Friday, August 26, 2011

Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild

Last week I attended the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild.  It was great once I got there, but it was a nightmare getting there!  It usually takes me just under an hour.  With construction, two accidents, and city traffic, it took twice as long!  I had even left early and wondered what I was going to do with my extra time.  That was one worry that quickly subsided - unfortunately.  Even on my way home it took longer than usual because of narrowing construction lanes at 9:00 at night!

Enough about my nightmare -- the guild di a fun thing.  Evidently at one of the previous meetings that I had missed, they passed out Kona solid charm packs.  This night they brought the finished challenge quilts.  They put numbers -- no names -- on all the quilts, and we voted for our favorites.  I did get there just in time for the voting!

To no one's surprise Kati won, even though no one knew which quilt was hers.

This was second place.  This is the back!  The top is fun, but I like that back better!

This is the front.

There was a three way tie for third -- how's that for being indecisive!

These circles are appliqued and the back is cut away behind.

Fun pillows!

These squares are pieced.  She used a clever technique.  She sewed a narrow border around a charm square.  Then cut it in half each way.  Then rotated the squares and sewed them back together!  So much better than cutting all those tiny sashing pieces!  I think there was technically some cheating here because only solids were suppose to be used, and she cut up her Kona bag which is a print.  Just the kind of cheating we quilter's whole heartedly endorse!

Fun night!  I have recently heard of two Modern Quilt groups closer to me, so I may be making a change as much I have loved meeting these ladies.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More Pumpkin Progess

I guess these technically aren't pumpkins, but here's the 16 patch for the pumpkin quilt.

I sewed four strip sets that I cut into 2.5" sections and sewed together into the 16 patch.  These must have been long strips becasue I was able to barely squeeze 17 sections out of each strip set.  Since I only needed 16, I used the extra ones to make a signature block for the back of the quilt.  I do have some of the selvage holes showing in two places on my signature block.  Normally that is a pet peeve of mine - to see selvage holes in a quilt.  I figured it would be alright since it was on the back.  They are also tiny holes.  I hope it doesn't bother me. 

I guess if it does, I can applique a couple leaves on the block.  I was pleased there was the extra rows.  I was just going to cut a plain square for a signature block, but this is so much more fun!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fat Quarter Stars Quilt Along

Fat Quarter Stars Quilt Along
27 Sep 2011 to 27 Mar 2012

Grab your favorite fat quarters and let's start quilting!

Starting September 27th, every other TUESDAY, instructions for a new 12" block will be posted.  All of the blocks will be star blocks made from fat quarters and some background yardage.  Links to all of the blocks will be on this post, but instructions are first posted on my blog.  Click on the header at the top of this page for the most current posts. 

Each block will be designed by a different person.  Every two weeks there will be a guest blogger on my blog introducing himself or herself and his/her block.  At the end you will have made a fun quilt 65" x 84" (or 74" x 93").

Here's the information you need to get started:

Fabric Requirements:

16 Fat Quarters
3 1/2 yards background and border and sashing fabric
optional 2 yards addional border fabric -- this makes the larger size quilt
5 yards (6 yards for larger size) backing
3/4 yard binding  (for both sizes)

Size of Quilt: 65" x 84"

1)  Will linear quarter yards work?
Not necessarily.  If you want to use yardage, you might want to have half yards just in case.  If you think you need to use quarter yards, you might need to piece a larger block.  You may not need to, but that's the worst that would happen.

2)  When is the first drawing?
The first drawing will be Tuesday, Sep 27. 

3)  Who is entered in the first drawing?
This is new--there are two ways to enter the first drawing.  FIRST, post a comment on this post saying that you are doing the quilt along.  SECOND, post a picture of your fabric on the flickr site.  Technically there will be two drawings, one from the post comments, and one from the flickr pool.

4)  What's the flickr site:
Here's the link:

5)  How do I get entered into the block drawings?
You get entered into the block drawings by posting your block on our flickr site.  The same one from #4.  If you need help getting on flickr, check out my Flickr 101 and Flickr 102 tutorials.
6)  Can I use scraps?

7)  What fabric are you using?
I had a fat quarter bundle of Folklorique by Fig Tree for Moda sitting around.  There were exactly 16 fat quarters in it.  It was asking me to use it.  I said I wanted to buy new fabric, but it convinced me otherwise.  You may not recognize it as Folklorique because it is the wovens from the line.  Sampler quilts are fun to experiment with.  I am using white as my background fabric. 

8)  What's up with all the background fabric?
Consider your background/sashing/border fabric carefully.  There will be a lot of it.  I'm excited about the layout I've drawn up.  I know it can be hard not to have all directions up front.  That's also part of the fun.  It's a mystery quilt--for all of us!

9)  What are the prizes?
All sorts of quilting stuff!  Fabric, patterns, books, etc.  There are always at least two prizes for every drawing.  And I do have another Folklorique wovens fat quarter bundle that will find a new home in this first drawing!

