Tile and Quilting

So, my household is a few weeks away from moving into a house.  We took a 1968 paneled Brady Bunch Split Level, renovated it (sorry, we took out the orange, lavender, and red sinks) and did an addition.

We are now putting the fun touches on the place.  One of which is tile.

So here is a funny story.  A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to go to Italy with my friend for her 40th Birthday.  No kids, our Hubby’s stayed home with them for a whole week!

We got to see and explore and learn and eat and drink and drink..  Such a different trip than Disney World.  It was a very inspiration trip on many levels.  But when I look back at my pictures, I took a ton of pictures of the tile.  It was everywhere!

In churches, in Town Squares, on walls, on floors, and on ceilings!  Everywhere!  It was very inspirational.

But here I find myself a few years later picking out tile for our Powder Room.  I know that white subway tile is big right now but I wanted something different.

Boy did I find Different!

Here was a fun shot.  The tile guys took the individual tiles and laid them out, and laid them out again, trying to get what they felt like a good mix.


I was cracking up when I walked in.  This is exactly what I do when I do improv blocks for Quilts.  The three of us kept looking at it, trying to not get too many of one color or one style together.  Then I showed them the trick of taking a Black and White photo of the layout.  They marveled as it showed the dominant blocks and the less dominant blocks.

Did the Quilter just show the Tile guys a trick?

Here is one of the layouts before it got installed in the Powder Room


And here is part of it installed.


Sorry, no lights in there yet.

But look at all the similarity to traditional Quilt blocks in there.  I see Variations of ShooFly, Amish Quilt Blocks, some Bear Paws, Churn Dash, Ohio Stars, St John’s Pavement, Diamond Squares, and so many more.  It makes you wonder who inspired who?  Could the Plain Amish have been inspired by such ornate ancient tiles?   Oh, to be in school and do an Art History Paper on such a topic!  I don’t know the answer but I do know that History repeats itself in many mysterious ways!

It just inspires me to want go sew and play and create.

Be Inspired!


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Always Never Done-My Quilt Ladder

My girlfriend organized a night out at a great store down the road called “Always Never Done”.  What a great name,  I feel that way everyday!  I think that needs to be my new mission statement for my life!  Hmmm….When you think about it, it seems like a better name for WIP (works in progress) too because sometimes even my finished Quilts feel like they are never ever really done.  There is alway one more thing I could have done to a quilt.


The store is a treasure of great finds.  The owner Amy, finds all these pieces of furniture and refinishes them.  Check out her site here.   We took the class on how to refinish a piece of furniture with Chalk Paint.  SO MUCH FUN!  In 3 hours we had our pieces sanded, painted, roughed up, and waxed.  SWEET!

So this was my excuse to finally get a Quilt Ladder.  I found one over in Amish Country and yes, I bought it from an Amish lady.  And it even smelled like a barn.

Here is my ladder before.


Here is the Ladder Painted


Here it is Roughed Up

(Trust me, don’t go to the gym before you do this….major arm workout!)

And here it is finished at the end of the night with the class and their great pieces.  I’m on the far right.


And here is my Quilt Ladder fulfilling my every Expectation!


Yeah, I did it!

The problem now is I have to go back and pick up the other stuff I bought that night in the shop…Ooops!

Sorry Honey.



SWEET 2016

I know we all make resolutions of the things we are going to do (or lose) in the New Year.  This year I made my resolutions based on being more proactive on the things I want to see around me.  I am constantly saying “Tomorrow I’ll get to whatever”  or ” Maybe I should finish up those WIP’s”.   Yeah I know, it is called procrastination and it is habitual.

So, this is how my year got started…

lancmod logo

I became the Co-Founder (with two other quilting friends M and B) and President of the Lancaster Modern Quilt Guild.  Sometimes we all need a kick in the butt from someone to just do the things that we want to see happen.

So go back just a month ago, to Thanksgiving, when M, B, and I had a chat about the drive we were taking to Camp Hill from Lancaster to be a part of the Capital Area Modern Quilt Guild.  It was an hour drive on a good night without traffic.  We loved the inspiration of friends but to be honest , I don’t know the community that we were in.  I knew how to get to the meetings but don’t ask me what was down the street.

