Lost and Found

Remember when it was December 2019? Ah, those were the days!

In December 2019, the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild had a holiday party. One of the festive events was an Orphan Project Challenge. Members were challenged to have compassion for another person’s unfinished project and make it their own. If adopted, the project was supposed to be completed in 6 months.

The project that I adopted contained the uncut fabric, and pattern called “Labyrinth Walk”. It is a quilt designed by Christopher Florence, aka “The Guilty Quilter”. I’d give you a link to his designs, but was unable to track down a recent web page. The patterns are available from many sources. This pattern is one that many of my friends and family had sent me as a picture of a “quilt I should make”. When I saw it on the table, I decided it was a sign. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I MAY have misjudged what the sign said, but c’est la vie.

Ok now, I remind you that today is September 2022. That is 33 months since the “adoption”. Somewhere in that time period, I lost my quilty mojo.

The assembly of the pattern was actually much more straight forward than I had anticipated. I really liked piecing it, and would love to try some of the other cool designs by The Guilty Quilter. The cutting for this pattern is a series of strips and the peicing can be done chain / assembly line style since the feature blocks are repeated four or five times on the quilt.

I even completed the top within that 6 month challenge period, April 2020. However, when it came to the quilting, I decided that it needed custom, like what the designer at Wasatch Quilting put together, to maintain and emphasize the 3D effect of the quilt. Somewhere between that daunting task, mask making, and other projects, the project languished. In hindsight (33 months later), maybe and edge to edge would have been the ticket!

I think the part that stalls me on custom computerized quilting is the repetitive stop and go nature of very small designs. Full disclosure. I loaded this quilt on my longarm around December of 2021. I had every intention to work on it, stop and go, while I was taking online classes. I think that I let my classes and family / work responsibilities give me excuses NOT to work on this!

But, finally, I buckled down. This quilt is completed! I used a batik backing to compliment the front colors and a lightweight batting (Hobbs Heirloom 80/20). This batting has become my go-to for most quilts. It really does look cool, and once I share it with my guild (albeit, a little late), I think I’d like to hang it on the wall in my entry, going up the stairs. It can be a reminder to not give up, even when you feel lost!

The next patterns I want to pick up are Passages, and Crescendo! I think both have a ring and vision to them that will be perfect for decorating in my music filled home.

Has there ever been a project or time that you lost your quilty mojo? How did you find it again? I learned that I am a SLOW quilter, a multitasker, and a finisher. In time, I get things done. I don’t like it when something is languishing.


Boldly Sewn.

Whew, finished!   Do you know that feeling?

This quilt was based on the zipper quilt that I saw in one of the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Block magazines.  You can watch Jenny Doan’s tutorial at the link below.

The Zipper Quilt – Quilting Made Easy

The main thing I changed was to start with 10″ squares (layer cakes) instead of charm packs.  I used one layer cake and some Star Trek yardage that my husband and I stashed away over the last few years.  The result is an extra long, king size, Star Trek zipper quilt.

A quilt of such Sci Fi magnitude screamed for a quilting design bolder than stipples, feathers, or simple geometrics.  I decided to digitize a point to point command Insignia.  With connected ends, every other one inverted, and nested the rows, the quilt has no top or bottom.

Admittedly I got carried away and had to remove one whole column before quilting so that I didn’t need to piece my backing and batting!

Sew Bold!


Stripes with Stars

I decided that I should post what has been distracting me from most of my large projects lately.  These mini quilts are addicting, quick to finish, and simple to wrap your head around.  They also make great eye candy gifts.  I’ve been making some of these in threes so that my mom, my grandmother and I all have one to match!

These were the last two finished, and made it to their new home not long after posing for the photographs below.  I LOVE the fabric that I found at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival to build the flag. It is called Marblehead Valor Wavy Stripe Red/White, by Fabri-Quilt.  This mini is my own design!

Which background do you like best?  Night or Day?

