Meet Romy

We are going to take a break from all things quilting related today to take time to introduce you to our new puppy.

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Her name is Agent Romanov, aka Romy.   If you aren’t an Avengers fan, you probably don’t know who Agent Romanov is, but let’s just say there is a certain 40-year-old male that lives in this house who is a BIG fan of practically all comic book movies.  And, no matter how much fun is made of him by a certain female that lives in this house, he still watches all the Marvel comic book movies over and over (and over again.)   So, after the puppy went almost a full week without a name, we decided that Romy was the favorite  – and not because Scarlet Johansson is our favorite actress – but we thought the name was unique and cute.  (A special thanks to SIL Andrea for the idea).


Romy is a German Shorthair Pointer.  She is the same breed as our last dog, but this time Joel decided to get a black one instead of a brown one.  They are a little more unusual and so far many people have confused her with a Springer Spaniel.  Those of you who are GSP people probably won’t have that trouble, as you will recognize the GSP build.  We even had one little girl think she was a Dalmatian.  Whatever she is, you may recognize the family resemblance – as she and Joel have matching white chins.


This is the first photo of Carter meeting Romy.  He was pretty excited when Joel brought her home!


He’s always excited to see her  – Though it is usually followed by this face, as Romy goes in for a lick and Carter tries to get out of the way.  (sorry for the bad iphone photos)



Romy is now 12 weeks old and has already grown quite a bit from when this picture was taken (about a month or so ago)



Carter and Romy have gotten along pretty well, but there has been a little of this . . .  Carter does not always want to share his toys.


There has also been a little jealousy on Carter’s part – mainly where Dad is concerned.  When Joel is holding or petting the puppy, Carter comes running and says “Catch” – That means he wants to be held or picked up.




This picture has nothing to do with the dog – I just thought it was so cute.



The main issue with the dog has been nipping.  This isn’t a very good photo, but check out those teeth.  They are super sharp and Romy is constantly jumping on Carter and grabbing hold of whatever she can.


Initially it was Carter’s ears  – thus the big cap with the flaps in a previous photo.  Now it is usually his shirt – thus many t-shirts with holes in the back.  We are constantly after her to get down.  In fact, if you ask Carter what his new puppy’s name is, he says “Sit Down, Puppy”.  Every. Time.  It’s pretty funny.  Joel’s sister warned us that we need to make sure that Romy understands that Carter isn’t his litter mate, which is exactly how she acts with him.  We have a local “dog whisperer” coming in a few days to help us out with this issue, but otherwise it is going well.


One last photo of something for Joel and I to remember.  Carter was playing Playdough, with Romy perched up on the table watching.   It was cute until Carter leaned forward, stuck his face into Romy’s food dish and took several large licks.


As you can see, I was knitting so it happened before I could get over there to stop him.  It was empty, but still.  Yuck – and I’m sure it won’t be the last time!





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More Winners and More Runners

I’ll start by announcing the winners from my last post.  The two lucky people who were  selected are:  (and by the way, winners aren’t selected based on their comments, but are randomly selected from the pool of commenters.)

Molly Augustine and Barb Lyons!  Please email your shipping addresses to:

Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway.  The favorite runners from the post (by a landslide) were “Spinners” and “Nordic Stars.”


I have currently been working on quilting and binding all the runners made by the testers.  I have had lots of shops requesting trunk shows from the book, so I need to get the runners all finished and shipped out tomorrow.  I am trying to get them photographed to share with you, but the weather here isn’t cooperating too well.  It’s either too sunny, raining, or too windy, so I will share a couple today and more as I get the photos done.

The first one is the Spinners Topper.



This one is made using Basic Grey’s new Christmas line – 25th and Pine.  (I don’t think the yardage is out yet, so I used prints from my stash for the border and binding).

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Here’s a shot of the original, just for comparison’s sake.  They are pretty similar, but the binding on the new one is way better.  I was running low on stripes for bindings when I did the original.  I may have to take that off and change it!

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The second one for today is the “Bookends” runner.  As you can see in the background, it is an absolutely gorgeous day here in Minnesota.  It makes me want to go by some plants and get my pots done.  We had frost warnings here in MN last week, so I haven’t done it yet.



