Madison Bound!


The quilt show is happening right now in Madison! Don’t worry we will are heading that way tomorrow!


Myself, Luanne, our friend Debbie and my Daughter Tori. I am not sure about Debbie, but am pretty positive that my daughter will become quite wide eyed at the vast selection of quilts and products that she will come face to face with .

We are planning to see the Cherrywood Fabrics, Lion King Travelling exhibit as well. Can’t wait.

(T-shirts with the above and more can be found here)

Any special must have products….? Well I am intrigued by a new Rotary cutter. I am thinking that I would like a Kai 60mm rotary cutter. Aside from that, some of the latest gadgets will lure me in! Really just plain looking forward to a fun day with the ladies.

My daughter is just at the beginning of the quilting journey. This last Monday we got some time at the machines. Scrap sewing. We did some random scrap sewing. She was very pleased to have some pieces she made that will go into a future quilted table topper or whatever else.  At this point, she would like to make a Grateful Dead inspired quilt. This could be a lot of fun! Fun, funky fabric, tie dyed, and perhaps some t-shirts…

More to share after our outing..


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!!


A New Quilt Start


Off on the next Collaborative adventure!

We have both talked about it, now to put it into action!!

We have a grid with various sections of varying sizes. In the end it will be a queen sized quilt.

It is up to each of us to complete a section with whatever we choose using the Black, White and Red Fabrics.

We then pack it and all our fabrics in a bin and pass it off to each other.

We create the next section, and add it to the previously finished section.. and so on until the quilt is complete.

Section A1 is 20 x 30 inches.

My fabric choices so far…

And my progress…


And so now.. I am feeling a bit stuck. I am needing to do a section 10 x 20 inches to go along the bottom of this. I was thinking 2 Lemoyne stars, or one and something else. I have cut the stars, but am not sure yet if they inspire me.

Recap:  Lazy Angle ruler by creative grids for the nine patch, wide red borders, and then I used my Accuquilt circle die to cut my circles.

Off to figure this out!


On the Longarm, a Piecing Finish, and a New Start!



Because it just wouldn’t make sense to have one project in the works! I have many, in many stages! Currently on the longarm I have a quilt that I made using the “Bright Lights, Big City” pattern from Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s book on Double Wedding Rings. I made a much smaller version than the book, and am not sure that I ever took a picture of it fully pieced. Here are a couple of shots along the way:

I currently have this one on the long arm. Suddenly, as in after I loaded this quilt on the frame, made the decision to try out ruler work. I have done pantos and a lot of free motion, and very little ruler work. It was time. I need practice. I need to figure this out. I have a long way to go, but am starting to catch on. I have to watch more videos and read more tips and tricks, but I am slowly making some progress. I am in awe of Jamie Wallen and Angela Walters… they make it look so easy! Every couple of days I head to the longarm and put some time in. If frustration sets in, I turn off the machine and walk away until next time. This will be a throw for on my bed, so no judges to impress, and I will not point out my mistakes! (and boy are there mistakes!)

For about a year and a half, I have been working on piecing this 60’s quilt. It is intended for more of a wallhanging/art piece. Luanne and I had taken a class last year at Paducah with Dianne Hire. I very slowly continued on with fabrics from my “fun drawer”. Stuff I love, and I buy it just because I love it! I have gradually put blocks and sections together and only this last Sunday added the final borders. I think this will be a fun one to quilt! Kind of wavy gravy    

And next up… the BWR!! Luanne gave the intro to it. We really did have such a great time on our Collaboration quilts…



In the end, we could not even remember who had made some of the blocks. The camaraderie of this was great. Sharing styles and techniques broadened both of our horizons.

As Luanne said, we have a grid of sections we are working on to make a generous queen sized quilt. All in Black, White and Red!! Luanne stated we were currently working on our “A” sections. The ideas is.. we each fill the section we are working on our own way. No rules other than it has to be a 20 x30 inch piece. Here is a shot of the A section:

and kind of where I am at…

I am working with the Lazy Angle Ruler by Creative Grids. Love to mess with the different templates. Of course I cannot find the picture of the pieced area that I did get completed. So, I will save that for next time!!!




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!


Good Things Do Come To Those That Wait!


