Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Take me home.

Hike1 copyThis seemed like the appropriate title for this blog.

This is Country Lane in the Forest Preserves of Cook County (or Crook County as we Chicagoans and Suburbanites call it). 

The song in my head always when we start out is Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver. 

My day started out with a 5.5 mile hike.  Not a walk.  A hike.

This pic is my proof.

It was a tough hike…you can barely see the first of many hills in the distance in this pic. 

My allergies were in full force.

It will be a double Allegra day.

But it felt good.

We have been walking about 15 miles a week now.  It would be more honestly but still tied to my desk finishing up my manuscript.

There will be much more walking/hiking/biking from mid August on.

Yesterday was a fun day at Chez Depre.

As has been the usual Monday event in July,  Cathy B. came over to sew.  Shannon,Me, Mary

Got a message earlier in the month that my good friend Mary Kerr and Shannon Shirley would be passing thru my neck of the woods (note that great tie in to the earlier segment) while on their journey north to Oconomowoc WI and the The Upper Midwest Quilt Show.

Mary Kerr and I have been friends for many many years and it was so good to see her.   I think we could sit for hours and chat if possible.   She and Shannon stopped in for coffee and got to meet Cathy.  New friendship were formed. 

Both Mary and Shannon have books also on the horizon and I will share more about them when they are released.  So much fun, so much inspiration, we all love the same thing but have our own niches….quilting rocks!

Cathy shared with all of us her latest quilt.  Well quilt top.  It will be off to the longarmer shortly I am sure.

Cathy has made all 100 blocks in Tula Pink’s latest book 100 Modern Quilt Blocks.

Isn’t it fantastic! My flash toned down the blue..it really is much more brilliant! 

9781440232145_p0_v1_s260x420So my final giveaway for my Christmas in July Blog Event is a copy of Tula’s Book.

Leave a comment telling me your favorite John Denver song (and if you don’t like John Denver I suggest you fake it for now…lol) and I will pull a winner on Thursday morning at 6am!

Gonna hit the studio now…I think I will queue up “Sunshine on my Shoulders” on the iPod.

Enjoy the day,


Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Winner, A Quilt, and a Tease

….walk into a bar….LOL.

Doesn’t that title just feel like a set up to a bad joke.

Well no joke in this blog. 

First a winner!

CAROL mom to Annie, Greta and Cadeau you are the Sit & Stitch pattern/fabric winner! 

Now on to a quilt.  Or rather quilt top. 

As I sit work on the illustrations for the next book I give myself incentive breaks.   For example:  When I finish this batch of 25 drawings I can peruse eBay for a $10 purchase or hold onto said imaginary gift certificate (gc), draw 40 more items and have a $35 certificate.   Or really push it and get a total of 100 drawings done for a $75 certificate.  But if I crack at $35 then it’s back to the beginning.  (note shipping is not included in said imaginary gc)

This helps when the days are long and tedious.

Last week I held out for the $75 gc….and I perused ebay. 

And this treasure came home.  And it didn’t cost the entire $75 even with shipping.  (see Paul I am saving money!!…lol)




The box arrived yesterday and I didn’t open it until I was done for the day. 

This provided the incentive to get done yesterday.  DOUBLE WIN!





Here it is in all it’s scrappy 30’s glory. 

I am in love.  I can’t stop looking at it and all the wonderful feedsacks in the Lemoyne Stars.


Yes those solids are ….ahem…”packers colors”…but I am choosing to ignore that right now and just concentrate on it’s lovely scrappy goodness.




I will be adding a 3-4” border around the edges to stabilize and make it easier to quilt.  I know it will be a solid but still debating the color choice.  I am considering turquoise.  Any ideas?








96OK…blurry pic sorry. I can’t see to the find the one I took before sending this treasure on it’s way so this is swiped from the auction.

Side bar: also love ebay for quirky items.  Found this turn of the century Murad Cigarette Trading Card featuring Hendrix College.  This item is on it’s way to dear son for his office.  Image advertising a college on a pack of cigarettes in today’s world?



Now for the tease. Cathy's Booksmudged

Tuesday a book goes up for giveaway.

Cathy a friend of mine really loves her copy….she has gone thru it already and made all the blocks.  And she is sewing them together into a quilt as we speak…err..I type. 

I will post a pic of her awesome quilt for ohhing and ahhing with the giveaway.  no pressure Cath.  Smile

Enjoying a cool and dare I say brisk July day,


Friday, July 26, 2013

Library Love

When we were looking for the home we live in now one of the things that sold me on this house was it was within walking distance to the library.

I am a library geek.

I can still remember the trips to the library with my mom when that town’s library was literally a store front.  The kids section was just one 12 foot wall with books stacked higher then any kiddo could reach.   I like to say I read the bottom three shelves twice.

Paul and Emily got their library cards at age 4 and our weekly trips began.

