Sunday, December 31, 2017

Plans for 2018

2018 Planning Party I haven't even finished writing my wrap up for 2017, but there is a linkup for 2018 goals ending TODAY, so I decided to put some thoughts together and see what materializes.

Sometimes I'd like to just create a list of quilts I want to make, but I'm always looking at my business and wondering how to better serve the needs of my clients and still maintain my health! So, here goes my transparent sharing of what is going on in my passion of quilting that manifests in the concept of a business -- KISSed Quilts and as therapy for my personal health.

New online website -- yes, you'll have better access to what I have in my quilt shop! (it started as my quilting studio about 5 years ago and as people stopped in they asked if I had fabric) So, for the last several years I've been investing in inventory and now want to share that inventory with more than the approx 4,000 people who live in this rural community of Grand Coulee, WA and any visitor who happens to come through town (we do get 250,000 annually to visit the Grand Coulee Dam and take in the multitude of recreational opportunities available here). I generally keep my prices at a bare minimum retail to begin with and want to be an "I'll try here first" source for locals when they need something. I'm willing to place orders or help you source just what you're looking for. I look forward to sharing it with you when it comes online.

Country Register Articles -- This started as a way to get my ideas and designs out to a larger audience early on in my business that was started in 2009. Do you pick up a Country Register wherever you're at in North America? Most editors include my articles now, so I hope you enjoy them. Let me know if there are things you'd like me to talk about or share, design inspirations, patterns, etc. ??

Quilt Shop vs. Quilting Studio vs. Row by Row Participant -- how many of you will be participating in the Sew Musical Row by Row Experience (tm) event this year?  Have you tired of the idea? or are you still excited about shopping during your summer travels, specifically Grand Coulee? Are you turned off when there are no posted hours for a rural shop but a phone# to call if you'd like to patronize the business? I've maintained 10am-5pm Monday-Friday summer hours the last two years but this past summer in particular, I could go for days without anyone coming in the shop. Trying to figure out if it is worth it.

Patterns - I do enjoy designing a unique treasure for you, so writing patterns cryptic (EQ8 assisted) or full details is an enjoyable process if I know the intent and desire for something special. I'd like to see more of my patterns picked up by distributors or large retailers and am always happy to assist a local quilt shop by providing patterns to them on a wholesale basis. If there are any in particular you'd like, you can purchase them as PDF downloads at Craftsy or printed copies via mail on my website. Did you see my Winter Bright Kit at Keepsake Quilting?

Customer Quilting -- will continue. Thanks for entrusting your treasures to me. I feel good about the balance this past year.

Teaching locally and beyond -- I enjoy seeing the light bulbs come on in students when sharing my knowledge with them.

Personal Projects -- I can't help it!!! I want to get some long sitting quilts quilted. I'll list these for now (:-))

Verlie's KF Butterfly - joint project
Nancy Cargo’s Inverted Rondure - joint project
Tahoe w/Kahona fabrics - joint project/shop sample
GRAFIC Fabric - Turning Twenty - shop sample
Log-Cabin Retreat - Lake Rules - retreat result
Labyrinth Walk - class sample
Ticket in Hand - class sample
Home Sweet Home – Row by Row 2016
2015 NCWa Shop Hop–Quilter’s Fruit Loop
Fall Wallhanging - orphan blocks made into something!
2016 NCWa Shop hop–Come Fall In Love
I Wish you a Merry QAL - Stars of the Season

Lone Star Runner --it might be hand quilted, oy vey!! ??

(2) QOV-joint projects --awaiting arrival from piecers

Piecing in Progress
Bonnie Hunter - 2017 Mystery - On Ringo Lake
Bonnie Hunter - 2015 Mystery - Alletaire
"B" Fabric
Four Patch Flip

Metro Rings
Rondure - Electric City version
2015 Road Trip RxR - hydropower story
2017 RxR - whimsy/paper airplanes/mail themed

French Braid 

City Culture II idea
Aves  -- join me on this weekly block release from downunder (small fee)
365 Challenge -- did you do this already? (free) I'm going to finally get on board this year and use my Island Batik stash! Since it is from down under the first block has been issued already (time zone differences)!

I know there are others, but this is what it is and for now, that's plenty!

Other Activities Scheduled
Final Island Batik Blog Hop as an Island Batik Ambassador will happen in January. I've got four posts planned, including details of my quilting on a new BOM project by Bella Nonna Design studio,  two of my own new BOMs that I am considering doing an online progressive tutorial for others to follow along, and a free pattern for another project. So, I hope you'll stop back in January several different times for all the great inspiration. I will continue to pitch ideas to Island Batik for market catalogs.

Attend a Retreat in April and have a pop-up shop for one day

Host a 5 day Retreat in October -- want to join us? -- consider taking Rondure or 'work on your own' projects.

With the new EQ8 version out, I've been going through it to make sure I can update my EQ class with the latest version 'user friendly' changes.