Back to the runner – It is mostly made with prints from my Summer House line.  (They aren’t quite this bright in person, but photographing in bright sunlight will do that to some fabrics)



Honestly, I prefer the original one from the book.  I think the darker background makes for a much more dramatic runner.  Just a thought for those of you who were thinking of trying it.   I actually made the one above first and was going to leave it out of the book.   But, after some contemplation and a little fabric shopping, I decided what it really needed was different fabric.

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All for now – I’m off to get a little more work done before Carter wakes up.  Then we really need to go for a walk and take advantage of this nice day!  I will try to get some pictures while we are out so you can meet our new puppy.


Posted in Machine Quilting, Quilting | Tagged , | 5 Comments

On The Run Again Preview – Part 2

Back for Part 2!

First, let’s start with a couple randomly selected winners from the last post.

#1 – Kris Pedrow and #2 Sunnybec.

Just send me your shipping address and I will mail out a copy of the new book (below).  My email is

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I really appreciate all the feedback from the last post!  I am always so curious to see if what everyone likes is what my guess would be (or not).  The favorite runners from the post were Chatterbox and Awesome Blossom.


Let’s continue taking the tour around my “booth”.

I have to say – maybe this way isn’t so bad.  I am able to have a much nicer furniture and room settings than I could ever have in my little 10′ x 20′ market booth!


#9 – Nordic Stars

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I rarely do quilts that aren’t totally scrappy, but I am loving the red and white, with just a touch of blue.

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I also think the stripe binding is important on this one.  It just adds to the drama, while keeping the color combo simple and dramatic.

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#10 – Divine.    Precut used:  10″ squares

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I am loving anything with 60-degree angles lately, and this runner is yet another example.  After making so many quilts over the last 17 years, I get a little bored with only 90 and 45-degree corners.

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All of the runners in the book that have 60-degree angles use this ruler by Creative Grids.  It’s one of the most popular rulers on the market, so I know a lot of you already have it in your ruler stash.  (It’s also the same one that I used in my Sizzlin’ Sixties book.)


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#11 – Happy Dance.   Precut Used:  Fat Eighth

I wanted to include one or two photos with a kid or two as props.  I’m not sure why I decided to use a setting with 4 moving props, tempting cupcakes and noisy blowers.  My husband just thinks I am a glutton for punishment!  I took tons of photos and not one had all of the kids smiling.  I ended up having to switch a few heads around to get this shot.


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It was still fun though and I like the some of the action shots too.

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This is one of only 2 shots where Carter smiled for me.  I guess the sugar was starting to kick in – as you can see his cupcake no longer has any frosting left.  We got chocolate cake and colored frosting all over my sisters dining room.  Oops!


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I’m guessing you were busy looking at the kids in the last few shots and didn’t even notice the runner, so here is a close-up of just the runner

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#12 –  The pattern also comes in a topper size.

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It’s made using 4 fat eighths and a bit of binding.

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#13 – Venetian Tiles.    Precut Used:  Fat Eighth

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This is a great starter project if you want to give 60-degree angles a try.

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BTW – I love this color combination – if you couldn’t tell from all the things I have been making lately with these colors.



#14 – Spinners.   Precut Used = 10″ squares

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This is probably my favorite runner from the book.  It combines hexagons with 60-degree triangles, so two of my favorite shapes in one block.  (Have I mentioned that Carter likes shapes too?  and that Hexagon and Zig Zag are some of his favorites?  Yeah – you can tell he is spending a little time in my sewing room, can’t you?)


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Despite looking difficult, this block isn’t too bad.  Each block only has 13 pieces.  That is only a few more than a simple 9-patch block and isn’t this block so much more interesting than a 9-patch?  Also, none of the seams are set in.  I have an easy technique to avoid such evil things.


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Lastly, #15 – the Topper Variation of the Spinners pattern.  The perfect way to give the block a try.

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Wow!  That was a lot of photos to make it through.  For those of you who are still here, I will give away a couple more books from this post.  Just leave a comment to be entered to win.  Like last time, I would be interested to know which is your fav

Thanks for playing along!


You can click here to order a copy of this book.

Posted in Decorating, Machine Quilting, Pattern of the Week, Quilting | Tagged , , , , , , | 204 Comments

On the Run Again Preview

The last weeks have been a whirlwind – getting everything ready for market, finishing the book and getting all of the promotional stuff done, traveling and speaking for work, etc, etc.    I’m so happy to say that the binding will go on the last quilt today, and with this blog post, the last of my major promotional work will be done.  Yeah!