It is not uncommon for us to be at the library 2-3-4 times a week picking up a book that has “come in”.  I ask for alot of books.  ALOT of books!  All genres…but yes very heavy in the quilting and knitting dept. 

A few weeks ago a book popped up on the email newsletter that the library sends out that caught my attention.   I knew I must see it with my own two eyes.

I got the email yesterday.  It was in.






I was laughing out loud before I even hit the door to leave.

Sometimes you just need a funny book to literally turn to when you need a giggle.







And of course I am gonna show the doxie pic!


I double dog dare ya to check this book out and not giggle.






And to segway into today’s giveaway, I see the return of creative relaxing hand work to my life.  I love to spend hours English Paper Piecing and hand appliqueing with a good movie on the tv or a book on cd playing.  I can listen to books on cd while doing hand work but I get lost if I try when machine piecing.  

I have always wanted on of these little caddies for the arm of my side of the couch.

Sit-and-Stitch-sewing-pattern-Taylor-Made-Designs-frontThis pattern called Sit & Stitch Pincushion is by Cindy Taylor Oates.  

I vow that by Sept 30th I will have one and I hope one of you will have one too.

So the prize is the pattern and three fat quarters of fabric to get you started.



Post a comment below telling me your dog’s name or any dog you know and I will draw a winner of the Sit & Stitch Pincushion pattern and fabric on Sunday morn!

(pssst….you will definitely want to keep an eye on the blog….I do believe there is an extra book on my desk that needs to leave next).

Enjoy the day!


P.S. still need the street addy of Vickievanphd so I can send out your prize!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

We have a Sunglass Case Pattern Winner!

winnercongratsVickievanphd you are the winner of the Sunglass case and fabric giveaway.  Please contact me at mickey(at)mdquilts(dot)com.

Previous Winner Laura Parrack I have not received any emails from you please check the address you are sending them to and contact me at the above mentioned addy.

Off to work on my manuscript today.

Sew-Write-Illustrate REPEAT over a hundred times…whew!

Enjoy your day,


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Oh My Missouri Stars!

Yesterday one of the things on the “to do” list was take the Brews4Drew quilt to a local longarmmer for quilting. 

Normally I do all my own quilting but three factors are now part of my life and well it’s time to tap someone else’s talents and ease the stress.

a) No time…this is in part to the before mentioned book manuscript deadline AND all the bookings for teaching/lecturing.  As much as I love to machine quilt…well I love traveling and meeting new quilters more.

b)This bum ankle of mine is just not happy with the reverb of the foot pedal yet on my APQS George machine.  Thus giving machine quilting a break until late November when I am “done” for three months and can easily sit for a day with the ankle up if need be.

c)With travel comes many airport hours with the ebay app.  Let’s just say the vintage/antique quilt top collection has grown. And it is my personal goal to get this tops done and quilted so they can live even longer lives!

My good friend Cathy B. introduced me to her longarmmer and she was gracious enough to take on quilting the Brews4Drew quilt in the short time frame and thus saved my ….well you know.

Cathy and I have been spending Monday’s together quilting (a vow we made in June) and she had some tops to take in to Deb (longarmmer) too so off we went together.

After getting my quilt out of the way Cathy pulled out her tops.



I just about keeled over and immediately ran for the camera in my purse.









Now Cathy has quite the collection of antique quilt tops and quilts.  And I have see some but not all even though we have known each other for well over a decade.   Owning a multigenerational farm she has ample storage space and things kinds get tucked in all over the place.  But she is working on getting all the quilts together and I can’t wait to dive into the collection with her this Fall and begin documenting.  But that is another blog.

As Cathy is pulling out this top she explains it is a relative of a friends quilt top that the family just discovered and want finished.

OH MY!  Those are 4 inch Missouri Stars!!!  And it’s 30’s scrappy.  Can it get any better?!?.  Well not for me.  These are my most favorite quilts of all.   All hand sewn.

(just to be clear I am going to make a generous offer to the family just in case anyone wishes to let this treasure live with me)

Let the picture fest begin.  Trust me this is just a small portion.  I could of spent hours photographing each star.  And maybe I will on the flip side of quilting.

Dare I say another “quilt to make in my lifetime” has just been added to the list.



You can buy your EPP pieces for 4” Missouri Stars at www.paperpieces.com.

Let the madness begin.




Enjoy the day,


Monday, July 22, 2013

Attn Laura Parrick

Hi Laura,
I haven't received either email. Please resend to mickey(and)mdquilts(dot)com.

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.10

I’m still at the computer

Oh Boy I know I have fallen down a bit on my blogging.   But truly ALL I am doing almost 14 hours a day is working on the graphics for the next Pieced Hexies book who’s deadline is looming.

And obviously I can’t share any of that with you right now.

But I can share another giveaway!