10)  Do I have to have a blog to join?
Not at all, but if you do then

Grab a button, and join the fun!!!

(If you need help grabbing a button, check out my Blogger 101 tutorial.

11)  Where are the patterns?
You will find them right here!  The list below will turn into links when I get the blocks posted.

Block One
Block Two
Block Three
Block Four
Block Five
Block Six
Block Seven
Block Eight
Block Nine
Block Ten
Block Eleven
Block Twelve
Finishing Instructions

12)  Isn't that enough questions already?!?
Probably not.  If you have another question I haven't covered, please ask!  Remember if you post anonymously I can't reply to you.

Anyone interested in designing a block or donating prizes can email me at!

Let the quilting begin!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Quilt Along Teaser

Just a heads up, on Monday there will be an official announcement about the next Quilt Along.

Anyone interested in designing a block or donating prizes can email me at


Thursday, August 18, 2011

An Experience with Greige Goods

In case you haven't heard of Greige (pronounced "grey") Goods before, it refers to the fabric before any of the dyes are added to it.

Often Griege Goods is talked about in terms of quality.  For instance, "The quality of the Greige Goods...." 

This summer I saw what a difference the quality of the greige goods made.  I wish I had a picture to show you.

A month or so ago a lady showed me her first quilt.  It was a beautiful lone star quilt.  It was amazing!  She was a seamstress before she was a quilter, and she took the time to make sure her piecing was precise.  I couldn't believe it was her first quilt!  It had also been used and loved for a few years.  What was interesting to me was that I recognized many of the fabrics in the quilt.  In fact, I had purchased at one time or another many of those same fabrics before I learned about quilt shop fabric.

One fabric in the quilt was quilt shop quality fabric -- which I also owned a piece of.  That fabric was the only piece of fabric that hadn't faded. 

Why?  Because quilt shop fabric starts with a higher quality of greige goods, maybe better dyes too, I don't know about that.  That's why it is more expensive.  It is better quality.

I'm not saying that there's not a place for non-quilt shop fabric.  Just consider your project before you use it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One more Receiving Blanket

My baby sister had a baby this morning!  Her boys have been loving Dr. Seuss lately.  My sister loves red, so this receiving blanket was perfect -- even though I wanted to make something pink and flowery. 

I ordered the Seuss flannel online when I couldn't find it local.  It arrived yesterday.  I got the call this morning, made the blanket using my tutorial, and hurried to the hospital.  The thirty minute drive felt like forever!  Nothing like holding a brand new baby!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pumpkin Progress

Last weekend I made some progress on my pumpkin blocks.  They look a little off kilter right now because I still need to applique a leaf on.  It's an 8" block so although it doesn't have a lot of detail in it, I think it will be alright.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Utah Quilt Fest

The Utah Quilt Guild's Annual Quilt Fest is right around the corner:

It's not too late to sign up for classes, but it almost is!

I am teaching one class, Miss Maddie, my newest pattern:

I'd love to see you there! 

P.S.  I just finished another version that has a large focus print -- pirates -- instead of the applique.  I need to take pictures and show you!

P.P.S.  I use fusible web to applique, so this is super easy, even if you have never appliqued before!

Friday, August 12, 2011


I had such grand plans yesterday.  The day before I saw this post by Heather Bailey:

Her muffins looked SO good!  They also didn't look like muffins.  I found a recipe online for sour cherry strudel.  I have wanted to try cooking with phyllo sheets for a long time, but never dared.  My sister was going to be over.  I thought it was a good time to try.

At the store I ended up picking up raspberries and blackberries instead of sour cherries.  My sister will tell you that I have a hard time following a recipe exactly.  -- I also have a hard time following a pattern, that's why I'm a pattern designer :)

It all seemed to go smoothly.  It smelled good.  It was okay. . . .  We ate it with vanilla ice cream.  It was perfectly acceptable.

I just wanted to love it.

I was disappointed. . . .

That's life isn't it -- learning how to handle disappointment.  I have decided to handle this set back in a perfectly reasonable, adult manner. . .  I will never cook again! 

. . . at least until my kids are hungry in half an hour!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Did They HAVE to Ask???

 Last night I got an official request for a head shot.  What a nightmare!  I do have an official head shot that I had my sister-in-law take.  She's a professional photographer.  The picture is great, but I was so nervous that I look nervous, and I can't stand much to look at it.  So I had to give it another try.  Thought you might enjoy a few outtakes, so I can laugh at myself instead of cringe.  

My 12 year old daughter took the pictures.  It's easier to smile at my kids than to smile at a photographer.  Here's some pictures that got tossed out.  I had fun playing with the coloring of the pictures -- pretending they were better than they are.

This was from the first location.  I was trying the goofy face then smile hoping to get a more natural smile.  The metal flower was a cool fountain that doesn't have water.  It looked cool, but I thought it looked too much like an odd hat.

