Life Happens

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed or not but I’ve been a bit absent in the online community for the last few days.  A few things have been going on – the major one of that is TAXES!  Yes, my birthday is getting closer and closer which also means tax day is getting closer and closer.  I really like to have our taxes filed well before the 15th of April and after my work today I do think it will happen before we leave March.  But in order to do that, I had to actually focus on something!

I’m also working on a bit of a secret project that I’ll get to reveal to you May.  I’m so horrible at secrets and I can’t tell you how hard it’s been not to show you more than just this

secret project

picture on instagram.  But sometimes you just have to suck it up and keep it secret.

So – today – I’m going to share with you some exciting news from some of my friends and fellow Creative Entrepreneurs.

Pat Sloan

The lovely and talented Pat Sloan has a new book!


“Teach Me to Applique, Fusible Applique that’s Soft & Simple”!

I’m so excited for her and I can’t wait to get my hands on my very own copy!  (and you can order your copy too!)

To top off that excitement – there’s a BIG giveaway happening right now over at Martingale’s blog that includes a copy of Pat’s book! 

Bag of the Month Club from Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness


Who doesn’t love to have a unique, fun bag!?  Join in the fun of Sara Lawson’s ‘Bag of the Month Club.’ Each month, you will receive an exclusive and brand-new pdf bag sewing pattern from that month’s designer, delivered directly to your inbox.  Don’t wait too much longer to sign up!

I’ll keep you all posted as I discover more fun things you’re not going to want to miss!

Madison Modern Quilt Guild at Sun Prairie Heritage Quilt Show

I took some pictures of the Madison Modern Quilt Guild exhibit at the Sun Prairie Heritage Quilt Show.  It seemed like the room was always packed so I apologize for not getting shots of all of them!  Also – if I missed the name of the creator or the quilt please leave a comment and I’ll be sure to edit asap!IMG_7985“Sunkissed Star” by Trisha FranklandIMG_7986by Trina PetersonIMG_7987IMG_7988IMG_7989by Wendy FranczakIMG_7990

IMG_7992Hedge Maze by Trisha FranklandIMG_7993

Top – Tree Fort by Amy Bradley, Bottom – Rope Ladder to the Tree Fort by Amy Bradley

An Afternoon of Quilting with Karen McTavish

Last month I was the presenter for the Mad City Quilt Guild and at the end of the meeting they had announcements.  I heard that they still had openings for an afternoon workshop with Karen McTavish!!!!!  As soon as I got home, I worked out plans for the girls since they have ballet AND gymnastics on Mondays after school and my check was in the mail to attend.

karen mctavish

Today was the big day!  Yippee!  A whole afternoon with Karen McTavish!  We were each instructed to bring two quilt tops (not quilted).  It was a round table workshop.  We went around the table and laid out our quilts and Karen went through and gave advice on how she would quilt them.  It was fascinating!

Karen is a much more traditional quilter than I am and really knows her stuff when it comes to quilt shows.  I found it so interesting to hear what she would do and think I know what I would do to quilt it.  Ironically – I only quilt my smaller quilts … not the bigger ones … so I really don’t know much about how I would quilt them. 

One of the first thing Karen McTavish says to look at is the fabric and ask yourself “What is the genre of the quilt?”  Let the fabric tell you how to quilt it. 

I also loved her definition of Modern.  “If it feels good it is good.”  YES!  In that sense, all my quilts are modern!

scrappy crown along

I brought my finished #scrappycrownalong which I just finished this morning.  Karen advised me to stitch in the ditch around each block and really treat each piece uniquely with focus on ‘playing’ with my quilting in the larger solid crown locations. 


I have to be honest here.  I do really love how many #scrappycrownalong quilt turned out but there is a lot going on in this quilt.  I made it for blogging and I made each 30” block seperately without looking too hard at the blocks that would go next to each one.  It is a super organically scrappy quilt.  I honestly thought it would just need an all over pattern since it’s already so busy – but now Karen has me thinking …


The other quilt I made – was this one.  This is the ‘modern’ quilt I made to see if homespuns could be ‘modern.’  I think they can. 

Karen recommended stitching in the ditch around each of the non-purple pieces of the quilt to highlight it.  Then – to draw out straight line in all different angles in the purple portions of the quilt.  And from there, work on the sections with either free form quilting or linear quilting.  I really like this idea!  I feel like that big open space really opens up an opportunity to have a lot of fun with the quilting!  Now we’ll just have to see what happens when I get to it!

karen mctavish and me

And – at the end of the class Karen took an #usie of us and texted me the picture!  (Yup … I’m star struck! – oh – and she called me pretty!)  What fun!  If you ever have a chance to learn or hear from this woman I highly recommend it!  I’ve now had the opportunity to hear her talk and take a class from her.  I can’t wait until our paths meet again! 