So the three of us had a chat and decided to see if we could start a Guild here in Lancaster .  We let our Capital Area Board know what was going on and they have supported us.  We contacted Nationals and they were supportive.  We thought, “wouldn’t it be nice if we could just get 3 more  Modern Quilters from Lancaster at our first meeting and see where it goes.”


The Old Country Store in Intercourse agreed to host a meeting place for us and offered to do an e-blast for us.

Well, that’s when things got CRAZY!

This week,  I met 41 of the nicest, excited, talented, inspiring women and man that I could have ever asked to be introduced into my life.  I don’t know if they will all come back next month, but I know that for each of them that braved the cold night, I am glad we took the initiative to make something happen.

My resolution was about being proactive on making things happen for me.  It just so happens, by doing that, I think we are going to make a lot of things happen for others too.

Cheers to Sweet16!



Wasabi Love

So it is back to school time here which for me, means back to those WIP (Work In Progress).  I have promised myself before I dive into another new quilt top, I would try finish the other quilts that are 85% done!  I like doing the quilts tops, backs and the quilting.  I just need a binding fairy!

So this past week I finished my “Wasabi Love” Quilt.

Wasabi Love Quiltstalking Deb Fry

Wasabi Love
Deb Fry

I called it Wasabi Love because when I was picking out the fabrics, the yellowish color was called Wasabi and it just cracked me up.

Here is my shopping cart with all the KONA color choices.

Steel, Pomegranate, Candy Pink, Azure, Wasabi, and Snow

Wasabi Love Quiltstalking Deb Fry

Wasabi Love
Deb Fry

So the big question I kept getting about this quilt was,

“Where did you come up with those color choices?”

Well…It was my jewelry bag.

Wasabi Love Inspiration

Wasabi Love Inspiration

Here it is with all the yummy fresh cut fabric.

Wasabi Love Inspiration

Wasabi Love Inspiration

When I finished playing with an arrangement for the HSTs (Half Square Triangles) and I settled into committing to sew, I feared quilting this one myself.  I got stuck on seeing past a routine HST tracing.  So, I sent this to Nancy at Quilt With A View and she did her longarm magic to it.  She did a great job!

Here is some detail.

Wasabi Love Quiltstalking  Deb Fry

Wasabi Love
Deb Fry

 When I am doing a quilt top I am already thinking about something fun to do to the quilt back with any scraps I have left over.

Here is what became of this quilt back.  You can see some more detail from Nancy’s Long Arm work.

Wasabi Love Quiltstalking Deb Fry

Wasabi Love
Deb Fry

This quilt won’t be for sale.

The colors and the fun I had when I did this, just make me giggle!

I can’t wait to see what my next finished WIP will be.  It is a good feeling!



FundFest Time

Hello Lancaster Peeps!

If anyone is going to LCDS FundFest this weekend, here is the quilt I put up for the silent auction.


It is a traditional Triple Barnstar Pattern by Amy Gibson with fun fabric by Joel Dewberry.  The fabric, Birch Farm, is filled with deer, owls, flowers, and some fun geometric patterns.  The quilt is approximately 66″ X 66″, great size for a throw or to lay on top of a twin or full / queen size bed.


The backing fabric is my favorite.  It is deer heads!  I am not a hunter but they are so cute and put a smile on my face!


Hope you bid on it!  Maybe I’ll see you this weekend!





We Are… Penn State!

IMG_6091Here in Pennsylvania, there are two college sports rivals.  You either root for Pitt (University of Pittsburgh) or Penn State.

We have friends that are getting married in a few months and they tailgate during ALL the Penn State Home Football games.  I wanted to make a college spirit quilt but I wanted to do something unusual and unexpected from the usual “block” college quilts I see so much of.

I admire Jacquie Gering’s style of quilts and came across her “Supernova” quilt in her book QUILTING MODERN.  I took the idea and ran with it and love the way it turned out.


I took two different Penn State blue fabrics and mixed them up as I did the cutting.  Knowing this quilt is to be used and abused, I used the darker gray Kona Titanium and used just a bit of Kona Snow for the white to make it all pop.  The back is just the one Penn State blue (easy to hide a few drink spills and mud).


So cheers to a quilt to be filled with memories!




