My Music Classroom

Well, after moving across the country and preparing for and teaching my first week of school, I’ve finally come up for air.  I thought you might like to see my classroom and where those quilts went.  As you can see, there is a space theme going on here.Music can take you to exciting placesIMG_1213IMG_1216IMG_1221IMG_1222IMG_1214

Fabric works great for covering bulletin boards.  This space themed line of fabric is from Connecting Threads.  IMG_1215IMG_1217IMG_1218

One of the first things I teach is how to say my name.  It’s easy for the kids, but still hard for the adults!IMG_1220

I will be joining the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge starting on Sept 1.  I think this is the 5th time I have participated, so I didn’t want to miss it.  I don’t know how I’ll have time, but let’s just say my “paintings” will be small and simple.  I look forward to re-connecting with all my artist friends.


Another Drunkards Path Quilt

I enjoyed making the red and cream quilt so much, that I decided that I would use the same pattern to make a wedding quilt for my niece, Nicole.  This one is queen sized.

Nicole's Quilt

Nicole’s Quilt

I again made it scrappy because I am really trying to use up my stash.  Nicole said she liked olive green  so I incorporated that in the border.  I thought blue and green would make a nice color palette for the quilt.  I had fun with the custom quilting.IMG_0785IMG_0786IMG_0787On the back, I added some blocks I had made in an improvisational piecing class taught by Jackie Gehring.    Who says the back should be boring?IMG_0792 IMG_0793IMG_0796Congratulations to Nicole and Josh!  They were married November 15, 2014.  And I’m happy to say the quilt was finished in time so that they could open it on their wedding day.IMG_0789


Drunkard’s Path with Pepper Cory

So what do you do when you have LOTs of different fabrics?  Make a scrappy quilt!IMG_0592

Pepper Cory, a guest quilt artist at our guild this week literally wrote the book on the Drunkard’s Path Block.  I have always wanted to play with curved seams, so I took her one day workshop on Wednesday.

.Drunkard's Path book

Pepper has been quilting since the late 70’s.   She showed us a lot of options for using this curved seamed block–sometimes combining it with other blocks.  Here are some of the quilts she showed us in class that she has made.

IMG_0801 IMG_0802 IMG_0803

Love the colors in this one!IMG_0804

With 3″ blocks.IMG_0805

Larger with 6″ blocksIMG_0806 Sampler blocks.  Lots of interesting combinations. IMG_0809

Pepper has been quilting since the late 70’s.  Here she is giving some feedback on one of my classmates’ block combinations.  Despite this this poor picture, she really was happy about it!


I decided to use all my reds and creams to make a scrappy quilt.  I’ve just sewn enough blocks to lay out the center.  The individual blocks are 8″–which makes the curved piecing rather easy.  When finished it will have 8 blocks across and 8 down.  Then I will think about a border.  So it will become a generous lap quilt for my new sofa.   This way of configuring the blocks has several names:  Love Ring, Lone Ring, Nonesuch, Rippling Waters, Jig Saw Puzzle or Ozark Puzzle–just to name a few. Trying to figure out how all the names came to be would be another puzzle!  Pepper actually does give a lot of the history of this block and it’s variations  in her book.

working on a curved seamed quilt

I’m determined that this will NOT become another UFO!  Stayed tuned.  This one WILL get finished before my next guild meeting (I hope!).




Making Progress

Just wanted to let you all know that I have made some progress on at least one UFO this week.  You might remember this Halloween quilt top from my last post.  Well, with the addition of some wide borders, it is now a little lap quilt! Now it’s ready to pull out for the Fall.IMG_0568With addition of the orange and green borders, it measures about 58″ square–a nice lap size.

IMG_0560At first I didn’t think that the darker green border was a good choice.  But my main goal in finishing this projects it to use fabric that I already have!  I probably would have gone for a lime green or purple, but this fabric is growing on me.  Who says everything has to match perfectly?  Hope it makes it more interesting.  I picked up quite a lot of this fabric at a guild sale years ago.  I loved the little ravens (or are they crows?).  It’s an unusual print and I finally found a place to use it.  I made the binding out of another Halloween print that I had around.IMG_0561Also right out of my fabric stash I found this orange diamond fabric that looks great on the back.  I added some extra blocks (and more of the green) to make the backing wide enough.  Pieced backs are always more interesting just using one fabric.  I quilted it with an all-over spiral pattern as you can see.  Nothing fancy.  Got to get these projects done!IMG_0564I find I do have  quite a few Autumn fabrics and colors in my fabric stash.  It’s obvious it’s my favorite season and now I have another Fall quilt project to add to my collection!



