Monkey Wrench–A Focus Through the Prism Project QUILTING Challenge, May

Can you believe it’s time for the first ‘Focus Through the Prism’ Project QUILTING Challenge!?  I know you’ve all been waiting so patiently for this moment and I thank you for all your enthusiasm!  To go over the story behind the challenge be sure to check out THIS POST and of course the FAQ post!

The Inspiration Block:  Monkey Wrench!

In honor of my good friend Trisha Frankland and May being her birthday month I asked her what her favorite block was – a Monkey Wrench!  So – that’s what we all get to be inspired by this month! 
monkey wrench
If you search ‘Monkey Wrench’ there are a few different versions out there but to be consistent I would like your inspiration to come from the Monkey Wrench Block above.
  • Each final project should read predominantly as one color in the spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, or violet. 
  • A ROYGBIV hand-dyed color bundle of fabric must be purchased from Cherrywood Fabrics  Hopefully you already have your bundle but you can join in the fun anytime … just make sure you have your quit done by the end of the month!
  • You must use ONE fabric from the ROYGBIV challenge bundle in each quilt which should correspond with the color you want your quilt to ‘read’.
  • Any other fabrics from your stash may be added.
  • You must use the month's block
  • Quilts must finish 20” square.
  • Share the story behind your quilt and how the block ‘Monkey Wrench’ was the inspiration.
  • Your quilt must have a name.
  • Pictures of your FINISHED 20” square quilts must be LINKED UP at the bottom of this post by 11:55pm CST on Sunday, May 31st (Trisha’s actual birthday). 
  • A 4" quilt rod pocket will need to be added to the back of the quilt before you send it to me January.  Check out THIS tutorial for how to do this.
Monkey Wrench Quilt
Other info …
    • I would still love if everyone posted to the Flickr Group as that makes making mosaics and looking over things much easier, but it is no longer required.
    • There is now a ‘Focus Through the Prism’ Facebook Group and a ‘Challenge Quilts’ Facebook Group you can join in on to share your thoughts, questions, or whatever related to quilting challenges.  You can always post progress pictures there if you want too!
    • Haven’t ordered your bundle yet?  No worries!  Order now!  You can join in on all seven or just one challenge! 
    • Please use the hastag #pqoff #focusthroughtheprism #roygbiv when posting on social networking sites to help spread the word
    • ‘How to link up to a Link Up’ post
    • Prizes! There will be a grand prize at the end … more details to come.  In the meantime – check out THIS POST for details about the randomly drawn prizes given out each month just for completing the challenge!
    • I put together two tutorials for 20” Monkey Wrench Blocks – in either a 3 x 3 grid or a 5 x 5 grid HERE.


Ballet Recital 2015

My girls had their ballet recital this past Saturday.  They’ve been in dance since September and have been working really hard to be prepared for this performance.  AND – it was Pip’s very first recital ever! 

DancersI snagged a group shot of the girls with some of their friends who were also in the recital. 


I was in the WAY WAY WAY far back of the auditorium for both of the shows.  I had to put on my super zoom lens to get these shots but really … they could have definitely been worse!  Pip and TinsleyThis is Pip’s final pose at the end of the dance.  Every single time in practice and rehearsal, Pip just gets right on top of Tinsley and plays with her hair.

Pip and Tinsley

And for the final performance of the day Pip FINALLY does this!  It’s like she’s thinking, “Ta Da!  I did it and now I am done!”  I am so in love with this shot!

I don't want to be a Princess Dancers

Mercedi and Capri were both in the same dance class.


This was Cedi’s fourth recital.  Check out those legs!  I call her #Cedilonglegs for a reason!Capri

And this was Capri’s third recital!  They all did wonderful and it was fantastic to watch.Magic Mirrors Dancers

And here is the final pose of their group. 

The entire recital was wonderful and you could just see how hard all the kids worked and how much talent there is in this group.  I have to admit it’s a lot more fun for me to go to the recitals now than when Cedi first started.  Now I know a lot more of the kids that are in the show and it’s fun to see how much they’ve grown as kids and dancers.

Miss Erin and Pip Montage

But the main reason I keep my kids in dance is because of their teacher – Miss. Erin.  Miss Erin is absolutely wonderful!  She not only teaches my kids to dance but to have fun, to try their hardest, and to enjoy every minute of life.  I just had to share the shots I took of Miss Erin with Pip in the finale.  Pip was having  a ‘Pip’ moment in the final finale.  She was tired and didn’t really want to be up there. 

