3 Little Trees


I took a photo of a small paper piecing project I made--from start to finish.  I liked the idea of using a different color combination from the typical green, white, blue of the season.  Quilting with the circles was not difficult at all.

Now, off to the "studio" to work on some more letter patterns for the book proposal.


Ice Dyeing Results


I have finally taken the photos from my camera of my dyed fabric from the ice dyeing class last month.  Two weeks ago I took the fabrics out of the containers and rinsed, rinsed and rinsed the dyes out of them.  When I finally was able to iron them "to make the magic happen," I took photos.  Here are the results:

bottom parfait fabric when wet
drying the fabric with iron

top parfait fabric dry
top parfait fabric wet

dry red fabric
wet with 3 reds

not sure of dye colors
not sure of dye colors
These fabrics would look so wonderful used in a landscape quilt project like the one I posted yesterday. 

I was quite happy I finished the binding on the watercolor heart quilt that I started about 9 years ago.  I had quilted this last month with the "Leaf It Alone" method Sally Terry taught at the AQS show.  I have triangles sewn in the top back corners as shown on Ami Simms' Alzheimer website for hanging smaller wall quilts.  Now to get it hung. 


Book Proposal Work


 I was very productive with getting three of the patterns written up for the proposal. Things are coming together, which helps me keep my focus.

Before I sat down to work on the proposal for the quilting book, I went to craft sales at two churches today. I found only a few items but was able to catch up with a number of acquaintances and friends.  The most exciting thing was that I bought some raffle tickets at one bazaar and got a call in the early evening telling me I had won the two quilt books.  While I like working with tessellations in quilts, it was Pam Bono's book that I really wanted. Can't wait to dig into these and find some projects.

Two More Quilts Bound


Today I went to The New Ewe with my sewing machine and two quilts to bind.  I had quilted the batik myself at Inspirations of Art Studio last month. The other was quilted by Laurie Deater.  I was very happy to have finished a few more projects.  My intent was to donate the batik quilt to the Cancer Therapy Center and the colorful one was to go to a friend's daughter.  But since it has been a few years, I think a slightly more mature quilt will be better for a gift for my friend's daughter.
48" x 48"

54" x 73"
I met two very nice ladies who were sewing at The New Ewe this weekend.  Sharing the sewing space was nice as we all shared many tips and stories.  Found out they had been teachers, so we had lots in common.

Landscape Workshop


Today I attended a workshop taught by Ann Loveless.  The Tall Pine Quilters Guild had her come.  She taught us how to make a lake collage wall hanging.  By the time the 5 hours were up, we had the sky, water and sandy beach done.  The next step was to add the trees and ground details.  I took 2 hours more before the guild meeting to add the trees, leaves and begin the grasses.  Here is my progress up to this point.

Ann spoke at our guild meeting that night.  She had a PowerPoint presentation showing her studio and how she makes her art quilts.  She described her three styles.  I returned home very excited to finish my project.


Ice Dying and Finished Quilts


Today I went to the Ice Dyeing class at Inspirations of Art.  It was so exciting to see Julia's samples of what she has done in her dyeing career. The thing I did not know about this class was that it would be a day or two before we actually see the fruits of our color choices.  My containers of fabrics are sitting in a secure place in the house, slowly warming up as the ice melts and the chemical reaction takes place. When I have finished the final step, I will post photos.

Here are the photos of my finished quilts from Thursday's quilting session.  The Halloween table topper is so colorful and cheery on the dining room table.  The squares and rectangles quilt just pops with color now that it is quilted and washed.

Halloween Table Topper
Squares and Rectangles Throw

Woven Rails Kids' Quilt
 The Leaves Wall Hanging is a design I created based on the class I took from Susan Purney-Mark at the AQS Show in Grand Rapids this past August.  The class was based on the book Give and Take Fabric Applique.

Just for show.  Isn't this fabric so cute.  It is a knit fabric my daughter found at a large fabric store she went to in Taiwan. I look forward to visiting this store when I visit Taiwan at the end of this year.

 I have some more quilts to finish binding and I will post those.  I am working on a table runner from a snowflake fabric collection.  It will be kitted and for sale at The New Ewe during the Idea Week scheduled for the 2nd week of December.  Every day there will be something different happening.


Some Quilting Is Done


I was able to use the Sweet 16 HandiQuilter at Inspirations of Art Studio today.  It was a lovely, warm, sunny day in Grand Rapids and Dana had the door open for the fresh air to gently blow in.  One of the quilts was a baby quilt for a friend's new born daughter. I meandered on that one.  The next quilt I used leaf/vines which I had learned in Sally Terry's class at the AQS Show this past August. I am only just beginning to work on this technique, so it appears that I was quilting in a briar patch. It is a larger quilt and I am not sure of its recipient.  The last one was a small Halloween-themed table topper which I meandered.  I later thought I should have sewn pumpkins and vines all over it to keep with the theme.  Now I have bindings to add and finally wash them to give them their character. I will post photos tomorrow when there is more natural light to use the camera.

I look forward to attending the Ice Dying Class on Saturday at Inspirations of Art Studio.  Have the thought of trying this technique on some silk fabric and making scarves.


