Can’t Get Away from Quilts

The house is getting back into the swing of things since break.  We are all a little sleepy this week and the deep freeze and snow outside in Pennsylvania is not making waking up very easy.

Over break we took the kids to Las Vegas.  For teenagers, this was a blast.  My husband and I don’t gamble but between the shows, the decorations for the holiday’s, and the fun stuff for older kids to do, we had a great time getting away.

As we were walking around my daughter goes, “look mom, it looks like one of your quilts”.  I looked around on the walls and looked at people and saw nothing.  She goes,” No, look down.” And what do I see…a quilt.


Well actually, tile work.  But can’t you see the pieces of fabric coming together in the little blocks.  Oh, the color options!

Here is the one my daughter was referring to.  It was home on the sofa waiting to have the rest of the binding finished. Can you see the similar lines she was referring to?


And so Quiltstalking in Las Vegas began…she and I were checking out every tile floor, carpet, and the architecture. It was a bit overwhelming.  Kinda made me homesick for my sewing machine! My head could not settle.

Here are a few pieces of inspiration.


Reminds me of a Log Cabin block or a Court House Steps Block.


The geometrics just make me go crazy for my machine!


This one make me want to jump into some curve piecing.


This carpet makes me want to do some little free motion pebble quilting.


This makes me want to grab one of Jenean Morrison’s Coloring Books and a swaddle of colorful pens!


This would be such a fun Modern Quilt.


And when I finally got through looking down at all the floors in Las Vegas, I finally looked up.  The Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel and Casino.  Oh, the opportunity for Half Square Triangles!

The thing I learned from my daughter…

Quiltstalking can happen anywhere!

Where have you seen some crazy inspiration?



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Who has never made a mistake?

We all have.  I make mistakes as a parent, a person, and a quilter.  You can look at mistakes a few different ways.  You can accept the mistake, learn from it and move on OR you can live in the past and let that mistake characterize you.

When I make mistakes, I try to look at what I have learned from the mistake and make things better.  I usually never make the mistake again, that is a lesson learned.

However, some people never let a mistake die.  The people that saw the mistake will never let your future work be successful. There are those people that will always see you for your mistake and will never let you be a better person.

 I have learned that those people are not just mean but jealous of you, what you have accomplished, or what you have earned through your hard work.  Some people cannot stop living in the past.

mistakes, goofs

mistakes, goofs

I made a mistake with this quilt and I was able to laugh it off…along with my seam ripper!

In a very evil way, some may be happy that I made this mistake because now I have a lot of work to do to fix it.  But I am not someone that will let others dictate the great work and effort I have put into this quilt since that mistake.


fixed happy

fixed happy

I moved forward.  I made changes to the way I set up my quilts BEFORE I sew all the blocks together.  I look at my past mistake as a great thing, because now I know what NOT to do.

So, the moral of this story is..

Move forward and let the present dictate who you are and what you can be,

not your past.

No Quit!



Kate’s Quilt

The weather is turning to Fall here in Pennsylvania and I’m feeling the need to play with something cozy.  I had bought some flannel fabric on sale last Spring at Burkholder’s Fabric (love that place!!!)  My daughter has been wanting to make her own quilt from start to finish.  I thought this would be a great time to make one of those Rag Quilts.  There’s is a lot of room for error and you get a cozy quilt at the end.

I cut all the squares for her but she pretty much did the rest.   Here she is sewing X’s on each square to secure the batting that we put in the middle.  She wanted it extra cushy!


Here’s her pile of squares


and here is her finished quilt, snipped and out of the dryer.


She slept with it last night.  This morning she said that it was the best night sleep she has ever had because she was so warm from HER quilt.

It’s got to feel good to be 12 and be able to use what you made.

Unfortunately for me, my machine took a beating from all the thick layers.  It is in the shop for at least a week…

I guess I will be doing a lot of cutting for the next project!



Best Overheard Quote at a Quilt Show!

From the elderly Husband to the Wife,

Honey, you are not going to buy the Oakshott Fabric?  We can’t get our hands on this stuff anywhere else.

Seriously!  Where did this hubby come from?  No offense to my hubby, but his words would be more along the lines of “how much longer” or “how much $ for fabric?”

It’s funny to see how couples grow old together.  I’m always curious to know their story.

My story goes like this.  I’m in the stage of life I call FULL.  Our house has every square inch filled with what I call HOME.  Sports equipment, dirty (smelly) socks and sports clothes in piles, shoes that are suppose to be put away are being tripped over, an unused formal dining room repurposed to a fully functioninng homework room.  A calendar that reads like a command station with military precision timing of the activity, leave time, who to pick up, and what needs to be brought along..oh and it is color coded by kid and driver.  We have weekends filled with kids activities, a date night here and there with hubby, yard work, smores and a beer or wine at the fire pit with friends and neighbors, and that Sunday Slump of homework.

