Too Cute

With quilt market only two weeks away, it’s been a whirl wind around here.  The patterns are almost done and I hope to get the booth planned out Monday.  What a relief that will be!  I plan to show the new patterns next week, so stop back for a chance to win a copy.

In the meantime, I did take a couple of hours off work to squeeze in some family time.  One of my nephews celebrates his first birthday this weekend.

As is tradition in the family, my Mom makes a birthday quilt for each kid.

Each present block has a number on it.  Every year the quilt is brought to the party and everyone at the party signs the block that corresponds with the age of the birthday boy.  It’s a great way to add to specialness of that day, and the quilt becomes more than just a quilt  –  It’s a memory quilt to remind them of special days from the past.

We ordered the fabric here – and you can find the pattern here.  It’s one that Mom and I designed together and has  a few options to choose from.

The other big gift of the day was this -

The two brothers are sharing this gift.  They loved it – of course.  Apparently two-year old boys come with the software for driving pre-installed, because Gavin was driving like he had been doing it for years, with only a couple near misses.  By the end of the afternoon he was braking, backing up and waving like a pro, while giving three other kids a ride.  Who says guys can’t multi-task?

After the party, my niece and I borrowed the neighbor’s flower garden to take pictures of the new skirt Grandma Deb had made her out of our Sanibel line.


The fabric works really well for kids clothes, so a few more skirts are now in the works.  I’ll show them when they are done, but in the meantime, here’s one more shot filled with Bella-tulipy-Sanibel goodness!

Have a great weekend!  Snow is predicted here – can you believe it?  Hopefully it won’t last long.

Posted in Family, Quilting | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

More Fabric

The countdown to market is in full swing.  Only three weeks to have the new patterns finished, samples of the new fabric finished and a booth designed.  So far I have three new patterns designed, photos finished, and lots of editing to do, so I’ve got a ways to go yet!  In addition to all that, we have had a couple rooms in our house torn apart, but that is another post.  I’ll just say it’s a good thing I’m so busy or all the dust and mess would be driving me crazy!

 Another distraction arrived recently to help take my mind off the mess – my sample yardage of my Christmas fabric line – “At Home for the Holidays”.

I’m really excited about this line and I just have to say that I’m in love with the reds!  I have been asking Henry Glass if I could do a Christmas line for a while now, so I was thrilled to get the go-ahead last year.  I’ve already done a post about this line here, if you want to read more.  The main thing you need to know is that the line works great for Christmas, but most of the prints aren’t specifically Christmas.  That means you can make quilts from this line that can be hanging around your house all year long.  So, yes, I am going to get lots of miles out of this line!  It matches my dining room, living room and kitchen, so I can’t wait to do a little redecorating.  But first I have to get some quilts made!  So far, there is one  top finished -

This is the free pattern that can be downloaded at, so check it out!   I made this one to be out at Christmas, but all you need to do is change the applique and use a different border, and it’s no longer so Christmassy.

I have another quilt in the works that can be used as a tablecloth, wall quilt, or tree skirt, but you are gonna have to stop back to see the rest of it!

By the way, this line ships the end of May, so get it while you can!

Posted in Fabric Trends, Quilting | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

Introducing Sanibel

I’ve been a very bad blogger lately.

Only two posts in a month!

I think I might have a good reason though -

I have been busy playing with this:

It’s a new fabric line that I designed with my Mom.  We named it Sanibel.

Here’s a closer look -  Or click on the photos to see a bigger picture.

We set out to design a line of fabrics that were fresh and cheerful, with a cottage chic feel.  The colors include shades of aqua blue, apple green, tangerine, salmon pink, butter yellow and a chocolate brown  –  all colors you might find on a beautiful beach-side resort.  The prints would be perfect for a lake cottage, shabby chic decor, spring and summer quilts, a cheerful bedroom and we think they will work for any age group.  We have included lots of floral prints – some smaller more traditional prints, and some larger trendy prints.  There is a polka dot print included, along with a couple plaids for binding.

We have been busy making quilts out of our sample yardage (which I previewed a bit of in my last post).  We have four quilts done so far and can’t wait to share them with you!