  • Scene 1 – Pip is alone.
  • Scene 2 - you can see that Capri and Cedi went to ask her to dance (super proud of them for that by the way). 
  • Scene 3 – Pip is still alone.
  • Scene 4 – Miss Erin stops to check on Pip (remember this is the finale so there are almost 200 kids on the stage at this point).
  • Scene 5 – Miss Erin hugs Pip
  • Scene 6 through 12 – Pip is out of her mood and dancing her heart away to freeze dance with Miss Erin.

PS.  I took over 400 pictures during the recital … I’m really proud of myself for editing this post down to as few as I did!

Challenge Chaos

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in the matter I’m about to discuss with you all but please, feel free to let me know if I am.  I may take on too many projects all at the same time.  Does this ever happen to you?  Don’t get me wrong – I love it … but sometimes I need to sit back and take a look at what needs to happen and what deadlines I’m looking at.

With that being said - this post is mostly for me.  I think  I need a post to help keep track of where I’m at, where I’m heading and when I need to be finished.

Project:  Semi Secret, using Jen Kingwell’s new fabric line ‘Gardenvale

semi secret project

Due Date: sometime at the end of May
Project Status: 16 of the 24 blocks completed.

Project:  Focus Through the Prism Project QUILTING Challenge


Due Date: May 31st, June 30th, July 31st, August 31st, September 30th, October 31st, November 30th
Project Status: May challenge, Monkey Wrench, is complete, just need to photograph and blog

Project:  Riley Blake Modern Quilt Guild


Due Date: sometime in July
Project Status: 3 and 3/4’s blocks complete.  Not 100% sure on where to go next.

Project:  Fall Leaves


Due Date: Due June 30th
Project Status: Inspiration is there … still needs a lot of work

Project:  Hoffman Fabric Challenge


Due Date: Friday, July 17th
Project Status: I have the fabric I need.

Project:  Charms and Cherrywood Challenge


Due Date: November 1st
Project Status: I have the fabrics and the templates required for the challenge.  Now I need to figure out the rest.

Project:  Be Creative! Quilt Challenge


Due Date: November 1st, 2015
Project Status: I have my fabrics

Project:  The Bale Identity for Mill House Quilts


Due Date: August 15th
Project Status: I have my bale purchased and I’m signed up for the challenge.  That is all.

So … as you can see … I have a bit of work to do in the next few months.  But – I love a challenge and I love what inspiration comes out of me from these challenges!  I’ll keep you posted on how things go!

Exhibitor Floor of Quilt Market

I was up early for my last day of Quilt Market – the first day that the exhibitor floor opened.  The Exhibitor Floor is where designers and companies have booths set up so you can see all the new things coming out in the industry from patterns, to fabrics, to fun new tools!  This was also my opportunity to do some major networking with specific companies and people I had in mind.

quilt market morning of exhibit

The morning was dreary but nice – and not raining like it had been the day before.  Always a bonus to arrive at market not wet.  I’ll have to warn you.  I took quite a few #usies with people I admire and work with online quite a bit.

quilt market victoria

I first met Victoria Findlay Wolfe a few years ago – fairly recently after her quilt had won best in show at the very first Quilt Con.  I found Victoria at Quilt Con in the Sizzix booth.  She was working on some fun double wedding ring quilts that she shares in her newest book Double Wedding Ring Quilts - Traditions Made Modern: Full-Circle Sketches from Life

quilt market tula pink and me

I have to admit.  I went a bit ‘fangirl’ on Tula Pink.  I just couldn’t help myself!  I had seen Tula Pink the day before at Schoolhouse but I held my excitement in … a little.  I knew I would kick myself later if I didn’t ask to get my picture with her.  So I did.  I probably completely ruined my chance of ever being friends with Tula but that’s okay.  I’m a crazy, hyper person normally so just imagine when I’m in the same place as someone I idolize!

quilt market moda patterns

I love a good sampler! It was fun collecting these block patterns from the Moda designers. I am missing 7, 22, and perhaps 24 and higher? If anyone grabbed those if you could share with me what blocks they are it would be great!  Otherwise I’ll just make my own up to fill in the gaps!

quilt market tiger

This stunning Lion Quilt designed and made by Violet Craft was definitely hitting everyone’s instagram stream as the walked by the Michael Miller Fabrics booth. 

quilt market penguin and fish

Penguin and Fish’s booth caught my eye too!  And it turns out she’s a friend in an online community of mine!  Even better!  I just couldn’t resist a few of these adorable embroidery hoop projects.  I’m always looking for some fun handwork while I’m watching the girls in gymnastics, dance, basketball or softball. 

