Quilt Rags to Riches

A friend asked me to take an old, well-loved (= worn) 80s comforter and make a quilt for her daughter’s engagement present. When the box arrived, it was worse than I thought. The fabric was not only threadbare, it was so faded I had to rip seams to find out what color it used to be. I found a couple solids and a blender fabric that complimented the focal fabric, and used clothing interfacing to stabilize the older fabric and make its hand more equal with the newer fabrics.

My design idea was sparked by the pattern of some subway tiles, but, like a dingbat,  I relied on my memory instead of sketching them. The tiles were rectangular and without a picture to prompt my brain it turned out to be a math nightmare. So I settled on squares.  I practiced on this quilt (which is still unfinished…) making the construction of this quilt go much smoother.
I found the perfect floral for the backing that tied in with the focal fabric and gave it an updated look.


A free-motion quilted rose motif to match the backing fabric tied it all together perfectly.


Here’s to many happy years together under their new quilt!


Red All Over

Do you ever get on a roll and one thing leads to another? That’s what’s been happening in the studio this week.   Saturday’s guild meeting was a jelly roll race, and I’ve had this luscious red batik jelly roll a friend bought for me a couple years ago. I love it so much I didn’t want to risk messing it up. (I know….)  I decided to take the plunge and use it for this project, with no idea how a monochromatic jelly roll quilt would even look.

First you have to sew all those strips together end-to-end. Very boring.  After trimming the seams I was left with a pile of bits that could not be wasted, so I had some fun and made wee 3-1/2 ” blocks….


I used my wee blocks to spice things up a bit and add a row to the top for interest, and I’m in love with the result!


Christmas Prep & Blog Hop Winner


 I LOVE Christmas! I love everything about it – traditions, keeping happy secrets, decorating, visiting people we don’t usually see, the music, the lights, the MAGIC!  I especially love giving gifts. It’s SO VERY HARD for me to keep things under wraps until Christmas day. I keep asking the Hunk, “Do you want a present now?”  He always laughs and says no, because he knows I’d gladly spill all the beans if given the tiny bit of encouragement.  So fun!

In the spirit of GIVING we have a winner! Lisa M. was chosen by the random number generator to receive her choice of these adorable patterns from the oh-so talented  Terri Stegmiller! Merry Christmas, Lisa!



Pattern Testing, Blog Hop & A Giveaway!


I was delighted when Terri Stegmiller asked if I’d test one of her patterns along with some other talented quilters. I was given her adorable “Butterfly Moments” pattern to do with as I please.

Now, I have to tell you – I LOVE Terri’s work, so I was more than a little intimidated wondering what I would do to her pattern. You read correctly: not with it – to it.  I’m amazed at how she layers all that mixed media goodness together to make such eye candy!

I had several ideas, but I thought this would be a fun gift for one of my younger friends, so I chose some bright prints and a black and white polka dot background.  I embroidered the letters by hand, but, as you can see, this background probably wasn’t the best choice…they don’t show up very well.

To make things easier I fused the pieces on the background then free-motioned the “outlines” to give it a coloring book feel. Then I quilted it with a swirly free-motion design and ta-da! A super bright quilt for a little girl’s wall.

This pattern was so easy  it could be adapted for any variety of techniques. I’m thinking it would make an adorable penny rug! The possibilities are endless, and you can see the other quilters’ versions by clicking on the links below.  To make it even MORE fun, each blog will be giving away one of these adorable patterns by Terri.

All you have to do is comment below for your chance to win here.   IMPORTANT: The pattern will be delivered by email, so be sure to include your email addy in your comments!

You’ll have your pick between “Paws in the Garden” or “Butterfly Moments.” I will be drawing a random winner this Friday, December 13.

Paws In The GardenButterfly Moments

 Make sure to visit everyone for more chances to win!!

{shop} Alison Glass

My friend, Alison Glass, designs the most amazing eye candy lusciousness for Andover Fabrics.  Today she launched her very own online shop, with cards and art prints of her designs. She’s also released her “Spectrum” quilt pattern, with promise of more to come in the upcoming weeks.

To celebrate, she’s offering a surprise treat to everyone who orders from her shop TODAY! Go take a peek!  

Covering My Sister in Love

When my sister, Debbie, was diagnosed with breast cancer last December, I was frustrated that I couldn’t be there. I’m in Virginia, she’s in Florida.  I set out to make a quilt so she could be wrapped in love even if I wasn’t there to hug on her. Right after Christmas I had the opportunity to travel south and stopped at my cousins’ on the way so we could sew some Wonky Star blocks together. Debbie didn’t know what we were up to – it was going to be a surprise. 