UFO’s–Not the Space Kind

If you are a quilter, you are very familiar with UFO’s (Un-Finished Objects).  Dedicated quilters (and other crafters) have a LOT of those.  I have too many to count.  I buy all the materials, start a project, and then move on to something else before I ever finish.  Some times I just buy the fabric and never start at all!  Well, I’ve dedicated this month to FINISHING!  I thought I would share some of these UFO’s and then let you know in the coming days of my progress.

Here are a few of the unfinished things I found lying around.  I have dozens and dozens, so I will just give you a peek at a few.


This little Halloween table topper just needs to be quilted.  Maybe I will add a border.

IMG_0558I found these blocks on Ebay some time ago.  I’d guess they are from the 50’s or 60’s.  They are handpieced.  I added the polka dot and navy fabrics.  I have six blocks.  I could probably make a little lap quilt.

IMG_0553 IMG_0554

This little Fall stitchery is almost done.  I hope it looks cuter when is is quilted.

IMG_0546Same with this tiny wallhanging.  It’s my first attempt at hand applique.IMG_0552I’m ashamed to say I have purchased whole quilt kits that I never even started.  I’m not even sure I like them anymore.  If I do tackle them, I will probably update the fabrics.IMG_0542 IMG_0543 IMG_0544 IMG_0545I liked this floral fabric a lot when I bought it years ago and found some coordinating prints.    I started some piecing, thinking to make it into a quilted jacket.  That’s not going to happen.  But it would make a nice charity quilt.IMG_0555 IMG_0556Here are a couple small holiday items.  It wouldn’t take much to finish them.  I just have to have a reason.IMG_0551IMG_0547

Loved the unusual color scheme in these holiday prints.

IMG_0548 IMG_0549These “orphan” blocks I picked up at a guild meeting.  I’m sure I could combine them into nice charity quilt.  Our guild makes quilts for a local shelter for women and children.IMG_0557Well, I could go on and on, but I will stop for now.  Time to get sewing!










Charity Quilts

This week I finished a couple of charity quilts.  These two were for the Quilts of Valor organization.ImageImage

The first one, in red,white and blue, I quilted with an over all pattern I call Loopy Stars.  It seemed appropriate.Image


The second was a little more whimsical in color and fabric choices so I used my Spirals pattern.Image

.Both of theses quilts were string pieced and used a variety of fabrics.  It looks like a great way to use up scraps.ImageImage

Unfortunately, I don’t know who pieced them, or I would give credit.  I sent them off.  The next person will bind them and then they will go to their recipients.  It’s a wonderful collaboration and I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to do my part.

Quilt Show

Our guild has a quilt show every two years.  It’s a big deal.  Last October our show featured over 300 quilts.  If you have never been to a quilt show, you really should.  Talk about eye-candy!  You will see work that will blow your socks off.  And you will never think that “blanket” and “quilt” are interchangeable words again!



Available in my Etsy shop

Day 25 Quilts for Sale

It was time for me to do a painting with a quilting theme.  The quilter who lives here sure doesn’t have to look far for inspiration! Quilts for Sale 2


5″ x 7″ watercolor on Aquabord with easel   Available in my Etsy Shop.

Halloween Meow

Another picture with my favorite Fall theme.  And more pumpkins–they just go with everything.Image

I also quilted up a cute Halloween wallhanging.  It was just a simple fabric panel–no piecing.Image

I quilted a spider web on each of the center blocks.


I used some orange/yellow variegated thread for the stars.  I also quilted: “Happy Halloween”.


I added loops in the inner borders and some oak leaves in the outer border blocks.


So, what do you think?  Quilting really DOES make the quilt.  I had a lot of fun doing this for my friend Marge.



Bluebird Blossoms and Quilting Mags

Quilt magazines are my junk food.  I need a fix everyday.  This latest watercolor was inspired by a picture of an applique quilt that I noticed as  I perused a old mag the other day.  I haven’t really thought of myself as a collector, but I must admit I have quite a few quilting magazines.  I subscribe to 8 or 10 and of course I NEVER throw them away.  I guess I have accumulated hundreds (if not thousands).  Where do I keep them?  Everywhere!  There are magazines stacked in almost every room in my house and basement.  They are toppling over every where.  Of course I need a stash in the bathroom and by my bed.  My husband is very understanding.  He hasn’t complained yet.  What do I do with them?   I flip through them constantly to get inspiration.  To me they are quilters’ eye candy.   It’s amazing that if you just wait awhile, you can flip through a magazine you have read before, and it all seems all new again.  ( I guess my creative memory is very short).   I have even gone so far as to buy used magazines by the box load off of Ebay.  How embarrassing!  Who doesn’t need all the issues of Quilters Newsletter and American Patchwork and Quilting from the 90’s?  You never know what you will find.  How many quilts have I actually designed and made from all of this inspiration you might ask?  Very few, unfortunately.    I’m too busy reading the magazines!  Does any one else suffer from this illness?   Image

More Wonderful Quilts

Here is my last “reporting” from the Chicago International Quilt Festival last weekend.  I liked the over all impact of these pieces.  Enjoy!

Houton Texas Temple   by Carolyn Allison    Pearland, TexasImage


Convergence    by Latifah Saafir      Los Angeles, CAImage


Rainy Day — San Francisco   Monday, Oct 25, 2010    by Sally Wright   Los Angeles, CAImage


Hula Hibiscus    by Lisa Calle   Pottstown, PennsylvainiaImage


Weezie’s Wildflowers #17    by Laura Wasilowski    Elgin, IllinoisImage



Some Fabulous Quilting

Here are more pictures from the International Quilt Show in Chicago last week.  I’m always attracted to wonderful quilting.  Here are some great examples.  Enjoy!  (Sorry I failed to get the name of the quilters).


Mary Lou

Last month Mary Lou Weidman came to our guild and I took an all day workshop.  It was so inspiring.  I love her whimsical style.  She does the work that I dream of doing.  We learned how to make “wonky” blocks.  It was SO fun and freeing.  Here’s what I got done in the workshop.  Someday (soon I hope!) these blocks will go into a quilt.

ImageImageIMG_1170ImageIf you want to try this kind of piecing, her process is well explained in her latest book:

ImageI was so enamored of Mary Lou’s style, I went to Amazon and found a couple more of her older books (used) that are now out of print.

ImageImageI’m telling you all this because there was a special showing of Mary Lou inspired quilts at the International Quilt Show last week in Chicago.  The quilts were different takes on her cow pattern ( from “Out of the Box”) Image

I took some pictures of the ones I liked the best.  Sorry I didn’t get the names of the artists.

Just in time for July 4th.ImageImage

Love this Halloween one.


All so fun!

International Quilt Festival Chicago 2013

Last weekend I was pleased to attend this fabulous quilt show in Rosemont, IL.  The show went  missing for 3 years, but now it is back. Yeah!  I saw some fabulous quilts and even more fabulous quilting!  I’ll share a few of the pics I took each day this week.  I’m not a great photographer, but you get the gist.  Of course they are even more  wonderful in person.

Today’s Group:    Happy Quilts that make me Smile

Fifty-Six Years Old   by Naoko Hirano   Japan


 Tree of Life  by Stephanie Adams      Kansas



Brazen Blossoms  by Diane Melms    Alaska



3-D Sunflower  by Martha DeLeonardis     Texas

ImageThis happy guy is my husband, David, who quite willingly went to the show with me and carried all of my purchases in his backpack.  What a keeper!



Sew It!


Sew It!

I spend a lot of time THINKING about sewing and quilting. I read magazines and books. Search Flicker, blogs and Pinterest. I drool over fabric on the internet and in fabric stores (and buy an awful lot of it) I draw quilt ideas in my sketchbook and all together fantasize about quilts all the time but have little to show for it. So I painted this little pic to remind myself that nothing will ever happen unless I sit down and DO IT.

Pineapple Quilt Nearing Completion

As I told  you a while back, I took a workshop from Gyleen Fitzgerald called “Scappy Pineapple” .  Well I have finally finished 16 blocks that I think will make a nice table topper or wall hanging.  Here is my finished block.  I pieced it in a “controlled scrappy” fashion.


I took my colors from this focus fabric that I just love:IMG_0855

It’s “controlled scrappy” because although I used lots of different prints, I used the same red fabric in the centers and corners.  I also saved the black to use in the last round of the pineapple.  This creates a secondary design when all the blocks are put together.  Here’s what it looks like.


Now I’m thinking about borders.  I want to use my focus fabric for sure, but I also want a skinny inner border.  I’ve narrowed the small border down to two color choices.  Here’s the “audition”.

IMG_0857 or IMG_0859

What do you think?  The black is the natural choice, but I kind of like the “pop” of the turquoise.  I would really appreciate some input before I complete the top.  So should it be the black or turquoise?  You choose.