First, Fresh Blooms from the book “On the Run”.   Perfect for a spring table!

Second, a wall quilt called “Center of Attention”  from the book “Stop, Drop, and Roll”.  This quilt features a few of my favorite things -

A touch of applique . . .

A large scale print that you just can’t cut! . . . .

Assorted Prints in 2 1/2″ strips . . . .

And JUMBO Ric Rac!

Next up is Crazy Daisy, which Mom made for her grandaughter Isabella.

This is the free pattern, available at – See the projects page and just look for the image below to download.

Lastly, we have “Beach Balls” from the “Simply Sixties pattern.  The pieces are large so they really show off the prints.  The design looks like beach balls, so I think it’s perfect for Sanibel.

There is more to come, but this is all I can show at the moment.  I’m working on a couple new patterns for this line and my Christmas line.  (I hope to have them completed before market.)

Sanibel will be in stores the end of May/beginning of June from Henry Glass Fabrics. We hope you like it!

Posted in Fabric Trends, Quilting | Tagged , , , , , | 56 Comments

Sewing Room Ideas, Continued

Wow!  What a great response to the last post.  I shared a glimpse into my Mom’s sewing room and got lots of comments and questions.  Both Mom and I enjoyed reading all your comments and seeing the interest in her design ideas.

The main question was – “Where did she get those cabinets and/or the ironing board station?”   There isn’t an easy answer, in that I don’t have a link to a website where you can order all the pieces.  These are custom cabinets, made by a cabinet maker to Mom’s specific dimensions.  I’m sure anybody that makes kitchen cabinets would be able to make these same pieces, custom fit to your room.

The second question was – “When do we get to see the fabric?”  Let me just say that last year Mom and I went through her fabric and she donated boxes and boxes of older fabric to church, friends, and quilt groups.  As some of you may know, at a certain point the stash can become a bit unmanageable and you run out of space.  That is exactly what happened to Mom.  The following pictures show what’s left of the stash, with the exception of what’s hidden in the closets downstairs and in the storage room (don’t tell Dad.  It’s really not that bad now that most of it has been cleaned out.)  The upper cabinets hold fabric and project bins.  Mom wanted me to point out that she had these made 14″ deep, instead of the usual 12″.  That allows for folding the quilt fabric in fourths, plus room for the doors to close!   We usually buy fabric in increments of 1/4 yard, so the width of the cabinet is divisible by 9″, plus a couple extra inches of wiggle room.

The pantry cabinet in the left corner of the room holds tons of fabric too (although this is mostly clothing fabric).  This picture didn’t turn very well, but you can still see how much you can fit in there!

There are also drawers filled with fabric. . . .  Many of you asked about the drawers.  They have full extension slides that allow you to pull the drawer all the way out, to access the back corners of the drawer.  They are also self-closing.  This is really important – I designed my sewing room first and didn’t specify to the cabinet maker what kind of slides I wanted.  So, with my drawers, you have to push them closed.   This is no big deal, but the problem is that when I sew (and I like to sew fast), the drawers slide open from all the vibrations.  Periodically, I get up from sewing and don’t realize that the bottom drawer next to me has come open.  Then I either bang my shin or almost trip over the dumb thing.  For your own shin protection, I just thought you might want to know  ( for those of  you who said you are currently designing sewing rooms).  You also wouldn’t want to fall with a seam ripper or scissors in your hand, if you can help it. 

And now the closet - The fabric goes from top to bottom, organized according to color, with large baskets for projects.    In the lower right you see my niece playing with the buttons on my Mom’s serger (her tension on her sewing machines always has to be checked before sewing, as the grandkids love all those buttons!).  The serger stand is on wheels so it can be pulled out of the closet when needed.

For those of you who want to incorporate your knee lift into a custom cabinet, this picture shows how that is done.  The picture also shows where Mom stores her laptop and all her bobbins.  The bobbins stick to a magnetic strip, so everything stays in place.  We got these bobbin holders as a gift from a friend and if anyone knows where we can get more – please e-mail me!