quilt market marcia derse

Marcia Derse’s booth also caught my eye.  I love a gorgeous hand dye topped off with a fabulous organic design/print and perhaps even another layer of dye over that.  Marcia was also super fun to chat with and I can’t wait to see what else comes from her!

quilt market heather ross

I had to also snag an #usie with Heather Ross in her booth!  I enjoyed her talk so much at schoolhouse that I just had to stop and tell her that!

quilt market gogokim

I’ve been chatting with GoGoKim on twitter now for years!  I tracked her down in the Aurifil booth and finally met her in person!  And turns out – she just as great as she is online!quilt market carrie bloomston

Everytime I walked by Carrie Bloomston’s booth at market she was either occupied or not there!  Oh well – it is amazing regardless!  It also made me look her up and turns out she has a great book out there too - The Little Spark - 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity.  It’s now officially on my wish list!

quilt market crazymomquilts

Every Friday I anxiously wait for Amanda of Crazy Mom Quilts ‘Finish It Up Friday’ post to go up.  It’s a fantastic link up that I guarantee will bring traffic to you blog.  She’s also co-author of one of my favorite go to quilting books - Sunday Morning Quilts: 16 Modern Scrap Projects Sort, Store, and Use Every Last Bit of Your Treasured Fabrics.  Amanda had come and spoken to my guild the previous year so this was my second time meeting her in person. She is definitely a sweet heart and I just love watching her blog to see what her latest scrappy project is!

quilt market creek side stitches

It’s always great to run into some local peeps when you’re at a big event.  These lovely ladies are from one of my local quilt shops – Creek Side Stitches.  Patti (in the middle) has written amazing books and patterns that are technique based.  Pick up one (or ten) of her patterns and you’ll be cutting up and using your precuts in ways you never imagined!

quilt market julia sandvoss

I recently joined the Therm O Web design team and I was excited to meet Julia Sandvoss, the lady I work with over at Therm O Web. She is an absolute sweetheart and so supportive of my work and designs.  I look forward to our continued partnership!

quilt market badass quilters

I spotted Maddie and Flaun of the Bad Ass Quilter’s Society and owners of the quilt shop, Spool, looking at (and perhaps ordering) some new skull fabrics! 

quilt market - pins

Throughout the show I was collecting buttons from various designers and companies!  I came home with quite a collection!  I’ll be sharing how I make my ‘pin holder’ with you all soon!

And with that … it was time to head home.  I would have loved to say but family comes first. 


And these three lovely ladies had their ballet recital on Saturday – there is no way I was going to miss that! (More pictures of the recital coming soon!)

Nominating for Blogger’s Quilt Festival

As you heard last week, one of my favorite online events is happening right now – the Blogger’s Quilt Festival!  Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side runs this twice a year – in May at the end of October.  You can enter up to two quilts in two different categories. 

Quicklinks to categories : Mini, Small, Large, Appliqué, Art, Hand Quilted, Home Machine Quilted, Modern, Original Design, ROYGBIV, Scrappy, Viewer’s Choice

Currently the Linky’s are Open and you can nominate THREE of your favorite quilts to go into the Viewer’s Choice Category (until May 21st). 

I’ve had a few questions on how to do this and what a ‘permalink’ was so hopefully this will help!

To nominate your three favorites you’re going to go to THIS link.

  Fullscreen capture 5182015 82110 AM

If you scroll down just a bit on the page this box will show up.  Here’s where you need to insert the permalink.  A permalink is the permanent link to the blog post – or the url that is in your browser. 

For example:

If you wanted to nominate my quilt Fen Koan you would copy and paste the link found in your search bar which should look like this:

If you wanted to nominate my quilt Gypsy Wife you would copy and paste the link found in your search bar which should look like this:

So – go – look around at all the fabulous quilts entered into the Festival and be sure to nominate your three favorites in the ‘Viewer’s Choice’ section by the 21st!

Voting for your favorites of each category will start on the 22nd.  (Don’t worry … I’ll remind you again!) 

Give or Get Creativebug this Mothers Day

Bus Tour and Schoolhouse - Quilt Market Recap

I sort of disappeared from the online world for the last few days UNLESS you’ve been following along with me on instagram – PersimonDreams … which of course I recommend you do! I left my house on Tuesday to head up to Minneapolis to go to Quilt Market. 

Bus Tour.

