Artful Home Sample Yardage

That’s a really clever title isn’t it?   I always struggle with naming things, and blog titles are no exception.  Oh well, not my gift.

Getting to the point, I had a fun package arrive from overseas.  This was inside ~

My sample yardage of Artful Home has arrived!   That means that the line has been printed and has been stashed on a boat to make its journey to the US.  Before it is trapped on that boat for 2 months, 5 yards are sent ahead to me, so I can start making some projects.  That way they are ready when the yardage arrived in quilt shops.

I can’t wait to get started planning and cutting . . . .

In fact, I am so anxious to get to work that I am going to forgo talking (or in this case, typing) and just show a few pictures.

Next time I talk to you, this stack may look different.  Hopefully, it will look more like a quilt or two.  Or maybe three or four. 

Posted in Fabric Trends, Quilting | Tagged | 57 Comments

Photo Walls

Hi Everyone!

I want to start off today by thanking everyone for their comments on my last post.  I enjoyed reading all the comments, especially those that identified with the “what not to do photos”!   I think many of us have had that happen, so it’s good to know why.   At the end of the post I offered a giveaway –  The winner chosen by the RNG was:

Marietta, who commented on Jan 4th, at 12:18 pm.  (Please e-mail me your shipping address so I can ship out your package!)

I may have mentioned in the past that I can’t do a post without a picture, so today I thought I’d share a little bit about photo walls.

Over the past few years, I seem to be collecting quite a collection of photos.  I also started noticing some really great display ideas in places like Pottery Barn, etc.  If only I had unlimited wall space, I could try them all!  Plus, most of my walls have quilts on them, so my space is even more limited.  Despite that, I have found a few places to display some of my favorite photos.

 First up, an idea to display all those Christmas cards that come this time of year

The photos are simply paper clipped to a red ribbon.

This larger grouping can be found in our basement TV room.

All the frames are brown and all the photos are sepia, just to add some unity to an otherwise busy grouping. 

The shelves are from Menards and were really inexpensive, compared to some I’ve seen.  (Just don’t try to sit or lean on them!)

In our office, we have this grouping.  The theme here is trip photos, so they MUST all be in full color!


I got the idea to include the wall words in the grouping from my SIL.   I thought this saying was perfect for these pictures!  I purchased it at a party my SIL had for Uppercase Living.  I also added some captions below each photo, listing the location and date.

This is the grouping my SIL put together using the wall words.

In addition to the wall words, I love the asymmetry of her arrangement.

One of my other favorite groupings can be found in my Mom’s house.

I love the mixture of knick knacks scattered among the photos.

This simple grouping is in my Mom’s bedroom.

The perfect place to brag about those grandkids! (though hard to photograph with all that glare!)

Large, vaulted walls are great places for both quilts and photo walls, as shown in my Mom’s sewing room.  (BTW, if you haven’t seen the post in that link, you should.  It has been one of my most popular blog post.  A follow-up post can be found here)

Above the ironing board is a great location for photos, as ironing can get boring and looking at photos keeps you entertained.

One last ideas . . .   This shot was taken in my booth at market last spring.  I used this standing display to show photos of projects from my latest book.  It requires less wall space and can be easily moved without leaving your wall full of nail holes.

That’s all for today. 

If you have any good ideas for photo wall, feel free to share them with me at

Posted in Decorating, Family | Tagged | 16 Comments

Binding Odd Angles

Happy New Year!  

I hope you all had a safe and fun time over the last few days.  We had a pretty low-key holiday, starting with a birthday party for a niece on New Year’s Eve.  We stayed up to watch the ball drop, but I have to admit that was East-Coast time (and we live in the central time zone).  We spent New Year’s Day as we always do, eating New Year’s pancakes.  I have no idea now many families have this tradition, but both my family and Joel’s both celebrate with lots of pancakes.  My family has been known to have contests to see who can eat the most pancakes.  The record is well over a dozen.  Joel’s family goes for a different kind of competition, always involving some sort of cards, preferably Rook.  Either way, it’s just an excuse to hang out a little longer and enjoy more food!

With the dawning of a new year, a lot of bloggers are reflecting on the past year.  I have to confess that my mind is __________ blank, so I think I will skip the reflection and share something quilting related.  After all, I assume most of you come here to learn something about quilting anyways.  I would like to share some hints about binding, as I assume you will learn more from that and hopefully it will be something that helps you improve your quilting in the new year.

I get lots of e-mails and questions about how to bind corners.  I’ve already talked about how to binding inside corners here, so today I’m going to show you how to bind odd-angled outside corners.  By that, I mean anything greater than a 90-degree angle.  I’m going to demonstrate on this topper that I just finished machine quilting.

Here’s the pattern front, which gives you a better idea of the shape of quilt we will be binding (see the lower right corner).

As you can see, there are a total of eight 135-degree corners on this topper/tree skirt.

Here’s a close up of one of those corners. 

Step 1.   I start by drawing my stitching line, about 1/4″ away from the raw edge of the quilt.  Pay close attention to where those two lines intersect at the corner.