I think one of the keys to Mom’s successful organization is all the dividers in the drawers, as this picture of the ironing station shows.  Having one big, open drawer just seems to get messed up right away.  Having dividers keeps everything in place and provides compartments for similar items.

 I hope that answers all your questions from the last post . . .

Now, onto some exciting news.  This box was sitting in my garage when I got home last weekend.

The label says it’s an international priority package from Korea, containing more FABRIC!!!

 A sneak peek at the fabric:

And a sneak peek of what we are doing with it:

I’ll be back soon with more on the new fabric line . . .  . . .

Posted in Decorating, Quilting | Tagged | 49 Comments

Sewing Room Cabinet Ideas

I’ve been MIA from the blog the last couple weeks and feel like I don’t have much to show for it at the moment, so in the meantime I want to show you my Mom’s sewing room.  She’s been sewing for 45 years and after all the time, you figure out what you want in a sewing room.  A couple years ago she designed some great cabinets, full of very well thought out details.  I thought some of you might enjoy seeing some of her ideas -

Here’s a bit of an overview of the corner with all the cabinets.  Notice the two sewing spots so I can come over and play!

On the end of that corner is a raised cabinet for cutting.  There are lights under the cabinet above so you never have an Ott light or something in your way of cutting.

This cutting table is on wheels  so it can be moved around the room.  See that black line behind the cabinet?  That’s a pop up counter so the cutting table can be made much larger if needed.

This angle shows the ironing table and a cozy corner to rest and put your feet up.  This is also where we set an extra table if we need to have three people sewing at once.

Here’s a better look at the ironing station.  The cubbies and drawer provide lots of storage, unlike your typical ironing board that has all that wasted space below.  The pull out side accommodates the iron to free up more space.  The ironing surface will pop off to reveal a hard surface that can be used as an extra cutting station.  The back will pop up to make that cutting surface larger if needed.  Have you ever heard of an ironing board that can do so many things?  I’m surprised it doesn’t make your coffee too!

Over by Mom’s sewing station is a pull out board to set your pattern or book on.  That frees up some extra counter space for whatever project you happen to be working on.  There’s another pull out board on the other side.  Below it is a small drawer for Mom’s laptop (sorry no picture – you’ll have to use your imagination).

Below the lap top drawer is this -  a slide out drawer that houses her printer.  I think this is another great idea – having the printer on her counter would take up more quilting space, plus it looks messy.

The other drawers all have these great dividers that help Mom stay organized – and after 45 years of sewing, she’s collected a few sewing gadgets!

Mom also sews clothes, so there are spots for zippers and serger thread.

The drawers in the corner are super long and can house lots more gadgets (the picture is deceiving.  The drawer is over two feet deep)

There is even a spot for Mom to file her paper work, etc.

All of that is hidden behind this:

Can you belive it?  Plus, I only showed you a few drawers and didn’t even get to the fabric closet!

As I said, I just wanted to share all these great ideas with you.  My mom is a clever gals and always thinks of great details, which is the reason I am lucky to have her as my right hand gal in my business!  She thinks of everything . . . .

So which of these details would you like in your sewing room?

I want that ironing station.  Bad…….


To see Part 2 – please click here.


Posted in Decorating, My Studio, Quilting | Tagged , , | 130 Comments

A Confession

I do have a finished project to show you, but first I have a confession to share with you. 

Remember when I put out this pattern a little while back?

The Bella Bag

Shortly after it started shipping out – this was brought to our attention.

So did you know that a Bong was a quilting tool? 

I didn’t either.  In fact, I was devastated for at least two whole days after seeing this.  The last thing I EVER want in any of my patterns is an error, even though it can happen so easily and does periodically.  I even went so far as to have the bag tested by lots of quilters.  At the last minute, I added the Heat ‘n’ “Bong” light to the pattern.  I didn’t notice it and the spell checker agreed that the word was spelled right.