My Quilting Anniversary, A Retrospective


Quiltcon and AQS Lancaster 2015 Quiltcon and AQS Lancaster 2015

So, let me start out by saying that I live in Lancaster and look forward to the AQS show when it comes here.  It is an Anniversary for me.  Two years ago, in 2013, I attended the show here for the first time in Lancaster and posted on Facebook as I looked around, ” I feel very tall and young.”  I found out that year, that the AQS show’s average age of attendance was 63 (that quote came from the press box).  At the time, I was in my early 40’s.

 So, in my past life, I have a business degree and I looked around the show and asked myself, “Where is this industry going?”  It literally looked like it was dieing off.  As an art form, the quilts were amazing, the detail was impeccable, and the art of sewing was stellar.  But where are…

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My Quilting Anniversary, A Retrospective

Quiltcon and AQS Lancaster 2015

Quiltcon and AQS Lancaster 2015

So, let me start out by saying that I live in Lancaster and look forward to the AQS show when it comes here.  It is an Anniversary for me.  Two years ago, in 2013, I attended the show here for the first time in Lancaster and posted on Facebook as I looked around, ” I feel very tall and young.”  I found out that year, that the AQS show’s average age of attendance was 63 (that quote came from the press box).  At the time, I was in my early 40’s.

 So, in my past life, I have a business degree and I looked around the show and asked myself, “Where is this industry going?”  It literally looked like it was dieing off.  As an art form, the quilts were amazing, the detail was impeccable, and the art of sewing was stellar.  But where are the people that will carry on this tradition and art form?  I did not see another generational gap there to carry on the art form.  I was feeling young at 40ish there but I also looked and felt like a fish out of water.

But who sews anymore?  Who is going to pass on these amazing skills.  At that point in my life, I thought that grandma taught you to sew.  Mine taught me.  I could do basic sewing, like a button or a stuffed pillow, but what I saw at the show was an art form that was amazing and artistic.  Sewing was not just a domestic skill, who knew?

I didn’t.

So, welcome to the Modern World of Quilting.


I started Googling what the different blocks were called, what their historic value was, and how to construct them. Thank you: YouTube, Craftsy, Pinterest, Flickr, and Creativebug!!!!

You are my Modern Grandma.

So, back to “Where is Quilting going?”

So, after the Lancaster AQS show in March 2013 I went searching for an answer and learned about Quiltcon 2013 that had just happened in February in Austin, Texas.  I had just missed it!  Quiltcon was a “Modern” Quilt Show.  Filled with young and old, internet savy, graphic artists, fine art majors, engineers, mathematicians (who knew), and traditional quilters all looking for something different but all looking for a medium to express their creativity.  They found it in “Modern” quilting.

The church ladies have moved out of the basement and onto the internet!

I found a world of people, literally “around the world,” all connecting on the internet.  All ages, languages, and varied sewing abilities. They were all talking about this “Quiltcon” and how they left so inspired, excited, and consumed with creativity.

I need to go to QUILTCON!

I made a goal for myself to be at the next one in 2015 and I made my goal.


Quiltcon vs. AQS Lancaster?


I left Quiltcon this past February so energized, excited, motivated, head spinning with ideas and just a great sense of community.  I was encouraged to make mistakes, and learn from them.  For the last month I have not been able to stop drawing, EQ7ing, or just doing some improv pieces.

They expressed that you should be original.  Learn from those mistakes.  Create something with that mistake.

DO YOU and love it!

And then I went to AQS Lancaster last week,

Well, I took a class and the person next to me told me that “Wonky” was another word for mistake.

Really, here we go…

She will only follow a pattern.  I respect that.  Not everyone is comfortable just playing around. And then it went downhill… “and anyone that thinks “wonky” is a creative interpretation, is wrong.”

I was heart broken.

And then I went to look at the quilt displays at my lunch break.

As usual, they were beautiful and mind boggling. But this year there was no modern quilt section?  Last year AQS had a great entry category of Modern Quilt (upstairs, along the back, facing the back wall with little light.. but hey, they had one).  I thought that AQS was starting to realize the business of quilting and that they were recognizing a Modern category.  I was hopefull.

Not this year, it must have been a special exhibit last year.

So how does the industry stack up today?