Today’s prize is a pattern by Stitchin’ Sisters.   It is their Eye Spy Case. 

And some fun summer fabric to get you started!




DSC06857Back in November I received an item made from another of their patterns as a giftie at a retreat.  It is this wonderful for tucking into a purse with a stash of stuff inside.  Quilting or non-quilting.  I mostly use it to hold lip balms, gum, etc in my purse.

Yes I have a lot of lip balms.  It’s borderline obsession.  (btw Burt’s Bees are the best…just sayin’)

Impressed with this bag (It’s Personal pattern) I went in search of what else Stitchin’ Sisters had to offer and I found this great snappy glass case!

Oh did I forget to mention that the magic to both of these patterns is that they insert a piece of metal measuring tape (check the dollar store!) and it “snaps” open and shut without any other closure.  YIPPEE!

Since I own as many  pairs of sunglasses as days in the week well I can use several of these eyeglass cases.

(Notice a trend here with an aversion to the sun.)

Leave me a comment below telling me if you are a sun lover or not and I will pull a winner Wednesday morn at 6am CST.  NOTE: you are eligible to win even if you have no love for the sun (either)….I wear sunglasses even in winter.  Smile

Now I will go back to my illustration work.  I do see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Enjoy the day,


MakeItSnappyp.s. Another perusal of their website brought this pattern into sight.  I think this might be another project for me after the manuscript is done.  BTW look for the next Pieced Hexies book to be released in early 2014.



p.p.s. LAURIE PARRACK I still need to hear from you with your address so I can send your bird pattern prize pack.  If I don’t hear from Laurie by July 31st I will add it to the final giveaway.   LAURIE email me!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Winners All Around!


We have a winner of the Indygo Junction Friends of a Feather pattern and fat 1/8th of hand dyes!

….drum roll…..

Laurie Parrack!   Drop me an email with your info and the pattern and fabric will be on their way!



I am deep in the midst of manuscript writing for my next book to be out in January 2014!

I am thrilled that so many love Pieced Hexies.  

They are addictive that’s for sure.



mzl_fktmsrvd_175x175-75So as I sit here for another day with Illustrator creating and playing with colors and textures my police scanner squawks out the neighbor happenings to me.   Over the years my ears have learned to dim it out the info until something exciting happens or an address close to my house is mentioned.

Like just now.  Someone fell on their bike a block over and an ambulance is in route.   Hope they are ok.


imagesCAOQTAHZIn the studio I listen to either music (some of it by these Police) or the dim of cable news.   I have tried to break the habit of the need for white noise but I just can’t.  If nothing is on my brain starts to think to much. 

Does that make sense?

Surely I cannot be alone win my need for static noise.

(ps I have tried audio books…I land up mind drifting and loosing all track of the story).


And before I click the post button I wanted to share this great winning deal.  Today is day two of Craftsy’s Great Summer Sale.  Some classes are up to 75% OFF!  Yes Craftsy has awesome quilting classes but I also have several foodie, knitting and sewing classes in my stash on Craftsy. 


These are a few that have caught my eye and tumbled into my basket.


     Spindlying    Embroidered T-Shirt

Click on the images above or the Sweet Summer Sale image to go right to the site for sale pricing!

Big News Tomorrow!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A little birdie at the market



                                                  Teaser pic….read on.



Whew, we just returned from the local farmers market.

The bounty was good this week.  Lots of veggies and 10lbs of blueberries to freeze.



But just incase anyone is thinking I have gone totally domestic (for years my tale was “I can burn boiling water) I have the following ditty to share.

Last night while reading an article yet again someone mentioned making Kale Chips.  I thought I need to explore this and made a mental note to myself to seek out and buy some kale at today’s market.

Well Paul was off putting the blueberries (and a watermelon and cantaloupe) in the car I wandered into our fav stand for veggies.  DSC06833

I picked up some green onions, mushrooms, cucumber, and this.


Oops…not kale…leeks.



Oh yeah I wanted to make Leek Soup (never had it before in my life) I told Paul.  He looked at me and laughed knowing full well I goofed.

Tomorrow I will seek out kale at the grocer.  DSC06837

DSC06839And no need to buy raspberries or tomatoes when the “farms” of Chez Depre and Chez In-Laws are giving this type of bounty.




Now onto another giveway for Christmas in July.

IJ967_FriendsofaFeather_IndygoJunction_SewingPatternThis pattern is by indygo junction and I am a big fan.   I just love these little birds.  I envision a flock of them flying around the house during the winter months when bird sightings are far and few between.  I think once my book manuscript is done I might make it a bird a week habit for a bit to get a good flock going by January. IJ967_01-FriendsofaFeather_IndygoJunction_SewingPattern



I hope you will join me!




DSC06835So leave a comment telling me your favorite bird and I will draw a winner for the pattern and fabric on Friday at 6am CST! 

Enjoy your day,