed Natural thread on the back. Added just a bit of fabric top and bottom on the backing that looks like old plank wood flooring and got it centered pretty well even though quilted on my longarm. Ditched the seams around the open black areas and did motif quilting in the printed triangles. In the all black triangles did 1/2" to the ditch and then filled in the centers. Diamonds got a little different treatment than the triangles, but similar.


Ready to bind:
Scottish Cross - Country Register Pattern Sample

Ready to Quilt
Baskets - WW Valley Quilt Guild 2006 BOM
Cool Penguin, partly pieced by Julie Tapley - Country Register Pattern Sample
Zoe - Fishy Fishy - Class Sample
Elephant's Play - Jungle Edge - Class Sample - gifted to childhood friend's baby
Elephant's Play - Water Hole - Class Sample
Turning Twenty - Grand Coulee Fishing - Class Sample

Piecing Progress:
Electric City - Class Sample   -->
Island Batik Spring 2015 Release - Meadow - "Woven Braid" - Pattern Sample for Market -- so excited to share this sneak peek! More will follow in the coming weeks and months. It will be revealed at Market in May. See below.

Fall Wallhanging

Completed: 16
Note: client quilt tops quilted in 2014 .....70
Still WIP: 11

2007 Alaska Shop Hop
Out of the Darkness - Pam Bono

Projects I'd sure like to get on with!
  • Peace Park
  • Snowflake/blizzard --except that I used some of the snowflakes as inspiration for the Cool Penguin design.
  • Dogwood --have had this design, and now a missed challenge opportunity too.
  • 2007 Shop Hop the Blues - bow ties?
  • 2009 Shop Hop the Blues - fall leaves?
Commissions Under Contract:
Randolph Pillow et al

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Commissions

Wanted to share the commissions completed for the year. Each had their own special connections and meaning and this forum gives me the opportunity to write about them a bit more than a description on Facebook.

Finish #4 - Race On!
Via a high school reunion facebook page, I re-connected with a classmate from many years ago! Through that connection, he asked if I would make a t-shirt quilt for a very worthy cause. We agreed on an estimated price and through some donations from others in my community with just the right fabric and assistance securing others, we pulled it off. So happy to report that it raised $750 for Kids Cancer.

Finish #7 - Be Your Own You
A dear friend and vital messenger in my life ....for her 4th grandchild.
Photos were printed in sepia tone of the baby and family members at to help it blend with the fabrics used in the quilt. A simple block design in the center with darker fabrics used in the border and more photos. Name/Birthdate info fuzzed out purposefully for publication purposes, but had embroidery work done at Sunflower Graphics here in Grand Coulee. Center fabrics from Chrysalis for moda. Border fabrics include Stefanie Brandenburg Urban Squares charm pack and School Days dot-to-dot by American Jane for moda. Basic Grey Grunge used for sashings of inner border. Warm and Plush batting. Spring Garland pantograph with Signature Peachy Tones thread. The grandmother loves butterflies and this pantograph has a few in it. The backing fabric includes the mother's favorite color.


Finish #14 - Dirt Racing T-shirt
Think back to Finish #3 above....the donors of those shirts were involved in this one which will go to one of the donors. A different effect as these honor Sammy Swindell and appeared to all be on dirt tracks, so used a Stonehenge fabric for the sashing. The back (shown below before quilting) was just a fun graphic way to make the checkered flag fabric sufficient for the size of the quilt and use the last t-shirt element from the 6 shirts I was given to work with. Almost a 'dirt racing stripe' effect. All shirts had front and back elements. The layout on this one was a bit challenging. I went through several iterations. Key considerations were the center column Sammy Swindell top 2 shirts said the name most distinctly so were placed there. The #1 shirts on the left and right were so dominant it seemed better to let them balance each other on the sides. I used the remaining ones to let the vehicle on the shirts point into the center to give a good framing. The binding fabric was actual tire tracks in the dirt. With the quilting I did on the diagonal 5 straight tread tire tracks. The rest of the quilt was my bone stipple which kinda looks like a tire tread too, but just lots on top of each other.


