More Patchwork Posies

Here in Minnesota, we are settling into winter.  We haven’t had as much snow as we did last year at this time, so it has been nice to get a few extra weeks of fall.  The lake is threatening to freeze over.  In fact, it has frozen over three times, then the wind blows it open again.  I am grateful for a few more days of seeing the beautiful blue water, rather than a sheet of ice.

Did you have a good Thanksgiving?  We had four family get-togethers over the holiday weekend, which was fun, but not good for the waistline.  Time to break out the Thanksgiving pants!  In addition to all the get-togethers, Joel’s sister Andrea came over and we made Raspberry jam together.

We added a touch of lemon juice, just to brighten the jam a bit. 

It was a fun process, and not as hard as I thought it would be.  Now we have about 14 pints of jam, so I might be looking for ways to use jam, other than just breakfast.

On the quilting front, I am in the process of finishing up a bunch of things.   Several haven’t been photographed yet, but I do have one that I haven’t blogged yet.

It’s called Patchwork Posies and can be found in my Living Large 2 book (preview here and here).  It’s the perfect pattern for those of you who hate sewing triangles!

I love the combination of the royal blue and the aqua blue.  I wouldn’t have thought to put them together, but it’s so attractive.  I especially love the blue block second from the corner above and the one below.  The fabric is by a new Moda designer named Lily Ashbury.

The machine quilting is pretty simple.

I just did a loops over everything.

And just in case this post doesn’t have enough pictures, I’ll add a few more.  You know I love color options, so here are a few more version of this pattern.

(fabric:  the newest line from Mom and I called Whimsy)

Awww… now I miss fall!

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Playing Catch-Up

The last couple weeks have just flown by.  I had another 4 day retreat last week, so between packing, traveling and quilting, I had no time to get a blog post done on the new baby in the family, as promised.  I know some of our family and quilting friends have been waiting to see what the new little guy looks like.

Introducing Abram Michael, born October 28th, 2011 to my Sister and her husband.  Here he is on the first day, at about 4 hours old.  I think he is blowing us a kiss!



By the second day, his coloring is changing and he already looks older!  We happen to think he is pretty perfect.

The last time we gathered in the hospital was 8 months ago when this little guy was born.  I think it is so interesting to see the two “babies” side-by-side.  Wow, do they grow up fast!

Baby Abram is joined by an older sister and brother.  I didn’t have any luck getting their picture in the hospital, but I got this picture just three days later on Halloween.  As you can see, they are Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy.

In addition to showing off pictures of my new nephew, I also want to show of pictures of my other nieces and nephews.  Halloween is one of my favorite days of the year, only because I get to see all my little munchkins dressed up in their adorable costumes.  Aren’t they cute?

Not everyone here loves Halloween.  Little Zachary didn’t like being dressed up in a monkey suit.  He didn’t like the fact that it was too hard to crawl in the suit or that the banana wouldn’t come out of his pocket (it was a fake banana sewed into the pocket.)  Aw, look at that face!

That’s all for today.  Congrats to my sister and BIL on their newest addition!

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Scrap Lab

Finally, a new blog post.  Can you believe it?  I wish I could say that I was busy with fall quilt market and new products, but that is not the case.  I have been taking a little break from blogging, then I got too busy with other things and time has gotten away from me.  Those other things include some fun things – like my sister having a new baby (pics to come), preparing for and teaching for 6 days at Lake Beauty Bible Camp – and a few not so fun things like the flu and catching up.  But, I’m back to share about something fun. 

Have you gotton your Winter 2011 issue of Quilts and More yet?


Inside you will find the newest addition of Scrap Lab.

If you aren’t familiar with Scrap Lab, its a design challenge with Camille of Thimble Blossoms and Joanna of Fig Tree Quilts.  They are given a challenge of making a small project using a set amount of fabric.  This time the challenge involved one charm pack of Ruby (Camille and Bonnie’s newest fabric line for Moda) and some jumbo rickrack.  Each time they invite a third designer to join them in the challenge.  I’m happy to say that this time I got to join them!

Here’s is my little my little project:

It’s a pillow (obviously) with a fun, little, dimentional bow.

The entire project is completed with just one charm pack of Ruby. 