Isn’t that Charming Project QUILTING Challenge–Time To Vote

And with that … we just have one more thing left to do for Season 6 of Project QUILTING.  It’s time to VOTE for our favorite quilts of the ‘Isn’t that Charming?’ challenge. 

TIME TO VOTE!  Choose your SIX Favorite Quilts below that were created for the Project QUILTING Challenge – Isn’t That Charming? and click on the heart to vote (upper right corner)!  You can click on the photo’s themselves to read the ‘story’ behind the quilt – my favorite part!  Vote by clicking on the heart in the upper right corner of the image.  Don’t forget to tell your friends and family about all these amazing quilts!

Please DO NOT VOTE for entries #47 and #49.  I know this is confusing but to help a little it does say “DO NOT VOTE FOR ME” in the description under the picture.  My mother-in-law, Diane, made #47 and I made #49 – while we are not eligible for prizes and don’t want to take away votes from others – we still want to show off our work!  You can, however, feel free to click on our projects and leave us a comment on what you think.  We love to hear from you!

The quilt with the most votes will receive these prizes:
Aurifil prizes14
10 Small Spools of Folk Story by Sarah Fielke for Aurifil Thread

aiming for accuracy

Mishka's Playground is giving one lucky person a choice of a pattern from her store including the newly released 2015 quilt-along - Aiming for Accuracy II!
As a bonus – the quilt with the second most votes will win the following!
This fabulous key fob made by Trisha Frankland of Quilt Chicken
pq duffel bag
Your very own Project QUILTING Duffel Bag!
Aren’t these some great prizes that have been so generously donated!?  I can’t wait to see who wins some fantastic goodies!

Voting will close on Friday, March 27th at 8pm.  Spread the word to your family and friends!
They get SIX  votes so they can vote for you and then four other quilts that they like best!
Winners will be announced on Sunday, March 29th!  (I need an extra day because I’ll be at the Quilt Festival in Chicago over the weekend.)

Charming Chunky Wee Bag

I did it!  I finished my project for the final Project QUITLING Challenge of season 6 – Isn’t that Charming?  I wasn’t sure at the beginning of the week how it was all going to come together and happen since my ‘to do’ list was quite long.  But as always – I made it happen and I’m so happy I did!

I decided I wanted to make a bag with lots and lots of squares so I could put my fun crafty pin collections right on it. I pulled all my charm squares out and just randomly pulled my favorite ones from the pack.  I started by sewing 20 of them into one of the pieces of the bag.  By the end I can guarantee that I used way more than 20 charm squares to make this project.

patchwork pieces project quilting

I decided to use Sam Hunter’s ‘Chunky Wee Bag’ pattern for me bag.  I sewed all the outside pieces together using the charm squares – even the strap and the key ring holder!  It is super patchy and fabulous! Charming Chunky Wee Bag for Project Quilting progressAnd here are all my pieces ready to be sewed together!  I can’t say enough good things about this bag pattern!  I followed along as I was supposed to and before I knew it I had the best bag EVER!Charming Chunky Wee Bag for Project Quilting

And here it is!  I am so excited about this bag!  When I finished it – Pip was just not excited enough so I had to call my friend Trish and flip out a bit about how cool it turned out!

Charming Chunky Wee Bag for Project Quilting

and here is the other side …

Charming Chunky Wee Bag for Project Quilting inside

I did not piece the inside with charms.  Instead I used a fun floral purple and a Kaffe green floral for the pockets. 

Charming Chunky Wee Bag for Project Quilting

And just one more view!  I am so freaking happy about this bag!!!!  And I made it so it is a cross over bag … my favorite way to carry.

Charming Chunky Wee Bag for Project Quilting with buttons

And I had to take a picture of the bag with some of my buttons on it!  I just ordered my buttons from QuiltDots so they will soon adorn this bag too!

It is bittersweet for me that this is the end of Project QUILTING Season 6.  It’s been a joy to see so many folks create and make and see that they CAN do something amazing in just one week.  But I have to say – I really need to get some other things done and it will be nice to not HAVE to make a quilt every other week!

But don’t worry – there will be ‘off season’ monthly challenges and Season 7 will start up in January 2016!

Modern Quilt Club–Improvisational Piecing

I’m a member of the Modern Quilt Club at my LQS (local quilt shop) Mill House Quilt.  On the third Thursday of every month we meet from 9:30 to 10:30 in the gorgeous upstairs of this lovely shop and discuss Modern Quilts.  In the quilting world the definition of ‘modern’ has drummed up a lot of controversy and disagreements.  This group is nothing like that.  We share what we’re working on, our thoughts and help each other with the next step of a quilt.

