Monday, January 27, 2014


Unfortunately tonight's Mad City Quilt Guild was cancelled due to dangerously cold temperatures.

Major bummer. No paper piecing demo for me. I can't wait for our cold snap to break, because this weather is unbearable. :/

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Saturday Sewing Solitary Style

Last week, after spending 5 days at retreat sewing with 40 ladies, I took a little time on Saturday to be by myself. It was almost like my own personal retreat, because I didn't really do anything else all day except create.  

The most important project of the day was to prep for a paper piecing demo I am doing on Monday night for the Mad City Quilt Guild.  We are having a 'Schoolhouse' night.  Four people are presenting on different topics.  The members divide into 4 groups and rotate through each presenter's station.  I only have 15 minutes to explain paper piecing!  Gulp!  This is going to be hard!  My plan is to display a string of flying geese at each step of the process.

Over 1 year ago, I made a Circle of Geese mini quilt.  It was done except for having the binding hand stitched.  It's a great sample for my presentation, so I took the time to finish it.  Hmm.  The chalk marks are showing up in this picture?

Next up was to work on using up scraps in Rainbow String Blocks.  My scrap bins are overflowing, so I thought this quilt would help tame them.  Four blue blocks later and there isn't a visible difference. =(  I was thinking I would make 12 diamonds and donate it to charity.

Last up was to work on my Cartwheel quilt.  I got the quadrants complete on block number 10.  Only 2 more blocks after that!  Yay!

And that is when I was too tired to sew any more.  What a great day!


Friday, January 24, 2014

Retreat extras

On my last post, I had so many projects to share, there wasn't room for all kinds of other things that happened at Retreat.  Here are some photos of other people and their projects:

Mary treated us to Danish Pancakes on Thursdy morning.  DELICIOUS!!!

Chris had the ultimate quilting ensemble: t-shirt, earrings, necklace, 'stole'

Heather got straight to work and was cranking out lots of great stuff!

I spent some time working with Gena and Betty on how to paper piece.  They loved it!!

Chris was working on using some blocks that were given to her.  They look fantastic in her setting!

Fabric Bowls became a virus that spread around the room  Several people made one.  FUN!

Here is a photo of the retreat room bustling with activity:

This is a panorama of our show and tell on Saturday night:

I already can't wait for next year!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Retreat Wrap Up!!!

I'm excited to share stories and projects that I worked on at my annual retreat at Lutherdale Bible Camp in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.  This is my 6th year (I think?) going and I had a great time!

Per usual, I brought a million projects to work on:
(that is only the luggage for projects! no machine/cutting mat/notions/etc)

Not per usual, I feel like I got my fill of sewing!  For the first time, I arrived on Wednesday, instead of Thursday and that made all the difference.  In the past, I felt like by Sunday, I was just hitting my stride and it was time to pack up.  This year, I was sewed out by mid-day on Sunday.  Yay!

The biggest project I worked on was a bed quilt for Sylvie (friend's 10 year old daughter).  This quilt has been taking much longer than I expected and I really wanted to be able to wrap it up.  It still needs borders, but I'm thrilled to have accomplished as much as I did.  I spent half of Thursday and ALL of Friday working on it.  By all, I mean 8 am to 11 pm!!! Yikes!  Here it is:

Quilt retreats are like marathons.  You don't want to start running at full speed.  You need a warm up!  My warm up was to do a few more blocks on my Cartwheels quilt.  I'm up to 9 blocks complete and want to do at least 3 more.
(pardon the instagram filter-- this photo is a bit washed out)

As a bit of  late night diversion, I decided to attempt a fabric bowl.  I started this at midnight on Thursday night!! What was I thinking?? My hand eye coordination wasn't quite there... (it turned out ok)

At some point on Saturday early evening, I started to put my Catvent cats together.  CATVENT! Oh, how I love Catvent.  Maybe when I quilt it, I can tell the story of Catvent. For now, let's suffice to say it is a fun quilt.

Saturday night-- I told myself I would go to bed early (most nights I wasn't in bed until 1 am).  It didn't happen! At 11.30, tons of people were super focused on their sewing.  As Anna described it, "It's like a quilting sweatshop!" =)  I decided to prep some things for Sunday.  One thing led to another and I sewed 2 scrappy string blocks. And then did 6 more on Sunday morning!   My plan is to only use cool colors and make a quilt to donate to a charity.

This is a mighty long post.  I think I've covered the projects I worked on.  In another post, I plan to share some photos of the retreat and other people's projects.


Monday, January 13, 2014

A modern day in Cedarburg

Yesterday, The Wisconsin Quilt Museum in Cedarburg hosted an event called "A Menu of Modern". It was a lecture, trunk show and panel discussion by 4 area modern quilters:

The first to present were Lee and Faith.  They co-wrote a new book, Vintage Quilt Revival.  They showed many quilts from the book (and then some!).  I really liked how they discussed elements of design and when to break the rules. 

Next up was Madison's own Jeni!  She was bubbly and energetic and everybody loved her.

Last to speak was Jacquie and she blew us all away.  Her talk was from the heart and we all were moved with the stories of her experiences. In March, I'm signed up for a workshop with her and I can't wait!!

I like how this next photo shows Jacquie's energy!

I'll leave you with a few of my favorite quilts from the exhibit:


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Stash

This morning as I read the latest Molli Sparkles post, I thought, "hmmm, too bad I didn't buy anything this week to have a Sunday Stash post."  Then I walked through my living room and saw the bag from Wisconsin Quilt Museum from the day before.  How could I have forgotten the splurges that I purchased 18 hours before??

While attending the lecture/trunk show/panel discussion called "A Menu of Modern" (Lee Heinrich/Freshly Pieced, Faith Jones/Fresh Lemons Quilts, Jeni Baker/In Color Order, Jacqui Gering/Tallgrass Prairie Studio),  I picked up several goodies from the gift shop.