Nearly November....Where Has October Gone?

October 22, 2012

October began with our daughter flying in from Taiwan to visit for 11 days.  And they were days packed with so much.  Her main project with me was to make a dress.  I haven't sewn clothing for a few years--especially such a dress, but with her help on some of it, we got it done.  I was hemming it the night before she flew back.

I am working on a book proposal and got stuck on one pattern design's measurements, so took a bit of a break and worked on class teaching samples. Here are some of them and I look forward to teaching others how to make these. 

Trees in a Square Table Topper
Dresden Poinsettia Wall Hanging

Paper Pieced Trees

I went with 3 friends today on our own short shop hop.  Had a wonderful time.  I enjoyed visiting 3 different fabric stores and each one has one or more differences in what they sell or display that makes shopping exciting.  I found a few pattern companies I had not heard of before--Vanilla House Designs and Common Thread Designs interested me.  Both had patterns that are whimsical and useful (thinking Christmas gifts) that I could make using many of my scraps.  I hope I can find the time to whip up some of the items before December. I look forward to the day that I see posts on other blogs about people finding my patterns interesting to them.

We had a wonderful lunch--the food was luscious and the presentation spectacular!  Service was very personal and the facility warm and friendly.  If you are ever in Reed City, MI, do plan lunch at Pere Marquette Catering Company at 102 East Upton Ave.  They are open for lunch Monday through Friday (later hours on Fridays).  Definitely a treat.

Off to my personal creation station with the goal of posting very soon information and photos of my projects.


I have taught two classes at the New Ewe on the past two Saturdays.  The first class was the Folded Flying Geese Placemat class and I am posting a photo of Robin's finished project(s). 

The other class I taught was a Dresden Sunflower.  Robin took that class and here is her wall hanging.  She did a great job.
Here are a few other projects that can be made with the Dresden Flower technique: 

The next class I will be teaching is from the book, "10-Minute Blocks," on October 10. Then on October 15 I will have the first (of many I hope) Building Blocks Club session.  We will be making Log Cabins and variations.
10-Minute Block Quilt Possibility

I entered my Pinwheels and Patches Quilt into an on-line contest at Quilting Gallery.  Friday the voting will open.  Please check it out and vote for my quilt!  

Here is the back of the quilt. I used scraps and pieces that matched the colors of the quilt.  I wanted to use what I had rather than purchase more fabric!

I am looking forward to our daughter coming from Taiwan to visit for 10 days.  Right now we are hoping the typhoon does not delay or stop her plans. 

I have been working on a few more projects.  Last Wednesday I went to Inspirations of Art in Grand Rapids to use the Sweet 16 Handiquilter.  I got 3 smaller quilt tops quilted and will get the bindings on in the next 2 days.  I will add photos when they are done. This is such a great place to work and soak in creative ideas.  I will be taking an ICE DYEING class at the end of October.  I am looking forward to go back more often to work.

I had an offer from Shutterfly for a free 8 x 8 book.  I had quite a few photos of my quilts from the last few years on file for just such an offer.  I put the book together and it came two days ago.  I am quite happy with it.  The only thing I didn't like was that the offers Shutterfly sends via email last for only a few days and I don't always have things ready to do a rush job.  This one worked out well. I also got an offer for free cards. I had to pay for shipping, so each card (a pack of 10) came to about 67 cents each--not bad for Christmas cards. I put a cropped photo of one of my Happy Villages wall hangings on the front, a JOY banner on the inside and a hand-sewn weaving on the back.  I hope the recipients enjoy them. 


September Has Arrived

September 3, 2012

Here it is almost one month since my last post.  I feel like I have neglected telling anyone who is  interested what I have been doing.  The past few weeks have been pretty exciting. 

I attended the AQS show in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for all 4 days.  I signed up for a number of classes, viewed the quilts on display--a small section each day, checked out the vendors and bought only a few things, met some very nice people and had a total blast. 

The classes I participated in were varied.  Susan Purney-Mark taught 3 of them--Fonts and Fabric, Printing with the Thermofax, and Ball Joints.  I were to discussions about publishing and the business of quilting.  The class on machine quilting leaf designs by Sally Terry was very informative.  And the most exciting was meeting with an editor, showing her my patterns and telling of my pattern ideas.  She said I should submit a proposal, so I am now working each day on that. 

I will be teaching a class this coming Saturday at The New Ewe.  It is a new concept for the store:  The Building Block Club.  Each month participants will learn how to construct one type of block and then examine all the possible uses as well as variations of that block.  A person can come to one, some, or all of the monthly sessions.  This Saturday is the LOG CABIN block.

Today I viewed Barbara Brackman's blog and the Block of the Month she posting for the next 49 weeks.  I will be following the blog and trying to construct the new block each week.  She also has such good information about the Women's Suffrage Movement, which I found out was happening in other countries besides the United States in the early part of the 20th Century.

So tomorrow, I plan to test a few more patterns, sew a block, maybe tidy up an area of my sewing room, and post to this blog.