On the first day at Market I signed up for the Bus Tour that did a little mini shop hop to three different quilt shops around town.  It was fun but definitely not like the shop hop to Houston last fall.  This bus load was full of shop owners just checking out what was working for other shops.  This is actually something I would love to do with other orchards but unfortunately I’m too busy at my own apple store to do it when they’re open.  I also didn’t want to buy too much on this trip because I wanted to save my money for sample spree!  It was great though as a designer to connect with shop owners and see what they’re looking for in fabric, in pattern designs, and in the industry.

quilt market uptown

I took the bus into the convention center from Uptown each morning.  I’m really proud of myself, the Country Mouse that I am.


quilt market pepper cory

Day 2 started with a talk from the infamous and fabulous Pepper Cory about Modern Quilting, Slow Stitching Movement, and the Bad Ass Quilter’s Society.  She was a fantastic speaker and it was great to hear their history.  Next up – my first schoolhouse experience!

Schoolhouse is the time when you see all the new books, new lines, and new fun things in the quilting industry that are coming out!

quilt market with pat sloan

I started by checking out Pat Sloan and her new book, Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Applique: Fusible Applique That's Soft and Simple!  It’s fabulous and has TONS of great opportunities for teaching opportunities, workshops, and quilt alongs.  I don’t have my own copy yet but I guarantee it will be joining my collection very soon!

quilt market mellissa cory

The next school house I went to was Melissa Corry where she talked about her new book Irish Chain Quilts: Contemporary Twists on a Classic Design.  I adore the patterns in these book.  These are going to be great quick quilts with a lot of impact.  Melissa uses a lot of solids/lights in the background of her samples – I can’t wait to see what I can do by making that scrappy and colorful! I guarantee I’m going to have a lot of fun with it.  There’s one for sure in the book that I’m going to start as soon as I get a few of the projects that have deadlines done!  I’ll keep you posted!

  quilt market heather bailey

Heather Bailey has a new holiday fabric line coming out called ‘Gingersnap’.  It was great to hear from a fabric designer and hear what her though process was behind her new line.  ‘Gingersnap’ is meant to not only work for Christmas but throughout the winter season as well.  It’s fairly ‘holiday-neutral’ I would say and pieces of it could even be used in year round quilts as well. 

quilt market leah day

Later that day I heard from the amazingly talented free motion quilter – Leah Day.  Leah Day has books (365 Free Motion Quilting Designs – is like a bible to me) and online tutorials out that I refer to regularly when I’m trying to decide what pattern/design to go with.  She has a wonderful quilt along focused on the quilting portion of the quilt.  It’s a great way to gain confidence and muscle memory in your free motion quilting skills.

quilt market tula pink

Okay – now I’m going to go a bit ‘fan girl’ on you all.  I LOVE TULA PINK!!!!!  Her fabric designs are just amazing and so are her quilt patterns!  That butterfly quilt behind her … I have the pattern and I need to make it soon!  I squeezed into Tula Pink’s schoolhouse – literally – I was in one of the last seats in the back corner of the room.  And I’m so happy I did!  Her new line coming out soon – Eden – is fabulous!  It incorporates tigers, moths and elephants (hidden in lace …seriously – it’s amazing!!!!!) You can be notified by the Fat Quarter Shop about when you can buy it be going HERE and choosing what quantity you hope to get.  The other big reveal is that Tula is releasing a fabulous 108” wide backing fabric that is dots with birds on it.  The birds are tossed on so it is not directional at all.  It’s going to be a high demand! 

quilt market - heather ross

And then I heard from Heather Ross.  Wow!  If you have a chance to go and hear from Heather Ross speak I highly recommend that you do.  She is hilarious!  Heather has a new line coming out –Tiger Lily! I miraculously won an entire fat quarter bundle of her new line because I had the most cats in the room!  It pays to live on an orchard where cats are a necessity!  It also helps that two of them just had babies …

After hearing Heather Ross speak I can’t wait to get my hands on the book she released last year -

How to Catch a Frog: And Other Stories of Family, Love, Dysfunction, Survival, and DIY - which I heard from a good source is pretty amazing!

Heather Ross is also one of three designers that share advice and experience on Creative Bug’s new class – ‘How To Design Fabric’.  I’ve only watched part 1 of this series but it has already made a HUGE difference in how I think about my own fabric designs.  I highly recommend it if you’ve even considered designing your own fabric. 

The end of the day of schoolhouse was the ‘sampler spree’.  I did a decent amount of damage at sample spree loading up on Aurifil, Cotton N Steel and Art Gallery fabrics.  I’ll be sharing my treasures with you in the weeks to come instead of completely overwhelming you on this post!

I arrived back at my brother’s apartment late that night – exhausted, content, and inspired!  I was ready to hit the exhibitor’s floor on Friday!