The wavy stripes provided the perfect movement and scale for my patriotic mini’s.  (I wish I had bought more, but I think I have enough left to make one of these mini’s for me too.) The flagpole is bias binding, and the star section was cut to match the stripes using a light box and a chalk marker.  All applique is attached with fusible web and blanket stitched to the background.
They are quilted in variegated Red, White, and Blue Floriani thread using a fireworks design that I had in my Library from Wasatch Quilting.

My latest approach to mini quilts has been to longarm the background before completing the embroidery or applique.  This allows me to have intricate quilt designs all the way up to the embroidery and applique features without any backstitching.  It also lets me easily incorporate 3D features.

I have found that I can digitize any font using my embroidery software, Embird.  Once all of the embroidery and applique is completed, I spray baste a facing over the back in decorative fabric, and sew it on at the same time as the binding.  It just covers up the side underside of the stitches.  Does this make sense, or do you need photographs?

If I make many more of these, I might have to start hanging them in my cubicle at work to give the place some color…

Happy Quilting







Scraps for a Friend

What’s the story…

I am typing this post from the KCMQG retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Yeah!  Look at the wonderful design board that have been installed for retreaters.   By tomorrow they will be full of beautiful fiber artwork!

Every time I retreat, I meet so many wonderful people.  Everyone has a story and their projects are extensions of that story.  I just had to share the smiles of some of my new friends.

I met one such friend at another MSQC retreat a couple of years ago.  Last year we met there and she stayed with me at my home.  Before she came,  my friend said;  “You like, batiks, right?”.  I think this followed making my first quilt from batiks.  I said;  “Yes, I do!  They are easy to work with, and I love the “waxy” smell when I iron them”.   (Are you with me, or am I just nuts!?)

That was just the opening she needed.  Friend told me that she was going to bring me some scraps she had leftover from a quilt, that she just wasn’t really “IN” to batiks.   I said;  great!  I’m sure I could use them.  🙂

What was delivered was a disposable grocery bag full of batiks.  Later when I sorted through them, I discovered that the scraps consisted of half paper pieced blocks from a Judy Neimeyer quilt and small accompanying yardage.  SCRAPS?  What’s the story?

Well,  I’m sure we have all had projects that, part way through, just stopped being fun.  Either something goes terribly wrong, or it just doesn’t encourage us to continue with it.   If that ever happens,  by all means,  give it to a friend!

This quilt is the result of those scraps.  I just couldn’t bear to see all of the beautiful paper piecing go to waste.  Curved piecing is cool with me, so I salvaged all that I could and came out with an alternative layout for the pattern and added a border.

THEN, from all of those scraps, I pieced a backing too…


and binding…
and five mug rugs…


and I still have fabric left!

Those are my kind of scraps.

So my friend,  I will be sending your scraps back to you, with the watery depths of fabric quilted with golden fish.  It is appropriate I think, for the Goldfish in Chinese legend is a symbol of surplus and wealth, and a GIFT of goldfish is a blessing in the hope of good fortune.   Send me your scraps anytime!  I feel rich having a friend like you.




EnderQuilt – Game On!

Lately I have not posted many completed works.  I have been quilting for others, which, though rewarding seems to slow progress on my own projects.  But, I persevere…  This one took me less than 1 year!

I started this quilt back in November of 2015, on a whim, during a visit to Quilted Memories.    I remember picking up a stack of solids and talking to one of the ladies cutting about my plan to make a Minecraft quilt for my son that I had seen on Pinterest.

Creeper was completed in November of 2015, then in January he was followed by an enderman, cow, and a pig.  Steve, the chicken, lava and diamond ore came later, much later.   If you remember in my previous post, my son declared that he wanted an Enderdragon on his quilt.

Yes, I am glutton for punishment.  I couldn’t resist the challenge.


An Enderdragon was born out of fabric in my stash.  I designed him in EQ7 as four separate blocks, based on a perler bead image I saw at Kandi Patterns online.  I didn’t want to use all small blocks like a bead pattern does, so created the pattern out of a mixture of large and smaller squares.