August 14, 2012 

Yes, it has been a few weeks since I last posted, but a busy time.  We moved our younger daughter back home after her internship ended in Columbus, OH.  I have been working on organizing my sewing areas!  Yes, plural.  I have found that cluttered areas do detract from my productivity.  

I visited the Small Art from the Heart exhibit today - at The Stream in Newaygo - it is running through September.  The artwork is amazing.  I was so impressed with the detail of some of the work done on these small cards (2.5" x 3"). I found that my yellow bug card had a sticker announcing 2012 Award.  There were a few other cards that had these stickers on them.  I do not know what it means yet, but am sure I will find out soon. 

I will post some finished projects in the next day or two.  (I have been sewing a bit, even amid the clutter!) 


Folded Geese Placemat

These instructions are for ONE placemat. In ( ) are the fabric amounts if you plan to make 4 placemats. 
Use 1/4” seams throughout.
Main top fabric:  fat ¼   (2/3 yard)
Left Side Bar:     2-1/2” x 12-1/2” (fat 1/4)
Background for geese:  1/8 yard (1/3 yard)
Geese:  1/8 yard (1/3 yard)
Flat piping:  1/8 yard (long ¼ yard cut)
Backing:  fat ¼ (2/3 yard)
Batting:  one piece 20” x 14” (2/3 yard)

1 Backing fabric 18-1/2” x 12-1/2”
1 Main top fabric (right side section) 12-1/2” x 10-1/2”
1 Left side section strip 12-1/2” x 2-1/2”
2 Piping (no cording in this piping) 1” x 12-1/2”
Background for geese blocks: 8 pieces 3-1/2” x 3-1/2”
Folded geese pieces: 4 rectangles 6-1/2” x 3-1/2”


Make the flying geese blocks first.  Fold one rectangle in half WST (Wrong Sides Together) with short ends touching. (It will now measure 3-1/2” x 3-1/4”).  Place this folded piece between two background squares so the right sides of each background are touching the folded piece, making sure the raw edges of ALL pieces are aligned.  The folded piece will be 1/4" short of aligning with the raw edges of the background squares.

Diagram at left shows folded piece on bottom background square.   The square at right  is right side up and has to be flipped right side down on top of the folded square.

Sew a 1/4" seam from the corner where all raw edges align, down the edge, ending at the corner below the folded edge of the flying geese piece.  Turn the sewn piece 90ยบ.

Open one background piece flat.  Press seam.  Open the folded section so that bottom corners match and a triangle is formed.  Press flat.  Pin corners in place.  Repeat for 3 more flying geese blocks.  The point of the triangle will be ¼” below the raw edge, this is the space for the seam allowance when sewing the blocks together. Sew the 4 blocks together into a column that measures 6-1/2” x 12-1/2”. 

Fold the two piping strips in half lengthwise with Right Sides Together (RST) and press.  Lay one piping strip on the left side of the flying geese unit so raw edges align and the piping is covering the corners of the triangles.  Place the left side strip over (right side covering) the piping strip.  Pin along the 12-1/2” edge and sew all layers.  Press open so the seams are all under the flying geese side of the piece.

Place the other piping strip over the flying geese unit on the right edge, raw edges aligned.  Place the Main front fabric on top of these pieces so the right side is down.  Pin the long 12-1/2” edge and sew through all layers.  Press open so all raw edges are under the flying geese unit.

The flying geese triangles have a long diagonal bias side which is open.  This can be left open, topstitched down, or you can do as I did:  Roll the bias edges toward the center of the triangles, hold in place with a bit of Roxanne’s Glue Baste It and then topstitch in place.

Quilting the placemat:   I am not working with the backing yet!  I put the top of the placemat on the batting, spray basted it in place, or you can pin it.  I used the walking foot to sew some straight lines down the main fabric piece of the placemat top and the side strip on the left.  I then sewed in the ditch under the 3 top triangles.

Finishing:  Trim the batting to the size of the placemat top.  Place the backing on the placemat top, RST.  Begin sewing at the middle of the main fabric of the placemat, 1/4” around the edges and stopping about 4” from where you began.  Trim the corners so when the piece is turned right sides out they will make a nice point.  After turning it inside out, press all edges and sew the opening closed.  Topstitch around the edges 1/8” or 1/4" from the edge.

Tip:  To help me keep the top and bottom of turned items well aligned so the backing doesn’t show on the front, or vise versa, I dampen my fingers and roll the seams so they are aligned and iron immediately.

I hope you try this project, or change it up a bit with colors or designs.  Happy Sewing! 


Demo Days

July 26, 2012

Quick Sew Diamonds
Today was the first of two demo days at The New Ewe Yarn and Quilt Shoppe in Newaygo.  I worked all week getting ready to show my quilted ideas.  Today I worked on finishing a few items and made a Folded Flying Geese placemat which will be a class.  I will have a free pattern here on the blog within the week for those of you who may live out of the area and can't take the class.  Be sure to come back to get the pattern!
10 Minute Block QOV
Here are photos of the items I have made for the demo days and upcoming classes:

Sunflower Wallhanging
Joy Banner
Christmas Wreath
Folded Geese Placemat
Christmas Medallion Quilt Top