My cousin Jessica shows 4 year old Katie how to sew a block together. After that she sewed the rest of her block without much help! Katie chose all her own fabrics, too – hers is block on the top right with the hearts in the center. 


I was with Deb at her post-op appointment when the doctor declared her officially cancer free. She’d still have to undergo radiation as a precaution. It was such a happy day, I showed her the colorful blocks and told her my plan for her to be able to take her quilt with her to treatment. It didn’t work out that way… but it was finished in time for her to celebrate the end of her radiation treatments. Now that it’s in her hands I can show it to all of you!





The entire quilt was sewn from fabric I had on hand. The blocks are 12″ finished and went together pretty quickly. For each block we cut one 4 1/2″ center and  nine 4 1/2″ squares of the background fabric, then used scraps for the points of the stars. The border is 2 1/2″ strips sewn together until it was long enough. Very scientific. 😉   I had this really cute brassiere fabric that I used on the back because I only had enough aqua left to bind it.  A close friend donated the batting and embroidered a beautiful label for it. One of the gals from the quilt guild quilted it on her long arm so I could get it finished faster. 

And Hurley made sure it would be comfy.  🙂

I think she likes it! 

More Ways to Help

I received an email from Quilting Gallery asking for volunteers to make blocks for Sandy victims. They also provide a list of other sites offering ways to help.  I won’t reinvent the wheel by listing them all again here – click on the image below to read all about it!

Sandy Quilt Block Drive

Needed ASAP: Quilts and Blankets

The Hunk and I had a WONDERFUL trip north! Our friends live in a wee place called Breinigsville, PA among rolling farmlands. Beautiful. We arrived just ahead of Hurricane Sandy. The men watched football and we gals sewed until the power went out. My friend and I wondered if her Amish neighbors were shaking their heads as people scrambled without electricity. 

The Hunk and I finished our vacation in Massachusetts with more friends. It was NICE to relax for the week and just enjoy each other. The crisp fall air and colors left me invigorated and inspired. 

Traveling up and down the coast we saw cherry pickers from power companies around the US…  Tampa (FL), Michigan, Texas… it choked me up each time to see the generosity of other cities rushing to where help was needed. We passed gas stations with lines that stretched for miles. On the ride home, New Jersey was only selling gas to cars with even numbered tags. My tags have no numbers! We waited and gassed up in Delaware.

We arrived home to life as usual, aware that so many are still reeling from Sandy and, now, this recent Nor’easter. 

Victoria Findlay Wolfe of the NYC Mod Quilt Guild  has put out a call for blankets to distribute to families left in the cold from Hurricane Sandy and this most recent Nor’easter. Blankets/Quilts can be store-bought or homemade – and any size.
If you’re concerned about who you send your quilts to, Victoria is has established ties with the people who can distribute these quilts. She’s the real deal. 
You can find the details HERE. Make sure to follow the directions carefully – I know you want your quilts arrive in the correct hands. 

I’d like to get this out to as many quilters as possible, so please pass it on
I know the media shows the worst on TV… and sometimes it’s tempting to downplay the severity of a situation. But we watched the local news while we were there – the stories you DON’T see when you’re hundreds of miles away. Not only is the devastation real, it’s worse for some than you can wrap your head around. 

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and all we take for granted, please give generously.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

“Foundations” Quilt

I finally finished the quilt commissioned by a friend.  She had seen several art quilts and fell in love. Then she completely trusted me to just come up with something…. Deep down I thought I could do it, but there was a larger part of me that thought I had bit off much more than I could ever chew. I broke through a lot of different fears during the process. The quilt evolved and changed – just like I was evolving and changing artistically. I am amazed at the final product and humbled at the way God works through my hands and pops ideas into my head from nowhere.

It’s titled “Foundations”. The words at the roots represent a firm family foundation: faith, honor, integrity, trust, hope, passion, purpose. The flowers (children) springing up are the result of those roots, their ancestors (in the leaves) serving as a protective covering in the branches above.

Words stamped into the “ground.
Children grow under a cover of love.
Ancestors watch from among the leaves.

Quilted Postcards

I’ve been experimenting with quilted postcards.

I wanted to try Misty Fuse, and words printed on cotton sheets and ExtravOrganza, and a small postcard wasn’t as intimidating as a bigger project would be.
So, I accomplished several things in one go.

I used double-sided  Pelltex by Pellon – because that’s what I had on hand.  My postcard kept its shape and I like the feel of it – not flopsy.

Postcard #2 is a healthy reminder for myself.

Yes, that is my own leg. You wouldn’t believe the acrobatics it took to get that shot – standing on one leg while trying to hold the camera steady at the right angle.

I tried the heavier needle with the Pelltex, but I didn’t like the way it perforated it. Then I zig-zagged around the words, and din’t like that either. I think the holes add pizzazz.