Step 2.  Start sewing towards the corner.  Stop right at the point where the two lines intersect and back stitch.  (that point is hidden under my binding in this picture)

 Step 3.  Now turn the quilt, so that the next side to be sewn is running parallel to your sewing foot as shown.

Step 4.  Now fold the binding straight up, so it makes a straight line with the raw edge of the quilt as shown.  Make sure pull the binding all the way up, as far as your stitching will let you.

The red dot in this photo shows where my stitching line ends and you can see that the binding is pulled all the way up.  Now I insert a pin at a 90-degree angle from the outer point of the quilt.

Step 5.  Fold the binding down toward you as shown.  Again, pull the binding down toward you as far as the pin will let you.

Here’s a close-up of that again.  It’s really important that your 90-degree corner  is perfectly even with that outermost point of the quilt and with the point where the quilt angles up to the left.  Notice the red lines that I have added to this photo to demonstrate this.

Then start sewing until you hit the next corner.  Repeat all steps. 

Have you noticed that this is the same steps that you go through when binding a regular 90-degree corner?  It’s really that easy.  It just takes a little practice. 

After hand-stitching the binding, the corner should look like this:

There are a few things to watch out for, and they usually involved getting too much fabric or not quite enough fabric into the tuck/miter at the corner. 

This photo shows not getting quite enough fabric into that corner miter.  This is most likely to happen if you don’t get the pin in the right spot in Step 5.

After doing the hand-sewing, that corner will look something like this.  See how there isn’t quite enough fabric to make a nice mitered corner?  The tuck is much to small.

If you get too much fabric into the corner, it will look like this.  See how the extra fabric makes a little corner that hangs over the edge of the binding at the top?   This is not how you want this to look and this also happens by getting your pin in Step 5 in the wrong spot.  (in this case you put your pin too high up)

After hand-sewing that corner, it will look like this.  See that bulge on the outer corner?  That’s what happens when getting too much fabric in the corners.

See the difference? 

I will put a link to this post under my tutorials tab, so you can easily look up this post for future reference.  

The following photos show a few examples of quilts or runner that have the type of corner that I just showed how bind.

Diamond Diva


Secret Garden Runner



In my opinion, the best way to learn a new technique is to actually try it.  

If you would like to try it, I will give away a set of these patterns and books to one lucky reader!  Just leave me a comment to enter to win.  I’ll announce the winner in my next post, so be sure to check back then. 

I hope this helps you with your binding –  and gives you an excuse to start a new project to practice the technique!

Posted in Binding Tips, Quilting | Tagged , , , | 233 Comments


Another holiday season draws to a close. 

 All the company has left,

all the gifts have been opened,

and our holiday celebrations have come and gone.

Time to cozy up to the fire.  Time to sit in the quiet and reflect on all the good memories.

Time to walk through a quiet house and enjoy the Christmas lights as they softly light up the darkness. 

{I may have to leave the trees up for the rest of the week, just so I can enjoy them a little more.}

It’s also time to reflect on all the wonderful people who have stopped by all year and offered up such nice comments.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with me!  I’m grateful for all my readers and appreciate your kindness.

Here’s to hoping that someone, somewhere passes on the same kindness to you. . . .

Posted in Knitting | 17 Comments

Always Busy, Busy!

Hi Everyone ~

Only 4 days left until Christmas.  Are you ready?

I have all my shopping done, gifts finished and just a couple left to wrap.  Everything that can be done ahead is ready to go.  The problem is, I have four Christmas parties to go to, and they all fall within 3 days.  One of the parties is here, so somehow I have to make food for all four parties and clean my house.  I’ve started making lists, in the hope that I won’t forget anything.  I plan to start cooking and cleaning on Thursday, but until then, I have time to finish up a couple quilts!

The first is one that I started this summer.  Last week I finally got around to quilting it.

 As you can see, I didn’t do an all-over pattern, but tried to emphasize the different blocks in the quilt.

When I do that, I match the thread color to whatever color fabric I am quilting on.  I match the bobbin thread with each color change and it makes for some interesting patterns on the back of the quilt.  More importantly, I don’t see all the little tension dots that appear when you are using a contrasting bobbin color.

The quilt is going in my downstairs TV room.  See?

This is the quilt that has been hanging there for the past 4 years.  Can you believe that I left something unchanged that long? 

It was time for a change.  (BTW, this quilt can be found in my Fat Quarter Cottage book)


I have to say, I like the softer colors against the blue wall.

You might recognize the pattern from my last Christmas fabric line, “At Home for the Holidays”.  This was the free pattern.

 I just changed up the applique and added a row to each side of the quilt, as I had such a large wall to fill.

(The pattern is free to you by clicking here:  At Home for the Holidays

That’s it for today.  I’ve got a couple more quilts to get binding on before my company comes, so I will show them later. 

 In case I don’t check in before this weekend, I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and safe travels.

Posted in Decorating, Machine Quilting, Quilting | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

Even more Snow!

Hi Everyone!

It’s another cold snowy morning here in Minnesota. 

As I sit here at the computer, I think about how this view has changed in the last 2 months.

I love the changes in the season, which is why you are getting so many winter pictures right now.  By February, all you will be hearing from me is complaints about the long winter.   But for now, I am enjoying the winter wonderland.

As you can see from the railing, we got another 6-8″ last night.  School is canceled again.  Last week, we had enough of a storm to cancel school for 2 days, so that makes for lots of happy kids.

There is also someone else that is happy about the snow . . . Daisy.

The snow is so deep, that she has to hop through the snow like a bunny.

With all this bad weather, I am happy to be working from home, all tucked in where it is nice and warm.  It just doesn’t seem to be worth it to go out into the weather if I don’t have to.  With all my Christmas gifts pretty much ready to go and shopping done, I have been focusing on finishing other things around here – and possibly starting a few new things too.  I’ve been doing some quilting and more decorating, but I think for today I will show you a few knitting things I have finished.  As  you can see from the first pictures, I finished this sweater a little while ago – before the snow anyways.  That tells you how long it’s been since I’ve done a knitting post!

Details:  Mountain View Cardigan

Designed by:  Connie Change Chinchio of Physics Knits

Yarn:  Claudia Hand Painted Linen

Ravelry link here

Speaking of yarn, I had a little trouble with pooling.  It’s my own fault for not rotating the skeins properly throughout the project.  You can totally see it in this shot, right under the waist band.

I  wanted to be sure to mention this for the knitters out there who don’t know that hand-dyed yarns require a special technique.  It doesn’t say so on the skein, so I didn’t know about it until I happened to mention my problems to a knitting friend.  She said you need to work with two skeins at once, using a different skein on every other right side row.  I have since gone in and done some hand painting on this sweater to minimize the look of that band and I think it worked well enough that I can still wear it.

The reason I selected this pattern, was that I just loved this detail on the back

and this cute detail on the sleeves.

The whole project was fast and relatively easy.

My next project is another fast and super easy one.  I actually started it last winter, so all I had to do was finish up half of the sleeves and sew the body together.

The self stripping yarn really does all the work for you. 

The back is exactly the same as the front.

 This pattern just requires knitting four rectangles, then sewing them together.  See, I told you it was easy!  It’s a great beginner project.

Yarn:   Boku by Plymouth Yarns

Pattern:  Klaralund by by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton

Ravelry link here

That’s it for now.  I better get back to work and finish up this quilt that I want to show you next.

Posted in Knitting, Minnesota | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments


The winner of the Grand Prize from the Henry Glass Project Parade has been announced today.  It’s  Erica from Sweet Grass, Montana.  Congratulations Erica and thanks to everyone for playing along!

In other news, did you hear about all the snow we’ve been having in Minnesota?  You may have seen it on the news or heard about the roof of the Metrodome collapsing?  I guess we aren’t the only people who should have shoveled our roof sooner.

But seriously, 6 guys to shovel that huge roof? 

Not gonna happen. 

The roof collapsed on Sunday morning.  Luckily the game had been canceled because the opposing team couldn’t fly in.  I guess 21″ of snow will shut down the airport.  Good thing too, because this could have been really bad if the roof had collapsed with a dome full of football fans.

Out here in west-central Minnesota, we only had about 5″ of snow.   The problem is we’ve been having a snow storm every weekend, so we already have a lot more snow than we usually do.

Keeping the side-walk shoveled and the drive way plowed has turned into a part-time job.

Last Sunday we decided to have a family fish fry at our house, and put the snow to some good use – Sledding.

All the kids gave it a try. 

This little guy was a first timer and you can see he’s not too sure about this!

We loaded up the sleds with as many kids as we could fit

The only bad part is when you get to the bottom

Sometimes it takes two adults to get the kids back up to the top of the hill!

But with smiles like this, its all worth it.

When the cheeks are starting to turn a certain shade of red, we know it’s time to get the kids back inside.  They are still game to keep having fun, so despite some crying and whining, we get them all back inside.

After supper the kids were getting bored.  We have a lack of toys at our house, so I decided to try to entertain the kids with making snowflakes. 

I found some templates on-line and printed them off.  The kids would select which one they wanted me to cut for them and take turns opening them.  They seemed to enjoy the surprise, though my 3-year-old nephew Gavin informed me that one of his didn’t look like the picture.  I thought it was pretty good of him to notice!  I tried my best, but some were challenging.  The kids decorated my fireplace and posed with their handiwork.

I think I had even more fun doing this than the kids did.  I love trying to get them interested in doing crafts.  Hopefully they will discover their creative side (and plus I get a chance to behave like a kid again)

After the kids left, I decided to keep the snowflakes and hang them in my dining room.

I had read on Jill’s blog about how she hung them, so I gave it a try.  (click here to see her room this year – it’s beautiful!  You can tell she has a lot more experience at this than I do!)

I may even keep them for next year.

Anyway, I just thought I would share this.  I’m sure many of you know some little ones that would like to give this a try.  It really is fun!

Edit:  I’ve had a few people ask where I got the snowflake patterns.  I’m sure there are lots of place to try but the two that are found are:

Posted in Decorating, Family, Minnesota | Tagged | 15 Comments