That means that I am skipping quilt market this spring.  There are good and bad things about that.  It’s so much work to go – so while my fellow designers still have all that work to do, I will be staying home with Carter.  The bad part is I don’t get to meet up with all the shop owners and industry people.  It’s a hard decision not to go, but it’s also hard to go when you have little kids.  A constant balancing act – as many of you know (or remember from when your kids were younger).

So this blog post will have to suffice as a tour around my “market booth” and the comments section will have to suffice as the conversation that might happen in the market booth.  As you approach the booth, I would say something like – “Would you like to come in and see our new book?”  Hopefully you would say something like “Yes, please,” and step in to take a look.  I would then hand you a copy of the book – (see cover below)

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I would then explain that the book contains 15 designs – all runners or toppers – using your favorite Precuts.  It’s a follow up to our popular “On the Run” book, which has the same theme but is about 100 books shy of being out of print.  The back cover gives you a quick glimpse at a few of the projects from the book.

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Step inside and let’s take a closer look . . . .


The runner from the cover – “Granny Square Stars”.

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It’s made using 1 charm pack and a little bit of background.  The larger size can be used for a bed runner and the smaller size for tables.


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#2 – Fresh Connection, also made with a charm pack.

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Simple, yet lovely – especially if you have this blue dresser.  (If the dresser goes missing from my SIL’s house, you know where to find it.)

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#3 Chatter Box  – also Charm Friendly.

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Such a graphic block!

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And now the Jelly Roll Friendly Runners -

#4 – Book Ends

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Perfect for Jelly Roll Scraps – Or you can make 5 runners from one Jelly Roll if you want to assembly line some gifts.

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I have to say this little quilt has the most thread color changes I have ever done on a quilt (14).  But it was worth it!


#5-7  Awesome Blossom – Available in 3 size options because I couldn’t decide which one I liked best ;-)

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This pieced flower looks complicated – but I have a couple techniques that simplify the process.  It begins with a simple strip unit and a 60-degree triangle ruler (I used the Creative Grids 60-degree ruler).  The second easy technique used is the folded corner technique.  Plus, every seam nests.  I love when that happens because I hate pinning!

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The second size option is this unique shape -

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And the third option is this topper -

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Very addicting, this one is.


#8 – Framed Florals.  This runner uses assorted scraps or 10″ Layer Cake Squares.

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I think that’s enough pictures for one day!  I will work on Part 2 for next week.

In the meantime, I will be giving away a couple copies of the book.  To enter, just leave a comment saying which of the runners is your favorite.  Thanks!


Click here is you are interested in ordering the book.  Have a great weekend!


Posted in Machine Quilting, Pattern of the Week, Quilting | Tagged , , , , , | 210 Comments

Flashback Friday

Happy Friday Everyone -

After my last post, I’m not sounding like a very good parent, am I?  From letting my son play with pins, to the colorful language.  Does it help if I explain that he only gets to play with pins at the table with me sitting next to him?  Or that the language doesn’t get any more colorful than what I mentioned?  I did enjoy reading the comments and I think I may have to take Carrie’s suggestion and start watching some cartoons to learn some better phrases to use in front of my son!  I also appreciated that there were others who thought that loving washing machines was normal and I loved hearing the stories about the couch and the lawnmower.  Kids are funny, aren’t they. . . . .

As part of Flashback Friday, I want to share this video of Carter from almost a year ago.  He was 11 months old at the time and it is one of my favorites.  (I can’t seem to figure out how to insert the video clip, so click the link above, rather than the picture).

For my quilt related part of Flashback Friday, I want to revisit a favorite quilt pattern.  It’s from my book Living Large 2  and it’s called Starlit Evening.

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The original quilt featured in the book uses an older fabric line from Bonnie and Camille called “Bliss”.   I have loved this design and the fabrics fro the beginning, but I think my favorite part about the pattern is the technique used to make it.  It looks really difficult, but it is made from simple strip units!  Can you spot the strip unit?  They are kind of hiding, so you will just have to trust me on the fact that each block starts as a strip unit.  In addition to using strip units, I also love the fact that every single one of  those intersections nest. So no pinning, with better results in less time.