My house is clean but don’t do a white glove test or look in the drawers or behind the doors or under the couch.  I’ll get to that in a few years when this memory making part of life is my memory with my hubby.

Back at the quilt show, I talked to the couple about their FULL..  They told me about their kids and grandkids and where they all live now, etc.  She was telling me that when her hubby retired he drove her crazy and the only way to get him to stop driving her crazy was to get him involved in a hobby, but he did not have any.


Come to find out…he’s a quilter now too!



Here’s my FULL…


Easter 2014

Walking through a Quilt Show

I went to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza last week in Philadelphia .  I lined up early with all the other’s that were getting off buses. (I drove, I got a whole hour in the car by myself..each way!)   There is so much excitement in the wonderment of what new treasures you can create by the items on the other side of the door.

It’s funny, once I got my brochure, it was like mapping out a scavenger hunt.  Where are the booths I want to hit up first?  Do I want to go look at the quilts on display?  OR Do I want to look for some new books? OR do I want to touch all those fun fabrics that keep calling my name? OR do I want to go test drive a machine I am dying to get.  Wait, back up.  Where’s the booth with my test drive…it’s not here but I saw it on the promotional stuff online.  BUMBER!  Well that just made my visit less expensive!  Say “thank you” hubby!

So I started with the books and picked up two that I was dying to get.  The first was Quilting Modern with quilts by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen.  It did not disappoint.  It instantly gave me ideas with some stash I had back home.  So excited to be able to put some existing fabric to work.

 quilting modern book

 The other book I picked up was by Angela Walters

Angela Walters Book

 I loved how this book took each individual shape and gave ideas on how to approach it .  I cannot wait to play on my machine!  She has done a great job of looking at an overwhelming canvas and breaking it down into smaller sections.

After the books, I went through the quilts on display.  They had a lot of traditional quilts with some interesting interpretations.  They did not have a Modern Quilt section but they did have a section called, “Innovative Category”.  The quilts all displayed a story about how the artist came to create their quilt.  I love that about quilts.  There is always a story!

The last purchase I made was for some Oakshott Fabric.  There seemed to be a mess of bloggers writing about the beauty of this cotton fabric…it shines!  Until I saw it in person, I did not understand.  Oh the possibilities!

2-14 more more oakshott 001

I got this from Pinwheels booth.  I am thinking of using the purple as a background and doing something fun with the pink and the green.  Should be a great contrast.

My time is up and now I need to take all these great ideas back home and make them happen.  The best part now…the drive home with my thoughts and aspirations.  All big aspirations, reality…usually a bit smaller.  At least with a Quilt Show it gives you a place to let your imagination fly.



My Happy Place

What place would you go to right now?

If I could fall from the sky, I would hope to fall in a fabric shop surrounded by colorful, cheerful materials all around me.  The rows of color just make my head swim with possibilities.  It’s like Pinterest, “LIVE”.  I love patterned fabric and to see all the creative designs that people have come up with, but I always seem to find my way back to the solids.

A fabric shop is to a quilter, as a blank canvas is to a painter. 

Everyone has their own quilt making process.  Some show up at the shop with a pattern in hand.  They buy all the required fabric amounts, sometimes even the identical fabric from the pattern. They love the feeling that, “I’m going to make THIS.”  I have been that person and it is a great feeling of accomplishment, trust me!  It is also wonderful feeling when you have someone in mind for a particular quilt.  It makes the care you put into making the quilt even more special.

 I love to play a game with myself while I’m browsing the shop.  I watch people and wonder, who are they making this quilt for?  Do they just want the feeling of accomplishment?  Do they have a plan?  Or are they like me and just love the feeling a fabric shop gives me…the ability to imagine!

For me, my life is like anyone else’s.  It is full of time schedules, rules to follow, making sure others are following rules, helping others, keeping everyone in line and out the door at the appropriate time, etc.

In a fabric shop, I allow myself to be the one that needs help and to ask questions and to learn from this spontaneous collection of people that know a heck of a lot more about quilting than I do.

It’s also the one place I just let myself and my mind wander.  I go in and browse, wander through the aisles and see what catches my eye.  I touch, stare,and imagine what I could make!  There is something bizarre about touching all this fabric.  Something manages to just send a jolt to your brain.  This is the fabric for me, this is the fabric that starts my next quilt.  It is usually a print with some type of moxie of color and design that matches my personality of the day.  This becomes my backing, “4 yards please.”  From here I wander over to the solids (yes, the solids, me and my solids)  I find the colors that strike me the most.  I’m a sucker for any bright pink and Kona Snow.  I picked one that was called “wasabi” once.  I just had to incorporate it because of it’s name.  Now the question of how much fabric?  How little? I don’t know, just some?  For me, I like a problem to solve.

How to solve the problem?

When I get home, I decide by staring.  I just imagine.  What will it be?  Stripes? Half square triangles? A dose of a Wonky Block I want to try?  I don’t know until I start to cut into it. I just trust my instincts and go!

