Sunday, July 20, 2014

Color Challenge Quilt - finished!

My color challenge quilt top, started two years ago, is finally finished! Shown below are just the blocks on my design wall - not sewn together yet.

Each block is a challenge (given by Victoria of 15 Minutes Play blog) to work with a certain "difficult to love" color - like mauve, dusty blue, and rust. Here are my finished blocks. Love that X-pattern block.
The next challenge - how to set them into a top. Simply, in 4 rows? With sashing? Or?

After trying several layouts, I was happy with this arrangement. Then I decided to add some - lots of - triangles - and had to plan something for all that empty space, and the corner blocks.

I auditioned several solid fabrics for these large areas, but they just "sat there". I used a number of different beiges and grays, with little inserts of my colors, and voila!

Love how this is coming along. But now - the corner blocks, what there? I decided on a New York Beauty block, which I drafted to be the correct size. I thought I knew exactly how I was going to make them! But plans can change.

I paper pieced the arcs, which worked great.

This is my failed plan - I thought I would use all of my "ugly" colors for the arcs of the block, but was not feeling the love.  So, I made fabric to fill each arc.

Much better. Each corner block has a different colored arc.

Finished quilt top! Sorry it is a little dark, it is a lovely day today, but overcast.  On the right is my favorite hydrangea plant, called Incrediball.
I was able to show this at a nearby quilt guild meeting where Victoria was lecturing! Wish I had pictures from that event.

Dora had to get into the last picture.  I love how this turned out - lots of fun, learned a lot. Next step - sending it out for machine quilting!

Class play

 Student work from Prairie Quilt Guild in Naperville, IL.  Thanks ladies for a fun class!
Stars oh my! Love that batik setting fabric!

Mini's being made on a Featherweight, with matching table! Isn't that just the cutest thing you've seen?

 Hexagon Love...

 Repro mini's! Love these! Make more! Make more!

 Y seams, and Hallowen made fabric with itty bitty pieces....

 Super adorable repro's... that aqua and brown is just so yummy!

Chris Surprised me and brought in her BEE quilt from this site! Do you see your block in there? adorable!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

new works

Julie from my workshop in Wisconsin, finished her little piece for the office!  Sweet! I love seeing your finished pieces!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014



It's a fun subject to dive into... I can start with one idea and spin it into 20, and then I have a conundrum, because I have some many to choose from... Usually though, the one I go with is the one that I can tell a story with.

We all get inspired by many different things during the day, but which do you act on? How do you narrow down the one you will start to gather fabrics for?

For me, I don't often wait for inspiration to hit, I make my inspiration, in my fabrics... By putting my scrap together, I wait for something to spark me. something that will get my head spinning, with all the "what if" questions.

In my last class at the Wisconsin Quilt Museum, we had so much fun asking those questions...  I often find people start with their first idea, and don't push any further. Most of the time that is OK, But sometimes, people want to know how to push further...

Play out all the options.

Change the way you approach your design wall.
Change the way you put your fabrics together.
Change the way you see and think.

There were many fun fabrics going to gather into some very interesting new layouts.

I hope some of these will inspire you.

In fact, That is a good challenge!
Can you be inspired to try something based, on the images you see here in this post?
Is there a color palette, a block, and pattern that is being played out that you can spin add your story and turn it into something YOU?

I challenge you!!

Start by designing a 12.5" block.
Can you take that and turn it into a larger quilt. Either by repeating the block,
or turning it into a medallion?
Turn them on point and make a new design? How do you fill the empty spaces?
What if you....
How will you answer that question?

Go for it.
I dare you.


I'm off on the road for the summer, I just wrapped up lectures and classes and the opening of my Traditions Made Modern exhibit of 12 Double Wedding Ring Quilts.  See? Play it out, you will get loads of ideas, and what If you made all the ideas you had? LOL, one might think your crazy...  haha!
The book on this series will be out in January. If you can't get to the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts to see them, The book will be here soon enough.  
 I will have PRE ORDERS soon on my website.... SIGNED COPIES...    

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

15MP at Quiltcon

I'm officially "in" for the 15MP workshop at QuiltCon, in Austin, TX, (Feb. 2015), yay!
Who else is going to QuiltCon?
Looking forward to meeting more 15MP peeps in person!


Friday, June 6, 2014

new bits!

Donna in Wisconsin, sent me some shots of her new fun quilt! She says:

An I Spy quilt that I couldn't bear to toss so I just started sewing them together until I got a five inch square. I was between projects so I'd do a little bit each night. All of a sudden I had 70 5 inch squares! Most of the squares average about 14 pieces in them. A few have 22 pieces. I love my quilt made with made fabric. Thanks for the inspiration, and you are mentioned on the label on the back.