For Camille’s project, she made these cute little baby blocks.  (she is also responsible for making that cute little baby too)


Joanna made these charming little placemats.


Have you noticed part of the theme here?  Everything is little and quick to make.  That way they make great gifts (just in time for Christmas) or the perfect project to complete in an evening.  Or if you are ambitious, you could whip up all three this weekend!

In that case, you will need to run out and pick up the magazine right away today.  If you want to get started right now, you can find the directions for my pillow online at APQ’s website, right now!  Just click here to get started now. 


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Congrats to Mom!

Hi Everyone!

Once again, the last two weeks have just flown by and I haven’t gotten a blog post done.  Where does the time go?  In the meatime, fall has turned Minnesota into a beautiful golden color.  I have been enjoying lots of walks up our driveway . . .

though not quite as many as I’d like, so I am also enjoying the fall glow from inside the studio.

I am working on several quilts that I will be able to show you soon, but in the meantime, I wanted to share some fun news and brag on my Mom for a while.

Last week I got a letter in the mail from American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine.  When I pulled out the letter, this was inside:

I recognized this quilt right away, as it is a design that my Mom submitted to the magazine over a year ago.  It was chosen to be in their calendar for 2012.

So, not only do I get to brag on Mom for making it in, I was thrilled to see it was used as the first photo that you see when you open their advertisement/letter.  How cool is that?

Here’s a better look at the quilt

The fabrics are from my Perennial Spice line, which has been out of print for about four years now (sorry). 


 I do have a more up-to-date fabric combination to show you as well.   When Mom tested the instructions, she made this version out of our Sanibel fabric.

So congrats Mom on having another design published!

Posted in Family, Pattern of the Week, Quilting | Tagged | 17 Comments

A Knitting Fool Part 2

I haven’t had any quilt projects to blog about lately, so I have been taking a little break from blogging.  Instead I have been busy repainting half the rooms in my house.  I’m still finishing up, putting things back into place and cleaning up.  I have one room left to finish.   So that means I have been pretty busy for the past week and a half, but have nothing to show for it.  I will get to that, but in the meantime I can finish up with showing you my summer knitting projects.  I don’t think I have ever been quite so obsessed with starting and finishing sweaters.   That phase has come to a grinding halt with all my painting, but I’m sure the long winter that is coming will provide plenty of time for that!

First one up,  the Sage Remedy Top by Sarah Shepherd.

Don’t you love this neckline?

I also love the back of the sweater, as if the front didn’t already sell me on the design!

As usual, I changed the design a bit, as the original is less fitted. (photos taken from Ravelry,  from the pattern page.

It was a fun pattern to knit, though figuring out the changes was a little bit of a challenge for me.  I don’t know if anyone will notice, unless they look at the underarms of my sweater.  I’ll just have to remember to keep my arms down so no one sees my mistakes!

Click here to see the Ravelry details.  The yarn is a new one by Classic Elite called Cricket.  I would definitely use this yarn again.


Next up is a scarf.  I rarely make scarves because I never seem to get them finished.  This was my car project and it took me over a year to finish.

Despite the fact that I don’t usually wear scarves, I wanted to make a project with this yarn because I got it as a souvenir on one of our trips.   (The trip was in 2007, so I really put off working on it.)

I was in Calgary teaching at a quilt shop there.  After I finished my work, we rented a car and drove from Banff and up to Jasper.  We stopped at Lake Louise and I discovered a sweater shop in the Chateau.  The already-made sweaters were $600 each and absolutely beautiful.   $600 is more than I would ever spend for a sweater, so I bought enough to make a scarf.

The yarn is from Quivick and is made from the Alaskan Musk Ox.  It is supposedly the warmest fiber in the work.


Though I could make use of a really warm garment, my reason for buying the yarn was that I wanted a souvenir from our trip.  This area was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.  In this photo, you can see the Chateau in the background.

Everywhere you go, there are lakes of colors I have never seen before in nature.

I have loved turquoisey-blue ever since (as you can probably tell!)  The thought of such a place, just makes me smile!

The rest of the details can be found here.  The pattern is the Falling Water Lace Scarf by Bonnie Sennott.


I also have to include a project with cables, as you know they are my favorite.

The pattern is called Sunlit, by Kim Hargreaves Hargreaves.