Then the second location. . . .  Love the lens flare.  Can you guess what my favorite statue is?

Actually it's not "The Thinker."  I was kidding.  It's the statue of Albert Einstein at the National Science Museum in Washington DC.  I love how it's so casual, and I'm a nerd at heart.

After two failed attempts, I headed up the canyon that I live at the base of.  That's my default location.  There's always something worth taking a picture of up the canyon.

And we found some friends as soon as we stopped.  The last location was not far from these deer.  We didn't get any closer, and they decided to hang around for a while before they wandered off.

Can't I just use this one or do I have to actually look at the camera?

After hundreds of pictures, half of them blurry and the other half with my eyes closed, I finally got one that was acceptable.  I sent that in.  Whew!  Hope I don't have to do that again for a while!

Friday, August 5, 2011

What Does it Mean for Batting to be Green? Cast your vote!

Going Green has been trendy for a while now.  Taking care of earth's resources has moved into public consciousness and into quilting.  (Picture shown is Birch Organic circa 60 Beach Mod.  I used it in my last book, Simply Charming Modern.  I love the prints!)


In the interest of full disclosure, let me mention up front that I have 6 kids.  I live near the mountains.  I love my Suburban.  Love.  I remember when I was younger and we had vehicles that we held our breath and didn't get behind any trucks to slow down our momentum when driving up canyons.  I don't want to worry about things like that any more.

I also love innovation, and I don't want anyone telling me what I have to buy or can or cannot have.
I have been intrigued, however, by all the organic materials that are flooding the market.  It baffled my mind that cotton wasn't organic.  I decided to find more about what makes something organic.  I asked questions.  I attended a lecture on the subject.

I learned that cotton isn't considered organic if certain pesticides are used when it is grown.  Bamboo is considered superior to cotton because it grows faster, and I think there's something about nutrients in the soil that cotton takes and bamboo doesn't.

In fabric, the cotton has to be grown without the certain pesticides, and it has to be made using certain dyes that aren't harmful.

I've had my questions answered except for batting.

What batting is the most green?

Literally, the answer would be Quilter's Dream Batting's Dream Green batting because it is actually green.

It is green because it is made from recycled 2-liter bottles.  It is a polyester batting.  I have used it, and I like it.  Is it the winner because it's recycled, or is it not because it's polyester?

Is it bamboo because it's "better" than cotton?
I love the drape of bamboo.  I hear bugs don't like it.  That's a good thing.

Is it organic cotton batting? 
I didn't know this existed until this morning when I saw that Hobb's has an organic cotton batting, so I assume others may as well.  I am curious why I haven't noticed these before.  I love their 100% cotton with scrim -- I gotta have the poly scrim, so I don't pull it apart when I am quilting it.

Is it wool?  Or does that bring up all sorts of animal issues?
I love wool batting!  It quilts so beautifully--by hand and machine.  It's washable. 

Which do you vote for?  Did I miss one?

I really want to know who the unofficial winner will be!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wonky Autumn Leaves in the Fat Quarterly

One of my patterns came out in Issue 6 of the Fat Quarterly this week -- Wonky Autumn Leaves!

Here's the link:

This quilt was an experiment with wonky.  I took a traditional leaf pattern and made it wonky on every level.  This issue was all about using different fabrics, so I used, well, different fabrics.  The fabrics are all solids to let the texture add the variety.  The brown background is a linen blend.  There's Kona solids, Moda solids and cross weaves, shot cotton, linen, linen blends, and corduroy.

Here's the back.  The color at the top was one I didn't end up liking with the rest.  I used it just enough, but had plenty left over.  The three blocks were test blocks.

Here's the first block I made.  The orange frame was too big, and I worried about the squares not being wonky.

This is the second block.  I think the middle frame a lot better here.  I'm still worried about the leaf squares.  Also, the outside of the middle border is still straight which also worried me.

This one took more work because everything is wonky.  That's the beauty of it!  This one didn't get used because I ended up trimming the block a hair larger than this block.  That's all that got changed.

The quilting pattern is one I digitized that I call Modern Argyle.  I bound it in the green corduroy.  I like it, but it wasn't very fun to do.  I wouldn't recommend it.  Except if you insist on trying it, take a smaller seam allowance to give all the extra bulk room to come around.  Yes, that's what I did wrong that made it not very fun.  Live and learn!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Guild Pumpkin Project

One of my guilds started a block exchange a few months ago.  The blocks are due at our September meeting.  I am just getting started.  Of course, I have had my blocks designed since right after I signed up.  We have two blocks to make -- a pumpkin block and a 16 patch block.  We make 16 of each and then swap in September.

The green on top is the fabric that we are matching.  We got a couple other swatches that I lost.  We aren't allowed to use brights, so I didn't have too many choices in my stash.  Fortunately, I fell in love with this line a few years back.  I think I picked up a yard of all that was left when it went on clearance or on a good sale.

I double checked with the person in charge.  She agreed that it was perfect!