We have since pulled the pattern and reprinted a corrected version, even though everybody would be able to make and complete their bag  -  there wasn’t actually a mistake in the construction and I’m sure no one would try to line their pockets with a bong.  I have coped with my devastation and moved on.  I can even laugh about it now, though it is still embarrassing.  I just hope that the 800 or so of you who got the initial copies will have a sense of humor about the whole ordeal.   Does anyone else think this is funny, or are you offended?  I’m just curious . . .  Anyways, I thought you might enjoy another story about the perils of pattern designing.

Now, moving on.  I finished the sweater I blogged about a while back.  I first saw the sweater in the movie “The Holiday” with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet.  I loved the sweater and watched the movie over and over, just to see it.  I was grateful  to later find the pattern on Ravelry – It’s called the Fireside Sweater by Amber Alison.

(By the way, you can see I’m changing the fireplace design from my last post – I’ll share more on this when I get my center piece done)

If you don’t recognize the sweater, it was white in the movie.  White is totally not a practical color for me.  The combination of my clumsiness and my love of coffee and Diet Coke means that I don’t wear white.  I chose this blue -

I just love the cable detail in this sweater – even on the back and sleeves.

The pattern requires a heavier yarn, so this is a really warm sweater.   Because I live in MN, I will put it to good use.   However, it weighs like 5 pounds, so I won’t be wearing it to the doctor’s office or any other place that requires your weight to enter!

I’m off to teach for the weekend, so I better wrap this up and finish packing.  Have a great weekend!

Posted in Knitting, Quilting | Tagged , , , , | 63 Comments

In the Mood for Spring

Today I was going to show you my finished Verna and Oz quilts, but I’ve gotten sidetracked.  Somehow I started 5 other quilt projects.

Now my studio looks like this!  I can hardly walk in this mess.

My progress feels slow, but the rows on my Verna quilt are sewed together and I am patiently (not) waiting for more border fabric.  My Oz quilt (below) is ready for borders and applique.

Despite my slow progress, I am happy to be back sewing in my studio again.  I usually don’t get much time to sew when I have book and pattern deadlines.  Those deadlines are a month past now, but it still takes my brain a while to recover.  The wheels are turning again, so I am grateful for that.  I have been revisiting a few of my older patterns, just to get back into the mood to sew and now a few of my fabric piles are developing into some new ideas.  So, I’m looking forward to a weekend with time to sew and projects that are ready to go.

In addition to some sewing, I have been getting in the mood for spring.  The weather here in MN has been wonderful – sunny every day with temps in the upper 30′s.  Best of all, the snow has been melting.  I know many of you around the county have already had flowers blooming, as I have seen them on your blogs.  That hasn’t happened here yet, so I decided to spruce up the house by adding my own spring blooms here and there.

I started with the fireplace mantel -

I’m not sure if I like it yet, but at least it has a touch of spring.

There is now a little pot of geraniums on this end table -

I’ve set out a bird’s nest – Every spring my niece Isabella and I go bird egg hunting.  We search every possible tree and shrub in the yard.  When I saw this little bird’s nest at a local gift shop, it reminded me of her and all the times we have gone egg hunting in the spring.

On the other side of that table is a pot of tulips, set off by my Shoot Stars quilt (from my Fat Quarter Cottage book).

A friend gave me this beautiful stitchery pillow – full of thoughts of spring . . .

Another pot of blooms  and a project from my Little Charmers 4 pattern -

And a little blue birdie -  I also wanted to show this quilt because I had part of it in a picture from my last blog post, and several of you asked about it.  It’s called Center of Attention and can be found in my Stop, Drop, and Roll book.  It’s perfect for spring, but I have had it up all year.

It hangs in this bedroom – which you have seen before.  The quilt hangs across the room, as you can see reflecting in this mirror I got for Christmas.  (Have I mentioned I love Hobby Lobby?).

I’ve added a few more spring touches to the room -

Along with this Hobby Lobby find  -  This necklace didn’t look so good on me, but it’s perfect for her!

So, that’s as far as I’ve gotten with spring.  Now what’s happening outside just has to catch up with me!  I think that might take a month or so  . . . .

Have a great weekend -

Posted in Decorating, Quilting | Tagged | 24 Comments