I love this neckline – and designs with raglan sleeves.  They are so much more flattering – in my opinion.

The yarn  is Sublime Soya Cotton and was really nice to work with.    It  has such wonderful drape and it’s very soft.

Before I go, I want to thank all of you for the nice comments on my knitting.  I never even used to show my project on the blog, but several of you have commented that you have tried knitting after seeing my projects.   I’ve also had several of you say the same after seeing my quilts.  My favorite comments are when I hear about a daughter, granddaughter, etc who wants to start quilting or knitting after seeing a project here.  That just makes my day, so thanks for sharing!

That’s all for today – my front door needs another coat of paint!


Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments

Yarn Dying

Last week I got to learn about something new to me.   Maria (the same Maria that is quilting her way through Living Large 2 and if you follow this blog, you have seen my links to her projects) had taken a class on it and passed that knowledge onto me.

When she offered to teach me, I immediately went to Ravelry to pick out all the sweaters that I wanted to knit this winter.  I narrowed it down to two or three that I thought would look good with hand-dyed yarn.  Maria said it didn’t take very long, so I figured I needed to be prepared with several projects.  I also thought, because I knit sweaters, that I should be dying sweater quantities of yarn.  I suppose that is a little like thinking that your very first quilt should be a queen size.  Anyone else done anything like that?

Needless to say, Maria started me out with a few practice skeins.  We soaked the skeins in water, while we thought about what colors we wanted to use.  There are ten base colors that are mixed to form any number of colors.  I thought it was really interesting to see what happened when different colors were mixed . . .

The color is then poured over the yarn, which is wrapped in Saran wrap.

Then it is put in a microwave and steamed.

After the yarn is cooled, then it was rinsed and hung out to dry.  I found the drying process to be really long.  The dry yarn looks nothing like the yarn when it is wet, so you really have no idea what color it will turn out.  I was rather impatient about seeing what colors I would get.

I went for subtle color variations,

while Maria went for more pop.  She was a little braver than I was, though she has done this a few more times than I have!   I was actually nervous during the process.  I began to rethink my yarn-dying ambitions and decided that I didn’t want to risk ruining a large quantity of yarn.  I also realized why hand-dyed yarn is so expensive – this was more time-consuming than I thought!

Maria suggested that I over-dye some stash yarn that I no longer liked.  That way, if I ruined it, it wouldn’t be such a big deal.  I chose this ugly yellow-green yarn – and though I had enough for a sweater – I didn’t think I would use it as is.

I ended up with this.  As soon as it was dry, I had to swatch it up so see how it looked.  Much better I think!

My other skeins turned out like this ~

Now I just have to decide what to make with my goods from the day.   It was an interesting process, but I don’t think I will be giving up quilting for yarn-dying any time soon!   I will post pictures of how the finished projects done  . . .  someday . . . when I get them done.

Posted in Knitting | Tagged | 14 Comments


Usually I am the one redecorating, but this time it is my mom.  She made a new quilt, shams, dust ruffle, and curtains for her room, all out of Artful Home.  She also repainted the walls a different shade of blue.   I love how it turned out, so I asked if I could share it with all of you.   I couldn’t find a before picture, but here is the after picture:

The photos turned out a little dark, as I have trouble with lighting indoors.  This angle is a little better.  The bed skirt is black, so it really doesn’t show up in the photo, but it was made using Mom’s easy method.  (click here to see a tutorial).

The pattern is Starlit Evening, found in my Living Large 2 book.  It’s one of those quilts that looks really challenging, but it is stripe-pieced and all the diagonal seams nest.  However, there are no short-cuts for making it king sized!

The shams our made using the “bound with ties” pattern from our Shams with Style book.  The stripe is actually applied like binding, making it so easy to do – and that means you can totally avoiding having to do piping. 

I also borrowed a little more of Mom’s show and tell.  She recently finished up this quilt.

It’s called Patchwork Posies and can also found in the Living Large 2 book.  The fabric is from our “Whimsy” collection that came out last month.  BTW, it’s the perfect pattern for fat eighths or fat quarters.

That’s all “my” show-n-tell for now – so have a good weekend!


Posted in Decorating, Fabric Trends, Quilting | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments