May SNOW! May What?!?


It’s snowing.  Yes it is May.  Yes it is snowing, and snowing, and snowing.  No. I am not happy about it.  My Mother’s Day mood was ruined by the weather even though it provided me the excuse to stay inside and finish up a modern quilt that I have been working on.  Snow in May makes me grumpy.  I have closed all the shades and curtains and forbid my kids from opening them until the sun comes out again.  I refuse to acknowledge that the snow is still falling like wet heavy boogies from the sky.  It is just gross.

My plan instead?  Retreat to the basement like a mole and sew, sew, sew.  My kids are loving it because they get to watch movie after movie (except Frozen, it has been banned temporarily due to the cold theme revolving around ice and snow).  It has worked out alright, I have finished a few things and in my normal style I have forgotten to take pictures of two of my projects… I am pathetic.  I made a really cute apron for a friend of mine using this pattern.


I also made a fabric bowl that looks similar to these:  for her eggs from her backyard chickens.

IMGP7807The final thing that I worked on and finished is really the most exciting.  I am a member of the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild in Denver area.  We have been given a modern quilt challenge.  Using at least the four fabrics that were chosen for us we must make a modern quilt that measures at least 40 inches x 40 inches and demonstrates the modern quilting aesthetic.


I only added the white background color and the gray for binding.  It was a fun challenge and when I got the colors I was not digging the challenge, but it turns out I kinda like the end result.


I free motion quilted it on a Pfaff long-arm and as always really enjoyed that process.  I decided to machine bind the whole thing because I wanted to stick to modern techniques and because I wanted to finish it faster…

IMGP8593The guild is collecting quilts from Front Range Modern Quilt Guild and a few other modern quilt guilds in Colorado and hoping to show a collection of quilts at various different shows throughout the state to introduce people to modern quilting.  Even though I really like modern quilting I still love the traditional crinkly look of a quilt when you pull it out of the dryer for the fist time, it is so cozy.  How about your?  Are you a traditionalist or a modern quilter?  OR do you just call yourself a quilter, like I do.




2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge


Radiant Orchid 2014 with my chickens

Whew!  I got it done in the knick of time!  I heard about a quilt challenge awhile back and gave you a sneak peak of my fabrics in a post earlier this year here.  It is a challenge using the Pantone Color of the year and this year it is Radiant Orchid.

I enjoyed the color choice, but I have to be honest by the time I finished the quilt I am ready to put it away.  I started this quilt near Valentine’s Day and had hearts on the brain and now I am ready to move on to Spring things.  Even though I am ready to put it away until next February I really did have a good time doing the challenge.  It was a good lesson in color theory for me as I chose to keep my color palate very simple and yet striking.  


“now that’s good fabric on the back!”

I designed this quilt based on a picture I saw years ago (sorry, no link, I looked for one).  I have just kept the picture in my head and it really did feel good to get it out on paper first and turn it into a quilt.  So I guess you could say that I designed this quilt from scratch!  High five self!

For the quilting, I have recently met a woman who lives near me that has a PFAFF long-arm that she has graciously offered to my use.  I am enjoying quilting and she has said she enjoys watching me do it so I think we make a good pair.  Thanks Ginger!  The quilting design was inspired by the Spring sun and the color name. The quilting starts in the center of the heart and makes a radiant sunburst type pattern out towards the edges of the quilt.  Then a few of the radiant sun rays are filled in with what I call a ribbon candy pattern.  I chose to do this because it is afterall,  a Valentine’s quilt and Valentine’s Day is all about candy!


close-up of radiant quilting


The binding… I have a secret.  I rarely hand bind my quilts.  I like machine binding.  So it should come as no surprise to you that this quilt is also machine bound.  I just like it and it is so fast to get  quilt done.  One day I’m sure that I will learn to love hand binding but just not yet…  One day I will post a tutorial about how I bind my quilts.


I love the color of the binding!


Now for me to meet the contest requirements:

Quilt Title:  Sweet Radiance 

Quilt Size: 33inches x 42inches

Contest category: Quilts (finished)

Fabrics used: front- Ta Dot in grape by Michael Miller, Peak Hour by Kellie Wulfsonn for Riley Blake  binding- Tweedy by P&B textiles   back- Heart Stipe in burgundy by Free Spirit


sunglare and all, here she is!

Wyoming retreat #2

April is coming and with the month of April comes my last winter sewing retreat and the start of gardening and rafting season.  March is always a hard month for me to focus on one thing or the other so I feel like my month slips away without accomplishing anything and then the month of April is my scramble catch up month.  NOT this year!  I am going to keep up on blog posts, get a couple of sewing projects done, finish planning a retreat, get my garden planned out and ready, plan some summer rafting trips, go on TWO back-country snowshoe trips and don’t you worry I will tell you all about each and every one of those things…  Just kidding I will try to stick to quilting and/or sewing.

So, back on the Ranch in Wyoming… we all had a great time and I just want to share a few more photos of projects that I worked on while I was there.

The picture below features some friendship blocks given to me by the lovely group of friends that I sew with most often in Wyoming.  I only used a portion of the blocks so I still have some to play with.  I am really looking forward to quilting in all that lovely negative space.  It has been calling to me in my dreams…


not all friendships are perfect

Next up is a quilt that I sorta designed myself.  By that I mean I just started sewing and this is what is turned out to be.  I really like the end result and again I am looking forward to quilting this top too.  I used a jelly roll from Amy Butler’s Lark collection and a couple of yards of Kona, bone color.


I also started and finished a new purse for myself!  I love updating my wardrobe in the spring and really who can afford that when all my extra green goes to fabric so instead I decided to put my skills to good use and accessorize!  The tutorial that I used can be found here.  The tutorial was great, I have used it a couple of times for myself and the piping adds a real finished look to the bag.  I changed  up the pleats just a little bit on mine just because the fabric yelled at me when I tried to pleat it more than once, it said “NO I want to be seen”!


During the weekend I was also asked to give a quick demonstration on machine binding.  I was happy to do so.  I found this tutorial on Pinterest awhile back and I think it is genus!  It is called Susie’s magic binding.  I used this technique to bind all of the Valentine’s placemats that I made for our very first Valentine’s breakfast celebration this year.  I blogged about it here.

And now for the most important pictures of the weekend… I taught a class at Quilt Wyoming in 2013 and a couple of my students were at this retreat and they brought their finished quilt with them to show me.  It really warmed my heart and made me feel accomplished.  Thank you both for sharing and I hope to see you in future classes.


Betty with her finished quilt.


Lyn with her finished quilt.


She even used the teeny tiny cut off HST units on the back! I’m proud of you girl!

To end out this post I would love to know what some of your spring goals are?  Are you stash busting with a scrappy pattern?  Are you fabric collecting for a design that has been brewing in your head?  Are you focusing on finishes for the month?  What are working on?

Wyoming Winter Retreat

Last week I got to go on a wonderfully relaxing and fulfilling retreat in Wyoming.  I got to sew with my mom (my best sewing buddy) and all of the ladies who have been so supportive of me.  There were 38 women at this retreat and I didn’t do a very good job of getting photos, I spent my time actually sewing!  I also may or may not have forgotten my camera… good thing my mom had a Kindle that takes photos (kinda).  I mean, thanks mom for having my back, again.  Aren’t mom’s the greatest?!?


Kandie, Me, Pam

There are quiet a few mom and daughter pairs there, but I didn’t get a picture of all of them (I didn’t think to until just now).


Lyn Marie and Lyn

Lyn Marie finished piecing her first quilt top!  She doesn’t quilt except for at this retreat and she thinks this quilt took her forever to do (3yrs) but when you think about it, it only took her 3 weekends.  Congratulations to Lynie!


It is a pattern using layers cakes with sashing, she made it BIG she wants it to hang to the floor on her bed.

There was another girl there for the first time and she not only finished piecing her first quilt top she also had a birthday.  She turned a whopping 19 years old thereby dethroning me as the youngest participant at the retreat.  I was very happy to see someone younger than me there and I wasn’t the only one.  I overheard some other ladies say that they were thrilled to see “young kids doing something worth their time and not playing computer games”.  I was happy to hear that the ladies liked having some young folks around, that is not always what I have experienced in the past.  That is why I keep going back to Wyoming to the best group of gals out there. So… back to the ‘first quilt’ that I was originally talking about.


Andie is telling us all a little about her first quilt and the fabric choices she made.


the whole quilt top in all it’s glory

I also had the pleasure of meeting another new girl to the group.  She is also a part of a mother daughter team (no picture, sorry).  The younger of this dynamic duo started quilting first and actually got her mom into the lifestyle of fabric collecting and petting.  It turns out she is a fellow blogger in Florida of all places!  She got so cold on her weekend in Wyoming she was borrowing winter clothes to stay warm.  AND her mom also celebrated a birthday while we were all out there.  Whew, what a weekend for these gals.  This is Melissa and she can be found at Loblolly Quilts.


Selfie with a Kindle


Melissa’s improv quilt top, she went around gathering scraps from people when she was done with this one so she could work on her next one. Way to repurpose Melissa!


This is my model for the most awesome invention ever, by me.

During the retreat I was asked to do a short demonstration about something quilting related and I chose to demonstrate machine binding.  I blew some of those ladies’ minds!  I am a bit of a rule breaker and walking into a traditionalists room and saying that machine binding is ok was more than some of them could handle.  In order to keep the peace I used a distraction technique by showing them the most awesome invention ever, by me.  First, you start by collecting an empty toilet paper roll (if you have kids like mine, you have TONS of those).  Then you roll your prepared binding onto the roll.  Next depending on your preference for over or under you string a piece of selvage through that roll and tie it in a knot.  You can now wear your binding as a necklace and it just rolls off the paper roll while you attach it to your quilt.  I am a genius!

Whew, this has been a bit of a long-winded post so I think that I will cut myself off here and make a second installment later this week.  I will talk more about the retreat and show some photos of what I got done and also I will chat a little more about the machine binding demonstration that I taught.  I hope you all are finding some time to quilt and/or sew.  I am starting to feel spring coming on so I feel like it is crunch time to get all of my winter quilting done.  How about all of you, do you quilt/sew more in the winter or summer months?

Early Valentine’s

Happy Valentines Day!  I know not quite yet, but welcome to the life of a firefighter family.  What?!?  Yes, I am the lucky woman who is married to a firefighter/paramedic.  He makes my heart pitter-patter.  But along with the heart … Continue reading