Author Archives: quiltingshenanigans



Chaos before the beautiful calm, this is where my life is right now. I want so much to be in my sewing room relaxing and creating. I have a list a mile long that needs to be done before Christmas, yet I can’t get much done. Construction has continued at my house. The whole thing got new plumbing, which meant a ceiling had to be taken out. We also had a new tub and shower put in an upstairs bathroom, along with turning a small bedroom into my master suite bathroom. This means there is a new hole in my bedroom wall going into the new bathroom. Everything is moving along nicely with a few unexpected twists, such as a bat flying around the livingroom. I don’t do bats. I promptly packed up and stayed elsewhere until said bat was removed and released back outside where it belonged. Add to this making a new desk for my sewing table. Pam found a desk at a resale shop that lends itself to a wonderful sewing desk. My son came over last night to see what the project entailed and will cut a hole and build a shelf on it so my machine can be dropped in and I can have a nice flat sewing surface. In the meantime I have cleaned out my old desk and have piles in my sewing room. Needless to say not much sewing is getting done. Soon, everything will come together and it will be beautiful and I will be happily sitting in my sewing room with peace and order around me. Until then there is a binding that is calling me to hand stitch it down before guild next week. I will try and relax with that this weekend.


Quilt Expo


Quilt shows are so good for motivation. You are surrounded by other people passionate about what you are, there are vendors carrying all those beautiful fabrics that lure us in, and of course there are the quilts.

Yesterday Pam, her daughter Tori, and another friend of ours Deb hopped in the car and headed to Madison. I don’t remember the last time I laughed as much as I did during our time together. It was good for the soul.

My favorite exhibt this year was the Lion King challenge put on by Cherrywood fabrics. They were small wall quilts that were absolutely awesome. I wish I could post pictures. The talent these quiltmakers have truely humbles me. You can check it out here

I made a few purchases that I am excited about. There is some real fun fabric made with sequins that I bought from the Vouge booth. I’m not quite sure what I will do with it yet, but it will turn into a gift for my daughter Mahrya, perhaps a pillow.

Olfa has come out with a rotary blade that is supposed to last twice as long as their other blade. I’ll let you know what I think after I try it.

I also picked up some fabric for the BWR collaboration quilt. We made the exchange for that and will soon be starting on section A2.

I would love to spend the day in my sewing room, but today will be spent with family celebrating my grandson Jason’s 4th birthday. Sewing will wait as we have fun with this wonderful little boy.

There is much going on at my house that has the potential to keep me from sewing.

We are remodeling the old bathroom, and turning a small bedroom into a new bathroom. These guys are working hard and fast to get it done. We were without water Friday and part of Saturday. Lucky for me all I needed to do is ask Pam if we could have a sleepover friday night and I was good to go! Thanks Pam!!

As I close I ask you to keep FL in your prayers as Irma hits them today and in the time after as the clean up takes place.


Section One BWR


I am having a great weekend here. Spending time in my sewing room makes for a wonderful relaxing weekend. On top of my priority list was to finish section A1 of my BWR (black, white and red). I love getting things accomplished. Here it is, and I must say I am quite happy with the way it turned out.

I will now pack it up in its tote, along with all the fabric I pulled for it, and get it to Pam. She will design A2 and add it to this piece. The big day for the exchange is next Saturday when we will go to the Quilt Expo in Madison. I love that show, it always makes me want to hurry home and sew! Now, what to do until then….I think I will finish a baby quilt top I have been working on, and hopefully work a little on the sashing for the Block of the Month I need to finish up. Who knows what new treasures will be found next weekend at the vendors in Madison!!


Summers End and New Beginnings


Here we are, the end of August is here and summer is pretty much over. I for one, had a good and very busy summer. Time was spent with grandkids and the general business of the season. Not much time was spent in the sewing room. Pam and I did get together a few weeks ago to do some hand stitching outside at a park. Her wonderful husband even delivered some ice cream to us! We both feel the need to take more time together sewing and enjoying each others company.

Some time ago we worked on our friendship collaboration quilts, both of us working on both quilts. To this day that is one of my favorite quilts. Pam recently suggested working on another one. Again we will both work on both quilts, but she came up with a different format. As handy as Pam is, she quickly came up with a pattern of sorts. We decided on a size and Pam divided it into many sections and labeled the sections. We will each come up with our own design for filling each section. This time the color scheme will be the same, black, white and red. I will from now on refer to the quilt as my BWR quilt. Each of us went to our own stash and pulled fabrics and put them in little totes. I bought a spiral notebook and am intending to journal my way through the quilt, noting thoughts and ideas as I go. Both of us have begun section A1 on our own quilts. When we get done we will switch and work on A2. I had a bit of a hard time coming up with an idea for what to do. The section will be 20×30 inches. I pulled out books and looked at blocks that finished at 5 inches, but none of them got me excited. Finally I decided to print up some graph paper and just start playing with drawing lines. Half square triangles were the route I went this time. I pulled out my thangles and started to sew.

Tommorow I plan to start assembling the section. This new project is very exciting and fun to work on. There are many more irons in the fire that I will share with you as I work on them. So, as the summer comes to an end, there are new amd exciting things going on in my sewing room!




Today was a rainy gloomy day here in Wisconsin.  It was a perfect day to head down to Sew N Save where I bought my machine and take a class on the ins and outs of this beautiful machine.  Anne was a wonderful teacher and spent close to two hours sitting down with me and answering any question I could throw at her.  I left today feeling quite comfortable with “Sassy”.  They made it clear I could call or come in with any question that may arise in the future. 

One area I have had a few issues with is free motion quilting.  I am trying to learn how to do heirloom quilting and have had a problem with thread breakage. I was using silk 100 weight and it is a little temperamental.   I brought this up today to Anne and together we decided to tweak a few things.  I did purchase another bobbin case that is made for maching quilting after trying it there with my silk thread and not getting any breakage with it.  I also found they had microtex needles which were recommended by the book I have been using to learn these techniques.   So those also came home with me.  I also came home with a few other threads to try.  My plan is to make a sampler of the different threads using the same material and batting and see how it goes. 

 Along with the silk i have been working with i will be trying these threads.  Left to right they are Konfetti by Wonderfil 50 wt, next is The Bottom Line by Superior Threads. This one is often times used as a bobbin thread, but can be used on top as well.  It is a 60 wt polyester.  The cream colored one is Deco-Bob by WonderFil and is an 80wt.  The final one shown here is called Invisafil also by WonderFil and that one is 100wt.  I will also add Aurafil 50wt which is my normal piecing thread.  I am really interested to see how all the different thread behave.  

Below is my learning piece that is done with the silk thread and wool batt.  The top fabric is a cotton/silk blend and has a nice shine to it.  
I will report back when I finish my experiment.  Now, back to the sewing room!


My Time Has Come


Have you ever wanted something so much you dream about it, think about it during the day, and pretty much obsess about it?  That pretty much describes me and my dreams of a new sewing machine.  For the past 2 1/2 years I have been saving and dreaming of this new machine.  I got a flier and would look at it, I even visited it at the store.  Well, last week she came home.  I am so totally thrilled.  Let me introduce her to you.  She is an Elna Excellence 780 and she is simply awesome.

The picture just doesn’t do her justice.  I purchased her at a shop in Racine, Wisconsin called Sew N Save.  It is a wonderful shop, having machines on one side and a delightful quilt shop on the other.  The owner Jim seems to know most everyone by name and he really knows his machines.  He sells and services both Janine and Elna machines and was great to work with.  I’ll be taking a class on getting the most out of my machine soon and I can’t wait.  So now I need to start spending lots of time with this new machine I affectionately named Sassy.  Let the fun begin!


Gathering Steam


Since my last post I have been busy on multiple projects.  It’s hard for me to have just one going on at a time. At our last Saturday Sewing group, (we really need to come up with a name for this group) I worked just a little on my Splendid Sampler.  To date these are the blocks I have finished. 

All of the blocks will finish at 6 inches and I really enjoy using different techniques.  I think the 100 blocks in this quilt will take me a long time, but I am enjoying the ride.

As Pam mentioned we went to a quilt show recently, and of course made some purchases.  One of the things we both purchased was a kit for making a tuffet pincushion. I have been wanting to make a full sized tuffet for a long time.  I bought the pattern a long time ago, but have not collected everything else I need to make it.  When we came across the pincushion tuffet I just had to make it right away.  

I can see making these as gifts.  It went together pretty quickly and I love the way it turned out. 

One of my goals this year is finish up as many UFOS as I can.  I dug into my bin of projects and came up with a twin sized quilt that was all cut and I had even started sewing it.  I dug right in and got at it. 

I can’t believe how quickly it is coming together!  This is the project I will bring to our sewing group this Saturday.   It is easy, so I can easily talk and not worry about not concentrating and losing my place.  It certainly does feel good to get some of these old projects out of the tote and have some finishes!

One last thing I worked on recently is a Block of the Month I joined.  It is wool applique and it only takes a few nights a month to accomplish each month.  This particular one is called Bringing Home the Tree by Buttermilk Basin Quilt Co.  I joined a group at Sew and Save in Racine, WI and go once a month to pick up my new block.  So far we have completed two blocks. 

The above picture shows the first block. And below is the second one that I just completed. 

That sums up my recent sewing activity.  I’ll keep you updated after sewing Saturday!


Sewing Saturday


A group of women spending the day sewing together is what I call a great day! A new group has come together at my church for the sole purpose of spending time together working on whatever quilting project we have going.  There is always someone around to bounce ideas off of, to encourage each other, and to help new quilters on the beginning of their journey into the quilt world.  I am very much looking forward to getting to know each of these wonderful women better and share ideas as we meet together each month.  

Now it’s late and I am beat from such a busy day.  I’ll post soon showing you what I have been up to in my sewingroom.  


Grandchildren and Quilts


This week we were able to visit my daughter’s family in Kentucky.  It is so good to be able to be with them, and of course get to play with the grandchildren.  While we are here I was able to get each of the kids to pose with the quilts I made them when they were babies.

This picture is Elaina with the trip around the world quilt.  The borders have hand appliqued flowers.

For Nick’s quilt my daughter had gone through my unfinished projects and found the unfinished top of what was supposed to be a wall hanging with the teddy bear sitting in the chair. The pattern for that was a Cynthia England Design pattern.  I made the bear paw blocks for the border corners and made it into a baby quilt.

Noah’s quilt was so much fun.  I just love doing the one block wonder quilts and this time I decided to try the cubes in with it.  

Micah was born in Alaska and I thought it would be fun to do something Alaskan themed for him.  My daughter picked out a panel with the animals on it and the coordinating fabric. It was an easy and fun quilt to make. He still sleeps with it every night.

Tomorrow we head back to Wisconsin.   I’ll miss these kids terribly, but I am also looking forward to getting back in my sewing room.  I’m feeling the need to get something accomplished.


Quilt Diva


I was looking at my Quilt Diva and decided to share her picture today. I had so much fun picking out the clothes she was going to have.  I wanted to put a little of fun and crazy into her. I decided to use the borders to hold pins from shows I have been to, and I keep adding little pins and other baubles that I may not want to wear, but she can pull off.  She is an expression of me unrestrained!