Continue on my journey to better health. After being diagnosed with a 4th disease classified as autoimmune, I decided I needed more than traditional medicine wisdom. Gratefully I found new research being published for autoimmune conditions by several traditional medicine educated professionals who have gone back for additional schooling in functional/integrative medicine and/or have documented thousands of cases in their own practice and determined that food is medicine and your gut needs to be healed in order to address your autoimmune conditions.  One of the most important findings was a book by Izabella Wentz, PharmD. I've taken it all in and have worked on healing my gut by identifying trigger foods that were causing this situation. Each person's triggers may be different, so it is a journey to figure it out, but well worth it. So, for the past year I have not eaten gluten or dairy intentionally and lost weight. I feel so much better from an 'inflammation of joints and muscles' perspective and all of my autoimmune symptoms are greatly reduced. I've started working on reducing medication that I've been on for many years and hope to continue the weight loss in a natural sort of way. I'd also like to increase my regular exercise during days that the weather prevents outdoor opportunities. A special thanks to those who have gone before and have been willing to share their personal testimonies and inspire others. Some of you reached out when stopping by the shop during Row by Row or emailed me and I know my willingness to share opened your own eyes to more information or you were able to pass it on to a loved one and it has made a difference--this truly inspires me and keeps me going. Thanks for reading and Cheers to a Happy New Year!!

instagram: marlene.kissedquilts

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Island Batik Rayon Result

A few weeks ago I shared a rayon project using Island Batik’s beautiful handed fabrics. Another friend of mine used this beautiful Island Batik Rayon, combined it with a rayon/linen maroon fabric to pull out the deep burgundy in the batik and made up this great top. 

Pattern: McCall’s M7325

#islandbatikrayon #islandbatik

Friday, December 29, 2017

I Wish you a Merry Season of the Stars

My participation in the #iwishyouamerryqal is complete. Here is my final post as part of the QAL and I’m linking up to other finished tops. I’ll get it quilted at some point, but as the season is done for now, it will just be nice to get it done in time before next year.

When I was about 2/3rds through I was able to more carefully select backgrounds that would work to make a setting that I felt provided contrast and visual aesthetic.

Adding a 1" finished sashing and friendship star cornerstones added to the 'lights' in some of the blocks. The beautiful #islandbatik fabrics used just made everything pop, so, I'm going to call it Stars of the Season.

It has been fun! Thank you Designers!!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

On Ringo Lake - Part 5

After being gone for the Christmas holidays and thinking I might raid my mother's stash to make Clue #5, our family has been dealing with my dad in the hospital, so it was a rather different Christmas this year.  Alas, I got home last night and made up my tests with Island Batik fabrics and quilting cotton fabrics.

Love using the magic method that is included in my You Can Quilt! Co-authored book.



Here is an idea for how the block might go together, looks like we need at least 2 parts and some setting info to finish this up --just my guess ;-)

...and now until tomorrow #6 !!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Island Batik Ambassador – Final 2017 Challenge

Last challenge of the calendar year, but not the last of our IBA challenges for this season.

This month we were given the idea of Table Scraps  --something with a scrappy look, any technique or size. (Thanks Bea for the correction!)

I had one idea, that might still get made, but other ideas have surfaced and are in the works for that intended purpose, so I took something else that was going on and completed it into a ‘table scraps’ result.

My co-authored book, You Can Quilt! Building Skills for Beginners is the basis for a class I am currently teaching in Grand Coulee, WA. I know other shops use this book for instruction and the first 3 chapters are perfect for learning your basic quarter inch seam, a bit about color placement and values, and half and quarter square triangles. If you know someone who might like to learn how to piece a quilt top, this is a great way to get started. Consider purchasing one as a gift or an opportunity to start a new year with something to learn.

While I’ve been teaching, I’ve been using scraps of Island batik fabrics and a bit of extra yardage for background – from the basics Sprinkles!

some student results along the way

and mine in progress:

Once I had 9 blocks finished (the 1st three chapters of the book), I started playing with their placement on  my design wall.

 Settled....and a small border with some leftover half square triangles in the corners from another project that work with this one.

Then  I got to play on my long-arm, quilting each block uniquely to show different densities and styles of quilting. I used thermore batting which I really like to use when intended for a table top. Shows the quilting great, but holds a glass too. I used So Fine! 401 thread in the background and Superior Threads Lava variegated thread in the color.

I thought  it would be great for a card table, well we don't even have a card table! But I did have a little kidde table (adult chair left in the shot to show size)

Next month is our big finale as IBAs for this season and for me personally. I’ll have 4 posts, including new patterns, so I hope you’ll keep up with all the inspiration that will be going on all month long. Although I may still have projects that will be released with Island Batik fabrics in the future—yes, some coming in May at Spring Market for sure, I’m not going to be continuing as an IBA. I’ve got lots of projects queued up in my stash and want to work on them. I hope you’ve been inspired the last 3 years with my challenge results and will continue to follow me on my journey.