I would be remiss to not mention a commission that ended up NOT involving a quilt. I was very honored to be asked and glad we ended up with a great product ...even though it wasn't a quilted item. Sometimes when working with photos, its better to stick with FINE art. We had this printed on canvas and mounted. A great result!

If you're looking to have a quilt made on commission, these are things that I discuss with you: intended recipient, reason for giving or being made, anticipated use, size, interests, likes, favorite shapes, colors or room it might be used in so that it will coordinate. The part of the quilting process that I enjoy immensely is taking all of these points of inspiration and creating a treasure that may mean more to the recipient and the giver than to anyone else who may see it. It truly becomes a gift from and to the heart.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Special finishes

One of the most rewarding things is to 'give' ......this year I had four special projects that I gifted to special people in my life.

Finish #1

When making a class sample in 2013 for this fall table runner, I incorporated fabrics in the border that represent activities my parents enjoy and the center fabric fits in with their kitchen d├ęcor. The outer border was pieced as a strata with strips of fabric and then cross-cut.

The leftover strata I also gave to my mom and she made the placemats to coordinate. We enjoyed using it on the Thanksgiving table while we visited them in Arizona.

Finish #12

This fall themed table runner I named "In Your Time" and gave it to my sister. She understands the meaning...and at some point in time she'll have what she wants. ;-)

I originally made this design years ago as a guild mystery project. I was traveling at the time and saw these fabrics which reminded me of when I was in Japan and my grandmother passed away. The fall colors were spectacular that particular weekend and she always loved gold, so the gold accents in the fabric and the fall season made me think of her.

When I finally made it, the pattern didn't seem to work for me, so I re-drafted it and made it again as part of a class I offered a year ago in Grand Coulee. Just prior to Christmas I had to put my long-arm machine quilting on rest for a month. It took me a long while to get back to it, but I finally got it finished this year and was able to give it to my sister for Christmas. I chose a backing fabric that coordinates beautifully with her living room. She can use it any time of the year.

Finish #13

to a dear friend who is surviving breast cancer and all that goes along with that.

This started out as a collection of 2.5" x WOF strips obtained during the 2011 Shop Hop the Blues. Each shop had used the set of strips to make their own quilt design. I thought my Hugs and Kisses pattern might work up nicely if I could get the 'values' right.

When I decided to teach the Hugs and Kisses quilt as a class this fall, I got out the strips and decided that it was time to try and make it along with the class. Although the pattern calls for 2 5/8" strips, as long as you do everything consistently, it will still work just fine.  I organized the strips from light to dark and pulled the colors for the border that didn't quite go with the centers and made a strata to create a border.

All that was left were these pieces, the orange being the only complete strip I did not use:

As I pieced it together, it suddenly hit me that this was perfect for my dear friend battling cancer. It has a bohemian spirit in its result and it reminds me of that spirit in her, so I sent it off in hopes it would keep her comfortable and remind her of the love from a dear life long (well, since we were probably about 8 years old) friend.

I used this beautiful batik that is available in my studio for the backing and the binding. The coloring on the right is more true to what it looks like. The photo of the back was taken at night under lights.

This 'Heavenly Morsels' pantograph by Beany Girl Quilts is my go to favorite for quilting this design. I used the Fad 5 Signature variegated thread on the top and a coordinating burgundy thread on the back.

Finish #15

To another long time friend whose art work I'm honored to own. I hope this piece will daily remind her of who can inspire and sustain us. She is an outstanding artist and a beautiful person. The fabric line is 'Handmaids', the original quilt design is 'Draw Near'. I found the fabric at Experience Quilts in Odessa. I adapted it a bit so that the vertical outer borders had complete images of the fabric. This required the black sashing to be modified in a symmetrical way. The inner border called for the pink fabric, but I wanted to use the palette fabric. I chose to do the vertical green and blue (her favorite colors) and the light horizontal on top, and darkest horizontal on the bottom. The original binding suggestion was the red playtime fabric, but I chose to use a black/white chevron.

Each large panel square includes a scriptural reference.

I found the perfect quilting pantograph to go along with it. There is a paintbrush, crayon and pencil.

On one of the paint brushes, I stitched in her first name.

Details on the back:

Here is hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas time.