I will see you in Cedarburg, WI on the 27th of June,

See YOU in Wisconsin!!!

You can still attend the Lecture on June 27th,(we have a nice big space)at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts!
Come see my new series of 12 Double Wedding Rings, Three of my Grandmother's Quilts that were inspiration for some , and 4 of my big Star quilts!
Also, Sunday the 29th,is the Big official opening party for TRADITIONS! 12pm! 

See you there!
Tickets for the lecture can be purchased here.
If you are a member of the Museum, details here for the Special member talk with the DWR quilts.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Redbuds Revisited


I shared the first two photos earlier, but I wanted to share the progress.  I also had shared the story of my love of the redbud trees in early spring in Virginia, when winter is still lingering, but the redbud trees, which grow wild along the road, are bright unexpected busrts of color as you whiz by. The new brown represent the tree trunks, the pale greens are the first blooms of spring, and the grays are the roads.  I had hoped to get the quilting done this week, but flu has slowed me down.

Yellow Bears Paw-- Scrap Bee from 2011!!

Hi All~
I finally made my Scrap Bee blocks into a quilt:
 The centers of each bears paw came from the members of the Scrap Bee, 2011.  (My month was March).  Thanks Ladies!  The quilt came out great.  Do you recognize your blocks?

Monday, May 19, 2014


There has been loads of PLAYING GOING ON! I love seeing what you are making in the 15 Minutes of play style. Please keep sending me pics of your work! 

Judy T. made this As part of a challenge  for Chicago.  It's based on the Picasso statue in downtown Chicago!
Clever, right? Way to go Judy!!!

 These girls learned to sew scraps and made lovely quilts!
The students attend Moorestown Friends School Moorestown , NJ.  Every year for one week the school suspends classes for one week and the students participate in an Intensive Learning Program.  They do everything from blacksmithing, boatbuilding, travel to different parts of the world and participate in service projects, drama productions that have to staged in one week, study of zoos, study of prisons and of course, Quilting.  So in one week the students made these quilts which were donated to Project Linus, a zippered bag filled with toiletries for Ronald Mc Donald House and pillowcase for ConKerr Cancer.  They designed, sewed, machine quilted them at Olde City Quilts in Burlington, NJ., did the binding and a label!!  

Thank you Linda for sharing and sharing quilting with these girls!

and Jo from New Zealand, made this scrappy joyful quilt after hearing her friends talk about 15Minutes of play, she dove in and created this! Very Nicely done!!! Thanks Jo for sharing!!

Have something else to share with me from 15 Minutes of play? Email me!


Hope to see many of you in Wisconsin or at any of my summer teaching trip, locations! 
Check out my calendar of events here:

June 7th, Eastern Long Island Quilters, Riverhead,NY
June 25 Exhibit TRADITIONS" opens including Victoria's 12 Double Wedding Rings Traditions Made Modern exhibit Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts
June 27 Member only: Victoria's DWR lecture at the Wisconsin Quilt Museum  4pm
June 27: Victoria's Lecture 15 Minutes of Play: Open to all register here:Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts 
June 28: 15 Minutes of play at the Wisconsin Quilt Museum, SOLD OUT
June 29th: TRADITIONS: Opening reception at 12pm at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts
July 8-9 Prairie Quilt Guild, Wichita, KS
July 11-12 Thimble & Thread, St. Louis, MO
July 14-15 Kaw Valley Quilters, Lawrence, KS
July 17-18 Pride of the Prairie Quilters, Naperville, IL

July 20-26 Quilting by the Lake, Registration is OPEN NOW!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Gail's Challenge!

I had great fun thinking of Spring things to create and how to adapt the block. I hope it is fairly obvious what I have done as I'm not very technical and have no clue how to insert diagrams or even multiple photos!

It is a wall hanging for a hallway in our house. It is 125cm by 30cm. I have used made fabric trimmed square for the leaves. The Ladybird is made using your technique of pentagons as starters - the pentagons being the spots. It is quilted with wavy lines in silver thread to be like the Spring dew.

I took the photo on a patch of daisies, growing in the grass verge in between the road and pavement, outside our house.

Best wishes, Gill (London, UK)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sweet idea!

 I have been playing with lots of scraps. When I decided to set up a sewing room my blocks from playing have come in handy. I framed up two of them in inexpensive IKEA frames. I will also be able to change them seasonally. ~Kathryn A.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Fun to see!

Loraine brought her top over for me to see when she took my Double wedding ring class. I love the scrappy background and all her made fabric blocks!
And this was her DWR quilt!
Well done Loraine!