Whatever you celebrate, may you have peace, love and joy in your life at this special time of year.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

On Ringo Lake – Part 4 and assembly possibilities

Testing with information from  where Bonnie Hunter is presenting the On Ringo Lake Mystery Quilt. #quiltvillemystery #onringolakequilt
Linking up at

My test of part 4 with both batiks (#islandbatik) and quality quilting cottons. I definitely needed a different ruler to cut my triangles but it was in another frequented sewing location (HA!)

I also got out my new version of Electric Quilt (8) and started playing with all the numbers and shapes presented by Bonnie so far and came up with several ideas of how this might be going together.  I won’t show full mock-ups but here are my general concepts. I’m loving some of the secondary designs that might pop out. Will be fun to see if I'm close!

Part of the fun of the mystery, I suppose, but with EQ I can explore it really easily!

'til next post where I'll show you my final Island Batik Ambassador challenge for 2017!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

On Ringo Lake Step 3

Another test of the On Ringo Lake, Quiltville Mystery. This time step 3 in both standard quilting cottons and Island Batik fabrics.

This coral color I have had to dig deep in the bins and awaiting projects to find usable bits.

Linking up today.

check out some other versions.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

On Ringo Lake - Part 2 Mystery and other WIPs

Just in the nick of time I'm getting this Part 2 at least tested and posted! #quiltvillemystery #onringolakequilt

Found some fabrics in the 'coral' / 'salmon' family that I think will work in both quality quilting cottons and batiks (#islandbatik).

Although it isn't one of the methods that Bonnie shared, likely because it doesn't fit her scrap size system, I used the 'magic' method that I love the best for making flying geese (also taught in my co-authored book, You Can Quilt! which I'm about to teach from in January, so this was just a perfect example of it). Since my scraps aren't that organized, it works great!

Here is the flying geese added in batiks and .............. in the quality quilting cottons with the Part 1 nine-patch.

Just been a bit busy this week, finishing up the first 3 chapters of my co-authored book, You Can Quilt! which I'm doing along side my class that I'm teaching in Grand Coulee, WA. So, this represents the first 3 chapters. I'm thinking it will make a great little table topper. Maybe a scrappy piano key border would just finish it off. What do you think? I might still move the 'dark' blocks around a bit, but am happy with the placement of the white background blocks.

I've also been working on the "I Wish You A Merry QAL" that has just wrapped up. I'm not exactly set on the 'string of lights' but maybe a single strand, will think about it for a day or so and then want to wrap up this quilt. I've got some ideas for uniting it all together, but think this placement will be basically what I'll do. Sashings with special cornerstone treatments and a final border will probably wrap it up.  #iwishyouamerryqal

And look what arrived as prizes for our North Central Washington Quilt Quest - a stash caching concept. Check it out at! The last day to get my shop stop in is Dec. 15 ...I'll then be closed for the rest of the holiday season, reopening January 2. These are AWESOME #aurifil prizes!!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Island Batik Rayon

We didn't have an official challenge as Island Batik Ambassadors this month, but wanted to share a recent creation with you.

How long has it been since you worked on sewing a garment? How about using Rayon?

I can remember making a few items back in the 80's or 90's!!! I prefer natural fibers on my body now so found some local sewists who thought they could put some rayon to good use.

So, here is an adorable dress for a young girl. Her grandmother used a serger to make this sweet and stylish design.

I hope to share another creation with you, but haven't gotten the photos from the creator yet.

Thank you to my local sewists for being game and coming up with such great results.

So, if you're in need, check out Island Batik's Rayons and ask your local quilt shop to get some in.

#islandbatik #islandbatikrayon

Monday, November 27, 2017

Next to last IWYAMQ Block #11

Are we there yet? While I've appreciated the often two weeks between blocks...I'm ready to have this QAL complete!  I've seen some pretty cute holiday themed blocks appear that I might just incorporate ...we'll see what the last block is and then decide on my layout.

So, here is block #11 - North Star designed by Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing with linkup at InLinkz of what others have done.

#iwishyouamerryqal #islandbatik

Unfortunately I didn't pay close attention to the directions. Kathleen intended for the diagonal thin yellow to be faux piping. whoops!

Sometimes even those fabric ties that you get bundles of fabric tied with come in handy for things like this. Just press them good and go for it!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

On Ringo Lake -- Part 1 -- which fabrics?

On Ringo Lake Mystery from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville got started with part 1 last Friday...are you doing it?

I'm not sure if I want to use quilting cottons or batiks. So I experimented.

What do you think?

Quilting Cottons (do you remember the projects I did using "Elementary" ...I found that stash and came up with some great 'aqua'  and 'neutral' pieces and a few others from my stash)

My own design: Charmed Network

adapted from Tricia Cribbs' Strips Ahoy:

And now for the batiks --I'm using Island Batik fabrics specifically (at least seen here):

#quiltvillemystery #onringolakequilt #islandbatik

I think either would look great.  Hmmm...maybe wait for Part 2 to make a final decision :-) Or ...just do both?

Linking up here.