Originally he was on a solid background, but I felt that white just wouldn’t work.  I couldn’t use black or grey, as it would blend with his body and wings.

In comes Max (he is 8).  He sees my design.

“Cool!  That’s epic”, he says (or something like that.  I am glad he approved.)

Me:  “Max, what color do you think the Enderdragon should be on?”
Max: “Mooom, Enderdragons live on enderstone.”
Me: “What’s enderstone?”
Max: “Duh, just google it, here I will show you.”

Max proceeded to pull up an image of enderstone on my computer.  There it was in all of it’s stoney glory.  Max helped me pull out scrap squares of tans from my box of brown and tans from his great grandmother’s stash.   Stone is good practice for random.

After finally assembling the four, 24″ squares of the dragon, I assembled him in all of his glory.  As the dragon took up my entire design wall, I realized that I needed to come up with a plan for the rest of the quilt, that would now be a king size!   I used MS Excel to layout my borders and sashing.  What you see was my final pick.  I didn’t keep all of my sashing and borders equal because if I did, it wasn’t going to fit on my longarm!



The quilt is hanging from my second story bannister below.  It is the largest I have made to date.    I think, in minecraft, the enderdragon prevents players from leaving “The End” until he is defeated.   Once defeated, a player gains lots of “experience”.

A special challenge deserves a special label.  I digitized and embroidered the minecraft diamond sword and font.  This was my final touch to a “just because” gift for my son, and co-designer, Max.






A little sprinkle

There aren’t very many little girls in the family, so it is exciting for my aunt to have a granddaughter on the way.  This is my way to send good wishes for a healthy baby girl.

My mom wanted to give a quilt for the shower, so we got to work.  I found this fabric during a random stop to a local quilt shop, Harper’s Fabric and Quilt Co..  The backing came from a quilt shop near my mom, call Prairie Point Quilt & Fabric Shop.  It is from the Moda, Basic Grey fabric line, Mon Ami.  This is a little funny, since I found out that in french, “Ami” is the masculine version of friend!   Oh well.

I loved the grey raindrop fabric, and picked up a charm pack to create the tumblers in the center.  My mother and I pieced the top together using our own layout.  I like how the tumbler border gave the little quilt a feminine touch.

The quilting is a pattern called “Rain Drops” by Brandon Smythe of Intelligent Quilting.  I used blue variegated thread to give the pattern more depth.

It is a simple quilt, but I think will work well as “A Little Sprinkle” of good wishes for my cousin and his wife.



A Saturday Morning Quilt “Jaunt”

Quilts have a way of staying in style, over the year, just like fun words.  Take “jaunt” for instance.  How could a short pleasurable excursion ever go out of style?  🙂

Since I was the only one in my household up earlier this morning, when my mom texted me and said, “Do you still want to go out to the quilt shops?”, I didn’t have to think twice.  Lets go!   We visited two of our local quilt shops, Harper’s Fabrics and Quilted Memories, took in the scents of Penzy’s Spices and then finished off at the Overland Park Farmer’s Market.  My family will enjoy the lovely cinnamon rolls I brought home for a treat.

I was mostly good, but picked up a stack of solids for my latest kid quilt, Minecraft, and one of the rows from this years row-by-row.  I thought Quilted Memories lemonade row might make a fun summer wall hanging.

Creeper is completed, but now I need to begin laying out some of the other characters.   The Minecraft quilt is made of 100% solid colors with pixel based art.  My inspiration came from pinterest.  Sorry, I can’t post a pattern here…




Chains of Luck

Some projects have a way of blossoming. I started this quilt as a small scrappy lap quilt from some of my grandmothers stash. However, my dad visited while I was working on it and commented that it should be Queen size… Then he brought me a book of celtic knots for “inspiration” and made me a quilt ladder, complete with celtic knots and dragons for my birthday! SO, I made a queen size quilt, complete with quaternary knots, known for their luck! The quilt has double batting, cotton on the bottom, wool on top, to help the knots “pop”.
I’m such a lucky kid to have a great dad! Happy Birthday Dad!



Passing Pinwheels

This September I attended the MSQC fall forum retreat.  There were over 40 ladies and gentlemen in attendance.  We enjoyed socializing and sewing in the beautiful retreat center space and partied at the companies 7th Birthday Bash events.  An extra bonus was the JCPenney’s day festival that coincided with all of the events.

I enjoyed meeting many new people.  Some did demos and most everyone had created special custom favors to share with their new friends.

One of my contributions was a portable design wall for everyone that contained the triangles needed to create traditional pinwheel blocks.  The design wall was inspired by the UFO to GO at the Riley Blake Designs site.  The half square triangles for this block were cut from vintage stash using a Sizzix Bigz die.  Sashing was added as a design element to separate the triangles spinning in opposite directions.


I named the quilt based on a poem that I found online.  It felt fitting for the event and final destination of the quilt.

This quilt will be gifted to a homeless shelter and I am sure it will be cherished. Thanks for everyone’s participation!   It turned out soft and beautiful.

Passing Pinwheels
By: Kenneth Alan O’Shaughnessy 
Colors burning in the bright summer sun
Kaleidoscoping in the breeze
Friends beside me to share in all the fun
There are no other joys like these

Passing pinwheels from hand to hand
And smiles from face to face
Sharing our simple God-spun joys
Blown our way by grace

Sometimes we have to create our own wind
When the breezes cease to blow
We blow and blow with all the breath God gives
To try to make the pinwheel go

Passing pinwheels from hand to hand
And smiles from face to face
Sharing our simple God-spun joys
Blown our way by grace

And when the soft breezes blow in the clouds
And the sun hides behind the rain
We pass the pinwheels safe on the porch
Until the fair winds blow again

Passing pinwheels from hand to hand
And smiles from face to face
Sharing our simple God-spun joys
Blown our way by grace

All we need is the breath of God
A little paper and a stick
A bunch of friends who’ll stay with us
Through the thin and thick

Passing pinwheels from hand to hand
And smiles from face to face
Sharing our simple God-spun joys
Blown our way by grace


Curve it Up – Block 7 – Log Cabin

UnknownIf you can believe what is on the internet (ever) then you might know that the log cabin quilt dates back further than the pioneer days in the United States.  Supposedly, similar designs were found on an ancient Egyptian mummy and in an English quilt predating 1830!  While that is all fine and good, the design makes me think of the pioneer spirit and workmanship and bravery of those who rebuilt their lives in new territories.

I would like nothing more than to built myself a log cabin home as a retreat (complete with a real floor and AC). I’m afraid I would be left sleeping on top of my sewing tables!

logcabinThis curvy log cabin block starts out the same as a traditional log cabin.  Lore says a red center symbolizes the hearth of the home, and yellow a welcoming light in the window, My pink centers represent something else entirely.  For a long time, I hated the color pink.  Don’t ask me why, I just couldn’t mentally handle it.  One day after college, before I became a mother, I decided it was time to “girl up”  and come to terms with what is now one of my favorite colors, though I lean toward the darker pinks.  My centers are not “just pink”, they are built of peony medallion and navy haystack fabric with a hint of traditional navy.  They represent my “inner girl”  that used to hate pink…

I really liked making this block, and may need to build an entire quilt like it.  The only “trick” to the completion was the tapered 1/4″ curve to finish the curved center.  IMG_7298Start your seam  1 3/4″ down on your curve and taper your seam to the normal 1/4″ seam allowance.  Taper back down on the other side.  It took me a couple of tries to get it right, but mistakes were easily corrected.


Update (11/2016):  I recently received a bunch of inquiries regarding the pattern for this block.  It is part of the Sew Kind of Wonderful, Curve it Up, pattern.  It is not free.  I think a link to my site was listed under free patterns somewhere incorrectly.  I hope this clears up some confusion.