When I went to Quiltcon, it was quoted that the industry as a whole is comprised of the following:

80% is Traditional

13% is Non-Traditional/ Quilt Art

7% is Modern

However, the Modern Quilt Guild grew over 600% in the last 18 months.  That is crazy in a business sense!  As a business, I understand that the Modern definition is not the dominate.  But, looking at the growth, where will the industry be in 2 years?

I’m excited to see!

I’m not trying to bust on either show or either demographic or style of quilters.  I love traditional quilting and appreciate the history and nostalgia that goes into the beautiful historic blocks.   If you ask any modern quilter they will agree. A lot of them got into modern to allow themselves to play “off” of the opportunities the block designs give them.  I just wish that more traditional quilters could be more open and accepting of different styles.

As a parent, I teach my children to respect others opinions but still be open new possibilities.  I teach them to embrace new ideas and to learn from them.  So why can’t the adults in this world abide by the values that they too were probably brought up to abide by.  It is easier to work together than to work against each other.  I think we have a good start.

So the next time you see a traditional or a modern quilt, look at the work and time it took someone.  Regardless of its style, someone put a lot of heart into.



Quiltcon Was My Disney

Just read…

Moda Party Greg, Jackie, Me, Andy (hubby)

Moda Party
Greg, Jackie, Me, Andy (hubby)

Remember being a kid?

Remember the day you found out YOU were going to Disney?

How did it Feel?

I remember the feeling of pure excitement in my blood not knowing who I was going to see and what rides I was going to ride and what shows I was going to see…and those firework shows at night?


As a parent I was able to replicate the experience for my kids.  I was able to relive that experience through their sparkling eyes, true smiles, and the same blood flowing excitement exerting through their energy.

But as an adult, we sometimes harbor what we want to do in exchange for giving our kids opportunities.

So here comes Quiltcon,

I remember the day that I talked to my husband about going to Quiltcon 6 months ago.  He was for it, seriously!  Say What????

(Insert giggles, jumping around, hugs, and true giddiness)

Quiltcon was my Disney

I got to meet my Mickeys

(bloggers, authors/book signings, artists)

I got my character meal

(the Moda Party, thank you for your generosity Moda)

I got my shows

(the amazing lectures and workshops)

I got my rides

(the jaw dropping quilt exhibit that I went through over and over again)

I got my souvenir toys

(fabric and fabric and oh, some more fabric)

What did I learn from all of this?

We all need a little Disney experience in our adult lives.  Sometimes we need to excite ourselves and go out and re-spark the giddiness that sometimes we feel has been left to our children to explore.  In this grown up world of images to uphold, roles to represent, and just acting like an adult all the time, it was fun to dig down to the pure giggles and butterflies in my belly and let the pure joy of the experience show through my smile and sparkle in my eyes.  It was fun to be like a kid at Disney again.

So what’s your Disney?



Fabric stash Quiltcon 2015

Fabric Stash Quiltcon 2015

Wrapping Paper and Quilting?

I went to wrap my Valentine’s Gift’s this morning.  I was just wrapping, not trying to do anything weird with the paper…

or was I?

I stepped back and this is what I saw.


Do you see what I see?  I matched up the lines of the paper and then I noticed I did it on the other gift also.


This one you can see that I even re-taped it because I did not like the line up before.

Seriously?  How long has this been going on?

Maybe subconciously I have been doing this for a lot longer than I think.  Maybe I was predestined to quilt all those cute little pieces of fabric and line them up so nicely.

The funny thing is, the closet sure is not this organized and lined up.  It must be a selective brain choice.

I wonder what makes us want to take the time to make certain things so “right” and throw other things in the pile and just be glad they are done.

I know with quilts, sometimes I want to be challenged and do quilts that really require point on precision.  But feeling that so much of life is about following the rules,  I find myself enjoying the wonky world of modern quilting that allows me to explore fabric sewing without always feeling that I am going to fail if I don’t get those two or four pieces to line up.  There is something very freeing about stepping away from a fabric creation and seeing what happened when I just let the fabric do the talking.

For now, I’ll leave my Type A personality to the wrapping paper , I’ll deal with my closet mess..another day and I’ll let the fabric take me away to a world somewhere in between.


Happy Valentine’s Day!