Thursday, June 16, 2016


I've been on planes, trains, and automobiles for the last few weeks, so no long arming, or stitching of any kind, hand or machine.  I had to drive the 19 hours back and forth (twice) from Montana to California myself, so I couldn't even do hand stitching in the car.  Then flying to and from Eastern Europe was so hard, I just tried to sleep, I didn't even pull out the bag of hexies I took with me.  

We had a fabulous time, and even though I wasn't do anything quilty, I still found some wonderful inspiration in the castle, church and Parliament floors, Windows, and ceilings. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Focus! Focus! Focus! or lack thereof...

While I was in California this past month, I think I started no less than six projects.  It kind of drives me nuts that I do this, but this is how my brain works.  I have no idea if I will finish any of them.  I have really been struggling with confidence in my abilities and thinking I am creative enough.  I couldn't think of any other way to fight that lack of confidence than to just do something.  So I drew out three or four Wholecloth designs, and started an original pieced quilt, too.  I purchased EQ7, too!  Oh, my, I've forgotten that one.  Along with that, I've been messing around with designs for this quilt top, and skinning the border on one I started last year.  

Until my husband retires, I will be in a constant state of travel.  I will be spending time here in Montana, then in California, and also to our condo on the Colorado River.  I haven't even unpacked from my last trip, and will need to pack up in a couple weeks again.  My last trip, I packed up enough projects for two years!  NOT going to do that again (I really really hope I won't). 

My focus for the next month or so is going to be quilting this top, and finalizing one Wholecloth design. There, I've said it, so now I have to do it, right?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Teaching "Learn to Make a Quilt" was Rewarding!

During the month of March I taught a series of classes to six adults though our community education program.  It was so rewarding! I created a pattern using the Irish Chain block for table runners that finished at 18x42. I really wanted to keep it small so they could have a finished product.  The first week was cutting, then we progressed to seeing the blocks, then machine quilting using a walking foot, and ending with the binding.  I had to add a fifth class just to get all the information to them.  

Three of my students finished their table runners in class (with the exception of hand stitching the binding down on the back), two students should have finished theirs at home because they had to miss the last class, and one student was a dropout.  😝

These ladies were great, and I'm so proud of them.

These are the class samples I made to show them how using different fabrics can make a big difference.  

And on the non quilty side of my life, my husband spoiled me with not one, but two birthday gifts.  I got a brand new mountain bike, an orange Trek, and this incredible Taylor guitar!!  
Thanks for stopping by!  If you don't see your blog in my sidebar, comment here and I'll stop by yours. I'm going to be spending more time blog surfing and less on Instagram in the future.  

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Art Quilt Fun and A Book Review

I took Barbara Olson's class about six weeks ago on creativity and we all made her Wild Child quilt. 

Choosing the fabrics was hard for me. I think I left the class with the least amount of work completed. I came home and changed out several fabrics and then started in on My quilting plan. 

I really need to remember to draw these things out in graph paper before jumping in. I stitched and removed the entire border as well as some leaves I had stitched in. 

After getting advice and critiques from my online friends I followed some of their advice and also conjured up some of my own creative twists. I am loving dabbling in the art quilt world. I actually tried the trapunto process with this at the advice of my friend Peggy Holt. 

Also after many years following Leah Day's blog and YouTube videos, I finally decided to buy one of her books just as a way I guess of thanking her for all of her free tutorials that she's provided through the years. I cannot wait to start stitching out some of these designs. I thought I had seen all of them and knew so many but I am humbled by her work. 

Have you purchased her book?  Every picture is in color!  I thought the price was reasonable considering they're all in color. If you can't figure out how she stitches them, you can go to to find all the tutorials. 

Thanks for stopping by. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Freehand Quilting

I donated my time to quilt this rather large charity quilt for one of my Montana guilds. I didn't want to use a panto, but I also didn't want to spend too much time doing custom. After I decided how I was going to  quilt each individual block and getting that done, I used
those very same flower motives in my border plan. I used Bethanne Nemesh's book, If You Can Feather, You Can Freehand for the border plan.

 I highly recommend it! Although I have quilted other motives very similar to this it was her book which was the catalyst for me to get this done.

 Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a great quilting day. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

One of many new WIPs

I took a great class last Saturday from a National quilt artist, Barbara Olson 

I am so inspired and motivated now (as if Road 2 CA wasn't enough!). I want to make five of these now. OK maybe not five, but I did learn her process, and I think I can apply it to other images whether it be a photograph, or a drawn image which I have created, or a copyright free image that I find. It was really fun and got my creative juices flowing again!

It is also nice to have something to work on at night so my husband and I can spend some time together watching movies and I can be doing some handwork with this.

I have not been able to do any machine appliqué on this because I do not have a blanket stitch on any of my five yes count them five sewing machines that I have here with me in Montana. I have one machine in Arizona that does a blanket stitch, and I think my daughter may have one that someone left her. So I will be trying to get my hands on that machine soon.

