Playing Catch-Up

It’s been a busy last few weeks, so I hardly know where to begin.  That’s what happens when I get behind.  I don’t know where to start blogging, so I just don’t.  There is also the problem of that I have hardly been taking my camera out.  I thought it was because I didn’t really have much to show for my last few weeks.  Then I started making a list and realized that I have been busy!

1.  I’ve put the finishing touches on four knitting projects.  I have yet to take any pictures, but I will.

2.  I have painted up a new fabric line that will come out next year.  I don’t have pictures of this either, because I’m not allowed to give a teaser yet.

3. Six prints are painted up for a second line for next year.  Again, I have nothing to show for it – yet.

4. We have had 3 lake day parties over the 4th of July.  That means lots of people, eating, cooking, cleaning up, tubing, swimming, and eating some more.  Again, I hardly took any pictures, which is so rare for me.  I took this one of the initial clean-up.

This is the lake weed harvester, stopping to help us pick up some weeds on the beach after a big storm.  The harvester is such a strange looking contraption, that I thought you might  it interesting.We live in a bay that traps lake debris when we get the wind from the right direction.  In addition to weeds, our score also included a large tree.

The weather has been really hot and humid, so if you don’t gets the weeds moved out, they start to smell like you have been snorting pond scum.  Just lovely . . .

Speaking of lovely, the only other two pictures I got were of these kids decked out in the 4th of July gear

And this little one, who enjoyed playing with my fabric scraps in my studio.  I will have to make up for my lack of pictures on our next lake day!

5. Joel’s good friend from high-school and his family came to visit.

There was more swimming . .

and more eating.  (BTW – this is Paula Dean’s strawberry shortcake.  It’s very yummy)

6.  I have worked on just one quilt in the last couple weeks.  This is up on the design wall:

The fabric line is Jovial, by Basic Grey.  I had one layer cake to get me started.  The black tonal is from my Artful Home line and the dot is from my current Christmas line, Deck the Halls.  The pattern is “Simple Gifts”, from my Living Large 2 book.

I still have to get my borders on, but I have been having issues with my back.  It doesn’t want me to sit for sewing or blogging, so I decided to garden instead.

I’m really smart like that.  Did you know that gardening is good for your back?  Actually, Joel did most of the digging for me and I did the planting. I also put out new mulch and all the bending forward really did stretch me out and make my back feel better!  I will try to get some pictures shortly.  I tried to take some, but it is so sunny, that the pictures didn’t turn out at all.

I’m sure I’m not the only one for whom the summer is flying by.  With all the hub-bub, the blogging sort of goes by the way side.  Hopefully you are so busy you didn’t even notice!






Posted in Family, Minnesota, Quilting | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

The Chair

Hi Everyone ~

I have had quite a few of you ask about why you can’t find Whimsy anywhere.  The reason is it hasn’t arrived yet!   I will keep you posted on when it arrives in stores.  I’ve also had quite a few of you ask about the chair with the Whimsy slip cover that was in my booth at quilt market.

Remember this one?

The question has been, where is the pattern?  The answer is, there isn’t one!  Probably not the answer you wanted, but the problem is that there isn’t really a way to put out a pattern like this and fit any chair that you might happen to pick up.  (BTW, this chair is from Pier 1).  Instead, I will show you a couple of pictures to show you how my Mom drafted her own pattern for this chair.

Here is her initial sketch, with measurements from the chair.

After getting all the exact measurements, she added a 1/2″ seam allowance and drafted the pattern onto scrap fabric.

Looks rather strange, doesn’t it?  Up close you will see where Mom has marked the grain lines and several points that will need to be lined up when sewing the L-shaped side with the looooong seat and back piece.  The arrow below shows where she has clipped into the fabric along a straight edge.  Those clips will allow that straight edge to make the corresponding curve shown.

This isn’t exactly a detailed tutorial, but let me just say that if none of that is clicking with you, you probably don’t want to make a slip cover.  After drafting that whole pattern, than you have to sew around those tight curves, and it’s a bit of a challenge. Especially this one.

To ensure that the whole process would work, Mom sewed the slip cover together with a very large stitch and fit it to the chair.  Once she was assured of a good fit, the large stitches were taken out and the pattern was then transferred onto the “good” fabric.  I machine quilted the “good” fabric first, layering it with batting and backing, just to give it some body.  I also worried it would wrinkle up when sat on and I though the machine quilting would help keep the wrinkling under control.  The chair cover is then fit to the chair and the bottom is just turned up and stitched with a 1/2″ hem.