-1 yard each of ombres in blue and green.  Molli Sparkles made that amazing A Lot of Look quilt with ombres, maybe I can create something along those lines?
 - a mini 2 inch acrylic ruler (good for knitting)
-a Lantern Moon retractable measuring tape with a knit cover made to look like a leaf (also for the knitting bag)
-package of Thimble it sticky finger protectors to use instead of thimbles
-pretty, pearly head Splendid Spears pins

Then from each of the speakers I have a little something:
Lee and Faith: I got a signed copy of their book Vintage Quilt Revival!
Jacquie: Only a craftsy coupon-- BUT, she's coming to Madison in March and I'll get her book then. =)
Jeni: A George Pillow pattern!!!

I'll chronicle the rest of my day at the quilt museum in another post.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Quilty Tuesday

I had a lovely Tuesday this week!

Why? I took a day off of work to see Jeni Baker speak at the afternoon meeting of the Mad City Quilt Guild.  Her talk was titled "Journey of a Modern Quilter" and it was a lot of fun for everyone.  I overheard great comments from members on how nice it was to see new trends, different color styles and all of the energy and enthusiasm that Jeni brought to the meeting.

I completed my Nordika Mega Pinnie in time for show and tell!  Hooray!  Isn't it cute? =)

The Mad Mod meeting is this Thursday and we are making Icky Thump blocks for the block lotto.  I finished my block only to realize that I sewed the quadrants together wrong.  I took my lumps and ripped it out.  Here is the 'after' version:

Lastly, I emptied a spool!  I love it when I get to this point.  A lot of sewing happened to get to this point.  This means I get to start Retreat with a fresh spool...IN SEVEN DAYS! Retreat is only 7 days away!  The countdown has begun!


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Quiet Saturday

Sew Happy to be Quilting!

I enjoy using this mug for my morning coffee on the weekends, especially when I get putter about in my sewing room. I didn't accomplish a lot yesterday, but I made a little progress several things. Including some work on my blog format.  It took forever,  but I managed (with a lot of help from Heather) to get the Instagram and Pinterest buttons set up on my sidebar.

While on retreat (in less than 2 weeks!!!), I want to work on my Cartwheel quilt. It's been a while since I have touched it, so I thought I would get reaquainted. After making one block, I had an idea of how to cut some of the fabric in order to have less waste. That prompted me to test the method-- I had to start another block.  So far, it is working out great!


The little mini I started in December to decorate my cube has been taking up space on my ironing board. I finished up the top --baby steps! Maybe I'll quilt it at retreat? 

Late in the day, I got it in my head that I should start a new project. Now! What was I thinking? Inspiration doesn't wait for anyone! Bonnie Hunter shared this pincushion on FB yesterday and I thought it would be a good place to use some of my Jeni Baker Nordika that I bought last year. 

All in all a nice Saturday!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Crafty Goals for 2014

Frequently I write 'To Do' lists to help me keep on task with what needs to be done.  Does it help? Probably not, but it does feel good to be able to check things off!  I'll take a stab at a 2014 crafty 'to do' list:


Finish making scrappy boxes

I've got a good rainbow going, but there is a yellow slab that is ready to be constructed into a box and I still want to make a red, brown, black and grey box.  Whew.  This list isn't starting out well...

Finish Sylvie's Quilt.

I wanted to have it done for her for Christmas but it wasn't meant to be.  Hopefully I can have the top done at my retreat?

Quilt my bed quilt

I'm stuck with this top.  I want it to be quilted very well and that has me frozen.  I don't want to disappoint myself!  I know, I know...just dive in and quilt it so I can use it.

Quilt my civil war-ish top

Hmmmm.  I can't find a picture of it...
I'm dying to do beautiful flowing feathers and I have another case of fear of messing it up.  I wish I could quilt frequently, so I would have more confidence (and practice!)

You know, basically I want to quilt anything that I have completed as a top!

Star BomB

Mariner's Compass wallhanging

Finish piecing and then quilt:

  • Catvent 
  • Cartwheels
  • Modern Illustrated top 
  • Asterisks

Re-Discover my Dear Jane


Much simpler!  I want to finish the world's cutest baby tank and then make a small dent in my yarn stash, so I can justify adding any new luscious yarn.  I'm out of storage space right now!

I'm sure there are other things that I'll be inspired by this year and will be distracted...excited to work on!  If I could complete this list I would be incredibly satisfied.  =)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A little shopping...

I wasn't able to do any sewing today, but I did get to shop and that's not too shabby.

I'm working on the Cartwheel pattern from Lee at Freshly Pieced. Here is a picture of the 4 blocks I have so far:

While prepping for my upcoming retreat, I realized that I didn't have very much yardage left of my background fabric.  Why can't I plan better?  Never fear! I bought that fabric (Kona neon-ish green) at Hobby Lobby and one beautiful thing about Hobby Lobby - they keep the same stock for a loooooong time!  I stopped there today to get more (3 yards-- I will NOT run out!) and also got a bit of a fun grey and a turquoise print.

After that, I went to Stitcher's Crossing to get a few things.  I ended up with many things!

-A new spool of thread- quilt retreat is coming up and I can't dare run out of that!
-1/2 yard more of the grey Art Gallery blender I'm using in my Catvent. I want to make an 'Up Up and Away' Mini with the bonus triangles from the cat's ears and I'm not sure if I have enough background purchased.

-The wackiest Alexander Henry Print I've ever seen!

-3 books (I will talk more of them later...It's a surprise!)
-Foundation paper (see cartwheel + retreat above)

So Exciting! If only I had the energy to get crafty tonight.  It will have to wait until tomorrow or Saturday.