Have you taken any fun new classes lately? I'd love to hear about them. Oh I almost forgot I also started an online class with Lisa Calle, it is called divide and design, and that is for my machine quilting.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Quilting Education and Information

First, here is my latest finish.  I think I showed you my first string quilt earlier, and since I had so many strings left over, I made another.  It was really fun to just stitch away without having to think.  

Now, getting back to the title of this post...
Wow. I have recently allowed myself to dip my big toe back into Facebook and I read a post that mentioned an Academy of Appliqué. So being the curious person I am, I googled that, and came up with not one but two of those. That then led to at least four different online quilt class websites, two of which I had never heard of; Academy of Quilting, and iquilt. Geesh, who knew there was more than Craftsy? So that led me to YouTube, and from there I ended up on some site called, ICAP. International Association of Creative Arts Professionals. WTH? Then there is QNN and the quilting show.  

I feel like I already spend too much online time absorbed in quilty things, and yet I am unearthing so many organizations and classes and people that I feel like I am just a newbie. If you compare names on labels at quilt shows to names of people teaching in person and online...and then there are the!

I don't know why I find this so mystifying and overwhelming. Do you take advantage of these classes and organizations? How did you learn to do what you do? I see that many people offer free tutorials, videos, advice. How do you manage your learning vs. creating time? Does anyone else feel the same way I do?!? 

View from our little California home below.

I attended Road to California a couple weeks ago.  30,000 people.  1000 quilts.  700 vendors.  It was fantastic, and I'll have a post about that next.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

String Quilt Progress

Hello!  I'm having a great time this week finally working on one of my old, old UFOs. I started this string quilt project at least two years ago.  It's moved with me from California to Montana, and traveled back and forth several times, with stops in Arizona and Utah!  One of my favorite quilt projects is a scrap quilt, so when I saw pictures of a string quilt, I jumped on it.  I initially started sorting my scraps by color, but then I pulled my brights together and that seemed a better choice.  
This is my setup at our California rental.  I leave my featherweight here and I'm always so happy when I get to bring it out and use it.  
I use newsprint paper which I cut to 10-1/2" squares, and draw my lines on it to line up my black and white strip.
We are getting some snow here and it's perfect weather for me to enjoy staying inside and sewing.  I didn't bring my boots with me otherwise I would be walking outside.  The snow is coming down so hard that you can't see the mountains on the other side of the valley.

Thanks for checking in!  What are you working on this week?  Send me a link to your blog if I don't already follow you, and I'll stop by your blog!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Party Hosting - Whew!

I hosted two holiday parties this year.  One was a neighborhood get together since we have lived here in Montana for a year now and had not yet met all of our neighbors on our street. The other event was for my daughters birthday.  Christina was born on December 18 so oftentimes her birthday gets added to the holiday mix.  I decided to take advantage of the sparkly decorations and a clean once, entertain multiple times approach.  I also used the same recipes (and some foods) for both parties.  

The festivities began when I hosted a wine tasting party for my daughter's 34th birthday.  We had 11 guests.  I joined a wine club to earn frequent flyer miles and received nine bottles of wines that would not otherwise be available to me here at the grocery stores in Montana.  We printed wine tasting etiquette cards as well as tips on why wines were boldest, etc.  then we made a game for the women to try to guess which unlabeled wine was a merlot, a cab, a Shiraz, etc.  I didn't realize I knew so much about wines and tasting!  Hiccup!

A platter of the mini cheesecake bites I made.  Luckily this is Montana so I was able to make ahead many items and store them in my car for a day or two!

I made chocolate covered pretzels and peanuts 

Cheese, tomatoe, pepperoni and olive spears.  

These salad filled pasta shells were a big hit.  

I made at least six different appetizer platters, too.  Some of the treats were phyllo wrapped asparagus, bruschetta, and salad filled pasta shells.  

For the neighborhood party, we served beer, wine, and more appetizers.  We entertained seven couples.  It as really fun and gives us a nice feeling knowing our neighbors a bit better.  

I went to the local St Vincent de Paul and found six vintage aluminum serving trays for a whopping $22!!  

Thanks for stopping by!!  I hope you had a peaceful holiday.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

Crayon Practice

When I saw Judi Madsen's Bohemian quilt, I knew it would be a perfect layout for some blocks that I had won in a block exchange with friends.  Of course, I knew I would be using many, many of her quilting ideas as well.  She is so talented.  So here it is, Crayon Practice.  My quilting was a lot of practice in ruler work, SID, and just plain custom quilting.

I love the way the texture shows in the sun.

I think my favorite part of the quilt is this little blue border.

I think this quilt will spend most of its time on this wall in our bedroom.  

Here is a shot of the quilt on the quilt hanger my dad made, and in the cabinet below, are some of the quilts I inherited from my husband's family.  


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