At times it is so easy to just “get” something by never leaving our homes. We search on the net, bid on, or order something. With very little effort it arrives at out door. We of course most often pay the price for this instant gratification!

I collect vintage sewing machines… and generally I am pretty specific about what it is I acquire and bring into the fold. I don’t simply buy something because it is a deal OR even accept someone’s Grandmother’s machine. I have only so much space, time and desire for machines. What I own, I do try to use. Disclaimer*** I own a couple of treadles and have yet to work on them or use them. I most certainly want to! Guess I am intimidated a bit by a different type of bobbin/shuttle. Silly yes! I do keep all of my electric machines cleaned and oiled and try to rotate them into use.

A couple of my machines…

I have had a couple of machines on my radar… one of them being a White Singer Featherweight. I would love a 222 Featherweight, but recognize that it might never happen. So, my husband had been scouring Craigslist and E-bay to find the right machine. He would come to me with what he thought might be a “deal”. I on the other hand wanted a “DEAL”! A bargain. I am not looking to resell it and make a profit. So, I would say no and tell him it would happen. I do so appreciate his enabling…

And so, as I sat at my desk at the office one day, I see a text message pop up from an old friend. A friend who would quickly tell you that she does not like to sew at all. She will only do this out of necessity. She was at a rummage sale. There was a large machine for $50, and a small one for $25. Was I interested??? I could not call her fast enough to say BUY IT! Buy the little white machine!! This was the deal! It happened! She did not even know that this was something I was looking for!

We made the trek about 3 hours north to pick up this little beauty, not knowing if she even worked. I didn’t question that if she didn’t work, that we would make it happen. The extension table on the left was a little bent and did not want to fold up and down easily. The cord was in in great shape, so we plugged it in, and yes!! Light and Motor worked! There was a rattle… that we would troubleshoot later.

The side table was fixed, and so now, she is cleaned and oiled and ready to piece a quilt!! A Happy girl here! And so grateful for those who enable my love for these vintage beauties!

Can’t wait to get this stitching!!




Quartered Stripes Quilts!


At a recent quilt guild meeting, we got to see many examples and a demo on these types of quilts. Simple really. Pick out a striped fabric you like and get to cutting and assembling.

This is a pretty quick sew and fun to see the results! 1.25 yards and perhaps a border will do a nice baby quilt. I had 3.5 yards and did a throw.

At guild, they were cutting the squares based on the pattern repeat of the fabric. I went another route and cut my squares based on this tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company. There are pluses to each technique and both have great results.

Below are a couple of shots of the original fabric and how it came together.


I did come back and add the giraffe border fabric also. It was a nice finishing touch.

I had shared the tutorial with my niece, and her daughter went to town making this.. Just a couple of hours in… She picked a perfect stripe for this! Dynamic!

and Luanne started this one… and was not liking it. I on the other hand did. She was going to relegate it to a “someday” pile. Last Saturday I just put it together as I like hers better than mine!!


Perhaps she will share a finished shot with us??????

Looking for a quick sew? This is it!



A Weekend of Many Treats!


As we check another year off of the calendar, we sometimes realized that life is not getting longer, but going the other direction!

What’s a girl to do? Eat dessert!

I brought treats for my coworkers on Friday. I was inspired by a display at the World Market to do so. A nostalgic display of Candy!! Mary Janes, Mike and Ikes, Lemonheads, Boston Baked Beans, Licorice, Cracker Jack, Chuckles, Red Hots and more! I loaded up my cart with some of these goodies and created a little Treat Bar at the office. Some were strong willed and resisted, while others returned a few times for treats!

An amazing lunch with Debbie T, meant Crème Brule for dessert, complete with a candle. Then in the evening my long awaited and anticipated Frozen Yogurt with Boba!

A Sweet Day! I generally don’t take pictures of food… but how awesome was all of that?

More Sewing on Saturday with my girl who actually nearly completed 3 pillows. This cute little one was made using the Disappearing Nine Patch method. I started her out with cutting squares and sewing them together to form her nine patch. Then we pulled up the tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company… and watched her gasped when they cut up what they had just sewn!! She cut, arranged and stitched it all back together for a cute, wee little pillow!

All good!!


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!