My definition of Modern Quilts?  Completely still on the fence.  Some folks at the last meeting said they thought my work is modern – I have to say I don’t agree with that.  My work is contemporary and completely my own but I don’t think it’s of a modern aesthetic.  That being said, I am dabbling into the modern world a bit because of this club and my membership in the Modern Quilt Guild. 

This year our club is going through the Lucky Spool's Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making: From Color to Quilting: 10 Design Workshops by Your Favorite Teachers.  Each month a member of the club volunteers to share a lesson from a chapter in the book. This month I shared the ‘improvisational piecing’ lesson.

I highly recommend checking out the chapter about it in Lucky Spool's book!  It felt like the words about how I feel about improvisational piecing where taken from my head and put on paper in a cohesive form! 

Before I got to the lesson I shared some of my work that I used improvisational piecing (or free form piecing).

ENTRY - Project QUILTING - Architectural Elements Challenge - Barn Bones

“Barn Bones” was my first attempt at free form quilting.  When I first started this method I was inspired by Rayna Gilman’s book Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts: A Stress-Free Journey to Original Design .  I highly recommend it.  It has become a book I reference often!Amazing Tehcnicolor Dream Scrap Quilt

Then came the ‘Amazing Technicolor Dream Quilt.’Amazing Tecnicolor Heart Quilt

And with a slightly different method along came, the ‘Amazing Technicolor Dream Heart’. 

After I had made my first two free form quilts I was lucky enough to attend Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s workshop based around her book 15 minutes of Play -- Improvisational Quilts: Made-Fabric Piecing Traditional Blocks Scrap Challenges .  It is always great to see what others are doing and see what their thought process is. 

For my lesson I showed the group two different blocks I had work on.


This one was purely a grab and sew from my scrap bin.  No thinking, just sewing, cutting, sewing and sewing some more!  Definitely a fun start to … something!  We’ll just have wait to see what!

Next I wanted to show the group how to do improv color blocks.  A friend had just given me a whole bag of her scraps.  Capri and I sorted them into brown paper bags by color. 

IMG_8040I randomly grabbed a blue bag of scraps, free form pieced it together and then made this fun little mini quilt!  It was a quick and freeing project.  I can’t wait to play with the quilting in this one. 

Before the group left I gave them an assignment of making their own improv color blocks. 


Pip randomly handed out paper bags that were full of random scraps all color blocked together.  They are to spend 20 minutes grabbing fabric randomly out of the bags and piecing them together without thinking about it.  Next month we’ll get to see what everyone comes up with!  Most of all – I hope I hear they had fun and did something they never expected to!

Recap of the Sun Prairie Heritage Quilt Show

It’s been a bit crazy around her this week – definitely not a ‘regularly scheduled’ week.  On Sunday afternoon – the whole family stopped in at the Sun Prairie Heritage Quilt Show so the girls could see their mama’s quilts hanging.

Gypsy Wife Quilt

I was shocked when one of my friends pointed out that I had won a BLUE RIBBON!?   What!?  I never win ribbons from actual judges!  (I do from viewer’s and vendors … but not judges … the ones that actually look at my seam work!).  This was beyond amazing!

Dresden Neighborhood Quilt

And then I saw this!  A third on my Dresden Neighborhood quilt!  I was in shock!

I came back on Monday with Pip and my mother-in-law to give the show my real attention (or as much as I could with a 3 year old tagging along).

‘Shadows’ by Carol Perkins from Loganville, WI,

This quilt ‘Shadows’ by Carol Perkins from Loganville, WI, was one of my absolute favorites.  From a distance I thought, “Hmmm… that looks nice.”

‘Shadows’ by Carol Perkins from Loganville, WI,

And then I got closer and I saw this …

‘Shadows’ by Carol Perkins from Loganville, WI

and this …

‘Shadows’ by Carol Perkins from Loganville, WI

and this ..

‘Shadows’ by Carol Perkins from Loganville, WI

and this …

‘Shadows’ by Carol Perkins from Loganville, WI

and yes, this!  The background behind each leaf was quilted differently.  The attention to detail and workmanship on this quilt just blew my mind!  I love how the leaves look like they’re just coming right off the quilt at you!

Til Death Do Us Part by Trisha Frankland

The lovely Trisha Frankland had her quilt “Til Death Do Us Part” at the show too.  It looks so beautiful hanging there!  I couldn’t get Pip to not be in the picture …


And then someone was tired … but at least she wasn’t screaming and wasn’t really in the center of the room …

Kelly Kroon

Kelly Kroon’s beautiful quilt!


This one was made by Wendy Franczak and yes – that’s matchstick quilting!  Amazing!

beautiful quilting

I just adorable the quilting on this one and really wish it was hanging instead of just folded over a quilt rack …

I think I’ll have to pause for now as I still have lots of pictures to show you.  I’ll still have to post some pictures from the special Madison Modern Quilter’s Guild Exhibit at the show and I have to show you what everyone came up with for the challenge!