All because I landed in a Fabric Shop…Imagine



Burkholders Fabric Shop

Burkholders Fabric Shop

Why Am I Blogging?

When I tell someone that I got into Quilting about a year ago…their face says it all!

Say what???

I am not gray haired (although my hair colorist could probably prove that theory wrong), I do not have grandchildren (my own kids are still young), I don’t go to church on a regular basis (sorry, not hangin out in the church basement quilting), I don’t spend my day making homemade baked goods for my kids (I pick them up at the grocery store, baked), I like a good glass of wine ( and that does not make me a bad person), and …  what other stereotypes can I think of….hmm.

I am a 40 something woman who works out, has a great husband with kids and a dog.  I spend my weekends and after-school driving my kids to every sports practice, tournament, game, art class, volunteer opportunity, tutoring, oh and I get dinner on the table each night!  Hubby helps too!  Today’s quilter is not necessarily the stereotypical grandmother we still envision in our head.

I live in Lancaster PA where we have many Amish and Mennonite ladies that do some AMAZING traditional quilting.  It is truly an art.  My town also hosts the AQS (American Quilters Society) Convention every year.  A few year’s back I stumbled in for the first time.  I believe in being a tourist in my own town and this time, it proved to be a game changer for me.  I was floored by the artwork that these people could create using fabric.  My grandmother taught me to sew but never in my wildest dreams had I seen THIS type of sewing before.

But here was the hook for me.  As I walked around, I am 5’8″, blond and in my 40s. I pretty much stuck out like a soar thumb.   I posted on my Facebook page “I’m feeling young and tall today.”  After talking to some of the vendors, I found out that the average age attending was about 63. Well my head went crazy.  So if the average is 63 what is happening to this Art of Quilting?  Is it a dying breed?  Who is learning and carrying on the traditions of this aging art?

About a year later and a bit of snooping around (oh how I love the internet) I found the MQG Modern Quilt Guild.  For as old as traditional quilting is, modern quilting is new.  It is taking all the respected traditions of quilting and allowing you to freshen them up with your own interpretation.  It is bright colors, wonky squares, traditional blocks just made with fresh fabrics instead of old clothe shirts.  It is respecting the traditions but allowing the creator to put their own spin on an old block design.

So, why am I blogging?  I would like to be able to show others this amazing creative world I have found.  The Quilting Bee has come out of the Basement and found its home on the Internet.  Blogging has created a world for Quilters to connect from across the country and many continents.  Someday I would be intrigue to document how Blogging has changed the Quilting community from a quiet little local community thing to this vast, no walls, community of wonderful helpful people.

But for now, I’m going to get back to quilting




Deb in Baltimore Harbor with Napa


The First of Many!

20140627-112133-40893235.jpg 20140627-112133-40893659.jpg

I finally finished the front of my Amy Butler half square triangles and was able to scrounge up fabric to complete the back.  Once I got them ready for the long-armer, I took them down to Nancy at Quilt with a View.  It was such a freeing feeling to know that someone else was doing the quilting!  I have had it with trying to do it on my regular machine.



IMG_3021  cropped-20140627-112133-408932351.jpg

When I picked up my quilt and saw that it actually looked like a quilt and not another WIP (work in progress), I was so amazed at myself.  I did it!  This is my biggest quilt yet. I have a feeling I will be seeing Nancy a lot more in the future.  The quilting she did turned out awesome!




Have you signed up? I got on 6 hours after opening and nearly every workshop was full. What a crazy trip this will be! I got the lectures I wanted which will be great and I got wait listed for the workshops. I still don’t know what my time will consist of but I don’t care…I’m going!!!!


It all started with a Square…

I love Squares.


There is something so clean about all the sides being perfect.  Everything so tidied up…unlike life!  At least with Quilting there are a few things I can control.

For as much as I love squares, I just finished  a Minecraft “Creeper” quilt for a charity auction.   I need a break from all that stitching in the ditch!

So, keep the square or make it a triangle?  Hmmm…if I make triangles , then I could play with the different set ups.  Oh the playtime that would give me!  The fantasy of pattern play!  Yum!

 I’m going with Triangles! I cut my squares to 6 1/2 inches.  I have the pattern fabric on one side and the Kona Snow on the other.  I drew a line down the diagonal center and sewed on both sides of the line.

IMG_2414 IMG_2413

If I did my math correctly, I should have 144 of these 6 inch finished squares when I am done.


Now I need to sew and press.  The work part!

OOPS,  I need an Audio Book.  Does anyone listen to books while they sew?  Oddly enough it helps me focus.  I use from Amazon.  The longer the book the better.  I’m going to download “Sycamore Row” from John Grisham.  And is over 20 hours!  Oh the sewing time that gives me!!!!

All set now.  Machine, Iron, and a Book!