So, there you have it.  A few pointers on how to make a simple slip cover.  I have to admit, that I would much rather make a quilt.  It’s so nice that a quilt doesn’t have to fit anything!  Wouldn’t you agree?  I surely do admire people who can make things like this, but I find it really challenging.  I would have never figured it out if it hadn’t been for Mom holding my hand.  I probably don’t have to ask you what you would rather make!













Posted in Decorating, Fabric Trends, Quilting | Tagged | 11 Comments

Something for the Knitters

I’ve been so busy with all things quilting, that it has been quite a while since I’ve shown any of my knitting projects.  I was really surprised by how many people I met at market that commented on my knitting.  I really thought you were all here for the quilting posts!  I guess that means I could probably post about knitting more often . . . . .  that is, if I get something that turns out well enough to show.

Back in March, I finished this little hat for my newest nephew..

I don’t have a picture of him wearing it, as I intended it to be for next winter.  Here are the Ravelry details.  (For those of you who aren’t members of Ravelry, I heard that you can look at project now, even if you aren’t a member.  I’m not sure how it works though.)

In April, I finished this vest, called Star Crossed Love.  I’m not usually a vest girl, but that was what I ended up with.  I initially bought enough yarn for a compete sweater, but this yarn was so off gauge, that I had to hold the yarn double to get the gauge that was listed on the yarn packaging.  The yarn is Queensland Rustic Tweed.  I have used a couple of their other yarns too.  The others weren’t quite as off for gauge, but I like my knitting a lot tighter than what their labeler (?) does.  (I find the same thing with anything ordered from Knit Picks also).

The Ravelry details here.

Even though I wasn’t thrilled with the gauge on the yarn, it really is a pretty color and I love the tweediness (is that a word?)

In May I finished Aidez, a pattern that I just love.  I don’t have very good pictures of it, but this was a fun knit and really, Really quick, for being a full sweater.



Ravelry Details

This last one is my favorite project that I’ve made in quite a while.  However, it was not a quick knit.  I knew that going into it, but I think it’s worth.  I started it back in February on vacation and just finished getting the zipper into it.  It’s called Vivian.

You may have heard once or twice that I adore cables.  In fact, cables rank right up there with chocolate, Diet Coke, audio books, and sunsets.  They don’t rank quite as high as nieces and nephews, the ocean, and quilt fabric, but still.  This project is perfect for cable lovers.

It’s designed by the talented Ysolda Teague.

I love how the cables going up the arms continue up and around the hood.

The yarn is an older one, but you might still find it on Ebay, etc.  It’s Cambridge by Classic Elite and it’s a cotton wool blend.

I had a really hard time finding a zipper for this.  I purchased a metal zipper with fabric on either side.  They I dyed that fabric to match the sweater.  It doesn’t match very well, but it’s better than a white zipper.   I always have a little trouble getting my zippers to lay flat.  Does anyone have any suggestions for me?  It’s looks flat when I pin it to the sweater, but then after I sew it in, it looks wavy.  It looks less wavy when I’m wearing it, but I can still see it . . . .

You can find the Ravelry details here.

Well, I’m off to work.  Have a great weekend!

PS – Check out this blog – They are having a give-away with my Artful Home fabric!  – Plus there is a little interview about how I create my fabrics.

Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

Finally. . . The Winners!

Hi Everyone!

First off, I want to share the winners from the last two give-aways.

Marsha Nelson is the winner of the Christmas Fat Quarter Pack and Kaye Mattson is the winner of the Classic Clutch Pattern.  You can e-mail your shipping info to me at  Thanks to everyone for participating.

Second of all, I want to wish my dear husband a Happy Anniversary!  We celebrated 8 years yesterday.  Instead of writing this post then, we went out for supper and bought each other some summer sandals as anniversary gifts.  We’re so NOT romantic, that neither of us had anything planned ahead, including gifts or cards.  I wish I could think of something more creative to give him, like this post from two years ago.  Oh well, I will just say that he is still one of my Mostest, Favoritest people on the planet and I hope that makes him happy too.

Thirdly, I wanted to share a few quilts today.  If you remember my after market post, you may also remember me complaining about my lack of skills when it comes to getting good pictures of my quilts inside convention centers.  I’ve had a chance to get some more pictures of a few of those quilts, this time in a little bit better lighting.

1.  Spaghetti Junction


2.  Hip to {NOT} be Square

The close-up of the quilting.  I centered a daisy design in the center of each block and in the corners where four of the blocks meet.  The rest is filled in with leaves and swirls.


3.  Starlit Evening, shown in the twin size.

If you look really closely, you can see the quilting in the blocks, but the fancier quilting is in the cream border.  Quilting usually shows up better in lighter areas, so I chose to add a feather in the cream border.


Pinwheel Posies Runner.  This is probably my favorite quilting of all three, as I liked how the double loop design shows up in each flower.


All of the fabrics are from Whimsy, the collection that Mom and I have coming out early next month.  More on that coming up . . .  Hopefully soon.












Posted in Fabric Trends, Machine Quilting, Quilting | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Deck the Halls . . . . In June?

It happens to be the hottest day in Minnesota in the past 25 years and that is the day that my new Christmas fabric arrives.  Go figure!

In my haste to rip the plastic off the bolts and take a picture, I didn’t take time to fluff my hair and put on some lipstick.  It would have just melted off anyways!

I haven’t had a chance to sew up much with this line yet, – considering that we just finished up with all the quilt market craziness and the fact that the timing on my fabric lines this year got a little out of hand.  They are all coming out way too close together and I can’t seem to keep up with getting all the quilts made to go with them.

I have finished this tree skirt (found in my book Living Large 2).  Kits can be found here.

There is also a free pattern that shows how I envision the line working together.

You can download the pattern at Henry Glass’s website here.  (Kit here)

Hopefully I will get a few more projects finished with the fabric soon.  In the meantime, I just wanted to give everyone a heads-up that the fabric is arriving in stores.  You will have to get it while you can, as a mix-up at the plant resulted in a smaller printing than was ordered. Bummer.

I’m currently working on cutting up some fat quarter packs, including one to share with my readers.  Just leave a comment to be entered to win.  I will announce the winner in my next post.   (Along with the winner of the clutch pattern.  I forgot to announce that winner in my last post, but I will get it taken care of!)


PS – You can read a little more about this line at the Jolly Jabber!

Posted in Quilting | 248 Comments

The (Way After) Market Post

We’ve been home from market for over two weeks now and the time has just flown by.  We have unpacked the car, gotten all the orders shipped out, but I half to admit that I haven’t even unpacked all the bags in the studio yet.  Instead I have been playing a little hooky from work.  While we are gone at market, Minnesota transforms itself from something brown and boring, to lush greenery.  It really makes it hard to focus, so instead I have been attending to my garden and I helped my brother plan out the flower gardens at his house.  I’ve read a book, done some knitting, tried to catch up on some sleep, enjoyed a few Memorial Day get togethers and tried to ignore the work waiting for me. 

That can only last for so long before it’s back to the usual routine, which includes blogging.  Thanks to those of you who have checked up on me to say that you have missed my posts.  I sat down and made a list of things to blog about, so hopefully that will help me get back on track. 

In the meantime, I will share just a few photos from market.  I was really bad about taking photos this year, so I hardly have any to share (though there is no shortage out there on the web if you want to see more).

Here are a few shots of my booth

(I always have such trouble getting accurate colors in these convention centers, so these colors really aren’t that accurate)

Most of the quilts are from the line “Whimsy” that I designed with my Mom. It will be out later this month, so more on that later.  I used one of my favorite prints to make a slip cover for these chairs.

My Mom also helped with these slip covers – as she took all the measurements and drafted a pattern for me.  The next day I quilted the fabric and started the sewing.  I would have never figured it out without Mom marking everything and putting all the snips in the right places ;-)

My other favorite thing from the booth was the baby bolts of Whimsy, shown in the lower corner of this photo.  I will try to get a better photo of them shortly.

It was fun to catch up with everyone, including my lake neighbor, Victoria.  She lives in NYC, but has a cabin on our lake. 

I was surprised by how many people commented about how lucky we were to live on a lake.  I guess I didn’t realize it was so rare for other parts of the country.  Minnesota is the known as the land of 10,000 lakes, though there are actually closer to 12,000 lakes.  They are everywhere!  For example, when I got visit my Mom, who lived 20 minutes away, I pass 8 lakes just on the way there.  Lake life is pretty common in this area.  I think Minnesota needs all these beautiful lakes, or no one would live here because of the bad winters!

I’ll get back to my post, but it just goes to show, you never know what you are going to learn at market!

A few of my favorite booths were:

 Barbara Jones from Quilt Soup.  I am continually amazed by her creative designs and beautiful fabrics.

Sandi Henderson:  I love this living room and would try it at home if I could convince the Hubs.

Sue Spargo:  I just love to see what vivid color combinations she will come up with!

Bonnie and Camille:  I would just like to move into this booth and set up house.  They have all you really need, from a bed to a sewing machine.  Really, the only thing it is missing is coffee and knitting (and Bonnie and Camille, but they could just come over and visit me).

There were many more beautiful booths, but I will wrap this up.  Like I said, I really didn’t get nearly as many pictures as I should have.  Maybe next year, but for now, this will have to do.  Until next time, take care.

Posted in Pattern of the Week, Quilting, Travel | Tagged | 26 Comments

The Classic Clutch

Hi Everyone –

I’m just finishing up the very last of the market preparations.  I’m putting the binding on the last quilt and I am packing my suitcase.  Luckily that last quilt is just a runner, so it should be done shortly.

The pattern is from the Living Large 2 book that I just previewed and the fabric is another sneak peek at Whimsy.  For any shop owners reading this, the line will preview at market.  You can swing by my booth to see lots of quilts done with the line or to see a Henry Glass rep about ordering.  For the rest of you, I will keep you posted on when it arrives in shops – probably the end of June.

Before I forget, the winners of the Living Large 2 book from the last two posts are:

Jenny Michael and Sandi ~ Call me Crazy.  Please e-mail your shipping addresses to:

I have one last preview that I want to get in before I leave for market.  It’s called The Classic Clutch.

I started thinking about clutches in the first place because I was having issues with my large purse.  I use a really large purse because I always want to have a hand-work or knitting project with me at ALL times.  This is how large my purse is –

The problem with having this large of a purse is sometimes I just don’t feel like dragging it with on every errand.  When I am just running into a store for a gallon or milk or a quick trip into the post office, I don’t need the whole thing with me.  I wanted a smaller purse that would fit inside my big purse, that would just hold the necessities.  That way I could grab just that when I ran into the store. 

The first little purse I tried was one of these wallets:

There are everywhere in the stores.  I know many people who have them, so they must be popular.  I didn’t last long with this one, as the clasp never stayed shut.  I decided I needed to make my own because I needed it to be slightly larger – with handles, pockets, and personalized with a cute-large scale fabric.  Something practical, yet cute.  After lots of demos, here is what I’ve come up with:

Inside is a divider that holds the cards I use on a regular basis.  Behind the divider, you can store some cash (not shown).  There is also room for a checkbook and lipstick.  The back pocket holds your keys and cell phone.

I also made a larger size.  I put longer handles on this one so I can throw it over my shoulders for hands-free shopping.  This one still fits inside my regular purse, so I can pull it out for those quick trips.  I will also use this one for an all day shopping trip, as that large purse causes my shoulders to get sore if I use it for a full day.  By the way, you can make both size handles and just switch them out as needed.  I found the little clips at the hardware store for $1.50, so it’s quite inexpensive to make both.

The view from the back side shows the optional zipper pocket (for your cell phone or whatever).  I love the way the zipper cuts through this large print.  By the way, don’t be scared of the zipper.  It’s SO much easier than you think!

(Please excuse the questionable photos.  Joel and I had a good laugh over him trying to be a purse photographer and me trying to be a model!)

Mom and I have made up several color options so far, including another one using fabrics by Valori Wells (the last two were her fabrics as well).

I made this one to match the afore mentioned purse, using my Artful Home fabric.

I also thought I needed a basic black one.  (This is an early demo model, so a few things have been tweaked, including how to reduce the wear-and-tear shown in the area over the magnetic clasp.)

The construction is quick and easy, so they will go together in an evening.  They also make perfect gifts for girlfriends and family members.  The instructions are detailed and full of photos, so that also helps with the construction.  I have struggled in the past with instructions for things other than quilts, so I knew I wanted to include really detailed instructions.  When I look at a quilt, I can often see how it is put together.  When I look at a purse, I have no idea where to begin.  Many patterns just describe how to put the item together, but text can be interpreted in so many ways.  Having photo instructions leaves a lot less room for questions, and hopefully, a more successful outcome.

The patterns started shipping last week, so they should be out and about.  In the meantime, we will continue the tradition and give away a copy to one of the commenters.  I’ll announce the winner after quilt market.

Posted in Fabric Trends, Pattern of the Week, Quilting | Tagged , , , | 154 Comments