Sunday, April 26, 2015

Quilts With A Unique Personality

I am visiting the Friendship Quilters in Oxford, PA on Monday night to present my talk about giving your quilts a unique personality - how to add words to your quilts, how to add photos to your quilts and how to add digital imagery. It's been about 2 years since I have given this talk, so today I am revisiting and updating my power point presentation, adding quilts and subtracting quilts.

Gathering the actual quilts brings so many memories flooding back, because all the quilts have some type of personal meaning to me. This quilt is one of the most special ones. I made it for my father -in -law's 75 th birthday celebration and it is filled with his life stories. I received input from all of his kids, and there are 7 of them. I got to know so much about him and the years before I met him. Everyone at the party signed the blocks in the border.

This quilt went with him each time he moved, thanks to my SIL, Annette. She hung it on the wall and was talked about often. It was hanging in his room in the nursing home where I saw him last, not long after his 90th birthday. He told me then that Annette was to get the quilt after he passed. How could I argue? She was its caretaker.

If you'd like to see more of my quilts and perhaps be inspired to make one of your own, the meeting starts at 7:00PM at Elk Ridge Elementary School in Oxford. Maybe I'll see you there.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


I just looked at the label on the back of the quilt on which I am working.  September 2014! That is the date that this I one of  bound it.  So why am I still quilting it?

I'm trying to resurrect this beautiful dupioni silk quilt.  I did one of those things you should never do as a quilter and I should have known better.  I went to town on the borders and quilted them verrrry heavily.

That in itself would have been fine except the rest of the quilt was not quilted so heavily.  It has ended up being a puffy, billowy, wonky quilt.  I needed to fix it.  With all the time I have spent designing it, putting it together in sections and quilting it, I couldn't relegate it to the back of the closet.

My solution has been to add more quilting to the body of the quilt.  This has been a painstaking, long term project because of the quilting design.  There have been lots of threads to tie off and I am still tying.

Then I will block it and keep my fingers crossed that it lays flat.  After that I can finally embellish it with buttons and beads and sequins, and share the entire quilt.

My time spent quilting and blogging has slowed due to a wonderful opportunity.  I now get to spend 2 days a week with my 18 month old grandson.When he grabs my hand to take me some place, my heart melts.  The same thing happens when he giggles as Bailey eats the bubbles from his bubble lawn mower.  So I could not resist the circus tent during my visit ti IKEA this week.  What kid doesn't love a tent, especially with a dog trying to eat your snack!

It's also time to announce the winner for my Grey Day Giveaway.  Michele T, claim your prize!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Do You IKEA?

I met a colleague for lunch this week ( and it was near IKEA in Conshohocken.  I have been thinking about lighting for my booth at the Syracuse AQS show this summer (yes, I am taking the Curvalicious plunge), so I decided to pop into IKEA.  I have not been there for years.  I need to go more often.  The colors and designs of the Swedish aesthetic just made my heart sing.

 If you live near one, put it on your "to do" list.  If there is not one near you, look for one when you go on vacation. In addition to their modern, inexpensive products, it is a shopping experience as you are directed through the maze of merchandise - everything from furniture to kitchen supplies to children's items to fabric - yes fabric! And don't forget to bring your appetite for their Swedish meatballs.
Here are a bunch of photos.  Tomorrow, I'll show you a photo of what I bought for Henry.

 Modern neutral bedding.  They celebrate grey.

Their displays are a study in color blocking.
 Love this gift wrap.
 I love these lamps, but they don't quite fit into my decor.

Summer anyone?
And fabric! Decorator weight.
 It was hard to take photos.  This pink and orange with these unusual animals was my favorite. (OOps,I had trouble rotating the photo.)  I have become a sucker for orange and pink thanks to a friend of mine.
 And I couldn't leave the store without a treat.

So what did I buy?
- A clock for my still in progress exercise studio
- Hanging clips for my quilts for my booth display
- A lamp to experiment with for my booth
- A bag of Swedish Fish
- A surprise for Henry

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Good Bye Gray Weather Giveaway

Saturday was a beautiful day to go traipsing around Lancaster Country.  The brown fields are starting to turn green.  It was a great day to see the Amish out and about.  There were little boys with their fishing poles on the banks of the streams and horses pulling plows through the fields.

My friend Terry ( and I went to a presentation by the fabric company, Northcott, put on by Burkholders Fabrics.  It was a sold out crowd as we got a sneak peek at fabric that won't be in the stores until this summer.  We also learned a lot about fabric manufacturing.  I was surprised to find out that 95% of our quilting cotton is made in South Korea. 

I met a student of mine at the presentation who brought us over to one of Burkholder's retreat centers, called the Cocalico Quilter's Inn. 

Vicki gave us a grand tour of the sewing room, kitchen, bedrooms and the outdoor living space.
It looks like an awesome place for a retreat for 14-20 people at an extremely reasonable price. The big bonus is you can go shopping at Burkholders starting at 8:00 AM, for forgotten items or that piece of fabric that you need to finish your project.

Of course we had to do a little bit of fabric shopping afterwards.  I bought some Mickey fabric for Henry and some of Northcott's Shimmer to go with this dragonfly fabric.  I love a touch of metallic!

When I got home there was a package I ordered from Massdrop.  I have ordered from them before.  They offer quilting items at reduced prices if enough people order.  They have a variety of items.  This time I ordered these Clover clips.  They are like little clothes pins and are great for bindings and putting in zippers - anywhere pins can get in the way.

To celebrate the end of those gray days and the arrival of Spring, I'm sharing some of the swag from the Northcott presentation  and a few Clover clips for you to try. Sign up to follow me on Bloglovin' (see the sidebar) and leave your email address with your comment.  
Come back on Friday to see if you are the winner.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Visit From Linda Hahn

 Linda Hahn was our guest speaker this month at Calico Cutters Quilt Guild. 
 Her specialty is the NY Beauty quilt and has written 2 books about them.

This is her second book and there are lots of great quilts in it.  I bought it.
I have always wanted to make a NY Beauty quilt, so I signed up for it. 
 This was our project that Linda is holding.

We meet in a fire hall for our workshop. It's a nice big room.  
Linda has developed an easy method to make the block.
I am making my project combining dupioni silk and batiks.  These are my blocks.

This is all of our blocks together.

During the lecture today, she brought tons of  quilts to show the versatility of the NY Beauty.  
Linda has an amazing sense of humor  that she shares on the backs of her quilts.
Bathing Beauties

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lancaster Quilt Show Wrap-Up

Open for business. 
 This is a photo of my booth at the Lancaster quilt show at The Continental. 
The nervousness disappeared as soon as I started my demos and I had a blast! It was 4 days of sharing Curvalicious and how it came to be.  The reception was over the top.  People were surprised at the process.  My favorite moments were when I saw the light bulb moments and the oohs and ahs when I shared the batik Curvalicious quilt top.  But, my absolute best was when a quilter came by at the end of the demo, declaring it was too difficult for her and the other quilters told her in no uncertain terms that it was not difficult at all.  They got it!  131 quilters are converts.  Thank you.  Thank you for believing in my product.

I met so many new people and I have to say that quilters are the best.  You asked about my teaching schedule and that prompted me to get myself organized.  Click on the header above if you're interested in taking a class or hearing a lecture.  I also have to thank all the people I know that stopped by to cheer me on.  I couldn't always chat, but our eyes met and I knew you were there. 
And of course I couldn't do it without my helpers. 
 I love you all.

What's next for Curvalicious after this debut? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ready, Set, Go!

Here's my booth at The Continental on Rte 30 in Lancaster.
I set it up today and Weds morning I will be "open for business" with lots of help from my friends. Thanks goodness for friends, I don't know what I would do without them.
 This side of the booth looks pretty good.
This side is missing something.  It's missing quilts! Five quilts to be exact.  
You can be sure they will be filling those empty spaces early tomorrow morning.
I'll be demoing Curvalicious hourly.

I was so nervous before the booth was set up.  This is my first quilt show and I don't know what to expect.  So, the question is why do I keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone? I know lots of other people do this too.  Why? Can't I just be happy staying in my studio creating quilts? 

Some days I get this huge burst of confidence and commit to participating in a new project.  Then as the time is near, my confidence starts to evaporate and I start to panic. I get nervous and stressed out and start to curse.... a lot.  How did I get myself in this situation? 

Please pardon my last minute jitters.  As they say in show biz, as soon as the curtain goes up, I'll be fine.
Then I'll end up putting myself in this stressful position again.  Why?