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The thing that got me thinking about this design again, was a blog post by Cindy of Hyacinth Quilt Designs.  I’ve mentioned before that her blog is a favorite of mine and her version of my Starlit Evening pattern is the perfect example of why.  It makes me want to make this pattern again in these fabric!

If you want to visit her blog to find out the rest of the details on her quilt, click here.  A special thanks to Cindy for letting me link over – and while you are there, take a look around ;-)


I have made this pattern a few other times – like this one made with our Whimsy fabric line.



The book features 3 size options, including this tree skirt

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My mom also used this pattern when she redid her room a while back (link to that post here)



I am always amazed by how different fabrics can change a quilt pattern.  The possibility of so many fun color combinations always inspires me!

If you are interested in the pattern, you can find the book on sale here.


Have a great weekend!



Posted in Family, Pattern of the Week | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Carter’s 21 Month Pictures

Every few months I have been posting a few pictures of Carter.  The problem this time, was when I went to look in his folder of 21 month pictures, there weren’t any!  When he was younger,  I had a folder full for each month.  I guess blogging isn’t the only thing that has gone by the way side with my work deadlines.  Time to start getting the camera out again!  Now, if only I could get him to sit still!  Most of the ones I have taken have turned out too blurry to keep :-(


Here are the few I had  –  Along with a few notes to help me remember this stage in his life:

He still likes to sit and play with dice.  He also likes to color, paint, and do puzzles, though each thing only lasts about 10 minutes.


He still looks handsome in blue -

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Though he is looking less like his Daddy  (and a little more like me.)

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He loves to wear his boots and “po” pants.  His favorite things to do outside are play bubbles and dig in the dirt.  He actually prefers this over riding his battery operated 4-wheeler !?!?

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I think his favorite thing in the world is still the washing machine.  He loves to help put clothes in the machine and push the buttons.  In fact, we were at a home show the other week and I could hardly keep him out of one of the appliance booths.  He even got his shirt off before I could stop him, and was trying to get the door open so he could start a load of laundry.  He also prefers the laundry soap section at Target to the toy section.  I’m not sure if I should be alarmed by that, or think it’s funny.

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He has never been big on traditional toys, but he loves machines.  We heard a story the other day from a guy who buys an old washing machine or something when his grandsons are coming over.  They get to take the whole thing apart, and then he just throws it away.  So I guess Carter isn’t the only one!   It makes it a challenge for me to keep him entertained, as we don’t have a lot of machine laying around here.  He still loves drills and playing with my sewing machine.  He loves stacking up bobbins, and as I discovered yesterday, sticking pins into any opening in the machine that he can get them in.  Oh crap, right?  Which is exactly what he said.   Yes, he is repeating everything we say, whether we want him to or not.  He knows he isn’t supposed to say that, so he follows it up with, “Oh, funny.”   He says the “Oh Crap,” with such conviction, that we find it hard to hide our smirks, and apparently he knows it.   We just can’t get by with anything!   I’m sure many of you have similar stories.


All for now –  I will try to get some more pictures soon!


Posted in Family | 22 Comments

Flashback Friday

Before I start my post, I just want to thank everyone for the nice comments and emails on my last post.  We really appreciate all the prayers and support.   A couple of you voiced concern about Carter being disappointed that the baby wasn’t a puppy (see the video), but a new puppy is arriving in May.  That gives us just a couple months to have it trained before the baby comes.  Good luck with that, right?


Today I wanted to share this little article that showed up in my favorite quilting magazine  – American Patchwork and Quilting.  The article is called Favorite Finds.


Look what they happen to feature?  My book “Angles with Ease” and the companion ruler, the Triangler.  I was super excited to have them feature it in the article, along with a nice picture from the book.



This article got me thinking.  Wouldn’t it be fun to have Flashback Friday every so often and revisit a few of my favorite quilts from the past??  And wouldn’t it be even more fun if that item was on sale in my shop?


So here goes – A few of my favorite projects from the Angles with Ease book, featured in the APQ article.


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Calypso (made with the scraps from Cosmo)

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Spin Cycle

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Winter Solstice

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Baby Juiper

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Honeycomb Bloomers


Rising Star Topper

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There are many more projects from the book, so for those of you who aren’t familiar with the book, you can see the rest of the projects here and here.

Click to see the sale on the book and ruler in my shop.


Thanks for stopping by and have a nice weekend!


Posted in Pattern of the Week, Quilting | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments