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!


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.



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!



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

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